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Naval Air Refueling Needs Deferred in Air Force Tanker Plan



 
 
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  #41  
Old May 16th 04, 06:19 AM
Kevin Brooks
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"Kevin Brooks" wrote in message
...

"Guy Alcala" wrote in message
. ..
Kevin Brooks wrote:

"Guy Alcala" wrote in message
. ..
Kevin Brooks wrote:

"Guy Alcala" wrote in

message
.. .
Sorry for the delayed reply -- it's been a busy week.

Kevin Brooks wrote:


snip corrosion lead-in

You are forgetting the corrosion problems with the E

models--corrosion
tends
to reduce fatigue life, too, IIRC from my long-ago materials

science
classes...

Corrosion is an issue with any a/c -- certainly the KC-135Rs as

well,
which
(after all) were 135As before, just as the Es were.

It sounds to me like the only way you are going to get that long
a life from the E's would be if you also replaced some structural
components
(meaning you are going even further than the old R model mods,

IIRC).

Why is corrosion and fatigue on the Es supposedly so much more

serious
than the
Rs, when they all started out as 135As?

I'd assume they are both going to exhibit corrosion problems, but

didn't
the
R's go through a significant IRAN as part of their upgrade?


Not that I can find, but that's not definitive. Boeing replaced the

lower
wing
skinsof 746 C/KC-135s, but that seems to have been applied to all models

in
service. All I can figure is that the old nacelles and struts (from

707s)
may be
causing the difference, which would go away if they were upgraded to Rs

(which
get new struts and nacelles as well as engines).

The USAF, per
those comments from the three-star last year, seems most concerned

with
the
E's.


See above, or possibly just because the Es were less effective than the

Rs, so
sure, say they're falling apart because of corrosion so we can buy new

a/c.
You've got to come up with some justification.


No, I don't have to. A serving USAF LTG made the statements quoted to
you--the best you have offered in response is that the DSB says they can
control the problem--if enough money is committed to maintenance on a

yearly
basis. Duh. Doesn't it sound a bit odd to hear a response that says, "It

is
not a problem--if we dump enough money into it annually throughout the
remaining service life..."? That sounds like the very definition of a
"problem" to me.


Ooops--late night! Hit the send key a bit early...


snip

Wait a second--spend *more* money on trying to upgrade E's, while

doing
*another* study to determine if/when/how we replace the E's?

What do you mean, _trying_ to upgrade the Es? We know perfectly

well
how
to
upgrade them -we've got 400+ prototypes in service, after all, with

the
R&D all
paid for.

No, no, no--that was not what I meant. My point is that at this point
tossing *more* money into the upgrade of the E models seems a bit
shortsighted, when that same money (along with the savings accrued

from
cheaper operating costs) could go towards purchasing new-build

airframes. We
did not have that option (or the money to make it happen) available

back
when the original R program started--we do now.


Actually, we don't have the money at the moment, which is why the whole

lease
thing was suggested. But look at it another way -- might it make more

sense to
upgrade some/all Es to Rs at far lower cost than than buying 767s, while

we
perhaps decide to skip the 767 generation entirely and buy either a 7E7

tanker,
or even a BWB one around 2015 or so, if the latter a/c is more suitable

in
the
long term? Considering the difference in cost between upgrading an E to

a
Pacer
Crag R vs. buying new KC-767s, it's going to take a considerable time (a

couple
of decades, I imagine) for the O&M cost advantage of the latter to

overcome
purchase cost advantageof the former, assuming that it ever does (at

least
one
source claims that it won't).


Pardon me for not inserting "or leasing" after "purchasing". Last I heard,
Boeing has gotten very quiet about the whole BWB concept, so I am not sure
how much confidence you can put into it. And again, after spending some $3.6
billion to upgrade the remaining E's (which still have that corrosion
"problem", albeit one that the DSB contends we can discount--if we are
willing to dump enough money into future maintenance...), how sure are you
that you will be able to get funding for *another* major tanker program in
short order?


That sounds
like a fine...bureaucratic solution? Even the GAO was saying in

the
1990's
that the USAF needed to get off its duff and start planning the
replacement
of the KC-135E fleet.

Sure. It didn't say what to replace them with.

Nope. The USAF has said what they want to replace them with--you have

no
trust in the USAF?


The USAF said what it wanted to replace them with in 2001, when they had

no
other US choice, and still haven't justified the _need_ to replace them

now, vs.
other options. The assumptions have changed, as has the situation.


Guy, for gosh sakes--they *still* have no other domestic choice beside the
767! Your 7E7 has not even been *designed* yet, much less is it ready to
take to the skies in tanker mode.


Studies are great--unfortunately, they have a tendancy
of becoming an ends-unto-themselves. We have a good proposal that

the
USAF
has supported--it puts new airframes into the mission much more

quickly
than
if we follow the "usual" method of purchasing new aircraft (of

course,
you
could use the F/A-22 or F-35 model...which would mean if we

started
that
new
study right now, we might plan on seeing some new tankers around
what...2015
at best?), and it takes advantage of an existing excess production
capability/inventory at the only US company currently building

aircraft
of
that class--sounds like a good plan to me.

