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E-4B Retirement..what Will Happen To Them?  
User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 581 posts, RR: 3
Posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11191 times:

I always read Wikipedia with one eyebrow raised, but other sources seem to back up the suggestion all four E-4B aircraft will be retired at one per year from 2009-2012. This raises some interesting questions....

What will happen to the airframes?

Are they "high time"?

Could they serve any other purpose after being stripped out?

Thanks in advance,

SLCPilot


I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBladeLWS From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11183 times:

My guess is that they'll be used as parts for the two VC-25's of the presidential airlift wing, either that or scapped. Pretty sure they don't have much time on them, probably comparable to the VC-25's. Maybe they could also take two of them, strip them down, and redesign the interior into a whole new Air Force 1, called the VC-25B, its a possibility.

Either that or they could possibly be converted into ABL's?

But when it comes down to the nitty gritty I'm pretty sure they'll keep 1 or 2 of them in flyable storage just incase something happens where we'll need them again.

[Edited 2006-09-17 06:07:12]

User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4777 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 11149 times:

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 1):
they'll keep 1 or 2 of them in flyable storage just incase something happens where we'll need them again.

Even with the end of the Cold War, not all countries have given up their nuclear programs. The E-4Bs with their nuclear shielding and 72 hour endurance, could have future uses as control and communications stations in other future external conflicts and natural calamities - although they might prove too big and too expensive for such a purpose. The E-10 project doesn't seem too definite yet.



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 11106 times:

I thought that post Cold War, much of their task had been assumed by AF1?
Also, the E-6A fleet perhaps?
Constant nuclear alerts are not a feature of life now after all.


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 11085 times:

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 2):
The E-10 project doesn't seem too definite yet.

Hadn't heard about this one. Do you have some details, please?



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 11042 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 3):
I thought that post Cold War, much of their task had been assumed by AF1?
Also, the E-6A fleet perhaps?
Constant nuclear alerts are not a feature of life now after all.

What roles of the E-4 are taken up by the VC-25s?

E-4s are used extensively as mobile command posts during conflict. They saw much use during the first gulf war, and during the crisis about 5 years ago.

Wikipedia tends to be a fairly unreliable source, as it can be edited by anyone. Garbage in, garbage out... I'd like to see independent confirmation of this retirement date...



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 581 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11015 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 5):
Wikipedia tends to be a fairly unreliable source, as it can be edited by anyone. Garbage in, garbage out... I'd like to see independent confirmation of this retirement date...

In my original post I expressed the SAME skepticism, but here's another source just for you!

From a DOD Source

and an excerpt from the link...

U) Significant Program Changes:DoD decided to retire the E-4B fleet at the rate of one per year beginning during FY09 and completing during FY12. Additionally, the last two (2 of 4) Mod Blk 1 installations will be terminated as well as future programmed but non-essential modifications, such as C3 UHF Digitization and CNS/ATM I (fka GATM Phase III). The DoD is committed to keeping the E-4B fleet mission capable until it is removed from service.

Any other ideas on what might become of the planes? They would make quite an exibit in Dayton, will one fit in the museum?

SLCPilot



I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 10991 times:

You could put it on a pedestal at Offutt.. Tuck that F-105 under the wing to get it out of the weather.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 10834 times:

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 4):
Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 2):
The E-10 project doesn't seem too definite yet.

Hadn't heard about this one. Do you have some details, please?

The designator for the spiral production forthe Rivet Joint, AWACS and J-STARS replacement. Funding cut much and on hold at the moment.

The 707 "Paul Revere" was also used in testing for the 767 aimed project.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Europe-We close 1300-1500 daily and all day Sunday


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13168 posts, RR: 78
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 10791 times:

I meant that while AF1 is not of course, a dedicated airborne command post, have upgrades in the comms/C3 fit moved it closer to the E-4 role?
Accepting that US strategic forces are not on anything like the alert status as during the Cold War.

However, while of course AF1 was vital on Sept 11th 2001, I've seen footage taken that day of an E-4B getting airborne.


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1257 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 10756 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
I meant that while AF1 is not of course, a dedicated airborne command post, have upgrades in the comms/C3 fit moved it closer to the E-4 role?

The VC-25A is now as capable or more capable than the E-4B in most aspects of the C3 mission. I imagine the E-4B is still a useful platform for coordinating operations, but were a crisis to occur today chances are POTUS will use the VC-25A.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineJaxs170 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 10543 times:

The E-6 is slated to begin taking over the NAOC (national airborne operations center) role that the E-4 is currently doing. A couple E-6s will get a prototype retrofit adding significant communications equipment and capabilities in the coming months. This will act a demo for fully taking over the mission starting in about 3 years time. At some point they will begin to pull planes into another mod (where the planes will be out of service for several months) which will hardwire all these new capabilities. The stated end goal is full operational command and control, as well as Presidential and SECDEF/JCS support capability.

