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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:02 am

Boeing would have problem rebuilding the KC-767J for several reasons.

I am not sure if they still have any of the tooling left.
I am not sure if they have any digital data to build the frames. Most of the original KC-767J data may be in mylar form even if they were created by a CAD system. Converting that data to NC machinable datasets would be costly for Boeing or the subcontractors.
Much of the original electronics are no longer built, so you will need to certify new ones.

The only way I can see more KC-767J being built would be the Japanese get permission from Boeing to do it themselves and do it through sheer willpower.

Reselling the KC-767J may not be as bad as you think as the JDF are renowned for keeping their planes in pristine condition.

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Stitch
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:12 am

The RFP is for three frames, of which the first has recently been approved. The four KC-767Js are stationed at Komaki Base in Nagoya so depending on where the JASDF wish to station them, you could conceivably have the 404th at NKM with the KC-767J and then a separate KC-46A squadron based somewhere else. Two separate squadrons in two separate locations would mean the lack of commonality between the frames would be less of an issue since they would have separate crew and spares pools supporting them anyway due to the distance even if they were all the same model.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:57 am

My point is : For the JASDF adding KC-46 tankers into a present KC-767J and E-767 fleet is a relative expensive deal because this means adding another sub type, with large operational differences, increasing the operating costs.

If Boeing is unwilling to trade in KC-767J's or is unable to produce new KC-767J's, both for a reasonable price , I would have gone for a far more economical and more logical alternative :

Ordering a few additional converted 767-200ER* tankers, powered by CF6-80C2B4F or -B6F engines from IAI. The STC for a 767-200MMTT is already certified for the Colombia Air Force and can be adapted for a KC-767J look alike, even refuelling pods are possible..
Conversion costs at IAI are a fraction of Boeing conversions, also the flexibility to solve unforseen issues is exceptional at IAI.(smaller company with short internal communication lines).
*= late model 767-200ER aircraft.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:01 pm

747classic wrote:
My point is : For the JASDF adding KC-46 tankers into a present KC-767J and E-767 fleet is a relative expensive deal because this means adding another sub type, with large operational differences, increasing the operating costs.

If Boeing is unwilling to trade in KC-767J's or is unable to produce new KC-767J's, both for a reasonable price , I would have gone for a far more economical and more logical alternative :

Ordering a few additional converted 767-200ER* tankers, powered by CF6-80C2B4F or -B6F engines from IAI. The STC for a 767-200MMTT is already certified for the Colombia Air Force and can be adapted for a KC-767J look alike, even refuelling pods are possible..
Conversion costs at IAI are a fraction of Boeing conversions, also the flexibility to solve unforseen issues is exceptional at IAI.(smaller company with short internal communication lines).
*= late model 767-200ER aircraft.


When dealing with the military cost isn't always the most important factor. The JASDF might feel the KC-46 offers strategic advantages the KC-767 can not.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:32 pm

AviationAddict wrote:
747classic wrote:
My point is : For the JASDF adding KC-46 tankers into a present KC-767J and E-767 fleet is a relative expensive deal because this means adding another sub type, with large operational differences, increasing the operating costs.

If Boeing is unwilling to trade in KC-767J's or is unable to produce new KC-767J's, both for a reasonable price , I would have gone for a far more economical and more logical alternative :

Ordering a few additional converted 767-200ER* tankers, powered by CF6-80C2B4F or -B6F engines from IAI. The STC for a 767-200MMTT is already certified for the Colombia Air Force and can be adapted for a KC-767J look alike, even refuelling pods are possible..
Conversion costs at IAI are a fraction of Boeing conversions, also the flexibility to solve unforseen issues is exceptional at IAI.(smaller company with short internal communication lines).
*= late model 767-200ER aircraft.


When dealing with the military cost isn't always the most important factor. The JASDF might feel the KC-46 offers strategic advantages the KC-767 can not.

Absolutely true, but 747classic's proposal makes a lot of sense. I wonder if Japan considered going that path, or went straight for the "strategic advantages" approach.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:01 am

If logic is supreme, then the JDF would drop their P-1 and buy the p-8A instead. As for economics, Some times the Japanese have their own calculations, different from us. And it seems to work for them.

With pride involve, and their meticulous attention to details, I would believe modification of a used 767 was never on the table. Didn't Korea buy the A330 tanker? Getting a smaller plane is bad enough, but a used one? It would never do :shakehead:
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Stitch
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:18 am

The Foreign Military Sales contract signed last week for the first JASDF KC-46A includes both the frame and support for said frame.

