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Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Dec 31, 2021 3:47 pm

Welcome to the Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread 2022. Please continue your discussion and to post your news here.

Link to previous thread:

Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021
 
usair1489
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Jan 21, 2022 5:48 pm

KC-46A reg 19-46061 is on its way to its new home, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Callsign PUDGY04.
 
usair1489
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:58 pm

KC-46A reg 16-46021 is on its way to its new home, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Callsign PUDGY05.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Thu Jan 27, 2022 1:00 pm

Boeing is still struggling with the KC-46 and yesterday announced yet another charge. This one of over $400 million, takes cumulative charges to nearly five and a half billion dollars.

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... oeing-usaf
Boeing on Jan. 26 reported another charge of $402 million on the KC-46, bringing the total cost overruns for the tanker to about $5.4 billion, and the way the company announced it highlights an ongoing rift with the U.S. Air Force.

Boeing and the service are working to fix the tanker’s biggest problem—its Remote Vision System—by overhauling the aircraft’s system of cameras, sensors and the boom operator’s station. But Aerospace DAILY reported earlier this month that a preliminary design review of the new system has been delayed because of deficiencies with a panoramic visual system.
 
usair1489
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Mar 18, 2022 3:18 pm

It's been a little while since Boeing delivered KC-46s, and today 3/18/2022 two are flying to their new homes:

Aircraft 19-46064 to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as PUDGY06.
Aircraft 19-46066 to Seymour Johnson AFB as BACKY10.

With this, Seymour Johnson is almost at full strength and McGuire will be one-quarter of the way to full strength.
 
ReverseFlow
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Mar 18, 2022 6:00 pm

Actually, I saw 4 in a row today on adsb exchange flying to southern Spain (e.g. Rota or Moron).
Seems like they might be getting into the fray, too. Unless they are transiting to the Middle East.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Mon Mar 21, 2022 2:55 pm

usair1489 wrote:
It's been a little while since Boeing delivered KC-46s, and today 3/18/2022 two are flying to their new homes:

Aircraft 19-46064 to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as PUDGY06.
Aircraft 19-46066 to Seymour Johnson AFB as BACKY10.

With this, Seymour Johnson is almost at full strength and McGuire will be one-quarter of the way to full strength.


Hopefully JB-MDL gets a top up order, right now they are slated to get 24. They are replacing 32 KC-10s, hopefully 8 more can find there way. In person the KC-46 is appreciable quieter than the KC-10s. I'm wondering if the 108th ARW will get the KC-46, if they do perhaps they will move back to the 514th/ 305th side of the airfield. The KC-46s will not fit into their KC-135 hangars. That would allow the Navy and Marines to expand on the Texas avenue side of the airfield. C-40s and P-8s would fit easily in the 108th's hangars.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Mon Mar 21, 2022 11:26 pm

STT757 wrote:
I'm wondering if the 108th ARW will get the KC-46, if they do perhaps they will move back to the 514th/ 305th side of the airfield. The KC-46s will not fit into their KC-135 hangars. That would allow the Navy and Marines to expand on the Texas avenue side of the airfield. C-40s and P-8s would fit easily in the 108th's hangars.


No, that's not dumb enough. Remember, this is New Jersey; the same place that, when they went to turn on the runway lights to their brand new runway (06/24), they didn't work because the contractor never connected them. Why? Because that "wasn't in the contract" (they were right), so they had to tear up the brand new runway, connect the lights, and then rebuild it... They'll tear down the old-ish hangars, keep the 108th KC-46s on the 108th side, then build new hangars and squadron buildings for the 737s somewhere else. Probably on the Victor row. Why? Because it's New Jersey. Ohhh!!!
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Tue Mar 22, 2022 1:52 am

LyleLanley wrote:
STT757 wrote:
I'm wondering if the 108th ARW will get the KC-46, if they do perhaps they will move back to the 514th/ 305th side of the airfield. The KC-46s will not fit into their KC-135 hangars. That would allow the Navy and Marines to expand on the Texas avenue side of the airfield. C-40s and P-8s would fit easily in the 108th's hangars.


No, that's not dumb enough. Remember, this is New Jersey; the same place that, when they went to turn on the runway lights to their brand new runway (06/24), they didn't work because the contractor never connected them. Why? Because that "wasn't in the contract" (they were right), so they had to tear up the brand new runway, connect the lights, and then rebuild it... They'll tear down the old-ish hangars, keep the 108th KC-46s on the 108th side, then build new hangars and squadron buildings for the 737s somewhere else. Probably on the Victor row. Why? Because it's New Jersey. Ohhh!!!


