Boeing C-17 Globemaster III (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7177
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
England

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by SKB »

Image

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990's by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. The C-17 commonly performs strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include tactical airlift, medical evacuation and air drop duties.

Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s, continued to manufacture C-17's for export customers following the end of deliveries to the U.S. Air Force. Aside from the United States, the C-17 is in service with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, NATO Heavy Airlift Wing, India, and Kuwait. The final C-17 is being produced in 2015.

Boeing has marketed the C-17 to many European nations including Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Royal Air Force (RAF) has established an aim of having interoperability and some weapons and capabilities commonality with the USAF. The 1998 Strategic Defence Review identified a requirement for a strategic air-lifter. The Short-Term Strategic Airlift (STSA) competition commenced in September of that year, however tendering was cancelled in August 1999 with some bids identified by ministers as too expensive, including the Boeing/BAe C-17 bid, and others unsuitable. The project continued, with the C-17 seen as the favourite.[69] In the light of Airbus A400M delays, the UK Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, announced in May 2000 that the RAF would lease four C-17's at an annual cost of £100 million from Boeing for an initial seven years with an optional two-year extension. The RAF had the option to buy or return the aircraft to Boeing. The UK committed to upgrading its C-17's in line with the USAF so that if they were returned, the USAF could adopt them.

The first C-17 was delivered to the RAF at Boeing's Long Beach facility on 17 May 2001 and flown to RAF Brize Norton by a crew from No. 99 Squadron. The RAF's fourth C-17 was delivered on 24 August 2001. The RAF aircraft were some of the first to take advantage of the new centre wing fuel tank found in Block 13 aircraft. In RAF service, the C-17 has not been given an official service name and designation (for example, C-130J referred to as Hercules C4 or C5), but is referred to simply as the C-17 or "C-17A Globemaster".

The RAF declared itself delighted with the C-17. Although the Globemaster fleet was to be a fall-back for the A400M, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 21 July 2004 that they had elected to buy their four C-17's at the end of the lease, even though the A400M appeared to be closer to production. The C-17 gives the RAF strategic capabilities that it would not wish to lose, for example a maximum payload of 169,500 lb (77,000 kg) compared to the A400M's 82,000 lb (37,000 kg). The C-17's capabilities allow the RAF to use it as an airborne hospital for medical evacuation missions.

Another C-17 was ordered in August 2006, and delivered on 22 February 2008. The four leased C-17s were to be purchased later in 2008. Because of fears that the A400M may suffer further delays, the MoD announced in 2006 that it planned to acquire three more C-17s, for a total of eight, with delivery in 2009–2010. On 26 July 2007, Defence Secretary Des Browne announced that the MoD intended to order a sixth C-17 to boost operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. On 3 December 2007, the MoD announced a contract for a sixth C-17, which was received on 11 June 2008.

On 18 December 2009, Boeing confirmed that the RAF had ordered a seventh C-17, which was delivered on 16 November 2010. The UK announced the purchase of its eighth C-17 in February 2012. The RAF showed interest in buying a ninth C-17 in November 2013.

On 13 January 2013, the RAF deployed two C-17s of No. 99 Squadron from RAF Brize Norton to the French Évreux Air Base. The aircraft transported French armoured vehicles to the Mali capital of Bamako during the French Intervention in Mali.

