miamiair
Posts: 4249
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:42 pm

Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:17 pm

Aviation Week & Space Technology (Aug 9, 2004, p. 32) is reporting that some Boeing employees are pushing for the conversion of stored MD-11's to tankers as a low cost option to the KC-767. The Boeing employees are wanting to remain anonymous and are trying to get Sen John McCain (R-AZ) to come to the facility in San Antonio to view their proposals. The new designation would be designated the KC-10B.

The article goes to mention that there are other options such as the 7E7, 747, the A-330 and A-310, the C-17 and KC-130 as well as an unmanned tanker.

I think this would be a great, almost off-the-shelf interim supplement to the USAF's tanker fleet. I also believe the MD-11 fans out there will be jumping for joy.

Go ahead and reply with your comments. And yes, I will wear my flak jacket and Kevlar helmet...

Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
airtran737
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:19 pm

Sounds like a great idea to me. The range and payload of the MD-11 would make it an excellent tanker.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
dragogoalie
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:23 pm

damn...a 747 tanker? They'd never have to land that thing.

--dragogoalie-#88--
Formerly known as Jap. Srsly. AUSTRALIA: 2 days!
 
a300
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:47 pm

The 747 tanker has been in use for nearly thirty years by the Iranian Air Force (IIAF/IRIAF). This is nothing new.
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LMP737
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:46 pm

Considering most MD-11 are quickly scoped up by cargo haulers I don't think it would be in the USAF's best interest to convert them into tankers.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
miamiair
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:52 pm

According to the article, a Boeing document, the company owned 39 MD-11s in storage. The other part in the story is that the contract at Boeing Aerospace Support in San Antonio is coming up for competition and it would serve Boeing well to keep the facility operational.

Since the MD-11 is a derivative of the DC-10, the USAF techs already have the basic concept of the airframe and would have to learn the new systems.
Molon Labe - Proud member of SMASH
 
desertjets
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:05 pm

If you look through the numerous threads in military av you will discover that after the E-8 program the USAF does not want to deal with converting ex-airliner airframes into military birds. Unless they can buy a single airlines fleet, they will basically need a dedicated operations manual for each airframe.

Even if ther are 30 some odd MD-11s owned by Boeing sitting in the desert today, that will not be enough to meet future tanker demands. The original, and botched agreement, for the KC-767 was for 100 planes. That number would conceivably get much bigger as the DoD moves forward on completely replacing the KC-135 fleet.

The only two viable options right now are the 767 and A330... another topic which has been talked to death over in military av.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
Spacepope
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:40 pm

Looks like an effort for Boeing to get MD-11s out of circulation for the launch of the 777F program.

The main point of the KC-767 program is to get 100 booms out there, as air force aircraft can only be refuelled one at a time. The KC767 enables the fleet to refuel 100 different aircraft in 100 different places. The desire to go with fewer larger tankers (and these would become the largest tankers in the USAF inventory) is irrational.

Come join us over in Mil Av, we'd love another tanker thread there.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
LMP737
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:04 am

Maybe the information is not complete but looking at Boeing's website they only have DC-10's in their possession


http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airtrade/reports/dc10-md11.html
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
PPGMD
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Wed Aug 11, 2004 5:58 am

Posted this in the other thread about this.

Either way this has been beaten to death, including MD-11, and 777 options, the only viable option that the USAF was looking at was the KC-767, since they are already going to go to that type. But Airbus demanded that their A330 be evaluated.

MD-11: Does Boeing still have the tooling and rigs for the MD-11 line still available? I was under the impression that they didn't, if they have to retool, it would be very costly, and the USAF doesn't want a used aircraft.

7E7: Too far off for the USAF schedule, they want to replace the KC-135E's in the next few years.

A310,A330: Airbus, have their own issues, doubtful that Congress would let them buy them, but I would bet that they are going to use the A330 as a bargaining chip to get Boeing to lower it's price.

747: Was tested in the past and was determined to be too large with too great of wake turbulence.

KC-130: Would probably be too slow, I have heard from the Air Forces that use them that they are a pain to work with fully loaded fighters. Maybe someone from the USMC, or RSAF would be able to better fill me in on their experiences.

C-17: Could be a possibility, not sure, I don't think anyone has really considered it, though since it's main entry is the rear door, they would have to develop a forward cargo hatch, which would be extensive modifications and testing which is one of the reasons used against the A330 (it had to off the shelf cargo door).
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
RaginMav
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:09 am

The KC-17, now that's something I didn't think about!!!

Who says they have to refuel form the rear?? How about under the belly??

They could raise the floor inside the cargo area to allow room to retract/fold up the boom, and make room at the same time for extra fuel tanks (if that's even necessary)

BUT - www.af.mil lists the unit price of a C-17 at $236.7 million, versus Boeing states a civilian version of a 767-200 is $101-112 million.
 
Boeing4ever
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Wed Aug 11, 2004 1:09 pm

The USAF already said they don't want used planes.

Besides, isn't the MD-11 a bit larger than the KC-10 anyway? What would be the point?

B4e-Forever New Frontiers
 
miamiair
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:26 pm

LMP737:
I am only going on what the article is going on. I think AW&ST is a genuine and reliable source of information.

