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KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2017, 16:33
by neptune ... rs-441299/

USAF explores cloaking device for tankers

20 September, 2017
BY: Leigh Giangreco

Washington DC
The US Air Force will next month unveil the results of a study into survivability gaps on its fleet of tankers and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, the service’s head of Air Mobility Command (AMC) says. The recently completed high-value airborne asset research activity identified survivability gaps on existing tankers, plus Boeing E-3 airborne warning and control system and Northrop Grumman E-8C joint surveillance target attack radar system aircraft. AMC chief Gen Carlton Everhart has previously discussed a "cloaking" capability for the USAF’s next-generation KC-Z tanker, which would allow the aircraft to fend off adversaries by manipulating its radar signature. This process would involve taking radiant energy from a radar and diffusing it to disguise a tanker or airlifter's outline, he says. Speaking at the Air Force Association's annual convention, Everhart says: “It’s not as simple as I think it is. If you get one electron out, you just identified yourself to the adversary.” Everhart has not commented on whether the USAF will release a request for information linked to the so-called cloaking capability, but confirms that he discussed the concept with industry on the floor of the Air, Space and Cyber conference.

...a stealthy MQ-25A Stingray??,,,,,

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2017, 07:26
by popcorn
Maybe they should just focus on getting the KC-46A fixed first.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2017, 08:18
by neptune
popcorn wrote:Maybe they should just focus on getting the KC-46A fixed first.

...Amen, I'm confident they will!

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 20:12
by neptune ... es-441405/

USAF provides new detail on KC-46 issues

22 September, 2017
BY: Leigh Giangreco

Washington DC
The US Air Force’s Boeing KC-46 tanker is facing three outstanding issues as it moves through testing, including a boom scraping problem that could pose serious risk to the tanker’s aircrew. Earlier this week, the USAF’s chief of air mobility command revealed the air force has discovered three major deficiencies during testing on Boeing’s next-generation tanker. Video and data gathered during developmental testing showed the tanker scraped receiver aircraft outside the receptacle, according to the USAF’s programme executive for tankers, Brig Gen Donna Shipton. The USAF is also working to understand a high-frequency transmit and “uncommanded boom extension issue,” which the air force plans to solve this October. The service will collect data on the scraping problem throughout October and November, and, until that data is analysed, Shipton is not sure when the issue will be solved. Based on a schedule risk assessment, the KC-46 program office does not believe Boeing will be able to complete first delivery in December and instead, expects a spring 2018 delivery.

Those delays, which the Government Accountability Office predicted in a report last spring, are not related to the deficiencies but to test points Boeing must complete to acquire US Federal Aviation Administration and military aircraft certifications. During developmental testing last October, the KC-46 boom’s tip struck receiver aircraft outside their refueling slipways.The USAF did not discover the issue until testing completed and the service analyzed data and completed a deficiency report in May. “When the boom isn’t being carried into the receptacle, there’s instances where there’s contact outside the receptacle by the boom and in some instances, it goes undetected by the boom operator,” Shipton says. “We have aerial refueling procedures that require... the boom operator [to] notify pilots, make them aware that the boom contacted outside the receptacle.” The air force believes KC-46 is potentially scraping aircraft at a higher rate than legacy tankers, but Boeing and the KC-46 program office are analyzing historical data to compare how often the issue occurs in the current fleet, Shipton says. While the two other category one issues are not severe, scraping could pose a significant risk to aircrew, she adds. The USAF is concerned about KC-46 scraping low observable aircraft, but the tanker has not yet refueled stealth aircraft in testing. KC-46 has refueled the F-16, F/A-18, AV-8B, C-17 and A-10.

Less severe but still unknown is a high frequency (HF) transmitting issue during aerial refueling. HF transmitting must be turned off during refueling to avoid electrical sparking between the boom and receiver. The USAF first identified the issue in 2016, but does not have sufficient test data to confirm that when transmitting is turned off, it stays off, says Col John Newberry, KC-46 system program manager. “If for some reason it’s off but somehow failed, we needed the test data to prove it wouldn't inadvertently come back on,” he says. The service will conduct testing in October and, assuming the results are positive, will be able to close out the deficiency report.

