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keesje
Posts: 14620
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:21 pm



Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 248):
I am starting to wonder if he works for a marketing agency, as though somehow showing us a photo will magically win people over to his argument.

Off topic, but do you think visuals are not important in a place crowded with techies?
 Wink

Quoting Revelation (Reply 249):
The USAF doesn't keep 480 KC-135s and 60 KC-10s flying because they need cargo planes, they do it because they need tankers, and lots of them.

They need both & having hundreds of dedicated ($150.000.000 / piece) tankers being parked 95% of the time doesn't look smart in any way.
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:47 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 250):
They need both & having hundreds of dedicated ($150.000.000 / piece) tankers being parked 95% of the time doesn't look smart in any way.

I don't know where you come up with that utilization feature, but I doubt the KC-45 will have a very different usage profile than the KC-135 it will be replacing. I imagine they'll get a bunch of usage up front for training and because they are the new toy, but on average, their usage profile will end up looking just like KC-135.

What doesn't look smart is having your tankers off hauling beans and bullets when you need them to drag some fighters or bombers off to a hot spot. We have 100 or so C-5s and 180 or so C-17s for the beans and bullets task.

What doesn't look smart is not fulfilling the mission assigned to the bombers and fighters because the tankers and receivers don't have enough time training with each other.
 
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Stitch
Posts: 27681
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:20 pm



Quoting Khobar (Reply 239):
"The Army tested Pinnacle’s SOV 3000 Level VI Dragon Skin vests in May of that year at the National Institute of Justice-certified H.P. White labs near Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. In that test, Dragon Skin “failed miserably,” according to Army officials.

While I have no reason to dispute the findings, I admit to being surprised after watching a demonstration of a dummy in Dragon Skin successfully "surviving" laying on top of a fragmentation grenade.
 
Flighty
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:38 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 243):
e they need - wait for it - tankers!

Okay but it truly stretches the mind to think why they need say 100 active KC-45 and the 60 KC-10 (of which 40-50 are active?). Unless they are planning aerial deployments truly astounding in scale. With so many C-17s, KC-10s and (yes) KC-135s in the fleet, plus KC-45, the USA could deploy some very enormous global bombing runs and equipment drops simultaneously.

Which seems out of proportion considering we cannot afford the standing army size we have today (high American salaries, benefits, entitlements). Could we afford foreign mercenary soldiers? Yes! And it confuses why we do not employ say Pakistani soldiers at $5000/yr to do our patrol work for us.

Our armed force just isn't that big (i.e., we don't have 250,000 soldiers to just throw into a battle somewhere). Meanwhile, China does, easily. I see us being more and more mancount limited.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 251):
What doesn't look smart is not fulfilling the mission assigned to the bombers and fighters because the tankers and receivers don't have enough time training with each other.

Agreed but the fleets will be big enough to cover both...
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:01 pm



Quoting Trex8 (Reply 244):
the fact is they went looking for tankers and found they could get something which would help in another area. they needed to replace some cars and found that a minivan would be better for the job the cars are doing and to do some other jobs other vehicles are doing and since they know they can't replace the cars and full size vans and trucks with the exact same number they have now, they figure getting some minivans is the way to go to replace the cars. Boeing feel the AF can only be allowed to get cars to replace cars and unfortunately they don't make minivans .

I agree, but believe the AF asked for a minivan in their RFP and then decided they really wanted a fairly large multi-purpose truck. If this is the case then they should redraft the RFP to reflect their new requirements. It's very queer that the AF tried to slip this one in without changing the RFP specs when the change in "need" is rather significant.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 250):
They need both & having hundreds of dedicated ($150.000.000 / piece) tankers being parked 95% of the time doesn't look smart in any way.

Again, we're talking about a major shift in the perception of need - sufficient enough to call for a new RFP that actually reflects what the AF now considers important.

By the way, what percentage of the time ate the AF cargo planes parked?
 
gsosbee
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:47 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 254):
Again, we're talking about a major shift in the perception of need - sufficient enough to call for a new RFP that actually reflects what the AF now considers important.

I understand what you are attempting to justify, but by the same token, the GAO did not feel a complete redo was needed. All they wanted to see were the 7 or 8 areas they identified as issues redone.

Boeing has had since the award date to prepare for this. No one at Boeing should have been surprised at the outcome of the protest as they knew as soon as the award was announced what the issues were. Their protest was as much hoping for political relief as seeking transparency in the process.

They now have transparency, but not the broad based political consensus they sought. The sign of a well run company is never to be caught without Plans B and C. Boeing is a well run company so two months to produce something they probably already have 80 to 90% complete isn't asking to much.

Each day this award is delayed is at least one day (if not two) that the users are doing without an identified need.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:54 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 251):
I don't know where you come up with that utilization feature, but I doubt the KC-45 will have a very different usage profile than the KC-135 it will be replacing. I imagine they'll get a bunch of usage up front for training and because they are the new toy, but on average, their usage profile will end up looking just like KC-135.

KC-135s are being flown an average of about 435 hours per year, on average, since September 2001. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03938t.pdf A330 ~5000 hrs a year for 20 yrs..

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 254):
Quoting Keesje (Reply 250):
They need both & having hundreds of dedicated ($150.000.000 / piece) tankers being parked 95% of the time doesn't look smart in any way.

Again, we're talking about a major shift in the perception of need - sufficient enough to call for a new RFP that actually reflects what the AF now considers important.

The RFP was very clear from day 1. Some choose to misunderstand maybe because they didn't like the consequences. The denial of the cargo requirement was understandable from a Boeing perspective (see reply 237)
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:42 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 255):
I understand what you are attempting to justify, but by the same token, the GAO did not feel a complete redo was needed. All they wanted to see were the 7 or 8 areas they identified as issues redone.

While the GAO didn't indicate that a complete redo was needed they did indicate that the AF acted improperly and against regulations in their communications with Boeing. I'll assume no gross illegal activity by individuals in the AF and just put it down to some yahoos with stars on their collars deciding that proper communications with Boeing would have resulted in a reasonable request for time to develop a new bid that would have met these changing needs.

Failure by the AF in these areas has caused more problems than the AF anticipated. Public humiliation on their incompetence to properly handle the RFP, communications and the decision is just the first problem - added to some others the AF was having. The credibility of the AF with Congress is another potentially major problem. Both the House & Senate have Armed Forces Committees that should have been kept in the loop as much as Boeing.

I believe it is critical that the AF now works with both A & B as well as both committees in Congress to ensure that there is no doubt that a decision on the tanker is fully beyond question in the areas of need, fairness and the best plane for these new needs chosen. That might well be the NG/Airbus option and I would have no complaints if it were. My complaints are on the improper actions by the AF during the time they were changing their own perceptions of what the future tanker should be.
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:51 pm

I have taken some existing quotes from USAF senior leadership and posted them here for your review and comment. These are from their own words.


1) From former USAF Sec. Michael Wynne on the KC-X program

New Tanker Must Carry More Than Fuel by Tony Capacccio Bloomberg News Dec. 1, 2005

"Tankers are not only tankers any more. They are going to be multi-mission aircraft. There's lot of room to carry stuff. A lot of airplanes we are considering -- whether big ones or small ones -- seem to have extra space. ...the new plane would not be just tanker replacement per se. Yes we do want it to carry fuel and have people take fuel off, but it also means we want it to carry carry cargo and we want it to be a smarter aircraft and carry a communications node if it orbits over the world."

Inside the Air Force Jan. 19. 2007

"We want to buy a tanker. We do not want to but a cargo airplane that tanks, we also do not want to buy a passenger airplane that tanks. We want to buy a tanker."


2) From former USAF Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley on the KC-X program


Washington Watch / Air Force Magazine / April 2004

"On the question of looking at some airframe other than a 767-class airplane, he said that a larger aircraft would sink through the asphalt in the desert while one with a longer wingspan would be too big because we can't park enough to do Navy, Marine, coalition, and Air Force assets."

