KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2017, 16:33
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... 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??,,,,,
:wink:

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
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-441405/

USAF provides new detail on KC-46 issues

22 September, 2017
SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com
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
http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing- ... ping-issue

Boeing May Replace KC-46 Camera To Fix Scraping Issue

Sep 20, 2017
Lara Seligman


NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland—
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
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2011-06-22- ... -Suppliers

Boeing Names KC-46 Tanker Suppliers


ST. LOUIS,
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).


....how many of those major suppliers supply airbus?
....how 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??
:roll:

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

https://www.aviation24.be/air-shows/par ... 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.


https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-ne ... 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 https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... 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: https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-r ... -show.html

Nice simultator: https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-r ... ville.html “Airbus unveils its new A330MRTT full flight simulator at Seville 21 Nov 2018” https://airbus-h.assetsadobe2.com/is/im ... 018003.jpg

MOAR: https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/kc- ... 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

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 15 Sep 2019, 21:24
by spazsinbad
:devil: Yeah butt - buy bye 'merican eh. Let us hope the tanker does not emulate the 737 MAX - simulator or not. :doh:

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2019, 00:25
by spazsinbad
MORON the same:
12 Sep 2019 "...Boeing is implementing an Air Force-funded design change to the actuator on the refueling boom to make it more sensitive [ooh that's nice] to smaller receiver aircraft, such as A-10s and F-16s.

Meanwhile, Boeing has submitted a proposed redesign of the remote vision system (RVS) to correct what the Air Force calls a “rubber sheeting” [for the LEAKY effects on the BOOM operator?] affect that distorts the image on the visual display used by the boom operator during refueling operations. Boeing has agreed to pay for an RVS design that received approval by the Air Force." https://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-i ... esign-flaw

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2019, 00:33
by outlaw162
You just need to stick with what works.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2019, 09:06
by spazsinbad
Well that TANKER sure goes slow enough for the Warties.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2019, 16:55
by outlaw162
Well that TANKER sure goes slow enough for the Warties.


That's actually the 'fast' KC-97 with the 2 jet engines outboard augmenting the radials.....230 knots KCAS for AAR.

My understanding is that the major advantage of the KC-46 over the MRTT is the larger total offload capability. But of course one has to be able to offload it. :doh:

Evidently LM & Airbus are working together and considering offering DOD a contracted AAR capability using upgraded A330MRTTs. This may not be so far fetched considering all the contracted adversary support in play now. It may be a reasonable alternative if Boeing's problems drag on. Company top priority evidently went from the safety of MAX passengers to the safety of the KC-46 crew, passengers and aircraft as a result of the cargo lockdown problem. Can you have two top priorities?

Anyway for grins, here's the KC-97 without the jets.....210 knots KCAS for AAR. Notice the deck angle on the flapless (hapless) F-100Cs. :shock:

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2019, 17:30
by basher54321
Wow look at those Huns - if you hadn't posted that I might have been suspecting Photoshop!

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2019, 17:41
by outlaw162
They've still got a good 15-20 knots to the stall. :D Not a lot of knots of deceleration room for aft adjustments though, and thrust wise you're probably pretty close to mil to hang on.

Stick is centered and it's all rudder for lateral adjustments, true stick and rudder. Far as I know it's not photoshopped, it looked worse in real life.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2019, 22:23
by spazsinbad
Thanks for the great pics: STOP DRAGGIN' Me HUNS Around: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5i7j0VhEHw


Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 18 Sep 2019, 14:42
by spazsinbad

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2019, 00:30
by rheonomic
spazsinbad wrote:Let us hope the tanker does not emulate the 737 MAX - simulator or not. :doh:

I believe the KC-46 actually has the MCAS system or something similar installed.

The whole tanker acquisition program was a corrupt nightmare. First Boeing bribed DOD acquisition officials and won, then Airbus/NG actually won, and then finally Boeing's senators had Boeing win again.
outlaw162 wrote:Stick is centered and it's all rudder for lateral adjustments, true stick and rudder. Far as I know it's not photoshopped, it looked worse in real life.

The Hun is probably one of the best examples of an aircraft with poor handling qualities...

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2019, 06:02
by spazsinbad
I've read shameful (to me) things about why BOING! have left over stuff in tanker - LACK of TOOL CONTROL - this is basic.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... te-460913/ & https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... sl-460944/
18 Sep 2019 both
AMC commander: Boeing has not made progress on KC-46
18 Sep 2019 Valerie Insinna

"...“Eight months have passed since our first delivery, and Boeing has not made any progress [on the Remote Vision System]," she [Gen. Maryanne Miller] said....

...Currently, the RVS presents imagery that is distorted in certain lighting conditions, posing difficulties for boom operators and leading to incidents of accidental scraping of the surface of receiver aircraft with the boom — leading to two category 1 deficiencies.

According to Miller, Boeing needs to make progress in improving the “acuity” of the system, which currently presents imagery comparable to what a person with 20/50 vision would see. The company also needs to improve what Miller termed “depth plane compression,” which is how the user internalizes the distance between the boom and the receiver aircraft based on that imagery.... [more at the URL]

...Last week, the Air Force put restrictions on the KC-46 that will keep it from being able to carry passengers and cargo for an indefinite period of time. The problem, which was discovered on a single tanker, was that multiple cargo restraint devices had became unlocked during a series of flights. Although the restraint devices did not completely open up and release the cargo, allowing it to roll freely throughout the cabin, AMC officials worried that such a scenario would pose considerable safety risks to personnel and potentially unbalance the plane during flight.

