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RJMAZ
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:49 am

texl1649 wrote:
It would also obviate the need for a big crew on a converted passenger aircraft to be the flying gas tank.

Two pilots and a boom operator is not a big crew.

MohawkWeekend wrote:
Just throwing this out there - how about a tanker version of a MAX 7 BBJ ?

KC-Y is for the big tanker coming up to replace the KC-10.

The original KC-X tanker contest was for the small tanker to replace the KC-135. To be honest I think a A320 based frame would have scored more points against the KC-46 than a A330 MRTT for the small tanker. A 101t A321XLR shrunk down to A320 length might have potentially allowed 60t of fuel. It would have been far closer to the KC-135 in size than the overweight A330-200. Though Airbus should have offered a more than a big stock A330-200. Either a shorter fuselage length to reduce OEW and allow for 5t of extra fuel or an increased MTOW up to the HGW weights. The landing gear can support an extra 10t.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:46 am

The Max 7 BBJ carries 10,464 gal in it's tanks plus has a payload of a bit over 30,000lb. That 50% more than a KC-130.
They hardly burn any fuel on their own , are way cheaper than a KC-46 and can operate into some pretty short airfields. Ship the airframes to IAI and they can fit the refueling and defense systems that would work and on budget.

Of course, I want the Air Force to retire the B-52 and replace it with PB-8 Patrol Bombers too!
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:14 am

MohawkWeekend wrote:
The Max 7 BBJ carries 10,464 gal in it's tanks plus has a payload of a bit over 30,000lb. That 50% more than a KC-130.

That's still under 40t of fuel. The MAX7 with the MTOW of the MAX10 at 89t MTOW might get close to 50t of fuel.

I have always thought Airbus should make a military model using the A320 fuselage length but with the heavier A321 MTOW. let's call it the A320XLR and it would have close to 60t of fuel or 20% more than any 737 derivative. Now a small tanker that size could dominate the international refueling market. I would limit it to probe and drogue to refuel Gripen, Rafale and Eurofighter. Having an option for a scaled up Erieye radar system, SAR radar and sonobuoy launcher. So it is a Tanker, Transport, AWAC, maritime patrol aircraft. It would have prevented Germany from going with P-8. Using the Pareto 80/20 rule and aim for 80% of the capability and it should only be 20% of the cost. Aim for 80% of the capability of the P-8 and 80% the capability of the E-8 Wedgetail and it will be much lower risk and cheaper to development.

But this is getting off topic. It is probably not too late for the French to develop such an aircraft to replace the Atlantic. I'm a big fan of the KC-390 but it much more focused on transport. The A320XLR would be vastly superior as a tanker, AWAC or maritime aircraft.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 5:54 am

RJMAZ wrote:
The A320XLR would be vastly superior as a tanker, AWAC or maritime aircraft.


They would have had to start 20 years ago.

People just do not realize how much tech from the E-7 help the development of the P-8A. Not only that, many of the folks who worked the E-7 brought over their experience. Maybe it was one of the contributing factor in the P-8s success.

Perhaps the KC-46 lack that continuously, contributing to the myriads of issues. Question is, did Airbus kept it's core of people in order to smooth out the development should they win the KC-Y? Boeing for their part, will have a block of Engineers who will have learned much from their travails and may be better able to execute the next time around.

bt
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 6:34 am

bikerthai wrote:
They would have had to start 20 years ago.

People just do not realize how much tech from the E-7 help the development of the P-8A. Not only that, many of the folks who worked the E-7 brought over their experience. Maybe it was one of the contributing factor in the P-8s success.

I disagree. The reason I mentioned the Pareto principle was because it was a core of the LM skunk works for rapid development. If 20 years is what it takes for state of the art 100% capability then for 80% of the that capability it can be done in only 4 years.

Very few operators need 100% of the P-8 or the E-7 capabilities. If there was a product slightly cheaper that had 80% of the capability then most operators would go with the cheaper solution. The problem is the next cheapest solution happens to have a tiny fraction of the capability of the P-8.

This 80/20 Pareto principle is one of the primary reasons for the fast and smooth development of the B-21 and 6th gen fighter. It is better to aim for just below state of the art as long if you can still dominate the enemy for decades. Digital design plays the biggest part in the rapid development.
 
LTEN11
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 7:02 am

Revelation wrote:
LTEN11 wrote:
Surely you're not suggesting that the "Bullshit Castle" was meddling in the original competition :o

It is striking how we keep reading about how the virtuous Airbus was done in by the evil Boeing when it is Airbus executives who came up with that name for their own in-house "special" sales and marketing organization and had to pay 3.7B euros to avoid prosecution for bribery.

