mptpa
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Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:55 pm

Based on DoD delaying the release of the proposed KC-X RFP Draft to last Quarter of 2009, Boeing said they will wait and determine if they will offer B767 or B777 as the base frame.

I was wondering if B787 will then have enough time to be the offered base, and if there are any advantages over the NG's offer of A332 based frame? Will the immaturity of the frame be a major hindrance as opposed to production logistics and time to define, test, offer B787 based tanker/cargo variant?

On another note, will Airbus be able to offer another variant other than A332 (ex: A333, A350 etc.).

I am just curious.

Thx.
 
na
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:10 pm

They still think about offering that oldie 767? I thought that plan was laid to rest. Why should the US Forces take such an old design for a program to last for 50 years? They must be goddamn stupid. Not even the most blockheaded general could be so blind to see that this type wont work anymore in two decades the latest.
The USAF needs a KC-135 replacement, granted. But when they bought that plane in the late 50s it was THE avantgarde, while the 767 of 2009 is the total opposite of that.

The 787 might be too untested for the USAF, but why not in 5 years time? I think the more complicated repair procedures could an issue. But otherwise the 787 should be a vastly better aircraft for the Forces.
As a temporary effort maybe the conversion of of a limited number of fairly used airliners could make sense, like a few dozens of 744s, 763s or 772s. The original 747 had already been offered once in the early 70s.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:23 pm

Availability will be the problem. The USAF wants planes sooner rather than later and Boeing has to first develop a 787 freighter and then find production slots for it. Boeing will be spending the next three to four years designing the 787-9, followed by the 787-3 and perhaps a 787-10. They probably won't have engineering resources available for a 787 freighter until the latter half of next decade.

Realistically, I don't see a 787 freighter option being available much before the 2020's, and that is probably too late for the USAF.

Which is why I'd rather see a dual-buy of the 767 and A330 to replace the KC-135 and KC-10 fleets currently in service.
 
phollingsworth
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:34 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 1):
They still think about offering that oldie 767? I thought that plan was laid to rest. Why should the US Forces take such an old design for a program to last for 50 years? They must be goddamn stupid. Not even the most blockheaded general could be so blind to see that this type wont work anymore in two decades the latest.

The 762 idea died, not because of technology, but because NG was successful at getting the USAF to change what it wanted. When the original RFP was issued (or not issued in the case of the lease deal) the USAF infrastructure compatibility requirements basically forced the aircraft to be no larger than a 762. Whether this was a good setting of requirements can be debated but is now pretty much moot. In the official USAF and NG statements, NG was able to show the USAF that the infrastructure requirements were too strict and that no capability was lost, and other was gained by allowing a larger aircraft, say the A332. The GAO and the DoD found that what NG really did was convince the USAF that if they didn't change the requirement they were going to pull out. Was NG's contention strictly correct, maybe, maybe not, but the way the USAF handled it, the way they communicated it to Boeing and the way they scored the proposals was so bad there is no way to know.

Now the 762LRF is not a straight 762ER, it is actually a 764ER, shrunk with some more technical mods (I have heard the a trailing edge reshape was in order). This changes the generation of technology, and would put it fairly close to the A332 in that respect. The real key in changing the expected life of the design would be a complete change of powerplant. Hell B52s still have one of the best M(L/D)s of any aircraft ever built and the design is near 60 years old. Improve SFC and MTOW and the aircraft design could fly almost forever.

Would the 787 be a better aircraft, most likely, would it be that much better at providing the UASF a capability, maybe not.
 
phollingsworth
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:39 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Which is why I'd rather see a dual-buy of the 767 and A330 to replace the KC-135 and KC-10 fleets currently in service.