Also, one of the stated goals was interoperability with the KC-46A fleet on joint missions between the USAF and JASDF so that was another factor that favored them ordering the KC-46A.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:18 pm

Revelation wrote:
Some good news: it has got one of the two required FAA certifications: http://ksn.com/2017/12/21/boeing-kc-46- ... -aircraft/ says:


Yet we learned a few weeks ago ( https://www.upi.com/Boeing-will-miss-it ... 512409722/ ) that the program would be missing its goal of delivering by the end of the year and ( http://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-s ... rocky-year ) that it will be taking yet another write down ( $329 million ).


Achieving the second FAA airworthiness certificate takes some time, hence there will be no deliveries in 2017.

We also don't know if current FAA certification will satisfy the USAF. AFAIK Boeiing is still working on the boom scraping issue, thus more work is need, even after obtaining type certification.

par13del wrote:
A large number of frames, the silver lining if they execute properly after certification is that the Air Force will get a number of frames quickly to speed integration into the fleet, from pilot training to facility management.


While lots of aircraft have been assembled already, most still need to be converted into tanker configuration while other aircraft may still need some rework.

Bottom line, still a lot of work needs to be done before the flood gates can be opened.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:19 pm

Revelation wrote:
Absolutely true, but 747classic's proposal makes a lot of sense. I wonder if Japan considered going that path, or went straight for the "strategic advantages" approach.


Those J frames were essentially band aided to contract conformance.

My guess would be that Japan would like someone else (here US Air Force )
to babysit the new frames into conformance. That must be worth some money?
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:02 am

the Japanese gave away or revealed technical secrets about previous US designed weapon systems because they thought they owned the technical aspects of what they bought. The US didn't see it that way so now they're not getting in the programs anymore to their satisfaction. That's why the P1 and not the P8A
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:38 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
the Japanese gave away or revealed technical secrets about previous US designed weapon systems because they thought they owned the technical aspects of what they bought. The US didn't see it that way so now they're not getting in the programs anymore to their satisfaction. That's why the P1 and not the P8A

Boeing is pitching the P-8 to Japan. The would not do so if they did not get permission from the US government. Now, whether they are pitching the I or A version, I do not know. My sense is that either version would be better than than the P-1. But Japan has invest so much in the P-1 and C-2 that it would be difficult to give those up now.

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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:15 pm

bikerthai wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
the Japanese gave away or revealed technical secrets about previous US designed weapon systems because they thought they owned the technical aspects of what they bought. The US didn't see it that way so now they're not getting in the programs anymore to their satisfaction. That's why the P1 and not the P8A

Boeing is pitching the P-8 to Japan. The would not do so if they did not get permission from the US government. Now, whether they are pitching the I or A version, I do not know. My sense is that either version would be better than than the P-1. But Japan has invest so much in the P-1 and C-2 that it would be difficult to give those up now.

bt

I have to disagree. I've spoken with Japanese P-1 crews on two occasions, and they were very pleased with the P-1, specifically with how it compared to the P-8A (they weren't familiar with the P-8I, and some were even surprised that the IN has P-8s when I showed them photos from my trips down to ARK). Given that they held up their radar as a clear advantage over the P-8A, I would imagine they would prefer the 360-degree radar coverage of the P-8I if they were forced to buy P-8s of any variant.

But yeah, they've definitely got too many eggs in the domestic basket for P-8s to be realistic for the JMSDF anyway.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:19 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
the Japanese gave away or revealed technical secrets about previous US designed weapon systems because they thought they owned the technical aspects of what they bought. The US didn't see it that way so now they're not getting in the programs anymore to their satisfaction. That's why the P1 and not the P8A


anythings specific you could bring up on this?
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:10 pm

747classic wrote:

If Boeing is unwilling to trade in KC-767J's or is unable to produce new KC-767J's, both for a reasonable price , I would have gone for a far more economical and more logical alternative :


The facillity that converted the original KC-767 for the JSDF is no longer around. All that experience and talent has been spread to the for winds. along with any associated tooling. Could Boeing do it, of course they could. I would imagine the costs though would be higher than just ordering up some KC-46.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:44 pm

Boeing is still working on three issues:

Boeing is still working to fix three deficiencies related to the refueling process of the KC-46 Pegasus that must be resolved before the troubled tanker can enter service.


http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/boe ... 46-defects

As I wrote upthread, just getting FAA certification won't be enough for the USAF to accept any aircraft.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:19 am

WIederling wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
the Japanese gave away or revealed technical secrets about previous US designed weapon systems because they thought they owned the technical aspects of what they bought. The US didn't see it that way so now they're not getting in the programs anymore to their satisfaction. That's why the P1 and not the P8A


anythings specific you could bring up on this?


