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Is The KC-30 To Slow For The Usaf?  
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15022 times:

The RAAF KC-30B is a derivetive of theA-330-200, and the proposed (USAF version) KC-30A will be an off shoot of the new A-330-200F.

The commerical A-330 has a maximum airspeed of 475 knots, or .83 Mach. I don't see any tanker version of the A-330 (A-330TT, A-330MRTT, KC-30A/B) being able to exceed that speed. In fact, the tanker versions may be slightly slower, since they can be slightly heavier, but have the same engines and wings of the basic A-330-200.

Here is what the problem is for the USAF. That 475 knots of airspeed is TAS (true airspeed). Air refueling air speed is dictated by the receiver type, for example the B-52 and C-135 types refuel at 450 KTAS (275 KIAS), many of the fighter types begin refueling at 475-500 KTAS or higher (F-15/F-16 refuel at 510 KTAS or 330 KIAS).

Air refueling speeds are set as optimum speeds for the receivers. The KC-135E/R/Ts are currently some of the fastest large airplanes flying today (currently only the B-747-SP can fly as fast) with a maximum airspeed of 550 KTAS, or .95 Mach.

BTW, the proposed USAF version of the KC-767 (the B-767-200LRF) has a (proposed)maximum true airspeed of 525 KTAS, or .92 Mach. This is significantly faster than the "normal" B-767-200/-300/ER/F, which has a speed of .87 Mach

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3906 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15031 times:


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Photo © Joan Martorell


This may not be optimal, but I'm sure USAF fighters and bombers can slow down a few knots to Airbus speed. Why is that a problem?

Peter Smile



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineOvercast From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 15031 times:

I think you must be mixing up the Maximum speeds somewhere. The civil 767 has speeds largely similar to the A330, maybe you have picked the Normal cruise speed for the A330 and Max Mach for the 767. I'm sure that to be able to increase the normal cruise speed of the 767 to 0.92 Mach, you would be burning so much fuel that it wouldn't have much left to transfer.

Can you provide links to where you have got the speeds from


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 15028 times:

Quoting Overcast (Reply 2):
I think you must be mixing up the Maximum speeds somewhere. The civil 767 has speeds largely similar to the A330, maybe you have picked the Normal cruise speed for the A330 and Max Mach for the 767. I'm sure that to be able to increase the normal cruise speed of the 767 to 0.92 Mach, you would be burning so much fuel that it wouldn't have much left to transfer.

As I understand it, Boeing is making aerodynamic changes to the B-767-200LRF to get the increased airspeed required by the tanker mission. Yes, you do burn more fuel, but offload less, fighters don't need as much as a B-52 or E-3.

I got the airsapedd numbers from the airplane type section here at a.net. The question is, are they correct?

The B-767-200LRF speeds are from the Boeing site.


User currently offlineF27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15026 times:

only an idiot would fly longer periods of time at Mach 0.92.. Sonic cruiser anyone?

User currently offlineArniePie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15029 times:

Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Boeing have already enough aerodynamic issues to solve with its much simpler 767 tanker platform that they are building for the Italian and Japanese air forces?

If they would be redesigning , what is basically a 25yr old design, to achieve a higher Max. speed and cruise speed seems somewhat ridiculous to me certainly if you talk about going closer to the mach barrier which can create all kinds of nasty problems aerodynamically.

I think the USAF would be more than happy if Boeing could keep economics and cruising speed equal to the existing B767-200ER model with the boom and lord know what other kind of equipment installed.



[edit post]
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 15028 times:

Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 4):
only an idiot would fly longer periods of time at Mach 0.92.. Sonic cruiser anyone?

Shhhh, don't tell the SR-71, FB-111, or KC-135Q guys.

Quoting ArniePie (Reply 5):
Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't Boeing have already enough aerodynamic issues to solve with its much simpler 767 tanker platform that they are building for the Italian and Japanese air forces?

There are no aerodynamic issues with the JSDAF KC-767s. The problem with the Italian tankers only centers on the wingtip refueling pods, and that may be solved by now. To increase cruising speed all you need to do is some wingtip and wing root redesigns. I believe they are doing this because the B-767-200LRF they are proposing to the USAF uses the B-767-400ER wing and raked wing tips.


