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Lockheed jet tanker

PMN1

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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?
 

Archibald

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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
 

Archibald

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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 !!!
 

TinWing

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Orionblamblam said:
Archibald said:
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.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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If I'm not mistaken, the flying boom was a Boeing development- what did the Lockheed designs plan to use for refueling?
 

Archibald

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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
 

Orionblamblam

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Archibald said:
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.


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.
 

boxkite

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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 :) .
 

Antonio

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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!
 

Archibald

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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).
 

Antonio

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

frank

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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.

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

kitnut617

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frank said:
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.

pometablava said:
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
 

kitnut617

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Archibald said:
But I think Kitnut 617 could be interested by this build, he had many "big" kits on his stash ;)

;D ;D hmm! yeah well I've got eight B-52's in 1/72, only one built though (gonna build one of each version), only one B-36 which is built. I've never thought of the B-52 as a tanker though, that's an interesting idea. I had this idea that it might have been an AWAC or something.

Robert
 

frank

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I never was sure which version they released. I remember when it was announced, it was simply "B-52". I thought I read somehwere that it was the G.


kitnut617 said:
frank said:
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.

pometablava said:
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
 

GTX

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Hi folks,

Interestingly, back in 2002, Lockheed were talking tankers again - this time a dedicated design. The following is from Flight International (20/08/02 to be exact):

Skunk Works fuels tanker debate

PAUL LEWIS / INDIANAPOLIS & PETER LA FRANCHI / CANBERRA

Lockheed Martin says purpose-built concept cheaper than modified airframes - but price-tag could scupper prospects

Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works has unveiled the concept design for a dedicated air-to-air refuelling tanker, which it claims would be smaller and cheaper than current modified commercial airframes, but be capable of off-loading more fuel, and flying faster and at greater range.

The only drawback would be the $4.2 billion cost and development time of four years, at a time when the air force is struggling to persuade US Congress to release money to lease Boeing KC-767s.

The proposed Force Employment Tanker (FET) is intended to refocus US Air Force thinking on how it employs tankers, and consider the long-term benefits of a purpose-designed solution rather than simply replacing the Boeing KC-135 with another converted but more modern airliner.

Lockheed Martin is suggesting a mix of high-end strategic tankers, along the lines of the new KC-767 and KC-10, together with low-end tactical FETs capable of penetrating and supporting fighters and unmanned combat air vehicles.

Lockheed Martin says recent air campaigns, starting with the Gulf War in 1991, have been limited by tanker availability.

At one stage during the Kosovo campaign, the number of fighter sorties equalled that of deployable tankers. With an ageing 545KC-135E/R tanker fleet and the move towards larger multi-role replacement platforms, boom availability will become more critical.

The FET "would take advantage of the latest systems and designs", says Andrew Bennett, Lockheed Martin manager air mobility systems. It would feature a large composite wing, housing the aircraft's fuel and be comparable in wingspan to the KC-135.

The fuselage, in contrast, would be considerably shorter and narrower for improved cruise speed and lower drag, with only the cockpit pressurised. To minimise the interference with receiving aircraft, the aircraft's two engines would be mid-mounted on the fuselage above the trailing-edge wing.

Aircraft would be refuelled from two outboard underwing mounted pods, with dual automated bi-fold booms and drogues. Compared to a KC-135-size tanker, the FET would have half the burn rate and be able to carry and off-load up to 45,500kg (100,000lb) of fuel over a greater distance.

The FET, with an empty weight of 41,200kg, would weigh 50% less than a KC-135, and be capable of operating from twice as many runways. At a projected unit cost of $80 million based on a 550 aircraft production run, the manufacturer estimates that FET would cost 40% less to acquire.

n The US Marine Corps plans to modernise its 28 newer Lockheed Martin KC-130Ts as part of the US Air Force's wider C-130 avionics modernisation programme. It will include new glass cockpits.

Regards,

Greg
 

EEP1A

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Orionblamblam said:
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.

Hi all.

