Boeing selects KC-767 for Tanker

Boeing, as expected, announced that it will offer the KC-767 to the US Air Force for the KC-X aerial refueling tanker competition.

The press release is below the jump.

There are a couple of very specific references in the press release challenging the KC-767 vs. the Northrop KC-30, which is based on the Airbus A330-200.

What we find particularly interesting is the announcement that the KC767 will have a 787-based cockpit, and a new fly-by-wire boom that as best we can tell is V 6.0 derived from the ill-fated KC-767AT. Illustrations on Boeing’s tanker web site have consistently shown a KC767 with winglets, but the press release says nothing about this (the updated tanker website continues to show a KC767W). It’s unclear what, if any, wing structural changes or whether a new wing might be involved, another feature from the KC767AT.

Boeing continues to cite the 24% fuel burn advantage it claims of the KC767 over the KC-30, which does not take into account additional savings afforded by winglets, which amount to about 4% on the commercial 767-300ER.

We also note Boeing’s specific reference to a flight control system that gives the aircrew “unrestricted access to the full flight envelop for threat avoidance at any time” as opposed to the computer-driven fly-by-wire system of the A330.

It has been assumed Boeing would offer a KC767 based on the Italian KC767, which is several years late and still undelivered. Market sources continue to assert Boeing has problems with the wing-mounted pods (Boeing previously said this has been fixed) as well as the fuselage center-line hose-and-drogue (Boeing previously declined comment). Boeing calls its offering the low-risk solution. Northrop continues to point to Boeing’s non-delivery of the Italian tankers as evidence of high-risk. EADS’ KC-330 MRTT is 18 months late to launch customer Australia.

We are hearing more and more than Northrop is more likely to protest the Final Request for Proposal than to no-bid the project. A announcement is expected by next week.

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that it will offer the Boeing NewGen Tanker in the competition to supply the U.S. Air Force with a multi-mission aerial refueling aircraft that will meet all the warfighter’s mission requirements for the next several decades.

Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the Boeing NewGen Tanker will satisfy all mandatory Air Force requirements and offer an American-made tanker that will be capable, survivable, and combat-ready at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.

“Having supplied tankers to the Air Force for the past 60 years, Boeing has drawn on its unmatched aerial-refueling experience to thoroughly review and evaluate the KC-X solicitation issued by the Air Force,” Muilenburg said. “We respect and understand the KC-X requirements, and appreciate the importance of this program for the United States and its warfighters. We intend to bid for the honor to work with our Air Force customer to replace the existing fleet of KC-135 aircraft with a new-generation, multi-role tanker in a fair and transparent acquisition process.”

Boeing studied the mission requirements closely to determine the optimal airframe size that would deliver the most capability for the lowest cost to own and operate. The result was the NewGen Tanker, a widebody, multi-mission aircraft based on the proven Boeing 767 commercial aircraft, updated with the latest and most advanced technology and capable of fulfilling the Air Force’s needs for transport of fuel, cargo, passengers and patients.

The multi-mission aircraft is named NewGen because it includes several state-of-the-art systems to meet the demanding mission requirements of the future. They include:

  • A digital flight deck featuring electronic displays taken directly from the most advanced commercial airliner in existence – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner – that show all flight attitude, navigation, engine indication and crew-alerting information on screens 75 percent larger than on a commercial Airbus A330.
  • A new-generation fly-by-wire boom with an expanded refueling envelope and increased fuel offload rate. It will meet the Air Force requirement and simplify refueling operations to reduce workload for the aircrew and improve safety and reliability. Boeing is the only team in the KC-X competition that has invented, manufactured and delivered combat-tested aerial refueling booms.
  • The Boeing NewGen Tanker will be controlled by the aircrew, which has unrestricted access to the full flight envelope for threat avoidance at any time, rather than allowing computer software to limit combat maneuverability.