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4680 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 15026 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
The commerical A-330 has a maximum airspeed of 475 knots, or .83 Mach.

Make that Mach 0.86, the design cruise speed is M0.82.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6832 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14789 times:

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 1):
This may not be optimal, but I'm sure USAF fighters and bombers can slow down a few knots to Airbus speed. Why is that a problem?

Refueling is a very tricky operation, and the receiving plane needs to be able to fly stably in the wake of the tanker. Higher speed is going to help, and so I would say this would be a significant problem.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineArniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14790 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):

KC135, not that I doubt your standpoint that the KC330 might be too slow for certain aircraft but I cannot find a link towards a reputable site that this is even an issue working against the 330.
Did somebody involved in the acquisition program (USAF/MoD/Boeing/Northrop/....) make some statement about this speed issue and if so would you be so kind to provide a link or maybe quote something from a newspaper or so?

Also, if this would be true than I wouldn't really see why Airbus/Northrop cannot redesign some parts as Boeing is doing.
If, like you said ,it wouldn't be too complicates to do so.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
To increase cruising speed all you need to do is some wingtip and wing root redesigns.



[edit post]
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8867 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 14732 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
The commercial A-330 has a maximum airspeed of 475 knots, or .83 Mach.

Incorrect Vmo/Mmo is 330/0.86 with a crossover at 29878 ft.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
In fact, the tanker versions may be slightly slower, since they can be slightly heavier, but have the same engines and wings of the basic A-330-200.

Incorrect, the maximum speed is the same regardless of mass.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):
Air refueling air speed is dictated by the receiver type, for example the B-52 and C-135 types refuel at 450 KTAS (275 KIAS), many of the fighter types begin refueling at 475-500 KTAS or higher (F-15/F-16 refuel at 510 KTAS or 330 KIAS).

I dont believe the numbers you have presented. Just about every fast aircraft I have seen with a refuelling envelope is between 19,000 and 27,000 ft, 360-430 KTAS. This is well within the operating envelope of the A330 of 330KIAS at those heights.

330KIAS is the following

19000 ft 431 KTAS
20000 ft 437 KTAS
21000 ft 444 KTAS
22000 ft 451 KTAS
23000 ft 457 KTAS
24000 ft 464 KTAS
25000 ft 471 KTAS
26000 ft 478 KTAS
27000 ft 485 KTAS.

In fact the A400M with a Vmo/Mmo of 300/0.72 can refuel every fast jet and helicopter on the market at the moment.

Your analysis is flawed, the A330 can do M0.86 at 30,000 ft which is over 500 KTAS.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):

BTW, the proposed USAF version of the KC-767 (the B-767-200LRF) has a (proposed)maximum true airspeed of 525 KTAS, or .92 Mach. This is significantly faster than the "normal" B-767-200/-300/ER/F, which has a speed of .87 Mach

I dont believe this, I have seen the opposite reported, due to aeroelastic/flutter problems with the wing pods and boom, the 767 speed will be reduced, it is one of the reasons for the two year delay.

The commercial 767 airframe is SLOWER than an A330, the A330 has a more advanced wing with a supercritical aerofoil.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
As I understand it, Boeing is making aerodynamic changes to the B-767-200LRF to get the increased airspeed required by the tanker mission. Yes, you do burn more fuel, but offload less, fighters don't need as much as a B-52 or E-3.

I dont believe a word of that. The changes Boeing would need to make aeroelastic/structural changes, not aerodynamic, maximum speed is a function of the aircraft's flutter characteristics, not drag.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14728 times:

The publicised tanking speed range for the A330 is 180 - 325 Kts IAS

User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8867 posts, RR: 75
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14615 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Thread starter):

The A330-MRTT and KC-30 are both derivatives of the same A330-200 airframe, wings, gear, and systems.
The Vmo/Mmo speed you cited for the A330 and 767/"B-767-200/-300/ER/F" is incorrect.
The maximum speed of the A330-200 or KC-30 tanker is the same regardless of mass
The in flight refuelling envelopes you have cited for various aircraft is incorrect, I suspect you are confusing indicated, true, knots, and miles per hour.
The A400M with a maximum operating envelope (Vmo/Mmo 300/0.72) slower than a 767/A330 and will be capable of refuelling just about every aircraft about at the moment.
The KC-30 and KC-10 have similar operating speeds, the KC-767 is about M0.02 slower.

