mjoelnir
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 12:41 pm

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 109):
No, Airbus began the A-3XX program in June 1994.

Than Boeing has started the MOM. You can not arbitrarily date a program from when a airframer talks with customers and try to decide what they would like to build and looks at different options. At the same time Boeing was floating different options off the 747, but they had not started the 747-8 yet. Do you include the sonic cruiser in the development of the 787?

The A380 program was started in the year 2000, than Airbus had decided what kind of frame they did want to build.

In your definition the KC46 program would have started when Boeing thought the first time to produce a tanker based on the 767 and that is how many years ago?

You can at least be consistent with choosing dates.

[Edited 2016-05-31 06:17:31]

[Edited 2016-05-31 06:29:53]
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 12:57 pm

Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 112):
A six month delay in a new program isn't bad. While yes, most of the technology already exists in theory, putting it all together into a new platform always has problems.

It's legacy airframe, with a modified, increased flow KC10 style flying boom. The refuelling boom airframe interaction has already been proven at the Italian KC767, including the wing refuelling pods interaction.

This is already the third major delay, the first in FLIGHT TESTING, the other two delays (wire bundels, fuel system tubing) were in ASSEMBLY.

With normal programs that's not a big problem , but in this case Boeing has a fix USAF contract, all the extra costs are for the OEM, even with the ultimate risk of loosing the entire contract (you never know with politics), if the deadlines are not met.
Even the fixed price LRIP contract has not been signed, with already several LRIP aircraft produced or in assembly.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 1:39 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 94):

If they think that a software tweak will fix the problem then I think that will be the permanent option they go with.
Quoting 747classic (Reply 96):
Is it a sign of the time that Boeing engineers are not able to design an aerodynamical stable flying boom.

It is a sign of the time that we expect things to work perfectly the first time out. Not sure if there is software available out there that could predict the aerodynamic interaction between two close formation aircraft along with variable fuel flow thru a tube connecting the two aircraft.

Problem with modern designing is that sometimes we rely on the accuracy of computer simulation so much that we keep reducing our margins. Then when you realized that you made a bad assumption in one of our analysis, you have no margin left. It a risk you take . . . and sometimes it comes back and bite you in the ass. I still have the scars.

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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 1:48 pm

Quoting 747classic (Reply 115):
t's legacy airframe, with a modified, increased flow KC10 style flying boom. The refuelling boom airframe interaction has already been proven at the Italian KC767, including the wing refuelling pods interaction.

Yes and know...while this horse has been beaten many times, the 2C, while based on the -200 is a very different animal than a stock -200, the KC-46 even more so. The flight management/cockpit systems are different, the engines are different, the electrical loads are different, the software is different, the wiring is different.

It's like saying the Toyota Camery NASCAR is the same as a Toyota Camery that you can buy from the dealer. Or maybe the '95 Mustang is the same as the '16 Mustang, they are very different.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 2:42 pm

I'm just sad I won't get to work on this plane!
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 4:40 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 111):
Pointing fingers to other programs is pointless "the A380 had issues too", it doesn't make the KC-46 any better?

It a standard response from some when any Boeing bad news emerges. It's called deflection.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 4:45 pm

Question :

Only 35% of the structure of the orginal B767 was designed digitally (with the first available digital sofware, pre CATIA ?.) all other drawings were conventional made.

Are all the drawings later made 100% digital, like the conventional 744 drawings around 1998 or are the original B767 drawings still partly used ?
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue May 31, 2016 6:54 pm

Quoting 747classic (Reply 120):
or are the original B767 drawings still partly used

If the part did not change, then they would use the original drawings and tooling for build. In past programs, they did digitize the drawing and re-created the part in CATIA just so they can digitally model the whole aircraft for system intergration (wire/ECS routing) and next level assy structure integration. I would not be surprised if they do have the whole aircraft in digital form. The manufacturing of some of the older detail parts and assy would probably still rely on the old PCM and tooling etc.

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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:50 am

Quoting 747classic (Reply 115):
With normal programs that's not a big problem , but in this case Boeing has a fix USAF contract, all the extra costs are for the OEM, even with the ultimate risk of loosing the entire contract (you never know with politics), if the deadlines are not met.
Even the fixed price LRIP contract has not been signed, with already several LRIP aircraft produced or in assembly.

