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What Is The Next Generation Strategic Airlifter?  
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2211 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8698 times:

Are there any plans to replace humongous strategic airlifters, namely the C5? I know the C5s are going through a re-engine program and getting modern avionics which will most likely add to the service life of the fleet. But regardless of all the updates and bells and whistles, these planes are some of the oldest in the USAF, and the Pentagon must have some kind of plan in place for a replacement. I personally believe that a tactical airlifter, ala the C17, can't be a suitable replacement for a strategic transport like the C5.
And does Russia have any plans to replace their fleet of AN124s?


Go coogs! \n//
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3418 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8659 times:

C-17 is going to be the last one for a very long time.

User currently offlinetaxpilot From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 99 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8625 times:

The next one will probably be a drone.   

User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8590 times:

Don't look for any new transports for a very long time;


Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15795 posts, RR: 27
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8564 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
But regardless of all the updates and bells and whistles, these planes are some of the oldest in the USAF, and the Pentagon must have some kind of plan in place for a replacement.

Oh the USAF has a plan: take the money and buy fighters instead. They'd be like a kid sent to the corner store for milk and bread but coming back with cookies and soda.

Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
I personally believe that a tactical airlifter, ala the C17, can't be a suitable replacement for a strategic transport like the C5.

The C-17 really straddles the gap between tactical and strategic. Eventually a C-5 replacement will be needed, but that will happen whenever the USAF gets sick of paying to fly them, and that could be a while.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5681 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 8519 times:

This:
http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/253/bwb4xt.jpg

My two cents, my opinion. It won't be ordered tomorrow but when a new gen airlifter is needed I am betting it will be something like this.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 8508 times:

The USAF is working on a airship:
http://images.gizmag.com/gallery_lrg/aeroscraft-complete-2.JPG

This one is a scaled model of what they want to build, but the end goal is that the full sized one will carry 66 tons of cargo. Very promising technology involved here, which could revolutionize the strategic airlift force.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 8365 times:

The C-5 and the AN-124 will be replaced only after their dwindling numbers become so small that the various military missions cannot be filled.

Look for an increase in surface transportation rather than airlift, at a higher cost eventually. The cost of not having the airlift capacity will also make surface transportation more expensive.

When will this expense point be reached? - my guess is that current aircraft will be used through at least 2025.

After that - who knows. Slow airships are a definite possibility.

I'm not sure the US or Russia will be the next nation to build a strategic airlift aircraft. The incentive and high cost factor may come from the commercial community - and the aircraft might be built by being funded by a group of large multi-companies.

If such an aircraft were built by commercial interests - I doubt the US military would be able to persuade the US Congress that developing their own aircraft vs buying an already flying design was cost effective.


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3961 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8247 times:

Explain why airships are a better solution now than 20 or 40 years ago?

The Japanese have a system of sustained low-rate production for some aircraft. Expensive I'm sure, but suppose the C-5 was still in production, wouldn't building one-two new aircraft a year be a good solution?



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1371 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8161 times:

Or maybe a pelican:
http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2002/september/i_pw.html


User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 722 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 8151 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 8):
The Japanese have a system of sustained low-rate production for some aircraft. Expensive I'm sure, but suppose the C-5 was still in production, wouldn't building one-two new aircraft a year be a good solution?

We'd have far too many C-5s even at 1/year. Granted if you go kaizen on the line, perhaps you'd be scrapping the cruddy old ones rather then throwing money at them.

Incidentally the E-2 and C-130 have been in production forever.


User currently offlinea380heavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 267 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8051 times:

I can't see airships that can carry just 65 tons being a replacement for a C5/An-124 sized jet. I can think of at least 3 good reasons straight away. Firstly these jets can already carry over 100 tons of cargo, secondly they are much faster and finally they are much less likely to be affected by poor weather conditions.

