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The Boeing 777 Tanker  
User currently offlineNWDC10 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10942 times:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/286578_air27.html

Robert NWDC10

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10936 times:

I actually like the idea of a combined 737 / 777 tanker fleet. Having just one size is too general for requirements. 737s would be perfect for local missions and birds that don't need to take on a lot of gas. They're also good short range cargo/pax aircraft. 777s would be perfect for long range missions, filling up a lot of planes, dragging fighters across the Atlantic, etc. They'd be able to much better fit the requirements of whats needed for the mission. A KC-767 will be total overkill for some missions and just not enough for others. Also, when it comes time to replace the KC-10s, the 777 is a much better replacement than the 767-200.

User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1908 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10868 times:

seldom does one size fit all and I would think that Boeing should offer a choice of whatever the USAF wanted, 767,777 or even a mini tanker 737. I don't know how they would fit a very large order of those into the 737 line anytime soon.

But a mix of "medium" 767's and heavy 777's seem to the ticket as we now have KC 135 (707) and KC-10 extenders in the fleet. Since the KC -10's are relativley new by Air Force standards, they probably would be around for another 15-20 years considering the 135's are already 40+ years old in most cases.

On missions when only a few fighters would need fuel topped off why have a huge 777 do the job when a 767 can do it more efficiently.

Buy hey, it is the US goverment..never the poster child for logic or clear thinking in procurement.LOL!


User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11348 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10774 times:

Why not 787? Use the USAF to help bring the cost down.

Why 767 at all? Isn't that platform on the way out?

Of course, I think it would be absolutely best for Boeing if the USAF ordered the 777LR refitted tanker. Best for Boeing and Delta too.



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User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8374 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10724 times:
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I think 777 are the solution, 767 are now a 25 year old design. 100 777 would be a great tanker fleet for our air force.

User currently offlineScaledesigns From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10600 times:

Thats strange.He says they think the USAF wants a mixed fleet of
tankers,and that they(Boeing) would like them to be all Boeings.
Then the article continues by saying Boeing will only offer 1 option,not
a shopping list?Huh



F1 Tommy
User currently offlineKaitak744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2377 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10608 times:

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 5):
I think 777 are the solution, 767 are now a 25 year old design. 100 777 would be a great tanker fleet for our air force.

There is one BIG problem at USAF which prevents them from looking into the 777 tanker. The wingspan. It is far greater that the KC-10 or KC-135. (3 KC-10s can fit into an area 2 777s can fit). Unless Boeing redesigns its folding wing concept, a 777 tanker is out of the question.

Also, the advantage with the 767 tanker: They can get many used frames off the market at low prices and then get Boeing to convert them. This would be alot cheaper than buying new frames.


User currently offlineScaledesigns From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10584 times:

Why would that be a problem.Are they planning carrier based 777s.
 Wink Im sure the USAF can handle the wingspan.



F1 Tommy
User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10506 times:

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 7):
There is one BIG problem at USAF which prevents them from looking into the 777 tanker. The wingspan. It is far greater that the KC-10 or KC-135. (3 KC-10s can fit into an area 2 777s can fit). Unless Boeing redesigns its folding wing concept, a 777 tanker is out of the question.

Boeing already has a design for folding wings on the T7, they would just need to dust it off.


User currently offlineScaledesigns From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10472 times:

Or they could just leave the wings alone and save money.

What I wonder is what they meant by only offering the Air Force 1
option.What airplane are they going to push?Is the 777 offer
just to stop EADS from getting the contract if the Air Force says the 767
is to small.?Im sure all the world partners will be thrilled if the USAF didnt buy the 767 tanker.



F1 Tommy
User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10473 times:

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 7):
Also, the advantage with the 767 tanker: They can get many used frames off the market at low prices and then get Boeing to convert them. This would be alot cheaper than buying new frames.

I'm pretty sure Boeing has no interest in offering a conversion package. That would eat into profitability seriously. It also is something the USAF could have pursued with another company. The KC-767 is going to be a new build tanker if it gets made. Given how the USAF is known to fly it's airplanes into the ground (figuratively) this probably isn't a bad thing. Why take 10-15 years off the life of an airplane that is expected to have a 30-50 year useful lifetime?