I read it in Aviation Week.. Quite a while ago a Japanese officer (I Think an Admiral made the comment) If they bought the program?
Then they felt like they "owned" the related Data and they could do with it as they pleased.
I didn't agree with that, and evidently neither did Boeing or Lockheed. thus their C1 and P1 were built out of necessity because they were Not going to get the tech data to do with as they pleased.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:49 am

strfyr51 wrote:
WIederling wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
the Japanese gave away or revealed technical secrets about previous US designed weapon systems because they thought they owned the technical aspects of what they bought. The US didn't see it that way so now they're not getting in the programs anymore to their satisfaction. That's why the P1 and not the P8A


anythings specific you could bring up on this?


I read it in Aviation Week.. Quite a while ago a Japanese officer (I Think an Admiral made the comment) If they bought the program?
Then they felt like they "owned" the related Data and they could do with it as they pleased.
I didn't agree with that, and evidently neither did Boeing or Lockheed. thus their C1 and P1 were built out of necessity because they were Not going to get the tech data to do with as they pleased.


I assume the necessity for the C1 and P1 was owning the data. Perhaps next time they will get the data so they will buy from the US again. There are during the time quite a few sales lost by USA firms not supplying necessary data, for example the Eurohawk debacle.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:50 am

The P-1 project started some times before the P-8A. By the time Boeing began building the P-8. Japan was already committed.

In some aspect the P-1 is probably a better aircraft as it was built from the ground up. But from a cost (purchase and maintenance), technology, and upgradability of the systems, the P-8 should have the advantage.

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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:57 am

As for technology, Japan is getting the F-35. So they must have worked something out.

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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:56 pm

The KC-46 has completed cold weather testing: https://twitter.com/BoeingDefense/statu ... 0307188738
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:59 am

As per USAF, first delivery is now due in late 2018:

https://twitter.com/laraseligman/status ... 8355247104

This was expected. While FAA certification may be imminent, the USAF will not accept the current boom design.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:36 pm

strfyr51 wrote:
WIederling wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
the Japanese gave away or revealed technical secrets about previous US designed weapon systems because they thought they owned the technical aspects of what they bought. The US didn't see it that way so now they're not getting in the programs anymore to their satisfaction. That's why the P1 and not the P8A


anythings specific you could bring up on this?


I read it in Aviation Week.. Quite a while ago a Japanese officer (I Think an Admiral made the comment) If they bought the program?
Then they felt like they "owned" the related Data and they could do with it as they pleased.
I didn't agree with that, and evidently neither did Boeing or Lockheed. thus their C1 and P1 were built out of necessity because they were Not going to get the tech data to do with as they pleased.


Thank you very much.

Something similar foundered the EuroHawk project. and was intentional to get at a competing product.
Another issue in this context is "phone home" and "remote disable" features.

Issue is that the US probably destroys opportunities for themselves and brings up pressure to have independent products.
( IMU this is related to the US centric perception that they have superior design capabilities that are not replicatable
while in the real world they just spend vast amounts of money. Others achieve more with less but do not usually see the need.)
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:37 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
As per USAF, first delivery is now due in late 2018:

https://twitter.com/laraseligman/status ... 8355247104

This was expected. While FAA certification may be imminent, the USAF will not accept the current boom design.

http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing- ... ayed-again has more detail:

The top issues slowing progress are the same as they have been for the past year—achieving airworthiness certifications and getting through flight tests, Grabowski said.

Although the FAA late last year granted Boeing an amended type certification for the tanker derivative of the 767-2C, the company still has not obtained a crucial supplemental type certification for all the military and aerial refueling appendages that turn that 767-2C into a KC-46.

And Boeing has yet to correct a major problem: a tendency of the tanker’s rigid refueling boom to scrape the surface of receiving aircraft. This is of particular concern for stealth aircraft, such as the B-2 bomber, F-22 or F-35 fighters, if the boom causes damage to low-observable stealth coatings.

