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Posted: 9/11/2005 10:05:55 AM EDT
WTF, the C-141 is gone and the C-5 is on its last crippled legs.
Mark my words, in 20 years "we" will be asking why didn't the Chair Force order more C-17's instead of throwing cubic dollars to band-aid fix them when they are worn out from over use...



Boeing Co. may be forced to shutter California's last major aircraft
manufacturing plant in 2008 because the Pentagon will not extend its order
for C-17 cargo planes, company executives said.

Currently, some 6,500 Boeing employees work on the C-17 assembly line in
Long Beach.

The four-engine Air Force jet has been a major workhorse for the military in
Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, transporting military personnel and heavy
equipment. But the Globemaster III could fall victim to a Pentagon budget
crunch, analysts said. Military operations in Iraq are taxing the Pentagon's
procurement budget, limiting the Air Force's aircraft acquisitions,
including next-generation fighters such as the F-22 and F-35.

Boeing has delivered 145 of the 180 C-17s under the current Pentagon
contract. The last C-17 - each costs about $175 million - is scheduled to be
delivered in 2008.

The military can't order additional C-17s until the Pentagon finishes a
planning review for its next round of weapon systems, Air Force officials
said. That procedure is not expected to be completed until early next year,
leaving the C-17's status in limbo.

Air Force officials "have told us in no uncertain terms that they're really
struggling to meet their budget," said David M. Bowman, Boeing's program
manager for the C-17.

Boeing said it would start terminating contracts with suppliers if it
received no additional orders for the plane by year-end.

Eventually, Boeing would have to gradually scale back production as the C-17
program neared completion, shutting down the line altogether in 2008.

That move would ripple throughout the aerospace industry in Southern
California, where 500 firms that employ 5,000 workers make parts for the
Globemaster III. An additional 200 subcontractors in 41 states supply parts
and services for the C-17.

"If we don't receive a commitment by the end of the year, our supplier base
will start knocking off," Bowman said

The contract imbroglio is likely to hit some local suppliers particularly
hard.

Ducommun Inc. in Carson makes aluminum skin panels for the C-17's fuselage
and wings. Work on the aircraft accounts for about 45% of Ducommun's
revenue.

Ducommun recently delivered parts for the final C-17 on order, and it needs
to order raw materials this month for additional aluminum panels to avoid
any production disruption. But that won't happen unless another plane order
comes in.

"I can't run the business with nothing to do," said Steve Woodhouse, vice
president of operations for Ducommun. "In all likelihood we'll have a
reduction in force" because of uncertainty about the C-17.

About 150 Ducommun workers are employed on the C-17 at its Gardena plant.

Few disagree that the Pentagon could use more C-17s, which has delivered
more than 70% of all U.S. military cargo going into Iraq by air.

C-17s also are being used to transport people and cargo in the Hurricane
Katrina disaster area. Additionally, the aircraft delivered 2.4 million
pounds of food and supplies for the tsunami relief effort in Asia and
Africa.

A recent Pentagon study found that the military might need as many as 120
additional C-17s. But Boeing officials say privately that budget pressures
may force the Air Force to order only one or two planes at a time.

This grim prospect comes after Boeing announced in January that it would
shut down a nearby Long Beach plant that makes its 717 jetliners. The final
717 will be delivered next year, leaving the C-17 plant as the last major
airplane production line remaining in the state.

The vast Long Beach complex was opened in 1941 by Douglas Aircraft Co., and
for decades the plant thrived by producing such popular airliners such as
the DC-3, DC-8 and DC-10.

The 717, however, never caught on with the airline industry, and orders
slowed after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

But the C-17 - the first model was delivered in 1993 - quickly turned into a
versatile aircraft for the Pentagon. The plane has a range of 2,400 miles,
can carry 171,000 pounds of payload and can land on short dirt runways. It's
been used to deliver troops to the battlefield and fly back casualties, and
has hauled the military's heaviest equipment, including helicopter gunships,
tanks and air defense batteries.

The C-17s are in such heavy demand that many have logged twice the number of
flight hours expected by this time.

Initially, the Air Force ordered 120 C-17s, with the last to have been
delivered in 2004. But the plane's popularity prompted the Pentagon to order
an additional 60 under the current $9.7-billion contract.

