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Europe's Future tanker/transport aircraft

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posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 10:26 AM
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Refueling

The aircraft has a maximum fuel capacity of 139,090L or 111t. The high fuel capacity enables the aircraft to fly at longer ranges, to stay on station longer and to refuel more aircraft, which increases the basing options and reduces forces reliance on host nation support. For the UK requirement the aircraft is fitted with a hose and drogue system but will be fitted with a refuelling boom system for the Australian order.

Cobham is providing the air refuelling equipment including the 905E wing pods and a fuselage refuelling unit. Cobham also supplies antennae, cockpit control systems, oxygen and fuel system units and composite components for all Airbus A330 aircraft.

The QinetiQ AirTanker support team carried out an air refuelling trial of the A330-200 aircraft on 28 October 2003. The test involved assessing the handling qualities of the Tornado aircraft flown in a number of representative refuelling positions astern the wing and centreline refuelling stations. The two-hour flight test included various approaches to the refuelling positions and exploring displacements vertically and laterally from the normal refuelling position.

The trial was carried out in between 15,000ft and 20,000ft and at 280 knots which is the middle of the Tornado's refuelling envelope. Within this test envelope there was minimum turbulence in the airflow astern the A330-200 and the Tornado's handling qualities were very satisfactory in all tested positions.

Cargo capacity

Even with a full fuel load, the aircraft has the capacity to carry 43t of cargo. The aircraft can carry up to 285 passengers.

Dimensions
Height 17.89m
Length 59.69m
Wingspan 60.30m
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin length 45m
Cabin height 2.28m
Cabin width 5.28m
Weights
Empty weight 120,500kg
Take-off weight 230,000kg
Optional maximum take-off weight 233,000kg
Payload (not fuel) 61,300kg
Fuel capacity 111,270kg
Engines
2 x Rolls-Royce Trent 772B 71,100lb thrust each
2 x GE CF6-80E1 72,000lb thrust each
Performance
Maximum speed 611km/hr
Refuelling
Refuelling speed with boom refuelling 444km/hr to 592km/hr
Refuelling speed with hose and drogue 370km/hr to 602km/hr
Cargo Capacity
Underfloor freight hold 136m³
NATO pallets / containers 6 (88in x 108in) pallets plus 2 LD3 containers
Civil pallets / containers 26 LD3 or 8 (95in x 25in) pallets plus 2 LD3 containers.
source


The concept sounds like the X-48 aircraft the US is developing, here is the link to info about that aircraft. Intresting design, the concept picks remind me of the KC-767 aircraft the US is developing. Hmm intresting.















[edit on 8-8-2005 by blue cell]




posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 10:36 AM
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Was there a request for competiton or did the contract just go to Airbus by default? Im curious because I understand France is also embarking on replacing its tanker fleet and I am wondering if Boeing has any shot at even bidding in a remotely fair competiton
Who am I kidding of course it does not.
(anymore than Airbus will get the US contract im sure). Yes I know its EADS, RR, Thales, et al.


But I wonder why they are not considering the A340 for the role? It can carry more, thus offload more and its not that much bigger. No doubt thought that the A330 will be suited for the role.

[edit on 8/8/05 by FredT]



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 12:45 PM
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Fred, the only difference between the A330 and the A340 is the number and type of engines, the airframes are identical. Also the only reason for the four engined A340 at all is the extended range (to a degree not necessary in the tanker version) and the limitations of ETOPS rules (which do not apply to a military tanker) so the A330 is perfectly suited.

Also Fred, shame on you for thinking Boeing was never in with a shout; in fact it was far more complex than an 'Airbus v Boeing scenario;



Final bids for the project were received from the two competing consortia on 30 April 2003.

Air Tanker Ltd offered a mix of new and used Airbus A330-200s, team comprised of,
Rolls-Royce - Trent Turbofans
Cobham - Air-refuelling hose and drogue system
EADS - Airbus A330-200
Thales Group - Avionics etc.
Tanker Transport Services Consortium (TTSC) offered converted British Airways Boeing 767's.
British Airways - Aircraft
Boeing - Conversion technology, using the USAF KC-767 as the basis of the design.
BAE Systems - Conversion of majority of aircraft and mission systems.
Marshall Aerospace
Serco


source

A couple of nice pics here but why are the top two in 1960's livery








[edit on 8-8-2005 by waynos]



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
Fred, the only difference between the A330 and the A340 is the number and type of engines, the airframes are identical. Also the only reason for the four engined A340 at all is the extended range (to a degree not necessary in the tanker version) and the limitations of ETOPS rules (which do not apply to a military tanker) so the A330 is perfectly suited.


Shame I can live with
. But the extra engines gives the A340 greater payload and these planes will also be carrying cargo. With ETOPS at what 180 minutes now and there is a push to go to 210, ETOPS is not really a factor.



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 05:31 PM
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Wasn't the BWB a boeing development?

Strange...

Shattered OUT...



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 01:01 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Was there a request for competition or did the contract just go to Airbus by default? Im curious because I understand France is also embarking on replacing its tanker fleet and I am wondering if Boeing has any shot at even bidding in a remotely fair competition
Who am I kidding of course it does not.
(anymore than Airbus will get the US contract im sure). Yes I know its EADS, RR, Thales, et al.


