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Changing/Switching airframes


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6 minutes ago, Swizzle said:

 Now with a UPT2.5 graduate upgraded AC in min time who is also a fast burning, minimum flying WG/CCE??

 

 

Exactly what I’m thinking. Some kid will upgrade, have no depth of experience to fallback on, and be sent to the wolves. GMAFB.

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5 hours ago, SurelySerious said:


You carry one of these in your flight bag?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4514916/Footage-shows-Darpa-s-robot-pilot-flying-737-sim.html

Just on a regulatory basis, it’s certificated for two pilots, and the FAA isn’t very quick these days.

This seems like an insane solution lol. With coupled autopilot + autothrottles, all you need is software, you don't need some weird robot arm that's just a likely to turn into Skynet and impale me before taking over and crashing the jet into the White House or something out of a Michael Bay movie.

That being said...I'm fully on board with fully RPA big jets doing cargo and etc. both over the oceans and CONUS, as well as remote-pilot augmentation for a manned crew.

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They need the weird robotic arm so that it is a drop-in pilot replacement for airplanes that exist now. Then in however many years the 2nd pilot robot can be designed into the aircraft and you won’t have the weird robotic arm anymore. 

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1 hour ago, nsplayr said:

That being said...I'm fully on board with fully RPA big jets doing cargo and etc. both over the oceans and CONUS, as well as remote-pilot augmentation for a manned crew.

Baby steps.

For starters, let's get the FAA (and everyone else) to agree that it's ok when two pilots are flying, if one decides to take a nap, in the seat, at cruise... while the other pilot stays awake.  Why is this such a big deal?

If we cannot get past that, then being OK " with fully RPS big jets doing cargo" is a long, long way from reality... and really shouldn't be discussed much until the former issue is solved.  

Edited by HuggyU2
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9 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Apparently, the AMC/CC is pushing for it. The memes are apparently hitting social media about it.

 

DD4B53D8-A99C-4C98-AD8F-FE140C9421F6.jpeg

YGBSM! Wonder what the FAA will say when the AF tells them about their plan to operate a two pilot certified transport category aircraft in the NAS with only one pilot on board? How about European, NAT, or Asian airspace regulators? Sounds like a sure fire way to get banned from a good chunk of the planet’s airspace. Global reach be damned. Besides, who’s pepperonis are boom operators going to steal off pizzas now and blame it on the flight kitchen? The A-Code’s? I think not! 

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9 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Apparently, the AMC/CC is pushing for it. The memes are apparently hitting social media about it.

 

DD4B53D8-A99C-4C98-AD8F-FE140C9421F6.jpeg

Y'all remember when I was talking about the MAF fastburner/shiny penny types in the KC-46 leadership?

I didn't just sit on the internet and decide to make this shit up.

Edited by LoveDumpster
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Is there a public reason behind this request? I suspect that tanker capacity given crew capacity must not be enough to meet certain taskings. If that’s the case, I say good on this General for thinking outside the box and attempting to find a creative way to meet requirements. If it’s for  some non-combat related reason, then I don’t get it. 
 

Beyond the 2 pilot certification, is there a reason that you actually need two pilots up front? Human factors of gear actuation or something? Can the boom sit right seat during admin portions and back up the pilot? I don’t know what level of training boom operators have so that may be a stupid idea. 

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Is there a public reason behind this request? I suspect that tanker capacity given crew capacity must not be enough to meet certain taskings. If that’s the case, I say good on this General for thinking outside the box and attempting to find a creative way to meet requirements. If it’s for  some non-combat related reason, then I don’t get it. 
 
Beyond the 2 pilot certification, is there a reason that you actually need two pilots up front? Human factors of gear actuation or something? Can the boom sit right seat during admin portions and back up the pilot? I don’t know what level of training boom operators have so that may be a stupid idea. 

Based on some past experience working directly for this general , if it is true that he is pushing the idea, then there is likely a combat/tasking reason for it.


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1 hour ago, LoveDumpster said:

Y'all remember when I was talking about the MAF fastburner/shiny penny types in the KC-46 leadership?

