JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:21 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Max Q wrote:
The KC 46 seems like a fine tanker but I’m a bit confused


They are being delivered with deficiencies including the remote viewing system for the boom ?


If they waited until the thing worked 100%, it may take a few more years.

Seems the viewing system issue only relates to certain aspect of flight with the sun hitting the receiver at a specific angle causing glare and a higher chance of scratching a stealth aircraft.

So get the planes now, get your pilots flying them on non stealth missions and work the fixes later. Boeing will get penalized on every frame so there is sufficient incentive for Boeing to get that fix.

As for stealth tankers, there are already to "stealth" tanker in the works. The Navy unmanned tanker and the Air Force new stealth bomber which may be converted to stealth tanker in some distance future. I supposed they would have to figure a way to make a stealthy boom and somehow hide it in the fuselage.

bt


The big deficiency that will take years to solve is the Cobham pods, FAA certified wing pods may not occur until 2020, I can't find the specifics but it appears that Cobham dropped the ball on FAA certification, similar models of the wing pods have been in service a long time but never FAA certified.

https://www.cobham.com/mission-systems/ ... t/docview/

I really wonder why so many tankers are needed, if availability rose to like 75% there should be plenty. Besides, will we be doing in 20 years the same refueling missions as now, a lot of the fleet will be switching over to drones and the like, both refueling and being drone tankers. I would think an extra 100 KC-46 may be sufficient with the balance being the updated glass cockpit and CFM engines on the remaining KC-135's
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:53 am

bikerthai wrote:
Max Q wrote:
The KC 46 seems like a fine tanker but I’m a bit confused


They are being delivered with deficiencies including the remote viewing system for the boom ?


If they waited until the thing worked 100%, it may take a few more years.

Seems the viewing system issue only relates to certain aspect of flight with the sun hitting the receiver at a specific angle causing glare and a higher chance of scratching a stealth aircraft.

So get the planes now, get your pilots flying them on non stealth missions and work the fixes later. Boeing will get penalized on every frame so there is sufficient incentive for Boeing to get that fix.

As for stealth tankers, there are already to "stealth" tanker in the works. The Navy unmanned tanker and the Air Force new stealth bomber which may be converted to stealth tanker in some distance future. I supposed they would have to figure a way to make a stealthy boom and somehow hide it in the fuselage.

bt



Thanks for the informative reply, it makes a certain amount of sense


What makes no sense to me as a layman is
why the proven and simple window for the boomer was abandoned
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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Stitch
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:41 am

Max Q wrote:
What makes no sense to me as a layman is why the proven and simple window for the boomer was abandoned


It may be proven, but it sounds like it is anything but simple in terms of structure and support systems. I would not be surprised if this played a role in the Dutch going remote with their KDC-10s and Airbus and Boeing choosing remote on the various A330MRTT and KC-767 models. I am also pretty sure IAI uses Remote Viewing on their 767 conversions, as well.
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:06 am

Stitch wrote:
Max Q wrote:
What makes no sense to me as a layman is why the proven and simple window for the boomer was abandoned


It may be proven, but it sounds like it is anything but simple in terms of structure and support systems. I would not be surprised if this played a role in the Dutch going remote with their KDC-10s and Airbus and Boeing choosing remote on the various A330MRTT and KC-767 models. I am also pretty sure IAI uses Remote Viewing on their 767 conversions, as well.




I just don’t know, I do know that looking through a piece of glass to look at the actual aircraft you’re refueling must be simpler, more straightforward and gives you the ‘real picture’


If it’s so complicated structurally to incorporate a boom operator station with a window then how has it worked so well for
decades on the KC135 and KC10 ?



It seems far simpler and effective to have a window than all the electronics involved with a remote viewing system, no big deal if you’re refueling with only probe and drogue but a different story altogether with the finesse required of a boom operator



But I’m no expert, there is one on this forum however, it would be interesting to hear TB’s take
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Navman101
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:15 am

I realize that the KC-10 looks like an “easy kill” because of the service’s need to reduce budgets by operating fewer types of aircraft, and its parts availability. The shame is that the KC-10 really is the ideal tanker as it has the capability to take-off, travel 2-3 hours to an on-station area, refuel multiple “heavy” aircraft that often take huge fuel off loads of 80-100k, and then travel back to its landing base. A single KC-135 or KC-46 with their significantly lower fuel load can’t do that effectively and are much more optimized for fighter refueling. Hopefully the service will eventually replace the KC-10 with another large tanker.
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:13 am

Navman101 wrote:
I realize that the KC-10 looks like an “easy kill” because of the service’s need to reduce budgets by operating fewer types of aircraft, and its parts availability. The shame is that the KC-10 really is the ideal tanker as it has the capability to take-off, travel 2-3 hours to an on-station area, refuel multiple “heavy” aircraft that often take huge fuel off loads of 80-100k, and then travel back to its landing base. A single KC-135 or KC-46 with their significantly lower fuel load can’t do that effectively and are much more optimized for fighter refueling. Hopefully the service will eventually replace the KC-10 with another large tanker.




