AirbusMDCFAN
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Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:50 pm

Link/Source: http://www.defenseone.com/business/2018 ... on/145457/


"Their high cost is the latest example of just how expensive it is to build the heavily modified 747 jumbo jets that fly the president of the United States. Experts say the reason isn’t price gouging by Boeing, which makes the jets and handles the presidential modifications, but instead the result of bespoke equipment requirements put in place by the White House Military Office and the Air Force."
“It’s not a contractor issue, it is a requirements issue,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at the Teal Group consulting firm. “It’s not getting people rich.”
"The new refrigerators aren’t your kitchen Frigidaires, or even a typical jetliner’s cabin-feeding coolboxes. The requirement for Air Force One is the ability to feed passengers and crew for weeks without resupplying. That means storing about 3,000 meals in massive refrigerators and freezers below the passenger cabin. Five “chillers” cool a total of 26 climate-controlled compartments, according to the Air Force."


Please keep politics out of this.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:58 pm

$24 million still seems far fetched to me. Do these refrigerators run 24/7 and are they stocked with meals continuously ? Maybe they need more beef jerky ? ;-)
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:59 pm

The Praetorian silliness goes on endlessly. 3,000 meals! Utter nonsense. Exactly why?

GF
Last edited by GalaxyFlyer on Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:59 pm

Why not just store some MRE's onboard?
 
Flighty
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:08 pm

How silly. A security theater charade. If the USA has been nuked so much that the president can't land, it doesn't matter if he lives or dies.
 
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RWA380
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:13 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Why not just store some MRE's onboard?


Can Big Mac's & Filet O Fish be made into MRE's?
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:14 pm

Air Force One is full of tech that’s ludicrously expensive and yet utterly pointless. The counter measure flares have never been needed and never will. Also the mid air refuelling capability was a real nuisance and expense to fit and yet that hasn’t been used either. The longest flight was when President flew around after 9/11. Even then they don’t need.
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rbavfan
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:24 pm

george77300 wrote:
Air Force One is full of tech that’s ludicrously expensive and yet utterly pointless. The counter measure flares have never been needed and never will. Also the mid air refuelling capability was a real nuisance and expense to fit and yet that hasn’t been used either. The longest flight was when President flew around after 9/11. Even then they don’t need.


First you need it stocked for long term if there is an event. 2nd refueling would be needed after an event that requires them to stay airborne more than a day.
After all passenger models can fly over 16 hours. 8 hours short of a day. On 9-11 they kept it airborne until it was determined the threat was over. If it had gone on for 3 days there would have been airborne refueling!
 
Armodeen
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:27 pm

rbavfan wrote:
george77300 wrote:
Air Force One is full of tech that’s ludicrously expensive and yet utterly pointless. The counter measure flares have never been needed and never will. Also the mid air refuelling capability was a real nuisance and expense to fit and yet that hasn’t been used either. The longest flight was when President flew around after 9/11. Even then they don’t need.


First you need it stocked for long term if there is an event. 2nd refueling would be needed after an event that requires them to stay airborne more than a day.
After all passenger models can fly over 16 hours. 8 hours short of a day. On 9-11 they kept it airborne until it was determined the threat was over. If it had gone on for 3 days there would have been airborne refueling!


Still don't know why it can't be stocked with MREs though?
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:32 pm

I was talking to a friend a while back who designs private aircraft interiors. He worked in engineering, not accounting, but from the process he described for designing the installation and certifying it, I suspect the treadmill a customer wanted on his aircraft was well into the 5-figure range and possibly crossed into 6-figures before the customer dropped that feature from the spec, so the work he had done on it so far was for nothing.

That's for an off-the-shelf item using a voltage and frequency I assume the aircraft already was equipped with, adapted to a one-off custom install. I can only imagine what's involved in designing and installing a large custom refrigeration system, especially since I've heard doing installation and maintenance work on the VC-25's involves a fair amount of extra effort complying with the security requirements.

george77300 wrote:
Air Force One is full of tech that’s ludicrously expensive and yet utterly pointless. The counter measure flares have never been needed and never will. Also the mid air refuelling capability was a real nuisance and expense to fit and yet that hasn’t been used either. The longest flight was when President flew around after 9/11. Even then they don’t need.


