Boeing Marks 20th
Anniveristy Of C-17 Globemaster III's 1st Flight
By Steve Hall
September 16, 2011 - The Boeing Company celebrated the
20th anniversary of the first flight of the C-17
airlifter. On September 15, 1991, test aircraft T-1 took
off from the Boeing Long Beach site on a two-hour flight
that proved the engineering and design concepts of the
aircraft and marked the beginning of the program.
T-1 flew by Long Beach again on Sept. 15, 2011, in a
re-creation of its milestone flight. "The first flight
of T-1 ushered in a new era in military and humanitarian
airlift," said Bob Ciesla, C-17 program manager for
"Twenty years ago, when I was working in flight test for
this new airlift program, I could not anticipate just
how critical the C-17 would become for the U.S. Air
Force and its allies.
success of the C-17 Globemaster III program extends beyond
Boeing's employees and supplier partners who have proudly
engineered and built the world's greatest airlifter for two
decades to exceed the expectations of customers around the globe
who fly the jet every day."
has flown more than 2 million hours in its 20-year history,
supporting worldwide airlift missions that transport troops and
supplies to global hot zones and bring aid to those in need
during humanitarian crises. The C-17 aircraft has achieved
a number of record-breaking milestones more than any other
airlifter in history and set 33 world records during initial
flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The C-17 aircraft has achieved a number of record-breaking milestones more than any other airlifter in history and set 33 world records during initial flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
"There is no question that the C-17 has set the bar high," said Ciesla. "The program has performed on cost and on schedule for more than a decade. Now we are entering a new stage with a production-rate reduction from 15 to 10 aircraft per year, extending the life of the C-17 line to 2014 and beyond."
The C-17's records include payload to altitude and time-to-climb, as well as a record for short-takeoff-and-landing in which the C-17 took off in less than 1,400 feet, carried a payload of 44,000 pounds to altitude, and landed in less than 1,400 feet.
During the past 20
years, Boeing has delivered 235 C-17s -- 211 to the U.S. Air Force,
including active duty, Guard and Reserve units, and 24 to international
customers including the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, Royal
Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Qatar Emiri Air Force,
United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defense, and the 12-member
Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for
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