Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

  • McDonnell Douglas (until 1997)
  • Boeing (since 1997)

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a multifunctional four-engine military transport aircraft for large loads or troops from American production. It was developed by McDonnell Douglas and since its adoption it is produced and marketed by Boeing. The C-17 has been used since 1993 by the United States Air Force since 2001 by the Royal Air Force of Great Britain, since 2006 by the Royal Australian Air Force and since 2007 from the Air Command of the Canadian Forces. The C -17 is according to the Douglas C- 74 and the Douglas C -124, the third type is dubbed Globemaster in the USAF.


End of the 1970s, the U.S. military leadership recognized an increased need for flexible transport aircraft to supplement the older Lockheed C -141 Starlifter and the large Lockheed C -5 Galaxy. It should be possible to transport all the equipment from the home base directly into the combat zone. The requirements included an intercontinental range (including in-flight refueling ), short take-offs and landings ( STOL ) on temporary airfields, and discontinuation of cargo and parachute troops in flight. In addition, the aircraft should for the CX- tender possess high reliability and be easy to maintain.

In August 1981, McDonnell Douglas was awarded the contract to build the new model, called C- 17th The Group was able to draw on its own study for an advanced transport aircraft McDonnell Douglas YC -15 from the 1970s. Through in-house and technical problems it took ten years until the first flight. In December 1985, the U.S. Air Force ordered three prototypes, one of which was intended only for flight tests. It was completed in late 1990 and finally launched on 15 September 1991 on its maiden flight. Mid-1993, followed commissioned into the 17th Transport Squadron of the Air Mobility Command (AMC ) of the USAF at the Charleston Air Force Base.

First, the C-17 had to contend with enormous cost, time and performance issues. In 1985, the planned 350 machines has been reduced by the estimated cost increases to 210. In 1990, then followed by the further reduction in the number of aircraft to 120 pieces. Originally, for the procurement of 210 units of 41.7 billion U.S. dollars provided, however, the first 120 aircraft already cost 43 billion U.S. dollars. Due to problems with weight, resistance, and the engines of the originally contracted range or payload could not be reached. It was only in January 1995, an initial commitment was announced for the machine. In the meantime, the U.S. Air Force threatened even with a procurement stop after the 40th series machine.

McDonnell Douglas was planning to bring the C-17 in modified form as a civil transport aircraft MD -17 on the market. In 1997, McDonnell Douglas, however, was taken over by rival Boeing, who gave up these plans, but took over the production of the C - 17 as a military transport and was continuing. With price reductions Boeing achieved in August 2002 an order for a further 60 machines, the others followed in subsequent years, so that the U.S. Air Force said in July 2010, their requirements could be met with the previously supplied 232 machines. On September 12, 2013, the last determined for the USAF C-17 was delivered.


The C-17 is - as their small and big sister too - a high-wing monoplane with four jet engines, anhedral of the wings and tail assembly in T-shape. It has almost the same length and wingspan as the C -141, but a larger body diameter and a higher takeoff weight. They can also carry large and heavy equipment such as tanks, which was previously reserved for the C-5 Galaxy. The cargo space is accessible via a ramp tailgate and has a length of 26 m, a width of 5.5 m and a height of 4 m. The maximum load is 77.5 tonnes compared to 42.5 tonnes in the C-141 and 131 t at the C-5 Galaxy. Alternatively, 102 paratroopers can be transported with equipment. With 72 tons of cargo, the Globemaster III can on a 914 m ( 3,000 ft) long runway to land. The crew is two pilots and a loadmaster comparatively small ( Galaxy: six men ). Air cell is made of aluminum (69%), steel (12% ), titanium (10% ), and composite materials ( 9%). The tank capacity is 114,000 liters.

The thrust reverser of the C- 17 has two special features: Firstly, it could also be used in flight to allow steeper descents. On the other hand, on the floor in a reverse drive 2 by the deflection of the beam thrust forwards and upwards a fully loaded C-17 - handle % grade.


Since the mid- 1990s, the forecasted demand at C- 17 was repeatedly raised: Recently announced the U.S. Air Force in 2002, a need for 220 copies were ordered ultimately 180 machines, of which 148 copies delivered by March 2006. The first equipped with C-17 units were stationed at Charleston AFB in South Carolina and the McChord AFB in Washington State. With the 138th built C-17 received on 9 August 2005 for the first time a reserve unit this aircraft type. The 452nd Air Mobility Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command at March Air Reserve Base in California replaced by their already retired Lockheed C- 141st

On 29 September 2006, the U.S. Congress decided to obtain further ten transporters, since the C- 17 were claimed far more common and stronger through combat missions as planned. Increases together with a previously ordered additional machine by the total number for the U.S. Air Force to 191 Globemaster.

Boeing was the mid-2000s known not to be able to maintain the C -17 production line in Long Beach, no further orders for the type should be made. The company invested previously been an estimated 100 million U.S. dollars on the purchase of parts for an additional 22 C-17, for the even were no orders. With this measure, the production should be maintained until the year 2009. Of these 22 additional copies had to 2011, all a buyer found - five C- 17 for the Royal Australian Air Force (the last appointed in April 2011), four for Canada (2007 bought ), seven for United Kingdom ( four from 2001 leased and purchased 2008) and three more for the U.S. Air Force and two originally for Sweden, later for NATO.