The industry-government team currently is collecting flight test data to determine how the rate and severity of these incidents compare with international norms, Grabowski previously told Aviation Week. This data will inform a decision on whether changes to the remote camera used for aerial refueling are needed, expected this month.

So, if we're charitable, we'd say the data gathering will help make the decision to make changes to the camera or not.

If we're not charitable, we'd say the data gathering will be biased and will justify not making changes to the camera.

In any case, Boeing is not on target for making the Oct 18 delivery dates so will be facing more penalties and thus more write downs.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:01 am

So which international countries are operating Stealth a/c and encountering refueling boom issues from international tankers which will provide these statistics for the US Air Force to evaluate. (international norms)
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:05 am

par13del wrote:
So which international countries are operating Stealth a/c and encountering refueling boom issues from international tankers which will provide these statistics for the US Air Force to evaluate. (international norms)


The issue is not confined to just stealth aircraft so the data does not need to be only from air forces that operate such aircraft. So I expect them to look at NATO and other allied fleets.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:25 am

Boy there's going to be a lot of aircraft sitting around with this further delay. Space already looked tight in the last photos posted.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:12 am

I find this whole issue odd... refueling in the air is no smooth sailing, air turbulence is bound to have both planes bouncing around and more or different cameras aren't going to prevent it.. I don't think where the operator is or what kind of controller is used makes any difference. So what if the planes with fragile coating used drogue refueling? and only the heavies use the boom.

I don't see why deliveries should be delayed while they find a way to teflon coat the receiving ports and put a sponge ball on the boom. Besides are we actually using any "stealth" aircraft where a radar ghost has any actual impact on a mission? It all smacks of political positioning.

Where's TopBoom these days? maybe he could shed some sanity on the issues.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:35 am

kanban wrote:
I find this whole issue odd... refueling in the air is no smooth sailing, air turbulence is bound to have both planes bouncing around and more or different cameras aren't going to prevent it.. I don't think where the operator is or what kind of controller is used makes any difference. So what if the planes with fragile coating used drogue refueling? and only the heavies use the boom.

Drogue refuelling has a slower flow rate. Tactically it means the receiver spends more time pulling gas from the tanker, and spending gas doing it, compared to a boom receiver. Conversely a boom can refuel only one aircraft at a time. There is also a difference in the skills required, with a drogue requiring the pilot to make the connection while a boom has the operator make the connection. The USAF is set on the boom and their fighter fleet doesn't have a drogue attachment to refuel from anyway.

kanban wrote:
I don't see why deliveries should be delayed while they find a way to teflon coat the receiving ports and put a sponge ball on the boom. Besides are we actually using any "stealth" aircraft where a radar ghost has any actual impact on a mission? It all smacks of political positioning.

Nothing political about it, Boeing is required to deliver to the capability requested. It would not matter which airframe won the KC-X contest, this is a clear requirement of the program. Additionally given the USAF has a fleet of stealth aircraft and are getting 48 and then 60+ more every year for the next 15 years they clearly see a requirement to get this right. It is far better to fix it now than wait for tankers to hit the fleet and, as with the F-35, spend funding bringing airframes up to standard especially when the US has an established tanker fleet is can rely on until this is fixed.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:52 am

Stitch wrote:
The issue is not confined to just stealth aircraft so the data does not need to be only from air forces that operate such aircraft. So I expect them to look at NATO and other allied fleets.

....so the reason for them mentioning international data in this request for data is?????????????? As for NATO, remind us again how many of them use a/c that require booms that those countries supply boom tankers for....
Personally, I smell a rat, after all, this is the same Air Force that screwed up the tanker RFP multiple times, so........
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:57 am

par13del wrote:
....so the reason for them mentioning international data in this request for data is?


More data points than just the KC-135 and KC-10 fleet? I could see them asking Italy and Japan for information on the KC-767A and KC-767J since those are also 767s.

As I understand it, if the "scrape rate" of the KC-46A is no worse than contemporaries, the USAF has to pay for the modifications. If it is worse, then Boeing pays.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:13 am

kanban wrote:
Where's TopBoom these days? maybe he could shed some sanity on the issues.


After all his endless digs at Airbus's tanker, he's probably too embarrassed to post. :wink2:
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:06 am

par13del wrote:
Personally, I smell a rat, after all, this is the same Air Force that screwed up the tanker RFP multiple times, so........


