Reconnaissance would work too.
> fuel doesn't care about the bobbing up and down
I agree the computing tech should help a lot! Seeing what experiments were done with the ground effect RC project (what’s his name, cool YouTube vids) indicates the software exists or will soon for a large craft. Especially because this will be generation 3 of a flying wing!
How long will tankers be crewed?
That's what happens when protectionism gets involved. The Boeing design (based on an existing plane, but with some new systems and a combination of components from different generations of 767s) was chosen over the proven, already in production A330 MRTT. Delays and cost overruns are to be expected.
Same thing with ships, in the end US Navy had to accept it's not that special and it ended up ordering an RFP based on existing off the shelf designs (with the Franco-Italian FREMM winning).
I wouldn't be surprised if its got a heavy use of composites as well, in order to reduce he number of total parts. For the ACCA, they had 300 structural parts vs 3,000 metallic and 4,000 mechanical fasteners vs 40,000 otherwise.
For that level of effort, five years probably isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely unlikely.
Did it really?
According to this fairly recent GAO report, the Poseidon's mission capable rates have missed their minimum 80% target since 2015, trending downwards (Table 1); only the first 2 out of 7 years were satisfactory (Figure 7), and yet those years' metrics were based on Increment 1 low-rate initial production lot that were "not effective for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission" and "not effective for wide area anti-submarine search" that they were originally intended for.
Even in early years when maintenance staff was stacked balls deep at well over 100% (Figure 5), persistent supply issues plagued the platform, trending upwards (Table 5). To be sure, this outcome was entirely predictable; e.g. picking on Northrop Grumman's Electronic Support Measures system that the Bloomberg article calls out as just one example: if you knew how the sausage was made, then this 2006 GAO report which highlights certain risks "of particular concern" surrounding ALQ-218 development is all of sudden prescient in that it took so long to get the underlying system to acceptable maturity on the Growler that it became a very real commercial obsolescence sustainment risk by the time the Poseidon's full-rate production decision was made!
Except that Boeing has already one it:
And Airbus (who originally won) didn't seem to have a problem:
It seem it is possible to write specifications that cannot easily be met by incremental change, and that might be one reason why the British aircraft industry ended up creating technically competent aircraft with little sales potential.
The 737 was harder than a new design - that’s why it went wrong.
Everything stems from Boeing taking this deal. Within the constraints of the 737 type certification: more efficient engines are larger, larger engines must move forward, forward engines change flight characteristics, flight characteristics must be augmented to maintain certification.
So you are correct that Boeing had choices other than "crashy 737", but that choice was between throwing billions away to Airbus and the crashy 737.
in other words, Boeing's thesis was, because we (heavily) modified the 737, it's the same basic plane. The FAA accepted this argument. The FAA would never have accepted the argument that a totally new design was "actually a 737 ".
The 747 MAX that killed 346 people in two separate accidents and was grounded for nearly two years and cost Boeing 10's of billions of dollars in fines, cancelled orders, etc.?
It is perhaps not the best example of modifications to an existing design.
And I don't even blame the Air Force for deliberately underestimating. They have a legitimate need for this aircraft and the existing fleet has been worked to death.
Who knows? Maybe a tanker could happen that fast since it won't integrate a bunch of weapons. They're only promising a full scale test by 2027.
Ultimately ended up with a carbon fiber bodied more conventional aircraft of course.
Reading the URL, I think that anything about the Air Force caring about a climate action plan, or environmental sensitivity, is window dressing to say that it's also a operational benefit to have a tanker aircraft with greater loiter time, and greater distance possible from base with full fuel load, loiter time, and return distance.
Such designs come up every once in a while in civil aviation - but then disappear, mostly because they would require new (expensive) airport infrastructure.
Just remember that when the A380 came out, every major airport that was a viable A380 destination started increasing their landing strip length, assuring the taxiways could handle the extra weight, worked on their baggage handling and check-in capacity and created gates that had more boarding bridges.
Now imagine what basically triangular aircraft would mean for that infrastructure.
