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Author Topic: Lockheed jet tanker  (Read 23269 times)

Offline PMN1

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Lockheed jet tanker
« on: January 16, 2007, 02:05:01 am »
I asked on the warships1 board whether the USAF had looked at a tanker version of the DC-8 in case there were problems with the KC135 and got a reply back saying that Lockheed had proposed a jet tanker that was apparently the favourite at one time.

The USAF bought the KC-135 purely as a temporary measure, since Lockheed had won the mid-1950s competition for a jet-powered tanker, with a proposal that actually had performance very similar to the much later KC-10... including fuel load & multiple refueling stations.

Eventually, Lockheed fell so far behind schedule, and so far over budget, that the USAF had already bought almost half its tanker requirement in KC-135s.

At that time, Lockheed's contract was cancelled, more KC-135s bought, and a new competition started... which resulted in the KC-10.


I tried to find the article I had seen that gave a very minimal description of it last night, but couldn't.

As I remember, the article said that Lockheed's offering was "in the weight class of the later KC-10", and that "design and engineering studies for the tanker were later applied to the L1011", but then Boeing used knowledge from the B-47 to help design the 367-80/KC-135/B-707, and there are significant differences between those aircraft.

I have no idea of the engine # and layout, but the engines available at the time would have required a 4-engine layout, with more thrust than the -80's JT3s (civilian J57, 10,000 lb.s.t. [later 12,000-14,000 with water injection, then 17,000 lb.s.t. TF33 {turbofan J57} after 1960])... perhaps a civilian J75 (15,000-17,000 lb.s.t.), then the 21,000 lb.s.t. TF33 developments.




http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/it/2004/4/2004_4_10.shtml

"On March 26, 1952, Boeing’s president, Bill Allen sent a memo to his division heads, asking if they thought they could fly a prototype jet transport in just two years. Jim Barton in Boeing’s cost-accounting group said it would cost $13 to $15 million. On April 22 Boeing’s board of directors unanimously approved $15 million for Project X, or the Model 367-80, better known as the Dash-80. This project posed an enormous risk, for the military had not described the specific performance details that it wanted, and the $15 million investment represented more than twice Boeing’s profits from 1951. Although the plane had civilian uses as well, if the Dash-80 failed as a tanker, Boeing could fail too.

At SAC’s Requirements Conference in November 1953, General LeMay called for 200 jet tankers. The Air Force announced a design competition for a jet tanker on May 5, 1954, and invited Boeing, Convair, Douglas, Fairchild, Lock—heed, and Martin to participate. At that point Boeing’s leaders could only forge ahead with the Dash-80, which had its first successful flight test on July 15, and pray that it would win the competition.

On August 3, 1954, with the jet-tanker design competition still in progress, the Air Force decided to buy interim tankers. The Air Force Secretary, Harold E. Talbott, announced an order to buy 29 tankers from Boeing. Less than two weeks later the Air Force said it would buy 88 more Boeing tankers. It looked as if Boeing was set to win the competition, but it didn’t.

In February 1955 the Air Force announced that Lockheed had won the competition and at least one of its tankers would be funded for construction. In the very same announcement, however, Talbott said the Air Force would buy an additional 169 tankers from Boeing. Eventually it canceled Lockheed’s paper proposal.

Boeing called its Dash-80 tanker version the KC-135. It improved several capabilities over previous tankers. It carried 31,200 gallons for refueling, whereas the KC-97 (previously called the C-97) carried only 8,513. And it could refuel planes at 35,000 feet, nearly twice the altitude ceiling of the KC-97. It also used Boeing’s flying boom.




Anybody have any additional information on the Lockheed proposal?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2007, 02:06:58 am by PMN1 »

Offline Archibald

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2007, 10:48:17 am »
I think I've heard about this project some years ago in Le Fana. It was on an article about the whole 707 family (et la terre tourna plus vite, september 2002 - spring 2003). I think there was the number of the project. The whole story seemed very odd (aparently Lockheed won but... boeing received orders. And the SAC was so worried by this mess that they thought about B-36 or B-52 tankers)
I'll check this magazine  ;D
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Offline Archibald

