ZRH
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777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:27 am

Let's try it again and I ask all posters to stay with aviation facts.
There was a discussion about the new tanker for the US Air Force (in a deleted thread because of stupid racism and nationalism). Either the 767 or 330.
But the 777-200 was never mentioned. Would it be too big and too heavy? I could see it as a good solution.
 
gigneil
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:30 am

Waaaaaaaaaaay too big, in terms of ramp sace especially.

Part of the case against the KC330 is that it takes up too much ramp space.

N
 
ZRH
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:37 am

Waaaaaaaaaaay too big, in terms of ramp sace especially.

Do they not have DC-10 (KC-10) tankers? They are not much smaller than the 777-200.
 
gigneil
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:41 am

A 10 meter difference in wingspan is a lot, actually.

N
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:53 am

Not unless the folding wing tip proposal is brought back to the table. Something which the military is very familiar with.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
ZRH
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:20 am

A 10 meter difference in wingspan is a lot, actually.

The wingspan of the 772 is 60.93 meters, the span of the 332 is 60.30 meters (not a big difference, two feet). In this case the 330 would be too big to.
 
Amy
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:23 am

With the current models available I would guess that the 767-300/ER would make the best tanker.

Chances of a 787 tanker? It seems the 78 would have the right dimensions etc.
A340-300 - slow, but awesome!
 
ZRH
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:31 am

Yes Amy you are right. The 767 would probably have the right size. But the problem is (discussed in the deleted thread) that Boeing might not be able to keep open the 767 line till the Air Force decides. The 787 as a tanker is out of question (Boeing) because it is a real civil aircraft and it would not be possible to make a tanker out of it, because of its design.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:31 am

Boeing has already said the 787 could not work as a tanker because it is too engineered toward civilian use. The 762 is the perfect tanker platform, once all the political crap is taken care of, the USAF will have a hefty fleet of them.
 
gigneil
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:49 am

With the current models available I would guess that the 767-300/ER would make the best tanker.

The 767-200ER is the version being offered as a tanker.

N
 
2H4
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:54 am



The 787 as a tanker is out of question (Boeing) because it is a real civil aircraft and it would not be possible to make a tanker out of it, because of its design.


Could you explain why?


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
ZRH
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:06 am

2H4: I can't explain. But this was what Boeing said. I unfortunately don't know if it was in a newspaper or on TV or even on the home-page. They said, like FriendlySkies posted already, that the whole frame and layout of the 787 was so sophisticated and made for passenger transport, that it would not possible to convert it to a tanker.
 
khenleydia
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:16 am

As someone who just loves planes, it would be cool to see a 777 with its wingtips folded and equipped with a fueling boom. It may not be practical in most ways, but it would been sweet to look at. It will be interesting in the future to see what they replace the KC-10s with though.

It would be unfortunate for Boeing to lose the tanker deal just due to canceling the 767. If it loses the contract to Airbus for other reasons, then so be it.

As to the 787 not being an option for a tanker, I wonder specifically why it can't be. It is due to being mostly composite?? Any Boeing workers out there know? Does that mean it also wouldn't be able to become a cargo plane?
Why sit at home and do nothing when you can travel the world.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:20 am

The wingspan of the 772 is 60.93 meters, the span of the 332 is 60.30 meters (not a big difference, two feet). In this case the 330 would be too big to.

Yes, though realize the comparison was between the span of a D10 and a 772
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
ZRH
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:32 am

Yes, though realize the comparison was between the span of a DC 10 and a 772

Yes it was a comparison between the DC 10 and the 777. But the actual tanker discussion is about, if the Air Force would buy the 767 or the 330 as a new tanker. I brought up the 777 because it is not much bigger than the DC 10 (besides the span). Somebody then said the 777 would be too big because of the wing span. I then concluded, that in this case the 330 also would be too big because it has almost the same span as the 777.
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:35 am

The tanker also has a light cargo requirement, a modification in design that would be required for the 777. Good idea due to range, but the money has already been spent on the 767 version.
 
lehpron
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:08 am

2H4: I'll try to explain why. It is because 787's composite structure is tailored to fit a civialian profile, it is not just an AL-Li type materials that is from an outside contrator which they shaped it into place then welded together. This stuff was crafted from the very begining, made especially for 787 -- which makes is damn ass expensive! Making a 'KC-787" would literally require a complete redesign, costing billions more than need be.

