A Boeing Company flight crew delivered the 36th C-17 Globemaster III cargo airplane to the U.S. Air Force today, flying it to its new home at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.
This last delivery for 1997 was the 24th consecutive airplane delivered ahead of schedule. There are now 28 C-17s based at Charleston, with the other eight having been transferred to the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Okla.
The Air Force's C-17 fleet has surpassed 75,000 total flying hours.
The delivery capped a busy year in which Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged. A C-17 was dedicated to entertainer Bob Hope, C-17s conducted the longest airdrop mission in history, President Clinton again flew on a C-17 to visit troops in Bosnia, and Boeing signed a contract to provide the Air Force with heavy maintenance for the C-17. This year also was the 50th Anniversary of the Air Force as a separate service, and a C-17 was dedicated to that milestone.