Boeing's First Operational KC-46 Pegasus Takes Maiden Flight

RDoug

Well-Known Member
#2
Taking a COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) solution and spending nearly two decades to get it operational. Can you imagine what Curtis LeMay would have said if Boeing had taken that long to develop the B-52 and
KC-135 arm of SAC? From scratch?
 
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Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
#6
Such a short development timeline....

Let's see, I wrapped up on C40A Clipper in mid 2000 and left for UK to do the best Value Source Selection for the 767 Tanker for Italy in late 2000 :)
Italy has had theirs for awhile. Boeing had to drag their feet in order to fleece the US Government and screw with EADS/Airbus's heads for over a decade.

The article states that it has some FAA certification issues. Why? is the F35 certified too?
Probably RVSM or ADS-B or some other little dumb thing that keeps it from being a good neighbor in the NAS.
 

Lawman

Well-Known Member
#7
Italy has had theirs for awhile. Boeing had to drag their feet in order to fleece the US Government and screw with EADS/Airbus's heads for over a decade.



Probably RVSM or ADS-B or some other little dumb thing that keeps it from being a good neighbor in the NAS.
The KC-46 and the older 767 tankers our allies are flying are entirely different aircraft.

There is a near 45k lbs difference in available offload alone because of airframe differences let alone all the new wizzbang stuff in avionics and electronics associated with newer 767 family aircraft.

I agree it’s dumb as hell what happened with the 767 lease and that poisoned the water for a while on the Air Force getting a new tanker the 46 is truly a better idea than the EADS proposal. While people say “oh man look how much more the airbus can do!” They are missing the major point on that. A tanker is a theatre level asset conducting a vital mission that supports the whole air plan and the joint forces air component commanders internet. Turning it into a multi function “hey look it can haul cargo pallets too!” Aircraft means people are going to rob from peter (the sortie support) to pay Paul (theatre air transport) because their are more tails to fight over at the CAOC.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Wonder if the KC-46 will assume any alert duties for nuke bomber support, as required. To date, that has been always been the purview of the KC-135, as the KC-10 never pulled that duty back in the day when nuke alert was 24/7.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
#9
The KC-46 and the older 767 tankers our allies are flying are entirely different aircraft.

There is a near 45k lbs difference in available offload alone because of airframe differences let alone all the new wizzbang stuff in avionics and electronics associated with newer 767 family aircraft.

I agree it’s dumb as hell what happened with the 767 lease and that poisoned the water for a while on the Air Force getting a new tanker the 46 is truly a better idea than the EADS proposal. While people say “oh man look how much more the airbus can do!” They are missing the major point on that. A tanker is a theatre level asset conducting a vital mission that supports the whole air plan and the joint forces air component commanders internet. Turning it into a multi function “hey look it can haul cargo pallets too!” Aircraft means people are going to rob from peter (the sortie support) to pay Paul (theatre air transport) because their are more tails to fight over at the CAOC.
KC-10 can haul a HELL of a lot of trash, but it doesn't get used for that all that much. A tanker that would have been in the fight 6-10 years ago would have been more important than whatever is getting delivered in 2018.

Plus...I mean...Tray tables for the pilots, right?
 

Lawman

Well-Known Member
#11
KC-10 can haul a HELL of a lot of trash, but it doesn't get used for that all that much. A tanker that would have been in the fight 6-10 years ago would have been more important than whatever is getting delivered in 2018.

Plus...I mean...Tray tables for the pilots, right?
The 10 doesn’t get used for it because there just aren’t that many of them.

35’s have and until replaced will be the backbone of the tanker fleet. It’s also about booms in the air, not just give. Booms provide flexibility over a larger aircraft who’s primary selling point was all the non tanker stuff it could do for us (airbus).

For once the protest actually got it right. Airbus provided an aircraft that did things the Air Force didn’t ask for or really need because that was the only way they could beat the 767 I’m worthwhile ways to get over the license aircraft issue even if it was made over here. Essentially they were their own good idea fairy in this fight.

Should have been replacing the 35’s twenty years ago, but dumb and crooked games in acquisitions they burned that plan. Now we are making up very lost time as we’ve flown a lot of the expendable life out of the 35 fleet making all the stacks in the coin fight for the last 15 years.
 
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n57flyguy

Well-Known Member
#13
Wonder if the KC-46 will assume any alert duties for nuke bomber support, as required. To date, that has been always been the purview of the KC-135, as the KC-10 never pulled that duty back in the day when nuke alert was 24/7.
If I recall correctly, the previous short list was mostly KC10 replacements or stand ups. I think MacDill had some drama about the 46 which currently flies the 135. Grand Forks has not had 135s since 2010. Dover has not had tankers either. Pease is the only one with 135s - I don't know if it was supposed to be pure replacement. Regardless It looks like Seymour Johnson (135s, Reserve) will get them first, along with Travis and McGuire on the works too much side replacing the KC10. Additionally the 135 has an extended service life till 2040, with upgrades coming.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article173095391.html

http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Disp...hurst-travis-afb-named-next-kc-46a-locations/

Anyhow - the new boom technology is pretty slick.
 

n57flyguy

Well-Known Member
#14
Boeing holds a patent on a translating boom system that is pretty interesting too. It was designed for a 777 size aircraft and stows under the aircraft during takeoff and landing, then translates back on a track to lock into place for refueling ops.

It was designed to be used on longer aircraft to prevent tailstrikes, or rotation limitations.

Obviously not used here...
Not that I didn't believe you, but I had to google:

https://www.google.com/patents/US5996939



(looks like a B717 - I wonder when the CS300 will put in for an AR contract) :D
 

FlyingSieve

Well-Known Member
#16
Pease is the only one with 135s - I don't know if it was supposed to be pure replacement. Regardless It looks like Seymour Johnson (135s, Reserve) will get them first, along with Travis and McGuire on the works too much side replacing the KC10.
Pease is a TFI base (Active-Associate with McConnell) which likely played a role in their selection as one of the first three (Altus and McConnell) to receive tails. They also have/had some form of an alert mission.
 
#19
135's are still pulling 24/7 nuke alert and regularly scramble. KC-46 is a bit of a frankenstein 767, according to the Boeing engineers when I toured the KC-46 assembly line.
 
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