The interesting “C-17 formation” photo in this post was taken during formation flight system testing (FFS).
In fact, on Sep. 24, 2010 at Edwards AFB The 418 Flight Test Squadron concluded flight testing to evaluate modifications of the C-17 “Globemaster III” FFS.
The system enables pilots to monitor and fly the large transport with other C-17s at the same altitude and distance in any weather condition. The FFS flight testing took about two weeks to complete.
The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston AFB, now known as Joint Base Charleston, S.C., on June 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready Jan. 17, 1995.
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 U.S..
Source: U.S. Air Force; Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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