KC-46A 2017

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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rheonomic

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Unread post20 Sep 2019, 05:04

blain wrote:There is a reason why Boeing lost the ATF, JSF, ATB, and LRS-B programs. If the Navy is smart, they would be wise to re compete the MQ-25 contract and award it to LM or NG.

To be fair, the MQ-25 guys actually know what they're doing since it's STL / McAir.
blain wrote:Now they are trying to force the AF to make NG accept them as a partner for the $63 billion GSBD program. Boeing claims the AF will get system sooner if it is involved. NG doesn't want them as a partner. I wonder why.

This is what a Boeing executive said about their conversations with NG.

"We talked to them immediately after we sent our no-bid letter in July. They considered it for about a month and then told us ‘no thanks,’”

That is so sad and pathetic.

This is great.
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Unread post20 Sep 2019, 20:47

Some detail for hope - I know - grasping at straws here....
AMC: KC-46 Can’t Deploy for at Least 3-4 Years
18 Sep 2019 Brian Everstine & John A. Tirpak​

"...Of the four Category One deficiencies affecting the jet—including a recently discovered issue with flawed cargo locks, announced in early September—the remote camera and sensor system used by the boom operator to guide the refueling boom to refuel receiving aircraft is the most critical.

The Air Force identified nine critical parameters Boeing must fix. The company is working with USAF scientists, Miller said, and the combined team has been “making progress” on seven of them. But two have proven “very difficult.” These include a problem with the acuity, or definition, of the display; with the current, flawed system, the boom operator’s vision is akin to 20/50 vision, Miller said. Depth perception is also a problem, making it particularly difficult for operators to know how far the boom is from the receiving aircraft.

Boeing “knows it has to meet all nine,” Miller said, calling AMC’s evaluation process a “pass/fail” matter. Failing to solve any one parameter counts as failure. Miller promised to “increase the pressure,” but did not specify what means would be applied. “The pressure’s on to get this into the fight,” she said. “Our teams will work together to get this into the fight.”

Speaking for Boeing, Mike Hefer, the company’s senior manager for KC-46 business development, told Air Force Magazine that the Air Force and Boeing have a memorandum of agreement regarding the RVS. “Maybe we had some fault on both sides defining what the system should look like,” he said. But “we’ve established very objective data now on what the RVS should be able to perform. We’ve gotten the green light from the Air Force to build, upgrade, and enhance the RVS system, to meet all those … critical performance parameters. So we’ve got a clear path forward.”...

...According to Hafer, “nothing came loose” in the incident that triggered the order barring cargo and passengers from KC-46 flights. “It stayed secure the whole flight,” he said. “At no time was there a safety of flight issue. It just did not indicate a full lock.”

Boeing suspects vibrations caused the indicators on the clamps to shift from locked, to “off center.” Although he offered no timetable, Hafer promised, “We can get that fixed.” “We’re doing the full root cause analysis,” Haver said. “We need to verify our solution,” he noted, saying “our solution is being put to the test right now. Once that analysis is complete, we turn that analysis over to the Air Force.”..."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... Years.aspx
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madrat

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Unread post21 Sep 2019, 04:50

With the new contract structure you get paid for 'work'. It probably pays better in the short term to find 'issues' that the USAF design required so that Boeing can 'fix' them.
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Unread post22 Sep 2019, 18:48

outlaw162 wrote:If I might say one more thing for 'BASHER' before getting back to the KC-46. That photo of 5 F-100Cs and 5 KC-97Gs is from the USAF archives. It was the first all ANG non-stop deployment to Europe, Operation Ready Go in 1964, before my time.
If those DC Guard guys stayed with the tankers all the way at 210 KCAS or so (maybe at best 300-320 KTAS) it must have been miserable. At least the winds were probably out of the west.



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Unread post22 Sep 2019, 20:35

“If the Navy is smart, they would be wise to re compete the MQ-25 contract and award it to LM or NG.”

Three chances on that idea — fat, slim and notta. BA ‘owns’ the Navy.
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blain

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Unread post24 Sep 2019, 00:25

quicksilver wrote:“If the Navy is smart, they would be wise to re compete the MQ-25 contract and award it to LM or NG.”

Three chances on that idea — fat, slim and notta. BA ‘owns’ the Navy.


