keesje
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Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:39 pm

The C-17 has been produced for many years. About 200 will be build. The C-17 plays a valuable role in militairy transport and will probably do so for another 40 years.

The C-17 can't be produced forever. At some point enough is enough for every aircraft type. Priorities change when a requirement is fullfilled.

http://www.air-attack.com/MIL/c17/c17vulcano_20090202.jpg

What would be the right amount of aircraft for western requirements and the right moment to call it a day on C-17 production?

[Edited 2009-10-06 05:56:56]
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Stitch
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:52 pm

When the orders finally run out and the backlog is exhausted?
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:54 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
When the orders finally run out and the backlog is exhausted?

Simple answer but it hits the nail squarely on the head! I wouldn't count the C-17 production out any time too soon. Just about the time we think the line is going to close, some new export customer comes along and orders more.
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:59 pm

Not only that, but I believe USAF will wind up dropping many of the C-5As and retaining only C-5Bs and C-5Ms for larger cargo. Something will be required to replace those C-5As.
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747classic
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:02 pm

I would wait and decide after EADS has canceled the A400M, or manages at last to produce a real production A400M aircraft, acceptable to the customers.
After that has happened a decision could be made about shutting down or proceeding with the C17 production, if no additional US order is booked.
In the meantime several C17's can be sold to air forces, that don't want to wait for another several years on their promised A400M's.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:27 pm



Quoting 747classic (Reply 4):
I would wait and decide after EADS has canceled the A400M, or manages at last to produce a real production A400M aircraft, acceptable to the customers.
After that has happened a decision could be made about shutting down or proceeding with the C17 production, if no additional US order is booked.
In the meantime several C17's can be sold to air forces, that don't want to wait for another several years on their promised A400M's.

Correct. It will also be relitively to develope and sell a cheaper version, the C-17B or C-17C that could be more attractive than the A-400M.

But, to answer Keesje's question, the line will shut down when all current and futyure orders are filled, and not before. Just look at the C-130 production line, still going strong after 50 + years in production.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:41 pm

Until all candidates that must be replaced by C-17's will be replaced.

Why are C-130's produced until today? Because there is no successor.

Apply that to the C-17. It means that one day either a clean sheet design of the C-17 exists -or- new C-17 will be built. As far I can see, it is the only offering for the tasks, it is made for.

Some rare aircrafts replace aircrafts of the same type. The C-130 is one of them. Maybe the C-17 will be one of those too (What could you gain from a new clean sheet design, once the C-17 needs to be replaced?). But it would mean that for a long time the production rate would have to be sustained on the back burner.
 
keesje
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:43 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
But, to answer Keesje's question, the line will shut down when all current and futyure orders are filled, and not before.

I assumed that  Wink

Anyway, would it be possible to freeze /store the production line in a way that in say ten years time a reengined improved C-17 line could be reopenend? No way it would be cheap, but better then designing something from the ground up.. has it been done before.
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rfields5421
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:46 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 7):
Anyway, would it be possible to freeze /store the production line in a way that in say ten years time a reengined improved C-17 line could be reopenend? No way it would be cheap, but better then designing something from the ground up.. has it been done before.

I would consider that a worst case scenario.

Surely in 10 years some improvements in technology, materials and production would occur. Freezing a production line locks future production into old technology and methods.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:09 pm



Quoting 747classic (Reply 4):
I would wait and decide after EADS has canceled the A400M, or manages at last to produce a real production A400M aircraft, acceptable to the customers.

It's not up to EADS to cancel the A400M program. That's a decision made by the governments involved with the program. In spite of the problems with it I doubt that the partner nations are going to pull the plug on it at this point.
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:52 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
When the orders finally run out and the backlog is exhausted?

More precisely, when the Congress stops inserting orders into the budget that the USAF didn't request.

Ref: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091001/..._co/us_congress_defense_spending_4

$2.5B for 10 C-17s the USAF didn't ask for, because C-17s have parts produced in almost every state in the US. Money is being taken from, wait for this: operations and maintenance accounts!

Quoting N328KF (Reply 3):
Not only that, but I believe USAF will wind up dropping many of the C-5As and retaining only C-5Bs and C-5Ms for larger cargo. Something will be required to replace those C-5As.

Kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy - just underfund the C-5, overfund the C-17 and voila!

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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:55 pm

In case you want to see an interesting exercise in politics:

http://c17foramerica.com/
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keesje
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:12 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 8):
Surely in 10 years some improvements in technology, materials and production would occur. Freezing a production line locks future production into old technology and methods.