Congress Daily March 10, 2004 by Amy Klamper

(In reference to the 767 lease deal)

"McCain asserted Moseley's comments had precluded any option other than the 767....Moseley touted the 767 tanker over other options...As we look through this, the operational future, the nature of the 767 class airplane will play out in my opinion."

Alabama Press Register Sept. 26, 2007 by George Talbot

"Moseley said he did not have a favorite between the KC-767, Boeing's replacement option, or the KC-30. I'll tell you honestly and up front -- I have no preference, and I have no way, because of policy and because its ethically wrong to get into this thing and try to put my thumb on the scales. Each of those airplanes have wonderful capabilities, I just want one of them."

Tanker emphasis remains refueling, not cargo, Moseley says. Aviation Week April 26, 2007 by Michael Fabey

"Give me the "A" model Moseley said April 24, referring to the basic refueler. After that, then the service can start to consider more of a floors-and-doors capability carrying cargo and passengers."[/i}


3) From the new USAF Chief of Staff and former head of USTRANSCOM General Norton Schwartz on the KC-X

DOD's new transportation chief seeks multi-mission tanker. Aviation Week Dec. 1, 2005 by Marc Selinger

[i]"The exact dimensions are not the thing that I worry about, I establish requirements and that is that it needs to be a multi-mission, it cannot be a single-mission airplane."



4) From the new head of USTRANSCOM and former USAF vice Chief of Staff and AMC General Duncan McNabb on the KC-X

AMC Chief wants KC-X to augment C-5, C-17 fleets. Aviation Week Nov. 8, 2006 by Amy Butler

"Air Mobility Command chief Gen. Duncan McNabb says he wants the future aerial refueler to be more like a mini KC-10 than it be like a -135....McNabb says he expects the KC-X to be capable of carrying significant amounts of cargo, providing some relief to taxed fleet of C-17's, C-5's and C-130's..."


5) JROC Considers Airlift Requirements for New Aerial Refueling Tanker by Inside Defense Dec. 14, 2006

"Four-star combatant commanders have stated a strong preference for a larger plane with ample room to carry both fuel and cargo, giving them a platform with the flexibility to perform a range of missions."
 
gsosbee
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:51 pm

Ken777 I cannot disagree with anything you say, but none if it is a basis for Boeing to be given another 6 months.

Boeing has been quoting or preparing quotes on this Project for years. They lost the latest award and protested. However, after the award they knew that the real issue was that the airplane they wanted the Air Force to buy was obviously not the airplane the Air Force wanted. They had the period between the award date and the GAO review, and now the period between the revised RFP and November/December. Boeing has plenty of people and computing power to completely redo their bid in the time period specified.

As I originally said, they should have had at least one alternate bid (and probably two - a 767 and a 747) basically ready just for these circumstances. In fact, I would be throwing out all kinds of hints that a 748 would be included in this go around. This would be to plant a seed in NG's mind that they might have to go with an additional offering to counter the 748 as the 330 can not compete with the 748.
 
Flighty
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:10 pm

Here's a joke for you


HELP WANTED: BOEING CORP: CHICAGO, IL / SEATTLE, WA

POSITION: ENGLISH TRANSLATOR

DUTIES: Read English documents out loud to executives. Ability to explain simple requirements that may be written on papers that we don't understand. Ability to explain simple dates and times (i.e. deadlines). Ability to teach professionalism to Boeing staff. Ability to explain simple written documents to aid designing and selling aircraft to written requirements. Some travel required.

REPORTS TO: Boeing executives and sales team.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:43 pm

And an ad for the AF:

Wanted: An aircraft that can simultaneously be a tanker carrying more fuel than a KC-135, more cargo than a 777 and more troops than a 380. Most have a short wingspan and light enough so it won't sink into the asphalt. Low price is critical so we can buy over 50 of them. Politically sensitive design and production required. Quality of wine optional.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:33 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 251):
We have 100 or so C-5s and 180 or so C-17s for the beans and bullets task

This is something I don't get. People often say that the KC45 has higher operating cost than KC767. But if you do just a rough comparison with C-5 or C-17 the KC-45 really shines on the cost side. Maintenance, operation and fuel cost (per paylaod) of an KC-45 must be cheaper by a huge margin (I mean really substantial). IMHO the savings from KC-45 delpoyed for "beans and bullet tasks" will pay for operations in the tanker role. The KC-45 offers world-leading efficiency (in this size) as cargo plane.

Wanting a C-5 for "beans and bullets task" instead of a KC-45 (or even a KC-767 to some degree) looks utterly ignorant to me. I think that is what the USAF saw and wanted.

My cautious prediciton is that the new tanker-/cargo-plane will not only be deployed often as tanker but will also give the C-5 and C-17 fleet a rest whenever possible.

If there stands a KC-45 beside a C-17 idle on the apron what would you take to haul a load of cargo to somewhere? (Not to forget: the C-17 operates at multitudes of the KC-45's cost)
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:52 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 262):
If there stands a KC-45 beside a C-17 idle on the apron what would you take to haul a load of cargo to somewhere? (Not to forget: the C-17 operates at multitudes of the KC-45's cost)

It depends on what you are hauling and where. You can't take a KC-45 to an unimproved field, a short runway, or load up a helicopter, thank, etc. in it. Also remember every mission you use a KC-45 for to do cargo is one less tanking mission it can do. The cheapest option would be to buy used 747s, 767s, and A300s, etc. and convert them for a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the cost of buying a new A330. FedEx and UPS and a lot of other cargo operators do it all over the world. You can relieve the C-17 and C-5 fleet

Quoting Keesje (Reply 247):
And cockpit commonality with thousands of commercial A320/A330 series pilots all over the US for the next x0 yrs..

There are hundreds of 767 pilots at airlines like DL, CO, etc. who are already certified on the 767 and are in the Air Force reserves. There is more familiarization with Boeing equipment in the US then there is Airbus.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 250):
They need both & having hundreds of dedicated ($150.000.000 / piece) tankers being parked 95% of the time doesn't look smart in any way.

Does it make sense to have the same $150,000,000 tanker doing the cargo hauling mission that a $60,000,000 one could do? There are hundreds of 767s, A300s, and 747s (probably early model 777s and A330s too) that are going to be retired from civil fleets of the world when 787s, A350s, and A380s start replacing them.

The reason the KC-135s lasted as long as they did is because they only did tanking missions and were over built. The A330 and 767 aren't tanks like the 707 is because engineers have learned over the years how to optimize designs. It is good for efficiency but not good for longevity of the air frame. If the Air Force flies the KC-45 as much as some suggest on here then they'll last 20, maybe 30 years.

That might be reason enough to convert the remaining 135E models to R models and wait 6-8 years for a 787F or an A350F and have a competition between aircraft with composite air frames. The Air Force said the 135Es have some life left in them. The composite airframes will have much higher longevity than the metal aircraft in this competition.
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:18 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 256):
KC-135s are being flown an average of about 435 hours per year, on average, since September 2001. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03938t.pdf A330 ~5000 hrs a year for 20 yrs..

Well, then I have to question why we are even bothering buying more tankers, if the ones we have are so idle. There are enough re-engined KC-135Rs around to bring that utilization figure up after retiring the KC-135Es. Something is not adding up.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 256):
The RFP was very clear from day 1. Some choose to misunderstand maybe because they didn't like the consequences. The denial of the cargo requirement was understandable from a Boeing perspective (see reply 237)

The RFP itself is ambiguous. GAO confirmed this. USAF claimed they breifed Boeing on the true intent of the RFP, but GAO said this wasn't enough, the RFP had to be fixed.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 262):
This is something I don't get. People often say that the KC45 has higher operating cost than KC767. But if you do just a rough comparison with C-5 or C-17 the KC-45 really shines on the cost side.