So true. NG dropped out so they wouldn't likely submit anything in a re compete. It kind of reminds me of the KC-X competition. I believe NG didn't submit. In this one case, Boeing probably had the best design. But we'll see...
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Unread post24 Sep 2019, 13:20

rheonomic wrote:
blain wrote:There is a reason why Boeing lost the ATF, JSF, ATB, and LRS-B programs. If the Navy is smart, they would be wise to re compete the MQ-25 contract and award it to LM or NG.

To be fair, the MQ-25 guys actually know what they're doing since it's STL / McAir.
blain wrote:Now they are trying to force the AF to make NG accept them as a partner for the $63 billion GSBD program. Boeing claims the AF will get system sooner if it is involved. NG doesn't want them as a partner. I wonder why.

This is what a Boeing executive said about their conversations with NG.

"We talked to them immediately after we sent our no-bid letter in July. They considered it for about a month and then told us ‘no thanks,’”

That is so sad and pathetic.

This is great.


That was hilarious!

In all seriousness, unless Boeing delivers a miracle fighter in the form of the F-15EX... they'll be out of the fighter business after that. I can't see them winning PCA, the Navy's F/A-XX or... anything else fighter related.

They are living on borrowed time with the F-15EX. Only another monsterous showing in the air to air arena with their latest Eagle will save them. Even then, who's going to buy it... when the F-35 is cheaper?? Oh wait, the USAF just did lol...
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Unread post28 Oct 2019, 20:51

:devil: Perhaps all the 'fixed' 737 MAXs will be converted to BOING! tankers so that a fresh start will make the KC mo betta? :doh:
Boeing’s plan to get the KC-46A tanker back on schedule
28 Oct 2019 Garrett Reim

"Amid criticism from the US Air Force that it is moving too slowly towards fixing the KC-46A Pegasus in-flight refuelling tanker Boeing is touting incremental improvements that is says should help get its troubled programme back on track....

…[stuff about cargo locks is easy fix then] In September, Boeing and the USAF also agreed to technical standards to judge its proposed fixes to the KC-46A’s RVS – the camera-based technology that helps crew guide a refuelling boom to receiving aircraft.

The RVS has two problems: a 3-D video display system that distorts images and leads to depth perception problems for operators trying to guide booms into receiving aircraft; and a problem automatically adjusting to changing lighting conditions. “It's primarily when you're looking directly into the Sun or directly away from the Sun – when the Sun's at a low angle, casting a shadow,” says Burgess of the RVS’ difficulty adjusting to changing lighting.

Boeing plans to upgrade the camera system’s ability to automatically adjust contrast and resolution as lighting conditions change. The image distortion issues will be addressed with improvements to the camera lenses, new algorithms and additional computing power to process image data, says Burgess.

Over the past several months, disagreement with the USAF on how the RVS should be judged was a major obstacle in fixing the cameras. “Now that set of quantified requirements has been established, at this point, it will be a matter of both hardware and software development,” Burgess says “And then, the certification of that hardware and software [will happen] together before it can be released, as a retrofit to the KC-46 fleet.”...

...Boeing is also in the preliminary design phase of changing the boom actuator system on the KC-46A, which is doesn’t connect properly to the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II. The A-10 doesn’t have enough engine power to push into the boom and compress the actuator, especially at high altitudes or when it is weighed down with weapons, says Burgess.

The force needed to compress the boom into the A-10 wasn’t spelled out properly by the USAF in its programme requirements, so that category one deficiency is being fixed at the service’s expense. The boom actuator will likely be fixed on a timeline that is similar to the RVS, says Burgess.

Boeing has also had trouble getting the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certificate aerial refuelling pods made by Cobham. Aerial refueling pods had not been certificated by the FAA before and Boeing says it underestimated the time needed to gather all of the required data. The company believes the pods should receive certification by June 2020.

Despite lingering issues the USAF transitioned the Boeing KC-46A into Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) on 22 October.… [an explanation follows with some delivery details]

...After getting the programme’s delivery plan back on track, Boeing will need to resolve the aircraft’s lingering deficiencies with designs approved by the USAF as well as work with the service to complete IOT&E. Under that current timeline, the aircraft should be approved, retrofitted and introduced into service by 2022 or 2023, says Burgess."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ed-461841/
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 11:12

UhOH. The Pennies inside the shoes are dropping all over (look it up penny/shoe drop). BOEING needs some BOING! :shock:
What’s Wrong with Boeing?
12 Nov 2019 Mark R. Jacobson

