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keesje
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:05 pm

Eiszeit wrote:
Stitch wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Why do I suddenly have memories of the $500 C5 toilet seats and $3,000 C5 coffeemakers?


Well the "$600 hammer" Boeing was lambasted for turned out to actually cost the USAF $15 so it is possible the actual price of the toilet seat and coffee maker was significantly less.

https://www.govexec.com/federal-news/19 ... mmer/5271/


But what did all the extra inspections for other "free" tools included by boeing cost?


$3000 for a fully certified 16g coffee maker meeting all special requirements doesn't sound very high.
 
744SPX
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:37 am

texl1649 wrote:
Quick question; what was the last Lockheed aircraft for the USAF that came in on time/cost/met performance goals within 5 years of IOC. The F-104 (not really in USAF service)? C-130, U-2?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Lockheed_aircraft


Maybe the A-12 Blackbird? (SR-71 doesn't count because it was a mod of the A-12/YF-12A)
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 12:58 pm

Perhaps the A-12 is the answer.

Also, on the LMXT, wouldn't this type of (below) modularity make for a wonderful capability in such a widebody tanker for the military? The USAF always has a lot of cranes/gear that might be able to hoist such sections to change function quickly. Now, there's no ramp, obviously, for an airdrop missile capability, but could a laser section be added potentially (or switch to cargo from pax etc)? Clearly, it's not part of the present plan for KC-Y but it is an interesting thought exercise, imho. Pressure bulkheads, connections for electrics etc. would all necessarily need to be built for each section.

https://newatlas.com/airbus-patent-modu ... aft/40660/

Image

They've certainly looked as well to different permutations on the idea;

https://www.forbes.com/sites/grantmarti ... 18cff0345f

https://youtu.be/dx8i0kiUYVo

Perhaps having an (evolved) ability to create a 'cruise missile carrier aircraft' a la Boeing 747 proposal from the early 80's might also make sense as a 'back pocket' capability to notionally discuss in this regard as a long term differentiator (the A330 offering so much more capacity vs. a 767.)

https://jalopnik.com/why-boeings-design ... 1605150371
 
ZeroOne
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:50 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Quick question; what was the last Lockheed aircraft for the USAF that came in on time/cost/met performance goals within 5 years of IOC. The F-104 (not really in USAF service)? C-130, U-2?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Lockheed_aircraft


Thats difficult to do regardless of the company. I think the last major aircraft that came within budget and schedule was the F/A-18E if I'm not mistaken. But any credit Boeing deserved for that was completely destroyed by the way they handled the C-17.

Anyway, I thought this new tanker would be the result of the KC-Z program, large Stealth tanker. Is that program still active
 
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Revelation
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 3:11 pm

texl1649 wrote:
TaromA380 wrote:
Why not using the A330NEO?

RR engine would decrease US content further, and it’s not available to others as such, anyway, so more cost to do so. Now, if RR does in fact win the B-52 re-engine this month, perhaps they could consider building the XWB for the LMXT in Indiana as well…I believe a real cargo A330NEO tanker with the benefits of course of the airbus camera/automated refueling system would be the best possible bid.

NEO enngines also weigh a lot more than CEO engines and definitely cost more. Not seeing how they would pencil out.

LyleLanley wrote:
Training missions are usually between 3-5 hours and the jets generally fly once a day or every other day. Unless they’re going somewhere they’re also nowhere near optimum altitudes/airspeeds. Certainly not long enough and/or often enough to be a slam dunk case for winglets when compared to the technical hurdles.

As difficult as it is for some to understand, the USAF ≠ an airline.

:checkmark:

I thought a big selling point of a LM tanker would be a "power by the hour" type arrangement where LM would fly the tanker from its own bases with non-USAF crew flying and maintaining the aircraft.

If it's just another KC46 vs A330MRTT competition, I think KC46 wins again for largely the same reasons, plus now by the time this thing is in service (2029 or later) all the major bugs of the KC46 will be history.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthomp ... or-airbus/ gives a pretty biased yet still valid rendition of what issues Team A will be facing.
 
BestIntellect
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:32 pm

kitplane01 wrote:


I’m not an idiot. Also I didn’t write that quote. It was someone else. Not me.


I understand, somehow the formatting misattributed the quote, apologies.
 
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Grizzly410
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:55 pm

Revelation wrote:
LyleLanley wrote:
Training missions are usually between 3-5 hours and the jets generally fly once a day or every other day. Unless they’re going somewhere they’re also nowhere near optimum altitudes/airspeeds. Certainly not long enough and/or often enough to be a slam dunk case for winglets when compared to the technical hurdles.

As difficult as it is for some to understand, the USAF ≠ an airline.

:checkmark:

I thought a big selling point of a LM tanker would be a "power by the hour" type arrangement where LM would fly the tanker from its own bases with non-USAF crew flying and maintaining the aircraft.

If it's just another KC46 vs A330MRTT competition, I think KC46 wins again for largely the same reasons, plus now by the time this thing is in service (2029 or later) all the major bugs of the KC46 will be history.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthomp ... or-airbus/ gives a pretty biased yet
still valid rendition of what issues Team A will be facing.


Wasn't a "power by the hour or a kind of wet lease a JV offer announced by Airbus & LM not so long ago ?
 