This is the real problem: at the time the program was awarded it was with a timeline which was risky to say the least. But with another timeline, Boeing would not have been awarded the program. So damn if you do, damn if you don't. I am pretty sure Airbus would also have run into problems with US Airforce specific requirements although they had the luxury of starting earlier (based on the terminated award).
The biggest risk I see is a repeat of the 787: building frames while development is in a too early stage and major re-work will be coming. I have been in this kind of situation before (on much simpler products) and every time we ended up losing time rather than gaining it and on top of that having a quality nightmare.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 116):
Problem with modern designing is that sometimes we rely on the accuracy of computer simulation so much that we keep reducing our margins. Then when you realized that you made a bad assumption in one of our analysis, you have no margin left. It a risk you take . . . and sometimes it comes back and bite you in the ass. I still have the scars.

People seem to think that computer modelling is perfect and simple to do. You can model wrong with the wrong assumptions and you get beautiful 3D images which are completely wrong. Model the same in 3 different FEA packages and you get 3 different results: all are more or less correct but none is perfect.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:03 am

After the current schedule, when is the last KC-46 being build (signalling the end of the 767 line)?
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:24 pm

U.S. Air Force to seek compensation from Boeing for tanker delay:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-boeing-tanker-idUSKCN0YP1NU

First delivery is now set for January 2018 instead of August 2017. The first planes will not be fully operational.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:47 pm

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 122):
This is the real problem: at the time the program was awarded it was with a timeline which was risky to say the least. But with another timeline, Boeing would not have been awarded the program. So damn if you do, damn if you don't.

As we see from Karel's post, Boeing is not only already eating $1.3B in overruns (and surely more to come), it is now subject to (unspecified) penalties for being late too. Since we can presume they went into this with eyes wide opened, I think it's safe to presume they felt the risks were worth taking.

It'll be interesting to see if we see some sort of bail-out like the A400M got. In the case of A400M the penalties were well specified but were so large as to amount to a "poison pill" since (at least if you believe Airbus) if they had to make the project whole it would cause the company to be in dire financial straits. Add to that the fact that some of the customers had varying degrees of ownership in Airbus, and we saw they would not eat the poison pill and instead agreed to a relaxed delivery schedule and payment of several billions of Euros in increased costs. Now we see Germany is going to claim its own penalties against A400Ms revised delivery agreement, and is saying that those penalties are already specified contractually.

However, where there's a will there's a way, and I would not be surprised if we find out that Boeing and Congress find some way to throw Boeing a bone.

It'll be interesting to see exactly what kind of penalties USAF will claim vs Boeing and how long it will take for it all to end up in court.

It'll also be interesting to see a final accounting if/when the final (179th?) frame rolls off the line, to see if Boeing ends up making or losing money on the program.
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mjoelnir
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:19 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 125):
However, where there's a will there's a way, and I would not be surprised if we find out that Boeing and Congress find some way to throw Boeing a bone.

After how the competition about the tanker was set, congress throwing a bone to Boeing could open up perfect grounds for Airbus to litigate. Even accepting time overruns without penalties could be cause for litigation by Airbus.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:41 am

Boeing has abandoned efforts to fix the during flight tests discovered problems with the tanker’s refueling boom using software and will instead modify the boom.

See : http://www.seattletimes.com/business...enalties-for-boeings-tanker-delay/
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:45 pm

Quoting 747classic (Reply 127):
Boeing has abandoned efforts to fix the during flight tests discovered problems with the tanker’s refueling boom using software and will instead modify the boom.

Very interesting.

The earlier story ( http://www.seattletimes.com/business...force-tanker-faces-further-delays/ ) said:

Quote:

While Boeing recently publicly admitted a problem with high stress loads on the refueling boom when the tanker connects with a C-17, it had not shared the fact that development of the wing refueling pods is also problematic.

Ramey said the hose-and-drogue refueling systems, both on the wings and on the fuselage, have performed as expected in flight tests, but “It’s taken longer than we anticipated to get through qualification and certification” of those systems.

It seems the strategy is to delay releasing any bad news as long as possible. For instance the earlier article holds out hope that the fix can be done in software, and now we learn there must be new hardware. The earlier article also points out that as recently as a month ago CEO Mullenburg said they would still meet their schedule, when there was already enough public information to cause us to doubt that.

My article also provides an important correction:

Quote:

Corrections:

Information in this article, originally published May 27, 2016, was corrected May 28, 2016. A previous version of this story understated the previous write-offs on the program. Boeing last month wrote off $313 million due to cost overruns, not $243 million, bringing the total written off since 2014 to almost $1.6 billion.

