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Will We See A Civ C-17 After All?  
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1576 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11204 times:

I had always been under the impression that this is one of those situations where the market voted with the "MD-17", and if there had been enough demand, Boeing would have built it. However, now I see an article at DODBuzz saying that there is renewed talk of a civilian C-17. I think it would be great, but surely has Boeing already done the market research to determine if this is worthwhile?

Link to article: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/01/23/re...tor-presses-for-commercial-c-17s/.

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3621 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11130 times:

I believe the high price of operating a military aircraft, hurt the MD-17 sales. I do not know how they are going get civilan air cargo companies, to buy a MD-17.

User currently offlinetrigged From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11097 times:

I seriously doubt this will happen unless there is a government subsidized program where Boeing sells them at a deeeeeeep discount to the airlines. I do see why Boeing wants the line to stay open though.

User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1576 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 11051 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 1):
I believe the high price of operating a military aircraft, hurt the MD-17 sales. I do not know how they are going get civilan air cargo companies, to buy a MD-17.

That's my thought as well. This seems exactly like the A380 scenario, where Boeing (presumably) did their homework, and decided that the market cannot accomodate a competitor to the for-hire Antonovs and existing 747F variants. Otherwise, they would have continued to offer the MD-17 in some fashion.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7908 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10836 times:

Kinda funny, I googled civilian C-17 and the 2nd hit was this thread from 1998 (didn't even know the forum was around that early) Civilian C-17 (by Winglet Oct 23 1998 in Civil Aviation)

I have my doubts on this one...



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25332 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10776 times:

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 3):
Quoting 747400sp (Reply 1):
I believe the high price of operating a military aircraft, hurt the MD-17 sales. I do not know how they are going get civilan air cargo companies, to buy a MD-17.

That's my thought as well. This seems exactly like the A380 scenario, where Boeing (presumably) did their homework, and decided that the market cannot accomodate a competitor to the for-hire Antonovs and existing 747F variants. Otherwise, they would have continued to offer the MD-17 in some fashion.

An upgraded and more efficient version of the IL-76 is under development. The prototype made its first appearance a month ago. Unfortunately, no orders so far. Both military and civil versions are planned, as for the original IL-76.
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener.../2011/12/23/07.xml&channel=defense


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9641 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10732 times:

The C-17 has strengths that make it great for military operations but horrible for civilian operations.

First off and most importantly is fuel burn. The airplane is a complete fuel hog. For having half the payload, it burns about as much fuel as a 747. The military doesn't care about fuel burn, but the civilian world does.

Secondly, it is not designed for high cycle use. The airplane is intended for 5,000 cycles. A 747 will easily fly 4 times that much over its life time. A 777F or 767F will do even more.

What the C-17 brings is incredible versatility which its primary customers need. It has impressive takeoff and landing performance. It is quick to load and unload. It requires no ground support equipment. It can take odd shaped cargo. It can drop cargo from altitude. It can refuel in air.

All the benefits don't really help in the civilian world. An airline is much better off getting a modern cargo airplane. A 777F is far cheaper and more useful. The only purpose I see for a C-17 would be for a mining company operating into rural airstrips in hazardous environments.

[Edited 2012-01-24 14:52:05]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineCargolex From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1271 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10610 times:

The problem with a consumer C-17 is that it just isn't cost effective to operate a plane like that in conventional freight operations. It's a great military airlifter - but it's tailored so well for that mission that other missions are a hard fit, and the cost of entry is astronomical - as high as buying a 777 Freighter, maybe more.

There are two new programs out there for creating commercial variants of military/defense-minded airlifters, from Embraer and Kawasaki. They may never materialize, but they make much more sense for replacing the IL-76s, aging Hercs, and An-12's of the world than a C-17 ever will.


User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2241 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10607 times:

I agree with the above. Kinda like buying a tank to go pick up groceries. Or a Hummer for that matter. Good for bling and profile in the community but not at all practical. Cargo companies aren't worried about style, they wanna move stuff cheap as possilble. So unless you are flying into an unimproved area and need stuff FAST, any of the older cheaper versions like a Herc will do the job. The only thing left is if you need to fly a piece of heavy equipment in to some area. And how often is that needed, and the exisitng aircraft for charter is fine.