The speed you have mentioned for the KC-767 are incorrect, looks like the maximum speed for the KC-767 with wing pods is going to be slightly slower than the civil 767 airframe due to flutter problems encountered by placing the pods of the wings. The maximum speed for jets is largely derived from flutter requirements. Placing a pod on a wing changed the centre of mass and aerodynamic centre of the wing, the combination of the two and their associated aeroelastic characteristics determines the flutter characteristics.

Boeing have almost overcome the problems they have had on the KC-767, but in the wisdom with the Frankenstein aircraft they have proposed for the KC-767Adv with bits and pieces of different 767 models combined together in an unproven and risky combination. The KC-767Adv does not have the same wing as the Japanese or Italian KC-767s, so all the flutter testing will have to be done all over again. This was one of the main contributors to the current 2+ year delay on the KC-767.

They have also decided to use a different boom (Gen 6), wing and centre systems than the Italy and Japan 767 aircraft. So all the flight testing to date for the 767 tanker is basically useless for the USAF contract.

The KC-30 has a similar base wing as that of the A340 (over 90% structural commonality) was designed with the addition of a pod placed outboard of the engines (the additional engine on the A340). The 767 never had such a design in place hence the problems it is having putting a high drag mass so far outboard.

The maximum speed for current wing refuelling pods such as those found on the KC-135, KC-10, VC-10, B707, A310, A330, KC-130, A400 is 325 KIAS. The two main suppliers for them are Flight Refuelling ( a division of Cobham ) or Smiths Aerospace ( a division of GE ).

Your stated reasons for being able to increase cruising speed is incorrect, the main driving factor is FAR 25.629

Quote:
Sec. 25.629 Aeroelastic stability requirements.

(a) General. The aeroelastic stability evaluations required under this section include flutter, divergence, control reversal and any undue loss of stability and control as a result of structural deformation. The aeroelastic evaluation must include whirl modes associated with any propeller or rotating device that contributes significant dynamic forces. Compliance with this section must be shown by analyses, wind tunnel tests, ground vibration tests, flight tests, or other means found necessary by the Administrator.

(b) Aeroelastic stability envelopes. The airplane must be designed to be free from aeroelastic instability for all configurations and design conditions within the aeroelastic stability envelopes as follows:

(1) For normal conditions without failures, malfunctions, or adverse conditions, all combinations of altitudes and speeds encompassed by the VD/MD versus altitude envelope enlarged at all points by an increase of 15 percent in equivalent airspeed at both constant Mach number and constant altitude. In addition, a proper margin of stability must exist at all speeds up to VD/MD and, there must be no large and rapid reduction in stability as VD/MD is approached. The enlarged envelope may be limited to Mach 1.0 when MD is less than 1.0 at all design altitudes, and

(2) For the conditions described in Sec. 25.629(d) below, for all approved altitudes, any airspeed up to the greater airspeed defined by;

(i) The VD/MD envelope determined by Sec. 25.335(b); or,

(ii) An altitude-airspeed envelope defined by a 15 percent increase in equivalent airspeed above VC at constant altitude, from sea level to the altitude of the intersection of 1.15 VC with the extension of the constant cruise Mach number line, MC, then a linear variation in equivalent airspeed to MC+.05 at the altitude of the lowest VC/MC intersection; then, at higher altitudes, up to the maximum flight altitude, the boundary defined by a .05 Mach increase in MC at constant altitude.

(c) Balance weights. If concentrated balance weights are used, their effectiveness and strength, including supporting structure, must be substantiated.

(d) Failures, malfunctions, and adverse conditions. The failures, malfunctions, and adverse conditions which must be considered in showing compliance with this section are:

(1) Any critical fuel loading conditions, not shown to be extremely improbable, which may result from mismanagement of fuel.