Couldn’t agree more, with its massive main deck cargo hold and a greater fuel capacity than a 747 Classic the KC10 seems to be an incredibly versatile, useful aircraft that no other tanker, old or new comes close to in capability
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:43 pm

As some experienced Boomer have already stated that the window is actually better than the camera. However, I see in the long run, with improved sensors and automation, computer aided system will actually be better than the window. Of course, as we have seen, it may take a little longer to get there. Heck we have to get there before we have drone tanker with boom.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 pm

With the window lights need to be used to see at night. The new cameras are infrared so it is in the dark. Hard to be stealthy with a bunch of floodlights on.
 
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kanban
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:27 pm

RE bigger (KC-10/-11)tankers, we've had the discussion several times over the years that there is a limit to how much fuel can be offloaded to aircraft in the allowable refueling window. Bigger is not better as some receivers will falter before their turn and tankers carrying excess have to haul it back for a heavy landing. This is one of the reasons the Air Force wanted a tanker this size. Sending a 3-holer up with a minimal load is just a waste.

Tankers are not like commercial ventures where flying with maximum cargo is profit...
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:34 am

kanban wrote:
RE bigger (KC-10/-11)tankers, we've had the discussion several times over the years that there is a limit to how much fuel can be offloaded to aircraft in the allowable refueling window. Bigger is not better as some receivers will falter before their turn and tankers carrying excess have to haul it back for a heavy landing. This is one of the reasons the Air Force wanted a tanker this size. Sending a 3-holer up with a minimal load is just a waste.

Tankers are not like commercial ventures where flying with maximum cargo is profit...



I don’t understand your post, you say there’s a limit to how much fuel can be offloaded in the ‘refueling window’


If that’s the true then the case for keeping the KC10 is even stronger as it’s boom supplies fuel at the highest available rate reducing the elapsed time while connected



What does ‘some receivers will falter before their turn’ mean ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
itchief
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:15 am

Max Q wrote:
Stitch wrote:
Max Q wrote:
What makes no sense to me as a layman is why the proven and simple window for the boomer was abandoned


It may be proven, but it sounds like it is anything but simple in terms of structure and support systems. I would not be surprised if this played a role in the Dutch going remote with their KDC-10s and Airbus and Boeing choosing remote on the various A330MRTT and KC-767 models. I am also pretty sure IAI uses Remote Viewing on their 767 conversions, as well.




I just don’t know, I do know that looking through a piece of glass to look at the actual aircraft you’re refueling must be simpler, more straightforward and gives you the ‘real picture’


If it’s so complicated structurally to incorporate a boom operator station with a window then how has it worked so well for
decades on the KC135 and KC10 ?




It seems far simpler and effective to have a window than all the electronics involved with a remote viewing system, no big deal if you’re refueling with only probe and drogue but a different story altogether with the finesse required of a boom operator



But I’m no expert, there is one on this forum however, it would be interesting to hear TB’s take


Have you ever seen the difference in the windows on the KC-135 and KC-10? I have seen the KC-135 boom operator from the cockpit of an E-3 while observing a refueling op and it is very small and I know the boom operator has to lay down to operate the boom. I have been on a KC-10 observing refueling and the window is huge, like 6-8 people standing around the boom operator while he operated the boom. We could all the the refueling op through the window.

Since we are all just throwing out WAG's here, I would think that the remote vision system has got to save money over the life of the aircraft with the structural maintenance alone since you don't have this large window. Part of my WAG is since this is a wide body aircraft like the KC-10 it would have the larger window. From what I can find the Japan KC-767's have a large window like the KC-10.
 
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Slug71
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:36 am

I think the KC-10s will ultimately be replaced by the KC-46. With a small chance that it could be the MRTT or next gen (stealth) tanker.
But IIRC, 2 KC-10 based are already slated to get the KC-46.
 
Navman101
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:39 am

kanban wrote:
RE bigger (KC-10/-11)tankers, we've had the discussion several times over the years that there is a limit to how much fuel can be offloaded to aircraft in the allowable refueling window. Bigger is not better as some receivers will falter before their turn and tankers carrying excess have to haul it back for a heavy landing. This is one of the reasons the Air Force wanted a tanker this size. Sending a 3-holer up with a minimal load is just a waste.

Tankers are not like commercial ventures where flying with maximum cargo is profit...


What you say is true to an extent. There is no need to have a 747 sized tanker as a single aircraft can only refuel one other plane (by boom) at a time, and some receivers may cancel before their turn, etc. But this applies to an extremely large aircraft, not one the size of the KC-10. The KC-46 / KC-135 is optimal for refueling fighters, but it really is to small to refuel multiple transport/bomber aircraft. That's why a tanker the size of the KC-10 is also needed.
 
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Moose135
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:52 am

Max Q wrote:
I don’t understand your post, you say there’s a limit to how much fuel can be offloaded in the ‘refueling window’

If that’s the true then the case for keeping the KC10 is even stronger as it’s boom supplies fuel at the highest available rate reducing the elapsed time while connected

What does ‘some receivers will falter before their turn’ mean ?


Most fighters can't receive fuel at the maximum offload rate of the tanker, the higher pressure will damage the fighter's fuel system. In the KC-135, we had (have) 4 air refueling pumps to drive the offload. I think 4 pumps will give you a flow rate of 6K pounds per minute (it's been 30 years, don't quote me) but that will blow out the plumbing on a fighter, we would only use 4 pumps on a heavy - B-52, C-141, etc. For most fighters, we would use 2 pumps, so the higher rate of the KC-10 doesn't help when refueling fighters. When you have a gaggle of thirsty fighters, they will be cycling on and off the boom, and it can be better to have two smaller tankers to keep everyone topped up, rather than waiting on one tanker.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:59 am

Moose135 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
I don’t understand your post, you say there’s a limit to how much fuel can be offloaded in the ‘refueling window’

If that’s the true then the case for keeping the KC10 is even stronger as it’s boom supplies fuel at the highest available rate reducing the elapsed time while connected

What does ‘some receivers will falter before their turn’ mean ?


Most fighters can't receive fuel at the maximum offload rate of the tanker, the higher pressure will damage the fighter's fuel system. In the KC-135, we had (have) 4 air refueling pumps to drive the offload. I think 4 pumps will give you a flow rate of 6K pounds per minute (it's been 30 years, don't quote me) but that will blow out the plumbing on a fighter, we would only use 4 pumps on a heavy - B-52, C-141, etc. For most fighters, we would use 2 pumps, so the higher rate of the KC-10 doesn't help when refueling fighters. When you have a gaggle of thirsty fighters, they will be cycling on and off the boom, and it can be better to have two smaller tankers to keep everyone topped up, rather than waiting on one tanker.



Thanks for the informed reply and that’s understood


It does sound like the KC10 is very useful for refueling larger aircraft and over longer
distances with its very large fuel capacity



Still don’t understand what ‘some receivers
will falter before their turn’ means !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:34 pm

The KC-10 does carry over 1.5 times the fuel, but doesn't it burn fuel at a much faster clip. Performance should be similar to a freighter, if it is doing an 10 hour round trip that will gobble almost half of the fuel for itself.
 
WIederling
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:59 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
The KC-10 does carry over 1.5 times the fuel, but doesn't it burn fuel at a much faster clip. Performance should be similar to a freighter, if it is doing an 10 hour round trip that will gobble almost half of the fuel for itself.


Just looking at ferry range (11500nm) and fuel capacity ( 161t) the KC-10 should take an average of 8t/h ( and start at MTOW ~~9.5..10t/h ?)
doing the same for the MRTT (9000nm / 111t) gives 6.3t/h
Murphy is an optimist
 
NBGSkyGod
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:38 pm

Max Q wrote:
Still don’t understand what ‘some receivers
will falter before their turn’ means !


It means they will cancel or RTB before their fueling mission is able to start, leaving the tanker with an excess of fuel to land with.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
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kanban
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:41 pm

NBGSkyGod wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Still don’t understand what ‘some receivers
will falter before their turn’ means !


It means they will cancel or RTB before their fueling mission is able to start, leaving the tanker with an excess of fuel to land with.

and it can mean running out of fuel and ditching.

other than large (C-17 etc) planes being refueled, most are small planes (fighters etc) that have a limited fuel capacity. when you have 10 or more waiting to be refueled and you can only fuel one or two at a time, you have a problem. we've already seen that in some cases the tanker fueling volume and pressure can be detrimental so it gets cut back. Also a tanker can develop off loading problems (rare) and if only one tanker is sent what do you do??? so 2 smaller tankers is much better
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:53 am

NBGSkyGod wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Still don’t understand what ‘some receivers
will falter before their turn’ means !


It means they will cancel or RTB before their fueling mission is able to start, leaving the tanker with an excess of fuel to land with.



Not a big deal, dump fuel or land overweight
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Max Q
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:58 am

kanban wrote:
NBGSkyGod wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Still don’t understand what ‘some receivers
will falter before their turn’ means !


It means they will cancel or RTB before their fueling mission is able to start, leaving the tanker with an excess of fuel to land with.

and it can mean running out of fuel and ditching.

other than large (C-17 etc) planes being refueled, most are small planes (fighters etc) that have a limited fuel capacity. when you have 10 or more waiting to be refueled and you can only fuel one or two at a time, you have a problem. we've already seen that in some cases the tanker fueling volume and pressure can be detrimental so it gets cut back. Also a tanker can develop off loading problems (rare) and if only one tanker is sent what do you do??? so 2 smaller tankers is much better



Don’t really see the problem


I doubt that one tanker would be tasked with refueling 10 fighters to begin with


But if there are several fighters with a low fuel state waiting to use one boom then surely you bring them all in for a brief ‘squirt’ one at a time, after their low fuel state is addressed then you bring them back in for a top off one at a time
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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kanban
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:26 pm

Max Q wrote:
kanban wrote:
NBGSkyGod wrote:

It means they will cancel or RTB before their fueling mission is able to start, leaving the tanker with an excess of fuel to land with.

and it can mean running out of fuel and ditching.

other than large (C-17 etc) planes being refueled, most are small planes (fighters etc) that have a limited fuel capacity. when you have 10 or more waiting to be refueled and you can only fuel one or two at a time, you have a problem. we've already seen that in some cases the tanker fueling volume and pressure can be detrimental so it gets cut back. Also a tanker can develop off loading problems (rare) and if only one tanker is sent what do you do??? so 2 smaller tankers is much better



Don’t really see the problem


I doubt that one tanker would be tasked with refueling 10 fighters to begin with


But if there are several fighters with a low fuel state waiting to use one boom then surely you bring them all in for a brief ‘squirt’ one at a time, after their low fuel state is addressed then you bring them back in for a top off one at a time


Dream on, reality is different, refueling actual airplanes in flight is not some little game for either the pilots, re-fueler or the planes.
 
