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KC-46A Info

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1 hour ago, Danger41 said:

That’s really Q3-able? Damn, AMC keeps living up to the stereotype.

Worst MAJCOM

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10 hours ago, DirkDiggler said:

All those stabilized approach calls I read in an AMC SII seemed like way overkill; the way I read it all the mandatory  calls made it seem like the NFP was jabbering non-stop the during the entire approach.

Not just the approach.  Verbalize verify monitor in the 17 was the most annoying shit ever.  Basically repeating everything I spun into the autopilot, which became its own whole dick dance between configuration changes and radios from a busy departure.  Not to mention when I went to gracc the stan-eval guy made it seem like they wanted pilot monitoring duties to be part of the checkride.  As in downgrade-able if you didn't verify and monitor well enough.  Not sure if that ever became a thing (I'm no longer in the 17).

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AMC is a chickenshit organization, no doubt, but that guy was over the grass at 10-20’. The left truck landed well right of centerline. This wasn’t a case of showing off by a talented pilot in front of a crowd, this was (or looks to be from that angle) a heinous skills mistake followed by a poor decision not to go around.

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It should have been a go around. That is a 197’ wide runway. Both trucks were over the grass and the left wingtip was nearly over the runway edge line. That means the aircraft was around 85’ right of center. In my airplane, more than 25’ off centerline is a U.

The only way to get to that runway is a circle or visual circuit due to the close proximity of CDG. It was probably a poorly flown circle/visual pattern...but that doesn’t excuse the violation of everything AMC has been trying to teach for the last several years about landings/go arounds.


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Posted (edited)

The AC was the 344 ARS/CC. He'll probably get a bro pass from AMC.

Edited by Sua Sponte

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...but that doesn’t excuse the violation of everything AMC has been trying to teach for the last several years about landings/go arounds.


You did a much better job of illustrating my point than I did.

Stand by for more briefings and SIIs...

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On 3/4/2019 at 11:06 AM, Homestar said:

Wow, it's almost like an ex-Boeing exec in a new position in the DoD fast tracked delivery before all the tees were dotted and eyes crossed....and tools accounted for....

Now Shanahan is out as acting SECDEF due to “devote more time towards his family.”

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2 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Now Shanahan is out as acting SECDEF due to “devote more time towards his family.”

We need to stand up a SECDEF retention task force.

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4 hours ago, Danger41 said:

We need to stand up a SECDEF retention task force.

If they would just let him fly more and not worry about additional duties he would have stayed.

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Looks like a tight ELP, thought we didn't teach those patterns anymore! ...ha

But seriously, was said AC a previous FAIP?

 

 

(T-6 ya, ya...)

 

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Posted (edited)

You call that overshooting final? Hold my beer. I’m pretty sure I’ve lined up with Tucson off the perch at DMA. Shit happens. Debrief and move on. I’m sure some senior politician, I mean leadership, who can’t even remember where the battery switch is on his bare min flights to keep flight pay, will try and crucify these guys. 

Edited by Hawg15
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zYikes

 

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2019/09/11/air-force-restricts-kc-46-from-carrying-cargo-and-personnel/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Breaking News 09.11.19&utm_term=Editorial - Breaking News

 

WASHINGTON — In a move that could have major impacts on the already-delayed tanker program, the 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.

While this problem has only been observed on one KC-46, the Air Force does not have enough information to rule out other aircraft having a similar defect.

The problem also poses a danger to the tanker’s operational test schedule, Pickart said. The program was set to start initial operational test and evaluation this fall, with pre-IOT&E activites already initiated.

“This is a multi-mission aircraft, it’s for carrying cargo and passengers, it’s for refueling and also the aeromedical evacuation mission,” he said. “If you can’t carry cargo pallets and patient litters, a significant amount of your core missions cannot be properly tested.”

In a statement, KC-46 manufacturer Boeing acknowledged that it had been notified of the new issue.

“The company and the Air Force are cooperatively analyzing the locks to determine a root cause,” Boeing stated. “The safety of KC-46 aircraft and crew is our top priority. Once a cause has been identified, the tanker team will implement any required actions as quickly as possible.”

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.

While the KC-46 program has clocked several key milestones this year, it has also hit some publicly embarrassing stumbles.

After several years of delays, the Air Force finally signed off on the acceptance of the first tanker. However, due to the list of technical problems, Boeing was forced to accept an agreement where the service could withhold up to $28 million per aircraft upon delivery. About $360 million has been withheld so far, Defense One reported in July.

The Air Force plans to buy 179 KC-46s over the life of the program, and 52 are currently on contract. So far, Boeing has delivered 18 tankers to McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and Altus Air Force Base, Okla.

But deliveries were interrupted earlier this year by the discovery of foreign object debris in multiple planes. The Air Force suspended KC-46 flights at Boeing’s production line in Everett, Wash., this February after finding debris. Then it paused all tanker deliveries in March as the service investigated the extent of the problem. The service began accepting tankers again later that month, only for deliveries to stop  and restart — in April due to similar problems.