The NewGen Tanker will meet all of the Air Force’s 372 requirements – including a production rate at whatever level the Air Force determines – with a low-risk approach to manufacturing that relies on existing Boeing facilities in Washington state and Kansas as well as U.S. suppliers throughout the nation, with decades of experience delivering dependable military tanker and derivative aircraft.

“The NewGen Tanker will draw on the experience and talents of an integrated U.S. Tanker Team, including the best of our Boeing defense and commercial businesses and our nationwide supplier network,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It’s a proven team and existing infrastructure that is ready to deliver these NewGen Tankers on Day One.”

More cost-effective to own and operate than the larger, heavier Airbus airplane, the Boeing NewGen Tanker will save American taxpayers more than $10 billion in fuel costs over its 40-year service life because it burns 24 percent less fuel. The Boeing NewGen Tanker program also will support substantially more jobs in the United States than an Airbus A330 tanker that is designed and largely manufactured in Europe.

Boeing has been designing, building, modifying and supporting tankers for decades. Those tankers include the KC-135 that will be replaced in the KC-X competition, and the KC-10 fleet. The company also has delivered four KC-767Js to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and is on contract to deliver four KC-767s to the Italian Air Force. Three of the four Italian tankers are in flight test, with the fourth airplane in production.

The Air Force released its final KC-X Request for Proposal on Feb. 24. Boeing will deliver its proposal by May 10, within the 75-day period set forth in the terms of the solicitation. The Air Force is expected to announce its decision later this year.

41 Comments on “Boeing selects KC-767 for Tanker

  1. re . . .”We also note Boeing’s specific reference to a flight control system that gives the aircrew “unrestricted access to the full flight envelop for threat avoidance at any time” as opposed to the computer-driven fly-by-wire system of the A330.

    AFIK With the possible exception of the 787, all BA aircraft since at least the dash-80 have had minimum alternate manual cable controls, and specifically the 767. The purpose and deliberate inclusion of such systems goes to the long standing design philosophy that the ULTIMATE control belongs to the pilot. And that includes ‘ bending’ it if needed. AS autofilight controls have developed over the years, including FBW on Boeing aircraft, BA has stuck with that concept. ( possible exception *may* be 787 ).

    By the time a Boeing plane gets flown into a critical fight mode, many bells-whistles, alarms, lights, cautions, etc will be going off, so getting to that point will not be accidental. From pilot friends of mine, they have explained that at that time, the pilot simply has to exert greater than normal force on the control yoke to over-ride. he will certainly be aware that the plane is approaching or probably exceeding normal max structural loads, and that the * possibility* of significant structural damage is high.

    So if it comes down to duck the missile and bend the plane versus a computer hard limit that prevents a radical manuver- which would you choose.?

    BTW- shortly after the 707 entered service, over ther atlantic one night, the autopilot kicked off, and plane went into a death spiral due tom pilot inattention. When the plane pulled out very close to the ocean- it got significantly bent. But it and passengers survived. After it was repaired- the wings were no longer at design dihedral. I believe if one checks the records, it later had slightly better ” gas” milage over the years than most others in the fleet.

    I’d be happy if someone wants to update or correct my comments.

    • Sorry to say this, but that’s a stupid point.

      which do the F-22, B-2, B-1, F-35 choose?
      If FBW is an asset in front line combat a/c that actually need to dodge enemy missiles regularly, how can it be a liability for a logistics support a/c?

      • Recommend that ikkeman re-read DON S’s comments. DON S discussed Boeing philosophy of allowing pilot to ultimately over-ride maneuver limits. This philosophy applies to either analog or digital fly-by-wire flight controls. Airbus philosophy is to impose maneuver limits that pilot cannot over-ride.

  2. How can NGC protest an RFP. The Air Force has every right and an obligation to whrite the requirements it feels are necessary. It is up to the contractor to meet there requirements. On the other hand it is the Air Forces obligation to score the offers based on the RFP. Something they failed to do the first go around.

    • but it does not have the right to write the RFP towards a single offeror. Like what happened with the lease deal.