The Dual buy has a lot of advantages. The biggest problem is that the DoD wants to minimize development cost, at the expense of just about everything else. The history of new vehicles for the US military would indicated that FFP is a bad idea; however, the tanker is one area where it might work. Since the USAF is talking about buying between 200-400 tankers, buying in batches of 20-40 and competing everything after the first couple batches has the potential to significantly reduce life-cycle cost. Also, you have a lower risk of having your entire fleet grounded at one time. The F16 engine competition is a perfect example.
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:45 pm

What matters is how the aircraft performs for its mission and not the age of the design. There have been updates to then design anyways that have made incremental improvements. If the 764 wing is applied to the 762 fuselage for example we aren't talking an ancient design anymore. Further modifications and a new flight deck and you don't have an aircraft that is the same as early examples that rolled out of the factory. The transport side of the Airforce has always favoured tried and true over unproven and new. The big innovations are usually saved for the fighters. The way some people think on ANet is like the car manufacture industry or the fashion work, that is built on constant turn over of design so you buy more often. A smart aircraft purchaser doesn't look at it that way. I would be shocked to see a 787 in the bid.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:52 pm

It would be ideal in many aspects:
MTOW, cargo, efficiency, maybe even stealthy because of CFRP (?!)

It would not be ideal in some aspects too:
Late, overstrained production due to large civil demand, slower than expected ramp, (the large windows would be useless  Smile )

I dare to propose a proposal:
- Just like the KC-135 bring the tanker first
- Delay passenger EIS by 3 years
- Switch over to a KC-787 development
- Learn to overcome the setbacks by producing tankers first
- The weight and efficiency deficiencies do not count so much
- Production ramp up, certification gets much more time to do it right
- Get the best tanker that makes the A-330 tankers look as outdated as the 767 was.

Nonsense? Could be! It was just a thought!
 
BartBus
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:54 pm

Boeing already has a very tight production planning if they want to offer the 787 they have to open that second end assembly line. I am very curious how the tanker deal will work out, I can't see the US Army order Airbus planes even if the might be better/cheaper/partly build in the US. I don't know if the US Army does a lot of long haul flying but if they do a 787 maybe overkill.
 
frmrCapCadet
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:27 pm



Quoting Phollingsworth (Reply 4):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Which is why I'd rather see a dual-buy of the 767 and A330 to replace the KC-135 and KC-10 fleets currently in service.

The Dual buy has a lot of advantages. The biggest problem is that the DoD wants to minimize development cost, at the expense of just about everything else. The history of new vehicles for the US military would indicated that FFP is a bad idea; however, the tanker is one area where it might work. Since the USAF is talking about buying between 200-400 tankers, buying in batches of 20-40 and competing everything after the first couple batches has the potential to significantly reduce life-cycle cost. Also, you have a lower risk of having your entire fleet grounded at one time. The F16 engine competition is a perfect example.

Quite in agreement with these comments. The two aircraft bring strikingly different and important advantages to the task. The size of the fleet easily justifies two different planes. Both have been ordered for tankers, and much of the work done (unless, egad, they require something absolutely different from what has been done)
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phollingsworth
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:48 pm



Quoting FrmrCAPCADET (Reply 8):
Quite in agreement with these comments. The two aircraft bring strikingly different and important advantages to the task. The size of the fleet easily justifies two different planes. Both have been ordered for tankers, and much of the work done (unless, egad, they require something absolutely different from what has been done)

Even if they were strikingly similar it would often still make a lot of sense, especially since the airframe and engines are pretty much developed. You are paying for the design of the tanker mod and the T&E requirement for military acceptance. When you buy several hundred of something that is already in existence the development costs become only a minor component.
 
olympic472
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:18 pm

For certain capabilities, I believe the USAF will lean towards proven technology. This statement does not include air superiority aircraft.
For tanker missions I would think the USAF will also lean towards proven and time tested technology.
Just as the current VC-25 (aka Air Force One) is based on the 747-200 and not the 747-400, the KC-X will not be a 787.
Even though the 744 was officially launched in 1985 with the VC-25 introduction in 1990, I am sure the USAF was kept abreast of the 747 developments. The USAF did not even take the -300 which is a basically a SUD on a -200 airframe.
The USAF's requirements are wholly different from that of an airline.
Civil Aviation has a "Need for Speed"!
 
na
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:41 pm



Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
Just as the current VC-25 (aka Air Force One) is based on the 747-200 and not the 747-400

There was no 744 when the current AF1s were ordered. But they carry 744-specified GE engines.

Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
The USAF did not even take the -300 which is a basically a SUD on a -200 airframe.

Maybe they didnt want the extended upper deck.

Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
The USAF's requirements are wholly different from that of an airline.

Yes. But usually the Armed Forces sponsor advanced technology, ahead of what is available for the public market, and not something that is increasingly becoming obsolete in the "civilian world". The 767 is an old workhorse loosing its teeth. Is that good enough for the worlds no.1 Air Force in 2020, 2030, or even 2040?
 
norcal
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:57 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 1):
They still think about offering that oldie 767? I thought that plan was laid to rest. Why should the US Forces take such an old design for a program to last for 50 years? They must be goddamn stupid.

Why is it "goddamn stupid?" The frames are going to be brand new and have the 777 flight deck. Is it "goddamn stupid," that the USAF flies the A-10 or B-52 around and are planning on doing it for decades to come? If the aircraft can do the job then there is nothing wrong with it. The KC-X is simply a combination dump trunk and tanker truck for the sky, it doesn't need to be super high tech like the F-22 or F-35. The A330 tanker doesn't offer anything truly unique like stealth, it is just a bigger dump/tanker trunk that is more expensive.

Quoting NA (Reply 11):
The 767 is an old workhorse loosing its teeth. Is that good enough for the worlds no.1 Air Force in 2020, 2030, or even 2040

The B-52 is going to be good enough for the USAF to last until 2040. What is the A330 going to be able to do, besides haul more stuff, that makes it so much superior than the 767. It is still a tube with wings. It isn't stealth, it can't fly supersonic, it isn't unmanned, etc.
 
olympic472
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:24 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 11):
Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
Just as the current VC-25 (aka Air Force One) is based on the 747-200 and not the 747-400

There was no 744 when the current AF1s were ordered. But they carry 744-specified GE engines.

Agree, but there was a 744 on paper. The 742 and 743 were flying. The 787 hasn't even flown or accumulated the flight hours.

Quoting NA (Reply 11):
Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
The USAF's requirements are wholly different from that of an airline.

Yes. But usually the Armed Forces sponsor advanced technology, ahead of what is available for the public market, and not something that is increasingly becoming obsolete in the "civilian world". The 767 is an old workhorse loosing its teeth. Is that good enough for the worlds no.1 Air Force in 2020, 2030, or even 2040?

I think the advanced technology in the 787 has been used or derived from the military. In this case the most significant is the carbon fiber.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 12):
Quoting NA (Reply 1):
They still think about offering that oldie 767? I thought that plan was laid to rest. Why should the US Forces take such an old design for a program to last for 50 years? They must be goddamn stupid.

Why is it "goddamn stupid?" The frames are going to be brand new and have the 777 flight deck. Is it "goddamn stupid," that the USAF flies the A-10 or B-52 around and are planning on doing it for decades to come? If the aircraft can do the job then there is nothing wrong with it. The KC-X is simply a combination dump trunk and tanker truck for the sky, it doesn't need to be super high tech like the F-22 or F-35. The A330 tanker doesn't offer anything truly unique like stealth, it is just a bigger dump/tanker trunk that is more expensive.

Agree. The 767 offered may have the more advance wings of the -400.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 12):
Quoting NA (Reply 1):Quoting NA (Reply 11):
The 767 is an old workhorse loosing its teeth. Is that good enough for the worlds no.1 Air Force in 2020, 2030, or even 2040

The B-52 is going to be good enough for the USAF to last until 2040. What is the A330 going to be able to do, besides haul more stuff, that makes it so much superior than the 767. It is still a tube with wings. It isn't stealth, it can't fly supersonic, it isn't unmanned, etc.

ditto
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XT6Wagon
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Jul 17, 2009 8:49 pm

No, the 787 as it exists today is NOT what the USAF wants. They want minimal risk, maximum proven with years of service. 15-20 years from now... we will see.

