KC-767 cost advantage over KC-45

Boeing has released the results of a study it commissioned on the life-cycle cost advantage of the KC-767 vs. the KC-45, this time using a firm we’ve actually heard of and greatly respect: AeroStrategy.

AeroStrategy analyzed 10 scenarios, fuel price escalation, maintenance, and a variety of other factors to conclude that over the life of the program, the KC-767 will cost $11bn-$36bn less than a fleet of KC-45s.

Boeing’s tanker blog has this commentary. Here is the full study.

Boeing’s previous use of a company called Conklin-something-or-other was an odd choice, because although we’ve been in commercial aviation since 1979, we had never heard of Conklin. It turned out Conklin was better known for its work in corporate aviation. The AeroStrategy study is far more credible.

We’ve been critical of EADS (and of Northrop before it) for not putting forth its financial analysis. Boeing “owns” this issue and this latest report solidifies its claims.

71 Comments on “KC-767 cost advantage over KC-45

  1. You are right, EADS does not put out a study like this because the A-330MRTT cannot compete with the the KC-767NG (or KC-767AT) on LCC. The same is true for MilCon, which is a required consideration by the USAF.

    But the comparison does not end there, Boeing claims more manuverability and better combat survival for their offer, compared to EADS’s. Also, the KC-767 nearly fits into the same parking space as the KC-135, the A-330MRTT is nearly 50% bigger (for square foot of the total parking space). That is important on deployments to foreward bases as it dictates the number of tankers that will fit on a given ramp.

    • and EADS claims more versatility, utility and efficiency… It’s all in the IFARA. Lets agree that the USAF will give the final answer

      • And when IFARA is run using REAL WORLD DATA, the KC-30 is not even able to complete the missions!

    • HeLLoOooo… Common sense and experience both tell us that with the larger, more capable KC-45… Less ramp space is needed as many less airframes would need to be deployed to fulfill mission requirements . So there goes the parking and ramp-space argument…

  2. from an earlier post of mine on another thread on this site

    In response to some comments/ questions about my comments regarding productivity and costs derived from AECMA stat . . .

    Surely UVE can find some current data compareable to that which I put together a decade ago, using AECMA stats available at that time

    regarding productivity, I will direct you to pages 6 thru 8

    of the pdf file ( 2001 version ) at

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3827206/CVDanalysisRDXm.pdf

    Note that I used AECMA figures and definitions of productivity and labor

    Of course few american aerospace workers get 4 weeks of vacation and bucu holidays per year ( 4 weeks may be available after about 20 years )

    and a 40 hour week is standard compared to about 36 hours week in france for example

    Mon dieu !!!

    Now IF the AF does NOT add a few billion to BA cost figures for risk, as done before, then maybe BA might win ???

  3. Wow, a whopping 12 page study. And all of the comparisons were made with each aircraft using an equal number of flight hours. Nothing to show that for many missions, a single KC-45 could perform a mission that would require 2 or more KC-767 sorties.

    Nowhere did the study state the basic aircraft loading assumptions to come up with their 20% higher fuel use. Are both aircraft operated at their MTOW? Or are both aircraft operated at the KC-767’s Maximum fuel availability? In either case, this penalizes the KC-45 by making it operate the same number of hours as the KC-767, when in fact for some missions the KC-767 would have to operate more hours than the KC-45, and in other missions the hourly fuel costs would be less than 20% if the KC-45 were lightly loaded but the KC-767 were fully loaded.

    Then there are some missions that the KC-767 cannot perform at all.

    For low fuel offload sorties, the USAF will still have a fleet of KC-135Rs available even after the entire KC-X contract is fulfilled.

    No doubt that the KC-45 will cost more to operate in most cases, but not 20-25% more.

    • perhaps you should use your obvious expertise in the requirements/ evaluation criteria part of the RFP to good advantage and suggest that EADS request some additional time to incorporate your comments in their bid ?

      • Perhaps you could use your obvious to help the AF finally make the correct choice for the obviously superior Boeing Offer. You know, the one that scored the highest marks for the last two KC-X rfp’s…

    • John S, what do you really know about air refueling or the tanker mission? The A-330MRTT cannot refuel any more airplanes on the mission than the KC-767NG can. Why, because of boom saturation. The most number of receivers a tanker can refuel at on time (a fighter drag or a strike package) is 6 receivers. If you have 7 receivers, by the time #7 completes his refueling, #1 has less gas aboard than when he started refueling.

      Then there is the problem when what do you do when you one big tanker breaks or air aborts? It took off with 245,000 lbs of fuel, and cannot give it away. That is why the USAF plans missions on the number of booms airborne, not the amount of fuel airborne.

      The A-330MRTT only carries 20% more fuel than the KC-767NG does. But enroute it burns at least 20% more fuel, reducing any advantage it will have in the refueling area.

      • KC135,

        I know that in theater tanker aircraft fly racetrack orbits and aircraft will come up and tank on an as-needed basis, and the endurance (or lack thereof) was a problem with the KC-135 during Desert Storm.

  4. So what everybody, and all these studies,
    plus good old common sense, is saying is:

    – The smaller KC-767NG will often cost more to use,
    but cost less to buy and operate

    – The larger KC-45 will often cost less to use,
    but cost more to buy and operate

    Now, the study that _really matters_,
    which USAF is doing _right now_,
    will determine “once and for all”
    which of the two contenders has
    the best tradeoff between:

    – cost to purchase and operate
    – cost to use

    Just like how a little pickup truck
    costs very little to buy and operate,
    but costs a lot to use if you need to
    make a lot of trips to move your stuff –
    but a great big moving van,
    while costing a lot to buy and operate,
    may cost less to use if you only have to
    make one or two trips to move your stuff.

    Now, let me get back to my comfortable seat
    in the peanut gallery.
    Thank you.

    • How much of an advantage is the 20% higher fuel capacity of the A-330MRTT, over the KC-767NG, really worth in a combat refueling? After all, that is what we are buying these airplanes for.

      • For the nth time, fuel capacity of the aircraft is a relatively meaningless metric without knowing the fuel offload capabilities of the respective aircraft. Again, the massive wing of the A330 and its better aerodynamic performance helps giving the KC-30 a 27.5 percent better offload capability than the KC-767AT (offer last time around) at 1000 nm radius.

        http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/05/11/341649/dod-acqusition-strategy-key-for-kc-x-bidding-process.html

        Quote: “In real terms, the air force wants an aircraft that can deliver 42,600kg (94,000lb) of fuel at a 1,000nm (1,850km) mission radius after taking off from a 10,000ft (3,050m) runway. In the previous competition, the Boeing KC 767AT offered the capability to deliver about 54,400kg of fuel at that distance. Northrop’s larger KC-30 (later rebranded as the KC-45) proposed delivering 69,400kg under the same parameters.”

  5. AeroStrategy may have a good reputation, but in this report they’re seriously trying to undermine that reputation. If you are making these kind of dubious reports, you’d better be damn sure that you’ve got the facts straight.

    In their fuel cost analysis (page 7) they are stating that: “In Scenario 1, using the Air Force fuel price schedule, total life-cycle expenditures on fuel in then-year dollars (including inflation) are $29.5B for the B767 and $38.2B for the A330. Thus, over the life of the fleet, an additional $8.6 billion would be spent on fuel for the A330 or 29.5% more than would have been spent on the B767 fleet.

    So, what they are implying is that the A330-200 with significantly better aerodynamics (L/D), and with a MTOW that is only 25 percent higher than the 767-200ER (And note: MTOW KC-767 > MTOW 767-200ER), is burning 29.5 percent more fuel? It looks like AeroStrategy may have just accepted these fuel burn figures given to them by Boeing and not asked themselves if they made any sense.