I didn't just sit on the internet and decide to make this shit up.

I knew your Wing king when he was an asshole Sq/CC at Fairchild. Apparently nothing’s changed.

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14 hours ago, Swizzle said:

Related....

https://www.popsci.com/technology/merlin-labs-air-force-cargo-planes/

 

C-130J...go figure, wonder how well Merlin can fly a Day Vis LL? Or Max Effort LDG? Now with a UPT2.5 graduate upgraded AC in min time who is also a fast burning, minimum flying WG/CCE??

 

robot-fail.gif

Overwater cruise? Sure, I’ll take the Cyborg over some of the Chatty Cathy or cocky copilots…99% of the other mission sets? Nah, dumb idea. Take this to Fedex.

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10 hours ago, Prozac said:

YGBSM! Wonder what the FAA will say ...

What did the FAA say to the AF when we told them we weren't putting ADS-B on our fighter aircraft?  

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19 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

How many 767s fly with one pilot?

The Citation CJ4 (which I am rated in) and the Phenom 300 are the largest FAA certified single-pilot aircraft.  I'm told it is because the pilot can see both wingtips.  That said, even as a 767 co-pilot, I couldn't see the right wingtip... so does that matter?  

I personally don't see an issue with "the mechanics of flying" the 767 single pilot.  Please understand, I'm talking just "flying", not "employing".  

Now doing the tanking mission?  I have no clue and other, smarter people can chime in on the need for two pilots.  

Edited by HuggyU2
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7 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

DE8569D3-DE04-4AA3-B0F7-0126CDEDB662.jpeg

Seems valid to me, what am I missing?  Actually it sounds like a very forward thinking idea.

that said, we have a 0% success rate forecasting what the “next war” will look like, so I’m always skeptical of people who tell me I must do X to prepare for the next war. But honestly, this just sounds like experimentation with a risk mitigation plan. This does not sound like some kind of standard thing they are doing. 
 

and I definitely believe we should push ourselves to the limits in training, with a safety net, in order to know what our true limits will be in combat.

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7 minutes ago, tac airlifter said:

Seems valid to me, what am I missing?  Actually it sounds like a very forward thinking idea.

that said, we have a 0% success rate forecasting what the “next war” will look like, so I’m always skeptical of people who tell me I must do X to prepare for the next war. But honestly, this just sounds like experimentation with a risk mitigation plan. This does not sound like some kind of standard thing they are doing. 
 

and I definitely believe we should push ourselves to the limits in training, with a safety net, in order to know what our true limits will be in combat.

That’s great. There’s also a reason why there are highly experienced test pilots and booms at Edwards who can conduct this type of testing. 

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19 minutes ago, Sua Sponte said:

That’s great. There’s also a reason why there are highly experienced test pilots and booms at Edwards who can conduct this type of testing. 

That is a great point.  But I have found the test apparatus inadequate for advanced tactical testing of this nature.  In my world we have a designated test unit (2 actually) outside TPS but it is impossible for operational commanders to use them for ops centric testing; I saw ideas go years without gaining traction. I concluded the test world is great at testing equipment, but insufficient for testing employment concepts: crew compliments, TTPs, etc.  

In theory WPS could be an option, but they are 100% saturated producing new WOs with zero appetite to become a TTP tester.  Caveat: my commentary speaks to the senior level discussions, and is not a spear at WO crew dogs flying the line who are always game to do cool shit.
 

Getting the most experienced pilots and booms at an operational squadron to think through and plan out how they might conduct a mission without the copilot, and then going and doing it with a risk mitigation strategy and some good safety protocols in place… There’s just no substitute for doing it that way if that’s the kind of data you want to gather.  I’ve actually directed this exact thing be fleshed out in my platform; but it is certified for single pilot operations and we had an immediate operational need, so I grant there are differences.

May I ask why you have such a visceral reaction against this idea? 

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Seems valid to me, what am I missing?  Actually it sounds like a very forward thinking idea.
that said, we have a 0% success rate forecasting what the “next war” will look like, so I’m always skeptical of people who tell me I must do X to prepare for the next war. But honestly, this just sounds like experimentation with a risk mitigation plan. This does not sound like some kind of standard thing they are doing. 
 
and I definitely believe we should push ourselves to the limits in training, with a safety net, in order to know what our true limits will be in combat.


