mmo
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Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:10 am

In what appears to be a decision made exclusively by Trump, the inflight refueling capability on the current AF-1 has been deleted from its replacement as a way to bring down costs.

https://www.defenseone.com/business/201 ... st/140852/

However, certain members of Congress have conflicting views.

https://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/P ... fault.aspx
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himself
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:29 am

Since the justification for this includes that no president has ever used it, maybe they could do away with the whole nuclear/EMF hardening, as well, since no other president had to deal with atomic weapons against their aircraft. Hell, why not just paint the -8s they already bought and call it a day?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:55 pm

Just a couple of questions:

1) Did the original 707 presidential aircraft have aerial refueling?

2) When the first 747 presidential aircraft was spec'd, how many airports around the world was able to accommodate a 747? I suspect that the number of "friendly" air ports around the world and in the US has increase significantly, combined with the longer range of the 747-8 (extra fuel tank anyone)? They may not need to re-fuel by air.

bt
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mmo
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:59 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Just a couple of questions:

1) Did the original 707 presidential aircraft have aerial refueling?

2) When the first 747 presidential aircraft was spec'd, how many airports around the world was able to accommodate a 747? I suspect that the number of "friendly" air ports around the world and in the US has increase significantly, combined with the longer range of the 747-8 (extra fuel tank anyone)? They may not need to re-fuel by air.

bt


The issue of refueling is not range but endurance. The primary purpose of AF-1 is to ensure there is leadership in the event of a NBC war. You could have a million airports to choose from but if there is any type of contamination, AF-1 will not land.

The secondary purpose is presidential travel and "showing the flag".

The 707 did not have A/R capability. The current AF-1 has no additional fuel tanks and the recently purchased will not have any either. There is a substantial increase in the ZFW of the aircraft.
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Channex757
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:28 pm

Not only has it never been used, it isn't even used in training. Pilots use the E-4B instead so the paint doesn't get scratched.

I expect there's been some wargaming going on over just how long a nuclear exchange would last and whether it's feasible to actually get a tanker airborne in this scenario.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:16 pm

himself wrote:
Since the justification for this includes that no president has ever used it, maybe they could do away with the whole nuclear/EMF hardening, as well, since no other president had to deal with atomic weapons against their aircraft. Hell, why not just paint the -8s they already bought and call it a day?


In the even of a nuclear war and the endurance is needed, the President can just fly on the E-4B which follows the President anyway.
EMP/EMF hardening is done on a number of USAF aircraft even though the President doesn't fly on them.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:33 pm

Slug71 wrote:
himself wrote:
Since the justification for this includes that no president has ever used it, maybe they could do away with the whole nuclear/EMF hardening, as well, since no other president had to deal with atomic weapons against their aircraft. Hell, why not just paint the -8s they already bought and call it a day?


In the even of a nuclear war and the endurance is needed, the President can just fly on the E-4B which follows the President anyway.
EMP/EMF hardening is done on a number of USAF aircraft even though the President doesn't fly on them.


The E-4B is for redundancy's sake usually parked at a different airport. The closest safe haven is usually the VC-25. Also, If something goes down while the president is aboard the VC-25, it might be preferable not to land and make a transfer immediately.

Long term, I haven't followed closely, but isn't the plan to incorporate enough of the E-4B capabilities in the presidential aircraft capitalization that the E-4B can be retired once the VC-25A replacement fleet is at full operating capability? I had the impression that was a big part of the reason they were considering three replacement aircraft, and while a retirement is not officially scheduled, the Air Force is also wary of the cost of maintaining a small fleet of 747-200 derivatives beyond the 2020's.

In such case, it might be preferable to have refueling capability.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:55 pm

One question: Where does the fuel come from?

If the fuel can get to AF1 why can't AF1 just as easily go to the fuel? Basically the tankers need to come from somewhere and that place is going to be where AF1 will want to be as well (a safe/defensible location).

The -8 version of AF1 will essentially be able to fly anywhere in the world and then some. If someone says that those airfields will not be safe for AF1 to land at, why then would anything be able to land at them (or take off)? If that is the case then the only extra fuel available will be what is flying at the time and how much time will that add (I am guessing two or three days at best)?

