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UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Tanker range performance?

Wed May 12, 2021 11:05 pm

Hey guys, I have a question to ask you. Do tankers have unlimited range during air refueling missions or do they lose range during air refueling missions due to the offload of fuel?
 
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LyleLanley
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:33 pm

Re: Tanker range performance?

Wed May 12, 2021 11:58 pm

UA857 wrote:
Hey guys, I have a question to ask you. Do tankers have unlimited range during air refueling missions or do they lose range during air refueling missions due to the offload of fuel?


Yep! At least on the KC-10, we literally make gas as we offload it, via a secret process, so our only limiter is the amount of per diem (weight) we can carry. KC-135s are a different matter and they're only mostly unlimited, and they're generally pegged at $3.50 a day anyway. It's only when tankers are flying from point A to point B that their tanks actually go down from full.
 
UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 12:14 am

LyleLanley wrote:
UA857 wrote:
Hey guys, I have a question to ask you. Do tankers have unlimited range during air refueling missions or do they lose range during air refueling missions due to the offload of fuel?


Yep! At least on the KC-10, we literally make gas as we offload it, via a secret process, so our only limiter is the amount of per diem (weight) we can carry. KC-135s are a different matter and they're only mostly unlimited, and they're generally pegged at $3.50 a day anyway. It's only when tankers are flying from point A to point B that their tanks actually go down from full.


So your saying that KC-10s lose range during refueling missions but KC-135 have unlimited range during refueling missions?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8324
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 12:55 am

The fuel offloaded to the receiver can NOT be used by the tanker, so the tanker has to lose range. Now, it does get lighter so it’s specific range gets better, but it has less to burn. Remember, there’s one born every minute.

How can you possibly think tankers have unlimited range?
 
johns624
Posts: 4053
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:09 pm

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 1:14 am

It took me awhile to figure it out, but I "think" what the OP was asking was if tankers offloaded their own fuel tanks or whether it was just done by extra tanks. By "unlimited range" I think he meant the normal full range of their fuel tanks. But I could be wrong and my head hurts thinking about it...
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8324
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 2:18 am

They can burn it all and, on the KC-135, pass it all. At one time, the SIOP had planned for the possibility the tankers would pass fuel until near flame out and crew escape via chutes.
 
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cjg225
Posts: 2199
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:59 pm

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 11:02 am

I think it was appropriate that that was Post #666 for the OP.
 
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LyleLanley
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:33 pm

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 4:22 pm

Very apropos. But also very entertaining
 
acecrackshot
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:22 am

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 4:37 pm

LyleLanley wrote:
UA857 wrote:
Hey guys, I have a question to ask you. Do tankers have unlimited range during air refueling missions or do they lose range during air refueling missions due to the offload of fuel?


Yep! At least on the KC-10, we literally make gas as we offload it, via a secret process, so our only limiter is the amount of per diem (weight) we can carry. KC-135s are a different matter and they're only mostly unlimited, and they're generally pegged at $3.50 a day anyway. It's only when tankers are flying from point A to point B that their tanks actually go down from full.


So the KC-10s HAVE been holding out on us the whole time.

Figures.
 
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LyleLanley
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:33 pm

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 7:54 pm

acecrackshot wrote:
So the KC-10s HAVE been holding out on us the whole time.

Figures.


The statute of limitations ran out as soon as the first jet went to the boneyard.

#gucci4life
 
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Moose135
Posts: 3248
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

Re: Tanker range performance?

Thu May 13, 2021 8:38 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They can burn it all and, on the KC-135, pass it all. At one time, the SIOP had planned for the possibility the tankers would pass fuel until near flame out and crew escape via chutes.

Well, that's what they expected us to do...
 
UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 718
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Re: Tanker range performance?

Tue May 25, 2021 11:18 pm

Do KC-10s and KC-46 lose range during refueling missions if there is cargo onboard?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 8324
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Tanker range performance?

Tue May 25, 2021 11:35 pm

UA857 wrote:
Do KC-10s and KC-46 lose range during refueling missions if there is cargo onboard?


Well yeah, fuel planned for off-load becomes part of the payload, so you have to made trades between off-load fuel and cargo/pax weight. Then, the question is how many chicks are being dragged and their requirements. Usually, fighter deployments would get an ADVON C-17 or two to haul the enroute support team and equipment spares, so less of an issue than you think.

I went down to Williamtown, NSW once to bring back an F-16 unit deployed for training. Because the Kosovo conflict fired up while they were deployed, getting a tanker was hard and, in the end, only one was found. It deployed the day before we got there. Tanker and 7 chicks did YLWM-YDDN, YDDN-PGUA, PGUA-PAWK, PAWK-PHIK. We left YWLM, tech’d at Pago, arrived at PHIK to find ourselves off for two days as the “drag” crew said enough already. Funny, at Pago we were in the pattern with a KSCH LC-130 coming from Christchurch. They were based only 100 miles from us.

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