Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Big Airplane

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Yesterday we got a tour of a BIG airplane, an Air Force C-17 cargo jet!

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It was crazy to hear how some stuff is done -- for instance, when they airdrop troops or supplies, they just open the back while in flight and push the stuff out on rollers in the floor, or jump out with parachutes! Video at the bottom of this post!

I can't imagine -- it looked scary with the back open just on the tarmac!
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It was fascinating to talk to the guys and lady who make things happen on the jet -- no extraneous personnel -- they were either pilots or loadmasters; responsible for flying or cargo.
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Neil was in heaven.

I think we had roughly 1,000,000 questions for them. The C-17 is a truly incredible and amazing machine!
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Nile LOVES airplanes, so this was a huge treat for her. She was so excited as soon as she caught sight of it on the tarmac, and was giddy the whole time we were there.

She spent a lot of the time running around inside.

Up ...
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And down the ramp.
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The inside of the plane is fully modular, and it was cool to see how they can change the floor configuration to accommodate rows of seats, to secure helicopters, tanks, and other equipment, or to transport the President's vehicles. Wikipedia images at the bottom of this post!

Neil got to poke his head up through the "emergency exit." Not sure where you'd exit to.
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"Ejector seat? Roger that."
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A real Top Gun. One of the pilots, aviator sunglasses and all. Isn't he so cute?!
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And now some Wikipedia images showing different cargo configurations:

Presidential limo
File:Presidential limousine loaded in aircraft.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Presidential_limousine_loaded_in_aircraft.jpg

Troops
File:82nd Airborne paratroopers in a C-17.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:82nd_Airborne_paratroopers_in_a_C-17.jpg

Tank
File:Pzh-2000 inside of a C-17.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pzh-2000_inside_of_a_C-17.jpg


I'm having major anxiety and might possibly have a heart attack watching this video:

C-17 Airdrop 4 Humvees + 50 Paratroopers

video

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:C-17_Airdrop_4_Humvees_%2B_50_Paratroopers.ogv

5 comments:

Daniela Swider said...

That's pretty cool!

Sara said...

So, you're not the skydiving type then? It's so cool, I'm jealous of those guys. Although doing it at night is probably pretty scary. Do you know how they get the trucks to land right side up? I imagine they weight the bottom. Is there a parachute that opens after the chord comes off?

Sooooo cooool!

modestmuse said...

Yes, I thought it was very cool and I'm not usually into airplanes and machinery! NOOooooo I am not the skydiving type, are you?! I heard they usually jump from the C-17 at 800 ft. -- no chance for mistakes! The trucks have the wooden pallet on the bottom and yes, a parachute that is pulled when that rope comes off. Crazy! And just in case, that's why the trucks go first, not the guys ... !

Sara said...

I did a tandem jump on home leave this year. It was really cool, and I'd like to do it again. You should try it.

Anne said...

That video totally gave me anxiety. My husband was a jumpmaster in the army (which I think means he was like the guy who took the ropes as everyone jumped out in your video), but I am anti anything that gives me an adrenaline rush. I wonder how many humvees they destroyed before they figured out how to get them to land upright. Crazy! What an awesome experience to get to tour one of those planes!