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According to the program manager:

"We start with the 767-200ER already type certified, commercial

passenger aircraft. We add to it some DASH-300F series wings,

DASH-400ER auxiliary power unit. Some doors, some tanks, some

cargo features, and we turn it essentially into a 767-2C

freighter which has the structural capability to do the tanking

mission. We add to that all in the Everett facility there in

Washington, body tanks, freighter cargo door and floor, an

enhanced flight deck.

When it comes out of the factory there at Everett it will

essentially fly over downtown Seattle and land at Boeing Field to

the south of downtown Seattle where at our finishing center at

Boeing Field we’ll turn it into a KC-46 by adding the refueling

systems and the military avionics. Some of the things that will go on

there at Boeing Field is adding the booms, the wing air refueling pods, center line drogue system, LAIRCM, and our pallet system."

The first airframe is due to fly mid-2014, but only down to Boeing Field to have the boom and military fit added for a real first flight in 2015. LRIP first delivery in 2016, which is when you might get to see operational photos.

See My link for the full presentation from the program manager.

Howard

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I'm not sure but if by saving money means the KC-46 does not have winglets or -400ER wing span you end up with a higher fleetwide fuel bill over the KC-46 service life and shorter range is the way to save money.

Thats if winglets are on the agenda.Is it possible that these existing 767 winglets create wake turbulence affecting receiver aircraft?

Edited by bzn20
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I'm not sure but if by saving money means the KC-46 does not have winglets or -400ER wing span you end up with a higher fleetwide fuel bill over the KC-46 service life and shorter range is the way to save money.

I'm fairly sure somebody at the Pentagon and/or Boeing has a calculator on their desk. Maybe even a desktop computer with a spreadsheet program :)

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Got it in one.It will have winglets unless there are compatabillity problems with following aircraft trying to get hitched up.

The whole idea of a tanker (In tanking missions)is to refuel and nothing else.So it makes sense that it uses the least amount of fuel so it can use the max amount of fuel to complete its refueling role.These aircraft are Capital assets.The war plan depends on them.

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There is more to it than that. Whitcomb winglets were tested on the KC-135 in 1978, and found to ***significantly*** reduce fuel burn, yet not a single other KC-135 ever got them. There is a hugely complicated set of calculations, down to the last penny, of cost vs. benefit on things like this. Everyone assumed (as you have) at first that the KC-46A would have winglets or raked wing tips, but they disappeared from the artist renderings fairly quickly because the AF figured that the benefit didn't outweigh the cost. Choose to believe that or not, but that's the way the facts are right now.

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Is it cost or incompatabillity?Seems odd there are 767's flying around with winglets but the ones that have closely following aircraft dont or wont.The standard winglets wont cost that much in the scheme of things.The -400ER wingtips will obviously be more expensive.

The truth is tanker fleets need to be as flexible as possible to operate with combat aircraft on short notice multi target ops (Gulf war 1 and 2)Start taking away max flying time and max dispensible fuel you start losing that.Its down,as always,to the bean counters in the DoD (MoD over here)If the DoD want flexibillity or save money on the purchase, its up to them.

I havent assumed they'll have them,it makes sense thats all (sense doesnt allways prevail)The one thing 43 years in the industry teaches you is dont assume anything.

The Airbus Voyager that the RAF have just got had/have a compatabillity problem,for some reason it couldnt refuel Tornado's.I'm not sure if its been sorted out.

Edited by bzn20
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Considering that winglets *reduce* wingtip vortices, I suspect it's not incompatibility.

I suggest you take your argument up with the Air Force Procurement Agency and Boeing if you need more proof. Meantime, they're building KC-46s without winglets.

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I dont remember picking an argument with you, Just a point of view to why things may or may not be happening,like all of us in this thread.In the meantime,please read my posts and see where I said you were wrong.

Stick anything into airflow it affects the air behind.I'm not sure you know enough to continue a conversation and then accuse people (quite often BTW)of not knowing anything,You havent heard of,havent read and therefor its wrong.You may have read and heard things,some of us have got our hands on the hardware.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So quickly many of you forget, the USAF is broke. The new airplanes already have to go on the credit card.

The -135 is up for replacement soon. An expensive design and test program for the -135s to get winglets will likely not pay off for an airplane with not much expected service life left, presumably only flies short hops to tank something*, and does not need improved short field performance. This is not a mod you simply bolt on during depot maintenance. Existing 707/135 winglet data has to be taken with a grain of salt unless it has been tested with drogue pods (I have heard of a flutter problem in this configuration). There are also at least 2 engine configurations that may required separate test programs depending on what the engineers at Boeing feel is prudent.

I am pretty sure there is much in the way of public data out there touting the advantages of the raked wingtips the USAF selected for the KC-46.

*Obviously tanker drags are another matter

Edited by Captoveur
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  • 1 year later...

Is there a reason, why it became so silent around this so much or even most important program ??? :o/>

I know so far no aircraft has finished but it's strange that not a single image was officially posted ... all You find are a few images of the three aircraft so far at several blogs and image-hosts. :crying2::-[

http://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/385427/usa-air-force-boeing-kc-46a-pegasus/

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7274/13675584755_8ddc38bfa9_z.jpg

http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?aircraftsearch=Boeing%20KC-46%20Pegasus%20%28767-2C%29&distinct_entry=true

http://www.miltechmag.com/2014/06/international-opportunities-for-kc-46a.html

http://blog.daum.net/_blog/BlogTypeView.do?blogid=0FLNZ&articleno=11816163&categoryId=598650&regdt=20140502201328

http://paineairport.com/kpae10693.htm

Any info when that will change ???

Deino

Edited by Deino
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Seems premature on all of this.

News reports (aviation press) in the last two months indicate design work is still in progress.

Also, note how the 135, designed as a tanker had reinforcing built in compared to other -80 descendants and even that needed reinforcement---note the external bracing.

The KC-10 aft fuselage for the boom is not too different in appearance but still not a DC-10 back end.

What 1/72 767 kit is there to convert anyway?

Seems best to wait till at least the first off is in production.

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What 1/72 767 kit is there to convert anyway?

Seems best to wait till at least the first off is in production.

There is the Aircraft in Miniature 72 precut vacform, a nice but very simplified kit. Click2Detail released beautiful resin engines but they're CF6-80C2 & I believe the KC-46 to be PW4000 powered.

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There isn't any new info because the first jet hasn't flown yet. The program is already behind schedule by several months. Look for a possible flight in the next 30 days, if the current timeline holds.

Jeff

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There isn't any new info because the first jet hasn't flown yet. The program is already behind schedule by several months. Look for a possible flight in the next 30 days, if the current timeline holds.

Jeff

Thanks ... but overall - esp. in mind of its importance (even if being not as enigmatic as a new stealth type) - I'm to ´say at least "surprised". The F-35 was or is also delayed, overcost and had other issues, but anyway the USAF/USN and most was all LM was not tired to advertise its product.

But I will wait and see and hope ... (but I still regret that the Airbus KC-30/-45 was not chosen !)

Edited by Deino
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Also, note how the 135, designed as a tanker had reinforcing built in compared to other -80 descendants and even that needed reinforcement---note the external bracing.

If you're referring to the external aft fuselage reinforcing bands, that had nothing whatsoever to do with the airplane being a tanker. It was due to sonic vibrations from the water injected J57 turbojets causing skin cracking. Not an issue with the CFM engines, but there's no real need to remove them.

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