Not to mention the modern jetliner being optimized for passenger service is rather non-optimum for tanker duty. The perfect jet for tanker duty would be a 707 sized twin with modern wings designed around a low stall speed and low turblence over bleeding edge low drag numbers in cruise. I don't see the money for a custom frame, so the USAF will have to make do with conversions of existing frames or mix n match updates like the KC767asv where all the parts exist and are compatible, just not in service on a single model yet.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:58 am



Quoting NA (Reply 1):
Why should the US Forces take such an old design for a program to last for 50 years? They must be goddamn stupid.

Why, the USAF flies 50 year old designed KC-135s, B-52s, and C-130s now.

Please remember, the offered B-767-200LRF airplane in 2007 was actually a generation newer than the A-330-200. It had the B-777 flight deck, the B-767-300ERF wing, trailing edge devices from the B-767-400ER, and the landing gear and brakes of the B-767-400ER. The cargo door and floor were from the B-767-300ERF. The offered PW-4062A engines were from the B-767-300ER, the same generation as the GE CF-6-80 engine on the A-330.

Boeing also could have offered the raked wing tips from the B-767-400ER, but that would increase the wingspan by 26' (and improved fuel consumption by 4-6%)

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Availability will be the problem.

With a KC-787, correct.

Quoting NA (Reply 11):
Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
Just as the current VC-25 (aka Air Force One) is based on the 747-200 and not the 747-400

There was no 744 when the current AF1s were ordered. But they carry 744-specified GE engines.

The first VC-25 was ordered in 1987,the second one in 1988. The B-747-400 already had orders, and suppliers were building parts for it. The first B-747-400 may have even been in assembly about the time the VC-25s were ordered. The VC-25 is not a pure B-747-200B, It has the landing gear of the heavier B-747-300, the engines and flight deck of the B-747-400, no FE (but does have a Navigator), and other parts from the -300 and -400 models.

Quoting NA (Reply 11):
Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
The USAF did not even take the -300 which is a basically a SUD on a -200 airframe.

Maybe they didnt want the extended upper deck.

Correct, they didn't need it, or want the extra weight.
 
Max Q
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:50 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
building parts for it. The first B-747-400 may have even been in assembly about the time the VC-25s were ordered. The VC-25 is not a pure B-747-200B, It has the landing gear of the heavier B-747-300, the engines and flight deck of the B-747-400, no FE (but does have a Navigator), and other parts from the -300 and -400 models.

Quoting



I don't think so, the VC25 I have seen most definitely has a Flight Engineer with the standard -classic panel.


They do have a Navigators station as well on the left side of the cockpit.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:36 am



Quoting NA (Reply 1):
They still think about offering that oldie 767? I thought that plan was laid to rest. Why should the US Forces take such an old design for a program to last for 50 years? They must be goddamn stupid. Not even the most blockheaded general could be so blind to see that this type wont work anymore in two decades the latest.



Quoting Phollingsworth (Reply 3):
The 762 idea died, not because of technology, but because NG was successful at getting the USAF to change what it wanted. When the original RFP was issued (or not issued in the case of the lease deal) the USAF infrastructure compatibility requirements basically forced the aircraft to be no larger than a 762.



Quoting Phollingsworth (Reply 3):
Now the 762LRF is not a straight 762ER, it is actually a 764ER, shrunk with some more technical mods (I have heard the a trailing edge reshape was in order). This changes the generation of technology, and would put it fairly close to the A332 in that respect.



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
Please remember, the offered B-767-200LRF airplane in 2007 was actually a generation newer than the A-330-200. It had the B-777 flight deck, the B-767-300ERF wing, trailing edge devices from the B-767-400ER, and the landing gear and brakes of the B-767-400ER. The cargo door and floor were from the B-767-300ERF. The offered PW-4062A engines were from the B-767-300ER, the same generation as the GE CF-6-80 engine on the A-330.

Boeing also could have offered the raked wing tips from the B-767-400ER, but that would increase the wingspan by 26' (and improved fuel consumption by 4-6%)

First, the basic B-767 design is only about 10 years older than the basic A-330 design, which is now approaching 20 years old. So, NA, you are arguing about using a 20 year old design vs. a 30 year old design. What is the difference?