(2) Any single failure in any flutter damper system.

(3) For airplanes not approved for operation in icing conditions, the maximum likely ice accumulation expected as a result of an inadvertent encounter.

(4) Failure of any single element of the structure supporting any engine, independently mounted propeller shaft, large auxiliary power unit, or large externally mounted aerodynamic body (such as an external fuel tank).

(5) For airplanes with engines that have propellers or large rotating devices capable of significant dynamic forces, any single failure of the engine structure that would reduce the rigidity of the rotational axis.

(6) The absence of aerodynamic or gyroscopic forces resulting from the most adverse combination of feathered propellers or other rotating devices capable of significant dynamic forces. In addition, the effect of a single feathered propeller or rotating device must be coupled with the failures of paragraphs (d)(4) and (d)(5) of this section.

(7) Any single propeller or rotating device capable of significant dynamic forces rotating at the highest likely overspeed.

(8) Any damage or failure condition, required or selected for investigation by Sec. 25.571. The single structural failures described in paragraphs (d)(4) and (d)(5) of this section need not be considered in showing compliance with this section if;

(i) The structural element could not fail due to discrete source damage resulting from the conditions described in Sec. 25.571(e), and

(ii) A damage tolerance investigation in accordance with Sec. 25.571(b) shows that the maximum extent of damage assumed for the purpose of residual strength evaluation does not involve complete failure of the structural element.

(9) Any damage, failure, or malfunction considered under Secs. 25.631, 25.671, 25.672, and 25.1309.

(10) Any other combination of failures, malfunctions, or adverse conditions not shown to be extremely improbable.

(e) Flight flutter testing. Full scale flight flutter tests at speeds up to VDF/MDF must be conducted for new type designs and for modifications to a type design unless the modifications have been shown to have an insignificant effect on the aeroelastic stability. These tests must demonstrate that the airplane has a proper margin of damping at all speeds up to VDF/MDF, and that there is no large and rapid reduction in damping as VDF/MDF, is approached. If a failure, malfunction, or adverse condition is simulated during flight test in showing compliance with paragraph (d) of this section, the maximum speed investigated need not exceed VFC/MFC if it is shown, by correlation of the flight test data with other test data or analyses, that the airplane is free from any aeroelastic instability at all speeds within the altitude airspeed envelope described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

Boeing has had aerodynamic issues with the Japan tankers as well, they had the same boom problems as the Italian tankers. It did not have the wing flutter problems, as it does not have the wing pods which is a requirement for the USAF. They were rolled out on 05/04/05, and still have not been delivered.

The KC-767ADV (KC-Frankenstein) configuration is as follows (from a KC-767ADV presentation by Mark McGraw, Vice President Tanker Programs The Boeing Company last month), the comment "they are proposing to the USAF uses the B-767-400ER wing and raked wing tips" is incorrect, they will be using the 764 generators, flaps, and cockpit, but the 300ER wing, no raked wing tips.



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
I got the airsapedd numbers from the airplane type section here at a.net. The question is, are they correct?

No, they are not.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
The B-767-200LRF speeds are from the Boeing site.

No, they are not.

In general, in my view your whole post/replies are not factual in any respect.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently onlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 14522 times:

Will the KC-30, based on the A330F, have that strange nosewheel fairing?


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 14523 times:

The point is, IF it is possible to increase airspeed (cruise and max) of the KC-767 by 0.05-0.07Mach, WHY should that not be possible with the KC-30??? A further doubt of mine is, that 0.05-0.07Mach is a relevant difference to the receiving aircraft.

User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4777 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 14523 times:

If maximum speed is unaffected by weight, then the increased usable fuel capacity exceeding USAF requirements offered by this announced "body fuel tank system" would boost the KC-767AT's chances of selection.....

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi...An8AAAEAACi6S0AAAAAD&modele=jdc_34

Quote:
"'With these body fuel tanks, the KC-767's usable fuel capacity exceeds what the U.S. Air Force requires,' said Mark McGraw, vice president, Boeing Tanker Programs. 'Sargent Fletcher's system extends the KC-767's range and off-load capacity without sacrificing size.'

