tjh8402
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:26 pm

Navman101 wrote:
Sorry if this has already been discusses, but if so I couldn’t find it.

Does anyone know the rationale for the USAF choosing the PW4000 to power the KC-46 over the General Electric CF6-80. The USAF already operated the CF6 on many airframes such as VC-25, KC-10, and C-5M, so there would be at least some parts commonality. Was this a purely political decision to help keep Pratt and Whitney afloat? I suppose the Rolls Royce Power plant wasn’t even considered due to foreign sourcing.

Also what are peoples thoughts on which engine is actually better?


Per this (and other articles I could find on the subject), it was Boeing, not the USAF who made the call.

The Boeing Company has reached an agreement with Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corporation, for the price and terms under which it will supply engines for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker. As a result, Pratt & Whitney becomes eligible to supply its PW4062 engines if Boeing is awarded the U.S. Air Force KC-X contract later this year.

"With more than 80 years of experience meeting the U.S. Air Force's engine needs, it makes sense to use Pratt & Whitney as an engine provider for the next generation tanker," said Ron Marcotte, vice president and general manager of Boeing Global Mobility Systems. "This high-performance, extremely reliable engine will allow future tanker aircrews to operate out of short-runway airfields and provide them maximum fuel offload performance."

Boeing's agreement with Pratt & Whitney followed a best-value competition that focused on engine technical requirements like enhanced thrust and fuel efficiency, as well as logistics support, acquisition and total ownership cost, management and past performance factors.


https://www.reliableplant.com/Read/5226 ... 767-tanker

This article hints it came down to $:

Although GE was originally considered to be a candidate for the KC-767 with the CF6-80C2 engine, or potentially even a variant of its GEnx, Boeing announced on 12 March that it has reached an agreement on the KC-X engine proposal with P&W and its PW4062.

P&W and Boeing had also teamed on an initial KC-767 lease proposal for the USAF in March 2004, but this agreement lapsed with the termination of the controversial plan. The two launch customers for Boeing's KC-767 tanker, Italy and Japan, meanwhile, selected the CF6-80C2 for their eight aircraft.

Although terms of the new Boeing/P&W deal have not been revealed, it is believed the engine maker offered attractive pricing based on the relatively low number of average flight hours expected to be accumulated by the average KC-X versus its nearest commercial equivalent.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ds-212666/
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:40 pm

Max Q wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
Max Q wrote:



I just don’t know, I do know that looking through a piece of glass to look at the actual aircraft you’re refueling must be simpler, more straightforward and gives you the ‘real picture’


If it’s so complicated structurally to incorporate a boom operator station with a window then how has it worked so well for
decades on the KC135 and KC10 ?



It seems far simpler and effective to have a window than all the electronics involved with a remote viewing system, no big deal if you’re refueling with only probe and drogue but a different story altogether with the finesse required of a boom operator



But I’m no expert, there is one on this forum however, it would be interesting to hear TB’s take


A Boom Pod with a window is a much simplier arrangement and more reliable than being in a electronic closet. A window relies on the old Mk.-1 eyeball to work properly, an electronic closet filled with computers, sensors, and video game type controls can break down. Yes, I know these systems will have redundant back-up systems, but in some type of degrade such as some automation may not be available. This increases the Boom Operator's workload.

From a structual POV, incooperorating a Boom Pod into an airplane's structure is not a complicated engineering problem. Used aircraft such as the B-707 (KC-707, KC-137 Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil, etc. were originally commercial airliners) and B-747 (IIAF KC-747s were originally TWA B-747-100s) have been modified with Boom Pods after their original build configuerations.




Thanks for adding a professional assessment


I’d like to see the boom operators station on the IIAF 747,I wonder if that’s a copy of the KC135 with the prone configuration or
similar to the KC10


I have never seen the Boom Pod in the IIAF KC-747s. I have seen a picture taken of the Boom Pod from outside, with the siting door open. The siting window appears about the same size as the KC-135, KC-707/KC-137. That leads me to believe it is the same as the KC-135s interior Boom Pod and instrument panel and Boom controlsand systems. The Boom fitted to the KC-747s and thier KC-707s is the same as the KC-135 Boom.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:48 pm

tjh8402 wrote:
Navman101 wrote:
Sorry if this has already been discusses, but if so I couldn’t find it.

Does anyone know the rationale for the USAF choosing the PW4000 to power the KC-46 over the General Electric CF6-80. The USAF already operated the CF6 on many airframes such as VC-25, KC-10, and C-5M, so there would be at least some parts commonality. Was this a purely political decision to help keep Pratt and Whitney afloat? I suppose the Rolls Royce Power plant wasn’t even considered due to foreign sourcing.