      If the AF were to “simply” sole-source the contract they would have every right to choose whatever they wish. When they say they’ll compete the contract, they can’t favor one offeror over the other.
      That’s why the GAO correctly upheld Boeing’s protest last time around

      • Ikkeman,

        The AF has the right to write its requirements for the aircraft that best fulfills the mission. If that means that Cessna can’t offer a plane in this contest because a Caravan doesn’t foot the bill that is just fine. It’s no different with NG/EADS, the AF is under no legal obligation to write its requirements to give EADS a 50 percent shot at the contract anymore than it is under an obligation to give them a 0 percent chance.

        The AF is perfectly free to write the contract as a sole source procurement as well provided they notify congress, justify the sole source purchase, and do some extra work to track the contractor costs. The only real rub with a sole source contract is not legal, its Congress, or precisely will Congress fund the program. As long as Congress is willing to fund the project the AF can tell NG/EADS to kiss off, we don’t need you or your bid.

        Obviously they would like NG/EADS to bid to avoid the extra work to get in place a sole source bid, but if NG/EADS doesn’t bid this time the USAF made it very clear that’s what they will do. And all indications are that Congress would then fund the KC767, especially now that John Murtha has been replaced by Norm Dicks on the house defense subcomittee.

      • John – That’s exactly what I’m saying. The USAF is free to contract this out however they see fit –
        However, it does beg a question that when Airbus held 26? positive discriminators in the lease deal vs 22 for Boeing AND it won the last contract that was canceled on procedural rather than technical grounds, the AF requirement now so strongly favors the technical lessor offer of the last two domestic and last five international competitions. (and it’s not like Italy or Japan were won based on technical superiority)

        The USAF has the complete right to sole-source this contract. They chose to compete it. Yes, they should write the requirements based on what they need/want – but what is that based on. In almost a decade has the AF ever had a thorough review of what their hopes and dreams are for a future tanker. Looking at the vast differences between the last competitions, it really has no idea.

        So what then is left to motivate the current content of the RFP? political expediency. The Boeing friendly barrel porkers kicked up such a great storm last time, the AF simply wishes to get a new tanker already. Anything will do really. Congress is paying so what does the AF care if they are hell-bend on the lessor plane. It’s less, but better than nothing, it’s even marginally better than what they are working with now.

        Again – this is the AF’s prerogative. They can sole-source if they want to. I think Congress would even back them if they manage to milk the americana theme enough.
        They should not, however dress it up as a competition. Be honest

      • Ikkeman,

        The Air Force leadership clearly wanted the 767 in the first lease deal yet EADS still submitted a bid. In the second contest it was clear that General “more, more, more” Lichte wanted the larger KC-30 and the RfP was written to favor the KC-30. The fact is that even if the AF has determined what type of aircraft they want they are still going to ask for competing bids to get the best price from the vender they want.

        This is standard practice in most countries and at least they aren’t pulling a Brazil and selecting an aircraft such as the Rafale for their future fighter despite the fact that the Rafale finished dead last in a three way contest. In this case you might ask why did Brazil hold a contest even though they were going to pick the Rafale despite the fact it was considered the least desirable plane by their Air Force. The simple truth is the contest forced the French to cut the price on the Rafale by $2 billion so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

        Its not different in this case. The truth is General Lichte and his supporters in the AF and Bush admistration are gone and the AF doesn’t want a plane the size of the A330, which would be the second largest plane in their inventory after the C-5. Regardless of congressional pressure, the AF has had a change of leadership and even if the pro-NG/EADS pork delegation was as strong pro-Boeing pork delegation it is likely the RfP would look the same way it does now. If the current Air Force leadership doesn’t want a large multi-role tanker transport of the kind being offered by NG/EADS they will not write an RfP for that aircraft.