"The reality of a line shutdown is not new to Boeing. There is nothing that
will go on forever," Bowman said. "But to shut it down, given that everybody
acknowledges there is a need [for additional C-17s], would be a shame."

Shares of Boeing rose 81 cents Friday to $65.40.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 10:09:45 AM EDT
You can have too much of many things, but heavy lift isn't one of them.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 10:28:34 AM EDT
Closing the Douglas plant was always Boeing's plan. Douglas was always viewed as a competitor that had to be destroyed.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 10:38:26 AM EDT
... That is a fantastic facility, I always enjoy working there. But the fact remains, there are only few dozen C17's left to build on contract. Simply end of the line and the property value cannot sustain the cost of an empty hanger that size. Time for a change

... There' a rumor going around that big blue is looking into the deep-water port of Guaymas, Mexico for some of the commercial work now (well, not now - they're on strike) being done in the Pacific northwest
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 10:51:54 AM EDT
Don't worry, when some piss-ant country like China gets uppity, that plant will re-open.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 10:58:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DnPRK:
Closing the Douglas plant was always Boeing's plan. Douglas was always viewed as a competitor that had to be destroyed.



Since Boeing bought the plant and absorbed Douglas management, they have little to fear in terms of competition.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 12:14:30 PM EDT
The entire LA operation has been in jeopardy for years before the buyout, it's just that no one can figure how to ditch contaminated sites.

The US will regret the day we end C-17 construction. The DC-3, C-130, and C-17; giants of air transport surpassing all others. Understand that once the line closes, the tooling goes to temporary storage at best, or is just scrapped - this includes tooling at vendors for making forgings or subassemblies, everything. At that point costs to restart production look like a new project so there is little political support to do what needs done.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 12:16:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2005 12:18:06 PM EDT by out4trout]
I have no doubt that there will be additional C-17s ordered. I think the C-17 will have a life span much like the C130 Hurcules. However the aircraft will not be built at the Long Beach California facility. That property is worth billions of dollars to Boeing. Being the business men that are they will sell the facility in pieces and reap the profits. The aircraft can be made with cheap labor in a new state of the art facility on the Gulf Coast. "Can you say government backed loans and state tax deals in Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana. The US taxpayers will foot the bill while Boeing rakes in the bucks. What's not to like? It's the American way!
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 12:27:17 PM EDT
I doubt that Boeing will make a thin dime on the Douglas property. Lockheed thought they would get rich by selling the Burbank property, but contaminated soil and ground water changed that. It was a huge loss. 50+ years of contamination at the Douglas property won't be any better. Environmentalists from California and the fed.gov will rape them in ways you've never heard of .
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 12:56:34 PM EDT
Labot costs in Long Beach will never get better. As they start reducing the workforce, the lower seniority guys are saved and the lower guys go. Eventually you get to the point where everybody is at or close to the top of the wage range. That was one of the biggest nails in the Hughes?Raytheon coffin and others in SoCal. I expect that all the tooling will be kept, ALCOA kep all the tooling and dies for DC-2s and DC-3s in to late 70's.

The killer in restarting a line is getting all the qualified and familiar people back.

That plant is rapicly going to rach the point where the economics of keeping it open aare no longer there. What killed the plant were the decisions of years ago to kill off the DC-10 family.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 1:27:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Labot costs in Long Beach will never get better. As they start reducing the workforce, the lower seniority guys are saved and the lower guys go. Eventually you get to the point where everybody is at or close to the top of the wage range. That was one of the biggest nails in the Hughes?Raytheon coffin and others in SoCal. I expect that all the tooling will be kept, ALCOA kep all the tooling and dies for DC-2s and DC-3s in to late 70's.

The killer in restarting a line is getting all the qualified and familiar people back.

That plant is rapicly going to rach the point where the economics of keeping it open aare no longer there. What killed the plant were the decisions of years ago to kill off the DC-10 family.

Because MDC did such a lousey job on the MD-11,took them forever to approve the MD-11,by the time it was introduced,the B-777 was about to take to the skies,plus the 767-300ERs didn't help MDC either. Damned shame,at one time MDC tried to market the C-17 commercially,too many cheap used airliners out there.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 1:34:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
The killer in restarting a line is getting all the qualified and familiar people back.