BestIntellect
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:57 pm

texl1649 wrote:
The F-104 (not really in USAF service)


Hmmm, I guess all those plastic model kits, the Wikipedia F-104 article, Vietnam combat records, at least dozens of photos on this very site and even that one episode of the original Star Trek must be greatly misinformed then.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:30 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
Wasn't a "power by the hour or a kind of wet lease a JV offer announced by Airbus & LM not so long ago ?


Considering all the negative blow-back the original KC-767A lease deal from 2001 got from Congress and the GAO, it would be ironic if two decades on a wet-lease was considered a positive. :cheeky:
 
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Revelation
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Wed Sep 29, 2021 1:58 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I thought a big selling point of a LM tanker would be a "power by the hour" type arrangement where LM would fly the tanker from its own bases with non-USAF crew flying and maintaining the aircraft.

If it's just another KC46 vs A330MRTT competition, I think KC46 wins again for largely the same reasons, plus now by the time this thing is in service (2029 or later) all the major bugs of the KC46 will be history.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthomp ... or-airbus/ gives a pretty biased yet
still valid rendition of what issues Team A will be facing.

Wasn't a "power by the hour or a kind of wet lease a JV offer announced by Airbus & LM not so long ago ?

I think so, but when I looked at the link in the first post I saw no mention of this.

My thought was if it really became a services contract rather than an aircraft purchase contract, then the LM team would have a tremendous opportunity.

All the questions about if the plane is too big or does it fit into the hangars or even if it is made in the US don't matter much in that scenario, it's really about how much gas can you deliver and at what price.

If it's an aircraft purchase contract then all those things become huge factors, and it becomes a battle of which Congressional delegation has more clout. LM's wins on F22 and F35 show they have a lot of clout, but there are a lot of things that could trip up their offering.

There's a big difference between being certified to tank USAF/NATO aircraft, and being certified to be in the USAF inventory. Lots of hoops to jump through, some of which snagged Boeing big time, like wiring requirements.
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:57 pm

Lockheed, Boeing, and NG all spend about $13 million per year in lobbying (directly; this excludes advertising etc. I think).

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/report ... n-conflict

Overall, it is split relatively evenly between parties, depending largely on who is in the majority (per the link, this has swung slightly to the GOP over the past 20 years, net, with only about 9 years of a Dem executive but less for the legislature). Regardless of how some perceive the US DoD procurement process, I think it is realistic this could be awarded to LM, if they do respond with the best/lowest cost/safest risk factor bid, ultimately.
 
estorilm
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Wed Sep 29, 2021 8:41 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Lockheed, Boeing, and NG all spend about $13 million per year in lobbying (directly; this excludes advertising etc. I think).

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/report ... n-conflict

Overall, it is split relatively evenly between parties, depending largely on who is in the majority (per the link, this has swung slightly to the GOP over the past 20 years, net, with only about 9 years of a Dem executive but less for the legislature). Regardless of how some perceive the US DoD procurement process, I think it is realistic this could be awarded to LM, if they do respond with the best/lowest cost/safest risk factor bid, ultimately.

I'd have to imagine Boeing spends more than the others - and that's got to be a nearly impossible figure to put a number on. When you consider other Govt. contracts like aerospace and Starliner, that immediately throws things out-of-whack.

I just see Boeing as a sponge for squeezing every penny out of old tech, lobbying, delays, excuses, etc these days, which is sad. NG and LM seem to be the forward thinkers in my opinion - they still have their delays and struggles, but generally it's justified through some of the most difficult programs in military / aerospace history such as the F-117, F-22, U-2, B-2, SR-71, etc. I'd say the B-29/B-52 are about Boeing's most recent "breakthrough" aircraft throughout aviation history. C-5 vs. C-17 are a wash, though Lockheed built a MUCH more complicated aircraft MUCH earlier than Boeing and they encountered nearly similar issues.

I'd include the F-35 as an additional example for the former, but most seem to hate the platform for some reason. In response I'll simply remind people to google Boeing's competitor to the project, their X-32 (makes the X-35 look like a walk in the park.)
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:33 pm

estorilm wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Lockheed, Boeing, and NG all spend about $13 million per year in lobbying (directly; this excludes advertising etc. I think).

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/report ... n-conflict

Overall, it is split relatively evenly between parties, depending largely on who is in the majority (per the link, this has swung slightly to the GOP over the past 20 years, net, with only about 9 years of a Dem executive but less for the legislature). Regardless of how some perceive the US DoD procurement process, I think it is realistic this could be awarded to LM, if they do respond with the best/lowest cost/safest risk factor bid, ultimately.

I'd have to imagine Boeing spends more than the others - and that's got to be a nearly impossible figure to put a number on. When you consider other Govt. contracts like aerospace and Starliner, that immediately throws things out-of-whack.

I just see Boeing as a sponge for squeezing every penny out of old tech, lobbying, delays, excuses, etc these days, which is sad. NG and LM seem to be the forward thinkers in my opinion - they still have their delays and struggles, but generally it's justified through some of the most difficult programs in military / aerospace history such as the F-117, F-22, U-2, B-2, SR-71, etc. I'd say the B-29/B-52 are about Boeing's most recent "breakthrough" aircraft throughout aviation history. C-5 vs. C-17 are a wash, though Lockheed built a MUCH more complicated aircraft MUCH earlier than Boeing and they encountered nearly similar issues.

I'd include the F-35 as an additional example for the former, but most seem to hate the platform for some reason. In response I'll simply remind people to google Boeing's competitor to the project, their X-32 (makes the X-35 look like a walk in the park.)


This is just preposterous as lobbying expenses have to be disclosed.