Number in RAF Fleet: 8
Crew: 3: 2 pilots, 1 load master (five additional personnel required for aero-medical evacuation)
Capacity:
102 paratroopers or
134 troops with palletized and sidewall seats or
54 troops with sidewall seats (allows 13 cargo pallets) only or
36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients and medical attendants or
Cargo, such as a Challenger II tank
Payload: 170,900 lb (77,519 kg) of cargo distributed at max over 18 463L master pallets or a mix of palletized cargo and vehicles
Length: 174 ft (53 m)
Wingspan: 169.8 ft (51.75 m)
Height: 55.1 ft (16.8 m)
Wing area: 3,800 ft² (353 m²)
Empty weight: 282,500 lb (128,100 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 585,000 lb (265,350 kg)
Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans, 40,440 lbf (180 kN) each
Fuel capacity: 35,546 U.S. gal (134,556 L)
Cruise speed: Mach 0.74 (450 knots, 515 mph, 830 km/h)
Range: 2,420 nmi[185] (2,785 mi, 4,482 km) ; 5,610 nmi (10,390 km) with paratroopers
Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,716 m)
Max. wing loading: 150 lb/ft² (750 kg/m²)
Minimum thrust/weight: 0.277
Takeoff run at maximum weight: 7,600 ft (2,316 m)
Landing distance: 3,500 ft (1,060 m)


Pymes75
Member
Posts: 279
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 22:17
United Kingdom

Re: C-17 Globemaster (RAF)

Post by Pymes75 »

One of the key benefits of the C-17 over other lifters like the A400m is not just the headline max load, but sheer distances that it can deliver equivalent loads.

For instance, according to manufacturers figures the A400m can fly 30 tonnes of cargo 2,450 nautical miles whilst the C-17 can carry 32 tonnes out to 4,670 nautical miles. That's a hefty increase in distance and is one of the many reasons why I think the RAF should have more C-17s - over some A400s, if necessary (but preferably in addition to them)!

S M H
Member
Posts: 420
Joined: 03 May 2015, 12:59
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by S M H »

If possible D.F.I.D could purchase three of the five tailless C17 for the R.A.F this would speed up aid response time and not have to wait for commercial lift spots as at present Then the Helicopters would have been lifted to Nepal in days!

User avatar
Gabriele
Senior Member
Posts: 1998
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:53
Contact:
Italy

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by Gabriele »

It remains very puzzling that the MOD insisted to have the C-17 due to its better "tactical" capabilities, chiefly the "short" runway capability, yet there is no plan to open up those tactical capabilities (at least airdrop...!)

Meanwhile, An-124 leasing is alive and well, as it really is quite unbeatable for carrying heavy, large loads over a great distance. I'm an heretic, i know, but the AN-124-150 was offered at the time of the first C-17 lease, and i think it would have been a better purchase. It would cost less, carry twice the payload on same distance, remove the need to pay into the NATO lease arrangement.
No / worse tactical capabilities, but not a real loss, since C-17's tactical value isn't exploited at all anyway.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

Arma Pacis Fulcra.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

User avatar
CR4ZYHOR5E
Member
Posts: 76
Joined: 02 May 2015, 10:57
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by CR4ZYHOR5E »

as SMH mentioned, it will be interesting to see whether the U.K exploits the ever-closing window of opportunity to take another 1-2 C-17s.

My understanding was that the RAF C-17s were some of the hardest worked (no. of hours) airframes in the global fleet, thus even if there was no requirement for additional lift capacity it might be prudent to opt for a couple of new airframes to account for the inevitable attrition of the high hours a/c in a few years time?

R686
Senior Member
Posts: 1971
Joined: 28 May 2015, 02:43
Australia

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by R686 »

Not released to RAF but 4 more white tails sold to Qatar

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2015-06-15- ... Four-C-17s

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 7177
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
England

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by SKB »

R686 wrote:Not released to RAF but 4 more white tails sold to Qatar

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2015-06-15- ... Four-C-17s
So that's how Sepp Blatter is transporting his money around... ;)

sea_eagle
Member
Posts: 174
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:57
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by sea_eagle »

So does that mean all the white tails have now been sold or is there one still left on the shelf? With the latest £500 million budget reduction don't think there's much chance of finding the odd £200 millions down the back of the MOD sofa. Shame not to have bought 2 more to add to the fleet. :(

User avatar
raven111
Member
Posts: 164
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 19:05
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by raven111 »

Do we need any more now that the Atlases are finally starting to arrive?

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 15912
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

No (simple as that).