[.....]

Boeing formally submitted its KC-X proposal to the Air Force on April 10. The offering, the KC-767 Advanced Tanker, is designed for aerial refueling of other aircraft, but also is able to move cargo, passengers, patients and medical crewmembers. These capabilities, combined with best-in-competition fuel efficiency, global flexibility and space usage, provide a strong value proposition to the Air Force."



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7063 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 14304 times:

I thought the US Air Force did not request wing tip refuelling, if so, how does the Italian issue affect them?

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 14279 times:

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2007/q4/071011b_nr.html

Boeing Signs Agreement with Sargent Fletcher for KC-767 Fuel Tank Systems

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 11, 2007 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Sargent Fletcher, Inc., of El Monte, Calif., a Cobham plc [LSE: COB] company, to provide the body fuel tank system for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker (AT).

"With these body fuel tanks, the KC-767's usable fuel capacity exceeds what the U.S. Air Force requires," said Mark McGraw, vice president, Boeing Tanker Programs. "Sargent Fletcher's system extends the KC-767's range and off-load capacity without sacrificing size."

Boeing's choice of Sargent Fletcher followed a best-value source selection process that focused on technical readiness, price and supportability. The MOA provides the terms under which Sargent Fletcher may be awarded subcontracts for the fuel tank system if the KC-767AT is selected in the U.S. Air Force's KC-X tanker competition.

Boeing formally submitted its KC-X proposal to the Air Force on April 10. The offering, the KC-767 Advanced Tanker, is designed for aerial refueling of other aircraft, but also is able to move cargo, passengers, patients and medical crewmembers. These capabilities, combined with best-in-competition fuel efficiency, global flexibility and space usage, provide a strong value proposition to the Air Force.

The Boeing Global Tanker Team producing the KC-767 Advanced Tanker includes Delta TechOps, Rockwell Collins, Vought Aircraft Industries, Pratt & Whitney, Smiths Aerospace, Honeywell and Spirit AeroSystems. This experienced group of partners has proven expertise in aerial refueling systems, network centric operations, integrated avionics solutions and lean manufacturing concepts, which will offer the Air Force high levels of reliability and unique technical advancements.

Boeing has produced nearly 2,000 tankers in its history and currently is building four KC-767 tankers each for Italy and Japan.

You can also get more information here:

http://www.answers.com/topic/aerial-refueling?cat=technology

This site also has info and links to just about every airplane (except the KDC-10) that has ever been used, converted to, or built as a tanker.

Global Tanker Team

The Global Tanker Team has supplied more than 90% of the aerial refueling tankers flying today -- expertise that is being used today in advancing aerial refueling capability with the KC-767.
Global Tanker Team Pledge

* To build the safest, most reliable tankers for the world's air forces
* To ensure the confidence of our customers in the quality and integrity of our people, products and processes
* To use 75+ years of unmatched air refueling experience to build the world's most advanced and capable tankers
* To maintain steadfast commitment to the men and women of our armed forces

Advanced Tanker Suppliers

http://www.boeing.com/ids/globaltank...images/advancedTankerSuppliers.jpg


User currently offlineNorlander From Faroe Islands, joined Sep 2007, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 14250 times:

Having read the various treads on the tanker discussion on this board for the last 4 years, I'm amazed that this issue isn't solved yet. The KC-30 is faster to produce (the first unit is already underway), more able (the spider diagram posted in a thread a few months back illustrates that clearly) and newer design then the KC-767. It doesn't require extensive modifications of the base aircraft, unlike the KC-767 does (diagram posted by Zeke above).

They're both "made in the USA" and "Foreign" in the sense that both companies (NG and Boeing) outsource large amounts of their work, and both company profits from this program will be spread throughout the global financial world. And all that currently remains is for the US Congress to agree if this is a job subsidy for the Northwest or the South.

I for one would love to see Northrop Grumman return to aircraft, even if it's based on a A330-200, I'll not deny that, but in the case of the A330-200 vs the B767-200, the capability difference it's as clear as it can be in aviation.

