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Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:17 am

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
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zanl188
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:32 am

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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Sinlock
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:16 pm

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
 
ContinentalFan
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:59 pm

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
 
zanl188
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:15 am

Video of takeoff from Edwards..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwhOCWbCsd0
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Stealthz
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:08 am

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



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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:57 am

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?
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zanl188
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:21 pm

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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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:21 pm

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.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:31 pm

Nice to see the airplane is going to the Air Force Museum.
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:46 pm

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.
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zanl188
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:07 pm

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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humanitarian
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:50 pm

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.
 
cmb56
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:43 am

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?
 
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:52 pm

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.
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Galaxy5007
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:58 pm

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.
 
zanl188
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:22 pm

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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humanitarian
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:52 pm

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.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:57 pm

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!
 
humanitarian
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:13 pm

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.
 
zanl188
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:48 pm

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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ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Tue May 01, 2012 2:26 am

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.
 
humanitarian
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Tue May 01, 2012 2:41 am

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.
 
Oroka
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Tue May 01, 2012 4:09 am

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.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Tue May 01, 2012 4:48 am

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.
 
humanitarian
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Tue May 01, 2012 4:12 pm

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 sustainment costs. Bottom line is that one aircraft had to go. But that does not mean T-1 had to go to a museum.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Tue May 01, 2012 9:53 pm

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 25):
Bottom line is that one aircraft had to go. But that does not mean T-1 had to go to a museum.

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 back in 2009 actually; but they kept it going by throwing it through one more GRIP to keep it airworthy. It was it's time; it had absolutely nothing to do with budget cuts. In fact, The USAF stated in an article back in 2003 (which I can't find now) that they intended to keep T-1 for testing until the production line closed in 2008 (which was when P-180 was due to roll off the line). P-121 isn't going to be a test aircraft much longer. It will join the fleet at Charleston when the program closes out. Future testing will be on various aircraft as the need arises; as I described before; they do that with the C-5s.
 
humanitarian
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Tue May 01, 2012 11:47 pm

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 26):
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 back in 2009 actually; but they kept it going by throwing it through one more GRIP to keep it airworthy. It was it's time; it had absolutely nothing to do with budget cuts. In fact, The USAF stated in an article back in 2003 (which I can't find now) that they intended to keep T-1 for testing until the production line closed in 2008 (which was when P-180 was due to roll off the line). P-121 isn't going to be a test aircraft much longer. It will join the fleet at Charleston when the program closes out. Future testing will be on various aircraft as the need arises; as I described before; they do that with the C-5s.

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.

Quote:
C-17 RDT&E reduced during AMC FY12 POM build -Funded projects do not support two dedicated flight test assets

T-1 's unique/outdated configuration drives significant sustainment costs


There was also another document from the USAF in Oct 2011 which said this:

Quote:
MEMORANDUM FOR HQ AF/A8PB

SUBJECT: Retire C-17 Test Aircraft (T -1)

1.REQUEST JUSTIFICATION: Cost to maintain this aircraft has been determined to be excessive and is no longer being supported by the MAJCOM providing the funding.
 
cargotanker
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Wed May 02, 2012 2:10 pm

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 25):
But that does not mean T-1 had to go to a museum.
Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 22):
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.

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 it across the Atlantic to Germany and back? What happens when it breaks in Germany and no parts are available, because no parts exist for this plane? You say it shouldn't be used for combat sorties, then what's the point? We can fly cargo cheaper on Evergreen and Atlas to non-combat areas. What MXG/CC (or crew chief) in their right mind would want to own this dog of an aircraft? Every time something breaks the sheet metal shop would have to manufacture a new part from scratch! It would be A-3 for weeks at a time!. Who's going to pay for the difference training so that aircrew can fly a non-standard aircraft? You gotta think these things through. The museum is the appropriate place for this aircraft, now is a great time for it to go there.
 
humanitarian
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RE: Usaf Retires First Boeing C17 Globemaster III

Wed May 02, 2012 2:55 pm

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 money to support it and lets just leave it at that.

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