"...On the military side, Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling tanker is $3 billion over budget, three years behind schedule, and still has technical challenges whose repair bill has been estimated at $300 million by the Government Accountability Office. These include problems with the remote vision system needed to operate the refueling boom – the 767 variant’s raison d’etre! Then there are the tools and other debris that Air Force maintainers began to find inside the walls, floors, and wings of delivered aircraft. The service acquisitions chief halted deliveries the following month, allowed them to restart in March, then halted them again after more debris was found. Meanwhile, the existing fleet is currently banned from carrying cargo and passengers until faulty cargo restraints are fixed. These delays mean the KC-46 is now slated to fly its first combat missions no sooner than 2022 – eleven years after Boeing was selected over rivals to build the tanker. All this suggests a deeper problem with Boeing’s commitment to quality and a continued disregard for the potential risk to our men and women in uniform—unfathomable for a company like this.

These [other aircraft problems] have all dented Boeing’s reputation and could threaten its longer-term value as a reliable partner in the U.S. defense establishment...."

Source: https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/1 ... ng/161245/
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sferrin

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 14:37

Jesus Christ, how hard can a TANKER be? :doh: :bang:
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 16:25

This type of constant, over and over re-reporting of the exact same things, day after day, week after week, month after month is how the lame steam media make their living, tearing down companies and individuals engaged in the process to doing something useful.

Those of us who have been around the block a few times see it for exactly what it is and do not react to it.

A reaction is what they are looking for.

If you are a "doer" you don't react to negative people. You just keep on doing what needs to be done until you succeed. Which you will do in the end. Then the negative people will claim credit for what you did, saying "you didn't do that." I've seen this and heard the many time over. F-35 story is a perfect recent example. There are many others just in the military aircraft world.

2, 5 10 years from now operators and maintainers stepping out KC-46A tankers won't care or remember all the negative stuff "reported" about "their" tanker just as F-35 operators and maintainers do not care what is or was said about their beloved F-35's ( system x, for that matter).

Doer's don't care what negative people say or do. In the military we are doers. We get it done. Simple as that.
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sferrin

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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 18:25

And if you were talking about something groundbreaking (a STOVL stealth fighter for example) I'd agree with you. But a tanker. Worse, a tanker based on an existing airframe, which has ALREADY been made into a tanker in the past. They're basically doing a DC-10/KC-10 conversion on a 767.
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 19:16

This is exactly why major procurement contracts should be a fixed cost-plus fee basis. You put the major risk on the contractor for cost overruns.

Imagine if the GAO hadn't overturned the original award to Airbus. :roll:
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 20:45

KC-46 cargo solution still ‘months’ away
12 Nov 2019 Aaron Mehta & Valerie Insinna

"...The cargo issue represents the fourth category 1 deficiency for the tanker, and the issues are becoming increasingly expensive for Boeing: The company is locked into a fixed-price contract, which means it is responsible for paying for a expenses beyond the initial $4.9 billion award for development of the aircraft. So far, the company has paid more than $3.5 billion of its own money to fund corrections to ongoing technical issues. The other three issues are:

• The remote vision system, or RVS — the camera system that allows KC-46 boom operators to steer the boom into a receiver aircraft without having to look out a window and use visual cues — provides imagery in certain lighting conditions that appears warped or misleading. Boeing has agreed to pay for potentially extensive hardware and software fixes, but the Air Force believes it could be up to four years until the system is fully functional.

• The Air Force has recorded instances of the boom scraping against the airframe of receiver aircraft. Boeing and the Air Force believe this problem is a symptom of the RVS’ acuity problems, and that the problem will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed.

• Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10 plane, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling. This problem is a requirements change by the Air Force, which approved Boeing’s design in 2016. Last month, Boeing received a $55.5 million contract to begin work on the new boom actuator.


Roper said the cargo issue “goes into the kind of normal deficiency space” and noted that it’s the type of issue that is discovered by the normal testing process. The more long-term issues, such as the remote visual system, are “the areas I keep the most focus on,” he said."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/11 ... nths-away/
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Unread post13 Nov 2019, 23:28

Slightly off-topic, but meanwhile am Australian KC-30A (the one based on Airbus A330 MRTT, the loser of the KC-X competition) has just successfully refueled the F-22 (and B-1 and F-16 and loads of others before that):

https://twitter.com/USAFCENT/status/1194181486582386688

Boeing also seemingly had working versions of KC-767 already in 2011 (for Italy and Japan), how did they get it so wrong with the KC-46?
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