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Random thought I just had before my morning coffee kicks in. 

As the KC-46 line gets up some steam, with Airbus tankers in an off the shelf status, wondering if there's opportunity for a private venture to acquire and employ a dozen or so tankers over the next several years.

DoD has found itself woefully unable to support it's training needs in both A2A and A2G, leading to the rise of Blue Air, Drakken, and ATAC, among others.  Likewise, for years Omega has been filling the gaps in DoD's probe and drogue coverage, and the premium on those assets is going nowhere but up as the numbers of grey tails goes down.  Seems to me that a handful of tankers available on a contract basis is going to have no trouble finding business in the coming decades.  As an aside, while they're not fighting fires, the heavy fire tankers haul trash in the off season; same model could be applied here.

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A buddy had worked up an LLC to get Israeli AIA to refit mothballed DC-10-30 freighters at Victorville, CA several years back. The fuel tanks looked easiest, the boom and drouges a bit more interesting.

 

If Omega Air tankers outfit only its present size, I doubt new refits would pay out fast enough, but thinner aviation ventures abound.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Prosuper said:

Came across this and seemed relevant to this thread. http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/13486/retired-raf-tristars-will-get-new-life-as-contracted-aerial-refuelers

Just wonder how many parts are left for a L-1011.

Probably an adequate supply of parts as Wiki says there are only 8 others in operation but 250 were built, what's the likelihood the survivors in the boneyard can be picked for spares?

10 hours ago, moosepileit said:

A buddy had worked up an LLC to get Israeli AIA to refit mothballed DC-10-30 freighters at Victorville, CA several years back. The fuel tanks looked easiest, the boom and drouges a bit more interesting.

If Omega Air tankers outfit only its present size, I doubt new refits would pay out fast enough, but thinner aviation ventures abound.

Was Israeli AIA going to develop a new boom/pods or partner with Boeing / Airbus to adapt their systems?

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It sounded like current off the shelf design would be incorporated. He was a long-time KC-10 type. I was a mx officer on them way back and have just a little knowledge of how the boom and other spares work. I did not think he would get support to tap into or build mirrors of the current systems. If it isn't the same FBW boom, how would the USAF approve its use without new testing? That's what turned me off.

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4 hours ago, moosepileit said:

It sounded like current off the shelf design would be incorporated. He was a long-time KC-10 type. I was a mx officer on them way back and have just a little knowledge of how the boom and other spares work. I did not think he would get support to tap into or build mirrors of the current systems. If it isn't the same FBW boom, how would the USAF approve its use without new testing? That's what turned me off.

Yup.

When I read your original post mentioning that, I was wondering about that and how a smaller LLC (just an assumption) would be able to afford that or talk a partner presumably with more resources to do the design / development / testing for certification for a new system and if you were trying to use an existing system (Boeing), why would they want to help you when you are developing a potential rival to their product?

Just an interesting aside, there was an IL-78 used by a company, Tactical Air Defenses, for contract air refueling impounded in Michigan for several months while drama swirled around it (theft allegations, visa overstays, shady destinations, etc...) but eventually it got on it's way I believe.

https://www.wired.com/2009/09/soviet-tanker-abandoned-in-michigan-not-just-an-ilyushin/

http://www.upmatters.com/news/russian-jet-at-sawyer-almost-ready/151443411

I am sure this would be about 69 x more complicated than I am imagine it to be (engineering) and I am not sure what exactly the legal ramifications would be (re purposing and de-purposing civilian registered commercial vehicles for use in military operations) but what about adapting a airliner and building into it a wet hard point with a supply line spurring off from its SPR assembly?

Airliner most days but available for lease as a light duty tanker?  Trying to keep it as simple as possible, just modify the existing fuel system and all support required for the pod (electrical, hydraulic, control) are done via self-contained ram-air powered generators and control done via secure wireless.

Edited by Clark Griswold

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Sure, but I can't see the return on investment as either quick nor assured. Omega is only so big for a reason, not because they are King Kong in a cornered market.

 

IL-78 belongs on the north ramp at OAKN... Failed fire bomber conversion turned to a bootleg attempt?

 

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=0d65bee9-c866-4086-ac8d-17a9ea880f43

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3 hours ago, moosepileit said:

Sure, but I can't see the return on investment as either quick nor assured. Omega is only so big for a reason, not because they are King Kong in a cornered market.

IL-78 belongs on the north ramp at OAKN... Failed fire bomber conversion turned to a bootleg attempt?

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=0d65bee9-c866-4086-ac8d-17a9ea880f43

Yup, just thinking how an AF on a budget and really a country with limited means could still get some AR capability but still have a revenue producing aircraft.  Thinking something like an E-190 or An-178.

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