I should also say that only current technology cannot allow for a 787-tanker, unless you had the money and the time. Composite structures are mainly used nowadays for the purposes of lightening the weigh and increasing compresive/tensile allowable stresses. Perhaps there are ways of easy fabrication or 'cookie cutting' like with traditional materials but that the process may take too long or is too expensive in the long run. Most people even on this forum forget to take time into account of every aspect of a project/situation.

Only time.  Big grin
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:26 pm

I'll try to explain why. It is because 787's composite structure is tailored to fit a civialian profile, it is not just an AL-Li type materials that is from an outside contrator which they shaped it into place then welded together. This stuff was crafted from the very begining, made especially for 787 -- which makes is damn ass expensive!

Personally.... I don't buy that.

The 787 fusleage is created as a seamless barrel, and then water jets are used to cut out windows are door locations. Structurally, what's the difference between a row of massive windows and skylights, and a fairing for specialized equippment?

Second, Boeing is touting how flexible 787 production will be. Via the miracles of composite technology, Boeing can selectivly thin 787-3 structures to allow for an economical regional and long-haul aircraft. Boeing can produce two fuselages, two wingboxes, and two wings on a single production line and not cut a hole for a tanking boom?

By the same logic that the 787-3 can be offered, albiet not 100% optimized for its niche, Boeing should be able to offer a 787-8 tanker. I suspect the reason why Boeing cannot offer a 787 tanker is due to the current boom design being incompatible with the 787's systems. They've already invested in the KC-767... they want a return on those dollars.
 
greaser
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:55 pm

By the same logic that the 787-3 can be offered, albiet not 100% optimized for its niche, Boeing should be able to offer a 787-8 tanker. I suspect the reason why Boeing cannot offer a 787 tanker is due to the current boom design being incompatible with the 787's systems. They've already invested in the KC-767... they want a return on those dollars.

Boeing has repeated stated that the 767s in current service provide worldwide support supplies to the KC-767. On top of that, it is a proven airframe with no bugs to fix. The 787, like all aircraft will have bugs here and there to be sorted out, and by the way the 787's are selling I seriously doubt Boeing would want the AF to buy the 787 because:

1.the current boom designed is not suitable for the 787 (as stated).
2.The 767 is a proven design and spares are easy to find, along with rated mechanics and pilots.
3.767s will be offered earlier i.e this year for delivery compared to a 2010 787T debut.
4.Money spent on the KC-767 will be all but wasted.
Now you're really flying
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:24 pm

The 787 as a tanker is out of question (Boeing) because it is a real civil aircraft and it would not be possible to make a tanker out of it, because of its design.

What a load of crap. Just what was the 767 designed for in the first place?! Civil aviation. All that is needed is a reengineering for freighter/tanker duties. It's all politics.
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
strudders
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:40 am

The 777 would not be a good choice

Again we all seem to be looking at this the wrong way.

The reason why the 767 is being offered by B and chosen by DOD is that the plane offers best performance over cost over reliability over availability.

The 777 would be nice but expensive,(would you like all your assets in the air for 30 hours at a time? Given the load a 777 could carry and the distance it could fly, then crew fatigue would be an issue as well as asset placement)

The 787

Would you opt for an untried aircraft, leading edge technology designed for optimum cruising altitudes and speeds, doing 315 knots in a race track? No.

The 767 and to a lesser degree 330 are tried tested aircraft of excellent design, built in sufficient numbers and excellent safety records. They are cheap, rugged, and have range. But most important they will offer the cheapest per cent per gallon in flight refuel cost of all the aircraft in the market place today.

Just my MHO

Very Best Regards

Struds
 
bennett123
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Wed Feb 16, 2005 6:10 am


There have been a load of responses recently which basicly follow the logic that the USAF should buy the KC767 to replace the KC135. The reasoning being that the KC767 is closer is size to the KC135 than the KC330.

If we had followed this requirement in 1969, who would have bought the B747.

It seems to me that we should start from what the USAF needs rather than assume that the requirement is for another KC135.

Furthermore, ultimately the USAF needs to replace the KC135, and will require more than 100 aircraft. Has anyone considered how you will replace the rest of the fleet. Given that at the present pace, the first 100 will not be in the air prior to 2010, will the B767 still be available.

