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BRUWIN
09-18-2013, 02:05 PM
Can someone explain to me why the AF would could retiring the KC-10s over the KC-135s when the KC-135s are much older? I've read that retiring an entire fleet saves more money and there are less KC-10s so maybe this is the reason. I just can't believe that we would leave the entire refueling mission to ancient KC-135s.

Or maybe the AF is sticking it to those politicians that have KC-10s in their states?

Cerberus
09-18-2013, 02:16 PM
Aircraft "retiring" usually mean they are at the end of (or past) their service life and have become too expensive to maintain or upgrade.

The KC10 specifically, may be on a long term retirement path based on the performance capabilities of the KC46 (135 replacement). Without additional information, that's what I would consider the most likely explanation.

It does bring up a different question though, which is "how is the AF going to make up the ton-miles of airlift" [that Kc10 provides]. I have no idea what the answer to that is.

ttribe
09-18-2013, 04:52 PM
It was explained to me this way. The KC-10 is a very capable jet. It can carry twice as much gas as a -135 can. It flies faster at cruise, and can carry alot of cargo and passengers. All that being said, it is a 70's era analog jet that they want to work in a digital age. They have tried twice to uprgrade the avionics to GATM (Global air-traffic management ) capable. It's a fancy way of saying that they need to make the cockpit digital. They have been able to make it work on the -135, but they have mod-ed a -10 twice and it didn't work right. They have had to scrap the mod and start over. Getting aircraft systems to cross the analog digital threshold is not easy. Especially when you try to do it with a low bid. In the not too distant future any aircraft not capable of meeting GATM equipment needs will be relegated to crappier airspace, especially in Europe. AMC is not going to let this happen. This is why the AF brought up the -10 specifically.

KC-10s were still new when I started flying on them. I loved seeing the world from it. Frankly, in what I do now, I would require 2-3 -135s to replace a -10 to do some of the missions I run now. Not alot of savings operationally, maybe some in the maintenance and logistics side of the program.

Venus
09-18-2013, 06:17 PM
It was explained to me this way. The KC-10 is a very capable jet. It can carry twice as much gas as a -135 can. It flies faster at cruise, and can carry alot of cargo and passengers. All that being said, it is a 70's era analog jet that they want to work in a digital age. They have tried twice to uprgrade the avionics to GATM (Global air-traffic management ) capable. It's a fancy way of saying that they need to make the cockpit digital. They have been able to make it work on the -135, but they have mod-ed a -10 twice and it didn't work right. They have had to scrap the mod and start over. Getting aircraft systems to cross the analog digital threshold is not easy. Especially when you try to do it with a low bid. In the not too distant future any aircraft not capable of meeting GATM equipment needs will be relegated to crappier airspace, especially in Europe. AMC is not going to let this happen. This is why the AF brought up the -10 specifically.

KC-10s were still new when I started flying on them. I loved seeing the world from it. Frankly, in what I do now, I would require 2-3 -135s to replace a -10 to do some of the missions I run now. Not alot of savings operationally, maybe some in the maintenance and logistics side of the program.
Another reason is that the KC-10's do not have the capability to fly into (RVSM) reduced vertical separation minimum airspace,so they have to fly below the traffic and suck and burn gas which is below their optimal cruise for fuel burn especially in Europe. I helped upgrade 2 of them into that standard which took miles of rewiring, new HSI's and ADI's along with a new comsat system, then sequestration happened and the money was pulled. Plus we blew the budget on the first aircraft with all the re-engineering requests we asked for when we found out the kit or wiring diagrams would not work. Since then I switched to commercial to Part 91 and 135 ops got away from DOD contract jobs until the environment changes. BTW I don't they have started flight testing yet plus it is costing more than they thought, just like upgrading the C-130E's and H's to a new glass cockpit which was done for a few planes and found unworkable and cancelled.

wxjumper
09-18-2013, 06:49 PM
It mostly has to do with the amount of savings they will get in anticipation of Sequester. They save a lot more money shutting down a whole fleet of aircraft instead of just part of the fleet. Since there are fewer KC-10s then 135s, they save more money by shutting down the whole KC-10 line then cutting the same number of 135s. Now they can shut down the whole maintenance program and other staff functions associated with that airframe.

BENDER56
09-18-2013, 11:50 PM
Regarding the "ancient KC-135s"; I had a loggie tell me years ago that there isn't a single KC-135 in the fleet that hasn't had every single part replaced during the decades of routine and depot maintenance they've undergone. Supposedly there aren't any original parts on any of them. So how old are they, really? (Disclaimer: I have no idea if what that guy said is true. But it has truthiness, so I'm going with it.)

Also, that design (the Boeing 707/KC-135) was engineered with multiple redundancies after the disasters of the DeHavilland Comet. It's probably one of the safest and most reliable airframes around. Except for more modern ones.

Wow. Way too much alcohol today.

imnohero
09-18-2013, 11:59 PM
Regarding the "ancient KC-135s"; I had a loggie tell me years ago that there isn't a single KC-135 in the fleet that hasn't had every single part replaced during the decades of routine and depot maintenance they've undergone. Supposedly there aren't any original parts on any of them. So how old are they, really? (Disclaimer: I have no idea if what that guy said is true. But it has truthiness, so I'm going with it.)

