Australia’s first C-17A Globemaster arrived at RAAF Base Amberley

06 Dec 2006

In 2005 the Defence White Paper highlighted the need for a heavy lift transport option for the RAAF. In 2006 the Australian Government initially approved four Boeing C-17A aircraft. By 2015, when Boeing officially ceased construction of the C-17A, Australia had acquired a total of eight of these highly capable aircraft.

The C-17A can utilise reserve thrust from its four engines to move backward up a two percent gradient while fully loaded carrying 74 tonnes of cargo. It can also operate on non-sealed surfaces and runways. A significant role of the aircraft is to assist with humanitarian operations providing relief during disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunami and bushfires. The C-17A is also used as a ‘flying hospital’.

Today most of the training for the C-17A is conducted in Australia via simulators.

The C-17A is flown by No 36 Squadron from RAAF Base Amberley.

To learn more, download this extract from Aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force by David Richardson and Peter Wood.

Related base

  • RAAF Base Amberley

Related aircraft

  • C-17