Certainly the point that in a real emergency, the president and his staff can eat MRE's is apt.

However, the fact that the features you mentioned were not used on 9/11 is not useful in figuring out what AF1 needs.

9/11 was, as we say in engineering, a less than design basis event. Well within the normal endurance of the VC-25, they had a good understanding of the nature of the threat and confidence they could track and address new threats and get the leadership out of the way if they arose, so they were comfortable first of all landing in Florida to refuel, and then landing at Offut AFB in Nebraska until they were satisfied it was safe to return to DC.
 
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:35 pm

rbavfan wrote:
2nd refueling would be needed after an event that requires them to stay airborne more than a day.


It's never been used other than in practice and it's clearly no longer seen as a requirement because the new 748s will not have it.
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StTim
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:37 pm

I thought they had removed the ability to air to air refuel from the new version of AFOne!
 
727200
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:37 pm

$24M for 26 refrigerators; about $900K apiece? Someones brother in-law is retiring off this. Ridiculous.
 
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kanban
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:57 pm

727200 wrote:
$24M for 26 refrigerators; about $900K apiece? Someones brother in-law is retiring off this. Ridiculous.

At least 50% is engineering for removal of the old, engineering for the design specs for the new, installation engineering, planning, testing, and actual labor, plus disposal of the old. While they have the old out, there is corrosion assessment, documentation and repair as well (all of which requires,more engineering, QA, and labor.) then add $2M for management. Then comes finding a company to build and test as well as supply spare parts. then consider 2 aircraft, and 26 back up units in some warehouse somewhere in mid America. when you get done each refrigerator is more like $50K apiece. :duck: :duck:
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:32 am

george77300 wrote:
Air Force One is full of tech that’s ludicrously expensive and yet utterly pointless. The counter measure flares have never been needed and never will. Also the mid air refuelling capability was a real nuisance and expense to fit and yet that hasn’t been used either. The longest flight was when President flew around after 9/11. Even then they don’t need.

AFO is meant to be a flying command center in the event of a nuclear war. You kinda need all of that stuff and capability, until NBC ICBMs and SLBMs are totally outlawed by the UN and all nations.

I bet Admiral Yamamoto wished he had a much better defensive package on his Betty bomber when he was shot down...
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incitatus
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:02 am

It is questionable if it is needed. But for the requirements $24 million sounds like a fair deal.

Everything in aircraft does not cost what you are used to paying for at Home Depot. Take a shoddy 6-seat business jet with 60 sf of floor area for carpet replacement and you can easily shed $15,000.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:31 am

I’m with FLIGHTY, this is a ridiculous waste. I don’t doubt the bill based on things aviation, but there’s no need for 3,000 meals for, what, 60-80 people?

GF
 
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:41 am

At the Seattle aviation museum I toured an early AF One. IIRC Eisenhower's 707, I was struck with how utilitarian it was, definitely not luxurious.
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DaufuskieGuy
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:59 am

how long can AF1 stay aloft with aerial refueling? Until they run out of food and water?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:06 am

Probably oil consumption would govern it, assuming crew doesn’t.

GF
 
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77west
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:26 am

DaufuskieGuy wrote:
how long can AF1 stay aloft with aerial refueling? Until they run out of food and water?


I have heard oil consumption is the limiting factor as well. On a transpacific crossing (12-14 hours) on a 747 could requires a few pints per engine to top them up. Now extrapolate that over, say, 2-3 refuellings, and the VC25 probably would only get, maybe, 72 hours or thereabouts?

But they probably have bigger oil sumps and/or the ability to top up from onboard oil supplies, which a commercial jet does not.

72 hours would probably be more than enough though. If you need to stay up longer, I dare say there is no "World" to come back to at that point.
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petertenthije
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:11 am

77west wrote:
72 hours would probably be more than enough though. If you need to stay up longer, I dare say there is no "World" to come back to at that point.
If there where to be a all-out nuclear strike, chances are you wont have access to aerial refuelers anyway. They will be among the first targets.
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WIederling
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:48 am

kanban wrote:
727200 wrote:
$24M for 26 refrigerators; about $900K apiece? Someones brother in-law is retiring off this. Ridiculous.