Don't get me wrong, I prefer the idea of being able to refuel in midair but then thought of the above.

Tugg
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:50 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
himself wrote:
Since the justification for this includes that no president has ever used it, maybe they could do away with the whole nuclear/EMF hardening, as well, since no other president had to deal with atomic weapons against their aircraft. Hell, why not just paint the -8s they already bought and call it a day?


In the even of a nuclear war and the endurance is needed, the President can just fly on the E-4B which follows the President anyway.
EMP/EMF hardening is done on a number of USAF aircraft even though the President doesn't fly on them.


The E-4B is for redundancy's sake usually parked at a different airport. The closest safe haven is usually the VC-25. Also, If something goes down while the president is aboard the VC-25, it might be preferable not to land and make a transfer immediately.

Long term, I haven't followed closely, but isn't the plan to incorporate enough of the E-4B capabilities in the presidential aircraft capitalization that the E-4B can be retired once the VC-25A replacement fleet is at full operating capability? I had the impression that was a big part of the reason they were considering three replacement aircraft, and while a retirement is not officially scheduled, the Air Force is also wary of the cost of maintaining a small fleet of 747-200 derivatives beyond the 2020's.

In such case, it might be preferable to have refueling capability.


I could be wrong on this, but i was under the impression that both VC-25s and a E-4B fly together. The second VC-25 being for redundancy's sake.

Yes I also read that the E-4B capabilities might be merged into the VC-25 replacement. I've since also read (and started a thread) that the USAF and Navy might work together on a common frame to replace the E-4B and E-6 Mercury though. Will link down below. I suppose everything except the refueling capability could still be added to the VC-25 replacement, but it will most likely come down to cost and complexity. I'm sure there will at least be a requirement for the aircraft to be able to be refueled on the ground while running. If the cost of adding the capability can be reduced, i'm sure it will get another look.


https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ap-434963/

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1367329
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:48 pm

Simplifying the presidential plane makes sense. By analogy, an aircraft carrier does not do everything - several accompanying vessels or planes ensure its functions and ability to fight and endure. Another analogy, AF-1 has somewhat become a Swiss Army Knife, and equally expensive and impractical - and I have a couple of them somewhere or the Gerber version.

I would guess there are at least 100 (or 200) airstrips where a 747 could land and refuel. Air defense against missiles is best handled by a specialty plane along side. Backup communications likewise.
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:05 am

Tugger wrote:
One question: Where does the fuel come from?

If the fuel can get to AF1 why can't AF1 just as easily go to the fuel? Basically the tankers need to come from somewhere and that place is going to be where AF1 will want to be as well (a safe/defensible location).

The -8 version of AF1 will essentially be able to fly anywhere in the world and then some. If someone says that those airfields will not be safe for AF1 to land at, why then would anything be able to land at them (or take off)? If that is the case then the only extra fuel available will be what is flying at the time and how much time will that add (I am guessing two or three days at best)?

Don't get me wrong, I prefer the idea of being able to refuel in midair but then thought of the above.

Tugg


Very very valid point.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:28 am

Tugger wrote:
One question: Where does the fuel come from?

If the fuel can get to AF1 why can't AF1 just as easily go to the fuel? Basically the tankers need to come from somewhere and that place is going to be where AF1 will want to be as well (a safe/defensible location).


If they get a wife where it is on approach, and with all those electronic emissions that may be doable, it will be a burned wreck on the ground. No spot it can land is probaby futher then 10 minutes out for a submarine lunched nuke and sitting on the tarmac it doesn't take much energy to disable it.

Best regards
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:07 am

tommy1808 wrote:
If they get a wife

Ha, the most dangerous thing on the planet is a scorned woman...

tommy1808 wrote:
If they get a wife where it is on approach, and with all those electronic emissions that may be doable, it will be a burned wreck on the ground. No spot it can land is probaby futher then 10 minutes out for a submarine lunched nuke and sitting on the tarmac it doesn't take much energy to disable it.

