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What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:02 pm

With the KC-46 (767) replacing the KC-135, now I know it will be years from now, but I do wonder, what plane is likely to replace the KC-10 (DC-10) in the future?
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:14 pm

Most likel it will be either the KC-777F or the KC-747-8F. It will depend on what missions the airplane will fly and how important carg hauling will be. EADS really doesn't have an airplane, right now that can be a supersized tanker and cargo airplane. The A-380F really cannot carry outsized cargo, as it is defined right now, the A-330F will not carry the fuel load needed for a super tanker. The A-306F Beluga will not even be considered.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:27 am

My guess would be that it will most likely be based on the 777. I don't know that the Air Force would want something as big as the 747-8 when it turned down Boeing's original 747 tanker proposal. Of course that was some years back and the perceived needs might be different now.
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sweair
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:44 am

The 77F would be a perfect candidate, efficient and almost as much payload of early 747s.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:59 pm

Yeah, but the B-747-8F is an excellent cargo airplane, and like the C-5 and C-17 can carry oversized cargo. But itcannot carry big vehicles such as the M-1A2 MBT or Bradley Fighting Vehicles. It should be able to carry the US Army Stryker vehicles, and load/unload through the nose cargo door.
 
Oroka
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:57 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
But itcannot carry big vehicles such as the M-1A2 MBT or Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

It wont be flying to unimproved stations either, it will have to go to facilities with infrastructure to support it. It would be great for palletized cargo, and troop transport in addition to hauling fighters around. Let the C-17 and C-5 do the dirty work, the KC-747 can get the rest.
 
columba
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:11 pm

My guess is that -if the KC 10 is replaced in the not too distant future - the new plane will be based on the 777F
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
sweair
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:23 pm

Only other possible replacement other than 77F would be the A350F? If that will ever come to market.
 
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:57 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
It should be able to carry the US Army Stryker vehicles, and load/unload through the nose cargo door.

Can it?
I seem to recall(but too late at night to research it) that before the RAAF decided on the C-17 they were considering buying B747F on the used market(well at least a proposal to the ADF was!) Amongst the concerns was-
a/ The ability to get a turreted ASLAV in via the nose door
b/ the "deck" height being such that one needed loading infrastructure everywhere you flew or onboard equipment which impacted on load capacity.
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kanban
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:46 pm

I see the 777f as a replacement, and chartered civilian freighters for missions needing 747f capabilities.. no sense owning what you can lease on short notice.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:36 pm

KC46.

The KC-10 while impressive on its inital lift, burns quite a bit of it by the end. Which means that the KC46 while having less lift, can do almost as much in the real world. It will also have 100% less BS in the buying process than a different frame regardless of the company making it, which is 100% of the reason I believe that the KC46 will end up replacing the KC10 even if a KC777 would make an awesome heavy tanker.
 
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ssteve
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:45 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 10):
KC46.

Certainly makes the most sense to ponder whether a heavier tanker is needed at all. However if the USAF picks up the 747-8i for VIP transport or anything else, I wonder if there could be some co-development to make a militarized tanker version of the 8F.
 
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kanban
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:40 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 11):
a militarized tanker version of the 8F.


in the older threads it was noted that putting more gas in the air doesn't buy much because the offload rate and number of receivers it can handle without too long a waiting line is limited. Therefore the 767 based tanker fielded in packs can service more aircraft in a limited time...
So a 747-8 tanker doesn't make sense. and a 777 tanker is pushing the offload time limitations.
 
rfields5421
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:30 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 11):
Certainly makes the most sense to ponder whether a heavier tanker is needed at all.

I don't believe the KC-10 will be replaced with a new aircraft. Maybe a few more frames of the KC46, if any.

The military need in my opinion is for move aircraft being able to be in more locations around the world, than for a few heavy aircraft.

I could be wrong, but with the current view of the US politicians (Democrat and Republicans) that the US military is too large and too expensive - I just cannot see another aircraft being procured.
 
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ssteve
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:04 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 13):
I could be wrong, but with the current view of the US politicians (Democrat and Republicans) that the US military is too large and too expensive - I just cannot see another aircraft being procured.

Unless that aircraft is built in their district-- then it's vital.
 