Further, I’d say the 707, 737, 747, 777, and 787 were quite clearly breakthrough aircraft in their time (when launched/produced initially). An argument is to be made by some as to the 727. To deny as such is just to reveal an obvious hatred/bias. In truth it was McD that built the C-17, but whatever.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 6:30 pm

texl1649 wrote:
estorilm wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
Lockheed, Boeing, and NG all spend about $13 million per year in lobbying (directly; this excludes advertising etc. I think).

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/report ... n-conflict

Overall, it is split relatively evenly between parties, depending largely on who is in the majority (per the link, this has swung slightly to the GOP over the past 20 years, net, with only about 9 years of a Dem executive but less for the legislature). Regardless of how some perceive the US DoD procurement process, I think it is realistic this could be awarded to LM, if they do respond with the best/lowest cost/safest risk factor bid, ultimately.

I'd have to imagine Boeing spends more than the others - and that's got to be a nearly impossible figure to put a number on. When you consider other Govt. contracts like aerospace and Starliner, that immediately throws things out-of-whack.

I just see Boeing as a sponge for squeezing every penny out of old tech, lobbying, delays, excuses, etc these days, which is sad. NG and LM seem to be the forward thinkers in my opinion - they still have their delays and struggles, but generally it's justified through some of the most difficult programs in military / aerospace history such as the F-117, F-22, U-2, B-2, SR-71, etc. I'd say the B-29/B-52 are about Boeing's most recent "breakthrough" aircraft throughout aviation history. C-5 vs. C-17 are a wash, though Lockheed built a MUCH more complicated aircraft MUCH earlier than Boeing and they encountered nearly similar issues.

I'd include the F-35 as an additional example for the former, but most seem to hate the platform for some reason. In response I'll simply remind people to google Boeing's competitor to the project, their X-32 (makes the X-35 look like a walk in the park.)


This is just preposterous as lobbying expenses have to be disclosed.

Further, I’d say the 707, 737, 747, 777, and 787 were quite clearly breakthrough aircraft in their time (when launched/produced initially). An argument is to be made by some as to the 727. To deny as such is just to reveal an obvious hatred/bias. In truth it was McD that built the C-17, but whatever.


Agreed. But can you name a new-tech program that Boeing has now?

The T-7 might be new development/production tech maybe, but the airplane itself is pretty standard.
The Boeing Future Vertical Lift might be new tech if it gets to production.
The 777X seems more evolutionary than new.
The Starliner is ... not good.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:03 pm

I say the MQ-25 is new and unique.
The loyal wing man drone being developed with the RAAF. There is also the military space plane. But that is probably more of a USAF project.

bt
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:07 pm

The legacy MD helicopter division had the Dragonfly which lost out to LM for the Marine competition. That tech is unique though apparently not ready for prime time.

If the Comanche was not cancelled, it may have had a successful run. Who knows.

bt
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:11 pm

Boeing, having a commercial arm will necessitate spreading their R&D funding across the divisions. So don't expect them to be as proficient at up to present military hardware as others.

bt
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:40 pm

To me, the key issue with regard to the competition between a 767 based tanker and an A330 based tanker is size. Does the USAF want more booms or more capacity per airplane?

If it's more booms, 767. If it's more capacity per airplane, A330 should win.

Mho, all the rest is just noise.
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:03 pm

SteelChair wrote:
it's more capacity per airplane, A330 should win.


I assume you mean more fuel capacity right? What would more fuel capacity be needed for?

On the B-52 re-engine discussion, there was a note that with more fuel efficient engines, the BUFF would require less refueling.

Then a bit farther in the future I can see them morphing the B-21 in to a stealth tanker for the stealth fleet.

And if the US start to base more planes in northern and western Australia in any future conflict, would that help?

bt
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:50 pm

bikerthai wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
it's more capacity per airplane, A330 should win.


I assume you mean more fuel capacity right? What would more fuel capacity be needed for?

On the B-52 re-engine discussion, there was a note that with more fuel efficient engines, the BUFF would require less refueling.

Then a bit farther in the future I can see them morphing the B-21 in to a stealth tanker for the stealth fleet.

And if the US start to base more planes in northern and western Australia in any future conflict, would that help?

bt


Yes primarily fuel capacity, though the ability to carry payload on the main deck would also be greater on the 330.

I don't know enough about future tasking demands to answer the question, but I would think that refueing C5s and C17s would require a large fuel offload per plane. I can imagine that an E4 can drain a 767 based platform and still not be full.. One would think that refueling tactical airplanes would not demand a large tanker unless you were dragging an entire squadron over an ocean. I can also imagine that 90% of the missions are just training/practice, thus a larger tanker is just waste. Here's hoping someone with actual experience weighs in.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:02 pm

Yeah, if they want something to replace the KC-10, then I don't know if the KC-46 will it. Then Boeing would have to go to the 777 and that would be an overkill.

bt
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:23 pm

bikerthai wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
it's more capacity per airplane, A330 should win.


I assume you mean more fuel capacity right? What would more fuel capacity be needed for?

On the B-52 re-engine discussion, there was a note that with more fuel efficient engines, the BUFF would require less refueling.

Then a bit farther in the future I can see them morphing the B-21 in to a stealth tanker for the stealth fleet.

And if the US start to base more planes in northern and western Australia in any future conflict, would that help?

bt


B-21s have a secret budget. But if the B-21 costs $600M each, that's beyond what one might pay for a tanker.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:23 pm

SteelChair wrote:
To me, the key issue with regard to the competition between a 767 based tanker and an A330 based tanker is size. Does the USAF want more booms or more capacity per airplane?

