Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Afrl Starts Work On Stealthy Tanker Design  
User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 2626 times:



http://www.afrl.af.mil/articles/040306_StrikeTanker.asp

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio— The Air Force Research Laboratory and Lockheed Martin partnered to complete approximately 200 hours of wind tunnel tests on a next-generation tanker concept model. During two weeks of testing at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Ga. facilities, engineers collected aerodynamic data showing the effects of placing tanker equipment in various positions on the model. The team tested this data to obtain a better idea of how changing the equipment’s placement such as on the model’s centerline or in a pod on the wing tip, might affect a future tanker’s lift and drag as well as its compatibility with advanced platforms.

In addition, the engineers conducted several tests in which a receiver model was placed in refueling positions behind the tanker. Data collected from these tests showed how the aerodynamic flow generated by the tanker affected the receiver. Engineers will use this information to evaluate design options for the future tanker concept.

These tests were part of a continuing effort to develop options for the Air Force’s next-generation tanker. AFRL is conducting in-house work in conjunction with contract support by Lockheed Martin and Boeing to develop a highly versatile tanker of the future. The team is exploring existing technology, as well as “outside of the box” thinking to create a tanker that retains its high-lift characteristics while producing a very stable wake. These capabilities will help the tanker to refuel everything from fighter aircraft to unmanned air vehicles and helicopters.


the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12142 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2575 times:

A stealth tanker makes good sense. During refueling, the current tankers compromise the stealth qualities of both the B-2 and the F-117.

User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2525 times:

The forward section looks so much like a Handly Page Victor its unbelievable.

User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2519 times:

Doesn't sound likes it's worth the costs. Fighter patrols/escorts are going to prevent tankers from being shot down and so their location even if known is usually not one that the enemy is going to be able to take advantage of. So if a stealth bomber pulls up next to one big deal, they already knew a tanker was there and the question then becomes - well where did that stealth bomber go?

In a time when defensive spending is at new highs and all services are looking at what programs they could live without, there is no need to waste money on this chimerical tanker when we haven't even decided what tanker is going to propel the USAF into the next generation (their going to buy KC-767 or KC-330's, but nothing stealth.)

Very low priority IMO at this point.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2412 times:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 2):
The forward section looks so much like a Handly Page Victor its unbelievable.

I was thinking the exact same thing.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2403 times:

Sounds like a small tatical tanker, designed to work in high threat arenas, kinda the size of a 737. It would be a good suppliment to a large 777 size tanker/transport.

User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2359 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Tankers are a vulnerable point to operations that force us to divert aircraft to protect it by providing cover and taking them from hostile zones to safer areas for the refuelling. We'd save money just by reducing the number of required escorts from mission planning.

That said....it's probably not the top priority unless they can make it a tactical transport as well. The good thing is that they aren't developing technology from scratch for the thing.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2353 times:

Good idea for a tanker that can escort strike aircraft into enemy airspace and loiter there to refuel the strike force on the way out.
Means the strike force doesn't have to be loaded with lots of fuel (and thus less agile than the could be to avoid AA, SAMs and fighters) while over the target area.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineGrandTheftAero From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 254 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 6):
We'd save money just by reducing the number of required escorts from mission planning.

Perhaps... but the RAND Corp wasn't so enthusiastic about stealthy tankers in their latest tanker replacement study:

"Stealthy tankers are significantly more expensive than non-stealthy tankers, although they offer some effectiveness benefits... It is a military judgment whether the expense of penetrating tankers is justified by the additional military advantage."

This is a surprisingly wishy-washy statement as their other points seem to be very cut and dry. Read for yourself: http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/2006/03/us-debating-aerial-tanker-types-mix/index.php

--Shane


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2300 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I believe that the real point is that no one will have air superiority over us, or even be able to challenge our dominance of the air. That said there is still the question of potential enemies and the ability of our long range air reach countered by the emergence of BVR capabilities over the last 10 years in our potential set of adversaries.

I'd say that the question is this.... is it worth the expense to be able to refuel our stealthy assets over enemy territory so they can stay on station...do we need to adopt the Israeli approach of 'it costs what it costs to defend ourselves'



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineArt From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2255 times:

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 2):
The forward section looks so much like a Handly Page Victor its unbelievable.

A shame that the rest of the Victor wasn't invisible to radar - a stealthy nuclear bomber would have saved the UK billions between the sixties and now!


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2237 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 9):
I believe that the real point is that no one will have air superiority over us, or even be able to challenge our dominance of the air.

