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Best Tanker Option For Usaf?  
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12064 posts, RR: 52
Posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11090 times:

The new tanker for the USAF has been discussed here many times, but I don't remember seeing all airframes discussed in the same thread.

So, of all the different airplanes available, or in the not to distant future, what is the bast airplane for a USAF tanker?

Let's look at the possibilities from both Airbus and Boeing:

Airbus:
A-330TT, already selected for the RAF and RAAF tankers.
A-340-500, not mentioned before, but carries a lot of fuel.
A-350-800, mentioned several time, newest design, partially composit construction.

Boeing:
KC-135E converted to the KC-135R, by far the cheapest option and still in production (RC-135s), and the quickest production time.
KC-767A, in production for Italy and Japan, and some common parts with the E-10A.
B-777-200ER/LR, mentioned as a Boeing proposal and carries a lot of fuel.
B-787-800, mentioned by Boeing, and is a all composit airplane.
MD-11F, almost common with the KC-10A/KDC-10 but production would have to be reopened, as not many available on the used market.
B-747-400F/ERF, not mentioned before, but the IIAF flys KC-747-200 tankers and carries twice the fuel as most other competitors. Also has swing open nose for cargo missions.
B-747-800F, not mentioned, but the largest of all competitors and carries the most fuel. Like it's smaller B-747-400F brother has swing open nose for cargo missions. Same very fuel effiecent engines as on B-787 and A-350.

Any one of these options, including the KC-135E can give an estimated airframe life of 40-50 years from now. All airplane/tanker buys would be approximately 100 airplanes, except the KC-135E to KC135R conversion. That would be 158 airplanes.

90 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2866 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11083 times:

Larger tankers would be a great option with one minor change to USAF fighter/strike aircraft: Moving to probe-and-drogue (navy, rest of the world) style refuelling. The boom/recepticle method is quite nice for tanking heavies as it gets the massive amounts of gas onboard quicker, but the USAF will need a plane that can service multiple recievers if it goes with a larger aircraft, due to apron space constraints (read: less tankers in one place).

This option is more feasable than mounting two booms on the wingtips, and addresses the issue that there is no good reason for smaller aircraft to use the boom, and opens up tanking assets for usaf strike teams to tankers operated by everyone else (including the Navy, Marines, RAF) rather than the select few that operate KDC-10s or KC-135s.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11081 times:

The chance of an Airbus product for the tanker role is slim to none, for political reasons only, which is a shame.

The things I have heard the most lately is, one, that a mix of types is a possibility and also, that the 777LRF platform is being studied.

The 787 platform is a possibility. Boeing some time ago was dismissing the 787 for a refueling platform because they stated the 787 was not designed for a tanker role. I thought this was a load of bull when I first heard it. I was right when they later changed their tune. I also don't buy the bit that the 787 is too "new" for a tanker role. Hell, the 707 was a custom design for the military. The 707 was then later developed into a passenger aircraft.

I doubt the MD-11 is being considered outside of the "dreamers" category for the reasons you stated. It's out of production and all used airframes are being snatched up by cargo operators.

I seriously doubt that the 747 platform is even being considered. It's just too big for the job although it would be an excellent aircraft for military cargo operations. I recall that the Air Force was once having hot and heavy talks with Boeing for a 744F order to supplement the C-17.

My guess for the new freighter fleet would be a mix of KC-767's and KC-777LRF's with the former being the most predominant.

Regards


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12064 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11078 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
addresses the issue that there is no good reason for smaller aircraft to use the boom,

Boom refueling is 4 times faster than probe and drogue refueling, thus the KC-135 and KC-10 can both refuel twice as many USAF fighters as they can USN/USMC fighters (using the wing tip mounted refueling pods and refueling 2 fighters at the same time). Boom refueling is also a lot safer than probe and drogue refueling.

My guess for the new tanker is also a mix, but with the KC-135E to "R" option and a KC-747-800F.


User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 11045 times:

I still think the KC767 stands the best chance to become our new tanker.

