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RAAF C-17 flew to Antarctica to prove concept.

| 2015
World Defense & Security News - Australia
RAAF C-17 flew to Antarctica to prove concept
The Royal Australian Air Force has flown a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to Antarctica, in a proof-of-concept operation. The mission was carried out in cooperation with the Australian Antarctic Division in order to deliver supplies to the Wilkins Aerodrome, to support the Australian Antarctic programme.
RAAF C-17 flew to Antarctica to prove concept 640 001The C-17A Globemaster III at the Wilkins Aerodrome
(Credit: Royal Australian Air Force)
The cargo aircraft covered a distance of 3,450km, taking-off from Hobart International Airport in Tasmania, in five hours and the cargo transported exceeded 12,300kg, including supplies and equipment, such as a BAE Systems-Hagglunds Bv206 all-terrain vehicle.

The flight of the C-17A has been a proof-of-concept effort. As of today, the Globemaster III has been the largest aircraft to land at the Wilkins Aerodrome. Thanks to its speed and cargo capacity, it could become an outstanding platform for the needs of the Australian Antarctic programme. Therefore, besides the US Air Force, the Australian would eventually become another country using this aircraft in such extreme environments.

Furthermore, the C-17A will become a platform that will complement the Airbus A319 used already by Australia. However, Boeing’s cargo plane will provide the capability to transport oversized and heavy cargo, weighing more than 70 tonnes, in rough or semi-prepared runways, such as the one in Antarctica.

RAAF, the Ministry of Environment and the Australian Antarctic programme, will continue the flight tests until February 2016. Upon their completion, both the Air Force and the Antarctic Division will go through a full review of the operations.



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