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.
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