Annnnnd, wait for KC330 to come on here and spew "facts" as to how the Euro's product is so much 'better'.  sarcastic 

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineSonic67 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 11016 times:

In terms of candidate airframes for the heavy tanker role, the short and medium term optimum is a 747 derivative give greatest flexibility. Used 747s are cheap and plentiful and easy to convert. With all the new airliner coming to market their should be a over abundance of perfectly good used 747 for sale.

If you read the article the RAAF is seriously looking into this strategy KC-33A/747-400 tanker transports.
http://ausairpower.net/AAR-ADF-Issues.pdf


User currently offlineContact_tower From Norway, joined Sep 2001, 536 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 10977 times:

Kill me now! Please........

User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2866 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 10949 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
Boom refueling is 4 times faster than probe and drogue refueling, thus the KC-135 and KC-10 can both refuel twice as many USAF fighters as they can USN/USMC fighters

True, but you also double the joinup time too with the boom compared to probe and drogue. Plus, I guess you have to find out what to do with all these newly out of work boom operators! Sensitive subject for you I know...

USAF is being pressured to drop the F-35A model and buy F-35Cs instead. These would come with probe IFR capabilities.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 10917 times:

Lets take the A v B and how the US won't buy etc out of the equation. What is the best aircraft for the job.

All the aircraft can be modified for both boom and hose. A combination of the two would give you the most flexibility. All aircraft can have internal storage tanks fitted though perhaps some don't need them.

You can modify used aircraft for the same cost as a new aircraft. Although used aircraft are cheaper to buy their ongoing maintenance costs are higher and they won't last as long so will have to be replaced in maybe twenty years time. Modern aircraft are much more economical but you have to fork out a lot of money up front. Maybe it is better for the budget to pay less up front for used aircraft even though you pay more in the long run.

Ultimately though, I think the best choice of aircraft is the one that is going to be the one that gives you the most off-load capacity for the time spent on station. The tankers are their to serve their customers. Satisfying the customers needs should be more important than whether the aircraft is made in the US or Europe particularly when the customer has a pretty serious job to do.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10898 times:

KC135 is not an option. The airframes are too old, which is why they need replacement in the first place.
Maintenance is getting extremely expensive and cutting into available aircraft already, a situation that will only get worse.

The USAF already stated that the A330 is not an option because of its size, I guess they mean the longer wingspan.

That of course also disqualifies the 340 and 747.

Remain the 767TT and a hypothetical 787TT. Which it would be depends on the timeframe the USAF has in mind for delivery.
If they can wait until there's room on the 787 production line (or for Boeing to build a dedicated new line for them) it would be the superior option, but the 767TT isn't a bad option by any means and likely cheaper to build quickly (plus it's an airframe already in military use with several nations).

MD11 is indeed a pipedream, would be great for the AF though as it might make for easier transition of maintenance and flight crews between those and the KC-10s.

777 might have the same size problems as the 330 etc..
Don't know the bulk cargo capabilities if the airframe. Could the large fuselage actually be used effectively to hold fuel or would they be flying around with a lot of empty space because the weight limits are too low to make it effective?



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10873 times:

Quoting Contact_tower (Reply 6):
Kill me now! Please........

 rotfl 
I might have phrased it differently, but I've got to agree with you.



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 10803 times:

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 2):
The chance of an Airbus product for the tanker role is slim to none, for political reasons only, which is a shame.

I think you'll see a mix 767 / 330 buy with a bias toward the 767. Politically an 330 buy would help smooth over some of the problems the US has been having with Europe of late. At the same time one can't ignore the political ramifications of a large foreign airplane buy.


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10785 times:
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Quoting Pope (Reply 11):
I think you'll see a mix 767 / 330 buy with a bias toward the 767

Right after they get done delivering that Zamboni to Hell for this next season.

Seriously, unless you have some insight I don't get, I'll go out on a limb here and say that it would be too politically damaging to buy Airbus, and it would not give us the footprint we need. We can flat afford more 767s than we can A330's and we need more airframes that are able to provide the services.

Any new tanker will have dual method capability, and any new tanker will have superior operating economics to the ones operating now.....

but...we need to be able to put tankers in multiple places and the more we spend on each one the fewer airplanes we can buy and the less capability we will have for global reach..... The difference in fuel carriage capability does not offset the advantage in greater numbers available for more missions.

