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747classic
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KC-10A retirement

Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:24 am

After watching this picture of the first 3 stored KC-10A's, probably 86-0036, 87-0120 and 83-0077, I have the following questions :

- In what condition will these aircraft be stored ?
- Apparently they are in Type 1000 storage where they can be quickly reactivated and returned to service if required!
- However according this article they will be used for spare parts for the remaining fleet, see : https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... retirement
- What's the current retirement schedule (incl. registrations) : How many will be retired in 2021, 2022, etc.

Image

 
Galaxy5007
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:10 pm

The USAF has never has any kind of organization when it comes to retirements. Usually retirements come along when a jet hits a critical maintenance requirement like a C/D check.
Congress has slowed down the KC-10 retirements due to the KC-46 issues still plaguing the fleet. Originally 16 were supposed to be retired in FY21, but that has been restricted to a maximum of 6. FY22 and 23 have a limit of 12 divestments per year.
The first three retired will never fly again, despite being reportedly in inviolate storage. Part of the rush to retire some of these jets were to support the fleet of parts that are simply not available anywhere. All three had their booms removed already just to have a boom rebuild line in progress to streamline the process and cut down on rebuild time.
 
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747classic
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:57 pm

Galaxy5007 wrote:
The USAF has never has any kind of organization when it comes to retirements. Usually retirements come along when a jet hits a critical maintenance requirement like a C/D check.
Congress has slowed down the KC-10 retirements due to the KC-46 issues still plaguing the fleet. Originally 16 were supposed to be retired in FY21, but that has been restricted to a maximum of 6. FY22 and 23 have a limit of 12 divestments per year.
The first three retired will never fly again, despite being reportedly in inviolate storage. Part of the rush to retire some of these jets were to support the fleet of parts that are simply not available anywhere. All three had their booms removed already just to have a boom rebuild line in progress to streamline the process and cut down on rebuild time.


Thx for your reply.
From the outside they look still untouched, even all engines seem to be installed and properly protected.
AFAIK all KC-10A aircraft had just received the Rockwell Collins Communication, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Cockpit Modernization (Program completed in 2017).
 
texl1649
Posts: 1955
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:19 pm

Not for the first three, but I could see a small set of KC-10’s being operated by a contractor at some point down the line.
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:45 am

It does look like the booms have been removed?
 
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ish2dachoppa
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:51 pm

Max Q wrote:
It does look like the booms have been removed?


When you enlarge the image, you can see that the booms have been removed.
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 11227
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:15 am

Galaxy5007 wrote:
The USAF has never has any kind of organization when it comes to retirements. Usually retirements come along when a jet hits a critical maintenance requirement like a C/D check.
Congress has slowed down the KC-10 retirements due to the KC-46 issues still plaguing the fleet. Originally 16 were supposed to be retired in FY21, but that has been restricted to a maximum of 6. FY22 and 23 have a limit of 12 divestments per year.
The first three retired will never fly again, despite being reportedly in inviolate storage. Part of the rush to retire some of these jets were to support the fleet of parts that are simply not available anywhere. All three had their booms removed already just to have a boom rebuild line in progress to streamline the process and cut down on rebuild time.



So half the KC-10 fleet will be retired by FY-23? There are only 59 of them and your info retires 30.
 
Ozair
Posts: 5582
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:15 am

kc135topboom wrote:
Galaxy5007 wrote:
The USAF has never has any kind of organization when it comes to retirements. Usually retirements come along when a jet hits a critical maintenance requirement like a C/D check.
Congress has slowed down the KC-10 retirements due to the KC-46 issues still plaguing the fleet. Originally 16 were supposed to be retired in FY21, but that has been restricted to a maximum of 6. FY22 and 23 have a limit of 12 divestments per year.
The first three retired will never fly again, despite being reportedly in inviolate storage. Part of the rush to retire some of these jets were to support the fleet of parts that are simply not available anywhere. All three had their booms removed already just to have a boom rebuild line in progress to streamline the process and cut down on rebuild time.



