Within the last few years, the C-17 Globemaster has become the most important US Air Force multifunction transport aircraft. In addition to world-wide supply flights the C-17 has become indispensable for transporting the wounded out of crisis areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Already in the 1970s there were plans to replace the C-130 and later the C-141 also. In 1981 McDonnell Douglas received the design order. The prototype made its first flight on 15.9.1991. Officially the C-17 went into service with the 437th Airlift Wing out of Charleston AFB on 14.7.1993. In the meantime eleven USAF wings have been equipped with the C-17. The capabilities of the C-17 in terms of long-range flights and short take-offs and landings on temporary airfields made it the ideal transport for military, humanitarian and peace missions. It can carry up to 3 M2 Bradley or one M1 Abrams tank with additional cargo. By the time it is due to go out of production in 2010 the USAF will have bought 205 machines.