Dinging the skin around the receiver receptacle is visible on any plane.
Though the damage is mostly cosmetic is is damage ( scratches, dents, ...).
Thus statistics should be available. I don't think that such events are rare.

With stealth craft the same dinging will much earlier cause some loss of stealth.
thus from statistics on Al plane damage you should be able to extrapolate what
_regular_ damage to expect for the stealth receivers.

The expected result is differentiation between KC46 shortcomings versus general process shortcomings.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:10 am

Ozair wrote:
... <boom vs drogue>


Boom refueling is much more complex a control task than drogue refuelling.

With boom refueling you have two control tasks working in a loop.
receiver has to keep station and the fueler has to fit the boom into the receptacle.

Drogue fueling : fueler flies on a stationary course, receiver has to meet the probe.

Looks like at the time of design a larger passage was possible with the boom all downsides aside.
( and transfer volume rather large ( fuel a B52.)
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:48 pm

So all refueled aircraft today have dings around the receptacle...and that's acceptable. Then again the receptacles are on the upper surfaces where radars will not see them (ok if some a/c is flying higher they might or they're flying inverted). it smacks of a committee designed requirement. reminds me of a "serious" QA issue years ago where QA was looking at imperfections in the brushed anodized coating on the 757 window reveals (external) after stopping the production line for mass rejections, someone had the dastardly notion of questioning the use of magnifying glasses to do the inspection. A query to the customers found that their requirement was that scratches not be seen from the boarding ramp or from terminal windows.
So here someone other than a pentagon desk jocky needs to assess what the actual impact of a few dings and scratches in real situations.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:43 am

scbriml wrote:
kanban wrote:
Where's TopBoom these days? maybe he could shed some sanity on the issues.


After all his endless digs at Airbus's tanker, he's probably too embarrassed to post. :wink2:


Nope, the Airbus tanker is a non-issue for the USAF now.

The scrapping issue is only a problem with stealth airplanes, the B-2, F-22, and F-35.

I might add the A-330MRTT has not refueled stealth airplanes yet so we don't know if they will also have a scrapping issue, or not. They will Boom refuel them eventually.

But you have to ask yourself why isn't this an issue with the KC-135? The KC-135 and KC-10 have been refueling stealth airplanes for over 35 years now, beginning with the F-117, and scraping has not been a serious issue.

So, my guess is the issue is a combination of the camera system and the Boom flight controls, as well as a blocked vision issue. An issue I see is the KC-46 Boom fuel tube is a lot thicker just before the nozzle than the KC-135 or KC-10 Booms. That could be an issue of blocking the receptacle from view at some Boom elevations or azimuth offsets. If that is the main issue, then a major redesign of the Boom will be needed, such as narrowing the lower portion of the Boom fuel tube. But, fuel pressure would need to increase slightly to maintain the 1200 gpm requirement. This would be a problem with smaller receivers, not a problem with large receivers. Then again, no fighter can accept a 1200 gpm transfer rate, so it won't be a major issue.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:32 pm

kc135topboom wrote:

Nope, the Airbus tanker is a non-issue for the USAF now.

The scrapping issue is only a problem with stealth airplanes, the B-2, F-22, and F-35.

I might add the A-330MRTT has not refueled stealth airplanes yet so we don't know if they will also have a scrapping issue, or not. They will Boom refuel them eventually.



AFAIK KDC-10's, Italian KC767's and Australian KC-30A's (all with a remote refuelling operator station) have been cleared for F-35A arial refuelling

See : https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ed-424025/
And : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBf6GP28S60
And: http://airheadsfly.com/2015/09/29/austr ... uels-f-35/
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WIederling
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:47 pm

kc135topboom wrote:
I might add the A-330MRTT has not refueled stealth airplanes yet so we don't know if they will also have a scrapping issue, or not. They will Boom refuel them eventually.


Just the first hit on google:
http://www.aviation24.be/military-aircr ... 5-fighter/
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:49 pm

Stitch wrote:
As I understand it, if the "scrape rate" of the KC-46A is no worse than contemporaries, the USAF has to pay for the modifications. If it is worse, then Boeing pays.