Airbus SE (Airbus or the Company), a global provider of civilian and military aircraft based in France, has agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $3.9 billion to resolve foreign bribery charges with authorities in the United States, France and the United Kingdom arising out of the Company’s scheme to use third-party business partners to bribe government officials, as well as non-governmental airline executives, around the world and to resolve the Company’s violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its implementing regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), in the United States. This is the largest global foreign bribery resolution to date.

Airbus entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the department in connection with a criminal information filed on Jan. 28, 2020 in the District of Columbia charging the Company with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provision of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and conspiracy to violate the AECA and its implementing regulations, the ITAR. The FCPA charge arose out of Airbus’s scheme to offer and pay bribes to foreign officials, including Chinese officials, in order to obtain and retain business, including contracts to sell aircraft. The AECA charge stems from Airbus’s willful failure to disclose political contributions, commissions or fees to the U.S. government, as required under the ITAR, in connection with the sale or export of defense articles and defense services to the Armed Forces of a foreign country or international organization. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the District of Columbia.

“Airbus engaged in a multi-year and massive scheme to corruptly enhance its business interests by paying bribes in China and other countries and concealing those bribes,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This coordinated resolution was possible thanks to the dedicated efforts of our foreign partners at the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom and the PNF in France. The Department will continue to work aggressively with our partners across the globe to root out corruption, particularly corruption that harms American interests.”

Ref: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/airbus-a ... -itar-case

It should be clear to one and all that Airbus has engaged in some very dubious behavior, they admitted exactly that.

Note that the bribery investigation was not a US driven thing, the lead investigators were in the UK and France.

keesje wrote:
All history & efforts to rewrite it IMO. Everybody clearly saw what happened, participants openly boasted about it later on. Airbus observed it was not about requirements capabilities or money anymore & moved on. https://media-cldnry.s-nbcnews.com/imag ... 247925.jpg To prevent further delays for the USAF and things going even uglier when they would protest for a fourth round.. political pressure already got NG out earlier. http://www.flightstory.net/20110305/ead ... -selection

Everybody clearly saw a much more expensive and physically larger tanker be granted the procurement and wondered how that could happen if USAF followed its own procurement criteria. Simple, they did not follow their own procurement rules, they gave Airbus "extra credit" for stuff the government did not ask for! Whether or not a soon to be Airbus board member had his thumb on the scale has never been made clear, but it's all very suspicious. The role of NG writing the software to evaluate the proposals also is quite suspicious. It's funny how much more objectivity results when one of the participants is not involved in the selection process.

bikerthai wrote:
So the KC-46 monitors are showing a 3-D image?

We have great fans of objectivity here, they would never show a 3-D projection without indicating it as such in a way that might cast fear, uncertainty and doubt on a program, right?


Still think they only scratched the surface of the goings on of the Castle. That's why Airbus was "happy" to pay the fine they did, it was probably far less expensive and embarrassing than it would've been everything had come out.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 9:41 am

I dunno - how much gas does the MQ-25 carry? Either the Max 7 BBJ (P-8 maybe) or the A320 derivative would work and be alot cheaper. Have the ANG operate them in North America, Guam and Hawaii to top off interceptors and strike aircraft and and give their KC-46s back to the role of the heavy lifter and replace the KC-10.

SInce the A320 line is already in Alabama the bid might be more acceptable
 
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Aesma
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:23 am

What would prevent Airbus to add fuel tanks in the belly if what is required is as much fuel in the air as possible ?
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 11:58 am

Aesma wrote:
What would prevent Airbus to add fuel tanks in the belly if what is required is as much fuel in the air as possible ?

Any A330-800 MRTT offered by Airbus would have one or two extra fuel tanks added. It is highly unlikely Airbus would offer the original older A330-200 MRTT for the new contest.

The older MRTT when the normal internal fuel capacity was filled it was already at the 235t maximum takeoff weight. Any extra fuel tanks would mean it is too heavy to takeoff.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:34 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
I disagree. The reason I mentioned the Pareto principle was because it was a core of the LM skunk works for rapid development.


We are talking about two different things. The notion was whether the A320 would be a good platform to compete with the 737 derivative. My point was to make it competitive and successfully. They would have to gave started 20 years ago.

LM skunwork or Boeing Phantom Works are great at innovation and building new stuff that people have not built before. But to successfully execute a derivative A320 or 737, they lack the discipline of mundane mass production design principles.

bt
 
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Revelation
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 12:59 pm

It's still an open question to me if a tanker bigger than KC-46 is needed.

KC-10 arose out of the difficulty of getting permission to refuel C-5As flying from CONUS to Israel during the 1972 War.

Do we really still need to execute such missions regardless of cost?

How far do KC-46's and C-5M's improved capabilities go to allowing such missions to be performed?