        The truth is this is a KC-135 replacement contest, the decision to select the KC-30 in the last round was a very very unexpected decision driven by the preferences of the AF leadership at that time. With the old AF and Pentagon leadership gone the AF has gone back to it’s original preference for a KC-135 replacement. With the complete change in leadership why should it really be a mystery for the new leadership to decide the previous gang was wrong and we want to go with the original plan to by a KC-135 replacement?

      • two poeple went to jail on the lease deal. The AF didn’t nescecarily want the 767 – Druyen wanted a job.
        The 330 won the second time around on technical grounds – the GAO report did not change that. They only found procedural faults, not technical ones.
        For the rest I agree with your post.

        What you don’t answer is what you think of an AF that apparently does not have a clear vision of their future and 35billion plus program requirements can be so easily and so radically changed.

  3. I totally agree with Boeing’s approach on automation.

    Airbus’ A330-200 has a flight envelope that limits its bank angle, a automatic stall recovery with what you need to do is just let-go, and if you forget to increase the thrust when you pull up the nose while responding to EGPWS warning, Airbus will automatically increase the thrust for you.

    Worse yet, the Airbus auto-throttle system doesn’t move the “actual” throttle, you have to monitor the ECAM screen in addition to flying the aircraft.

    The USAF won’t be happy for the airplane to limit your bank angle and have a restrictive flight envelope, will it?

    Moreover, the sensors on the A330 are very sensitive which you’ll certainly know if you’re a pilot or work in an A330 operator.

    Furthermore, just like the Qantas incident in which the ADIRU input erroneous information into the autopilot system, thus letting the autopilot to mistakenly think that the Qantas A330-300’s nose pitch is too high, Airbus’ unique Flight Management & Guidance Envelope Computer (FMGC) automatically commanded a “nose-down”.

    The USAF wouldn’t like its tankers to have these glitches, would it?

    Then, why didn’t this article even mention a single of the many aforementioned points?

    • 23 July 1983; Air Canada 767; Flight 143; near Gimli, Manitoba
      31 March 1986; United Air Lines 767-200; San Francisco, CA
      30 June 1987; Delta Air Lines 767-200; Los Angeles, CA
      26 May 1991; Lauda Air 767-300ER; Suphan Buri Province, Thailand
      31 October 1999; EgyptAir 767-300ER; Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket Island, MA
      4 March 2001; United Air Lines 767; near Kona, HI
      15 April 2002; Air China 767-300ER; near Pusan, South Korea

      several of the incidents above include in-flight engine shutdowns – “The USAF wouldn’t like its tankers to have these glitches, would it?”

      • ikkemann seems to have changed the subject from maneuver limitations to improper fuel load (Gimli Glider), Pilot suicide (Egypt Air).

      • POG, I’m not discussing the how’s and why’s of air accidents – I’m trying to indicate the folly of pointing at a single unexplained accident and some as yet unrelated incidents and trying to induce irrational fear to motivate the uninformed.

        aircraft will crash. If you use FBW they will crash and if you use mechanical links they will crash. If you put the pilot in ultimate control they will crash, if you have the computer limit that autority they will crash.

  4. To all the usual anti-FBW blah-blah… what in all of this precludes Airbus from adjusting the FBW software for a military version?

  5. The 787 is touted to be 20% more efficient than the 767 ( original sales agument for the 787 ).
    The A330-200 probably is only a couple of percent
    worse off than the 787.
    That would indicate ~15% advantage of the A330 over the 767?

    How does Boeing compute 24% advantage of the 767 over the A330?

    • Remember that these 767NG will have 75% Bigger screens (ironic, sorry)

  6. Ikkeman,

    How’s the weather in Toulouse these days? Gallious providing you a nice office as well?

      • thanks for trying to keep this blog above the gutter

        Joe – You want to know the weather in toulouse, try google.
        Mr Gallois does not provide me with anything, neither does McNerny.
        I have worked for both Boeing and Airbus, and have been to Both Toulouse and Seattle.
        Thanks for your interest in my person – Now, did you have something of substance to say about my opinions?

