End of an Era: Boeing Delivers Last Air Force C-17

Long Beach plant will close for good by 2015.

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

** C-17 Globemaster III**

Boeing has delivered the final C-17 produced for the Air Force, two decades after the massive four-engine transport began military duty.

Officials took delivery of the C-17 Globemaster III — the 223rd sold to the Air Force — during a ceremony attended by hundreds of workers at Boeing's Long Beach, California, assembly plant. The factory will be shut down by 2015 after remaining foreign market C-17s are built. The plant employs around 3,000 workers, Boeing said.

The first C-17 flew in 1991, about 10 years after the Air Force awarded Boeing the contract for an airplane designed as a do-it-all airlift workhorse. Despite some early teething problems with the design, the C-17 today has the highest readiness rate of any cargo plane in the U.S. military's arsenal.

Boeing currently has no plans for the 1.1-million-square-foot factory.

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