echster
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:01 pm

Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:10 pm

Released today:

A study on upgrading the US military's fleet of refueling tankers found the best option would be to modify new commercial jets built by Airbus or Boeing, and urged the Pentagon not to exclude a mixed fleet of planes from both.

http://news.airwise.com/story/view/1141771925.html

- The possibilities are endless, but if the USAF buys both Airbus and Boeing will we see a possible mix of large and small aircraft? In other words, something for CONUS missions (A320/B737-size) and a strategic tanker with lift capabilities (A330/B777-size).
 
bennett123
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:11 am

Interestingly they are talking about new aircraft, (as opposed to used ones) but not a new design.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:41 am

Quoting Echster (Thread starter):



Quoting Echster (Thread starter):
The possibilities are endless, but if the USAF buys both Airbus and Boeing will we see a possible mix of large and small aircraft? In other words, something for CONUS missions (A320/B737-size) and a strategic tanker with lift capabilities (A330/B777-size).

The story only mentions airplanes in the 300,000lb-1,000,000lb classes. So, that leaves out the B-737NG and A-320 series, at least for now.

Since Airbus does not have an in production A-340F or A-330F, that might take these airplanes, effectively, out of competition. Unless Airbus can find enough engineers to rush design, test, and sell a few. An A-350F might be a possibility.

Does this give Boeing a leg up on costs, because they have a B-767-200/300F, a KC-767, a B-747-400F/ERF/800F, and a B-777-200LRF, either in design or flying now?

This part just does not make any sense from the RAND report:
Rand said there were technical uncertainties in keeping the current fleet of KC-135s operating into the 2040s, and doing so could lead possible grounding of large parts of the fleet.

Wouldn't that be true of any airplane, whether new or 50 years old?
 
RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:16 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
Since Airbus does not have an in production A-340F or A-330F, that might take these airplanes, effectively, out of competition. Unless Airbus can find enough engineers to rush design, test, and sell a few. An A-350F might be a possibility.

The A330 design for the RAF includes cargo carrying capacity, so I think thats all taken care of. Unless the USAF requirements are utterly and completely different, I doubt there would be much more to do on these designs past slightly different refueling kit and survival systems.
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:54 am

Hmmm...an interesting read, but the overall picture is if you have mixed fleets, wouldn't your maintence cost go up since you have to train several mechs for each design? Sounds like more money to me.

Also, the fact that they mentioned the 787 is a interesting point as well.

Quote:

Possible candidates in the range between 300,000 to 1 million pounds included the A330 and A340, built by Europe's Airbus, and Boeing's 767, 787, 777 and 747 jets, Rand said in the study.

There might be more to the 787 program that is not talked about.  scratchchin 

Here's my  twocents :

The 777 and 747: too big. With the C-5 and C-17 in place, I highly doubt the 777 and 747 need to carry that much volume cargo. Also, how often does a tanker fill multiple C-5s and -17s in one flight? Lets say if five B-52 were in formation flight, then I can see the need (a lot of fuel.) But I do not think there is more than three (if that) B-52s flying in formation at once, therefore the need is rather small, and does is justify the cost to purchase them?

A330 and A340: A330 has a shot at it, and I don't really see the need for a A340, as both aircraft are the almost same size, same capacity, etc (A340-300 frame.) Only difference really is 2 vs 4 engines. Only reason why I can't see a A330 in the USAF is because it was not built in the US or not of US design.

The 767 and 787: My personal choices, but I would lean towards more of the 787 as it has more to offer than the 767. The 787 variations would be a perfect fit IMHO. If the aircraft proves to be what Boeing says it will be, then that would be excellent range, good to great cargo capacity, maintence friendly (as well as cheaper to maintain) and cheaper to build than aluminum airframes.

Again, my  twocents  but should prove interesting otherwise.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
CX747
Posts: 5580
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:33 am

My first choice would be the 787. If Boeing really wants to put forth a superior product then get in gear and design the darn thing. The Australians were talking about why they selected the A330 over the 767 design a year ago and the reasons were extremely easy. More fuel offload, more cargo capacity etc.

Here is my idea, and yes I know I am spending other peoples money. Boeing should design a KC-787 and build it in California. Use the C-17 factory after the 200th airframe rolls off the line. That would allow Boeing to have a dedicated tanker line that could meet the needs of the USAF along with any and all foreign operators. I used to be Pro-Boeing but I want something new and better than anything else. From what I read today, the A330 is leaps and bounds ahead.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 3):
The A330 design for the RAF includes cargo carrying capacity

From what I understand about the RAF A-330TT and RAAF A-330MRTT is both are really combi airplanes, and not original design freighters. Most cargo will be carried in the below deck cargo holds that the airplane currently has. There will be a main deck cargo door cut into the aircraft for cargo to be placed in the forward third of the main deck. Is that not correct? What the USAF needs is an orginaly design snd build freighter converted to a tanker. This is the design Airbus/Grumman is working on, but does not have finalized yet. Of course they cannot finalize the design until USAF gives them the specs for the airplane and mission.