 
DfwRevolution
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:16 am

Would you opt for an untried aircraft, leading edge technology designed for optimum cruising altitudes and speeds, doing 315 knots in a race track? No.

You mean like exactly like the KC-135 was when it first entered service?

On top of that, it is a proven airframe with no bugs to fix

Yeah, the DoD has never had aircraft with "bugs" before... if only military projects had to answer to the demands of commercial projects  Big grin



They are cheap, rugged, and have range

In terms of technology and performance per dollar, the 787 owns both airframes. It cost no more than the 767.
 
chdmcmanus
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:32 pm

As it was explained to me the last time I ask a Boeing guy, the compatibility issue with the 7E7 (787 or whatever it is at the moment) is twofold: 1) fuel storage. Both the KC10 and KC135 use bladder cells in the fuselage to increase the available fuel for offload. This is well suited to the current semimonocoque method of construction, with cells tied (literally) to stringers and secured with hardware to ringers. The tanks are segmented and connected via a manifold and ejector system forming a series "cells". These cells perform 2 functions; isolating overall fuel weight to specific areas to manage zone-load requirements, and minimizing fuel "slosh". For whatever unexplained reason, the composite structure of the next gen Boeings are not suited for bladder cells, which effectively limits the aircraft to fuel available in the wings. 2) It is predicted that much harsher operating environments and flight regimes that tankers operate in would significantly reduce the operational life of a wholly composite structure, while making field repairs exceptionally difficult.
Personally, I have never heard anything about an incompatibility with the boom. Unless you are referring to a structural issue with mounting, the boom doesn't have to be compatible with anything except the receiver, and as the current rumor mill has it, it will be a new boom anyway, as has been the case with ALL previous tankers, each one has had it's own boom design.

As far as the 777 goes, remember, the AF is trying to replace an asset, not build a new one. Otherwise, they would have bought 200 KC-10's when they were available. The biggest gas station in the world does nobody any good if it only has 1 pump.

ChD
"Never trust a clean Crew Chief"
 
whitehatter
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:11 am

I have read several reasons why the 787 isn't really suited to a tanker environment. One major reason being the much more difficult path to structural changes in the aircraft mid-life. Metal is a more forgiving medium should an operator decide to make changes to configuration by adding or replacing structural parts.

Another reason given was an issue of fuel leakage and the composite structure. There would need to be a long hard look at just what would be involved, and this would delay the program with added costs incurred. It would be folly indeed to blithely write off that consideration without considering a potentially disastrous scenario and ensuring it is genuinely not a factor.

As for the 777, would you like to push into the flow of two GE-90s to intercept the boom?
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
pilottj
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:45 am

Well one way to look at this, the 767 is now being considered for the tanker role...20 some years after it entered comercial service. Would it not be possible to consider the 777 or 787 that long after their comercial inductions? Perhaps technology and needs will have changed by then.
TJ
God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
 
Duce50Boom
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:54 am

DFWrevolution reply:

"Would you opt for an untried aircraft, leading edge technology designed for optimum cruising altitudes and speeds, doing 315 knots in a race track? No.

You mean like exactly like the KC-135 was when it first entered service?"

I really don't think the 135 is the airplane you'd want to use for this example.....nearly 70 have crashed/been written off/blew up as of around 1997. They were exploding because of fuel tank problems up into the early 90s and were crashing from runaway stab trim up until a few years ago--with the occasional RST every now and then in the safety channels. Just one man's opinion though  Big grin
 
Venus6971
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:51 pm

Guys I think the USAF will keep the KC-135 around at least for 20 more years, with new radomes and new carbon fiber brakes with the whole fleet with updated flight decks. With advances in corrosion control it is still cheaper to keep a old KC-135E with TF-33 PW-102 engines going than getting a whole new fleet of Kc-767. What I foresee is maybe the E-10 767 replacing the E-3, E-8 and RC-135 Airframes with one common airframe before we start seeing Tankers. I know the E-3 and the E-8 are based from the 707-320 the 2 acft have little commonality especially in fuel, hydraulic, and powerplant systems. They can't share parts
I would help you but it is not in the contract
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:27 pm

Quoting WhiteHatter (reply 24):
Another reason given was an issue of fuel leakage and the composite structure. There would need to be a long hard look at just what would be involved, and this would delay the program with added costs incurred.


