Boeing today delivered the first multiyear and 41st overall C-17 Globemaster III to the U.S. Air Force. A company aircrew flew the aircraft to its new home at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.
The aircraft is the first to be delivered as part of a seven-year contract signed in 1996 for the next 80 C-17s. That contract provided $14.2 billion to then McDonnell Douglas and $1.7 billion to engine maker Pratt & Whitney for delivery of those 80 aircraft between now and 2004. This aircraft is the 29th consecutive C-17 delivered ahead of schedule.
The Air Force's C-17 fleet has surpassed 95,000 total flying hours. The first flight of the versatile airlifter was in 1991, and the first delivery took place in 1993. Next year McChord Air Force Base, Wash., will begin receiving C-17s in addition to the two current locations, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., and Altus Air Force Base, Okla.
The aircraft delivered today included numerous upgrades such as an improved mission computer (core integrated processor), an enhanced fuel quantity system, improved aeromedical evacuation capabilities and a new engine nacelle.
The seven-year contract provides for a delivery rate ramp-up to 15 aircraft per year beginning in FY2000. The Air Force has contracted for 120 C-17s and has stated the requirement for an additional 15 for special operations.