While the root cause is still under investigation, Boeing believes that the vibrations from flying or landing is creating friction between the rails of the cargo floor and the latch on the back of the lock, causing the latch to move to a position in which it is no longer fully engaged, Burgess [Jamie Burgess, Boeing’s KC-46 program manager] said...." [more at URL]

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... -on-kc-46/

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2019, 09:57
by spazsinbad
And the HITS keep on coming....
USAF: Our New Tanker Should Be Ready for War in 3 or 4 Years
18 Sep 2019 Marcus Weisgerber

"...The latest delays come as the office of the Pentagon’s inspector general announced it would investigate whether the Air Force followed its own engineering process in designing and developing the plane’s refueling boom. Right now, there are nine “critical performance parameters” with the plane’s refueling systems, Miller [Gen. Maryann Miller, head of Air Mobility Command] said. “We are, in my opinion, making progress on seven of those,” she said. “Two are very difficult.”...

...The plane also has about 500 less-serious problems, Miller said....

...Despite the long list of problems and lengthy delays, Miller said the Air Force would not consider buying aircraft from rival Airbus, leaving Boeing as the only option to build the 179 tankers it plans to order. “The airmen love the airplane,” she said. “The capabilities that that airplane brings to the fight — will bring to the fight — is a whole new dimension for us in the facts of sensing the battlefield, connecting to the battlefield. We look forward to that capability.”"

Source: https://www.defenseone.com/business/201 ... rs/159984/

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2019, 21:21
by outlaw162
The Hun is probably one of the best examples of an aircraft with poor handling qualities...


Very true. I did a local checkout with the Ohio ANG at Columbus, no formal school slots available at the time....took awhile to get the hang of it. Everyone that flew it probably had a "damn, I was lucky that time" moment at least a couple of times. I count four. :shock:

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.

Now back to the KC-46:

"The airmen love the airplane...etc, etc" possibly because they've found free tools or because they're getting extra time off during the fixes. And.....

.....whose "capabilities that that airplane brings to the fight — will bring to the fight...etc, yada, yada" (apparently 3-4 years down the road).

What a lovely managerial assessment, particularly the double 'that'. Evidently no reason to hold one's breath.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2019, 21:45
by spazsinbad
I did not pay much attention to the initial problems with the FOD for example but having 'visual acuity' / three dimensional depth perception issues with remote viewing for the boom operator' seems to be a complete fail to me. Perhaps the tankers built so far will make great drogue refuellers for the USN/USMC 'probers' whilst another different NEW tanker does the boom refuelling job as is being forewarned in this article.
Years Late, It’s ‘Pass-Fail’ Now For Boeing’s KC-46 Tanker: Gen. Miller
18 Sep 2019 Colin Clark

"The cascade of problems with the plane, which Boeing called low risk and promised to deliver 18 combat-ready aircraft in 2017, is unlikely to deliver planes ready for war for several more years, Gen. Maryanne Miller, the head of Air Mobility Command, made clear today....

...From the beginning, Boeing sold its plane as a low-risk solution to the need for a new tanker....

...Miller said Boeing’s solutions for the Remote Vision System (RVS), which Breaking D readers know is crucial to effective tanking since the planes don’t have a window to watch the boom, just aren’t good enough. The cameras used to monitor the fueling systems feed three images to the screen and Boeing has struggled to provide effective depth perception, which makes it pretty challenging to mate the boom and manage refueling. Repeatedly calling the RVS acuity problems complex and capable of solution, Miller said she had faith the company would fix it. But they aren’t there yet.

The House also clearly is worried. The House Armed Services Committee version of the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act says it “believes that the Secretary of the Air Force has several viable options to ensure future tanker capability, to include acquiring a non-developmental commercial derivative tanker (emphasis added) while “bridging” from the end of the KC-46A production to the new developmental tanker. The Air Force Secretary would be required to submit a report on the future of airborne tankers for the military by Sept. 30, 2020."

Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/yea ... en-miller/

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 19 Sep 2019, 23:24
by blain
This plane is an abomination and Boeing is an abomination. We could have been done with this a long time ago, but thanks to John McCain among others - killing the corrupt leasing deal, and then playing dead and letting AF run a competition that was designed to have only one winner, even after Boeing officials went to jail. We have wasted time and money and still don't have a replacement for a 60 year old aircraft.

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.

They have excelled at one thing in the military space, and that's lobbying and influence peddling. How else can you explain the KC-46 or their success at getting the AF to purchase the F-15EX despite it being about the same cost as the F-35 not having a requirement for them? 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.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2019, 05:04
by rheonomic
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.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 20 Sep 2019, 20:47
by spazsinbad
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

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2019, 04:50
by madrat
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.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2019, 18:48
by basher54321
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.



:salute:

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2019, 20:35
by quicksilver
“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.

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2019, 00:25
by blain
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...

Re: KC-46A 2017

Unread postPosted: 24 Sep 2019, 13:20
by mixelflick
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...