Originally Posted by hookem
I think I've seen these types of planes taking off in San Antonio several times, and they always look that way. They have a very shallow, slow climb. Very impressive to look at with how big they are and how slow they appear to be moving. When they turn, it looks like they are about to stall right out of the air.
They appear slow because they are slow. Just about all "short takeoff and landing" planes are that way.
C-17 Globemaster III is designed to operate from runways as short as 3,500 ft (1,064 m) and as narrow as 90 ft (27 m). In addition, the C-17 can operate from unpaved, unimproved runways (although with greater chance of damage to the aircraft). Minimum speed is 115 knots (132 mph)
For comparison sakes, The max flap speed of a 737-800 jetliner is 250 knots for 1 and 5 setting and the minimum clean flap setting is 210 knots.
Environmental conditions; altitude, temperature, wind speed and direction, and weight of the aircraft; can effect both landing speed and distance.