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More KC-46A woes....

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More KC-46A woes....

Old 11th Apr 2020, 07:06
  #1041 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"Best thing for Airbus with regards to USAF and the tanking is to do enough work to put in a bid to think Boeing might lose to Airbus so Boeing incur more costs"

I'm sure that AB would have preferred to win the contract - BUT if winning it gets Mr B stuck in a swamp I doubt anyone in Toulouse is crying - probably thinking how its killed off a Boeing Middle of the Market airframe for a start..........
The lack of Boeing's MMA is probably more due to all the resources having to go towards resolving 737 Max issues and the lack of foresight and decision making ability at Boeing upper management levels. I gree with those who say that since Boeing bought MDD and the latter's management got entrenched, Boeing has become more of a financial conglomerate masquerading as an airplane company.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 08:36
  #1042 (permalink)  
 
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CC

No sarcasm-not this time. Firstly study of post 1038 kindly added by Beagle shows that even a legacy aircraft has managed it. A quick search suggests that the V22 has a max cruise speed of 270 KCAS so would not need to refuel at 90 kt. The hose speed range on the A330 family hose is 180-325 which should easily cover the V22. Indeed at least one member of said family of tankers has a clearance to refuel the V22. Maybe the GAO didn't look to hard! Not only that where was the evidence that the KC46 was any better?

As far as performance is concerned the ancient rules I referred to are those that were in force when the KC135 was built/certified. The A330 does meet all current perfA requirements and does not rely on balanced field calculations-it uses an optimised V1 based on the choice of take off configuration chosen.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 09:06
  #1043 (permalink)  
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Some years ago now I was involved in a research project comparing tanker capabilities. Rather than relying on manufacturers' glossy brochure claims, we set the ground rules for comparison. All aerodromes would be sea level with 10000ft RW length, still air and ISA. The aim was to establish the max offload available in a set time period on an AARA at a given distance from the departure aerodrome, with recovery to the same aerodrome to land with the equivalent of an hour's transit fuel burn (to simplify diversion assumptions).

All participants were requested to provide the actual RTOM for the specified conditions and the max offload within the set criteria.

The US participants immediately requested a 12000ft RW; this we refused.

When the results came in, the KC-46 was unable to take off at anything close to its MTOM; the A330MRTT was the clear winner and even an A310MRTT with 5 rather than 4 ACTs came very close to the KC-46.

Back when ex-ba 767s were being considered as potential RAF Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft, the Boeing rep admitted "That's where Airbus has us beat" when I queried the figures shown in Boeing's own brochure, which indicated that the 767 (admittedly not fitted with the uprated engines/brakes of the KC-46) would struggle to be able to take-off at MTOM from Brize Norton except with a significant head wind and low ISA deviation. Mates who flew the thing in airline service confirmed that it was a real slug departing Africa with a full load.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 19:13
  #1044 (permalink)  
 
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There seems to be a fixation here about GAO's sustainment of Boeing's protest in terms of the technical aspects of the Airbus vs Boeing bid for the original KC-X award.

I'd like to reiterate that GAO did not sustain some of Boeing's objections on technical grounds. It never said which aircraft was "better" and even made a point of saying it wasn't in that business and wasn't doing that. What it did, as it always does, was rule on contractual grounds. It said the USAF so botched up their analysis in the award of the contract that as it stood, the award could not stand. USAF started out saying it wanted one thing, decided it wanted something else and rather than properly redo the thing just went and shoehorned the analysis so it would come out the way they now wanted.

This was not the only time this happened. TheKC-X fiasco was just one of a series of contractual screwups the USAF did in the mid 2000s. Awards were canceled or overturned, people were replaced, some even went to jail on things. It all could have been avoided even they just did their job right.

Let me again quote from GAO's findings: "In its decision, GAO recommends that the Air Force reopen discussions with the offerors,
obtain revised proposals, re-evaluate the revised proposals, and make a new source selection decision, consistent with GAO’s decision. GAO
further recommends that, if the Air Force believed that the solicitation does not adequately state its needs, the agency should amend the
solicitation prior to conducting further discussions with the offerors".

That's all they had to do.

Last edited by Commando Cody; 11th Apr 2020 at 20:35.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 19:22
  #1045 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vascodegama View Post
CC

No sarcasm-not this time. Firstly study of post 1038 kindly added by Beagle shows that even a legacy aircraft has managed it. A quick search suggests that the V22 has a max cruise speed of 270 KCAS so would not need to refuel at 90 kt. The hose speed range on the A330 family hose is 180-325 which should easily cover the V22. Indeed at least one member of said family of tankers has a clearance to refuel the V22. Maybe the GAO didn't look to hard! Not only that where was the evidence that the KC46 was any better?

As far as performance is concerned the ancient rules I referred to are those that were in force when the KC135 was built/certified. The A330 does meet all current perfA requirements and does not rely on balanced field calculations-it uses an optimised V1 based on the choice of take off configuration chosen.
With respect, again, all the GAO said in its summary was that USAF had not demonstrated in its analysis that all USAF-fixed wing aircraft could be refueled by the A330 submission. It was a separate source that said it was the V-22 Whether the 767 bid could do that better was not the issue, it was USAF's lack of properly addressing the issue regardless of what aircraft the receiver in question might have been. GAO looks at contractual issues.

Regarding your second point, how it calculates V1 isn't the issue; military allowances are different (which is why a number of military aircraft never get civil certification). Runway length was not an issue in the award, protest or sustainment. This whole thing was a contractual problem, one of a number USAF experienced in the 2000s. .Like I said, USAF was doing so badly at this point that DoD seriously considered taking the authority to make the next tanker award away from them and doing it itself. That is a severe condemnation and rarely taken step .