Also what are peoples thoughts on which engine is actually better?


Per this (and other articles I could find on the subject), it was Boeing, not the USAF who made the call.

The Boeing Company has reached an agreement with Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corporation, for the price and terms under which it will supply engines for the KC-767 Advanced Tanker. As a result, Pratt & Whitney becomes eligible to supply its PW4062 engines if Boeing is awarded the U.S. Air Force KC-X contract later this year.

"With more than 80 years of experience meeting the U.S. Air Force's engine needs, it makes sense to use Pratt & Whitney as an engine provider for the next generation tanker," said Ron Marcotte, vice president and general manager of Boeing Global Mobility Systems. "This high-performance, extremely reliable engine will allow future tanker aircrews to operate out of short-runway airfields and provide them maximum fuel offload performance."

Boeing's agreement with Pratt & Whitney followed a best-value competition that focused on engine technical requirements like enhanced thrust and fuel efficiency, as well as logistics support, acquisition and total ownership cost, management and past performance factors.


https://www.reliableplant.com/Read/5226 ... 767-tanker

This article hints it came down to $:

Although GE was originally considered to be a candidate for the KC-767 with the CF6-80C2 engine, or potentially even a variant of its GEnx, Boeing announced on 12 March that it has reached an agreement on the KC-X engine proposal with P&W and its PW4062.

P&W and Boeing had also teamed on an initial KC-767 lease proposal for the USAF in March 2004, but this agreement lapsed with the termination of the controversial plan. The two launch customers for Boeing's KC-767 tanker, Italy and Japan, meanwhile, selected the CF6-80C2 for their eight aircraft.

Although terms of the new Boeing/P&W deal have not been revealed, it is believed the engine maker offered attractive pricing based on the relatively low number of average flight hours expected to be accumulated by the average KC-X versus its nearest commercial equivalent.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ds-212666/


Correct. Boeing chose P&W to help lower the fly away unit costs of the KC-46. It is also the same reason why the KC-46 does not have thrust reversers.
 
Ozair
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:51 pm

Runway28L wrote:
This appears to be the first ever hookup between a KC-46 and an F-35.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtC0OKpgBzt/

Some info on the first boom refuelling of the KC-46 and any stealth aircraft operated by the USAF.

Boeing KC-46A refuels stealth aircraft for first time

The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus air tanker refuelled a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II for the first time over California.

The tanker connected to the fighter aircraft with its refuelling boom on 22 January, marking the first time the Pegasus has refuelled a stealth aircraft, says the US Air Force. The KC-46A will also have to prove it can refuel the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.

Refueling a stealth fighter or bomber is more difficult than a conventional aircraft because the tanker’s boom operator must avoid scratching the stealth coating on the outside of the aircraft. If the aircraft’s special coating is scratched it could increase its radar visibility.

Refuelling an F-35 signifies Phase III of the USAF’s testing of the KC-46. Phase III is the final stage of developmental testing, is planned to last 15 months and is being conducted out of Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The USAF formally accepted the first KC-46A from Boeing on 10 January after more than a year-and-a-half delay, caused by an assortment of manufacturing and regulatory issues.

The KC-46A has had problems with its remote vision system; a combination of stereoscopic and infrared cameras that provide a 185° field of view behind the tanker and help an onboard operator steer the refueling boom into contact with a receiver aircraft. The remote vision system’s most recent problem is a sunlight glare issue that occurs when the tanker is flying directly away from the sun.

However, Boeing argues that the programme has turned a corner and notes that the system is only impacted by sun glare problems about 3% of the time. Ultimately, showing that the KC-46A can precisely refuel stealth aircraft, such as the F-35, is an important step for reestablishing confidence in the remote vision system.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... im-455974/

Image

Because I have no idea and Flight Global used the term interchangeably in the article above, is there a convention on using the term refuelling or refueling? English versus American spelling?
 
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7BOEING7
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:58 pm

I'm guessing the boom operators station in the IIAF 747 was similar if not the same as the one put in RA001 (first 747) when Boeing was doing refueling (dry?) tests with it in 1971/1972. Back then the receivers were an F-111, F-4, B-52 and SR-71.
 
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Moose135
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:48 am

Ozair wrote:
Because I have no idea and Flight Global used the term interchangeably in the article above, is there a convention on using the term refuelling or refueling? English versus American spelling?