That's a lot of money to write off, and it's surely going up now that the boom hardware will need to change.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:22 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 126):
After how the competition about the tanker was set, congress throwing a bone to Boeing could open up perfect grounds for Airbus to litigate. Even accepting time overruns without penalties could be cause for litigation by Airbus.

After how the previous competition (KC-45A) about the tanker was set, Airbus would do well to just sit on their hands and be quiet.

Quoting 747classic (Reply 127):
Boeing has abandoned efforts to fix the during flight tests discovered problems with the tanker’s refueling boom using software and will instead modify the boom.

Which is likely the source of the latest delivery delay.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 128):
It seems the strategy is to delay releasing any bad news as long as possible.

Well it worked so well for them on the 787.  
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:07 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 128):
It seems the strategy is to delay releasing any bad news as long as possible.

Sadly, that's pretty much Boeing's MO since the start of the 787 problems. Deny, deny, deny vehemently, make no comment, then admit it.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 129):
Well it worked so well for them on the 787.

It seems Boeing thinks so too!   
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mjoelnir
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:31 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 129):
After how the previous competition (KC-45A) about the tanker was set, Airbus would do well to just sit on their hands and be quiet.

Why should that be? Why should Boeing be allowed to litigate everything and Airbus should look on the conditions for the offer being broken? It is not Airbus that had to appear in court for corruption in the long story of the tanker replacement.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:53 am

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 131):
Why should Boeing be allowed to litigate everything and Airbus should look on the conditions for the offer being broken?

In mounting a legal challenge one should look at the gain to pain ratio.

It's not clear to me what Airbus would want to gain ( it's hard to imagine the KC-46 program being shut down at this point in time and even if it was it's not likely Airbus would win a re-bid ) versus the pain ( legal fees and pissing off the US DOD ).

It seems the only one with standing to litigate would be the US DOD and it may come to that at some point.

I don't think Airbus has standing nor would it welcome a wide spread international review of defense industry contracting especially given how the A400M bail out went down a few years ago and how it very well may need another bail out soon.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:33 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 132):
It's not clear to me what Airbus would want to gain


Somebody here talked about the possibility of congress "throwing a bone to Boeing". It is definitively in the interest of Airbus to keep this deal inside the agreed upon conditions. Both Boeing and Airbus made their offers, the financial side was clear, the bid offering the lower price would win, extra capabilities were to be ignored. Paying Boeing more than contracted is very simple a breach of the conditions of the bid.
If it would be the other way round, I would assume a litigation happy Boeing to litigate.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:48 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 133):
Somebody here talked about the possibility of congress "throwing a bone to Boeing". It is definitively in the interest of Airbus to keep this deal inside the agreed upon conditions. Both Boeing and Airbus made their offers, the financial side was clear, the bid offering the lower price would win, extra capabilities were to be ignored. Paying Boeing more than contracted is very simple a breach of the conditions of the bid.
If it would be the other way round, I would assume a litigation happy Boeing to litigate.

Perhaps, but remember the KC-Y program is still on the horizon, so EADS may go ahead and fold this hand, hoping to play this card later in those negotiations. Remember, when they were pitching the KC-45 the plant in Mobile was just a promise. Now that they have the plant up and running, it may be easier for EADS to outbid Boeing down the road with a "domestically" built airfame. Now I know that is a gamble as well, because the DoD may just go for more KC-45's to replace the KC-10, or they may go for a more 1-to-1 replacement, thus the KC-45 will once again be in the running.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:04 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 133):
Paying Boeing more than contracted is very simple a breach of the conditions of the bid.

Airbus would never sue for that reason. They themselves are not exactly squeaky clean when it comes to getting military projects on time, on spec, and on budget.

You are ignoring his point though. What would be the outcome if Airbus win? Okay maybe they will get some money but it is unlikely that Boeing's contract will be overthrown and that a rebid will take place. So they get a little money and a lot of ill will from the US Military, and probably some negative press as media and other detractors poke about the A400M program. You know what they say about people in glass houses...

I'm not even sure Airbus has firm grounds to sue on though. This is an issue between Boeing and the US government, the tanker contract competition is over and done with. Suggesting Airbus sue now is akin to suggesting that Boeing or Lockheed sue Airbus because the A400M has no doubt long since failed to met Airbus's numbers in bids during competitions against the C17/C130.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 133):
If it would be the other way round, I would assume a litigation happy Boeing to litigate.

