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Marking The End Of An Era, The Final Boeing C-17 Leaves Long Beach

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It was the end of an era at the Long Beach Airport today, as the final Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane departed.

The L.A. Times reports that hundreds of past and present Boeing employees gathered at the aerospace company's assembly facility in Long Beach to partake in a "closing ceremony" of sorts: with the departure of this last C-17, Boeing formally ended production of the plane that was once known as one of the most advanced cargo planes in the world. According to the Times, the C-17 is the last major military or civilian aircraft to be built in California.

During World War II, the plant in Long Beach Long Beach was part of an enormous aircraft manufacturing complex that employed tens of thousands of people who built MD-80 jetliners, Boeing 717s and B-17 bombers. But the decline in such manufacturing after the Cold War has been a blow to the once thriving aerospace industry in Long Beach.

In 2013, Boeing announced that there weren't enough orders to keep the 25-acre Long Beach plant open, and is expected to close by the end of the year, reports ABC-7. The Times writes that Boeing said that it expects to lay off over 700 of its workers in Southern California.

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The plane will be kept in San Antonio before it's delivered to Qatar, reports ABC-7.

If you're into planes, you'll like these videos of the C-17 soaring up, up, and away over Long Beach:

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