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Tugger
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:33 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 10):
I believe that the KC46 will end up replacing the KC10 even if a KC777 would make an awesome heavy tanker.
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 13):
I don't believe the KC-10 will be replaced with a new aircraft. Maybe a few more frames of the KC46, if any.

I agree that it will be the KC46 going forward. It is more than big enough for the job its got (if you've seen my posts on it I think the best replacement would have been a variant of the 757 not 67 but that is neither here nor there).

With the 767 they have plenty of capacity for the current mission and I suspect if they need more they could always do a "heavy-lift" variant. It's not like it is filled to the brim with tanks now, I think it is quite the opposite.

Tugg
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tommytoyz
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:11 am

The math is not in favor of a replacement anytime soon, so don't hold your breath.

1. The number of aircraft the DoD has, is going down
2. The ones they maintain, have better range than older models, in some cases dramatically (Global Hawk types)
3. They are keeping KC-135s around for decades more to come, till about 2040 and KC-10 for decades more than that
4. Defense budget is going down every year from now - IMHO.
5. Pound for pound, Cargo is always cheaper in dedicated cargo planes, not in tankers.

Math = no KC-10 replacement till after 2060 - if ever.

Unless some technological breakthrough occurs, making the math compelling to replace.

[Edited 2012-06-12 01:15:51]
 
AviRaider
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:36 pm

Although it's just a guess on my part, I believe that by the time the KC-10s are being phased out, the military aviation world will be much different than today. I would imagine we will see more automated craft, perhaps smaller than today's tankers just for the role of being a tanker, thus cheaper, and more can be used to fill the KC10s role. We may not even need conventional tankers in the future, who knows.
 
sweair
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:25 pm

Nah they will still fly 1960´s gear in 2050, the world stopped progressing about 2012..
 
flyingcello
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:13 pm

A KC787?

Size isn't everything...the (slightly) smaller 787 would allow more frames to be bought, and therefore offer more operational flexibility...
 
bigjku
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:20 pm

Quoting FlyingCello (Reply 19):
A KC787?

Size isn't everything...the (slightly) smaller 787 would allow more frames to be bought, and therefore offer more operational flexibility...

The military is not as hard up to save on fuel cost as an airline. They don't fly nearly as many miles and cycles of a civilian airliner so a production line winding down like the 767 one really suits them pretty well. I see no reason to go from a 767 tanker to a 787 tanker.

If you make a change you go to something in the 777 class but I am with the majority here, they will just stick with the 767 tanker and buy more if they need more capacity.
 
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:39 am

I learned something new, yeah for a tanker size is not that important, it can only refuel 2 planes at the time anyway. And the freight would be more effective leasing. So even a 738/C40 would make sense as a tanker? It has to carry fuel, keep up with the fighters and be able to service 2 at the same time?

The only freight that couldn't be leased is out sized military stuff, or even this has been leased by the AN124.

Maybe the future air force will be a much leaner operation, leasing assets when needed keeping costs low. Only need to keep tankers, C17 and some C5s. And With UAVs getting more capable even tankers can be automated along with fighters. Some staff would have to be on the ground monitoring all these machines?
 
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:03 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 7):
Only other possible replacement other than 77F would be the A350F? If that will ever come to market.

As things stand now, the A-359F is the last A-350 model in the developement schedule. They have to get the A-359, A-358, A-359R, A-3510, and then the A-359F out.

Quoting stealthz (Reply 8):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):It should be able to carry the US Army Stryker vehicles, and load/unload through the nose cargo door.
Can it?

The Stryker measurements are;
Lenght 22' 10" (6.95m)
Width 8' 11" (2.72m)
Height 8' 8" (2.64m)
Weight 16.5 tonnes

The B-747-8F nose cargo door measures;
Width 9' 11" (3.05m)
Height 9' 0" (2.76m)
The B-747-8F side cargo door measures;
Height 10' 3" (3.15m)
Width 11' 2" (3.43m)

The interior body of the "F" is;
Width 20' 6" (6.30m)

So the Stryker can be driven into either cargo door, but the side cargo door requires it to turn once half is inside the airplane.