The KC-135A Dash-1 flight manual I have (as well as the accompanying "Air Refueling Procedures" manual) spell it with one "L" as refueling.
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Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:37 am

kc135topboom wrote:
Max Q wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:

A Boom Pod with a window is a much simplier arrangement and more reliable than being in a electronic closet. A window relies on the old Mk.-1 eyeball to work properly, an electronic closet filled with computers, sensors, and video game type controls can break down. Yes, I know these systems will have redundant back-up systems, but in some type of degrade such as some automation may not be available. This increases the Boom Operator's workload.

From a structual POV, incooperorating a Boom Pod into an airplane's structure is not a complicated engineering problem. Used aircraft such as the B-707 (KC-707, KC-137 Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil, etc. were originally commercial airliners) and B-747 (IIAF KC-747s were originally TWA B-747-100s) have been modified with Boom Pods after their original build configuerations.




Thanks for adding a professional assessment


I’d like to see the boom operators station on the IIAF 747,I wonder if that’s a copy of the KC135 with the prone configuration or
similar to the KC10


I have never seen the Boom Pod in the IIAF KC-747s. I have seen a picture taken of the Boom Pod from outside, with the siting door open. The siting window appears about the same size as the KC-135, KC-707/KC-137. That leads me to believe it is the same as the KC-135s interior Boom Pod and instrument panel and Boom controlsand systems. The Boom fitted to the KC-747s and thier KC-707s is the same as the KC-135 Boom.



Thanks TB, what is the ‘siting door ?’
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scbriml
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:45 am

Moose135 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Because I have no idea and Flight Global used the term interchangeably in the article above, is there a convention on using the term refuelling or refueling? English versus American spelling?

The KC-135A Dash-1 flight manual I have (as well as the accompanying "Air Refueling Procedures" manual) spell it with one "L" as refueling.


The single L is an American thing. Just about the rest of the entire English speaking World uses LL (and fewer Z's but a lot more S's :wink2: )
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brindabella
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:30 pm

Revelation wrote:
zanl188 wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:

A Boom Pod with a window is a much simplier arrangement and more reliable than being in a electronic closet. A window relies on the old Mk.-1 eyeball to work properly, an electronic closet filled with computers, sensors, and video game type controls can break down. Yes, I know these systems will have redundant back-up systems, but in some type of degrade such as some automation may not be available. This increases the Boom Operator's workload.

From a structual POV, incooperorating a Boom Pod into an airplane's structure is not a complicated engineering problem. Used aircraft such as the B-707 (KC-707, KC-137 Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil, etc. were originally commercial airliners) and B-747 (IIAF KC-747s were originally TWA B-747-100s) have been modified with Boom Pods after their original build configuerations.

Then why, after many years of development and billions spent, did USAF not specify a boom pod? Surely USAF knows what it needs and had sufficient clout to get exactly that.

Maybe a 'gee wiz' factor took over?

Maybe it was thought since this is all being done in the digital domain, we can train the boom operators with simulators using real data captured from actual operational sorties and thus gain training efficiency, whereas it's hard to do that well with the older technology.

Maybe they view the digital approach as the gateway to eventual computer AI driven refueling and eventual elimination of the boom operator.



Yep, see bt above.

The drone refueller is on the way, it seems.

cheers
Billy
 
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:39 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Question. Isn't the current KC-30 remotely operated? We do not hear issues about that system. Perhaps they work the same, it's just that the Air Force was expecting more from the KC-46 version.

bt


Just don't fly DIRECTLY away from the Sun whereby it will be beaming straight at the sensors(!).

Maybe the other fleets operating remote-control boom management are aware of this??

Just maybe? :cry2:

cheers
Billy
 
Ozair
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:34 pm

scbriml wrote:
Moose135 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Because I have no idea and Flight Global used the term interchangeably in the article above, is there a convention on using the term refuelling or refueling? English versus American spelling?

The KC-135A Dash-1 flight manual I have (as well as the accompanying "Air Refueling Procedures" manual) spell it with one "L" as refueling.


The single L is an American thing. Just about the rest of the entire English speaking World uses LL (and fewer Z's but a lot more S's :wink2: )

Thanks guys, a quick look at the RAF and RAAF websites confirmed the double L. Poor editing by Flight Global to roll from one spelling to the other...
 
