I’d never seen such a large military aircraft in flight and eager to do so. So I was a bit disappointed when it didn’t appear on the programme for the particular day that we went. However, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the announcement that this aircraft would be flying that day. It’s very impressive. Above seen taking off with the Blue Angels in the foreground.
According to Military.com:
The C-17 Globemaster serves as the U.S. Air Force’s primary strategic lift aircraft for global transport of troops and equipment. 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 can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations 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.
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 Globemaster III was designed to be able to land on runways as short as 3,500 feet and as narrow as 90 feet. With engine thrust reversers, the C-17 can back up and turn around on very small runways in forward operating bases.