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knoxibus
Posts: 640
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:55 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 344):
Out of that list, the only model Airbus can say is a success is the A-330-200/-300.

Where was it a question of success or failures for you KC? The question (in a mocking way IMHO but in answer to another mocking statement by Airyan) raised by Pygmalion was how many models Airbus/EADS put out since 1997. I just answered while indicating that both airbus and Boeing have delays/difficulties.

I appreciate your valuable inputs to this thread but why do we have to turn everything to successes or failures (most of them not yet proven by the way)? Just saying, don't worry, I did not want to point the finger, there are others behaving blatantly badly here who deserve not to participate to this thread in contrary to you.

Anyway, as I said, it's not the point, sorry for the off-topic. I just wish this RFP had gone smoothly from the start, to truly have an equal battle. So much for the acquisition teams of the Air Force.

By the way, just a question, is the Air Force the only entity having a say under such a bid?

I mean, now it seems the DoD will have the final word (in the selection, not the funding), but in terms of people being in the selection team, do we have also lawyers or another type of employees, people from the Army, Navy, etc???
 
gsosbee
Posts: 365
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:12 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 349):
If that is true, the the USAF has a number of options here from increasing the number of peacetime airlift charter ops that are cheaper than a new cargo/tanker airplane, from increasing the number and types of wet lease charter freighter ops, to recommissioning cargo aircraft from AMARC, to buying and converting used aircraft to frighters, to simply buying new build commerical model freighters.

The Air Force is a flying organization; not a chartering organization. They realize that they cannot afford to be dependant on civilian operators. If they can get an airplane that performs one job that the civilians cannot do (tankage) and one that the civilians cannot do in a combat atmosphere, they see that as a win-win.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:15 pm



Quoting Knoxibus (Reply 350):
appreciate your valuable inputs to this thread but why do we have to turn everything to successes or failures (most of them not yet proven by the way)? Just saying, don't worry, I did not want to point the finger, there are others behaving blatantly badly here who deserve not to participate to this thread in contrary to you.

Agreed.

Quoting Knoxibus (Reply 350):
By the way, just a question, is the Air Force the only entity having a say under such a bid?

I mean, now it seems the DoD will have the final word (in the selection, not the funding), but in terms of people being in the selection team, do we have also lawyers or another type of employees, people from the Army, Navy, etc???

Since the DOD is now running the selection process, I would suspect the US Army, USN and USMC would have more of a say over which airplane is selected, than when the USAF ran the selection.

But, the final word will come from Congress, I suspect. If they don't like the airplane selected, they will not fund the contract.
 
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moo
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:17 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 349):

That one event killed over 3,000 Americans. I would say that is more than an excuse.

Sorry but no, its not 'more than an excuse' - its just an excuse.
 
gsosbee
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:40 am

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

Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:02 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 353):
Sorry but no, its not 'more than an excuse' - its just an excuse.

I don't think we want to go down that road as you see things different from those living in the country that was attacked.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:42 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 353):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 349):

That one event killed over 3,000 Americans. I would say that is more than an excuse.

Sorry but no, its not 'more than an excuse' - its just an excuse.

Well, that is one opinion, one that has no logic or intelligence behind it.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 354):
I don't think we want to go down that road as you see things different from those living in the country that was attacked.

He was either not here yet, or less than a year old when the Falklands were attacked. I supported England in that conflict. I also support England when they responded to the bus and subway attacks on 07/07/06.
 
blackknight
Posts: 222
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:06 pm



Quoting Moo (Reply 348):
So, basically anyone the US wishes to have an issue with, then? You seem to be using one event as an excuse to dump on pretty much anyone you want to.

As much flame bait as this comment is and knowing this comment was thought up more to cause conflict versus added value to this forum, I will break my tradition and comment.

History is filled with one off events that triggered major wars.

The act which is considered to have triggered the succession of events which led to world war one was the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb citizen of Austria-Hungary and member of the Young Bosnia. This was a single loss of life.

The attack on Pearl Harbor (or Hawaii Operation, as it was called by the Imperial General Headquarters)[6] was a surprise attack against the United States' naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Japanese navy, on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, resulting in the United States becoming involved in World War II. It was intended as a preventive action to remove the U.S. Pacific Fleet as a factor in the war Japan was about to wage against Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Two aerial attack waves, totaling 353[7] aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers.

Pearl Harbor a single event which triggered a 4 year war for the USA
The attack wrecked two U.S. Navy battleships, one minelayer, and two destroyers beyond repair, and destroyed 188 aircraft; personnel losses were 2,388 killed and 1,178 wounded.
Less loss than 9/11

History goes on. I love my country and felt a huge loss on 9/11. As a true country man of the USA I support any preventative action which would stop the loss of life

Your single post a single event triggered many responses. One event designed to offend (whether you admit it or not) produced many counter responses all of which distracted many from the main topic.
This is life, it does not make it right but it is the world in which we live. Many are fooled by the assumption that others want a Utopian world. Many seek to offend and gain power. The world is not a sand box where everyone gets along. It is a school yard and we have to have teachers watching over us to prevent issues.

Now I send you back to your regular scheduled program

sorry for the rant.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:28 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 349):
the the USAF has a number of options here from increasing the number of peacetime airlift charter ops that are cheaper than a new cargo/tanker airplane, from increasing the number and types of wet lease charter freighter ops, to recommissioning cargo aircraft from AMARC, to buying and converting used aircraft to frighters, to simply buying new build commerical model freighters.

Of the listed options (very nice and comprehensive) you forgot the most obvious and cheapest, the bright way for the future, ... a new tanker fleet that at the same time supports the bullet-and-cargo cargo role better (more efficient) than anything else!!

That's what the USAF wants. It would be even like that if the KC767 would have been selected. That is so clear that the denial of the fact is almost funny.

We have many voices here knowing better what the USAF wants and needs than the USAF. I mean with the KC45 selection the USAF brought so much troubles for themselves that they obviously really wanted that plane. They must see some huge benefits otherwise why worry, take the weaker offer and everbody would be happy, no complaints!
 
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moo
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:55 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 355):
Well, that is one opinion, one that has no logic or intelligence behind it.

Oh well, I guess that ends the discussion entirely then. I obviously have no logic or intelligence in my opinion according to you, so therefor your opinion must be the over ruling one.

Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 354):
I don't think we want to go down that road as you see things different from those living in the country that was attacked.

67 Britons died in the WTC attacks, which my Government is also using as an excuse to bring in fairly significant restrictions and take certain stances against other countries.

And you forget that Britain has a 50 year history of terrorism thanks to the IRA, its not a new thing to affect the world in the past decade.