Boeing4ever:
The MD-11 is more efficient than the KC-10, in range and payload. If the USAF was to acquire a 50 aircraft, same type fleet, I believe this would alleviate, not repair the requirements based on the tanker fleet. And, in the mean time, it puts money into the economy that isn't loaded with pork.
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Boeing4ever
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Thu Aug 12, 2004 6:32 am

The MD-11 is more efficient than the KC-10, in range and payload. If the USAF was to acquire a 50 aircraft, same type fleet, I believe this would alleviate, not repair the requirements based on the tanker fleet. And, in the mean time, it puts money into the economy that isn't loaded with pork.

All true, but...

We're trying to replace KC-135s, not KC-10s.

B4e-Forever New Frontiers
 
chdmcmanus
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:16 am

The efficiency comparison between the MD-11 and KC-10 is effectively no factor. The KC-10 only operates at MTOW a relatively small amount of time. Our MTOW of 590,000 lbs is already 10,000lbs heavier than the DC-10-30F and MD-10-30F, and is only 40,000 lbs less than the MD-11F (with full aileron droop mod, considering some of the past problems with this, the USAF would probably go with the 618K MTOW, for a 28,000 lb difference). Once you ad the Boom, drogue, and UARRSI the weight and CG shift will bring the MD-11 ACL down considerably. We can hold over 350,000 lbs of fuel by volume, but only around 335,000 lbs by weight. I can count the number of 590K takeoffs I have done on one hand. I have never done, and don't even know anyone that has carried more than 120k or so in cargo weight, (Deuce50 can confirm this) and that much cargo seriously limits fuel available for cruise. Our money maker is the ability to move fighters and some support cargo at the same time, and for that we need fuel. Our body fuel tanks are limited by "zone load" restrictions for fuel weight. That means to put more fuel weight in the body, Boeing would be doing some considerable structure mod in the MD-11. The smaller MD-11 horizontal stab will also affect the CG range, something that requires additional "ballast fuel" in the KC-10 already, not to mention alleviating the usefulness of the MD-11 horizontal stab tanks with the boom installation. Another factor with additional fuel weight is single engine dump capability. Neither acft have the capability to jettison cargo, so your stuck with it regardless of your configuration, however fuel dump in a single engine situation could be the difference between walking or swimming to the crew bus, and it leaves at the same rate on both acft. This is partially negated by the increase in MD-11 thrust, but still a volume issue The USAF also uses ALL of the runway surface to compute V1 speed, IE we aren’t required to be 35 feet above the departure end unless there are obstacle clearance issues. This means at USAF terps'ed airfields we can leave much heavier than at an FAA field, which gives us comparable performance out of shorter USAF fields, but affecting Vmcg and a few other takeoff numbers. This would be a benefit for the MD-11, but only if an increased fuel volume was available, as it normally limits our MTOW quite a bit. Another factor is operating environment. The MD-11's CF-6-80 has about 8,000 lbs more thrust per engine, but at 45c this doesn't help much, and the weight will still hover around the current KC-10. In the end, the KC-11's performance would only slightly exceed the current KC-10 capabilities, which would be outweighed by the problem of dissimilar engines and equipment cost.

If you want to help the KC-10, advocate the purchase of a few DC-10-30's to use for our endless touch and goes to save wear and tear on the current fleet.

I am all for more KC10-11's, but only if it will add to what we have, not replace the '135. The analogy has already been given that the world’s biggest gas station does no good if you only have one pump. We need more booms, not bigger ones.

ChD
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
keesje
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:54 am

Well don´t know about the other folks, but Chdmcmanus convinced me the KC11 is not a real good idea..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Duce50Boom
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RE: Usaf Tanker Wildcard...MD-11

Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:23 pm

As the old saying goes, "never, but never, question the engineer's judgement." Except when you're both piss drunk at the bar and he says the blimp next to you is hot, but I digress.

Chdmcmanus hit the nail right on the head. Although I'd like to see an KC/MD-11, it just isn't gonna happen. Buy some older DC-10s we can destroy in the pattern and let the jets we have take a breather.

On that note, here are some tanker ideas that I think people need to understand;

KC-11- Wishing for something will NOT make it happen folks. The tooling is destroyed, and boeing will NOT build another MD-11. This is reality talking here.

KC-747- WAY too big for USAF service.

Used DC-10s converted to KC- After the E-8 program, I don't think the AF will ever go with another old civil airliner conversion again. That and the ones that aren't peaked with flight hours and cycles have been snapped up by FedEx and converted to MD-10s.

KC-330- Probably won't happen for the USAF. Best it can be IMHO is leverage to get boeing to drop their outrageous prices and up the options on the KC-767, but the AF isn't a very smart shopper and even this probably won't help.

KC-17- WILL NOT HAPPEN. The AF will not gut a much needed airlifter to stick a boom on it. Apart from practically making a new plane, the C-17 has no range as it is, I shudder to think of how it would do as a tanker, "we've got 700 pounds of fuel offload available til bingo......."

KC-130- The MC uses these, as does AF spec ops. They work alright for some fixed wing birds like F-18s and harriers but cannot work as a mainline strat/tac tanker like the KC-135. It would be like downgrading back to the KC-97 of yore. Although something tells me Chdmcmanus would be itching to volunteer if they ever brought the KC-97 back.  Smile

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