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Johnv707
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:14 pm

2 more deliveries yesterday Jan 31, 2019.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0
 
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Runway28L
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:57 pm

Altus AFB received their first KC-46 delivery yesterday.

56th ARS Flies Their First KC-46 Home
https://www.altus.af.mil/News/Article-D ... c-46-home/
Greetings from KPIT! Check out my photos here: http://www.airliners.net/search?user=45 ... teAccepted
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:24 am

Navman101 wrote:
I realize that the KC-10 looks like an “easy kill” because of the service’s need to reduce budgets by operating fewer types of aircraft, and its parts availability. The shame is that the KC-10 really is the ideal tanker as it has the capability to take-off, travel 2-3 hours to an on-station area, refuel multiple “heavy” aircraft that often take huge fuel off loads of 80-100k, and then travel back to its landing base. A single KC-135 or KC-46 with their significantly lower fuel load can’t do that effectively and are much more optimized for fighter refueling. Hopefully the service will eventually replace the KC-10 with another large tanker.


That is a mission the USAF never plans for:
1. The KC-10 carries up to 365,000 lbs. of fuel
2. After flying 2 + hours to station, the KC-10 will have about 280K-300K of fuel remaining onboard.
3. The KC-10 would only be able to offloard about 200K max.
4. Otherwise the KC-10 would require refueling itself.
5. On such a mission, the USAF would not go with only one Boom.
6. The USAF would schedule one tanker per heavy receiver.
7. The KC-10, KC-135, and KC-46 are all capable tankers
8. Neither the KC-10 or KC-135 have self defense systems, but there are plans for them for the KC-135 b ut not the KC-10.
9. The KC-46 has self defense system already.
10. As far as a replacement large tanker for the KC-10, the only viable candidates today would be tanker versions of B-747-8F, B-777LRF, B-777-8F, or an A-350-900F.
 
Galaxy5007
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:46 am

Runway28L wrote:
Altus AFB received their first KC-46 delivery yesterday.

56th ARS Flies Their First KC-46 Home
https://www.altus.af.mil/News/Article-D ... c-46-home/

They didn't receive them...They accepted them yesterday. They will be flown to Altus tomorrow during a welcoming ceremony. Tails are 17-46028 and 6027.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:36 pm

kc135topboom wrote:
Navman101 wrote:
I realize that the KC-10 looks like an “easy kill” because of the service’s need to reduce budgets by operating fewer types of aircraft, and its parts availability. The shame is that the KC-10 really is the ideal tanker as it has the capability to take-off, travel 2-3 hours to an on-station area, refuel multiple “heavy” aircraft that often take huge fuel off loads of 80-100k, and then travel back to its landing base. A single KC-135 or KC-46 with their significantly lower fuel load can’t do that effectively and are much more optimized for fighter refueling. Hopefully the service will eventually replace the KC-10 with another large tanker.


That is a mission the USAF never plans for:
1. The KC-10 carries up to 365,000 lbs. of fuel
2. After flying 2 + hours to station, the KC-10 will have about 280K-300K of fuel remaining onboard.
3. The KC-10 would only be able to offloard about 200K max.
4. Otherwise the KC-10 would require refueling itself.
5. On such a mission, the USAF would not go with only one Boom.
6. The USAF would schedule one tanker per heavy receiver.
7. The KC-10, KC-135, and KC-46 are all capable tankers
8. Neither the KC-10 or KC-135 have self defense systems, but there are plans for them for the KC-135 b ut not the KC-10.
9. The KC-46 has self defense system already.
10. As far as a replacement large tanker for the KC-10, the only viable candidates today would be tanker versions of B-747-8F, B-777LRF, B-777-8F, or an A-350-900F.


With your experience do you see a need for a KC-10 replacement that is bigger than the KC-46? A B77F seems best if needed, but the engine wake would be fierce.
 
Galaxy5007
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:42 pm

Altus got 17-46027 today. 4628 broke at Boeing and didn't make the trip...Callsign was EXXON 02 for 6027's arrival.
 
itchief
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:22 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
Navman101 wrote:
I realize that the KC-10 looks like an “easy kill” because of the service’s need to reduce budgets by operating fewer types of aircraft, and its parts availability. The shame is that the KC-10 really is the ideal tanker as it has the capability to take-off, travel 2-3 hours to an on-station area, refuel multiple “heavy” aircraft that often take huge fuel off loads of 80-100k, and then travel back to its landing base. A single KC-135 or KC-46 with their significantly lower fuel load can’t do that effectively and are much more optimized for fighter refueling. Hopefully the service will eventually replace the KC-10 with another large tanker.


