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More KC-46A woes....

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More KC-46A woes....

Old 26th Sep 2015, 13:25
  #381 (permalink)  
 
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Brakedwell - Only insofar as they held extra fuel. Later-modified versions (after the KC-135s came into SAC and the '97s went to TAC) had jet pods instead.

Looking for the answer, I found this. Army fixed-wing refueling Army fixed-wing!

https://airrefuelingarchive.files.wo..._refueling.jpg
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 13:29
  #382 (permalink)  
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Brakedwell:

......The success of the KC-97E led to Boeing’s development of two more models. In April 1952 the corporation announced the KC-97F. Featuring improved engines and instrumentation, 159 F-Models came off Boeing’s Renton, Washington assembly line. But the biggest contract came in mid-1953, when the Air Force purchased the KC-97G.

The –G offered much improved flexibility: 700-gallon capacity drop tank was added beneath each wing; the upper deck tanks of the –E and –F, used for air refueling, were moved into the lower fuselage, so the –G was immediately usable as a cargo aircraft.

The –G model soon became the major production version of the KC-97. A total of 592 Gs were built before the KC-135 replaced it on the Renton assembly line in 1956.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 13:36
  #383 (permalink)  
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brakedwell, no, those are underwing tanks. The only KC-97 to feature hose-and-drogue refuelling was, as far as I'm aware, the single KC-97H which featured a centreline hose, not wing pods.

The KC-97H had a pair of podded J47s, one under each wing. MTOW take-offs must have been quite spectacular!

KenV, good to read that the KC-46A has finally managed to fly. Let's see how the testing goes now.....

(And yes, please re-size your photo!)
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 13:59
  #384 (permalink)  
 
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Everyone, say Hi to STUMPY

Maybe the picture is big to, you know, make the tanker look larger than real life?

It's freaken TINY!!

what was all the fuss about?

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Old 26th Sep 2015, 17:39
  #385 (permalink)  
 
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Tanker nerd trifecta!

(Trifecta? Damn right I did.)
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 23:02
  #386 (permalink)  
 
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Boeing builds tough birds!

KC-97G 53-0231 of the 384th Air Refueling Squadron, out of Westover AFB, Massachusetts, collided with a B-52 during a refueling mission at an altitude of ~15,000 feet. The aircraft lost the whole left horizontal stabilizer and elevator, the rudder, and the upper quarter of the vertical stabilizer. The crew made a no-flap, electrical power off landing at night at Dow AFB, Maine; seven crew okay. "Spokesmen at Dow Air Force, Bangor, said the B-52 apparently 'crowded too close' and rammed a fuel boom into the tail of a four-engined KC-97 tanker plane." Aircraft stricken as beyond economical repair. Two crew on the B-52 ejected, parachuted safely, and were recovered by helicopters in a snow-covered wilderness area. The bomber and remaining eight crew safely landed at Westover AFB.
A tough bird and tougher crew methinks..

http://aviation-safety.net/database/...?id=19591214-0

* The USAF used the KB-50J tankers for TAC hose refuelling in the '50's..

Last edited by TBM-Legend; 27th Sep 2015 at 14:25.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 14:02
  #387 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks, Beagle. I was immersed in the wonderful sound track and did't notice the underwing tanks at the time. (1957)
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Old 30th Sep 2015, 17:40
  #388 (permalink)  

 
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Algy has helpfully posted this RAAF press release on the F35 AAR thread (in this forum).
DEFENCE MEDIA RELEASE

First refuel for RAAF KC-30A refueller to F-35A (JSF)
http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152721

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has completed the first fuel transfer with the air refuelling boom from a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) to a US Air Force (USAF) F-35A Joint Strike Fighter at Edwards Air Force Base in California. A total of 59 contacts were conducted of which five contacts transferred 43,200 pounds of fuel during the four hour sortie.

Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Leo Davies AO CSC, described the trial as a significant step in the development of the KC-30A’s capability.

“Our KC-30A is an essential force multiplier. Mid-air refuelling is critical to ensuring global reach for our aircraft, our people and our equipment,” Air Marshal Davies said.

“Refuelling between the KC-30A and F-35A is an important step towards the KC-30A’s achievement of Final Operational Capability (FOC) and represents continued progress in the development of the F 35A.

“This achievement is significant because the future of Australia’s air combat capability is reliant on the successful partnership between these two aircraft and our ability to be interoperable with our international partners,” Air Marshal Davies said.

The KC-30A has two refuelling systems – the hose-and-drogue and Advanced Refuelling Boom System (ARBS). The two different refuelling systems allow RAAF to support a wide range of coalition aircraft on Operation OKRA where a KC-30A is currently deployed to support combat operations against Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The five KC-30As are based at RAAF Base Amberley (QLD) and Air Force will receive an additional two in 2018. A single KC-30A can carry a fuel load of more than 100 tonnes and remain 1800 kilometres from its home base with 50 tonnes of fuel available for offload, for four hours.

Australia has committed to 72 F-35As for RAAF Bases Williamtown and Tindal, with the first aircraft arriving in late 2018. The F-35A will replace the ageing F/A-18A/B Hornet with a 5th-generation networked fighter aircraft.


Media note:
Details of FOC is available at Capability - Royal Australian Air Force

Imagery is available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20152721
But I think it must surely rate as another 'KC-46A woe', and hence worth having in this thread as well, no?

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Old 1st Oct 2015, 17:14
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"But I think it must surely rate as another 'KC-46A woe', and hence worth having in this thread as well, no?" airsound

I don't see how the success of KC-30/MRTT sales is a KC-46A woe, though it may be a Boeing Defense woe.
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Old 1st Oct 2015, 21:34
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It's not about the success of "sales" - it's surely an indication of how far ahead of the KC-46A the Airbus MRTT actually is.