Quoting kanban (Reply 12):
Quoting SSTeve (Reply 11):a militarized tanker version of the 8F.

in the older threads it was noted that putting more gas in the air doesn't buy much because the offload rate and number of receivers it can handle without too long a waiting line is limited. Therefore the 767 based tanker fielded in packs can service more aircraft in a limited time...
So a 747-8 tanker doesn't make sense. and a 777 tanker is pushing the offload time limitations.

Correct, but the KC-10 is versital because of its huge cargo capability.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 16):
Math = no KC-10 replacement till after 2060 - if ever.

No, the KC-10 is scheduled to be replaced by the KC-Y program, which should begin around 2022 to 2025.
 
LMP737
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:14 pm

The KC-11 would have made a great replacement. Alas that will never be.  
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:43 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 21):
I learned something new, yeah for a tanker size is not that important, it can only refuel 2 planes at the time anyway. And the freight would be more effective leasing. So even a 738/C40 would make sense as a tanker? It has to carry fuel, keep up with the fighters and be able to service 2 at the same time?

That is only for a probe-and-drogue system, which has a lower fuel volume capability. The boom method has higher volume but of course only one plane can refuel. I don't know if the balance each other out (the boom method is twice as fast as the P&D method).

Tugg
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bigjku
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:08 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 21):
I learned something new, yeah for a tanker size is not that important, it can only refuel 2 planes at the time anyway. And the freight would be more effective leasing. So even a 738/C40 would make sense as a tanker? It has to carry fuel, keep up with the fighters and be able to service 2 at the same time?

There is a happy medium between offload capacity and rate at which you can fuel planes. A 738 would be far too small. It was pretty clear from the outset that what the USAF wanted was a tanker a bit bigger than a KC-135 but not as big as a KC-10.
 
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kanban
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:16 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 22):
Correct,

was summarizing some of the knowledge you passed in earlier threads, but couldn't find the exact quote. Thanks
 
rwessel
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:49 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 24):
That is only for a probe-and-drogue system, which has a lower fuel volume capability. The boom method has higher volume but of course only one plane can refuel. I don't know if the balance each other out (the boom method is twice as fast as the P&D method).

OTOH, most fighters, unlike larger aircraft, can't take much advantage of the boom's higher flow rates. So two simultaneous P&D refuelings of fighter-sized aircraft would likely result in a faster net cycle rate than one boom refueling one fighter at a time.

Of course the USAF approximately has no P&D equipped fighters...
 
tommytoyz
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:40 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 22):
No, the KC-10 is scheduled to be replaced by the KC-Y program, which should begin around 2022 to 2025.

The "KC-Y program" does not even exist. It surely is not on any schedule. Procurement a decade or more out is completely unknowable. Look how long it took for the KC-X, and we still don't have any.

What is undeniable is that DoD budgets are going down, aircraft hours flown are down, number of planes in fleet are down and going down even more (thank you F-35 money pit) and newer planes have more range, thus less need for tankers..........all this points to less need for tankers overall and the tankers we do have barely fly.

If you think the KC-135 will exit the fleet by 2025, I suggest you read the GAO report on the whole KC-X mess:

The Air Force projects that the KC-135 aircraft have between 36,000 and 39,000 lifetime flying hours; according to the
Air Force, only a few KC-135s are projected to reach these limits before 2040, although at that time some of the aircraft would be close to 80 years old. KC-135s are being flown an average of about 435 hours per year, on average, since September 2001...


And the KC-10 is 15-20 years younger....With the KC-46s still being delivered through 2030....I can't see yet another tanker procured before 2040-2050.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:44 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 23):
The KC-11 would have made a great replacement.

No, it wouldn't. It never lived up to its promised capability/performance in the civilian world. That is why nearly all of them were converted into frieghters.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 28):
The "KC-Y program" does not even exist. It surely is not on any schedule. Procurement a decade or more out is completely unknowable. Look how long it took for the KC-X, and we still don't have any.

The KC-X, and C-SAR-X programs were filled with favortism, cronysim, and in some cases criminal activity. The USAF took a big PR hit that will last for years to decades. The final KC-X round was completed under a microscope.
 
PC12Fan
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:24 pm

If, and that's a big if, a super tanker were to go for bid today, I also believe the 777F platform would be favored. From what I've heard and read here, the cargo airlines love 'em. However a KC-748F would also be attractive. Both have their strong points. I've posted this link before, but it's a good presentation on a KC-33A proposed for the Australian Air Force . Shows an on board loading system which could also be utilized on a KC-777F, although obviously the 748F would hold more.