I think there is a place for airships in the world of heavy lift and outsized cargo, particularly in the civilian world where speed may not be a prime consideration and where the potentially lower operating costs of an airship over a jet are desirable.

Other plus points would be that an airship doesn't need a runway and may have the potential to land on water and/or gain access to remote areas thereby removing the need for potentially problematic overland transportation of cargo from an airfield.



Flown in:732,733,734,738,742,752,763,772,F27,DC9,MD-11,A300,A332,ATR72,DHC-6,Bell206,C172,Auster,PA-28
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1574 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 7994 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 6):
This one is a scaled model of what they want to build, but the end goal is that the full sized one will carry 66 tons of cargo. Very promising technology involved here, which could revolutionize the strategic airlift force.

There is little to no promising technology here. That specific project is being built by a company that doesn't have the greatest reputation in the LTA industry to begin with. Ultimately, this project, much like the Blue Devil and LEMV, are nothing more than corporate welfare for DOD contractors.

The airship will never be a tactical or strategic device for anyone.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 161 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 7793 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
I personally believe that a tactical airlifter, ala the C17, can't be a suitable replacement for a strategic transport like the C5.

How would you define a strategic vs tactical airlifter? From wikipedia: "Strategic airlift is the use of cargo aircraft to transport materiel, weaponry, or personnel over long distances. Typically, this involves airlifting the required items between two airbases which are not in the same vicinity. This allows commanders to bring items into a combat theater from a point on the other side of the planet, if necessary. Aircraft which perform this role are considered strategic airlifters. This contrasts with tactical airlifters, such as the C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160, which can normally only move supplies within a given theater of operations."

The eight examples listed include the C-17 and several aircraft the C-17 is larger than, such as the IL-76 and C-141.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Eventually a C-5 replacement will be needed,

Why?

I don't have an answer to this question but what specific pieces of cargo can only be carried by the C-5 that cannot be carried by the C-17? As far I know, the answer is the Mk V Seal Boat, an Army bridge layer vehicle, and some space/satellite cargo that is carried by modified C-5Cs. There might be a few more, maybe galaxy5007 and topboom have an answer?

So, based on the few pieces of equipment that only a C-5 can carry, does that justify the cost of a complete C-5 replacement? Or should we keep 10-20 C-5Ms around for the next 50-100 years for the occassional mission that specifically requires a C-5?


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3642 posts, RR: 27
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7768 times:
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at the rate we use to do staging of equipment (months), what's wrong with a lighter than air delivery of oversized stuff.. besides we'll have the F-35 flying protection.

BTW, Kuwait has asked for another C-17, so extend the line another 3 months..


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31132 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7757 times:
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Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 7):
I'm not sure the US or Russia will be the next nation to build a strategic airlift aircraft.

I'd put my money on China, frankly.



Quoting cargotanker (Reply 13):
I don't have an answer to this question but what specific pieces of cargo can only be carried by the C-5 that cannot be carried by the C-17?

A main battle tank comes to mind, but then we sent most of those to the Middle East in 1991 and 2001 via RORO ship, as I recall.



I echo those who believe the C-5M will soldier on for the next couple of decades. Now that the USAF is getting the KC-46, that will provide a fair bit of new lift for standard palletized stuff and assuming we see the 777 Freighter replace the KC-10A down the road, that would be even more.


User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 869 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7629 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
A main battle tank comes to mind, but then we sent most of those to the Middle East in 1991 and 2001 via RORO ship, as I recall.

Huh? The C-17 can carry an Abrams MBT.

And, yes, it is enormously more economical to carry large vehicles via ship than via strategic airlift. You only use something like the C-17 or C-5 to carry large vehicles in a special situation.



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5681 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7597 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 16):
The C-17 can carry an Abrams MBT.

Gotta love it!


Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12673 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7400 times:
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Quoting kanban (Reply 14):
BTW, Kuwait has asked for another C-17, so extend the line another 3 months..

Kuwait? Do you mean Qatar or UAE?



