The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is designed to fulfill military and humanitarian airlift needs well into the 21st century. A high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed aircraft with a rear-loading ramp, the C-17 can carry large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid across international distances directly to small austere airfields anywhere in the world.
With a payload of 164,900 pounds, the C-17 can take off from a 7,000-foot airfield, fly 2,400 nautical miles, and land on a small, austere airfield of 3,000 feet or less. The C-17 is equipped with an externally blown flap system that allows a steep, low-speed final approach and low-landing speeds for routine short-field landings.
A cockpit crew of two and one loadmaster operate the C-17, which can be refueled in flight. This cost-effective flight crew complement is made possible through the use of an advanced digital avionics system and advanced cargo systems. In the cargo compartment, the C-17 can carry Army wheeled vehicles in two side-by-side rows. Three combat-ready Stryker infantry-fighting vehicles comprise one deployment load. Similarly, the Army's newest main battle tank, the M-1, can be carried.
The four engines are Pratt & Whitney PW2040 series turbofans, designated as F117-PW-100 by the Air Force, each producing 40,440 pounds of thrust. The engines are equipped with directed-flow thrust reversers capable of deployment in flight. On the ground, a fully loaded aircraft using thrust reversers can back up a 2 percent slope.