Thursday, January 28, 2010

Old Shakey III

The C-17 Globemaster III is a surprisingly agile beast for something so big. When it does a tight circling take-off or landing, tactics utilized in areas with MANPADS (MAN-Portable Air-Defense Systems) threats, you wonder at how it manages to stay in the air. But it does so quite well, which makes for an impressive aerial and ground display. It's short-field landing capability and the fact it can back up using engine thrust-reversal are both show-stopping performances.

The name itself is from a long line of Douglas / McDonnell Douglas / Boeing military transports. From the C-74 Globemaster to the C-124 Globemaster II to the C-17 Globemaster III, the three types from the various iterations of the company have provided the U.S. Air Force with a large percentage of its heavy lift transports for over 60 years.

But along with the name comes the nickname: Old Shakey - so applied because the C-74 and especially the C-124 rattled and shook with great abandon while in flight. But they held together and flew for many years in front line service. Reportedly the C-17 exhibited some of the same characteristics early in it's test flight and operational career, although some tweaks have apparently lessened the shake. But the nickname remains.

And you thought genetics only applied to living organisms....

This shot was taken at last October's Edwards AFB open house.

No comments:

Post a Comment