Why doesn't Boeing switch strategies and offer the dual setup of the KC-737 and a KC-777 as the complete replacement for all the KC-135 and KC-10 over a period of 25 years? The B777-200 is an even more capable aircraft then the A330-200, and if the ramp space is such a problem then a KC-737 supplementing it would alleviate that problem.



Longtime Lurker
User currently offlineTexl1649 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 14236 times:

Norlander,

Good post. I think Boeing has just decided to stick to it's guns with decisions made to market the 767 as the tanker solution. It's becoming more awkward as this draws out for them, though, as while your suggestion makes short-term/rational sense, the bigger picture is that the 737 replacement and 777 update/replacement programs haven't been unveiled today, but certainly will be over the next several years. Boeing sales and production figures for those types are doing quite well, but their major updates would not integrate well with the procurement/beauracracy nightmare that is DoD major systems acquisitions.

They screwed the pooch once with the lease fiasco, twice with the scandal involving the former AF procurement official (Darla?), and three times with repeated insistence that ramp space and mission dictate the 767 alone is the ideal airframe. They are essentially stuck with the 767 now as their bid, and the air force has all but backed themselves into buying the frames and using them through 2060, even though it is self-evidently the inferior option of the two proposals. Good enough for government work, I suppose.


User currently offlinePADSpot From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 14207 times:

Quoting Norlander (Reply 18):
the first unit is already underway

That is just a demonstrator. The final KC-30 will be based on the A332F.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 14182 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Boeing Signs Agreement with Sargent Fletcher for KC-767 Fuel Tank Systems

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 11, 2007 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Sargent Fletcher, Inc., of El Monte, Calif., a Cobham plc [LSE: COB] company, to provide the body fuel tank system for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker (AT).

"With these body fuel tanks, the KC-767's usable fuel capacity exceeds what the U.S. Air Force requires," said Mark McGraw, vice president, Boeing Tanker Programs. "Sargent Fletcher's system extends the KC-767's range and off-load capacity without sacrificing size."

Seems like Boeing doesn't like telling the public all what their KC-767 ADV proposal actually has in it, and that's fine to a point but I sure hope they haven't submitted a bid and expect to or are allowed to continue update/refine it as they go along?

Also, why no GENx for the KC-30? Could the USAF and/or NG still offer/outfit this engine on the KC-30 if the USAF so desired? Seems to me that that would be the logical choice and as much as either company (Boeing or Airbus) may not want to allow that because it would make their 787 and A50XWB aircraft that much less superior, you'd think for this particular order the size that it is that just about any request could be met if it meant winning the bid or not.


User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 14167 times:

I believe either will work. If the USAF disqualifies one on the lack of speed, there will be no award as the loser will bitch and the effort will stall.

The best for the USAF would be to split all of the orders which would: (a) save months on IOC as all of this silliness would go by the wayside and frames would be started and finished; (b) two lines mean same number of aircraft delivered in less time; and (c) turn the 135's into beer cans before the wings start coming off.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 14077 times:

Quoting Norlander (Reply 18):
The KC-30 is faster to produce (the first unit is already underway), more able (the spider diagram posted in a thread a few months back illustrates that clearly) and newer design then the KC-767. It doesn't require extensive modifications of the base aircraft, unlike the KC-767 does (diagram posted by Zeke above).

Actually, both airplanes proposed (as the new builds) are extensively modified from their original designs. The A-330-200 will be an A-330-200F (which is an extensive design change in itself), and the B-767-200LRF, which is essentially a new model. Then, both airplanes will require body fuel tanks, something only the KC-767s for Japan and Italy have now (but that, too, was an extensive modification). On both airplanes, the KC-767, and the RAAF KC-30B, and proposed USAF KC-30A, a flying boom is added.

There is another proposal we hardly ever talk about here. It is the cheapest proposal by far, and the quickest (yes iot will require a short flight test program as there are changes over the current KC-135R). That proposal involves converting the stored KC-135Es to an improved KC-135R, probibly to be designated the KC-135U, but that is a guess on my part.

Quoting Norlander (Reply 18):
I for one would love to see Northrop Grumman return to aircraft, even if it's based on a A330-200, I'll not deny that, but in the case of the A330-200 vs the B767-200, the capability difference it's as clear as it can be in aviation.

