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KC-46 delivery in danger as new problems found

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posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 10:13 AM
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The first KC-46 delivery was set to occur next month. That date is at risk as the Air Force today announced two new Category 1 deficiencies, both related to the boom.

The first issue was labeled by the Air Force as "No Inadvertent Load Indication". Boeing, in its infinite wisdom, decided there was no reason to put an indication to tell the boom operator when he inadvertently moves the boom while a receiver was connected.

The second was reported by receiver pilots. They reported that when they moved into the fuel transfer zone, the boom was too stiff.

At this rate Boeing will be able to deliver all 179 aircraft at one time.

www.defensenews.com...




posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 12:24 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Its really not been the best project has it. I still can't get my head around getting rid of the boom pod and using cameras.



posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 12:47 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Went to the link you provided and then did a search on the KC-46 to learn something about the program.

Found:
en.wikipedia.org...

Dang, from reading this, the search for a new tanker started in 2001 and has been one horrible hair balled mess ever since!

Love this!


In late June 2011, it was reported that development costs were projected to overrun by about $300 million. Boeing would be responsible for this amount, which exceeds the contract cost cap of $4.9 billion.[39][40] In July 2011, revised cost projections indicated a reduced cost overrun.[41] In March 2015, the program cost for development and procurement of 179 tankers was projected to total US$43.16 billion.



In July 2015, Boeing announced that it had taken a further $835 million pretax charge to pay for redesigns and retrofits required to address a faulty integrated fuel system. A Boeing spokesperson stated that “in preparing for and performing fuel system qualification testing, we identified a number of fuel system parts and components that did not meet specifications and needed to be redesigned. We're adding the engineers and ancillary staff resources needed to support the engineering redesign, manufacturing retrofit and qualification and certification of the fuel system changes, and the conclusion of functional and flight testing."[58] Boeing may have to wait an extra eight months for $3 billion in contracts on the KC-46 because of delays caused by the wiring and fuel system parts flaws, according to the USAF. Low-rate production contracts to build the first 19 of the tankers may be delayed from August to as late as April 2016 in the latest schedule revision agreed on by the Air Force and Boeing. The planned first flight of a fully equipped KC-46 is being delayed to as late as September 2015. Air Force Spokesman, Charles Gulick, noted that the primary goal, "delivery of 18 tankers by August 2017" can be met.[59] The Bank of America/Merrill Lynch noted in July 2015 “We fail to understand how Boeing could take a $1.26 billion pre-tax charge (since it won the contract over Airbus) on the Boeing KC-46A program since the program is based on the 767 airframe that has been in production for over 30 years.”[60]


From there.............it just gets worse and now..........Your report!
And I suspect all of this because they're trying to beat out Airbus?

And all of this to replace the KC-135

en.wikipedia.org...

he KC-135 entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1957; it is one of six military fixed-wing aircraft with over 50 years of continuous service[1] with its original operator. The KC-135 is supplemented by the larger KC-10. Studies have concluded that many of the aircraft could be flown until 2040, although maintenance costs have greatly increased. The KC-135 is to be replaced by the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus.


And all of this to replace what amounts to a Boeing 707.

But look at this! These numbers are impressive. First, there's 500 KC-135's in service????????


The second modification program retrofitted 500 aircraft with new CFM International CFM56 (military designation: F108) high-bypass turbofan engines produced by General Electric and Snecma. The CFM56 engine produces approximately 22,500 lbf (100 kN) of thrust, nearly a 100% increase compared to the original J-57 engine. The modified tanker, designated KC-135R (modified KC-135A or E) or KC-135T (modified KC-135Q), can offload up to 50% more fuel (on a long-duration sortie), is 25% more fuel-efficient, and costs 25% less to operate than with the previous engines. It is also significantly quieter than the KC-135A, with noise levels at takeoff reduced from 126 to 99 decibels.[7][8]


Those are impressive improvements!
But no.............didn't happen?


No longer in consideration, upgrading the remaining KC-135Es into KC-135Rs would have cost about US$3 billion, about $24 million per aircraft.[9] According to Air Force data, the KC-135 fleet had a total operation and support cost in fiscal year 2001 of about $2.2 billion. The older E model aircraft averaged total costs of about $4.6 million per aircraft, while the R models averaged about $3.7 million per aircraft. Those costs include personnel, fuel, maintenance, modifications, and spare parts.[10]


Did I get that right? They scrapped the engine upgrade because it would have cost $3 Billion? So they've decided to spend $43.6 Billion for 179 wholly new aircraft!

Then I found:


KC-135R KC-135As and some KC-135Es re-engined with CFM-56 engines, at least 361 converted.


So some 361 did get the engine conversion.

My conclusion? The US Military establishment is singularly wasteful of money! Second conclusion? The people who write the articles at Wikipedia need some lessons on how to write their articles.

Cheers!



posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 01:29 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

The aircraft that were upgraded were the youngest and in the best shape of the fleet. They were upgraded and had their life extended. The rest were either worn out or had corrosion or other issues that would have made it expensive to keep them flying.



posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Makes sense. That's a hell of a long service life.



posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 03:33 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

They certainly got their money's worth out of them. Many of the ones still flying are older than just about anything else we have.



posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 06:09 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: TonyS

They certainly got their money's worth out of them. Many of the ones still flying are older than just about anything else we have.

I think they're a massive credit to the people who designed and made them same as B52 just for how long they've lasted



posted on Sep, 17 2018 @ 06:25 PM
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Some of the 135's I worked on at tinker were older than all of the B-52's I worked on at Barksdale.

I am not surprised at all they tried to reinvent the wheel (literally) with the boom.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 03:00 PM
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AMC is still expecting October 27 for the first delivery.



posted on Sep, 19 2018 @ 09:40 PM
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a reply to: Irishhaf

If Wilson has her way, which has about as much chance as I do of having a philosophical conversation with my dog, those -135s aren't going anywhere for a hell of a lot longer than they planned.



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