ZaphodHarkonnen
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Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:23 pm

https://news.usni.org/2018/08/30/navy-p ... ased-drone

They've got to the end of 2024 to build 4 of them.

https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1617374/

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a ceiling price $805,318,853 fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract to provide the design, development, fabrication, test, verification, certification, delivery, and support of four MQ-25A unmanned air vehicles, including integration into the carrier air wing to provide an initial operational capability to the Navy. The work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri (45.5 percent); Indianapolis, Indiana (6.9 percent); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (3.1 percent); Quebec, Canada (3.1 percent); Palm Bay, Florida (2.3 percent); San Diego, California (1.5 percent); and various locations inside and outside the continental U.S. (37.6 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2024. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $79,050,820 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; three offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-18-C-1012).
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:33 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
https://news.usni.org/2018/08/30/navy-picks-boeing-build-mq-25a-stingray-carrier-based-drone

They've got to the end of 2024 to build 4 of them.

https://dod.defense.gov/News/Contracts/ ... e/1617374/

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a ceiling price $805,318,853 fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract to provide the design, development, fabrication, test, verification, certification, delivery, and support of four MQ-25A unmanned air vehicles, including integration into the carrier air wing to provide an initial operational capability to the Navy. The work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri (45.5 percent); Indianapolis, Indiana (6.9 percent); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (3.1 percent); Quebec, Canada (3.1 percent); Palm Bay, Florida (2.3 percent); San Diego, California (1.5 percent); and various locations inside and outside the continental U.S. (37.6 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2024. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $79,050,820 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via an electronic request for proposals; three offers were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-18-C-1012).

Wow, early award and I am frankly stunned Boeing won the selection.
 
musman9853
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:44 pm

surprised they got it over GA considering all the kc46 issues
 
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Insertnamehere
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:02 pm

So they will build 2 of them and they will only be done by 2028 based on the SLS and KC46
 
chiki
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:47 am

Makes sense they have several lessons learnt already with KC
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:30 pm

And they built a prototype.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:05 pm

Quoting the KC46 as a bad mark in this situation doesn't make any sense and tells me many people don't understand Boeing's corporate structure.

This is Boeing Defense Systems in St. Louis designing and building these. They are almost completely divested from the people who designed and built the KC46.

Yes it's "one boeing" yadayada. But they are pretty independent for the most part.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:51 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Quoting the KC46 as a bad mark in this situation doesn't make any sense and tells me many people don't understand Boeing's corporate structure.


Corporate structure is one thing. Engineering and manufacturing culture is another. It has taken a while to integrate the Engineering culture between the two legacy companies, and there is still more to go. But I believe the technology that won the MQ-25A is an example that the integration between them is progressing.

True, the folks who will be building the MQ-25A will not be the same people that messed up the KC-46A, but from a pure Engineering and Manufacturing stand point, I would guess that the NAVY selected Boeing because they believe Boeing would be the lower risk lower cost option. From what I understand, the manufacturing technology to build the drone have shown to reduce the cost of assembling the frame significantly. Further more Boeing have verified that it worked by already incorporating it on their commercial airplane production line. This is the synergy that they have been working toward for a long time. Good to see that it has finally payed off.

bt
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estorilm
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:32 pm

The entire program and procurement process was a disaster really. With UCAS-D demo designs from multiple companies based on a loose "moving target" of specs and ideas from the Navy, into complete chaos when the actual UCLASS program began.

It hit Northrop especially hard, who had really nailed down the Navy's original requirement for a stealthy, long-endurance UCAV with a small footprint in the X-47B. Then UCLASS changed again to ISR, then changed again to a BIG ISR aircraft, the entire time they continued to relax the stealth requirements and bump up the size.

Then the whole mess turned into CBARS with no stealth and no ISR.

NG did so well initially that they had a working aircraft 7+ years ago that was now worthless for any contract.