Are you saying that this is not considered for the civilian version?
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
cloudy
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:40 pm

If we had followed this requirement in 1969, who would have bought the B747.
----

If we had known then what we know now, almost nobody would have bought the 747, particularily if a DC-10 sized plane with the same range was developed at the same time. In this case, the 747 would probably have sold as well as the Concord. The 747 was way to big for its time. Boeing still exists today for these reasons...

1. The airlines, not Boeing paid the price for that miscalculation. Half-empty 747's flew all over the place in the 70's and early 80's.
2. The DC10 and L1011 were not available until well after the the 747 was in service.
3. The 747 did have superior range.

IN SHORT... The size of the 747 was a big mistake, no pun intended. Boeing was very lucky to even survive, yet alone get all the sales it eventually got. Sometimes smaller is better.
 
sidishus
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RE: 777 As A Tanker?

Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:05 pm

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 19):
The 787 as a tanker is out of question (Boeing) because it is a real civil aircraft and it would not be possible to make a tanker out of it, because of its design.

What a load of crap. Just what was the 767 designed for in the first place?! Civil aviation. All that is needed is a reengineering for freighter/tanker duties. It's all politics.

  • Tankers and ISR platforms are increasingly employed in direct tactical roles. This evolving operational doctrine-distinctly different from the Vietnam and Cold War days-will put the next generation of "support" aircraft routinely into contested airspace. These are now tactical aircraft essential to offensive and defensive operations.
  • Potential adversaries already recognize the integral part these aircraft play in our ability to wage war. They also see them as lucrative targets and are fielding SAM and AAM systems to kill them. The FT-2000, the S-300/400 family, and the KS-172, coupled with seeker systems such as the ARGS-PD are an emerging class of weapons dubbed "Awacs Killers".
    Exacerbating the problem is the fact that very few of these airframes are (and even fewer will be) available overall and even less than that sum will be available in any one area of conflict. Lose on E-8 and our ability to mount ground operations will take a very big hit. Threaten the tankers and its buh-bye battlefield persistence for TACAIR.
  • Combat aircraft require survivability attributes; tankers and ISR aircraft are finding themselves increasingly in areas of active combat and so must be regarded as COMBAT aircraft. Survivability has two components; susceptability reduction (jamming, stealth, maneuverability) which lessens the chances of being shot at in the first place, and vulnerability reduction (hardened internal systems such as fuel, electrical, and hydraulic, avionics) which increases the chances of living beyond a hit or near miss. Since transport category aircraft are g-limited, speed-limited and have the RCS of a good sized office building, there is only so much that can be applied to them on the susceptability side of the equation. That leaves the survivability of these vital assets resting primarily on their abilty to absorb damage. Vulnerability reduction will be an overarching consideration in whatever follows the C-135.
  • Modern transport category aircraft have significant vulnerabilty issues with their complete lack of hydrodynamic-ram tolerance (DHL proved that vividly), and electrical, hydraulic and avionics systems that can't tolerate even the most inconsequential encounters with small bits of shrapnel. These aircraft are designed to mitigate against component failure and not damage of the type caused by somebody shooting at them.
  • Its a matter of Federal Law that weapons systems-and tanker/ISR assets ARE weapons systems-are required to undergo a well defined acquisitions process that evaluates warfighter suitability. The Enron-esque 767 lease scheme was an attempt to scud run under what would (will) prove to be expensive alterations to the basic 767-and probably even more expensive for the A330- that would make it a truly viable warbird if a formal acquisitions process were followed. The DOD Inspector General had this to say:
    Statutory Provisions for Testing. Comply with Sections 2366 and 2399 of title 10, United States Code for determining the operational effectiveness, suitability, and survivability of the Boeing 767A Tanker aircraft before proceeding beyond low-rate initial production and committing to the subsequent production of all 100 Boeing KC-767A Tanker aircraft. By not complying with the statutory provisions, the Boeing KC-767A Tanker aircraft delivered to the warfighter may not be operationally effective, suitable, and survivable (Issue B-4).

