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Air Force’s 10 most expensive planes to operate

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posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 10:33 PM
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It is true the cost of some of this stuff will come down as more sorties are added to the fleet.. However the numbers being quoted in this article are way above and beyond any $750 dollar hammer we as tax payers are supposed to pay for and not ask questions..They should probably get a major airline to run the airforce and I can guarantee the cost per hour of operation would come more in line with actual cost.. The money certainly is not going to crew cost.... Must be all those very expensive black boxes that control important stuff that have to get changed out every mission/hour because they no longer work !

I remember the Ash trays in the seat arms of a B-727 used to cost 75$ for the 20 cents worth of thin shaped aluminum... I thought that was stupidly expensive...but since it had an aircraft serial number you just grew to expect getting ripped off for stupid stuff. The defense establishment has taken the whole, "getting ripped off" to a new level, IMO.
These figures are HOURLY COST


The F-22 “best combat plane in the world” only cost $58,059 an hour to fly. Small price to pay for the best.

The B-1 makes up sixty percent of the Air Force’s bomber fleet and runs $61,027 per flying hour.

The USAF’s special operations tiltrotor will run you $63,792 per hour.

Despite its ballooning development costs, the F-35 isn’t as expensive to fly as one might think, at only $67,550 an hour. (And that fact is one of the airplane’s selling points.)

Squeaking in just under the JSTARS cost, The B-52 BUFF (look it up) runs $70,388 per flying hour.

The airborne battle platform costs $70,780 to keep flying. The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or Joint STARS, is an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform.

OC-135 At $99,722 an hour, it’s one expensive overwatch.

C-5 heavy hauler $100,941 an hour

2. B-2 Spirit
US Air Force

The B-2 literally costs more than its weight in gold. The Air Force’s 20 B-2 bombers run along a similar price tag: $130,159 per hour.

A Boeing E-4B which is a converted B-747 cost $159,529 per hour to fly.

The A-10 which still gives a big bang for the buck; $19,051.

www.businessinsider.com...




posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 11:19 PM
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That is staggeringly stupid...how the hell can we justify a plane that costs as much as a house does per hour to run?

Amazing...in all the bad ways



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 12:07 AM
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And that A 10 is affordable.

love it



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 12:15 AM
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a reply to: coldkidc

Because aircraft are expensive to operate, no matter what they are. You're figuring in fuel costs, maintenance costs which go up the older and aircraft gets, parts cost, etc. You have a fleet with an average age of nearly 30 years, which means fewer parts and pieces available, and what is available is going to cost more to obtain. And with stealth aircraft, the skin requires a lot of maintenance to keep the RAM intact. Commercial aircraft spread the cost out a lot more with so many passengers on board, and all they do is fly from point A to point B, with very little stress on the airframe other than pressurization. Military aircraft don't have that option to spread the cost around, and are under a lot more stress each flight than any commercial aircraft will ever see.
edit on 2/14/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:19 AM
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a reply to: coldkidc

Gotta spend money to make money boys....

(said smiling and wringing hands)

Keeps people like zaph employed.....



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 02:34 AM
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I agree with Zaphod, these prices are likely mostly justifiable. Every little dent, scratch, and scuff needs to be addressed. Every little hard to reach internal part and microchip needs to always be absolutely at 100%, because missions and foreign policy are at stake. A single failed part on the wrong mission could be the difference between taking out a an imminent threat to American lives, or accidentally starting a war during a stealth operation. It is important to take into account all variables and possibilities. Numbers alone do not tell the whole story.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 03:20 AM
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originally posted by: AmericanRealist
I agree with Zaphod, these prices are likely mostly justifiable. Every little dent, scratch, and scuff needs to be addressed. Every little hard to reach internal part and microchip needs to always be absolutely at 100%, because missions and foreign policy are at stake. A single failed part on the wrong mission could be the difference between taking out a an imminent threat to American lives, or accidentally starting a war during a stealth operation. It is important to take into account all variables and possibilities. Numbers alone do not tell the whole story.