    In an earlier comment I posted back in April, I did do a crude analysis on the fuel burn differential for the 767-200ER and the A330-200 and estimated it to be no more than 20,5 percent. The KC-767 will in all likelihood have a substantially higher OEW/MTOW than the -200ER and thereby increasing fuel burn.

    Thread:

    http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/eads-kc-x-announcement-today/

    Now, what really makes this report loose it’s credibility is the incredible omission of the fact that Airbus last year extended the C-check interval from 18 months to every 21 or 24 months, rather than 18 months (page 8). This was in fact reported on by leehamnews last year. This means that over a 40 year period a KC-767 would have to undergo some 27 C-checks while the KC-30 would have to undergo 20-23 C-checks.

    Quote from AeroStrategy: Aircraft maintenance can be subdivided into four distinct categories of maintenance. The first is airframe heavy maintenance which consists of a series of intensive inspections performed in the hangar. There are minor checks, sometimes known as C-checks, and heavy checks which are often referred to as D-checks or sometime 4C-checks, an indication of the sequence of heavy maintenance checks. The standard Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) intervals for C-checks and D-checks are the same for the B767 and the A330 at 6,000 flight hours or 18 months for C-checks and 24,000 flight hours or 72 months for the D-checks. Aircraft also require more maintenance as they age, so heavy checks performed later in an aircraft’s life require more man-hours than those performed early on. This is because as an aircraft ages, more discrepancies are found during the inspection tasks of a check and more effort is required to correct those discrepancies. C-checks early in an aircraft life require 2, 000 – 4,000 man-hours while those later in the life-cycle may require more than 10,000 man-hours.

    Quote from Leehamnews: “Along with maintenance procedure changes to the A330, the A340 increases the interval on the A Check to 800 flight hours from the current 600; C Check intervals go from 18 months to 21-24 months; Intermediate Checks increased from five years at EIS to the current six years and remains unchanged; and Structural Checks increase from 10 years to 12 years.”

    http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/a330-vs-787/

    http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/first-a330-200f-prepares-for-launch-customer-etihad-25407/

    Quote: “By 2012, the A330 will have enjoyed 20 years’ “continuous upgrade,” said Favre. Performance has improved as Airbus has continued A330 development, according to Williams. Since introduction of the A330 Enhanced standard (from MSN 550), operational dispatch reliability has been 99.4 percent; aircraft flown by Singapore Airlines under a “flight hours services” contract have been achieving a higher 99.64-percent rate. Two changes involve reduced airframe inspection frequency: A-check line-maintenance intervals have been extended from 600 to 800 flight hours, while the heavier C-check is now conducted every 21 or 24 months, rather than 18 months.”

    • The USAF does its “C” and “D” checks combined in the PDM program. For “heavy” aircraft it is every 60 months. So the KC-767 and A-330MRTT would go through the same number of PDMs. Even the KC-135 is still on this schedule, 60 months. The USAF has said that at any given time the KC-135 has 19% of the fleet in PDM.

      • First, both the KC-767 and KC-30 are COTS aircraft, the KC-135 was not.

        2nd, a USAF PDM is a rather lengthy affair ( >100 days), a commercial D-check is not (some 30 days).

        3rd, you are assuming that the Air Force will use the same maintenance system/infrastructure as that of the KC-135s, which is unreasonable. For example, a KC-X C-check performed like it’s done in commercial aviation should lead to a shorter PDM further down the line.

        The RAND corporation did a study on this a few years back. You might check it out here:

        The Maintenance Costs of Aging Aircraft
        Insights from Commercial Aviation

        http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2006/RAND_MG486.pdf

        Quotes (pages 2, 17 and 18):

        First, the Air Force owns and/or is considering purchasing aircraft that have commercial analogs. The Air Force’s executive transport aircraft are essentially commercial-off-the shelf (COTS) except with military communications (e.g., identification, friend or foe) equipment installed. More importantly, the Air Force’s cargo and tanker aircraft are similar to commercial passenger aircraft. The Air Force, for instance, is currently considering acquiring a tanker variant of an existing Airbus and/or Boeing commercial passenger airliner. While such a commercially derived tanker would not be equivalent to its passenger cousin, it is reasonable to think its maintenance issues could be analogous.

        AND:

        On a calendar basis (e.g., every five or six years), aircraft typically visit an Air Force depot (or contractor facility, varying by aircraft) for PDM or other depot-level maintenance. An aircraft is disassembled during PDM (e.g., the wings and engines are removed), detailed inspection and repair is undertaken, and the aircraft is re-assembled, tested, and returned to its owner. The PDM process is typically lengthy, routinely exceeding 100 days (and sometimes much longer) for many aircraft.

        As stated above, commercial aviation maintenance is similar to military aircraft maintenance, but it uses different terminology. At commercial airports, maintenance personnel routinely do a “walk around” inspection of an aircraft’s exterior to look for fuel leaks, worn tires, cracks, dents, and other damage. Every three to five days, there is an A check inspection of the aircraft’s landing gear, control surfaces, fluid levels, oxygen systems, lighting, and auxiliary power systems. AB check occurs every eight months, covering A check topics plus internal control systems, hydraulic systems, and cockpit and cabin emergency equipment. A and B checks can typically be done at airport gates.

        A C check occurs every 12 to 17 months, during which the aircraft is opened up extensively for inspection for wear, corrosion, and cracks. A C check would typically take place in a maintenance hangar, perhaps at an airline’s hub airport. Finally, a D check involves the disassembly of an aircraft at a specialized facility. D checks occur on a flying-hour basis (e.g., 747 D checks are to occur after every 22,500 flight hours Boeing, 1999]), but both their calendar frequency and tasks corre- spond closely to military PDMs. (D checks, however, tend to be completed more quickly than PDM visits, e.g., in 30 days.) Indeed, both commercial airlines and the Air Force have tried to extend durations between D checks/PDM visits in the interest of maximizing aircraft availability and minimizing lifecycle cost.

    • AeroStrategy has it correct & you have it wrong. For ANY given amount of payload (fuel) delivered the smaller/lighter KC-767 will burn SIGNIFICANTLY less fuel than the KC-30. It is ONLY when the KC-30 delivers more payload (fuel) than the KC-767 is able to that it even begins to cach up (& for those comparatively few sorties is what the KC-10/KC-Y are for). Given that the KC-767 EXCEEDS the fuel offload at range requirement (by >25,000 lbs for a given range or >500nm for a given offload), the additional capacity of the KC-30 is a waste. And what EADS & its Kool-Aid drinkers CONTINUE to ignor/forget the ACTUAL fuel offload per sortie is significantly lower than the requirement – KC-135Rs almost always return lots of fuel left.

      THE demand is for booms in the air, the total fuel capacity of each individual tanker is SECONDARY to the number of tankers you have available. The KC-30 is BIGGER & HEAVIER than every aircraft in US inventory except for the C-5s & a handful of specialized 747-based aircraft! That has HUGE effect on where & how many KC-30 can operate withing a given theater of operations. So not only will each KC-30 burn MORE fuel per hour than each KC-767, getting enough KC-30s in the air to get the job done will require a significant portion of the KC-30 to fly MORE hours from bases farther from the refueling points/tracks.