    As an FYI the MMA is undergoing this process now.
    http://www.bahdayton.com/surviac/PDF/AS%20Newsletter%202004_fall.pdf
    "Put yourself in the position of the Director of Operational Test and
    Evaluation (DOT&E) for a minute. You have to report to Congress on the survivability of a new air-weapons system that’s about to go into the fleet. You have data from flyby tests over several threat radars, you may have a few actual live firings of threat missiles against drones carrying a new electronic warfare suite, and you’ll have some ballistic live-fire tests of a few threat penetrators against subsystems of the new air vehicle...
    In addition to the basic ISA development project, the JASPO is funding a separate ISA demonstration project in cooperation with the MMA program. JASPO-funded efforts will develop a focused ISA plan for MMA and develop
    and coordinate the development of a survivability checklist, metrics, and vignettes for MMA. The JASPO effort will also begin to develop the database requirements for the MMA ISA assessment."


    Slapping a little grey paint on an airliner might look cool, but it does not produce a viable warbird capable of besting the threats that will be coming its way.

    [Edited 2005-03-11 10:36:43]
  • the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
     
    C5Loadmaster
    Posts: 4
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Fri Mar 11, 2005 8:51 pm

    7/14/2003 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Air Force officials July 14 took the next step in replacing its 43-year-old KC-135 Stratotanker fleet by sending Congress a report outlining the proposed lease of Boeing KC-767A tankers.

    Under the lease, 100 aircraft would be delivered five years sooner than under a traditional procurement plan, according to officials.

    “This aircraft will transform the Air Force tanker force,” said Dr. Marvin R. Sambur, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. “This lease marks the important beginning of the urgent re-capitalization to the KC-135 fleet -- a very successful, but rapidly aging, achievement of the Eisenhower administration.

    “The principal reason for proposing a lease is the advantage it affords for quickly delivering needed tankers to our warfighters without requiring significant upfront funding,” Sambur said.

    The KC-767A is the world's newest and most advanced tanker with capabilities important to the warfighter, Sambur said. It can deliver 20 percent more fuel than the KC-135E and can itself be refueled in flight, a capability the KC-135E does not have. The new tanker can also refuel Navy, Marine Corps and allied aircraft on every mission, significantly enhancing joint and combined operations. At maximum takeoff weight, the KC-767A requires 4,000 feet less runway than the KC-135E. Besides its role as a tanker, the KC-767A will be configured as a convertible freighter and can carry 200 passengers or 19 pallets of cargo.
     
    keesje
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:24 pm

    C5Loadmaster : 7/14/2003

    Joking right?
    "Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
     
    C5Loadmaster
    Posts: 4
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:29 am

    Nope. It was reported in the news.
     
    sidishus
    Posts: 488
    Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:45 am

    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:35 pm

    Quoting C5Loadmaster (Reply 33):
    Nope. It was reported in the news.

    C5, check the dateline of your "breaking news". It's nearly two years old.
    Here is something more up to date:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...echnology/2002202565_boeing10.html
    "Boeing will probably halt production of its 767 model while the U.S. Air Force decides whether to use the plane as a refueling tanker, interim Chief Executive Officer James Bell said yesterday."
    "I'm not overly hopeful" about uninterrupted production of the plane "even if we had a tanker program today," Bell said during a conference in New York that was broadcast over the Internet. "We'd probably have to have a break in the line because of when that delivery schedule will be."
    "Congress in October scrapped an agreement to lease and buy 100 tankers based on the 767 because Boeing's illegal hiring of a former Air Force procurement official may have influenced the awarding of contracts. The Pentagon and Air Force are revising the acquisition process after the $23 billion agreement collapsed."


    [Edited 2005-03-12 05:37:10]
    the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
     
    Alessandro
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:58 pm

    Whitehatter, exactly, no one thinks of the vortexes the engines leave behind.
    I wonder if the 3-holers are the best, with the third engine away from the fuel rigs?
    MD-11 could perhaps be a good tanker?
    From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
     
    whitehatter
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:14 am

    Quoting Alessandro (Reply 35):
    MD-11 could perhaps be a good tanker?

    I'm still convinced that is one reason Boeing bought the Mad Dog business. It took a competitor out of the picture and a competitor that could offer commonality with the KC-10 Extender.

    Of what is around today, the 767 is by far the best bet. An A345 tanker might be worth considering too should anyone ever want to look at the aircraft for a high weight multirole military lifter.

    Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 28):

    Are you saying that this is not considered for the civilian version?

    You do realise that a tanker does actually carry a teensy bit more gas, in places where the civilian version doesn't.....and that there are additional fuel lines operating under pressure to pump it?
    Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
     
    sidishus
    Posts: 488
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:18 am

    Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 36):
    Of what is around today, the 767 is by far the best bet.