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Moose135
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:39 pm

scbriml wrote:
The single L is an American thing. Just about the rest of the entire English speaking World uses LL (and fewer Z's but a lot more S's :wink2: )

Of course, since we invented aerial refueling, and do the most of it, I'll stick with one L.
:rotfl:
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:30 pm

As a regular visitor to PAE I've followed the KC46 production from the beginning. I thought I'd share my KC46 Disposition listing as (as of 24Feb19) with the forum. I took a public tour on Sunday 24th Feb and there were 3 completed frames in the 747/767 production line. There were 2 by the 747 end door (normally there would only be 1 on a slant but these were nose out, side by side). Then on the production list there was one with a USAF rudder in the newest position and a 767 (model) next to roll out. Interestingly this had a lighter grey rudder, and there was suggestion it could be LN1180 for UPS? I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has a status update on the newer frames on my list, LN1174 onwards. In the list, PAE means outside on the main ramp, [email protected] is those being worked on outside ATS hangars, [email protected]? are believed to be inside the ATS building. BFI means just that (either flight testing or the Boeing Military ramps). Finally, 'Stored PAE' refers to the 7 aircraft on the disused runway, plus any other frames that are clearly in storage. I'll be back at PAE on Sunday morning (03Mar) so any updates I'll post here. Unless noted as in "primer" all frames up to LN1142 can be assumed to be painted in at least partial USAF colours ..

KC46 Disposition as of 24Feb19

1 LN1065 N461FT 11-46001 Stored PAE
2 LN1066 N464KC 11-46002 Edwards AFB
3 LN1067 N463FT 11-46003 Stored PAE
4 LN1069 N462KC 11-46004 BFI
5 LN1091 N842BA 16-46005 Edwards AFB
6 LN1092 N884BA 16-46006 BFI
7 LN1098 primer 15-46007 ATS @ PAE
8 LN1100 primer 15-46008 Stored PAE
9 LN1102 N50217 15-46009 DELIVERED
10 LN1104 15-46010 Stored PAE
11 LN1107 15-46011 ATS @ PAE?
12 LN1109 primer 16-46012 ATS @ PAE
13 LN1111 primer 16-46013 ATS @ PAE
14 LN1113 16-46014 ATS @ PAE?
15 LN1114 16-46015 ATS @ PAE?
16 LN1116 16-46016 ATS @ PAE?
17 LN1117 16-46017 PAE
18 LN1119 N5514J 16-46018 Stored PAE
19 LN1120 N5514K 16-46019 PAE
20 LN1122 N5514V 16-46020 Stored PAE
21 LN1124 N5514X 16-46021 Stored PAE
22 LN1126 16-46022 DELIVERED
23 LN1128 N6018N 16-46023 BFI
24 LN1129 17-46024 Stored PAE
25 LN1131 N1785B 17-46025 BFI
26 LN1132 17-46026 PAE
27 LN1134 17-46027 DELIVERED
28 LN1135 N55141 17-46028 DELIVERED
29 LN1137 N55141 17-46029 BFI
30 LN1139 N6009F 17-46030 DELIVERED
31 LN1143 17-46031 DELIVERED
32 LN1145 N5016R 17-46032 BFI
33 LN1147 N5016R 17-46033 BFI
34 LN1149 N5017Q 17-46034 BFI
35 LN1151 N5017V 17-46035 BFI
36 LN1154 17-46036 PAE
37 LN1156 N5511Y 17-46037 PAE
38 LN1158 17-46038 PAE
39 LN1160 18-46039 PAE
40 LN1162 18-46040 ATS @ PAE
41 LN1164 18-46041 ATS @ PAE
42 LN1166 18-46042 PAE
43 LN1168 18-46043 PAE
44 LN1170 18-46044 PAE
45 LN1172 18-46045 PAE
46 LN1174 18-46046 PAE?
47 LN1176 18-46047 PAE?
48 LN1178 18-46048 PAE?
49 LN1181? 18-46049 Prod line?
50 LN ? 18-46050
51 LN ? 18-46051
52 LN ? 18-46052
 
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Spacepope
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:16 pm

Boeing was supposed to deliver 4 total in Feb, with just 2 so far. Anyone know the next 2 to leave the nest? Looks like 029 was doing test flights earlier this month...
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Ozair
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:32 pm

Well SpacePope this may be the reason for the delay, this whole program just keeps going from bad to worse...

Pretty amateur stuff from Boeing!

Boeing tanker jets grounded due to tools and debris left during manufacturing

Boeing leadership was forced to ground its 767-based KC-46 tankers for the past week after the Air Force expressed concern about loose tools and other foreign object debris (FOD) found in various locations inside the completed airplanes, according to internal company memos.

“We have USAF pilots here for flight training and they will not fly due to the FOD issues and the current confidence they have in our product that has been discovered throughout the aircraft,” factory management wrote in a memo a week ago to employees on the 767 assembly line.

“This is a big deal,” the memo emphasized.

