Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, February 24, 2011

AF Tanker: Third Time's a Charm?

The first time, the AF awarded the tanker contract to Boeing. The second time, to Airbus. Now they're going to award it to Boeing.

Presuming that this award stands. The contest rules were that if the two bids were within 1% of each other, then a shitload of other factors had to be considered. But surprise, surprise, surprise! Boeing's bid was something like 1.000007% below the Airbus bid.

Apparently there was some Air Force fuckery involved in rejecting a bid by Antonov to build An-112s for the new tankers, but there was no way in Christendom that the God-fearing evangelical pilots of the Air Force were going to fly some goddamned Communist transport.

5 comments:

willis said...

Yep, you can bet that a Russian bird is out and anything that ain't American would be a hard sell. Hawker/Beech, Cessna, Bombardier, and Gulfstream seem to be out of the mix.

John said...

Whatever, just so long as they pick one and start making it. Those KC-135's aren't getting any newer.

Comrade Misfit said...

Considering that it has been nine frakking years since the Air Farce first tried to award the KC-X contract to Boeing (in a corrupt deal that was a total rip-off of the Treasury) and considering that both EADS and Antonov will probably protest this award, and when you factor in the likelihood of yet another award being overturned, I suspect that it will be at least another five years before the first piece of metal is cut to build KC-X no. 1.

BadTux said...

John, those KC-135's can keep flying for another 30 years. When the airlines retired the Boeing 707's because they couldn't meet noise standards and guzzled fuel compared to newer jets, the Air Force snapped'em all up at the wrecking yards and salvaged the engines and various hard parts that are in common with the KC-135. The KC-135 needs replacing mostly because it can't carry enough fuel and guzzles too much fuel itself for it to meet the needs of the various short-ranged aircraft that it's expected to refuel in theater today, not because it's about to fall out of the sky. Well, and it's a bit of a maintenance hog because of its age, but crap, it's 50 years old, of course it's a maintenance hog, everything was back then.

As for the An-112, Willis, it's not Russian, it's Ukrainian, and it's vaporware. The An-70 transport that it's based on isn't even in service yet, unlike the airliners that the Boeing and Airbus proposals were based on. All Antonov has is a line drawing of an An-70 with a boom attached to the rear cargo door and a pair of 787 engines drawn under the wings in place of the original engines. Not a chance in hell that they're going to win any appeal... the Boeing and Airbus proposals are vaporware too, but at least they're vaporware based on actual real-life production hardware.

- Badtux the Dreams-of-flight Penguin

Comrade Misfit said...

Badtux, even if the Antonov entry was based on the An-124 and was 20% less expensive, the Air Force would not buy them.

Antonov is nominally Ukrainian, but the Russians effectively control it.