C-17 Globemaster Cargo Plane

by Jim and Melanie

The United States Air Force is cooperating with relief efforts for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico as they did for the Gulf Coast and Florida. Members of the 15th Airlift Squadron , 437th Airlift Wing, out of the Joint Base in Charleston, SC, have flown more than 70 missions supporting relief efforts after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as detailed in this brief.

The planes used are the C-17 Globemaster. We recently toured one of the planes and felt others would appreciate seeing it up close and inside. First impression as you walk toward it is its imposing size. The loud noise is an auxiliary power unit providing electricity to the plane while parked.

When you step inside the airplane you enter a huge space capable of holding 170,900 pounds of cargo. Cargo can be people, vehicles, pallets of supplies, helicopters, trucks… You name it, they can haul it. 

Interior dimensions: length, 88 ft (26.82 m); width, 18 ft (5.48 m); height, 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m) The Loadmasters arrange and safely secure the many types of cargo. Sometimes cargo is dropped by parachute out the lowered tail door.

View toward front from about 1/3 of the way back

View from all the way back at the rear cargo door

At the front of the cargo space is a ladder up to the cockpit. There is room for 4 with a sleeping berth for long mission flights.

A parked C-17 viewed out the cockpit window

A C-17 in a hangar for routine maintenance


As we toured the aircraft, another C-17 flew by then turned around and landed. It was impressive to see and watch them fly. They provide a great service to efforts for peacetime as well as the important needs for the security of the country.


10 thoughts on “C-17 Globemaster Cargo Plane

  1. Eliza Waters

    These babies fly low right over our house quite often en route to an airbase close by. Big and loud, our dog goes crazy ‘defending’ her air space! 😉 (She’ll do it to geese, crows and buzzards, too. Silly girl.)

  2. shoreacres

    I’ve known about the C-5s, but I’m not sure I knew about these. They’re remarkable, not only for their size, but also for all of that “stuff” on the inside. I laughed at the photo of the plane in its hangar for maintenance. Its tail sticking out really is funny.

    The one I see flying around here most often is the Super Guppy. When that thing is in the air, there’s no mistaking it. It’s been a while since it’s been at Ellington, but it’s always a treat to see it.

    1. Jim R Post author

      They are outfitted for all sorts of cargo and missions. I agree the hangar shot was funny.

      I’d like to see the super guppy. It is hard to imagine how some planes can fly well. They have such odd shapes. Sort of like the bumblebee. It isn’t supposed to be able to fly.


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