Too it is amazing that they make anything is a miracle. How many years does it take to train an engineer, and a skilled machinist? This a case of alzheimer's disease on a corporate level. The company will just forget how to make things, because the people design & made them are gone.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 3:32:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2005 3:47:21 PM EDT by Winston_Wolf]

Originally Posted By warlord:
Originally Posted By PaDanby:

... This a case of alzheimer's disease on a corporate level.



... A corporation is open to make money not employ people. It's simply a business decision driven by demand - if the contracts aren't there you cannot just continue keeping the doors open in hopes of a potential requirement on the horizon.

... Understanding that there is a huge cost associated learning loss, government agencies often work diligently with valued prime defense contractors to spread out existing orders, increase IRAD monies, block upgrade retrofits, initiate reset programs and write contracts for battle lost aircraft to keep the company's sky-line level loaded. But without new contracts, any major manufacturer pretty much knows when his line will stop - and doors close
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 3:38:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 4:02:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DnPRK:
Closing the Douglas plant was always Boeing's plan. Douglas was always viewed as a competitor that had to be destroyed.



Huh! My view is that MDC bought us with our own money.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 4:03:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Don't worry, when some piss-ant country like China gets uppity, that plant will re-open. have been turned into 1000s of McMansions



fixed it for ya
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 6:05:12 PM EDT
Hey, maybe Boeing will turn the Douglas Long Beach into a mall, just like the old Fire Stone plant in Southgate, Ca.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 5:39:21 AM EDT
With our other heavy airlifters aging rapidly, we need more C-17s. There is not another airplane in the world that can directly compete with it.

Sure, there are a couple that can carry more, but they can't operate from a 3,000' unpaved runway.

I argued once with a C-5 loadmaster about the merits of the two jets. All of his points came back to, "The C-5 is a bigger box." So what. Throughput counts. In Bosnia we were parking 8-10 C-17s in the space that could accomodate 3 C-5s. That volume, with shorter turnaround times, made the 17 the airlifter of choice.

There are rumors of a BC-17X commercial variant to keep the line open, but at this point all I've heard are rumors.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 6:21:21 AM EDT
If the plant where someplace more politically acceptable like Texas, Florida or Georgia it would stay open. At one time California's Democrap congressional delegation got all sorts of defense pork stationed there--but now that delegation is in the minority.

Just a dumb question....why buy more C-17s when there are commercial aircraft around which can do many of the C-17 tasks?

GunLvr
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 6:37:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
If the plant where someplace more politically acceptable like Texas, Florida or Georgia it would stay open. At one time California's Democrap congressional delegation got all sorts of defense pork stationed there--but now that delegation is in the minority.

Just a dumb question....why buy more C-17s when there are commercial aircraft around which can do many of the C-17 tasks?

GunLvr



Because there are not any there that can do them. We rarely move people in C-17's, we move vehicles and pallets of cargo and when we do move peple we toss them out in flight.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 6:48:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
If the plant where someplace more politically acceptable like Texas, Florida or Georgia it would stay open. At one time California's Democrap congressional delegation got all sorts of defense pork stationed there--but now that delegation is in the minority.

Just a dumb question....why buy more C-17s when there are commercial aircraft around which can do many of the C-17 tasks?

GunLvr


Is there enough civilian C17s around to move frieght for the USA military? People are usually flown on chartered civilian planes. I think personally it would be a mistake to close the line down because the new USA military is depending on rapid deployment of military assets to various parts of the world.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 6:52:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:


Just a dumb question....why buy more C-17s when there are commercial aircraft around which can do many of the C-17 tasks?

GunLvr



Depending on the production block, a C-17 can deliver about 170,000 pounds of payload into austere (semi-prepared/unpaved) runways.

A C-17 with a gross weight of 585,000 pounds can operate from a 3,000' strip with a tad to spare.

Most commercial frieght haulers require specialized equipment to load and unload. Got a forklight? You can load a C-17 with palletized cargo. Offloading requires no equipment if you do a combat offload.

Drive-on/drive-off capability of anything from Humvees to trucks to Patriot batteries to M1-A1s adds to the versatility.

With capabilities from combat offloading to aerial delivery (and LAPES, if the user [Army] decides it's needed), the C-17 fulfills strategic airlift requirements like no other airplane.

