itchief
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:58 pm

Boeing is paying for one of the two CAT 1 deficiencies, the USAF is paying for the other. Not all bad for Boeing.

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... ing%20News

"However, the Air Force also made key concessions. Namely, it will have to pay for another fix using taxpayer money.

During tests, the Air Force found that certain aircraft — most often, the A-10 Warthog — had trouble generating the necessary thrust to push into the boom for refueling.

Boeing presented a boom design to the government at Milestone C that set the boom resistance to the international standard of about 1,400 pounds, which the government accepted, the Air Force official said. The problem is that to refuel the A-10, the boom must have a much lower threshold of thrust resistance, around 650 pounds.

Because the Air Force is asking for a change in requirements, it has agreed to fund the additional work — though it is still working out how much it will cost for the redesign work and retrofits, the official said. That redesign and manufacturing process will probably take about two years."
 
itchief
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:09 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Ozair wrote:

TFA says:

In short, Boeing has agreed to embark on a redesign effort for the Rockwell Collins-designed RVS that will involve both hardware and software changes. The Air Force believes it will take three to four years to develop a fully functioning RVS, and Boeing has agreed to fix it at its own expense

Oy, that's a huge miss.

It looks like Boeing bet it could make the existing system work, but now they see why it cannot / does not.

They took a big bet on a risky proposition and lost.

And if Boeing thinks they can recoup some of the costs in future maintenance contracts, I would not count on it.

For one, the USAF might just buy every available second hand 767 out there and scrap them for spare parts to keep the KC-46's running. They did the same thing to keep the KC-135's running as well; buy out every available Boeing 707 and use them as parts donors.

And for future modernization work, the USAF could award the contracts for modernization to another company; it is not unheard of for the USAF and Pentagon to do this.


The USAF would have to buy every second hand 767 out there since the 767-2C is a mix of the -200, -300 and has a completely different flight deck from either of those models. The other problem with this is that almost every old 767 has already been bought for conversion to freighters. By the time the USAF can get their hands on them they will be 50 to 60 years old, this opportunity has already passed and is probably not an option for the USAF now.
 
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Revelation
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:11 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
For one, the USAF might just buy every available second hand 767 out there and scrap them for spare parts to keep the KC-46's running. They did the same thing to keep the KC-135's running as well; buy out every available Boeing 707 and use them as parts donors.

That would suggest USAF, DoD and Congress are doing what's best for the country as opposed to what's best for corporations, and I have strong doubts about that.

Doesn't anyone else notice the incongruity of DoD saying they would not extend the life of KC-135s while they are now requesting bids for a re-engine of the even older B-52s?

At the same time, asking for funds for an all new bomber?

IMHO KC-46 is corporate welfare with origins in the post-2001 Congress wanting to do something to help Boeing deal with the post-911 drop in airliner orders.

Up to that point USAF were projecting KC-135 had enough airframe life to last till after 2045, some reports said 2065.

When USAF saw a windfall was there for the taking they all of a sudden needed new tankers.

Yet B-52 is already slated to be in service for eighty years and with new engines it should be over 100 years.
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:19 pm

Revelation wrote:
That would suggest USAF, DoD and Congress are doing what's best for the country as opposed to what's best for corporations, and I have strong doubts about that.

What ever they decide to do, the corporations will benefit, one way or another. And what's best for the country is not always unanimous, even in a supposed democracy.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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QuarkFly
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:50 pm

Revelation wrote:
...
At the same time, asking for funds for an all new bomber?

IMHO KC-46 is corporate welfare with origins in the post-2001 Congress wanting to do something to help Boeing deal with the post-911 drop in airliner orders.

Up to that point USAF were projecting KC-135 had enough airframe life to last till after 2045, some reports said 2065.

When USAF saw a windfall was there for the taking they all of a sudden needed new tankers.

Yet B-52 is already slated to be in service for eighty years and with new engines it should be over 100 years.