Isn't the early retirement of KC-10 while FedEx still operates MD-10 a sign that if we really need something like KC-10 they would stay?

If the goal is reducing the number of fleets to maintain, isn't it natural to just buy more KC-46s?

Would the pain of adding a small number of KC-10 class larger tankers be worth the pain of maintaining an additional fleet?
 
MohawkWeekend
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 1:01 pm

We've got to quit spending money like crazy - how about something affordable that works?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:11 pm

Revelation wrote:
It's still an open question to me if a tanker bigger than KC-46 is needed.

KC-10 arose out of the difficulty of getting permission to refuel C-5As flying from CONUS to Israel during the 1972 War.

Do we really still need to execute such missions regardless of cost?

How far do KC-46's and C-5M's improved capabilities go to allowing such missions to be performed?

Isn't the early retirement of KC-10 while FedEx still operates MD-10 a sign that if we really need something like KC-10 they would stay?

If the goal is reducing the number of fleets to maintain, isn't it natural to just buy more KC-46s?

Would the pain of adding a small number of KC-10 class larger tankers be worth the pain of maintaining an additional fleet?


It wasn’t a “permission” problem during Nickel Grass, it was Spain’s refusal to allow Spanish-based US tankers to participate in the airlift. Refueling was conducted in the straits, international airspace, after departing a mid-Atlantic air base. The Ms can do Lajes-ME with a load unrefueled. I’ve refueled in the straits in a fighter watching a C-5 get refueled above us, opposite direction. The C-141 was stretched and refueling added after NG.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:45 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Revelation wrote:
It's still an open question to me if a tanker bigger than KC-46 is needed.

KC-10 arose out of the difficulty of getting permission to refuel C-5As flying from CONUS to Israel during the 1972 War.

Do we really still need to execute such missions regardless of cost?

How far do KC-46's and C-5M's improved capabilities go to allowing such missions to be performed?

Isn't the early retirement of KC-10 while FedEx still operates MD-10 a sign that if we really need something like KC-10 they would stay?

If the goal is reducing the number of fleets to maintain, isn't it natural to just buy more KC-46s?

Would the pain of adding a small number of KC-10 class larger tankers be worth the pain of maintaining an additional fleet?


It wasn’t a “permission” problem during Nickel Grass, it was Spain’s refusal to allow Spanish-based US tankers to participate in the airlift. Refueling was conducted in the straits, international airspace, after departing a mid-Atlantic air base. The Ms can do Lajes-ME with a load unrefueled. I’ve refueled in the straits in a fighter watching a C-5 get refueled above us, opposite direction. The C-141 was stretched and refueling added after NG.

Right, the lack of permission came from Spain, if you want to call that a refusal that's fine.

Regardless, do you think the current USAF needs to replace KC-10 with a large wide body tanker, or do you think the USAF has changed since then both in terms of equipment and in terms of mission requirements such that KC-10s could be replaced with KC-46s? The advantages from a fleet commonality point of view are pretty clear. The real question in my mind is if there is a capability gap where something bigger than KC-46 is needed. I suppose you could come up with scenarios where bigger is better yet it comes with quite a cost.

Perhaps we get the answer from the thread starter's article:

The service plans to buy 140 to 160 KC-Ys to continue the replacement of its aging KC-135 fleet, which will be 70 years old when the bridge tanker is fielded, the solicitation stated.

Given this is the case, IMO it's going to be hard for LM to talk USAF into bringing a new fleet into operation. LM would have to pitch a turnkey type operation, and it's hard to see how they could make that work financially. I'm sure they have smart people working on the concept, and some of them are almost certainly lobbyists (say it ain't so!).
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:03 pm

Do we have any concrete information on what they are looking for from KC-Y? Do they want more fuel capacity at take-off? Do they want more at range? Do they want more cubic feet of volume for cargo? Do they want a higher MTOW? Do they want more unrefueled range?

Given the noise about the "pivot to the Pacific" and the massive ranges needed there, plus their desire to maintain some level of commonality, the most likely candidate would be the speculated shortened 767-400 derived freighter with the GenX engines from the 747-8. The air force now needs to support them anyway with the new AF1 frames coming online soon, so they won't be a one off. The added range from having more efficient engines will give the frame more ferry range and more fuel available to offload farther from shore/base. The larger fuselage will give them more cargo capacity when being used as a freighter as well.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 10, 2021 10:25 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Do we have any concrete information on what they are looking for from KC-Y?


