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RE: GAO: New C-5 Cost Estimates

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:49 am
by Galaxy5007


Quoting Flighty (Reply 49):
The military does not have final say on major aircraft procurements, though. It is a political decision with military input.

True, but without military input, the political decision would be knocked down fast. Then again, they did pass a $810B bailout package that has done nothing but cost the USA $810B. Even with the new administration coming in, I don't see them worrying about any C-5 replacement. As I've said before time and time again, the tanker project is No.1 priority. The C-17 procurment issue is only an issue because the line is either going to stay open for the US, or close for the US. The C-5 issue is only an issue because some political figures want more C-17s. In the end, they'll probably end up losing both. But that doesn't mean they are going to turn to the next C-5 replacement when they have a perfectly fine aircraft. It has its problems, but these reports coming out are blowing them completely out of proportion. The A-models are also doing better than 50% MC rate. If you exclude the structural problems that they are addressing horribly, the rate would be closer to the B-model rate of 65 to 70%. Since the latest TCTO on the TF-39s, the rates have gone up. Really no need to re-engine the A models, but some of the reliability upgrades from RERP still could be implemented.

I'd also like to note that I'm not against the 748 as a great plane, I am just against any 747 as a military transport that replaces the C-5. I suspect a new high wing aircraft with abilities of the C-5 will more than likely replace the C-5 20-30 years from now. Will it be necessary by then will be the question. The C-5 might be the one and only huge stategic military airlifter.

RE: GAO: New C-5 Cost Estimates

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:43 pm
by TropicBird


Quoting Seefivein (Reply 47):


Quoting TropicBird (Reply 46):
I have personally watched US Army vehicles loaded onto a 747-200F at Hickam AFB. They were driven through the Nose Cargo Door and onto pallets

What do the ramps cost that will raise heavy equipment to that height, how much more personal are needed for that job?

How much ramp equipment needed at each location for load and unload/

The cargo loading system in a 747 is run by an operator using a control panel. The system is semi-automated in that the remote-controlled wheels do most of the moving (the cargo in, out and around). One person on the panel and the other locking the cargo in (2 or 3 at the most depending on how fast they want to turn the aircraft. Regarding loaders they need one to raise the cargo up and another to bring the pallets to the aircraft. I am not sure of the cost for a loader but I read where a new Halvorson loader for the USAF was over a $1 million.

Even when using C-5 and C-17's the USAF uses various loaders for pallets.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 48):
Industry discount! Whatever! Boeing will get their money somehow, another way. By the time you add the cost of the military requirements to the aircraft, it'll be more than a C-17. We aren't talking about C-17s here anyways, we are talking about your precious 748.

Industry discounts are at least 45% for most favored customers. Don't you think the USAF would qualify for this? The current max list price for my 'precious' 747-8 is around $300 million. Subtract the 45% gets you to around $165 million ea. Then even allowing $35 million for militarization such as radios, air refueling receiver capability (already in use by the USAF for the 747 so there is little if any R&D) floor strengthening etc. and you end up at lets say--$200 million each. Thats around $76 million cheaper than a C-17 and it (748) can carry a lot more in payload/range.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 48):
Thats because there is no deadline from the US military. The military has no intention on acquiring the aircraft, which makes this argument useless.

They said that about the USAF selecting the KC-30.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 48):
I'd like to see the money to pay these civilian companies to fly civilian aircraft with no aerial defense systems into baghdad.

They wouldn't. The civilian pilots would fly the C-5's, C-17's, KC-10s, KC-135's and C-130's. Sort of like what the Blackwater types are now doing for security. You currently have civilians pilots on contracts flying military aircraft, even in harms way at times. Also don't forget that the USAF is considering civilian companies to do air refueling.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 48):
Have you ever maintained a C-5?

Nope, but I have friends who have and I have read enough on this site and others about its problems. You seem to believe I dislike the aircraft. I do not. But I think there are better ways to spend my tax dollars on more C-17's and upgrading (the RERP program). Retire the C-5A's and leave the C-5B's as is. If they need more lift and reliability, procure some 748's.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 48):
can't defend itself,

Actually it can. I believe the VC-25A (742) can and does. Besides new defensive technology is in actually use by FedEx and others. They just have to install it on the 748. You can read about it here.

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.mhtml?d=84296


Finally, some people are focused on the kneeling capabilities on the C-5. The C-17 can handle most of these needs and if not, they can retain the C-5C's. All I have been trying to say is that it is time to think outside the box on our airlift needs.

Happy New Year!

RE: GAO: New C-5 Cost Estimates

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:03 pm
by JohnM


Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 48):
I'd like to see the money to pay these civillian companies to fly civillian aircraft with no aerial defense systems into baghdad.

That has been going on for years. As late as 2006 Eastern European crews (ex commie) have been flying 727, DC-8, IL-76, AN-12, AN-26 aircraft all over Iraq, with no defensive systems. Just using smart tactics. The vast majority of our mail, parts, supplies were delivered this way. They flew and delivered pallets on the very worst of dust storm days, some days making multiple approaches to land (no ILS on the field). If we could get them C-5 qualified, I bet the airplane would have an on time rate in the high 90's. A plus is that they were English language handicapped, and this would limit the amount of BS write ups they could make.

After seeing some of the crazy approaches, I don't think they got paid unless cargo hit the ramp.

As far as getting our trucks, cargo and aircraft to Iraq, no AMC needed, we used mil sealift. No fuss, and our stuff got there when it was supposed to. AMC did a few token C-130 and C-17 flights a week to our base, but Comrade air did the real heavy lifting.