That is a mission the USAF never plans for:
1. The KC-10 carries up to 365,000 lbs. of fuel
2. After flying 2 + hours to station, the KC-10 will have about 280K-300K of fuel remaining onboard.
3. The KC-10 would only be able to offloard about 200K max.
4. Otherwise the KC-10 would require refueling itself.
5. On such a mission, the USAF would not go with only one Boom.
6. The USAF would schedule one tanker per heavy receiver.
7. The KC-10, KC-135, and KC-46 are all capable tankers
8. Neither the KC-10 or KC-135 have self defense systems, but there are plans for them for the KC-135 b ut not the KC-10.
9. The KC-46 has self defense system already.
10. As far as a replacement large tanker for the KC-10, the only viable candidates today would be tanker versions of B-747-8F, B-777LRF, B-777-8F, or an A-350-900F.


With your experience do you see a need for a KC-10 replacement that is bigger than the KC-46? A B77F seems best if needed, but the engine wake would be fierce.


Working in a Joint force air component commander (JFACC) element you will see that a lot of planning goes into how tanking works. Like you have said a mission will have plenty of tankers available for the strike/CAP package. It will not matter how big the tanker is, KC-130 all the way up to the KC-10. The plan will put enough gas on station for all aircraft to use.

As for self defense of the tankers they are never put in harms way. How many reports has anyone see of tankers ever needing self defense? The strike plan will alway keep them safe.
 
RaulDuke1224
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:27 pm

With your experience do you see a need for a KC-10 replacement that is bigger than the KC-46? A B77F seems best if needed, but the engine wake would be fierce.[/quote]

I know the question wasn't to me, and I'm not a tanker guy, but putting aside the discussion of wheather or not there is a need for a replacement aircraft that size, engine turbulence would most likely be irrelevant, at least for boom refueling. I can't speak to wing pod or drouge ops, but on the boom, you never really encounter any effect during normal operations, as you are quite a bit below the tanker.

Against a KC-10 in a heavy aircraft, however, you can certainly feel the #2 engine in the contact position. It's nothing overly dramatic, however.

Purely from a receiver perspective with the -46, I think I'm most hopeful for PDI lights that are bright enough to see in the day or burn out less often!
 
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Revelation
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:11 pm

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... se-455679/ says:

Boeing recorded a $736 million reach-forward loss in 2018 on its KC-46A Pegasus tanker, bringing the programme’s total losses to nearly $3.6 billion.

That's gawd awful given the whole program was supposed to be developed for $4.9B and 18 ships delivered in 2017.

The article gives a pretty good run down on where things stand with the program, so it's a good read.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:28 am

Is there a list somewhere of the production and deliveries of the KC-46 (also P-8's) like other aircraft have. So far I know that 5 are delivered and I heard around Christmas that 10 were basically ready. I recall reading that there would be 4 in Jan (met), 4 in Feb, then 3 per month after that.
 
itchief
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:02 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Is there a list somewhere of the production and deliveries of the KC-46 (also P-8's) like other aircraft have. So far I know that 5 are delivered and I heard around Christmas that 10 were basically ready. I recall reading that there would be 4 in Jan (met), 4 in Feb, then 3 per month after that.



This sounds like a great project for some A-NET reader to take on. Since these are military aircraft the numbers will not be so readily available. Maybe the person looking for the info will take on the project and do the research to help out all the others on the board that would like to know.
 
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Johnv707
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:39 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Is there a list somewhere of the production and deliveries of the KC-46 (also P-8's) like other aircraft have. So far I know that 5 are delivered and I heard around Christmas that 10 were basically ready. I recall reading that there would be 4 in Jan (met), 4 in Feb, then 3 per month after that.



LOOK HERE: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 2121076296
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:51 pm

Johnv707 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Is there a list somewhere of the production and deliveries of the KC-46 (also P-8's) like other aircraft have. So far I know that 5 are delivered and I heard around Christmas that 10 were basically ready. I recall reading that there would be 4 in Jan (met), 4 in Feb, then 3 per month after that.



LOOK HERE: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 2121076296


Thank you, that is exactly the kind of spreadsheet I was looking for.

Any rumor when the next deliveries are?
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:46 am

Max Q wrote:
Stitch wrote:
Max Q wrote:
What makes no sense to me as a layman is why the proven and simple window for the boomer was abandoned


It may be proven, but it sounds like it is anything but simple in terms of structure and support systems. I would not be surprised if this played a role in the Dutch going remote with their KDC-10s and Airbus and Boeing choosing remote on the various A330MRTT and KC-767 models. I am also pretty sure IAI uses Remote Viewing on their 767 conversions, as well.




I just don’t know, I do know that looking through a piece of glass to look at the actual aircraft you’re refueling must be simpler, more straightforward and gives you the ‘real picture’


If it’s so complicated structurally to incorporate a boom operator station with a window then how has it worked so well for
decades on the KC135 and KC10 ?



It seems far simpler and effective to have a window than all the electronics involved with a remote viewing system, no big deal if you’re refueling with only probe and drogue but a different story altogether with the finesse required of a boom operator



But I’m no expert, there is one on this forum however, it would be interesting to hear TB’s take


A Boom Pod with a window is a much simplier arrangement and more reliable than being in a electronic closet. A window relies on the old Mk.-1 eyeball to work properly, an electronic closet filled with computers, sensors, and video game type controls can break down. Yes, I know these systems will have redundant back-up systems, but in some type of degrade such as some automation may not be available. This increases the Boom Operator's workload.

