Flown by the NY Air National Guard's 137th Airlift Squadron, the C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force.
The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area.
The aircraft is operated by a crew of three (pilot, copilot and loadmaster). Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft door that accommodates military vehicles and cargo. The C-17 can carry virtually all of the Army's air-transportable equipment.
Maximum payload capacity of the C-17 is 170,900 pounds. Its cruise speed is approximately 450 knots (.76 Mach). The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and equipment.
The design of the aircraft allows it to operate through small, austere airfields. The C-17 can take off and land on runways as short as 3,500 feet (1,064 meters) and only 90 feet wide (27.4 meters). Even on such narrow runways, the C-17 can turn around using a three-point turn and its backing capability.