What are they doing with big beige? It’s related to the KC-46.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Tue Mar 22, 2022 2:13 am

They're renovating it to house WRI's KC-46 Cargo Load Trainer (CLT). Hopefully, they'll finally solve the pigeon shit problem...
 
usair1489
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Tue Mar 22, 2022 2:33 pm

STT757 wrote:
usair1489 wrote:
It's been a little while since Boeing delivered KC-46s, and today 3/18/2022 two are flying to their new homes:

Aircraft 19-46064 to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as PUDGY06.
Aircraft 19-46066 to Seymour Johnson AFB as BACKY10.

With this, Seymour Johnson is almost at full strength and McGuire will be one-quarter of the way to full strength.


Hopefully JB-MDL gets a top up order, right now they are slated to get 24. They are replacing 32 KC-10s, hopefully 8 more can find there way. In person the KC-46 is appreciable quieter than the KC-10s. I'm wondering if the 108th ARW will get the KC-46, if they do perhaps they will move back to the 514th/ 305th side of the airfield. The KC-46s will not fit into their KC-135 hangars. That would allow the Navy and Marines to expand on the Texas avenue side of the airfield. C-40s and P-8s would fit easily in the 108th's hangars.


I believe the 305th and 514th will, in the end, have the 13 C-17s operating alongside the 24 KC-46s. I don't think the 108th will see KC-46s anytime soon. In fact I truly believe they will be one of the last Guard wings to fly the KC-135.

The squadron that flies the C-130Ts, VR-64, will probably get hand me down C-130Js or KC-130Js. I don't believe they'll get C-40s; had VR-52 never been decommissioned that would have been the C-40 squadron.

As for P-8s, I highly doubt we will see them at JBMDL unless we order more P-8s and decide reservists need them and VP-66 gets reactivated.

In my opinion the only other new aircraft type JBMDL could see in the next five to ten years would likely be the CH-53K King Stallion.
 
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STT757
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Wed Mar 23, 2022 4:15 pm

usair1489 wrote:
STT757 wrote:
usair1489 wrote:
It's been a little while since Boeing delivered KC-46s, and today 3/18/2022 two are flying to their new homes:

Aircraft 19-46064 to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as PUDGY06.
Aircraft 19-46066 to Seymour Johnson AFB as BACKY10.

With this, Seymour Johnson is almost at full strength and McGuire will be one-quarter of the way to full strength.


Hopefully JB-MDL gets a top up order, right now they are slated to get 24. They are replacing 32 KC-10s, hopefully 8 more can find there way. In person the KC-46 is appreciable quieter than the KC-10s. I'm wondering if the 108th ARW will get the KC-46, if they do perhaps they will move back to the 514th/ 305th side of the airfield. The KC-46s will not fit into their KC-135 hangars. That would allow the Navy and Marines to expand on the Texas avenue side of the airfield. C-40s and P-8s would fit easily in the 108th's hangars.


I believe the 305th and 514th will, in the end, have the 13 C-17s operating alongside the 24 KC-46s. I don't think the 108th will see KC-46s anytime soon. In fact I truly believe they will be one of the last Guard wings to fly the KC-135.

The squadron that flies the C-130Ts, VR-64, will probably get hand me down C-130Js or KC-130Js. I don't believe they'll get C-40s; had VR-52 never been decommissioned that would have been the C-40 squadron.

As for P-8s, I highly doubt we will see them at JBMDL unless we order more P-8s and decide reservists need them and VP-66 gets reactivated.

In my opinion the only other new aircraft type JBMDL could see in the next five to ten years would likely be the CH-53K King Stallion.


Since the move from Willow Grove in 2011 the Marines have grown substantially, especially HMLA-773, at JB-MDL. I was wondering if the KC-130J squadron at Stewart airport NY might eventually move to WRI.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Mar 26, 2022 5:47 pm

Took my son's family to the Museum of Flight yesterday, hadn't been there in a decade, the cover was not over the display planes the last time I was there.

As we were leaving a KC-46 landed, quite cool. I couldn't read the numbers on it. Do they do much with the KC-46 at BFI? Always see AWACs and the like there.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Mar 26, 2022 6:04 pm

Boeing field is the delivery & flight test center for both the KC-46 and P-8A.

Next door to the south of the museum is the P-8A flight line.

North Boeing field is where they install the military hardware, in including the boom. Saw a Japanese tanker last week on the flight line. Not sure if it was a KC-767 in for upgrade or KC-46.

bt
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Mar 26, 2022 9:59 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Boeing field is the delivery & flight test center for both the KC-46 and P-8A.