Well, our cargo fleet is "gold plated". It has capabilites that the KC-45 will never have, like a rear ramp for driving on vehicles and air-dropping pallets, etc. Unfortunately these capabilities come at quite a cost, since the R&D for the cargo fleet can't be written off against a commercial variant.

A lot of this stuff smells fishy.

If we are buying a lot of KC-45s for cargo capacity, then we are wasting a lot of money on booms and boom operators. If what is needed is a cheaper cargo carrier than a C-5 or C-17, then that is what should have been put out to bid.

We have enough KC-135s to get out to 2035 or so. We probably will have a very different airfleet by then (clearly F-22 and F-35s are not being purchased in the numbers that F-15 and F-16 were, and the role of UAVs is increasing all the time) so our tankering and cargo needs will be different. We have another 15 years or more to make this decision, and it seems fishy that they are moving forward when it seems their needs are so unclear.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:22 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
You can't take a KC-45 to an unimproved field, a short runway, or load up a helicopter, thank, etc. in it.

I agree that the KC-45 can not take every task from the C-5 or C-17. There are several limits, that prevent such use. But it is probably still save to say that there are plenty of tasks (supply of people or light but voluminous stuff to the big foreign bases) where a C-5 or a C-17 is penalized (= have high costs) because of their specialized characteristics.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
The cheapest option would be to buy used 747s, 767s, and A300s, etc. and convert them for a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the cost of buying a new A330.



Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
Does it make sense to have the same $150,000,000 tanker doing the cargo hauling mission that a $60,000,000 one could do? There are hundreds of 767s, A300s, and 747s (probably early model 777s and A330s too) that are going to be retired from civil fleets of the world when 787s, A350s, and A380s start replacing them.

Cargo conversions of older plane may offer better operating costs than C-5 & C-17 but surely not remotely as good as KC-45. Thus I said "world-leading" efficiency in its class. Over the long term this will save money even if the acquisition costs more.
 
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Revelation
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:43 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
The cheapest option would be to buy used 747s, 767s, and A300s, etc. and convert them for a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the cost of buying a new A330.

In essence this is what the gov't is doing, by using third party cargo outfits to do a lot of the bulk lifting. I don't know which ends up being cheaper, though.
 
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Stitch
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:01 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 262):
Wanting a C-5 for "beans and bullets task" instead of a KC-45 (or even a KC-767 to some degree) looks utterly ignorant to me. I think that is what the USAF saw and wanted.

Darn shame the USAF didn't feel this way back during the original C-17 RFP. Boeing offered the 747-400ERF which would have crushed McD's C17 on a payload and performance basis for just these types of cargo for transit between improved airfields at a far lower cost per frame.
 
EMBQA
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:06 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 267):
Boeing offered the 747-400ERF which would have crushed McD's C17 on a payload and performance basis for just these types of cargo for transit between improved airfields at a far lower cost per frame.

Yea... but the killer for the 747 is the loading height. You need special equipment to unload it. With the C-17, drop the front ramp and drive it off. It also offers almost zero unimproved runway performance
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:38 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
Also remember every mission you use a KC-45 for to do cargo is one less tanking mission it can do.

It can combine both missions with the payload range envelope. The main deck and cargo deck aren't occupied by fuel tanks like KC767.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
There are hundreds of 767 pilots at airlines like DL, CO, etc. who are already certified on the 767 and are in the Air Force reserves. There is more familiarization with Boeing equipment in the US then there is Airbus.

At this moment maybe. Questionable for the next 30 yrs. 767 are being parked / pilot retrained as we speak.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
The reason the KC-135s lasted as long as they did is because they only did tanking missions and were over built. The A330 and 767 aren't tanks like the 707 is because engineers have learned over the years how to optimize designs. It is good for efficiency but not good for longevity of the air frame. If the Air Force flies the KC-45 as much as some suggest on here then they'll last 20, maybe 30 years.

Not right I think. The 767 and A330 even more have 3 x the structural live the KC135 has and less frequent / intens maintenance checks. Based on KC135 specs a KC35 would come in for heavy checks every 35 years and last > 250 yrs.. Using them twice as often as a KC135 won't hurt too much..
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:09 pm



Quoting Zeke (Reply 233):
Closer to 12,000 lb per hr for the A332, and lower if you talk about the same fuel payload as the KC-135, and the KC-30 is a 3 crew aircraft.

The KC-135Rs/Ts being upgraded with Pacer Craig also have three crewmwmbers, the Navigator position is eliminated.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 233):
The biggest advantage for the KC-X is on the maintenance side, the KC-135 spends about 1 out of every 5 days on deport level maintenance (USAF figures are 400 days per 1825 days)

Nice twist on the facts. But only a few KC-135s needed UP TO 400 days of depot level maintenance, those airplanes had extensive corrosion. Other airplane types that spent a lot of time in corrosive enviornments, like the KC-135Rs, F-15C, and C-12As assigned to the HIANG, the C-17As assigned to Hawaii, or airplanes perminetly assigned to Guam, Deigo Garcia, or other high salt water bases. USN aircraft experience this same problem.

For most of the KC-135 fleet, the average time in depot level maintenance is 65 days, only about 12 days longer than the USAF fleet average. New build airplanes in the inventory spend about 45 days in the depot on their first and second visits, after that, the amount of time goes up. The KC-30 will not do any better than that, and those that spend a lot of time at island bases will have corrosion problems, too.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 237):
A KC45 replacing a KC-135 means a new world for logistic power. I think thats why Boeing and its supporters hate the KC45 so much. It just isn't good news for C17 future orders and chartered 747F and 767F fleets..

Care to explain this? The chartered B-747Fs, B-767Fs, A-300Fs, DC/MD-10Fs, MD-11Fs, DC-8Fs and others will continue to fly the bulk of military cargo. The C-17, C-130, and C-5 will continue to fly oversized and heavy cargo.

Funny thing that since you always push the KC-30s cargo carrying capability, you don't seem to push the A-400M for the USAF as much.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 262):
This is something I don't get. People often say that the KC45 has higher operating cost than KC767. But if you do just a rough comparison with C-5 or C-17 the KC-45 really shines on the cost side. Maintenance, operation and fuel cost (per paylaod) of an KC-45 must be cheaper by a huge margin (I mean really substantial). IMHO the savings from KC-45 delpoyed for "beans and bullet tasks" will pay for operations in the tanker role. The KC-45 offers world-leading efficiency (in this size) as cargo plane.

People here forget, that neither the KC-767 and KC-30 can do the refueling and cargo mission at the same sortie very well. That is because they either haul cargo weight or fuel weight. Neither airplane cares what the weight is. But, the point is, every cargo mission a tanker flies takes it away from it's main mission, refueling.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 262):
My cautious prediciton is that the new tanker-/cargo-plane will not only be deployed often as tanker but will also give the C-5 and C-17 fleet a rest whenever possible.

The problem is, when the war kicks off, the tankers will be needed as tankers, dragging the fighters, bombers, and other assets. The cargo jets will also be needed for beans and bullets. The troops will fly aboard commerical airliners that were chartered.

If there stands a KC-45 beside a C-17 idle on the apron what would you take to haul a load of cargo to somewhere? (Not to forget: the C-17 operates at multitudes of the KC-45's cost)

What if that cargo is a HH-47F, which airplane wouild you use?

Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
The reason the KC-135s lasted as long as they did is because they only did tanking missions and were over built. The A330 and 767 aren't tanks like the 707 is because engineers have learned over the years how to optimize designs. It is good for efficiency but not good for longevity of the air frame. If the Air Force flies the KC-45 as much as some suggest on here then they'll last 20, maybe 30 years.

That might be reason enough to convert the remaining 135E models to R models and wait 6-8 years for a 787F or an A350F and have a competition between aircraft with composite air frames. The Air Force said the 135Es have some life left in them. The composite airframes will have much higher longevity than the metal aircraft in this competition

 checkmark 

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 265):
Cargo conversions of older plane may offer better operating costs than C-5 & C-17 but surely not remotely as good as KC-45. Thus I said "world-leading" efficiency in its class. Over the long term this will save money even if the acquisition costs more.