This all came about as the E-4 was being moded to give them extended life. Apparently the first plane was way way over budget and took twice as long to get it out of mod as expected. Then, apparently, they discovered this mod wasn't working as advertised, with some people calling it an abysmal failure. This failure/budget disaster coupled with the age of the airframe caused STRATCOM to cancel their mod and led to the E-6 getting tapped to take over. There was even the possibility that had the E-4 not had these problems that the E-6 might have been done away with (supposedly the decision to do away with the E-6 Looking Glass mission had already been signed off just before the E-4 news broke, but this was never confirmed).



707, 717, 727, 732/3/4/5/6/7/8/9, 752, 762/3/4, 744, 772, MD-80/2/3/8, DC-9, F-100, A319/20/21, A333, DC-10, MD-11, ARJ,
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 10517 times:

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 2):
The E-10 project doesn't seem too definite yet.

The E-10 project is a B-767-400, it is on indefinet hold, and will probibly be canceled next year.

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 1):
My guess is that they'll be used as parts for the two VC-25's of the presidential airlift wing, either that or scapped. Pretty sure they don't have much time on them, probably comparable to the VC-25's. Maybe they could also take two of them, strip them down, and redesign the interior into a whole new Air Force 1, called the VC-25B, its a possibility.

Most airframe parts for the E-4B will not work on the VC-25A. My guess is, since there are only 4 E-4Bs, all will become static displays, including one to the USAF Muesum at Wright Pat.

Quoting GDB (Reply 3):
Also, the E-6A fleet perhaps?

The E-4Bs, E-6Bs (all have been converted from the E-6A to pick up the EC-135C Looking Glass missions), and EC-135C/G/L were the only airplanes that can remotely launch the US ICBM Force, the VC-25A never had that capability, and apparently cannot get it due to space required by the launch crews and the equipment.

Quoting Lt-AWACS (Reply 8):
The designator for the spiral production forthe Rivet Joint, AWACS and J-STARS replacement. Funding cut much and on hold at the moment.

The 707 "Paul Revere" was also used in testing for the 767 aimed project.

That is true, but if the USAF does not buy the KC-767A, then we will never see any other version of the B-767 in USAF service.

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
However, while of course AF1 was vital on Sept 11th 2001, I've seen footage taken that day of an E-4B getting airborne.

Actually all 3 available E-4Bs were launched, one airplane was being modified at the time and not available to fly.

Quoting Dw747400 (Reply 10):
The VC-25A is now as capable or more capable than the E-4B in most aspects of the C3 mission. I imagine the E-4B is still a useful platform for coordinating operations, but were a crisis to occur today chances are POTUS will use the VC-25A.

The VC-25A and E-4B have different capabilities, one cannot currently replace the other.


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1257 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10495 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
The VC-25A and E-4B have different capabilities, one cannot currently replace the other.

That was correct a few years ago. This is no longer the case. I have that from two seperate, well-placed sources. I'd offer more insight, but I always worry about OPSEC.



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1440 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10475 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
Most airframe parts for the E-4B will not work on the VC-25A. My guess is, since there are only 4 E-4Bs, all will become static displays, including one to the USAF Muesum at Wright Pat.

That is actually wrong, they are both 747-200's, both have air refueling capability, 89th pilots log time on E-4's to keep AR qualified. The only differance airframe wise is one has a better paint job.



I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 952 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10423 times:

Hmmm...why manned aircraft at all. With all the smarts (lethal even); why not UCAVS? They can loiter ALOT longer...Currently, once a target is aquired, time is spent getting something tasked to the target. Why not just have both aquisition, threat or otherwise, identified, and prosecuted in one handy package..and if it can refuel from one of our spiffy Boeing products  Wink who knows...

Cheers



Carpe Pices
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6387 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10247 times:

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 14):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
Most airframe parts for the E-4B will not work on the VC-25A. My guess is, since there are only 4 E-4Bs, all will become static displays, including one to the USAF Muesum at Wright Pat.

That is actually wrong, they are both 747-200's

I have seen quoted that the VC-25A is mostly a 747-300, only with the short fuselage hump inherited from the 747-200.

Wing structure, landing gear, engines etc. are mostly off the shelf 743 hardware, while the E-4 is based on the 742.

KC135TopBoom, can you confirm that?



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 10156 times:

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 16):
Wing structure, landing gear, engines etc. are mostly off the shelf 743 hardware, while the E-4 is based on the 742.

KC135TopBoom, can you confirm that?

That is true, and the VC-25As have a higher max gross weight than the E-4Bs do.

Quoting Dw747400 (Reply 13):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
The VC-25A and E-4B have different capabilities, one cannot currently replace the other.