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineHamlet69 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2744 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10358 times:

Quoting Scaledesigns (Reply 6):
Thats strange.He says they think the USAF wants a mixed fleet of
tankers,and that they(Boeing) would like them to be all Boeings.
Then the article continues by saying Boeing will only offer 1 option,not
a shopping list?Huh

Remember that the Air Force will be buying in stages. What he was pointing out was that, at this time, they will probably only be offering the KC-767. The initial draft of the RFP seems to be for 100-160 tankers to replace the earliest KC-135's. That's the job the KC-767 has been designed primarily to do. Eventually, as the article states, the entire (KC-135 & KC-10) fleet will be replaced, in which case the Boeing spokesman is stating he wants them all to be Boeings (KC-767 & KC-777, respectively).

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 7):
(3 KC-10s can fit into an area 2 777s can fit). Unless Boeing redesigns its folding wing concept, a 777 tanker is out of the question.

By that argument, any proposed KC-330 is out as well. Which would leave the KC-767 the de facto winner before the contest has even started. Trust me, if the Air Force decides they want the additional capacity & payload that either the 330 or 777 provides, the wingspan issue will be a small one.

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 7):
Also, the advantage with the 767 tanker: They can get many used frames off the market at low prices and then get Boeing to convert them. This would be alot cheaper than buying new frames.

This is not the Royal Air Force. The USAF seem to only be interested in acquiring new-build frames. Hence the reason Boeing is proposing a dedicated tanker line in Everett, and why EADS/Northop Grumman would build a dedicated facility in Mobile, AL.

- BTW, did anyone else read the article today about the state of Alabama paying EADS and N.G. up to $110 million to build that plant? Wonder how that will affect EADS's case at the WTO?

Regards,

Hamlet69



Honor the warriors, not the war.
User currently offlineScaledesigns From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 10318 times:

Thanks Hamlet69,

That explains everything.

The 777 would make a great looking tanker.

As for EADS,I think they will be doing alot of explaining over the next few years!!



F1 Tommy
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3617 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10283 times:

Now that's what I am talking about! Get a real jet as a tanker, and not these KC-767 or KC-30 we been reading about. A KC-777 is a very good ideal, it could carry a lot of fuel and cargo. You can not miss with an KC-777, it got my vote! Big grin

User currently offlineHamlet69 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2744 posts, RR: 58
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 10251 times:

BTW - here is the link to that article:

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060927/eads_alabama_incentives.html?.v=1

EADS will get $52 million as a cash payout if they build the plant. My question remains, then, how does this affect their WTO argument against the state of Washington's tax breaks for Boeing?

Regards,

Hamlet69



Honor the warriors, not the war.
User currently offlineTexfly101 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 10250 times:

There is a lot of reasons why the 767 is a choice for the RFP. While we go around a lot about wingspan, actually the wheel loading is as important. The 767 has a lower wheel loading than the 777 and 330. There is a lot of bases that can't handle the higher loading. I won't go into any great detail as its basically boring unless you know what pavement design is all about, but basically, the heavier planes break down the taxiways and runways and consequently aren't allowed there. The AvWeek issue discussing the Italian tanker has a good discussion of this if you're so inclined to read about why the 767 was their choice.
Also, as I have said numerous times, the USAF 767 is not standard 767. It has a lot of upgrades and enhancements, flight deck, modular P&P systems, remote boom station, etc, that help make it a more modern bird. So it will be interesting to see what comes of all this.
I have always been a fan of the mix...but I think it will be the 767 and the 330 that will be the chosen mix.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 10242 times:

I think USAF will have a big problem with any twin super tanker, like the KC-30, KC-777, or KC-350. That is engine out performance. For example, let's say the USAF wants to buy the KC-777, with a 400,000lb fuel capacity. Boeing builds it from the B-777-200LRF airframe, and equips it with GE-90-115 engines. The GW of this KC-777 will be around 750,000lbs. Losing one engine (complete loss of thrust) one knot past V1, puts the airplane below the normally except safety margin of 6:1 (6 lbs of airplane per 1 lb of thrust). It is close to 7.25:1, a very dangerous condition. Even the KC-767 with 64,000lb engines is very close to this condition for engine out take offs.

If the USAF does buy a new tanker in 2007, it will only be for the 100-160 airplanes. A later tanker compitition will be between the A-340-500 and the B-747-800F, because of the four engines. Here I think the B-747 has an advantage, because it is a much faster airplane, which means it can refuel more different types. The USAF needs a tanker that can cruise at .90+M for working with some fighters. That is why the KC-135 (.95M) and KC-10 (.90M) are so successful.

I did not include the four engine A-380 because it cannot fly at these speeds, much less cruise at them (.86M max). The A-340-500/-600 can fly at .89M.