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2007, 11:28:53 am »
Bloody Murphy law! But in the end I've found it. It was the Lockheed CL-321 (derivative of the CL-291).
It is said -in le Fana- that  on 5th August 1954, 29 Boeing 717 were bought. Later, 88 mre were bought.
BUT, 6 month later, Lockheed was declared the winner with the CL-321! A prototype was started in February 1955... when Boeing received at the same time an order for 169 more KC-135!
This sounded strange, Congress had doubts and asked for an inquiry. Both projects were reviewed, and the idea of tankers B-52 or B-36 was also examined! In the end Boeing won, and produced 810 KC-135s !!!
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Online Orionblamblam

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2007, 03:55:50 pm »
Bloody Murphy law! But in the end I've found it. It was the Lockheed CL-321 (derivative of the CL-291).

Shazam!

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Offline TinWing

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2007, 06:06:26 pm »
Bloody Murphy law! But in the end I've found it. It was the Lockheed CL-321 (derivative of the CL-291).

Shazam!



Stunning discovery.

J-75 engines! 

Both designs are a bit larger than the C-135, as expected.

Online Orionblamblam

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2007, 08:04:23 pm »
This is another design that Lockheed patented.
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Offline Sentinel Chicken

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2007, 08:18:34 pm »
If I'm not mistaken, the flying boom was a Boeing development- what did the Lockheed designs plan to use for refueling?

Offline Archibald

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2007, 01:09:18 am »
SHAZAAAAAAM if you want, but what does it mean ?  ;D

Seeing the CL-291 3-view, I understand better why Le Fana mention  that the USAF "feared turbulences because of the side by side engines in underwings pods".

So, is there any pics of the KB-52 or KB-36 ?  ;D
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Online Orionblamblam

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2007, 06:18:02 am »
SHAZAAAAAAM if you want, but what does it mean ?  ;D

If it has to be explained, you won't get it. See "Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow" for one proper usage.


Quote
So, is there any pics of the KB-52 or KB-36 ?  ;D

Not that I've seen, but I doubt they'd look noticably different from the base aircraft.
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Offline boxkite

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2007, 11:29:46 am »
One of the most amazing things of the last weeks! For me the choice of the KC-135 was never an extraordinary process, because I didn't know anything about a Lockheed contender. Now you told me about this 'winner' who lost the competition at the end.

Thanks to all. It's a great pleasure  :) .

Offline pometablava

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2007, 02:32:18 pm »
Thank you very much for the pics Orion. The cover of the bombers book and this Lockheed designs make me really happy this week!! ::)

I thought too that Boeing tanker success has been one step more in Boeing's impressive ascension to the Glory in heavy aircraft design (B-17, B-29, B-47, B-52, KC-135, B-707, B-747). The Lockheed contender story it's very interesting.

Archie, are you going to build a KB-52 model?. The B-52 would look great with a tail boom refuelling system!


Offline Archibald

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2007, 12:34:06 am »
Well, it could be a kind of speed build: graft the boom of Heller C-135FR on a Italeri B-52 (both beeing 1/72 scale). There's also a kit of the B-36 in 1/72 scale (can't remember who make it).
So it could possible (but not for today, because of a serious lack of space and lack of money). But I think Kitnut 617 could be interested by this build, he had many "big" kits on his stash  ;)

And long life to Le Fana de l'aviation (even if they are not as good as they used to be some years ago).
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Offline pometablava

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2007, 01:38:00 am »
When I was a child in early 80's, Monogram has both the B-52 and the B-36 in 1/72 scale.

Offline frank

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2007, 06:00:15 am »

       IIRC, both kits are now under the Revell label. The B-52 is a D, whereas the Italeri is a G, & a very poor kit at that. It's the AMT kit that has a number of very bad issues. Both Monogram/Revell kits a hard to beat, even by today's standard.

When I was a child in early 80's, Monogram has both the B-52 and the B-36 in 1/72 scale.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Lockheed jet tanker
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2007, 11:10:05 am »

       IIRC, both kits are now under the Revell label. The B-52 is a D, whereas the Italeri is a G, & a very poor kit at that. It's the AMT kit that has a number of very bad issues. Both Monogram/Revell kits a hard to beat, even by today's standard.

When I was a child in early 80's, Monogram has both the B-52 and the B-36 in 1/72 scale.

Actually the Italeri offering is an 'H', it has different engines to the 'G' But you are correct that it is the old AMT kit.

Robert
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