At least 50% is engineering for removal of the old, engineering for the design specs for the new, installation engineering, planning, testing, and actual labor, plus disposal of the old. While they have the old out, there is corrosion assessment, documentation and repair as well (all of which requires,more engineering, QA, and labor.) then add $2M for management. Then comes finding a company to build and test as well as supply spare parts. then consider 2 aircraft, and 26 back up units in some warehouse somewhere in mid America. when you get done each refrigerator is more like $50K apiece. :duck: :duck:


see why NASA brings their SP to HAM :-))
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:10 pm

While Switzerland modeled its parliament after the US one, they invented a government where seven heads of state have the same duties. Any six of them can get lost somewhere and the government would still have elected and trusted leadership. Seeing that, I don't understand the U.S. craze for continued comms and throwing millions at making the President survive any disaster, even a nuclear one.

...well, it's a PR plane, too...

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bikerthai
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:43 pm

kanban wrote:
At least 50% is engineering for removal of the old, engineering for the design specs for the new, installation engineering, planning, testing, and actual labor, plus disposal of the old. While they have the old out, there is corrosion assessment, documentation and repair as well (all of which requires,more engineering, QA, and labor.) then add $2M for management.


Yeah, we need to know if the $24M are for just the refrigeration units or the complete system. Depending on the requirements, the units themselves may not be off the shelf. Remember that the presidential airplane may be required to withstand higher flight loads than a typical 747-8. Thus, the refrigeration units (even if they are of the shelf) may have to be re-certified or strengthened to withstand the higher loads.

Next, the chilled box itself have to be designed/built from scratch to be attached directly to the air-frame. I doubt they will have off the shelf cargo pallets shaped walk-in refrigerators that can be easily mounted in the lower lobe of the 747. Again, any off the shelf pallets may not be able to meet any increase in loads the presidential aircraft may have.

Like Kanban said, much of the money may be for the Engineering and certification. After that the cost of these units are elevated because you are not building thousands of them. If you just take a couple of dozen high end home refrigerator at $10,000+ a piece and make it flight worthy, you will probably still have to spend the same amount of money for Engineering cost. Then you'll end up with a crappy system that carry along a extra amount of weight that will cost you fuel in the long run.

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WIederling
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:24 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
While Switzerland modeled its parliament after the US one, they invented a government where seven heads of state have the same duties. Any six of them can get lost somewhere and the government would still have elected and trusted leadership.


The "Bundesrat" is a "primum inter pares" setup in contrast to the hierarchical ordered fall back US setup. rather different.
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kanban
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:42 pm

I forgot the requirement that they must be built with special shielding and wiring to withstand EMP.. nothing like opening the refrigerator and discovering everything had been cooked....
 
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:59 pm

WIederling wrote:
The "Bundesrat" is a "primum inter pares" setup in contrast to the hierarchical ordered fall back US setup. rather different.


I know. At least Mr. Trump could temporarily incapacitate himself, giving all duties to the Veep who stays at home. Saves millions in communication capability.


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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:01 pm

77West,

I doubt it’s anything like 72 hours, maybe half that. TF-39s, from actual experience, start having oiling problems (loss of quantity leading to low oil pressure at idle) after 28-30 hours of running.

GF
 
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Stitch
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:01 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I doubt it’s anything like 72 hours, maybe half that. TF-39s, from actual experience, start having oiling problems (loss of quantity leading to low oil pressure at idle) after 28-30 hours of running.


No, the VC-25 has a 72-hour endurance and the limiter is engine oil capacity.



As to the topic, yes, the chance of a global thermonuclear war in 2018 is significantly lower than it was in 1985 when the VC-25 was being designed, which is why in addition to not having in-flight refueling, the VC-X will certainly not have anywhere near the perishables capacity that the VC-25 does. But the VC-25 was designed with an endurance that required it to carry that much perishable stores aboard and while they could probably engineer something smaller, that might very well cost more than just doing the direct replacement currently planned due to all the engineering and certification work folks have noted is required.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:11 pm

So what is the planned max capacity of the plane? Including the press corp? If it is anywhere around 200 people, then 3000 meals would last about 4 days with contingency (reserves). Sounds reasonable.