That was correct a few years ago. This is no longer the case. I have that from two seperate, well-placed sources. I'd offer more insight, but I always worry about OPSEC.

Except the VC-25 still cannot remotely launch the ICBM Force. The President (aboard the VC-25) will give the order, but will never become an actual war fighter, or combatent. He/She is still a cilivan, and not in the military. Only the EC-135C/G/Ls (now all in the bone yard), E-4A/Bs, and the USN E-6B can do that (when in the E-6A TACAMO configuration, they could not launch the ICBMs).


User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9605 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
My guess is, since there are only 4 E-4Bs

- Were there only four built initially?


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- What is the dome for on top of the airframe aft of the hump?

David



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineBladeLWS From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9568 times:

The dome is used for satellite communications.

User currently offlineBoeing nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 9455 times:

Sorry if this question sounds like I just fell off the turnip truck, but would installing winglets on the VC-25's and E-4B's have an advantage at all? It could increase their sortie time and/or save fuel.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 9329 times:

Quoting Tiger119 (Reply 18):
- Were there only four built initially?

Yes, there were only 4 ordered. The first 3 were ordered as the E-4A, the last ordered as the E-4B, then the first 3 "A"s were modified to the "B" configueration.

Quoting Boeing nut (Reply 20):
Sorry if this question sounds like I just fell off the turnip truck, but would installing winglets on the VC-25's and E-4B's have an advantage at all? It could increase their sortie time and/or save fuel.

Not really, since all 6 of the USAF B-747s are air refuelable, and winglets have some effect on some communications systems and sensors (that is why the Wedgetail doesn't have them and the P-8A deleted them).


User currently offlineBoeing nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 9275 times:

Quoting Boeing nut (Reply 20):
Not really, since all 6 of the USAF B-747s are air refuelable, and winglets have some effect on some communications systems and sensors (that is why the Wedgetail doesn't have them and the P-8A deleted them).

Ah, OK. Interesting, thats an angle I never thought of.


User currently offlineN1641 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9250 times:

I couldnt imagine a VC-25 doing any of the E4's job, for startes the pres has his own business to take care of secondly have you ever seen how many people get out of a E4 when it lands? I dont think they want to remodel AF1 to fit all those extra people and equipment, dumb idea.

User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9219 times:

Quoting N1641 (Reply 23):
I dont think they want to remodel AF1 to fit all those extra people and equipment, dumb idea.

Keep in mind though that the equipment is now smaller and less people are needed. That's why I think that if the 748i platform is used for the next "AF1" you will see the attic crown space used along with the upper deck to hold the people and equipment that is used on the E4-B's. Pure speculation on my part but it kinda makes sense to me.

Regards.


25 N1641 : I suppose there is a good chance that all the crap packed onto a E4 could now fit onto a couple laptops
26 KC135TopBoom : Unless there is another reason, I doubt the current VC-25s will be replaced anytime soon, by the B-747-800I, or anything else. The VC-25As are only a
27 Boeing nut : Please note sir, I did say if. In all probability, the 748 will still be in production a decade from now. By then, a replacement will probably be "co
28 Post contains links Bingo : Maybe the frames will go to the ABL Program's Project Office...God knows they could use the extra frames.... http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/a
29 Post contains links Boeing Nut : Not according to this thread. http://www1.airliners.net/discussion.../?searchid=55958&s=748+ABL#ID55958
30 Bingo : So long as Boeing doesnt follow the tanker business model on this project...hopefully the ABLs will see the 748 as their frame of choice. Hopefully th
31 Post contains links DEVILFISH : Came across this Overview on Boeing's site, for the moribund project..... http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/ic/e-10a/index.html
32 Post contains images Bingo : I think Boeing could make a better case if would push a T7F frame for the E-10 and the tanker instead of the 767. It could kill the need for all these
33 Post contains images Cancidas : if wingelets are out of the question, how cool would it be to install the raked wingtips on the the E-4s and VC-25s... back to reality. i could see tw
34 Venus6971 : It would have been nice to have a old beater 707 when I was with the 89th so the pilots could have done there transition training, 58-6970 had more c
35 Bingo : That would be awesome...I'd love to see that or even an E-3 with tips or rakes...I wonder if it would interfere with the signal on the E-3...
36 Post contains links DEVILFISH : A minor glimmer of hope came the E-10A's way when funding was received by Northrop Grumman for design and analysis of the E-10A Technology Development
37 N328KF : I take exception to your statement. Many Wikipedia articles (especially the aviation-related ones) have sources, or at least try to have as much in t
38 Post contains links DEVILFISH : Update: The glimmer of hope just vanished - apparently, the latest contract award was merely to wrap up the E-10A project and zero out the funding....
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