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 10235 times:

Quoting Hamlet69 (Reply 14):
My question remains, then, how does this affect their WTO argument against the state of Washington's tax breaks for Boeing?

IMO, it weakens the EU case. That said, I'm not sure that in the long run it is in the European company's benefit to bid on this project. The requirement to "disclose" may have gone away for now, but until the final RFP is issued, we won't know for sure. If they do bid and win, the fact that they will accept a similar aid package from the state govenment of Alabama as the state of Washington gives Boeing could neutralize a large portion of their WTO case. An adverse judgement could put in jeapordy their ability to seek (pick one) subsidies, launch aid, repayable launch investment, whatever. Finally, I'm not convinced that an Airbus worker will cheer the opening of a facility in the U.S. (or any "dollar zone" nation). Work that would have stayed in France and Germany will now be farmed out the the U.S. This could likely result in a greater share of the A330F being outsourced to the Alabama facility.

Perhaps EADS should seize on the government aid disclosure requirement as a convenient excuse to express outrage, indignation, and refuse to bid?



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10201 times:

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 17):
Perhaps EADS should seize on the government aid disclosure requirement as a convenient excuse to express outrage, indignation, and refuse to bid?

That will only give the tanker contract to Boeing, as the Lockheed proposal is too expensive.


User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10190 times:

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 6):
They can get many used frames off the market at low prices and then get Boeing to convert them.

I seriously doubt this will be an option. They whole point of this program is to replace old tankers. They won't to acquire "new old" aircraft that would have to be replaced themselves in a very short time.

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 6):
There is one BIG problem at USAF which prevents them from looking into the 777 tanker. The wingspan.

I know others have dismissed this option quickly, but I have to believe that if the KC-777 is seriously considered that the plans for the folding wing are being dusted off at least for evaluation. Which makes me wonder, would a new max load test have to be performed for certification?


User currently offlineTropicBird From United States of America, joined May 2005, 502 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10181 times:

Quoting Texfly101 (Reply 15):
There is a lot of reasons why the 767 is a choice for the RFP. While we go around a lot about wingspan, actually the wheel loading is as important. The 767 has a lower wheel loading than the 777 and 330. There is a lot of bases that can't handle the higher loading. I won't go into any great detail as its basically boring unless you know what pavement design is all about, but basically, the heavier planes break down the taxiways and runways and consequently aren't allowed there. The AvWeek issue discussing the Italian tanker has a good discussion of this if you're so inclined to read about why the 767 was their choice.

It has been pointed out to the USAF that when you lower the fuel payload/gross weight of a certain larger airframe aircraft (which carries a considerably larger fuel payload than the KC-767) to meet the same wheel loading as the KC-767, its still beats out the KC-767 on max fuel/cargo payload. So the larger aircraft is still more efficient and effective than the KC-767 as it allows mission planners to carry larger loads from these ramps. Also, because of the larger fuel load capability, these aircraft do not have to based so close to the front line and these smaller airfields.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
I think USAF will have a big problem with any twin super tanker, like the KC-30, KC-777, or KC-350. That is engine out performance. For example, let's say the USAF wants to buy the KC-777, with a 400,000lb fuel capacity. Boeing builds it from the B-777-200LRF airframe, and equips it with GE-90-115 engines. The GW of this KC-777 will be around 750,000lbs. Losing one engine (complete loss of thrust) one knot past V1, puts the airplane below the normally except safety margin of 6:1 (6 lbs of airplane per 1 lb of thrust). It is close to 7.25:1, a very dangerous condition. Even the KC-767 with 64,000lb engines is very close to this condition for engine out take offs.

This issue has been posed to the USAF but in a different way. It has to do with the need to complete the refueling mission. With a 4 (or 3) engine aircraft, should one engine need to be shut-down in-flight, it would still be safe to continue with the mission (I suppose it depends on the mission rules such as peacetime vs wartime). However, with a twin, should they have to shut down an engine, they would need to abort the mission and divert to a nearby airfield. To cover this contingency, I suspect the USAF will assign an extra aircraft back-up tanker which would be unnecessary with a 4 engine.


User currently offlineDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 10173 times:

I smell a 767 order for several reasons:

1-777 Wingspan issues

2-767 platform is now proven as a tanker with Japan and Italy about to get theirs

3-Boeing will sell them cheap (by US Gov standards) to keep the line open for a while longer

4-Boeing says a redo of the 777 for a tanker will take 3 years to complete and be very expensive, while the 767 is ready to go now. It can easily be modified to hold seats or frieght or both along with fuel.