You have to see them in action to really begin appreciating the capabilities.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 6:57:37 AM EDT
And the FCS just said they're going to be 100% transported by C-17s because they're too heavy for C-130s?

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 7:17:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:
And the FCS just said they're going to be 100% transported by C-17s because they're too heavy for C-130s?

Kharn



Thats because C-130s can barely carry themselves in the air, let alone any useful cargo weight/volume. I have worked both C-130s and C-17s (I work them now) and there is simply no comparison. The C-130 was desiged during the days of M-113s, Jeeps, and UH-1s, the C-17 was designed for todays bigger heavier payloads (H-60s, M1A2s, Bradleys, etc). We carry pretty much anything in the inventory anywhere in the world. I have seen the flexibility firsthand over here in the desert the last few months. We carry HMMWV uparmor pallets (18 at a time) one day, strykers the next, 140+ passengers as "in theater rotators" the next, and medivac missions the next. I have seen planes do all of that in one mission before! We are flying the wings off the -17s, and we will pay the price for it in 10-15 years, when they are more worn out than 40 year old C-130s are today. If stingy ass congress doesn't cough up the money for another 80 at least we can expect an early retirement or a lot of very expensive fixes down the road. You only have to see the charts of how much cargo (percentage wise) is moved worldwide to see just how hard they are working.

Here is a typical mixed load we fly here, palletized uparmor kits and a stryker. www.brian894x4.com/images/Frankenyotauparmor.JPG
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 7:17:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Winston_Wolf:
... That is a fantastic facility, I always enjoy working there. But the fact remains, there are only few dozen C17's left to build on contract. Simply end of the line and the property value cannot sustain the cost of an empty hanger that size. Time for a change

... There' a rumor going around that big blue is looking into the deep-water port of Guaymas, Mexico for some of the commercial work now (well, not now - they're on strike) being done in the Pacific northwest



I believe that- we have been moving a large amount of equipment to Guaymas. The fishing is awesome down there.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 7:19:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By go3:
You can have too much of many things, but heavy lift isn't one of them.



But should we make our purchases based one whether or not certain areas lose jobs?

I thought that fell into the category of pork...bad when the Left does it but as long as it's military bases and planes...
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:10:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Kharn:
And the FCS just said they're going to be 100% transported by C-17s because they're too heavy for C-130s?

Kharn



Thats because C-130s can barely carry themselves in the air, let alone any useful cargo weight/volume.



You can put an entire C-130 payload (40,000 lbs) on the cargo ramp of a C-17 and close it.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:31:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
Here is a typical mixed load we fly here, palletized uparmor kits and a stryker. www.brian894x4.com/images/Frankenyotauparmor.JPG

Is that just an ICV Stryker (I work on one of the less-numerous variants, havent gotten my hands on a "normal" one yet), and why was the RWS removed?

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:43:37 AM EDT
I had a C-17 on the back of one of my semitrailers last month......


Not many folks can say that.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:44:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
I had a C-17 on the back of one of my semitrailers last month......


Not many folks can say that.



That was a fairly unique crash recovery there.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 8:58:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
I had a C-17 on the back of one of my semitrailers last month......


Not many folks can say that.



That was a fairly unique crash recovery there.



It was an experience.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:19:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
I had a C-17 on the back of one of my semitrailers last month......


Not many folks can say that.



That was a fairly unique crash recovery there.



It was an experience.



That was your truck? Cool! I know the tail number, the crew members that "landed" it, and a whole buttload of people involved with the recovery, got some cool pics too. Thanks for your help, we most certainly needed it! They're never gonna get the smell out of the seats!
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:22:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
Here is a typical mixed load we fly here, palletized uparmor kits and a stryker. www.brian894x4.com/images/Frankenyotauparmor.JPG

Is that just an ICV Stryker (I work on one of the less-numerous variants, havent gotten my hands on a "normal" one yet), and why was the RWS removed?

Kharn



I'm not positive which variant it is, I have a few more pics, if you'd like them just IM me. They removed quite a few protruding and fragile items for shipment, it takes up a lot of room with the slat armor on it! We've been shipping a buttload of stryker parts downrange, must be going through some fairly quickly?
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:30:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
I had a C-17 on the back of one of my semitrailers last month......


Not many folks can say that.



That was a fairly unique crash recovery there.



It was an experience.