      • Scott, there was nothing “personal” there and I believe you already knew that. I think I made my point quite clearly about the bias in Mr. Ikkeman’s statements. My curiosity is where this bias stems from.

  7. Uhh too loose

    How much leverage do you get with a side arm controller when electrical power drops ?

    lets not forget the Canadian Airbus that ran out of fuel due to the automatic computerized fuel transfer system, but managed by luck to land on a small island- August 2001 I recall ?

    Or the airshow crash cuz the computer said land- ?

    And fighters use FBW to handle reduced stability issues needed for rapid ‘ dogfights”. B2 bomber for similar reasons but mainly stability- AND a design structure for high G loads.

    • Why is it that people are never able to research their
      allegations properly and present a funny story pulled
      from thin air. again and again.
      All the investigation reports a publicly available.
      They won’t go away by spinning another 1000 leagues
      of yarn around that that topic.

    • 23 July 1983; Air Canada 767; Flight 143; near Gimli, Manitoba: The aircraft was on a scheduled domestic flight from Montreal, QC to Edmonton, AB. The aircraft was cruising at about 41,000 feet when the engines shut down due to fuel exhaustion. The crew was able to glide to an emergency landing at a nearby former military airfield. Due to problems with fuel quantity indication system, the crew used an alternate procedure to estimate the fuel load.

      so, can we now stop trying to throw mud or other brown substances at either airframer. BOTH Boeing and Airbus do their utmost to design safe products. They have (had) different approaches, but the effects are the same – incredibly robust and fail safe aircraft.

      Stop trying to use irrational fear to push your product.

    • Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger seemed to have no problem successfully ditching his FBW A320 into the Hudson River.

      • William Langewiesche in his book “fly by wire” makes a case for Airbus FBW philosophy aiding Sully in that ditching. ( Nov 2009 )
        Controversial discussion ensued that imho did not converge into a usefull synthesis.
        Even “if”, I can understand Sully keeping this low in his presentation.
        His workplace politics seem to be difficult enough without giving others
        leverage to tagg him a second row button pusher.

  8. uwe?? your point ??? …Why is it that people are never able to research their
    allegations properly and present a funny story pulled
    from thin air. again and again…

    What specific “allegations” and ‘ thin air ” are you referring to ?

    for example

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Transat_Flight_236

    Air Transat Flight 236 was an Air Transat route between Toronto, Canada and Lisbon, Portugal flown by Captain Robert Piché and First Officer Dirk DeJager. On August 24, 2001, the flight ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean with 306 people (293 passengers and 13 crew) aboard. The flight crew managed to successfully glide the plane, and safely landed in the Azores with no loss of life.[1] . . . goes on

    • You are making widesweeping causal connections
      for cause and aggravation of accidents/incidents that
      do not match the professional reporting on those
      instances.

      You should have stoppend after your first sentence.
      That question is actually a good one.

      Does somebody know how much direct “hardware”
      authority is retained in a Dreamliner ( or in a plane
      with transplanted 787 flightcontrols ) ?

      how does a multipath redundant FBW system compare
      to a remaining single steelwire connection compare
      in a “shoot up” style degradation of systems?

      This could be quite an interesting discussion.

  9. Uhh ewe… would you be more specific re your widesweeping ….” You are making widesweeping causal connections
    for cause and aggravation of accidents/incidents that
    do not match the professional reporting on those
    instances.”
    +++

    is there something about the BA statement regarding control authority you do not understand d or disagree with? Do you know what cable authority minimum controls are part of EVERY 767 ?-

    I said I do not know how much cable authority is in the 787-

    Is it my comments about the 707 dive over the atlantic that bother you -? Feb 1959 PAA flight

    Since you seem so enamored of ‘professional’ reports, please provide them and tell me where I have misstated.
    start here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_upset