One Nation Under God
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12566 posts, RR: 46
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 10157 times:
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Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 21):
Boeing will sell them cheap (by US Gov standards) to keep the line open for a while longer

Hmm. "Boeing", "defence contract" and "cheap". Words not often found in close proximity. scratchchin 



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineTexfly101 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 10141 times:

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 20):
It has been pointed out to the USAF that when you lower the fuel payload/gross weight of a certain larger airframe aircraft (which carries a considerably larger fuel payload than the KC-767) to meet the same wheel loading as the KC-767, its still beats out the KC-767 on max fuel/cargo payload.

so we don't load the aircraft to its full potential load...hmmmm...so it seems to me that the hi/low mix is a better solution...Q.E.D.


User currently offlineCF188A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 10130 times:

very neat indeed. Would be great to see at an airshow  Smile

25 TropicBird : My comment was to point out the "ability" of a large tanker to meet the lower wheel loading in those rare instances where it may be an issue. I perso
26 Texfly101 : Its actually not the rare case, its more the norm. The planners have made this quite clear in their analysis that they need a dedicated bird to opera
27 EBJ1248650 : Not necessarily true. Remember you're talking about military airplanes on a broad flightline; not airliners trying to fit into assigned gates at an e
28 EBJ1248650 : The company is now evaluating the draft request for proposals issued Monday by the Air Force to better determine what the military is looking for in
29 Lumberton : Of course that would be the result. The question is: Is it worth the risk in the other areas I've outlined to Airbus' government aid, EU employment,
30 TedTAce : 2 points as someone who is HONESTLY somewhat educated AT BEST. A) Wouldn't v1 be adjusted higher as a function of the excess weight? B) Wouldn't a 'b
31 AislepathLight : Lets keep this thread about the KC777, and have a discussion in a thread meant for the overall topic. See thread index.
32 KC135TopBoom : The wingspan of any airplane is less important, the logistics people will have this all worked out. The USAF may be able to get the KC-767 faster and
33 Cobra27 : And 2 777 (based on LR version) carry also the same amount of fuel
34 KC135TopBoom : It seems to me we are speculating a little to much here on the KC-777 numbers for fuel capacity and gross weight. I'm beginning to think the numbers w
35 TropicBird : Boeing last week stated their KC-777 may be able to carry to 400,000 lbs of fuel.
36 Post contains links DEVILFISH : The initial RFP reveals offer of KC-777..... http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...nker+RFP+reveals+KC-777+offer.html
37 Bringiton : For this phase of the tanker deal the 777 doesnt look atractive at all , it has some of the same problems with air feilds , ground pressure etc that a
38 TropicBird : The question at hand is this. Concerning the problems mentioned above, were these real operational shortcomings or just made up by Boeing and their m
39 KC135TopBoom : Not really. The B-777-200LR has a smaller, lighter airfield footprint than the A-330-200. The weight of the T-7 is spread over 14 tires, as compared
40 Post contains links DEVILFISH : It seems the WTO issue won't go away and would be a major bone of contention. The revised KC-X RFP has language written specific to "treaty complianc
41 Post contains links TropicBird : " target=_blank>http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles....html The Flight Global article is dated June 2006. The USAF has since backed off this issue in
42 Post contains images KC135TopBoom : Northrop to USAF, take the WTO question out of the RFP for the KC-X, or we take our airplane and go home, and you will have to decide on the two (or m
43 DEVILFISH : I also thought so at first, but check how Flightglobal's articles are date sequenced on the linked display bar as opposed to that on the article itse
44 Post contains links DEVILFISH : It seems the USAF has found a novel way of fulfilling its tanker requirements over the years..... http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles...che+process+t
45 TSV : Boeing would have to be in the box seat for this now : KC-X = KC-767 KC-Y = KC-777 KC-Z = KC-787
46 KC135TopBoom : Hmmm, that assumes the B-767 is still in production in 2009, the B-777 in 2024, and the B-787 in 2036. In 2036 all of these airplanes could be as com
47 DEVILFISH : Are there still pending 767 and KC-767 orders scheduled for delivery before 2009? If Boeing decides to offer the KC-767 and it wins, an August 2007 c
48 KC135TopBoom : I believe Boeing still has about 15 B-767 orders to fill, and 6 more KC-767s to build for Italy and Japan. Even if Italy orders 2-4 E-767s, they can
49 N328KF : I don't think that's the proper way to look at it. Think of it more like this: KC-X == KC-767 (all medium) or KC-737+KC-777 (low/high mix) or KC-330
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