This is based on a scenario where you would have more jets than crews available to fly to jets. And unlike WW2, I don't see industry (Boeing) being able to crank out jets faster than we can train replacement crews for combat losses (about a 3 year lead time to build a KC-46, and they still are being delivered late).

Can a KC-46 fly single pilot? Probably on a good day. But throw in an emergency, and you can start to run out of hands pretty quickly (or just not be able to physically reach items), because the jet just wasn't designed to be operated by one pilot. Are we good with letting the autopilot fly with no pilot in the seat? Because eventually you're going to have to pee, though I guess you could use a piddle pack.

If there's an operational need to look at this, generate the requirement, kick it to DT to verify single pilot procedures and OT to validate line crews can do it in an operationally relevant environment.
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As of spring ‘22 the -46 couldn’t be used on CED deployments, only TDY trips. It’s why the -135 crews were getting worked hard in EUCOM.
 

I think the AMC/CC should focus on getting that fixed first before worrying about something like this. 

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On 7/16/2022 at 6:33 AM, tac airlifter said:

May I ask why you have such a visceral reaction against this idea? 

This is a unique question to me due to having a lot of experience in the tanker world, -46 world, MAF, and aircrew training world. I'm also currently writing a dissertation for my doctoral program focusing on if automation is atrophying pilot aviating skill. My reaction is not that I don' think overall this is a bad situation to investigate, but that having non-test people do the first dry run of it as an extremely poor idea due to their lack overall lack of experience, especially for such a radical concept.

Huggy brought up that while he doesn't think the "mechanics of flying" of a -46 with one pilot is an issue, I'll add on to that. I don't think it's an issue if the single pilot has a lot of experience of flying. I'm sure we can agree that the commercial aviation and military worlds have vastly different definitions of what is considered an highly experienced pilot. In the MAF the highly experienced people are getting out to go to the airlines/cargo. That leaves very lightly to middle experience as the "highly experienced." The unique part of the -46 is that on the pilot side the program seemed to have pulled a lot of the shiny pennies from other MAF aircraft. We can all agree that the usual motivation for the shiny pennies to crossflow isn't to learn how to fly and eventually employ a new aircraft. It's to do staff job/get schools to get promoted. In my experience those PHOENIX products also weren't good pilots to begin with, now they're crossflowing to an aircraft they have to learn and will continue to be mediocre pilot until their PRFs are written and they get school/staff.

There's a thread on this forum that brings up good points about the changes at UPT/FTUs and how the quality of product is much less than it was 10-20 years ago. I agree and I don't blame the students, they're only there to learn and are a byproduct of their training. However, those byproducts are now AC/IPs in the -46, whom will probably be the ones tapped for this single pilot ops plan. We could probably also agree that flight training gives you a baseline of how to fly, but actually doing the flying and tactile learning is how you become experienced and good at it. Unfortunately, the MAF likes to shun those who want to be better aviators and rewards those who shirk flying to barely maintain currency.

In the -46 there are non-Edwards test units (there's a Test Ops Sq at McGuire for example), but the pilot I knew there just got out and he barely flew enough to only be a copilot in the -46. That's why it should go to Edwards. The test pilot and booms are extremely experienced, some of them helped early on designing the -46 during DT. They would be the SMEs to conduct this testing. I don't know how other MWS's are at Edwards, but the tanker folks came from line squadrons/taught at the FTUs, and have good mix of recency and experience in the MAF.

Like I said, I don't think it's a poor concept, but I think really experienced aviations need to DT/OT it first. Having a main operating base send a waiver up to the MAJCOM/CC to have their not as experienced aviators dry run it is a poor decision.

Edited by Sua Sponte
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50 minutes ago, Sua Sponte said:

but I think really experienced aviations need to DT/OT it first.

There is a workload evaluation org in USAF...I think it's hiding somewhere in AFMC. 

