|A MD corporate 8x10 print showing the freshly painted T-1. These prints are|
slightly "well worn".
|T-1 on her 2-hour maiden flight, heading northwest over Torrance Airport.|
The C-17 had its genesis in a program intended to develop a replacement for the C-130 Hercules (before, of course, the powers-that-be realized that the Herc is destined for immortality). At the time, Boeing proposed their YC-14 and McDonnell Douglas entered their YC-15. The competition was cancelled when the Air Force came to their senses and realized that the best C-130 replacement was a newer C-130.
|Signing this 8x10 of the first landing were Boeing Chief Test Pilot Bill Casey,|
USAF pilot George London and Boeing Chief Loadmaster Ted Venturini. Also
onboard was Boeing Flight Test Engineer Henry Van De Graaf, who didn't sign.
The program was plagued with technical and political problems from the start. The prototype for the newly designated C-17A was essentially a hand-built plane, and was intended to be a dedicated flight test aircraft - hence the air vehicle designation of T-1 - with an expected lifespan of just five years.
|At the 20th anniversary event, from top left, Bill|
Casey, Ted Venturini, George London and Henry
Van De Graaf. (Rebecca Amber/Aerotech News)
|First flight swag|
On September 15, 2011, T-1 celebrated her 20th anniversary by flying from Edwards to Long Beach for a low pass, then re-creating the route of her original flight, landing at Edwards where a party was held and the original flight crew reunited. It was announced that the old gal would finally be retiring.
|T-1 lifts off from Edwards' Rwy 22L for the last time (Tony Landis/NASA)|
|Low approach over Long Beach, April 23, 2012 (Courtesy of Kevin Helm)|
|Where it all started (Courtesy of Kevin Helm)|