KC-Y

riggerrob

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Will KC-Z generation be more like the USN's latest drone?
Will it include software to fly the entire mission without humans on board?
If so, the USAF needs to start developing KC-Z generation software now.
Oh! Flying booms my be nice for large USAF airplanes, but everybody else uses probe-and-drogue, so include at least one drogue as standard. If you hang the drogue from a wingtip, receivers have fewer problems with turbulence.
 

TomcatViP

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Seems we've got an outsider here:

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Asked why aerial refueling capacity is no longer the liability it was described as three years ago, Brown acknowledged that the end of overwatch and strike operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has relieved some of the tanker burden. But he also said AMC has “new tools” that allow the tanker inventory to be more efficiently tasked and managed.

“When I was the air component commander for CENTCOM,” Brown said, “we were still doing tanker planning on a white board.” When U.S. Transportation Command and AMC “came in and said, ‘We want to take some tankers,’” Brown declined because “I don’t have the analysis and data to be able to show that I can let these tankers go home.” The subsequent introduction of planning tools fixed that situation, he said.

“By using the data, I think we’re smarter about how we’re going to be able to do things,” he said.

 

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Hood

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Maybe the NGAD is so big it is the tanker!
 

gemccry

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Av Week reported the USAF said there may not be a need for a competition for KC-Y. Translation-they are going to buy more KC-46's.
 

TomcatViP

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See my above post: how much more fuel SHOULD Boeing add to the KC-46 to match the heavier, draggier and more cumbersome gigantic MRTT offload fuel capacity as pushed frwd by LM?
 

mkellytx

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See my above post: how much more fuel SHOULD Boeing add to the KC-46 to match the heavier, draggier and more cumbersome gigantic MRTT offload fuel capacity as pushed frwd by LM?
Well, if I read the AF mag article correctly, where they're talking about replacing the KC-135, none. Granted the KC-46 has about 20,000 lb. of useful load left with currently full tanks (see numbers below). So that's the trade space without an increase in gross weight, bigger engines, etc. if you want to go there, assuming that more tanks would fit/not add too much extra weight, blah, blah, blah...

Again, this is about a decade old, but when I was aircrew (sometimes on -135's) the word was they usually didn't use the full 202,000 lbs. of gas and did not even pass all of the reduced load they usually carried. If that's held true, then the -46's 212,000 lbs. is probably good enough. Granted Airbus and their latest American partner will print on a nice glossy brochure the cases where it does something the Boeing product doesn't.

I know, folks will flame away, read on if you want a bit of insight into the kind of analysis that gets to get to a semi robust answer, which I did a while ago on another forum...

A long while back I got my hands on both A330 and B767 flight manuals and compared the results. Memory fades, so no exact numbers, but the bigger jet burn quite a bit more gas than the smaller one, both can at least match the -135 if memory serves. ISTR that for cases with less than a full load, closer to a base the 767 does the mission and burns less. The further out/up the range/offload the 330 gains an advantage, I forget where the crossover was. Then off course there's how much ramp space get used, take-off rolls for reduced weights because both have 9,000+ ft. takeoff rolls at max gross. Of course count on the competitors to mix apples and oranges. Then off course most folks won't try to download a flight manual, even fewer can use it to compute a mission profile, anyhow I rant...

What might be useful to make a comparison is to evaluate against a requirement of say takeoff from a 12,000 ft. runway at ISA +20, offload 320,000 lbs. in 2 tracks in a continuous 8 hr. period (20,000 lbs. per/track/hr.), 500 nm from the base with IFR reserves + divert. How many airframes needed, how much ramp foot print, how much gas burned, how many maintenance hours required in order to meet the above for 30 days of continuous operations?

Comparison of the different tankers, KC-46 has a max gross weight of 415,000 lb., about 233,000 lb. useful load and 212,000 fuel capacity as is. The LMXT is 532,000 lb. max gross and 270,000 of fuel (KC-45 was 265,000 kb empty weight. A330 MRTT is 275,000 lbs.) The KC-135 for reference had a 322,000 lb. gross weight with 202,000 lb. of fuel and 124,000 lb. empty weight. Also, just in case someone wants to ask, "What about the deployment drag with a KC-10," here's the -10's numbers, 590,000 lb. gross weight, 356,000 lb. fuel load and 241,000 lb. empty weight.

Anyhow, once again wrote a book to not answer a seemingly easy question.
 

TomcatViP

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Win by K.O?

He also reiterated that the Air Force has become “much less confident” that it will hold a competition for the KC-Y bridge tanker, which will pave the way for the service’s next-generation KC-Z. If the service doesn’t hold a KC-Y competition, it would buy more KC-46 Pegasus aircraft from Boeing while retiring older KC-10 and KC-135 tankers.

Kendall praised the KC-46 as a major “night-and-day” improvement over the KC-135.

 

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