Next door to the south of the museum is the P-8A flight line.

North Boeing field is where they install the military hardware, in including the boom. Saw a Japanese tanker last week on the flight line. Not sure if it was a KC-767 in for upgrade or KC-46.

bt


None of that happens at BFI for the new-build tankers. All that work is done at PAE. The only things that happens at BFI is collecting all the wrenches that the PAE guys have left in the fuel tanks and sweeping up all the discarded nuts and bolts. They do AAR fuel transfer funcionality checks from BFI too, then customer acceptance flight(s) and off they go.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Mar 26, 2022 10:01 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Took my son's family to the Museum of Flight yesterday, hadn't been there in a decade, the cover was not over the display planes the last time I was there.

As we were leaving a KC-46 landed, quite cool. I couldn't read the numbers on it. Do they do much with the KC-46 at BFI? Always see AWACs and the like there.


It was '46068 (N1794B) on contractual delivery (transfer from Boeing to the USAF tanker program, which takes place at BFI).
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sun Mar 27, 2022 8:06 pm

RobK wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Took my son's family to the Museum of Flight yesterday, hadn't been there in a decade, the cover was not over the display planes the last time I was there.

As we were leaving a KC-46 landed, quite cool. I couldn't read the numbers on it. Do they do much with the KC-46 at BFI? Always see AWACs and the like there.


It was '46068 (N1794B) on contractual delivery (transfer from Boeing to the USAF tanker program, which takes place at BFI).


It certainly had that 'new car' look, perfect paint and the like. It was landing so finishing up an acceptance flight. Thanks for the info, as well as Biker Thai for his response.

It is good that someone at Boeing can actually collect all the wrenches, nuts, bolts, and rags left on board. It was so bad early in the deliveries all the cr*p they were finding inside. Shocking how much was there, even after the 2nd delivery halt for FOD.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:22 pm

Right now there are two KC-46 doing tracks over Hungary. First time I have seen them in the region.

Kind of a funny callsign. FIAT30 and FIAT31 (Fix It Again Tony).
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:28 pm

rlwynn wrote:
Right now there are two KC-46 doing tracks over Hungary. First time I have seen them in the region.

Kind of a funny callsign. FIAT30 and FIAT31 (Fix It Again Tony).
Not Faults In All Tankers?
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:38 pm

rlwynn wrote:
Right now there are two KC-46 doing tracks over Hungary. First time I have seen them in the region.

Kind of a funny callsign. FIAT30 and FIAT31 (Fix It Again Tony).


Well, the drogues should be fully functional on the -46 and the Truman should still be operating out of the Adriatic, right? Would put that right in between their ship and the operations area. Should be operationally easier to tank from them then sending up a bunch of (K)F/A-18Es like in the Afghanistan days.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:46 pm

Spacepope wrote:
Well, the drogues should be fully functional on the -46 and the Truman should still be operating out of the Adriatic, right?


Well, the boom is also good for all those big airplanes and non-stealth fighters and non is twilight lighting conditions.

In twilight condition if you don't mind scratching the paint. :mrgreen:

bt
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:08 pm

rlwynn wrote:
Right now there are two KC-46 doing tracks over Hungary. First time I have seen them in the region.

Kind of a funny callsign. FIAT30 and FIAT31 (Fix It Again Tony).
Oddly those are the ones I saw going to Rota (see up thread) a few days ago.
Oddly because this morning they first went to Moron and then launched from there to Hungary.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Tue Mar 29, 2022 4:18 pm

Today there was again FIAT30 doing tracks over Hungary, as well as a KC-46 with callsign PICO40 refueling a B-52 over southen Germany (both visible on adsbexchange).
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Apr 01, 2022 10:23 am

mxaxai wrote:
Today there was again FIAT30 doing tracks over Hungary, as well as a KC-46 with callsign PICO40 refueling a B-52 over southen Germany (both visible on adsbexchange).


More things are opening up from the operational side for the jet. I too hope that JBMDL also receives additional KC-46s to bring it in line with the number of KC-10s that were there.

https://www.airforcemag.com/kc-46-clear ... ion-falls/
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Wed Apr 20, 2022 8:04 am

USAF has reached final agreement with Boeing on RVS 2.0. The upgrade will now include the panoramic vision system, as well as the boom vision system. Together with all new cameras, displays, and a new operator station. All done under the original contract at no cost.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/04/exc ... ic-system/
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Thu Apr 21, 2022 10:30 am

Finally, thx avatar2go 25.

