C-17 aircraft

C-17 Globemaster III

The massive long-haul military transport aircraft tackles distance, destination and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions.

Always Dependable. Always Ready.

A high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport aircraft, the multi-service C-17 can carry large equipment, supplies and troops directly to small airfields in harsh terrain anywhere in the world. The massive, sturdy, long-haul aircraft tackles distance, destination and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions. It has delivered cargo in every worldwide operation since the 1990s.

Lifecycle Sustainment

Boeing has partnered with the U.S. Air Force on C-17 sustainment since the delivery of the first aircraft in 1993. With a focus on high performance at an affordable cost, Boeing provides sustainment and maintenance for global C-17 customers in eight allied countries. The C-17 fleet has a best-in-class combined dollar per flight hour and mission capable rate, performing at the highest level of readiness worldwide.


Under the Globemaster III Sustainment Program contract, Boeing is fully responsible and accountable for total weapon system availability executing program management, sustaining logistics, material and equipment management, sustaining engineering and depot-level aircraft maintenance. On-site base support includes personnel for base management and operations support, field services and engineering technical support and 24/7 base supply support for spares.


Train The Way You Operate

Boeing provides comprehensive C-17 Globemaster III training solutions for aircrews and loadmasters with advanced simulation, courseware and computer-based training. C-17 operators can practice the complete range of tasks required for tactical military airlift operations and humanitarian missions, along with rehearsal of other scenarios such as aerial refueling and emergency procedures.

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C-17 Milestones



C-17 Globemaster III Technical Specifications

Wingspan to Winglet Tip 169.8 ft (51.74 m)
Length 174 ft (53.04 m)
Height at Tail 55.1 ft (16.79 m)
Fuselage Diameter 22.5 ft (6.86 m)
Four Pratt & Whitney PW2040 (military designation F117-PW-100) 40,440 pounds thrust each
Sidewall (Permanently Installed) 54 (27 each side, 18 inches wide, 24 inch spacing center to center)
Centerline (stored on board) 48 (in sets of six back-to-back, 8 sets)
Palletized 80 on 8 pallets, plus 54 passengers on sidewall seats
Flight crew 2 pilots
Observer positions 2
Instrument displays 2 full-time all-function head-up displays (HUD), 4 multi-function active matrix liquid crystal displays
Navigation system Digital electronics
Communication Integrated radio management system with communications system open architecture (COSA)
Flight controls system Quadruple-redundant electronic flight control with mechanical backup system
Area 3,800 sq. ft. (353 sq. m)
Aspect Ratio 7.165
Sweep Angle 25 degrees
Airfoil Type Supercritical
Flaps Fixed-vane, double-slotted, simple-hinged
Area 845 sq. ft. (78.50 sq. m)
Span 65 feet (19.81 m)
Aspect Ratio 5.0
Sweep 27 degrees



Feature Stories

This C-17 Globemaster III became the first of the global fleet of 275 aircraft to achieve 25,000 flight hours

This C-17 just achieved 25,000 flight hours

November 16, 2021 in Defense

U.S. Air Force celebrates milestone at Globemaster III's first home, Joint Base Charleston

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C-17s prepare for the milestone mission at Joint Base Charleston

4 Million Hours and Counting: C-17 Team Commemorates Milestone

January 15, 2021 in Defense

Globemaster III is one of the fastest platforms to ever reach 4M flight hours, enabling humanitarian relief and completing critical missions worldwide.

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Boeing teams helping enable C-17 customers’ COVID-19 missions

Boeing teams helping enable C-17 customers’ COVID-19 missions

May 8, 2020 in Defense

Boeing Global Services teams are proud to support the global C-17 fleet and the customers who fly them.

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C-17 Sustainment in San Antonio

C-17 Sustainment in San Antonio

June 8, 2016 in Defense

The Boeing facility in San Antonio, Texas has upgraded and delivered nearly 1,000 planes to customers around the world. Those aircraft include the C-17 Globemaster III fleet.

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3 Million Hours

3 Million Hours

May 6, 2015 in Defense

Boeing's C-17 Globemaster III worldwide fleet hit a major milestone be reaching three million flight hours, which was marked with a one-hour flight from Georgia to South Carolina.

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C-17 final join

The Last Join

March 4, 2015 in Defense

In Long Beach, Calif., Boeing teams piece together the nose, center fuselage, wings and tail of the final C-17 Globemaster III military airlifter to roll off the assembly line.

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Birds Do it: Saving Energy in Flight

June 6, 2014 in Innovation, Environment, Technology

Saving energy is not an easy task but how do the Boeing engineers do it? The answer is flying above you.

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From Long Beach to Charleston

September 18, 2013 in Defense

After more than two decades, Boeing’s C-17 Globemaster III will complete production in 2015, closing the C-17 final assembly facility in Long Beach, Calif.

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Delivering realism, readiness and cost savings

August 5, 2013 in Defense

Members of the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio celebrate the opening of the first C-17 training center.

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C-17 Globemaster III Customers

Currently, 275 C-17s operate around the world. The aircraft's largest customer is the United States Air Force, with 223 in 12 bases. Outside of that country, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, India and the 12-nation Strategic Airlift Capability all operate the C-17 Globemaster III. 

  • Australian flag


  • Canadian flag


  • India flag


  • Kuwait flag


  • Qatar flag


  • NATO flag

    Strategic Airlift Capability

  • United Arab Emirates flag

    United Arab Emirates

  • United Kingdom flag

    United Kingdom

  • United States of America flag

    United States

C-17 Quick Facts

The C-17 can:

  • Take off from a 7,740-foot (2359.15-meter) airfield
  • Carry a payload of up to 164,900 pounds (74,797 kg)
  • Fly 6,230 nautical miles with no payload
  • Refuel while in flight
  • Land in 3,000 feet (914 meters) or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield in day or night.
  • Carry a cargo of wheeled U.S. Army vehicles in two side-by-side rows, including the U.S. Army's main battle tank, the M-1
  • Drop a single 60,000-pound (27,216-kilogram) payload, with sequential load drops of 110,000 pounds (49,895 kilograms)
  • Back up a 2-percent slope
  • Seat 54 on the sidewall and 48 in the centerline.