It's got a weird control set up. It used a stick, but is inbetween the pilots legs. I saw a mock up of the C17 panel at the museum in DOV. It's got a cyclic like control. I'll look on a.net and see if I can find it.
Aircraft companies are always doing "what if" scenarios. Some of the "what if's" make it farther than others, and they'll float the idea past their customers. All product development and marketing schtick.
Sweet! When I become an overpaid, ultra rich airline captain who only flies two days per month at the front of a jet that lands and flies itself thanks to super computers, I'm going to get one of those huge cargo transports and turn it into the ultimate RV.
Of course, right now I couldn't afford to even THINK of filling up it's 10,000 gallon fuel tank . . .
Haven't they been floating this idea around for a while now? I believe I remember them talking about making a civialian model C-17.
The C-17s are incredible a/c. Anyone who has spent more than ohhh lets say 5 mins in CHS knows what a C-17 can do. They seem to always have at least a few in the air. You might see 5 or more flying in a line or one doing T&Gs. Then you see some departing with who knows what on board heading to who knows where. They have played a vital role over in Iraq and Afghanistan.
My fav. is the one named "The Spirit of Strom Thurmond"
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In my opinion they need to be focusing on getting people to buy the 7E7, not looking for different ac to manufacture.
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Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea. The air freight business is still going gangbusters, so there's a greater likelihood that they'll actually sell some of these. Also keep in mind that Boeing has lines in both Seattle and Long Beach to keep busy. The 7E7 will be a Seattle product, the C-17 is made in Long Beach.
The C-17 is an immensely capable aircraft, it'll be very cool to see it in use in the private sector.
The Air Force was pushing for a deal a few years ago where about 10 C-17's would be leased a private company. The Air Force would have guaranteed a certain amount of Gov't business to whoever agreed to operate the aircraft. They wanted this to happen so they could up their yearly purchase of the C-17 and get a much better deal, saving millions (kind of a volume discount). They also would have effectively had more aircraft available. The C-17s were supposed to have all the wiring for self protection equipment and plumbing for air to air refueling, but it would not have been functional. This was for standardization, lower cost, and the hope that the Air Force would eventually buy the aircraft. So far, nothing has happened and I have not heard of any new developments.
The only problem with operating military cargo aircraft is they are less economical to operate than civilian freighters. They are alot heavier than civilian aircraft due to their 'heavy duty' construction. They also have stuff like a special system that injects inert gas into the fuel tanks as fuel is burned off, to help prevent explosions if hit by ground fire, etc. This system alone weighs over a ton. With a glut of ex Soviet military freighters to serve under developed regions, there probably isn't much of a need for the C-17 in civilian service.