So half the KC-10 fleet will be retired by FY-23? There are only 59 of them and your info retires 30.

That is the plan and I expect the rest gone by FY25.
 
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747classic
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 8:24 am

What a waste of taxpayers money.
All KC10A's are low on hours/cycles and the DC10 series is just like the DC8 series very sturdy built and requires mimimal structural maintanance. (few AD's), compared to Boeing built aircraft.
On top of that the KC-10A flightdeck has been upgraded a few years ago.
Technically the aircraft could have lasted another 20 years without major upgrades.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:45 am

747classic wrote:
What a waste of taxpayers money.
All KC10A's are low on hours/cycles and the DC10 series is just like the DC8 series very sturdy built and requires mimimal structural maintanance. (few AD's), compared to Boeing built aircraft.
On top of that the KC-10A flightdeck has been upgraded a few years ago.
Technically the aircraft could have lasted another 20 years without major upgrades.

However, the KC-10's represent a fairly small part of the USAF's transportation fleet, which roles can be covered by other types.

Also, it represented a fairly outsized portion of the USAF's upkeep and training budgets; maintaining the depot and training infrastructure for just 59 aircraft is not particularly cost effective when you consider how many KC-135's are out there, plus how many KC-46's are being acquired.
 
Ozair
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Feb 18, 2021 9:56 am

747classic wrote:
What a waste of taxpayers money.
All KC10A's are low on hours/cycles and the DC10 series is just like the DC8 series very sturdy built and requires mimimal structural maintanance. (few AD's), compared to Boeing built aircraft.
On top of that the KC-10A flightdeck has been upgraded a few years ago.
Technically the aircraft could have lasted another 20 years without major upgrades.

As a smaller fleet of aircraft it is cheaper for the USAF to remove the whole fleet and save significant sustainment costs than for example retire an equivalent number of KC-135s but still have the KC-135 sustainment tail.

There is obviously a capability argument that can be made but in this case the cost saving has won that debate.
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:56 am

Saving money by having less capability, certainly sounds like government thinking
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:48 am

There won’t be “less capability” after the KC-46 is up and running. Sustainment costs of small fleets is out of sight. I fear the C-5 will get a similar ax for the same reason. Maintaining sim programs, vendors, depots is really the driver. I’ve had parts for C-5 sourced from a vendor—days waiting for them while contracting for the part. There’s few suppliers that will bid for such small contracts.
 
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747classic
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:57 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There won’t be “less capability” after the KC-46 is up and running. Sustainment costs of small fleets is out of sight. I fear the C-5 will get a similar ax for the same reason. Maintaining sim programs, vendors, depots is really the driver. I’ve had parts for C-5 sourced from a vendor—days waiting for them while contracting for the part. There’s few suppliers that will bid for such small contracts.


It will take a few years , before the KC-46A is " up and running", after that you can retire the KC-10A fleet, otherwise you have several years a shortage of operational tankers, as stated by MaxQ..

About part sourching: if you have a complete inventory of spares" in stock " (I know that's not that fashionable as : "just in time" delivery) and with carefully vendor planning, before the stock approached "zero", you can maintain a fleet of 59 unique aircraft. Several, difficult to source, structural parts can be salvaged in exceptional AOG cases from stored DC10's.

According your statement all military aircraft types with less than, let's say, one hundered aircraft must be retired asap for operational and maintenance reasons.
 
CX747
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Re: KC-10A retirement

Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:55 pm

Max Q wrote:
Saving money by having less capability, certainly sounds like government thinking


Bingo! The awesomeness of USG thinking.

Costs are always a metric to look at and be concerned with BUT what capability loss are we having?

When I was King for a short time I started running my program just like 747Classic stated. We didn't do "just in time" because we aren't Ford, making trucks. Program ran extremely well, met the needs of the end user and was within budget. At first people's head's exploded at the thought of strategic stock but it is indeed good to be King when that occurs.