    No current airliner offering, green off the line, is really suitable to fill the next generation ISR/Tanker role because none have the attributes built into them to be survivable in the tactical situations they will certainly find themselves in.
    It will take some serious money to reconfigure the fuel, electrical, and avionics systems to meet the milestones specifed in 2366 and 2399 0f Title 10. In this regard Boeing may have the advantage because they are already having to go through this process with the 737NG derivative MMA and with no civil customers for the 767 they can reconfigure the line to support a truly militarized version of the 767.
    the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
     
    CX747
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:02 am

    Actually there was an article about the 787 not to long ago and how Boeing was actually starting to think about offering it as a tanker replacement. It was unusual though because a few weeks earlier they had ruled it out.
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    sidishus
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:29 am

    Quoting CX747 (Reply 38):
    Actually there was an article about the 787 not to long ago and how Boeing was actually starting to think about offering it as a tanker replacement. It was unusual though because a few weeks earlier they had ruled it out.

    Was this article citing a Boeing source or the analyst- Richard Aboulafia- that's been openly speculating about the 787? I'd be leery of taking financial advice from this Aboulafia guy since he is the only one I know of saying the 787 could be made into a tanker. Where is this guy getting his info?

    Now here is what Stonecipher(I know he's gone) said. And this is consistent with what Boeing has said all along
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/212181_air16.html
    Unless the Air Force changes those requirements, Boeing's 777 is way too big. The company's new 787 is designed so close to the edge for efficiency that it could not be modified as a tanker, according to senior Boeing executives.

    (AW&ST Feb23 2004):
    "Boeing doesn't have any other aircraft to use for that purpose once
    the 767 line shuts down. To achieve the efficiency goals the company
    is touting for the 7E7, engineers are making structural trade-offs
    that mean the airliner can't be converted into a tanker, according to
    several Boeing officials


    [

    [Edited 2005-03-14 00:41:03]
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    SATL382G
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:54 am

    Quoting Sidishus (Reply 37):
    It will take some serious money to reconfigure the fuel, electrical, and avionics systems to meet the milestones specifed in 2366 and 2399 0f Title 10. In this regard Boeing may have the advantage because they are already having to go through this process with the 737NG derivative MMA and with no civil customers for the 767 they can reconfigure the line to support a truly militarized version of the 767.

    Whoa! This is a serious sea change from our friend Sidishus..... Imagine that! Admitting that a truly militarized 767 is a possibility......  Smile

    By any chance do you have any cost numbers for this 767 vs. a new dedicated frame?
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    sidishus
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:03 am

    Quoting SATL382G (Reply 40):
    Whoa! This is a serious sea change from our friend Sidishus..... Imagine that! Admitting that a truly militarized 767 is a possibility......

    I knew that would get a rise out of you SATL  Wink
    Just being pragmatic that's all. I will say I did change my tune a bit when I saw the ISA (Integrated Survivability Assesment) for the MMA. It means that Boeing is already doing the work to see how their systems will fare against hostile fire. Since this subject is cloaked in Secret NoForn any details will be sparse to none, but I'll bet a paycheck that a ton of money will be spent before the MMA is configured to meet its final production milestones.
    http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2004test/thurs/ketcham.ppt

    I still say an aircraft built for the job...just like the C-135 was purpose built for its mission... is the way to go. And indeed, the BWB could still be a contender against a revamped whole new cloth offering from Lockheed.

    [Edited 2005-03-14 01:09:47]
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    SATL382G
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:32 am

    Quoting Sidishus (Reply 41):
    I still say an aircraft built for the job...just like the C-135 was purpose built for its mission...

    No doubt... but how long can we wait for it and will it bankrupt us?
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:46 pm

    Quoting SATL382G (Reply 42):
    Quoting Sidishus (Reply 41):
    I still say an aircraft built for the job...just like the C-135 was purpose built for its mission...

    No doubt... but how long can we wait for it and will it bankrupt us?

    Here are some numbers...

    http://www.forbes.com/reuters/newswire/2004/05/21/rtr1380632.html
    Lockheed's proposal, outlined in a presentation dated Feb. 7, 2002, was to develop a tanker from scratch with two automated "booms" that would gas up warplanes quicker.
    "Dedicated tanker provides B-767 tanker capability for 20 percent - 40 percent less cost," the presentation said.
    Development costs would total about $4.2 billion and might take four years with a unit acquisition cost of $73 million for a fleet of 550 aircraft, Lockheed said at the time.
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:29 pm

    I know a thing or two about tankers and air refueling, as I was a KC-135A/E/Q Boom Operator for 22 years.

