This Was The Aircraft One Of Our Biggest Cargo Planes Was Born From

This Was The Aircraft One Of Our Biggest Cargo Planes Was Born From | Frontline Videos

USGov-Military-Air Force / Public Domain


Every single aircraft you see in the air today is a result of prototypes that looked funky, failed or were a combination of both. As the short clip below will explain, McDonnell Douglass was trying to experiment with new types of flap configurations to built a medium STOL transport aircraft and although it wasn’t a success, it gave way to one of the most used military transport aircraft the U.S. has, namely, the C-17 Globemaster III.

A picture of the YC-15 being escorted by an F-4 Phantom II during testing. | USGov-Military-Air Force / Public Domain

As with any government competition, the U.S. Air Force sent out a spec sheet. In the 1970s they were looking to replace the C-130 Hercules with an aircraft that can perform better STOL (short takeoff and landing) and have further range, payload, and overall performance.

This is Boeing’s submission to win the contest, the YC-14. | U.S. Air Force Photo / Public Domain

Boeing came out with their YC-14  while McDonnell Douglas proposed the YC-15 of which we have a video below. After all was said and done, the DoD chose the YC-15 as the winner but with modifications many modifications.

A top view of the finished product, the C-17 Globemaster III. | Staff Sgt. Sean M. Worrell / Public Domain

They gave their prototype a new wing shape as they increased the size of the fuselage and also added more powerful engines. This design was re-designated C-17 and was a good mix between the C-130 Hercules and C-5 Galaxy. Full production started in 1991 and until now, 279 of them were produced.


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