Is Boeing anymore "litigation happy" than any other company?

[Edited 2016-06-06 08:10:19]

[Edited 2016-06-06 08:16:35]
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:29 pm

The only "litigation" happening will be on the pages of Airliners.net, where those who are still fighting the Tanker Wars continue to push their favorite team.

The reality is that the development issues will be worked out and the KC-46A program will supply the US Air Force with an advanced tanker. And once the Pegasus is flying, all this doom and gloom talk will be a memory, thankfully. Bottom line...

[Edited 2016-06-06 08:32:09]
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:40 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 131):
Why should that be? Why should Boeing be allowed to litigate everything and Airbus should look on the conditions for the offer being broken? It is not Airbus that had to appear in court for corruption in the long story of the tanker replacement.

If I am understanding the context correctly and lining up with your post:
1. Boeing did offer up a corrupt contract for tankers, which was challenged by the US Congress and folks went to jail.
2. No lessons on illegality were learned from item 1 above, the US Air Force then gave Airbus an illegal win.
3. Boeing launched a challenge which was upheld, no one went to jail but the penalty was a tossing of the contract and a do over.

So if Boeing now has overruns and have so far eaten the cost and the congress decides to "throw Boeing a Bone" what would Airbus litigate on? Airbus and its supporters were involved in the initial litigation which saw the Boeing contract tossed setting up the first competition, so both sides have already litigated.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:50 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 137):
2. No lessons on illegality were learned from item 1 above, the US Air Force then gave Airbus an illegal win.

It was not illegal, but it was corrupt in that the USAF general (who was evidently offered a job by Airbus, which has amusing parallels to Drunyan and Boeing with the first RFP) deliberately violated the conditions of the RFP by granting the KC-45 additional points for items that it should not have been to better favor it in the overall outcome. Those were the grounds the independent GAO ruled the contract award invalid and sent us on to RFP #3.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:37 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 138):
It was not illegal, but it was corrupt in that the USAF general (who was evidently offered a job by Airbus, which has amusing parallels to Drunyan and Boeing with the first RFP) deliberately violated the conditions of the RFP by granting the KC-45 additional points for items that it should not have been to better favor it in the overall outcome. Those were the grounds the independent GAO ruled the contract award invalid and sent us on to RFP #3.

What kind things did he give extra credit for?
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:46 pm

how many times must we rehash the litany of mis-steps and allegations with the prior contracting farce? It's over and even a great loss Boeing will build the tankers, train the crews, sell the spares and win many upgrade awards over the life of the plane.

And none of that has anything to do with the current testing, production and production except those distractions kept Boeing from concentrating on the product development.. uncertainty probably kept them from proto typing the boom and flying it on a similar test bed.

at least they are not distracted by some of the rubbish posted here
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:35 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 140):
distractions kept Boeing from concentrating on the product development..

What distractions has Boeing had since they won the re-bid? None. Just their rather poor record of producing any 767 tanker of any variety on-time or on-budget. A record that's proudly continuing today.

Good job they have that 65 years of tanker experience!   
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:01 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 141):

Good job they have that 65 years of tanker experience!

That was what they got when they handed a military program over to the commercial side.
  

The P-8 model worked pretty well. But I guess they had to tweaked it because they thought it would have been better to let BCA take the lead during the development stage.

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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:16 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 141):

A lot of development work was slowed down because the continued drama and possible litigation/competitor complaints made investing more effort uncertain..

Note I'm not happy with the mess they're in, nor do I think endless regurgitation the contart award faux-pax will somehow change matters..
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:09 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 143):
A lot of development work was slowed down because the continued drama and possible litigation/competitor complaints made investing more effort uncertain..

To their credit, Airbus pretty quickly stated that they wouldn't appeal the final award.

Quoting kanban (Reply 143):
Note I'm not happy with the mess they're in, nor do I think endless regurgitation the contart award faux-pax will somehow change matters..

Agreed. While personally disappointed that the original award to Airbus was overturned, it was the correct decision. Ain't nothing going to change that. It's over, move on.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:20 am

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 142):
The P-8 model worked pretty well. But I guess they had to tweaked it because they thought it would have been better to let BCA take the lead during the development stage.