User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10461 times:

Quoting Cargolex (Reply 7):
The problem with a consumer C-17 is that it just isn't cost effective to operate a plane
Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 8):
I agree with the above. Kinda

In hindsight... If something was smart enough to buy a dozen or two BC-17's before or just after 9/11, these A/C would have paid for themselves twice over by now...   



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlineghifty From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10430 times:

I'd imagine there's a very niche market for the BC-17..

Are we talking about freight C-17 or pax C-17? IIRC, there's an old thread on this forum that said the C-5 was intended to be pax transport originally!

Quoting mffoda (Reply 9):
In hindsight... If something was smart enough to buy a dozen or two BC-17's before or just after 9/11, these A/C would have paid for themselves twice over by now...   

Any aircraft would have been dirt cheap. And I doubt they'd have paid for themselves.. you know.. because of the lack of travel post-9/11 that only slightly affected airlines.  



Fly Delta Jets
User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10315 times:

Quoting ghifty (Reply 10):
Any aircraft would have been dirt cheap. And I doubt they'd have paid for themselves.. you know.. because of the lack of travel post-9/11 that only slightly affected airlines.  

I'm talking directly at the Military here. The USAF would have provided more then enough contacts to pay the bills for the fleet in the past 11 years alone never mind the rest of the world... Think about all the civilian contracts regarding the military airlift of oversized cargo over this period supporting the two war zones. And the Geopolitical nonsense that accrued in the past decade. For example: If France could have leased a civilian C-17, and not a Russian equivalent... it would have been way easier to swallow then saying??? Hey we might need some Strategic airlift of our own and maybe buying a few C-17's might be a good idea....



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3031 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10316 times:

Quoting LHCVG (Thread starter):
However, now I see an article at DODBuzz saying that there is renewed talk of a civilian C-17. I think it would be great, but surely has Boeing already done the market research to determine if this is worthwhile?

Link to article: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/01/23/re...17s/.

Let's look at the facts of the article though: a U.S. Senator from Missouri (where Boeing Military has a large presence) who is running for reelection this year and is considered to be extremely vulnerable and easy to beat, is pressing the FAA to certify a civilian version of the C-17 even though from that article it appears that neither Boeing nor any potential civilian customers have asked her to (and notwithstanding the fact that the airplane is built in Long Beach, CA). Smacks of political opportunism. "Look at me! I'm trying to create jobs!"


User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1576 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10241 times:

Quoting mffoda (Reply 11):
Think about all the civilian contracts regarding the military airlift of oversized cargo over this period supporting the two war zones. And the Geopolitical nonsense that accrued in the past decade. For example: If France could have leased a civilian C-17, and not a Russian equivalent... it would have been way easier to swallow then saying??? Hey we might need some Strategic airlift of our own and maybe buying a few C-17's might be a good idea....

I'd guess that USAF lease rates for a C-17 would be MUCH higher than for an IL-76 or Antonov, unless (as mentioned above) there were massive subsidies.


User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10155 times:

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 13):
I'd guess that USAF lease rates for a C-17 would be MUCH higher than for an IL-76 or Antonov, unless (as mentioned above) there were massive subsidies.

I would not look at a traditional lease when comparing special purpose leases in a war zone... You must keep in perspective what these aircraft would have been doing ...And who would have been likely flying them (military contractors, Ex- AF pilots) .

The AF would have paid for and flown the wings off of these Private A/C... As this gives them many opportunities to preserve the existing fleet. Instead they take advantage of additional wartime funding that congress approves for that theater. And, conserve their own long term budget monies to keep the program viable for the long term.



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10119 times:

If the DoD stops blocking ongoing efforts to obtain FAA permission for a civil version of a military C-17 then yes you will see one. The FAA cannot and will not proceed until the DoD gives its blessing and they refuse for reasons that are political. There is a market for a civil C-17 largely due to the fact that the C-17 can operate from short austere runways and many companies worldwide will pay dearly for this ability. There is no aircraft in the world other than the C-17 that can land a large payload on a very short runway.

