For the past 39 years, the C-141B Starlifter cargo jet has served the United States Air Force as it?s primary workhorse for handling transport duties during armed conflicts, as well as, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions throughout the world. However, the needs of today?s military in the ever-changing worldwide environment have begun to reveal the C-141B?s age. In recent years, threats to the United States national security have increased the immediacy of replacing the C-141B with an aircraft that meets the current needs of our military, yet is flexible enough to meet future needs as well. The C-17 Globemaster III, originally developed to complement the C-141B, has now become the heir apparent to the aging Starlifter.
Developed in 1991 and operational since 1995, the C-17 Globemaster III is in every way superior to the aging C-141B. With its four engines each producing 40,500 pounds of thrust, the C-17 is capable of a maximum speed of 515 mph and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet. Its powerful engines allow the C-17 to use a runway only 3,000 feet long. By comparison, the C-141B?s four engines produce only 20,250 pounds of thrust. This limits the aircraft to
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