Annnnd Here We go Again

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Navy1960, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    The race to win one of the largest military deals ever awarded kicked off Friday morning, when Department of Defense officials unveiled the arcane criteria they will use to purchase a fleet of airborne tankers from either Boeing Co. or Northrop Grumman Corp.

    But what was once a sprint has become a marathon slog as the Pentagon attempts for a fourth time to replace its fleet of 415 Eisenhower-era tankers through contracts expected to total more than $100 billion.

    The process that started in 2001 to modernize the half-century-old planes that function as aerial gas stations has made its mark for controversy, with an ethics scandal that ended with jail terms for Boeing executives and countless skirmishes on Capitol Hill over jobs, patriotism and free trade.
    Boeing vs. Northrop Grumman: Round 2 of Air Force tanker fight to kick off -- chicagotribune.com

    First let me start by saying that it's my hope that the Air Force will finally be able to manage to get a Tanker in the air after a failed attempt to lease 100 of them, another failed attempt with the end result being a complete circus in congress and total lack of judgement on the part of DoD. It's my hope that this time around, we can at least appear to take some of the politics out of this decision and let the Air Force decide what aircraft it wishes to fly so that our aviators can get this vital component and long overdue aircraft in the air.
     
  2. garyd
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    garyd Senior Member

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    You left out the fact that Airbus was in the running for that contract for a while... The God alone knows what the hell we were going to do when 100,000 gallons or so of av gas fell out the sky on some suburb somewhere.
     
  3. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    The omission was not on purpose, in fact in my posting I had mentioned that after the Boring lease deal there was another failed attempt in which the KC-45X aka A-330 made by Airbus was awarded the contract and because of a protest that was eventually upheld and much hand wringing in congress we are now in round three. No doubt that if the reward were to go to Boeing this time you would have a protest made by Airbus this time around and back to square one. Eventually all this money spent for a non-existent Tanker to replace the 40 plus year old one still in the air will need to show some results. It does appear that the only solution out of this mess that was created by DoD will have to be an aircraft that is joint produced or a mixed fleet of KC7X7's and KC45's. You had mentioned the danger of an aircraft fuel spill over a residential area, well here is a thought, the longer DoD and congress and the Air Force keep this circus going and the more money it costs the older the KC135's get. So the danger is not in the eventual replacements, it's in fleet of aircraft who are well past the day in which they should have been sent to AMARG. (boneyard)
     
  4. garyd
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    garyd Senior Member

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    Naw what I was referencing is the fact that Air bus makes some of the least safe aircraft in the world, Which is about exactly what one would expect from an outfit that is essentially run as a slush fund for the governments of France and Germany.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  5. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Lets hope the Northrup/Grumman plane is accepted again and built this time.
     
  6. sitarro
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    sitarro Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Why would you want Airbus to build an aircraft for our military, for that matter, why would anyone want an Airbus for any use?

    This was a very interesting email I received from my airline Captain brother............

    Hi Friends,

    Another CAL pilot shared this with me, and I thought you'd find it very interesting.

    A Brazilian Naval unit reportedly found the complete vertical fin/rudder assembly of the doomed aircraft floating some 30 miles from the main debris field. The search for the flight recorders goes on, but given the failure history of the vertical fins on A300-series aircraft, an analysis of its structure at the point of failure will likely yield the primary cause factor in the breakup of the aircraft, with the flight recorder data (if found) providing only secondary contributing phenomena.

    The fin-failure-leading-to-breakup sequence is strongly suggested in the attached (below) narrative report by George Larson, Editor emeritus of Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine.

    It's regrettable that these aircraft are permitted to continue in routine flight operations with this known structural defect. It appears that safety finishes last within Airbus Industries, behind national pride and economics. Hopefully, this accident will force the issue to be addressed, requiring at a minimum restricted operations of selected platforms, and grounding of some high-time aircraft until a re-engineered (strengthened) vertical fin/rudder attachment structure can be incorporated.

    Les

    --------------------------(George Larson's Report)---------------------

    This is an account of a discussion I had recently with a maintenance professional
    who salvages airliner airframes for a living. He has been at it for a while, dba BMI
    Salvage at Opa Locka Airport in Florida . In the process of stripping parts, he sees
    things few others are able to see. His observations confirm prior assessments of
    Airbus structural deficiencies within our flight test and aero structures communities
    by those who have seen the closely held reports of A3XX-series vertical fin failures.