The service is also grappling with what it calls an “uncommanded boom extension” on KC-46. During ground testing, fuel flowed through boom, exerting pressure which pushed the boom forward and extended the boom into a test stand acting as a receptacle. The issue also occurs on the legacy fleet, where if a pilot somehow disconnects unexpectedly then the boom operator retracts the boom from the aircraft. That phenomenon is known as a commanded scenario, Shipton says. With the KC-46 ground testing, the test stand was not rated to withstand the same impact as an aircraft receptacle. “Initially there was some concern,” Shipton says. “After looking at the data, we believe this is not going to be an issue, however we won’t make a decision on closing this deficiency report until October.”

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 20:19
by neptune ... ping-issue

Boeing May Replace KC-46 Camera To Fix Scraping Issue

Sep 20, 2017
Lara Seligman

Boeing is looking at upgrading the camera systems used for aerial refueling on its new KC-46 tanker after the U.S. Air Force discovered the refueling boom can scrape and potentially damage receiver aircraft. The remote air refueling observatory cameras in the new Pegasus tanker were the best the market offered in 2012 when the aircraft was being contracted, but is not the latest technology, Air Force spokesman Col. Christopher Karns told Aviation Week Sept. 20.
Boeing would assume the cost of upgrading the camera system, Karns said. A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment.
The problem involves the KC-46’s rigid refueling boom, one of two systems it has to refuel aircraft in flight. As the tanker’s boom goes into the receiver aircraft, the device has a tendency to scrape the surface of the receiving aircraft, explained Gen. Carlton Everhart, commander of Air Mobility Command, on Sept. 20 during the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space and Cyber conference here. This could pose a particular problem for stealth aircraft such as the B-2 bomber, F-22 or F-35 fighters, if the boom causes damage to low-observable stealth coating, officials acknowledge. The
KC-46 has not yet refueled stealth aircraft during flight testing, Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson said.

The KC-46’s other refueling system, the Centerline Drogue System (CDS), also has a tendency to leave scuff marks on the tanker itself. The CDS consists of a flexible hose that trails from the tanker aircraft and a “drogue” fitted to the end of the hose that acts as a funnel to aid insertion of the receiver aircraft “probe” into the hose. This refueling method is also called “probe-and-drogue” or “hose-and-drogue.” The drogue flies well, but contacts the airframe when being reeled in, leaving “witness marks” on the aircraft’s body, Air Force KC-46 System Program Manager Col. John Newberry says. “When you retract it and bring it in, it comes up and rubs across the bottom of the aircraft,” Newberry told Aviation Week in a Sept. 19 interview. Everhart said this is a more minor issue compared with the boom scraping problem. Newberry said the solution could be as simple as requiring closer inspections of that section of the airframe and applying touch-up paint because the Air Force does not want to redesign the drogue system over a few scuff marks. The boom scraping issue is one of three significant—or “category one”—deficiencies the Air Force-Boeing team is trying to fix on Boeing’s new tanker, Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the service’s top uniformed acquisition official, said Sept. 20 during the conference.

The KC-46 is also having problems with high frequency (HF) transmission, during which the HF “turns off” when the aircraft goes into aerial refueling mode, Bunch said. The third issue is “uncommanded boom extension,” he said, which seems to mean the boom unexpectedly extends when it is not supposed to do so. The Air Force did not provide a more detailed explanation by press time. Boeing’s engineering team and the program office are working hard to fix all three problems, Bunch said.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 20:34
by neptune ... -Suppliers

Boeing Names KC-46 Tanker Suppliers

June 22, 2011 --

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced the supplier team that will provide key components for the U.S. Air Force's KC-46 Tanker. The Air Force selected Boeing on Feb. 24 to replace 179 Eisenhower-era KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft. "Delivering 18 combat-ready tankers to the U.S. Air Force in 78 months is our priority as a company, and it will take a talented, committed supplier team to help get that done," said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing KC-46 vice president and program manager. "We're fortunate to have a strong defense industry team of domain experts working side-by-side to provide a new generation of aerial refueling." The KC-46 Tanker team will include more than 800 suppliers in more than 40 states and support approximately 50,000 total U.S. jobs.