Reading this sentence, I recalled a drawing and some photos regarding the tanker version of B-36 in my personal library. Attached are a drawing from ‘D&S VOL. 47; B-36 peacemaker’ by Wayne Wachsmuth, and photos from ‘Magnesium Overcast’ by Dennis Jenkins.
The explanation regarding this test program can be found in ‘GlobalSecurity.com’ ;
(quote)’ B-36H (Tanker):Searching for a tanker that could refuel jet aircraft at higher altitudes and higher speeds, SAC in early 1952 became interested in a readily convertible B-36 bomber tanker. The Air Force therefore asked Convair to equip one B-36 with a probe and drogue refueling system. The modification contract was approved in February 1952 and the work was completed in May. Testing, postponed to the end of the month because of the late delivery of one B-47 receiver aircraft, was satisfactory enough. Yet, no other tests took place until January 1953, after a new and vastly improved British made probe and drogue refueling system was installed. The British had developed refueling techniques to the point where they were actually in use on commercial airplanes, and the Air Staff in late 1947 had already begun to consider adapting the British technique to combat aircraft refueling. This would allow short range but relatively speedy bombers of the B-50 type to get to a distant and heavily defended target with the atomic bomb-a task allocated to the B-36, but especially hazardous due to that long range bomber's slow speed. The converted B-36H tanker subsequently flown could refuel one or more receiver aircraft. The 9 crewmember tanker could be returned to its standard bomber configuration in some 12 hours. But the B-36's bomber commitments never really allowed SAC to exploit these features.’

Additional information found in ’Magnesium Overcast’ include;
This project was called ‘Tanbo XIV’ which means tanker bomber using mark XIV refueling reel.
Almost 16,000 gallons of fuel available for transfer at the rate of 600 gallons per minute.
The converted aircraft was B-36H 51-5706. (Other source says 51-5710)
No external difference with ordinary B-36H.
Tested with F-84 as a receiver.
This project was cancelled on 21 July 1954.

Regards,
 

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Sentinel Chicken

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Are there any drawings of the refuelling system the Lockheed tanker design was going to use? I am under the impression that the flying boom was a Boeing product and thus only applicable to the Boeing designs.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Digging around hasn't turned up anything yet on my end on the refuelling system on the Lockheed design. Anyone have any information on what it was going to use?
 

fightingirish

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http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/enigmc58.jpg
http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/enigmc59.jpg
http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/enigmc60.jpg
http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/lockhe13.jpg
Source: http://forum.avionslegendaires.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5967


Dear Mods, at this computer right now I'm not allowed to download or attach these pictures.
That's why I'm only posting the links. If these pictures do not violate copyright or forum rules, feel free to attach them. :)
 

Triton

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fightingirish said:
http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/enigmc58.jpg
http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/enigmc59.jpg
http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/enigmc60.jpg
http://i69.servimg.com/u/f69/11/29/05/29/lockhe13.jpg
Source: http://forum.avionslegendaires.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5967


Dear Mods, at this computer right now I'm not allowed to download or attach these pictures.
That's why I'm only posting the links. If these pictures do not violate copyright or forum rules, feel free to attach them. :)

Three-view drawings posted earlier in the topic.
 

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Grey Havoc

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Triton said:
Have you seen this topic devoted to the Lockheed Martin Advanced Mobility Aircraft (AMA) program, Grey Havoc?

"Lockheed future biplane freighter aircraft"
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,4375.0.html

Yes, thanks. Makes you wonder what Lockheed Martin could have achieved (indeed, could still achieve) if they had put some of the effort expended on the JSF into the AMA.
 

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Going off topic a bit but found this cool KC-10 vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h-CP-OYxRAk

sorry if repost
 

ksimmelink

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I was just reading that Lockheed had won the tanker competition but that General Curtis LeMay and Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott were such Boeing supporters that they arranged that the Strategic Air Command would receive 286 KC-135As before the first Lockheed aircraft would roll off the assembly line. Does anyone have any drawings or additional information on what Lockheed's entry would have looked like.
 

Grey Havoc

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Speaking of Lockheed tanker concepts, what about this nuclear powered one from 1979:


Baseline


Tanker variant

(h/t flateric)
 

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