Twenty Candles on a Palletized Cake

Boeing’s C-17 prototype, T-1, last week re-created its maiden flight in a ceremony at the company’ production plant in Long Beach Calif., 20 years to the day of its first sortie. “The first flight of T-1 ushered in a new era in military and humanitarian airlift,” said Bob Ciesla, Boeing C-17 program manager, in the company’s release. “There is no question that the C-17 has set the bar high.” In two decades of flying, C-17s have achieved a number of record-breaking milestones—more than any other airlifter in history, according to Boeing—and logged more than two million flying hours and set 33 world records. T-1 first flew on Sept. 15, 1991. Boeing delivered the first operational C-17 to the 17th Airlift Squadron at now-JB Charleston, S.C., on July 14, 1993. Two years later, the C-17 fleet began initial operations. Boeing has delivered 235 C-17s to the Air Force (211) and foreign customers (24) to date. (Includes Wright-Patterson release by Bill Hancock)