Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
The Cost Of Air Refueling  
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 7416 times:

With all the talk about the capabilities of the KC-30 vs. the KC-767, no one has yet mentioned just what the real costs of air refueling is. The reason the USAF is interested in reusing the KC-135 infastructure is so they don't have additional costs associated with buying a new airframe.

Using the KC-135R as an example, it costs the USAF $25 for each US gallon of JP-8 delivered to the receiver aircraft. That is an average figuer based on a 2.5 hour tanker mission offloading 100,000lbs of fuel, at a distance of 500nm. The cost for each gallon delivered from a KC-10A flying the same mission is $34. Both the KC-767 and KC-30 will have a cost of more than $50 per US gallon of JP-8 as these airplanes have not been paid off yet. You can expect the costs for the KC-767 to drop into the mid $30 to low $40 range and the KC-30 to be about $3-$5 more after these airplanes are paid off.

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKevinSmith From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7397 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
KC135TopBoom

Good Stuff. Did not know any of that before.


What besides airframe cost, MX, etc drives up the cost so much?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
The cost for each gallon delivered from a KC-10A flying the same mission is $34

Why is the 10 higher?


User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7349 times:

So I guess that means that another consideration (that will not really be considered) will be durability. Great, some pencil pushing accountant in Washington is going to take the short view; figure out which will be paid for first and forget that the effers have to fly LONG after they are paid for. Let's not forget the EXTREMELY short sighted press corp. and the shorter sighted constituents.  Yeah sure

I don't know which will be a better strategic decision based on real world facts, but the fact the 'original' 135 airframes are still doing the job today leads me to believe that Boeing knows a little something more then Airbus about being built to last. I'd be ashamed as an American to think that we'd need to go outside for ANYTHING related to our defense, but if that's PROVEN to be the fact, so be it.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7340 times:

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 1):
What besides airframe cost, MX, etc drives up the cost so much?

The cost, and training of the crew, the fuel, and the infastructure needed to support the airplane (Supply, CE, Transportation SQs, Security Police, etc.), as well as the fuel the tanker comsumes.

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 1):
Why is the 10 higher?

The KC-10 costs more to operate on short missions (because it is a heavier airplane), and it's parts (engines, etc.) cost more. Additionally, the KC-10 has a 4 man crew to the Pacer Craig KC-135R 3 man crew. USAF airplanes are usually considered "paid off" at 20 years old. Only a few of the KC-10s are still younger than 20 (the 1988 and 1989 airplanes), so I just consider the whole fleet paid for.


User currently offlineTtailfe From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6472 times:

It may cost a few more bucks for the 10, but what you can do with one 10 you would need 2-3 135's. So you really have to compare amount of offload and distance. As a coronet planner we run into this problem all the time.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 6453 times:



Quoting Ttailfe (Reply 4):
It may cost a few more bucks for the 10, but what you can do with one 10 you would need 2-3 135's

Yes, you are right, the actual mission will really decide the actual costs per US gallon of fuel delivered. The variable factors will include receiver type, number of receivers, etc.

That is the reason I selected a generic mission of:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
a 2.5 hour tanker mission offloading 100,000lbs of fuel, at a distance of 500nm

That could be a typical Volent Boom mission delivering 100,000lbs to a C-5 receiver. In this case, we maximuize the capabilities of the KC-135R, while the KC-10A capabilities would be excessive due to the "small" offload, as opposed to the maximum offload capability of the KC-10.

To fly a 2.5 hour, 100,000lbs offload mission, you would need a fuel load on the KC-135R of about 150,000lbs, using peacetime fuel reserves. On the KC-10A flying that same mission, the fuel load would need to be about 175,000lbs.

Now, Coronet missions are a whole different story, as these are usually fighter deployments/redeployments (we called them fighter drags). There would be anywhere between 2 and 6 receivers per tanker. The KC-10A excells in this mission, because it can carry up to 365,000lbs of fuel, or a reduced fuel load, and the cargo and pax for that fighter squadron.


User currently offlineNicoEDDF From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1110 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6106 times:



Quoting TedTAce (Reply 2):
leads me to believe that Boeing knows a little something more then Airbus about being built to last

And where exactly does Airbus comes into play?

Did they offer a KC-135 competitor which proved to be built less to last?
Wouldn't be the normal, non-US and non-paranoid, reply "Boeing built an excellent aircraft which is still capable of flying more years"?
 Yeah sure

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 2):
I'd be ashamed as an American to think that we'd need to go outside for ANYTHING related to our defense, but if that's PROVEN to be the fact, so be it.

Ashamed? There are millions of reasons to be ashamed of as an American (or European or whatever) but the capability of building all your military equipment at home is certainly, applying normal standards, not one of those.


User currently offlineFlyingClrs727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6082 times:

With costs like that the B-52 fleet should have been reengined years ago.

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...+fighting&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6021 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):

That actually sounds pretty fair. I guess the cost break down would be: Price per gallon of receiver JP-8, cost of the KC-135 flight crew of four per mission.. 3 Officers, 1 enlisted, cost of the fuel burn on the KC-135 for the mission, cost of the maintenance per mission on the KC-135... would the cost of the receiver play into this...?