Best regards
Thomas

I'd say in the event that AF1 has to operate in that environment and require a refuel there is likely to be either so much energy and radiation already around or the sats that can detect radio signals are already out of action.

Also wouldn't surprise me if AF1 can operate EMCON and land and refuel without anyone being the wiser (excepting visually identifying a big white and blue aircraft landing on an airfield somewhere).
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:15 pm

as I recall, the issue is contaminated fuel possibilities should AF1 divert for fuel.. the Secret Service samples all fuel going into that plane and the use of tankers was to ensure only inspected fuel was delivered... AF1 does not refuel from unsecured sources or with un-tested fuels. The SS even inspects tanker trucks and piping.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:50 pm

kanban wrote:
as I recall, the issue is contaminated fuel possibilities should AF1 divert for fuel.. the Secret Service samples all fuel going into that plane and the use of tankers was to ensure only inspected fuel was delivered... AF1 does not refuel from unsecured sources or with un-tested fuels. The SS even inspects tanker trucks and piping.

Yes, tankers would never not travel with AF, just not refuel in flight. I will also note that if the only safe place for AF1 to refuel is inflight, in the middle of nowhere, then there are vastly larger problems on going. It basically means there is nowhere in the world safe for the President. If there were a significant attack on the USA there aren't many nations that would not be willing to offer safety to AF1. Even Russia or China, if they are not able (and more importantly any other friendly nations) to then the issue of inflight refueling is not the most important thing.

Also, isn't inflight refueling a last option anyway? The inherent risks and the vulnerability during that time of flight create a situation that is best avoided. I suspect the first plan option is to land and refuel on the ground.

Tugg
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:48 am

Tugger wrote:
Also, isn't inflight refueling a last option anyway? The inherent risks and the vulnerability during that time of flight create a situation that is best avoided. I suspect the first plan option is to land and refuel on the ground.

Tugg

While I agree that in-flight should be the last resort, the Secret Service is worried about fuel contamination at any field they may land to refuel.... even today with all the disgruntled people out there, there is a major effort when to president goes abroad to ensure the plane gets uncontaminated fuel (and water)... I also believe they physically check all diversion airports or military bases on the projected routes.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:35 am

kanban wrote:
Tugger wrote:
Also, isn't inflight refueling a last option anyway? The inherent risks and the vulnerability during that time of flight create a situation that is best avoided. I suspect the first plan option is to land and refuel on the ground.

Tugg

While I agree that in-flight should be the last resort, the Secret Service is worried about fuel contamination at any field they may land to refuel.... even today with all the disgruntled people out there, there is a major effort when to president goes abroad to ensure the plane gets uncontaminated fuel (and water)... I also believe they physically check all diversion airports or military bases on the projected routes.

Which is fine as a tanker or three or four would accompany AF1 in any emergency situation and provide fuel on the ground as needed. Tankers already accompany her for this same reason.

Tugg
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:18 am

It’s all about keeping as many options open as possible

Sacrificing the ability to refuel
In flight to save a few bucks is
a dumb move proposed by an
idiot


Hopefully this is not a final decision
and saner minds will prevail, insisting on this capability


As a citizen I want AF1 to be the most secure, capable, flexible and
state of the art aircraft possible


Can’t stand trump but future presidents should have the best
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:08 am

I think skipping this advanced and difficult feature was a very sensible decision. I realise that it may be a rare occurence from the administration in question, but still.
 
mmo
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:44 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
I think skipping this advanced and difficult feature was a very sensible decision. I realise that it may be a rare occurence from the administration in question, but still.


Just out of curiosity, why? And, what is so advanced and difficult about A/R?
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:12 pm

mmo wrote:
AirlineCritic wrote:
I think skipping this advanced and difficult feature was a very sensible decision. I realise that it may be a rare occurence from the administration in question, but still.


Just out of curiosity, why? And, what is so advanced and difficult about A/R?


