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Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

The McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft that was developed for the United States Air Force from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas.

The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston engine military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.

The C-17 commonly performs tactical and strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world, additional roles include medical evacuation and airdrop duties.

It was designed to replace the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, and also fulfil some of the duties of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.

Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, continued to manufacture C-17 aircraft after the merger.

The transport is in service with the USAF along with air arms of India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and the Europe-based multilateral organization Heavy Airlift Wing.

The final C-17 was completed at the Long Beach, California plant and flown on 29th of November 2015.



Initial military airlifter version.

C-17A “ER”

Unofficial name for C-17As with extended range due to the addition of the centre wing tank.

This upgrade was incorporated in production beginning in 2001 with Block 13 aircraft.

Block 16

This software/hardware upgrade was a major improvement of the improved Onboard Inert Gas-Generating System, a new weather radar, an improved stabilizer strut system and other avionics.

Block 21

Adds ADS-B capability, IFF modification, communication/navigation upgrades and improved flight management.


A proposed tactical airlifter version with double-slotted flaps, an additional main landing gear on the centre fuselage, more powerful engines, and other systems for shorter landing and take-off distances.

Boeing offered the C-17B to the U.S. military in 2007 for carrying the Army’s Future Combat Systems vehicles and other equipment.


Proposed variant for civilian operators, later redesignated as BC-17 after 1997 merger.





170,900 lb (77,519 kg) of cargo distributed at max over 18 463L master pallets or a mix of palletised cargo and vehicles

102 paratroopers


134 troops with palletised and sidewall seats


54 troops with sidewall seats (allows 13 cargo pallets) only


36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients and medical attendants


Cargo, such as one M1 Abrams tank, two M2 Bradley armoured vehicles or three Stryker armoured vehicles


174 ft (53 m)


169 ft 9.6 in (51.755 m)


55 ft 1 in (16.79 m)

Wing area

3,800 sq ft (350 m2)

Aspect ratio




 DLBA 142


DLBA 147

Empty weight

282,500 lb (128,140 kg)

Max take-off weight

585,000 lb (265,352 kg)

Fuel capacity

35,546 US gal (29,598 imp gal; 134,560 l)


4 × Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, 40,440 lbf (179.9 kN) thrust each


Cruise speed

450 kn (520 mph, 830 km/h) (M0.74–0.79)


2,420 nmi (2,780 mi, 4,480 km) with 157,000 lb (71,214 kg) payload

Ferry range

4,300 nmi (4,900 mi, 8,000 km)

Service ceiling

45,000 ft (14,000 m)

Wing loading

150 lb/sq ft (730 kg/m2)


0.277 (minimum)

Take-off run at MTOW

8,200 ft (2,499 m)

Take-off run at 395,000 lb (179,169 kg)

3,000 ft (914 m)

Landing distance

3,500 ft (1,067 m) with maximum payload


Allied Signal AN/APS-133(V) weather and mapping radar.

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