    * February, 1959: A Pan Am B-707 upset and went into a high dive while cruising over the Atlantic at FL 350. Control was not recovered until reaching 6,000 ft. After landing safely at Gander, extensive structural damage was found, but there were only a few minor injuries. The Captain was in the cabin, when the autopilot disconnected, without adequate warning to the First Officer, who was distracted with a “howgozit” report form. It wasn’t until the FO felt the stall buffet, that he realized they were descending rapidly and about to turn upside down. He tried, but was unable to level the wings. Fortunately, the Captain was able to return to the cockpit and get strapped into his seat, while enduring significant G-forces. He took over the controls, leveled the wings and then pulled out of the dive.[12]

    I’m sure there are volumes of reports on this in govt archives – and a major change in rules was a result- having to do with oxygen masks and pilots in command NOT wandering back to greet the customers, etc

  10. DON S, in the time you spent your bandwidth sending your post, maybe you could have done some research of the incident?
    For example, can you explain the connection to the FBW? You mentioned previously that it is because ‘due to the automatic computerized fuel transfer system’, which is wholly inaccurate. The pilot manually transferred fuel from one tank into an empty one, after a bad engine repair has allowed the fuel to leak out. The pilots should have detected that the readings were pointing towards a fuel leak but the rest is history…. So I ask you again, what is the connection? Unless of course you wanted to demonstrate that even with no computers on and only the RAT providing the basic power, the pilots safely managed to land the plane. Yes, that must be it.

    As for Daniel Tsang, I am sure you know that the A330 MRTT will be certified for the civil as well as the military operations with a modified EFCS or that in Alternate Law the pilot can do a barrel roll if he wants to or even stall the plane. Moreover, what on earth do you mean by this…’the sensors on the A330 are very sensitive’?

  11. UKAIR- The incident was extensively reported in Aviation Week a while later, since a few weeks afterwards, there was 911 . .

    I’ve been a subscriber for about 40 years . .

    Additionally, there were/are several government agency reports on the incident.

    What was printed in Wiki was of course NOT the complete story.

    From memory- and I’m sure the full report can be found somewhere it goes like this

    That model uses a computer driven fuel transfer system between wing tanks to ‘ tail’ tanks to other wing tank during normal flight to keep GC limits at their most efficient.

    When the leak in one engine happened, the system transferred fuel from opposite wing tank TO tail tank and then to leaking side.

    Thus, both tanks lost fuel at the same rate. It was NOT till very late in the flight, the direct crossover was engaged. The result was that BOTH tanks went dry at about the same time.

    And it was NOT obvious that the auto system could be disengaged.

    I’m sure some QUALIFIED Airbust type will pop up here and explain where I am wrong- or provide a link to the formal reports

  12. Try going to page 79-80 in that same report

    The bulletin emphasizes existing published Airbus operational procedures related to fuel-leak detection. For example, it recommends that fuel checks be performed when overflying waypoints or every 30 min. during cruise. That check would include verification that the amount of fuel on board and fuel consumed is consistent with the fuel quantity at departure.

    The bulletin also recommends the fuel-imbalance procedure takes into account that the triggering of the “fuel imbalance” ECAM (electronic centralized aircraft monitor screen) advisory message might be the result of a fuel leak.

    Referring to the fuel-leak-abnormal procedure in the A330/A340 flight manual, the bulletin underscores the importance of keeping the fuel crossfeed valve closed to prevent a leak from affecting both sides, when a leak is either not located or is not from an engine. The bulletin also recommends adding another step to the fuel imbalance procedure: either “T TANK MODE FWD” (if the trim tank is not empty), which would initiate a manual transfer of trim tank fuel, or “CTR TK XFR MAN” (if the center tank is not empty).

    When fuel is automatically transferred from the tail trim tank or center tank, it goes into the lower of the wing tanks and tends to mask a fuel imbalance. Switching the fuel transfer to manual makes the crew more aware of what the system is doing.

    ++++

    But why not just end the discussion – instead of half-vast arguments that miss MY point

    Computers cannot be programmed to handle ALL possible situations

    ULTIMATE CONTROL MUST REMAIN IN THE HAN DS OF THE PILOT

  13. So my question remains unanswered. How is this incident related to the FBW and the control the pilot has? Also how would Boeing aircraft performed differently?