Quoting Blackknight (Reply 356):
As much flame bait as this comment is and knowing this comment was thought up more to cause conflict versus added value to this forum, I will break my tradition and comment.

Actually my comment is a commonly held view - the US is using the 9/11 attacks purely as an excuse for many other acts they wish to undertake. If you have been following events within your own country at all, you have seen a disturbing trend where suddenly anything becomes allowable if you attribute the 'anti-terrorism' label to it.

You might not like my view, but its a perfectly valid one.
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:25 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 357):
We have many voices here knowing better what the USAF wants and needs than the USAF. I mean with the KC45 selection the USAF brought so much troubles for themselves that they obviously really wanted that plane. They must see some huge benefits otherwise why worry, take the weaker offer and everbody would be happy, no complaints!

There would be a ton of complaints from congressional delegates in the gulf coast and Southern California (HQ of NG). NG has a very powerful lobby in congress and McCain on their side as well.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 357):
Of the listed options (very nice and comprehensive) you forgot the most obvious and cheapest, the bright way for the future, ... a new tanker fleet that at the same time supports the bullet-and-cargo cargo role better (more efficient) than anything else!!

We've gone over way too many times why buying $150 million dollar specialized tankers isn't a good option for transporting cargo. Buying a smaller dedicated force of tankers only and then a dedicated force of converted cargo aircraft is the cheapest option.

Buying new A330Fs would be a cheaper than buying extra KC-45s. You wouldn't have to pay for the extra tanker equipment and you wouldn't suffer from the payload reduction of having thousands of lbs of tanker pluming on board.

The fact of the matter is that 179 KC-45s aren't enough to cover the tanker missions and relieve the nearly 300 strong C-17 and C-5 fleet (not to mention the C-130 fleet) The KC-45 can either be a great tanker or a great cargo aircraft but it can't do both at the same time and there aren't going to be enough spares lying around to cover the our current cargo fleet. We've also gone over numerous times the abuse in the forms of cycles, extra hours, and heavy weight take offs and landings you put on the KC-45s by flying them all the time.

Here are your options listed from least expensive to most:

1. Convert the E models to R models (they have already been proven to last a long time) and then buy used aircraft and convert them to cargo aircraft for 25% of the cost of a KC-45 to cover the long range cargo missions and suitable inter-theatre missions that the C-17, C-5, and C-130 are now flying. Rely on CRAF and leases for the surges because surges don't happen that often and keeping enough aircraft around to cover them would be very expensive

2. Buy a fleet of A330Fs and dedicate them to flying C-17, C-5, and C-130 relief missions. You can then reserve your 179 tankers for refueling missions instead of putting cycles and hours on them hauling boxes.

3. If you really want a true multi-role capable tanker, buy A345 or a 777F based tanker. One that has enough payload to replace a C-17 cargo load and still be able to drag fighters across the pond. Of course when you use these aircraft as cargo only aircraft you still run into the problem of putting extra cycles and hours on a very expensive asset. This option I think would be slightly more expensive than 2 because of the R+D costs to make these tankers/freighters. We would also have to buy more when they wear out in 20 years instead of the 40 they are supposed to last (just like the KC-45 would) when we abuse them by flying them all the time.

4. Buy enough KC-45s to replace the KC-135s and relieve the C-17, C-5, and C-130 fleet. The 179 we have now can't do this now despite the NG propaganda (the KC-767 couldn't do it either despite the Boeing propaganda, but we'll focus on the KC-45 since it was selected). In order to do everything as promised we would probably need to add 100 KC-45s (maybe even double the fleet size) to cover all the tanker missions and relieve the enormous C-5, C-17, and C-130 fleet. However we would be spending a ton of extra money on an asset that is penalized by its design (extra weight) to do a mission that a very cheap converted cargo aircraft could do. If you insist a new aircraft is better (UPS and FedEx disagree with you) then even new A330Fs would be a better and cheaper option than buying more KC-45s to effectively cover all of those cargo missions.
 
Alien
Posts: 416
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:58 pm



Quoting Gsosbee (Reply 346):
The Air Force, for better or worse, seemingly has a new agenda for lift and tankage and want a new airplane.

I agree but that is the problem. Congress agreed to fund a replacement tanker based on various internal and external tanker studies performed several years ago. Those studies indicated that the Air Force needed a medium size tanker with similar fuel offload capability as the KC-135 and with enhanced cargo carrying capability. These requirements seem to have been best fulfilled with the Boeing KC-767. The problem is that somewhere along the line, for better or worse, the Air Force has unilaterally decided that it's requirements have changed.

Two things now need to happen.

Congress must debate the merits of procuring this new type aircraft. They have rightfully done this with tanks, missiles, ships and any other new type system that the armed forces have wanted to procure so this should be no exception.

The Air Force should come out with a totally new RFP that properly documents the characteristics of this new hybrid (mission) type plane.

If this takes several years so be it. The Air Force in the meantime should be directed by Congress to to upgrade the KC-135Es so that they can be used for several years until this new aircraft type comes on line. Right now the DOD is trying to play this game outside the rules. This shoudl not be allowed for such an important procurement decision.

Quoting Moo (Reply 353):
Sorry but no, its not 'more than an excuse' - its just an excuse.

An excuse for what? Calling three thousand people being incinerated on your soil in a cowardly suicide attack an excuse indicates to me that you really are not playing with a full deck and it is pointless to debate anything with you. Hopefully your opinion is not indicative of mainstream British opinion. If it is then it really makes you wonder why the US has provided the UK with so many economic opportunities such as joint production of JSF and possibly this tanker contract to the expense of our own industry.
 
Ken777
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:48 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 359):
Buy a fleet of A330Fs and dedicate them to flying C-17, C-5, and C-130 relief missions.

Why buy a fleet of 330Fs instead of looking at the freighter alternatives and getting Congressional approval for funding of some freighters, Then look at the options, up to the 748F. Might be that wet leases are still the most economical approach

I tend to like the idea of upgrading some current KC-135s now to tide the AF over while this SNAFU they are trying to work out is fully taken care of and funded. With the funds saved by upgrading KC-135s the AF will probably have no problems coming up with fighter or weapons programs that "urgently" need funding
 
baroque
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:06 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 357):
We have many voices here knowing better what the USAF wants and needs than the USAF.

When was the last time the USAF (or its predecessor) took external advice? Hmmm the Mustang. Now what did the folk who liked the Mustang chose for a tanker?  duck 
 
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Francoflier
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:13 pm

I don't get all this talk about the added value of freight capacity of the contenders...