I can imagine that in say 10 years cpasity is required and a reengined (GENX ?) stretched C17 could become feasible while it is not at this moment. Spend a $200 million to store critical infrastructure and keep the line "healthy" might not be a bad investment.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:27 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 7):
Anyway, would it be possible to freeze /store the production line in a way that in say ten years time a reengined improved C-17 line could be reopenend? No way it would be cheap, but better then designing something from the ground up.. has it been done before.

According to

http://www.delawareonline.com/articl...0090921/NEWS02/909210333/1006/NEWS

Quote:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Air Force has enough C-17s -- if congressional designs come to pass, the fleet will total 223 aircraft, up from an original order of 180. Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has amended the administration's spending plan for the year that begins Oct. 1 to include $674 million for three new C-17s. The Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Inouye, went the House panel one better, agreeing unanimously to provide $2.59 billion for 10 additional C-17s -- in addition to eight aircraft included in a supplemental fiscal 2009 spending bill signed by President Barack Obama in June. Both committees deleted $91.4 million requested by Gates for shutting down Boeing's C-17 assembly line.

So the bare minimum figure will be $91.4M.

I don't know what's covered in that figure.

I do know the C-17 final assembly line is in Long Beach, and Boeing has sold off all the surrounding land to developers, presumably at a good profit, so I doubt we will see that factory itself mothballed.
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:51 pm



Quoting Keesje (Thread starter):
What would be the right amount of aircraft for western requirements and the right moment to call it a day on C-17 production?

For the USAF/ AFR/ ANG 232 sounds about right, if we also factor in parking some C-5A's then add another 20-30 for something between 252 and 262.

Here's how I would laydown the C-17 fleet;

Elmendorf AFB
13
Hickam AFB
13
Travis AFB
13
McChord AFB
52
Altus AFB
8
Mississippi ANG
8
McGuire AFB
26
Dover AFB
13
Charleston AFB
52
March ARB
16
Ramstein AB
13
Andrews AFB
8
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kc135topboom
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:01 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 7):
Anyway, would it be possible to freeze /store the production line in a way that in say ten years time a reengined improved C-17 line could be reopenend? No way it would be cheap, but better then designing something from the ground up.. has it been done before.

The tooling to build new C-17s in the future will be stored somewhere.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 13):
So the bare minimum figure will be $91.4M.

I don't know what's covered in that figure.

That would usually cover disassembly, creating, and handling the tooling that is to be stored. It may not cover the cost to transport the tooling to a storage site. For storage, there are generally two possibilities;

1. pay the OEM to store the tooling onsite or at a site of their selection. In which case the OEM would be responsible for safe keeping, maintenance, and security of the tooling while it is in storage.

2. transport all the tooling to AMARC for storage in the desert, in which case the USAF is responsible for safe keeping, maintenance, and security.

If at some future time, the C-17 line is selected to reopen, that contract will cover transport to the production site, refurbishment, assembly, and any updating needed.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Mome

Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:02 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 7):
Anyway, would it be possible to freeze /store the production line in a way that in say ten years time a reengined improved C-17 line could be reopenend? No way it would be cheap, but better then designing something from the ground up.. has it been done before.

It happened with the C-5...
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par13del
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:16 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 16):
It happened with the C-5...

I think the key to this topic, the C-17 was designed at its existing size and capacity to sit above the C-130 and below the C-5. The C-17 cannot replace the C-5, eventually the C5 has to be replaced, the re-engine program may put the a/c in the air more often which will ensure that the frame hour arrive sooner rather than later.
The C-17C is probably the way to go, irrespective of the name everything on the a/c seems to be up-sized, at least it will be Boeings offer for the C-5 replacement.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:45 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
The C-17 cannot replace the C-5,

Wrong, C5 is great on paper but the various issues with it as the frames age HAS made the USAF plan around not having them avalible. There is no doubt that the C5 when it works is amazing, but that "when it works" has sealed its fate past what can be done on the "cheap" to keep current frames as long as possible. This means the USAF plans around the existing fleet, and all new things that might need transport have to fit in a C17.

So at this time we are going to see a continuation of the C17 taking a bigger and bigger portion of the heavy lift pie as the C5 slowly sheds frames due to crashes, frames needing too much repairs, etc.

With the current lack of anything new in the heavy lift world, I wouldn't be suprised if the C17 lasts for 20-30 more years in slow rate production. Given that developing any military transport today seems to be an excersise in empyting your own wallets I don't see anything new arriving anytime soon.