Their achievements in 2013 were really incredible - first arrested landing of a UAV, first catapult launch of UAV, simultaneous ops with carrier aircraft, and first completely autonomous areal refueling - all demonstrated REAL WORLD in 2013.
I mean this thing was doing automatic wave-offs, taxiing around carriers, integrating perfectly into the air wings, etc.
It won the Collier trophy.. :sigh:

I know they already withdrew in 2017 when they saw the writing on the wall, but it's still a bummer. Very rarely does a ground-breaking seemingly-high-risk aviation program perform so well and not only still get canned, but end up with hardly any future at all, at any level. :(

As far as this selection goes - who knows, maybe the Navy wants to throw Boeing a bone? Not only does Boeing have some shaky history with stuff like this, but both General Atomics and Lockheed would appear to have a large advantage with their history of highly-effective platforms such as predator, avenger, RQ-170, etc.

At first glance the General Atomics Sea Predator proposal should have been the lowest-cost, lowest-risk option by a long shot - its more conventional design was a weakness initially with UCLASS but is a big advantage for CBARS where payload and stability are priorities.

Typical Navy procurement fiasco.
 
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USNFalconCraft
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:54 pm

I preferred other designs more, but congratulations to Boeing for winning the competition and I'm sure that their design will grow on me in the future.. I was a bit surprised though.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:16 pm

USNFalconCraft wrote:
I preferred other designs more, but congratulations to Boeing for winning the competition and I'm sure that their design will grow on me in the future.. I was a bit surprised though.


Yes, Lockheed's version is more "stealthy", but Boeing's design leaves me to think it's more modular. Thus, there more flexibility for configuration change or growth without significant re-design.

bt
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Ozair
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:17 pm

A Boeing promo video of the MQ-25.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MykMZg5d61w

USNFalconCraft wrote:
I preferred other designs more, but congratulations to Boeing for winning the competition and I'm sure that their design will grow on me in the future.. I was a bit surprised though.

Agree on the design, the location of the intake for a start is quite unconventional but perhaps there are advantages to that configuration.

bikerthai wrote:
Yes, Lockheed's version is more "stealthy", but Boeing's design leaves me to think it's more modular. Thus, there more flexibility for configuration change or growth without significant re-design.

bt

What are you thinking on modular changes, different nose, different wings?
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:22 am

Ozair wrote:
A Boeing promo video of the MQ-25.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MykMZg5d61w

USNFalconCraft wrote:
I preferred other designs more, but congratulations to Boeing for winning the competition and I'm sure that their design will grow on me in the future.. I was a bit surprised though.

Agree on the design, the location of the intake for a start is quite unconventional but perhaps there are advantages to that configuration.

bikerthai wrote:
Yes, Lockheed's version is more "stealthy", but Boeing's design leaves me to think it's more modular. Thus, there more flexibility for configuration change or growth without significant re-design.

bt

What are you thinking on modular changes, different nose, different wings?


The two big advantages I can think of are safety and low observability.

Safety is a huge one given the crowded carrier deck environment. Putting the intake on top keeps it far away from deck crew no matter how close they walk up to it.
And for low observability it helps simplify design work if you assume an adversary will only be getting front/side or bottom views.

Also the intake design is probably simplified as you can put the intake near the compressor and have a much much shorter intake.
 
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:24 pm

Ozair wrote:
What are you thinking on modular changes, different nose, different wings?


Not sure how the forward section is attached, but the wings looks like it can be more easily swapped out (in a production environment) for a wing tailored for attack instead of refueling.

bt
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:06 pm

Ozair wrote:
Agree on the design, the location of the intake for a start is quite unconventional but perhaps there are advantages to that configuration.

Isn't the location a concern for higher angles of attack? Stalls etc.? I mean it is a refueling drone only so it will likely not be flown at any extreme angles and being unpiloted if it stalls out, well a pilots life isn't at risk.

Yes I am certainly aware that they must have studied this and demonstrated it to not be an issue but physics are still physics and flight laws, airflow, etc. still follow them.