Not really. The main driver appears to be that the KC-X contract is capped at 179 frames and the USAF feels it needs more than that to continue to replace the KC-135 fleet as it ages out until the true "next generation" tanker arrives with KC-Z, which is being developed with the idea it would operate in heavily-contested airspaces. As such, KC-Z is likely decades away from entering service, hence KC-Y would "bridge" the 10 years between the last KC-X delivery in 2029 and first KC-Z delivery in the late 2030s or early 2040s.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sun Jul 11, 2021 5:42 am

LightningZ71 wrote:
Do we have any concrete information on what they are looking for from KC-Y? Do they want more fuel capacity at take-off? Do they want more at range? Do they want more cubic feet of volume for cargo? Do they want a higher MTOW? Do they want more unrefueled range?

There is no set size but it all comes down to tanker performance. The freight performance will be whatever the winning tanker offers. If Boeing offered KC-777-8 tankers that had twice the fuel offload of the KC-46 at only 80% higher price then that becomes highly attractive. It all comes down to what Boeing offers as they can price any aircraft to win. Boeing will no doubt offer the aircraft that it decides will become its future freighter. If Boeing decides that the 787 will be the only dedicated freighter offered by Boeing from 2027 then it will no doubt be offered for the KC-Y tanker.

A 787-8 length freighter with the full takeoff and landing weights of the 787-10 would provide over 130t of fuel capacity for a tanker. As a dedicated freighter it is nearly half way between the 767F and 777F. It has most of the strengths of both families combined into one aircraft.


LightningZ71 wrote:
the most likely candidate would be the speculated shortened 767-400 derived freighter with the GenX engines from the 747-8.
If Boeing decides to go with the 767 freighter beyond 2027 then this is a possibility. However a 767-400ER based tanker would offer very little improvement over the KC-46. If we compare the 767-200ER versus 767-400ER the MTOW increases by 25t yet the empty weight increased by a massive 21.5t. That means only 3.5t extra fuel can be carried. Flying at a heavier weight and with more fuselage drag that extra 3.5t will be used up and the KC-46 will actually have more fuel available to offload.

Adding GenX engines would probably give the 767-400ER a small 10% increase in fuel offload over the KC-46. This is probably not worth the effort. Now reducing the fuselage length down to -300 length would reduce OEW by approximately 7-8t and that would increase fuel offload by another 10% for 20% more offload than the KC-46. That could be worth the investment if the aircraft would become the basis of the 767 freighter from 2027. The 204t MTOW of the 767-400ER is getting mighty close to the 227t MTOW of the 787-8. There will be no market for an improved 767 as a passenger version
 
texl1649
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:24 pm

Decent piece by Loren Thompson, though I think he misses the part about how many gallons the MRTT can actually offload at range vs. the KC-46 entirely.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthomp ... 8285cf64cd
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:40 am

texl1649 wrote:
Decent piece by Loren Thompson, though I think he misses the part about how many gallons the MRTT can actually offload at range vs. the KC-46 entirely.

There is already enough blows to Airbus in that piece. Mentioning that the larger A330 offloads less fuel at range than the smaller KC-46 might confuse many readers.

If an article slams Airbus too much then the Airbus side will dismiss it by assuming it is written by someone on Boeing's pay roll. An author can then develop an unfair reputation of being bias by simply posting the truth.
 
AirbusCheerlead
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Sat Jul 17, 2021 12:11 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Decent piece by Loren Thompson, though I think he misses the part about how many gallons the MRTT can actually offload at range vs. the KC-46 entirely.

There is already enough blows to Airbus in that piece. Mentioning that the larger A330 offloads less fuel at range than the smaller KC-46 might confuse many readers.

If an article slams Airbus too much then the Airbus side will dismiss it by assuming it is written by someone on Boeing's pay roll. An author can then develop an unfair reputation of being bias by simply posting the truth.


With great inside like those:
And because it is so much bigger, with 30% greater drag than the 767 airframe on which KC-46 is based, the Airbus tanker burns 1,000 more gallons of fuel per hour.


Best regards and stay safe,
Jonas
 
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keesje
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Re: Another Boeing-Airbus tanker war is coming soon, KC-Y

Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:49 am

RJMAZ wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Decent piece by Loren Thompson, though I think he misses the part about how many gallons the MRTT can actually offload at range vs. the KC-46 entirely.

There is already enough blows to Airbus in that piece. Mentioning that the larger A330 offloads less fuel at range than the smaller KC-46 might confuse many readers.

If an article slams Airbus too much then the Airbus side will dismiss it by assuming it is written by someone on Boeing's pay roll. An author can then develop an unfair reputation of being bias by simply posting the truth.


Isn't Loren Thompson a local defense publicist / promotor payed by Boeing? At least he says so. Using him as source takes some flexibility!

Agree with him though, Airbus should stay away from this competition. Their MRTT seems superior in quality, cargo, cabin capacity, flexibility and operational track record. But Airbus should understand other things are strategically more important for congress at this stage. Boeing will make bold promises, congress will be eager to believe and the best will win again, the KFC-46.

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