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ThreeHoler

A toast

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Posted (edited)

As someone who was on the crew who flew three KC-135s to the boneyard, it’s always a sad day knowing that’s its final resting place.

Edited by Sua Sponte
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Unfortunately almost everything is accountable as it will be used as a parts bird for the remaining fleet

I’ve got a canopy breaker from a Tweet delivered by a bud to the boneyard I flew in SUPT, only thing they would let him take from the jet


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What is the possibility that the govt would sell any of them to a commercial group(I.E. Omega)? 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Orbit said:

What is the possibility that the govt would sell any of them to a commercial group(I.E. Omega)? 

Probably pretty low since they’ll need to cannibalize the boom flight computer to keep the remaining jets airworthy. 
 

edit: for those not familiar the -10 boom flight control computer is a diminished supplier item no longer available, and since it ties into the aircraft’s AP and FLCS you can’t just plug in a new model without recertifying the airframe. In my child like understanding. 

Edited by SurelySerious

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1 hour ago, ThreeHoler said:

The BCU was replaced a few years back.

There will be -10s up for sale/static display at a later date.


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2 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

Probably pretty low since they’ll need to cannibalize the boom flight computer to keep the remaining jets airworthy. 
 

edit: for those not familiar the -10 boom flight control computer is a diminished supplier item no longer available, and since it ties into the aircraft’s AP and FLCS you can’t just plug in a new model without recertifying the airframe. In my child like understanding. 

Disregard my outdated info Orbit. Thanks for the update. 

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2 hours ago, Orbit said:

What is the possibility that the govt would sell any of them to a commercial group(I.E. Omega)? 

Omega bought the two(?) KDC-10s from the Dutch. Another company recently purchased the four KC-135s from the Singaporeans.

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10 hours ago, billy pilgrim said:

If you fly a jet to the boneyard you should get to keep something from the aircraft.

I’ve flown a few helicopters there and each time we would try and keep something, something small and inconspicuous. Each time I got an email or phone call asking for it back. 
 

I dunno how they do it for big aircraft but the three helos I took there, contractors were literally waiting with the marshaller for the rotors to stop spinning. They were like vultures and started disconnecting and pulling stuff off the helo as we were still there doing post flight and getting our stuff out of the cabin. 

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9 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Omega bought the two(?) KDC-10s from the Dutch. Another company recently purchased the four KC-135s from the Singaporeans.

That is why I thought there might be the possibility they would want more 10s.  I was wondering if there have been other cases of boneyard jets being sold to defense contractors.

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Took fuel many times over the years from that jet.....McGuire 141/-17 pilot 1987-2014

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My favorite memento I swiped on my last flight from the KC10 is the sticker on the lavatory mirror that says "May we suggest wiping the rinse basin out for the next guest." or something along those lines. I put it on the mirror in my sailboat's head and I think that was fitting. I really would love the #2 throttle though, I figure that's the most characteristic cockpit part of a three-holer.

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Why are we retiring 30-year-old KC 10 tankers and still flying -135s twice their age?  
Is it the difference between a/c designed with a slide-rule and extra engineering slop as a result vs those designed using a computer or something else?

Edited by JeremiahWeed

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It is even more surreal to visit AMARC and see your bird sitting wrapped up int he desert.  I flew a lot of combat missions in a few specific tail numbers and it is a very weird feeling to see them sitting there.  They brought me home through a lot of shit and now they are just waiting to be chopped up.  Fewer and fewer are going to museums because of the cost to transport, restore and maintain. 

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It's the cost of a small fleet, though there are still a lot of common parts sources for the -10 thanks to MD-10s and -11s flying freight. The real issue, I think, is that the maintenance was cut during sequestration and now the -10s are in a deep, expensive hole - theyd rather focus on new, shiny planes even if the 46 isn't up to the same tasks. 

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1 hour ago, Stoker said:

It's the cost of a small fleet, though there are still a lot of common parts sources for the -10 thanks to MD-10s and -11s flying freight.

How much parts commonality is there between the MD-11 and the KC-10?

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1 hour ago, Stoker said:

It's the cost of a small fleet, though there are still a lot of common parts sources for the -10 thanks to MD-10s and -11s flying freight. The real issue, I think, is that the maintenance was cut during sequestration and now the -10s are in a deep, expensive hole - theyd rather focus on new, shiny planes even if the 46 isn't up to the same tasks. 

The KC-10 Boom Control Unit (BCU) was starting to become almost impossible to replace due to limited supply chain availability. The KC-135 doesn’t have one and also sat SAC alert for decades, which comparatively speaking kept airframe hours low compared to the KC-10. The -135 also has a strategic mission and does AEs. Two things the -10 doesn’t do. With the pressure from the National Guard Bureau to keep the -135 due to a lot of Guard -135 units and cost per flight hour with the -10, it was pretty easy to decide which tanker was going to be retired.

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When AMC took over KC-135's they came out of nowhere and ordered all the A models retired even though some had a R model conversion date, I was at K.I. Sawyer when we sent some good jets to AMARC, some were taken out and sold to Turkey and Singapore and converted to R models. I wonder why the USAF museum don't have a KC-135A on display, we sent a few for gate guards to other bases. Got a bud who is a contractor at AMARC who gave the me word that my old jet was chopped up. 62-3555. It went to the boneyard with only 5 K write ups.

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This is going to bite us in the ass sooner rather than later, the loss of the strategic tanker capability.
I know limited funds and choices but if we really wanna power project this was one of the systems that enabled that / still does in ways that take a disproportionate amount of other resources to fulfill otherwise.
Just two cents from the cheap seats not having to spread the peanut butter and deal with CODELs


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12 hours ago, Hacker said:

How much parts commonality is there between the MD-11 and the KC-10?

No idea, but my uneducated guess is that the common MD-10/11 type rating means that the MD-10s will keep flying longer than they would have if they were a different type, which would in theory keep the supply chain open.

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