Course the real question for Kesseje is when does the A400M line shut down? If I can go get a spot from the USAF in the C17 production line for pennies more than a A400M, why wouldn't I if I was shopping for something that the C130 can't do? I can even get my 1st frame in a year or less. I fail to see the reasoning behind ordering a A400M unless I already am neck deep in the program. Or wallet deep anyway.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:39 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 18):
With the current lack of anything new in the heavy lift world, I wouldn't be suprised if the C17 lasts for 20-30 more years in slow rate production. Given that developing any military transport today seems to be an excersise in empyting your own wallets I don't see anything new arriving anytime soon.

Boeing claims it takes around 15 frame a year to keep the line moving without making a loss. Seems we may up with more C-17s than KC-135s?

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 18):
Course the real question for Kesseje is when does the A400M line shut down?

Maybe the EU politicians will be as self-interested as the US ones?
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:42 pm

One other thing is -- the oldest C-17s are now nearing 20 years old. How much useful life is programmed into them?
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BMI727
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:38 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 20):

One other thing is -- the oldest C-17s are now nearing 20 years old. How much useful life is programmed into them?

Probably more than twenty years, and more if they are upgraded. Also, remember that the military tends to not fly their planes as much as airlines.
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:50 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
Boeing claims it takes around 15 frame a year to keep the line moving without making a loss. Seems we may up with more C-17s than KC-135s?

That would be another 25 years of USAF production, I just don't see that unless a production go ahead is given to the C-17 as a C-5 replacement. That would alos mean a nose swing up cargo door, the C-17A does not have.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21):
Quoting N328KF (Reply 20):

One other thing is -- the oldest C-17s are now nearing 20 years old. How much useful life is programmed into them?

Probably more than twenty years, and more if they are upgraded. Also, remember that the military tends to not fly their planes as much as airlines.

The C-17, like all other big USAF jets is programmed for at least 40 years of service. So, we are looking at at least another 20 years before the first C-17s retire to AMARC (not counting any put into flyable storage).
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:24 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
Boeing claims it takes around 15 frame a year to keep the line moving without making a loss. Seems we may up with more C-17s than KC-135s?

Given the great wide expanse of nothing else being made in this class... Its very possible the C17 line will keep cranking along. The costs to stop and start the line have to scare the hell out of the USAF where they might close the line thinking they have plenty just to find out they are very short just a few years later if they have any issues with any of thier lift.

I also thought Boeing negotated with the USAF to take some money now to reorganize the line for cheaper production at a lower rate.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:32 pm



Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
I think the key to this topic, the C-17 was designed at its existing size and capacity to sit above the C-130 and below the C-5.

Actually it was designed as a C-141 replacement, no?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 22):
That would be another 25 years of USAF production, I just don't see that unless a production go ahead is given to the C-17 as a C-5 replacement. That would alos mean a nose swing up cargo door, the C-17A does not have.

Indeed, but as we see the Congress-critters of both parties taking money away from maintenance budget to buy more C-17s that the USAF didn't ask for, one can see that with time the number of flyable C-5s will drop significantly and the USAF will have not much choice but make do with C-17s.

What stuff requires the nose cargo door?
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Galaxy5007
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:52 pm

You all have to remember that the C-17 was a replacement to the C-141. It will NEVER be a replacement to the C-5, and the C-17C idea is no exception. Although there are talks of retiring A models, they aren't planning on retiring all of the C-5As. Stewart IAP that has a fleet of 13 C-5As wants to trade them for C-17s. More than likely that is whats going to happen. Someone mentioned C-17s going to Andrews, well, sorry to say, but thats not happening. They don't want them. Ramstein is trying to get them, but its doubtful. Wright-Pattersons 445th AW has been whining about not getting C-17s since they gave up their 141s, and they have a better chance than Ramstein does. McGuire wants another squadron, and they've been flying the crap out of their 13 jets. Travis wants to get rid of their C-5s all together and replace the C-5 fleet with another C-17 squadron. Its doubtful that plan is going to go through since AMC wants to keep a squadron of them on the west coast. Although the C-5 reliability has a bad reputation, it is improving with both AMP and RERP. Both the A and B models that have been AMP modified have been having a better on time take off rate vs the legacy system. At least 20 A models have had all of the structural issues that have been plaguing them fixed and are now back in the air on a regular basis. The C-5Ms are performing very well out of Dover. They are having some bugs of course, but heck, the C-17 still has bugs. Nothing is going to be perfect.

