Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
From Scramble - The Aviation Magazine
|Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) C-17 Globemaster III|
|First Flight||September 15, 1991|
|Entered Service||June 14, 1993|
|Number built||est. production run: 242 (as of May 2011)|
|Length||53.04 m||174 ft 0 in|
|Wingspan||51.74 m||169 ft 9 in|
|Height||16.79 m||55 ft 1 in|
|Wing area||353.03 m²||3800 ft²|
|-Empty||125645 kg||277000 lb|
|-Payload||76655 kg||169000 lb|
|-Maximum takeoff weight||265306 kg||585000 lb|
|-Empty||127685 kg||281500 lb|
|-Payload||75250 kg||165900 lb|
|-Maximum takeoff weight||278959 kg||615000 lb|
|Engines||Four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans|
|Thrust||179.9 kN (each)||40440 lbf (each)|
|Cruising speed||787 km/h||489 mph|
|-non ERFCS||8148 km||5063 miles|
|-ERFCS||9815 km||6099 miles|
|Service ceiling||13715 m||45000 ft|
By 1980, the US Air Force found itself with a large fleet of ageing C-141 Starlifter cargo aircraft. Compounding matters, US Air Force historically never possessed sufficient strategic airlift capabilities to fulfill its airlift requirements. The US Air Force set mission requirements and released a request for proposals (RFP) for C-X in October 1980. McDonnell Douglas elected to develop a new aircraft based on the YC-15; Boeing bid an enlarged three-engine version of its AMST YC-14. Lockheed submitted two designs, a C-5-based design and an enlarged C-141 Starlifter design. On 28 August 1981, McDonnell Douglas was chosen to build its proposed aircraft, by then designated C-17.
The full-scale development was called off January 1982 and replaced on 26 July 1982 by a slow-paced preliminary development order. The development and three prototypes (one flying) were ordered 31 December 1985. The fabrication of the prototype C-17A (T1/87-0025) began 2 November 1987 and the first production C-17A contract was signed 20 January 1988. The assembly of the prototype started at Long Beach 24 August 1988 and was completed 21 December 1990. The program transferred from the Douglas Aircraft Company to McDonnell Douglas Aerospace in 1992, to McDonnell Douglas Military Transport Aircraft in 1996 and to Boeing following the merger of August 1997. The aircraft’s first flight (T1/87-0025) was on 15 September 1991 which was also the delivery to Edwards AFB. The first flight of an initial production aircraft (P1/88-0265) was on 18 May 1992 with the first delivery to operational unit following on 14 June 1993. The first overseas service flight (P11/92-3291) was to Mildenhall, UK, on 25 May 1994. Development flight testing was completed 15 December 1994, by which time 16 production aircraft had been delivered and 22 records had been set (a further 13 world records were set by the 71st production aircraft during testing at Edwards in November 2001). The initial AMC Squadron (17th AS) received its 12th C-17A on 22 December 1994 and it achieved IOC 17 January 1995.
Four F117-PW-100 (PW2040) turbofans, with maximum flat rating of 179.9 kN (40,440 lb st), pylon-mounted in individual underwing pods and each fitted with a directed-flow thrust reverser deployable both in flight and on the ground. With effect from the 20th production aircraft, an improved version of the Pratt & Whitney F117 was adopted, this embodying single-crystal turbine blade technology, a supercharged compressor and enhanced thermal barrier coatings. The benefits of this include a 20 per cent reduction in cost of maintenance, increased reliability and slightly better fuel consumption.
Two outboard wing fuel tanks of 21,210 litres (5,603 US gallons or 4,665 Imp gallons) each, two inboard wing fuel tanks of 30,056 litres (7,940 US gallons or 6,611 Imp gallons) each, to a total capacity of 102,532 litres (27,086 US gallons or 22,554 Imp gallons). With effect from the 71st (first Lot 12) aircraft, an extended-range fuel tank containment system (ERFCS) was adopted: this converts a wing dry bay into an additional fuel tank containing approximately 36,339 litres (9,600 US gallons or 7,994 Imp gallons) of fuel, thus increasing the range with 18,144 kg (40,000 lb) payload by 900 n miles (1,667 km or 1,036 miles). ERFCS is also installed on the four UK aircraft. There are provisions for in-flight refuelling.
Normal flight crew of pilot and co-pilot sit side by side and there are two observer positions on the flight deck, plus a loadmaster station at the forward end of the main floor. Access to the flight deck via a downward-opening airstair door on the port side of the lower forward fuselage. The bunks for the crew are immediately aft of flight deck area and a crew comfort station is located at the forward end of the cargo hold. Removable crew armour can be fitted around flight deck and loadmaster's area.
