AeroFranz

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The boom system is used by the air force because it has more mass flow capability, which is better suited to large aircraft. I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but if you tried refueling a B-52 or a C-5 with a probe and drogue, it would take a geological era (ok, maybe a bit of hyperbole...).
 

CJGibson

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Large enough to carry and power a 1,500 US Gal/min pump and the fuel for a B-52. So quite large.

Chris
 

Archibald

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Yup, the probe-and-drogue can transfer less than 500 gallons per minute, 2-3rd less than the boom.
The USN having no C-5 Galaxy nor B-52 to refuel, just didn't cared: the largest thing ever on their decks was a C-130, and in regular service: Skywarriors (itself turned tanker, so it helped even more).
 

Archibald

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If one push the imaginative operational concepts a bit, there is seaplanes moving fuel from submarines into airplanes.

The Seamaster could do that: refueling from old carriers (C.B, vintage WWII jeep carrier) or from submarines.

Where it gets really cool, is that a buddy-buddy refueling pack was tested, and it also had its own refueling probe.

So a Seamaster could be refueled by a Boeing, a submarine, or a carrier (how about that: don't try it with a B-52 !), and it could refuel another Seamaster; which in turn could have refueled other aircraft.
 

Wyvern

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I also wonder whether there are any specialised versions of the KC-46 to replace the RC-135 fleet, as those would also need replacing. I've only just begun to realise the enormity of what needs to be replaced in US service, and many aircraft are threatened by being retired prematurely without a replacement even in the works, let alone under development.
 

Archibald

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(AFAIK) The Navy E-6s were the last ever Boeing 367-80 derivatives ever built (should I say 707 ? C-135 ?), and the year was 1992.
I mean, the basic 707 airframe was so good, it spanned four decades in production.
Except now, it needs to be replaced. Not that airliners have become bad: the big problem is procurement and cost.
That had gone completely bonkers since a long time ago...
 

Wyvern

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The E-6s will remain in service the longest for sure, but there remain many other airframes like the RC-135 which need replacing, apart from the many other types of aircraft that are in service that are slated for replacement within the next twenty-five years.
 

DWG

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I also wonder whether there are any specialised versions of the KC-46 to replace the RC-135 fleet, as those would also need replacing. I've only just begun to realise the enormity of what needs to be replaced in US service, and many aircraft are threatened by being retired prematurely without a replacement even in the works, let alone under development.
That was what the E-10 was effectively supposed to be. IIRC Spiral 1 would have replaced JSTARS, Spiral 2 AWACS and Spiral 3 the RC-135s and other spooky airframes. And of course E-10 was another 767 variant.
 

DWG

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Sounds like a classic requirements failure to me. If it was a logic error you'd expect it to affect whatever data you typed in, but they clearly can type in the correct data and get the correct results. That says it's an error in the data held for each aircraft type, and the fact it's every aircraft, rather than one or two, says it's not a coding failure, it's an issue with the data supplied not matching the rest of the requirements.
 

TomcatViP

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As hinted above (both posts), It sounds like something that fall down b/w contractor and client responsibilities: either the input data were inadequate or the processing logic was not designed for the variable to get a correct output (one or more entry is for example a constant in the program, hence the need to reboot).

If any of the party wasn't willing to admit the fault, it can be that the litigation delayed the introduction of a fix to the point that nothing can be done until the next block (software encoding).

Stupid but business.
 

DWG

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If any of the party wasn't willing to admit the fault, it can be that the litigation delayed the introduction of a fix to the point that nothing can be done until the next block (software encoding).
There's no need to invoke the dark arts of litigation, issuing a fix isn't necessarily as easy as people think. With a large, safety critical system (and the boom is definitely safety critical), the full release process can realistically take several months. Even if it's a five minute fix. (Note however the difference between a production software release and a development one, we could turn development releases round in 24 hours, but that's why test pilots get big money).

You may well run into situations where the software you need to fix has moved on in the interim, and is dependent on other code that has also moved on and which may not be ready for release. Which creates a dilemma, do you fork the code to produce a patch that can go out now, but no longer represents the main development path (and which will still need implementing in the main development path), or do you wait to bring it all together at the next release.

To formally release software you need to close out all the changes going into it, which on a large project may take weeks (handling that was the only time I ever had 30 engineers working directly for me, and it still took weeks), then rerun the test suite, which in itself can take weeks, then get every one of the airworthiness folks together to sign off on the release (schedules to be managed if they're coming from all over). And only then do you hand it over to your release guy to put it together and send it out.
 

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Archibald

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Maybe they are more worn-out because so few were procured in the first place (some dozens - 60 - versus many hundreds KC-135s).

Why didn't USAF bought more KC-10s, in passing ? The 135s were already old by 1980. I DO know the KC-10 was far more expensive to procure, but they should have picked a better balance than 60 - 600 (and counting).

Let's say, 120 KC-10s allowing more KC-135s to be retired - and on, and on.

"more KC-10s" via Google books brings some limited information.

 
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Archibald

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"Bridge tanker" - I didn't knew bridges needs to be refueled. Even less aerial refueled...

Hopefully it isn't Bridget (Jones) tanker, because if she sat the controls, very ugly things would instantly happen...
 
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Wyvern

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Wyvern

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A USAF General walks into a Boeing dealership, where he is met by the salesman. They sit down, and talk business, and the General decides to buy a few KC-46s.

When they were done, the General asked: "So, when can I expect the first to arrive?"

"In 10-15 years," the Boeing salesman replied.

"Morning or evening?" replied the General.

"Why does it matter?" said the salesman.

"Lockheed told me the F-35 is coming in the morning."

(Yes, it's a rehash of the old Lada joke, I know, I'm the king of originality)
 

Wyvern

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Its sounds like a bad joke...
A Boeing salesman walks into the Air Force Pentagon office and says
"I have a bridge (tanker) to sold... interested ?"
Only then, the Bridge Tanker would take longer to develop, so they need to develop a Bridge for the Bridge Tanker. But that would get delayed too, so they have to get a Bridge for the Bridge for the Bridge Tanker. But then the budget would be tight, so another Bridge for the Bridge, for the Bridge.....you get the idea.
 

Hydroman

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Its sounds like a bad joke...
A Boeing salesman walks into the Air Force Pentagon office and says
"I have a bridge (tanker) to sold... interested ?"
You can pick the tanker up in Brooklyn the salesman says. Hopefully, the USAF did not mean we needed a fourth for Bridge but played on a tanker....
 

TomcatViP

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I am not sure that something as big as an a330 fits well in the new USAF's force mobility concept. So I will urge enthusiasts to not over expect on the result.
 
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