Although Boeing first briefed the RVS 2.0 preliminary design in May 2021, Air Mobility Command recommended that the Air Force hold off on approving the preliminary design — a milestone expected to occur last fall — until it reached a consensus with Boeing on the panoramic camera system, AMC spokesman Col. Damien Pickart told Breaking Defense in January.

With the RVS 2.0 preliminary design now set in stone and approved by Air Force acquisition leadership, Air Mobility Command and Boeing, the Air Force now assumes financial responsibility for future changes to the system.

“In the coming weeks, the Air Force and Boeing will update the Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract with the Product Baseline Design Specification, which documents the jointly developed design and transfers technical responsibility to the Air Force,” Morrison said.  “The overall RVS 2.0 program is still on schedule.”

A critical design review for RVS 2.0 is currently on track for June 2022. The design for the new system — as agreed to by the Air Force and Boeing — will include a new Aerial Refueling Operator Station, improved visible cameras (as well as the addition of redundant cameras), better infrared cameras, redesigned image processors and a new full color 4k display.

The new design will allow the Air Force to resolve “significant portions” of two critical “Category I” deficiencies, Morrison said. Specifically, in its current state, the RVS doesn’t reliably convey to boom operators when the boom scrapes the surface of a receiver aircraft and therefore poses a safety risk.

Air Force leaders have stated that the KC-46 won’t be designated as fully operational until all critical deficiencies have been addressed — in 2023 at earliest, if current schedules hold. However, the service is gradually clearing the tanker to perform certain operational missions, with Air Mobility Command most recently sending four KC-46s to Europe, where it has supported refueling missions on NATO’s eastern front.

So far Boeing has delivered 57 KC-46s to the Air Force, the company said in a statement, with 179 tankers planned as part of the program of record. It has also delivered two KC-46s to Japan. Israel has also announced plans to buy two KC-46s.


So Boeing is off the hook now, but USAF still has to finish reviewing it around June.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Thu Apr 21, 2022 9:59 pm

texl1649 wrote:
So Boeing is off the hook now, but USAF still has to finish reviewing it around June.


As I read it, the USAF and Boeing have agreed on a final design specification for RVS 2.0 and if the USAF wants anything beyond that, the USAF will have to pay for it.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Apr 22, 2022 4:23 am

Stitch wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
So Boeing is off the hook now, but USAF still has to finish reviewing it around June.


As I read it, the USAF and Boeing have agreed on a final design specification for RVS 2.0 and if the USAF wants anything beyond that, the USAF will have to pay for it.

So how much additional money did the Air Force cost Boeing by taking this long to agree on a standard? The RVS system is one of the major deficiencies which have to be cleared, it impedes full production and was the cost of much bashing of Boeing, some warranted, now we know that the Air Force could have finalized the design changes much earlier but chose not too. A number of us thought it was just the RVS, now we know there was more.....still a cluster fu****
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Apr 22, 2022 4:38 am

par13del wrote:

So how much additional money did the Air Force cost Boeing by taking this long to agree on a standard? The RVS system is one of the major deficiencies which have to be cleared, it impedes full production and was the cost of much bashing of Boeing, some warranted, now we know that the Air Force could have finalized the design changes much earlier but chose not too. A number of us thought it was just the RVS, now we know there was more.....still a cluster fu****


They had agreed some time ago on the boom vision system, which Boeing would replace as a deficiency resolution. But then the USAF raised the panoramic vision system as another deficiency, claiming that it lacked the resolution to identify aircraft at a distance.

Boeing contested that at first, as they also did the boom system. But in the end agreed, as it's in their long-term interest with KC-Y coming up, but with the condition that USAF would not raise any further deficiencies in the vision systems.

I suspect in reality, the USAF realized there would be a huge difference in clarity between the two systems, which they would have to pay to resolve eventually. So they declared a deficiency in order to include that work in the fixed-cost contract. They're getting a pretty good deal in the end, this is a full system upgrade with 10 to 15 year advancement in technology. It will be autonomous-ready as well. But it works for Boeing too, if they get KC-Y.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Apr 22, 2022 12:39 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
I suspect in reality, the USAF realized there would be a huge difference in clarity between the two systems, which they would have to pay to resolve eventually. So they declared a deficiency in order to include that work in the fixed-cost contract. They're getting a pretty good deal in the end, this is a full system upgrade with 10 to 15 year advancement in technology. It will be autonomous-ready as well. But it works for Boeing too, if they get KC-Y.