If it's more booms, 767. If it's more capacity per airplane, A330 should win.

Mho, all the rest is just noise.


Yes, lets pick the one that does the job for the Air Force the best. There were 3 tanker batches KC-X, Y, and Z planned, each with roughly 150 aircraft. But the aircraft to be served is changing, less big planes, different fighters with different ranges, and now unmanned aircraft and drones. It appears that there will be more but smaller planes in the fleet, with higher fueling frequency. Twenty years from now we may need bigger tankers that have several loyal wingman tanker drones alongside, that fill back up from the mother ship.

I hope the Air Force properly defines the requirements well for this batch, minimizing the noise.
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Thu Sep 30, 2021 11:46 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
it's more capacity per airplane, A330 should win.


I assume you mean more fuel capacity right? What would more fuel capacity be needed for?

On the B-52 re-engine discussion, there was a note that with more fuel efficient engines, the BUFF would require less refueling.

Then a bit farther in the future I can see them morphing the B-21 in to a stealth tanker for the stealth fleet.

And if the US start to base more planes in northern and western Australia in any future conflict, would that help?

bt


B-21s have a secret budget. But if the B-21 costs $600M each, that's beyond what one might pay for a tanker.


This is a valid topic. Not sure the answer/specs. The B-21’s are really, like the B-2, highly likely to need a lot of tankers (being powered on long duration flights by basically fighter jet engines). The B-52’s, similarly, while it is great the F130 might decrease their tanking needs 30-40 percent, will still need…a LOT of kerosene for sustained missions in the pacific, even if stand off.

The typical tanker mission for a B-52 is 2 KC-10s or 3 KC135’s, so it’s not like…long range tanking requirements are about to decrease massively with the RR contract on the buff’s. Throw in possible needs for cargo aircraft doing things like air dropped ordinance etc. and total needs are only going up, not down.
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:42 am

texl1649 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:

I assume you mean more fuel capacity right? What would more fuel capacity be needed for?

On the B-52 re-engine discussion, there was a note that with more fuel efficient engines, the BUFF would require less refueling.

Then a bit farther in the future I can see them morphing the B-21 in to a stealth tanker for the stealth fleet.

And if the US start to base more planes in northern and western Australia in any future conflict, would that help?

bt


B-21s have a secret budget. But if the B-21 costs $600M each, that's beyond what one might pay for a tanker.


This is a valid topic. Not sure the answer/specs. The B-21’s are really, like the B-2, highly likely to need a lot of tankers (being powered on long duration flights by basically fighter jet engines). The B-52’s, similarly, while it is great the F130 might decrease their tanking needs 30-40 percent, will still need…a LOT of kerosene for sustained missions in the pacific, even if stand off.

The typical tanker mission for a B-52 is 2 KC-10s or 3 KC135’s, so it’s not like…long range tanking requirements are about to decrease massively with the RR contract on the buff’s. Throw in possible needs for cargo aircraft doing things like air dropped ordinance etc. and total needs are only going up, not down.


If the requirement is a massive tanking capability, then the 777 will have the advantage. But to my mind, the 777 is way too large for the job. Massively too big. I can’t imagine anything needing that amount of fuel
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:43 am

bikerthai wrote:
I say the MQ-25 is new and unique.
The loyal wing man drone being developed with the RAAF. There is also the military space plane. But that is probably more of a USAF project.

bt


The MQ-25 is a great answer. But a corporation with ~$100B in revenue should have more than one such program.
 
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zeke
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:10 am

SteelChair wrote:
If the requirement is a massive tanking capability, then the 777 will have the advantage. But to my mind, the 777 is way too large for the job. Massively too big. I can’t imagine anything needing that amount of fuel


It has taken over 10 years to get the KC-46 where it is today after contract award in 2011, and it is still a while off meeting the specifications it was contracted to (in particular the boom).

The RFP/Contract process for KC-Y will probably take at least two years to compile/compete/award, realistically award would be around 2024., with KC-Y to start entering service in 2029.

How long do you think a 777 tanker would take to develop?
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:17 am

zeke wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
If the requirement is a massive tanking capability, then the 777 will have the advantage. But to my mind, the 777 is way too large for the job. Massively too big. I can’t imagine anything needing that amount of fuel


It has taken over 10 years to get the KC-46 where it is today after contract award in 2011, and it is still a while off meeting the specifications it was contracted to (in particular the boom).

The RFP/Contract process for KC-Y will probably take at least two years to compile/compete/award, realistically award would be around 2024., with KC-Y to start entering service in 2029.

How long do you think a 777 tanker would take to develop?


Any 777 variant would probably use the same boom, and RVS 2.0 as per the final iteration of the KC-46A. I wouldn’t as such think it would take the same amount of time as the latter. The same is true of whatever airbus offers as a MRTT derivative with Lockheed, I’d guess; basically nothing new. But hasn’t Airbus had a tough time with the boom as well?
 
SteelChair
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:54 pm

zeke wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
If the requirement is a massive tanking capability, then the 777 will have the advantage. But to my mind, the 777 is way too large for the job. Massively too big. I can’t imagine anything needing that amount of fuel


It has taken over 10 years to get the KC-46 where it is today after contract award in 2011, and it is still a while off meeting the specifications it was contracted to (in particular the boom).

