The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

  • About the C-17
  • Becoming a Pilot in the C-17
  • What did the C-17 Replace?
  • Other US Air Force aircraft

About the C-17

The Boeing (formerly McDonnell DouglasC-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. Developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas, the C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases throughout the world. It can also perform tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions. The C-17 carries the name of two previous, but unrelated piston-engine, U.S. military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.

In addition to the U.S. Air Force, the C-17 is operated by the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Heavy Airlift Wing ofNATO. Additionally, India has approved the purchase of C-17s. (

Becoming a pilot of the C-17 Globemaster

USAF Pilot go through a minimum of 1 year of flight training at one of the Air Force’s Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) programs.  After they have earned their wings, pilots will then train at Altus AFB for 4-6 months, learning basic aircraft systems and how to fly the aircraft.  The training includes low level, short field takeoff and landing, night vision goggles, and air refueling training.

What did the C-17 replace?

The C-17 has replaced the C-141 mission, as well as filling a role as America’s premier military transport aircraft.  As an airlifter, the C-17 carries a smaller payload than the C-5, but is larger than a C-130.   This is perfect for many cargo payloads which require worldwide shipment.







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