Re: Aging Aircraft (was Re: Boeing 717?)

From:         Jennings Heilig <jheilig@gate.net>
Date:         25 Jul 95 03:06:47 
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Yes indeed, everyone you talk to in the tanker community in the USAF will
tell you the same story.  There's absolutely *no* replacement in sight
for the KC-135, nor is one really needed.  What we *do* need is more
capability from the existing fleet, but due to current fiscal policies,
that's not likely to happen.  If we were to spend a very small sum per
airframe to put wingtip pods on the entire fleet, we would almost double
the offload capability.  That also opens up dozens more receivers to be
able to use the aircraft on a single mission, as they now have to add the
basket to the end of the boom on the ground.

I've got some interesting BMAC drawings showing a mod which would (if it
worked) allow them to carry the basket in a tail extension and attach or
remove it in flight.

The KC-135 gets my vote as the overall best aircraft ever designed, and
the fact that they're programmed to stay in service until after most of
the designers' grandkids are dead is testimony to that fact.  Imagine
having a 1943 era B-17G in front line service until the year 2023!
That's what we're looking at with the KC-135!

Jennings Heilig


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