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Renew Stratofortress

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posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 04:29 AM
I have heard BOEING had had a plane to relace the TF30 engine to RB211 varient engine that fit on Boeing747 or CF6 series fitted on Boeing767 now two several years ago. The CT6 engine is much more powerful than TF30, so the B-52 can just fit 4 CT6 to get over 25% increment of thrust. Although this thrust increace couldn't give a supersonic to B52 .but it will increace more range, high celling,and decreace the distance of taking off. Also 4 new engines would give an advantage to logistics of B52. Now B52 still use TF30. I was wondering why USAF don't want to replace those old engines and if they will replace, when they plan to?

posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 05:07 AM
yep there's a proposal to re-engine them down to 2 on each wing. you'd have to do a google search it was on one of the news outlets

posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 07:44 AM
I don't know what the current staus is however in late 2003 this was reported

Flight International
25 Nov 2003

Manufacturer points to financing scheme to fund USAF bomber overhaul to replace ageing Pratt & Whitney TF33s

Boeing has again tested the US Air Force's interest in re-engining the B-52H fleet, this time pointing to a unique financing scheme and growing support in Congress.

In 1996, the USAF chose not to act on Boeing's unsolicited proposal to refit the B-52H fleet with Rolls-Royce RB211 high-bypass turbofan engines, replacing the 50-year-old Pratt & Whitney TF33s.

The Defense Science Board revisited the issue in 2002 and found flaws in the air force's cost-benefit analysis, which failed to account for the heavy premium on fuel delivery using aerial tankers (a gallon of fuel costing $1.17 on the ground soars to $20.07 for mid-air refuelling, according to air force statistics).

As the cost to overhaul the TF33 powerplants has tripled within a decade to a projected $832,000 in fiscal year 2004, a joint USAF/Boeing study obtained by Flight International is recommending the launch of a $3.95-4.65 billion re-engining effort.

The goal would be to obtain operating cost savings of $11-15 billion, while at the same time increasing B-52H combat range by 22% and loiter time on station by 200%.

The study, however, threatens R-R's status as the favoured engine candidate, proposing a competition between the RB211 and the Pratt & Whitney F117 (PW2000), plus an eight-engine variant using the GE /Snecma CFM56.

The study goes a step further by proposing a novel funding plan centred on a little-known government financing mechanism called an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), which allows federal agencies to use energy savings accumulated over 20 or more years to pay contractors for efficiency upgrades. "The annual cost of financing re-engining under a successful ESPC would be no greater than the current cost for operating, maintaining, sustaining and overhauling the B-52H's current engines throughout its remaining life," the study concludes.

The ESPC route would avoid a battle for precious procurement funds, and despite the growing financial burden of maintaining TF33s, re-engining is low on the list of air force priorities for B-52H upgrades funded by normal procurement channels.

By law, however, ESPCs cannot be used to pay for improvements to mobile assets or weapons, only federal buildings. But a bill introduced in Congress on 17 October proposes to change this, allowing the US Department of Defense to enlist ESPCs for up to 10 "non-building" programmes. The bill is backed by a bi-partisan mix of four Republicans and four Democrats.

posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 08:45 AM
emile, look at popeys avatar. Thats the original Avro Vulcan design from 1947 that you u2u'd me about

The proposal to re-engine the B-52 with 'big fan's' has been around at least 25 years, I doubt they'll ever get round to it.

posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 11:22 AM
25% increment in thrust is a lot
especially using half the engines. increasing loiter time by 200% is even better

There must be some political reason behind it. It would cost more in the short term but in the long run would save loads. So money isnt the problem. Maybe they are going to ger rid of it soon
and so the saving wouldnt pay for themselves by the time the fleet was retired.


posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 01:38 PM
Total money spent may not be the problem, but with a 3-4 Billion dollar procurement cost, the upfront cost may be.

posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 09:33 PM
I was reading a book 1 time that they took a B-52 and put the 4-747 engines on it, gave it a black anti-radar paint, hung some ECM pods, and a whole bunch of ASRAMS on it to make it a an air to air missile platform. It would loiter around a no fly zone and whenever fighters would take off it would launch missiles at them.

posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 09:55 PM
Flight of the Old Dog, by Dale Brown?

Unfortunately, it takes far more than a new coat of paint to have signifigant affect on the RCS of an aircraft. Still, with long enough reach missiles, and sophisticated enough ECMs, the idea of an escort bomber could prove fairly lethal to most nations by sheer volume of air to air missiles.