I do not like the early retirement of KC-10s or KC-135s while the KC-46A figures itself out. On top of that we are already looking at a tanker shortage. Overall, this is nothing more than the best play a US Defense Service can make when it wants new equipment....completely get rid of what does the job, then complain you don't have anything to do the job. Kinda like the US Army and the Kiowa Warrior. I truly think this is nothing more than moving pieces to be able and say we need something to replace the KC-10's capabilities with a newer piece of equipment.
 
gtae07
Posts: 85
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:55 pm

CX747 wrote:
When I was King for a short time I started running my program just like 747Classic stated. We didn't do "just in time" because we aren't Ford, making trucks. Program ran extremely well, met the needs of the end user and was within budget. At first people's head's exploded at the thought of strategic stock but it is indeed good to be King when that occurs.


I do in-service engineering support for a civil OEM. It never fails to amaze (and frustrate) me that even pre-COVID we have so many problems with lack of spares stock. There are many causes, from the design folks dictating that you must use only the "latest and greatest" part version or piles of "core"/returned units sitting around not getting refurbed, to some fool thinking that spares inventory can be predicted and planned to be "just in time" like production needs, to common consumables and hardware not being stocked, to "we're not making that plane anymore, so why do we still need all these parts?"

And inevitably, the so-called solution is to come running to Engineering screaming "we need an alternate NOW!!!1!one!" And of course it's our fault that there aren't any acceptable alternates.
 
ELBOB
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Wed Mar 10, 2021 9:36 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There won’t be “less capability” after the KC-46 is up and running.


Of course there will, the KC-10 is the most efficient USAF transport for pallet loads in terms of cost per tonne-mile

The KC-46 only carries 18 pallets versus 27, or 32 tonnes versus 77.

Without KC-10 deck capacity the USAF ends-up flying C-17s on long-distance linehauls which is horribly inefficient. They have a fat tactical wing, not one optimised for cruising.
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:18 am

I realize the KC10 has three engines and burns more fuel compared to the KC46 but it also carries a massive 356K fuel load, has a huge main deck cargo capability and can refuel with its boom or wing mounted pods



Furthermore it’s a very young aircraft, especially in Air Force terms


Seems to me having two tanker sizes that complement each other, the KC10 on the high end and the new KC46 on the low would be ideal, allowing the AF to order less expensive KC46 and replace the truly ancient KC135


The KC10 could easily stay in service another decade or longer while the AF develops a replacement that’s as capable or greater
 
Buckeyetech
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Wed Mar 10, 2021 3:57 pm

ELBOB wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There won’t be “less capability” after the KC-46 is up and running.


Of course there will, the KC-10 is the most efficient USAF transport for pallet loads in terms of cost per tonne-mile

The KC-46 only carries 18 pallets versus 27, or 32 tonnes versus 77.

Without KC-10 deck capacity the USAF ends-up flying C-17s on long-distance linehauls which is horribly inefficient. They have a fat tactical wing, not one optimised for cruising.


It’s much cheaper for the U.S. government to ship Palletized cargo by contractors, who are much more efficient than the Air Force.
 
acecrackshot
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Wed Mar 10, 2021 8:52 pm

Buckeyetech wrote:

It’s much cheaper for the U.S. government to ship Palletized cargo by contractors, who are much more efficient than the Air Force.


Kind of bewildering when you think about it. Literally AMC gets the crews, aircraft, maintenance and ancillary fees for free, and still can't compete.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:41 pm

acecrackshot wrote:
Buckeyetech wrote:

It’s much cheaper for the U.S. government to ship Palletized cargo by contractors, who are much more efficient than the Air Force.


Kind of bewildering when you think about it. Literally AMC gets the crews, aircraft, maintenance and ancillary fees for free, and still can't compete.

Military transports are not cheap to operate, and often, they can be better used elsewhere rather than burning through airframe time shuttling palletized cargo between major hubs.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Wed Mar 10, 2021 11:43 pm

747classic wrote:
What a waste of taxpayers money.
All KC10A's are low on hours/cycles and the DC10 series is just like the DC8 series very sturdy built and requires mimimal structural maintanance. (few AD's), compared to Boeing built aircraft.
On top of that the KC-10A flightdeck has been upgraded a few years ago.
Technically the aircraft could have lasted another 20 years without major upgrades.