On Thursday, Boeing spokesman Chick Ramey acknowledged the problem but characterized it only “a temporary pause” in flight operations. He said training flights are set to resume Thursday after approximately a week’s downtime, during which Boeing worked with the Air Force on how to resolve the production problems.

The KC-46 is built as an empty 767 airframe on the main assembly line in Everett, then transferred to a facility at the south end of Paine Field called the Military Delivery Center (MDC), where the jet’s military systems, including the refueling and communications equipment, are installed and the airplanes are completed.

The internal company memo said the MDC “grounded our 767 tankers due to FOD and tool control.”

During the process of building aircraft, all airframes are supposed to be routinely swept for any kind of foreign object debris — especially anything metal. A loose object left, say, inside a wall cavity or under a floor, is potentially dangerous because over time it could damage equipment or cause an electrical short.

“The 767 program has been scrambling to get our employees down south … to the MDC to clean FOD from our delivered tankers to get our aircraft back in the air,” the memo states.

The memo notes that eight tools were found in aircraft delivered to the MDC and two more in tankers delivered to the USAF.

Another memo said repeated finding of FOD by the Air Force was “a chronic issue” that has “resulted in a program level impact.”

Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Hope Cronin said the military is “aware of the concerns over FOD in KC-46 production aircraft” and takes such contamination “very seriously.”

“The combined Air Force, Defense Contract Management Agency, and Boeing team is working together to resolve these concerns as safely and quickly as possible,” Cronin said via email.

Making sure that no FOD makes its way onto a finished airplane is the responsibility of every mechanic who works on the plane but also of the quality inspectors, whose job is to do a final check on any area of an airplane before it is closed up.

What seems to be a serious lapse in FOD control comes as Boeing says it intends to cut almost 1,000 Quality Inspectors jobs over the next two years.

Quality inspectors concerned about that move pointed recently to Boeing’s failure in December of one element of a quality control audit on the 747, 767 and 777 airplane programs.

Management said the MDC “has declared a level 3” state of alert on the Everett assembly line over the KC-46 FOD issue. On a scale embedded in Boeing’s defense contracts, this is a level that the memo makes clear is one step away from a complete shutdown of the assembly line.

“Does anyone know what a level four is?” the management memo asks. “A level four … will shut down our factory. This is a big deal.”

Employees installing the airplane’s systems on the assembly line were directed last week to shut everything down “48 minutes prior to shift end” in order to complete a thorough inspection for FOD and to clean the work area.

“It will take us all to win back the confidence of our customer/USAF and show them that we are the number one aircraft builder,” the memo urges.

In addition to six flight test KC-46 tankers, Boeing has already delivered six tankers to the McConnell and Altus Air Force Bases so far, with about 45 more production tankers at Boeing’s Puget Sound area facilities in the final stages of completion.

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... uffer_tw_m
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:07 pm

:banghead: Uh Oh, looks like the FOD training will be emphasized for this years set of mandatory training . . . :irked:

bt
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kanban
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:29 pm

I don't know how many times I had to write up a production crew for FOD issues when I was doing process audits... drill shavings are bad enough but tools.....aaaaah!!!!!!!
 
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Moose135
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:11 am

Ozair wrote:
Boeing tanker jets grounded due to tools and debris left during manufacturing


"Buy a tanker, and we'll throw in this free wrench!"
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Spacepope
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:59 am

Moose135 wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Boeing tanker jets grounded due to tools and debris left during manufacturing


"Buy a tanker, and we'll throw in this free wrench!"

Sounds like a repeat of what did in Brewster.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:55 pm

Is this FOD from the original Commercial work or from the alterations. I mean will they have to open up the wing tanks to check them. Or is it all in the fuse. What a FUBAR, I would have thought they would have cleaned each up fully prior to the full customer acceptance walk thru. Probably just a 100K each plane for a crew to ge stem to stern.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:57 pm

Just a guess here... The FOD is probably because of the massive amount of rework being done on the early frames. Coupled that with the massive amount of over time hours causing fatigue will result in mishaps and forgetfullness. At the beginning of the P-8A program, there may have been several FOD incident. Not sure how many made it to the NAVY. However, that program ran more smoothly and their FOD incident did not adversely affect me the program. Once the KC-46 gets into rhythm with fewer rework, the FOD issue will be under control. After all, the KC-46 mod is much simpler than the P-8A mod.

bt
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keesje
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:35 am

with about 45 more production tankers at Boeing’s Puget Sound area facilities in the final stages of completion.


:wideeyed:

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texl1649
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:53 am

What are some of these, 3 year old frames at this point? Pretty tough to keep track of who was where after a few years of ‘production.’
 