Let's see, an AIM-54 weighs rounghly 1000 pounds,
The B-52 has I believe a 40,000 pound payload capacity,
So that's about 40 LRAAM you can have loitering in one spot, waiting for the nearby AWACS to tell it to shoot something.

On the upside, the loiter cost would go down signifigantly over having 10-20 fighters carrying all that ammo.

On the downside, if someone DOES get through, and chucks a missile of thier own into you, be it A/A or S/A, you just lost ALL of your combat capability.

*notes, I used the AIM-54 as it's the only long range missile I saw on Global security which I could grab a weight for. I doubt any other missile with the range needed would weigh very much less.

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 01:01 AM

Originally posted by ULTIMA1
I was reading a book 1 time that they took a B-52 and put the 4-747 engines on it, gave it a black anti-radar paint, hung some ECM pods, and a whole bunch of ASRAMS on it to make it a an air to air missile platform. It would loiter around a no fly zone and whenever fighters would take off it would launch missiles at them.

So B-52 has been tested by 4 RB211 before

If it is true, the picture of B-52 refitted is really valuable! Have you taken it?

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 01:07 AM
Actually Emile, it was a fiction book. It wasn't a real airplane. If I remember right, they HAVE put either an RB211, or CFM56 on a BUFF in one spot. I'll see if I can find the pics of it.

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 01:20 AM
The mounted the TF-39 engine on a couple of B-52s to test them for the C-5 program. It was pretty funny looking. Here are some pics.

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 02:05 AM

Yes it is funny looking.
But I think we can fit some turbine-fan like RB211 or PW2000 which diameter is smaller than TF-39 on it also give more than 20000kg thrust to B-52 per engine.

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 02:24 AM
The thing is that the airforce have hundreds of TF30 engines in storage already paid for. If you put a new engine on you have to pay for the retrofit, testing, new equipment, training, spare engines and political bribes. When you compare this to the amount of extra fuel you need for the rest of the BUFFs lifetime its easier to keep the old engines. They look at replacing the engines every time they increase the Buffs service life. When they do finally retire her I suspect it will be because there's not enough engines left in a servicable condition.

That said, bring on a fleet of Megafortresses

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 02:27 AM
Actually they're TF33s.

The biggest thing that's going to kill the BUFF is flight time. Once you hit a certain flight time you start to get stress cracks. The wings and upper fuselage are the biggest concerns with that.

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 02:53 AM
No nononoooooo.....
Yes the daimeter of one CF-6 or TF-39 or PW2000 is bigger than TF-33 but which not means the dry weight of one of them will be heavier than two TF-30. sorry I have not got datums by searching google I just suspect strongly.

[edit on 18-2-2006 by emile]

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 02:54 AM
The current engines are TF33s. The TF30 was the original engine used in the F-14.

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 03:56 AM
it is my mistake because the f-14 is too famous for me
it has been correct

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 04:49 AM

Originally posted by Travellar
Total money spent may not be the problem, but with a 3-4 Billion dollar procurement cost, the upfront cost may be.

The us defence budget for this year adds up to $580 billion

Please tell me that you arent saying that the us air force cant spare $3-$4 billion out of that for new engines, especially as the engines will have payed for themselves after a few years.


posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 04:52 AM
The real problem is that you're going to be putting a new bow on an old package. The B-52 was and is a great plane, but it's past its prime and needs a replacement. It's absurd that they're talking about using them for another 20 years. The last B-52H, which is the only model flying, was delivered in 1962 for god's sake! It's time to retire them, or if they want to keep flying them turn them into stand off jammers where they don't go into hostile territory, or if they do it's AFTER the main defenses are taken out.

posted on Feb, 18 2006 @ 05:46 AM

As has been suggested elsewhere, the 'real answer' is to stop trying to bandaid an old dinosaur whose three year PDM refurbishment is getting to be more than the equivalent cost of operating it for a year.

The 'nice thing' about the B-52 is that it gives you payload flex, both through the external pylons and the 'clip load' internals which can mount some fairly hefty stores without needing a complex CBM or Rotary launcher.

The 'bad thing/s' about the BUFF are...everything else.

Things to keep in mind-

1. A BUFF is going to need a 10-12,000ft runway and a full MOB theater level support structure to work. Big stands, big carts and trailers. BIG. Once you admit this it _doesn't matter_ how you design the basic airframe which replaces it. A lifting body deltoid shape with two of these Trent or F117 (C-17 powerplant) would do just as well in terms of theater radius and on-station hold times. Not least because it would only need half as many engines to do carry twice as many small diameter weapons.

