Deadline for KC-46 delivery pushed back

Image credit: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/10/17/the-first-kc-46-delivery-is-not-happening-this-october/

The long and highly anticipated next gen tanker has once again run into some rollout road blocks. The KC- 46 Pegasus tanker was scheduled for its furst delivery this month but due to mx issues and other problems plaguing the aircraft that date has been confirmed pushed back from U.S Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. This not the only next gen defense aircraft from boeing thats seen long term delays and mx issues. The F-35 saw countless and even still today has unresolved technical issues. My personal opinion why is there a need for a next gen tanker? I get that our aging KC-10 and KC-135 do need to retire or upgrade but the U.S. has a host of older aircraft that have been renewed with modifications or upgrades. Why spend the resources on new material? I could see more of this aircraft being an export much like the F-35. Sell it and profit from the contracts made. Honestly though I feel providing servicable upgrade kits and mods for future preservation of the aircraft we already have would likely cost less then purchasing new showroom aircaft. Again just my two cents. What are your thoughts on the delay of the KC-46?

Full article at https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/10/17/the-first-kc-46-delivery-is-not-happening-this-october/

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Interesting. I saw several out on Boeing’s Flight line at Paine Field when I was there and saw one just about done.

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Hope it doesn’t end up like a Paper weight

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Its definitely disheartening to see so many promised aircraft end up unfulfilled contracts much like the FA22.

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As a Crew Chief for the Air Force, I know very well about the many upgrades that keep our aging fighters flying, lel. But upgrades only get you so far. That extra few percent improvement sometimes is very desirable and sought after, hence the new line.

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I agree we can only do so much but, it troubles me that theres no consistency like it seems for example every year a new next gen aircraft is anounced. I am sure maintainers see it as well. I also see how it could degrade continuity as mx folks are having to be trained on new updgrades new TO procedures etc. But thats just the nature of the beast. If we want to to stay the best we have to have the best.

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Goes to show the Airbus tanker would have been the best option.

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Lol can’t do it, degrades boeing stance as primary USAF defense contractor.

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Not necessarily what if Boeing produces a much better product then Airbus MRRT?

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Maybe the Airbus would have been delayed even more, too!

It’s strange that it’s maintenance issues. It seems like a lot of the technologies would be existing 767 or refueling stuff…

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I bet it’s the refueling system. If I had take a guess

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Yea, we have to agree on a platform that is very versatile and we can have lots of people trained on it and only have to be certified for the different applications it might have.

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Do we know what bases will get them?

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Theres a lot of other things that get changed when you convert a passenger plane into a tanker. More powerful engines, FMC needs to be reprogrammed for new CG and flight characteristics, structural elements are different, flight envelope, etc. We can approximate some things, but a lot needs to be changed.

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I want some to come to McGuire so that I can watch them work from my back deck on my house. 🙌

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Not sure where they are destined for or which USAF components will see them. But McGuire I know houses on the tanker side the KC135 and KC-10 so I would expect at some point they would receive the KC-46 but speculation till then.

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Same here, KPIT has a sizable National Guard/Air Force base. C-130s (transitioning to C-17, and I haven’t seen a 130 in a while but I’ve seen a few 17s, so the 130s May be gone) and the KC-135. I get them mixed up, but I think the airlift is National Guard, and Reafuling AF? But I could be wrong…

Wait? KPIT forgot something about KPIT? IKR, I woke up an like 4:30 today, I’m sorry…

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That’s not what won them the contract, Airbus had it but then it got awarded to Boeing for clearly no reason at all apart from apparently saving the taxpayers money. Now if you ask me delays add to costs so I think it’s fair to say that American Pride was more a factor in this and it adds to Boeing’s power supplier power which isn’t good at all. The Airbus tankers were already in use and proved to be great planes for the job so there is no doubt they are a quality product.

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So since you seem to be in the know @Asneed8706, will these be replacing the 135s? Or in addition to them? Because I would hate to see the 135s leave the skies above Pittsburgh, but I really want to see the new ones…

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‘American Pride’ was not just a factor, it was basically everything. We can’t be seen using another country’s planes, no matter how much it costs us