Will Roper, the service’s acquisition executive, told reporters at the Paris Air Show this July that the service expects to find foreign object debris in KC-46s moving through the line, and it may be months before planes are reliably clean.

“As those airplanes flow forward down the line, we think it’s going to take some time for the new quality assurance inspection processes to start early enough so that airplanes will flow that are FOD-free,” he said, according to Defense One. “It’s not the way we want to get airplanes into the Air Force, but it’s what we’re going to have to do in the meantime.”

Edited by b52gator

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7 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

So, it’s a K-46? Everyone that did the acquitions and acceptance should be fired.

The K might be a stretch. I'd call it a T-46 until everything gets sorted out. And people will probably be promoted, not fired.

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2 minutes ago, Right Seat Driver said:

The K might be a stretch. I'd call it a T-46 until everything gets sorted out. And people will probably be promoted, not fired.

They’ve been “sorting out” a lot of the stuff for a long time. Of course people will get promoted over this, it’s the MAF. The good leadership left long ago to fly for the airlines.

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So they accepted a boom design that didn’t work for the A-10?! I guess it’s ok, we’ll just set them up with FARPs from here on out, oh yeah and 4 leg it across the pond.


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That's what happens when you don't write the requirement correctly.

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In other news... KC-135's continue to get $hit done 'round the world...60+ years strong.

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18 hours ago, Day Man said:

That's what happens when you don't write the requirement correctly.

I'll bet they were banking on all the Hogs going VFR direct to the boneyard way before the -46 came on line, so no big deal.  But I agree, this whole this is a giant goat rope.  

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2 hours ago, Clark Griswold said:

One point I thought interesting, the author said the KC-46 is ‘less capable in its primary mission’ than the KC-10. 
 

What’s the metric? Current systems problems with the 47 notwithstanding, I’d argue a tanker that has defensive systems would be more capable in a near peer conflict than a tanker with no defensive systems at all. There is obvious trade off in sheer quantity of gas available, but it gets the gas closer to the fight.

That said, I don’t think tankers are going downtown Baghdad on opening night of shock and awe, but some defensive capability sorta balances out the less gas available. 
 

Just my $0.02.

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I’d love to hear what these defensive capes are and how truly effective and useful they are.  My bet is not much. Seems to me that mobility assets never have significantly more capes than turning to put the threat at their six and accelerating to whatever max Mach is. 

 

Honestly against any China/Russia scenario I don’t see how you can make a tanker any more survivable against PL-12/AA-12/SA-20+ without going and entirely redesigning it to make it a stealth asset.

 

IMHO, you’d need a paradigm shift like the MQ-25

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_MQ-25_Stingray

If we’re giving up the ability to carry over twice the gas for diminishing returns in defensive suites, I struggle to see the value.

Edited by brawnie
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Yeah, and it’s probably a discussion for a SCIF but I too would like to know the true defensive capes of the 46.

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This is a discussion for a SCIF, but AMC has actually funded systems improvements on multiple MAF aircraft now, in addition to what they put on the -46. Happy to discuss on SIPR. 

That said, at the end of the day, all of these aircraft still have the RCS of an aircraft carrier.

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2 hours ago, Bigred said:

One point I thought interesting, the author said the KC-46 is ‘less capable in its primary mission’ than the KC-10. 

What’s the metric? Current systems problems with the 47 notwithstanding, I’d argue a tanker that has defensive systems would be more capable in a near peer conflict than a tanker with no defensive systems at all. There is obvious trade off in sheer quantity of gas available, but it gets the gas closer to the fight.

That said, I don’t think tankers are going downtown Baghdad on opening night of shock and awe, but some defensive capability sorta balances out the less gas available. 

Just my $0.02.

Yeah, that is a statement without the necessary context or specifics to make it more meaningful.  Total offload capability, offload capability at X range, etc... 

As to defensive systems and the current capabilities of the KC-46, I have no knowledge of them other than it has them but I would imagine that they are there to defeat while in retrograde / enable survival from a pop-up threat not to linger in the WEZ of a threat while performing an AR mission.  Defending and Running like hell so I can live to pass gas another day.

Unless it is a purpose built "tactical tanker" with low/greatly reduced signatures, significant defensive capabilities and for a large platform has a good turn rate, acceleration and speed... keep tankers in their safe spaces, they're very sensitive and get upset by AAMs and SAMs.  

Returning to the point of Strategic AR capability and the argument against divestment (platform aside), it's a needed capability as we will have to respond to the fight from our side of the court if a major contingency dusts up. Having a capability to launch a receiver capable tanker with both boom & drogue AR and 350k+ at launch is not something we can shit can unless our rich uncle is going to surprise us with a 777 tanker at Christmas.   

Edited by Clark Griswold

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