C-17 NAMED "GLOBEMASTER III"
LONG BEACH, Calif., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's newest military transport aircraft -- the U.S. Air Force/McDonnell Douglas C-17 -- has been officially designated the "Globemaster III," the Air Force announced today. Naming of the C-17 continues a proud tradition of Globemaster transports produced for the Air Force by McDonnell Douglas, beginning with the inaugural flight of the first Globemaster in 1945 and followed by the legendary C-124 Globemaster II, which first flew at Long Beach in 1949. The C-17 Globemaster III is designed to carry large cargo, troops and humanitarian aid across international distances and land at forward, austere airfields. "The C-17 merges into one airframe what the Air Mobility Command now has to do with two or three different airframes," said Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, commander of the Air Mobility Command, who announced the Globemaster III designation. Fogleman is also commander-in-chief, U.S. Transportation Command. Capable of carrying the U.S. Army's main battle gear directly into small airfields with limited ramp space, the Globemaster III combines the advantages of strategic airlifters like the C-5 -- speed, range, flexibility and payload (including outsize cargo) -- with those of a theater airlifter like the C-130 -- survivability, short airfield capability, maneuverability and airdrop capability. Fogleman said the C-17 will take the place of the aging C-141 Starlifter as the nation's premier airlifter, delivering about twice the cargo of a C-141 for roughly the same operating cost. The Globemaster III will supplement the larger C-5 Galaxy, bringing cargo that previously only the Galaxy could transport, into small, or congested airfields. Eight C-17s can be parked and off-loaded in a space that can accommodate only three C-5s, leading to a faster cargo flow where runways and ramp space are limited. According to the Air Force, had the C-17 been available for Operation Desert Shield, the initial movement of U.S. forces to Saudi Arabia could have been completed 10 days sooner. In the Air Force's current humanitarian airlift to Somalia, with the flow of troops and equipment constrained by the very limited facilities, C-17s could deliver cargo 40 percent faster than the airlift fleet now being used. The Globemaster III can carry more than 80 tons of military equipment or relief supplies, and with air refueling, has a virtually worldwide range. The Air Force plans to buy a minimum of 120 of the aircraft to begin addressing the U.S.'s long-standing mobility shortfall. Currently, four Globemaster III aircraft are undergoing a rigorous flight test program at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., while a fifth is being tested under climatic extremes at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. A sixth C-17 has completed three acceptance test flights at Long Beach, Calif. The first of the 120 aircraft the Air Force is procuring is slated to be delivered to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., later this year. Fact Sheet on C-17 Range/Payload Demonstration Flight The fourth production C-17 airlifter on Jan. 30 completed a 3,204-mile (2,786 nautical-mile), non-stop, non-refueled flight from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., with a 160,838-pound payload. The next day the Globemaster III flew a 2,946-mile (2,562 nautical-mile) return leg to Edwards Air Force Base with the same payload. The cargo load, which was representative of the operational loads to be carried by the Air Mobility Command, consisted of six U.S. Marine Corps light armored vehicles, support equipment and personnel. When the C-17 landed at Eglin Air Force Base, the fuel remaining was 21,000 pounds -- enough to fly an additional 467 nautical miles. And when the airlifter landed at Edwards Air Force Base, it has 22,000 pounds of fuel remaining -- enough to fly 461 more nautical miles. The range/payload demonstration flight was announced today by Fogleman, commander of the Air Mobility Command, in remarks delivered at the Air Force Association Symposium in Orlando, Fla. In his remarks, Fogleman said, "While this flight was not designed to meet the contractual specifications for range and payload, it did clearly demonstrate (the C-17's) great capability and should dispel many of the myths about the operational utility of this aircraft." In response to the announcement, David O. Swain, senior vice president for the transport aircraft unit of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, said, "This flight proved the outstanding operational capabilities of the C-17, which will play a key role in the Air Force's post-Cold War strategy of global reach -- global power.'" -0- 2/5/93 /CONTACT: Jim Ramsey of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace 310-522-2567/ (MD)
CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: California IN: ARO SU:
BP -- LA022 -- 3593 02/05/93 14:28 EST
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|Date:||Feb 5, 1993|
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