The RFP/Contract process for KC-Y will probably take at least two years to compile/compete/award, realistically award would be around 2024., with KC-Y to start entering service in 2029.

How long do you think a 777 tanker would take to develop?


Probably at least a decade, based upon past performance.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:40 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
The MQ-25 is a great answer. But a corporation with ~$100B in revenue should have more than one such program.


You'll be surprised. They seem to devote more R&D to develop and pay for infrastructure to fabricate commercial aircraft. After all once developed, the revenue from one commercial airframe program far outweigh any single military program. Remember military programs are at the whim of political influence and may not last more than any single administration.

Also programs are developed as the need arise from the US arm forces. You don't throw too much money at programs until the Air Force say what it needs.

texl1649 wrote:
Any 777 variant would probably use the same boom, and RVS 2.0 as per the final iteration of the KC-46A. I wouldn’t as such think it would take the same amount of time as the latter.


The other difference is that the 777 at it's inception an all CAD airplane. So incorporating the new digital design process require less work. Although it seemed that the production issue with the KC-46 did not involve any airframe mod issue, so designing the KC-777 structurally is pretty straight forward. Just don't let the Commercial side run the program like they did with the KC-46. Work it like they did with the P-8A.

bt
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:35 pm

The biggest issue with any 77X alternative, would imho be the hose/drogue points on the wings. The 77X has those tremendously flexible wings (without hard points on them a la MRTT) and a limited ability I would imagine to add weight out there. Maybe they’d use the ‘classic’ 77F wing, but I doubt they want to keep producing it thru the 2030’s.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:41 pm

SteelChair wrote:
To me, the key issue with regard to the competition between a 767 based tanker and an A330 based tanker is size. Does the USAF want more booms or more capacity per airplane?

If it's more booms, 767. If it's more capacity per airplane, A330 should win.

Mho, all the rest is just noise.

I suppose, if one believes USAF decides which aircraft it gets, more so than Congress. I tend to believe the former over the later, others here clearly see it as Congress having more sway over events than USAF itself. Personally I think it's an uphill struggle for the A330. Still gonna be bigger, heavier, take up more ramp space. If Boeing can't beat it on price after having a full rate tanker production line up and running, then they deserve to lose.

kitplane01 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
I say the MQ-25 is new and unique.
The loyal wing man drone being developed with the RAAF. There is also the military space plane. But that is probably more of a USAF project.

The MQ-25 is a great answer. But a corporation with ~$100B in revenue should have more than one such program.

Unfortunately for Boeing, the home town newspaper is throwing some stones at the recent wunder-programs:

However, in June, Aviation Week reported a schedule delay to the T-7 flight test program and a budget cut by U.S. Air Force officials, “along with the discovery of a previously undisclosed aerodynamic issue that raised fresh questions about Boeing’s assertions of the benefits of using a revolutionary design process.”

The Loyal Wingman program, based at Boeing Australia, also appears to have suffered a setback.

Last month, the Air Force, which previously included Loyal Wingman among three drone prototypes for its “Skyborg” air fighter teaming program, awarded contracts to the two from unmanned systems suppliers Kratos and General Atomics. Boeing’s standing in that program was left uncertain.

Ref: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... -airplane/
 
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zeke
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:47 pm

texl1649 wrote:
But hasn’t Airbus had a tough time with the boom as well?


AFAIK they had some events during initial testing which was before the KC-46 award (eg https://australianaviation.com.au/2011/ ... oses-boom/), however their launch customer the RAAF (Australia Air Force) had the A330 tankers deployed in the Middle East delivering fuel operationally from September 2014 (3.5 years after KC-46 contract award) to September 2020. They are cleared on the 737 derivative airframes (Wedgetail and P8) as well as the F35. They have also completed automatic AAR with the boom (A3R capability).
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:09 pm

The T-7 aero problem (wing rock?) was already resolved with software fix. The only delay now is blamed on Covid-19.

The loyal wing man is definitely a long shot for the US. But with this new agreement, who know?

They will keep the 777-200F line open if there is a need, just like they did with the 767 line. Note that the 777F is now the only game town until Airbus comes out with a A350F. There is probably not enough time to work the 777-9F version.

bt
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:40 pm

I think Airbus has continued to experience some challenges but has largely resolved them now, in the past 2 years, with ‘off center’ boom refueling as with the F-15. To be fair, the F-15 canopy is perhaps uniquely close to the receptacle while also off-center with some wing leading edge/engine intake interferences as well...but again the USAF is a bit unique in needing to be able to certify so many different types. Fortunately, NATO has done a lot of the work, of course, at this point.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/10 ... -f-15-jet/
 
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kitplane01
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 5:49 pm

bikerthai wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
The MQ-25 is a great answer. But a corporation with ~$100B in revenue should have more than one such program.


You'll be surprised. They seem to devote more R&D to develop and pay for infrastructure to fabricate commercial aircraft. After all once developed, the revenue from one commercial airframe program far outweigh any single military program. Remember military programs are at the whim of political influence and may not last more than any single administration.

Also programs are developed as the need arise from the US arm forces. You don't throw too much money at programs until the Air Force say what it needs.


infrastructure (unless it's some novel tool or process) is not research nor development. It's an investment, but not R&D.

Boeing military is $20B. And it's things like the F-15, F-18, T-7A, etc. All legacy platforms or normal standard technology (except the MQ-25 or the Future Vertical Lift). No F-35, no B-21.

And in the civilian market ... no new technology either (though that's also true of Airbus).