  6. Rudy Hillinga September 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm | #10 Reply | Quote

    I do not know the PR firm which produced the Boeing funded study
    and I am in no position to verify the accuracy of the study they
    performed.
    However, there is always general and understandable skepticism
    about any study financed by the party benefiting from the outcome
    of the study, or it would not have published the results.
    Apart from the above and after all the political haggling after the
    original selection of the KC-45 by the US Air Force, is it reaistic
    for Boeing to now claim, based on a hastily company funded study:
    1. That the original selection of the KC-45 over the KC-67 by the
    US Air Force,was not based on the realistic and factual com-
    parison data?
    2. That politics ONLY ENTERED the equation, AFTER BOEING LOST
    that first round, by raising the subsidy issue against Airbus
    for the very first time ever, in order to Influence members of
    the US Congress and especially those representing the state of
    WA, who consequently had no choice for political reasons, but
    to champion the Boeing case in favor of the old-fashioned KC-67?
    3. Is it even realistic to assume, that four US-allied Airforces,
    elected the KC-45 Tanker/Transport over the KC-67, immediately
    AFTER the KC-45 had become available, in spite of enormous US
    diplomatic pressure put on them to purchase the KC-^&, if the
    KC-45 had not been a far superior T/T, in spite of subsequent
    hastily added “Frankentanker” type sections from later versions
    of the 767 and only two Airforces from Japan and Italy ended up,
    THREE TO FOUR YEARS LATE, with the oldfashioned Kc-67?
    4. The 767 being a 10-12 year older design compared to the A330,
    on which the KC-45 is based, would dozens of airlines worldwide
    have opted for the A330 and essentially put the 767 program out
    of business, had not the A330 been a far superior aircraft?
    5. Hasn’t Boeing itself admitted as much, with regard to the defeat
    of the 767 by the A330, when they launched the 787 to outperform
    and outsell the A330?
    6. And finally, wouldn’t Boeing have been much better off finan-
    cially and in every other way, had they not spent many millions
    of dollars in legal fees and counting, fighting the subsidy issue
    with the now dubious outcome from the W T O, if they had spent
    that money on better resources and making sure that the 787 would
    not have incurred the record number of “SEVERE REPUTATION-DAMAGING
    delays and also still counting, in all of BCA’s history?

    • 6. And finally, wouldn’t Boeing have been much better off finan-
      cially and in every other way, had they not spent many millions
      of dollars in legal fees and counting, …

      Some things are decided by facts
      Some things are decided by ideas.

      If you have this little idea about the brilliance of “perception
      management” and no idea about “hard facts and performance”
      then sending “lawyer ants” and “public interfacers” to the fore
      comes quite naturally.

      With a hammer in your hand every problem is a nail.

      There is this SF story from the sixties around telling about
      an arms race based on talked up fantastic weapons, then aliens
      with real arms come along 😉 ( can’t remember the title )

    • About the EADS tanker story and . . .”the notion of white-scarfed U.S Pilots flying a foreign design . . .” Give us a break from the hyperbole, especially in view of the ‘ white-scarfed’ U.S.A.F Thunderbird named Alllan McArtor who has been deeply involved with EADS/Airbus. Additionally, it was NOT the Air Force or Boeing who proposed the initial 2001 767 lease issue. A close friend of mine, Dan Hartley ( now deceased) suggested to Senator Ted Stevens the lease arrangement as one of several measures to reduce the then immediate job and industry losses in the aftermath of 911. Had it not been for the greed and avarice of Boeing management, it would have been a viable solution, since the standard procurement process would have taken several years as so aptly demonstrated. Boeing could have had a block one tanker flying within three years, as the airframe had already been mil-spec certified, and a lot of design work already done for both the Italian and Japanese versions. The additional costs resulting from both Boeing and Air Force malfeasance have more than wiped out the costs ‘avoided’ in 2002-2003. Dropping the ‘ life cycle ‘ costs will just make a worse mess.

  7. I’m getting the impression that there is no sense of urgency here. Are we waiting for a KC-135 wing to snap off, as happened to B-52’s over Hanoi in 1972? And since forever we have been operating more than one kind of tanker, why wouldn’t dual sourcing work? USAF has been running KC-10’s and the ‘135s for more than 30 years. Why not crank up both lines, NOW. I think that the first KC-45 squadron becomes operational YEARS before the first Boeing KC-67/NGTT unit can crank up. The arguments about C and D checks are great, right until you realize that everyone is shading and cribbing their numbers. Stuff ALWAYS costs more than predictions. The real question: which one does the best job for our warfighters, and which one can be flying soonest, so we can retire some of these 50+ year old aircraft.

  8. I just love all you “tanker experts” out there arguing the relative merits of your preferred platform. The person who’s opinion I pay attention to is that of KC135TopBoom, who like my husband, actually flew missions and has real-world experience with the art of aerial refueling and the Air Force’s larger goal of force multiplication.

    Seems to me the rest is just background noise.

    • Joanne, very few military and civilian pilots have hands on experience in developing an airplane. In both cases, the pilots are neither building nor testing the aircraft but rather flying it, just as an IndyCar driver can win races without being the best automotive engineer on the track. Ask an IndyCar driver on which is the best car to drive, and you’ll get a highly subjective answer. It’s the same thing with pilots.

      In comparison, a specially trained research/test pilot flies aicraft prototypes and has to have good communication skills. A research/test pilot is a highly paid observer with the ability to communicate in engineering terms what happens in the airplane they are testing. Ideally the test pilot should have an engineering/science background with at least a working knowledge on how aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials, and Stability and Control affect each other.

      From what I have seen, pretty much the only pilots that hate Airbus are the ones that have never flown it…

      Pilots believing that Boeing aircraft is safer because they can supposedly outperform the Airbus “computers”, are delusional. It is like disregarding the speed tape because you don’t trust the computer that is calculating stall speed. As for your husband, I’m sure he does “trust” the computers like the FMS or GPS? How about the stall computer? How about the IRS or the ADIRU? But this has nothing to do with the flight control systems of the respective vehicles, or the relative merits of the two platforms, right? Maybe it’s just that your husband’s “preferred platforms” are American made cars and airplanes; never mind that a substantial amount of parts and systems of “American made” cars and airplanes are designed and manufactured all over the world.

      With all due respect to KC135TopBoom, apparently he’s a former boom operator and not a KC-135 pilot, and as with most pilots, his experience was in operating refueling booms and not building nor testing them. His opinions on the flying characteristics of the respective aircraft are merely “opinions”, which is fine, but unfortunately they do often contain too many factual errors in such a way as one should not take his opinion on this procurement process too seriously.

  9. Don S :
    About the EADS tanker story and . . .”the notion of white-scarfed U.S Pilots flying a foreign design . . .” Give us a break from the hyperbole, especially in view of the ‘ white-scarfed’ U.S.A.F Thunderbird named Alllan McArtor who has been deeply involved with EADS/Airbus. Additionally, it was NOT the Air Force or Boeing who proposed the initial 2001 767 lease issue. A close friend of mine, Dan Hartley ( now deceased) suggested to Senator Ted Stevens the lease arrangement as one of several measures to reduce the then immediate job and industry losses in the aftermath of 911. Had it not been for the greed and avarice of Boeing management, it would have been a viable solution, since the standard procurement process would have taken several years as so aptly demonstrated. Boeing could have had a block one tanker flying within three years, as the airframe had already been mil-spec certified, and a lot of design work already done for both the Italian and Japanese versions. The additional costs resulting from both Boeing and Air Force malfeasance have more than wiped out the costs ‘avoided’ in 2002-2003. Dropping the ‘ life cycle ‘ costs will just make a worse mess.

    Don you are correct. It was Ted Stevens, not Boeing, that proposed the Lease idea, if I’ve read correctly.

    Note to Scott: I read that in Senator Steven’s obituary. Please expand for us either way. If I am correct, then much of that criticism will be neutralized for those Airbus fans amongst your frequent contributors on this board.

    • Joanne, We take Don Shuper at his word that his late friend suggested the lease idea to Ted Stevens, who then introduced the idea. We never researched this independently. We did research and found that Boeing had once proposed leasing 747 tankers to the USAF in the 1990s (known as the KC-33 in the proposal if memory serves), so the idea isn’t (wasn’t) new. Some Google searches will find artwork of the proposed 747 tanker.

