C-17A #90-0534 is the first Globemaster III to clock more than 25,000 flight hours

C-17A #90-0534 is the first Globemaster III to clock more than 25,000 flight hours

By Dario Leone
Nov 18 2021
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As a global workhorse used to support military transport, airdrop, medivac and disaster relief missions, the C-17 Globemaster III fleet achieved this flight hour benchmark faster than nearly any other Air Force fleet.

Taken on Nov. 16, 2021 the video in this post features C-17 Globemaster III, tail number#90-0534, arriving at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., where a ceremony was held to celebrate 25,000 flying hours of 0534 that has become the first C-17 to achieve 25K flight hour benchmark.

0534 is assigned to 437th Airlift Wing.

As a global workhorse used to support military transport, airdrop, medivac and disaster relief missions, the C-17 fleet achieved this flight hour benchmark faster than nearly any other Air Force fleet.

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.

C-17A #90-0534 is the first Globemaster III to clock more than 25,000 flight hours
C-17 Globemaster III, tail number 0534, taxis at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., Nov. 16, 2021.

Each of its four engines is rated at 40,440 pounds of thrust and the design characteristics give it the capability to operate into and out of short runways carrying large payloads.

The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sep. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base, now identified as Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, on Jun. 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready Jan. 17, 1995. The Air Force originally programmed to buy 120 C-17s. Due to the unrivaled success of the C-17 to accomplish various mobility missions, additional aircraft were acquired, resulting in a final fleet of 223 aircraft.

C-17A #90-0534 is the first Globemaster III to clock more than 25,000 flight hours
A ceremony is held to celebrate 25,000 flying hours of the C-17 Globemaster III, tail number 0534, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., Nov. 16, 2021.

The aircraft is operated by a crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster), reducing manpower requirements, risk exposure and long-term operating costs. Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft ramp and door system that accommodates virtually all of the Army’s air-transportable equipment such as a 69-ton M1 Abrams main battle tank, armored vehicles, trucks and trailers. Additionally, the cargo floor has rollers that can be flipped from a flat floor to accommodate wheeled or tracked vehicles to rollerized conveyers to accommodate palletized cargo. The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers with their accompanying equipment.

From Aug. 11 to Sep. 9 the US Air Force (USAF) C-17 fleet was heavily involved in Operation Allies Refuge in Afghanistan, the largest, non-combatant evacuation operational in US history, which saw to the successful evacuation of 124,334 individuals.

C-17 Print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. C-17A Globemaster III 60th Air Mobility Wing / 349th Air Mobility Wing, 21st Airlift Squadron, 06-6160 – Travis AFB, CA

During the 17 days of evacuation efforts, more than 500 Active, Reserve and National Guard aircrews flew missions around the clock. Approximately 330 USAF C-17 missions flew in and out of Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), evacuating more than 79,000 people, including 6,000 Americans. They also withdrew more than 5,500 service members and their equipment.

The operation was a monumental lift for the C-17 fleet, with more than half of the US Air Force’s fleet of 222 C-17s committed. On average, 7,500 civilians were evacuated daily, with the high point being August 23, when more than 21,600 civilians were evacuated every 34 minutes.

Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Jade Dubiel


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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