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Sunday's Non Sequitur- Go To The Light!

This Is The End Of The Line For The USAF's Most Versatile Cargo Jet

The C-17 has been in production for 25 years, with 279 Globemasters emerging from Boeing's (and once McDonnell Douglas') historic Long Beach factory. Yesterday, the final aircraft had its wings mated to its massive fuselage, ending not just the production run of the C-17, but the 72-year-old plant that produced it.

Although the quad-engine transport found some export success later in its production life – with Canada, Australia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, India, and NATO's heavy lift wing receiving copies – the demand for large transport aircraft has softened as defense budgets around the globe retract. Add in the fact that out-sized cargo transport can be purchased by the hour from commercial vendors, including operators that fly the larger Soviet-designed An-124, and the high operating and sustainment costs of owning the C-17 begin to look like a waste.

When it comes to the USAF, the C-17 may be a victim of its own success. The jet is so effective at its job that more units aren't required to "take up the slack" for the USAF's aging transport fleet.

In many ways, the C-17 was the perfect aircraft for the last 15 years of conflict in the Middle East, with its ability to take large loads into and out of combat zones, even on short and less than perfect runways. But that capability came at the price of high-fuel usage while cruising.



Dead Cherry Tycoon Reportedly Ran One of NYC's Largest Pot Farms

The pot farm owned and operated by Arthur Mondella, the cherry magnate who killed himself on Tuesday, was reportedly among the largest ever discovered in New York City. The New York Times and New York Daily News report that the grow room—located in Dell's Maraschino Cherries Company's basement, behind a hidden door and down a ladder—spanned 2,500 square feet and could harvest up to 1,200 pot plants.

While the involvement of the factory's other employees remains unclear, investigators believe Mondella must have had at least some help setting up the complex operation, which included 120 growing lamps, dozens of strains of marijuana seeds, 50 books on horticulture, and an irrigation system.

"The way you have to set that up, there's got to be plumbers and electricians working off the books who are very sophisticated,and it wasn't Arthur Mondella, as far as we know, that had that kind of skills," a law enforcement official told The New York Times. The same official said the farm was the largest investigators had ever seen in New York.

As for why Mondella would turn an apparently thriving business into a huge drug operation, authorities and his family remain baffled, though officials suspect a link to organized crime.


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