It's strange if B sees resolution of the payment issue for this issue important enough to delay shipping product. You would think that with all the airframes they've paid out of pocket to assemble they would be working to find a way to bypass the payment issue and get product moving. Of course this one remaining issue could be used to mask other things.

kanban wrote:
I find this whole issue odd... refueling in the air is no smooth sailing, air turbulence is bound to have both planes bouncing around and more or different cameras aren't going to prevent it.. I don't think where the operator is or what kind of controller is used makes any difference. So what if the planes with fragile coating used drogue refueling? and only the heavies use the boom.

I don't see why deliveries should be delayed while they find a way to teflon coat the receiving ports and put a sponge ball on the boom. Besides are we actually using any "stealth" aircraft where a radar ghost has any actual impact on a mission? It all smacks of political positioning.

Where's TopBoom these days? maybe he could shed some sanity on the issues.

We had a lot of camera talk a few months ago ( viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1026493&start=1300#p19831223 ). Seems better cameras are available, and could be significant in this remote boom operator design. As above the bone of contention is who has to pay for it.

Of course requiring changes on each stealth receiver would be a cost boondogle. B would have serious problems if they had to pay for such mods.

kc135topboom wrote:
But you have to ask yourself why isn't this an issue with the KC-135? The KC-135 and KC-10 have been refueling stealth airplanes for over 35 years now, beginning with the F-117, and scraping has not been a serious issue.

So, my guess is the issue is a combination of the camera system and the Boom flight controls, as well as a blocked vision issue. An issue I see is the KC-46 Boom fuel tube is a lot thicker just before the nozzle than the KC-135 or KC-10 Booms. That could be an issue of blocking the receptacle from view at some Boom elevations or azimuth offsets. If that is the main issue, then a major redesign of the Boom will be needed, such as narrowing the lower portion of the Boom fuel tube. But, fuel pressure would need to increase slightly to maintain the 1200 gpm requirement. This would be a problem with smaller receivers, not a problem with large receivers. Then again, no fighter can accept a 1200 gpm transfer rate, so it won't be a major issue.

Thank you for your well informed input. As you mention, it's hard to get the larger flow rate without causing some amount of vision blocking.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:04 pm

Revelation wrote:
As you mention, it's hard to get the larger flow rate without causing some amount of vision blocking.


What prohibits placing a camera on the tip ( or just the bulbous end of the fixed part of the boom)?
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:06 pm

bikerthai wrote:
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.

done:
http://www.airforcesmonthly.com/2017/05/09/15465/
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:31 pm

Stitch wrote:
As I understand it, if the "scrape rate" of the KC-46A is no worse than contemporaries, the USAF has to pay for the modifications. If it is worse, then Boeing pays.

Revelation wrote:
It's strange if B sees resolution of the payment issue for this issue important enough to delay shipping product. You would think that with all the airframes they've paid out of pocket to assemble they would be working to find a way to bypass the payment issue and get product moving.


The USAF will not accept the KC-46A into service until the issue has been addressed. Who pays for addressing it is not the hold-up.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:16 pm

so we're left guessing what the "scrape rate" is and and how that actually affects the stealth "performance"... still smells like some general doesn't want scratches or dings on his shiny new metal even though they have no mission impact. we should keep in mind the role air turbulence plays in this and whether all the cameras in the world plus the steadiest hands on the controller can actually overcome nature. Maybe some generals need to stop playing simulations in dead air of their offices and get with reality.

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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:48 pm

Stitch wrote:
Stitch wrote:
As I understand it, if the "scrape rate" of the KC-46A is no worse than contemporaries, the USAF has to pay for the modifications. If it is worse, then Boeing pays.

Revelation wrote:
It's strange if B sees resolution of the payment issue for this issue important enough to delay shipping product. You would think that with all the airframes they've paid out of pocket to assemble they would be working to find a way to bypass the payment issue and get product moving.


The USAF will not accept the KC-46A into service until the issue has been addressed. Who pays for addressing it is not the hold-up.

Yet one outcome of 'data gathering' could be 'there is no problem to be addressed', if I understand correctly.

I could see two approaches:

Plan A: Put in the improved cameras and eat the cost with the expectation of being able to ship as soon as possible

Plan B: See if 'data gathering' can tell us if there is no problem to be addressed and/or if government will pay for improvement, end up paying more penalties because Oct deadline is missed and quite possibly pay for new cameras too

I have no inside info, but from what I've read, it seems Boeing is doing Plan B.

That'd be par for the course for the various Power Point Rangers I've run in to in my (non-aerospace) career.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:53 pm

Revelation wrote:
Yet one outcome of 'data gathering' could be 'there is no problem to be addressed', if I understand correctly.