It is a fetish, widely held, as if the global reach of the Forces was down to their number (only).
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 6106
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Pitcairn Island

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by shark bait »

raven111 wrote:Do we need any more now that the Atlases are finally starting to arrive?
I wouldn't say so. For the times we need more biguns wouldn't we be better off leasing an124
@LandSharkUK

User avatar
raven111
Member
Posts: 164
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 19:05
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by raven111 »

shark bait wrote:
raven111 wrote:Do we need any more now that the Atlases are finally starting to arrive?
I wouldn't say so. For the times we need more biguns wouldn't we be better off leasing an124
I think we already do. For one the Chinook HC6s arrive from Boeing in the belly of a Ruslan.

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 6106
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Pitcairn Island

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by shark bait »

raven111 wrote:
I think we already do. For one the Chinook HC6s arrive from Boeing in the belly of a Ruslan.
Yep we do, its something we should carry on with.
Buying more C17 would seem a bit OTT for me.
@LandSharkUK


User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 15912
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Getting a time slice of an AN124 from the NATO pool, or, starting to lease themselves are slightly different
- talking about the cost structure. In many cases the deliverable (service) can be exactly the same
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

User avatar
The Armchair Soldier
Site Admin
Posts: 1699
Joined: 29 Apr 2015, 08:31
Contact:
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by The Armchair Soldier »

Caught this on Twitter: http://www.air-cosmos.com/royaume-uni-d ... c-17-70577 (in French)

A French source claiming that the RAF is investigating the tactical use of its C-17s. 20 "jumps" have already taken place apparently.

User avatar
RichardIC
Senior Member
Posts: 1212
Joined: 10 May 2015, 16:59
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

http://www.raf.mod.uk/news/archive/firs ... a-25042016

Well look at that. When I glanced at it on Gab's Twitter thread I just assumed it was A400M.

User avatar
Gabriele
Senior Member
Posts: 1998
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:53
Contact:
Italy

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by Gabriele »

And this follows on from the first Rapid Air Landing and Follow On Air Landing in Joint Warrior last year. The tactical role for C-17 is finally becoming a thing. There have been mentions of it for several months now.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

Arma Pacis Fulcra.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 15912
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

The C17 fleet (strategic lift) was grown to above the true rqrmnt... bcz of the Afghan situation (of the day; despite all the commercially available lift that could be hired).

Whoo-ah; are we really going to be using that extra slice of capacity; no one citing the strict lease conditions, anymore, that have not applied for yonks (as that was just the way to get the fleet settled in, and get it serviced/ maintained in a cost-sensible way, when the final size was an "unknown").
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)


Timmymagic
Donator
Posts: 2292
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by Timmymagic »

Any reason why this was done in the US first rather than the strip that was prepared for the A400M at Woodbridge a few months ago?

R686
Senior Member
Posts: 1971
Joined: 28 May 2015, 02:43
Australia

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by R686 »

Most likely a training ex with USAF

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 6106
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Pitcairn Island

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by shark bait »

Going to guess the length and surface preparation varied massively between the A400m and C-17, with the latter pretty much needing an engine rebuild after operating on a dirt strip.
@LandSharkUK

R686
Senior Member
Posts: 1971
Joined: 28 May 2015, 02:43
Australia

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by R686 »

EVALUATING THE C-17 SEMI-PREPARED RUNWAY CAPABILITY – AN OFF-ROAD MAP. (2002)

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a430864.pdf

Old but still has some usefull infomation

Tinman
Member
Posts: 290
Joined: 03 May 2015, 17:59
United Kingdom

Re: C-17A Globemaster III (RAF)

Post by Tinman »

shark bait wrote:Going to guess the length and surface preparation varied massively between the A400m and C-17, with the latter pretty much needing an engine rebuild after operating on a dirt strip.
Whats your source for the engine rebuild? Or was it an inspection to see what damage if any occured?

Post Reply