Second, the B-767-200LRF is a generational improvement over the A-330-200 passenger version that both Boeing and EADS/NG proposed. Boeing proposed using parts from the B-767-300ERF, B-767-400ER, and B-777-200ER for the new B-767-200LRF basic airframe, all much newer designs than the A-330-200. Both airplane offerings would have incorperated the latest improvements in the basic designs.

There is nothing wrong with using older but proven technoligy if you are going to new build the airplanes, anyway. Both airplane proposals are only projected for a 40 year life span.

Quoting NA (Reply 1):
The 787 might be too untested for the USAF, but why not in 5 years time? I think the more complicated repair procedures could an issue. But otherwise the 787 should be a vastly better aircraft for the Forces.

Actually, the USAF may have the world's most experience with composit material built airplanes, they have had them for decades.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
I'd rather see a dual-buy of the 767 and A330 to replace the KC-135 and KC-10 fleets currently in service.

Why, most KC-135s and KC-10s still have a lot of life left in them. To replace them now would be a huge waste of money.

Quoting NA (Reply 11):
Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
Just as the current VC-25 (aka Air Force One) is based on the 747-200 and not the 747-400

There was no 744 when the current AF1s were ordered. But they carry 744-specified GE engines.

Yes, there was, Boeing launched the B-747-400 in 1985.

Quoting NA (Reply 11):
Quoting Olympic472 (Reply 10):
The USAF did not even take the -300 which is a basically a SUD on a -200 airframe.

Maybe they didnt want the extended upper deck.

Correct.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The first VC-25 was ordered in 1987,the second one in 1988. The B-747-400 already had orders, and suppliers were building parts for it. The first B-747-400 may have even been in assembly about the time the VC-25s were ordered. The VC-25 is not a pure B-747-200B, It has the landing gear of the heavier B-747-300, the engines and flight deck of the B-747-400, no FE (but does have a Navigator), and other parts from the -300 and -400 models.

 
Max Q
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:44 am

The VC25 is a basic 747 Classic with a three man cockpit. The Flight Engineer's Panel has not been removed !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
ha763
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:22 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The first VC-25 was ordered in 1987,the second one in 1988. The B-747-400 already had orders, and suppliers were building parts for it. The first B-747-400 may have even been in assembly about the time the VC-25s were ordered.

Both VC-25s were ordered at the same time in 1986. They were flown to Wichita in 1987 for the modification work. IIRC, the VC-25 was supposed be delivered in 1988, but problems with the modification work delayed the delivery by 2 years to 1990.

The 744 was not going to be an option at the time for the VC-25 since it would not have been offered at the time of the bid for the VC-25 nor finished its flight testing and certification by the time the VC-25 was supposed to be delivered.

[Edited 2009-08-22 12:23:46]
 
Oroka
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:15 pm

I don't see any reason the 787 couldn't be a tanker. The tanker gear of the 767 is all newly developed, there is no reason to keep the same system and modify it to fit in a 787. If the 787 won the KC-X contract, Boeing would defiantly start building a new line the moment they won. With customers delaying delivery of the 787, getting a few frames in 2010 shouldn't be a problem, and the 5/6 (?) 787 test frames that are not allocated for customers could be used for KC-787 prototypes. My guess is that Boeing could have 5-6 KC-787s flying by the end of 2010, and start delivery in 2011.


While the 767 would be cheaper now, upgrades and re-engining of a discontinued airliner could be costly, as opposed to the 787 that probably has at least 20 years of upgrades ahead of it. Re-engining should be simplistic with the pylon design... most upgrade development will be done by Boeing for customers, and the USAF could take advantage of that.

Yes, there WILL be teething problems, but in the long run, the 787 will be more sustainable than any other platform offered right now.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:40 pm



Quoting Oroka (Reply 20):
I don't see any reason the 787 couldn't be a tanker. The tanker gear of the 767 is all newly developed, there is no reason to keep the same system and modify it to fit in a 787. If the 787 won the KC-X contract, Boeing would defiantly start building a new line the moment they won.