      From our perspective, we think a lease deal in and of itself is a bad idea. (We own our cars, our office furniture, our house, etc., and only lease office space because that’s nearly the only way you can get it.) The economics are bad and you don’t own what you have in the meantime. That plus the illegalities that emerged rightfully did the lease deal in. Boeing lost the deal, the people who engaged in illegal activities went to jail and Boeing paid a multi-hundred million dollar fine. Let’s move on. It’s done and over, as far as we are concerned.

    • About Ted stevens – as far as who proposed it in Congress – it was Ted stevens. As far as who proposed it ‘ from boeing ” it was my very good friend ( since deceased ) Dan Hartley, a Engineer with a unique background.

      http://web.archive.org/web/20040401111615/http://www.kingcountyjournal.com/sited/story/html/159134

      Ex-SPEEA president recalled as well-connected, `engineer’s engineer’
      2004-03-19
      by Chris Genna
      Journal Reporter

      Many at Boeing say the company will miss longtime engineer Dan Hartley.

      Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Alan Mulally was one of those who admired Hartley’s no-nonsense political activism.

      A Burien resident, Hartley died Wednesday night — on his 70th birthday — of complications from a second heart attack.

      “Dan really was one of my heroes,” Mulally said after learning of Hartley’s death. He had visited with the engineer in his hospital room earlier this month.

      “I’ve known him most of my career at Boeing,” the company’s top executive in the Northwest said. “He was an engineer’s engineer. He loved Boeing and he loved commercial airplanes. … He was a Renaissance man, a student of global trade issues, global competitiveness … His ideas were solicited by congressmen and senators and government leaders.”

      Mulally said he had received an e-mail from Hartley just days before his heart attack March 6, and visited Hartley and his family in the hospital March 8. “I’ve been in touch with Marian, his wife, almost every day since, just to see if there was anything we could do.”

      Hartley, a Manhattan, Kan., native who retired as a navigator from the U.S. Air Force, joined Boeing in 1961. He was laid off for a time at least once, in 1971, and recalled to active duty in the Air Force twice.

      He joked that he was “the most-fired guy at Boeing,” said Rick Lentz, who worked with Hartley in Flight Test Operations.

      Hartley dove into issues and made himself an expert in such complicated matters as international trade and tariff law. Lentz said Hartley followed the careers of politicians and bureaucrats and established working relationships with them.

      President Richard Nixon appointed Hartley to a position as citizen adviser to Secretary of Defense David Packard, a role he didn’t resign from until the Reagan administration.

      “When I first met Dan, I couldn’t believe he knew all these people,” Lentz said. “But he’d show me e-mails he sent and received from these guys and I realized `By golly, he really knows about these things.”’

      Indeed, Hartley may have planted the seeds of the idea that the Air Force might lease Boeing 767s for use as aerial refueling tankers if the service couldn’t buy them. Lentz said he thinks that subject came up when Alaska Senator Ted Stevens called Hartley after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

      Hartley was elected in 1990 — “pretty much out of the blue,” one union source said — to the governing board of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace. (It had a different name then, but was still SPEEA.)

      He was elected president of the white-collar union for engineers and technicians in March 1991, serving in that job for two 2-year terms until March 1995.

      “Dan took me on a tour of the Dash 80,” SPEEA Executive Director Charles Bofferding said. “I couldn’t believe the depth and breadth of his knowledge.

      “No one at SPEEA can doubt the depth of his commitment to organized labor, to Boeing workers,” Bofferding said

      He became a fixture on SPEEA’s Legislative & Public Affairs Committee — the ideal place for a man who thought government officials were neglecting manufacturing and technical industries like aerospace.

      He was driven by concern for the next generation, his wife, Marian, said Thursday. One of his notes to SPEEA members closed with: “Our children’s generation will do worse than their parents’ generation only if we ignore technology.”

      In recent years, he had campaigned intensely to keep industry and jobs at Boeing Field, fighting a tendency he saw for the airport to become a hobby airstrip for local millionaires’ private jets.

      To that end, he served as a SPEEA representative on a roundtable that developed compromise noise rules for business jets that use the field.

      As a union activist, Hartley often had sharp words for The Boeing Co. and was often on the other side of the line from management.

      But if that were so, it made little difference to Mulally.

      “Dan adopted some of us,” Mulally said, naming himself and several vice presidents. “He told us things we needed to know. … It wasn’t warm and fuzzy, but I never had a hard time diagramming one of his sentences to get his point.”

      The first time Hartley was recalled to active duty in the Air Force was during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962.

      His son, Mark, was too young to remember it, but he heard his father tell of it.

      “They were at the World’s Fair in Seattle, and they shut it down early because the Columbus Day Storm was coming,” the Mark Hartley said. “When they got home, he found out he was activated and ordered to some place in Florida. They were flying C-119s and they were to be in the first wave dropping airborne troops if we invaded.”

      Hartley also was activated to fly to and from Vietnam. Mark rode along in a C-141 flight to Yokota Air Force Base, Japan, in 1970; the return flight was a medevac flight, bringing casualties home.

      A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the John Knox Presbyterian Church, 109 S.W. Normandy Road in Normandy Park.

      Perhaps characteristically, the family requests that any remembrances be donations to the Museum of Flight or the new Aviation High School developed with the help of King County Airport staff, Lentz said.

      ++++

      I can personally vouch for the accuracy of that story.

      Dan had proposed several other issues to Ted – AFTER Ted called him a few days after 911.

  10. The main reason for the lease suggestion was that the normal acquisition process would take 3 to 4 years- whereas, a lease arrangement could get funds almost immediately with the approval of congress. At that time, the 767 was winding down, and the combination of 911 and expected downturn in the industry was going to eliminate many aerospace jobs. But Boeing miss- management ( mcdummy types ) managed to screw it up.

    • And could be done without ANY USAF procurment funds.

      Sure the proposed lease would have cost more in the long run BUT is cost less EACH YEAR & would have allowed the USAF to get new tankers 6 years earlier than previously intended. Just as a person who can not afford to BUY a given car can often afford to lease said car…

  11. OV-099 :
    Joanne, very few military and civilian pilots have hands on experience in developing an airplane. In both cases, the pilots are neither building nor testing the aircraft but rather flying it, just as an IndyCar driver can win races without being the best automotive engineer on the track. Ask an IndyCar driver on which is the best car to drive, and you’ll get a highly subjective answer. It’s the same thing with pilots.
    In comparison, a specially trained research/test pilot flies aicraft prototypes and has to have good communication skills. A research/test pilot is a highly paid observer with the ability to communicate in engineering terms what happens in the airplane they are testing. Ideally the test pilot should have an engineering/science background with at least a working knowledge on how aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and materials, and Stability and Control affect each other.
    From what I have seen, pretty much the only pilots that hate Airbus are the ones that have never flown it…
    Pilots believing that Boeing aircraft is safer because they can supposedly outperform the Airbus “computers”, are delusional. It is like disregarding the speed tape because you don’t trust the computer that is calculating stall speed. As for your husband, I’m sure he does “trust” the computers like the FMS or GPS? How about the stall computer? How about the IRS or the ADIRU? But this has nothing to do with the flight control systems of the respective vehicles, or the relative merits of the two platforms, right? Maybe it’s just that your husband’s “preferred platforms” are American made cars and airplanes; never mind that a substantial amount of parts and systems of “American made” cars and airplanes are designed and manufactured all over the world.
    With all due respect to KC135TopBoom, apparently he’s a former boom operator and not a KC-135 pilot, and as with most pilots, his experience was in operating refueling booms and not building nor testing them. His opinions on the flying characteristics of the respective aircraft are merely “opinions”, which is fine, but unfortunately they do often contain too many factual errors in such a way as one should not take his opinion on this procurement process too seriously.