RE: GAO: New C-5 Cost Estimates

Posted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:13 pm
by zanl188


Quoting TropicBird (Reply 46):
I have personally watched US Army vehicles loaded onto a 747-200F at Hickam AFB. They were driven through the Nose Cargo Door and onto pallets.

Not only have I watched it... I've done it!! Pallets are required because the floor cannot handle the load....

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 46):
Now concerning the 747-8F or for that matter the formerly proposed USAF C-33 (747-400F). Boeing had proposed to strengthen the floor and widen the Side Cargo Door. They even put out a CG video showing an Army tank being loaded through the wider side door. The floor strengthening adds weight to the aircraft but it also increases its capability. Hope that helps to explain.

I'd like to see that video if you have a link....

RE: GAO: New C-5 Cost Estimates

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:16 am
by Galaxy5007


Quoting TropicBird (Reply 51):
Industry discounts are at least 45% for most favored customers. Don't you think the USAF would qualify for this? The current max list price for my 'precious' 747-8 is around $300 million. Subtract the 45% gets you to around $165 million ea. Then even allowing $35 million for militarization such as radios, air refueling receiver capability (already in use by the USAF for the 747 so there is little if any R&D) floor strengthening etc. and you end up at lets say--$200 million each. Thats around $76 million cheaper than a C-17 and it (748) can carry a lot more in payload/range.

I seriously doubt that Boeing would pay the USAF to buy the 748. I would say even if it was possible to have a 748F with the beefed up floors, radios, a/r, LAIRCM, ADS, and a kneeling system (which more than likely would require a new gear design) you are still looking well over 200 million. The C-17 at one point was only 200 million a piece. Times and money have changed, and I think its alot more expensive than what you have proposed, even with a discount.

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 51):
Actually it can. I believe the VC-25A (742) can and does.

Thats a pretty sorry excuse for a comparison. The VC-25 is specially modified, and is like no other 747. That thing has been modified with probably more than what the aircraft itself cost, in special equipment. Its sad that these days the commercial airliners are interested in the defensive systems like this though. Personally I think thats more of a waste of money than anything, but thats on the airlines to decide.

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 51):
Nope, but I have friends who have and I have read enough on this site and others about its problems. You seem to believe I dislike the aircraft. I do not. But I think there are better ways to spend my tax dollars on more C-17's and upgrading (the RERP program). Retire the C-5A's and leave the C-5B's as is. If they need more lift and reliability, procure some 748's.

All aircraft have problems. The C-5 has alot more stuff that can go wrong, and it does from time to time. Put the systems that are on the current A model onto a 747, and see how reliable it is. The C-5 simply needs the upgrades that RERP and a few others that are in the works provide. Leave the As alone after AMP and the required structural issues need to be addressed. The Bs are fine, and RERP will just make them better. No need for planes that won't be proven for another 3 years. The USAF already turned down the 744, the 748 isn't going to be that much different. If it can't do what a C-5 does, its not going to replace the C-5. If they want a pallet pusher, they'll contract it out, rather than have spoiled military pilots flying them. More cargo will get moved that way.

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 51):
The civilian pilots would fly the C-5's, C-17's, KC-10s, KC-135's and C-130's



Quoting JohnM (Reply 52):
If we could get them C-5 qualified, I bet the airplane would have an on time rate in the high 90's

I would have to agree on this point, especially with the C-5 qualifications. Thats a big problem with the C-5, is the pilots get tired of it quick, and they make BS writeups to keep them wherever they are. Sometimes they want to fly, other times they don't. Meanwhile MX management takes the heat, and it trickles down fast and demoralizes everyone. Solving the problem from the top in this situation would actually benefit the C-5. But as I said numerous times, it seems like they want the aircraft to fail. I disagreed with the concept of flying non military aircraft into combat zones. And I am aware that it has been done before, no doubt, but times have changed quite a bit, and it isn't the militarys first choice.

RE: GAO: New C-5 Cost Estimates

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:25 am
by seefivein


Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 54):
All aircraft have problems. The C-5 has alot more stuff that can go wrong, and it does from time to time

Jus wondering after reading all these replies

Why has Boeing not submitted a high wing large cargo plane to the USAF?

RE: GAO: New C-5 Cost Estimates

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:43 am
by TropicBird
New information on the C-5M program status from a February 2, 2009 Air Force Magazine Daily Report:

C-5 RERP Must Still Prove Capability, DOT&E Report Says: According to the just-released Directorate of Operational Test & Evaluation annual report, the restructured C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program requires "further assessment" before the Pentagon can formally determine just how much the C-5M (a combination of the RERP and the Avionics Modernization Program) makeover will increase capability for the behemoth airlifter. Flight testing done last summer showed a 20 percent increase in fuel efficiency and greater reliability. The Air Force decided last year to convert only B and C model C-5s to C-5M Super Galaxy status, leaving the oldest C-5s, the A Models, to receive only the AMP upgrade. The service planned to put the first three production RERP aircraft in the field (see above) for crew familiarization and, sometime this summer, to provide three systems development and demonstration aircraft reconfigured for IOT&E testing, which it must complete to support a full-rate production decision. According to the DOT&E annual report, the C-5 enterprise needs to address "remaining deficiencies" identified during the avionics modernization program testing by ensuring technical orders are validated and verified before RERP begins its IOT&E phase.