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777 As A Tanker?  
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5564 posts, RR: 37
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5909 times:

Let's try it again and I ask all posters to stay with aviation facts.
There was a discussion about the new tanker for the US Air Force (in a deleted thread because of stupid racism and nationalism). Either the 767 or 330.
But the 777-200 was never mentioned. Would it be too big and too heavy? I could see it as a good solution.

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5860 times:

Waaaaaaaaaaay too big, in terms of ramp sace especially.

Part of the case against the KC330 is that it takes up too much ramp space.

N


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5564 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5834 times:

Waaaaaaaaaaay too big, in terms of ramp sace especially.

Do they not have DC-10 (KC-10) tankers? They are not much smaller than the 777-200.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5810 times:

A 10 meter difference in wingspan is a lot, actually.

N


User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 5757 times:

Not unless the folding wing tip proposal is brought back to the table. Something which the military is very familiar with.

User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5564 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 5678 times:

A 10 meter difference in wingspan is a lot, actually.

The wingspan of the 772 is 60.93 meters, the span of the 332 is 60.30 meters (not a big difference, two feet). In this case the 330 would be too big to.


User currently offlineAmy From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 1150 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 5666 times:

With the current models available I would guess that the 767-300/ER would make the best tanker.

Chances of a 787 tanker? It seems the 78 would have the right dimensions etc.



A340-300 - slow, but awesome!
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5564 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 5635 times:

Yes Amy you are right. The 767 would probably have the right size. But the problem is (discussed in the deleted thread) that Boeing might not be able to keep open the 767 line till the Air Force decides. The 787 as a tanker is out of question (Boeing) because it is a real civil aircraft and it would not be possible to make a tanker out of it, because of its design.

User currently onlineFriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4091 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 5626 times:

Boeing has already said the 787 could not work as a tanker because it is too engineered toward civilian use. The 762 is the perfect tanker platform, once all the political crap is taken care of, the USAF will have a hefty fleet of them.

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 5545 times:

With the current models available I would guess that the 767-300/ER would make the best tanker.

The 767-200ER is the version being offered as a tanker.

N


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 5508 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD DATABASE EDITOR



The 787 as a tanker is out of question (Boeing) because it is a real civil aircraft and it would not be possible to make a tanker out of it, because of its design.


Could you explain why?


2H4





Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5564 posts, RR: 37
Reply 11, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5463 times:

2H4: I can't explain. But this was what Boeing said. I unfortunately don't know if it was in a newspaper or on TV or even on the home-page. They said, like FriendlySkies posted already, that the whole frame and layout of the 787 was so sophisticated and made for passenger transport, that it would not possible to convert it to a tanker.

User currently offlineKhenleyDIA From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5420 times:

As someone who just loves planes, it would be cool to see a 777 with its wingtips folded and equipped with a fueling boom. It may not be practical in most ways, but it would been sweet to look at. It will be interesting in the future to see what they replace the KC-10s with though.

It would be unfortunate for Boeing to lose the tanker deal just due to canceling the 767. If it loses the contract to Airbus for other reasons, then so be it.

As to the 787 not being an option for a tanker, I wonder specifically why it can't be. It is due to being mostly composite?? Any Boeing workers out there know? Does that mean it also wouldn't be able to become a cargo plane?



Why sit at home and do nothing when you can travel the world.
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5397 times:

The wingspan of the 772 is 60.93 meters, the span of the 332 is 60.30 meters (not a big difference, two feet). In this case the 330 would be too big to.

Yes, though realize the comparison was between the span of a D10 and a 772


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5564 posts, RR: 37
Reply 14, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5357 times:

Yes, though realize the comparison was between the span of a DC 10 and a 772

Yes it was a comparison between the DC 10 and the 777. But the actual tanker discussion is about, if the Air Force would buy the 767 or the 330 as a new tanker. I brought up the 777 because it is not much bigger than the DC 10 (besides the span). Somebody then said the 777 would be too big because of the wing span. I then concluded, that in this case the 330 also would be too big because it has almost the same span as the 777.


User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5341 times:

The tanker also has a light cargo requirement, a modification in design that would be required for the 777. Good idea due to range, but the money has already been spent on the 767 version.

User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5250 times:

2H4: I'll try to explain why. It is because 787's composite structure is tailored to fit a civialian profile, it is not just an AL-Li type materials that is from an outside contrator which they shaped it into place then welded together. This stuff was crafted from the very begining, made especially for 787 -- which makes is damn ass expensive! Making a 'KC-787" would literally require a complete redesign, costing billions more than need be.

I should also say that only current technology cannot allow for a 787-tanker, unless you had the money and the time. Composite structures are mainly used nowadays for the purposes of lightening the weigh and increasing compresive/tensile allowable stresses. Perhaps there are ways of easy fabrication or 'cookie cutting' like with traditional materials but that the process may take too long or is too expensive in the long run. Most people even on this forum forget to take time into account of every aspect of a project/situation.

