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Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III  
User currently online747classic From Netherlands, joined Aug 2009, 2179 posts, RR: 14
Posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9765 times:

The first C17, named T1 and actually built by McDonnell Douglas, flew for the first time at Sept. 15 1991.

On Wednesday (April 25 2012), it finally made its last flight, into retirement at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, in Dayton, Ohio. The museum expects to put the C-17 on public display in its Air Park this summer.


For more details , see : http://www.seattlepi.com/business/bo...oeing-C-17-Globemaster-3513345.php


Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9757 times:
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Odd that this aircraft was retired at such an early age. I suspect budget cutting of the PDM budget is at work here.

Also makes me wonder why the USAF Museum does not have a C-5 yet....



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User currently offlineSinlock From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9708 times:

It's mostly because she it such a nonstandard aircraft and had the highest operating cost out of the whole C-17 fleet. Over the years she's had many refits and upgrades plus the rough life she lead during her flight testing days.

Saddly there isn't one of her in the "Euro" camo paint in the database 87-0025 was the only -17 to be painted it.

http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?id=0696192



My Country can beat up your Country....
User currently offlineContinentalFan From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 9368 times:

Quoting Sinlock (Reply 2):
Saddly there isn't one of her in the "Euro" camo paint in the database 87-0025 was the only -17 to be painted it.

Google Image Search has some pictures, it seems that most of them were from when the plane was a YF-17, like here:
http://www.flightstory.net/20110917/...7-globemaster-iii-20th-anniversary


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9250 times:
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Video of takeoff from Edwards..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwhOCWbCsd0



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User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5716 posts, RR: 44
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 9017 times:
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Quoting ContinentalFan (Reply 3):
when the plane was a YF-17

I do hate to be pedantic** but 87-0025 was never a YF-17, before going into service she was a YC-17A

This is a YF-17

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Thallon



Cheers


** there are those that disagree and say I thrive on it



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12759 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8942 times:

Quoting Sinlock (Reply 2):
It's mostly because she it such a nonstandard aircraft and had the highest operating cost out of the whole C-17 fleet. Over the years she's had many refits and upgrades plus the rough life she lead during her flight testing days.

Are there any plans to retire other early frames, or is this just a 'one-off' event?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8933 times:
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Quoting Sinlock (Reply 2):
It's mostly because she it such a nonstandard aircraft and had the highest operating cost out of the whole C-17 fleet. Over the years she's had many refits and upgrades plus the rough life she lead during her flight testing days.

Same can be said of the C-141 prototypes and they weren't retired until relatively recently....



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User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12160 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 8933 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
Are there any plans to retire other early frames, or is this just a 'one-off' event?

For now, this should be the only C-17 to retire. She spent her entire life as a flight test aircraft and is not at the C-17A production standard. I do believe she has fewer hours and cycles than most of her sisters. The first C-17 to retire to the DM desert might not happen for another 10 or more years. The C-141s they replaced served for almost 35-40 years.


User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8869 times:

Nice to see the airplane is going to the Air Force Museum.


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User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12759 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8830 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
She spent her entire life as a flight test aircraft

Thanks, I didn't realize that. The rest of the thread mentioned she wasn't standardized but somehow I thought she was being used for cargo missions and was just too much of a pain to maintain.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8811 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 10):
Thanks, I didn't realize that. The rest of the thread mentioned she wasn't standardized but somehow I thought she was being used for cargo missions and was just too much of a pain to maintain.

T-1 has always been a flight test asset at Long Beach or Edwards. I'm sure C-17s will have a continuing presence at Edwards, I know they have been given a frame to test the new block number releases.



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User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8698 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):
I do believe she has fewer hours and cycles than most of her sisters

T-1 has approximately 3,750 flight hours on the airframe.


User currently offlinecmb56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8456 times:

3750 Total Time on the airframe, that less than one year for a commercial aircraft. Just how non standard does it have to be to be so expensive a replacement aircraft is less cost than an upgrade or living with the cost over time?

User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12759 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8394 times:

Quoting cmb56 (Reply 13):
Just how non standard does it have to be to be so expensive a replacement aircraft is less cost than an upgrade or living with the cost over time?

I'm thinking it won't be replaced. The Congress has supplied the USAF with more C-17s than it wanted.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineGalaxy5007 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 628 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8393 times:

T-1 was built to be a test aircraft that was originally only supposed to last 5 years. They stretched it to 21 years; so I say...Wow...awesome. It was NEVER intended to be used in active service. ALOT of ground testing has occurred with this jet; it isn't all about flight time/hours. It was the prototype C-17...most prototypes don't last as long as their production counterparts. Now adays, they try to make production aircraft right at start, and all you get is the F-35 disaster...lol. The C-5 was the same way...lets just build a bunch and see if it works...*buzzer sound* and now FRED is born. The reason the C-17 is so successful is because MD had made T-1 (and the other two test frames for that matter) for the sole purpose of perfecting the production standard. Even it was a rocky start, but the end result is what we have today.
None of the P-xxx C-17s are being retired; T-1's time is long overdue, which is the reasoning behind it's retirement. The number of modifications and structural changes that they've done with it to improve the production line has been very successful. I should note that P-121 (03-3121) has not been subjected to the same "extreme" testing as 0025 has. Most of 3121s testing involves software and minor mechanical upgrades. 3121 is expected to enter active service within the next year or two. Most likely it'll end up at Charleston, where the jet has been assigned since delivery (just possessed at Edwards the entire time).
08-8200 has been doing some testing out of Edwards for the last month or two as well. I would think as the test program wraps up, they'll just send random jets in for future testing, like they do with the KC-10 and C-5.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8356 times:
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Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 15):
T-1 was built to be a test aircraft that was originally only supposed to last 5 years. They stretched it to 21 years; so I say...Wow...awesome.

