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Boeing KC-46 Pegasus

FighterJock

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just catching up to the tanker drama..
how different is the KC-46 from the KC-767 which was already being operated by Japan and Israel? I'm just trying to understand why there's so much trouble over this when its a pre-existing design.
From last year, the Category 1 deficiencies:
The tanker’s remote vision system or RVS — the camera system that allows KC-46 boom operators to steer the boom into a receiver aircraft without having to look out a window and use visual cues — provides imagery in certain lighting conditions that appears warped or misleading. Boeing has agreed to pay for potentially extensive hardware and software fixes, but the Air Force believes it will system won’t be fully functional until 2023-2024.

The Air Force has recorded instances of the boom scraping against the airframe of receiver aircraft. Boeing and the Air Force believe this problem is a symptom of the RVS’s acuity problems and will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed.

Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling. This problem is a requirements change by the Air Force, which approved Boeing’s design in 2016. Last year, Boeing received a $55.5 million contract to begin work on the new boom actuator

“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,” the company said in a statement.
There's also been work quality issues with the production line.

The export KC-767s don't have RVS and don't have to worry about refueling A-10s.
boo, if only the USAF was like the USN and went with the probe

Anyone got any ideas as to why the USAF went with the flying boom method of air to air refuelling instead of the more popular probe and drogue that the rest of the world uses?
 

TomcatViP

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Fuel flow. Large aircraft need a massive quantity of fuel being transfered, a concern that nations without heavy Bombers don't share.
Boom is also more stable and less demanding on pilots, a bonus for fighters that can otherwise be unqualified, too tired or subjects to gust to the point of being unable to get fuel.
With a higher mass flow during each transfer, a group of aircraft can refuel in less time, expending less fuel in the process (and then having more mission range or loiter time).
 

helmutkohl

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just catching up to the tanker drama..
how different is the KC-46 from the KC-767 which was already being operated by Japan and Israel? I'm just trying to understand why there's so much trouble over this when its a pre-existing design.
From last year, the Category 1 deficiencies:
The tanker’s remote vision system or RVS — the camera system that allows KC-46 boom operators to steer the boom into a receiver aircraft without having to look out a window and use visual cues — provides imagery in certain lighting conditions that appears warped or misleading. Boeing has agreed to pay for potentially extensive hardware and software fixes, but the Air Force believes it will system won’t be fully functional until 2023-2024.

The Air Force has recorded instances of the boom scraping against the airframe of receiver aircraft. Boeing and the Air Force believe this problem is a symptom of the RVS’s acuity problems and will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed.

Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling. This problem is a requirements change by the Air Force, which approved Boeing’s design in 2016. Last year, Boeing received a $55.5 million contract to begin work on the new boom actuator

“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,” the company said in a statement.
There's also been work quality issues with the production line.

The export KC-767s don't have RVS and don't have to worry about refueling A-10s.
boo, if only the USAF was like the USN and went with the probe

Anyone got any ideas as to why the USAF went with the flying boom method of air to air refuelling instead of the more popular probe and drogue that the rest of the world uses?
I've read something along the lines that it was intended for SAC and their bombers in the old days. tactical jet fighters in the USAF still used the drogue back in those days

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Moose

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Italians KC-767 have a probe and a RVS. They are even refuelling Italians F-35 without any known problems ;)
Yep, completely forgot the Italians also use an RVS. However the control stations are dramatically different between the two, and it's also possible the Italians just avoid the sort of conditions which cause the KC-46's system to degrade.
 

helmutkohl

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Italians KC-767 have a probe and a RVS. They are even refuelling Italians F-35 without any known problems ;)
Yep, completely forgot the Italians also use an RVS. However the control stations are dramatically different between the two, and it's also possible the Italians just avoid the sort of conditions which cause the KC-46's system to degrade.
so if the older (and non controversial) KC-767 had an RVS and no problems, I wonder if the problem is specifically just due to refuelling the A-10 since its something only the US has
 

TomcatViP

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The Italians KC-767 are fitted with a different RVS and a different boom with half the mass flow than seen in the KC-46.
The different design and software might explain why we are not aware of any serious problems with them refuelling their F-35.


 
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FighterJock

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Archibald

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WTH is happening with that one, I have no idea, but it more and more looks like a flying "Littoral Combat Ship".
 

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Archibald

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Because they are so old and maintenance intensive... I agree however it is a foolish move to replace them with flawed aircraft, even if brand new.

This mean that US tankers crews presently have the choice between

- flying KC-135s falling apart and risk dying

- flying KC-46s not falling apart but unable to refuel fighters without a risk of killing their pilots.

In both case, pilots and crews risk dying. That's a lose-lose situation...
 
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Archibald

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The Italians KC-767 are fitted with a different RVS and a different boom with half the mass flow than seen in the KC-46.
The different design and software might explain why we are not aware of any serious problems with them refuelling their F-35.



... and obviously the perfectly good italian system wasn't good enough for USAF and/or KC-46 (facepalm)
 

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