(PAPA) NATO, LIMITED EDITION
|McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster III||5.25"||5"|
The original lineage of the C-17 dates back to the early 1970’s when the Unites States Air Force needed a single aircraft that would combine the load capability of the C-141 Starlifter & C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft, yet have the versatility of the turboprop C-130 Hercules. Because of lessons learned in the Vietnam War, the USAF turned to Boeing and McDonnell Douglas to come up with a design to fit the requirement. Although both manufacturers came up with completed (and flyable) prototypes, neither was chosen. With the wars end, both companies went back to the drawing boards to come up with a more modern design and McDonnell Douglas came out the winner. On August 28, 1981, the C-17 was given the official “go-ahead” from the USAF. First flying on September 15, 1991, the C-17 is now the USAF’s most important aircraft. Filled with modern day technology, no other military transport aircraft matches its capability. Some of these features include a full “glass” cockpit that includes Heads up Display (HUD). Performance is remarkable with the ability to take-off and land within 1400 feet of runway. With the C-17’s in flight refueling capability, the aircraft has global range and has more than three times the capacity of the C-130 making her the true new back-bone of the USAF’s transport fleet. Despite Boeing’s loss to McDonnell Douglas for the contract to build this new transport, an ironic turn of events happened at the close of the century that lead to Boeing’s purchase of McDonnell Douglas, thus securing the honorable rights to the C-17.