You are absolutely right. The aerial refueling system is pretty much mature from the receiving end.
However, as a recent program shows that even a mature system can cause schedule and cost issue if the nuts and bolts of the system is not designed properly at the detailed level. I.E. the engineers who are selected to execute the design may not be as experienced as the one retired and missing some important nuance of the design may cause deficiency in the design and delay in schedule. (And I am not talking about the KC-46).


However, I would agree with most here that it would not be wise to skimp on the Presidential Aircraft. We are not talking about 25 air frames here and any overrun would be limited to two aircrafts. This is one place where I would trust the Congress to step up and not let President Trump cut corners.

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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:08 pm

Max Q wrote:
It’s all about keeping as many options open as possible

Sacrificing the ability to refuel
In flight to save a few bucks is
a dumb move proposed by an
idiot


Hopefully this is not a final decision
and saner minds will prevail, insisting on this capability


As a citizen I want AF1 to be the most secure, capable, flexible and
state of the art aircraft possible


Can’t stand trump but future presidents should have the best


Actually, the decision to nix the refuelling capability was made in 2016 under Obama! A Air Force and White House Military Office review just revalidated it. Not Trump. Again, the VC-25 has never used it while a President has been on board. The 747-8i also has more range than the VC-25. A tanker or more, and E-4Bs tag along anyway. In the even of a nuclear war, i'm pretty sure i've read that the President flies on the E-4B.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:04 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Actually, the decision to nix the refuelling capability was made in 2016 under Obama! A Air Force and White House Military Office review just revalidated it. Not Trump. Again, the VC-25 has never used it while a President has been on board. The 747-8i also has more range than the VC-25. A tanker or more, and E-4Bs tag along anyway. In the even of a nuclear war, i'm pretty sure i've read that the President flies on the E-4B.


I hate to disagree, but the A/R capability was deleted by Trump. I have done several presidential press charter flights when Clinton was in office. Back then there was no tanker support enroute and no E-4B prepositioned. The additional VC-25 was prepositioned. Unless the E-4B is at Andrews, one VC-25 is always all set for POTUS to use. The E-4Bs are based at Offut AFB.

The analogy of "it's never been used before so we don't need it now" is nothing but a red herring. That is like saying our house hasn't burned down, so we really don't need insurance.
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:09 pm

mmo wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Actually, the decision to nix the refuelling capability was made in 2016 under Obama! A Air Force and White House Military Office review just revalidated it. Not Trump. Again, the VC-25 has never used it while a President has been on board. The 747-8i also has more range than the VC-25. A tanker or more, and E-4Bs tag along anyway. In the even of a nuclear war, i'm pretty sure i've read that the President flies on the E-4B.


I hate to disagree, but the A/R capability was deleted by Trump. I have done several presidential press charter flights when Clinton was in office. Back then there was no tanker support enroute and no E-4B prepositioned. The additional VC-25 was prepositioned. Unless the E-4B is at Andrews, one VC-25 is always all set for POTUS to use. The E-4Bs are based at Offut AFB.

The analogy of "it's never been used before so we don't need it now" is nothing but a red herring. That is like saying our house hasn't burned down, so we really don't need insurance.


This article suggests otherwise,

https://breakingdefense.com/2017/09/air ... ng-update/

In an intriguing wrinkle on the seemingly questionable decision not to build the next Air Force One without air refueling capabilities, I asked Ryder if he thought that was a prudent decision and he disclosed that an Air Force and White House Military Office review of the program’s requirements in 2016 “excluded” refueling. That decision was reviewed when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took over and was revalidated in March. So Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford’s statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the White House made the decision for financial reasons may not be correct. Of course, both those reviews took costs into account so maybe you could give the Trump Administration credit for agreeing with that earlier decision.


That would have been under the Obama administration.

And,

https://theaviationist.com/2014/01/08/t ... e-4b-naoc/

One aircraft is usually airborne every 12 hours, with another one ready for departure with a 5-minute notice. An E-4B always supports Air Force One’s trips abroad. If national command centers on the ground are attacked or unavailable, an E-4B is immediately scrambled.