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JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:55 pm

The landing gear looks quite stout, probably from an in service plane. Does anyone know which plane.

It would reduce a ton of risk as well as maintenance if the landing gear and tail hook were already in the ships inventory.
 
Trololzilla
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:53 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
The landing gear looks quite stout, probably from an in service plane. Does anyone know which plane.

It would reduce a ton of risk as well as maintenance if the landing gear and tail hook were already in the ships inventory.

F/A-18 maybe? It'd make sense - they're both made in the same factory, so using a proven design with an already functional supply chain in place is smart, if that's what Boeing's going for.
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:42 am

Tugger wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Agree on the design, the location of the intake for a start is quite unconventional but perhaps there are advantages to that configuration.

Isn't the location a concern for higher angles of attack? Stalls etc.? I mean it is a refueling drone only so it will likely not be flown at any extreme angles and being unpiloted if it stalls out, well a pilots life isn't at risk.

Yes I am certainly aware that they must have studied this and demonstrated it to not be an issue but physics are still physics and flight laws, airflow, etc. still follow them.

Tugg

Agree, that is why I find the layout unconventional. I get what ZaphodHarkonnen is saying and the shipboard safety issue sounds like a good idea, but landing on the carrier is going to require a specific angle of attack and I’m not convinced that intake is an optimal solution (noting smarter people at Boeing than me designed it…)

bikerthai wrote:
Not sure how the forward section is attached, but the wings looks like it can be more easily swapped out (in a production environment) for a wing tailored for attack instead of refueling.

I would have expected a fuselage internal payload would be of more interest for the attack role than a different wing but this win certainly gives Boeing the opportunity to win some future business.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:14 am

Does anyone have an idea what the "bump" on each wing is for?
The gear is stored in the fuselage and the refueling equipment is in the pods. Possibly shock bodies?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:10 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Does anyone have an idea what the "bump" on each wing is for?


Looks like the housing for the wing folding mechanism.

Tugger wrote:
Isn't the location a concern for higher angles of attack? Stalls etc.? I mean it is a refueling drone only so it will likely not be flown at any extreme angles and being unpiloted if it stalls out, well a pilots life isn't at risk.


Let's put on our amateur design hats for a moment for this though exercise. :idea:

For low stealth, the best location for the inlet is above the fuselage. You can do an inlet like the B-2 or B-21. But you are adding extra structure for a squashed inlet and depending on where your engine is, you'll have to turn the flow anyway. Either way, you are still trading off some efficiency for stealth.

As for engine stall, consider a 737 just prior to take off roll. You have no airflow in front of the inlet anyway other than what is generated by the turning turbine. This would be true with the top inlet. You will avoid an engine stall if you can keep the engine spinning fast enough to get the positive pressure across the inlet.

The one benefit of having the inlet up there is the low pressure at the inlet caused by the engine sucking in all that air may increase the lift efficiency of the aircraft lifting body. Just speculation on my behalf :scratchchin:

bt
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:18 pm

Heck, if they find that the efficiency hit is too much during flight tests, they can always add a little scoop on future iterations.

bt
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:24 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Possibly shock bodies?


Definitely not shock body. The straight wing on this bird suggest it is design for medium to low speed loiter rather than fast attack.

bt
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Ozair
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:45 pm

Some additional info on the selection from the Aviation Week Check 6 podcast.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/podcast ... -mq-25-win

Some of their reporting includes
- Boeing win was primarily related to being the only tender bid with a prototype
- Boeing's existing naval aviation position assisted the bid
- They are expecting a GAO protest from GA and perhaps also LM
- The result is good for St Louis operations and gives Boeing a big opportunity for future work in this area.
 
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:13 pm

Ozair wrote:
A Boeing promo video of the MQ-25.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MykMZg5d61w

Strange they hype up the stealth angle yet they fly around with two huge blobs hanging from pylons under the wings.