One thing that Boeing had going for it on the P-8 compared to the KC-46 is that the avionics package, non-mission systems, was already tried and true with the 737NG. They had already gotten past the learning curve in the department. The avionics on the KC-46 on the other hand is unique to that aircraft.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:43 am

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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:50 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 137):
2. No lessons on illegality were learned from item 1 above, the US Air Force then gave Airbus an illegal win.

Nothing illegal with what Airbus did. They offered and got the bid. If it later was decided that the air force was not aloud to judge the added capabilities as a plus. I would say a first in the history of buying air frames.

Quoting par13del (Reply 137):
So if Boeing now has overruns and have so far eaten the cost and the congress decides to "throw Boeing a Bone" what would Airbus litigate on? Airbus and its supporters were involved in the initial litigation which saw the Boeing contract tossed setting up the first competition, so both sides have already litigated.

Very simple on breach of the bid, to keep Boeing, the air force and congress honest. That is the point with a fast price bid, no additional money to be paid. You go low to get the bid, you stay low.

Airbus was not involved in the first Boeing contract being tossed. Boeing and there colleges at the air force did that themselves, typical case of corruption, astonishing that Boeing was aloud to bid again.

The moment Airbus got the contract Boeing litigated. I do not see any bad influence on future contract for Boeing having litigated.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 138):
It was not illegal, but it was corrupt in that the USAF general (who was evidently offered a job by Airbus, which has amusing parallels to Drunyan and Boeing with the first RFP) deliberately violated the conditions of the RFP by granting the KC-45 additional points for items that it should not have been to better favor it in the overall outcome. Those were the grounds the independent GAO ruled the contract award invalid and sent us on to RFP #3

If you can show me another example of added capabilities not being judged as a plus in the history of aircraft acquisition of the USA air force.
If they would have been able to show corruption it would have been done. Setting up a myth here Stitch, the company caught with a corruption scandal in the long history of this tanker bid was Boeing, not Airbus.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:47 am

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 147):
caught with a corruption scandal in the long history of this tanker bid was Boeing, not Airbus.

That's really a matter of opinion, not fact. As I said, the Tanker Wars are long-past over.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:16 pm

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 148):
That's really a matter of opinion, not fact. As I said, the Tanker Wars are long-past over.

A fact with court proceedings and people going to prison.

The point I started commenting on, was somebody talking here about "throwing a bone to Boeing", meaning paying more than agreed upon on the bid. THAT would open up the tanker wars again.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:27 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 145):

One thing that Boeing had going for it on the P-8 compared to the KC-46 is that the avionics package, non-mission systems, was already tried and true with the 737NG.

But the P-8 had much more mission system electronics systems to integrate than the KC-46. And I don't think the non mission avionic package impacted the schedule of either program.

To you point though, the P-8 had a more realistic gestation period. So the inevitable hiccups that occurred (and there were a few)had sufficient time to get ironed out.

Just saw the news today. The software fix worked but they wanted a more robust solution, so they are implementing a hardware fix. In the whole scheme of thing this particular issue might not have been too bad except they already ate up their schedule (which was already short in the first place) with the wiring mess.

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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:54 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 149):
The point I started commenting on, was somebody talking here about "throwing a bone to Boeing", meaning paying more than agreed upon on the bid. THAT would open up the tanker wars again.

I wouldn't hold my breath.
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kanban
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:35 pm

back to the subject..
here's some words on the actual boom problem from http://247wallst.com/aerospace-defen...-fix-for-tanker-refueling-problem/

"The massive C-17 transport plane could not be refueled due to excessive pressure at the point where the refueling boom meets the plane receiving the fuel. Boeing had hoped to solve the problem with a software fix. CEO Dennis Muilenburg said that although the fix worked “to a degree,” the company decided to go to a hardware solution that “is more robust for the long run.”

The hardware relief valve system the company plans to use is similar to equipment use on the Air Force’s KC-10 and KC-767 tankers, and an Air Force spokesman said the service is “comfortable with Boeing’s hardware approach” because of the similarity to an existing system that has worked."
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:03 pm

So they're talking about fuel pressure inside the boom at the nozzle, or....? On the KC-135, the optimal fuel pressure in the boom is 50PSI, and there is a fuel pressure regulator installed in the fuel lines just forward of the boom, and it has a sensing line attached to a venturi manifold that senses the pressure in the tube. If the pressure is greater than 50 +/- 5 PSI, it acts upon a piston-operated butterfly valve in the fuel line to decrease fuel flow down the air refueling manifold until the pressure returns to nominal levels. Is this what they're talking about? When I hear pressure and relief valves, I'm thinking about fuel pressure. I wish they had more information than this.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:14 pm

Quoting kanban (Reply 152):
The hardware relief valve system the company plans to use is similar to equipment use on the Air Force’s KC-10 and KC-767 tankers, and an Air Force spokesman said the service is “comfortable with Boeing’s hardware approach” because of the similarity to an existing system that has worked."