Is Aerospace in a less-inovation mode? I'm not comparing with 1944, but even compared with the 1980s or 1990s or 2000s
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:59 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
infrastructure (unless it's some novel tool or process) is not research nor development. It's an investment, but not R&D.


True, but the tax code sometimes treats it similar and the company have to take the money from the same bucket of money.

There was quite a lot of R&D money spent on the 787.

Not necessarily development of new tech and materials, but trying to addapt and scale it to manufacture a large all composite commercial aircraft that is on par with a cost of a metal aircraft. The larger the plane gets, the more costly the infrastructure.

bt
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:45 pm

While it was an interesting read, I kindly like to remind you to stay on topic, which is the LMXT tanker. Thanks.
 
SteelChair
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Sun Oct 03, 2021 5:26 pm

Bottom line to me is that Airbus and LM have a ton of options. 2 fuselage lengths, at least 3 engine options that are all "newer" than any 767 engine, and multiple MTOW options to spec out whatever is needed. Given Boeing’s lack of performance KC-46 and other programs, imho this order should go to LM.

It has been interesting to read the opinions of some that fuel efficiency is not a consideration. A tanker that doesn't need to be fuel efficient....oh the irony. Only the government.

If I were to spec it out, I would go for an A330-200 based variant with the highest MTOW option available and the NEO RR engines assembled and supported in Indy. Plumbed to add more fuel tanks in the lower lobe if necessary and also equipped to have quick change out equipment to carry cargo or people on the main deck
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:03 am

SteelChair wrote:
If I were to spec it out, I would go for an A330-200 based variant with the highest MTOW option available and the NEO RR engines assembled and supported in Indy.

Fitting the new engines is critical for Airbus to win in my opinion.

Image

Here is the fuel burn figures. The KC-46 uses the shorter -200 fuselage length so it should burn slightly less fuel per hour due to slightly lower drag compared to the 767-300ER. The KC-46 also has improved PW4062 engines that has slightly lower fuel burn than the engines Delta uses. As you can see the Delta numbers show the A330-200 burns 15% more fuel per hour than the 767-300ER. But compared to the KC-46 it burns closer to 20% more.

So while the KC-46 carries 96,297 kg and the MRTT carries 111,000 kg that is also 15% more fuel. The A330 burns away it's extra fuel capacity. This should be crystal clear to everyone.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_KC-46_Pegasus

The most important attribute of a tanker is a very light empty weight relative to the MTOW. This gives maximum fuel capacity. The KC-135 has an empty weight 38% of the MTOW. The KC-10 is 40% of MTOW.

The KC-46 has an empty weight 43.6% of MTOW so it is fairly heavy. The A330 MRTT's has an empty weight of a massive 53.6% of the MTOW. The Airbus is extremely unoptimised for a tanker. It has a huge wide fuselage designed to carry lots of passengers. Fuel is dense so a skinny short fuselage is the best option for a tanker.

It is worth noting that the KC-135 tanker has a shorter and skinnier fuselage than the A321 despite carrying 90t of fuel.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_ ... ratotanker
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonne ... 0_Extender

The A330NEO has a MTOW of 251t so that is already 18t higher than the 233t MTOW of the RAAF Airbus MRTT. Airbus needs the NEO engines and the higher MTOW to win in my opinion. The Lockheed website lists the 242t MTOW, passenger windows and the older engines. I am not impressed. The NEO engines burn roughly 750kg less fuel per hour according to Delta numbers. So on a 10 hour 4,500nm tanker flight that is approximately 7,500kg of fuel saved that can go to the fighters.

Boeing could also improve the KC-46. With the empty weight of 82,377 kg and MTOW 188,240 kg this allows for a theoretical maximum fuel weight of 105,863kg. The current 96,297 kg fuel capacity could be increased. These block 2 versions could have 99% commonality with the first KC-46 aircraft but with just a bit of extra fuel.
 
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zeke
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:26 am

RJMAZ wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
If I were to spec it out, I would go for an A330-200 based variant with the highest MTOW option available and the NEO RR engines assembled and supported in Indy.

Fitting the new engines is critical for Airbus to win in my opinion.

Image

Here is the fuel burn figures. The KC-46 uses the shorter -200 fuselage length so it should burn slightly less fuel per hour due to slightly lower drag compared to the 767-300ER. The KC-46 also has improved PW4062 engines that has slightly lower fuel burn than the engines Delta uses. As you can see the Delta numbers show the A330-200 burns 15% more fuel per hour than the 767-300ER. But compared to the KC-46 it burns closer to 20% more.

So while the KC-46 carries 96,297 kg and the MRTT carries 111,000 kg that is also 15% more fuel. The A330 burns away it's extra fuel capacity. This should be crystal clear to everyone.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_KC-46_Pegasus

The most important attribute of a tanker is a very light empty weight relative to the MTOW. This gives maximum fuel capacity. The KC-135 has an empty weight 38% of the MTOW. The KC-10 is 40% of MTOW.

The KC-46 has an empty weight 43.6% of MTOW so it is fairly heavy. The A330 MRTT's has an empty weight of a massive 53.6% of the MTOW. The Airbus is extremely unoptimised for a tanker. It has a huge wide fuselage designed to carry lots of passengers. Fuel is dense so a skinny short fuselage is the best option for a tanker.

