Sep 5, 2015

8th and final C-17 Delivered to Australia

While this was not the last ever C-17 — the final plane, No. 279, is in paint production — Friday’s ceremonial delivery of the eighth and the last C-17 Australia’s air force procured was nevertheless punctuated with references to the end of the plane’s production by 2015’s sunset.
“With the departure of this aircraft, the time is fast approaching. Boeing will shutter our doors,” said U.S. Lt. Col Laird Abbott, addressing former and current Boeing employees and government officials.
In 2013, a week after Boeing delivered its final C-17 transport plane to the U.S. Air Force, company officials said they did not have enough foreign orders to justify keeping the program open and announced that they would slowly shut down the Long Beach plant, which at the time employed about 2,200 employees. The company also said in 2013 that 13 C-17s were without customers.
Today, a smaller group of employees remain at Boeing to work on the final plane and all but one C-17 has been sold to foreign customers, including Qatar and Australia.
Australia procured its first C-17 in 2006 after its prime minister toured Pakistan and Iraq.

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