Indeed. The Military Industrial Complex has figured out that anything with a lot of zeros must be Climate-Washed.
Looking forward to our climate friendly hypersonic anti-ship missile program!
That's a huge difference in case of a fire. Ninety seconds of smoke filled, oxygen deprived, or hot air, and many people will make it out alive. Three minutes and most will have passed out.
There's quite a few instances of burning planes being evacuated where not everybody, but a sizeable portion, made it out. Seconds matter*.
* Almost always there was some idiots slowing everything down by grabbing their luggage.
Here's a good example because it has a clear cutoff point: "Less than 90 seconds after touchdown, the interior of the plane flashed over and ignited, killing the remaining 23 passengers on board, who died from smoke inhalation and burns from the flash fire."
It seems obvious that a faster evacuation would have saved more people and a slower one less, roughly proportional to speed of evacuation.
But - the test handles this by only giving them 90 seconds. In the real world it would take far longer, but rather than testing a longer, more realistic test, they do a really fast one instead.
If the happy-path evacuation isn't possible to begin with, e.g. for design reasons, the more complicated realistic ones will be negatively affected as well.
I would expect this to eventually be rolled out more widely and later replacing real windows, which are structural weak points of the hull and heavy. Also, for our Ryanair no-frills flyers: they are screens where you can show ads.
For the Emirates experience, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdDzaNlGSmk
Also, anecdotally from my flying (I'm a private pilot, small, single engine planes) turbulence tends to create much more vertical translation and pitching movement than it does roll movement.
The fuel tanks don’t care. They’re not pressurized on a normal design. The cargo may not need it either.
Now, if Airbus just gives away everything we need to manufacture and support the A380 free of cost so Boeing / Lockheed / whoever can manufacture them in the US and keep all the monies, I am sure the pencil pushers and penny pinchers at these companies would jump at the opportunity but I suspect that would also run into problems in Europe...
I live by a major cargo hub airport with occasional military traffic. The occasional C-5 Galaxy doing a few touch and go practices, a pair of F-18s or trainers. The airshow is this month and I’m lucky to be at a waypoint for the aerobatic demonstration team. Last year Super Hornets at 500 feet for 3 days. Heaven!
Can you imagine how gorgeous the photo would be of this refueling a B2? Or dust off the last up to it Sr71 and buzz Ukraine and Crimea for an afternoon. Yes it is all ridiculous but most military might is proverbial dick waving in the first place, so might as well add some confetti and glitter to the mix.
How so? Usually it’s just nitrate fertilizer. You can actually measure the greening effect that certain large 20th century ears (WW2, Korea, Vietnam) have had on global bio mass.
Also I was just considering scale of military flights versus civilian. Yes they burn a lot of gas and haul ass, but there are way many more passenger and cargo flights day in and day out. I do love the idea of improving cargo shipping by sky in my lifetime. As my Uncle pointed out once, having dealt with Passengers and Cargo, "Cargo doesn't complain."
The problem being a cargo plane usually wants a fast approach and takeoff to eliminate threats near the runway. I don’t know if a B2 (or flying wing in general) would be good at that.
The approach isn’t “slow” in terms of aircraft speed but rather its duration. Shallower equals more time in reach of adversary weapons.
The design requirements for a C-17 to operate from a rough field, such as that which was built at camp bastion in Helmand province, are considerably different than for an aerial refueling tanker.
The rough field tactical tanker role is as far as I know presently served by a variant of c130 modified for special forces missions.
Why isn't this design used commercially?
Commercial airports. Planforms that don't fit the existing leased gate regime are non-starters.
Almost all commercial planes are for both cargo and passengers, and you’d have to bank really slowly if that was full of passengers.
In a commercial plane, passengers will rise/drop during turns relative to the center line, but it's minimal due to distance from center line.
The further out passengers are from the center line, the more they will drop/rise during turns.
Imagine being seated towards the outer edge of this fuselage. You might rise/drop 20-30ft off the centerline during a turn.
In the body?
Then how do they stabilize it?