Major suppliers include:

Cobham (Davenport, Iowa): Refueling systems, including wing aerial refueling pods and centerline drogue system
DRS Laurel Technologies Inc. (Johnstown, Pa.): Aerial Refueling Operator Station (AROS)
Eaton Aerospace: Electromechanical and cargo door actuation systems (Grand Rapids, Mich.); hydraulic and fuel distribution subcomponents (Jackson, Mich.)
GE Aviation Systems (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Clearwater, Fla.): Mission control system
Goodrich: Interiors (Colorado); landing gear (Ontario, Canada)
Honeywell: Auxiliary power unit (Phoenix); cabin pressure control system (Tucson, Ariz.), air data inertial navigation (Coon Rapids, Minn.); lighting (Urbana, Ohio)
Moog Inc.: Electro-hydraulic servo valves, actuators, stabilize trim controls, leading edge slat actuator, inboard/outboard leading edge rotary actuators, autopilot actuators, elevator feel system (East Aurora, N.Y.; Wolverhampton, UK); refueling boom actuators (Torrance, Calif.)
Northrop Grumman (Rolling Meadows, Ill.): Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM)
Parker Aerospace (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Utah): Refueling components including the receptacle door actuator, aerial refueling interface control system, and wing refueling pod hydraulic power packs; primary flight controls and fuel equipment; pneumatic, fluid conveyance, and hydraulic equipment
Pratt & Whitney (Middletown, Conn.): Engines
Raytheon Company (El Segundo, Calif.): Digital radar warning receiver and digital anti-jam receiver GPS
Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, Iowa): Integrated display system featuring 15.1-inch diagonal crystal displays built on proven technology from the commercial 787; tactical situational awareness system; remote vision system 3-D and 2-D technology for the boom operator; communications, navigation, surveillance, networking and flight control systems
Spirit: Forward fuselage section; strut; nacelle components to include inlet, fan cowl and core cowl; fixed fan duct (Wichita, Kan.); fixed leading edge (Prestwick, Scotland)
Triumph Group Inc.: Horizontal stabilizer and aft body section, including pressure bulkhead; wing center section, doors, nacelles and other components including cowl doors, seal depressor panels, acoustic panels and aft wheel well bulkhead
Woodward Inc. (Skokie, Ill.): Several elements of the aerial refueling boom, including the sensor system, control unit, and telescopic and flight control sticks.

Based on the proven Boeing 767-200ER commercial aircraft, the KC-46 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines and will be flown by three aircrew members (pilot, co-pilot, boom operator) with additional permanent seating for 12 aircrew. The KC-46 has a maximum fuel capacity of 212,000 pounds and is equipped with a flush-mounted, air-to-air refueling receptacle that is capable of onloading fuel at 1,200 gallons per minute.

Boom operators will control the refueling systems from the crew compartment via the AROS and a series of cameras mounted on the tanker’s fuselage that provide a 185-degree field of view, as well as a camera on the boom that captures 3-D video. This advanced system allows the boom operator to refuel all fixed-wing receiver aircraft, anytime, on every mission, to include simultaneous multi-point refueling from the wing air refueling pods. The KC-46 refueling systems include a digital fly-by-wire boom capable of offloading 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute, as well as a permanent centerline drogue system and removable wing air refueling pods that can each offload 400 gallons of fuel per minute.

Featuring a maximum takeoff weight of 415,000 pounds, the tanker will carry 18 463L cargo pallets (the same number of pallets as the Air Force’s Boeing C-17 airlifter) and is capable of transporting 58 passengers normally and up to 114 passengers during contingency operations. This multi-mission tanker aircraft also will provide urgent aeromedical evacuation by transporting 58 medical patients (24 litters/34 ambulatory).

Boeing will build the KC-46 Tanker using a low-risk approach to manufacturing by a trained and experienced workforce at existing facilities in Everett, Wash., and Wichita.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 65,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 20:41
by gideonic
I wonder how much of that would have happened with the KC-45 (considering it was based on an in-service platform).

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 21:05
by neptune
gideonic wrote:I wonder how much of that would have happened with the KC-45 (considering it was based on an in-service platform). many of those major suppliers supply airbus? many of those major suppliers employees that supply airbus vote for their endorsed political candidates?
....does the KC-45 "fit" into the existing infrastructure for the KC-135?
....does Trump's voters endorse the KC-45? :wink:

....maybe for the KC-10 or is airbus going to propose the A-380??

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Jun 2019, 19:26
by pron
Quite a landing...

US Air Force Boeing KC-46 makes an unusual landing at Le Bourget ahead of the Paris Air Show 2019 ... UvQ28Kt6OA

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2019, 03:32
by element1loop
US Air Force restricts KC-46 from carrying cargo and passengers

By: Valerie Insinna   44 minutes ago

The KC-46 has added another critical deficiency to the list, and it's the most serious problem yet. (Senior Airman Christian Conrad/U.S. Air Force)

WASHINGTON — In a move that could have major impacts on the already-delayed tanker program, the U.S. Air Force has indefinitely barred the KC-46 from carrying cargo and passengers, Defense News has learned.

