What good are boatloads of TF-33s if you can't afford to service them? Plus, what kind of reliability would you expect from an engine that not only has been sitting in a warehouse for 20 years, and before that recieved god knows what kind of maintainence while hanging off the wing of some beat up south american freighter? Maybe on the C-5 reliability is not an issue (hey, you don't really need the CF6 upgrade, the Air Force can just keep repairing the engines you're currently stuck with indefinitely, right?) but with current useage of the B-52 (they are still flying sorties over Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as participating in excercises in Africa), it's a way of piling up long hours per cycle. What is the minimum amount of engines that a B-52 can fly on now anyway? And how close to those numbers are the crews experiencing? 8 engines means twice the likelyhood of something going wrong as on the KC
-135/C-141, and with their podded design, if a turbine comes apart, it'll probably take out its neighbor too. The BUFF needs new engines now, and will even more so by the time the study is finished. Constantly reworking clapped-out TF-33s may seem like the easiest solution, but new engines will be cheaper in the long run.