The direct operating cost of the fuel guzzling B-727 was 5000$ the first hour and 3750$ the second hour.... third hour was around 3200$ .. That is fuel, maintenance, crew cost and lease payments on the aircraft. Those are airline charter figures that airlines used and could make a profit... So lets double that figure and trick the bird out with a super duper interior (actually less weight than stand seating configuration) and call it 10,000$ direct operating cost X4 and you get just about the cost of one hour of A-10 on station.. Geez think about the numbers.. Captains make around $186.00 per every hour of flight time way back in the late 90s or early 2000 year frame..You have a first officer, a flight engineer, and usually 3 or four flight attendants for an additional cost per hour of around (depends on seniority) $240,000 is definitely the high side... I think the latest figures for say a B-737 (including everything is less than $6000 an hour in todays figures)

Military aircraft such as the modified B-747 command and control E-4B takes off and does not do anything to spill the coffee in the back; It has pressurization cycles, just like a real airplane.. Most of the sneaky Pete aircraft I ever flew were so modified with add ons and holes in the airfarme that today in my old age I would tell TPTB you fix it or you fly it. ...
Operating cost of a Boeing 747-400 is between $24,000 and $27,000 per hour according to most sources and that includes everything.. Yet according to the Congressional Research Service report, Air Force One, a 747-200B (VC-25A) costs $179,750 per hour to operate. Great gig if you can get it, No ?

I will say this about the Airforce they are actually pretty darn smart. The Marines and Army go build their runways first... The airforce builds their BOQs (living quarters) Officer clubs and play grounds and end up 6000 feet short of enough money to complete their runway.. They get the money to finish the runway and the Marines and Army are told to build bunkers and live in tents..

Navy guys are a hoot and they have the best food a guy could beg for ! But none can compare to the Airforce... Pretty darn smart fellows who know how to work the system.. IMO



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 03:58 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Where's all that extra dough going then, you think? Into the pockets of the boards of directors of various aerospace companies? SAP/CAP's? Someone's secret Cayman Islands account? Lobbying for the next big project? All of the above?



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 04:58 AM
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originally posted by: TheBadCabbie
a reply to: 727Sky

Where's all that extra dough going then, you think? Into the pockets of the boards of directors of various aerospace companies? SAP/CAP's? Someone's secret Cayman Islands account? Lobbying for the next big project? All of the above?


Not really IMO it is all about the government accounting Procedures.. how they justify the waste .. Hey this is our cost ! We need the money or the whole operation gets shut down ! See the airforce model of operation I already posted..

We really do need some real bean counters in government... Ground personnel, Hanger and parking fees (even though the airports are owned by the military for the most part) Secret service fees and hotels for advance guards etc it is all rolled into the cost of stuff in some cases... The direct operating cost of these aircraft is not broken down in the article.. Let us just say a 10 hour mission for some of those aircraft equates to one million + cool dollars.. Unfrigging believable ! Some can and will justify the cost ....in their minds anyway..



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 06:19 AM
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originally posted by: 727Sky

originally posted by: AmericanRealist
I agree with Zaphod, these prices are likely mostly justifiable. Every little dent, scratch, and scuff needs to be addressed. Every little hard to reach internal part and microchip needs to always be absolutely at 100%, because missions and foreign policy are at stake. A single failed part on the wrong mission could be the difference between taking out a an imminent threat to American lives, or accidentally starting a war during a stealth operation. It is important to take into account all variables and possibilities. Numbers alone do not tell the whole story.


The direct operating cost of the fuel guzzling B-727 was 5000$ the first hour and 3750$ the second hour.... third hour was around 3200$ .. That is fuel, maintenance, crew cost and lease payments on the aircraft. Those are airline charter figures that airlines used and could make a profit... So lets double that figure and trick the bird out with a super duper interior (actually less weight than stand seating configuration) and call it 10,000$ direct operating cost X4 and you get just about the cost of two hours of A-10 on station.. Geez think about the numbers.. Captains make around $186.00 per every hour of flight time way back in the late 90s or early 2000 year frame..You have a first officer, a flight engineer, and usually 3 or four flight attendants for an additional cost per hour of around (depends on seniority) $240,000 is definitely the high side... I think the latest figures for say a B-737 (including everything is less than $6000 an hour in todays figures)

Military aircraft such as the modified B-747 command and control E-4B takes off and does not do anything to spill the coffee in the back; It has pressurization cycles, just like a real airplane.. Most of the sneaky Pete aircraft I ever flew were so modified with add ons and holes in the airfarme that today in my old age I would tell TPTB you fix it or you fly it. ...
Operating cost of a Boeing 747-400 is between $24,000 and $27,000 per hour according to most sources and that includes everything.. Yet according to the Congressional Research Service report, Air Force One, a 747-200B (VC-25A) costs $179,750 per hour to operate. Great gig if you can get it, No ?

I will say this about the Airforce they are actually pretty darn smart. The Marines and Army go build their runways first... The airforce builds their BOQs (living quarters) Officer clubs and play grounds and end up 6000 feet short of enough money to complete their runway.. They get the money to finish the runway and the Marines and Army are told to build bunkers and live in tents..