Is it part of the RFP?
Because if it isn't, then no matter how good a freighter any of these aircraft may be, it won't be regarded.

And if it is, then it's just another reason for the loser of the competition to legally challenge that decision again.
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:46 pm



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 361):
Why buy a fleet of 330Fs instead of looking at the freighter alternatives and getting Congressional approval for funding of some freighters, Then look at the options, up to the 748F. Might be that wet leases are still the most economical approach

It's just one option of many out there I used in my reply above. I believe changing the E's to R's and converting old passenger aircraft into freighters for the cargo missions is the cheapest option. My only point in bringing up the A330F up is that it illustrates that pretty much any dedicated cargo aircraft is going to be cheaper to operate than a KC-45 flying the same cargo mission.

Here is a recap of the reasons:

1. The KC-45 carries around thousands of lbs worth of "dead weight" in the form of the plumbing and the boom to offload fuel. That means higher fuel burns and reduced payload. The A330F wouldn't have that problem (neither would any converted passenger aircraft into cargo aircraft)

2. The KC-45 is going to be millions more per frame to procure than an A330F because of all the R+D costs that went into the KC-45 (spread over fewer frames) and all of the specialized equipment put on the aircraft.

3. You put a lot of cycles and hours and high weights (take offs and landings) on your KC-45s which will reduce the life span of the frame. These aircraft cost $150 million each and if we want them to last as long as the KC-135s than they are going to need down time and not be constantly flying. Otherwise our $40 billion + investment will be junk in 20 years.

4. The KC-45 can either be a great cargo aircraft or a great tanker, but not both at the same time and in order for 179 aircraft to cover all the tanker missions and relieve the C-5, C-17, and C-130 it would really need to be able to haul a significant amount of cargo (like the 170,000 lbs the C-17 can) and carry 200,000 lbs of gas (like the KC-135Rs can today). The KC-45 can do roughly 250,000 lbs of payload, (fuel, cargo, men etc.) not close enough to do what NG has advertised it to do (same with the KC-767 but since it wasn't selected we'll leave it out). So we would have to buy more $150 million tankers to cover the cargo missions. Why do that when you could convert old airplanes to cargo aircraft (for 25-30% of the cost) or buy new A330Fs for millions less. (Or another cargo aircraft)

The point is that the KC-45 doesn't have the payload uplift to do both cargo and tanker missions at the same time (which might be difficult to do anyways considering the logistics) so why buy more of these expensive aircraft to haul boxes around when cheaper alternatives exist?
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:32 pm



Quoting Alien (Reply 360):
Those studies indicated that the Air Force needed a medium size tanker with similar fuel offload capability as the KC-135 and with enhanced cargo carrying capability.

The only official study on aircraft size that was used in this competition was the RAND Project Air Force AoA for the KC-135 and it did not say "medium" only. It said a range of medium to large aircraft were acceptable (300,000 lbs - 1,000,000 lbs. MTOW). It is an unfortunate misunderstanding that has been caused by those who have been aggressively promoting the "right sized" KC-767 for several years. BTW....the AoA also categorizes the A330 as a medium sized aircraft.

Here is the Executive Summary of the AoA which is the only public version of the report.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2006/RAND_MG495.pdf
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:42 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 357):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 349):
the the USAF has a number of options here from increasing the number of peacetime airlift charter ops that are cheaper than a new cargo/tanker airplane, from increasing the number and types of wet lease charter freighter ops, to recommissioning cargo aircraft from AMARC, to buying and converting used aircraft to frighters, to simply buying new build commerical model freighters.

Of the listed options (very nice and comprehensive) you forgot the most obvious and cheapest, the bright way for the future, ... a new tanker fleet that at the same time supports the bullet-and-cargo cargo role better (more efficient) than anything else!!

Thank you, but I did mention ops that were cheaper than a new tanker/cargo airplane.

Quoting Moo (Reply 358):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 355):
Well, that is one opinion, one that has no logic or intelligence behind it.

Oh well, I guess that ends the discussion entirely then. I obviously have no logic or intelligence in my opinion according to you, so therefor your opinion must be the over ruling one.

Thank you for finally agreeing with me and others here, now let's get back onto the topic.

Quoting Moo (Reply 358):
67 Britons died in the WTC attacks, which my Government is also using as an excuse to bring in fairly significant restrictions and take certain stances against other countries.

And you forget that Britain has a 50 year history of terrorism thanks to the IRA, its not a new thing to affect the world in the past decade.

In the WTC there were people from over 80 countries, including the UK, that died. No, I did not forget the terrorists from Northern Ireland, infact England has been dealing with the IRA since the 1920s, or longer.

Quoting Moo (Reply 358):
Actually my comment is a commonly held view - the US is using the 9/11 attacks purely as an excuse for many other acts they wish to undertake.

Perhaps, but commonly held views and reality usually are not the same thing.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 359):
Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 357):
We have many voices here knowing better what the USAF wants and needs than the USAF. I mean with the KC45 selection the USAF brought so much troubles for themselves that they obviously really wanted that plane. They must see some huge benefits otherwise why worry, take the weaker offer and everbody would be happy, no complaints!

There would be a ton of complaints from congressional delegates in the gulf coast and Southern California (HQ of NG). NG has a very powerful lobby in congress and McCain on their side as well.

Actually, McCain has never taken the KC-30 or KC-767 side. All he insisted on was a compitition to get away from the non-compitition 2002 tanker lease deal.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 359):
The fact of the matter is that 179 KC-45s aren't enough to cover the tanker missions and relieve the nearly 300 strong C-17 and C-5 fleet (not to mention the C-130 fleet)

The KC-X program is not, nor ever was intended to relieve anything from the C-5, C-17, or C-130 fleet. It is intended to replace the 157 KC-135E fleet, and add additional refueling capability.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 359):
Here are your options listed from least expensive to most:



Quoting NorCal (Reply 359):
2. Buy a fleet of A330Fs and dedicate them to flying C-17, C-5, and C-130 relief missions. You can then reserve your 179 tankers for refueling missions instead of putting cycles and hours on them hauling boxes.

Well then why not buy an even more capable freighter, that can carry more weight, cubes, and better range, like the B-747-8F or B-777-200LRF?

Quoting NorCal (Reply 359):
4. Buy enough KC-45s to replace the KC-135s and relieve the C-17, C-5, and C-130 fleet. The 179 we have now can't do this now despite the NG propaganda (the KC-767 couldn't do it either despite the Boeing propaganda, but we'll focus on the KC-45 since it was selected).