I think I told you once a while back... that was the job I wanted if I went into the Air Force... Boomer. I got to go on a demo flight years ago and just thought it so cool. How long a go you ask..?? We refueled MA ANG F-106's....!!!!!

[Edited 2008-10-07 10:16:26]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5765 times:



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 8):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):


That actually sounds pretty fair. I guess the cost break down would be: Price per gallon of receiver JP-8, cost of the KC-135 flight crew of four per mission.. 3 Officers, 1 enlisted, cost of the fuel burn on the KC-135 for the mission, cost of the maintenance per mission on the KC-135... would the cost of the receiver play into this...?

No, the costs are delivered costs for the tanker only. The costs for getting the receiver to the refueling would be on top of that, and would vary widely, from a single engine F-16, to the 8 engine B-52, or 4 engine C-5.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 8):
I think I told you once a while back... that was the job I wanted if I went into the Air Force... Boomer. I got to go on a demo flight years ago and just thought it so cool. How long a go you ask..?? We refueled MA ANG F-106's....!!!!!

Wow. My first tour at Pease AFB, NH was in the mid and late 1970s. We flew some of those type missions. The NHANG flew a lot of them, too. You could have flown with me.


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5713 times:

This may not be part of this forum but I looked in a OC-135 going thru depot here at Tik, it caught my eye being one of the few TF-33 powered -135's left flying, what interested me that it was getting 4 brand new engine struts at $1M apiece and new carbon fiber brakes on the main landing gear, I wonder if this is a precurser for some mods for the remaining KC-135E's before they are parked in the boneyard. The main reason they a parked now is the most of the engine pylons came off derilict 707's the USAF purchased back in the 70's and now are having corrision issues, on the OC-135 I saw I never saw before clean sheet metal on a strut before with my time I spent on EC-135H's and RC-135V/W's.


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5665 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):

Wow. My first tour at Pease AFB, NH

Yea... it was maybe 1981-82.. I was in the CT CAP and I did a week at Pease AFB. Very cool and at that point I wanted to be a Boomer. I think our mission was 5-6 hours. We had to go up to near Greenland to refuel the F-106's. Funny - creepy part.... 15 years later I go to work for Business Express Airlines based at the now closed Pease AFB and work out of the same hangar I did a tour of all those years before........ It was close to the same time the KC-10 came on-line because there was a brand new one sitting on the ramp near the firehouse waiting to ferry overseas.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12181 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5520 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 10):
This may not be part of this forum but I looked in a OC-135 going thru depot here at Tik, it caught my eye being one of the few TF-33 powered -135's left flying, what interested me that it was getting 4 brand new engine struts at $1M apiece and new carbon fiber brakes on the main landing gear, I wonder if this is a precurser for some mods for the remaining KC-135E's before they are parked in the boneyard.

The two remaining OC-135Bs (one of the original 3 was retired to AMARC), 61-2670 & 61-2671, were originally C-135Bs, later converted to WC-135Bs, and finally OC-135Bs. They have always had TF-33-P-5 fan engines since they were built, they never carried the J-59-P-43WB or J-59-P-59W engines (JT-3C). The KC-135E was reengined with TF-33-P-102 engines. The P-102 engine has 18,000lbs of thrust, compared to the P-5 engine with only 16,000lbs.

So, the engine stuts on the OC-135B and KC-135E would actually be slightly different. But, it should not take much more engineering to upgrade the new struts to handle the higher thrust engines.

Now the carbon fiber brakes is a mod all KC/RC/OC/WC/VC/C-135s are getting. It saves some 800lbs per airplane.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic The Cost Of Air Refueling
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...
Misuse Of The Term "Air Force One" posted Mon May 16 2005 01:24:29 by AsstChiefMark
True Cost Of Modern Jet Fighters posted Fri Jul 14 2006 16:23:07 by QB001
Since The 80's Most Air To Air Kills...... posted Sun Jun 11 2006 05:14:38 by Socal
What Are The Chances Of The B-1R Being Built? posted Wed Apr 26 2006 01:09:56 by 747400sp
Indian AF Air Refueling System: Nato Or Russian? posted Tue Apr 11 2006 23:05:17 by A342
Jet Noise, The Sound Of Freedom... posted Sat Apr 8 2006 07:09:23 by Maiznblu_757
What's The Status Of The F-22? posted Mon Apr 3 2006 17:37:34 by AviationAddict
"The Spirit Of Ronald Reagan" C-17 Pics Part 2 posted Sat Jan 14 2006 14:57:30 by Echster
"The Spirit Of Ronald Reagan" C-17 Pics posted Sat Jan 14 2006 14:54:35 by Echster
Do The Marines Or Air Force Use ABDUs? posted Sat Nov 19 2005 20:41:23 by AGM114L
True Cost Of Modern Jet Fighters posted Fri Jul 14 2006 16:23:07 by QB001

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format