Only time.  Big grin



The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 915 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4959 times:

I'll try to explain why. It is because 787's composite structure is tailored to fit a civialian profile, it is not just an AL-Li type materials that is from an outside contrator which they shaped it into place then welded together. This stuff was crafted from the very begining, made especially for 787 -- which makes is damn ass expensive!

Personally.... I don't buy that.

The 787 fusleage is created as a seamless barrel, and then water jets are used to cut out windows are door locations. Structurally, what's the difference between a row of massive windows and skylights, and a fairing for specialized equippment?

Second, Boeing is touting how flexible 787 production will be. Via the miracles of composite technology, Boeing can selectivly thin 787-3 structures to allow for an economical regional and long-haul aircraft. Boeing can produce two fuselages, two wingboxes, and two wings on a single production line and not cut a hole for a tanking boom?

By the same logic that the 787-3 can be offered, albiet not 100% optimized for its niche, Boeing should be able to offer a 787-8 tanker. I suspect the reason why Boeing cannot offer a 787 tanker is due to the current boom design being incompatible with the 787's systems. They've already invested in the KC-767... they want a return on those dollars.


User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4912 times:

By the same logic that the 787-3 can be offered, albiet not 100% optimized for its niche, Boeing should be able to offer a 787-8 tanker. I suspect the reason why Boeing cannot offer a 787 tanker is due to the current boom design being incompatible with the 787's systems. They've already invested in the KC-767... they want a return on those dollars.

Boeing has repeated stated that the 767s in current service provide worldwide support supplies to the KC-767. On top of that, it is a proven airframe with no bugs to fix. The 787, like all aircraft will have bugs here and there to be sorted out, and by the way the 787's are selling I seriously doubt Boeing would want the AF to buy the 787 because:

1.the current boom designed is not suitable for the 787 (as stated).
2.The 767 is a proven design and spares are easy to find, along with rated mechanics and pilots.
3.767s will be offered earlier i.e this year for delivery compared to a 2010 787T debut.
4.Money spent on the KC-767 will be all but wasted.



Now you're really flying
User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 2 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4858 times:

The 787 as a tanker is out of question (Boeing) because it is a real civil aircraft and it would not be possible to make a tanker out of it, because of its design.

What a load of crap. Just what was the 767 designed for in the first place?! Civil aviation. All that is needed is a reengineering for freighter/tanker duties. It's all politics.


User currently offlineStrudders From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4795 times:

The 777 would not be a good choice

Again we all seem to be looking at this the wrong way.

The reason why the 767 is being offered by B and chosen by DOD is that the plane offers best performance over cost over reliability over availability.

The 777 would be nice but expensive,(would you like all your assets in the air for 30 hours at a time? Given the load a 777 could carry and the distance it could fly, then crew fatigue would be an issue as well as asset placement)

The 787

Would you opt for an untried aircraft, leading edge technology designed for optimum cruising altitudes and speeds, doing 315 knots in a race track? No.

The 767 and to a lesser degree 330 are tried tested aircraft of excellent design, built in sufficient numbers and excellent safety records. They are cheap, rugged, and have range. But most important they will offer the cheapest per cent per gallon in flight refuel cost of all the aircraft in the market place today.

Just my MHO

Very Best Regards

Struds


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7210 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4794 times:


There have been a load of responses recently which basicly follow the logic that the USAF should buy the KC767 to replace the KC135. The reasoning being that the KC767 is closer is size to the KC135 than the KC330.

If we had followed this requirement in 1969, who would have bought the B747.

It seems to me that we should start from what the USAF needs rather than assume that the requirement is for another KC135.

Furthermore, ultimately the USAF needs to replace the KC135, and will require more than 100 aircraft. Has anyone considered how you will replace the rest of the fleet. Given that at the present pace, the first 100 will not be in the air prior to 2010, will the B767 still be available.



User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 915 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4764 times:

Would you opt for an untried aircraft, leading edge technology designed for optimum cruising altitudes and speeds, doing 315 knots in a race track? No.

You mean like exactly like the KC-135 was when it first entered service?

On top of that, it is a proven airframe with no bugs to fix

Yeah, the DoD has never had aircraft with "bugs" before... if only military projects had to answer to the demands of commercial projects  Big grin



They are cheap, rugged, and have range

In terms of technology and performance per dollar, the 787 owns both airframes. It cost no more than the 767.


