superbizzy73
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Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:15 am

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... st-flight/

Congratulations to Boeing and the US Navy for this milestone. Here’s hoping the project goes forward without any major hiccups. Boeing really needs this one to go smoothly.
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:24 am

superbizzy73 wrote:
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/09/19/the-us-navys-new-autonomous-refueling-drone-takes-historic-first-flight/

Congratulations to Boeing and the US Navy for this milestone. Here’s hoping the project goes forward without any major hiccups. Boeing really needs this one to go smoothly.

Congratulations, this is a good achievement and while it isn't an actual prototype aircraft to be delivered under the contract it is great to see this one fly. It must certainly up the confidence the USN has that this program will move forward as planned.

Image for those who won't click the link.

Image
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:58 am

This is good. I wonder how far from being a prototype this is.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:53 pm

Haven’t been able to find a definitive answer, but what exactly is the task and purpose of a refueling drone? Is it for other drones or for refueling manned aircraft? Seems a bit on the small side to refuel aircraft such as the F-35 and F/A-18
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:29 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:
Seems a bit on the small side to refuel aircraft such as the F-35 and F/A-18


There are various artist concept images out there showing the drones (both LM and Boeing) refueling fighters.

The size of the drone in the photos are deceiving as there are no crew standing next to it.

This article has photos and video of the frame with perspective.
https://defence-blog.com/news/boeing-re ... sting.html

If you look at real photos, you can see that it is a good size aircraft. It eliminates the need for fighter to fighter refueling for strike packages.
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:51 pm

And first flight video can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLV8eQWxVNo

At 12 seconds, you can see the proportion of the plane with respect to the escort truck.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Oroka
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:08 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:
Haven’t been able to find a definitive answer, but what exactly is the task and purpose of a refueling drone? Is it for other drones or for refueling manned aircraft? Seems a bit on the small side to refuel aircraft such as the F-35 and F/A-18


It is not a big tanker, it is more of a replacement for sending out another fighter like a Rhino to do buddy refueling. Its about the size of a big fighter.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:38 pm

On the size and capacity...

Keep in mind that the contract also stipulates that the drone use the existing hose/drogue refueling pods that the F/A-18's use on buddy fueling missions. This means that there is no internal storage space taken up with the refueling hose/drogue and reel. This gives a greater volume fraction for fuel storage.
 
meecrob
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:32 pm

In addition to what has been said above with regards to size, this drone has to be integrated into a carrier environment. Deck/hangar space is at a premium. I recall reading an article written by a member of a C-2 COD crew in which he said that it was rare that they and the C-2 actually stayed aboard the carrier after delivery. Instead, they usually flew ashore and stayed in hotels simply because it was too much hassle to maneuver and park a plane even the size of a C-2 on the carrier if not necessary.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:27 pm

Oroka wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:
Haven’t been able to find a definitive answer, but what exactly is the task and purpose of a refueling drone? Is it for other drones or for refueling manned aircraft? Seems a bit on the small side to refuel aircraft such as the F-35 and F/A-18


It is not a big tanker, it is more of a replacement for sending out another fighter like a Rhino to do buddy refueling. Its about the size of a big fighter.


Thanks for simple explanation, that makes sense then.
Jumped out of: C130H, C130J, C17A, C212, CH47, and UH60. Bucket list: C160, A400, C2
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:28 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:
Haven’t been able to find a definitive answer, but what exactly is the task and purpose of a refueling drone? Is it for other drones or for refueling manned aircraft? Seems a bit on the small side to refuel aircraft such as the F-35 and F/A-18


It is proposed for the MQ-25 to do the refueling for all carrier aircraft if Air Force tankers are not available. The RFP required each MQ-25 to deliver 15,000 lb of fuel 500 miles from the carrier with some hover time also. This is basically the full fuel load of a Super Hornet, and about 80% of a F-35.

The FA-18 has a MTOW of 66,000 lb, it looks like the MQ-25 is reusing the FA-18's gear. So it may be capable of delivering more fuel at 500 miles, I have not found any specifications of what the MQ-25 can actually do for empty weight, payload, range, or MTOW. I suspect it will have similar to the FA-18 MTOW. That is a very workable size on the carrier as well as using the same inventory of consumables and spare parts.
 
mham001
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:14 am

Which Boeing tanker will enter service first? They seem to be slightly ahead of schedule on this one.
 
itchief
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:48 pm

For many of the questions in the previous post. Go to the link below for answers.

http://www.boeing.com/defense/mq25/
 
estorilm
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:37 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
This is good. I wonder how far from being a prototype this is.

Didn't Northrop have something FAR FAR FAR more advanced than this flying years ago? Including carrier landings and takeoffs?