Who says we need new airframes _right_ now? As we both agree,

buying
more
pods
and converting more Rs to carry them is the best solution in the

short
term to
the navy/Allies problem, while converting Es to Rs _may_ be the best
solution
for increasing our tanker force in a hurry. Or it may not be,

butsince
the USAF
never did an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA), we don't know.

Upgrading to R's does not do a great deal towards "increasing our

tanker
force"--it instead is more of a "spend some money now to reduce O&M

costs in
the long run, and keep the force from being *reduced* as E models

break". Of
course, the 767 option does ptretty much the same thing--albeit with

an
even
greater reduction in operating costs, and a significantly better

possibility
of future upgrades (at what point does it become impractical to keep

trying
to modernize a 43 year old airframe?).


You'd better ask Bufdrvr (or the Air Force) about that one;-) However,

I
disagree with your premise - upgrading Es to Rs does indeed increase our

tanker
force, both by improving MC rates, and by increasing offload and

reducing
runway
length requirements, just as the KC-767 would. The E is restricted by

lack of
thrust in the amount of fuel it can lift off many runways, compared to

the
R or
a 767 (Boeing claims the 767 can lift the same fuel load from a 4,000

foot
shorter runway). The A model was even worse, of course, being

essentially
useless during DS from most runways in the middle east. Hot and/or high

has
become pretty typical for us, so tankers that have trouble operating

from
such
fields are essentially operationally useless (which is what the USAF

general
claiming that we needed the 767 to replace the Es said).


OK, you win. I vote we keep the KC-135 flying for another forty years--when
the wings start shedding from them in flight, maybe we can discuss replacing
them? Of course, you will guarantee that the ever increasing O&M costs, to
include that extra money required to solve that "non-problem" corrosion
situation, will be forthcoming every year, and that we can continue to
upgrade them as required throughout that period... Nah, just kidding.

This has been interesting, and informative; I hate to admit it ( :-) ), but
I have learned a few things in this thread--though nothing that convinces me
that either (a) we should not continue with procurement of the 767 tanker,
or (b) there is something critically wrong with procuring the first 40 767's
without multi-point capability up-front. And BTW--I don't find the assertion
that we could keep the E's flying "as is" very convincing--ISTR there are
real concerns over the availability of engines and related parts for the
existing powerplants, so if you wanna go the "keep the E's" route you are
realistically going to *have* to upgrade them.

Thanks for the info, and I appreciate the discourse.

Brooks

snip what has become one of our more long-winded discussions


Ads
  #42  
Old May 17th 04, 12:45 AM
sameolesid
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Guy Alcala wrote in message ...
sameolesid wrote:

snip

Just had a look at AFPAM 10-1403, which among other things lists military and CRAF
a/c types for various roles and missions. Fuel burn for generic planning purposes
of a KC-135R is listed as 10,921 lbs./hr. A CRAF B-767 (sub-type unstated) is
listed as
10,552 lb./hr. A tanker version would have more drag (boom, receptacle and various
fairings, never mind wing pods), so fuel burn of the two types appears to be
essentially equal.


Real world fuel burn for a 767-200 planned for a transatlantic this
afternoon (15May) is 10,450 lbs per hour. Of course thats without pods
or a boom.


Which engines?

Guy


CF6's. The higher burns (11,000) also due to payload/much longer
stagelength differences. The 767-200 is optimized for the
transatlantic market.
  #43  
Old May 17th 04, 02:32 AM
Guy Alcala
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Kevin Brooks wrote:

snip

This has been interesting, and informative; I hate to admit it ( :-) ), but
I have learned a few things in this thread--though nothing that convinces me
that either (a) we should not continue with procurement of the 767 tanker,
or (b) there is something critically wrong with procuring the first 40 767's
without multi-point capability up-front. And BTW--I don't find the assertion
that we could keep the E's flying "as is" very convincing--ISTR there are
real concerns over the availability of engines and related parts for the
existing powerplants, so if you wanna go the "keep the E's" route you are
realistically going to *have* to upgrade them.

Thanks for the info, and I appreciate the discourse.


Kevin, since were both tired of arguing the same points while lacking the data,
here's a Congressional Research Service report from last September which
presents both sides' arguments, as well as showing the costs and what
assumptions went in to them, plus the effect on costs if any of those
assumptions change. See:

www.fas.org/man/crs/RL32056.pdf

Of interest, my WAG that the engine struts (pylons) on the Es might be the main
(extra) corrosion driver compared to the Rs was correct. I get lucky once in a
while. Also, the report mentioned that the navy was already contracting out
training and coast-to-coast tanking services, which I was unaware of. I haven't
yet found out who they're contracting with or what kind of a/c they're using.

Guy


  #44  
Old May 17th 04, 02:58 AM
Guy Alcala
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Guy Alcala wrote:

snip

Also, the report mentioned that the navy was already contracting out
training and coast-to-coast tanking services, which I was unaware of. I haven't
yet found out who they're contracting with or what kind of a/c they're using.