The 179 tanker buy is the first of three seperate programs (KC-X, KC-Y, & KC-Z) to replace all KC-135Es (KC-X, 179 airplanes), then all KC-10As and some older KC-135Rs/Ts (KC-Y, up to 200 airplanes), and finally all remaining KC-135Rs/Ts (KC-Z, unknown number of airplanes). This has nothing to do with seperate programs that are future plans to address the C-130E/H/Js, C-5 A/B/Ms, and later the C-17A/ER/B{?}).
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:48 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 366):
The KC-X program is not, nor ever was intended to relieve anything from the C-5, C-17, or C-130 fleet. It is intended to replace the 157 KC-135E fleet, and add additional refueling capability.

I think NG (and a lot of the pro KC-45 crowd) is trying to promote the notion that the KC-45 will relieve the C-5, C-17, and C-130 in a meaningful manner. It might fool congress and the public into thinking we are getting a 2-1 deal, but the reality is that the KC-45 can't do both missions at the same time. No number of power point presentations and pretty pictures will change the fact that the KC-45 only has a 250,000 lbs payload while the KC-135R and C-17 have 200,000 and 170,000 lbs payloads respectively. The math just doesn't add up to w

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 366):
Well then why not buy an even more capable freighter, that can carry more weight, cubes, and better range, like the B-747-8F or B-777-200LRF?

The argument could be made that an A330F would be better since it would maintain commonality with the KC-45, however the 747 and 777 would also be great candidates as well. I still think the best choice is converting old passenger aircraft into cargo carriers to do the missions the C-5, C-17s, and C-130s weren't meant to do.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 366):
The 179 tanker buy is the first of three sesperate programs (KC-X, KC-Y, & KC-Z) to replace all KC-135Es (KC-X, 179 airplanes), then all KC-10As and some older KC-135Rs/Ts (KC-Y, up to 200 airplanes), and finally all remaining KC-135Rs/Ts (KC-Z, unknown number of airplanes). This has nothing to do with separate programs that are future plans to address the C-130E/H/Js, C-5 A/B/Ms, and later the C-17A/ER/B{?}).

I'm just addressing the false notion that the KC-45 can somehow replace all the KC-135Es and significantly relieve the C-5, C-17, and C-130 fleets. The KC-45 isn't capable of doing both missions at the same time and there aren't enough of them being purchased to do both missions.

Basically the whole notion of multi-role/multi-mission tankers smells like BS to me. They aren't buying enough KC-45s to do all the things that NG would have you believe.

Note: I'm not debating the choice of the KC-45, nor am I saying that the KC-767 should have been chosen. I'm just saying that it is impossible for the USAF to do everything that are in the fancy slide shows that NG puts out with just 179 KC-45s. Most of them are going to be tied up doing the primary mission. The ones that are available shouldn't be abused by hauling boxes during down time. They won't last the 40+ years they are supposed to if we abuse them in that manner.
 
Alien
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:03 pm

The air force had literally hundreds of bombers at one time and this required many tankers to support them on their missions. Since the Air Force now has far fewer bombers do they really need to have 500+ tankers? Could this scope creep be because the Air Force recognizes the reduced tanking need and is now looking for another reason to justify such a large fleet? I am not saying this is fact, just a question.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:05 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 366):
Well then why not buy an even more capable freighter, that can carry more weight, cubes, and better range, like the B-747-8F or B-777-200LRF?

The KC30 better because it can do more then the KC767, so why not drag in the biggest available aircraft? Sounds like willingly blind simplification to me. Somewhere in the previous 300 posts you can find weights, prices, development times and 7000 ft runway requirements, but you know this already.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 367):
I'm just addressing the false notion that the KC-45 can somehow replace all the KC-135Es and significantly relieve the C-5, C-17, and C-130 fleets. The KC-45 isn't capable of doing both missions at the same time and there aren't enough of them being purchased to do both missions.

Who says / thinks it can do / has to do both missions at the same time? who? any reference? It can do both in a superior way without reconfiguration. That's what counts and of course that's a good idea.
 
gsosbee
Posts: 365
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:45 pm

We seem now to be recovering the same ground.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 367):
I think NG (and a lot of the pro KC-45 crowd) is trying to promote the notion that the KC-45 will relieve the C-5, C-17, and C-130 in a meaningful manner. It might fool congress and the public into thinking we are getting a 2-1 deal, but the reality is that the KC-45 can't do both missions at the same time. No number of power point presentations and pretty pictures will change the fact that the KC-45 only has a 250,000 lbs payload while the KC-135R and C-17 have 200,000 and 170,000 lbs payloads respectively. The math just doesn't add up

We really do not know what is attracting the Air Force to a multi-mission airplane. Perhaps sometime before the first one is accepted we will be presented with a new mission statement.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 367):
The argument could be made that an A330F would be better since it would maintain commonality with the KC-45, however the 747 and 777 would also be great candidates as well. I still think the best choice is converting old passenger aircraft into cargo carriers to do the missions the C-5, C-17s, and C-130s weren't meant to do.

The 777 is not classed as a "medium" airplane by the Rand study. A 74 derivative for the KC-X would be interesting.
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:48 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
The KC30 better because it can do more then the KC767

I tend to agree

Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
so why not drag in the biggest available aircraft?

Using the same argument above - I agree the USAF should have asked for that. The 747 comes to my mind.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
Sounds like willingly blind simplification to me

On the surface maybe - but in reality its not. Bigger is better in this competition.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
Somewhere in the previous 300 posts you can find weights

Yes, any commercial aircraft in the AoA from the 300,000 to 1,000,000 lb MTOW is an acceptable KC-X platform.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
prices

Just like the KC-30, price is not the only issue, capability is important when factored against the price. Bigger is better.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
development times

This was a failing of the just competed RFP and the USAF may not have allowed a reasonable amount of development time. I believe that if it takes a little longer so the warfighter and taxpayer truly get the best platform, then we should wait.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
7000 ft runway requirements

I believe this 7,000 ft runway (MTOW) requirement is a desired objective and not a mandatory threshold item. The 777 and 747 can lift more fuel (payload) off a 7,000 runway than either the KC-767 or KC-30.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
but you know this already

Some do and others may not.

Quoting Alien (Reply 368):
The air force had literally hundreds of bombers at one time and this required many tankers to support them on their missions. Since the Air Force now has far fewer bombers do they really need to have 500+ tankers? Could this scope creep be because the Air Force recognizes the reduced tanking need and is now looking for another reason to justify such a large fleet? I am not saying this is fact, just a question.