What a ridiculous waste of $$$. :(
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:57 pm

estorilm wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
This is good. I wonder how far from being a prototype this is.

Didn't Northrop have something FAR FAR FAR more advanced than this flying years ago? Including carrier landings and takeoffs?

What a ridiculous waste of $$$. :(


Northrop did have a drone that went thru carrier landings and takeoffs, but they decided to not submit for the MQ-25 RFP.

Boeing's MQ-25 has a lot in common with their submission for that earlier RFP, but they were not selected.

The previous project was for a drone fighter, they went simpler and removed stealth from the requirements. A tanker is the right stepping stone
as it is relatively simple task compared to the fighter. Besides we need manned bombers and fighters, for the pilot's glory.
 
estorilm
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:27 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
estorilm wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
This is good. I wonder how far from being a prototype this is.

Didn't Northrop have something FAR FAR FAR more advanced than this flying years ago? Including carrier landings and takeoffs?

What a ridiculous waste of $$$. :(


Northrop did have a drone that went thru carrier landings and takeoffs, but they decided to not submit for the MQ-25 RFP.

Boeing's MQ-25 has a lot in common with their submission for that earlier RFP, but they were not selected.

The previous project was for a drone fighter, they went simpler and removed stealth from the requirements. A tanker is the right stepping stone
as it is relatively simple task compared to the fighter. Besides we need manned bombers and fighters, for the pilot's glory.

Well, I generally agree - however from what I had read and discussed with people in the program, the Northrop X-47B was extremely far along in development (largely on Northrops own $$$) and was routinely taxiing and performing other carrier ops remotely - YEARS ahead of this project, with a more capable (and more stealthy) platform.

I understand the Boeing design doesn't have the same requirements, but damn... what a waste of money. Now we need to sit around and watch the Boeing sponge soak up as much govt $$$$$ as possible to get the most basic platform into the air again.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:32 pm

estorilm wrote:
Well, I generally agree - however from what I had read and discussed with people in the program, the Northrop X-47B was extremely far along in development (largely on Northrops own $$$) and was routinely taxiing and performing other carrier ops remotely - YEARS ahead of this project, with a more capable (and more stealthy) platform. I understand the Boeing design doesn't have the same requirements, but damn... what a waste of money. Now we need to sit around and watch the Boeing sponge soak up as much govt $$$$$ as possible to get the most basic platform into the air again.


You have to get into the details to see if the argument is valid. It may be true that the X-47B development may be ahead of the curve, but you have to consider the detail design aspect of the plane and how it was put together. If it was designed in the same vein as the B-2 then it would have been expensive to built and operate. If you do not need stealth in a tanker, then why carry along the extra cost of such a platform. And who to say that the money spent on the X-47 was wasted. The development could have gone to the B-3 project. Remember that the Air Force is developing the B-3 as both manned and future un-manned platform.

Boeing, which did have some work on the B-2 have the benefit of commercial manufacturing infrastructure (tanker fiasco not withstanding) to build cheaper frames (in the long run). Their experience in small UAV (scan eagle etc.) also mean that they are not that far behind in that field. Add to that, Boeing has the carrier experience with the F-18. The only other manufacturer with carrier experience would have been LM.

bt
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Tugger
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:31 pm

bikerthai wrote:
The only other manufacturer with carrier experience would have been LM.

Well modern carrier experience. The Grumman Tomcat was THE plane for awhile there. It was produced thru 1991. So NG has that heritage if not current experience (which I agree is 99% of the issue).

(Sorry I just to point that out, carry on! :profile: )

Tugg
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:50 pm

Tugger wrote:
So NG has that heritage if not current experience (which I agree is 99% of the issue)


Yeah, even at Boeing much of the tanker experienced retired leaving the new crop to work the KC-46. Heck, there are probably few B-2 engineers left in the company was well. It will be interesting to see how the B-3 fares as I suspect many of their designers may have come over from their UAV organization.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
estorilm
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:07 pm

Tugger wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
The only other manufacturer with carrier experience would have been LM.

Well modern carrier experience. The Grumman Tomcat was THE plane for awhile there. It was produced thru 1991. So NG has that heritage if not current experience (which I agree is 99% of the issue).

(Sorry I just to point that out, carry on! :profile: )

Tugg

Thanks for saving me the post haha - Grumman was probably the king in this field back in the day, and I figure it's carried along in their heritage (both technically and within their staff / knowledge base). I just flew back from an air show in our CAF wing's Grumman Avenger Sunday and still think about the size of the gear struts, the wing fold mechanisms, etc..
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing MQ-25 flies for the first time

Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:02 pm

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