    With all due repect to you, KC135TopBoom doesn’t need to be a pilot to qualify him more then 99% of the contributors on this board in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of both offerings. Okay lets take your point. My husband is a pilot, qualified on 757/767/777 and Airbus 330/340 aircraft. He’s also in the Air Force Reserve flying KC-135 aircraft today.
    He thinks Boeing has the better offering and will fit nicely into operations as they are today, in the 21st century. He also believes the A330 is just too big for the U.S. Air Force’s way of combat operations. In his mind the A330 is more of a multi-role aircraft and is a much better fit with smaller air forces when VIP transport, for example, is a secondary role.

    Are my European friends going to dismiss the warfighters opinions too.It seems to me this is a commercial consideration for most, if not all, of our Airbus fans.
    This is real life to those like me and my family. The Americans building the KC-X will know that they are building something important for our sons and daughters. I doubt they’ll have the same commitment to those military people in France and Spain. And you can’t quantify that… You can’t engineer that and you can’t put a price on that.

    • The majority of people tend to express their objectives
      in an arrangement of previously known details.

      They are not inventors.

      As a developer the biggest hurdle is to retrace the presented
      in known elements customer wishes into actual design objectives.

      Thus:

      TopBooms opinion is without much postprocessing worthless.
      He thinks predominantly in lookalikes and assigns functional
      value just on heritage. ( i.e. he is a Jingoist to the bone. 😉
      As a personality trait this is functional in respect to making
      the best of what you have from home turf.

      But it won’t get you any further than a slightly better rehash
      of what you already have.

    • Joanne, I’m curious to know where you got that 99 percent figure from, and again, pilots are usually neither building nor testing aircraft, but rather flying them. The same goes for boom operators. They all might have opinions about the hardware they are using, but they are not inherently qualified in making authoritative assertions outside their areas of expertise.

      Perhaps you should ask your husband to write some of your comments, as you seem to be somewhat confused about the term “multirole” aircraft. I’m sure your husband would know that the KC-767 is indeed a widebody multirole aircraft. If you designed a “pure” tanker today from scratch, you would not use a widebody platform, but rather a narrowbody fuselage (think 737, A320, or even smaller diameter narrowbodies), coupled with a huge wing similar to the typical wing size of a medium/large widebody. If you’re only going to carry fuel there’s no point in carrying around all that extra fuselage structure that you have with a widebody, that is if the only thing you want to do with the aircraft is to refuel

      As for the A330 supposedly being too big for USAF operations in the 21st century, are you, or you husband, actually aware of the fact that the KC-135 was originally designed to support the Strategic Air Command’s (SAC) fleet of B-52s and the KC-135’s inherent capabilities allowed it to fly as fast and as high as the B-52s, thus The KC-135 became exclusively tied to the B-52, and by inference, the strategic mission. During the cold war long-range B-52s armed with nuclear devices were kept on a continuous alert on military airfields across the US, so the KC-135s were primarily designed to refuel the B-52s over, or close enough to, US airspace. Of course, the KC-135s were later used in conventional missions, starting with the ill-fated war in Vietnam as well as other conflicts around the globe.

      The world of today is a lot different from the world of the late 1950s. Due to
      de-colonization, among other things, nations have become more independent, more willing to exercise their sovereign rights. In the past, the US could make a request for landing or overflight rights and feel confident that its request would be granted. This is no longer the case. For a number of reasons, more and more countries seem to be unwilling to let the US military transit their territory.

      It should be pretty self-evident, therefore, that USAF is in need of tankers with longer range and fuel off-load capability than what they are currently in possession of, as USAF tankers are seemingly operating all over the world (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean theaters, etc.)

      Again, if you only want to carry fuel, then a big-winged narrowbody will be the superior choice, but “unfortunately”, no such aircraft is presently being produced. So, the only “available” tanker candidates are widebodies with enough onboard fuel capacity and range.

      It’s worth mentioning, though, that the thinking behind the multirole mission was partly based on the fact that the current extraordinarily low utilization rates of the KC-135s has lead to a situation where you have an absurdly long time (half a century +++) of operations; which, consequently, is leading to struggling recapitalization effort. Whereas in the airline industry some of the most successful airlines recapitalize after only 10 years, USAF operates aircraft (vast majority) that would in a commercial frame of reference long since been nixed.

      So, if you don’t want to operate the KC-X until the 22nd Century, you go for a multirole platform where you might as well use the tanker frame for other missions as well. This is really a know brainer. If the USAF wants to get more bang for the buck, things must change. It’s highly ironic that in the land of the free, and of free enterprise, that economic deficiencies such as the lack of timely recapitalization in the military is tolerated.

      Now, what you get with the KC-30/KC-45 is a bigger and better, more capable multirole tanker aircraft for roughly the same amount of investment; in other words, more bang for the buck, and therefore, better value.

      Finally, you say that this is “real life” to those like you and your family. Isn’t that just a little bit sanctimonious on your part? Americans would be building the EADS tanker as well, albeit with not quite as much “American content” as the KC-767. What you seem to be unawere of is the fact that even Boeing jetliners have a massive non-US content. While they’ve been proclaiming the “high” US content of their KC-767 offer, they’ve been busy outsourcing parts and systems on their remaining product line-up. If anything, you seem to have been conned by a highly (thus far) successful propaganda effort making it look like the 767 is an all American aircraft (100 percent) while that other “French” offer is outright “dangerous” and “illegal”.

      This is “real life” to those who are going to build the tankers, and much less so for the families of the crews who are going to operate them. With all due respect, it’s quite pathetic to claim otherwise. When has the opinion of a spouse or the family of an enlisted officer ever been taken into account during a military procurement process. You know, “the warfighters” are not a monolithic bloc. Since you seem to have such strong opinions on all of this, perhaps you could give me an example where, indeed, the Pentagon consulted with “the families” before they signed a procurement deal.

      So, apart from the business side of the equation, this is primarily a regional economic “fight”, in the political sphere, between the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Northwest concerning working class families in or around Everett/Seattle/Wichita and Mobile.

      • OV-099 :
        Joanne, I’m curious to know where you got that 99 percent figure from, and again, pilots are usually neither building nor testing aircraft, but rather flying them. The same goes for boom operators. They all might have opinions about the hardware they are using, but they are not inherently qualified in making authoritative assertions outside their areas of expertise…..

        1) I’ll agree to the 99% figure

        2) having done so , please list your qualifications re the issues on this subject

        Thank you

    • “The Americans building the KC-X will know that they are building something important for our sons and daughters. I doubt they’ll have the same commitment to those military people in France and Spain.”

      Dear Joanne,

      What would you then say about the workers at Alenia (Alenia Aeronautica is sole supplier for the design and manufacture of assemblies and parts (for the 767) including fin, rudder, elevators, spoilers, flaps, ailerons, slats, wing tips and radome.), or Mitsibushi Heavy Industries (Entry Service Doors -767, Fuselage Section 46), or Fuji Heavy Industries (Body Fairing, Main Landing Gear Doors), or Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Entry Service Doors, Fuselage Section 43 & 45) and so on? Is their commitment greater than those in France and Spain? Or is it just France and Spain whose commitment to quality you doubt?

      I am sorry to have to point this out, but Boeing airplanes are far from 100% made in America. To believe otherwise is in my opinion naive or propagandist. It also tends to make me question the accuracy and/or objectivity of all arguments from anybody using this tact.

      Based on your mindset, this should cause all foreign Governments to question the commitment to quality that American workers would put into products not being delivered to the USAF, or even airlines based in the US.

      That is the impression one could get from your comments.

      Regards, John

      • Okay I’ll plead guilty… By your standards I’m both jingoistic and naive. Based on both manufacturer’s claims, I believe 85% is still higher then 55%, unless I wasted all that money getting my MBA.
        I must admit, my husband & I were reading all the comments on this last night and getting quite a chuckle out of it.
        Yours particularly struck us. Your logic escapes me. But again that naivete for you… 🙂

      • Oh and about Alenia, you me the Alenia that is on the verge of losing most, if not all, of it’s 787 work because of poor workmanship? You mean that Alenia?