I have wondered the same thing. Keep in mind the KC-X is supposed to last 40 years. Anyone want to venture what the state of aviation and aerospace technology will be like in 20 or 40 years? I suspect that there will be less of a need for air tankers because of UAV's with more efficient engines (using batteries, solar power etc).
 
silentbob
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:33 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 366):
In the WTC there were people from over 80 countries, including the UK, that died. No, I did not forget the terrorists from Northern Ireland, infact England has been dealing with the IRA since the 1920s, or longer.

Things like that happen when you occupy a foreign country, though the acts committed against an occupying force aren't terrorism by definition.
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:37 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 369):
Who says / thinks it can do / has to do both missions at the same time? who? any reference? It can do both in a superior way without reconfiguration. That's what counts and of course that's a good idea.

The idea that it is going to relieve or even make a noticeable dent in the workload of a nearly 300 strong C-5 and C-17 fleet (I'm not even counting the C-130 missions) is just ridiculous. 179 tankers aren't enough to cover the primary mission of fuel offload and offer serious relief for the cargo aircrafts. The KC-45 couldn't make a significant contribution even if we flew these aircraft constantly only allowing for required maintenance. There simply wouldn't be enough spare aircraft after you account for the ones required for tanker missions, training missions, maintenance, and spares for emergencies. If we were to fly our $150 million tankers like this they wouldn't last the 40 years we purchased them for. That seems like a waste of an expensive asset. I don't see the point and don't buy into the hype of the multi-mission platform.

The cold war is over and the USAF doesn't have unlimited funds like it has in the past. I think they have and are going to continue to highlight the multi-mission side of the KC-45 but when they finally get them they will fly them as tankers only because it makes sense for the longevity of the KC-45. Even if they never left a tanker sitting around and constantly flew them there wouldn't be enough of them to make a noticeable difference in the cargo missions. I'm not buying the hype, that is what I am saying.

If one of the USAF's goals is to relieve the cargo fleet then this isn't the best way. (I've already gone over this numerous times and won't repeat it). The multi-mission sales pitch is the best way to sell it to congress and the tax payer. My arguments are no longer about KC-767 vs. KC-45, in fact if you'll notice I said a better option than the KC-45 for cargo missions would be a fleet of A330Fs (not the only option or the best, but better than using KC-45s)



BTW you have referenced in this thread that the KC-45 could do both missions at the same time. You mentioned the KC-45 could drag fighters and haul freight across the Atlantic. However a single KC-45 doesn't have the payload to drag those fighters and relieve a C-17. There also wouldn't be enough spare KC-45s lying around to make a significant difference either.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:38 am



Quoting NorCal (Reply 373):
The idea that it is going to relieve or even make a noticeable dent in the workload of a nearly 300 strong C-5 and C-17 fleet (I'm not even counting the C-130 missions) is just ridiculous.

Yes it will. KC135s are made to last 39.000 hrs, A330s 100.000. The USAF is planning to use KC-X (whatever it becomes for serious cargo operations. I don't understand the denial.

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..



Quoting NorCal (Reply 373):
BTW you have referenced in this thread that the KC-45 could do both missions at the same time. You mentioned the KC-45 could drag fighters and haul freight across the Atlantic.

Pls read better:

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

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

Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:28 am



Quoting NorCal (Reply 364):
I believe changing the E's to R's and converting old passenger aircraft into freighters for the cargo missions is the cheapest option. My only point in bringing up the A330F up is that it illustrates that pretty much any dedicated cargo aircraft is going to be cheaper to operate than a KC-45 flying the same cargo mission.

It is sure cheaper. As you say some of the efficiency is lost because the tanker overhead. But not to ignore: you have a much smaller fleet. To make a bold statement I say it like that: Dedicated fleets -> double fleet size, Multirole planes -> half the fleet size.
Of course in reality this will never work but it could work out like this:
- Say in 30 years when all KC135 are replaced the tanker fleet will be around 500 but each tanker is a multi role plane. 150 of these could easily overtake a large portion of bean-and-bullet cargo without outwearing or compromising the tanker op. Along with such a strategy come huge savings.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 364):
3. You put a lot of cycles and hours and high weights (take offs and landings) on your KC-45s which will reduce the life span of the frame. These aircraft cost $150 million each and if we want them to last as long as the KC-135s than they are going to need down time and not be constantly flying. Otherwise our $40 billion + investment will be junk in 20 years.

If the life of the KC-135 can be extended significantly what does that mean regarding life span? IMO they must have been under-used. There is more than enough life in such frames. If permanently used that may lead to earlier replacement but the constant savings should pay off.
I mean, how can not using an asset be cost efficient? You can't lengthen its life span beyond certain duration. It is always cheaper to make heavy use of equipment even if it means shorter life cycles. Imagine an airline that says: "We aim for load factors of 5% because that allows us to lengthen the life of the fleet nearly infinite". If you must replace planes after 30 years because they "have been used" you can be sure that this was a worthy investment.

Quoting Alien (Reply 368):
The air force had literally hundreds of bombers at one time and this required many tankers to support them on their missions. Since the Air Force now has far fewer bombers do they really need to have 500+ tankers? Could this scope creep be because the Air Force recognizes the reduced tanking need and is now looking for another reason to justify such a large fleet? I am not saying this is fact, just a question.

IMO very valid considerations.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 373):
The cold war is over and the USAF doesn't have unlimited funds like it has in the past.

In the light of this it is almost ridiculous that you promote doubled fleets (hundreds dedicated tankers + hundreds dedicated cargo planes an be it chartered ones).

Why was multi-role a good idea for fighters + bombers but for tankers + cargo it should not work? The USN even combines the bomber + tanker role. These bomber tankers are absent for their bomber duties too while tanking.
 
art
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:28 am



Quoting Alien (Reply 360):
... it really makes you wonder why the US has provided the UK with so many economic opportunities such as joint production of JSF and possibly this tanker contract to the expense of our own industry.

I don't think that the UK would have become involved in production of JSF on the basis of the US doing the UK a favour. I guess the arrangement was seen as being mutually beneficial. One can argue whether that arrangement results in an equitable split of the benefits so accruing.

The purpose of the tanker contract is to enable the USAF to refuel aircraft. Whose industry provides that capability is either of secondary consideration or of no consideration at all. IIRC the tanker selection criteria exclude consideration of industrial benefit.
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:48 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 374):
Yes it will. KC135s are made to last 39.000 hrs, A330s 100.000. The USAF is planning to use KC-X (whatever it becomes for serious cargo operations. I don't understand the denial.

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..

This proves my point actually. Why do we buy $150 million tankers to fly a bunch of missions that wear them out prematurely? Flying them 5,000 hours a year and wearing them out in 20 years doesn't make sense to me, here's why.

