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Boeing KC-46 Pegasus

FighterJock

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Apparently several airframes are affected. how many exactly is anyone's guess.

Boeing offered a few more tidbits in a statement provided by a spokesman: “The U.S. Air Force discovered several KC-46 aircraft requiring fuel system repairs. The KC-46 fuel system is equipped with redundant protection for fuel containment. In some cases with this issue, aircraft maintenance crews are finding fuel between the primary and secondary fuel protection barriers within the system.”

Hopefully we will get more news from Boeing as to how many airframes are involved in due course.
 

Helix88

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To be fair all the issues that are cropping up seem to be regarding the tanker/transport systems. The 767 platform itself is a proven airframe that is being hurt by all the stuff being tacked on for the KC role. All IMHO to be sure.
 

TomcatViP

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The problem is the amount of money allocated to the contract. I wrote it years ago but for having left a single competitor dictates the lower price margin despite never having built a tanker, not showing a single prototype and having dubious military systems records, the USAF pays now the price. Boeing had to fit into the price envelope defined by the larger Airbus design, what impacted in an unfavorable way their performances in statistics.
Is Boeing guilty of not passing on that? Certainly. But everyone can foresee how the market would have reacted if Boeing didn't fight for it.

It's a popular say to criticize Army procurement initiative but at least with FVL they didn't let anyone tells them lullabies.
 
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Arjen

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Is that a roundabout way of blaming Airbus for Boeing's Bloopers?
 

Helix88

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Is that a roundabout way of blaming Airbus for Boeing's Bloopers?

Boeing screwed up on the cargo locks, FOD, fuel leakage, camera system stuff absolutely. Just was musing on how the base 767 airframe is a solid piece of hardware. airbus had a great machine as well, political bluster, financial acrobatics, and corporate posturing conspired against them.
 

kaiserd

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Is that a roundabout way of blaming Airbus for Boeing's Bloopers?

Boeing screwed up on the cargo locks, FOD, fuel leakage, camera system stuff absolutely. Just was musing on how the base 767 airframe is a solid piece of hardware. airbus had a great machine as well, political bluster, financial acrobatics, and corporate posturing conspired against them.

Even Boeing must (almost) wish the USAF had been allowed go for the clearly superior Airbus offering....
 

Helix88

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Is that a roundabout way of blaming Airbus for Boeing's Bloopers?

Boeing screwed up on the cargo locks, FOD, fuel leakage, camera system stuff absolutely. Just was musing on how the base 767 airframe is a solid piece of hardware. airbus had a great machine as well, political bluster, financial acrobatics, and corporate posturing conspired against them.

Even Boeing must (almost) wish the USAF had been allowed go for the clearly superior Airbus offering....

I cant argue that, if they manage to pull their sh*t together it will be a miracle, and a lesson to the Air Force as well.
 

Archibald

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OK, I'll say it.

KC-46A PegaMAX.

I was thinking "Pega-Sucks" but that works too lol

Remember when KC-97 were too slow to refuel fast jets, and thus had to dive to gain speed ? Well, AFAIK, the 737-MAX is pretty good at doing that, diving (itself into the ground). Now that's an idea - sell all those grounded MAXes to USAF, $1 each, with underwing refueling pods and the MCAS patched - using the following argument as a sale pitch " just enough for slight dive, helping during refuelings."

Zap, two Boeing clusterfucks solved.

(runs for cover)
 

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TomcatViP

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Wouldn't it be wise for them to revert back to an inhabited gondola with direct manned controls and call it a day? The drag and weight penalty today would be minimal. IMOHO the usage of CFRP, laminated glass and why not an entire cold welded assembly with bolted/riveted backup that you just plug into a cut-in opening would not be seen as sorcery for an experienced workshop.
 
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TomcatViP

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"I'm far more confident today in the performance and the behavior of Boeing on the KC-46 than I ever been in my entire time here and I give the new CEO, a lot of credit for being a man of his word," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said.

[...]

"When Covid-19 hit obviously things changed for the entire defense industrial base," Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, told Pentagon reporters in April via teleconference.

"Cash flow is everything right now, liquidity is everything, and we've created policies in the Department of the Air Force to get as much cash out of our hands and to industry as possible ... The KC-46 is no exception," he added.

 

sferrin

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Boeing Sees $44 Billion Tanker Decision Delayed by Four Years

An Air Force statement issued late Monday said the decision will come in July to September of 2024. It was previously planned for this September, Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the service, disclosed on Tuesday.

Oh help. Boeing better get this mess of a program sorted out pretty quick or the USAF will have no choice but to cancel the entire program.

So they can start over by awarding another tanker program to Boeing? How will that get us a tanker sooner for less money?
 

TomcatViP

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@sferrin : Honestly, it's time for services around the world to make some shopping: 737 and 320 are not as spacious as both 46 and 330 but still a gamut of them would do the trick (and bring resilience).
The composting effect of Covid-19 on Airframer price expectation is ideally balanced for any cost cutter outhere...
 

apparition13

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Boeing Sees $44 Billion Tanker Decision Delayed by Four Years

An Air Force statement issued late Monday said the decision will come in July to September of 2024. It was previously planned for this September, Ann Stefanek, a spokeswoman for the service, disclosed on Tuesday.