Extremely unlikely that MD built the airframe to last only 5 years. In fact that would be a pretty unsmart thing to do... "Oh look this defense contractor is building aircraft that only last 5 years"... More likely the initial test program was only funded for 5 years, subsequent funding from other programs (NASA, Army, etc) then keep it going...

I agree that T-1 would never be an operational aircraft. I disagree that it's time had come and it had to go. I stand by my argument that it was a budget cut that did it in. Edwards will now have to take an operational aircraft out of service to do the testing that otherwise would have been done with T-1.



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User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8230 times:

Although T-1 has some operational limitations, they did a bunch of upgrades to the airframe in 2007. There are those that requested it for limited operational use but the USAF ignored that suggestion. At first the National Museum was not sure they wanted it and then when they did it, was supposed to be put in a building on display. Now it will sit outside on static display. What a waste.

User currently offlineGalaxy5007 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 628 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days ago) and read 7937 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 16):
Extremely unlikely that MD built the airframe to last only 5 years.

This C-17 Globemaster III (S/N 87-0025) was essentially hand-built for the sole purpose of developmental test and evaluation, with an estimated life span of approximately five years. The aircraft was periodically rebuilt and refurbished over the years and its lifespan grew from five to 21 years.

Quoted from the story here: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123297771

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 17):
Now it will sit outside on static display

They plan on building a new hanger for several planes, to include the C-17 and a C-5A. I think it is just awaiting funding. Originally, the plan was to have the C-5A in the hanger they were going to build for the shuttle that they didn't get. The C-17 was saved from going to KDMA...so I don't call it a waste at all. Better than sitting in the desert!


User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 7794 times:

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 18):
They plan on building a new hanger for several planes, to include the C-17 and a C-5A. I think it is just awaiting funding. Originally, the plan was to have the C-5A in the hanger they were going to build for the shuttle that they didn't get. The C-17 was saved from going to KDMA...so I don't call it a waste at all. Better than sitting in the desert!

T-1 will not be put into any hangar for display. They are still collecting money for the new hangar and they have since determined that T-1 and the C-5 will not fit together so T-1 is going to sit outside permanently. T-1 could be used for other legitimate purposes but the AF has ignored the idea for now.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 7774 times:
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Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 18):
Quoted from the story here:

Yeah I saw that. Still doesn't make any sense that in 1991 McDonnell Douglas would have "hand" built a large transport aircraft - for which it already had a production contract, or that they would have only intended for it to last 5 years.

Somebody fed the Museum a line or the Museum is feeding us a line. T-1 was not a proof of concept airframe.



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User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7702 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 20):
Yeah I saw that. Still doesn't make any sense that in 1991 McDonnell Douglas would have "hand" built a large transport aircraft - for which it already had a production contract, or that they would have only intended for it to last 5 years.

Somebody fed the Museum a line or the Museum is feeding us a line. T-1 was not a proof of concept airframe.

Not unusual for test aircraft to be hand-built; that is why often the first aircraft off the assembly line are often non-standard. It's the first time they are assembling the aircraft, and often issues that aren't caught during design are caught there, with the resulting engineering required to solve those problems.

I will also note that the C-17 has undergone a number of design changes over the years that has made earlier blocks much less capable than later blocks were; for example, Block 10 aircraft had a redesigned tail that was 20 percent lighter through eliminating 90 percent of the parts, 81 percent of the fasteners, and 70 percent of the tools needed to produce the tail. Block 11 aircraft were fitted with automatic pressurization and depressurization system. Block 13 and later aircraft had an additional wing box fuel tank that earlier versions didn't have. Block 15 aircraft have an upgraded fuel tank inert gas generating system along with navigation and safety modifications.


User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7689 times:

Hand built does not mean much in the way of operational capabilities. T-1 has some limitations but none that would preclude it from being used for many non-combat airlift missions. It is an absolute waste and I hope someone steps in and takes it away from the Museum. They can have it back several years from now after it has been worn out a bit more.

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7662 times:

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 22):
T-1 has some limitations but none that would preclude it from being used for many non-combat airlift missions.

It was probably coming up on the time for another upgrade, money being tight, and the USAF having more C-17s than they wanted, why waste money upgrading an aircraft that is not needed. T-1 was the redhead adopted child... first one to go.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7650 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 23):

It was probably coming up on the time for another upgrade, money being tight, and the USAF having more C-17s than they wanted, why waste money upgrading an aircraft that is not needed. T-1 was the redhead adopted child... first one to go.

If they are testing future upgrades, they would probably want an example that closely resembles the operational examples, and T-1 is not a example that is similar to the majority of the current USAF C-17 fleet.


25 Humanitarian : There was not enough money to justify two flight test aircraft (T-1 and P-121) and T-1 did not have the latest configuration which increased sustainme
26 Galaxy5007 : I'm going to still have to disagree with you on that. The aircraft exceeded it's designed limit as a test aircraft. It was planned for retirement bac
27 Humanitarian : With all due respect you are not disagreeing with me but the USAF itself. Here what they had to say about the matter in Sept 2010. There was also ano
28 cargotanker : Where do you think it should go? To an operational squadron? This plane can't hack flying a 1.5 hour test sortie every two weeks and you want to fly
29 Humanitarian : The planned reuse of that aircraft was very well thought through and does not involve using it for operational missions for the DoD or using taxpayer
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