Knocking it down to say 2000 would not save you much other than the hardware as most of the Engineering and certification cost would be the same.

bt
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dfwjim1
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:21 pm

petertenthije wrote:
77west wrote:
72 hours would probably be more than enough though. If you need to stay up longer, I dare say there is no "World" to come back to at that point.
If there where to be a all-out nuclear strike, chances are you wont have access to aerial refuelers anyway. They will be among the first targets.


I have wondered about this...if there was a nuclear war between the United States and Russia and/or China and the President was able to make it onboard his 747 would the aircraft attempt to fly and land somewhere in deep South America if the United States was destroyed?
 
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77west
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:29 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
petertenthije wrote:
77west wrote:
72 hours would probably be more than enough though. If you need to stay up longer, I dare say there is no "World" to come back to at that point.
If there where to be a all-out nuclear strike, chances are you wont have access to aerial refuelers anyway. They will be among the first targets.


I have wondered about this...if there was a nuclear war between the United States and Russia and/or China and the President was able to make it onboard his 747 would the aircraft attempt to fly and land somewhere in deep South America if the United States was destroyed?


Sounds like something from a work of fiction... but who knows at that point. I suppose the nearest safe country that can help.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:18 pm

Stitch,

Care to post a reference or details on 72-hour oil capacity. Like, oil capacity divided by oil consumption per hour plus any in-flight oil replenishment. Mine comment was based on experience in the plane.

GF
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:21 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
I have wondered about this...if there was a nuclear war between the United States and Russia and/or China and the President was able to make it onboard his 747 would the aircraft attempt to fly and land somewhere in deep South America if the United States was destroyed?


This begs the question of who would waste nuclear weapons on non-industrialized and sparsely populated areas. Places like Minot AFB are likely to be incinerated, though, but what about a local airport in Honkingdorkport, UT?
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IPFreely
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:48 am

727200 wrote:
$24M for 26 refrigerators; about $900K apiece? Someones brother in-law is retiring off this. Ridiculous.


There are two identical VC-25's, aka "Air Force One's". Tail numbers 28000 and 29000. That means your calculation is off by 100%. Better luck next time.
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:53 am

I have a serious question: Is it possible to yank these out of the VC-25s and put them into the 747-8's when they enter service? Or take the fridges they're developing for the 747-8s and stick them in the VC-25s until they're retired, then put them in the new 747s. I'm guessing not, because that would make sense. Or better yet, hire a contractor to build literal exact copies of the certified things already in there, but with zero time on them.


bikerthai wrote:
So what is the planned max capacity of the plane? Including the press corp? If it is anywhere around 200 people, then 3000 meals would last about 4 days with contingency (reserves). Sounds reasonable.

There are ~100 seats, so meals for ten days. Which makes sense: even if the plane has to land for some reason before that, you can be back on your way without having to re-cater the plane. I wonder about AF1's lavs, though. (Maybe fewer passengers obviates that somewhat?)


77west wrote:
On a transpacific crossing (12-14 hours) on a 747 could requires a few pints per engine to top them up. Now extrapolate that over, say, 2-3 refuellings, and the VC25 probably would only get, maybe, 72 hours or thereabouts?

It's hard to say. Oil consumption is highest when moving the throttle at low thrust settings. A turbine running at constant high power (like cruising around the sky for a few days) isn't burning much oil compared to one in the traffic pattern.


Armodeen wrote:
Still don't know why it can't be stocked with MREs though?

The E-4s have crates of MREs. But we can't have the President doing that. Please. This is America.
 
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kanban
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:09 am

Florianopolis wrote:
I have a serious question: Is it possible to yank these out of the VC-25s and put them into the 747-8's when they enter service? Or take the fridges they're developing for the 747-8s and stick them in the VC-25s until they're retired, then put them in the new 747s. I'm guessing not, because that would make sense. Or better yet, hire a contractor to build literal exact copies of the certified things already in there, but with zero time on them.

for one thing the Air Force is still defining the new planes requirements, space allocation and other requirements... the chances of any existing VC-25 unique hardware fitting or being able to continue working for another 20 years is slim. (Do we buy new today a "X" dollars, or replace in 10 years at "X+400%?) OK the seats in steerage might be moved over since the president doesn't exactly favor the press corps. However if the planes go to a museum, they're going to want them to be complete as used, not with empty holes...
 