I think they are going to retire 11 to 21 C-5As. AMC wants to keep enough around while RERP ramps up and they have 5-8 C-5s down on the ground for a year for it; not including the 25-30 C-5s down for PDM, ISO and HSCs. Once RERP is done production, I'm sure they will retire some more A models. Retiring the complete trash that still sits in the fleet right now would be nice though. I could list a couple of tail numbers but I'm keeping that quiet.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:59 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 25):
Retiring the complete trash that still sits in the fleet right now would be nice though. I could list a couple of tail numbers but I'm keeping that quiet.

Is 9 balls-18 still around? We used to call it Hanger 18  Smile
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:29 pm



Quoting TF39 (Reply 26):
Is 9 balls-18 still around? We used to call it Hanger 18

9018 is with Memphis. Its been one of their better jets. It was always in the hanger when it was with Dover...either that or it was in CANN status when we still had them. Its just stuck in ISO @ Stewart I believe. I can post the C-5 assignments on here if you want, but its not exactly matching for the thread title.
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:55 pm

http://www.presstelegram.com/ci_13430031

"If it shutters, federal officials estimate it would cost at least $1 billion to reopen for future production. A new plant altogether would cost several billion."
 
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par13del
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:04 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 18):
Wrong, C5 is great on paper but the various issues with it as the frames age HAS made the USAF plan around not having them avalible. There is no doubt that the C5 when it works is amazing, but that "when it works" has sealed its fate past what can be done on the "cheap" to keep current frames as long as possible. This means the USAF plans around the existing fleet, and all new things that might need transport have to fit in a C17.

My point was that the current C-17 is not in the same class as the C5 - as in max pauload and size of payload -. Unless the USAF decides that it no longer needs an airlifter in the C5 class, a replacement will have to be found, whether that is an up-sized C-17 - C version - or a whole new design, based on the amount of money being spent on the re-engine program, odds are that they still believe that they need an a/c with its capabilities.


Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
Actually it was designed as a C-141 replacement, no?

Correct
 
norcal
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:45 pm

What would it take to make a C-17C? New wing box, new wing, fueselage strengthening, reworked landing gear? What engines would they throw under the wing? How about 4 GE-90s? That would improve short field performance
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:56 am



Quoting Par13del (Reply 29):
Unless the USAF decides that it no longer needs an airlifter in the C5 class, a replacement will have to be found

It seems to me that by underfunding the maintenance budget and funding unreqeusted C-17s, Congress is making the decisions, not the USAF.
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par13del
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:04 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 31):
It seems to me that by underfunding the maintenance budget and funding unreqeusted C-17s, Congress is making the decisions, not the USAF.

On paper that is the way it seems but the USAF has to take the full blame for that situation. The problems with the C-5 have been known for years and some half hearted attempts have been made at correction, the current re-engine program appears to be the best effort put forth, whether that's because of the success of the C-17 is debatable. The cost of the program is huge, whether this is the normal charge whatever you can because they will pay it is another subject for debate, enter the F-22 and VH-71 story  Smile

Reality is that the frames are aged, even if their flying hours are low, if there is a replacement program in the wings I have not heard of it. The current C-17C idea being floated around is a natural out-growth of the "inadequacies" of the existing model, and the new FCS vehicles which in whatever their final specification will at least be heavier than the existing Bradley and Stryker, maybe even bulkier. Lockheed is already looking at a wider C-130 to accomodate or provide an alternative to the A400M

If the USAF needs / wants a genuine replacement for the C-5 they need to come out and state that, whether the congress will look at that as an option to cease the re-engine program, cut it back even further or purchases more C-17 may not be relevant, they are already buying more C-17's without that excuse, so ...........
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:36 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 30):
What would it take to make a C-17C? New wing box, new wing, fuselage strengthening, reworked landing gear? What engines would they throw under the wing? How about 4 GE-90s? That would improve short field performance



Quoting Par13del (Reply 32):
If the USAF needs / wants a genuine replacement for the C-5 they need to come out and state that, whether the congress will look at that as an option to cease the re-engine program, cut it back even further or purchases more C-17 may not be relevant, they are already buying more C-17's without that excuse, so ...........

If the USAF decides they want the C-17B and/or C-17C versions, they must define a mission for them that the C-17A or the C-5A/B/C/M cannot do, or will not be able to do reliably. Apparently the USAF does not have such justification.