Plenty of other sources that make the same claim.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:40 pm

If you believe that, then you should know the current AF-1 does not have a 14 hour range as stated. The empty weight of the aircraft is almost 100,000 lbs heavier than a comparable airline version.

All I can do is report what I have seen. Of course, your source does not say what "always support" is defined as.
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:58 pm

mmo wrote:
If you believe that, then you should know the current AF-1 does not have a 14 hour range as stated. The empty weight of the aircraft is almost 100,000 lbs heavier than a comparable airline version.

All I can do is report what I have seen. Of course, your source does not say what "always support" is defined as.


However AF1 doesn't fly with 500 Passengers either. It's Capacity is 102. Take the average Capacity of about 400 in an Airline version - difference of about 300 people at an average weight of 200lbs each including bags gets you to an extra 60,000 lbs of people - down to a 40,000 lb difference.

Plus the 747-8 has an 154,000 lb higher take off weight and holds 63,064 Gallons vs 53,611 Gallons (17.6% More) of Gas. Combined with the longer wing it should be absolutely fine on range.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:01 am

mmo wrote:
If you believe that, then you should know the current AF-1 does not have a 14 hour range as stated. The empty weight of the aircraft is almost 100,000 lbs heavier than a comparable airline version.

All I can do is report what I have seen. Of course, your source does not say what "always support" is defined as.


The VC-25 has a range of 8000+ miles. That should be in excess of 16hrs.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:08 am

morrisond wrote:
mmo wrote:
If you believe that, then you should know the current AF-1 does not have a 14 hour range as stated. The empty weight of the aircraft is almost 100,000 lbs heavier than a comparable airline version.

All I can do is report what I have seen. Of course, your source does not say what "always support" is defined as.


However AF1 doesn't fly with 500 Passengers either. It's Capacity is 102. Take the average Capacity of about 400 in an Airline version - difference of about 300 people at an average weight of 200lbs each including bags gets you to an extra 60,000 lbs of people - down to a 40,000 lb difference.

Plus the 747-8 has an 154,000 lb higher take off weight and holds 63,064 Gallons vs 53,611 Gallons (17.6% More) of Gas. Combined with the longer wing it should be absolutely fine on range.


mmo was refering to the accuracy of one posters link which stated that the current VC-25 (747-200) had a 14 hour range. If indeed, as mmo said the empty weight is 100,000lbs heavier than a normal 200 (and I assume he is correct), then payload and/or fuel would have to be limited to stay under max T/O weight. Either way a 14 hour range is a real stretch and I doubt the AF would risk a POTUS aircraft approaching a low fuel state.

I've read other posters who claim that an E-4b always deploys with AF-1, or the second VC-25 is always flown with AF-1, that tankers always accompany AF-1....etc. The fact is only a few people know what support AF-1 and the POTUS gets when he travels abroad. All that info is classified and disseminated on a need to know basis. And procedures are changed for every trip depending on the region, length of trip, etc, etc. So personally, I take all these posts with a grain of salt.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:12 am

Slug71 wrote:
The VC-25 has a range of 8000+ miles. That should be in excess of 16hrs.


Show me a 747-200 with 100,000 lbs of mods(VC-25) that can fly 16 hours with even a light payload of say 100 pax, and I'll show you a whale that flamed out an hour earlier due to fuel starvation. VC-25 doesn't have any more fuel tanks than a regular 747-200B.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:08 am

RetiredWeasel wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
The VC-25 has a range of 8000+ miles. That should be in excess of 16hrs.


Show me a 747-200 with 100,000 lbs of mods(VC-25) that can fly 16 hours with even a light payload of say 100 pax, and I'll show you a whale that flamed out an hour earlier due to fuel starvation. VC-25 doesn't have any more fuel tanks than a regular 747-200B.