Yes, the B-787 can easily be converted into a tanker version. The USAF has a lot of experience with composit materials already on airplanes. Parts of the F-16, F-15, most of the F-117 and B2 were composits, so that would not be a steep learning curve for USAF maintenance crews. The best version would be a tanker based on the B-787-8, and if it could be a freighter, that would be even better. But, of all possible options, except a new dedicated tanker built from the grounf up, would be the most expensive option.

If the USAF choose the RR engines, than Boeing could convert frames # ZA001 to ZA004 to the SDD tankers after their initial flight testing. If the USAF choose the GEnx-1B engines, then the first two SDDs would be converted from ZA005 and ZA006, and two more would have to be built. The USAF wanted 4 SDDs in the 2007 KC-X round, I don't think that will change.

The cheapest option would still be converting the KC-135E to the KC-135R, or another MDS should they simply add the KC-135E reengining to the E-8C reengining program.
 
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par13del
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:19 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 1):
They still think about offering that oldie 767?



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
The cheapest option would still be converting the KC-135E to the KC-135R, or another MDS should they simply add the KC-135E reengining to the E-8C reengining program.

Number two would be purchasing the existing 767 tanker that Japan and Italy have purchased. What I do not understand is why this tanker must be so sophisticated? Take the off the shelf a/c, add the boom, pumps and any other required equipment and be done wit it, why must new engines be developed, wings, cockpit, landing gear etc., if it ain't broke why fix it?

Here's hoping for a straight purchase and no bid process, there are no off the shelf comparable a/c in size anyway, its how the OEM's distinguish themselves, making them comparable on paper created this whole mess, amazing how much money the initial crooked deal has cost the tax payor, how many a/c could have been bought with the funds now wasted or KC-135's re-engined?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:09 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 22):
Number two would be purchasing the existing 767 tanker that Japan and Italy have purchased. What I do not understand is why this tanker must be so sophisticated? Take the off the shelf a/c, add the boom, pumps and any other required equipment and be done wit it, why must new engines be developed, wings, cockpit, landing gear etc., if it ain't broke why fix it?

Because the current KC-767 as it is still not working. Ask the Japs and the Italians about how satisfied they are with the project. The Italians have have ongoing issues with the inflight refueling system, particularly with the wing hose and drogue systems (something about inflight flutter which is causing a lot of noise in the cockpit). The Japs made their lives a lot easier by only having the boom system installed, compared to the Italians with their boom and two wing drogue systems.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:18 am

This discussion has been going on for over two years regarding the 787...Its not going to happen. The 767s would be new build planes...so calling it a 50 year oldie is kinda misleading. Yeah the design is old, but its proven. They just need the people that outfit the refueling part of the plane to get their stuff straight so they aren't having all the problems they keep having. The USAF isn't going to wait a decade for a 787...its just not going to happen. It hasn't flown yet, and even after it flys, we don't know what structural issues are going to come up. Its way to early to tell how the 787 is going to do. I think the 767 and the KC-45 are the best choices. I think the 777 is too big, and is more likely to replace the KC-10 down the road. This subject is just a broken record...there are so many threads on this stupid tanker that I wish they'd just stuck with the darn KC-45 and had been done with it.
 
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:26 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 22):
Quoting NA (Reply 1):
They still think about offering that oldie 767?



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
The cheapest option would still be converting the KC-135E to the KC-135R, or another MDS should they simply add the KC-135E reengining to the E-8C reengining program.

Number two would be purchasing the existing 767 tanker that Japan and Italy have purchased. What I do not understand is why this tanker must be so sophisticated? Take the off the shelf a/c, add the boom, pumps and any other required equipment and be done wit it, why must new engines be developed, wings, cockpit, landing gear etc., if it ain't broke why fix it?

The KC-767J that Japan bought does not fit the USAF requirements. It does not have the body fuel tanks, so it has a minimum capacity, about 150,000 lbs, IIRC. The Italian KC-767A is closer to what the USAF needs, it has the body fuel tanks and a capacity of about 200,000 lbs of fuel. It also has WARPS, which about 60 KC-135Rs and 40 KC-10As now have.