Hmmm, you seem to forget, the KC-30 is a cargo conversion. These airplanes begin life as A-330-200 passenger jets, get the cargo door cut into the side, some strenghtening of the floor, and then go over to tanker conversion.

Wouldn't a KC-30 based on the A-330-200F be a better cargo airplane?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 266):
Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
The cheapest option would be to buy used 747s, 767s, and A300s, etc. and convert them for a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the cost of buying a new A330.

In essence this is what the gov't is doing, by using third party cargo outfits to do a lot of the bulk lifting. I don't know which ends up being cheaper, though.

It is by far cheaper for the government to wet lease/charter cargo jets than for the government to own them.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:47 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Funny thing that since you always push the KC-30s cargo carrying capability, you don't seem to push the A-400M for the USAF as much.

I think EADS can take a hold back position. The aircraft is delyed / sold out for yrs anyway. Apparently you missed this one  Wink https://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/military/read.main/80807/

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
It is by far cheaper for the government to wet lease/charter cargo jets than for the government to own them.

The picture changes when you have 100 (very) capable cargo jets parked in the desert / crews that have to make hours anyway. I think the USAF idea to use to C-17 where it is best. Long haul pallets and/or hundreds of man aint what the C-17 is made for. It uses a lot of crew time/fuel/tanker capasity in that role. UPS doesn't use four wheel drives to distribute goods..

 
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PITingres
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:34 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 271):
...

Hey Keesje, I think someone else was using your forum login. There were three "Keesje" posts in a row without the obligatory relevant-or-not embedded picture!
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:20 pm



Quoting PITingres (Reply 272):
PITingres

out of ammo?
 Wink
 
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PITingres
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:44 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 273):
out of ammo?

??? perhaps you have me confused with someone else? I have no dog in this hunt, just watching the show.

And now we return to your regularly scheduled programming....  Smile
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:05 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 269):
It can combine both missions with the payload range envelope. The main deck and cargo deck aren't occupied by fuel tanks like KC767.

The main deck of the KC-767 isn't occupied by fuel tanks, the cargo hold is, but not the main deck. In either case the USAF wouldn't combine cargo and tanker missions in the same mission. It doesn't make sense from an operational stand point. The more cargo you carry the less fuel payload you have available for the primary tanker mission. You also burn more of the gas you do have on board to carry that extra weight in the form of cargo.

The tanker has to carry enough gas to get a meaningful payload of cargo, take off, fly to a refueling point, orbit for awhile and off load fuel, fly to another base land, and then off load the cargo. While it is flying the cargo portion of the mission it isn't available to refuel anyone so if you have one of your other tankers go mx and you need another the one doing the cargo mission then you are SOL.

What you are suggesting would be the same as FedEx or UPS loading a portion of their aircraft up with some cargo and as much gas as they can take for a flight. Then take off, fly for awhile, enter a holding pattern for a period of time and dump fuel, and then proceed onto the final destination. That doesn't seem like an efficient use of gas or speedy transportation of cargo.

You end up with a compromise mission in which neither tasks get accomplished as efficiently as possible. The best choice would be to have a smaller force of dedicated tankers and a dedicated force of converted cargo aircraft.

As the saying goes, "You don't want to be a Jack of all trades, but master of none."

Quoting Keesje (Reply 269):
At this moment maybe. Questionable for the next 30 yrs. 767 are being parked / pilot retrained as we speak.

Well there aren't going to be a lot of new A330s entering the US civil fleet either. US airlines don't have the money right now and are more focused on the 787 and A350. In 30 years there won't be too many civil A330 pilots left in the U.S either.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 265):
Cargo conversions of older plane may offer better operating costs than C-5 & C-17 but surely not remotely as good as KC-45. Thus I said "world-leading" efficiency in its class. Over the long term this will save money even if the acquisition costs more.

Would you buy a car that gets 20 mpg but only costs $10,000 or one that gets 30 mpg but costs $30,000? Do you honestly think you could make up $20,000 worth of fuel savings over the life of the car?

FedEx had an opportunity to buy a whole bunch of 757s at a really good price but instead chose to convert old 727s to cargo aircraft. This is just one example. If you look at a lot of cargo operators world wide you'll notice that they convert old passenger aircraft instead of buying new builds. They do it because in the long run it is cheaper. Even Keesje will admit this because he uses this same argument all the time in any post deals with the 747-8.

Another thing to remember is that the tanker as a cargo aircraft is a compromise as it carrys thousands of lbs of dead weight in the form of the boom, drogues, plumbing, etc. A converted cargo aircraft wouldn't suffer this handicap.
 
sxf24
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:53 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 271):
The picture changes when you have 100 (very) capable cargo jets parked in the desert / crews that have to make hours anyway. I think the USAF idea to use to C-17 where it is best. Long haul pallets and/or hundreds of man aint what the C-17 is made for. It uses a lot of crew time/fuel/tanker capasity in that role. UPS doesn't use four wheel drives to distribute goods..

It is absolutely cheaper for the US to utilize third-party cargo operators when necessary. Usage is sporadic and it makes no sense to have a fleet of aircraft for that purpose when the capacity exists.
 
dl767captain
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:40 am

So when will the USAF make their decision?
 
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Devilfish
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:44 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Hmmm, you seem to forget, the KC-30 is a cargo conversion. These airplanes begin life as A-330-200 passenger jets, get the cargo door cut into the side, some strenghtening of the floor, and then go over to tanker conversion.

Wouldn't a KC-30 based on the A-330-200F be a better cargo airplane?

NG/EADS might just propose that as a result of a strategy rethink.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-platform-switch-for-new-kc-x.html

Quote:
"Northrop, meanwhile, now refuses to rule out the option of switching to a different platform when it submits its proposal in early October. 'We'll consider all of the options that are available to us and we'll propose the platform that best meets the customer's requirements,' it says.

The A330-200 was selected for the competition in 2006 because Airbus had not yet launched the A330-200 Freighter. Northrop instead proposed to deliver the A330 passenger model, convert it into a freighter and then further modify the aircraft as a tanker. Switching to the pure freighter model, which was launched last year, is likely to be more efficient.

Previously, Northrop tanker vice-president Paul Meyer told Flight International that his team would 'inevitably' switch to the freighter if it won the original KC-X competition.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:46 am



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 268):
Yea... but the killer for the 747 is the loading height. You need special equipment to unload it. With the C-17, drop the front ramp and drive it off. It also offers almost zero unimproved runway performance

Boeing has already designed, built and tested a self-unloader for the 747. It slides out from the open nose door and allows for the 747 to be unloaded without any other ground equipment. Search for the "australian 747 tanker" and you should find some nice photos of this equipment from a proposal to the aussie government.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:37 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
What if that cargo is a HH-47F, which airplane wouild you use?

See this:

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 265):
I agree that the KC-45 can not take every task from the C-5 or C-17.



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Wouldn't a KC-30 based on the A-330-200F be a better cargo airplane?

Possibly, though I am not convinced that it is a good idea per se. Disadvantages would be: The USAF wants to carry cargo and troops. The A332 (non-F) is a good platform for both (for cargo there is space below the main deck and for people above -> unique feature compared with KC767). The A332F would (without change) not have windows. Also the amount of changes would increase (no A332F has been build until now) along with the risk.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 265):
Cargo conversions of older plane may offer better operating costs than C-5 & C-17 but surely not remotely as good as KC-45. Thus I said "world-leading" efficiency in its class. Over the long term this will save money even if the acquisition costs more.

Hmmm, you seem to forget, the KC-30 is a cargo conversion. These airplanes begin life as A-330-200 passenger jets, get the cargo door cut into the side, some strenghtening of the floor, and then go over to tanker conversion.

