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The Boeing C-17 As A Civilian Cargo Jet?  
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7204 posts, RR: 17
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14312 times:

I saw a photo of a "prototype" in a book when I was younger of the C-17 acting as the "Boeing B-17'" or something along those lines as a civil carrier.


This may have been discussed previously but I couldn't find anything recent on it, but what's the likelyhood of this happening? We already have a few of these in QR liveries, and the Antonov cousins have been doing well for Polet, etc.,

We also saw recently when one of those landed on the wrong Tampa Runways that it could be an efficient lifter for odd airports needing lots of cargo.

I have some advantages and disadvantages that I thought of:
1) lots of space and capacity, and easy ro-ro capabilities,
2) Shorter runway length requirements and is (apparently? IIRC) efficient in the skies

Disadvantages:
HUGE. difficult to store, lots of separation needed behind it, etc etc etc.


Thoughts?


One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinespiritair97 From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 1231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14288 times:

You never know. I bet that, if somebody asked Boeing for one, they'd make it. They'd probably have to make some modsto make it into a civilian aircraft, but anythings possible.

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14273 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):

I saw a photo of a "prototype" in a book when I was younger of the C-17 acting as the "Boeing B-17'" or something along those lines as a civil carrier.

The C-17 was offered to civilian customers first as the McDonnell Douglas MD-17 and then the Boeing BC-17X, however there was no interest.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
This may have been discussed previously but I couldn't find anything recent on it, but what's the likelyhood of this happening?

Basically zero.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
1) lots of space and capacity, and easy ro-ro capabilities,

There are enough IL-76 and AN-124s out there for charter if that's needed.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
2) Shorter runway length requirements and is (apparently? IIRC) efficient in the skies

It's not that big of a problem, and again, there are other options out there.

The C-17 is just too expensive to be viable for civilian use both in terms of purchase and maintenance costs.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5105 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14265 times:

Uneconomical, filled with capabilities not needed in commercial cargo activities, McD tried to market it for civilian use and got zero interest, so, no, it isn't going to happen.

Other countries' militaries should really want this aircraft because it's amazingly-capable. But not for civilian use.


User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1542 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14177 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
I have some advantages and disadvantages that I thought of:
1) lots of space and capacity, and easy ro-ro capabilities,
2) Shorter runway length requirements and is (apparently? IIRC) efficient in the skies

Disadvantages:
HUGE. difficult to store, lots of separation needed behind it, etc etc etc.

There's a good bit of previous discussion on this, pretty much all of it boiling down to being expensive and impractical for commercial use. MD even offered the MD-17 on paper for a while. FWIW, there also was a recent thread about restarting AN-124 production, but it too faces the same hurdles:

-fitting a niche market in both payload weight and volume
-sky-high operating costs that get passed down as exhorbitant usage rates for customers
-the vast majority of commercial cargo simply doesn't require it's attendant militarized capabilities like STOL and not necessarily requiring external lifts or ramps to load and unload cargo.
-range w/ max payload isn't too great without inflight refueling (again, something the military can deal with but is impractical commercially)

So all told, there's little use other than the niche customer already flying it for a specific purpose (I believe something to do with the royal horses but I can't remember for sure). That's not to say you couldn't possibly buy a few, but as a serial production civilian plane, the likelihood is pretty low.

Edit: sorry for the redundant comments - my browser was taking a while.

[Edited 2012-08-06 10:57:18]

User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9496 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14189 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):

Disadvantages:
HUGE. difficult to store, lots of separation needed behind it, etc etc etc.

BIGGEST disadvantage is that the C-17 is a fuel guzzler. The military does not rank fuel efficiency very high. As long as it has the range and on station capability the amount of fuel burned doesn’t really matter since fuel is such a small portion of the Air Force budget compared to being more than 50% at an airline. That kills any chances of anyone trying to make a profit flying cargo with a C-17. Unless you are carrying very obtuse things, a 767F or 777F is far better. A 777F is relatively close to the C-17 in Fuel burn, but beats it handedly in cargo payload. A 767F is about 50% more fuel efficient.

The second problem is that it isn’t certified for commercial operations. Operating for a commercial venture would require it to meet the FARs for civilian aircraft, which it does not.

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):

This may have been discussed previously but I couldn't find anything recent on it, but what's the likelyhood of this happening? We already have a few of these in QR liveries, and the Antonov cousins have been doing well for Polet, etc.,

The C-17 painted in Qatar livery have more to do with the way Qatar Airways and the government of Qatar are linked than with airline cargo operations.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7204 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14176 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
There are enough IL-76 and AN-124s out there for charter if that's needed.

Ah That is true. I recall an An-124 regularly flying to AZA for parts for helicopters.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
The C-17 was offered to civilian customers first as the McDonnell Douglas MD-17 and then the Boeing BC-17X, however there was no interest.

Ah that's what I meant, thank you. No orders, nothing?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
It's not that big of a problem, and again, there are other options out there.