You want the new tanker airframe to be mature, so there is less chance for unexpected structual issues. But, you also want the latest navigation, rendevous, communications, and avionics equipment. This equipment needs periodic updating anyway, to keep with the latest military and civilian airborne requirements. Using updated designed wings, landing gear, brakes, and engines assure they will still be supportable, for parts for many decades.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 22):
amazing how much money the initial crooked deal has cost the tax payor, how many a/c could have been bought with the funds now wasted or KC-135's re-engined?

You are talking about tow different things here. The initial lease deal with Boeing did not cost the tax payers much, as Boeing also paid a big fine. The 2007 KC-X compitition will end up costing the tax payers millions as NG has sued the USAF for terminating the contract. That will take courts years to fix.

The rengine programs of the 1980s for both the KC-135E and KC-135R have already paid for themselves. Converting a KC-135A to a KC-135E costs about $15M per tanker, including the costs of buying the donator B-707s for engines, stuts, engine instruments, yaw dampner, and horizontal stabilizer. New equipment bought for the KC-135E included new landing gear to support the higher gross weight of 315,000 lbs and new 5 rotor barkes.

The reengine program for the KC-135R was more expensive, about twice the costs of the KC-135E. Each KC-135R cost about $29M and that included the new engines, struts, APU, APU ducting, horizontial stabilizer, yaw dampner, 5 rotor brakes, newer landing gear (gross weight now to 330,000 lbs), engine instruments, engine fire surpression system, and updates to the exsisting FD-109 flight director system.

Both the KC-135E and KC-135R modifications eliminated the KC-135A water injection system.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 23):
Because the current KC-767 as it is still not working. Ask the Japs and the Italians about how satisfied they are with the project. The Italians have have ongoing issues with the inflight refueling system, particularly with the wing hose and drogue systems (something about inflight flutter which is causing a lot of noise in the cockpit). The Japs made their lives a lot easier by only having the boom system installed, compared to the Italians with their boom and two wing drogue systems.

Actually, both the KC-767J and KC-767A are working well. The JSDF uses the refueling capability of their KC-767Js, and 3 have been delivered to date. They are still in the training mode for tanker operation, but use the cargo capabilities a lot. One of the KC-767Js was damaged last year during cargo loading operations. Japanese KC-767J #4 will be delivered after acceptance testing later this year or early next year.

The Italian KC-767A is fully operating as a tanker, although none have been delivered. The reason for not delivering the Italian KC-767As has more to do with certificating these tankers with the EASA and the Italian government, than it does for their military capabilities. The WARP flutter problems were solved in 2007 by extending the lenght of the stut supporting the WARP by some 6". The Italian AF has been training with two of their KC-767As in Kansas for about a year now. Italian KC-767A #3 is the test bed for the new equipment needed for the certifications the Italians now want. Italian KC-767A #4 is being converted from a new Boeing built B-7867-200ER to the KC-767A configueration in Italy now. The two KC-767As the Italians are now training on will be delivered later this year flown to Italy by Italian crews. Ship #4 will be next to be delivered, in 2010, then ship #3 sometime in 2011

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 24):
I think the 767 and the KC-45 are the best choices.

I think the best choice is converting the KC-135Es with new engines, struts, and other equipment, perhaps by adding them to the E-8C reengining program. That is the cheapest and fastest way to get more tankers into the air for the USAF. These tankers will last until 2040 to 2055.

The next cheapest option is buying used airliners and convert them to tankers. But it is difficult to say how long these tankers can last, it is clearly not 40-50 years.

The most expensive option is new built tankers. ranging from the cheapest of these to the most expensive, based on the current possible offerings are:
KC-767A
B-767-300ERF
KC-767AT
A-330-200MRTT
A-330-200F-MRTT
KC-777-200LRF
A330-300MRTT
B-747-8F
A-340-500
A-340-600
B-787-8
A-380-800
A-350-900F
 
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:38 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
The 2007 KC-X compitition will end up costing the tax payers millions as NG has sued the USAF for terminating the contract.

Are you sure about that? I thought no contract was signed. Clearly the USAF announced their selection of NG, but one would have hoped the USG would not have signed an actual contract till after all protests were heard.
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:58 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
The 2007 KC-X compitition will end up costing the tax payers millions as NG has sued the USAF for terminating the contract.