The main cargo hold is able to accommodate US Army wheeled and tracked vehicles up to the M1 main battle tank, including 5 ton expandable vans in two rows, or up to three AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, with loading via a hydraulically actuated rear-loading ramp which forms the underside of the rear fuselage when retracted. The aircraft is fitted with 27 stowable tip-up seats along each sidewall and another 48 seats carried on board which can be erected along the centreline. Optionally, up to 36 litters for a medical evacuation mission or up to 90 passengers on 10-passenger pallets in addition to 54 sidewall seats can be fitted. An air delivery system with a capability for nine pallets plus two on the ramp in a single row or a logistics handling system for 18 pallets in a double row. The Airdrop capability includes single platforms of up to 27,215 kg (60,000 lb), multiple platforms of up to 54,430 kg (120,000 lb), a container delivery system (CDS) for up to 40 CDS bundles or 40 Tri-wall Aerial Delivery System (TRIADS) containers, or up to 102 paratroops. The aircraft was originally configured for single-row airdrop, but a dual-row capability operationally was certified in 1998 and is a standard feature of 51st and subsequent C-17s, as well as being retrofitted to earlier aircraft. The aircraft is also equipped for low-altitude parachute extraction system (LAPES) drops. The cargo handling system includes rails for airdrops and rails/rollers for normal cargo handling. Each row of rails/rollers can be converted quickly by a single loadmaster from one configuration to the other. The main access to the cargo hold is via the rear-loading ramp, which is itself is stressed for 18,145 kg (40,000 lb) of cargo in flight. The underfuselage door aft of the ramp moves upward inside the fuselage to facilitate loading and unloading. A paratroop door is located at the rear on each side. For the event of a waterlanding there are four overhead FEDS (flotation equipment deployment system) escape hatches, three of which are equipped with a liferaft.
Early production block, upgraded to Block 9 standard.
Block 9 aircraft features differences in its avionics, panels and design structures and in its Airlift Defensive System from earlier Block 8 C-17s. All of the Block 8 aircraft will eventually have software and hardware upgrades when they undergo depot repair by Boeing. Production models 49 and 50 are designated Block 9-plus versions since they have some upgrades from the later Block 10 models.
No details available.
First block upgrade to include the extended range fuel containment system providing 60,000 pounds additional fuel, extending the aicraft's flying time with about four to five more flying hours.
Block 13 versions include upgrades such as a Terrain Awareness Warning System, a reactive wind sheer warning system and follow-on improvements to various computer systems that enhance the aircraft's mission capability and safety. The new aircraft contains improvements to the onboard computers, to include a warning system that maps terrain and helps pilots avoid obstacles. The new aircraft also has a new reactive wind-shear warning system on the heads-up-display and its Station Keeping Equipment are updated to allow pilots to keep track of their location relative to up to 99 other aircraft flying in formation over a 100-square-mile area.
The Globemaster Sustainement Program (GSP) is an international program, with all C-17 owners participating. Block 14-16 include following improvements:
- Mobility 2000 (M2K) Airline Operational Capability and Printer,
- Secure Enroute Communications Package-Improved (SECOMP-1),
- Communication Open Systems Architecture (COSA).
Production block of 17 aircraft, starting with P-121. One of the most significant capability enhancements in Block 15 is the new Communications Open System Architecture. This architecture provides secure communication at all crew stations and provides growth capability.
First flight September 2005, Block 16 upgrades include:
- New [[Honeywell] AN/APS-150 weather radar with 320 nm range for waether systems
- An improved Onboard Inert Gas-Generating System (OBIGGS II). This system quickly and efficiently inerts gases in fuel tanks, preventing them from exploding if hit by enemy fire
- An improved stabilizer strut system
- A suite of modernized avionic boxes.
The 1st Block 16 was delivered August 9, 2005 and was the 138th C-17 delivered.
As of the beginning of 2008, C-17 Block 17 aircraft are the current standard for new production and upgrades. The newest variant includes following improvements:
- Formation Flight System (FFS),
- Required Navigational Performance-Improved (RNP-I) and High Frequency Data Link (HFDL),
- Combat Lighting giving the aircrew more IR lighting options
In December 2006, the United States Air Force places a follow-on contract for 10 Block 18 C-17A Globemaster III aircraft (c/n P-181/190). The contract was valued at $2 billion with deliveries to complete October 2009.
Non Block improvements
- 400 pound Troop Seats. Carrying weight, not seat weight.
- AN/AAR-47 Defensive System kits & install, Group A aircraft only
- Extended Range/On-Board Inert Gas Generating System (ER/OBIGGS) II
Not assigned, but it is used unofficially (along with C-17ER) to identify aircraft with extended-range fuel tanks (Lot 12 and upwards). Designation also used in 2007 by Boeing to identify an advanced STOL version for the US Army with (among others) additional main landing gear, making it capable to operate from soft soils.
A private venture tanker/transport project, offered unsuccessfully as a replacement for the USAF KC-135R/T Stratotanker.
Civil certified C-17 to operate as a heavy, outsized commercial freighter.
A projected civil cargo version, known until 2000 as MD-17.
- Canadian Armed Forces (4 as CC-177)
- India (10)
- NATO (3)
- RAF (8)
- Royal Australian Air Force (6)
- United Arab Emirates (6)
- US Air Force (218)
- Qatar Emiri Air Force (2)
USAF C-17A of the 305th AMW
RAF C-17A during an overshoot at RAF Fairford
RAF C-17A ZZ173 of No. 99 Squadron landing at RAF Fairford
- C-17 Globemaster III - Wikipedia
- Airforce Technology
- The Aviation zone
- The Boeing Company