Key word in my statement is "older" not "conversions".

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 266):
Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
The cheapest option would be to buy used 747s, 767s, and A300s, etc. and convert them for a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the cost of buying a new A330.

In essence this is what the gov't is doing, by using third party cargo outfits to do a lot of the bulk lifting. I don't know which ends up being cheaper, though.

It is by far cheaper for the government to wet lease/charter cargo jets than for the government to own them.

Why is this true? Someone else wants to earn some money too. This in addition to the much higher operating cost of these charter jets (compared to a KC45 because usually they have old models). A large KC-45 fleet would offer anything to overtake a huge amount of cargo tasks that have been outsourced before. Why:
- The acquisition has been made for another task (tanking). So "for free" there is an asset that longs for being used.
- High idle times. Assets standing around
- Staff is available and trained
- Infrastructure is available

I am pretty covinced that the additional cost of running cargo legs with a tanker vs. having the tanker standing idle on an apron all day long is much smaller than buying the cargo-ability on the charter-market.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 275):
Would you buy a car that gets 20 mpg but only costs $10,000 or one that gets 30 mpg but costs $30,000? Do you honestly think you could make up $20,000 worth of fuel savings over the life of the car?

FedEx had an opportunity to buy a whole bunch of 757s at a really good price but instead chose to convert old 727s to cargo aircraft. This is just one example. If you look at a lot of cargo operators world wide you'll notice that they convert old passenger aircraft instead of buying new builds. They do it because in the long run it is cheaper. Even Keesje will admit this because he uses this same argument all the time in any post deals with the 747-8.

No black-and-white situation. Many cargo operators buy many factory new cargo planes. There are passenger aircrafts with more sales of the cargo version than the passenger version.
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:00 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
What if that cargo is a HH-47F, which airplane wouild you use?

A ship... And you can also move more HH-47F's at once!  duck   Wink

Quoting NorCal (Reply 275):
Well there aren't going to be a lot of new A330s entering the US civil fleet either

Well, how many A320 series are flying around in the USA? Converting from an A320 to an A330 can be done quite quick. The cockpit lay-out is quite similar between these planes. So, there are just as much pilots available to operate the KC-30 than there are pilots to operate the KC-767. This is a non-issue.

Cheers!  wave 
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:35 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 275):
What you are suggesting would be the same as FedEx or UPS loading a portion of their aircraft up with some cargo and as much gas as they can take for a flight. Then take off, fly for awhile, enter a holding pattern for a period of time and dump fuel, and then proceed onto the final destination. That doesn't seem like an efficient use of gas or speedy transportation of cargo.

A few tankers could e.g. drag fighters / cargo aircraft over the oceans, split out when they approach the coast & pick up cargo / passengers for the trip back from main operating bases / logistic hubs, no rocket science. I think those single purpose missions are very much a practice from the past, not the future (complex, highly automated efficient networks connection all dots on the map)


source : Rand

I'm a bit surprised about the denial of this. The USAF say they want it! the KC135s can't do it, the C17 isn't optimized for it. What's the deal?
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:51 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
No black-and-white situation. Many cargo operators buy many factory new cargo planes. There are passenger aircrafts with more sales of the cargo version than the passenger version.

They do that when there is simply no other aircraft available to convert to freighters. If it was truly more efficient to operate FedEx and UPS would always buy new aircraft and would never convert old ones. There wouldn't even be such a thing as a cargo conversion if it was truly cheaper to operate new aircraft vs. old. The fact is that nearly every aircraft ever designed has some form of cargo conversion so that after its life as a passenger aircraft it can be used as a cargo one.

Look at the FedEx decision to convert the 727. Boeing was willing to give a deal on new 757s to keep the line from shutting down but FedEx instead chose to go with 60s and 70s era gas guzzling 727s. They did this because they could buy them off of airlines for a fraction of the cost of new 757s. Even though the 757s were way more fuel efficient and required less mx FedEx realized that the savings in gas and mx costs would never make up for the initial difference in purchase price. It is a very similar situation here.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
- The acquisition has been made for another task (tanking). So "for free" there is an asset that longs for being used.

You have to buy more tankers in order to accomplish both the tanking and cargo missions because there needs to be some tankers left in reserve. Instead buy a smaller fleet of tankers only instead of buying a lot of extra tankers that you can sometimes use as cargo planes. Like I said before tankers carry around tens of thousands of lbs worth of dead weight in the form of the boom and plumbing. That is weight that can't be used to haul cargo and that dead weight costs fuel to haul it around.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
High idle times. Assets standing around

High idle times keep assets from wearing out. If we start flying these birds all the time doing a bunch of cargo missions then they won't last as long as the KC-135s did.

If you start flying missions with a tanker that has men, cargo, and enough fuel to fly from point A to point B and offload gas in the middle you quickly end up with airplanes flying near max weights all the time. Taking off and landing at max weights is hard on the engines, the landing gear, the airframe, etc. That will further shorten the life expectancy of the airframe.

Also how do you coordinate such a mission in a timely fashion? What happens if the men or cargo are late enroute but need to get to the destination ASAP? Do you hold the tanker and wait or do you leave them because now you have aircraft in the air running low on fuel waiting on you? These are some of the problems that you have when you try to maximize the use out of a military asset. The USAF isn't an airline and doesn't operate like one they have to insure the completion of a mission and not make the bottom line their top priority.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
I am pretty covinced that the additional cost of running cargo legs with a tanker vs. having the tanker standing idle on an apron all day long is much smaller than buying the cargo-ability on the charter-market.

You are forgetting the logistical planning side of the operation. How do we coordinate these assets so that we have the tankers available to do their primary mission of offloading gas? Remember every tanker that is tied up in a cargo mission can't be used to offload fuel. It doesn't make sense to schedule cargo missions around the needs of tanker missions. It might seem logical to send a tanker on a cargo mission if it is just sitting at the base, but what happens if another tanker currently flying a mission has mx problems or is shot down? Do we tell the fighter pilots and bombers they have to ditch in the ocean because all the idle tankers are now shuttling bullets to other bases? These are things the war planner must take into account and while it might seem inefficient to have assets sitting around idle, but it isn't the case. It is better to have come idle assets standing by in reserve for the worst case scenario, which is how wars are planned.

What you are saying makes sense on paper and works well in power point presentations in congressional hearings for funding, but in the real world it doesn't work well.

A fleet of retired widebodies bought cheaply on the open market and converted to cargo planes would be the best bet if the truly need to relieve the C-5 and C-17 fleets. They will be tens of millions of dollars cheaper to buy and convert and won't carry around tens of thousands of lbs of dead weight in the form of the tanker equipment. They might use a little more gas, but they will always be available to relieve the C-17s and C-5s and not occasionally available like the KC-45. Let the converted fleet do the regularly scheduled runs across the oceans and save the civil air reserve fleet and charter flights for the surges and the out of the blue cargo mission. This will save thousands of cycles on the tanker fleet and extend the life of a very expensive asset by decades. We can also buy a smaller number of tankers to give us the perfect number we need to complete the tanker missions with the required reserves.
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:12 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 282):
A few tankers could e.g. drag fighters / cargo aircraft over the oceans, split out when they approach the coast & pick up cargo / passengers for the trip back from main operating bases / logistic hubs, no rocket science. I think those single purpose missions are very much a practice from the past, not the future (complex, highly automated efficient networks connection all dots on the map)

A couple of problems with what you are saying:

1. Either of the two choices carries thousands of extra structural weight in the form of the equipment necessary to offload fuel. Carrying around that extra weight eats into the available pay load that can be used for cargo.

2. The tanker needs to carry enough gas to fly itself, all the cargo, and still have enough gas left to offload for the fighters

3. When you take into account the fuel required to fly the aircraft, the fuel required to offload to the fighters, the fuel required for reserves, plus the extra fuel required to carry the extra weight of the cargo, how much payload weight is left over for cargo?