I give this a 5 on the 1-10 truthiness scale. It is probably likely that many parts have been replaced, but the structure of the aircraft hasn't been. Fuselage, wings, tail, like that. It's also pretty unlikely that the wiring, hydraulic lines, control cables, etc. have been replaced.

BigBaze
09-19-2013, 12:15 AM
As a FE on these fine aircraft for the last 5 years, it would be idiotic to cut them at this point, when the KC46 is not even online. There is no other aircraft that can do a transoceanic fighter drag (with cargo and pax if necessary) nonstop. We carry the gross weight of the KC135 in our fuel tanks, can refuel with boom and drogue, and can take on fuel midair. (something only several modified KC135RT's out of McConnell do)

The 135 is better than us at slow speed AR such as A-10's and the C130's because of their gross weight, but it would take several 135's coming out of multiple different bases to do the job of 1 KC-10 to move a 6 ship fighter package over the Atlantic.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
09-19-2013, 01:00 AM
Regarding the "ancient KC-135s"; I had a loggie tell me years ago that there isn't a single KC-135 in the fleet that hasn't had every single part replaced during the decades of routine and depot maintenance they've undergone. Supposedly there aren't any original parts on any of them. So how old are they, really? (Disclaimer: I have no idea if what that guy said is true. But it has truthiness, so I'm going with it.)

Also, that design (the Boeing 707/KC-135) was engineered with multiple redundancies after the disasters of the DeHavilland Comet. It's probably one of the safest and most reliable airframes around. Except for more modern ones.

Wow. Way too much alcohol today.

I used to work on the -135 production line at Tinker and the jets rotate through every five years. Most structural parts are original, but there are corrosion problem areas that require some re-skinning, beefing up, or complete structural member replacement. Landing gear gets overhauled and engines removed and reinstalled at the end of the depot cycle.

BRUWIN
09-19-2013, 10:53 AM
It just seems to me that we are putting all our eggs in one basket and depending entirely on an aging 135 fleet until the new tanker is complete. I'm not sure this is such a great idea. I'm now understanding the money savings and I'm all for retiring the entire F-15C and A-10 fleets. However, the tanker mission is already suffering. Eliminating the KC-10 seems like a really bad idea...at least wait until the new tanker has been built and proven itself.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
09-19-2013, 12:43 PM
It just seems to me that we are putting all our eggs in one basket and depending entirely on an aging 135 fleet until the new tanker is complete. I'm not sure this is such a great idea. I'm now understanding the money savings and I'm all for retiring the entire F-15C and A-10 fleets. However, the tanker mission is already suffering. Eliminating the KC-10 seems like a really bad idea...at least wait until the new tanker has been built and proven itself.

Don't worry, Congress will not allow any aircraft cuts if it results in even one job lost. The Air Force will be stripped of funding, but left with no options to smartly manage the cuts. It's going to be a train wreck. Thanks Congress!

Venus
09-19-2013, 06:09 PM
It just seems to me that we are putting all our eggs in one basket and depending entirely on an aging 135 fleet until the new tanker is complete. I'm not sure this is such a great idea. I'm now understanding the money savings and I'm all for retiring the entire F-15C and A-10 fleets. However, the tanker mission is already suffering. Eliminating the KC-10 seems like a really bad idea...at least wait until the new tanker has been built and proven itself.
I wonder if the Army will say screw the Key West agreement take possession of the A-10's and fly them themselves , this almost happened around the time of Desert Storm when pointy nose types wanted the F-16 do everything and retire the A-10. The F-15C's would be better off if retire them or replace with new builds F-15SE with all new avionics. The F-15C is now a ANG thing with the school house in Klamath Fall's Oregon so good luck getting that closed, besides they are now getting the TLC they need after the active duty destroyed their health with all those damn sortie counts to just get Wing CC's promoted.

WillsPowers
10-30-2013, 01:22 AM
Ha ha ha! Scrap the 10. At Travis, I could never stand the attitude those bastards brought with them from March when they arrived at Travis back in the mid 1990's. Local community leaders are now screaming like stuck pigs as the budget axe comes down on the KC10 and their filthy crime ridden high cost "hate the GI but love his money" community.

I LOVE IT! Scrap the 10 and send the Gucci boys packing! Tell the Northern California community leadership pigs "tough shit"!

ttribe
10-30-2013, 01:09 PM
Getting towards the end of the month. When some retiree MTF posters, I won't be specific about, might be running low on funds and their happy pills. :mushroom:

wxjumper
10-30-2013, 02:36 PM
Ha ha ha! Scrap the 10. At Travis, I could never stand the attitude those bastards brought with them from March when they arrived at Travis back in the mid 1990's. Local community leaders are now screaming like stuck pigs as the budget axe comes down on the KC10 and their filthy crime ridden high cost "hate the GI but love his money" community.

I LOVE IT! Scrap the 10 and send the Gucci boys packing! Tell the Northern California community leadership pigs "tough shit"!Welcome back Will. We need an update to your court case!