The first Boeing C-40A airlifter for the U.S. Navy made its initial flight April 14. The plane, a 737-700C (Convertible) model, took off from Renton Municipal Airport in Renton, Wash., at 3:27 p.m. and landed 2 hours and 15 minutes later at Boeing Field. For the next five months, the aircraft will remain at Boeing Field for flight testing, upgrades and final checkout.
"This is an exciting day for Boeing and the Naval Reserve," said Mark Rogers, Boeing C-40A program manager. "The C-40A will be a dependable, affordable replacement for the C-9."
The U.S. Naval Reserve is the first customer for the newest member of the Boeing Next-Generation 737 family and is purchasing the aircraft to replace its fleet of C-9 airlifters.
The Navy version will be certified to operate in three configurations: an all-passenger (121) configuration; an all-cargo configuration of up to eight pallets; or a combination, or "combi" configuration, that will accommodate up to three cargo pallets and 70 passengers.
The C-40A fleet will take full advantage of the 737-700C's commercial introduction and lifetime support services, providing high reliability and low total-ownership cost. The U.S. Naval Reserve has ordered four C-40A aircraft to date, with the first scheduled to be delivered in early 2001.