4. What happens if the tanker is transporting men and there is a medical emergency and is forced to divert? Perfectly reasonable if the tanker is being used for med-evac. Not only do we have a tanker that is displaced but we know have a bunch of fighters that are going to be late to their destination.

5. If the tanker is carrying cargo is it limiting itself on the amount of gas available to the fighters? Do we now have to send another tanker to make up the difference?

These are just some issues off the top of my head, I'm sure there are others out there.

Why not buy old widebodies and convert them to cargo aircraft to perform the mission of shuttling men and supplies across the oceans? Let the tankers stick to the tanker missions. That would avoid heavy take off and landing weights on the tankers which put extra stress on the aircraft. Why abuse a $150-160 million dollar aircraft with all that weight when you can do it to a $40-60 million cargo aircraft that is optimized for the job?

Quoting Keesje (Reply 282):
The USAF say they want it! the KC135s can't do it, the C17 isn't optimized for it. What's the deal?

The deal is politics. Congress likes multi-role aircraft. It is why the Navy no longer has the F-14, it is why the F-22 changed designations during its development. During the post cold war era the armed forces have been forced to design compromise aircraft that can do a lot of things, but not do any one thing well ("Jack of all trades, master of none.") They know they can't get the funding for every new aircraft program they want so they roll them all up into one and get something that looks good on power points and in pictures for the tax payer.

I think the USAF and congress should take a lesson from FedEx and UPS to relieve the C-17 and C-5 fleets. There are going to be a ton of widebodies replaced in the coming years, why not do what the private sector does and buy perfectly good aircraft and convert them. Instead of buying $150 million tankers that aren't really suited for cargo missions.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:29 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 283):
Look at the FedEx decision to convert the 727. Boeing was willing to give a deal on new 757s to keep the line from shutting down but FedEx instead chose to go with 60s and 70s era gas guzzling 727s. They did this because they could buy them off of airlines for a fraction of the cost of new 757s.

fedex is trying to getr rid of the 727 as soon as they can (=757 come available.

The 747 classics are also retired as quickly as possible >$100 changed the business cases dramatically..

I expect Fedex / UPS to place significant orders fro A330F in the not to far future.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 284):
1. Either of the two choices carries thousands of extra structural weight in the form of the equipment necessary to offload fuel. Carrying around that extra weight eats into the available pay load that can be used for cargo.

Sure but not close to the costs of operating two aircraft to do the same job.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 284):
2. The tanker needs to carry enough gas to fly itself, all the cargo, and still have enough gas left to offload for the fighters

Depends on the mission, optimal balance between load for various missions / stops will be determined just like in the commercial world. (BTW, in my example it would do tanking on the way out and cargo on the return trip (maybe making a stop to drop of 70 man / pick up additional load on the way back)

Imagine hundreds of loads with various priorities all over the world & hundreds of tanker requirements and dozens of crews (resting) all over he world in a certain time span. Smart software figures out how to fill in the requirements in the most efficient way and constantly updates the systems based on delays, new requirements, weather and unscheduled maintenance etc. Specialist check and adjust the scheme 24/7..



aculating how to route
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:41 pm



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 268):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 267):
Boeing offered the 747-400ERF which would have crushed McD's C17 on a payload and performance basis for just these types of cargo for transit between improved airfields at a far lower cost per frame.

Yea... but the killer for the 747 is the loading height. You need special equipment to unload it.

No it is not, the B-747F has a self loader, and the USAF has plenty of K-loaders, which are all hi-lift. They use them for the KC-135, KC-10 and all commerical freighters.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 269):
It can combine both missions with the payload range envelope. The main deck and cargo deck aren't occupied by fuel tanks like KC767.

The KC-767 does not have fuel tanks on the main deck.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 269):
Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
There are hundreds of 767 pilots at airlines like DL, CO, etc. who are already certified on the 767 and are in the Air Force reserves. There is more familiarization with Boeing equipment in the US then there is Airbus.

At this moment maybe. Questionable for the next 30 yrs. 767 are being parked / pilot retrained as we speak.

Pilots flying A-330s are retiring too.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 269):
Quoting NorCal (Reply 263):
The reason the KC-135s lasted as long as they did is because they only did tanking missions and were over built. The A330 and 767 aren't tanks like the 707 is because engineers have learned over the years how to optimize designs. It is good for efficiency but not good for longevity of the air frame. If the Air Force flies the KC-45 as much as some suggest on here then they'll last 20, maybe 30 years.

Not right I think. The 767 and A330 even more have 3 x the structural live the KC135 has and less frequent / intens maintenance checks. Based on KC135 specs a KC35 would come in for heavy checks every 35 years

WRONG Keesje (again).

Quoting Keesje (Reply 271):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
It is by far cheaper for the government to wet lease/charter cargo jets than for the government to own them.

The picture changes when you have 100 (very) capable cargo jets parked in the desert / crews that have to make hours anyway. I think the USAF idea to use to C-17 where it is best. Long haul pallets and/or hundreds of man aint what the C-17 is made for. It uses a lot of crew time/fuel/tanker capasity in that role. UPS doesn't use four wheel drives to distribute goods..

You complained about the KC-135s "sitting" for 95% of the time. Please make up your mind.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 278):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Hmmm, you seem to forget, the KC-30 is a cargo conversion. These airplanes begin life as A-330-200 passenger jets, get the cargo door cut into the side, some strenghtening of the floor, and then go over to tanker conversion.

Wouldn't a KC-30 based on the A-330-200F be a better cargo airplane?

NG/EADS might just propose that as a result of a strategy rethink.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-platform-switch-for-new-kc-x.html

Quote:
"Northrop, meanwhile, now refuses to rule out the option of switching to a different platform when it submits its proposal in early October. 'We'll consider all of the options that are available to us and we'll propose the platform that best meets the customer's requirements,' it says.

The A330-200 was selected for the competition in 2006 because Airbus had not yet launched the A330-200 Freighter. Northrop instead proposed to deliver the A330 passenger model, convert it into a freighter and then further modify the aircraft as a tanker. Switching to the pure freighter model, which was launched last year, is likely to be more efficient.

Previously, Northrop tanker vice-president Paul Meyer told Flight International that his team would 'inevitably' switch to the freighter if it won the original KC-X competition.

There must be a reason why EADS/NG didn't offer the A-330F in 2007, when the A-330F was avalable. Why?

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Wouldn't a KC-30 based on the A-330-200F be a better cargo airplane?

Possibly, though I am not convinced that it is a good idea per se. Disadvantages would be: The USAF wants to carry cargo and troops. The A332 (non-F) is a good platform for both (for cargo there is space below the main deck and for people above -> unique feature compared with KC767). The A332F would (without change) not have windows. Also the amount of changes would increase (no A332F has been build until now) along with the risk.

Windows are not required, or desired. If you have fewer windows, you have lower maintenance costs. BTW, the USAF wants to tank first, they move people and bullets with commerical aircraft.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 265):
Cargo conversions of older plane may offer better operating costs than C-5 & C-17 but surely not remotely as good as KC-45. Thus I said "world-leading" efficiency in its class. Over the long term this will save money even if the acquisition costs more.

Hmmm, you seem to forget, the KC-30 is a cargo conversion. These airplanes begin life as A-330-200 passenger jets, get the cargo door cut into the side, some strenghtening of the floor, and then go over to tanker conversion.

Key word in my statement is "older" not "conversions".

No, the key is the KC-30 is a double conversion.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
Why is this true? Someone else wants to earn some money too. This in addition to the much higher operating cost of these charter jets (compared to a KC45 because usually they have old models). A large KC-45 fleet would offer anything to overtake a huge amount of cargo tasks that have been outsourced before. Why:
- The acquisition has been made for another task (tanking). So "for free" there is an asset that longs for being used.
- High idle times. Assets standing around
- Staff is available and trained
- Infrastructure is available

I am pretty covinced that the additional cost of running cargo legs with a tanker vs. having the tanker standing idle on an apron all day long is much smaller than buying the cargo-ability on the charter-market.