That was supposed to be in excess of 14hrs, not 16.
Well it can at least go 13 hours.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thegua ... tan?espv=1
Last edited by Slug71 on Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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kanban
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:14 am

:duck: just a side comment... since the secret service doesn't like new untried systems (meaning under 10 years experience) will they keep some KC-135 tankers for AF1 support until the new tanker is sufficiently aged??? :duck:
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:47 am

kanban wrote:
:duck: just a side comment... since the secret service doesn't like new untried systems (meaning under 10 years experience) will they keep some KC-135 tankers for AF1 support until the new tanker is sufficiently aged??? :duck:


Shouldn't be a problem since the KC-46 should be at least 5/6 years old by the time the VC-25 replacement enters service.
No way they'll have all the KC-135s replaced by then. :)
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:14 am

kanban wrote:
:duck: just a side comment... since the secret service doesn't like new untried systems (meaning under 10 years experience) will they keep some KC-135 tankers for AF1 support until the new tanker is sufficiently aged??? :duck:

Regardless of what the Secret Service wants, the Air Force will be operating the KC-135 for another 20 years, if not longer...
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
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747classic
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:02 am

The detailed engineering of the 747 in flight refueling receptacle is already known since 1973 and receptacles are installed and certified at the IIAF 747-131SF Tankers, E-4A/B's and VC-25A's.

Expensive would be the integration into the highly automated 748 fuel system.
For that reason, I would prefer the option of a manual air-refueling panel, operated by a third cockpit crewmember, also needed for navigation in an emergency situation. see the additional mission commander/navigation station at the present USAF VC-25A and E-4B aircraft.

The only thing left would be the digital conversion of the analogue drawings, or would that also be too difficult for Boeing, seen the recent issues with the KC-46A

Image

Original uploaded by Mehrad watson, see : http://www.airliners.net/photo/Iran-Air ... K6fgHMcTDg
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:24 pm

747classic wrote:
The only thing left would be the digital conversion of the analogue drawings,


"Digital Conversion" would probably mean creating new part number from the the old design with new material, specifically high speed machined aluminum and titanium. Most likely they would have to upgrade the system anyway as most likely the old design used standard parts that are no longer supported or approved for new design. So there is always an opportunity for errors. There is a chance that they may re-route the fuel line for various other reason. So I wouldn't put a bet that that thing would go as smooth was we may think.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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747classic
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:15 pm

In the mid nineties all 747-400 drawings were scanned and digitized with CATIA. Why would it be very expensive to scan and intergrate the "VC-25A receptacle" drawings into the 747-8 section 41 digital date base.
Easy integration was advertised as the major gain of the new system !
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
citationjet
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:41 am

Most people don't realize it, but the inflight refueling requirement was ADDED during the bidding process to the current 747-200 AF1 project.
During the original AF1 bidding proposal process, the 747-200 was competing with the DC-10 for AF-1. The DC-10 didn't meet the range requirement and the 747 did. In order to keep the DC-10 in the competition, the Air Force added inflight refueling (IFR) to the request for proposal (RFP) requirements, to keep McD in the competition, even though the 747 could meet the range requirement without IFR. After the 747 won the contract award, Boeing offered to eliminate the IFR capability from their aircraft and refund the cost of the system (tens of millions). The Air Force refused, and that is why IFR exists today on VC-25 (747-200).

I worked at Boeing Military Airplane Co in Wichita KS at the time, and worked on AF-1 in engineering. This inflight refueling story is documented in a book written by Chuck Fisher, the Boeing pilot who flew the B-52 that lost its tail over Colorado and landed in Arkansas. The book is titled "High, Low, Joker and the Game" by Charles Fisher and Steve Conway. In Chapter 24, the book states that the contract stipulated that the aircraft must have a 10,000 mile range. The 747's range exceeded the requirement substantially. The Douglas DC-10 was the only competition, didn't have that range. In a moment typical of government bureaucracy, the Air Force elected to require $40 million worth of refueling equipment so the DC-10 could meet the range requirement.

Boeing won the contract. Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract. In one of those bureaucratic snafus that everyone tries to ignore, the specification remained. Once committed to contract language, the IFR system became a bureaucratic priority of the worst kind. It said in paragraph 2028 of the spec sheet that the aircraft will be equipped with IFR systems. Fisher said that reasonable and practical men should have been able to resolve this problem in some mutually acceptable manner. However neither Boeing or the AF were reasonable or practical.

