C-17 Globemaster Can Drop Cargo and Tanks, Looks Its Best When Firing Flares

C-17 Globemaster firing flares 11 photos
Photo: USAF/Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben
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Looking at all the military pieces of hardware presently available, it’s very difficult to find one that is not impressive in some way or another. Yet because they are so diverse, they do appeal to different kinds of people, and this is why, for instance, the U.S. Air Force releases on a regular basis photos showing a large variety of its machines.
This past weekend, on the menu were a stealth fighter jet an F-16 wearing leopard overalls, but as we set out in the new week, massive transport aircraft comes into play. And what better machine to represent the genre than the C-17 Globemaster III?

This name hides a Boeing (McDonnell Douglas, to be fair) aircraft designed to carry equipment, supplies and troops to small airfields and forward-operating bases at a moment’s notice. In service since the early 1990s, there are presently close to 300 of them in the skies, serving the needs of several of the world’s militaries.

The thing can carry a payload of 164,900 pounds (75 metric tons), while taking off from a runway that is only 7,000 feet long (2,100 meters). After flying for as much as 2,700 miles (4,300 km), it can land on a strip no longer than 3,000 feet (914 meters).

The aircraft can transport cargo, but also huge military vehicles like the M-1 tank, or 100 soldiers. Every single item that goes into its cargo bay can be dropped from high up in the sky in case of need.

Like most other military aircraft, regardless of type, the C-17 too is packed with flares. These are countermeasures meant to defend the aircraft from heat-seeking missiles and other weapons.

The C-17 we have in the main piece of this piece, deployed with the Joint Base Charleston, is making full use of its flares in the photo captured by Tech. Sgt. Chris Hibben during a training exercise in an area outside Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this month.

And it looks so spectacular in doing so, possibly more than when say dropping a tank, we couldn’t miss the chance of featuring in our Photo of the Day section.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows a collection of other C-17 Globemasters.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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