CX747
Posts: 5748
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:59 pm

While not production related, the USAF has decided to base some of the first combat coded KC-46s at McGuire AFB and Travis AFB. KC-10s are stationed at those two locations, not KC-135s. There has been some rumbling about retiring the -10s and then comments made to keep them flying. Just a new wrinkle in exactly how the -46 is going to be used. 135 replacement, 10 replacement or just adding another type to the fleet. Note that none of the 135s are being retired as 46s come on board, they are just being sent to other bases and squadrons to increase numbers.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
User avatar
Slug71
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:08 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:51 pm

CX747 wrote:
While not production related, the USAF has decided to base some of the first combat coded KC-46s at McGuire AFB and Travis AFB. KC-10s are stationed at those two locations, not KC-135s. There has been some rumbling about retiring the -10s and then comments made to keep them flying. Just a new wrinkle in exactly how the -46 is going to be used. 135 replacement, 10 replacement or just adding another type to the fleet. Note that none of the 135s are being retired as 46s come on board, they are just being sent to other bases and squadrons to increase numbers.


I could be wrong, but I think I read somewhere a little while ago that a number of the oldest KC-10s will be replaced by the KC-46A. Pease AFB, will be one of the first 135 bases to get the KC-46.
 
User avatar
KarelXWB
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 24692
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:33 am

First KC-46 delivery slides into next year:

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/bo ... next-year/

Delivery of Boeing’s first KC-46 air-to-air refueling tanker to the Air Force, already late and way over budget, has been further delayed from this fall into next year, according to a person familiar with the schedule.

Flight testing and certification milestones have been missed and various problems have emerged in flight test, including instances of the extendable fuel boom scraping against the receiver aircraft.


This shouldn't come as a surprise as 2018 has been mentioned before.
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
User avatar
hilram
Posts: 671
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:12 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:46 am

KarelXWB wrote:
First KC-46 delivery slides into next year:

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/bo ... next-year/

Delivery of Boeing’s first KC-46 air-to-air refueling tanker to the Air Force, already late and way over budget, has been further delayed from this fall into next year, according to a person familiar with the schedule.

Flight testing and certification milestones have been missed and various problems have emerged in flight test, including instances of the extendable fuel boom scraping against the receiver aircraft.

Whatever happened to Boeing project management? How come they managed to make the previous tankers? Or is it that they can just let it slide over budget, knowing that eventually Pentagon will cave, and pay up whatever they want?
Flown on: A319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343 | B732, 734, 735, 736, 73G, 738, 743, 772, 77W | BAe-146 | DHC-6, 7, 8 | E195 | MD DC-9 41, MD-82, MD-87
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
Posts: 331
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:20 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:24 am

hilram wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
First KC-46 delivery slides into next year:

http://www.seattletimes.com/business/bo ... next-year/

Delivery of Boeing’s first KC-46 air-to-air refueling tanker to the Air Force, already late and way over budget, has been further delayed from this fall into next year, according to a person familiar with the schedule.

Flight testing and certification milestones have been missed and various problems have emerged in flight test, including instances of the extendable fuel boom scraping against the receiver aircraft.

Whatever happened to Boeing project management? How come they managed to make the previous tankers? Or is it that they can just let it slide over budget, knowing that eventually Pentagon will cave, and pay up whatever they want?


From memory all the people that worked on the preious programs have essentially retired or moved on. So despite the company having done plenty of tankers before this time they're almost starting from scratch.

As for the US Government coming to the rescue I don't think that's going to happen. So far it seems the US Government are sticking hard to the fixed price contract and Boeing are having to eat any overruns. Whether this means a follow on batch are more expensive to recoup costs I don't know. But it looks like this first order will be at the original price for the US Government.
 
Ozair
Posts: 1626
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:26 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:

From memory all the people that worked on the previous programs have essentially retired or moved on. So despite the company having done plenty of tankers before this time they're almost starting from scratch.

Bikerthai has explained it previously about how this project was managed internally, compared to say the P-8 which seems to have been better managed and delivered. His explanation is somewhere in the 27 pages of this thread...
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
As for the US Government coming to the rescue I don't think that's going to happen. So far it seems the US Government are sticking hard to the fixed price contract and Boeing are having to eat any overruns. Whether this means a follow on batch are more expensive to recoup costs I don't know. But it looks like this first order will be at the original price for the US Government.