My question would be, since this is the first time the Air Force would deploy remote vision systems, is the panoramic view available on other nations tankers that presently have RVS or is this another new technology that the Air Force wanted in their low cost fixed price tanker replacement of the KC-135?
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Apr 22, 2022 7:47 pm

par13del wrote:
My question would be, since this is the first time the Air Force would deploy remote vision systems, is the panoramic view available on other nations tankers that presently have RVS or is this another new technology that the Air Force wanted in their low cost fixed price tanker replacement of the KC-135?


The panoramic view system is required for tankers that have the wing mounted drogue refueling pods (WARP). So it's not a new technology, MRTT has it as well. The issue with the Boeing setup would have been a boom system that was far superior to the panoramic system. USAF didn't want to be on the hook for fixing that, so they made it a deficiency.

Boeing was already redesigning the boom operator station for the new collimated display, which replaces the former 3-D LCD display. That is a significant advance that no other tanker has. So now the entire operator station will be new. As I mentioned, taken together it's a major upgrade that USAF would normally need a new program to do. It includes LIDAR and the ability to progress into autonomous refueling. So it works out well for them.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Wed May 04, 2022 2:46 am

Now the Air Force will be paying for some portions of the update / replacement of the RVS....
https://breakingdefense.com/2022/05/air ... 0the%20fix.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Wed May 04, 2022 5:52 am

par13del wrote:
Now the Air Force will be paying for some portions of the update / replacement of the RVS....
https://breakingdefense.com/2022/05/air ... 0the%20fix.


Sounds like they are treating the panoramic system as more of an upgrade than a fix. Boeing will pay for the development and surrounding infrastructure, including displays and station redesign. USAF will pay for the production external cameras for each aircraft. That seems like a fair resolution as the improvement in capability will be substantial.

With the boom system, there was an issue of non-usability with some aircraft and some conditions. That obviously is a significant issue and an intolerable deficiency. With the panoramic system, the issue was the range at which aircraft identification could be made. But not an issue for aircraft being able to use the drogue refueling systems. So it may have been tolerable, but at least now will be addressed.
 
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Wed May 11, 2022 11:32 pm

Had a pair fly over as I was digging fossils in western Kansas dragging C-17s. Later they were tanking off each other. Great to see KC-46s in action
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri May 13, 2022 1:13 am

The KC-46 has now done the longest endurance tanker flight, 24.2 hours. I'm sort of surprised that we didn't do 36 hour mission tests back in the hot parts of the cold war. What are the longest ferry flight lengths, and say B-52 flights.

https://www.airforcemag.com/kc-46-sets- ... ur-flight/
 
Buckeyetech
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri May 13, 2022 12:13 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
The KC-46 has now done the longest endurance tanker flight, 24.2 hours. I'm sort of surprised that we didn't do 36 hour mission tests back in the hot parts of the cold war. What are the longest ferry flight lengths, and say B-52 flights.

https://www.airforcemag.com/kc-46-sets- ... ur-flight/


B-1s recently flew a 30 hour mission. https://www.airforcemag.com/b-1-returns ... -to-japan/
 
texl1649
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri May 13, 2022 12:35 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
par13del wrote:
Now the Air Force will be paying for some portions of the update / replacement of the RVS....
https://breakingdefense.com/2022/05/air ... 0the%20fix.


Sounds like they are treating the panoramic system as more of an upgrade than a fix. Boeing will pay for the development and surrounding infrastructure, including displays and station redesign. USAF will pay for the production external cameras for each aircraft. That seems like a fair resolution as the improvement in capability will be substantial.

With the boom system, there was an issue of non-usability with some aircraft and some conditions. That obviously is a significant issue and an intolerable deficiency. With the panoramic system, the issue was the range at which aircraft identification could be made. But not an issue for aircraft being able to use the drogue refueling systems. So it may have been tolerable, but at least now will be addressed.


Yes, replacing the IR cameras with cameras that also include electro-optical cameras, in addition to processing/display changes, is basically a new system altogether.

The KC-46’s panoramic sensor suite comprises three line replaceable units, or LRUs, which provide video to three panoramic displays used by boom operators to see aircraft flying towards the KC-46. Currently, each LRU has a single long wave infrared camera. The upgraded panoramic suite will add a electro-optical camera to each LRU as well as replace the existing infrared sensor with the same, more modern system that will be used as part of the Remote Vision System, Morrison said.

“The Air Force will purchase the new panoramic sensors to support fleet retrofit and to provide to Boeing, as Government Furnished Equipment, in support of production,” she said. “While the panoramic displays will remain the same, the improved panoramic sensors and the ability to display panoramic imagery on the upgraded primary display will result in significant improvements in capabilities.”

If the upgrades to RVS 2.0 or the panoramic sensor suite do not end up having the intended effect, the Air Force will be responsible for paying for future modifications to the system, as the RVS 2.0 design approved last month is now considered the official design specification for the system.

However, the Air Force believes “the approved RVS 2.0 design, to include the panoramic sensor upgrades, provides the lowest technical risk toward meeting all requirements and resolving deficiencies,” Morrison said.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri May 13, 2022 3:51 pm

A picture is worth a thousand words, but the current panoramic system is an absolute PoS and needs to be replaced. You know those old TV sets, where you see the cyclic lines that move from top to bottom? No kidding, that happens on the panoramic. Unbelievable.

Whether they call it a fix or an upgrade is because of contract rules and 'who pays for what?'. But the deeper issue at-play has to do with equipment redundancy and operation according to both FAA and Air Force rules. Boeing says they're delivering to contract and the USAF shakes its head at how deeply Boeing is spec'ing everything exactly "to contract" because of penny-pinching, instead of tailoring to its largest and most important customer. If Boeing put the same energy (read: money) into engineering that they've put into their contract compliance and legal teams, we wouldn't be in this position right now.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri May 13, 2022 4:35 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
The KC-46 has now done the longest endurance tanker flight, 24.2 hours.

https://www.airforcemag.com/kc-46-sets- ... ur-flight/


The KC-10 still holds the record, actually, at 24.5 hours in the mid-80s during an operational Caribbean mission. SAC>AMC
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Thu Jun 02, 2022 7:54 am

The KC-46 is now approved for dispatch for 97% of receiver aircraft. USAF is also considering a 5% reduction in the tanker fleet, and moving away from the KC-Y competition in favor of extending the KC-46 contract.

Kendall also said the USAF did not adequately review the KC-46 design, leading to extensive modifications in the development process. Also that the fixed-cost contract was not suited to that level of development. He said he'd take the hit for that. This confirms earlier testimony by Ellen Lord before Congress, that the fixed-cost contract was not appropriate for the program and would not be used again in that form.

This also confirms the disparity that occurred between what Boeing offered/USAF accepted, and what USAF really wanted, from the KC-46. Due to the fixed cost contract, that meant that Boeing absorbed almost all the development cost for changes requested by USAF. That's been obvious for some time, but it's good to see the USAF be open and honest about it. That tempers much of the contract criticism of Boeing.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2022/06 ... its-fleet/

https://insidedefense.com/daily-news/ke ... -46-design
(paywall)
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Thu Jun 02, 2022 8:17 am

LyleLanley wrote:
A picture is worth a thousand words, but the current panoramic system is an absolute PoS and needs to be replaced. You know those old TV sets, where you see the cyclic lines that move from top to bottom? No kidding, that happens on the panoramic. Unbelievable.

Whether they call it a fix or an upgrade is because of contract rules and 'who pays for what?'. But the deeper issue at-play has to do with equipment redundancy and operation according to both FAA and Air Force rules. Boeing says they're delivering to contract and the USAF shakes its head at how deeply Boeing is spec'ing everything exactly "to contract" because of penny-pinching, instead of tailoring to its largest and most important customer. If Boeing put the same energy (read: money) into engineering that they've put into their contract compliance and legal teams, we wouldn't be in this position right now.


The cyclic lines are due to differences in scan rates between the display and the recording device. They are not apparent to the naked eye.

Also the issue has nothing whatever to do with penny-pinching. In fact the opposite, Boeing has paid for every major design change except the boom force adjustment, which was a USAF error.

In the article referenced in the above comment, the USAF talks about why program issues occurred and the unsuitability of the fixed-cost contract. The true driver was differing expectations between Boeing and the USAF, about what the KC-46 was to be, based on lack of adequate design review. Both Boeing and USAF played a role in that.
 
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LyleLanley
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Jun 03, 2022 1:32 am

Avatar2go wrote:
The cyclic lines are due to differences in scan rates between the display and the recording device. They are not apparent to the naked eye.

Also the issue has nothing whatever to do with penny-pinching. In fact the opposite, Boeing has paid for every major design change except the boom force adjustment, which was a USAF error.

In the article referenced in the above comment, the USAF talks about why program issues occurred and the unsuitability of the fixed-cost contract. The true driver was differing expectations between Boeing and the USAF, about what the KC-46 was to be, based on lack of adequate design review. Both Boeing and USAF played a role in that.