Also many people do not know this but the ONLY reason the An-124 and IL-76 are allowed into US airspace is because there is no US carrier operating a large enough cargo aircraft. The An-124 & IL-76 operate under emergency exemptions provided by the US DoT due to this problem. There is also another provision of the law called the Fly and Buy America Acts that would preclude their use.

[Edited 2012-01-24 17:28:48]

User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 9989 times:

The DoD cannot “endorse any aircraft type, manufacturer, or operator”. This is what Alan Estevez the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness had to say on behalf of the DoD when asked for their blessing on a civil C-17. Yet just ten days after writing that statement, the DoD was in India with Pres. Obama ‘endorsing’ the sale of 10 Boeing C-17’s to that country.

Mr. Estevez also went on to say that the DoD did not have a need for additional civil airlift like the C-17 even while they continued to charter An-124 and IL-76 aircraft to the tune of over $500 million in FY08 alone.

These are lost jobs that former members of the USAF and others could have in flying and maintaining a civil C-17 aircraft. We will see if Sen. McCaskill will be able to overcome this policy from the DoD.


User currently offlineCargoIT From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 9698 times:

I wonder how many they would have to sell to make it worth certifying and selling a civil version. Most large commercial freighters are used on long routs such as Asia to North America or Europe. Current civilian freighters such as the 74F, 77F and MD10 are probably better for this type of service in almost every respect, range, payload and economy of operation. The would leave the C-17 with missions like carrying large heavy things to places that can't accommodate one of the aircraft mentioned above. There is already a small fleet of civil AN-124s that are used for this type of missions. Does anyone know how many AN-124s are in civil service? My guess is about a dozen.

User currently onlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4397 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 9602 times:

Quoting mffoda (Reply 9):
In hindsight... If something was smart enough to buy a dozen or two BC-17's before or just after 9/11, these A/C would have paid for themselves twice over by now...

They would have cost many billions more than the usage of cheap leased capacity.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 13):
I'd guess that USAF lease rates for a C-17 would be MUCH higher than for an IL-76 or Antonov, unless (as mentioned above) there were massive subsidies.

And 5 times those of a 744BCF...

with the wars in Afganistan and Irak getting more local and reduced western involvement there is a lot of free capacity on the market now, I don not think that for any private operator it makes sense from point of purchase costs and operation costs. Unless the budget forces the USAF to sell some used C17...


User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks ago) and read 9285 times:

For planes which aren't likely to be needed 24/7, it would be a very expensive investment for a civilian operator, when AN124s seem to do the job already, and while not as good, are a lot cheaper.


it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7498 times:

The USAF commissioned a study about ten years ago which showed a market size of approximately $2.5 billion per year using 10 BC-17 aircraft. Boeing considers a market size of at least 30 B-17 aircraft to be a safe estimate. I have seen a copy of that USAF report and it was very detailed and consise.

What I notice is that people keep comparing these aircraft with the 747 or even the An-124. They are not in the same market. If you can carry a large generator in the C-17 that will not fit in a 747 or An-124 halfway across the planet and land it on a 4,000 foot runway - what is that worth? The only other option is to ship it over the ocean and truck it to the site. This can take many weeks. In the meantime, work is stopped costing the contractor many millions of dollars in lost revenue. The USAF report showed that a C-17 could save a contractor many hundred of millions of dollars and in one case $3 billion on a pipeline contract.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6978 times:

Quoting CargoIT (Reply 17):
Does anyone know how many AN-124s are in civil service? My guess is about a dozen.

28 plus 10 orders, which should be more than sufficient. These sorts of planes are used only when needed and as such see lower utilization. As is common in low utilization operations, purchase price becomes a more important concern which likely kills the business case for the BC-17.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4672 times:

Quoting ghifty (Reply 10):
Are we talking about freight C-17 or pax C-17? IIRC, there's an old thread on this forum that said the C-5 was intended to be pax transport originally!

I am not 100% sure about it being designed as a pax transport, but I think I heard that too. However they did plan the C-5 called the Lockheed L-500 I believe to be a civilian cargo carrier, they have a model of one in Air Canada colors at the Lockheed Museum by Dobbins AFB. Something about the government did not allow Lockheed to market it as a civilian carrier, that's what the guy at the museum told me - not sure how the government would have had a say.

