C-17 Globemaster III
The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft is also capable of performing tactical airlift and airdrop missions when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improve the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States. The ultimate measure of airlift effectiveness is the ability to rapidly project and sustain an effective combat force close to a potential battle area. Threats to U.S. interests have changed in recent years, and the size and weight of U.S.-mechanized firepower and equipment have grown in response to improved capabilities of potential adversaries. This trend has significantly increased air mobility requirements, particularly in the area of large or heavy outsize cargo. As a result, newer and more flexible airlift aircraft are needed to meet potential armed contingencies, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide. The C-17 is capable of meeting today’s demanding airlift missions.
Reliability and maintainability are two outstanding benefits of the C-17 system. Current operational requirements impose demanding reliability and maintainability. These requirements include an aircraft mission completion success probability rate of 92 percent, only 20 aircraft maintenance man-hours per flying hour, and full and partial mission availability rates of 74.7 and 82.5 percent, respectively. The Boeing warranty assures these figures will be met.
The C-17 measures 174 feet long (53 meters) with a wingspan of 169 feet, 10 inches (51.75 meters). The aircraft is powered by four, fully reversible, Federal Aviation Administration-certified F117-PW-100 engines (the military designation for the commercial Pratt & Whitney PW2040), currently used on the Boeing 757. Each engine is rated at 40,440 pounds of thrust. The thrust reversers direct the flow of air upward and forward to avoid ingestion of dust and debris. Maximum use has been made of off-the-shelf and commercial equipment, including Air Force-standardized avionics.
The aircraft is operated by a crew of three (pilot, copilot and loadmaster), reducing manpower requirements, risk exposure and long-term operating costs. Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft door that accommodates military vehicles and palletized cargo. The C-17 can carry virtually all of the Army's air-transportable equipment.
Maximum payload capacity of the C-17 is 170,900 pounds (77,519 kilograms), and its maximum gross takeoff weight is 585,000 pounds (265,352 kilograms). With a payload of 160,000 pounds (72,575 kilograms) and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 feet (8,534 meters), , the C-17 has an unrefueled range of approximately 2,400 nautical miles. Its cruise speed is approximately 450 knots (.74 Mach). The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and equipment.
The design of the aircraft allows it to operate through small, austere airfields. The C-17 can take off and land on runways as short as 3,000 feet (914 meters) and only 90 feet wide (27.4 meters). Even on such narrow runways, the C-17 can turn around using a three-point star turn and its backing capability.
The gigantic C-5 Galaxy, with its tremendous payload capability, provides the Air Mobility Command intertheater airlift in support of United States national defense. The C-5, the C-17 Globemaster III and the C-141 Starlifter are partners of AMC's strategic airlift concept. The aircraft carry fully equipped combat-ready military units to any point in the world on short notice then provide field support required to help sustain the fighting force.
The C-5 is one of the largest aircraft in the world. It can carry outsize and oversize cargo intercontinental ranges and can take off or land in relatively short distances. Ground crews can load and off load the C-5 simultaneously at the front and rear cargo openings. Other features of the C-5 are:
Able to take off fully loaded within 8,300 feet (2,530 meters) and land within 4,900 feet (1,493 meters).
High flotation landing gear with 28 wheels sharing the weight.
Nose and aft doors that open the full width and height of the cargo compartment to permit faster and easier loading.
A "kneeling" landing gear system that permits lowering of the parked aircraft so the cargo floor is at truck-bed height or to facilitate vehicle loading and unloading.
Full width drive-on ramps at each end for loading double rows of vehicles.
A system that records and analyzes information and detects malfunctions in more than 800 test points.
The C-5 is similar in appearance to its smaller sister transport, the C-141 Starlifter, although the C-5 is much larger. Both aircraft have the distinctive high T-tail, 25-degree wing sweep, and four turbofan engines mounted on pylons beneath the wings.
The Galaxy carries nearly all of the Army's combat equipment, including such bulky items as its 74-ton mobile scissors bridge, from the United States to any theater of combat on the globe.
Four TF39 turbofan engines power the big C-5, rated at 43,000 pounds thrust each. They weigh 7,900 pounds (3,555 kilograms) each and have an air intake diameter of more than 8.5 feet (2.6 meters). Each engine pod is nearly 27 feet long (8.2 meters).
The Galaxy has 12 internal wing tanks with a total capacity of 51,150 gallons (194,370 liters) of fuel -- enough to fill 6 1/2 regular size railroad tank cars. A full fuel load weighs 332,500 pounds (150,820 kilograms). A C-5 with a cargo load of 270,000 pounds (122,472 kilograms) can fly 2,150 nautical miles, offload, and fly to a second base 500 nautical miles away from the original destination -- all without aerial refueling. With aerial refueling, the aircraft's range is limited only by crew endurance.
