First Indian C-17 enters flight test on schedule
Less than two weeks before Aero India, when the world’s aerospace focus is on India, Boeing Defense delivered on schedule the first of ten C-17 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) to flight test. The aircraft will now enter a US Air Force (USAF) flight test programme at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Another four C-17s will be delivered to the IAF this year and the remaining five next year. “The C-17 met the stipulated airlift requirements of the IAF when it flew field evaluation trials in India during June 2010. It was exciting to see the C-17 fly again, this time with IAF markings, as the airlifter completed its first-flight milestone on January 11. We look forward to the day that the first IAF C-17 flies over India,” said Air Commodore Sanjay Nimesh, Air Attaché at the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
“The C-17’s ability to operate in extremely hot and cold climates; transport large payloads across vast ranges; and land on short, austere runways makes it ideal for India’s airlift needs,” said Nan Bouchard, Boeing Vice President and C-17 Program Manager. “We value our continued partnership with India and the US Government and will provide dedicated support as India’s first C-17 enters flight testing.” The IAF agreed in June 2011 to contract for ten C-17s making India the largest C-17 customer outside the United States. A USAF C-17 Globemaster III is expected to be on flight display at Aero India 2013.