NG is already going back to building airplanes, anyway. They are building the new USN (and eventual FMS) E-2D

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 20):
That is just a demonstrator. The final KC-30 will be based on the A332F.

That is correct, as is the already built (less engines) original KC-767, built back in 2002.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 21):
Also, why no GENx for the KC-30?

Good question! Why not use the GEnx or new RR equivilent, on either airplane. Both offer an increase thrust (by about 5,000-10,000lbs) over the PW-4062s, or CF-6-80s, and a lower fuel comsumption.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 22):
I believe either will work. If the USAF disqualifies one on the lack of speed, there will be no award as the loser will bitch and the effort will stall.

It is clear that the loser (only Boeing or NG/EADS) in the KC-X will file a protest with the GAO, much like the CSAR-X program now. That may kill the intire program as the contract winner will not be able to meet any milestones. All work (design, production, testing, etc.) must stop, but costs keep increasing, and you cannot even hire the needed new employees. Congress can reallocate the money to other programs. A protest can take anywhere from 100 (working) days to a year in a half (like CSAR-X is now).

Of course Congress can order thew award of an interium contract to someone else. That would be the company who wants to upgrade the KC-135Es.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8867 posts, RR: 75
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 14069 times:

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 20):
That is just a demonstrator. The final KC-30 will be based on the A332F.

The RFP is for 4 test/development aircraft and 175 production aircraft. As it currently stands the KC-30 bid was based on the standard A330-200, just like the A330-MRTT for the RAAF. The A332F may end up being the new base airframe, but that was not was submitted.

The change from A330 to A330F is minor, much of the work had already been done with the A300-600F/A310F, both share the same cargo door and fuselage cross section as the A330F, with many examples already flying.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 23):
Actually, both airplanes proposed (as the new builds) are extensively modified from their original designs. The A-330-200 will be an A-330-200F (which is an extensive design change in itself), and the B-767-200LRF, which is essentially a new model. Then, both airplanes will require body fuel tanks, something only the KC-767s for Japan and Italy have now (but that, too, was an extensive modification). On both airplanes, the KC-767, and the RAAF KC-30B, and proposed USAF KC-30A, a flying boom is added.

More misleading information.

1) The KC-30 as submitted was not based on the A332F, that may come, but it was not a part of the original proposal.

2) The KC-30 fuel is in existing fuel tanks, no underfloor cargo space is being used to carry fuel.

3) Airbus had already developed "Additional Centre Tanks" for the A310-MRTT (same fuselage cross section as the KC-30 and same cargo bay cross section) and A330/A340 corporate jet models. Each tank holds about 12500 lb, but as it stands, the A330-MRTT and KC-30 will not have these, they are not required, The aircraft already has ample space in the standard aircraft fuel tanks for fuel.

Having fuselage tanks according to the RFP is a negative, not a positive aspect.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 23):
There is another proposal we hardly ever talk about here. It is the cheapest proposal by far, and the quickest (yes iot will require a short flight test program as there are changes over the current KC-135R). That proposal involves converting the stored KC-135Es to an improved KC-135R, probibly to be designated the KC-135U, but that is a guess on my part.

That is not cheap or quick, look at the cost and time required to replace the engines on the C5. Studies of that program has shown a new aircraft not only would be quicker, but also gives additional capabilities, and lower maintenance costs.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 23):
Good question! Why not use the GEnx or new RR equivilent, on either airplane. Both offer an increase thrust (by about 5,000-10,000lbs) over the PW-4062s, or CF-6-80s, and a lower fuel comsumption.

Its called fan diameter, the GEnx for he 748 might fit, it is smaller than the 787 engine.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 23):
It is clear that the loser (only Boeing or NG/EADS) in the KC-X will file a protest with the GAO, much like the CSAR-X program now.