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:58 am

 
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747classic
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:37 am

Delivery of L/N 1147, 17-46033 at March 11th 2019 with callsign EXXON3.

Image

Original uploaded by Matt Cawby at twitter, see : https://twitter.com/mattcawby/status/11 ... 8428667905
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EK77WNH
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:11 pm

I read that Pease here in New Hampshire was going to be rid of all their KC-135R's by the end of this month, even though the first KC-46 isn't due there until September or October. Does that compromise the mission at Pease, or are there enough assets around in the northeast to handle it all?
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:27 am

EK77WNH wrote:
I read that Pease here in New Hampshire was going to be rid of all their KC-135R's by the end of this month, even though the first KC-46 isn't due there until September or October. Does that compromise the mission at Pease, or are there enough assets around in the northeast to handle it all?

I'm sure the 101st ARW (Maine ANG) and 108th ARW (McGuire/New Jersey ANG), as well as the McGuire KC-10s could all pick up the slack if need be.
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Spacepope
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:36 am

So, only one delivery in March, they’re about 4 behind (revised) schedule now. Is there another holdup beyond the FOD issues?
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:41 pm

EK77WNH wrote:
I read that Pease here in New Hampshire was going to be rid of all their KC-135R's by the end of this month, even though the first KC-46 isn't due there until September or October. Does that compromise the mission at Pease, or are there enough assets around in the northeast to handle it all?



The historic end of an era. The KC-135 has been a part of Pease AFB/ANGB since 1965. For 54 years the KC-135A/E/R has been continuously flying from the NH Seacoast.

:cry2:

34 AREFS
509 AREFS
509 BW-Pease Tanker Task Force
157 AREFW (NHANG)
64 AREFS


*By the end of 2018, a Weapons System Trainer, Boom Operator Trainer, and Fuselage Trainer for the KC-46A were installed at Pease. In early February 2019, it was announced that the 157 ARW would receive the new KC-46A aircraft by the fall of 2019. The final KC-135R at Pease, serial number 57-1419, departed on March 24, 2019, for Goldwater Air National Guard Base in Phoenix, Arizona.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pease_Air_National_Guard_Base
 
Ozair
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:37 pm

Spacepope wrote:
So, only one delivery in March, they’re about 4 behind (revised) schedule now. Is there another holdup beyond the FOD issues?

This must be a trend...

Air Force again halts KC-46 deliveries after more debris found

The Air Force has once again halted deliveries of the KC-46 Pegasus tanker from Boeing after more foreign object debris, or FOD, was found in some closed compartments of the aircraft.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson confirmed in a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the budget Tuesday morning that deliveries had been stopped for a second time. Wilson told Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., that the Air Force is putting corrective actions in place, including requiring all closed compartments be inspected, “to make sure that the production line is being run the way that it needs to be run.”

Courtney expressed concern that problems with the KC-46 appear to be getting in the way of the Air Force’s “optimistic projections” about delivery of the aircraft.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in an email that the decision to stop accepting the KC-46s was made on March 23. But inspectors are still finding debris and other quality problems with the Pegasus, as recently as this week, she said.

“The Air Force again halted acceptance of new KC-46 tanker aircraft as we continue to work with Boeing to ensure that every aircraft delivered meets the highest quality and safety standards,” Stefanek said. “This week our inspectors identified additional foreign object debris and areas where Boeing did not meet quality standards.”

Stefanek said the problems are not related to the aircraft’s design or engineering specifications. Boeing has so far delivered seven KC-46s to the Air Force.

“Air Force leadership is meeting with Boeing to approve additional corrective action plans before aircraft acceptance can resume,” Stefanek said.

In another budget hearing Tuesday afternoon, with the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, Wilson said that problems with foreign object debris can range from a dropped wrench that gets left behind, to small pieces of aluminum left on surfaces. But if surfaces don’t get wiped down to clean off those aluminum fragments, they can get in the middle of things and cause serious problems in the aircraft, Wilson said.

Most recently, Wilson said, inspectors opened up closed compartments, such as those inside wings, to see if they had been wiped down. Those areas were better than some of the open areas, she said, “but they weren’t what we would expect.”

“That is a manufacturing discipline issue, on the line ... and we saw a breakdown there,” Wilson said. “We expect excellence in the manufacture of our aircraft, and we are working with Boeing on corrective action plans.”

Boeing said in a statement Tuesday that fixing this problem is a top priority for the company and the program.

“Boeing is committed to delivering FOD-free aircraft to the Air Force,” Boeing spokesman Charles Ramey said. “Although we’ve made improvements to date, we can do better.”