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Stitch
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:16 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Stitch,

Care to post a reference or details on 72-hour oil capacity. Like, oil capacity divided by oil consumption per hour plus any in-flight oil replenishment. Mine comment was based on experience in the plane.


The E-4B has sufficient oil to stay aloft for 144 hours (6 days) so 72 hours for a VC-25 should not be a stretch. And back on topic, a fully-stocked VC-25A evidently has enough refrigerator and pantry space to serve 100 people three meals a day for two weeks (4200 meals).
 
WIederling
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:23 am

Stitch wrote:
significantly lower than it was in 1985 when the VC-25 was being designed, which is why in addition to not having in-flight refueling, t


Reagan's Reign included his generals having another bout of "preemptive nuclear war is winnable".
( madness has its price, the last "infection" was around Kennedy's presidency.)

Obviously providing for the top brass to be able to survive such an atomic miscarriage ... was mandated.
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:25 am

Florianopolis wrote:
The E-4s have crates of MREs. But we can't have the President doing that. Please. This is America.


you mean the danger of suffocating on MRE is higher than on Pretzel? :-)
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727200
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:26 pm

IPFreely wrote:
727200 wrote:
$24M for 26 refrigerators; about $900K apiece? Someones brother in-law is retiring off this. Ridiculous.


There are two identical VC-25's, aka "Air Force One's". Tail numbers 28000 and 29000. That means your calculation is off by 100%. Better luck next time.



No it wpuld be off by 50% since the cost would equate to roughly $450,000. Guess you skipped math class.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:19 pm

Florianopolis wrote:
I have a serious question: Is it possible to yank these out of the VC-25s and put them into the 747-8's when they enter service? Or take the fridges they're developing for the 747-8s and stick them in the VC-25s until they're retired, then put them in the new 747s. I'm guessing not, because that would make sense.


Not sure how VC-25 refrigeration works, but a typical commercial refrigeration system would consist of a chiller that pump cold air or fluid to a storage/galley cart(container).
For AF1, visualize custom built pantries (large cold boxes) in the lower lobe with a few chillers providing cold air/fluid to them. The chillers on the current AF1 would have a specific life limit and would be of no use on the new aircraft. If the supplier still are manufacturing them, then you may be able to buy them without re-cert. But again, if the loads and life time requirements are different then a commercial chiller, then you'll probably will not have any in production and would have to spec new ones using current chillers as base line (current production pumps, heat exchanges, controller etc.as the older pump and controllers will probably not be available any more). the same is true with the "cold" box. The old design was done by hand on rolls of drawings. It would be cheaper to re-generate the design using CAD and NC machining than trying to re-manufacture the old one.


bt
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IPFreely
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:17 pm

727200 wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
727200 wrote:
$24M for 26 refrigerators; about $900K apiece? Someones brother in-law is retiring off this. Ridiculous.


There are two identical VC-25's, aka "Air Force One's". Tail numbers 28000 and 29000. That means your calculation is off by 100%. Better luck next time.



No it wpuld be off by 50% since the cost would equate to roughly $450,000. Guess you skipped math class.


It would be 450k, not 900k as you calculated. Which means your calculation was 100% too high,. Better luck next time....again.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:59 pm

petertenthije wrote:
77west wrote:
72 hours would probably be more than enough though. If you need to stay up longer, I dare say there is no "World" to come back to at that point.
If there where to be a all-out nuclear strike, chances are you wont have access to aerial refuelers anyway. They will be among the first targets.


Not really.

Potential adversaries have more than enough warheads to do a major first strike, or a limited first strike, and have many left over for follow up targets of opportunity. The less time spent on the ground in that kind of scenario, the better.

There are numerous credible and planned for scenarios for how a nuclear exchange might unfold, and limited strikes with potential for followup comprise a lot of those scenarios. I expect there are also conventional warfare scenarios where it may be considered prudent to keep the president off the ground as much as possible for extended periods of time. Aerial or submarine launched cruise missiles can potentially give very little notice, too.

Whether or not those scenarios are likely enough, and the risks of landing for the minimum time necessary to refuel and replenish vs. carrying lots of extra stores and refueling in-flight high enough to justify all the costs is a legitimate debate, but it's not nearly as simplistic as hand-waving away any scenario in between 9/11 and the destruction of half the world.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:08 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
At the Seattle aviation museum I toured an early AF One. IIRC Eisenhower's 707, I was struck with how utilitarian it was, definitely not luxurious.