That was listed as an advantage, the short rwy

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
The C-17 is just too expensive to be viable for civilian use both in terms of purchase and maintenance costs.

That's another disadvantage i didn't list there



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14154 times:

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 3):
Other countries' militaries should really want this aircraft because it's amazingly-capable.

Countries that need it. The US is one of only a handful of countries that really needs to be able to airlift large amounts of men and material around the world. A lot of countries whose militaries are not large and do not have global reach simply don't need that much airlift capability and can use civilian or allies' aircraft as needed and focus their own resources on smaller tactical transports, among which the C-17 is a large and expensive option.

The C-17 is already flown by the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Qatar, UAE, and India will in the future. As much as I like the plane I'd struggle to think of more customers who would really need a plane like the C-17. Not to mention that NATO has their multinational heavy airlift wing that members can use if necessary.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9496 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 13958 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):

The C-17 is already flown by the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Qatar, UAE, and India will in the future. As much as I like the plane I'd struggle to think of more customers who would really need a plane like the C-17. Not to mention that NATO has their multinational heavy airlift wing that members can use if necessary.

The A400M is a smaller, more economical transport which was promised to be cheaper and lower cost than the C-17, although that program does have its problems.



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, 1259 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 13892 times:

Boeing shopped this around, and had there been any takers, they'd have sold as many as they could.

It's a great military airlifter - but alot of the things that you need in a military airlifter are not so hot for hauling around civilian cargo unless it's specialized heavylift stuff. It's a heavy plane for what it is, and it guzzles fuel. Unless you really needed something like this, you would not choose it purely for those reasons.

But if you did need that kind of lift - chartering an IL-76, or even acquiring one in places where you can - is a FAR cheaper alternative. The C-17 in civvies would be about as expensive as a 777 freighter to buy and VASTLY more expensive to run - not a plane to be purchased without a real material plan to use it.


User currently offlineNASCARAirforce From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3178 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 13682 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
I saw a photo of a "prototype" in a book when I was younger of the C-17 acting as the "Boeing B-17'" or something along those lines as a civil carrier.

This is and will always and only be the one and only Boeing B-17



http://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/b-17/images/na_b-17_06.jpg


User currently offlineKDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 13653 times:

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 10):
This is and will always and only be the one and only Boeing B-17

Amen. Truly sacred.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30565 posts, RR: 84
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 13530 times:
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Quoting PHX787 (Thread starter):
I saw a photo of a "prototype" in a book when I was younger of the C-17 acting as the "Boeing B-17'" or something along those lines as a civil carrier.

McDonnell-Douglas shopped it as the MD-17 and when it became a Boeing product, it was marketed as the BC-17X.



User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1811 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 13427 times:

Would it be able to haul GE90 engines? It wont need a cargo ramp or other expensive ground support equipment either.

Even small Sweden uses the C17, we are a part of the pool of 3 frames. Those I have talked to can only say good things about it.

But it is too specialized to be a 748F..


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 13370 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 6):
No orders, nothing?

Not even close from everything I've seen. Maybe a rendering here or there in a brochure, but that's about as close as it ever got.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 8):
The A400M is a smaller, more economical transport which was promised to be cheaper and lower cost than the C-17, although that program does have its problems

It is, and that's why it appeals to European countries and others as well. Nations that need to haul planeloads of heavy equipment long distances just aren't that numerous, although it is a vital capability for those countries that require it.

Quoting sweair (Reply 13):
Even small Sweden uses the C17, we are a part of the pool of 3 frames. Those I have talked to can only say good things about it.

You mean the NATO Strategic Airlift Capability? It makes sense for them since Sweden isn't going to have to haul large amounts of equipment across the world enough to justify owning planes themselves. Strategic airlifters are probably always going to be a fairly limited market, and the sales of the C-17 kind of shows that even though it somewhat straddles the line between strategic and tactical transports.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12890 posts, RR: 100
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 13314 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 13):
Would it be able to haul GE90 engines? It wont need a cargo ramp or other expensive ground support equipment either.

Its too expensive waiting for one type of plane to ship an engine. The GE-90 has a removable fan that allows shipping the engine in several large freighters: 747F, 777F, and MD-11F.
http://www.agsecorp.com/print.php?catid=683&id=117

Yes, an AN-124 is even better for hauling large engines, they can do so assembled. However, no one will be able to sell an engine that requires more than a 747 to ship and there is a HUGE concern by airlines if the 777F and MD-11F are excluded. There will never be a need for a dedicated freighter for an engine as one design requirement will always be the shipment of spares.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4384 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 13294 times:

It is far to expensive and far to ineffiecent fuel wise. A rather heavy bird for rough tasks. When Germany wanted to buy a few of them many years ago, the price was already 1 bio $ per aircraft - you get 3-4 A380 for this.

There may be very very special tasks that aircraft like the A33F or B77F cannot do and are done currently by Antonov - this does not justify the costs of a civil certification - so better Boeing leaves this little niche to Antonov.