That was your truck? Cool! I know the tail number, the crew members that "landed" it, and a whole buttload of people involved with the recovery, got some cool pics too. Thanks for your help, we most certainly needed it! They're never gonna get the smell out of the seats!



Yup, we got lucky that was the last one we had here and it was set to go out in the next few days. I drive past it all the time out on the flight line it looks like it is going well.

If you fly into BAF look me up.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:33:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
I had a C-17 on the back of one of my semitrailers last month......


Not many folks can say that.



That was a fairly unique crash recovery there.



It was an experience.



That was ugly. I saw the pics with the winch compartment & forward end of the tunnel filled with dirt.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:48:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
I had a C-17 on the back of one of my semitrailers last month......


Not many folks can say that.



That was a fairly unique crash recovery there.



It was an experience.



That was ugly. I saw the pics with the winch compartment & forward end of the tunnel filled with dirt.



In case people are wondering WTF we are yakking about: www.cfc-a.centcom.mil/main/PressReleases.asp?id=438



Runway reopens after C-17 incident

8/9/2005


Story and Photos by Capt. Mark D. Gibson
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft rolled off the runway while landing at Bagram Airfield on Aug 6, damaging its nose and right main landing gears. As a result, the runway was closed, but quick action and creative thinking by Air Force and Army engineers had the runway fully active again in less than 30 hours.

There were no injuries in the incident.

When it came to rest, one of the C-17’s wings extended over the active runway, so the aircraft had to be moved to allow the full range of aviation operations at Bagram. Air operations continued while the C-17 was moved off the active runway, and other airfields continued providing air support for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Aircraft from Bagram diverted to other airfields and were able to re-launch and conduct combat missions in support of ground forces. Other Coalition air forces also assisted in ensuring a constant airpower presence was maintained over the battlefield during the aircraft recovery operations at Bagram.

Moving the aircraft proved to be a complicated process, said Col. Donald Jones, 455th Expeditionary Mission Support Group commander, who directed the effort. “It took one big team to brainstorm and come up with the tools and methods we needed.”

The hardest part of this process was determining a way to lift the nose of the aircraft without damaging the aircraft any further.

First the fuel and cargo needed to be removed. The team removed 105,000 pounds of fuel and unloaded 55,000 pounds of cargo, with the remaining gross weight of the aircraft estimated at 300,000 pounds. Because of the tilt of the aircraft, the cargo could not be removed by forklift through the cargo door. The cargo pallets had to be broken down into individual boxes, pieces and parts that were carried out through the crew door.

Next the team had to replace the C-17’s unusable landing gear. Their solution was a flatbed trailer, crane, and railroad ties.

The aircraft was lifted with the crane, inches at a time, and wood was placed under the nose to support it. The team backed the flatbed tractor trailer under the nose and removed the wood. Straps were tied to the trailer and passed through the pilot’s windows and open doors to secure the aircraft onto the truck.

The team assembled metal airfield matting, provided by Army engineers with Charlie Company, 391st Engineer Battalion, to roll the aircraft onto the runway. The Army engineers also provided two bulldozers and the flatbed to drag the aircraft back onto the runway to a parking ramp.

“Once again, we had great cooperation between the Air Force and Army here. We worked together as a team to get a job done in one night that many people thought would take four days. This is the best cooperative effort between the Air Force and Army that I have seen in my 26-year career,” said Col. Michael Flanagan, 18th Engineer Brigade and Task Force Sword commander.

Colonel Jones, knowing the priority was getting the runway open, orchestrated the two bulldozers, the flatbed, and a ring of people around the aircraft. They used hand signals and walkie-talkies as they inched the aircraft down the runway through three 90-degree turns to its parking spot.

“We had to get this runway open and get A-10s in the air to provide close air support for soldiers on the ground,” said Colonel Jones.

“Everyone came together to make suggestions and form a workable plan to help get the C-17 off the active runway and resume normal flying operations in minimal time,” said Brig. Gen. Bruce E. Burda, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing commander.

“I am extremely proud of the way our Airmen, Soldiers and civilians came together, devised a solution to this unique challenge, and safely made it happen to quickly restore airfield operations.”

The aircraft is assigned to Charleston Air Force Base, SC.

The C-17 measures 174 feet long with a wingspan of 169 feet. It is operated by a crew of three and can carry up to 170,000 lbs of cargo.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.