We are already in the age of drones, long-range hypersonic missiles and the Chinese have just deployed anti-ship conventional ballistic missiles. Not to mention cyber warfare.

This whole concept of in-flight refueling using nostalgic aircraft (KC-135, B52, A10, C-5, F-15, etc., and yes 767) is really only good for large defense contractors and A.net geeks. Applies to aircraft carriers too, but that is not for discussion here.

Right now, the Taliban finally chased us out of Afghanistan, also leaving Syria to Iran and Russia. How much did these hundreds of billions $$ of tactical aircraft with air-refueling help "win"?

Yup, lets spend another $ billion or more to improve the KC-46 refueling video system..it is so worth it !! /s
Always take the Red Eye if possible
 
texl1649
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:38 pm

It’s taken about 20 years to get the KC46 to delivery. Let’s not jump to some conclusion any drone/unmanned tanker can be delivered/accepted to USAF service prior to 2050. We have to replace the KC-10’s basically now, and a bunch of the 135’s. The USAF loves nothing more than it’s pilot’s, too. Cutting off pilots for tankers would make something like 1/3 of the ‘top ranked’ pilots of today mid ranked. It’s not just the evil contractors; the DoD is run by the officers.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:55 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
Right now, the Taliban finally chased us out of Afghanistan, also leaving Syria to Iran and Russia. How much did these hundreds of billions $$ of tactical aircraft with air-refueling help "win"?


Don't confuse losing the war (which is a political edevor) with losing a battle (which is the military endeavor).

Here is an example of tankers helping win a battle. Recall a few years back when ISIS besiege the city of Kobani? Recall all those B-1 and B-52 sorties that were used to repel ISIS with the help of the Kurdish fighters because the Turks refused to help because they hate the Kurds more than ISIS? If we had KC-46 then, they would have contributed to the victory.

Pivoting to China or Russia and their "high tech" weapons do not preclude the need to fight some other low tech war that may pop up in the future. For these low tech war, there will still need to be loitering aircraft and refueling to keep them up.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
texl1649
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:32 pm

What’s this, a delivery? I have to give it to the USAF contract writers in this case, they did a good job protecting the US taxpayer.

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... ears-away/
 
Galaxy5007
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:09 pm

The DD-250 was signed for A/C 15-46009. The USAF has possession of it, but it hasn't been delivered to McConnell yet. Reports are the first 4 are going to McConnell, followed by 4 to Altus.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:41 pm

10 were delivered to BDS and around that number are in acceptance flights. I recall that McConnell and another base are each getting 4. Could 8 be delivered by the end of Feb?

Anyone know how many of the dozens already parked are basically ready?

The reports that a 20% retention of $28M translates to $140M per frame. Anyway getting 10 delivered is over $1B invoiced, a big help for the program balance sheet.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:54 pm

Driving down East Marginal Way on Friday (just south of the Museum of flight), I saw all the stalls that typically hold P-8A's are filled with KC-46 tankers. First flight to McConnell will probably depend when they can coordinate the receiving ceremony at McConnell.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
LMP737
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:43 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
And if Boeing thinks they can recoup some of the costs in future maintenance contracts, I would not count on it.

For one, the USAF might just buy every available second hand 767 out there and scrap them for spare parts to keep the KC-46's running. They did the same thing to keep the KC-135's running as well; buy out every available Boeing 707 and use them as parts donors.
.


The problem is from an avionics perspective the KC-46 is a very different aircraft from your standard 767. Also as airlines shed their 767 fleets they are quickly scooped up by cargo carriers.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:47 pm

https://www.ksn.com/news/local/kc-46a-p ... 1704753857

Delivery to McConnell scheduled for the 25th of January.
 
jagraham
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:03 pm

Revelation wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
For one, the USAF might just buy every available second hand 767 out there and scrap them for spare parts to keep the KC-46's running. They did the same thing to keep the KC-135's running as well; buy out every available Boeing 707 and use them as parts donors.