It is worth noting that the KC-135 tanker has a shorter and skinnier fuselage than the A321 despite carrying 90t of fuel.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_ ... ratotanker
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonne ... 0_Extender

The A330NEO has a MTOW of 251t so that is already 18t higher than the 233t MTOW of the RAAF Airbus MRTT. Airbus needs the NEO engines and the higher MTOW to win in my opinion. The Lockheed website lists the 242t MTOW, passenger windows and the older engines. I am not impressed. The NEO engines burn roughly 750kg less fuel per hour according to Delta numbers. So on a 10 hour 4,500nm tanker flight that is approximately 7,500kg of fuel saved that can go to the fighters.

Boeing could also improve the KC-46. With the empty weight of 82,377 kg and MTOW 188,240 kg this allows for a theoretical maximum fuel weight of 105,863kg. The current 96,297 kg fuel capacity could be increased. These block 2 versions could have 99% commonality with the first KC-46 aircraft but with just a bit of extra fuel.


This thread is about LMXT, you are posting non factual information regarding LMXT.

The LMXT specifications are here https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/pr ... anker.html

In particular what you have been posting non factual is their declared fuel offload is 124 tonnes, MTOW 242 tonnes.

We also know from the public details of the NG bid for KC-45, the empty weight in the USAF configuration MRTT was 120 tonnes.

For actual fully operational, certified capabilities of the MRTT, and receiver aircraft cleared please see https://www.airbus.com/content/dam/even ... 30MRTT.pdf
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:42 am

zeke wrote:
This thread is about LMXT, you are posting non factual information regarding LMXT.

The LMXT specifications are here https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us/pr ... anker.html

In particular what you have been posting non factual is their declared fuel offload is 124 tonnes, MTOW 242 tonnes.


I have not posted any non factual information. Lockheed does not have an empty weight listed. The MRTT is the only weight we have and I provided a source.

I even mentioned that the Lockheed website lists the 242t MTOW and it has video and images showing passenger windows.

zeke wrote:
We also know from the public details of the NG bid for KC-45, the empty weight in the USAF configuration MRTT was 120 tonnes.

Do we?
The KC-45 page has an asterisk next to the empty weight and it says: Note: specifications denoted with a "*" are for the A330. So they have simply assumed the weight from the A330-200 passenger variant. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/EADS/No ... mman_KC-45

The RAAF MRTT is a porker at 125t. I don't see how the higher MTOW LMXT with the extra fuel tanks in the belly could weigh less than the MRTT.

zeke wrote:
For actual fully operational, certified capabilities of the MRTT, and receiver aircraft cleared please see https://www.airbus.com/content/dam/even ... 30MRTT.pdf

That does not state any empty weight. It does state the 111,000kg of fuel which is what I have written.

You have not provided any sources that dispute my statements.

If we look at windspan and length. The KC-46 fits inside a 2,300m box. The A330-200 requires 3,545m2 which is 54% more parking space.

The LMXT at 125t weighs 52% more than the KC-46.
The LMXT takes up 54% more space in the tarmac.
The LMXT at 242t MTOW only has a 29% higher MTOW.
242t MTOW minus 125t OEW gives only 117t left for fuel. That is only 22% more fuel capacity for all of that extra size. Most of that extra capacity gets consumed in transit due to higher fuel burn.
Last edited by RJMAZ on Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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zeke
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:59 am

RJMAZ wrote:
The KC-45 page has an asterix next to the empty weight and it says: Note: specifications denoted with a "*" are for the A330. So they have simply used the weight from the A330-200 passenger variant.


Stitch posted it yesterday, however the reference post was removed, so was his reply. The KC-45 was not a passenger aircraft, the first aircraft was actually flown to Dresden for the addition of a main-deck cargo door by EADS-EFW.

LMXT have published their specs, can we stick to what they have posted, considering that is what this thread is about.

RJMAZ wrote:
You have not provided any sources that dispute my statements


The briefing clearly states the WV80, which is 238 tonnes MTOW, LM on their website state for the LMXT it is 242 tonnes and fuel offload of 124 tonnes.
 
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:11 am

zeke wrote:
The briefing clearly states the WV80, which is 238 tonnes MTOW, LM on their website state for the LMXT it is 242 tonnes and fuel offload of 124 tonnes.

No they state fuel capacity not fuel offload. 242t MTOW minus 125 OEW gives only 117t fuel capacity. Airbus has clearly put in a big extra fuel tank and it won't be able to be filled up all of the way up. This isn't the first time Airbus has done this. When Airbus first activated the centre tank on the A330-300 it couldn't take off fully fueled even without passengers.

The KC-46 when fully fueled still has 10t left of headroom before hitting MTOW.
 
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zeke
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:29 am

RJMAZ wrote:
zeke wrote:
The briefing clearly states the WV80, which is 238 tonnes MTOW, LM on their website state for the LMXT it is 242 tonnes and fuel offload of 124 tonnes.

No they state fuel capacity not fuel offload. 242t MTOW minus 125 OEW gives only 117t fuel capacity. Airbus has clearly put in a big extra fuel tank and it won't be able to be filled up all of the way up. This isn't the first time Airbus has done this. When Airbus first activated the centre tank on the A330-300 it couldn't take off fully fueled even without passengers.

The KC-46 when fully fueled still has 10t left of headroom before hitting MTOW.


Offload and capacity are the same for the MRTT, fuel comes from standard tanks that are part of the aircraft fuel system.

A MTOW of 242 tonnes and an offload of 124 tonnes means a DOW of 118 tonnes. All A330 & A340 have the option of ACT (additional centre tanks) which connect to the standard fuel system. The only reason they were not offered before is KC-X gave no credit for more than 200,000 lb of fuel offload.