Quoting Humanitarian (Reply 20):
. Boeing considers a market size of at least 30 B-17 aircraft to be a safe estimate. I have seen a copy of that USAF report and it was very detailed and consise.

A WWII 4 engine bomber? I am sure you meant C-17 also

However thinking along those lines - look at all the retired military planes that later became civilian. B-17s, P-3s, S-2s,.P-2s and other military aircraft going to civilian forest fighting companies. Most of the DC-3s that flew for the airlines were built as C-47s, C-54s flew as DC-4s, even OH-58s flying for Sheriff Department helicopters, some C-130s being turned over to civilians after military retires them. There were some A-26s, B-25s that became corporate aircraft in the 1960s.

I could see the Air Force maybe in the future start selling some of its oldest C-17s off to civilian hands. I don't really see too many US customers though unless they can get them for cheap.

I think the best future purpose of a C-17 could be a forest fighting plane, with some contractors of Dept of Forestry picking a couple up.


User currently offlinescouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4610 times:

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 22):
I am not 100% sure about it being designed as a pax transport, but I think I heard that too. However they did plan the C-5 called the Lockheed L-500 I believe to be a civilian cargo carrier, they have a model of one in Air Canada colors at the Lockheed Museum by Dobbins AFB. Something about the government did not allow Lockheed to market it as a civilian carrier, that's what the guy at the museum told me - not sure how the government would have had a say

There's also the similar story that Boeing's competitor for the C-5 competition was the starting point for the 747 design and without that competition B might not have done the research to get such a large plane to work.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4390 times:

Quoting scouseflyer (Reply 23):
There's also the similar story that Boeing's competitor for the C-5 competition was the starting point for the 747 design

A story which is emphatically denied by none other than the original 747's chief engineer. The 747 and Boeing C-5 competitor were parallel, not serial, projects. The only thing they shared was size and engines.

Tom.


25 kanban : So since the US Government is hard up for funds, why not wet lease/rent C-17s (crews in civies) to whom ever needs them for humanitarian or other non
26 BMI727 : I would tend to doubt that they could compete with commercial operators flying Antonovs and Ilyushins. Of course they would also rack up that many mo
27 fx1816 : Yeah I wouldn't worry about that given how young the C17s actually are, they have a few decades left in them. Look how long C141s were around and how
28 kanban : I was mainly thinking of those instances alluded to by others where the Russian a/c were either not capable or not available. It would be great Publi
29 BMI727 : Don't they already do that, hence the whale thing? And the military is already uses the planes for a lot of humanitarian type things too.
30 kanban : They do and that's my point.. keep the old ones busy but still in the Air Force since I doubt and commercial carrier would buy one new or used (well
31 Post contains links and images sonic67 : This is the closest thing to a civilian C-17. Wile it is Still a Military aircraft it's shuttles a lot of diplomatic and humanitarian supplies on a re
32 ghifty : IIRC, many USAF C-17's are used for those purposes as well. My best friend's dad flies the C-17, and I think he does many of these kind of missions.
33 BMI727 : They are. You can count on seeing at least one whenever a higher level official comes to town.
34 Bluewave 707 : I saw a BC-17 mobile in current UPS colors at a UPS store a couple of years ago ... Didn't Boeing have artist renditions of FedEx BC-17s at one time?
35 ckfred : When Boeing developed the C-135/KC-135, the plan was to develop a passenger jet from the initial design. That was the 707. Lockheed never designed its
36 Post contains links mayor : I know Wiki isn't always the most reliable source, but I have read this elsewhere....................... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-5_Galaxy#L-50
37 Post contains links Stitch : Lockheed did indeed market civilian versions of their military air lifters. While the L-500 and L-300 did not go anywhere, Lockheed did build over 100
38 SEPilot : And they didn't even share the engines, according to what I read. First, the C5 was quite a bit slower than the 747, and the C5 engines were designed
39 BMI727 : The PW engines the 747 ended up using lost the competition to power the C-5.
40 Humanitarian : The C-17's in Qatar are also used to carry the camels and race horses for that countries leader. According to knowledgeable sources the C-17's that ar
41 SEPilot : As I understood it, the GE engines on the C-5 were designed for lower speed than the 747 flew at, and had to be redesigned before it could be used on
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