The decision was made after an incident occurred where the cargo locks on the bottom of the floor of the aircraft became unlocked during a recent flight, creating concerns that airmen could potentially be hurt or even killed by heavy equipment that suddenly bursts free during a flight.

“As a result of this discovery, the Air Force has submitted a Category 1 deficiency report and is working with Boeing to identify a solution,” Air Force Mobility Command spokesman Col. Damien Pickart said in a statement. The service uses the term Category 1 describe serious technical issues that could endanger the aircrew and aircraft or have other major effects. “Until we find a viable solution with Boeing to remedy this problem, we can’t jeopardize the safety of our aircrew and this aircraft,” he said. The problem was discovered during a recent overseas operational test and evaluation flight, when KC-46 aircrew noticed that numerous cargo restraint devices had come unlocked over the course of the multiple legs of the trip.

“Prior to departing for each of these missions, aircrew fully installed, locked and thoroughly inspected each restraint, and performed routine inspections of the restraints in flight,” Pickart said. “Despite these safety measures, the unlocking of cargo floor restraints occurred during flight, although no cargo or equipment moved and there was no specific risk to the aircraft or crew.”

A source with knowledge of the issue told Defense News that if all restraints on a particular pallet had become unlocked, it would be able to roll freely throughout the cabin. If all cargo became unlatched, it could pose a safety risk to aircrew or even unbalance the aircraft — making the plane “difficult, if not impossible” to control. ...

... The latest Cat-1 deficiency brings the total up to four:

- The tanker’s 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 will be three or 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’s acuity problems and will be eliminated once the camera system is fixed.
- Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10, 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. ... personnel/

This latest issue seems to be the most serious, but A-10s having weak engines is reported as a KC-46 'deficiency', even when the probe design was airforce approved? Bit rich.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2019, 23:27
by outlaw162
Boeing must redesign the boom to accommodate the A-10, which currently does not generate the thrust necessary to push into the boom for refueling.

You know you just don't conduct boom/receptacle refueling like probe and drogue AAR. P/D you generate a minimal overtake on the basket to insert the probe in the basket and then stabilize. Pilot does the inserting.

B/R you just fly to the proper position and let the boomer do his/her thing. You don't 'push' into the boom, the boom is inserted into you. (sounds somewhat suggestive but it works)

I'm trying to imagine an A-10 being pushed around by the boom like a hockey puck. :shock:

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 13 Sep 2019, 04:33
by spazsinbad
Heheh. I like the 'huckey pock' idea. :roll: It must be weird to have someone else probing your valuable machine. Anyhoo:
"...The last issue is with the stiffness of the boom, which makes it difficult for lighter aircraft to properly connect to the tanker. The boom stiffness problem stem from the USAF not specifying in its contract the amount of force needed to compress its boom to lighter aircraft...." 13 Sep 2019 ... 6a-460845/

:devil: A-10s are REPULSED by the KC-46A! :doh:

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 13 Sep 2019, 17:43
by outlaw162
A-10s are REPULSED by the KC-46A

To some extent so am I. Lipstick on a pig. I think the original choice of the A330 MRTT (KC-45) was well considered.

I have both various Boeing and Airbus ratings (specifically A330) and I prefer the Airbus from the pilot standpoint in most areas. I think that any cooperation between Northrop and Airbus might have resulted in something greater than the sum of the parts, but administration thinking these days is to not cooperate with anybody, advantageous or not.

I believe Oz is happy with their MRTTs, not that they've been completely problem free either. However, I think the old KC-97 was just fine, so what do I know.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 14 Sep 2019, 02:43
by spazsinbad
Oz was a lead user so there were some initial gripes for sure but now theys pleased as any OzCrabs can be (gawd luv 'em).

LM AirMagicBus have announced re-co-operation recently: ... -show.html

Nice simultator: ... ville.html “Airbus unveils its new A330MRTT full flight simulator at Seville 21 Nov 2018” ... 018003.jpg

MOAR: ... l-to-fail/ KC-46: Too Crucial To Fail 13 Sep 2019

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2019, 19:07
by outlaw162
KC-46: Too Crucial To Fail

I think someone said the same thing about Lehman Brothers. :shock:

Having spent a few hours in that A330 cockpit, even though the sidestick and autotrim were at times a little squirrelly, I found it very comfortable and ergonomic, particularly the pull out tray in front of you.

Advanced simulation has almost progressed to the point where actual flying simulates the simulator simulation. :D