What kind of hours/cycles are we talking about on this fleet?
 
acecrackshot
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:36 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
Military transports are not cheap to operate, and often, they can be better used elsewhere rather than burning through airframe time shuttling palletized cargo between major hubs.


Without going into details, lots of the palletized cargo is going to one off places at rates far cheaper than what AMC can offer.

Even getting a request for C-21s (which should be basically be the cost of Jet-A) to operate is Byzantine in the extreme.

The problem is AMC, and to lessor extent, USTRANSCOM. At the end of the day, its not uncommon to watch freight go on a two hour flight operated by CIVAIR while an ANG C-17 is doing a two hour fam/currency mission, at the same airport. Color of money and all that, but its frustrating to watch.
 
UA857
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:45 am

Buckeyetech wrote:
ELBOB wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There won’t be “less capability” after the KC-46 is up and running.


Of course there will, the KC-10 is the most efficient USAF transport for pallet loads in terms of cost per tonne-mile

The KC-46 only carries 18 pallets versus 27, or 32 tonnes versus 77.

Without KC-10 deck capacity the USAF ends-up flying C-17s on long-distance linehauls which is horribly inefficient. They have a fat tactical wing, not one optimised for cruising.


It’s much cheaper for the U.S. government to ship Palletized cargo by contractors, who are much more efficient than the Air Force.


So you're saying that most of the palletized cargo gets transported by Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) carriers such as Atlas and Kalitta and very few gets transported by KC-10s? I noticed that most palletized cargo flights departing from Travis and McGuire AFB on done by Atlas and Kalitta 744Fs and NOT KC-10s?
 
Dadofthree
Posts: 10
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:20 am

UA857 wrote:
Buckeyetech wrote:
ELBOB wrote:

Of course there will, the KC-10 is the most efficient USAF transport for pallet loads in terms of cost per tonne-mile

The KC-46 only carries 18 pallets versus 27, or 32 tonnes versus 77.

Without KC-10 deck capacity the USAF ends-up flying C-17s on long-distance linehauls which is horribly inefficient. They have a fat tactical wing, not one optimised for cruising.


It’s much cheaper for the U.S. government to ship Palletized cargo by contractors, who are much more efficient than the Air Force.


So you're saying that most of the palletized cargo gets transported by Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) carriers such as Atlas and Kalitta and very few gets transported by KC-10s? I noticed that most palletized cargo flights departing from Travis and McGuire AFB on done by Atlas and Kalitta 744Fs and NOT KC-10s?

I drive through Thetford, Norfolk 3 times a week for work and have seen the Atlas 747s on approach to Mildenhall but never seen a KC-10.
If I'm not mistaken the KC-46 is to replace the KC-135?
And while they are already being retired the USAF have started retiring KC-46's ?
It wouldn't have anything to do with Boeing showing them what a KC-777(KC-46 B?) would look like has it?
Call me a cynic/skeptic if you will but it has been pointed out already that defence capabilities often come second to keeping voters in jobs.
As already noted the best way for the USAF to get their hands on a replacement KC-46 is to retire them early and then complain about the capability gap.
 
Dadofthree
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:38 pm

Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:25 am

Anybody fancy a KC-33? There are plenty of 747s going into retirement now ;)
 
Buckeyetech
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:11 am

Re: KC-10A retirement

Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:23 pm

UA857 wrote:
Buckeyetech wrote:
ELBOB wrote:

Of course there will, the KC-10 is the most efficient USAF transport for pallet loads in terms of cost per tonne-mile

The KC-46 only carries 18 pallets versus 27, or 32 tonnes versus 77.

Without KC-10 deck capacity the USAF ends-up flying C-17s on long-distance linehauls which is horribly inefficient. They have a fat tactical wing, not one optimised for cruising.


It’s much cheaper for the U.S. government to ship Palletized cargo by contractors, who are much more efficient than the Air Force.


