C-17 Landing

I’m unsure of the C-17 landing process/characteristics.

  1. Approach
  • Does it maybe prefer a particularly high AOA during approach/landing? If so, to what degree normally?

  • How much nose/attitude adjustment is required? Minimal, aggressive, any at all? Any specific pitch ladder/degree to aim for?

  • I imagine that, like many other aircraft, descent rate is controlled with power inputs. This is also true of the C-17, right?

  • Expected V/S should be -700 to -800 given a 3deg glide slope, correct?

  • Is it as simple as placing the velocity vector on the 1,000ft markers (or what have you) and then just letting it “do its thing” down to the runway?

  1. Landing
  • Is there a flare of any sort? If yes, is it minuscule or rather grand? I know it’s more prone to strikes given it’s design, so I can’t see the flare being all that pronounced.

  • If no flare, then how is V/S reduced during the last few moments prior to touchdown? In real AF cockpit footage, I’ve noticed that power is added just before impact to arrest sink rate. Any specific power percentages?

  • If there is indeed a flare, how much/little is needed and at what AGL should it be initiated? When do throttles need to go idle?

I apologize for the length of my question and the amount of detail I’m asking for; I’m just intensely curious as to how this aircraft returns itself to Earth’s surface. I appreciate all answers. Thank you very much for your time.


1.1: Approach will be 0 AOA until you reach full dirty which is around 5nm out, then it is around 4-5 degrees
1.2: There should be very little pitch gain during the approach
1.3: The C-17 is a mix of power control and direct control
1.4: Yes the normal glide slope is roughly the same but you have more forgiveness if your slightly above or below.
1.5: Pretty much yes.
2.1: There is very little ground effect, so due to the old model i would recommend adding a burst of thrust before touchdown and bring the vector node up instead of using a flair, but also the C-17 IRL is landed quite heaving with little flair.
2.2: Looking for anywhere between 30-50% throttle

If you have any more questions then feel free to ask !!


Thank you very much. I’m trying to replicate “real-life” landings as accurately as possible. This is very much appreciated.

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