The well-known aerospace corporation Boeing has had a long relationship with the United States Air Force since the Cold War, and it is also a big supplier of planes to the Air Force as well. This past Thursday marked a milestone for this relationship when Boeing delivered its final model of the C-17 (Globemaster III) to the Air Force's military officials, along with holding a ceremony to commemorate this event.
A description from Boeing's website of the C-17 Globemaster III is provided below, along with the reason why this model is so important to the Air Force.
"The C-17 Globemaster III is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed aircraft with a rear loading ramp. In 1980, the U.S. Air Force asked for a larger transport that could be refueled in flight and use rough forward fields so that it could fly anywhere in the world."
According to Boeing's description, the corporation accepted this challenge, and in 1981, McDonnell Douglas (who later merged with Boeing in the 90's) won the contract and proposal to build the C-17. With this contract, the specifications of the C-17 met and exceed the Air Force's expectations.
At this past Thursday's ceremony to commemorate the last C-17 to be produced for the Air Force, many Boeing employees attended, along with Bob Grech, who has been involved with the C-17 project for the past 19 years. Grech stated, "It was a long run with the U.S. military, and it was a good run." Rachid Ali, an avionics inspector for the C-17, was also present at the ceremony and praised the C-17's performance, saying, "It's an awesome airplane. Capability, reliability, it's above and beyond. The first 50 are still flying. After 25 years, you can refurbish them and they're as good as new. It's going to be in the air for years to come." (Source: Yahoo News)
Following the ceremony, the final C-17 that was delivered to the USAF took to the air en route to the Air Force Base in Charleston, S.C. The reason for the C-17's destination was to recreate the same flight that took place during the first C-17's maiden voyage. Coming in for a landing, an airmen took a great picture of the C-17 getting ready to touch ground as shown in the tweet below.
[Image source: Twitter]
— U.S. Air Force (@usairforce) September 4, 2013