From a structual POV, incooperorating a Boom Pod into an airplane's structure is not a complicated engineering problem. Used aircraft such as the B-707 (KC-707, KC-137 Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil, etc. were originally commercial airliners) and B-747 (IIAF KC-747s were originally TWA B-747-100s) have been modified with Boom Pods after their original build configuerations.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:26 am

itchief wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:

That is a mission the USAF never plans for:
1. The KC-10 carries up to 365,000 lbs. of fuel
2. After flying 2 + hours to station, the KC-10 will have about 280K-300K of fuel remaining onboard.
3. The KC-10 would only be able to offloard about 200K max.
4. Otherwise the KC-10 would require refueling itself.
5. On such a mission, the USAF would not go with only one Boom.
6. The USAF would schedule one tanker per heavy receiver.
7. The KC-10, KC-135, and KC-46 are all capable tankers
8. Neither the KC-10 or KC-135 have self defense systems, but there are plans for them for the KC-135 b ut not the KC-10.
9. The KC-46 has self defense system already.
10. As far as a replacement large tanker for the KC-10, the only viable candidates today would be tanker versions of B-747-8F, B-777LRF, B-777-8F, or an A-350-900F.


With your experience do you see a need for a KC-10 replacement that is bigger than the KC-46? A B77F seems best if needed, but the engine wake would be fierce.


Working in a Joint force air component commander (JFACC) element you will see that a lot of planning goes into how tanking works. Like you have said a mission will have plenty of tankers available for the strike/CAP package. It will not matter how big the tanker is, KC-130 all the way up to the KC-10. The plan will put enough gas on station for all aircraft to use.

As for self defense of the tankers they are never put in harms way. How many reports has anyone see of tankers ever needing self defense? The strike plan will alway keep them safe.


I don't know who told you tankers are never put in harm's way because it is wrong. During the Vietnam War, tankers almost routinely flew into North Vietnam to get gas to someone. Although tankers are not planned to go into hostial airspace, rapidly changing mission requirements can and have sent tankers well beyond the FEBA. The same happened during Desert Storm. In both Vietnam and Iraq the areas where the tankers ended up had enemy fighters as well as AAA defenses. Tankers can use defensive tactics to avoid being damaged or shot down, but these tactics can only help so far. Tankers can also rely on aircraft that are equipped with defensive systems (RHAWS, ECM, etc.) to warn tankers of a specific threat.

Today, the threat is less in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elevated in Syria. You never know what the Russian will do and the Syrian Air Force is still operational, though in a greatly reduced capacity. ISIS has shot down a few fighters and have not been very pleasant to the Pilots they have captured (they burned one Jordanian F-16 Pilot to death in a cage).

But having defensive systems aboard the tanker will greatly improve its defense in a threat enviornment. Automated systems don't need an extra crew member, but I think having one is worth it if there are multipule threats at the same time. Threat protection and warning systems not only protect valuable airplanes, but more importantly the very valuable crews aboard those airplanes.

The E-3, E-8, C-130, C-17, and KC-46 all have active and passive defense sytems installed today. There are systems available to be installed/retrofitted to older military and all commerical aircraft. The USAF can take advantage of these technologies and install them on the KC-135 which is looking like they will still be a front line asset for several decades to come.
 
zanl188
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:01 pm

kc135topboom wrote:

A Boom Pod with a window is a much simplier arrangement and more reliable than being in a electronic closet. A window relies on the old Mk.-1 eyeball to work properly, an electronic closet filled with computers, sensors, and video game type controls can break down. Yes, I know these systems will have redundant back-up systems, but in some type of degrade such as some automation may not be available. This increases the Boom Operator's workload.

From a structual POV, incooperorating a Boom Pod into an airplane's structure is not a complicated engineering problem. Used aircraft such as the B-707 (KC-707, KC-137 Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil, etc. were originally commercial airliners) and B-747 (IIAF KC-747s were originally TWA B-747-100s) have been modified with Boom Pods after their original build configuerations.


Then why, after many years of development and billions spent, did USAF not specify a boom pod? Surely USAF knows what it needs and had sufficient clout to get exactly that.
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par13del
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:42 pm

zanl188 wrote:
Then why, after many years of development and billions spent, did USAF not specify a boom pod? Surely USAF knows what it needs and had sufficient clout to get exactly that.

They need more F-22's more F-35's and will abandon A-10's F-117's, C-17's and any other asset they presently have to get what they want.
Or to go another way, they know exactly what their booms are pumping out now but they wanted higher flow rate in their current tankers that their most desired assets (fighters)
cannot use, but as they say, the customer is always right.
 
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Revelation
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:07 pm

zanl188 wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:

A Boom Pod with a window is a much simplier arrangement and more reliable than being in a electronic closet. A window relies on the old Mk.-1 eyeball to work properly, an electronic closet filled with computers, sensors, and video game type controls can break down. Yes, I know these systems will have redundant back-up systems, but in some type of degrade such as some automation may not be available. This increases the Boom Operator's workload.