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3642 posts, RR: 27
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7268 times:
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Kuwait
http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...-sell-boeing-c-17-globemaster.aspx


User currently offlineFlyingGoat From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7085 times:

My guess is that it will be a BWB aircraft in about 25-30 years.

Would it be feasible to build a stretched and re-winged C-17 to replace the C-5?


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1828 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 7080 times:

My guess is also a BWB, if not suited for passengers, it will be a great cargo hauler, wide decks, not very long though. 30% more efficient than a tube+wings?

User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6916 times:

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 16):

Huh? The C-17 can carry an Abrams MBT.

FYI, the C-17 can only carry a M1 Abrams MBT with a special waiver. The operational weight limit for loading tracked vehicles across the C-17's ramp is 130,000 lbs. A waiver was granted to allow loading of an M1 Abrams tank weighing up to 135,000 lbs. Boeing and the C-17 project office conducted studies and trials which showed that the ramp would not be adversely affected by a M1 Abrams.

Likewise, the C-5 also operates with a operational waiver as the operational weight limit for loading tracked vehicles across the C-5's ramps is 129,000 lbs.


User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2211 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6870 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):

But can't the C5 carry 2 Abrams tanks?



Go coogs! \n//
User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12673 posts, RR: 46
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6830 times:
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Quoting kanban (Reply 19):
Kuwait
http://www.fool.com/investing/genera....aspx

OK. I was confused by the way you worded it - I read it that Kuwait was getting more C-17s, when they don't have any. A "fleet" of one seems a little odd.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
25 kanban : maybe the C-17 will become the BBJ of the Middle East militaries.. each country will have at least one. so how soon will the Saudi's be ordering?
26 ThePointblank : The Abrams needs special preparation to do it (ammo removed, add on armour and DU plates removed, etc) that would have rendered the tanks not combat
27 Post contains images woodsboy : The brand new IL"476" 76MD-90A can at least replace the C-17 when it is killed in a sad premature death when current orders are filled. The new update
28 Geezer : Something that many people not having a mechanical engineering back ground never seem to think much about when they're talking about "bigger airplanes
29 neutrino : Wow Geezer, that's a loooong and interesting read. Being a technical person, I am aware of the points you made but you put them across so succinctly
30 Geezer : Thank you Neutrino ! If you really want to read a completely fascinating thread about something totally "over my head", be sure to read ..............
31 Post contains images neutrino : It's cornutt. I understand the problem with memory recall with atrophying grey cells of ancient A.netters like us. I have read the posts and am alway
32 BMI727 : That sort of thing is definitely considered. Even the Space Shuttle had it's cargo hold sized especially to carry the latest (at the time) spy satell
33 rfields5421 : I believe a more likely air cargo with physical size limits would be helicopters rather than vehicles.
34 ThePointblank : You can't stuff a M1 Abrams or any Western tank for that matter into a IL-476 because they are all too wide... I believe the Indians have stuffed a T
35 Geezer : What a coincidence you should mention another of my all time favorite airplanes, neutrino !........the Warthog ! (The BIG gun with wings on it !) Whe
36 Post contains images bikerthai : I do have a little insight on the internal structure of the B-2. (Talked to someone who worked it after the program was declassified). Just lets say
37 Post contains images neutrino : Another loooong and interesting read from our resident loads expert. I believe operational BWB or HWB freightlifters/paxliners will be gracing our sk
38 Geezer : Neutrino........That particular Galaxy that I mentioned seeing at Lunken airport............not too long afterward, maybe 6 months or so, was in the
39 Post contains images bikerthai : We are just going to have to breed more adaptable passengers. How are we going to survive space travel if we can't learn how to fly in a BWB? bt
40 Geezer : Oh bt ! (can't stop laughing)........No.1 I have NO plans to do ANY space traveling, and ANY airplane I get on better have a window seat empty, or els
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