Last Boeing C-17 built in Long Beach takes flight. In an event attended by hundreds of Boeing employees, the aerospace giant officially ended production of the C-17 with a rollout of the final transport and a flyover near the company’s assembly plant at Long Beach Airport.
To cheers and shouts of “Here she comes!,” the dark gray C-17 with Qatar Air Force insignia taxied onto the airfield about 12:15 p.m. and paused in front of the crowd that lined Globemaster Way bordering the airport.
It took off 15 minutes later, circled back in a banking turn and passed low over the runway complex. As people clapped, the four-engine plane then climbed steeply and faded into the sky as it headed to San Antonio, where the Qatar government will pick it up early next year.
“It’s a pretty amazing day but a somber one,” said Mark Adams of Stanton, who was employed by Boeing for 38 years before retiring in January. “I loved working for the C-17 program. I’m proud of it. It gave me opportunities to grow as an employee.”