It seems strange to me that wasn't done in the first place. The KC-10 has a relief valve, the KC-767 has a relief valve, why wouldn't the KC-46 need a similar one? Particularly considering the USAF knew the older boom systems worked well without the over-pressure issues. It seems rather stupid of Boeing to screw this up, and why didn't the USAF say "Hey, you forgot the relief valve".

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 149):
The point I started commenting on, was somebody talking here about "throwing a bone to Boeing", meaning paying more than agreed upon on the bid. THAT would open up the tanker wars again.

No it wouldn't. At this point, EADS has no legal standing in this matter. The issue is between the US Government and Boeing.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:26 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 147):
If you can show me another example of added capabilities not being judged as a plus in the history of aircraft acquisition of the USA air force.

Which is why so many defense contract costs spiral out of control. The service submits an RFP for X capability at X price and ends up buying something with 1.5X capability at 3X the price.

The USAF doesn't have the unlimited budget they enjoyed during the Cold War so they had to define the specifications and actually stay with them. The KC-45 was more capable, but it was also more expensive. In RFP2, the USAF picked the more expensive option in the hope that Congress would just fund it, but they guessed wrong and it was thrown out and RFP3 happened. Of course, Airbus could still have underbid Boeing, but they didn't.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 149):
The point I started commenting on, was somebody talking here about "throwing a bone to Boeing", meaning paying more than agreed upon on the bid.

And the chances of that actually happening are nil. It's why this is a fixed-price contract - to prevent the USAF from "gold plating" the KC-46A with extra features and goodies that would have driven up the price. And Boeing's written off more on the 747-8 and 787 programs each than they have on the KC-46A so it's not like Boeing is in danger of going under meeting the contract requirements.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:56 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 145):
One thing that Boeing had going for it on the P-8 compared to the KC-46 is that the avionics package, non-mission systems, was already tried and true with the 737NG. They had already gotten past the learning curve in the department. The avionics on the KC-46 on the other hand is unique to that aircraft.

I don't understand. I thought the only change in the non-mission avionics was a switch over to 787 style displays.

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 147):
Very simple on breach of the bid, to keep Boeing, the air force and congress honest. That is the point with a fast price bid, no additional money to be paid. You go low to get the bid, you stay low.

Yet it isn't costing DOD any more money, in fact they're probably going to get penalty payments. Airbus would have to litigate and they don't have much grounds to do so. DOD evaluated the Boeing proposal and the risks therein. For litigation to succeed Airbus would have to prove that Boeing deliberately misstated risks or DOD incorrectly evaluated them or there was some graft involved. So far we see Boeing is very careful to have specific things to blame for each delay, and each one seems to fall under the category of the kind of things that can and do go wrong during program development. Airbus would have to prove Boeing or DOD were deliberately deceptive and/or there was some outright graft involved. Even if they could, what could they win? At best a re-bid of the contract. At what risk? Totally pissing off the biggest purchaser of military hardware in the world.

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 148):
As I said, the Tanker Wars are long-past over.

  

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 149):
The point I started commenting on, was somebody talking here about "throwing a bone to Boeing", meaning paying more than agreed upon on the bid. THAT would open up the tanker wars again.

I said Congress could throw Boeing a bone, but never said USAF would pay more than the the bid. What I was suggesting is that Congress could throw Boeing a bone in a way that would'nt be detected. For instance Congress kept buying C-17s that the USAF was not asking for. How do we know that wasn't some form of quid-pro-quo? We don't. On paper Congress said in its own opinion the USAF needed those planes and was buying them at an advantageous price and no one can question that, unless they have black and white evidence of corruption. We have no way of knowing if it actually was some sort of kickback.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:29 pm

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 154):
Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 149):
The point I started commenting on, was somebody talking here about "throwing a bone to Boeing", meaning paying more than agreed upon on the bid. THAT would open up the tanker wars again.