You guys seem to not know, that for every tanker you send on a cargo mission, you use up two tankers, one to carry the trash, and the other to refuel the trash hauling tanker.

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 281):
Quoting NorCal (Reply 275):
Well there aren't going to be a lot of new A330s entering the US civil fleet either

Well, how many A320 series are flying around in the USA? Converting from an A320 to an A330 can be done quite quick. The cockpit lay-out is quite similar between these planes. So, there are just as much pilots available to operate the KC-30 than there are pilots to operate the KC-767. This is a non-issue.

No, it is two different aircraft types, that do not share a common type certification, like the B-757 & B-767 or A-330 and A-340 do.

In the USAF, an E-3 pilot or a C-40B pilot is not qualified to fly the KC-135.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 282):
A few tankers could e.g. drag fighters / cargo aircraft over the oceans, split out when they approach the coast & pick up cargo / passengers for the trip back from main operating bases / logistic hubs, no rocket science.

You don't have any idea what you are talking about. When a tanker drags fighters to the foreward area, it stays there with them (maybe not at the same base, but in the same area), because those tankers will be neede for the strike packages.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 282):
The USAF say they want it! the KC135s can't do it,

The KC-135 can do it, and has been doing it for 53 years now.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 285):
fedex is trying to getr rid of the 727 as soon as they can (=757 come available.



Quoting Keesje (Reply 285):
The 747 classics are also retired as quickly as possible

All airlines eventually retire airplanes, those B-727s and B-747s were built in the '60s, '70s' and '80s. Eventually, even the great A-330 will retire.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 285):
I expect Fedex / UPS to place significant orders fro A330F in the not to far future.

I don't, UPS is buying all the used B-747-400s they can, and they are currently taking delivery of new build B-747-400Fs, and have another 27 B-767-300ERFs on order. FedEx also has the B-777-200LRF on order. The A-330-200F cannot compete with any of these airplanes.
 
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EPA001
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:11 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 286):
Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 281):
Quoting NorCal (Reply 275):
Well there aren't going to be a lot of new A330s entering the US civil fleet either

Well, how many A320 series are flying around in the USA? Converting from an A320 to an A330 can be done quite quick. The cockpit lay-out is quite similar between these planes. So, there are just as much pilots available to operate the KC-30 than there are pilots to operate the KC-767. This is a non-issue.

No, it is two different aircraft types, that do not share a common type certification, like the B-757 & B-767 or A-330 and A-340 do.

This is true! But the Airbus cockpit commonality concept enables pilots to make conversions between different types of Airbus planes within days. This is a much easier and cheaper task then to convert from i.e. a B767 to a B787 or a B777 or a B747! All Boeings have very different type ratings for pilots to get qualified to fly these different types of planes!
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:29 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 286):
KC135TopBoom From United States, joined Jan 2005, 5305 posts, RR: 33

my god what a long post, where to begin.
.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 286):


You complained about the KC-135s "sitting" for 95% of the time. Please make up your mind.

I think projecting Kc135 usage during the last 50 yrs on the KC45 the next 50 years is like taking WW1 logistics as a reference for Iraq. The KC135 have a life expextancy of about 39.000 hours to be reached in another 30 yrs. A 330 can do 90.000 hours easily and needs base maintenance checks every 30.000 hr / 8 yrs. Aircraft like the 777 and A330 are in a different league compared to fifties/ sixties generation aircraft. A300/767s are somewhere inbetween.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 286):
don't, UPS is buying all the used B-747-400s they can, and they are currently taking delivery of new build B-747-400Fs, and have another 27 B-767-300ERFs on order. FedEx also has the B-777-200LRF on order. The A-330-200F cannot compete with any of these airplanes.

UPS and FEDEX are top Airbus freighter customers. Surfing the web you'll find many people are surprised they didn't order A330F's allready.

The KC45 based on the A330F will have probably have winners only. Standardisation of the Mobile production lines, a more capable tanker (higher MTOW) freighter and probably GENX engines giving the platform another performance boost / 20% fuel saving. Irresistable to all involved I guess. Most of all the USAF that would have take a future proof platform (I'm not sure the CRFP KC787/A350 would be better suited)
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:38 pm

Just found this on the internet...RFP delayed till September (for now). I suspect it will be longer once Congress goes back into session next month.

http://albuquerque.bizjournals.com/a.../2008/08/25/daily18.html?ana=yfcpc
 
norcal
Posts: 1507
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:00 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 285):
fedex is trying to getr rid of the 727 as soon as they can (=757 come available..

FedEx is replacing really old aircraft with used aircraft. It isn't like they are replacing 727s with new build 757s. They had an opportunity to do that years ago before the line closed but now they are once again using old passenger aircraft to replace their fleet.

The 747 classics are also retired as quickly as possible >$100 changed the business cases dramatically...[/quote]

Replacing a lot of them with newer converted passenger 747s like a lot of cargo operators. Once the A380 finally gets caught up and there are more 747s free they will all be converted to cargo aircraft. I seem to remember you arguing for years on here that the 747-8 is doomed for this very reason......

Quoting Keesje (Reply 285):
I expect Fedex / UPS to place significant orders fro A330F in the not to far future.

They might have to since the 787 and A350 are so delayed. There won't be old A330s for them to buy up and convert into freighters. If they were available it would make financial sense to buy them like they have done for years since they are cheaper than new builds. When older aircraft are available they do buy them, take the ATRs that FedEx is now acquiring.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 285):
(BTW, in my example it would do tanking on the way out and cargo on the return trip (maybe making a stop to drop of 70 man / pick up additional load on the way back)

So what provides gas for the fighters on their way from Europe to the middle east while you send the tankers back to the states with cargo? What about the extra cycle you just put on your $150 million aircraft when it goes back state side. 2 wasted cycles if it doesn't drag fighters back to Europe from the states. Those cycles will add up and shorten the life time of the aircraft. The KC-45 won't last as long as the KC-135s did if we fly them like that.

If you start operating as you suggest you need to buy more $150 million tankers to cover for the ones flying cargo mission. Heck why not convert the KC-135E to R models, remove the tanker equipment and use them solely as cargo aircraft. We already own the aircraft, have the personnel to maintain them, and have the facilities to support them. You could probably convert 10 of these for the price of 1 KC-45 and have a lot more flexibility and not use your valuable $150 million tankers to haul cargo around. You could cut down on the number of KC-45s we buy since we would only use them for tanker missions and cut down on the costs of the C-17 and C-5 fleets since they will do less flying. Billions in tax payer money could be saved right there and in 10-15 years time when A330s are being parked the USAF could buy and convert those to cargo aircraft and maintain commonality.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:53 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 290):
Heck why not convert the KC-135E to R models, remove the tanker equipment and use them solely as cargo aircraft.

A KC45 can carry 32 standard pallets, a KC135 6.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 290):
The KC-45 won't last as long as the KC-135s did if we fly them like that.

The KC135 which needs a lot of maintenance, radical upgrades can live 39.000 hours. A330's will live 100.000 (maybe more?) with regular maintence checks. Do the math.

About my example do you prefer the tankers to stay with the fighters for the total deployment?! Airframes being used flexibly while ferrying, picking loads everywhere, refuelling more aircraft futher and faster, I don't know how you can conclude this is more expensive. The superior range of the KC45 would limit stops. US middle east for 280 non-stop with a full cargo belly aint a problem. Now they have to hire aircraft for that mission or put tankers in the air to support the capable but extreme expensive / specialized C-17's.

A tanker/cargo aircraft is cheaper then a C-17 + a tanker.
 
Flighty
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:27 am

It seems like you guys mostly are in agreement. You all know it's important to have some more strategic tankers. The allotment of aircraft will be sufficient to fill our strategic needs through say the 50 year mark.