The helicopter chosen for the CSAR-X is seen by many as being much better for the role than the warmed over Chinook. The same helicopter type has also been chosen to be the next Presidential Helicopter in the USA, and chosen by Portugal, Denmark, Japan and Canada in recent competitions.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
25 AirRyan : I have Boeing desktop models of the 787 and 748 right next to each other in my study and I was noticing this just last night as well - the GEnX for t
26 Post contains images A342 : And the best of all, it has bleed air! But at 66,500lbf, the thrust is too low. The KC-30 would make use of the highest thrust ratings currently foun
27 AirTranTUS : Or Citation X pilots.
28 Blackbird : What modifications are they making to the wings of the 767 to jack it's speed up to Mach 0.92? Andrea Kent
29 Tancrede : You are entirely right. The starter of this thread is so biased in his opinion that the overall feeling when reading his writing is to damage or put
30 KC135TopBoom : Zeke, you finally got something correct, I am proud of you. You had better go back and re-read the USAF KC-X RFP. It specifies a freighter version of
31 Norlander : This thread is going the same way as the 50 others before it, with the usual suspects starting out with well-reasoned posts and ending up with opinio
32 Post contains images KC135TopBoom : He he. Yeah, but it is fun, LOL
33 AirRyan : I agree, I enjoy the debate - and I don't know what is taking the USAF so long to make their mind up?! (I think they already have but as they said th
34 Post contains links and images DEVILFISH : The consolation prize for the loser?..... http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...potentially-a-c-5-replacement.html
35 Zeke : The person responsible just committed suicide. Charles Riechers was principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisition. He was working on the USAF
36 Post contains links RedFlyer : Zeke, are you saying his suicide was directly related to his work on the KC-X and CSARX programs? That's quite a stretch. CRI has close relationships
37 Knoxibus : Zeke only proposes an answer to AirRyan's open question, with bringing facts which currently make the news regarding the person following up this pro
38 Post contains links Zeke : I did not say "his suicide was directly related to his work on the KC-X and CSARX programs" did I ? I just stated he committed suicide and his former
39 RedFlyer : This messenger deserved to be shot. A good messenger delivers just the facts and does not embellish them nor add innuendos or scurrilous allegations.
40 Knoxibus : Well at least in his previous posts on this thread, and on the contrary to you so far, he brought some answers and facts to the actual thread opener'
41 KC135TopBoom : Yes he did have overall resposibility over both those programs, as well as the C-17 buy. But most suicides are committed for personal reasons (marria
42 Post contains links Norlander : As I noted in the other thread on his suicide. It is quite suspect that a career driven, ambitious high level government employee commits suicide 2 w
43 KC135TopBoom : About 10 years ago the USN CNO committed suicide, IIRC (sometime between 1996 qnd 1998?). There was a newspaper story about him wearing military deco
44 Post contains links Norlander : As I remember, and wikipedia in a sourced article backs me up, Jeremy Michael Boorda was the focus of a scandal of wearing decorations he didn't earn,
45 Post contains links Lumberton : Unions are getting more strident and there's now an ethnic element involved! http://www.reuters.com/article/marke...sNews/idUKN1846770620071018?rpc=44
46 Norlander : Any reference on McArtor being a 4 star? I can only find him being a command pilot before going into the private sector...
47 Lumberton : Now that you ask, I can't find any reference either! Sorry, I thought I had read that he was a retired 4 star.
48 AirRyan : Borda will forever best be known and remembered for his rise from the enlisted ranks all the way to the CNO and the subsequent program that the USN s
49 Post contains images Iwok : C'mon, we all know that they're waiting to make the call when Tim Clark does -Validate the last minute exclusion of PW from the A400M program. -Sourc
50 F27Friendship : lol, really, we haven't heard thisone before! haha!
51 Curt22 : Pretty good memory...Adm Borda killed himself in 1996...I was a USAF member assigned to a naval base at this time and recall well the whole navy goin
52 Curt22 : I only respond off topic here to once again correct an erronious statement by Ryan passed off as "fact". The USAF did not "reject" the H-47 as implie
53 Post contains links and images A5XX :    Let's get back on topic http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2005/06/06/AR2005060601715.html A5XX[Edited 2007-10-26 18:59:58]
54 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : This story is from June 2005. But, it does highlight the fact the KC-135s really do not need to be replaced. "In fact, the studies that were available
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