User currently offlineChdmcmanus From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 374 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4697 times:

As it was explained to me the last time I ask a Boeing guy, the compatibility issue with the 7E7 (787 or whatever it is at the moment) is twofold: 1) fuel storage. Both the KC10 and KC135 use bladder cells in the fuselage to increase the available fuel for offload. This is well suited to the current semimonocoque method of construction, with cells tied (literally) to stringers and secured with hardware to ringers. The tanks are segmented and connected via a manifold and ejector system forming a series "cells". These cells perform 2 functions; isolating overall fuel weight to specific areas to manage zone-load requirements, and minimizing fuel "slosh". For whatever unexplained reason, the composite structure of the next gen Boeings are not suited for bladder cells, which effectively limits the aircraft to fuel available in the wings. 2) It is predicted that much harsher operating environments and flight regimes that tankers operate in would significantly reduce the operational life of a wholly composite structure, while making field repairs exceptionally difficult.
Personally, I have never heard anything about an incompatibility with the boom. Unless you are referring to a structural issue with mounting, the boom doesn't have to be compatible with anything except the receiver, and as the current rumor mill has it, it will be a new boom anyway, as has been the case with ALL previous tankers, each one has had it's own boom design.

As far as the 777 goes, remember, the AF is trying to replace an asset, not build a new one. Otherwise, they would have bought 200 KC-10's when they were available. The biggest gas station in the world does nobody any good if it only has 1 pump.

ChD



"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (9 years 2 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4654 times:

I have read several reasons why the 787 isn't really suited to a tanker environment. One major reason being the much more difficult path to structural changes in the aircraft mid-life. Metal is a more forgiving medium should an operator decide to make changes to configuration by adding or replacing structural parts.

Another reason given was an issue of fuel leakage and the composite structure. There would need to be a long hard look at just what would be involved, and this would delay the program with added costs incurred. It would be folly indeed to blithely write off that consideration without considering a potentially disastrous scenario and ensuring it is genuinely not a factor.

As for the 777, would you like to push into the flow of two GE-90s to intercept the boom?


25 Pilottj : Well one way to look at this, the 767 is now being considered for the tanker role...20 some years after it entered comercial service. Would it not be
26 Post contains images Duce50boom : DFWrevolution reply: "Would you opt for an untried aircraft, leading edge technology designed for optimum cruising altitudes and speeds, doing 315 kno
27 Venus6971 : Guys I think the USAF will keep the KC-135 around at least for 20 more years, with new radomes and new carbon fiber brakes with the whole fleet with u
28 Boeing Nut : Are you saying that this is not considered for the civilian version?
29 Cloudy : If we had followed this requirement in 1969, who would have bought the B747. ---- If we had known then what we know now, almost nobody would have boug
30 Post contains links Sidishus : Tankers and ISR platforms are increasingly employed in direct tactical roles. This evolving operational doctrine-distinctly different from the Vietna
31 C5Loadmaster : 7/14/2003 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Air Force officials July 14 took the next step in replacing its 43-year-old KC-135 Stratotanker fleet by sending Cong
32 Keesje : C5Loadmaster : 7/14/2003 Joking right?
33 C5Loadmaster : Nope. It was reported in the news.
34 Post contains links Sidishus : C5, check the dateline of your "breaking news". It's nearly two years old. Here is something more up to date: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...
35 Alessandro : Whitehatter, exactly, no one thinks of the vortexes the engines leave behind. I wonder if the 3-holers are the best, with the third engine away from t
36 WhiteHatter : I'm still convinced that is one reason Boeing bought the Mad Dog business. It took a competitor out of the picture and a competitor that could offer
37 Sidishus : No current airliner offering, green off the line, is really suitable to fill the next generation ISR/Tanker role because none have the attributes bui
38 CX747 : Actually there was an article about the 787 not to long ago and how Boeing was actually starting to think about offering it as a tanker replacement. I
39 Post contains links Sidishus : Was this article citing a Boeing source or the analyst- Richard Aboulafia- that's been openly speculating about the 787? I'd be leery of taking finan
40 Post contains images SATL382G : Whoa! This is a serious sea change from our friend Sidishus..... Imagine that! Admitting that a truly militarized 767 is a possibility...... By any c
41 Post contains links and images Sidishus : I knew that would get a rise out of you SATL   Just being pragmatic that's all. I will say I did change my tune a bit when I saw the ISA (Integrated
42 SATL382G : No doubt... but how long can we wait for it and will it bankrupt us?
43 Post contains links Sidishus : Here are some numbers... http://www.forbes.com/reuters/newswire/2004/05/21/rtr1380632.html Lockheed's proposal, outlined in a presentation dated Feb.
44 KC135TopBoom : I know a thing or two about tankers and air refueling, as I was a KC-135A/E/Q Boom Operator for 22 years. Well, let's go back to the original KC-767 l
45 DL021 : KC135....First thing..I respect your service and insights. So please accept these questions and comments as discussion more than a challenge. I like t
46 SATL382G : ACK! PFFFFT! Lockheed is low-balling us again!!
47 SATL382G : The 135Es principal corrosion problem is in the engine pylons, which get replaced if you reengine.
48 KC135TopBoom : DLO21 said; "OK..what is the current availability rate on the KC-135E's that they are planning on replacing? Are you taking that into the calculus?" T
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