As this is a LMXT thread would be too much to ask to use the data published and not irrelevant misinformation.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 4:32 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
No they state fuel capacity not fuel offload. 242t MTOW minus 125 OEW gives only 117t fuel capacity. Airbus has clearly put in a big extra fuel tank and it won't be able to be filled up all of the way up.


As I replied before someone took a machete to this thread, 125T is not a realistic OEW unless you have a fully equipped passenger interior and windows.
An A330-200F weighs just under 110T. And that's the production version. I believe the P2F may even be lighter as it lacks the goiter and replaces the bulkhead with a 9G net.
A USAF-spec tanker, which is basically a freighter with a boom, would be much closer to 115T.

I'd also be wary of using Wikipedia figures for this sort of conjecture, especially when it comes to empty weights. They tend to base these figures on pax/freighter versions, which themselves are pretty unreliable.

The LMXT could easily outload the KC-46, with the added bonus of having a whole lot more modularity and options when it comes to carrying personnel, cargo and fuel.
I can easily see one of them dragging a detachment of fighters across the Atlantic or Pacific via Hawaii while carrying over 100 supporting ground personnel/troops in the main cabin on palletized seat modules and 20+ tons of spares and ground equipment in the lower holds.

This is what makes it so attractive, especially for Air Forces which do not have a plethora of different logistics airplanes to each perform specific missions and where multi-role capability becomes much more valuable.
Of course the requirements of the USAF may differ. They may, as in the previous RFP, require only a pure tanker (just bigger) and let the cargo and people be flown by other equipment.

At the end of the day, the main selection factor will be political. It was the last time, and always will be when it comes to military procurements with that kind of budget and public visibility. This essentially means the LMXT has no chance whatsoever IMO.
I just wish LM and Airbus had learned their lesson from the first round.
 
texl1649
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 4:33 pm

Did Lockheed present anything @ the AFA show? If so, those presentations are supposed to be made public/shared on the 9th.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 5:05 pm

Francoflier wrote:
As I replied before someone took a machete to this thread, 125T is not a realistic OEW unless you have a fully equipped passenger interior and windows.

It looks like it has windows to me.

Image

You have the boom, wiring, fuel pumps and probe/drogue pods on the wing. That is why the MRTT has a OEW of 125t. This is 4,400kg more than the A330-200.

If you think LMXT will weigh 7,000kg less than the RAAF MRTT so that it can offload 124t of fuel at the 242t MTOW then that is your opinion. LMXT compared to the MRTT will have a MTOW 9,000kg higher, fully redundant wiring and shielding to handle a nearby nuclear blast. This adds weight.

Francoflier wrote:
I can easily see one of them dragging a detachment of fighters across the Atlantic or Pacific via Hawaii while carrying over 100 supporting ground personnel/troops in the main cabin on palletized seat modules

The KC-46 can do this in an aircraft with 50% lower ground footprint and 50% lower empty weight.

Fully fueled with 96t of fuel the KC-46 still has approximately 10t of payload remaining before hitting MTOW. This is perfect for 100 passengers. 10,000kg of passenger in the LMXT means it has to remove 10,000kg of fuel significantly reducing capability.

Francoflier wrote:
At the end of the day, the main selection factor will be political.

The LMXT loses based on performance as shown in my evidence using actual sources. You have already prepared an excuse so you don't have to accept the LMXT is the most unoptimised tanker.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:09 pm

Francoflier wrote:
The LMXT could easily outload the KC-46, with the added bonus of having a whole lot more modularity and options when it comes to carrying personnel, cargo and fuel.

As you suggest, the real issue is does the USAF want these capabilities and are they willing to pay for them?

Francoflier wrote:
At the end of the day, the main selection factor will be political. It was the last time, and always will be when it comes to military procurements with that kind of budget and public visibility. This essentially means the LMXT has no chance whatsoever IMO.
I just wish LM and Airbus had learned their lesson from the first round.

I think that's a really bad take.

F22 and F35 shows that LM has a lot of political clout, they absolutely do have a chance.

While politics plays a role, I think it'll mostly be about what USAF wants i.e. what exact requirements make it into the RFP and what they are willing to spend.

There's no doubt in my mind A330 offers a lot of capabilities, the real question is will they price low enough to win the bid?

Last time around Airbus was still making good money selling pax A330s so there was a limit on how low they would go.

On the other hand, last time around Airbus's infamous Bulls*** Castle was still in operation.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Lockheed reveals new LMXT refueling tanker

Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:25 pm

Revelation wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
The LMXT could easily outload the KC-46, with the added bonus of having a whole lot more modularity and options when it comes to carrying personnel, cargo and fuel.

As you suggest, the real issue is does the USAF want these capabilities and are they willing to pay for them?


My read is the USAF is no longer interested in the dual-role mission the LMXT (and KC-10) are perfect for. It's a fantastic concept for nations who don't want to have tankers AND airlifters, but the USAF has an excess of airlift but needs booms and gas in the air, especially at a distance. They don't need a tanker for hauling people and beans.

Revelation wrote:
On the other hand, last time around Airbus's infamous Bulls*** Castle was still in operation.


Second only to Boeing's! :D

RJMAZ is on the money, though: a FAR bigger jet for a trivial amount of more give (depending on distance) isn't worth it. Especially when you consider adding another fleet type. Now, if it was an extra 140K... that might do something...

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