I won't dispute the accuracy of the report, thats up to the investigation board.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 9:55:13 AM EDT
We need C-130's and C-17's as much as anything else we have. Those lines have to be kept open.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 10:16:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
Depending on the production block, a C-17 can deliver about 170,000 pounds of payload into austere (semi-prepared/unpaved) runways.

A C-17 with a gross weight of 585,000 pounds can operate from a 3,000' strip with a tad to spare.

Most commercial frieght haulers require specialized equipment to load and unload. Got a forklight? You can load a C-17 with palletized cargo. Offloading requires no equipment if you do a combat offload.

Drive-on/drive-off capability of anything from Humvees to trucks to Patriot batteries to M1-A1s adds to the versatility.

With capabilities from combat offloading to aerial delivery (and LAPES, if the user [Army] decides it's needed), the C-17 fulfills strategic airlift requirements like no other airplane.

You have to see them in action to really begin appreciating the capabilities.



But are there any commerical aircraft that can do some of the things the C-17 does now? Cargo 747, cargo Airbuses, or something the Russians make? Not that these planes can do all the things the C-17 does but if they can do some of it then we can use C-17s just for the important combat related missions where we need their capabilities. Sort of like the Navy using commercial ships for some things.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 10:35:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
Depending on the production block, a C-17 can deliver about 170,000 pounds of payload into austere (semi-prepared/unpaved) runways.

A C-17 with a gross weight of 585,000 pounds can operate from a 3,000' strip with a tad to spare.

Most commercial frieght haulers require specialized equipment to load and unload. Got a forklight? You can load a C-17 with palletized cargo. Offloading requires no equipment if you do a combat offload.

Drive-on/drive-off capability of anything from Humvees to trucks to Patriot batteries to M1-A1s adds to the versatility.

With capabilities from combat offloading to aerial delivery (and LAPES, if the user [Army] decides it's needed), the C-17 fulfills strategic airlift requirements like no other airplane.

You have to see them in action to really begin appreciating the capabilities.



But are there any commerical aircraft that can do some of the things the C-17 does now? Cargo 747, cargo Airbuses, or something the Russians make? Not that these planes can do all the things the C-17 does but if they can do some of it then we can use C-17s just for the important combat related missions where we need their capabilities. Sort of like the Navy using commercial ships for some things.



There are, and we use them every day. We fly strategic cargo into theater here every day on cargo 747s, MD-11s, and DC-10s, then we use C-17s to deliver it to austure locations where the civvie planes can't go. The C-17 was designed for tactical and strategic airlift, but is used in almost exclusively tactical roles, we let sealift and civilian aicraft fill the strat side of the need. The C-130s also deliver people and supplies every day, they are just very restricted by age, wing cracks, and volume. We can roll on airline style seat pallets to load up close to a 767 full of people, then roll them back off and put cargo on if needed. No other airplane can reconfigure as fast, land in the places we do, and carry the payload we do.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 11:04:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PaDanby:
Labot costs in Long Beach will never get better. As they start reducing the workforce, the lower seniority guys are saved and the lower guys go. Eventually you get to the point where everybody is at or close to the top of the wage range. That was one of the biggest nails in the Hughes?Raytheon coffin and others in SoCal. I expect that all the tooling will be kept, ALCOA kep all the tooling and dies for DC-2s and DC-3s in to late 70's.

The killer in restarting a line is getting all the qualified and familiar people back.

That plant is rapicly going to rach the point where the economics of keeping it open aare no longer there. What killed the plant were the decisions of years ago to kill off the DC-10 family.



Bingo! The Boeing Wichita Commercial operation was recently sold (largest aerospace manufacturing facility on one site in the fre world) largely because the unions forced protection of the senior workers and they lost all the young talent. The place is a huge cluster right now.

As far as the guy said it's Boeing's plan to close the Douglas plants, bullshit! It's Boeing's plan to make money, period. The California Douglas plants were doomed a long time ago, that's why Boeing was able to buy the Mickey-D company in the first place. Now the failed business practices of the McD company are being forced onto Boeing, included a huge number of management positions being held by ex McD people.

The sad fact is that it's a very tough time in the aircraft business. Boeing recently built the last 757, and if the tanker deal falls thru the 767 is a goner too. There has even been talk recently of shutting down the 747 line in the not too distant future.