So you fly your $27 billion assets 100% of the time and now they only last 20 years instead of the 40-50 years that they could. You now have to go through another 5-10 year bid process to buy another set of $27 billion assets to get you through the next 20 years. This doesn't even add on the costs of the billions in R+D costs to design a new tanker.

Total cost= $54 billion

You could have purchased 180 converted cargo aircraft (if this many is even needed to relieve the C-5 and C-17 fleet) for $7.2 billion and fly those on cargo missions. Even if they only last 20 years you can still purchase 180 more for $7.2 billion. Your tankers now last for 40-50 years. The reason the KC-135s lasted so long is that they did sit idle most of the time and were built like tanks.

Total cost= $41.4 billion. You save $12.6 billion over 40 years. That is a lot of money to make up with the fuel efficiency and lower mx costs of your tankers. Also take into consideration that we probably wouldn't need to buy 180 converted cargo aircraft to cover the long flights hauling bullets that the C-17s don't need to be doing. You could probably do it with less than 100 converted passenger aircraft.

I've been really generous to the KC-45 in the above example for the benefit of the doubt. Even if you buy 180 converted cargo aircraft, a ridiculously high number, it is still a lot cheaper

Even buying a small fleet of A330Fs would be better than abusing the KC-45s and wearing them out in 20 years. You could use the same crews, same parts, same equipment etc. You also would get more uplift, more payload, and more efficiency per cargo mission than a KC-45.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 375):
Say in 30 years when all KC135 are replaced the tanker fleet will be around 500 but each tanker is a multi role plane. 150 of these could easily overtake a large portion of bean-and-bullet cargo without outwearing or compromising the tanker op. Along with such a strategy come huge savings.

So why do we eventually buy 500 $150 million tanker aircraft when a combined fleet of 500 cheaper cargo aircraft and tankers could cover all the multi-role missions?

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 375):
If the life of the KC-135 can be extended significantly what does that mean regarding life span? IMO they must have been under-used.

That means an expensive asset wasn't abused flying missions it wasn't designed to do, and consequently it has lasted in the fleet since 1956. Why wear out the KC-45 in 20 years and spend billions more dollars and go through the whole headache of another RFP to replace them in 20 years? Why not use them less and have them last 40-50+ years?

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 375):
In the light of this it is almost ridiculous that you promote doubled fleets (hundreds dedicated tankers + hundreds dedicated cargo planes an be it chartered ones).

First of all you are never going to get away from chartered flights. There is simply too much stuff to move during a surge to do it with current or planned uplift.

Tell me how wearing out $35 billion worth of assets (tanker cost + R and D) in 20 years is less expensive? The USAF has been trying to get new tankers since 2001. I seriously doubt that the next round of procurement is going to be any easier or cheaper.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 375):
Why was multi-role a good idea for fighters + bombers but for tankers + cargo it should not work? The USN even combines the bomber + tanker role. These bomber tankers are absent for their bomber duties too while tanking.

I don't think multi-role is a good idea because you end up with compromised aircraft. Do you think it would have been a good idea to cancel the F-22 and purchased more F-35s? Do you think the F-18 for F-14D swap was good?

BTW the only reason the USN has their own tanker is so that they don't have to rely on the USAF all the time. That is a big pride issue of not having to rely on the USAF and less of a practical solution.
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:42 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 377):
You could have purchased 180 converted cargo aircraft (if this many is even needed to relieve the C-5 and C-17 fleet) for $7.2 billion and fly those on cargo missions. Even if they only last 20 years you can still purchase 180 more for $7.2 billion.

I can follow your line of reasoning very well. You argue plausible but I am still not convinced.
If you take old heavy used passenger planes (> 20 years) for conversion to use them another 20 years you will end up with frames having 40 years of heavy usage. Why should a new tanker/freighter not offer 40 or more years of heavy usage?
I think aircrafts are so rigid that they would last 100 years if only used as tanker (see KC135). Much longer than you would want such a relict of past times in the fleet anyway. Pure tankers never wear out. So why not use them? After the time you would prefer to not have them any longer you can put them to rest and say "they were ready as tanker and served well the rest of the time".
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:53 pm

If you want to fly A KC30 for 100 years, you can still use them 1000 hrs per year, more then twice us much as KC-135, thru multitask and with much less maintenance.

If you want to use them 5000 hrs per year for 20 years, man you would only need 60 to replace the complete KC135 fleet.

So much for using irrealistic extremes. I hope it's clear that a smart use of multi task aircraft opens new opportunities, just like the DOD, USAF and most other airforces think.

Many single role aircraft become too expense to operate for complex operations.

Both KC767 and KC30 do much better meet todays requirements then the old KC135s.

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

Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:27 pm



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 378):
Why should a new tanker/freighter not offer 40 or more years of heavy usage?

Flying them 5,000 hours a year and destroying them in 20 years doesn't make sense. Why not fly them 2,500 hours a year or less and get a lot more life out of them. They would still have 5x the use of the KC-135 fleet and last 40 years.

If the plan is to fly the KC-30s for 5,000 hours a year to cover the tanker missions and relieve the cargo fleet than that doesn't make sense to me. Fly them for half that and get a long life out of them and avoid another painful RFP we have just gone through. Instead use converted cargo aircraft or buy new A330Fs from the same line that the tankers are rolling off of to make up for the difference.

That way they last a long time, saving the U.S. taxpayer billions, and they are available more often to be tankers. Maybe with the decreased maintenance time that the 179 KC-30 fleet offers we will be able to put enough up in the air at any time to cover the KC-135 fleet now. That would be preferable than buying the necessary number of tankers to cover the tanker missions and the cargo ones and replace them in 20 years when they wear out.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 378):
Much longer than you would want such a relict of past times in the fleet anyway.

A 100 years would be rather ridiculous, but 40 isn't unreasonable.

Is it cheaper to go through another $35 billion contract in 20 years then to keep the KC-30s flying for 40 years? Gas costs a lot, but that is a lot to make up for a new tanker program vs. the KC-45.

Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 378):
Pure tankers never wear out

not true, all metal aircraft will wear out. CFRP aircraft like the A350 and 787 won't, but metal aircraft will.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 379):
If you want to use them 5000 hrs per year for 20 years, man you would only need 60 to replace the complete KC135 fleet.