Found it. They're contracting with an Irish company called Omega Air, which
provides used 707-320s (they' got one or two in service so far) equipped with a pair
of centerline Sargent-Fletcher (apparently now owned by Cobham PLC, formerly
Flight-Refueling Ltd.) FR300 drogues. Omega has also apparently bought a fleet of
used DC-10s, and plans to convert some of them into tankers in the future. At the
moment, they're concentrating on hose-drogue refueling, both because the conversion
is easier and ceaper, and because most air forces use it. the following is a quote
from a 2001 AvLeak article:

"Following retirement of its Grumman KA-6D and Lockheed KS-3A tankers, the U.S. Navy
is exploring PFI operations through a recent $6.6 million air refueling contract
with Flight International, Inc. and Omega Air. This involves 600 hours of tanker, EW
training and other U.S. Navy support missions by Omega's dual probe-and-drogue
equipped Boeing 707-320 through October this year, with renewal options up to 2005.
These, and the USAF's massive KC-X requirement, are also hungrily earmarked for
early pursuit by the FTSA contenders, who have also briefed 10 or more other
countries on their
proposals."

This article apparently dates from 2000 so is a bit out of date, but it provides
some useful info:

http://www.nawcad.navy.mil/view_rele...m?article_id=8

Guy




  #45  
Old May 17th 04, 03:02 AM
Guy Alcala
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

sameolesid wrote:

Guy Alcala wrote in message ...
sameolesid wrote:

snip

Just had a look at AFPAM 10-1403, which among other things lists military and CRAF
a/c types for various roles and missions. Fuel burn for generic planning purposes
of a KC-135R is listed as 10,921 lbs./hr. A CRAF B-767 (sub-type unstated) is
listed as
10,552 lb./hr. A tanker version would have more drag (boom, receptacle and various
fairings, never mind wing pods), so fuel burn of the two types appears to be
essentially equal.

Real world fuel burn for a 767-200 planned for a transatlantic this
afternoon (15May) is 10,450 lbs per hour. Of course thats without pods
or a boom.


Which engines?

Guy


CF6's. The higher burns (11,000) also due to payload/much longer
stagelength differences. The 767-200 is optimized for the
transatlantic market.


Thanks. I take it these are -200s and not -200ERs? It's not real critical, as I think we've established that fuel burn's a
wash, but do you happen to know which CF6 model they're fitted with? There are a few options, depending on the MTOW of the
particular a/c.

Guy




  #46  
Old May 17th 04, 03:53 AM
Kevin Brooks
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Guy Alcala" wrote in message
.. .
Kevin Brooks wrote:

snip

This has been interesting, and informative; I hate to admit it ( :-) ),

but
I have learned a few things in this thread--though nothing that

convinces me
that either (a) we should not continue with procurement of the 767

tanker,
or (b) there is something critically wrong with procuring the first 40

767's
without multi-point capability up-front. And BTW--I don't find the

assertion
that we could keep the E's flying "as is" very convincing--ISTR there

are
real concerns over the availability of engines and related parts for the
existing powerplants, so if you wanna go the "keep the E's" route you

are
realistically going to *have* to upgrade them.

Thanks for the info, and I appreciate the discourse.


Kevin, since were both tired of arguing the same points while lacking the

data,
here's a Congressional Research Service report from last September which
presents both sides' arguments, as well as showing the costs and what
assumptions went in to them, plus the effect on costs if any of those
assumptions change. See:

www.fas.org/man/crs/RL32056.pdf

Of interest, my WAG that the engine struts (pylons) on the Es might be the

main
(extra) corrosion driver compared to the Rs was correct. I get lucky once

in a
while. Also, the report mentioned that the navy was already contracting

out
training and coast-to-coast tanking services, which I was unaware of. I

haven't
yet found out who they're contracting with or what kind of a/c they're

using.

I believe that would have been Omega Air, using a single 707 tanker; there
was some info about it floating around in some of the pubs at the time,
reporting its participation in an exercise or two.

Brooks


Guy




  #47  
Old May 20th 04, 05:13 AM
sameolesid
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Guy Alcala wrote in message ...

Thanks. I take it these are -200s and not -200ERs? It's not real critical, as I think we've established that fuel burn's a
wash, but do you happen to know which CF6 model they're fitted with? There are a few options, depending on the MTOW of the
particular a/c.

Guy



They are 200ERs. AFAIK there are very few straight 200s. The engines
on these are CF6-80C2B4's.
  #48  
Old May 22nd 04, 03:36 AM
Guy Alcala
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

sameolesid wrote:

Guy Alcala wrote in message ...

Thanks. I take it these are -200s and not -200ERs? It's not real critical, as I think we've established that fuel burn's a
wash, but do you happen to know which CF6 model they're fitted with? There are a few options, depending on the MTOW of the
particular a/c.

Guy


They are 200ERs. AFAIK there are very few straight 200s. The engines
on these are CF6-80C2B4's.


Thanks.

Guy


 




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