Now then. With that decided, will the USAF be interested in some cargo and passenger capabilities also? Hard to say. I am inclined to believe it adds value since the KC-45 crews will be flying training operations that may as well include cargo runs. This makes the transportation virtually free.

What is really causing friction here is, in many ways the A330 is a superior military cargo aircraft. We don't have it in the inventory but maybe we should. FedEx is nice for party favors and baby clothes but for war equipment, the military needs cargo aircraft and the A330 is an excellent one, much cheaper to fly than a C-17. Which begs why we need so many C-17s at all, since they are not very good at some of their longreach tasking.
 
norcal
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:44 am

RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:28 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 291):
The KC135 which needs a lot of maintenance, radical upgrades can live 39.000 hours. A330's will live 100.000 (maybe more?) with regular maintence checks. Do the math.

Ok let's do some math, but keep in mind converting KC-135s into cargo aircraft is just one possibility. BTW, Air Force studies have already determined that the KC-135Es have life left in them and that converting them to R models is the cheapest course of action. If the airframes have life left, why not convert for a fraction of the cost of buying new KC-45s into cargo planes.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 291):
A KC45 can carry 32 standard pallets, a KC135 6.

1. A KC-45 can't carry 32 standard pallets, men, and all the fuel needed to do the multi missions you are suggesting. If you have it do a cargo only mission with 32 pallets then it can't do a tanker mission unless those pallets are all ultra light cotton pillows. If you pull a KC-45 off the flight line to carry 32 pallets then you lose one tanker available to do the primary mission. Does it make sense to use a $150 million asset like that or use a $10 million dollar asset to haul around stuff? For a 1/3 of the cost in airframe you can haul 30 pallets on 5 different aircraft and have more flexibility to send it directly to the base in need instead of a hub in Europe. You can also send 24 of your 30 pallets if one of your aircraft has a mx problem. If your KC-45 has a problem then nothing is sent and you have to pull another tanker out of the rotation to send your cargo. For the same airframe cost you can transport nearly 3x as many pallets, but many times more tonnage and have a lot more flexibility with your fleet.

2. All pallets aren't created equally. We know the KC-135 can haul 200,000 lbs of fuel weight (compared to 254,000 in the KC-45), so it can haul a significant amount of cargo weight around. These are military aircraft and aren't shuttling around light letters and packages like FedEX planes. They are carrying around heavy military equipment so the volume of the space isn't as valuable to the military as the weight the aircraft can carry.

3. With 179 tanker aircraft, how much real relief is the C-17 and C-5 fleet going to have? We will have to dedicate a number of these aircraft to tanker missions only. How many will be left over for dedicated cargo missions after you account for aircraft in mx, spare tankers for the front line, and aircraft for training crews? Ten? Twenty? Thirty maybe? We have 180 C-17s and 100 C-5s I just don't see how the KC-45 will have a meaningful impact on the use of these aircraft.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 291):
US middle east for 280 non-stop with a full cargo belly aint a problem.

Now you can't drag fighters if you load up your KC-45 all the way with men and cargo. Wouldn't it be better to have a dedicated 767, A300, A330, 777 cargo aircraft for that job?


I simply don't buy into the multi-use propaganda by the Air Force, Boeing, and Airbus. I think it is all a ploy to sell these tankers to Congress and the tax payer. I think the Air Force should take a page for the likes of FedEx and UPS and convert ex passenger aircraft instead of using a highly specialized and expensive tanker to haul bullets and trash around.
 
eraugrad02
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:39 am

I'm sure that I'm being too simplistic but wht cant they just split the order for both A & B?

Desmond in ILM,
 
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Moose135
Posts: 3248
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:25 am



Quoting ERAUgrad02 (Reply 294):
I'm sure that I'm being too simplistic but wht cant they just split the order for both A & B?

It gets way too expensive in terms of training, spares, support, etc. for two different airframes.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:33 am



Quoting NorCal (Reply 283):
You are forgetting the logistical planning side of the operation. How do we coordinate these assets so that we have the tankers available to do their primary mission of offloading gas?

Don't put the USAF so much down. Less intelligent organisations have managed more difficult tasks. If the idle time of an asset is more than say 50% it is not so complicated to deploy one half permanently for other tasks without touching the tanker operations at all.
The cargo operators demonstrate an efficient allocation of equipment-to-tasks every day in a very similar environment.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 286):
Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 280):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 270):
Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 265):
Cargo conversions of older plane may offer better operating costs than C-5 & C-17 but surely not remotely as good as KC-45. Thus I said "world-leading" efficiency in its class. Over the long term this will save money even if the acquisition costs more.

Hmmm, you seem to forget, the KC-30 is a cargo conversion. These airplanes begin life as A-330-200 passenger jets, get the cargo door cut into the side, some strenghtening of the floor, and then go over to tanker conversion.

Key word in my statement is "older" not "conversions".

No, the key is the KC-30 is a double conversion.

I say what the keyword is (because it was my sentence) you should just try to understand what I mean. I apologize that I have failed to express clearly what I meant. This is what I meant:
The older jets usually used for USAF charter operations are fuel guzzlers compared with a KC-45. Regarding economics they are no match. Thus there is very probable a benefit for the USAF on the cost side to own efficient cargo-planes for beans-and-bullets.

Of course I understand what you said: You meant regarding conversion the KC-45 is not better than the KC-767 or all the older charter jets. You are right. So what? What's the impact on the efficiency? On the large scale the plane's age has much more impact.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:27 am



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 296):
If the idle time of an asset is more than say 50% it is not so complicated to deploy one half permanently for other tasks without touching the tanker operations at all.

100% true for a toaster

100% false for the military.

You don't have 500 tankers because you need them all every day. You have them because there will be A day when you REALLY REALLY need them all.

If you up the usage of these assets very much then you will find on that one day... that huge numbers of your tankers are in the wrong place, with the wrong gear, with the wrong crews.... AND broken besides. Its the old story of "for want of a horse shoe an empire fell". Small things can cause big breakage. Your F22's can't intercept if they are finding out if they are better or worse than a cinderblock at gliding thanks to thier tanker being stuck in BFE with a load of boots they can't unload and retask in time for thier REAL mission.
 
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scbriml
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:47 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 297):
If you up the usage of these assets very much then you will find on that one day... that huge numbers of your tankers are in the wrong place, with the wrong gear, with the wrong crews.... AND broken besides.

Yes, but that day when you REALLY REALLY need all your tankers shouldn't come as a big surprise. Let's face it, you start preparing for that day some time in advance - it's not like the US and it's allies invaded Iraq with just one day's notice is it?

If that day when you do REALLY REALLY need all your tankers does come as a surprise, then you've got much bigger problems than a busted KC-45 loaded with cargo at BFE!
 
rheinwaldner
Posts: 1875
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:05 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 297):
You don't have 500 tankers because you need them all every day. You have them because there will be A day when you REALLY REALLY need them all.

I am fully aware that in wartime the whole tanker fleet must be ready to fulfill their duty as tankers 100%. But you do never enter such a time period without warning.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 298):
Yes, but that day when you REALLY REALLY need all your tankers shouldn't come as a big surprise.

 checkmark 

Assumed each and every tankers is on a wrong base. How long does it take to relocate the whole fleet to any airport in the world? 3 days at maximum (IMO most of the fleet can be sent to any place in 1 day). Impossible to have that much time before a crisis goes from 0 to 100? I don't think.

Even today if a conflict arises somewhere the tanker capability is not fully available at this place. Most of the required force-relocation must happen whether the tankers are on their "sleeping" base or elsewhere.

IMO there is even an advantage if many small portions of the fleet are distributed worldwide vs. concentrated storage at some bases. Sometimes reaction time could even be shorter and the probability to destruct big parts of the fleet with a few initial hits is smaller.
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