While the USAF won't need the 500 KC-135s it had in the cold war you still need a certain number of booms available in the air at any one time. The KC-45 hasn't sprouted extra booms and even the brand new F-22 and F-35 don't use the hose/drogue assembly. A boom is a boom and having less of them is a problem, which is why we are going to buy 179 KC-30s to replace a similar number of KC-135s. While on paper you could buy less KC-30s and have the same amount of fuel capacity you actually lose capabilities by having less booms available.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:07 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 380):
While the USAF won't need the 500 KC-135s it had in the cold war you still need a certain number of booms available in the air at any one time. The KC-45 hasn't sprouted extra booms and even the brand new F-22 and F-35 don't use the hose/drogue assembly. A boom is a boom and having less of them is a problem, which is why we are going to buy 179 KC-30s to replace a similar number of KC-135s. While on paper you could buy less KC-30s and have the same amount of fuel capacity you actually lose capabilities by having less booms available.

Agreed of course. Smart inbetween compromises will be worked out by / for the USAF, increasing capability / flexibility and working out an optimized fleet mix / distribution.
 
TropicBird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:30 pm

The KC-X aircraft is supposed to have a minimum reliability rate of 90% which means more of them will be available to fly at any one time over the aircraft its replacing such as the KC-135E. The C-5 which has a poor reliability rate at less than 50% - is a prime example of this problem. The DOD is spending billions of dollars to get its reliability rate up to around 75% for the C-5M. Based on experience - commercial aircraft (such as 767, A330 etc) are designed to fly and not sit on the ground for long periods. When they sit around then things start to leak (seals dry up etc.) This in turns leads to the aircraft being grounded for an inspection and now you have a poor reliability rate. Its a vicious circle.

I suspect that if the USAF flew their C-5 aircraft more often - they would get a better reliability rate. A low reliability rate simply means more aircraft are needed to meet the needs of the Service. Not very efficient. That is why less (and larger) KC-X aircraft could still meet the USAF deployment requirements. True it's about booms in the air - but procuring less airframes does not mean less booms are available if the aircraft is more reliable then the aircraft it's replacing and that is what the USAF is looking for and expecting.

Boeing on the other hand wants to offer the USAF a "right sized" plane so they can sell more airframes and make more money. Their motivation is making money for the stockholder and not helping the warfighter or taxpayer. I suspect NG/EADS is not far behind. The DOD and Congress are supposed to oversee the process and make sure its fair and in the best interest of the federal government - but that's not likely (so far).

I do have a question - would it be difficult to add the A340, 787, 777, and 747 to the famous spider chart? Any volunteers?
 
norcal
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:22 pm



Quoting TropicBird (Reply 382):
True it's about booms in the air - but procuring less airframes does not mean less booms are available if the aircraft is more reliable then the aircraft it's replacing and that is what the USAF is looking for and expecting.

I don't care how else the USAF wants to use the KC-45 as long as we maintain our current and projected strategic tanker abilities with the KC-45 and they last for 40 years. I just don't want to hear a story on the news about a fighter pilot being forced to ditch because all available spare tankers were flying cargo missions. I also don't want to see them worn out in 20 years because they are constantly flying. The KC-X process has been painful enough and I don't think anyone wants to go back through that so soon.

If the USAF wants to relieve C-17s, C-5s, and C-130s to do tactical lift missions and outsize cargo then convert passenger aircraft into freighters or buy A330Fs from the same line the KC-45s are coming off of to cover that role. Either way, it is cheaper than buying more KC-45s to cover both the cargo and tanker missions.
 
rwessel
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:50 pm



Quoting NorCal (Reply 377):
Flying them 5,000 hours a year and wearing them out in 20 years doesn't make sense to me

Errr... 5000hrs/yr is something like 13.7 hours per day. Every single day.
 
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keesje
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:33 pm



Quoting Rwessel (Reply 384):
Errr... 5000hrs/yr is something like 13.7 hours per day. Every single day.

That is true, modern airliners are more in the air then on the ground during their life time, including light and heavy maintenance. Heavy checks every 25.000-40.000 hrs. With availability >98-99%. I think the first KC-135 is still years away from 40.000 hrs.

A completely different league compared to fifties/ sixties aircraft.
 
Blackbird
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:38 pm

Rwessel,

That sounds about right... keep in mind they're flying in circles all day refuelling everything that comes their way, whether it be fighter-plane, bomber, another tanker, and such (not sure if drones are refuel capable), or being refueled by another tanker periodically.


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

Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:29 pm



Quoting Blackbird (Reply 386):
That sounds about right... keep in mind they're flying in circles all day refuelling everything that comes their way, whether it be fighter-plane, bomber, another tanker, and such (not sure if drones are refuel capable), or being refueled by another tanker periodically.

No it doesn't. There is just no rational basis for assuming that kind of utilization (5000hrs/yr) for military tankers or transports.

It's hard to find *any* aircraft with that kind of utilization. A few long haul airliners early in their careers are about it.

The existing KC-135 fleet has been showing utilization closer to 400 hours per year (average - they're showing a bit more at the moment). Even the C-17s, whose usage is considered to be considerably heavier than planned, are seeing less than 1500 hours per year. (That's an estimate based on some figures I had easy access too, and should be rather on the high side – it’s probably closer to 1000, perhaps someone with access to better figure can chime in).
 
rheinwaldner
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:39 am



Quoting NorCal (Reply 380):
If the plan is to fly the KC-30s for 5,000 hours a year to cover the tanker missions and relieve the cargo fleet than that doesn't make sense to me. Fly them for half that and get a long life out of them and avoid another painful RFP we have just gone through. Instead use converted cargo aircraft or buy new A330Fs from the same line that the tankers are rolling off of to make up for the difference.

You didn't answer my concerns why converted aircrafts shall reach 40 years (20 years before conversion and 20 years after) of heavy usage and new tankers not. Thus your total cost calculation from post 377 is flawed.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 383):
I also don't want to see them worn out in 20 years because they are constantly flying.

Other posters described why no military plane will ever be worn out after 20 years. The yearly usage that would lead to such a short life can hardly ever be achieved with a military plane.
I still believe a better picture is that pure tankers could life so long that it is better to apply an appropriate usage. That brings down the lifespan to the 40-50 years you don't want to exceed anyway. As a pure tanker the KC45 would last 200 years. Stupid to not take advantage of having such assets standing around.

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 382):
The KC-X aircraft is supposed to have a minimum reliability rate of 90% which means more of them will be available to fly at any one time over the aircraft its replacing such as the KC-135E. The C-5 which has a poor reliability rate at less than 50% - is a prime example of this problem. The DOD is spending billions of dollars to get its reliability rate up to around 75% for the C-5M. Based on experience - commercial aircraft (such as 767, A330 etc) are designed to fly and not sit on the ground for long periods. When they sit around then things start to leak (seals dry up etc.) This in turns leads to the aircraft being grounded for an inspection and now you have a poor reliability rate. Its a vicious circle.