That is not my understanding of the situation. To my knowledge it has to be addressed prior to the USAF accepting delivery, but this data collection will determine who (in the end) pays for that addressing.

I would expect Boeing is working to resolve the issue now on their own dime and if the USAF is later determined to be responsible for paying for it, Boeing will bill them (likely as part of future KC-46A purchases).
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:15 pm

kc135topboom wrote:
I might add the A-330MRTT has not refueled stealth airplanes yet so we don't know if they will also have a scrapping issue, or not.


You're wrong and about two and a half years out of date. :wink2:
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brindabella
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:38 pm

Stitch wrote:
par13del wrote:
....so the reason for them mentioning international data in this request for data is?


More data points than just the KC-135 and KC-10 fleet? I could see them asking Italy and Japan for information on the KC-767A and KC-767J since those are also 767s.

As I understand it, if the "scrape rate" of the KC-46A is no worse than contemporaries, the USAF has to pay for the modifications. If it is worse, then Boeing pays.


I was looking at a nice air-to-air shot down onto a B1 from it's Tanker say 2 years ago.
It was interesting to see a field of "targetting" markings on the upper nose in front of the cockpit.
The arrangement of the markings seemed carefully designed to give visual tracking for the Boom operator (and for all I know, for the flying pilot too).

However it took me a bit to figure-out just what were all those white patches randomly splattered around the whole upper nose area.

Then it hit me ( :o :lol: ) - that particular B1 was likely often used for refuelling training/testing and the white patches were MISSING PAINT.

So I'm thinking that the KC46 might not be particularly prone to spoiling the nice paintjobs on USAF birds - or at least no more than other tankers already in use.

And yes, where is TopBoom when we need him?

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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:33 pm

brindabella wrote:
And yes, where is TopBoom when we need him?

cheers


See #1435 above.
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:57 am

Ozair wrote:
Drogue refuelling has a slower flow rate. Tactically it means the receiver spends more time pulling gas from the tanker, and spending gas doing it, compared to a boom receiver. Conversely a boom can refuel only one aircraft at a time. There is also a difference in the skills required, with a drogue requiring the pilot to make the connection while a boom has the operator make the connection. The USAF is set on the boom and their fighter fleet doesn't have a drogue attachment to refuel from anyway.


Regarding the drogue refuelling. I think the point is that the USAF is set on boom refuelling. The slow flow rate of the wing pods, 420 gallon or 1,300 kg a minute, is in regards of the flow fighters can accept. The flow rate of a FRU drogue system is today about 600 gallons or 1800 kg a minute, that are for frames bigger than fighters. That is of course less than the biggest boom systems with 1,200 gallon or 3,600 kg a minute. I do not really see a reason why drogue systems with a higher rate could not be designed, up to now there has been no need for it. The biggest frame refuelled by drogue I thing is the A400M.

The superiority of the boom system gets lost when fighters are refuelled. They usually can not accept high rates. With the drogue system having two fighters being refuelled at the same time, should rather speed up refuelling, compared to the boom system.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:11 pm

So I overlooked the new camera issue, so maybe this is a side dig to actually get the new cameras onto the a/c.
The additional delay makes no difference to REMF who came up with this new issue, all I can say is they should not expect to be hired by the Military Industrial Complex when they retire, there will be a day of reckoning.

Hopefully, once the data is gathered, the additional delay to gather the data on how long they took to re-paint / repair the stealth a/c will not take as long, both cannot be done simultaneously, but sequentially.
 
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Re: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery

Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:15 pm

Stitch wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Yet one outcome of 'data gathering' could be 'there is no problem to be addressed', if I understand correctly.

That is not my understanding of the situation. To my knowledge it has to be addressed prior to the USAF accepting delivery, but this data collection will determine who (in the end) pays for that addressing.

I would expect Boeing is working to resolve the issue now on their own dime and if the USAF is later determined to be responsible for paying for it, Boeing will bill them (likely as part of future KC-46A purchases).

I'm not sure what there is to address if "scrape rate" is "less than contemporaries"?

Boeing pays to get to "contemporary" level, USAF pays to get to "less than contemporary level" doesn't make much sense to me.

If there's a better level than "contemporary level" you would think that target would be in the original contract and Boeing would pay to meet that level.

If USAF now wants better than contracted level then you'd think that'd be part of a future project and would not block deliveries.
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