 

Scenario.  You're 4 hours into oceanic and suddenly your FMS dumps flight plan, W&B, CPDLC and autopilot turn off. 

You have the aircraft. 🤣

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16 hours ago, HuggyU2 said:

For starters, let's get the FAA (and everyone else) to agree that it's ok when two pilots are flying, if one decides to take a nap, in the seat, at cruise... while the other pilot stays awake.  Why is this such a big deal?

Sounds great!

And I’m not making regulatory predictions re: RPA cargo, just wishes. 

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23 minutes ago, Sim said:

There is a workload evaluation org in USAF...I think it's hiding somewhere in AFMC. 

 

Scenario.  You're 4 hours into oceanic and suddenly your FMS dumps flight plan, W&B, CPDLC and autopilot turn off. 

You have the aircraft. 🤣

When I was a new boom in the -135 there were Block 30 and Block 40 KC-135s. Block 40's had GATM, CPDLC, and sat phone, Block 30s didn't. I went through initial qual on Block 30s, where you had to leave the data card with the flight plan in the reader all flight, Block 40s would save the flight plan in the FMS, so you could pull them during the flight. My crew had been flying a lot of Block 40s out of Manas in Afghanistan, so we used to pull the data card sometime during the sortie since it was one less classified thing to remember to take once we landed.

We were flying in southern Afghanistan and I pulled the data card and heard both pilots up front yell "What the fuck!" I had pulled a the data card on a Block 30 jet, which immediately dumped the flight plan, which then just said "Map Fail" on the MFD's. We tried to get the flight plan back, but didn't happen. We ended up somehow flying back in non-standard formation, which if anyone remembers the controller Dushanbe...he wasn't happy with that, with another -135 back to Manas. Lesson learned.

Edited by Sua Sponte
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The Citation CJ4 (which I am rated in) and the Phenom 300 are the largest FAA certified single-pilot aircraft.  I'm told it is because the pilot can see both wingtips.  That said, even as a 767 co-pilot, I couldn't see the right wingtip... so does that matter?  
I personally don't see an issue with "the mechanics of flying" the 767 single pilot.  Please understand, I'm talking just "flying", not "employing".  
Now doing the tanking mission?  I have no clue and other, smarter people can chime in on the need for two pilots.  


BTW This topic deserves its own thread.

Huggy,

On a good day from point A to point B, one could probably fly a KC-46 with a single pilot and a boom operator.

But why?

I’ve flown tankers for close to 20 years now. Air refueling missions range from the mundane C-17 training mission or two ship F-15 CAP to complex Missions where you have multiple tankers talking to each other, ATC or C2 and to the receivers that may or may not be showing up at the same time/when they are supposed to and may or may not be as English proficient as we would like.

When you have multiple tankers and multiple receivers you need everyone listening up on the 3-4 radios and dividing the duties. It’s a lot, especially when there’s external factors like a retrograde, TIC, etc. A jump seater or an extra boom is a welcome addition in these scenarios due to task saturation.

Someone (maybe in another thread) also alluded to some of the additional capes (datalink, etc.) and the discussion that ensued tried to delineate if these detracted from the mission or enhanced the mission. IMHO, they are designed to enhance the core competency of air refueling when utilized properly but, if we are not careful they can easily distract the crew or the squadron from the fundamental mission of a tanker.

In an emergency/non-normal situation as well, there’s a lot to accomplish. In our sims, we train with two pilots and the sim instructor plays the boom or we bring one in. Are we bringing a boom into every sim now since they will now have to train for every EP? Will they be running pilot checklists while the only pilot maintains aircraft control? I guess flight engineers used to (never flew with one but I know they were integrated up front) so now the boom does it? I’m ok with that, I implicitly trust the booms but again, why not just have two pilots with the boom backing us up.

Maybe I don’t have the big picture.

I’m all for innovation but besides possibly ferrying aircraft in a wartime situation to either survive them or get them to a frontline unit where other pilots are executing a near peer fight and we need all hands on deck I can see no good reason to try and fly a 767 with one pilot.

I see this as a distraction from the mission and not an enhancement to the mission.

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