Boeing announced on 18 August 2006 that the suppliers a "Stop Work" notice should be issued. This means that suppliers will be asked no further parts for the current C -17 production to produce after the completion of work on the components for the additional 18 machines ordered more and deliver. Although this step is to make it even reversed in the event of further orders - in proportion to the rising cost of elapsed time - the announcement means that with the delivery of the last ordered C-17 in mid-2009 aircraft production in Long Beach would have to be adjusted. The appointment of 15 additional machines by the U.S. Air Force 6 February 2009 secured first production line. In September 2009, ten more C-17 were added after the U.S. Senate confirmed that the modernization of the C -5 Galaxy is limited to the models of the B- and C- variant and thus the remaining 59 machines of the A version retired must be.

After ordering two machines by Qatar in 2008, six machines through the United Arab Emirates in 2010 and the interest of India to ten machines in 2010, the C-17 is still produced in 2015 and production is set according to how Boeing on 18. September 2013 announced.


United States United States

The U.S. Armed Forces (United States Air Force, USAF, and National Guard ) are by far the largest users of the C- 17th Of the 223 ordered C- 17, the USAF continues (September 2013) 222; one was lost by the fall. 17 machines are operated in seasons of the National Guard ( Air National Guard ), 13 subject to the Air Force Reserve Command. The USAF operates its Globemaster III on different bases with different key tasks.

To be found on the Altus Air Force Base ( AFB ) in Altus, Oklahoma at the 97th Air Mobility Wing (AMW ) training for aircraft crews instead. The 437th AMW in Charleston, South Carolina provides a constant readiness for SET operations ( Special Operations Low Level), which involves stripping of teams like the Navy SEALs behind enemy lines. Another C -17 squadron belongs to the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB the (near Trenton, New Jersey) at.

Two rather unusual application areas are the 62nd Airlift Wing (AW ) on the McChord AFB in Tacoma, Washington has been assigned. On the one flying the C-17 squadron this is the only C -17 Association of nuclear weapons and their components by the United States, on the other hand lead to the 62nd AW subordinate squadrons the Operation Deep Freeze by that service in remote research stations in Antarctica. They move in the summer in the southern hemisphere (about October to April ) between Christchurch at McMurdo Station scientists and research material Zealand and the airport.

Australia Australia

On 3 March 2006 Australia announced that it would acquire an initial three new C -17 and granted an option on a fourth copy. They are intended to supplement the smaller Lockheed C- 130 of the Australian armed forces. The first machine gave Boeing on 28 November 2006; they arrived in Australia on 4 December. The fourth was awarded the Royal Australian Air Force on 18 January 2008. For the entire C -17 program of the next four copies of the defense budget saw around two billion Australian dollars. A backordered fifth machine was given the RAAF on 14 September 2011 and a sixth machine arrived in Australia on 22 November 2012. The machines are operated by the 36th Squadron RAAF Base Amberley in on the state of Queensland.

Canada Canada

On 1 February 2007 Canada ordered four C- 17th The first two aircraft, which are referred to in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a CC -177 Globemaster III, were delivered in August and October 2007. The third machine gave Boeing in March, the fourth and last on April 3, 2008. Machines are operated by the 429 Squadron at CFB Trenton in Ontario.

India India

In early 2010 gave Boeing announced that it had received a request for the supply of ten C- 17 for the Indian Air Force. In August of that year, the Indian Air Force announced that it was considering to acquire six more copies in a second step. The first ten vans to be delivered between 2013 and 2015. On February 2, the final purchase contract for ten copies signed. An increase to a total of 16 to 18 machines is considered. The first specific machine for India completed its first flight on January 11, 2013, since the January 22 flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base were carried out with the machine.

The first plane landed in June at the Hindon Air Force Base, where the type flown by the 81st season of " Skylords ". By 2017, all the machines are to be delivered, currently (as of October 2013) are delivered four machines.

Qatar Qatar

The Emirate of Qatar has appointed first of two machines on 21 July 2008, which were delivered on 11 August 2009 and 10 September 2009. Two re-ordered copies were delivered in 2012. They are operated by the Qatar Emiri Flight in Doha.

Kuwait Kuwait

On September 24, 2010, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency ( DSCA ) that the emirate of Kuwait would first like to order a copy for his air force, which was delivered in February 2014. A second could be added.


NATO operates by the NATO Airlift Management Organization ( NAMO ) three of these machines as part of the NATO Strategic Airlift Capability. The aircraft were delivered in July, September and October 2009. Stationed those aircraft when using association Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW ) in the Hungarian Papa.

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

On 6 January 2010, Boeing announced that the United Arab Emirates have ordered six copies. The first four went to May-September 2011; the other two were delivered in May and June 2012.

United Kingdom United Kingdom

The British Royal Air Force was the first export customer and leased 2001, four machines from Boeing, which acquired it after the expiration of the lease in 2008. Later, the RAF ordered four more C-17, the zuliefen in February and June 2008, the end of 2011 and in May 2012. The C-17 Globe master are operated by the 99th Squadron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. The procurement of a ninth copy shall, Stand November 2013 considered.


  • Minimal (empty weight ): 346 kg / m²
  • Maximum ( maximum takeoff weight ): 745 kg / m²
  • 818 km / h ( at 10,975 m altitude )
  • 650 km / h ( at sea level)
  • About 5100 km (with 49,895 kg payload )
  • 4450 km (at maximum load )
  • Maximum (empty weight ): 0.62
  • Minimum ( maximum takeoff weight ): 0.29

Aviation exhibitions

The C-17 has been present since the beginning of its production in 1991 regularly on the three largest air shows in Europe, the Farnborough International Airshow, the Paris Air Show and the ILA.


  • 2009, crash-landed at Bagram in Afghanistan due to the non-extended landing gear, no casualties, 19 million U.S. dollars of damage.
  • July 28, 2010, the first C -17 crash near their home base Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska for a flight preparation for a day of flying, in which all four people on board were killed. The machine belonged to the 517th Airlift Squadron of the 3rd Wing.