But I wonder why they are not considering the A340 for the role? It can carry more, thus offload more and its not that much bigger. No doubt thought that the A330 will be suited for the role.

[edit on 8/8/05 by FredT]


Actually they might just win it. Boeing was awarded the contract, but the upon a bribery scandal they cancelled it. Airbus is promising ti build the planes in Alabama with a huge number of American parts. Their main partner is Raytheon.



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 01:05 AM
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I doubt that Congress would allow the Pentagon to purchase Airbus tankers. Its no different if France or Germany bought Boeing tankers. Esp given the size of the order. Its difficult to spin this one to the voters on eaither side of the Atlantic IMHO.

You may see a mixed order at worst.



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 01:24 AM
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They're trying to pass a bill that would eliminate the possibility of buying foreign built planes for USAF contracts.

One of the things about an Airbus tanker that could lead to problems is the winglets. They're designed to create vortexes to make more lift, but depending on where the drogue pods are located it can cause them to spin, and whip around from the vortexes.



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
One of the things about an Airbus tanker that could lead to problems is the winglets. They're designed to create vortexes to make more lift, but depending on where the drogue pods are located it can cause them to spin, and whip around from the vortexes.


Begging to differ, the winglets reduce drag on the wingtips thus reducing fuel burn esp. in long haul a/c



Whitcomb’s analysis of flow phenomena at the tip showed that the airflow about the wingtip of the typical aircraft in flight is characterized by flow that is directed inward above the wingtip and flow that is directed outward below the wingtip. Whitcomb hypothesized that a vertical, properly cambered and angled surface above or below the tip could utilize this crossflow tendency to reduce the strength of the trailing vortex and, thereby, reduce the induced drag. The drag reduction mechanism is achieved by a forward vectoring of the side force generated by the winglets
oea.larc.nasa.gov...


Hmmmmmmm intersting if they can pass the legislation and it passes WTO muster. My quess they will use a page from Airbuses book on the 400 transport. If Airbus comes in with a lower contract, Boeing will be allowed to rebid.



posted on Aug, 9 2005 @ 05:52 PM
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Ever seen a plane with winglets fly through clouds? The winglet does a good job of keeping the wingtip vortices from coming up over the wing, which is good, but they still leave a nice vortice behind them.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
Wasn't the BWB a boeing development?

Strange...

Shattered OUT...


Why yes it was, wow that is strange.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 03:09 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
Ever seen a plane with winglets fly through clouds? The winglet does a good job of keeping the wingtip vortices from coming up over the wing, which is good, but they still leave a nice vortice behind them.


Actually the MMA is losing the winglets in favor of raked wingtips. You get the same effect, but, apparently designing a de-icing system is hard for the winglets.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 03:28 PM
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Both Boeing and Airbus have done quite a bit of work on 'BWB type' designs but the one bearing the actual BWB acronym belongs to Boeing ( and looks the better of the two IMHO).



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
I doubt that Congress would allow the Pentagon to purchase Airbus tankers. Its no different if France or Germany bought Boeing tankers.


- Er, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong Fred but didn't France use the US 707 derivative?
Didn't the old 'West Germany' buy the US 'buddy system'? Didn't the Netherlands, Spainish etc - basicially everybody in Europe (but the British who preferred their own 'probe & drogue' system) 'buy' American last time?

Isn't it exactly because of this short-sighted lack of any realistic reciprocation (no matter how many multiples of billions of $ Europe spent on US kit over the post-war decades) from the USA that Europe is ensuring we have our own capabilities?



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 06:52 PM
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Originally posted by FredT

Actually the MMA is losing the winglets in favor of raked wingtips. You get the same effect, but, apparently designing a de-icing system is hard for the winglets.


The Boeing 767-400 was one of the first to use the raked wingtips. It's the same effect as the winglet. If you notice on the pics of the Airbus tanker, the drogue pods are positioned way in on the wing, instead of the wingtips like they are now on the KC-10, KC-135, and other tankers. That will help the wing support the weight of the pod, and keep the drogue out of the wingtip vortices.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
- Er, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong Fred but didn't France use the US 707 derivative?
Didn't the old 'West Germany' buy the US 'buddy system'? Didn't the Netherlands, Spainish etc - basicially everybody in Europe (but the British who preferred their own 'probe & drogue' system) 'buy' American last time?


To be fair, did Airbus or any other European entity have the capacity to build a tanker in that time frame that was cost effective and not really an elaborate jobs program?



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
The Boeing 767-400 was one of the first to use the raked wingtips. It's the same effect as the winglet.


They are also an option on the 777 but many do not chose to do so. Im a sucker for any plane that has them though and the SW 737's with them look way cool.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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It makes it REALLY easy to tell a 767-400 from a distance. It does look pretty cool, and it saevs weight and stress on the wingtip.



posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
To be fair, did Airbus or any other European entity have the capacity to build a tanker in that time frame that was cost effective and not really an elaborate jobs program?


- Now come on Fred, you know the specifics of the last round of tanker buying wasn't the entire point of what I was saying now don't you?

Airbus wasn't around last time but nevertheless when would you ever have heard a 'strategic security' arguement from Europe before?

S'ok though, we got the 'message' long ago, hence the existance of things like Airbus today.
Reap what you sow and all that, huh?
(hope your political leaders etc thought it was 'worth it'.
)




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