      • I used France and Spain because that’s where the vast majority of KC-30 work is done…. But you already knew that, right?

  12. leehamnet :
    Joanne, We take Don Shuper at his word that his late friend suggested the lease idea to Ted Stevens, who then introduced the idea. We never researched this independently. We did research and found that Boeing had once proposed leasing 747 tankers to the USAF in the 1990s (known as the KC-33 in the proposal if memory serves), so the idea isn’t (wasn’t) new. Some Google searches will find artwork of the proposed 747 tanker.
    From our perspective, we think a lease deal in and of itself is a bad idea. (We own our cars, our office furniture, our house, etc., and only lease office space because that’s nearly the only way you can get it.) The economics are bad and you don’t own what you have in the meantime. That plus the illegalities that emerged rightfully did the lease deal in. Boeing lost the deal, the people who engaged in illegal activities went to jail and Boeing paid a multi-hundred million dollar fine. Let’s move on. It’s done and over, as far as we are concerned.

    I couldn’t agree with you more Scott. However, it seems people on one side, keep bringing this issue up. And I wanted to straighten it out for the record.
    Hope all is well with you Scott! 🙂

  13. A reminder to all to keep personalities out of this and stick to the issues. Some are just beginning to get close to the line we don’t permit crossing.

  14. Scott,
    I wonder why EADS should have to release such a report to the public at large? Boeing supporters will discount it as propaganda, just as Airbus supporters have discounted this report. The Pentagon should have all the information it requires to make the decisions for this program and most politicians have already got their opinion on where they stand on this issue. No privately funded and publicly released report from Airbus is going to, nor should it actually, make a difference. The same goes for Boeing.

    It find it fascinating that many readers here are pretty well trying to dictate what parameters should go into the selection process, and how said process should be carried out. They do realise it is completely out of their hands, don’t they?!

    • Aero,

      “They do realize it is completely out of their hands, don’t they?!”

      No, I don’t think some of the more colorful “experts” on this board have a clue about that yet. They seem to be telling the rest of us why their pick is the right one, and forgive me for saying this, arrogantly belittling those who’s opinions differ, even those who are intimately involved with this process.

    • “Why should EADS have to release such a report…?”

      They don’t “have” to; neither does Boeing. The USAF makes its own decision. But the release of such reports, the PR, the advertising, the tanker blogs and websites, Boeing’s tanker simulator–none of these is for USAF–each and every one is for consumption by Congress. Thus, that’s why EADS “should” release such a report.

  15. Joanne and KC135TopBoom.

    I’ve heard you both claim the 767’s superiority on the basis that it fits better with the current USAF operations.

    I’d like to make the point that the current operations may be considered hampered by the fact they are dictated by hardware the youngest of which had it’s first flight in 1970 (DC-10, later developed into KC-10, but the basic design philisophy was of-course fixed). The youngest date you could assign to the tanker fleet is 1987, when the last KC-10 was build.
    Remember those good old days when teh cold war was still noce and chilled. The russians, not the US were loosing in afganistan and the greatest danger to the great western military thinkers were masses of Soviet armor crossing the plains of Poland and fleets of TU-95s crossing the pole to rain nuclear death on the western allies.
    The most effective defence was MAD – make sure you have enough ICBM’s left to ensure the death of your enemy whatever happens to yourself… Large numbers of B-52s in the air or ready for take-off to be refuelled relatively close to a base.

    Expeditionary excursions went by sea – always. There was no way to transport a meaningful armed force by air. Quick responce was measured in months or weeks, not days or hours.
    These things changed. The world changed and the tankers did not – could not. A re-engine and some new electronics aside, the platforms could not be adapted to emerging requirements, thus the docterine was changed to match what was available (as it should be)
    Now however an rare oppertunity presents itself to replace and significantly change (hopefully improve) one of the longest serving units of the armed forces, bring it up to date with the changed realities of expeditionary forces, quick respose, disaster relief and other non-traditional roles for the USAF, smaller numbers of fighters/bombers operating at higher utilisation (remember the B-52s will not last for ever either), fewer bases across the world and longer distances to be travelled – and in light of the aforementioned I think the argument “it’s a better fit” is not a desirable atribute of the replacement of an 50y/o platform.

    All this of course does in no way mean hte 330 is the better candidate – though I think it is based on other, better arguments.

  16. slightly off-topic, and almost certainly not the cheapest option – but why not adapt the B-2? it carries 200000lbs into the air, has very good survivability marks, is already in operation (NO MILCON!) Build/designed in the USA (NG).

    If you’re willing to loose some stealth, you could probably fit 2x high by-pass in place of hte 4x turbojet
    Leave off the unobtanium skin and bolt on some cheap aluminum instead and there’s your perfect tanker. Flying wing so no useless fuselage, already optimised for long endurance at high loads.
    Maybe US aerospace should’ve talked to NG instead of the ukranians…

  17. Joanne :
    Oh and about Alenia, you me the Alenia that is on the verge of losing most, if not all, of it’s 787 work because of poor workmanship? You mean that Alenia?

    Going beyond popular wisdom : Has it actually been established that Alenia failed to build to spec or do we see another case of an incomplete design handed over from Boeing. ( Someone remember the forgotten deburring markup in drawings from
    a year or two ago? )

    • Alenia has screwed up the 787 tail section and continues to do so. Alenia also failed to perform on the KC-767 International program and Boeing had to take this over at Wichita. We were on that conference call and we asked the question about it….

  18. FWIW – on the local scene – seattle- Rossi and Murray had sort of a debate- question-answer session with a local media. When asked if WTO findings should be considered in the tanker selection, Rossi answered No. patty Murray then jumped in and said playing field needed to be leveled, she would introduce- support an amendment to include such, yada yada.

    Of course the local press then hammered Rossi for his answer in the headlines/sub headings…

    perhaps he had read the RFP ?

  19. leehamnet :
    “Why should EADS have to release such a report…?”
    They don’t “have” to; neither does Boeing. The USAF makes its own decision. But the release of such reports, the PR, the advertising, the tanker blogs and websites, Boeing’s tanker simulator–none of these is for USAF–each and every one is for consumption by Congress. Thus, that’s why EADS “should” release such a report.

    Unless their own data reinforces Boeing’s data… Then they might have reason to avoid issuing such a report. As you’ve correctly noted, Northrop also avoided issuance of the same report. Call me cynical…

    • EADS in fact quotes teh opposite – the 330 is cheaper per… they just calculate per gallon delivered vs per flight hour…

      http://www.eadstankerupdate.com/2010/issue_79.htm
      last paragraph of first heading

      Maybe Scot could get some supporting figures from EADS – I don’t doubt their facts just like I don’t doubt Boeings.

      • great spin ! seems to me I recall ( maybe incorrectly) that the majority of the tanker flights RTB with 20 to 30 percent of offloadable fuel remaining ?

        So perhaps Airbus numbers [ per gal of fuel delivered ] would fall apart if they delivered LESS than a full load on most missions ?

        On the per gallon bit – CSX trains claim in their ads they move a ton 100 miles on 1 galllon of fuel. So instead of driving my car 130 miles to portland , I should load it on the train, use 1 plus gallons of fuel, then drive it off?

      • EADS in fact quotes teh opposite – the 330 is cheaper per… they just calculate per gallon delivered vs per flight hour…”

        Ah but if only EADS was the purchaser of the aircraft in this case. Then they would be free to define any metric they wanted as a yardstick. But alas, for this contest the USAF has spelled out the fuel adjustment requirements in black and white and their metrics have nothing in common with what EADS is putting out there. The offer’s price will be adjusted according to a USAF calculated fuel burn number that will then be used to calculate the present value of the projected fuel usage of the aircraft over the next 40 years for 489 flying hours a year.