I'd rather have 100 KC767s than 75 KC330's. Our needs are different than the British, and even they are growing concerned about their future tanker capability as far as number of airframes mission ready versus the number of missions. See the latest AI for that article.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 19 hours ago) and read 10734 times:

Why is it that it is considered politically acceptable to buy a foreign owned car / TV / fridge etc but made in the USA yet it is unacceptable to buy an foreign aeroplane that is made in the USA?

I bet all those people in Mobile know what they would rather have.

As for number of aircraft, it is not uncommon for a tanker to be refuelled by another tanker when extending the range a fighter aircraft can fly. If an A330 can do the same job without refuelling you need one less tanker. I will be very surprised if it isn't a mixed fleet.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 17 hours ago) and read 10727 times:

We're talking about the military here, not your private automobile.
And unlike many I prefer to buy local if possible.

The US military (as all militaries should) prefers to buy local to preserve independence of foreign influence if nothing else.
Don't want to have your spares supply cut off because your supplier is in a country that's not currently friendly with you...
And despite everything France (and Germany) aren't exactly friendly towards the US, and can't be trusted to take their side in a possible conflict with say the PRC or Russia (which both have extremely strong ties with Paris and Berlin both politically and economically).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 8 hours ago) and read 10691 times:

I've explained my views in gret depth several times, but my  twocents  is that the 767 is the best platform and should have been built for the RAF too.

Rugged, mature, dependable and plenty of global support in the civilian field for fast AOG access to airframe and engine parts. I'm also not that convinced of the A330's survivability in a nuclear environment with electromagnetic pulses damaging the FBW systems. The 767 has mostly conventional avionics and could be a better fit when considering that any major conflict is likely to have at least limited nuclear exchanges.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12064 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10633 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 9):
KC135 is not an option. The airframes are too old, which is why they need replacement in the first place.
Maintenance is getting extremely expensive and cutting into available aircraft already, a situation that will only get worse.

Actually, the USAF KC-135E/Rs only have around 24,000 hours on them. Maintenance on them is not really much of a problem as the KC-135 fleet has among the highest availabliity rate and in commission rate of all other USAF airplanes. IIRC, it is slightly bested by the KC-10s and T-38s.

Quoting Pope (Reply 11):
Politically an 330 buy would help smooth over some of the problems the US has been having with Europe of late.

No, it would not. Buying someone elses products, whether it is airplanes or tomatos does absolutly nothing to improve or degrade political feelings between the two countries.

But, in the US, it would be political suicide for any Congressman or Senator to support a large weapons program that puts jobs into some other country. Many would see that as "shipping jobs (to build it) overseas".


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4675 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 10496 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
Boom refueling is also a lot safer than probe and drogue refueling.

I think this is wrong. A boom can´t move around as much as the hose&drogue system. Which one would you prefer in turbulences ?

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 15):
I'm also not that convinced of the A330's survivability in a nuclear environment with electromagnetic pulses damaging the FBW systems.

I may remind you that the B-2 as well as the Rafale have FBW and yet they are able to use nuclear weapons, but it is true that those FBW systems were designed with such circumstances in mind. Anyway, when those electromagnetical "storms" coming from the sun were discussed in the media, they just talked about the instrument problems. At least I´ve never heard of a FBW related one.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 9):
The USAF already stated that the A330 is not an option because of its size, I guess they mean the longer wingspan.

That of course also disqualifies the 340 and 747.

Remain the 767TT and a hypothetical 787TT.

The 788/9 has a wingspan similar to that of the A342/3 or A330 and the lower-range 783 won´t be an option.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 9):
777 might have the same size problems as the 330 etc..

Might ? Definitely, only exception would be the folding wingtip (which has never been sold, is it available on the 772LR ?).

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
But, in the US, it would be political suicide for any Congressman or Senator to support a large weapons program that puts jobs into some other country. Many would see that as "shipping jobs (to build it) overseas".

Hmmm, I think you know how many US-made military aircraft have been sold to countries which were able to pruduce their own ones.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7027 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 10482 times:

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 4):
Annnnnd, wait for KC330 to come on here and spew "facts" as to how the Euro's product is so much 'better'.