The US could have had that advantage - but, of course, Airbus fell foul of the 'not made here' attitude, and the subsequent political machinations that distorted and biassed the whole procurement process.

The fact that the Australian KC-30A is refuelling an F-35 - obviously months, possibly years, before a KC-46A gets anywhere near doing that successfully - just reinforces the gap between the two tankers.

As I said on 10 Sep,
Should have bought the 'bus! Would have been pumping real gurgle-juice into real aeroplanes by now.
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Old 1st Oct 2015, 21:49
  #391 (permalink)  
 
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As I said on 10 Sep,

Should have bought the 'bus! Would have been pumping real gurgle-juice into real aeroplanes by now.

airsound
Interestingly, the Italian KC-767 has been doing the same thing (also with F-35s) since July. Why does that not count?
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Old 1st Oct 2015, 22:00
  #392 (permalink)  

 
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In that case, why didn't they buy the 'KC-767'? I think we know why not!

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Old 1st Oct 2015, 22:11
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In that case, why didn't they buy the 'KC-767'? I think we know why not!
Why? For the same reason USAF had no interest in the A330MRTT. Surely you realize that the Airbus KC-45 was even farther from the A330 MRTT than the KC-46 is from the KC-767. Surely.
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Old 1st Oct 2015, 22:22
  #394 (permalink)  

 
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Sorry Ken - I thought you probably knew why the USAF didn't buy the KC-767. As wikipedia says
...some documents found in congressional investigation indicated the A330-based tanker met more of the USAF specifications than the Boeing tanker and had a lower proposed cost.[7][8]. (Pentagon procurement staffer Darleen)Druyun pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months in jail for "negotiating a job with Boeing at the same time she was involved in contracts with the company".[9] Additional fallout included the termination of CFO Michael M. Sears, who was sentenced to four months in prison in 2005, and the resignation of Boeing CEO Philip M. Condit.[10][11] The Air Force's KC-767A contract was officially canceled by the DoD in January 2006.[12
Or has wiki got it all wrong?

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Old 1st Oct 2015, 22:48
  #395 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by airsound View Post
Sorry Ken - I thought you probably knew why the USAF didn't buy the KC-767. As wikipedia saysOr has wiki got it all wrong?

airsound
The KC-46 is meant to be more than simply a tanker. Maybe the USAF should have only sought a tanker, I don't know, but the USAF has many decades of experience with tankers and their additional capabilities. Many such capabilities and new ones were included in the requirements for the KC-46.

I have plenty of reason to believe that, birthing issues notwithstanding, the KC-46 will have a long and glorious service life, counting on a host of capabilities built in from the start, as well as new ones not yet even conceived. The USAF is not inexperienced in this business and have learned much from what the KC-135 and its derivatives have achieved.
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Old 2nd Oct 2015, 06:42
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Or has wiki got it all wrong?
Has wiki gotten the story wrong? Nope. But did your cite provide the complete story? Also, nope. The wiki story you cited ends in 2006, with the A330 winning, a point you conveniently overlooked or ignored. But there was a lot hinky with the NG/Airbus proposal as well and why it was overturned by the GAO. The KC-46 contract was not awarded till 2011, five years later. A LOT happened in those five years. By then NG had pulled out and Airbus was trying to go it alone with a proposal that did not meet all the requirements and cost more. (Yes, Boeing underbid, but this was a FFP contract so the underbid was at Boeing's risk, not USAF's).

And in any event you completely ignored my original point. What Airbus is selling now (A330MRTT) does not remotely meet USAF's requirements, even more so than the KC-767 does not meet USAF's requirements. And the KC-767 was passing "real gurgle juice" WAY before the A330 MRTT. So your original point (now repeated twice) is effectively a non sequitur.
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Old 2nd Oct 2015, 20:09
  #397 (permalink)  
 
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Ken, you are indeed to be congratulated!
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Old 3rd Oct 2015, 04:12
  #398 (permalink)  
 
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As Ken has repeatedly stated, neither the KC767 or the A330MRTT came close to meeting the USAF requirements in the final contract bidding. Had Airbus been awarded the contract, they would have had to perform major re-design work to meet the requirements. Now, perhaps they would not have botched things as bad as Boeing did, but let's not pretend that Airbus never gets it wrong (A380, A400 both way late and way over budget).
There may be a valid point that the USAF "gold plated" their tanker request, but to be fair, the KC-135 has been used for purposes far removed from the original tanker requirement - it wouldn't be surprising if the same was true for the KC-46.
During the development program, when I pushed back that one of the requirements was nonsensical for a commercially derived platform, the USAF response was (almost literally) "What part of mandatory requirement don't you understand"
The maximum rate of fuel offload for the KC-46 is much higher than what any previous Boeing tanker could meet (I don't know enough about the A330 MRTT to know if it could have met it, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me if it didn't either). It was the redesign necessary to meet that fuel offload rate that went so badly wrong (among other things, again, see my previous posts as to why).
There is good news. I've seen the new AR systems - including the 3d terminals, and they are trick. I suspect the Air Force tech's that control the booms (that currently lay prone in the back of the airplane) will be very grateful for the new systems.
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Old 3rd Oct 2015, 20:59
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Ken, you are indeed to be congratulated!
I'm confused. Why do I need to be congratulated?
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Old 5th Oct 2015, 03:18
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Just as an aside from a guy with 10 years in the left seats of both KC-135s and Airbusses. I have flown with a lot of ex military guys who commented that the Airbus is a nice airplane, but if they had to go to war they would rather be in a Boeing. I agree.
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