Eisenhower flew on VC-121's (Lockheed Constellations). His wife gave them the name "Columbine" after Colorado's state flower.

SAM 26000 (707 / VC-137)was introduced during Kennedy's administration in 1962. SAM 27000 was added in 1972. They served until almost a decade after SAM 28000 (747 / VC-25) entered service. Both the expectations for luxury appointments, and for ability to carry out executive functions while airborne grew continuously as presidents traveled more and incidents like the Cuban Missile Crisis cemented the potential threats in planners' heads.

However, the VC-137's could get away with being more basic, because the E-4's were in the works and then entered service in 1973. That's the 747 based airborne command post that the president would have transferred to if necessary. My understanding is the goal now is for the VC-25's and their replacements to be sufficient to handle the role the E-4's were designed for.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:02 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
There are numerous credible and planned for scenarios for how a nuclear exchange might unfold, and limited strikes with potential for followup comprise a lot of those scenarios. I expect there are also conventional warfare scenarios where it may be considered prudent to keep the president off the ground as much as possible for extended periods of time.
Whether or not those scenarios are likely enough, and the risks of landing for the minimum time necessary to refuel and replenish vs. carrying lots of extra stores and refueling in-flight high enough to justify all the costs is a legitimate debate,


How about landing for the minimum time necessary to transfer the President to a deep underground bunker, obviating any further need for air-to-air refuelling, and with a facility to provide 3,000,000+ meals. What are the benefits in keeping him airborne in the first place?

I understand that some of these extreme provisions are in case a nuclear strike happens whilst the President is caught with his pants down, travelling in Air Force One to or from a state visit to somewhere, but apart from the desire to get him safely back into US airspace, why would you continue to keep him airborne?
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Stitch
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:28 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
How about landing for the minimum time necessary to transfer the President to a deep underground bunker, obviating any further need for air-to-air refuelling, and with a facility to provide 3,000,000+ meals. What are the benefits in keeping him airborne in the first place?


If the airfield is next to said bunker, you can be sure that an SS-18 with a 25MT warhead was targeted. Probably more than one.

And if the bunker is well away from said airfield, then you need to get the President there. The Greenbrier, Raven Rock and Mount Weather are all many miles away from Washington and transit via road vehicle or even helicopter could be dicey during and after a large nuclear exchange.
 
petertenthije
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:04 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
dfwjim1 wrote:
I have wondered about this...if there was a nuclear war between the United States and Russia and/or China and the President was able to make it onboard his 747 would the aircraft attempt to fly and land somewhere in deep South America if the United States was destroyed?


This begs the question of who would waste nuclear weapons on non-industrialized and sparsely populated areas. Places like Minot AFB are likely to be incinerated, though, but what about a local airport in Honkingdorkport, UT?
Thing is, if you want the president to remain the top of the chain of command, then he must have advanced communications equipment. That limits AF1’s options to bases managed by the US military, perhaps the military bases of a few of the US’s closest allies.

You could land at Honkingdorkport and use AF1 itself as a communications center. But the time needed to refuel/replenish/repair AF1 would probably be more then it would take hostile forces to direct a few cruise missiles. With today’s advanced spy technology, from advanced sattelites to basic computer hacking, I would expect it to be possible for any nuclear capable adversary to keep track of AF1. Probably not real time tracking, but still near enough to make a lot of secret service agents nervous of keeping PotUS inside AF1 during a groundstop.
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Aesma
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Re: Air Force One Needs New Refrigerators. They Cost $24 Million

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:51 pm

Florianopolis wrote:
I have a serious question: Is it possible to yank these out of the VC-25s and put them into the 747-8's when they enter service? Or take the fridges they're developing for the 747-8s and stick them in the VC-25s until they're retired, then put them in the new 747s. I'm guessing not, because that would make sense. Or better yet, hire a contractor to build literal exact copies of the certified things already in there, but with zero time on them.


I was thinking along the same line, why all the engineering cost, the fridges already exist, just make new identical ones, no engineering or certification needed.
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