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C-17 Globemaster Gets an Upside-Down Twin Thanks to Sun and Reflection

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has in its arsenal an impressive fleet of fighter aircraft, and those get most of the attention most of the time, being the aggressor beasts they are. But the reality is America’s military would not be where it is today if it weren’t for transport airplanes to tend to its needs.
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There’s a number of these massive beasts zig-zagging through the skies of the world, carrying troops, supplies, or fuel to where they’re needed. And our focus today falls on the C-17 Globemaster III, thanks to yet another incredible image captured by USAF personnel.

Born as a McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) back in the 1990s, the machinery has been designed to conduct tactical and strategical airlift missions, but also airdrops of equipment and supplies.

The Globemaster can carry a payload of 164,900 pounds (75 metric tons) for as much as 2,700 miles (4,300 km), and it’s capable of landing on and taking off from very short runways – it only needs 7,000 feet (2,100 meters) of tarmac to take to the sky, and just 3,000 feet (914 meters) of it to come back down and to a safe stop.

There are presently about 300 of these planes flying for the USAF, but also several of the nation’s allies. The one we’re seeing here as a double take is an American one, flying with the 452nd Air Mobility Wing out of March Air Reserve Base in California.

The unit traces its roots back to the 452nd Heavy Bombardment Group of World War II, and one of its present missions is to handle the training of air crews for aerial refueling and strategic airlift ops.

Massive as it is, the Globemaster looks even more so, accompanied by its inverted twin, the sun-bathed reflection of itself in the water-covered tarmac of the Californian runway.

Editor's note: Gallery shows other Globemasters.

 
 
 
 
 

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