The C-17 Globemaster III
The C-17 Globemaster III is one of the most advanced military transport planes ever produced. Able to land on paved or unpaved runways as short as 3,500 feet and 90 feet wide, the plane itself is 174 feet long and 169 feet wide. The C-17 can carry a maximum payload over 170,000 pounds (85 tons).
The Globemaster is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and equipment and/or vehicles ( including the M-1 tank). It is operated by a crew of only three (pilot, copilot, and loadmaster).
The C-17 is equipped with four reverse-thrust engines, allowing it to move in reverse at low speeds up an incline of 2 degrees or less. This allows the plane to perform 3-point turns in order to turn around on runways as narrow as 90 feet. Reverse thrust also allows it to land on shorter runways by increasing braking capability.
Developed by McDonnell Douglas (now owned by Boeing), the C-17 made it’s first flight on September 15, 1991 and was delivered to the U.S. Air Force on June 14, 1993. However, the first squadron of C-17s was not declared operationally ready until January 1995. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since this time.
The C-17 is used to transport the presidential limousine and motorcade during both domestic and international travel, arriving before Air Force One to unload.