Ramey said Boeing is conducting additional company and customer inspections of the aircraft, and have put preventative action plans in place. Boeing has also added more training, put more rigorous clean-as-you-go practices into place, and is holding FOD awareness days across the company “to stress the importance and urgency of this issue.”

“Safety and quality are our highest priority,” Ramey said.

The Air Force on March 1 confirmed that it had suspended deliveries the first time because tools and other debris had been left in the planes, which could be a safety hazard. By that point, six tankers had already been accepted by McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas and Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

Deliveries resumed March 11, after more than two weeks, when the seventh Pegasus arrived at Altus. The Air Force had received Boeing’s corrective action plan, and said it would closely scrutinize plans before accepting them.

U.S. Transportation Command said last month that it is preparing to delay the retirement of some KC-135 tankers, which are intended to be replaced by the KC-46, due to the problems and delays with the Pegasus’ deliveries. Technical problems had already delayed delivery of the first tanker more than two years from when it was originally expected.

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your ... ris-found/
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:15 am

I though that after the 1st FOD issue, Boeing would have opened up every compartment and checked it, now it will be a real big deal getting each accepted.

I would suspect the after the line work being the cause, what is the QC on production wing tanks and compartments?
 
pugman211
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:18 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
I though that after the 1st FOD issue, Boeing would have opened up every compartment and checked it, now it will be a real big deal getting each accepted.

I would suspect the after the line work being the cause, what is the QC on production wing tanks and compartments?


I would suspect the same too, the FOD comes from after initial build. If its anything like Airbus, they have stickers that are applied after a QC has completed a C of A ( clearance Area). That sticker has a date and stamp number tracing back to the operator.
 
EK77WNH
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:10 pm

When Boeing ceremoniously yanked the Airbus award for this many years ago, many were quietly saying, “Be careful what you whine for.”

And here we are.
(Formerly ChrisNH)
 
GlobalMoose
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:58 pm

As much flak as the KC-46 has caught over the past many years, I will say the jet is a rock solid platform when refueling off of it. Large refueling envelope, bright pilot director lights, and a great centering force from the engines. After one plug, I'd prefer the -46 over the -10 (second place) or the -135 (third place).

Fun fact - take a look at the -46 from behind, the centerline aerial refueling drogue (while in the retracted position) makes the aircraft look like it has a butt hole.
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747classic
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:59 am

The U.S. Air Force will begin accepting Boeing KC-46As later this month (April)

Boeing ‘Embarrassed’ By KC-46A Debris Problems.

See : https://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-b ... s-problems
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:28 am

747classic wrote:
The U.S. Air Force will begin accepting Boeing KC-46As later this month (April)

Boeing ‘Embarrassed’ By KC-46A Debris Problems.

See : https://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-b ... s-problems


Boeing should be embarrassed. They have no one to blame but themselves, their QA people, and production employees.

The next question is are any other customers finding a FOD problem on accepted airplanes?

What about the P-8 program?

Is the FOD found in the same locations on each KC-46, or is it spread in different areas on different tankers?

If the USAF is the only customer with a FOD problem upon delivery, were these KC-46s sabotaged?

If it is sabotage is the FBI investigating?
 
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Stitch
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:44 am

If the P-8 program is suffering from FOD issues, they don't seem to be as significant as those on the KC-46 as the USN and other customers have no stopped deliveries nor publicly called out Boeing on the issue like the USAF has.

I'd also be interested to know if the KC-46A frames affected went directly from the FAL to the conversion center and then to the USAF or if they are frames that have been hanging around for months or even years and shuttled around PAE and it's facilities. The latter would not excuse the issue, but it could explain it as those frames would have had significantly more "labor touches" and therefore more opportunities to suffer a FOD incident.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:23 am

I agree, Stitch. But still, isn't every worker who touches a KC-46 required to clean up after themselves?

The P-8s are built on the B-737 commercial line, then go to the modification center, just like the KC-46.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:56 am

The difference between the P-8A and the KC-46 was the Navy was lucky enough to planned for sufficient time for product development and there was no mishaps as large as the wiring rework on the KC-46. There were incidents, but nothing systemic.

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

Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:32 pm

This FOD issue can be compared to the story of production issue reported on the 787 line in SC. When schedule is crunched and you try throwing more people at it, you get production issues (inexperience, fatigue from too much overtime etc.). Once you get your schedule under control, your quality goes back up. It will take a while for the KC-46 to get back on schedule, once it does though, you will see these problems go away. Except for a few stray reports that are a year or too late to hit the press. . .