Agree, Boeing should and deserves to eat these costs. This further delay has been building for awhile and this will likely continue to be a sore point for earnings for a while to come.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 15896
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:39 am

https://twitter.com/ACapaccio/status/910237303100059649 says:

Anthony Capaccio‏ Verified account @ACapaccio 14h14 hours ago

AF discloses today @BoeingDefense KC-46 tanker's been issued 3 Category One deficiency reports including for ``uncommanded boom extension''

That can't be a good thing...
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
User avatar
KarelXWB
Crew
Topic Author
Posts: 24692
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:44 am

Revelation wrote:
AF discloses today @BoeingDefense KC-46 tanker's been issued 3 Category One deficiency reports including for ``uncommanded boom extension''


Musk was right, artificial intelligence can be dangerous :stirthepot:
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 24424
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:43 pm

hilram wrote:
Whatever happened to Boeing project management? How come they managed to make the previous tankers?


The KC-46A has been designed and built in what was expected to be a more streamlined process than the KC-767 and KC-135 / KC-10 programs leveraging Boeing Commercial assets rather than the traditional process of building a passenger 767 and then flying it to a separate facility and gutting it to rebuild it as a military frame. Overall, it will allow Boeing to build them cheaper and faster on the main FAL with final polishing at the EMC, but nobody in BCA has any experience in doing it and most of the original BDS team have retired or moved on so getting to that point has taken far longer and been far more expensive (shades of the 787 where Boeing tried to do something totally new with insufficient experience to pull it off).


hilram wrote:
Or is it that they can just let it slide over budget, knowing that eventually Pentagon will cave, and pay up whatever they want?


The USAF has already paid what they're going to and Boeing is picking up the rest. If the program was completely off the rails (as in the planes were not able to be built or could not fly), then I expect the USAF would come in and bail them out, but at this point, the program is far enough along that it just needs time so the USAF is not going to pay more.
 
User avatar
ssteve
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:32 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:52 pm

Stitch wrote:
The KC-46A has been designed and built in what was expected to be a more streamlined process than the KC-767 and KC-135 / KC-10 programs leveraging Boeing Commercial assets rather than the traditional process of building a passenger 767 and then flying it to a separate facility and gutting it to rebuild it as a military frame. Overall, it will allow Boeing to build them cheaper and faster on the main FAL with final polishing at the EMC, but nobody in BCA has any experience in doing it and most of the original BDS team have retired or moved on so getting to that point has taken far longer and been far more expensive (shades of the 787 where Boeing tried to do something totally new with insufficient experience to pull it off).


The 3-minute pitch for this sort of thing makes it an easy sell to high level management. But what you need is some omniscient engineer+manager who knows EVERY ramification, and that sort of Cassandra just gets pegged as a whiner anyways because they're saying it's going to take longer an be more expensive than necessary to win the bid.

So either way the 3-minute pitch wins, the bid is won, and it's all a grand experiment to see if the 3-minute pitch was right.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2287
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:39 pm

ssteve wrote:
So either way the 3-minute pitch wins, the bid is won, and it's all a grand experiment to see if the 3-minute pitch was right.


The pitch was sound as they have had the P-8A project humming along in good order when they pitched the KC-46 tanker. It's the execution that was flawed.

At least with Boeing winning the contract, they are able to absorb the cost-overrun cost by banking on their commercial revenue. I'm not sure how much Airbus would have bail out NG if they ran in to cost over-runs.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 24424
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:51 pm

So looks like the scraping issue with the boom is caused by the camera system (the boom operator uses monitors to view the receiver aircraft). While the best on offer in 2012 when the system was designed, better technology is now available so Boeing is considering upgrading the system at their own cost to improve the imaging. While the damage to date has been minor, the KC-46 has not yet refueled a stealth airframe and there is worry that the material used to reduce the radar signature of the B-2, F-22 and F-35 could either contaminate the boom or affect the stealthiness of the receiver airframe which is why it is considered a "Category One" issue.
 
jarheadk5
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:45 pm

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:29 pm

Boom strikes outside the receptacle have to be reported to B-2, F-22, and F-35 pilots (and F-117s, when the fleet was still active), so they can notify their maintenance folks.
Shortly before I retired, there was a trend of boom strikes on multiple B-2s that cost ACC over $1mil to repair, so a special notice (FCIF) was pushed to boom operators to be more careful. I was more than a little surprised to find out, after I retired, that student KC-135 boom operators were being flown with B-2s as their receiver; something tells me that might have had something to do with the damage they were seeing on the B-2 fleet.

I was NOT surprised to hear that the indirect-view system is being blamed for the current boom strike issue. I don't think any boom operator in either tanker was in favor of the indirect-view system, other than the ones who were angling for a .civ job with A or B.
-Boom stowed, leaving position.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2287
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:41 pm

It's time to design an automated engagement system for the boom receptacle. We all know the AI system has a much quicker response than a human. At least get a AI assist system going. You can start with a visual system and switch to an RF system later.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: johns624, ulfinator and 2 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos