This Is How You Reshape the Delamar Dry Lake Using a C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III taking off in style 12 photos
Photo: USAF/Airman 1st Class Zachary Rufus
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There are plenty of massive military airplanes out there that have us wondering how such incredible beasts can take to the skies, but few of them are as impressive as the C-17 Globemaster III, a mammoth of a workhorse that has been around in one form or another ever since the 1990s.
Born in the stables of McDonnell Douglas, which is now part of Boeing, the monster spans from wingtip to wingtip for a distance of 170 feet (52 meters) and has a fuselage diameter of 23 feet (7 meters).

It is powered by four massive Pratt & Whitney engines that can develop, each, 40,440 pounds of thrust, powerplants that allow it to lift a payload of up to 164,900 pounds (74,797 kg). The fuel tanks are large enough to allow the Globemaster to keep flying for as much as 7,169 miles (11,537 km), but that’s relative, given how the plane has aerial refueling capabilities.

Despite the impressive and seemingly unforgiven numbers, the plane has been designed in such a way as to be able to take off from airfields that are just 7,740-foot (2,359 meters) long, but it does make quite a fuss in the process.

The image we have here, captured by the USAF a the beginning of the month, shows a Globemaster taking off from the Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada, during what the military is calling a Weapons School Integration mission.

Now, we’ve seen these planes take off before, but the surrounding landscape makes for a very impressive such operation this time, as the wheels of the beast and the roaring engines are sending large amounts of dust into the air, making the plane look like it’s on fire, and completely reshaping the monotone landscape in the area.

This particular Globemaster is deployed with the 305th Air Mobility Wing out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. The unit was created in 1951, and it is tasked with strategic airlift and air refueling missions, and also takes care of “two of America's largest strategic aerial ports supporting the delivery of cargo and personnel to combatant commanders abroad.”
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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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