That would suggest USAF, DoD and Congress are doing what's best for the country as opposed to what's best for corporations, and I have strong doubts about that.

Doesn't anyone else notice the incongruity of DoD saying they would not extend the life of KC-135s while they are now requesting bids for a re-engine of the even older B-52s?

At the same time, asking for funds for an all new bomber?

IMHO KC-46 is corporate welfare with origins in the post-2001 Congress wanting to do something to help Boeing deal with the post-911 drop in airliner orders.

Up to that point USAF were projecting KC-135 had enough airframe life to last till after 2045, some reports said 2065.

When USAF saw a windfall was there for the taking they all of a sudden needed new tankers.

Yet B-52 is already slated to be in service for eighty years and with new engines it should be over 100 years.



In all fairness (although I hate the idea of an 80+ year old first line warplane) bombers sit around most of the time. Fly maybe once a week if that.

The only reason KC135s don't fly every day is that they are so old they spend 1/3 of the year in maintenance.

There is a real tanker shortage.

With respect to corporate welfare, the Air Force changed the requirements several times. And continue to change the requirements. The boom in particular would have been equally costly for Airbus had they won. No existing boom met the new transfer requirements. I personally don't see where the KC10 and KC135 fail to do the job once the maintenance downtime is factored in. But the existing KC767 and A330MRTT were not adequate in the eyes of the Air Force. This one is on the government.
 
INFINITI329
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:34 pm

QuarkFly wrote:
Right now, the Taliban finally chased us out of Afghanistan, also leaving Syria to Iran and Russia. How much did these hundreds of billions $$ of tactical aircraft with air-refueling help "win"?


Air superiority....if you never been on the ground in war zome you will not understand the value of having air support watching your 6.. ready and willing to rain hell from above if you need it. They, however, need fuel to remain aloft. When lives are to the line going back to base or the carrier to refuel is not an option. This is the value of the tanker
 
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trpmb6
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:02 pm

jagraham wrote:
Revelation wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
For one, the USAF might just buy every available second hand 767 out there and scrap them for spare parts to keep the KC-46's running. They did the same thing to keep the KC-135's running as well; buy out every available Boeing 707 and use them as parts donors.

That would suggest USAF, DoD and Congress are doing what's best for the country as opposed to what's best for corporations, and I have strong doubts about that.

Doesn't anyone else notice the incongruity of DoD saying they would not extend the life of KC-135s while they are now requesting bids for a re-engine of the even older B-52s?

At the same time, asking for funds for an all new bomber?

IMHO KC-46 is corporate welfare with origins in the post-2001 Congress wanting to do something to help Boeing deal with the post-911 drop in airliner orders.

Up to that point USAF were projecting KC-135 had enough airframe life to last till after 2045, some reports said 2065.

When USAF saw a windfall was there for the taking they all of a sudden needed new tankers.

Yet B-52 is already slated to be in service for eighty years and with new engines it should be over 100 years.



In all fairness (although I hate the idea of an 80+ year old first line warplane) bombers sit around most of the time. Fly maybe once a week if that.

The only reason KC135s don't fly every day is that they are so old they spend 1/3 of the year in maintenance.

There is a real tanker shortage.

With respect to corporate welfare, the Air Force changed the requirements several times. And continue to change the requirements. The boom in particular would have been equally costly for Airbus had they won. No existing boom met the new transfer requirements. I personally don't see where the KC10 and KC135 fail to do the job once the maintenance downtime is factored in. But the existing KC767 and A330MRTT were not adequate in the eyes of the Air Force. This one is on the government.