2. The USAF is still playing dork-about with the CFM56 and KC-135 (maybe even E-3/8 by now) airframe. Everytime they do so, they pull a TF33 (militarized JT8D IIRR) off and throw it into storage. Where new skins and if need be, new spars can theoretically keep the old thundering giant airborne for so long as there are barbarians with popguns that can't reach it to kill it, the supply of engines will last 'one day longer'.

3. There is a constant war between the ops side of things (Theater CINCs /screaming/ for more, more reliable, assets 'at any cost so long as they are here tomorrow'...) and the procurement side of things. Pilots who do the 'career track' of one tour in some staff position to get their noses brown. One year in staff college to 'become experts in their field'. And 8 months commanding a unit they haven't been mission current on since their first tour, 15 years ago, are the ones who will become generals at the 5 walled asylum. And those generals follow a strict code of 'up or out' in which _buying new things_ is the only way to get that final star and that six figure retirement job at some slavering defense contractor's golfcart department. Of the two 'types' of ex-warriors: the slaughter dog leash holders and the shopaholic in training, Congress likes the latter better because they can do the kinds of new program start projects which mean money in their home districts. The only people who like the operations side are the State Department and it's trade commission fellow dog humpers who deal in resource commodities like...oil.
Perhaps 50 people in Congress (and a few more in 'investment groups' outsde it) sit on those most-powerful of commitees. Whereas all 500 can play pretend patriotism on military contracts.
For _this alone_the BUFF is a doomed asset. Because the only people who profit from it are the ones in the AF depot command organization.

4. If you're fighting some schmuck hillbilly George who persists in hiding in outer bagoverhead, the best way to kill him is with his cousin Joe Bob. Because cousin Bob has lifelong grudges as well as more limited aims (neighborhood stature and a free range rover).
As well as the not to inconsiderable advantage of a decent idea of where to find Terrorist George at.
And even if he can't find /the man himself/ he has no moral outrage problems inherent to burning down his hooch, gutting his kids and impregnating his women and farm animals. Because after all, they are cousins.
Of course George has a problem. And a big one. Because whatever he feels for his more or less replaceable chattel, he is rapidly losing status at about the same rate as his neighbors get rousted as Jo Bob looks under /their/ mattresses for _his_ cousin.
In this scenario, you may well be flying out to distances which a reengined BUFF would be comfy at. But you won't be dropping iron. Because the world tends to object when we do things efficiently. Even as they object when we do things the dumb way with overwhelming force.
Because that's all they're good at.
In this scenario, what you want is not a 'B-3' (LRSA, whatever...) but a 737 or 767 with enough gas and/or refueling capabilities to keep about 12-15 people fat-happy for about 15-20hrs. Because it's 'just an airliner' it has no overt threat status or reason to be suspected. And because the 'airpower' it employs is more or less dropped like a sonobuoy-

The concept of what it does is different from that which you might expect.

For a Finder or Silent Eyes followon is the completely deniable, 'eyes in the sky' by which Jo Bob can go out hunting his close kin and KNOW that he won't put his foot in something smelly without seeing it beforehand. Even as, having found it, he can 'request' that said drone apply ballpeen-to-forehead OBAS to whatever small-ambush is blocking the road with an explosive charge little bigger than a handgrenade.

i.e. Tiz' not a BUFF in new knicker's you want to parade around before the public's astonished eyes (What, did Ford do that one as practice for the Model T? :-/).

Rather it is a combination of this-

With this-

Functioning a little like this-

Because that is how you generate 'forward presence' over potentially a _friends_ turf. Without having to wake up the sleeping slaughter dogs best left lying in their overpaid but still-here garrison existence. An assassin's tool, not a soldier's.

The U.S. doesn't want to find Osama because too many people are making way too much money driving us further and further under the waves of incoming red ink. Because of this, it's unlikely that we will ever get the platform that the BUFF /should be/ replaced with. Or the one which will simply do the same job cheaper. Because the BUFF itself is not necessary to lose an insurgency. And the broken hammer on the shelf stays on the shelf rather than be fixed or tossed in our military culture. Money wa$ted is $till billets under command. And anytime you can command a worthless '$oldier' in peacetime, why then you've found a job that /only a general/ (chain of command) can do.

And boy are generals jealous of their billets, because that is where procurement meets operations on a kind of mutual handwashng circle jerk.


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