This Saturday, Sept. 9, the U.S. Naval Reserve will get the first look at its newest logistics aircraft: the Boeing 737-700C. Designated the C-40A "Clipper," the aircraft will be introduced at a ceremony at Boeing Field in Seattle.
The U.S. Naval Reserve - which will operate and maintain the aircraft - is the first customer for the newest member of the Boeing Next-Generation 737 family and is purchasing the aircraft to replace its fleet of aging C-9 Skytrains. Currently, the Naval Reserve provides 100 percent of the Navy's worldwide in-theater medium and heavy airlift.
"Close to 25 percent of our C-9s are more than 30 years old," says Rear Adm. John B. Totushek, commander of Naval Reserve Forces. "We are excited about having the Clipper join our fleet and eventually replace all 27 of our C-9 aircraft." The Clipper meets or exceeds international noise and environmental requirements that plague the current fleet of Naval Reserve C-9s. It is also more fuel-efficient and offers increased range and payload capabilities. The C-40A is the first new logistics aircraft in 17 years to join the Naval Reserve.
The 737-700C aircraft will be certified to operate in an all-passenger (121 passengers), all-cargo or combination ("combi") configuration that will accommodate up to three cargo pallets and 70 passengers on the main deck.
The Navy is purchasing the airplanes using standard commercial practices, and has ordered five of the 737-700C models. A sixth aircraft is in the Defense budget for 2001. The first four aircraft are scheduled to be stationed in Ft. Worth, Texas, with the first to be delivered in early 2001. The fifth and sixth aircraft are scheduled to be stationed in Jacksonville, Fla.