Why are they called “moose”
Air Force jets have a lot of nicknames. The legendary A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft is called the Warthog because of its odd appearance and pugnacious spirit; the F-16 Fighting Falcon is called the Viper because it looks like the eponymous Battlestar Galactica spacecraft (according to some accounts), and the 60-year-old B-52 Stratofortress is called the BUFF (big fat ugly fat f ** ker ) because, well, that’s what it is.
And then there’s the C-17 Globemaster III, the 30-year-old cargo plane that can do everything from parachuting to transporting a 69-ton M1 Abrams battle tank, and it has a great nickname: The Moose. . While “Moose” seems like the perfect nickname for a big, powerful, slow plane like the C-17, the real reason for the nickname may surprise you. Believe it or not, the real reason is that the plane looks a lot like a cow moose in heat.
That’s right, when it is mating season for a female moose (called a cow) she gives a “howl like a moan” while the moose males respond with “a loud growl that can be. heard up to half a kilometer ”. according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Northwest Territories of Canada.
How the hell does a C-17 look like a cow in heat? The internet tells us why:
“During ground refueling, the aircraft is fitted with pressure relief vents which, when used, sound like a moose cry!” Wrote the C-17 West Coast Demonstration Team. in a Facebook post in September. And yes, you read that right, the Air Force has a C-17 demonstration team that performs at air shows throughout the year.
“Airmen affectionately nicknamed the C-17, ‘The Moose’ for the distinct sound it makes while refueling,” said Darrell Lewis, historian of the 437th Airlift Wing. “When refueling, the decompression vents on the aircraft make a moose call sound.”
Technically, the moniker even has its own line of unofficial merchandise,
“It’s a popular nickname, with squad posters and t-shirts dedicated to it,” he said.
The nickname “Moose” is far from the only interesting feature of the C-17. Despite its size, the Moose can fit in fairly tight corners. According to the Air Force, the aircraft can land on runways as short as 3,500 feet (about two-thirds of a mile). By comparison, the much larger C-5 Galaxy requires about 6,000 feet at an absolute minimum, according to Travis Air Force Base and the Government Accountability Office.
The high wings, slats and blown flaps on the outside of the C-17 give the aircraft the lift it needs to take off and land in such short stretches, according to the Air Force. These features are also likely useful when moose droppings hit the fan, such as in October when a C-17 made a prone landing at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The nose landing gear was stuck in the belly, but the aircraft came to a stop safely and no injuries were reported.
On top of that, the C-17’s amenities are quite stylish: the aircraft comes with crew bunks behind the cockpit for the crew to sleep in, a latrine, an oven, a pot and a refrigerator.
“I really can’t complain about our plane because we have some really wonderful equipment that is provided that makes those long 5-hour or 13-hour non-stop stages a lot easier with just one tank of gasoline,” C. said – 17 Pilot Major Courtney ‘Voodoo’ Vidt on the Fighter Pilots Podcast last month. Fighter pilots, on the other hand, are stuck in a seat in a tiny cockpit with barely any legroom.
“I have the greatest respect for the fighters and especially for their ocean crossings,” she said. “I don’t know how they do it and I am so impressed that they do it.”
So there you have it: when it comes to hauling heavy items across tiny airfields, or just having a nice place to stretch your legs, the Moose is the plane for you.