The C-141B Starlifter is the "workhorse" of the Air Mobility Command. The Starlifter fulfills the vast spectrum of airlift requirements through its ability to airlift combat forces over long distances, deliver those forces and their equipment either by air, land or airdrop, resupply forces and transport the sick and wounded from the hostile area to advanced medical facilities.
The C-141B is a "stretched" C-141A with in-flight refueling capability. The stretching of the Starlifter consisted of lengthening the planes 23 feet 4 inches (7.11 meters). The added length increased the C-141 cargo capacity by about one-third, for an extra 2,171 cubic feet (62.03 cubic meters). The lengthening of the aircraft had the same overall effect as increasing the number of aircraft by 30 percent. The C-141A, built between 1963 and 1967, was AMC's first jet aircraft designed to meet military standards as a troop and cargo carrier. The development of the B model was the most cost-effective method of increasing AMC's airlift capability.
A universal air refueling receptacle on the C-141B, with the ability to transfer 23,592 gallons(89,649.6 liters) in about 26 minutes, means longer non-stop flights and fewer fuel stops at overseas bases during worldwide airlift missions.
The C-141 force, nearing nine million flying hours, has a proven reliability and long-range capability. In addition to training, worldwide airlift and combat support, the C-141 has amassed a laudatory record in response to humanitarian crises.
The C-141, with its changeable cargo compartment, can transition from rollers on the floor for palletized cargo to a smooth floor for wheeled vehicles to aft facing seats or sidewall canvas seats for passengers, quickly and easily, to handle over 30 different missions.
The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 operates throughout the U.S. Air Force, serving with Air Mobility Command (stateside based), Air Force Special Operations Command, theater commands, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command, fulfilling a wide range of operational missions in both peace and war situations. Basic and specialized versions of the aircraft airframe perform a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, fire-fighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service and natural disaster relief missions.
Using its aft loading ramp and door the C-130 can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six wheeled armored vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel. In an aerial delivery role, it can air drop loads up to 42,000 pounds or use its high-floatation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on rough, dirt strips.
The flexible design of the Hercules enables it to be configured for many different missions, allowing for one aircraft to perform the role of many. Much of the special mission equipment added to the Hercules is removable allowing the aircraft to revert back to its cargo delivery role if desired. Additionally, the C-130 can be rapidly reconfigured for the various types of cargo such as palletized equipment, floor loaded material, air drop platforms, container delivery system bundles, vehicles and personnel or aeromedical evacuation.
The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and will replace aging C-130E's. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provide life cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.
C-130J/J-30 major system improvements include: advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; color multifunctional liquid crystal displays and head-up displays; state-of-the-art navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system; fully integrated defensive systems; low-power color radar; digital moving map display; new turboprop engines with six bladed, all composite propellers; digital auto pilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice protection systems; and an enhanced cargo handling system.
The C-21A is a twin turbofan engine aircraft used for cargo and passenger airlift. The aircraft is the military version of the Lear Jet 35A business jet. In addition to providing cargo and passenger airlift, the aircraft is capable of transporting litters during medical evacuations.
The turbofan engines are pod-mounted on the sides of the rear fuselage. The swept-back wings have hydraulically actuated, single-slotted flaps. The aircraft has a retractable tricycle landing gear, single steerable nose gear and multiple-disc hydraulic brakes.
The C-21A can carry eight passengers and 42 cubic feet (1.26 cubic meters) of cargo. The fuel capacity of the C-21A is 931 gallons (3,537.8 liters) with refueling accomplished at ground level through each wingtip tank. The safety and operational capabilities of the C-21A are increased by the autopilot, color weather radar and tactical air navigation system, as well as high frequency, very high frequency and ultra high frequency radios.
The aircraft has a crew of two and may be flown from either cockpit seat. It is equipped with an automatic navigation system to enhance
The C-20 is a twin-engine, turbofan aircraft acquired to fill the airlift mission for high-ranking government and Department of Defense officials. The 89th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., operates five B-model and two H-model C-20s for worldwide special air missions. The 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, operates three A-models for operational support airlift.
The C-20A and B modes are powered by two Rolls Royce Spey Mark 511-8 engines. The primary difference between the C-20A and B model is the electrical system and the avionics package. Two Rolls Royce Tay Mark 611-8 engines power the C-20H. The Tay Mark 611-8 engines provide greater performance, greater range and are quieter than A and B models. The C-20H is also slightly longer than A and B models, and has an upgraded avionics package and interior.
The C-20A/B, military versions of the Gulfstream III, was chosen in June 1983 as the replacement aircraft for the C-140B Jetstar. Three A models were delivered to the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews AFB under a cost-saving accelerated purchase plan. Upon delivery of the C-20B's, Andrews transferred the three C-20A's to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and all C-140B's at both locations were phased out of the U.S. Air Force inventory. In 1992, Gulfstream delivered their latest model, the C-20H (Gulfstream IV) to Andrews AFB.