Last edited by Commando Cody; 11th Apr 2020 at 20:37.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 19:38
  #1046 (permalink)  
 
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The 767 is some proven airplane, Boeing builds tankers since forever. I don't get what the bloody problem is? It's billions of business value and Boeing is making a loss on it now? Can't be true?
What is wrong that can't be rectified within a short time?
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 20:26
  #1047 (permalink)  
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The last KC-135 was built in 1965. The first KC-767 was built in 2003 and not exactly a total success.

People retire, corporate memory is short, and technologies change.
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Old 12th Apr 2020, 07:23
  #1048 (permalink)  
 
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"What is wrong that can't be rectified within a short time?"

Pretty much everything I'm afraid...............
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Old 1st May 2020, 10:43
  #1049 (permalink)  
 
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On Flight Global:-
Boeing KC-46A refuelling boom camera redesign to cost $551 million

Article intro:-
It will cost Boeing $551 million to redesign the boom camera on the KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tanker.

In total, the aerospace company took a pre-tax charge of $827 million for the KC-46A tanker in the first quarter of 2020, it says in an earnings call on 29 April. In addition to the boom camera redesign, the programme lost money because of “productivity inefficiencies” and coronavirus-caused shutdowns of Boeing’s Puget Sound factories where the KC-46A is made, the company says.

Total losses on the KC-46A programme have now risen to about $4.6 billion.

The tanker charge caused Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security business to lose $191 million from operations in the first quarter of 2020. In the first quarter of 2019, the company earned $852 million from operations.
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Old 1st May 2020, 14:26
  #1050 (permalink)  
 
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$ 551 mm for a new boom camera? How on earth does it cost that sort of cash??
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Old 1st May 2020, 14:32
  #1051 (permalink)  
 
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no direct knowledge of it but reading the info sounds like someone signed a contract for a camera system that was a lot more difficult than it appears. I suspect that when it eventually gets sorted will be the state of the art for years to come , unless someone out there knows otherwise !
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Old 1st May 2020, 15:08
  #1052 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
$ 551 mm for a new boom camera? How on earth does it cost that sort of cash??
It's OK, they under bid on the first few aircraft years ago. To win the contact. Then make profit on the following.ones. I'm sure it's all going to plan. USAF are happy and it's much better than getting the A330.
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Old 1st May 2020, 18:09
  #1053 (permalink)  
 
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Boeing used to be run by engineers, now it is run by MBA bean counters who's only concern is to juice the stock price so they get a bigger bonus. The whole company needs a management reset.
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Old 1st May 2020, 18:25
  #1054 (permalink)  
 
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I suppose they'll get it sorted just before everything goes contactless.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 16:35
  #1055 (permalink)  
 
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The way camera technology is advancing the new system will be years out of date before its delivered.

I know its comparing apples and pears but just look at the quality of micro cameras flying round on sub one thousand dollar drones.


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Old 9th Jun 2020, 14:14
  #1056 (permalink)  
 
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Av Week headline:

USAF Extends KC-46A Testing For Three Years

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Old 9th Jun 2020, 17:17
  #1057 (permalink)  
 
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Boeing could do quite well out of this. The A330s will be due to be phased out just as the KC-46 is ready for service...
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 18:14
  #1058 (permalink)  
 
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Yeah, but by then, getting parts will be hard.
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Old 20th Jun 2020, 07:08
  #1059 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020...-the-boneyard/

House to block KC-135 retirements for three years, but some B-1 bombers could head for the boneyard

WASHINGTON — The House Armed Services Committee will forbid the Air Force from retiring KC-135 tankers in fiscal 2021, but will allow the service to divest some B-1 bombers and KC-10 tankers.

In its FY21 budget, the Air Force requested permission from Congress to retire 17 of its oldest B-1B bombers and a total of 29 aerial refueling tankers, comprising 13 KC-135s and 16 KC-10s. However, the House hopes to block the Air Force from mothballing any of its 398 KC-135s until after FY23, according to the HASC’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee’s markup of the FY21 defense policy bill, which was obtained by Defense News.

It also would require the service to retain a total of 50 primary mission KC-10A aircraft in FY21; 38 primary mission KC-10A aircraft in FY22; and 26 primary mission KC-10A aircraft in FY23.

The Air Force currently has 56 KC-10s that are considered primary mission aircraft, so the HASC’s language would allow the service to retire six aircraft in FY21 and a total of 30 tankers over the next three years, said a source familiar with the bill. That will allow the service to retire roughly the same number of tankers as it proposed, but over a longer time period........

The House committee’s reluctance to begin retiring tankers was expected given U.S Transportation Command’s concerns about a tanker shortfall and ongoing complications with the Air Force’s newest tanker, the KC-46. TRANSCOM listed $110 million in its unfunded priorities to buy back 13 KC-135 and 10 KC-10 tankers that the Air Force wanted to retire, claiming the divestments would create a “capacity bathtub” and limit options for military mobilization if military leaders were “confronted with a crisis.”

Worries about the tanker fleet being too small were also compounded by the slow pace in resolving ongoing KC-46 deficiencies, particularly with its remote vision system. Prime contractor Boeing has agreed to completely redesign the RVS, which is used by the boom operator to see outside of the aircraft during the refueling process. However, the new system will not be ready until at least 2023.

Without it, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein has said the aircraft will not be ready to deploy in normal operations, though it would be used in combat if necessary......
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Old 20th Jun 2020, 18:08
  #1060 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe there's a place for Airtanker over there.................
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