The KC missions vary obviously. Refueling, troop transport, disaster relief, etc., and both the 777F and 748F platforms would perform more than adequately.
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135mech
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:31 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 15):
With the 767 they have plenty of capacity for the current mission and I suspect if they need more they could always do a "heavy-lift" variant. It's not like it is filled to the brim with tanks now, I think it is quite the opposite.

Hi, the 767 fwd and aft lower cargo holds are going to be fuel tanks, just like the KC-135/KC-10...so it's space will be unitilzed decently (along with keeping the main deck for cargo/pax as are both 135's and 10's). The A330 was going to leave those open for cargo which would have only given it a 50,000 lbs more of fuel than the KC-135 and a greater waste of space.
135Mech
 
sweair
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:32 pm

Nice pdf of the aussies, now the 744s are even cheaper. There are good deals to be done for a military with the need of heavy lift transport.
 
NASCARAirforce
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:31 am

Won't EADS make another run at trying to sell their A330 tanker that they lost out to the 767 (KC-46) on? Seems most logical especially when the A330 replaced the DC-10s in a lot of the airlines
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:45 am

Quoting NASCARAirforce (Reply 33):
Won't EADS make another run at trying to sell their A330 tanker that they lost out to the 767 (KC-46) on? Seems most logical especially when the A330 replaced the DC-10s in a lot of the airlines

They might try, but they will be well behind the on risk and cost metrics vs the KC-46 which will be in service.
 
bennett123
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:20 am

I suspect that by the time that the KC10 is replaced, that the A330 will have been replaced by the A350.
 
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ADent
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:25 am

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 20):
I see no reason to go from a 767 tanker to a 787 tanker.

At some point the KC-46 will be quite old. Say in 2028, when the last of the current older is delivered, the 767 will have been in production for 50 years. Might be time to switch to KC-787 or KC-777NG or KC-350.

If they order another 180 KC-46 in 2028 they will finish delivery in 2040. How about a KC-787NG or KC-350NEO?
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:40 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 12):
Quoting SSTeve (Reply 11):a militarized tanker version of the 8F.

in the older threads it was noted that putting more gas in the air doesn't buy much because the offload rate and number of receivers it can handle without too long a waiting line is limited. Therefore the 767 based tanker fielded in packs can service more aircraft in a limited time...
So a 747-8 tanker doesn't make sense. and a 777 tanker is pushing the offload time limitations.

Tat is correct, for the tanker mission. But the tanker mission is but one part of the overall military mobility mission, hauling all kinds of cargo and troops is another big part of it.

By buying a large tanker/cargo aircraft, like the KC-777F or KC-748F, the USAF gets two airplanes for the price of one. The current KC-10s spend a lot of their flying hours hauling cargo, and their replacement aircraft may do more cargo missions than tanker missions.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 13):
I could be wrong, but with the current view of the US politicians (Democrat and Republicans) that the US military is too large and too expensive - I just cannot see another aircraft being procured.
Quoting SSTeve (Reply 14):
Unless that aircraft is built in their district-- then it's vital.

That is correct, but having a large modern military force is much, much cheaper than tring to build up one during wartime, like we had to do during WWII.

Quoting ADent (Reply 36):
At some point the KC-46 will be quite old. Say in 2028, when the last of the current older is delivered, the 767 will have been in production for 50 years. Might be time to switch to KC-787 or KC-777NG or KC-350.

The military really doesn't care how old an airplane production line is. The B-737 FAL is approaching 50 years old in the next few years, yet the C-40A and P-8A are in production now for the USN. Any FAL, no matter how old it is, it still builds brand new airplanes.
 
LMP737
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RE: What Plane Is Likely To Replace The KC-10?

Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:39 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
No, it wouldn't. It never lived up to its promised capability/performance in the civilian world. That is why nearly all of them were converted into frieghters.

Which it does very well. The early issues with reliability and performance were eventually taken care of with the PIP program. Unfortunately the damage was already done and the MD-11's fate was sealed. You can blame MD for trying to cheap out which cost them big.
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