No it wouldn't. At this point, EADS has no legal standing in this matter. The issue is between the US Government and Boeing.

If it would be aloud to hike the price without consequences, you could bid low, calculating you could hit the buyer for an increase later on. If two or more are bidding on the same projects all the bidders have a legal standing, if changes occur to the conditions afterwards. It would not be up to the government but a court of law.

[Edited 2016-06-09 12:41:55]
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:14 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 147):
If you can show me another example of added capabilities not being judged as a plus in the history of aircraft acquisition of the USA air force.

The existing tanker contract with Boeing, when the bid process was taking place the Air Force told Boeing not to propose the 777 which as we know in terms of tanking ability has more ability than the A330 and the 767.
So on one hand they tell one OEM not to propose additional capabilities and on the other they accept it as a plus, makes you go hhmmmmmmmm.
But as stated it is water under the bridge and we move on.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:22 pm

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 157):
If it would be (allowed) to hike the price without consequences, you could bid low, calculating you could hit the buyer for an increase later on.

And this has happened with plenty of DoD contracts in the past. Which is one of the reasons they went with fixed-price on this one, to (hopefully) force the OEMs bidding to offer a "realistic" price by denying them the ability to bid low and then inflate it post-award.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:46 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 158):

The existing tanker contract with Boeing, when the bid process was taking place the Air Force told Boeing not to propose the 777 which as we know in terms of tanking ability has more ability than the A330 and the 767.
So on one hand they tell one OEM not to propose additional capabilities and on the other they accept it as a plus, makes you go hhmmmmmmmm.
But as stated it is water under the bridge and we move on.

The reasoning for this was so that it could better fit into existing KC-135 infrastructure the -46 requires only minor modifications to hangars and ramps, whereas a 777 or -45 would require a much more extensive infrastructure modification at bases with new parking layouts, buildings, support, etc. These all up the overall cost to the DoD. The KC-46 has the least impact on the current infrastructure that was more or less constructed in the 1960s and modified over the years. Thus less cost to the DoD and the USAF to modify bases in the near future.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:51 pm

And now for some actual KC-46 content from http://aviationweek.com/defense/boei...ef-focused-righting-troubled-kc-46 (free registration required):

Quote:

Last month, after completing a schedule review, the Air Force disclosed that delivery of the first operational KC-46A to Air Mobility Command would be postponed by five months to August 2017, with the 18th tanker now arriving in January 2018 instead of this August to achieve the contractually important “required assets available” milestone.

That further delay comes as Boeing “pivots” from a software fix to a more expensive, time-consuming and as-yet untested hardware change to solve the boom refueling issue. A Pentagon Defense Acquisition Board Milestone C review that, if successful, will unlock funding for the first two low-rate production contracts, has been pushed back to August, or one year later than the objective date. Until it receives those multi-billion dollar awards, Boeing will be self-funding production of the 767-base aircraft as well as footing the bill for late fixes and retrofits.

So not only is Boeing footing the bill for the overruns, they're also funding the production of the initial base aircraft too.

And:

Quote:

“We’ll fly in July to prove out the hardware solution, and get back in the air and prove it out on the C-17, the A-10 and the F-16,” Caret says. “That positions us for the [Defense Acquisition Board meeting] in August. In parallel, our production lines are running hot, and we’re continuing to deliver aircraft. Other changes, to ensure the baseline of the aircraft is all in line, and any modifications we need to do with the boom, we will be incorporating those as well.”

So we have a timeline for the boom fix.

It goes on to say that Boeing "will also offer a version of the KC-46 for the follow-on “KC-Y” acquisition", which answers a question that has been floated here a few times.
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:01 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 161):
...... they're also funding the production of the initial base aircraft too.

Which would be an issue if they were never delivered but is not a big deal compared o the overruns.
 
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RE: KC-46 Production, Testing And Delivery Part 4

Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:37 pm

Quoting 7BOEING7 (Reply 162):
Which would be an issue if they were never delivered but is not a big deal compared o the overruns.

In the grand scheme of things perhaps not a big deal but the article says "As of May 27, there were five aircraft undergoing testing, including the first production aircraft. Seven were in final assembly and eight in the supply chain" and Boeing is funding all of this till at least August which is a year later than planned. I don't know how they do the accounting, but clearly Boeing is putting out a lot of money it would have expected the DOD to be providing had things gone to plan. It only gets worse if the August date is missed.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
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