        In other words scenario #1 used by Boeing (the $11 billion delta using USAF fuel prices and operating hours) is nearly right on the money with one difference. Boeing’s fuel burn calculation is based on commercial aircraft and commercial aircraft flight regimes that are not the same numbers the USAF will use. So the truth is Boeing’s $11 billion number may be a little bit too generous given that the KC-767 and the Northrop KC-45A may have a different fuel burn number than the numbers Boeing is using, but Boeing’s methodology is essentially the same as the USAF is using for the KC-X contract. Whereas EADS metric is completely and utterly meaningless as far as this contest is concerned.

        So the only real question is how much different will the fuel burn numbers adopted by Boeing be from the numbers that the USAF develops for this contest? I can’t see them being off by more than + or – $2 billion. So then the question is can EADS make up a $9 billion delta based on a lower price and higher IFARA score? The answer is it would be nearly impossible for them, which explain a good deal on why NG decided it simply wasn’t worth pursuing this contract. EADS may have other motivations for pursuing the contract, but NG was only looking at dollar signs, and without changing the contest metrics to something like cost of a gallon of fuel delivered per flight hour there is simply almost no way the A330 can make up for the fuel burn deficit which is simply based on flight hours, not on the amount of fuel delivered.

      • Don/John – You’re both correct. The fuel per gallon number would change as much as Boeings number would when you change from a fixed flight number to capacity dictated model.
        Also, the a330 had lower LCC last time around… did the air force requirement change, or just the metric?

      • btw John,
        You’re forgetting the IFARA. it will adjust the fuel burn and costs of a fixed number of planes and flight hours to account for any improved operational efficiency.

      • No, I’m not foregetting IFARA, although we don’t what the calculated IFARA score will be this time the formula is fairly simple. If you assume the IFARA scores are the same as last time, you would have a $2 billion credit given to the A330. The $2 billion dollar credit however, would not even come close to closing the credit from the fuel efficiency gap, and then you still have to consider that Boeing will get an addtional MILCON credit. This is on top of the fact that the missions the USAF will be using and the raw inputs will be changing so there is no guarantee the IFARA scores will look anything like they did last time.

        For example the A330 really on get’s credit in the IFARA score for ferry missions. If the USAF decided to change the mission profiles to say supporting air operations over Iraq vs. the ferry missions from the last contest, the score would look very different and might even be in the 767’s favor. Anyway counting on IFARA to close the fuel efficieny credit is just a bridge too far.

      • John, the point is that the IFARA score translates teh cost per flight hour to a cost per capacity required. Thereby transforming the Boeing number to the EADS number.
        Of course we don’t know what the IFARA score will be, it’s onw of the most subjective parts of the current rfp. However, the intention of the IFARA is to ascertain the operational efficiency of an proposal and thus correct the (simple to calculate) cost per flight hour (fuel/dollars per hour – Boeing) to the (impossible to predict) cost per objective fulfilled (fuel/dollars per gallon offloaded – EADS)

        But you’re right, the IFARA score puts the outcome of this competition firmly intothe subjective hands of the AF personnel. For better or worse.

  20. “Oh and about Alenia, you me the Alenia that is on the verge of losing most, if not all, of it’s 787 work because of poor workmanship? You mean that Alenia?”

    Yes that is the Alenia I mean. The one that, as I mentioned, is currently, and has been from day 1, designing and manufacturing (sole supplier)the “fin, rudder, elevators, spoilers, flaps, ailerons, slats, wing tips and radome” of the 767. The base airframe for the Boeing KC767 Tanker.

    A bit of a conundrum there, isn’t it?

    If one were so doubtful of Alenia’s quality on the 787, then why would one trust them to build all 3 primary flight controls (elevator, ailerons and rudder), not to mention the vertical stabiliser to which the rudder is attached, for the 767?

    • He, he,
      The vast number of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hide suppliers is really amazing.

      Another amazing point is Boeing regularly falling for the cruel nature
      of the Mr. Hyde facet.

  21. ikkeman :
    Also, the a330 had lower LCC last time around… did the air force requirement change, or just the metric?

    Nothing changed. Boeing commisioned a study over a set of parameters that they already knew would show them to be better.
    No connection to the airforce requirements and valuation process.
    This is targeted at the general audience to “assist” legislators in choosing
    the “right” winner.
    The retained fact in the public mind will be “Boeing better”, nobody will remember
    or care if this “better” is relevant for the valuation process.

    • I was talking about the different between the last and latest RFP’s. But you’re right, it’s all spin from every direction anyway.

  22. John, we’ve been through all this several times before. I seem to recall that you didn’t account for the fact that discounted, Present Value dollars are being used for evaluation purposes in the KC-X source selection.

    What exactly does “Present Value” mean?

    Quote from the Text of the OMB Circular No. A-94 in HTML or PDF (22 pages, 78 kb)

    “The standard criterion for deciding whether a government program can be justified on economic principles is net present value — the discounted monetized value of expected net benefits (i.e., benefits minus costs). Net present value is computed by assigning monetary values to benefits and costs, discounting future benefits and costs using an appropriate discount rate, and subtracting the sum total of discounted costs from the sum total of discounted benefits. Discounting benefits and costs transforms gains and losses occurring in different time periods to a common unit of measurement. Programs with positive net present value increase social resources and are generally preferred. Programs with negative net present value should generally be avoided. (Section 8 considers discounting issues in more detail.)”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a094_a94_appx-c/

    In the latest version of Section_L_Atch_3 (April 22, 2010) the cost of JP8 for 2010 is set at $2.84 per gallon.

    https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=e65e1ab7f225d6454f5fa8a10556cbfa&tab=core&_cview=1

    What follows is a calculation of the fuel burn differential between the KC-767 and A330-MRTT for the years 2010, 2040 and 2071. I’ve estimated the mean fuel burn differential between the A330-MRTT and the KC-767 to be 2332 lbs per hour (13732 lbs per hour – 11400 lbs per hour); or some 20,5 greater fuel consumption per hour for the A330-MRTT. This is, in fact, quite generous to the KC-767 as I believe the correct number for the mean fuel burn delta is closer to half that number.

    For simplicity reasons lets assume the fleet to be 179 a/c in 2010 and 179 a/c in 2071 when the last KC-X will leave the fleet.

    Year 2010
    The correct fuel costs (per gallon of JP8) in the year 2010 is 3,03 dollars per gallon.

    Year..Cost of JP8 (Then_Year_$)..Discount_Factor 2010………………$3,03………………….0.9783…..

    We convert $3,03 per gallon to $/pound by dividing $3,03 with 6.76 lbs/gal (for JP8) which is equal to $0.448 per pound, or 44.8 cents per pound.

    So, 2332 lbs per hour (mean fuel burn differential) x 179 a/c x 489 hrs/year x $0.448/pound x 0.9783 (discount factor) = $89405563,9 in Present Value; or $89,4 million cost differential in fuel burn for a fleet of 179 KC-767s vs. 179 A330 MRTTs in the year 2010.

    Year 2040

    The correct fuel cost (per gallon of JP8) in then year dollars in 2020 is 3.86 dollars per gallon.

    Year..Cost of JP8 (Then_Year_$)..Discount_Factor
    2020………………$5.71………………….0.2730….

    We convert $5,71 per gallon to $/pound by dividing $ with 6.76 lbs/gal (for JP8) which is equal to $0.845 per pound, or 84.5 cents per pound.

    So, 2332 lbs per hour (mean fuel burn differential) x 179 a/c x 489 hrs/year x $0.845/pound x 0.2730 (discount factor) = $47070600,5 in Present Value; or $47 million cost differential in fuel burn for a fleet of 179 KC-767s vs. 179 A330 MRTTs in the year 2040.

