Tag Archives: Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

Watch A USAF C-17 Air-Launch An Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Target Over The Pacific Ocean During A THAAD Test

A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 418th Flight Test Squadron air-launched a ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean.

On July 11, a U.S. Air Force C-17 airlifter supported a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense test at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska.

Indeed, the C-17 air-launched an IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) target north of Hawaii that was detected, tracked and intercepted by the TGAAD weapons system.

According to an Air Force release, the test, designated Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18, was executed by MDA, supported by elements of the U.S. Army, Joint Forces Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska, Ballistic Missile Defense Operational Test Agency, DoD Operational Test and Evaluation, and the Army Test and Evaluation Command.

This was the 14th successful intercept in 14 attempts for the THAAD weapon system. According to MDA, “the THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. The MDA says THAAD is strictly a defense system. The system uses hit-to-kill technology whereby kinetic energy destroys the incoming target. The high-altitude intercept mitigates effects of enemy weapons before they reach the ground.”

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, during Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18 July 11, 2017. During the test, the THAAD weapon system successfully intercepted an air-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile target. (Missile Defense Agency photo)

The 418th Flight Test Squadron has supported these MDA tests over the years.

“The 418th is the only organization on Earth capable of airdropping MDA’s largest and most capable ballistic test missiles providing a vital examination of U.S. strategic defense assets,” said Lt. Col. Paul Calhoun, 418th FLTS commander. Soldiers from the Army’s 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario. Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time.

The successful demonstration of THAAD against an IRBM-range missile threat comes amidst growing concern about the country’s defensive capability against developing missile threats in North Korea.

Ballistic missiles have been carried by U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft during testing activities conducted in the past.

In 1974, the U.S. thought that the best way to preserve its ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) from Soviet nuclear strikes was to load them in C-5 Galaxy airlifters and keep them on the move.

A three-stage Minuteman, 56 feet in length and 86,000 pounds in weight, was attached to some parachutes that could drag it out of the cargo hold and then point it upward, then it was loaded into a Galaxy and air launched over the Pacific from the aircraft: a timer ignited the rocket motor and the missile flew for about 25 seconds before it cascaded into the Pacific Ocean.

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This Cool Video Shows A U.S. C-17 Airlifter Flying At Low Level Through The Mach Loop for First Time

A cool footage of the big C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in the Mach Loop low level training area!

Some unpopulated areas of the UK, designated ‘Low Flying Area’ (LFA), as LFA-14 (Scotland), LFA-17 (Lake District) and LFA-7 (North West Wales), have been chosen for training activities of RAF at altitude as low as 250 feet.

LFA-7, used also by U.S. units as well as allied air arms and aerospace industries, has a series of valleys lined by steep sides with mountains either side rising to around 1,000 meters that allows the pilot to do training circuits at ultra-low level altitude.

UK aviation enthusiasts have nicknamed LFA-7 the “Mach Loop” after the small town at the circuits’ most southern point: Machynlleth.

Well, the “Mach Loop”  has just “scored” another first: earlier today a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III (belonging to the 315th Airlift Wing from Joint Base Charleston, S.C.) made two low-level passes through the valley area!

Aviation photographer and Mach Loop regular Paul Williams has just filmed the following really amazing video of the big airlifter maneuvering through the famous Mach Loop at very low altitude (notice the “condensation clouds generated by the aircraft as it flies through the valley in front of the photographers.)

H/T Tom Demerly for finding this!

 

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Watch C-17, A-10 and HC-130J Aircraft Operate From Delamar Dry Lake Bed (the original emergency landing site for the X-15)

U.S. Air Force landed and took off from the Delamar Dry Lake Bed, the emergency landing site for the X-15.

C-17 Globemaster III airlifters from 57th Weapons Squadron, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 66th Weapons Squadron, HC-130J from the 34th Weapons Squadron as well as HH-60Gs belonging to the 66th Rescue Squadron took part in USAF Weapons School squadrons composite mission application and combat search and rescue operations at the Delamar dry lake bed on the NTTR (Nevada Test and Training Range).

Referred to as “Texas Lake” dry lake bed because of its resemblance to the state of Texas from the air, Delamar Lake landing strip was established in 1943 and, in the 1960s it was designated emergency landing sites for the North American X-15, a rocket-powered, missile-shaped manned aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force and NASA capable to reach the edge of space at an altitude between 100,000 and 300,000 feet at speed exceeding 4,500 MPH (+7,270 km/h) .

In fact, the dry lake bed was located underneath the Delamar Dry Lake Drop Zone where the X-15s brought to the launch altitude of 45,000 feet under the wing of a B-52 bomber, were dropped at a speed of Mach 0.8.

The Delamar Lake Landing Strip consists of a 15,000 ft long runway; still, considered the lack of obstacles, aircraft can land in any direction.

Along with making “unprepared landing strip operations” training possible, dry lakes can be particularly useful also in case of emergency: the huge lakebed can minimize the damage to a plane forced to land there. Here is what happened when a B-1 Lancer performed a crash landing on the Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base in 1989. Here you can find a U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy airlifter making a successful emergency landing once again at Rogers Dry Lake in 2001.

 

U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster crew posted online this hilarious parody of the popular BBC interview crashed by kids

A Globemaster Pilot tries desperately to read back her Takeoff Clearance to the ATC. But she’s interrupted by her crew.

The video of Professor Robert Kelly, an expert on South Korea whose interview with the BBC was crashed by his children who suddenly appeared behind him, has now become viral.

Several memes and parodies have appeared online since then.

The one was posted by some U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command C-17 Globemaster III airlifter crew who has staged a scene similar to that of the two kids bursting in on their dad during the interview, where the pilot, trying to read back the ATC (Air Traffic Control) route clearance, is interrupted by the crew who enters the cockpit.

The flight crew shall read back to the air traffic controller ATC departure, approach, landing and route clearances, instructions to taxi, enter, land on, take off from any runway, etc.

Take a look here, it’s rather funny.

H/T to Instagrammers @theglobemaster and @_thetravelingblonde

 

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Watch a U.S. C-17 Globemaster III cargo fly through the famous Star Wars Canyon in Death Valley

Something you don’t see too often: a giant U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft flying through the famous Star Wars Canyon.

The following footage was shot by The Aviationist’s contributor Eric Bowen.

Along with some pretty common Super Hornets, it shows a Thunderbirds dual seater F-16 (with smoke) and, above all, a C-17 Globemaster III airlifter, using radio callsign “Slam 19” flying at low altitude through the famous Rainbow Canyon, located adjacent to Death Valley.

The flight through the canyon out into the expanse of Death Valley is referred to as the “Jedi Transition” (and the canyon itself is also dubbed “Star Wars Canyon”) and the location from where Eric filmed the aircraft has become very popular with photographers from around the world: even though not as popular as the Mach Loop in the UK, the canyon is one of the few locations in the U.S. where photographers can catch military fighters training at low level.

The frequency of the passes can vary but usually 4 to 8 combat planes fly through the “Star Wars Canyon” on any given day: rarely you will have a chance to see a C-17 performing three passes there, as happened to Eric, though!

Image credit: Eric Bowen

 

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