As a current and qualified KC-46 boom operator, the lines are visible to the naked eye. I’m not speaking of wearing the shades, either. I’d take a video of it, but that wouldn’t really help :)

We’re just gonna have to disagree with our apparently different definitions of penny-pinching, but my contention is that if Boeing hadn’t gone cheap-spec on everything aft of the cockpit; I.e. RVS, pano, and other issues, the 46 would be in much better shape and wouldn’t still be years from IOC. Penny wise and pound foolish. Just like some other notable Boeing programs of late… It’s not all Boeing’s fault, but to say a world-leading corporation like Boeing was outmaneuvered by a bunch of AF blue suiters is wishful thinking and indicative of denial.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Jun 03, 2022 2:20 am

LyleLanley wrote:

As a current and qualified KC-46 boom operator, the lines are visible to the naked eye. I’m not speaking of wearing the shades, either. I’d take a video of it, but that wouldn’t really help :)

We’re just gonna have to disagree with our apparently different definitions of penny-pinching, but my contention is that if Boeing hadn’t gone cheap-spec on everything aft of the cockpit; I.e. RVS, pano, and other issues, the 46 would be in much better shape and wouldn’t still be years from IOC. Penny wise and pound foolish. Just like some other notable Boeing programs of late… It’s not all Boeing’s fault, but to say a world-leading corporation like Boeing was outmaneuvered by a bunch of AF blue suiters is wishful thinking and indicative of denial.


If you are a KC-46 boom operator, I'm surprised that you would say this. I've taken a tour of the aircraft and spoken to that crew at length. While they acknowledged that the vision system has acuity issues, they also said the aircraft is a major improvement over the KC-135 that it replaces. And that they can handle the boom pretty well in most cases, except some lighting conditions.

That would seem to be borne out by it now being approved for 97% of the fleet, with the existing system. In fact everything they told and showed me has proven to be accurate, in terms of the progress it has made. The displays were not active while I was on board, but they didn't mention any issue with them, nor have I read or heard anything about what you are claiming, as a defect. The USAF has said the panoramic display issue is similar to the boom in that it's a matter of resolution & acuity, due to the camera systems being dated.

As far as Boeing being outmaneuvered by the USAF, please note that's not what I said. The fact admitted now by the USAF, by multiple individuals and in multiple venues, is that they did not have a good understanding of the amount of development work involved from the KC-767 to the KC-46. The KC-767 was built for foreign service, but most of the design was still commercial spec and not US mil-spec. That made the contract unsuitable for the project, and the number of changes they would request.

That too is borne out by the documented development changes that were requested by the USAF, which were a large part of the delay. The vision system is really only a small part of that. It's the most prominently reported because of the disagreement it caused, but it was only the last in a long line of major changes. All of which were paid for by Boeing as required in the contract.

Except for the boom connection force issue, which was a USAF error in specification. General Von Ovost said that she would have liked to have contract leverage to negotiate for changes, but even the boom force required special actions to get around the original contract. And now with the panoramic system, Boeing and USAF have agreed to split the cost. So don't think it was all on Boeing.

That doesn't excuse Boeing for other obvious flaws in the program, such as FOD and the cargo latches, and other relatively minor problems. As I said, there were issues on both sides. But the aircraft is converging towards a good solution, judging by what the crew told me, public defense of the program by USAF, and the motion away from a new bid for KC-Y.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Jun 03, 2022 2:38 am

From the age of the vision system and your description of the lines, I'm guessing that the video is from an interlaced analog camera, which alternately scans every other line, such that each frame is a half image, which are then overlaid at half the scan rate, to form the complete image.

That was not considered a defect, it's just how analog cameras work. Modern digital cameras are able to capture the complete image in one frame, processing the frame as a single image instead of a series of alternating lines. That requires significant memory and digital processing, which was at one time quite expensive, but almost trivially cheap today. Any new cell phone probably has a vastly superior camera to the analog standard. So obviously a huge improvement.
 
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par13del
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Jun 03, 2022 2:17 pm

Avatar2go wrote:
General Von Ovost said that she would have liked to have contract leverage to negotiate for changes, but even the boom force required special actions to get around the original contract.