This was in 1987 and his title was Chief of Safety. Later in the chapter Chuck goes on to say that he retired over disagreements with the design of the IFR system being designed for AF1. They wanted to use a single walled fueling line, similar to KC-135s. Chuck was concerned that these planes had explosion proof avionics and electrical items which were military certified. AF1's avionics were not. Chuck wanted a triple walled fuel line with a nitrogen detection system. He retired in 1988 after disagreeing with Boeing over the IFR design. I remember going to his retirement reception.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:03 pm

citationjet wrote:
Chuck wanted a triple walled fuel line with a nitrogen detection system. He retired in 1988 after disagreeing with Boeing over the IFR design. I remember going to his retirement reception.


Triple walled? Now that would have been complicated indeed. I can see eliminating the refueling system now if safety requires that the system be triple walled. A double wall system is difficult enough as it is. I know of a recent program that had issue with the double walled system and it took some time to work out he kinks.

bt
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Tugger
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:25 pm

citationjet wrote:
Most people don't realize it, but the inflight refueling requirement was ADDED during the bidding process to the current 747-200 AF1 project.
During the original AF1 bidding proposal process, the 747-200 was competing with the DC-10 for AF-1. The DC-10 didn't meet the range requirement and the 747 did. In order to keep the DC-10 in the competition, the Air Force added inflight refueling (IFR) to the request for proposal (RFP) requirements, to keep McD in the competition, even though the 747 could meet the range requirement without IFR. After the 747 won the contract award, Boeing offered to eliminate the IFR capability from their aircraft and refund the cost of the system (tens of millions). The Air Force refused, and that is why IFR exists today on VC-25 (747-200).

Thank for that, I remember reading about that years ago but had since forgotten all about it. The other details regarding safety and the impact on the design I did not know of. Interesting but it makes sense.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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kanban
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:15 pm

was the Nimrod a single or double walled system... anyway it leaked.. not what you want on AF1
 
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Slug71
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:54 pm

citationjet wrote:
Most people don't realize it, but the inflight refueling requirement was ADDED during the bidding process to the current 747-200 AF1 project.
During the original AF1 bidding proposal process, the 747-200 was competing with the DC-10 for AF-1. The DC-10 didn't meet the range requirement and the 747 did. In order to keep the DC-10 in the competition, the Air Force added inflight refueling (IFR) to the request for proposal (RFP) requirements, to keep McD in the competition, even though the 747 could meet the range requirement without IFR. After the 747 won the contract award, Boeing offered to eliminate the IFR capability from their aircraft and refund the cost of the system (tens of millions). The Air Force refused, and that is why IFR exists today on VC-25 (747-200).

I worked at Boeing Military Airplane Co in Wichita KS at the time, and worked on AF-1 in engineering. This inflight refueling story is documented in a book written by Chuck Fisher, the Boeing pilot who flew the B-52 that lost its tail over Colorado and landed in Arkansas. The book is titled "High, Low, Joker and the Game" by Charles Fisher and Steve Conway. In Chapter 24, the book states that the contract stipulated that the aircraft must have a 10,000 mile range. The 747's range exceeded the requirement substantially. The Douglas DC-10 was the only competition, didn't have that range. In a moment typical of government bureaucracy, the Air Force elected to require $40 million worth of refueling equipment so the DC-10 could meet the range requirement.

Boeing won the contract. Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract. In one of those bureaucratic snafus that everyone tries to ignore, the specification remained. Once committed to contract language, the IFR system became a bureaucratic priority of the worst kind. It said in paragraph 2028 of the spec sheet that the aircraft will be equipped with IFR systems. Fisher said that reasonable and practical men should have been able to resolve this problem in some mutually acceptable manner. However neither Boeing or the AF were reasonable or practical.

This was in 1987 and his title was Chief of Safety. Later in the chapter Chuck goes on to say that he retired over disagreements with the design of the IFR system being designed for AF1. They wanted to use a single walled fueling line, similar to KC-135s. Chuck was concerned that these planes had explosion proof avionics and electrical items which were military certified. AF1's avionics were not. Chuck wanted a triple walled fuel line with a nitrogen detection system. He retired in 1988 after disagreeing with Boeing over the IFR design. I remember going to his retirement reception.


