9 Interesting Facts about C-17 Globemaster III used in Afghanistan for Evacuation

On 15 August 2021, when India was celebrating its 75 years of Independence day, Afghanistan lost its independence to the Taliban. Taliban captured the capital Kabul and declared their victory. After the news breakout about the Taliban victory, lots of Afghan people rushed towards the Airport to leave the country to save themselves from the cruelty of the Taliban. In history, the Taliban is known for its Taliban version of sharia law and for the punishment who do not follow the said law.

US forces took over the Kabul Airport to evacuate its nationals and some afghan people who were trying to escape from the Taliban. Air traffic control was stunned when they heard about a C-17 Globemaster III carrying 871 people who took off from the airport to go to the US. It is believed to be among the most people ever flown in the C-17, a massive military cargo plane that has been operated by the U.S. and its allies for nearly three decades. Flight tracking software shows the plane belongs to the 436th Air Wing, based at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

C-17 Globemaster III

The C-17 Globemaster III was not intending to take on such a large load, but panicked Afghans who had been cleared to evacuate pulled themselves onto the C-17’s half-open ramp, said by the defense official. After the incident, Instead of trying to force those refugees off the aircraft, “the crew made the decision to go” said the officials.

So what makes this C-17 Globamster so unique that, this aircraft is chosen by the US airforce to save people from the Taliban? Let’s see!

9 Interesting Facts about C-17 Globemaster III

1.Type of Air Craft

It is a high-wing, 4-engine, T-tailed military-transport and multi-service aircraft. This aircraft is used by many other countries for transport and evacuation purposes.


The C-17s are manufactured by Boeing’s Defence Manufacturing unit, USA, and were made to replace other cargo lift competitors and also support the US airforce in strategic lift operations all over the world.

3.Engines used and other specifications

The total length of C-17 is 53.04 meters and the dimension of wingspan to winglet tip is 51.74 m. The aircraft is powered by Four Pratt & Whitney PW2040 (military designation F117-PW-100) 40,440 pounds thrust engines each. Which proudly defines its power.

4.Flying capabilities

The C-17’s can fly 2,400 nautical miles, refuel while in flight, and land in 3,000 ft. or less on a small unpaved or paved airfield in day or night, which is of great use for the US Air Force as most of the airstrips for emergency purposes are located in remote combat locations. It can also take off from a 7,600-ft. the airfield, meaning that it can even take off from airstrips located high in the mountains which make this aircraft of great use.

5.Lift and drop capabilities

The C-17’s can carry a payload of 160,000 pounds which is in a range of (40-70 tons), and drop a single 60,000-lb. payload, with sequential load drops of 110,000 lb which is very interesting and useful for any Airforce.

6.Seating capabilities

The C-17s have a seating capability of 54 on the sidewall and 48 in the centerline, and they can be used for airdropping paratroopers in enemy territory. During the evacuation process, centerline seats were removed to make maximum space for the refugees.

7.Operational Capabilities

The C-17s is a long-haul aircraft that can tackle and sustain long distances, destinations, and heavy, oversized payloads in unpredictable conditions. Its operational experience and capabilities can be established by the fact that it has delivered cargo and troops in every worldwide operation since the 1990s.

8.C-17 Simulation School

Boeing has also established a C-17 simulator training center which has completed thousands of training hours for aircrews and loadmasters, the training center is equipped with all sorts of facilities to help new pilots to learn flying C-17.

9.Successful operations

The C-17’s were used by the Indian Air Force in relief operations in Nepal – during 2015 earthquakes – and in 2013 during Uttarakhand floods and C-17s were also used in one of the country’s successful overseas missions for bringing back over 1,300 Indians from Djibouti after their evacuation from strife-torn Yemen in the year 2015, the recent successful operations include delivery of medicines and other support equipment to friendly countries in the year 2020 during covid 19 Pandepic and bringing in assistance from other countries this year. Indian Airforce also used the C-17 Globemaster to evacuate its nationals from Afghanistan.

Like India many other countries also use C-17 and those countries are Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and the UK 

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