But a new C-17C, assuming it is a C-5 replacement, would need a significant fuselage stretch, a new wing and wing box, CF-6-80C or GEnx-2B engines, a nose cargo door, new landing gear, and a new tail surfaces. It would essentially be a completely different airplane from the C-17A.

A C-17B would not be as much as a new airplane, but more like an updated design, with a mini stretch. It could use the same PW-2040 engines the C-17A has, but perhaps has longer legs carrying a lighter cargo load. Take the rough field capability the C-17A has from the C-17B, and the costs per airplane should drop because of the lighter landing gear.
 
norcal
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:12 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 33):
If the USAF decides they want the C-17B and/or C-17C versions, they must define a mission for them that the C-17A or the C-5A/B/C/M cannot do, or will not be able to do reliably. Apparently the USAF does not have such justification.

Strap 4 GE-90s on a C-17C and you have a mission that the C-5 Can't do......tactical T/O performance with a strategic payload. You could take 2 MBTs into and out of short fields.

Wouldn't that be something to see  Smile
 
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:57 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 33):
It would essentially be a completely different airplane from the C-17A.

Yes, it would be what I would call the C-50A. It wouldn't even resemble a 17 with the mods it would need. If the USAF needs a C-5 sized aircraft in the future, it will need a completly new aircraft design. You mentioned the tooling is still around; I was told by lockheed reps @ Dover that it was destroyed shortly after 87-0044 and 87-0045 rolled off the line in 1989. If its still around, do you have a source stating so?
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:27 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 35):
I was told by lockheed reps @ Dover that it was destroyed shortly after 87-0044 and 87-0045 rolled off the line in 1989. If its still around, do you have a source stating so?

It is my understanding the tooling is now stored at AMARC.
 
Jackonicko
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:55 pm

What would be the right amount of aircraft for western requirements and the right moment to call it a day on C-17 production?

C-17 production will end long before the market for this class of aircraft is saturated, because orders aren't coming at a rapid enough pace to be able to sustain the economic production rate.

What is needed is for the USAF to take the bold step of stopping the C-5 RERP nonsense, and to down-size the C-130 force and invest in a really significant number of new C-17s - preferably making them all C-17Bs. You need to ensure the security of the line for about six or seven years - which means 72-85 aircraft.

If you manage that, you'll win enough export orders to support a further two or three years of production.
 
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par13del
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:17 pm



Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 37):
and to down-size the C-130 force and invest in a really significant number of new C-17s - preferably making them all C-17Bs. You need to ensure the security of the line for about six or seven years - which means 72-85 aircraft.

How do you eliminate the mission of the C-130, there are still missions which define the a/c used, the new mantra of changing or fitting your mission to match the equipment does not always work. The rough field capabilities of the C-17 are not being used in part because the C-130 exist which also allows more flexibility in runways used.
 
474218
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:08 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 36):
It is my understanding the tooling is now stored at AMARC.

The C-5 assembly tooling is scattered about the north east corner of the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta. It has been stored outside for decades and shows its age (rusty). You can see a lot of it from the parking lot.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:44 pm



Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 37):
What would be the right amount of aircraft for western requirements and the right moment to call it a day on C-17 production?

C-17 production will end long before the market for this class of aircraft is saturated, because orders aren't coming at a rapid enough pace to be able to sustain the economic production rate.

Actually, we don't really know that (when the C-17 production line will close), yet. We don't know who MIGHT order the C-17 in the future.

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 37):
What is needed is for the USAF to take the bold step of stopping the C-5 RERP nonsense, and to down-size the C-130 force and invest in a really significant number of new C-17s - preferably making them all C-17Bs. You need to ensure the security of the line for about six or seven years - which means 72-85 aircraft.

If you manage that, you'll win enough export orders to support a further two or three years of production.

The C-5M will have a military mission for many years the C-17 will not be able to do. The C-130 still has a valuable military mission, but perhaps you are tright, C -17B could replace it. But a C-17B, or C-17C are years away at best. No one is really talking about them outside of Boeing and a few of the California Congressional Deligation.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 39):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 36):
It is my understanding the tooling is now stored at AMARC.

The C-5 assembly tooling is scattered about the north east corner of the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta. It has been stored outside for decades and shows its age (rusty). You can see a lot of it from the parking lot.

That is all I had heard. But storing it in Marietta makes sense, GD stored the F/FB-111 tooling outside and just down the street from me until just a few years ago when it was scrapped.
 