Very interesting! Thank you for this. I find these parts especially interesting,

In Chapter 24, the book states that the contract stipulated that the aircraft must have a 10,000 mile range.


Boeing won the contract. Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract.


Will have to read that book sometime.
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:05 pm

citationjet: "Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract"

Even with IFR, those engine bearings will eventually need lubrication... What's the maximum range then?
 
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Slug71
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:19 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
citationjet: "Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract"

Even with IFR, those engine bearings will eventually need lubrication... What's the maximum range then?


Not sure how true, but I read somewhere (maybe this forum) That it could go about 3 days.

Edit;
Post #2 in this old thread,

viewtopic.php?t=1023741
 
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Tugger
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:19 pm

ExMilitaryEng wrote:
citationjet: "Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract"

Even with IFR, those engine bearings will eventually need lubrication... What's the maximum range then?

Using what KLM shows for their heavy maintenance info you are probably looking at about 50,000hrs of flight time. Though I suspect AF1's engines get serviced at a higher rate than commercial.

Tugg
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Slug71
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:32 pm

Tugger wrote:
ExMilitaryEng wrote:
citationjet: "Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract"

Even with IFR, those engine bearings will eventually need lubrication... What's the maximum range then?

Using what KLM shows for their heavy maintenance info you are probably looking at about 50,000hrs of flight time. Though I suspect AF1's engines get serviced at a higher rate than commercial.

Tugg


Think you misread the question. No way it will fly 50,000hrs continuously without needing some lube.
 
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:58 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Tugger wrote:
ExMilitaryEng wrote:
citationjet: "Since the 747, with fuel capacity of 312,000 lb, can easily fly 12,000 miles without refueling, the requirement for the IFR system should have been removed from the contract"

Even with IFR, those engine bearings will eventually need lubrication... What's the maximum range then?

Using what KLM shows for their heavy maintenance info you are probably looking at about 50,000hrs of flight time. Though I suspect AF1's engines get serviced at a higher rate than commercial.

Tugg


Think you misread the question. No way it will fly 50,000hrs continuously without needing some lube.

You're right. My bad! I'll have to dig more info later.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:54 am

Thank you citationjet! Very interesting!
 
ExMilitaryEng
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:57 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Not sure how true, but I read somewhere (maybe this forum) That it could go about 3 days.

Edit;
Post #2 in this old thread: viewtopic.php?t=1023741


Thanks for the search! 3 days makes sense.
 
PC12Fan
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:19 pm

Unbelievable - he just doesn't get it. This isn't a matter of cost! :banghead:

And for those who agree with not including AR because it's never been used, it's there for a reason. True, the -8i range is superior to the VC-25 but the 6000nm and 12+ hours behind you doesn't mean squat if it hits the fan near the end of a trip when you have no choice but to stay airborne.
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Slug71
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Re: Inflight Refueling Deleted from AF-1 Replacement

Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:46 pm

PC12Fan wrote:
Unbelievable - he just doesn't get it. This isn't a matter of cost! :banghead:

And for those who agree with not including AR because it's never been used, it's there for a reason. True, the -8i range is superior to the VC-25 but the 6000nm and 12+ hours behind you doesn't mean squat if it hits the fan near the end of a trip when you have no choice but to stay airborne.


In an intriguing wrinkle on the seemingly questionable decision not to build the next Air Force One without air refueling capabilities, I asked Ryder if he thought that was a prudent decision and he disclosed that an Air Force and White House Military Office review of the program’s requirements in 2016 “excluded” refueling. That decision was reviewed when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis took over and was revalidated in March. So Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford’s statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee that the White House made the decision for financial reasons may not be correct. Of course, both those reviews took costs into account so maybe you could give the Trump Administration credit for agreeing with that earlier decision.


The requirement was removed under the Obama administration! The new administration just continued with it.

https://breakingdefense.com/2017/09/air ... ng-update/

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