No reason to be sarcastic. The 330MRTT or KC 330 is a very good plane and will be in use with the RAF and the RAAF which could be an advantage for the USAAF,too.
Sure I am hoping that Northrop Grumman and Airbus will get the deal but I would not be too sad if Boeing gets deal because they offered the better, cheaper or superior solution but I would be sad if Airbus looses just because it is Airbus.
If they loose in a fair competion it is fine by me.



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 10475 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 17):
I think this is wrong. A boom can´t move around as much as the hose&drogue system. Which one would you prefer in turbulences ?

And have you ever seen someone try to hook up to a hose basket in turbulence? Damn near impossible. Both systems have their benefits, and their drawbacks. A boom's movements, for the most part, are deliberate on the operator's part. A basket is sometimes at the mercy of the relative wind.

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7027 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 10474 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 14):
And despite everything France (and Germany) aren't exactly friendly towards the US, and can't be trusted to take their side in a possible conflict with say the PRC or Russia (which both have extremely strong ties with Paris and Berlin both politically and economically).

Well Germany has a new goverment which wants to improve the transatlantic relations.
Merkel -since coming from former East Germany - has a somewhat biased relation with Russia. Therefore you will not see such a big stress on German-Russian relations as it was under Schroeder.
Apart from the change of Goverment in Germany, the German Military will buy some American equipment soon.
We all know that Germany has not bought American made military aircrafts in a long time which will change it is almost certain that at least 5 Eurohawk (based on the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk) will be bought, delivery is scheduled for 2009.
The Germany Air Force also has shown interest in the Predator drone.
The most important German/American military project is the MEADS missle.

P.S. Sorry for being off-topic



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10460 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 15):
Rugged, mature, dependable

Anybody status of the separate air flow problems Boeing has experienced after placing refueling pods under the 767’s wings?

If unfixed, the plane’s speed would be limited to .79 Mach.

The first 767 for Italy is now undertaking flight trials at Boeing’s Wichita, Kan., facility after conversion by Boeing, while Aeronavali converts the second itself.

Boeing itself says the problems will be fixed. The aircraft will be delivered to Italy in mid- to late 2006.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=1371056&C=mideast


User currently offlineAirbusA346 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 7437 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 10450 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
B-747-400F/ERF, not mentioned before, but the IIAF flys KC-747-200 tankers and carries twice the fuel as most other competitors. Also has swing open nose for cargo missions.

Any photos of this aircraft yet on the net.

Tom.



Tom Walker '086' First Officer of a A318/A319 for Air Lambert - Hours Flown: 17 hour 05 minutes (last updated 24/12/05).
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10372 times:

http://www.iiaf.net/aircraft/tankerstranspt/images/iiaf747tanker_jpg.jpg

Suggesting 777, 787 and even 747 as tankers doesn´t seem a sign of confidence in the proposed KC767. Again an anything but .. specification.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 10368 times:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 23):
Suggesting 777, 787 and even 747 as tankers doesn´t seem a sign of confidence in the proposed KC767. Again an anything but .. specification.

BS. A customer centric company offers multiple options, rather than relying on their political friends to force the customer into accepting what the company wants to sell.

So Boeing offers the KC767, which they can deliver today, as well as the larger 747 and 777 airframes which could be built into a suitable tanker platform relatively quickly, and the future 787 airframe which would take even longer but might hold the longest possible production run.



