Starlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16375 posts, RR: 66 Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2007 times:
Dtwclipper is probably right about the unlikelyhood of an Airbus tanker for the USAF, but it was seriously considered, and may be again if the USAF reopens the competition.
It would have been mainly built in the US, so the whole "domestic jobs" argument was out of the window. IIRC this would have been cheaper than the 767 tanker. Also, there were quite a few mishaps in the procurement process, with allegations of the USAF being unfairly biased towards the 767, and one of the procurement officers subsequently getting a high-paying job at Boeing.
MD80Nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 876 posts, RR: 9 Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1960 times:
An interesting website. If the KC330 can be produced, as they claim, with more than 50% American content, assembled here and at a competitive price with the KC767, then it should be seriously considered.
Ultimately, it's about providing the US Armed Forces with the best, most capable solution and give the US taxpayer the best value. I know politics will always be a factor, but I think there should be an open competition and if the KC330 is deemed better, then it should be selected.
Echster From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 398 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1904 times:
I don't think it's a question of which aircraft is the better performer as a tanker...IMHO the A330 is more capable (hard to say for a Boeing fan). It gets more fuel and cargo to the fight than a B767 would.
I guess one of the main issues with the A330 vs. the B767 is the US Air Force's infrastructure is mostly set up for the KC-135. If they decided on the A330, they would have to re-invest in hangars, taxiways, parking ramps, etc. because the wingspan of the A330 is so much larger than the present aircraft and the B767 (197 feet vs. 170 feet).
MD80Nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 876 posts, RR: 9 Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1819 times:
I don't think the infrastructure concerns are very big. The KC330 may be bigger than the KC135 and KC767, but not by enough to require wider taxiways. The USAF already regularly operates fairly large aircraft like the C-17, B-52, B-2 and C-5, some which take up more space that an A330. Some new hangars may be needed, but for the most part I think most US military airbases will be able to handle it without too many, if any, modifications.
Also, since the KC330 will have a substantially greater fuel and cargo capacity, fewer aircraft will be required than before with the KC135. So existing parking areas shouldn't be taxed by the change to fewer, larger aircraft.