Why not just size the thing to hold the required amount of fuel internally?
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:38 pm

Revelation wrote:
Strange they hype up the stealth angle yet they fly around with two huge blobs hanging from pylons under the wings.

Why not just size the thing to hold the required amount of fuel internally?


The two blobs are the refueling drogue. You would think they would have one in the fuselage. But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time. Perhaps the wing mounted drogue is a quick and dirty solution for the test aircraft using existing hardware. The wing mounted drogue also means that there is a hard point out there in case when you want to mount weapons.

bt
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itchief
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:28 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Strange they hype up the stealth angle yet they fly around with two huge blobs hanging from pylons under the wings.

Why not just size the thing to hold the required amount of fuel internally?


The two blobs are the refueling drogue. You would think they would have one in the fuselage. But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time. Perhaps the wing mounted drogue is a quick and dirty solution for the test aircraft using existing hardware. The wing mounted drogue also means that there is a hard point out there in case when you want to mount weapons.

bt


"But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time." How many Navy aircraft refuel more than one aircraft at a time now or in the past? You are never going to get the wing span of a KC-10/KC-135/KC-130/KC-46 off the deck of a carrier for double refueling.
 
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:36 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Strange they hype up the stealth angle yet they fly around with two huge blobs hanging from pylons under the wings.
Why not just size the thing to hold the required amount of fuel internally?


The two blobs are the refueling drogue. You would think they would have one in the fuselage. But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time. Perhaps the wing mounted drogue is a quick and dirty solution for the test aircraft using existing hardware. The wing mounted drogue also means that there is a hard point out there in case when you want to mount weapons.

bt

Thanks -- I didn't know that.

itchief wrote:
"But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time." How many Navy aircraft refuel more than one aircraft at a time now or in the past? You are never going to get the wing span of a KC-10/KC-135/KC-130/KC-46 off the deck of a carrier for double refueling.

Wild guess: maybe there's a high enough probability of drogue failure, that it pays to have a redundant drogue?
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:49 pm

Looking at some video of the Boeing entry the two pylons have one fuel tank and one refuelling pod.
 
itchief
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:23 pm

Revelation wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Strange they hype up the stealth angle yet they fly around with two huge blobs hanging from pylons under the wings.
Why not just size the thing to hold the required amount of fuel internally?


The two blobs are the refueling drogue. You would think they would have one in the fuselage. But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time. Perhaps the wing mounted drogue is a quick and dirty solution for the test aircraft using existing hardware. The wing mounted drogue also means that there is a hard point out there in case when you want to mount weapons.

bt

Thanks -- I didn't know that.

itchief wrote:
"But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time." How many Navy aircraft refuel more than one aircraft at a time now or in the past? You are never going to get the wing span of a KC-10/KC-135/KC-130/KC-46 off the deck of a carrier for double refueling.

Wild guess: maybe there's a high enough probability of drogue failure, that it pays to have a redundant drogue?


Yes they have failures but that would be a huge weight penalty for a possible failure. I have not seen very many double drogue configured aircraft flying off carrier decks.
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:31 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Strange they hype up the stealth angle yet they fly around with two huge blobs hanging from pylons under the wings.

Why not just size the thing to hold the required amount of fuel internally?


The two blobs are the refueling drogue. You would think they would have one in the fuselage. But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time. Perhaps the wing mounted drogue is a quick and dirty solution for the test aircraft using existing hardware. The wing mounted drogue also means that there is a hard point out there in case when you want to mount weapons.

bt

There is only one drogue. The other pylon holds an external fuel tank and I'd say the arrangement is that way probably for balance as all three contenders had the same arrangement. I expect the external arrangement will remain as it will reuse the same pods as the current SH fleet, which will still be refuelling aircraft long after the MQ-25 is on the deck.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:17 am

Ozair wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Strange they hype up the stealth angle yet they fly around with two huge blobs hanging from pylons under the wings.