    Well, let's go back to the original KC-767 lease proposal, because the offload capability numbers just don't add up. The original plan was for 100 KC-767As to replace 157 KC-135Es. With a 20% additional offload capability per aircraft(questionable), the 100 KC-767s would equal 120 KC-135Es, not 157. So the USAF would actually loose the air refueling capability of 37 KC-135Es. I won't go into the fact that you also have 37 fewer booms in the sky (thus a actual 25% REDUCTION in air refueling capability with KC-135Es), yet.

    First, why do we need tankers?

    Tankers are what is called a "force multiplier". In other words, the tankers accomplish half the job of the "shooters", the fighters and bombers, in the direct combat operations role. Tankers allow the fighters and bombers to take off at near maximum gross weight, carrying more weapons. The tanker carries the fuel. Missions are planned so the fighters and bombers enter the combat area with their best combat fighting weight, allowing maximum manuverability. This allows the shooters to reach their time over target (TOT) when they are suppose to be their and still be able to do what they need to do to defeat threats to the shooters.

    In the combat support role (J-Stars, AWACS, ELINT, NEACP, etc.), tankers allow for more on station time for these vital aircraft.

    Tankers will normally operate in an area between the area where the AWACS is and the shooters/CAP is.

    When SAC had the tanker fleet, and they were tied directly to the SIOP, the USSR developed the MIG-25 Foxbat specifically to hunt down and kill KC-135s. The MIG-25 was never a SR-71 killer, it could not catch one or fly high enough to kill one. The soviet's idea was if they could stop the tankers, they stopped the bombers. The Soviets were right, and SAC knew it. The KC-135 and KC-10 are defenseless against a MIG-25 threat.

    Tankers operation in a forward area present two problems for DOD planners. First, they (like any airplane) take up ramp space. Ramp space is usually at a premium. The fighters and other warbirds have to be there, so do the tankers and cargo guys. So you may be looking at using more bases. Second, which is related to the first, is the size of the tanker and how many. Smaller tankers (like the KC-135) can be put forward in larger numbers. KC-10s are usually based further back in the theater, but not always. Both the KC-767 and KC-330 will have to be based further back, with the KC-10s, simply because of their size. A KC-777 or KC-787 will need to be based even further away.

    This comes down to what to do with the KC-135E fleet. There are really only two logical options:
    1. Re-engine all 157 KC-135Es with the F-108 engines (CFM-56) and bring them up to the KC-135R standard. This is the cheapest option, as the KC-135E airframe is identical to the KC-135R, both were derived from the KC-135A.
    2. Build a tanker version of the B-737-700 or 800. This airplane is easiest to make it's systems hardened, as the USN and USAF already fly it as the C-40A/B, and the RAAF is buying an AWACS version called the Wedgetail.

    It would take 200 KC-737s (KC-40?) to equal the 100 KC-767s fuel offload capability, but you would have twice as many booms available, and use about the same amount of ramp square footage. How many strike packages are lost if a KC-767 is shot down? With the KC-40, you would only loose half the strike packages. BTW, years ago, Boeing offered a tanker upgrade kit for the B-737-200, so the designs are pretty much made, they just need updating for the B-737NG.
     
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:00 pm

    KC135....First thing..I respect your service and insights. So please accept these questions and comments as discussion more than a challenge.

    I like the thinking with the number of booms being paramount, as well as the accurate explanation of the ramp space issue that so many have failed to understand, I do not think that the KC-40 idea is the way to go. The reason we needed all those tankers was, as you stated, they were integral to our bomber force and we kept them airborne along with our bombers as part of the SIOP. However, we don't have all the bombers anymore and don't need as many tankers. We do need the ramp space at our overseas facilities, especially now that we have so few of them.

    The idea of re-engining the E models is affected by the airframe corrosion and weakening that has left many pilots and engineers concerned about safety. They airframes need much more than new engines, and they don't build them anymore. New aircraft are needed.

    Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 44):
    Well, let's go back to the original KC-767 lease proposal, because the offload capability numbers just don't add up. The original plan was for 100 KC-767As to replace 157 KC-135Es. With a 20% additional offload capability per aircraft(questionable), the 100 KC-767s would equal 120 KC-135Es, not 157.