From a structual POV, incooperorating a Boom Pod into an airplane's structure is not a complicated engineering problem. Used aircraft such as the B-707 (KC-707, KC-137 Italy, Spain, Israel, Brazil, etc. were originally commercial airliners) and B-747 (IIAF KC-747s were originally TWA B-747-100s) have been modified with Boom Pods after their original build configuerations.

Then why, after many years of development and billions spent, did USAF not specify a boom pod? Surely USAF knows what it needs and had sufficient clout to get exactly that.

Maybe a 'gee wiz' factor took over?

Maybe it was thought since this is all being done in the digital domain, we can train the boom operators with simulators using real data captured from actual operational sorties and thus gain training efficiency, whereas it's hard to do that well with the older technology.

Maybe they view the digital approach as the gateway to eventual computer AI driven refueling and eventual elimination of the boom operator.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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Nomadd
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:08 pm

par13del wrote:
zanl188 wrote:
Then why, after many years of development and billions spent, did USAF not specify a boom pod? Surely USAF knows what it needs and had sufficient clout to get exactly that.

They need more F-22's more F-35's and will abandon A-10's F-117's, C-17's and any other asset they presently have to get what they want.
Or to go another way, they know exactly what their booms are pumping out now but they wanted higher flow rate in their current tankers that their most desired assets (fighters)
cannot use, but as they say, the customer is always right.

They abandoned F-117s over 10 years ago.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:00 pm

Question. Isn't the current KC-30 remotely operated? We do not hear issues about that system. Perhaps they work the same, it's just that the Air Force was expecting more from the KC-46 version.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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Revelation
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:09 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Question. Isn't the current KC-30 remotely operated? We do not hear issues about that system. Perhaps they work the same, it's just that the Air Force was expecting more from the KC-46 version.

Good point. It seems part of the issue with these problems (along with scraping the receiver) is getting an agreed upon understanding of what represents good enough.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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itchief
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:25 pm

kc135topboom wrote:
itchief wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:

With your experience do you see a need for a KC-10 replacement that is bigger than the KC-46? A B77F seems best if needed, but the engine wake would be fierce.


Working in a Joint force air component commander (JFACC) element you will see that a lot of planning goes into how tanking works. Like you have said a mission will have plenty of tankers available for the strike/CAP package. It will not matter how big the tanker is, KC-130 all the way up to the KC-10. The plan will put enough gas on station for all aircraft to use.

As for self defense of the tankers they are never put in harms way. How many reports has anyone see of tankers ever needing self defense? The strike plan will alway keep them safe.


I don't know who told you tankers are never put in harm's way because it is wrong. During the Vietnam War, tankers almost routinely flew into North Vietnam to get gas to someone. Although tankers are not planned to go into hostial airspace, rapidly changing mission requirements can and have sent tankers well beyond the FEBA. The same happened during Desert Storm. In both Vietnam and Iraq the areas where the tankers ended up had enemy fighters as well as AAA defenses. Tankers can use defensive tactics to avoid being damaged or shot down, but these tactics can only help so far. Tankers can also rely on aircraft that are equipped with defensive systems (RHAWS, ECM, etc.) to warn tankers of a specific threat.

Today, the threat is less in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elevated in Syria. You never know what the Russian will do and the Syrian Air Force is still operational, though in a greatly reduced capacity. ISIS has shot down a few fighters and have not been very pleasant to the Pilots they have captured (they burned one Jordanian F-16 Pilot to death in a cage).

But having defensive systems aboard the tanker will greatly improve its defense in a threat enviornment. Automated systems don't need an extra crew member, but I think having one is worth it if there are multipule threats at the same time. Threat protection and warning systems not only protect valuable airplanes, but more importantly the very valuable crews aboard those airplanes.

The E-3, E-8, C-130, C-17, and KC-46 all have active and passive defense sytems installed today. There are systems available to be installed/retrofitted to older military and all commerical aircraft. The USAF can take advantage of these technologies and install them on the KC-135 which is looking like they will still be a front line asset for several decades to come.


Can you please tell us how many tankers were shot down in Vietnam or Desert Storm and other conflicts?

I never said defensive systems don't need to be installed. All the aircraft you listed are not put into high threat scenarios.

Your statement on the Jordanian F-16 pilot has nothing to do with this conversation. Aircraft with an 'F' or 'A' in front of the number are made to go into the high threat areas.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:52 pm

bikerthai wrote:
Question. Isn't the current KC-30 remotely operated? We do not hear issues about that system. Perhaps they work the same, it's just that the Air Force was expecting more from the KC-46 version.

bt


Yes, and it's been pointed out several times in the thread that such systems not only exist but are in operation. The fact that some here seem to think it's inherently impossible is a little irritating.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A3 ... _KC-30.jpg

Note in that image in the top right quarter there's a label that says 3D Goggles. So even that part is working elsewhere. It's an implementation issue.

And there are benefits beyond the 'gee-whiz' factor. The Mk 1 eyeball works in the visible range only. Electronic cameras? IR and UV are options. Meaning you can operate with lights off or a lot dimmer. Cameras mean you can easily switch between boom and pod refueling with one station and monitor multiple pods with high resolution cameras. Which is oddly useful with receivers having both types in a single mission.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:08 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
Navman101 wrote:
I realize that the KC-10 looks like an “easy kill” because of the service’s need to reduce budgets by operating fewer types of aircraft, and its parts availability. The shame is that the KC-10 really is the ideal tanker as it has the capability to take-off, travel 2-3 hours to an on-station area, refuel multiple “heavy” aircraft that often take huge fuel off loads of 80-100k, and then travel back to its landing base. A single KC-135 or KC-46 with their significantly lower fuel load can’t do that effectively and are much more optimized for fighter refueling. Hopefully the service will eventually replace the KC-10 with another large tanker.