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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747classic
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:32 pm

The next (8th?) KC-46A (17-46035) has been delivered at April 20th 2019 from Boeing Field, with call sign MDSUA5.
See : https://flightaware.com/live/flight/MDU ... /KBFI/KCEA
And : https://twitter.com/BoeingDefense/statu ... 0564960256
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
Ozair
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:00 pm

bikerthai wrote:
The difference between the P-8A and the KC-46 was the Navy was lucky enough to planned for sufficient time for product development and there was no mishaps as large as the wiring rework on the KC-46. There were incidents, but nothing systemic.

bt


Lucky…. I’m not sure why you can claim that. The schedule for the P-8 was less aggressive but the P-8 program was clearly more ambitious and incorporated more technology than what should have been a reasonably vanilla conversion to tanker for the 767. The issues with the KC-46 are well documented and the inability for Boeing to deliver to the schedule and cost they bid lies solely and squarely with themselves, not the USAF or the Pentagon. If this were the first issue then we could look past it but is nows sits at maybe the fourth or fifth issue of significant note.

The interesting question is if Boeing with hindsight could look at their current position, with the prospect of zero proft ever coming from the KC-46 program, whether it would have been better to not win the contract in the first place? The big fear was the A330 getting a US production line but since the KC-46 contract award the A320, the far bigger threat, now has a US production line (announced just a year after the tanker contract award) as well as the A220. You could also argue that KC-46 issues forced Boeing Defence to bid cheap on subsequent deals which also today have questionable future margin.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:46 pm

Ozair wrote:
Lucky…. I’m not sure why you can claim that.


History has shown that major implications can come from one decision. I submit that the bad luck can be attributed to one of two (or both) decisions:

1) Have BCA take the lead in the initial tanker project. This in itself may not be too bad except it lead to the second decision:

2) Wiring design was given to BCA designer/team which were not familiar with military requirements thus causing significant delay and rework.

The wiring rework alone probably did not constitute all of the FOD but it did contribute to program delays and the host of cascading events that definitely contributed to the systememic FOD issue.

Who knows why the decision 2) was made. But if those responsible had leaned the other direction (by luck or foresight) most of all of these issue could have been avoided.

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

Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:01 pm

Johnv707 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Is there a list somewhere of the production and deliveries of the KC-46 (also P-8's) like other aircraft have. So far I know that 5 are delivered and I heard around Christmas that 10 were basically ready. I recall reading that there would be 4 in Jan (met), 4 in Feb, then 3 per month after that.



LOOK HERE: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 2121076296


Just bumping this awesome link up to the current page.
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Runway28L
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:31 am

Image of the new hangar going up at the 916th Air Refueling Wing which will be receiving their first of twelve KC-46s in the coming months.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwkIwtvAGm9/
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Moose135
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:54 pm

Runway28L wrote:
Image of the new hangar going up at the 916th Air Refueling Wing which will be receiving their first of twelve KC-46s in the coming months.

I had to dig a bit to figure out that the 916th is based at Seymour Johnson. They are holding an air show/open house this weekend, and the show web site shows a KC-46 will be on the static display ramp. It will be neat to see one up close and in person. Hope they have the insides open to the public, that will be interesting to see.
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Ozair
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:25 pm

Moose135 wrote:
Hope they have the insides open to the public, that will be interesting to see.

Careful where you step, there might be some excess material left around… :duck:
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:19 pm

Ozair wrote:
Moose135 wrote:
Hope they have the insides open to the public, that will be interesting to see.

Careful where you step, there might be some excess material left around… :duck:



:highfive: Free souvenir . . .

bt
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:41 pm

Max Q wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
Max Q wrote:



Thanks for adding a professional assessment


I’d like to see the boom operators station on the IIAF 747,I wonder if that’s a copy of the KC135 with the prone configuration or
similar to the KC10


I have never seen the Boom Pod in the IIAF KC-747s. I have seen a picture taken of the Boom Pod from outside, with the siting door open. The siting window appears about the same size as the KC-135, KC-707/KC-137. That leads me to believe it is the same as the KC-135s interior Boom Pod and instrument panel and Boom controlsand systems. The Boom fitted to the KC-747s and thier KC-707s is the same as the KC-135 Boom.



Thanks TB, what is the ‘siting door ?’


The siting door is the aerodynamic panel that opens hydraulically so the Boom Operator can observe the air refueling. It is just forward of the base of the Boom. It retracts inward and opening the door provides hydraulic fluid to flow to the Boom.
 
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Moose135
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:20 am

They didn't have the inside open to the public, but I did get a good look around the outside and spent about 10 minutes talking with one of the pilots who flew it in. He came out of R-model -135s, and loves the -46.

Image

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