Navy guys are a hoot and they have the best food a guy could beg for ! But none can compare to the Airforce... Pretty darn smart fellows who know how to work the system.. IMO


Had to edit for two hours A-10 station time.. Sorry



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 06:28 AM
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originally posted by: 727Sky


We really do need some real bean counters in government.



Just don't get them from civilian airlines as they wold have outsourced most of the airforce really fast.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 07:43 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

I think it's a pretty fair bet that most of the"ten most expensive aircraft to operate" in the USAF's stable are craft we'll never hear about.

That said, I'm OK with it. Google the Space Shuttle's hourly flight cost, and it'll make flying the B-2 look like flying a Piper Cub. Progress is expensive, but I'd rather my taxes pay for that than a whole bunch of the other things that they pay for...



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 07:59 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

And a commercial 747-400 will spend less than half as much time in maintenance as a military aircraft, even though it flies two or three times as much.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 08:07 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

We cannot feed or accommodate our homeless and/or poor citizens in the proper manner pertaining to our respective nations but we can afford to design, build, fly and maintain these destructive platforms/weapons of war.


The mind boggles at humanity's hypocrisy!

edit on 14-2-2016 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 11:10 AM
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When you realise that the US spends more on defence than the rest of the planet combined
then you know someone somewhere is making an absolute $h!t ton of money with little accountability.
but why? yes US forces are large but not THAT large and they have the most of the best equipment
but an awful lot of it is very old and most bases are long since built and paid for so where is the excess
going? the whole system needs a top to bottom audit because there is a hell of a lot of waste and profiteering
going on with funds that could go a long way to fixing other problems in the states.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 11:59 AM
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originally posted by: 727Sky
Yet according to the Congressional Research Service report, Air Force One, a 747-200B (VC-25A) costs $179,750 per hour to operate. Great gig if you can get it, No ?



I would bet that $179k has a lot more to do with the support on the ground than the aircraft itself. When I flew nukes in the 80s on C-141s we had an army of support around the world and one trip from Europe to CA had 1000 s of people involved as well as many other support equipment transportation such as boats along our whole path access the Atlantic.

Outside of all that you can just figure Maintenance per hour, 6 man crew, and 2000 gallons per hour of fuel without adding in all the other support agencies we have with the military and such.



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: 727Sky

And a commercial 747-400 will spend less than half as much time in maintenance as a military aircraft, even though it flies two or three times as much.


The old rule, a flying aircraft doesn't break as much as a sitting aircraft does...truth..



posted on Feb, 14 2016 @ 12:02 PM
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a reply to: ShayneJUK

The numbers aren't entirely accurate, which is the first problem. If you look at just flight hours, and not the associated costs, the F-22, in 2008, was under $20,000 per hour to operate. There are a lot of associated costs that are included in this list with each aircraft. The numbers given were also for FY14. Current costs of the F-35A per flight hour are $42,000, and dropping.

These numbers aren't inflated, because most people don't realize how they're calculated. It's not as simple as people think. To get your flying hour budget(which includes CPFH), you take the total projected flying hours, for the year, multiply that by CPFH factors, which include depot level repairs, consumables, and fuel (so you have to figure out CPFH three times). That means that the aircraft that require more maintenance have higher CPFH costs, than aircraft that require less. One reason the A-10 is so low, is that the majority of the fleet has been upgraded to the C model, which included replacing major components such as the wings and center wing box, so it's going to require far less maintenance than other aircraft. By contrast, the F-22 and B-2 require more maintenance to the RAM, so their going to have higher operating costs than other aircraft.



posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 07:24 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: ShayneJUK

The numbers aren't entirely accurate, which is the first problem. If you look at just flight hours, and not the associated costs, the F-22, in 2008, was under $20,000 per hour to operate. There are a lot of associated costs that are included in this list with each aircraft. The numbers given were also for FY14. Current costs of the F-35A per flight hour are $42,000, and dropping.

These numbers aren't inflated, because most people don't realize how they're calculated. It's not as simple as people think. To get your flying hour budget(which includes CPFH), you take the total projected flying hours, for the year, multiply that by CPFH factors, which include depot level repairs, consumables, and fuel (so you have to figure out CPFH three times). That means that the aircraft that require more maintenance have higher CPFH costs, than aircraft that require less. One reason the A-10 is so low, is that the majority of the fleet has been upgraded to the C model, which included replacing major components such as the wings and center wing box, so it's going to require far less maintenance than other aircraft. By contrast, the F-22 and B-2 require more maintenance to the RAM, so their going to have higher operating costs than other aircraft.



Definitely!



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