No BC-17s

Despite the fact that Volga-Dnieper has all the work it can handle renting out Antonov AN-124 heavy lifters to various world agencies, including the US Air Force (which uses them to help transport Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to Iraq), Boeing is not pursuing the commercial heavy lifter market, Boeing C-17 program manager Jean Chamberlin said Tuesday. Why not? Chamberlin said that Volga Dnieper’s airplanes thoroughly fill the niche market now, and the by the time its aircraft wear out, there’s no assurance that C-17s will still be in production and thus available to replace them. The Air Force has long urged Boeing to make commercial C-17s available, which the service could then hire from private companies as Civil Reserve Air Fleet aircraft.