I wish I were flying
25 Post contains links Keesje : How ironic to say Jwenting, shame on you. Where have you been. The less heroic reality: The Air Force gave the Boeing Co. five months to rewrite the
26 Post contains images Halls120 : Individual consumers are free to buy whatever they want. The federal government is not so unfettered. You have heard of organized labor, I trust? Sev
27 Columba : So you are saying one icebraker is big $$ ?
28 Echster : There were 2 long stories this morning on the next tanker, of which I'll summarize: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report December 1, 2005 DOD's New Transp
29 Halls120 : For the Coast Guard, and the US shipbuilding industry, yes.
30 Post contains images Socal : The best choice is the 767.......
31 KC135TopBoom : Having been a Boom Operator for 22 years, and used both the Boom method and Probe and Drogue. The boom refueling is by far safer in turbalance, or an
32 RayChuang : My guess is that initially, the entire KC-135E fleet will be upgraded to KC-135R specifications and given a long-life extension that will allow them t
33 Keesje : For years people here argued the KC330 was too advanced and therefor not rugged enough to sustain the harsh militairy environment (avionics, fuel tan
34 Columba : Yes, wait another 25 years and replace the KC 135s with KC 787s.
35 A342 : Why is this ? So why is it apples and oranges ? I understand your point about jobs and, in this case, faster delivery, however the other reasons you
36 Echster : Is this so? I thought the aircraft would be built in Europe, then flown to the US for tanker conversion.
37 DeltaGuy : Only so the Euros can pass it off as "American Made". You do realize how much money they'd be losing by doing that logistical nightmare, but in the e
38 KC135TopBoom : The air refueling boom is actually flown by the Boom Operator. The boom is actually a small aircraft trailed behind the tanker. It has flight control
39 AirRyan : I think the KC-330 is a better platform than the KC-767 and I don't like how Boeing has now selected P&W to equip any future subsequent KC-767's (read
40 KC135TopBoom : That is difficult to say the A-330TT is better than the KC-767, or the other way around. Airbus doesn't have a boom, Boeing does (actually they have
41 Spacepope : Airbus has reported that it does indeed now have a boom (designed) for the A330TT. This was a big part of the Aussie order (for the F-111s) and prett
42 AirRyan : I would wager to bet that if Airbus can develop as technologically efficient commercial airliners that they now can they can come up with a boom - it
43 Drewfly : What exactly is so wrong with PW powerplants? PW4062: 63,000lbs, CF6-90C2B6F: 62,100lbs. If the KC-330 is chosen for the USAF in place of the KC-767,
44 DeltaGuy : My dad told me a story one time, wherein he was flying an A-7 over Saudi during Desert Storm, and some moron boom operator kept moving the damn boom
45 KC135TopBoom : I never said that Airbus is not capable of developing a flying boom. They can, they have lots of very good engineering talent. Duplicating the booms
46 Post contains images AirRyan : Big deal about the UCMJ - there is no sense in p!ssing off the guy holding a loaded weapon at your face! The only thing preventing one of those comba
47 Post contains images KC135TopBoom : I disagree. Common sense isn't the only thing holding them back. The thought of facing a firing squad could be another (the US Military still has the
48 A342 : To my knowledge, it´s under dvelopment at EADS CASA. It will use FBW technology as well as cameras, so the operator would sit near the aircraft cock
49 Post contains images DeltaGuy : I did ask him to qualifiy that, if he was having trouble/was in turb...he said no, just simply the boomer was trying to treat him like an AF jet I su
50 Jwenting : yes, and when low on gas there's no better way to get some than to point a loaded gun in the face of the guy who can ruin your whole day by bodging y
51 KC135TopBoom : I agree. With any current CCTV system, there is no dept perseption. That is very inportant for any formation type of flying, including refueling. In
52 Prebennorholm : No, it isn't. On the strengthened wing for the 777-200LR (and 777-300ER) the space, which was reserved for the folding mechanism, is used for fuel ta
53 Dw747400 : I'm sure that additional auxiliary tanks could be added to the fuselage (in addition to the standard LR tanks and whatever they added for the tanker
54 Prebennorholm : Now this KC-135 replacement debate has been going on for ages. There has only been one problem: Lack of money. There are plenty of toys on the shelves
55 Prebennorholm : Sure you are right, Dw747400. But the wing folding mechanism will always add many thousand lbs extra weight which otherwise could have been used for