User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13232 times:

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 16):
1 bio $ per aircraft

How much money is this? Sorry, but that didn't make sense to me.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1542 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13167 times:

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 16):
the price was already 1 bio $ per aircraft - you get 3-4 A380 for this.

I think he means $1 billion, as that roughly equate to 3-4 A380's. I can't speak to that price myself, but I think that's the number being quoted.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1811 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13147 times:

Hang two 80K modern engines on it  

The Antonovs will get older and older..

1 bn a piece? I find that hard to believe really.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30565 posts, RR: 84
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13061 times:
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Quoting Burkhard (Reply 16):
When Germany wanted to buy a few of them many years ago, the price was already 1 bio $ per aircraft - you get 3-4 A380 for this.


Germany needs better negotiators.  

India is paying $178 million an airframe, plus another $38 million per set of 4 F117 engines. The entire contract for the 10 C-17s is some $4 billion, but that includes over $1.5 billion in "Government Furnished Equipment" and support contracts.

[Edited 2012-08-06 15:25:43]

User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6530 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 13010 times:

May have been the lifetime cost or something like that.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30565 posts, RR: 84
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 12994 times:
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Quoting Aesma (Reply 21):
May have been the lifetime cost or something like that.

Perhaps. The support contracts are expensive (the latest USAF one was almost a half-billion).

But then A380s are not free to operate, so when you factor in their lifetime costs, you're not going to get 3-4 of them for a billion USD, Burkhard.  


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12890 posts, RR: 100
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12795 times:
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Quoting Burkhard (Reply 16):
There may be very very special tasks that aircraft like the A33F or B77F cannot do and are done currently by Antonov - this does not justify the costs of a civil certification - so better Boeing leaves this little niche to Antonov.

  

Except the C-17 will be so expensive that one has to include a task that the 748F could not perform either.

It also has to be a task where the USAF won't offer a C-5A or C-17 on an emergency/public relations basis.

Quoting sweair (Reply 19):
The Antonovs will get older and older..

Then shippers will have to become more clever to package into other aircraft. Antonov has the parts to make a small number more.


Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineHumanitarian From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12777 times:

The right to sell the C-17 belongs to the DoD and they do not want civilians operating this aircraft. At one time the USAF was on board but the air tanker scandal and WTO fight between Boeing and Airbus put an end to that. More recent attempts have been made but the DoD has blocked the effort.

25 Post contains links lightsaber : I'd like a source. Right now the C-17 production is being ramped to ZERO. The DoD would love for the line to be kept open until their is a justificat
26 GentFromAlaska : Ten years ago I flew C-17 from Hickam AFB at HNL to Travis AFB Cali. If I understood correctly the airframe was designed for the US Air Force to be a
27 FX1816 : This isn't a problem with a civilian C-17 at all. The C-17 is a "heavy" aircraft and would fall into the same separation standards as a 767, 747, 777
28 Flyer732 : World Airways was actually in talks to operate the C-17 for the US Military quite a few years ago. World would have been the commercial launch custome
29 HarleyDriver : Not if it was 10 years ago when you were on the C-17. Stewart is just now finishing the transition from the C-5A to the C-17. If it was a NY ANG crew
30 Humanitarian : Below is what Alan Estevez the Principal Deputy in the Office of Logistics and Materiel Readiness had to say on the subject in Oct 2010. The letter t
31 Aesma : I hadn't thought of that, it's interesting. Surely a plane paid for by the taxpayer being sold commercially would raise some eyebrows.
32 BMI727 : Undoubtedly certain parts would have to be purged for civilian sales, but I'm pretty sure DoD would welcome spreading the costs around a bit more. Is
33 Post contains images CiC : Nice example, SILA operated one or two B-17 after WW2, as interim before getting the Stratocruisers... but in 1946 they merged with DDL and DNL to SA
34 PanHAM : I doubt the price tag of 1 billion per copy. The costs have been running away mainly because politicians are holding up the development, reducing the
35 Post contains images lightsaber : These are not JSF's with a whole host of classified equipment. There are countermeasures and avionics. And that ends the business case. Otherwise the
36 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : For $1B USD Germany can get just over 3 C-17ERs with all of the add on packages. They do not get the add on packages if the ordered the A-380 as the
37 PanHAM : They are actually VIP transport, together with 2 A319CRJ and 4 Gulfstreaqms Cargo, Medevac and troop transports are carried out by A310s
38 Humanitarian : Incorrect -- As of late 2010 it is a written fact the DoD and even Boeing are against selling a civilian version. Incorrect -- According to a ten yea
39 93Sierra : Yet another thread on a much discussed already subject in multiple forums. Phx787 learn to use the search function, you have done this multiple times.
40 Post contains images LHCVG :
41 Aesma : But if commercial companies want to buy/pay for stuff for their countries, it's no trouble (I would argue they didn't pay anything or they would cert
42 mayor : But even our L-100s (DL) weren't really the best for the kind of cargo we were carrying. While every other legacy carrier was using 727s, 707s or DC-
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