Oh help. Boeing better get this mess of a program sorted out pretty quick or the USAF will have no choice but to cancel the entire program.
KC-767, cancelled by Rumsfeld in 2006. In service with Japan and Italy by 2010.

KC-45/A330 MRTT/KC-30A (Australia), program award overturned on appeal. Boom version in service with Australia since early teens.

KC-46, awarded 2011, and still not in full production.

Either the KC767 or KC-45 fleets could have been in service right now. Can nobody just make a decision and stick to it? Additionally, whatever law it is that allows military procurement decisions to be scuppered by appeals and lawsuits (KC-45 award) needs to be repealed or otherwise fixed. This situation is beyond ridiculous.

I mean, how difficult can it be? If the KC-46 is DOA, then:

Buy KC-30A (KC-45). It's in production, and the bugs have been worked out. Assemble them in Alabama. If that would take too long to set up, start buying them from Europe and switch to Alabama ASAP.

Buy used 767s, and have IAI modify them to their MMTT standard. Depending on how difficult the mod is, perhaps buy several hundred low-hours commercial airliners of types that are being put out to pasture right now and convert them all. Okay, you might have half a dozen types, but at least you'd have relatively new aircraft and tanker capacity.

Or, issue a new competition, wait until 2024 to award it, start taking deliveries in 2035 after the inevitable delays. Unless there is another appeal, cancelation, and a new competition, in which case rinse and repeat until there are 4 KC-135s in service in 2120 and a new tanker due in 2150.
 

TomcatViP

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I think that who would build a bolt-on kit for the gammut of airliners stuck with no purpose or early retired could make a profit.
KC-10 replaced by late-model 747 (ex. BA ?) could have sound bizarre just last year but not anymore in the context.
B/w cargo and refuelling, there would be plenty of bonus for many countries. Europe could even let go their weird addiction to what's left of their Russian cargo contract...
 

EwenS

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Not so sure that the exercise would be worthwhile. Couple of points.

Many of these aircraft are being parted out and the hulls scrapped. The aircraft is worth more as spare parts than as a flying aircraft.

This isn’t like the 1970s and 1980s. Aircraft utilisation is a lot higher today than it was. And a lot of the aircraft being taken out of service are near the end of their lives. By way of example the BA fleet of 31 Jumbos has an average age of 23 years. They were due to be withdrawn by 2024. It is the oldest least efficient that are going first.

Some of the youngest being retired just now are the A380s the oldest of which is only about 13. But they are probably too big for any Air Force.
 

TomcatViP

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Spare part follow the law of demand. If plenty are available, cost will remain low.
I heard recently that most 747 spare parts have not enough value to be scrapped.
For once, the penniless air forces around the world should rejoice to tour the scrap yards.
 
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EwenS

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But many of the spares don’t necessarily need to go into other 747s.
 

TomcatViP

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747 are unique. At one point or another their habilites would greatly help and complement the existing.
 

Archibald

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Yeah, that aircraft is better succeed in those aeromedical missions since it is unable to aerial refuel... :confused:
 

RavenOne

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Forgot to mention 5 months later after Le Bourget , I attended Dubai Air Show and saw my second KC-46 and this one stopped off here At RAF Mildenhall en route To the show (my photos here)-

cheers

BE483E67-3DD2-4C64-A0CC-1024F6C14BD6.jpeg 4C6F2CB1-386F-4C0F-A5F4-0EEF894DBA51.jpeg 412E7B75-187A-4926-9083-B9BC380BB075.jpeg 91314D31-C956-41FD-8286-38C3EABCE5FB.jpeg
 

RavenOne

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And then end of last month another One of McConnells newest kid on the block turned up here at the ‚Hall so here are my photos..

cheers

65A7E9A6-5468-4E18-97A5-8D5A52419FBF.jpeg E59DD828-8F39-4E9F-9C0F-61CF7F1020D4.jpeg 7C1C1485-0AAB-46F3-B9E0-1E99C7B51E48.jpeg
 

isayyo2

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OK, I'll say it.

KC-46A PegaMAX.

I was thinking "Pega-Sucks" but that works too lol

Remember when KC-97 were too slow to refuel fast jets, and thus had to dive to gain speed ? Well, AFAIK, the 737-MAX is pretty good at doing that, diving (itself into the ground). Now that's an idea - sell all those grounded MAXes to USAF, $1 each, with underwing refueling pods and the MCAS patched - using the following argument as a sale pitch " just enough for slight dive, helping during refuelings."

Zap, two Boeing clusterfucks solved.

(runs for cover)
Hmmm, let's see...
1. Cheap, very cheap
2. ~25-30k Fuel offload + internal tank - Similar to KC-130
3. Near common training pipeline with P-8/C-40's
4. Already been proposed with a KC-777 high/low mix

Nahhh, makes too much sense!
 

aonestudio

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"Now's a great time to start studying that and to do it in conjunction with what comes next. So what comes after KC 46?"

"We're definitely going to be thinking about autonomy as a way to change the risk calculus," he said, "so looking at something that is stealthy and more survivable is a different way we could go, [or] looking at something that's defendable." says acquisition chief Will Roper.

 

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