56 Post contains images DeltaGuy : Ahh, I think another few beercans for you is in order. The US Government will always have people to kill- business is good. If anyone here believes t
57 Keesje : I think we are getting somewhere here. Topboom may fill the glasses. Until that time reengining the kc135's might be the cheapest solution..
58 Post contains images Jwenting : hmm, giving in to threats? No dumping the fuel in their face and let them swallow it? Is there no pride left in the US boomer force
59 Post contains images KC135TopBoom : You heard I was thinking about taking up bartending? LOL. Yes, reengining the KC-135E to the KC-135R is by far the cheapest option.
60 Post contains links Lumberton : No question about it. Didn't we discuss one possibility WRT to re-engining the NATO E-3s with the JT8D's? This could be a very cheap solution if the
61 A342 : Replacing JT-3Ds with JT-8Ds is a joke. The JT-8D is simply outdated, too. CFM-56 are way better, or, if you want something really modern, get PW-600
62 Lumberton : Did you read the whole thread? No one is arguing that the JT8D is a better engine that the CFM-56; only that it is in right the thrust range and is v
63 KC135TopBoom : I agree. The F-22, F-35, C-17, and DD(X) all pretty much have to be bought. A KC-135 replacement is not needed. Also, it shouldn't be that diffecult
64 Post contains links and images Usnseallt82 : The best tanker option they could have is right here..... But we already have it.
65 A342 : I did and I don´t doubt that it´s cheaper to buy than the CFM-56, yet, from an operational standpoint I still consider it a joke. Also ultimately t
66 RichardPrice : Going to be interesting refueling a B-52 on that!
67 KC135TopBoom : With only 12 of the CV/CVNs available (soon to be down to 11), we may need to consider reactivating the Iowa class BBs as well as some of the B-52Gs.
68 Sidishus : Hornet plagued carrier air wings are dependent on USAF tanker support to be viable.
69 Post contains images Usnseallt82 : Really? Seriously? Wow......I never knew that. It was a joke.
70 Sidishus : The Iowas are relics that make good museums and thats about it.
71 Post contains links Sidishus : Of course it didn't have to be that way if the operational construct of the Navy didn't take this very wrong road with the very misguided "From The S
72 KC135TopBoom : I don't remember seeing that cover. Could you send a link or picture?
73 Sidishus : I can't find it online anywhere. Its two UCAS's refueling with an F-35 standing by.
74 KC135TopBoom : I'll see if I can find that, too. We have a libeary of AW&ST at work.
75 MD90fan : It would be kinda cool to se a KC-11 (tank dog version of MD-11)
76 WhiteHatter : and probably one of the reasons Boeing had in mind when they bought MDD out and destroyed the company. The tanker deal was eventually going to come u
77 KC135TopBoom : I don't think so. When Boeing bought out MD, the only tanker program either company had was the KC-767 program (which Boeing started in 1992), MD did
78 DL021 : The best option is still, in my humble opinion, the KC-767. They would need to remanufacture the airframes. Those things have some serious wear on the
79 KC135TopBoom : Yes, I spent many hours flying the KC-135A/E/Qs, and loved every minute. It is a good and tough airframe, that is over built. The only problem with t
80 STT757 : The latest BRAC round is sending most if not all the KC-135E's to retirement.
81 KC135TopBoom : Yes, the BRAC did say retirement, but, AMRC has them in "storage" (at least the few that have been taken to DM so far).
82 DL021 : I read that the corrosion issues were more widespread than merely the pylons, which is bad enough... I know the airframe is overbuilt and these things
83 KC135TopBoom : All USAF aircraft, including all KC-135s go through a complete tear down and rebuild every 7 years, or 5,000. This is equil to a commerical airliner
84 FordFreak : Most of the KC-135Rs are still that, KC-135Rs. There are some RC-135s with F108s. The ANG and reserve also have some KC-135Rs. One of the latest units
85 Post contains links and images Zeke : I guess thats why FBL is being offered, fibre optics, not wires. http://www.defence.gov.au/news/raafn...itions/4702/topstories/story12.htm
86 KC135TopBoom : The Boom for the RAAF A-330 MRTT has not completed development, yet. I would guess a substantial portion of the $1.4B costs for the 5 new tankers is g
87 TropicBird : Question...what is the weight of the wing pods and boom added to the KC-767...anyone know? Thanks
88 Dougloid : And you know who let the MD11 bleed to death. With all the tanker development work already in the can, too.
89 Dougloid : Cracks me up...LOL
90 KC135TopBoom : I don't know about the KC-767, but on the KC-135, the boom weighed about 1300lbs (591K), and the wing pod refueling kits weigh about 550lbs (250K) ea
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