Are you sure about that? I thought no contract was signed. Clearly the USAF announced their selection of NG, but one would have hoped the USG would not have signed an actual contract till after all protests were heard.

Yes, the USAF did sign a contract with NG for the 4 SDDs and 65 production versions of the KC-45A, 69 airplanes, total. The contract was put on "hold" pending the outcome of Boeing's protest to the GAO, per the law. After the GAO ruling upholdong Boeing's protest, the USAF could have continued the contract with NG, but Congress would not have funded it. The GAO can only make recommendations to other government agencies, not dictate to them. But, in the end, the USAF terminated the contract with NG "for the convenience of the government", a claus which is written into all US Givernment contracts. However, NG and EADS had already built two SDD airplanes, ahead of signing the contract and is sueing the USAF for the costs of those airplanes, plus storage fees and other work already performed and early termination of the contract. As I understand it, EADS is storing these two A-330-200s.
 
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:24 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
You are talking about tow different things here. The initial lease deal with Boeing did not cost the tax payers much, as Boeing also paid a big fine. The 2007 KC-X compitition will end up costing the tax payers millions as NG has sued the USAF for terminating the contract. That will take courts years to fix.

What I meant was that the failure of that deal spawned the new competition which ended up sinking funds which will not be recovered, but you are correct, based on my wording I did confuse two issues.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
However, NG and EADS had already built two SDD airplanes, ahead of signing the contract and is sueing the USAF for the costs of those airplanes, plus storage fees and other work already performed and early termination of the contract.

Did they build these a/c out of their own pockets of did the Air Force provide funds to both OEM's, and could this be viewed as evidence that a fix was in place even before the winner was announced?
 
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:54 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 28):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
However, NG and EADS had already built two SDD airplanes, ahead of signing the contract and is sueing the USAF for the costs of those airplanes, plus storage fees and other work already performed and early termination of the contract.

Did they build these a/c out of their own pockets of did the Air Force provide funds to both OEM's, and could this be viewed as evidence that a fix was in place even before the winner was announced?

EADS built the two A-330-200s out of their own money, one just before the contract award in Feb. 2007, the other just after thae award. They jumped these two airplanes ahead of production airplanes already intended for paying airline customers.

Neither of the 2 A-330s have been modified into A-330MRTTs, but are in storage, IIRC.
 
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:33 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
The 2007 KC-X compitition will end up costing the tax payers millions as NG has sued the USAF for terminating the contract.



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
However, NG and EADS had already built two SDD airplanes, ahead of signing the contract and is sueing the USAF for the costs of those airplanes, plus storage fees and other work already performed and early termination of the contract.

I can't find anything about this on the interwebby thing. Do you have a link to a news story or article?
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:24 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
The cheapest option would still be converting the KC-135E to the KC-135R, or another MDS should they simply add the KC-135E reengining to the E-8C reengining program.

Why not offer the USAF a deal? Why doesn't Boeing convert the remaining KC-135E fleet to 135Rs while giving Boeing time to develop the KC-787? Plus, it gives the USAF no needed rush to replace tankers right away, and they can slowly phase out the 135Rs as the KC-787 arrives.

Or does this make too much sense?
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:32 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 30):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
However, NG and EADS had already built two SDD airplanes, ahead of signing the contract and is sueing the USAF for the costs of those airplanes, plus storage fees and other work already performed and early termination of the contract.

I can't find anything about this on the interwebby thing. Do you have a link to a news story or article?

http://www.deagel.com/news/Northrop-...-Airframes-in-2009_n000004546.aspx

"The first SDD airframe completed final assembly and conducted first flight in 2007, while the second KC-45 airframe performed first flight in May 2008."

The story is dated 14 July 2008.
 
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RE: Will Boeing Be Able To Offer B787 For KC-X

Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:04 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 32):
The story is dated 14 July 2008.

And says NOTHING about NG or EADS suing the USAF as you've claimed. Twice.

You should offer evidence to support your claim, or withdraw it.
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