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 4):
The 777 and 747: too big. With the C-5 and C-17 in place, I highly doubt the 777 and 747 need to carry that much volume cargo. Also, how often does a tanker fill multiple C-5s and -17s in one flight?

A C-5 can take on well over 200,000lbs of fuel in one refueling. Currently, that is 2 KC-135Rs, or 1 KC-10A. In the days of the KC-135A, it took 3 tankers. The B-52 is the same. So, buying maybe 108 large tankers, does make sense. If you make them KC-747s, you effectively add about 70 equivilent C-5s, in addition to the tanker mission. An additional force of 260, or so B-757 size tankers (simalar to the KC-135 in size), you keep the more manuverable and higher airspeed capabile tanker force.

I am not advocating a KC-757 here. But that is the size airplane you will need. The only airplanes in this size group, still in production is the A-321 and B-767-200ER.
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:33 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
The only airplanes in this size group, still in production is the A-321 and B-767-200ER.

Since the A321 is a piece of crap barely capable of even climbing, to me it's either the KC-767 or soon to be built 787 platform. If they want a mix of slightly larger aircraft than add some KC-330's built in Mobile, AL and that would be just fine, too.
 
dw747400
Posts: 1091
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 8:24 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:53 am

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 4):
but the overall picture is if you have mixed fleets, wouldn't your maintence cost go up since you have to train several mechs for each design? Sounds like more money to me.

I doubt it would be a singificant difference. Commonality is most important in small fleets, and it is likely that over time the new KC(s) will join the USAF in very large numbers. Additionally, in most cases a given maintenance unit would be responsible for one type of aircraft or another. Obviously there will be a few added costs, but I'd imagine the structure would be more similiar to several small airlines (wings) each flying one type of aircraft than a single mixed fleet.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:16 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
A C-5 can take on well over 200,000lbs of fuel in one refueling. Currently, that is 2 KC-135Rs, or 1 KC-10A. In the days of the KC-135A, it took 3 tankers. The B-52 is the same. So, buying maybe 108 large tankers, does make sense. If you make them KC-747s, you effectively add about 70 equivilent C-5s, in addition to the tanker mission. An additional force of 260, or so B-757 size tankers (simalar to the KC-135 in size), you keep the more manuverable and higher airspeed capabile tanker force.

Hmm... I see your point. Perhaps a few triple 7's might be a good idea to add to the fleet. One other question: I heard that generally the aircraft would fill their tanks when they were half full, therefore not require as much fuel. Can you confirm this?

Quoting Dw747400 (Reply 8):
I doubt it would be a singificant difference. Commonality is most important in small fleets, and it is likely that over time the new KC(s) will join the USAF in very large numbers. Additionally, in most cases a given maintenance unit would be responsible for one type of aircraft or another. Obviously there will be a few added costs, but I'd imagine the structure would be more similiar to several small airlines (wings) each flying one type of aircraft than a single mixed fleet.

I must stop getting my civil and military aviation mixed up.  boggled  I completely forgot that they are both different in their respects to aircraft. Still, while I agree to having a mixed fleet would be nice (adds to more spotting variations) the bottom line would be would they be willing to do so? Again, perhaps the USAF is waiting to see what the 787 can do before they make any final decisions.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:16 pm

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 9):
One other question: I heard that generally the aircraft would fill their tanks when they were half full, therefore not require as much fuel. Can you confirm this?

US military airplanes primarily refuel for just 3 reasons, training, maintane "bingo" fuel (fuel needed to divert to the nearest usable alternate airport/base, esspiecally fighters over water), and to arrive over a target at a planned combat weight (best fighting/manuvering weight for a combat mission, bombing, CAP, SAR, etc.). Receivers also refuel to "full tanks" when they have a long way to go to complete their mission or arrive at their distant landing base.
 
bennett123
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:15 pm

Clearly Air Ryan does not rate the A321 highly.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6692
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:07 am

A question for you KC135TopBoom, is there a need for both a strategic and a tactical tanker? Take the Gulf war's, a strike flight of F16's takes off minimal fuel, refuels at altitude. What is the value of all that additional cargo space, passenger seats etc on the tanker, how much more is it costing to haul all that empty weight around when all you need is to remain on station for a few hours for strike packages, no cargo being uploaded or delivered. This issue does not seem to get looked at when people talk about how more efficient a KC10 is at dragging aircraft across the pond etc. What percentage of tanker ops does this take up, I seem to remember talk about a cargo pod which could be loaded onto a tanker when needed, can't remember if that was a Euro or Boeing option.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:31 am

I'd like to see a mix of 747 and 767/787 frames doing this job. The tactical transports could be relieved of admin missions and concentrate on the regular jobs they have, and we'd be able to drag our aircraft farther with fewer assets. This would also allow us to keep sufficient numbers of tactical tankers in the air that can refuel larger numbers of little birds during operations where time is very sensitive.

Perfect world would have us with 50 KC747 types and 75 or so KC767/787 types.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:40 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):
Perfect world would have us with 50 KC747 types and 75 or so KC767/787 types.