Shocked that a general seems to think that a fixed price contract is only there to protect the tax payors from the possible corruption of Boeing, the special actions are required to protect the tax payors and Boeing from the possible corruption of the Air Force and its partners who would choose to go outside of what they represented to the people that they needed / wanted and was thus funded. Anyone ever hear the tax payors being blamed for not putting up enough money?
Fixed price contracts unfortunately are needed because corruption does not care which side of the political or economic divide one resides on....
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:12 pm

par13del wrote:
Shocked that a general seems to think that a fixed price contract is only there to protect the tax payors from the possible corruption of Boeing, the special actions are required to protect the tax payors and Boeing from the possible corruption of the Air Force and its partners who would choose to go outside of what they represented to the people that they needed / wanted and was thus funded. Anyone ever hear the tax payers being blamed for not putting up enough money?
Fixed price contracts unfortunately are needed because corruption does not care which side of the political or economic divide one resides on....


I believe their position is that the fixed price contract is not appropriate for projects that involve substantial development. But is still appropriate for production.

If the development involves substantial changes requested by the customer, then it's appropriate for a coat-sharing model to be used. Also appropriate for there to be incentives for meeting cost and schedule goals, or to solve specific technical problems that arise as a result of customer demand. But once development is complete, the customer should not be liable for cost overruns or increases that occur in production.

Hence in her Congressional testimony, Lord said they were investigating hybrid contracts for future use, with variable terms for the different phases of the contract.

The issue in the case of the KC-46 contract, was not anticipating how much development would actually be required. That creates the situation where the government either accepts a product that is not what they want, or the vendor absorbs the additional costs, since there is no mechanism for the government to pay for changes (the special actions). That ends up being adversarial, as one side or the other has to lose. Instead of both sides working together to get the desired result.
 
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par13del
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Jun 04, 2022 12:21 am

Avatar2go wrote:
par13del wrote:
Shocked that a general seems to think that a fixed price contract is only there to protect the tax payors from the possible corruption of Boeing, the special actions are required to protect the tax payors and Boeing from the possible corruption of the Air Force and its partners who would choose to go outside of what they represented to the people that they needed / wanted and was thus funded. Anyone ever hear the tax payers being blamed for not putting up enough money?
Fixed price contracts unfortunately are needed because corruption does not care which side of the political or economic divide one resides on....


I believe their position is that the fixed price contract is not appropriate for projects that involve substantial development. But is still appropriate for production.

On that I think most will agree, however with the KC-46, the Air Force were the one's who stated they wanted an off-the-shelf product, they were the ones who wanted an a/c already in service, so really, does it make sense to try to make an off-the-shelf a/c as customized as a new build? My opinion, they wanted a new build but knew that the congress would never go for it, so they first came up with the initial no bid, got stumped by the corruption already in place, then screwed up the second, by the time the third was accepted they decided to customize the hell out of it resulting in cost that may at the end of the day resemble the cost of a new build with a product less than half of the potential efficiencies of a new build. Other than aerodynamics, the major efficiencies of a new build would have been down to the engines, taking bets that if they increase the buy they will ultimately down the road re-engine the KC-46.
 
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par13del
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Jun 04, 2022 12:27 am

I should also add, the KC-46 will ultimately be put to good use by the Air Force, I just think we now have a mindset in some quarters in the military that everything has to be at the pointy edge, when they flew tankers up to the forward edge in Iraq that might have "emboldened" that mindset.
Its a support a/c and not CAS, so other than nuclear hardening - which one may say, may say, is no longer required for the ENTIRE fleet - how much more customization from a commercial cargo a/c do you need, and no I do not mean the required tanker equipment.
 
Avatar2go
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Sat Jun 04, 2022 4:32 am

For the KC-46, much of the cost was driven by the requirement for redundancy in equipment and EWIS, to enhance survivability. That was multiplied by the requirement for certification to civilian transport standards. So you start with an already compliant airliner, modify it to mil-spec, then have to recertify everything you altered, to make it compliant again.

Then you also had Cobham, who were unfamiliar with the maze of FAA civilian certification, and struggled to get their wing pod system certified. That was supposed to happen last fall, not sure if it did or if they are still working on it. That issue spilled over into the wing certification as well, in terms of fuel line routing. The KC-46 is the first US civilian certified military transport, that is also a hardened tanker.
 
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keesje
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Re: Boeing KC-46 News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2022

Tue Jun 07, 2022 8:36 am

The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that it is still not using its fleet of KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling tankers to support combat operations, and will not for the foreseeable future except in response to "emergency need." This is despite the service recently touting that these aircraft can now "support 97 percent of the daily Joint Force air refueling demands" as part of what it calls an Interim Capability Release plan intended to help move the long-troubled jets toward a truly operational state.


https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/k ... hole-story

I assume every effort is made to get the KC46A fully operational and to keep this process out of the new tanker selection process, handle it as two separate topics.

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