  14. Computers cannot be programmed to handle ALL possible situations

    ULTIMATE CONTROL MUST REMAIN IN THE HAN DS OF THE PILOT

    Once again- FBW included/includes an automatic ?trim” system by routing fuel from wing to AFT CG tanks AND to wing to wing tanks to enhance performace. Thats good – and it works and BA does similar.

    However, IF one reads the report carefully ( yes I watched the video made before the report came out ) the automated system had been transferring fuel from one side to the other via the AFT trim tanks to keep in trim. That is why for a long time, both tanks showed even fuel. And why no alarms went off.

    my point WAS and IS- the location in this case of the fuel leak was such that the automated system did not or could not pick up the difference- NOR WAS SUCH A LEAK IN THAT PLACE ANTICIPATED BY THE COMPUTER OR PROCEDURE MANUAL.

    gets back to the basics – THE PILOT NEEDS TO BE THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY RATHER THAN A SYSTEM MONITOR.

    as to how Boeing handles the same situation- why not ask a boeing pilot versus an airbus pilot ?

  15. from page 92 of the report– copied here to end the ‘ argument” or about my ‘ thin air allegations. ” Note that the video never mentioned this-

    safety recommendation AD/2004

    4.2.3 automated Fuel transfers . . .

    does not copy – but go to that page and read the specifics

    • You are correct in observing that early/timely fault
      exposition is mandatory. ( that the proper term in englisch?)

      Another point is how workload alleviation is utilised by the crew.
      do they just “slack off” or do they use the available freedom to
      introspect the system for abnormalities.
      This is to some extend dependent on personality and workplace
      environment. ( The US trend towards piloting as blue collar type
      work would go against the more intellectual/introspective approach
      of Airbus FMS systems.

      Imho your wish to introduce stimuli deep inside a system that
      only as a whole is a homogenous aircraft is missguided.

      Airliners.net had some interesting discussion about/with pilots
      that seemed to be unable to grasp the Airbus “flying” concept
      and more or less continuously work _against_ the plane they
      fly and not work with the conceptual model.

      They just can’t accept the increased abstraction levels.

  16. It will be interesting to see more detail about the Boeing bid as more time passes. It is interesting to note the same figures that were commissioned by Boeing in 2007 over efficiencies & man in the loop reasoning.

    It would be interesting to see whether or not examining the ‘ultimate control’ point really had real operational consequences given that in every case it is the mission that is the priority. I.E quite obviously this does not deter airlines consistently voted no.1 in safety from buying airbus products, nor is it represent in any discernible way accidents that have occurred between between either airplane manufacturer.

    I.E this seems to be a marketing claim due to the customer involved, that given the real world operations of both aircraft, are unlikely to have any bearing on the operational capability or tasking of the aircraft fleet at all.

    If it was deemed significant, it would be a KPP in the contract, or carry significant weighting. It is not.

  17. Just to get back onto “sensible” grounds:

    “Airforce prefered 767 in lease deal.”

    Boeing bought ( cheaply at that ) Airforce preference. follow th criminal proceedings.

    “Airbus aircraft have limited evasion capabilities
    in comparison to any Boeing craft.”

    IMHO the thinking behind this is based in missunderstandings carefully inserted into the public.. Judging the deeply emotional reaction of
    some with quite a bit of success at that 😉

    Independent of that Airbus Military and Civil Airliner FBW rules seem to differ by quite a margin.

  18. ikeman…They only found procedural faults, not technical ones…

    Hogwash- from memory this early AM – unable to fuel ALL required aircraft and unable to make certain manuvuers involved in ‘ breakaway ” without structural mods ( since simple re-programing was not deemed adequate are NOT procedure deficiencies )

    Lets get back to why buy an 18 wheeler to haul 16 barrels of gas of which 10 barrels are usually used 90 percent of the time ?

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