The Final C-17 departs Long Beach

After almost a quarter century and 275 planes built, the former McDonnell Douglas plant, now Boeing, at Long Beach airport is closing. The final C-17 takes off for the first time.


The Air Force is the single largest operator of the C-17, with 224 delivered. By our lights, that’s about half the size of the fleet they really need.

8 thoughts on “The Final C-17 departs Long Beach”

  1. Hard to believe that, as a brand new tank platoon leader, I took two of my M1s and two Brads and supported the USAF’s Reliability, Maintainability and Availability testing to determine the final plan for buying these things. They’ve turned out as money well-spent in my book, even if I did come away with a bit of a personal distaste for some aspects of the USAF… I worked out most of my bitterness by leaving two giant circles of rubber that only coincidentally look like they would have been made by neutral-steering my tank in the the pristine concrete adjacent to the taxiway on an unnamed AFB on the east coast.

  2. Was lucky enough to see the first flight of this great plane thanks to a friend sitting in Building 41 (Flight Test) there at McD-D (pre-Boeing)…weather had hampered many attempts, but he called one Saturday AM and said – it’s on, get over here. Small but vocal crowd cheered as it lifted off for the first time. Magnificent.

    We will regret not building another 200+. Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics.

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