They call these “Globemasters” not because of fuel efficiency, but because at the time the original was created in 1942 it was the largest landplane to enter production. It was able to carry 125 soldiers, or 21, 840 kg over a range of 5,500 km. Today the Globemaster can carry 77,519 kg of cargo over the same range. They can also drop 102 paratroppers or two attack Stryker vehicles from the air.

On March 26th, 2003, fifteen USAF Globemasters participated in the biggest combat airdrop since the US invasion of Panama in December of 1989. The night-time airdrop of 1,000 paratroopers from the occurred over Bashur in Iraq. It opened the northern front to combat operations and constituted the largest formation airdrop carried out by the United States since World War II.

Each morning I wake up to the sound of empire. Cargo jets and fighter jets. Cargo jets and fighter jets. It’s like counting sheep.

Two at a time, the sleek ones screech through the sky making a tie-fighter sound directly over my apartment several times a day.

Then, drudging along, come the bulky cargo planes, spewing petrol across the sky, each one costing millions of dollars upon take off. Eleven per hour. While the USAF’s total fleet of Globemasters is 190, it seems as though one third of them fly around my house each day.