    OK..what is the current availability rate on the KC-135E's that they are planning on replacing? Are you taking that into the calculus?

    Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 44):
    the USSR developed the MIG-25 Foxbat specifically to hunt down and kill KC-135s. The MIG-25 was never a SR-71 killer, it could not catch one or fly high enough to kill one.

    The MiG-25 was developed in response to the XB-70 as an interceptor. When the XB-70 was cancelled they continued to develop the airplane as they expected it could get to the B-58s in service as well as possibly attack the tankers they could reach, but the placement of the MiG-25's in the PVO Strany and their range meant that they would not be able to reach our tankers in their orbits with the on station bombers. Their mission was later changed to reconnaissance after they lost their mystery when whatshisname took one from Vladivostok to Japan (on fumes) and we figured the thing out. The MiG-31 had better range, but still would have been on a one way mission to take out the tankers. They were more for killing the AWACs with a particularly long ranged missile.
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:07 am

    Quoting Sidishus (Reply 43):
    Development costs would total about $4.2 billion and might take four years with a unit acquisition cost of $73 million for a fleet of 550 aircraft, Lockheed said at the time.

    ACK! PFFFFT! Lockheed is low-balling us again!!
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:56 am

    Quoting DL021 (Reply 45):
    The idea of re-engining the E models is affected by the airframe corrosion and weakening that has left many pilots and engineers concerned about safety. They airframes need much more than new engines, and they don't build them anymore. New aircraft are needed.

    The 135Es principal corrosion problem is in the engine pylons, which get replaced if you reengine.
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    RE: 777 As A Tanker?

    Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:49 pm

    DLO21 said;
    "OK..what is the current availability rate on the KC-135E's that they are planning on replacing? Are you taking that into the calculus?"

    The current USAF/ANG/USAFR combat ready rate for the KC-135E is 90%

    The current USAF/ANG/USAFR combat ready rate for the KC-135R is 94%

    This makes and combined incommission rate (aircraft that can fly a combat mission within 6 hours, not including crew rest) for the KC-135 fleet of 93%. This is also the highest rate for any USAF combat aircratf. No bad for an airplane that is approaching 50 years old (the first KC-135s were bought in FY 1955).

    DO21 also said;
    "The MiG-25 was developed in response to the XB-70 as an interceptor. When the XB-70 was cancelled they continued to develop the airplane as they expected it could get to the B-58s in service as well as possibly attack the tankers they could reach, but the placement of the MiG-25's in the PVO Strany and their range meant that they would not be able to reach our tankers in their orbits with the on station bombers. Their mission was later changed to reconnaissance after they lost their mystery when whatshisname took one from Vladivostok to Japan (on fumes) and we figured the thing out. The MiG-31 had better range, but still would have been on a one way mission to take out the tankers. They were more for killing the AWACs with a particularly long ranged missile"

    All of that is also true regarding the MIG-25. But AWACS and HawkEyes were never part of the SIOP. The XB-70 program never grew to more than 2 flying test aircraft (one lost in a mid-air collision with chase aircraft) and the B-58 fleet retired by 1970. So the MIG-25 was an airplane without a mission. The only logical use of these interceptors for the defense of the USSR was as Tanker Killers. The tanker was defenseless, and did not know when the "bad guys" were in the area. The B-52s and FB-111s would know and try to warn the KC-135s.

    Today, the demand for tanker services is for even more booms airborne because the demanding aircraft has shifted to attack aircraft (F-15E, F/A-18s, AV-8B, A-10s, TORNADOs, AC-130s) as well as the AWACS, J-Stars, RC-135s and CAP aircraft. USAF tankers are refueling NATO, Allied, USN, and USMC receivers much more today than in the 1980s.

    That is one reason KC-135Rs have been sold under FMS to other countries in the last 10 years.

    The demand for tankers will continue to increase until unmanned combat aircraft enter inventories in sizeable numbers and a decrease in piloted aircraft begins to show.

    I still believe the KC-40 is the way to go for the in-theater refueling needs, because it gives a large number of booms and uses less ramp space. For fighter drags across oceans the best choices are the KC-10, or tanker versions of the MD-11, B-747-400, or A-340-500. The "supertankers" need more than two engines.

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