Prototype YC-17A #87-0025 'T-1' flies over
Owens Valley, CA during a test mission with
the 418th FLTS of Edwards AFB.
3/20/2008 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CA -- Edwards own
T-1, The Air Force's first test aircraft for the C-17
Globemaster III, reached a milestone when it was flown
for its 1,000th flight here March 10.
T-1, produced in 1991, is the first test aircraft to
conduct developmental and experimental flight tests.
"The C-17 is a dedicated test vehicle that was
produced originally for the developmental testing
program," said Lt. Col. Robert Poremski, 412th Test
Support Squadron director of projects. "After 15 years
of service and its 1,000th flight, this aircraft is
still a vital piece to the C-17 test program."
During the 1,000th flight, the T-1 conducted tests on
a hybrid air delivery system, which is a developmental
test of a new rigging system for Army air delivery
Over the past 15 years, the T-1 has been used for
avionic flight test, basic flight envelope expansions
and a wide variety of tests.
"I would have to say that T-1's first flight was the
most important flight its ever had," said Gary
Briscoe, Boeing loadmaster. "It helped us use T-1 as a
test bed for all types of air drop tests and
improvements in avionics over the years."
In 2007, T-1 was also used for the alternative fuel
testing of the C-17 using Fischer-Tropsch synthetic
Since T-1 is a developmental test aircraft, the C-17
was built with several unique configurations, said
Chris Webber, 418th Flight Test Squadron air drop test
"It has the original design of the C-17 built into
it, but it has certain features specific to flight
test like an emergency crew escape slide if they would
have needed it during its first flight," Mr. Webber
Over its history, T-l has accumulated 4,623 flight
hours including the hour for the 1,000th mission,
Colonel Poremski said. Although the aircraft is the
first C-17 ever built, it is still the most current
and up-to-date aircraft.
"T-1 has undergone several upgrades, modifications,
and software and hardware changes to make it the
tremendous airlifter it is today," Colonel Poremski
said. "This C-17 is currently in block 17, which is
the most up-to-date aircraft as if it were coming
right off the production line."
As for the future of T-1, Mr. Webber said the
aircraft plans to support NASA Dryden Flight Research
Center's parachute tests for the next generation of
Source: USAF Edwards AFB Press Release by Airman
Senior Airman Stacy Sanchez