Why not just size the thing to hold the required amount of fuel internally?


The two blobs are the refueling drogue. You would think they would have one in the fuselage. But that would only fuel one aircraft at a time. Perhaps the wing mounted drogue is a quick and dirty solution for the test aircraft using existing hardware. The wing mounted drogue also means that there is a hard point out there in case when you want to mount weapons.

bt

There is only one drogue. The other pylon holds an external fuel tank and I'd say the arrangement is that way probably for balance as all three contenders had the same arrangement. I expect the external arrangement will remain as it will reuse the same pods as the current SH fleet, which will still be refuelling aircraft long after the MQ-25 is on the deck.


I believe the RFP identified the wing mounted drogue pod that is used currently and also the external fuel tank to balance out the pod.
 
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:31 pm

Trololzilla wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
The landing gear looks quite stout, probably from an in service plane. Does anyone know which plane.

It would reduce a ton of risk as well as maintenance if the landing gear and tail hook were already in the ships inventory.

F/A-18 maybe? It'd make sense - they're both made in the same factory, so using a proven design with an already functional supply chain in place is smart, if that's what Boeing's going for.


It's the Boeing F/A-18E/F landing gear. I can't find confirmation, but I have a feeling that it will be supplied by Heroux Devtek, which recently won the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G landing gear contract previously held by UTC Aero (UTAS). This supplier would explain the 3.1% Québec content mentioned in the DOD press release in the first post. It makes sense that they're re-using existing systems. The Lockheed Martin proposed version of the MQ-25, which lost, would also have used an existing gear in the form of UTAS' F-35C system.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:40 pm

GE9X wrote:
Trololzilla wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
The landing gear looks quite stout, probably from an in service plane. Does anyone know which plane.

It would reduce a ton of risk as well as maintenance if the landing gear and tail hook were already in the ships inventory.

F/A-18 maybe? It'd make sense - they're both made in the same factory, so using a proven design with an already functional supply chain in place is smart, if that's what Boeing's going for.


It's the Boeing F/A-18E/F landing gear. I can't find confirmation, but I have a feeling that it will be supplied by Heroux Devtek, which recently won the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G landing gear contract previously held by UTC Aero (UTAS). This supplier would explain the 3.1% Québec content mentioned in the DOD press release in the first post. It makes sense that they're re-using existing systems. The Lockheed Martin proposed version of the MQ-25, which lost, would also have used an existing gear in the form of UTAS' F-35C system.


I was thinking it is the F/A-18 and it appears to be a good choice: The -18 has an empty weight of 32,000#, loaded weight of 47,000#, and a max takeoff of 66,000#. At least 14,000# of delivered fuel & 5 hours loiter time makes it clear it will be in the 40,000# range. Matches well with a 10K thrust engine also.

The forces of a carrier takeoff and landing are huge. In rough seas the landing is like dropping 10 feet and going from 120-0 in 40 feet as it catches the cable.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:20 pm

RR has received from Boeing the contract for the MQ-25 engines, the 3007N a 10K thrust engine.

https://www.ibj.com/articles/71702-in-m ... y-aircraft
 
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:58 pm

GE9X wrote:
Trololzilla wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
The landing gear looks quite stout, probably from an in service plane. Does anyone know which plane.

It would reduce a ton of risk as well as maintenance if the landing gear and tail hook were already in the ships inventory.

F/A-18 maybe? It'd make sense - they're both made in the same factory, so using a proven design with an already functional supply chain in place is smart, if that's what Boeing's going for.


It's the Boeing F/A-18E/F landing gear. I can't find confirmation, but I have a feeling that it will be supplied by Heroux Devtek, which recently won the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G landing gear contract previously held by UTC Aero (UTAS). This supplier would explain the 3.1% Québec content mentioned in the DOD press release in the first post. It makes sense that they're re-using existing systems. The Lockheed Martin proposed version of the MQ-25, which lost, would also have used an existing gear in the form of UTAS' F-35C system.