Ehhh....the USAF has around 550 KC-135s alone, so you would need to up those figures a bit.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/kc-135.htm

Around 75-100 KC-747s and 300 KC-67/87 types would most likely do it.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:43 am

Jake...the immediate need is to replace the 'E' model which will take about 100 new airframes to get similar availability rates and meet the needs of the force. The updated 'R' models will need replacement later.

Ordering 125 airplanes of the types I mentioned will not only supplement tankers but it will add capability to our strategic transport fleet allowing for longer lifespans on the C-5s and 17s, as well as reduced costs in operations since the other airplanes are COTS purchases and don't require huge investment to be converted (the 747 has been tested for tanking, and the 767 is already a tanker...the 787 would need mods and would not be available for a while).
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:58 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 11):
Clearly Air Ryan does not rate the A321 highly.

I've heard stories of SOCAL controllers nearly vectoring A321's into Mexico before clearing them onto their next path because they take so long to climb to altitude and on busy days/times, they have to make adjustments. My friend's dad is a DL captain and he rode jumpseat on an Airbus once and noted the same thing - significantly less of a climb rate. The 757 is so far superior to the A321 it just kills me to see the two compared to each other!

Want to play Risk!?

I say we start sending Iraq the bill for the war and taking payment in oil supplies, move our bases in Germany to Iraq, and send the 1st Cav from Ft. Hood down into Mexico to secure the worthless government so we can take their oil, too. Mexico is such a 3rd world dictatorship trying to avenge their loss in the Mexican/American War thinking squatters rights supersedes all, once we kill the druglords running the country everything will be fine. What's the world going to do, boycott and isolate the United States? (Isolationism, eh?!)

Than with all the money coming in from that, we should be able to afford the 300+ KC-767's and 75+ KC-747-800's!  Smile
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11007
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:23 pm

Quoting Par13del (Reply 12):
A question for you KC135TopBoom, is there a need for both a strategic and a tactical tanker? Take the Gulf war's, a strike flight of F16's takes off minimal fuel, refuels at altitude. What is the value of all that additional cargo space, passenger seats etc on the tanker, how much more is it costing to haul all that empty weight around when all you need is to remain on station for a few hours for strike packages, no cargo being uploaded or delivered. This issue does not seem to get looked at when people talk about how more efficient a KC10 is at dragging aircraft across the pond etc. What percentage of tanker ops does this take up, I seem to remember talk about a cargo pod which could be loaded onto a tanker when needed, can't remember if that was a Euro or Boeing option.

Both the KC-135 and KC-10 fill t both the tactical and strategic air refueling roles now. So any replacement tanker would also need to have that capability.

On a tactical refueling mission, for either the KC-135 or the KC-10, the cargo compartment is usually empty, except for airplane/crew required equipment and survival equipment. On strategic deployments, the KC-10 is capable of carrying both cargo/passengers and fuel for refueling of fighters. The KC-135 also has this capablity, but it is more limited. KC-135s can carry 50-60 passengerswith limited baggage/cargo and still be capable of offloading up to 120,000lbs of fuel. But, typically passengers weigh a lot less than bulk cargo.

The KC-10 is very efficient at fighter drags because one tanker can usually carry the support/maintenance troops and some cargo for the fighter aircraft it is dragging across the pond. In missions like this, the KC-10 is usually refueled, itself, about mid route by a KC-135.

But, efficentcy is different things to different people. Some say a KC-135A/E/Q/R is more efficient than a KC-10A, as the -135 burns about half the fuel (or less) a -10 burns.

I believe that efficientcy changes with the different mission requirements.

I don't know of the cargo pod you refer to. Both the KC-135 and KC-10 have cargo compartments, so they would not need a pod for cargo.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 16):
I say we start sending Iraq the bill for the war and taking payment in oil supplies, move our bases in Germany to Iraq, and send the 1st Cav from Ft. Hood down into Mexico to secure the worthless government so we can take their oil, too. Mexico is such a 3rd world dictatorship trying to avenge their loss in the Mexican/American War thinking squatters rights supersedes all, once we kill the druglords running the country everything will be fine. What's the world going to do, boycott and isolate the United States? (Isolationism, eh?!)

Uh-oh, this could get ugly.

Back to tankers. Something we use to say in the tanker world, when I was in (I think it is still said today) "Nobody kisks ass without tanker gas (NKAWTG)".
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 15):

My bad, but the way reply 13 was stated, it sounded like complete replacement for all KC-135's. Just thought those numbers were a little low for full replacement.  Smile
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Rand Tanker Study Says Buy New Frames

Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:11 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Uh-oh, this could get ugly.

Ahh, just some sarcasm - I guess I sort of vented off into a tangent! I see tha Fox just declared the finding of a new off-shore oil field with billions of gallons of oil suppossed to be in there.

But maybe they will bring War Bonds to pay for specific pieces of military equipment and the USAF will actually get enough F-22's and replace 1/4 of the F-15 fleet and than tankers, well maybe we can just rely upon NATO supplying what we need?  Smile

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: flyingturtle, Mortyman, Yahoo [Bot] and 8 guests