There are many issues at play that can help explain why the B-52 can have its life extended (and make no mistake, the re-engine effort is not as simple as just slapping a new engine on them). You have to consider all of the factors at play. What originally sized the aircraft, how they are maintained, what are their missions. I see a KC-135 in the air just about every single day. Training. Doing touch and gos. But they keep them low enough that they don't add pressure cycles (important for fatigue on the fuselage). Consider the performance of the KC-135 vs the KC-46. Among many other factors. It's incredibly egotistical for any one of us sitting in our desk chairs to say we can do a better job than the folks that handle these acquisitions at assessing the cost of staying with the KC135 fleet or introducing the KC46s. And don't forget. These KC135s aren't going anywhere, they'll eventually find their way into the hands of the national guard units etc.

You want to talk about corporate welfare, talk about JSTARs, the USAF doesn't even want them, and have said so in public hearings. Yet congress insists.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:04 pm

INFINITI329 wrote:
QuarkFly wrote:
Right now, the Taliban finally chased us out of Afghanistan, also leaving Syria to Iran and Russia. How much did these hundreds of billions $$ of tactical aircraft with air-refueling help "win"?


Air superiority....if you never been on the ground in war zome you will not understand the value of having air support watching your 6.. ready and willing to rain hell from above if you need it. They, however, need fuel to remain aloft. When lives are to the line going back to base or the carrier to refuel is not an option. This is the value of the tanker



Not to mention refueling of support aircraft like the C-5 so they can take off with more payload than normal.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:41 pm

The Guard and Reserves already have plenty of KC-135s and will be equipped with KC-46s soon, probably by EOY 2019 or H12020 at Pease. C-5Ms don’t normally AAR to maximize cargo loads, heck, the As and Bs rarely did it and the C-17s less so with the center wing tanks.

GF
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:17 pm

LMP737 wrote:
The problem is from an avionics perspective the KC-46 is a very different aircraft from your standard 767. Also as airlines shed their 767 fleets they are quickly scooped up by cargo carriers.


The other problem is if you can get your hands on the odd 200+ used 767 frames, they will be of dozens of different configurations (structures and others) as they would have been built at different time for different customer. Preparing retrofit kits and keeping track the paperwork of these different configurations would be a nightmare. Heck, you'll end up paying Boeing a heck of a lot more upfront money to prepare the various kits than having them do just one design for the base 767-2C.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:22 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
You want to talk about corporate welfare, talk about JSTARs, the USAF doesn't even want them, and have said so in public hearings. Yet congress insists.


The USAF originally wanted it. Then they changed their mind and want to put money in some net-centric system, drones/satellite based system which they think is less vulnerable. Congress just want the USAF to think carefully and not go down a rabbit hole and find out some years later that their net-centric system is not workable, and they have no alternative in place.

Imagine, the USAF spend $$$ in a net base system (the same "corporate welfare", just with another company) and find out it is just a vulnerable and doesn't work. Then they are left without the capability and have to rely on the USN and their fleet of P-8A's with AAS capabilities :)

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:25 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The Guard and Reserves already have plenty of KC-135s and will be equipped with KC-46s soon, probably by EOY 2019 or H12020 at Pease. C-5Ms don’t normally AAR to maximize cargo loads, heck, the As and Bs rarely did it and the C-17s less so with the center wing tanks.

GF


I'll definitely defer to you on the refueling of C5s It was more of a "that's another potential mission" type of statement.

Was not aware that the guard and reserves would be getting KC-46s.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:09 pm

Post-departure AR was used for really heavy loads (USN often, SOF assault boats and DSRV out of North Island) but most operational AR was done to overcome poor departure reliability of the A models. The M can go a long ways (overfly Europe enroute to ME with pallet loads, for instance) and, so far, has improved reliability. Among the sillier lifts was double AR Andrews to Guam for Clinton’s 1996 Australia trip, guaranteed delivery at HUGE cost. Cost is a factor, too. AR is expensive and the lift user (White House Military Office here) pays for the reliability. Tanks to Mog was a quadruple AR. Les Aspin’s military incompetence and being cheap cost lots.

GF

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