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The C-17 is operated by a cockpit crew of two and one loadmaster. This cost-effective flight crew complement is made possible through the use of an advanced digital avionics system using four cathode-ray tube displays, two full-capability HUDS (Head-Up Displays) and advanced cargo systems.

The C-17 can carry virtually all of the Army's air-transportable equipment.
The design of the cargo compartment allows the C-17 to carry a wide range of vehicles, palleted cargo, para-troops, airdrop loads and aeromedical evacuees. The cargo compartment has a sufficiently large cross section to transport large wheeled and tracked vehicles efficiently, including trucks, tanks, helicopters such as the AH-1G Cobra, artillery and weapons such as the Patriot Missile System. The C-17 is capable of carrying out an airdrop of outsize firepower such as the Sheridan tank or the Bradley fighting vehicle if the Bradley is refitted to be airdrop capable. Three Bradley armoured vehicles comprise one deployment load on the C-17. The US Army M-1 main battle tank can be carried with other vehicles.

The design of the aircraft lets it operate through small, austere airfields. The C-17 can take off and land on runways as short as 3,000 feet (914 meters) and as narrow as 90 feet (27.4 meters) wide. Even on such narrow runways, the C-17 can turn around using a three-point star turn and its backing capability.

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. With this powered-lift system, the engine exhaust flow is directed below and through slotted flaps to produce additional lifting force and allow steeper landing descents.


More pictures of the C-17A Globemaster III:

MilitaryAircraft.de - Aviation Photography - C-17A Globemaster III

AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com

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All pictures: Official United States Air Force Photo