    Year 2071 (final year in the evaluation)

    The correct fuel cost (per gallon of JP8) in then year dollars in 2070 is 11.2 dollars per gallon.

    Year..Cost of JP8 (Then_Year_$)..Discount_Factor
    2071…………..$11.2……………0.0697….

    We convert $11.2 per gallon to $/pound by dividing $11,2 with 6.76 lbs/gal (for JP8) which is equal to $1,657 per pound, or 165,7 cents per pound.

    So, 2332 lbs per hour (mean fuel burn differential) x 179 a/c x 489 hrs/year x $1,657/pound x 0.0697 (discount factor) = $23572042,3 in Present Value; or $23,6 million cost differential in fuel burn for a fleet of 179 KC-767s vs. 179 A330 MRTTs in the year 2071.

    This means that the PRESENT VALUE cost differential in fuel burn for a fleet of 179 KC-767s vs. 179 A330 MRTTs, is DECREASING from $89,4 million in 2010 to $23,6 million in 2071.

    Again, for simplicity reasons let’s use the year 2040 as a mean indicator value for the entire 40 year life cycle cost evaluation. Then we have $47 million multiplied by 40 years, which is equal to §1,88 billion.

    Now, returning to the topic of this thread, in AeroStrategy’s fuel cost analysis (page 7) they are stating that: “In Scenario 1, using the Air Force fuel price schedule, total life-cycle expenditures on fuel in then-year dollars (including inflation) are $29.5B for the B767 and $38.2B for the A330. Thus, over the life of the fleet, an additional $8.6 billion would be spent on fuel for the A330 or 29.5% more than would have been spent on the B767 fleet.

    Aerostrategy have obviously not read the RFP properly, nor understood the Excel chart in Section L, Attachment 3, as they have seemingly no clue what the term PRESENT VALUE means. Their fuel burn differential over the life of the fleet is four and a half times greater than what is realistic for the fuel burn delta.

    The A330-MRTT’s IFARA adjustment should at least equal the fuel burn advantage for the KC-767, so it is quite clear that this competition will be a close fought one, much closer than what some people might think.

    • Correction: For the Year 2040 the correct fuel cost (per gallon of JP8) in then year dollars in 2040 (not 2020) is 5,71 dollars per gallon and not 3.86 dollars per gallon.

  23. Correction:

    In the latest version of Section_L_Atch_3 (April 22, 2010) the cost of JP8 for 2010 is set at $3.03 and not $2.84 per gallon.

    • So (if OV-099 is correct) we are talking about less than 10 billion total fuel cost difference. On a contract worth about 100 billion for this first tranche alone. That is at most a 10% difference in total program cost – and you do get something back for that.
      The value of what you get may be harder to ascertain then the simple cost calculation but lets do a sanity check. The 330 has a 25% higher capacity (at least – cargo and medevac delta’s are bigger), it is better at multi-mission (no fuel bladders to be removed/installed), and the airframe and commercial fleet is (much?) younger.
      But what is that worth – did the AF ever do a comprehensive review of it’s current and future refueling requirements?

      • . . .But what is that worth – did the AF ever do a comprehensive review of it’s current and future refueling requirements? . .
        +++

        HE WHO HAS THE GOLD – MAKES THE RULES !

        Now that the argument has devolved as to who gets the best ” milage ” on their SUV versus Kwhopper, lets not forget the costs of a ‘larger garage ‘ and ‘ driveway ‘ AKA MILCON to get the same number of booms in theater .

        Like it or not – the Airforce has defined the parameters and how much MILCON is worth in the overall pick.

        And despite the Political BS as to including the WTO $$- the RFP was quite clear on that issue- as was the GATT92/WTO documents which exclude Military. FEW seem to realize that EADS does do a significant amount of deffense related business in the U.S already, while working hard to exclude the U.S from a quid pro quo re military arms for the EU-Nato groups.

      • luckily, Boeing tries to close the US market to not Boeing players – so I’d say it’s even.
        Wasn’t MILCON included in the last selection… And how much is even a billion on a 100 billion program.
        The race is not finished yet, and both players have some aces left.

        exiting stuff

  24. ikkeman :
    So (if OV-099 is correct) we are talking about less than 10 billion total fuel cost difference.

    No, not 10 billion but rather one fifth of that amount. 😉

  25. Don S :
    FEW seem to realize that EADS does do a significant amount of deffense related business in the U.S already, while working hard to exclude the U.S from a quid pro quo re military arms for the EU-Nato groups.

    Don, perhaps you should educate yourself on this as you seem to be oblivious to the fact that the US is still enjoying a positive trade balance, by a two-to-one advantage, with the EU on defense exports.

    Here’s a paper for you to enjoy:;-)

    http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/defence/files/final_report_trans_en.pdf

    Excerpt:

    America enjoys a consolidated, dominant position on the world defence market which is coherent with the huge government investments made in the U.S. defence technological and industrial base.

    With only 2% of the national defence procurement budget directed to foreign suppliers, the American market for weapon systems can be considered as mainly a domestic market. In comparison around 12% of the European defence procurement budget is directed to U.S. suppliers.

    On average, over the past twenty years, invariably, about one third of U.S. defence exports have gone to Europe and one half of U.S. defence imports have come from Europe. But the ratio of U.S. imports from Europe versus U.S. exports to Europe, which was traditionally between 1 to 3 and 1 to 4, has shrunk dramatically over the past 5 years to the value of 1 to 2, while during the same period of time the total volume of transatlantic defence trade flow has increased by more than 60 % although it remains very modest in absolute terms.

  26. ikkeman :Don/John – You’re both correct. The fuel per gallon number would change as much as Boeings number would when you change from a fixed flight number to capacity dictated model.Also, the a330 had lower LCC last time around… did the air force requirement change, or just the metric?

    Actually, after correcting for some ‘mathematical errors’ (conveniently just before the GAO ruling) the Boeing affer was actually lower. And THAT still included a number of errors/inaccuracies that the GAO made mention of.

  27. sure glad Boeing has found a way to avoid unions and strikes by moving to South carolina – WAIT – they will build the tanker in Everett and in wichita ( right to work state )

    On the other hand EADS would have no such problems as a strike that might affect tanker production either here or in france . . . . . .. riiiight …..

    http://www.seattlepi.com/business/1310ap_eu_france_retirement_strikes.html?source=mypi

    Fuel supplies low as French protest pension reform
    By ELAINE GANLEY
    ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

    Students shoot slogans as they demonstrate in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010. Saturday’s march from the Place de la Republique in Paris was the fifth in a full month of protests that have swept this nation of 64 million people, affecting trains, subways, airports, hospitals, schools and other facilities. Diesel and jet fuel supplies were running low Saturday in parts of France as workers took to the streets for another nationwide protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age to 62. (AP Photo Thibault/Camus)
    PARIS — Officials have taken the extraordinary step of warning some flights landing at France’s main airport to come with enough fuel to get back home, bracing for a possible fuel shortage after a new round of protests Saturday against plans to raise the retirement age to 62.

    Police estimated some 825,000 people marched in cities across France to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to extend the retirement age to keep pension coffers full. That is fewer than during an Oct. 12 march – and far lower than the union estimate of 3 million. But unions are not relenting in fighting for what the French see as a near-sacred right to retire at 60.

    A sixth round of nationwide protests is scheduled for Tuesday, a day before the Senate votes on the retirement reform, which must still return to both houses due to amendments tacked on during debates.

    “I think the French understand that those who are blocking the country are at the head of the government,” Francois Chereque, head of the moderate CFDT union, said on BFM-TV. He later called on the government to “suspend the parliamentary debate.”

    Schools, trains, public transport and even garbage collection in Marseille have been blocked by intermittant strikes to pressure Sarkozy to back down. The possibility of a long-term fuel shortage appears to be the most worrisome outcome of the protest movement. . . goes on

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