So you're saying that most of the palletized cargo gets transported by Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) carriers such as Atlas and Kalitta and very few gets transported by KC-10s? I noticed that most palletized cargo flights departing from Travis and McGuire AFB on done by Atlas and Kalitta 744Fs and NOT KC-10s?


I don’t have exact figures of how much is carried by civilian air cargo companies, but from my personal experience, Air Force cargo aircraft are hampered by crew/rest duty cycles, fuel range when taking off heavy etc. The Air Force also likes throwing missions at reserve/ANG aircrews to just fly palletized cargo long haul. Galaxy 5007 is a little more up to speed on that whole process than me.
 
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747classic
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:36 am

Spacepope wrote:
747classic wrote:
What a waste of taxpayers money.
All KC10A's are low on hours/cycles and the DC10 series is just like the DC8 series very sturdy built and requires mimimal structural maintanance. (few AD's), compared to Boeing built aircraft.
On top of that the KC-10A flightdeck has been upgraded a few years ago.
Technically the aircraft could have lasted another 20 years without major upgrades.


What kind of hours/cycles are we talking about on this fleet?


Anybody has some indication of the hours/cycle count of the KC-10A fleet ?

Note : Limit Of Validity (LOV) = 160.000 hrs / 60.000 cycles and very few structural AD's are in force for this aircraft type, compared to other aircraft
 
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Spacepope
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:59 pm

747classic wrote:
Spacepope wrote:
747classic wrote:
What a waste of taxpayers money.
All KC10A's are low on hours/cycles and the DC10 series is just like the DC8 series very sturdy built and requires mimimal structural maintanance. (few AD's), compared to Boeing built aircraft.
On top of that the KC-10A flightdeck has been upgraded a few years ago.
Technically the aircraft could have lasted another 20 years without major upgrades.


What kind of hours/cycles are we talking about on this fleet?


Anybody has some indication of the hours/cycle count of the KC-10A fleet ?

Note : Limit Of Validity (LOV) = 160.000 hrs / 60.000 cycles and very few structural AD's are in force for this aircraft type, compared to other aircraft


I was under the impression that the high LOV wa only for the -10s, the -30s have a much lower cycle LOV
 
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747classic
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Re: KC-10A retirement

Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:35 pm

Spacepope wrote:
747classic wrote:
Spacepope wrote:

What kind of hours/cycles are we talking about on this fleet?


Anybody has some indication of the hours/cycle count of the KC-10A fleet ?

Note : Limit Of Validity (LOV) = 160.000 hrs / 60.000 cycles and very few structural AD's are in force for this aircraft type, compared to other aircraft


I was under the impression that the high LOV wa only for the -10s, the -30s have a much lower cycle LOV


MD11 has a 2/3 lower cycle limit = 40.000 cycles.
AFAIK all DC10 variants, incl the MD10's and KC-10A's have the same LOV's as mentioned above.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8576
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: KC-10A retirement

Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:09 pm

Buckeyetech wrote:
UA857 wrote:
Buckeyetech wrote:

It’s much cheaper for the U.S. government to ship Palletized cargo by contractors, who are much more efficient than the Air Force.


So you're saying that most of the palletized cargo gets transported by Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) carriers such as Atlas and Kalitta and very few gets transported by KC-10s? I noticed that most palletized cargo flights departing from Travis and McGuire AFB on done by Atlas and Kalitta 744Fs and NOT KC-10s?


I don’t have exact figures of how much is carried by civilian air cargo companies, but from my personal experience, Air Force cargo aircraft are hampered by crew/rest duty cycles, fuel range when taking off heavy etc. The Air Force also likes throwing missions at reserve/ANG aircrews to just fly palletized cargo long haul. Galaxy 5007 is a little more up to speed on that whole process than me.


Having been in the Reserve scheduling business for years, it’s more that the Guard/Reserves need schedules and flying SAAM/Banner missions are usually too late notice to schedule for ARC units. I took some, but mostly when
AD was tapped out and I could run the schedule.

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