Jackonicko
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:44 pm

Actually, we don't really know that (when the C-17 production line will close), yet. We don't know who MIGHT order the C-17 in the future.

We don't know exactly. But we do know that the long lead buffer has been used up, and that unless significant orders are placed soon, then the line WILL start to close down imminently.

And while we don't know exactly who might order the C-17, we do know that none of Boeing's short and medium term prospects are looking for more than a handful of aircraft. Insufficient to launch the C-17B and insufficient to keep the line going without significant USAF orders.

I predict that the C-17 will begin to shut down in less than two years.

I view that as being a very bad thing, but you chaps are making some extremely stupid procurement decisions at the moment.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:11 pm

The wonder of it is why the question is being asked at all? The right moment would be when it's not competitive and useful anymore. When it can no longer take orders away from the A400M or others, and nobody else wants it! Boeing managed to keep the 767 line open with a trickle. They could do it all over again - better than merely keeping the tooling. And more practical for the Government knowing that it's there when the need arises, than just paying for storage or outright scrapping.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Jackonicko
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:38 pm

Someone has to pay the cost of keeping a line (and in this case an entire plant) open.

Boeing can't and Uncle Sam won't.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:52 am



Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 41):
But we do know that the long lead buffer has been used up, and that unless significant orders are placed soon, then the line WILL start to close down imminently.



Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 41):
I predict that the C-17 will begin to shut down in less than two years.

Perhaps, the US Senate has added 10 new C-17s for a 2013 delivery, the House added 4. They will need to compromise on the number, I think they will settle on 10 as next year is a Congressional election year. So, right now the line is good through 2013. After that is anyone's guess.

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 41):
you chaps are making some extremely stupid procurement decisions at the moment.

Yes, we are.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 42):
When it can no longer take orders away from the A400M

What orders has the C-17 taken from the A-400M yet? None that I know of, but I have been advocating it.

Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 43):
Someone has to pay the cost of keeping a line (and in this case an entire plant) open.

Boeing can't and Uncle Sam won't.

Correct, and Uncle Sam is still on the hook to pay for the line shut down.
 
Devilfish
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:19 pm



Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 43):
Boeing can't and Uncle Sam won't.

We might be surprised. The Government did it for the automakers. It's not too far-fetched to think they would also do it for a strategic industry. As it is, congressional insertions are creeping out all over the place.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 44):
What orders has the C-17 taken from the A-400M yet? None that I know of, but I have been advocating it.

I assume that the additional C-17s over the RAF's original stopgap order were lost orders for the A400M. Ditto with NATO's three recently delivered airframes and those for Qatar.

As to future orders, you yourself had this to say.....

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 40):
We don't know who MIGHT order the C-17 in the future.

.....and from the A400M thread.....

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 113):

Right now, there is a better possibility of A-400M customers jumping off that program and ordering new C-17s than the A-400M ever getting any more orders over the 192 they now have

Admittedly, a lot less scientific method of prognostics.
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
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N328KF
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:26 am



Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 45):
I assume that the additional C-17s over the RAF's original stopgap order were lost orders for the A400M. Ditto with NATO's three recently delivered airframes and those for Qatar.

I'm not sure if the RAF orders were replacement of or supplemental to A400M orders, but the original C-17 order was intended to be temporary. The aircraft would have gone back to USAF eventually.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
474218
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Mon Oct 12, 2009 2:53 am



Quoting N328KF (Reply 46):
I'm not sure if the RAF orders were replacement of or supplemental to A400M orders, but the original C-17 order was intended to be temporary. The aircraft would have gone back to USAF eventually.

The original 2 leased RAF C-17 were leased directly from Boeing. At the end of the lease they were to be returned to Boeing, not the USAF.
 
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N328KF
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:53 am



Quoting 474218 (Reply 47):
The original 2 leased RAF C-17 were leased directly from Boeing. At the end of the lease they were to be returned to Boeing, not the USAF.

Right, and at the time, who would have taken them? The Salvation Army? There were no other C-17 customers at the time.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
rfields5421
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RE: Shutting Down C-17 Line, When's The Right Moment?

Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:13 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 48):
Right, and at the time, who would have taken them? The Salvation Army?

Well, no one thought anyone would take the Soviet Air Force IL-76 and AN-124 aircraft - and look how many are flying around in private hands today.

For the right price, many of the left over C-141's could be flying privately. I actually think the chances of the off-lease C-17's ending up in private hands flying speciality cargo is quite high.

There is always a need for a small specialized large/ heavy airlift capacity, even in a relatively expensive aircraft.

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