New aspects pop up... The case for multi-role aircraft gets uplift.
Any tanker that you can buy today or in the future is a modified commercial aircraft. If I interpret this post you can say that all new tankers should experience a certain utilization rate other wise they would not live longer but shorter (+ cost more maintenance).

These passenger planes are made to be moved. If you park them they suffer. Higher possibility that they fail to be dispatched when some fighters long for their boom.

IMO this is a strong argument to apply a decent load of usage. Why not for bean-and-bullet tasks?

Quoting NorCal (Reply 380):
Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 378):
Pure tankers never wear out

not true, all metal aircraft will wear out. CFRP aircraft like the A350 and 787 won't, but metal aircraft will.

You are right of course, I exaggerated. "Pure tankers never wear out" is literally wrong but not practically. Sad and stupid if the metal corrosion ends a plane's life before the possible flight hours have been completed.
 
redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:24 pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned comments by USAF Gen. Lichte that have been making the news rounds for the past 24 hours.

Quote:
Gen. Arthur Lichte, who runs Air Mobility Command, told reporters that either aircraft offered by the Boeing Co. or Northrop Grumman Corp. were capable of the mission ...

"I don't care which tanker wins," said Lichte.



http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080904/BIZ/709049904/1005

Perhaps the superiority of one airframe over another are not as great as some would have us otherwise believe.
 
gsosbee
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:40 am

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

Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:44 pm

Unfortunately the Herald article didn't carry the entire interview. The Air Force Association is reporting that he went onto to indicate that if it takes a split buy, then the Air Force would live with that even with all of the negatives. He went on to say he would view a split buy as bringing forward the KC-Y airplane.

(The AFA Daily Report is a daily copyrighted email and isn't linked so I don't cannot post a link or the comments.)
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

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

Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:37 pm

This link is from the AFA web-site for Sept. 4. To read it after the 4th -- I believe you will need to look for it in the Daily Report Archive section.

http://www.airforce-magazine.com/Pages/default.aspx
 
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scbriml
Posts: 20111
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

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

Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:50 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 389):
Perhaps the superiority of one airframe over another are not as great as some would have us otherwise believe.

Would you really expect him to state a preference? At this stage of the process?  no 
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

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

Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:02 pm

This link may require a sign-in but this why I do not believe buying an air tanker that cannot haul lots of fuel over a very long distance is such a good idea at this time (i.e the medium size 767 or A330). The forward basing concept is susceptible to these sort of changes and a A340, 777 or 747 tanker makes that need to be forward based unnecessary.


Ecuador Giving U.S. Air Base the Boot
Prevailing Nationalism, Investment From Elsewhere Make American Presence Obsolete

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2008/09/03/AR2008090303289.html
 
redflyer
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RE: KC-X Tanker Rebid Starts Wednesday 8-6-2008

Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:25 pm



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 392):
Would you really expect him to state a preference? At this stage of the process?

Yes, I would. I expect those in high rank in the military who literally make life-and-death decisions to speak very clearly about military requirements. For the most part they do, which is why we have a military capability that is far beyond the next most capable and adversarial military organization. And I would think the revised RFP reflects our military planners' true desire since it specifically tags more credit to a platform that can carry more fuel. So if more fuel load is really a true desire from a military planning perspective, then he should say as much. Otherwise, he will open himself and the entire USAF command structure up to second-guessing by politicos (more than what's already happened of late).

I will say this much: protests are part and parcel of EVERY military contract; more so when the stakes ($$) are high. So that is a fact of government procurement. There will be no way to avoid the protests so I'm not really sure why he is whining about them. What he and others should be more concerned about is how to move forward with this process and keep the protests to a minimum AND at the same time minimize the political influence. We can't change the past with regards to this KC-X procurement process. What can be done is move forward in the most efficient way. So let's assume the USAF wants more fuel capability in KC-X (which from all indications they do). They can publicly state so and hold firm on the current timeline. But if Boeing leaves there will be great political ramifications. The alternative is to afford more time so that Boeing can offer up a larger airframe. That will drag the process out longer, but it will lessen the political fallout. Regardless of either option, there WILL BE a protest by the losing manufacturer. They need to take that into account. It's as simple as that. But in the end, the USAF WILL get the capability they want from either manufacturer.
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

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

Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:03 pm

The RFP has been delayed again to next week or longer. Politics are at work here.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/...least-another-week-2008-09-04.html
 
bennett123
Posts: 10866
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

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

Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:05 pm

Assuming that the RFP is issued next week, how soon would bids need to be submitted.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 26691
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

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

Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:10 am

Most interesting quote for me:

Air Force general urges decision on $35 billion refueling tanker contract


Quote:
Boeing has threatened to exit the competition if it does not receive an additional four months from the Pentagon to assemble its offer. The company also has said it would consider protesting the final request for bids.

So, Boeing may have yet one more bite at the apple?
 
Ken777
Posts: 10194
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

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

Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:49 am

The AF has shown that it wants a plane that is different than the one presented in the original RFP.

The problem is that they played unfair, unethical and maybe illegal games in order to get their new desires procured without going through a new RFP. They got caught by the GAO big time and the appearance of their actions is not something that any good officer would want tied to his name.

While there is a mad rush to get a contract signed before Bush leaves office it might be wise to slow down and fully define what they want. It might actually be the KC-Y that is needed first. Might be a larger plane to maximize the pax/freight benefits.

I'm starting to think that the time rush is more important than doing the job properly. I'd rather they wait until there is a matured new definition of their desires and give both companies time to put up the best plane (or planes) that meets those new definitions.
 
redflyer
Posts: 3910
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:30 am

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

Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:28 am



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 398):
While there is a mad rush to get a contract signed before Bush leaves office

I think the reason there is a mad rush is because they're smart (to a point) and they know the Bushies are more amenable to foreign trade. I also believe NG/EADS has more Republican representatives pushing their cause while Boeing has more Democratic sponsors. And if the polls are to be believed (and I'm not saying the shouldn't be), the Dems will not only gain seats in both houses of Congress in November, but they stand a good chance of winning the White House as well. Therefore, if the USAF really wants a larger tanker faster, and since the NG/EADS offering is the only viable option if they do, they are wise to try to push this through as quickly as possible.

However, with the conventions all wrapped up now and the presidential campaign in full swing, I predict this RFP is not going to move forward before January 20, 2009. At this point, it will become too much of a hot potato for anyone in the heat of a major political season. Watch for the next announcement by the USAF stating that the RFP is on hold until the next administration takes office.
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