That is a mission the USAF never plans for:
1. The KC-10 carries up to 365,000 lbs. of fuel
2. After flying 2 + hours to station, the KC-10 will have about 280K-300K of fuel remaining onboard.
3. The KC-10 would only be able to offloard about 200K max.
4. Otherwise the KC-10 would require refueling itself.
5. On such a mission, the USAF would not go with only one Boom.
6. The USAF would schedule one tanker per heavy receiver.
7. The KC-10, KC-135, and KC-46 are all capable tankers
8. Neither the KC-10 or KC-135 have self defense systems, but there are plans for them for the KC-135 b ut not the KC-10.
9. The KC-46 has self defense system already.
10. As far as a replacement large tanker for the KC-10, the only viable candidates today would be tanker versions of B-747-8F, B-777LRF, B-777-8F, or an A-350-900F.


With your experience do you see a need for a KC-10 replacement that is bigger than the KC-46? A B77F seems best if needed, but the engine wake would be fierce.


The 'sweet spot' for a USAF tanker is a capacity around 200,000 lbs. of fuel. This gives an ample amount of fuel for both the tanker's consumption and the scheduled receivers. The only advantage for a larger tanker, from a USAF POV, would be for oversized and/or very heavy cargo where they don't want to tie up the C-5 or the C-17, or needs the additional airlift capability. In that context only a B-777F (-200LRF or -8F) or a B-747-8F makes sense.

Now, why didn't I include an A-350-900F? Capacity. Airbus states that an A-350-900F would have a cargo capacity of 91,700 kg. The B-777-200LRF has a capacity of 102,000 kg. (presumably a B-777-8F would be higher). The B-747-8F has a capacity of 140,000 kg., plus unlike the others airplanes it has a swing-up nose cargo door for loading vehicles and oversized cargo.

So the USAF, with hundreds of tankers available won't need the extra tanking capacity, but may need the airlift capability of a larger airplane than the KC-46.
 
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kc135topboom
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:15 pm

itchief wrote:
kc135topboom wrote:
itchief wrote:

Working in a Joint force air component commander (JFACC) element you will see that a lot of planning goes into how tanking works. Like you have said a mission will have plenty of tankers available for the strike/CAP package. It will not matter how big the tanker is, KC-130 all the way up to the KC-10. The plan will put enough gas on station for all aircraft to use.

As for self defense of the tankers they are never put in harms way. How many reports has anyone see of tankers ever needing self defense? The strike plan will alway keep them safe.


I don't know who told you tankers are never put in harm's way because it is wrong. During the Vietnam War, tankers almost routinely flew into North Vietnam to get gas to someone. Although tankers are not planned to go into hostial airspace, rapidly changing mission requirements can and have sent tankers well beyond the FEBA. The same happened during Desert Storm. In both Vietnam and Iraq the areas where the tankers ended up had enemy fighters as well as AAA defenses. Tankers can use defensive tactics to avoid being damaged or shot down, but these tactics can only help so far. Tankers can also rely on aircraft that are equipped with defensive systems (RHAWS, ECM, etc.) to warn tankers of a specific threat.

Today, the threat is less in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elevated in Syria. You never know what the Russian will do and the Syrian Air Force is still operational, though in a greatly reduced capacity. ISIS has shot down a few fighters and have not been very pleasant to the Pilots they have captured (they burned one Jordanian F-16 Pilot to death in a cage).

But having defensive systems aboard the tanker will greatly improve its defense in a threat enviornment. Automated systems don't need an extra crew member, but I think having one is worth it if there are multipule threats at the same time. Threat protection and warning systems not only protect valuable airplanes, but more importantly the very valuable crews aboard those airplanes.

The E-3, E-8, C-130, C-17, and KC-46 all have active and passive defense sytems installed today. There are systems available to be installed/retrofitted to older military and all commerical aircraft. The USAF can take advantage of these technologies and install them on the KC-135 which is looking like they will still be a front line asset for several decades to come.


Can you please tell us how many tankers were shot down in Vietnam or Desert Storm and other conflicts?

I never said defensive systems don't need to be installed. All the aircraft you listed are not put into high threat scenarios.

Your statement on the Jordanian F-16 pilot has nothing to do with this conversation. Aircraft with an 'F' or 'A' in front of the number are made to go into the high threat areas.


There were no KC-135s or KC-10s shot down in Vietnam or DS. The Israelis had a KC-97 shot down in the 1960s in Egypt, but I think that was an ELINT mission.

"F" and "A" aircraft are not the only ones sent into high threat areas. "B", "E", "R", "H", "C", and "K" mission coded aircraft go in too.
 
jagraham
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Re: KC-46 Production and Delivery Thread 2019

Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:34 am

I hear the KC-10 is great for getting a flight of F16s across the Atlantic . .

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