    His observations:

    "I have scrapped just about every type of transport aircraft from A-310,
    A-320, B-747, 727, 737, 707, DC-3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, MD-80, L-188, L1011
    and various Martin, Convair and KC-97 aircraft.

    Over a hundred of them.

    Airbus products are the flimsiest and most poorly designed as far as
    airframe structure is concerned by an almost obsession to utilize composite
    materials.

    I have one A310 vertical fin on the premises from a demonstration I just
    performed. It was pathetic to see the composite structure shatter as it did,
    something a Boeing product will not do.

    The vertical fin along with the composite hinges on rudder and elevators is
    the worst example of structural use of composites I have ever seen and I am
    not surprised by the current pictures of rescue crews recovering the
    complete Vertical fin and rudder assembly at some distance from the crash
    site.

    The Airbus line has a history of both multiple rudder losses and a vertical
    fin and rudder separation from the airframe as was the case in NY with AA.

    As an old non-radar equipped DC4 pilot who flew through many a thunderstorm
    in Africa along the equator, I am quite familiar with their ferocity. It is not
    difficult to understand how such a storm might have stressed an aircraft
    structure to failure at its weakest point, and especially so in the presence of
    instrumentation problems.

    I replied with this:

    "I'm watching very carefully the orchestration of the inquiry by French
    officials and Airbus. I think I can smell a concerted effort to steer
    discussion away from structural issues and onto sensors, etc. Now Air
    France , at the behest of their pilots' union, is replacing all the air data
    sensors on the Airbus fleet, which creates a distraction and shifts the
    media's focus away from the real problem.

    It's difficult to delve into the structural issue without wading into the
    Boeing vs. Airbus swamp, where any observation is instantly tainted by its
    origin. Americans noting any Airbus structural issues (A380 early failure
    of wing in static test; loss of vertical surfaces in Canadian fleet prior to
    AA A300, e.g.) will be attacked by the other side as partisan, biased, etc. "

    His follow-up:

    One gets a really unique insight into structural issues when one has
    first-hand experience in the dismantling process.

    I am an A&P, FEJ and an ATP with 7000 flight hours and I was absolutely
    stunned, flabbergasted when I realized that the majority of internal
    airframe structural supports on the A 310 which appear to be aluminum are
    actually rolled composite material with aluminum rod ends. They shattered.

    Three years ago we had a storm come through, with gusts up to 60-70 kts.,
    catching several A320s tied down on the line, out in the open.

    The A320 elevators and rudder hinges whose actuators had been
    removed shattered and the rudder and elevators came off.

    Upon closer inspection I realized that not only were the rear spars
    composite but so were the hinges. While Boeing also uses composite
    material in its airfoil structures, the actual attach fittings for the elevators,
    rudder, vertical and horizontal stabilizers are all of machined aluminum."
    -----------------(end of narrative)---------------

    Regards,
    Paul/Rick
     
  7. garyd
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    garyd Senior Member

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    I've also heard rumors that they attempted to use aluminum wiring for the electronics in the big 800 passenger Job Aibus built in order to save weight. I haven't as of yet been able to confirm this rumor. has anyone else heard it and have you a confirmation.
     
  8. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Why did we want P-51 Mustangs in WWII, with those *gasp* ENGLISH engines?

    Why did we buildt those SWEDISH and SWISS Anti aircraft guns on ALL our warships in WWII instead of using the useless American designed weapons???

    The answer is their were the best available system.

    And contrary to Boeing's bullshit, the Airbus planes will be made in Northrup's plant in MARIETTA GORGIA USA.
     
  9. garyd
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    garyd Senior Member

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    Hopefully they will do a redesign of a lot of the problems which have plagued airbus for more than two decade.
     
  10. sitarro
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    sitarro Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Boeing,North American and Lockheed make the best large aircraft, check the record. The KC-135 is a Boeing aircraft that has served this country for 50 years, why would Airbus suddenly be the best at anything? The Boeing B-52 is still flying after 54 years. Lockheed C-5s have been in the air for 41 years, the North American B-1 has been flying for 48.

    Boeing has been building aircraft tankers for 75 years, this video tells it's story......

    Boeing - Tanker

    Why would America go outside of this country for a tanker when we have one designed already....... Boeing is already producing a 767 version for Italy.
     

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