Last yer's COPE India suggests that unrivaled leadership is beginning to unravel. Also the Indians and other militaries already are looking at the countervalue adavantages of blowing away HVAA's and a developing operational doctrine-and developing weapons systems-are coming on line to do just that.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 9):
I'd say that the question is this.... is it worth the expense to be able to refuel our stealthy assets over enemy territory so they can stay on station...do we need to adopt the Israeli approach of 'it costs what it costs to defend ourselves'

The days of the "Arsenal Of Democracy" are long over. We will not be able to replenish and rebuild after taking early losses, which is the we have historically done things in past wars.
No, we will be like the Japanese and Germans in WWII. Either we get it right from the get go or lose because we will have to finish with what we start with..
SO yeah, we'd better spend waht it costs...



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2180 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 11):
Last yer's COPE India suggests that unrivaled leadership is beginning to unravel. Also the Indians and other militaries already are looking at the countervalue adavantages of blowing away HVAA's and a developing operational doctrine-and developing weapons systems-are coming on line to do just that.

Well, there's some reason to consider the stealth tanker/transport seriously.

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 11):
No, we will be like the Japanese and Germans in WWII. Either we get it right from the get go or lose because we will have to finish with what we start with..

We won't be like them, because we outgun pretty much everyone and most conflicts that involve heavy fighting will be over rather quickly, it's the LIC that lasts a while, but that's fairly low tech and manpower intensive.

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 11):
SO yeah, we'd better spend waht it costs...

I agree with that. What programs do you want to cut to pay for this?



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2128 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 3):
Doesn't sound likes it's worth the costs. Fighter patrols/escorts are going to prevent tankers from being shot down and so their location even if known is usually not one that the enemy is going to be able to take advantage of. So if a stealth bomber pulls up next to one big deal, they already knew a tanker was there and the question then becomes - well where did that stealth bomber go?

In a time when defensive spending is at new highs and all services are looking at what programs they could live without, there is no need to waste money on this chimerical tanker when we haven't even decided what tanker is going to propel the USAF into the next generation (their going to buy KC-767 or KC-330's, but nothing stealth.)

Very low priority IMO at this point.

Have to agree with you on this one. With the number of zero's being added to the national debt as we speak this country simply cannot afford it. Along with the fact that the military is stretched thin just trying to keep current equipment up and running and new programs funded.


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2088 times:

Quoting DL021 (Reply 12):
We won't be like them, because we outgun pretty much everyone and most conflicts that involve heavy fighting will be over rather quickly, it's the LIC that lasts a while, but that's fairly low tech and manpower intensive.

Kinda sounds like the attitudes both the Germans and Japanese had..in 1939



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineCTR From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 5 days ago) and read 2033 times:

The "Artist's rendition" of a stealth tanker appears grossly out of proportion. Not to mention ugly.

If stealth tanker were ever to be built I imagine it would look a lot like a B-2 flying wing. For that matter, if an F-18 can double as a tanker, why not a B-2 for limited special missions?

Have fun,

CTR



Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1962 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 14):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 12):
We won't be like them, because we outgun pretty much everyone and most conflicts that involve heavy fighting will be over rather quickly, it's the LIC that lasts a while, but that's fairly low tech and manpower intensive.

Kinda sounds like the attitudes both the Germans and Japanese had..in 1939

I see your point, but I believe the finer points of todays strategic situation are different.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30977 posts, RR: 86
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1943 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

What's the point of having stealthy tankers when all the enemy has to do is deny us our airfields?

Iraq could have had stealthy tankers, bombers, and fighters in both Gulf Wars, but once we totalled their airfields in the first few days, fat lot of good it would have done them, eh?  Smile

Modern sensors are getting to the point that "stealth" as we currently know it is becomming less and less effective. If you have a pattern of aircraft flying in a circle near or inside hostile territory, that just increases the chances you will be detected.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Afrl Starts Work On Stealthy Tanker Design
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Military aviation related posts only!
  • Not military related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
Why Not A Dedicated Tanker Design For The Usaf? posted Tue Jan 3 2006 04:20:46 by Dandy_don
Latest News On RAF Tanker Deal posted Tue Mar 1 2005 01:07:48 by Ant72LBA
Eads Confident On Share Of US Air Tanker Deal posted Mon Sep 18 2006 12:12:54 by Columba
USAF Seeks Info On Subsidies From Tanker Bidders posted Wed Apr 26 2006 11:48:04 by Lumberton
Impact Of The Pentagon's Tanker Decision On Brac? posted Sat Jun 4 2005 04:08:53 by STT757
Airbus To Decide By June 23 On Jet Plant, Tanker posted Mon May 23 2005 23:23:34 by Keesje
Boeing Loses Out On Tanker Deal posted Sun Oct 10 2004 19:15:33 by Philsquares
Pentagon To Compromise On Tanker Lease Deal posted Fri Nov 7 2003 01:21:53 by AvObserver
Space A Travel On Uscg Aircraft posted Wed Nov 15 2006 23:40:00 by Reedyreed
I Think I Am Almost Over Missing Out On The F-14. posted Fri Nov 10 2006 23:21:56 by 747400sp

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format