I was wondering about further elaboration on how the Civil Reserve Air Fleet works. I know that the U.S government helps guarantee loans for U.S carriers to buy planes in return for a "first call" on chartering the plane when there's a national emergency.
How much notice does the U.S government have to give? How long do they get the planes for? How does this sort of thing differ from a charter?
Can a 744 carry, for example, an infantry company with their heavy weapons?
Only NW and UA use the 747 anymore - a shame since it carried a lot of troops. Would the U.S government be willing to subsidize airlines more in order to have more CRAF planes available?
What are the design compromises made in aircraft for the plane's inclusion in the CRAF? That is, do 777s have strengthened floors and any sort of electronics accomodations for military radios, etc? Will a CRAF plane ever fly into a situation where it might get shot down?
Are airlines required to give whatever equipment the government wants or does the government define a requirement (16,000 troopers to get to Southwest Asia by Monday)
Has anyone gone on the CRAF flights? Do officers get first class seating or do the airlines take out the class seats?