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Boeing using less water to clean Globemasters

written by Staff reporter | December 8, 2023

Boeing Australia is using a new sustainable technique to clean Australia’s fleet of Globemasters that uses 50 per cent less water on the engine.

The defence prime said the “Lufthansa Technik Cyclean” improves engine efficiency through a deeper cleaning of the engine core, cutting 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions per engine annually and reducing fuel consumption by 1 per cent.

Australia currently has eight C-17 Globemaster airlifters, all operated by No. 36 Squadron and based at RAAF Base Amberley. The last was delivered in 2015.

Robert Boyd, Boeing’s acting regional sustainability lead APAC, said, “Transitioning to a carbon-neutral aerospace industry by 2050 requires the adoption of more sustainable practices in our global fleet maintenance programs.”


With the addition of the RAAF’s C-17s, Boeing now uses the engine wash technology on 275 C-17 aircraft operated by nine global customers as part of the C-17 Globemaster III global fleet contract.

“The success of this system demonstrates the importance of continued investment in new technology and customer partnerships to improving fleet efficiency and reducing our environmental impact,” Boyd added.

The C-17A Globemaster is a high-wing four-engine heavy transport aircraft, fitted with a cargo bay ramp that allows it to airdrop in-flight. It can also operate from unsurfaced runways as short as 3,500 feet and carry up to 77 tonnes.

In March, Australian Aviation reported how a RAAF C-17A Globemaster transported the first ice cores to Tasmania from the Australian Antarctic Division’s Million Year Ice Core project.

The airlifter safely touched down with the million-year-old samples in special powered cold boxes as they were transferred from Casey Station to Hobart.

The transfer formed part of Operation Southern Discovery, the RAAF’s contribution to the Australian Antarctic Program. This initiative sees the Australian government work with more than 150 research institutions globally to study the region. It hopes to use science to unlock the secrets of the past as well as to predict future climate changes.

In particular, the Globemaster is also used for dropping heavy scientific equipment while ADF personnel also supply emergency medical help.

Operation Southern Discovery occurs annually between November and March.

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