Not surprising they went with an off the shelf gear solution. The X-47 demonstrators used A-6 janding gear, sturdy and proven. F-18 gear on the Boeing drone makes spare,parts supply chains that much more streamlined on the boat.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:42 pm

Spacepope wrote:

Not surprising they went with an off the shelf gear solution. The X-47 demonstrators used A-6 janding gear, sturdy and proven. F-18 gear on the Boeing drone makes spare,parts supply chains that much more streamlined on the boat.


Imagine how much less certification cost too by using existing gear. Probably some excess capacity, but that provides some added reserve for hard landings. I would expect a drone to be rougher on a carrier landing as the pilot addresses things like carrier motion better.

I have yet to see any specifications for the MQ-25, what can a single 10K engine lift?
 
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Tugger
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:05 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Probably some excess capacity, but that provides some added reserve for hard landings. I would expect a drone to be rougher on a carrier landing as the pilot addresses things like carrier motion better.

Actually I bet the drones will have much smoother landings as they are better able to precisely match the flight deck gyrations. I remember seeing a video of an early computer-controlled aerial refueling test where as the aircraft approached the drogue it began "porpoising" and the normal process is to back off, allow it to stabilize then approach again. However the computer controlled aircraft simply matched the drogue's path immediately and mated. It was rather remarkable to watch. Not saying they are better or that the process is simple, just noting that the aircraft under computer control can react to "matching motions" much faster and more precisely than a human.

Tugg
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JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:36 pm

Tugger wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Probably some excess capacity, but that provides some added reserve for hard landings. I would expect a drone to be rougher on a carrier landing as the pilot addresses things like carrier motion better.

Actually I bet the drones will have much smoother landings as they are better able to precisely match the flight deck gyrations. I remember seeing a video of an early computer-controlled aerial refueling test where as the aircraft approached the drogue it began "porpoising" and the normal process is to back off, allow it to stabilize then approach again. However the computer controlled aircraft simply matched the drogue's path immediately and mated. It was rather remarkable to watch. Not saying they are better or that the process is simple, just noting that the aircraft under computer control can react to "matching motions" much faster and more precisely than a human.

Tugg


I think that is true for the 99% of the conditions that the programming addressed, but the 1% of terror where the experience was not programmed in do best with a pilot on board. A drone with 5 years in service will have had its programming tweaked to handle nearly all the unknowns will have very controlled responses, however the first dozen ops from an actual carrier deck will be quite scary for the program manager.
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing awarded MQ-25A carrier drone tanker contract.

Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:34 am

An extension of the first contract has bene awarded to Boeing to continue the all up US$800 million contract. I'm surprised first flight won't occur until 2021 as given the supposed maturity of the Boeing design I expected it to be earlier than that.

Boeing gets $90m for MQ-25 studies and analysis

The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Boeing Co. a $90.4 million contract for studies and analysis related to the US Navy’s MQ-25 carrier-based unmanned refueling aircraft.

The contract from December 19 builds on an earlier one from August 30 with which the US Navy announced it had selected Boeing to build the service’s first operational carrier-based refueling drone.

Boeing was selected over Lockheed Martin and General Atomics, who both pitched their designs for the MQ-25A.

The contract from August stated that a total of four UAVs are to be designed, tested and integrated into the carrier air wing with an initial operational capability by 2024.

In a review of his Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, published earlier this month, US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson outlined a goal of achieving first flight for the MQ-25 first flight in 2021 and “reaching initial operating capability ASAP”.

When operational, MQ-25 will improve the performance, efficiency, and safety of the carrier air wing and provide longer range and greater persistence tanking capability to execute missions that otherwise could not be performed. While the navy is not revealing range and capacity specifications, the UAV is generally expected to deliver 15,000 pounds of fuel 500 nautical miles from the carrier.

https://navaltoday.com/2018/12/20/boein ... -analysis/

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