Link Posted: 9/12/2005 12:55:55 PM EDT
I agree except for the C-130 remark.
C-130's do a lot of the shit work that the C-5's and C-17's can't or won't do.
If I had the choice I would build more C-17's over C-130's though.
If I had the choice the Chair Force would be flying cargo 747's along with the C-17.
If I had the choice the C-130J line would be shut down and the C-130H line would reopen.




Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Kharn:
And the FCS just said they're going to be 100% transported by C-17s because they're too heavy for C-130s?

Kharn



Thats because C-130s can barely carry themselves in the air, let alone any useful cargo weight/volume. I have worked both C-130s and C-17s (I work them now) and there is simply no comparison. The C-130 was desiged during the days of M-113s, Jeeps, and UH-1s, the C-17 was designed for todays bigger heavier payloads (H-60s, M1A2s, Bradleys, etc). We carry pretty much anything in the inventory anywhere in the world. I have seen the flexibility firsthand over here in the desert the last few months. We carry HMMWV uparmor pallets (18 at a time) one day, strykers the next, 140+ passengers as "in theater rotators" the next, and medivac missions the next. I have seen planes do all of that in one mission before! We are flying the wings off the -17s, and we will pay the price for it in 10-15 years, when they are more worn out than 40 year old C-130s are today. If stingy ass congress doesn't cough up the money for another 80 at least we can expect an early retirement or a lot of very expensive fixes down the road. You only have to see the charts of how much cargo (percentage wise) is moved worldwide to see just how hard they are working.

Here is a typical mixed load we fly here, palletized uparmor kits and a stryker. www.brian894x4.com/images/Frankenyotauparmor.JPG

Link Posted: 9/12/2005 1:50:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
I'm not positive which variant it is, I have a few more pics, if you'd like them just IM me. They removed quite a few protruding and fragile items for shipment, it takes up a lot of room with the slat armor on it! We've been shipping a buttload of stryker parts downrange, must be going through some fairly quickly?

Cant comment on that part, but there's an IM on the way about the pics.

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 11:41:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
I agree except for the C-130 remark.
C-130's do a lot of the shit work that the C-5's and C-17's can't or won't do.
If I had the choice I would build more C-17's over C-130's though.
If I had the choice the Chair Force would be flying cargo 747's along with the C-17.
If I had the choice the C-130J line would be shut down and the C-130H line would reopen.



What's wrong with the C-130J?
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 11:47:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ASUsax:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
I agree except for the C-130 remark.
C-130's do a lot of the shit work that the C-5's and C-17's can't or won't do.
If I had the choice I would build more C-17's over C-130's though.
If I had the choice the Chair Force would be flying cargo 747's along with the C-17.
If I had the choice the C-130J line would be shut down and the C-130H line would reopen.



What's wrong with the C-130J?



It's been having alot of software and integration problems. Add to that it won't fit in a H model's hanger.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 1:50:08 PM EDT
C-5s do good work considering mission capable rates... I do distinctly remember a senior officer thanking us very much for bringing the cargo and pax that had been scheduled in on 2x C-17s and 1x C-130s all at once... However, I think the aircraft is handicapped by its maintenance record.

The C-17 is a great airplane and deserves most of the credit it gets - however, it is not a real "strategic" airlift platform. Yes, it can do it to a limited extent but there are platforms that do it better. It does excell at the "stractical" airlift role.

The C-130 is the workhorse to get respectable loads into really, really bad places. The AF has backed itself into the corner with letting them get so old and abused and with the whole C-130J procurement process.

My personal opinion is that the AF should buy about 200 C-17s, modernize the C-5s, buy about 50-75 cargo 747s, and get the C-130J straightened out... That would be a good mix and a great overall airlift force...

Spooky
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 3:06:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

If I had the choice the C-130J line would be shut down and the C-130H line would reopen.




+1
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 3:09:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Spooky130:

The C-17 is a great airplane and deserves most of the credit it gets - however, it is not a real "strategic" airlift platform. Yes, it can do it to a limited extent but there are platforms that do it better. It does excell at the "stractical" airlift role.




The C-17 was designed for direct delivery.

In the past, C-141s and C-5s would haul stuff across the pond, then the cargo would be downloaded, then transfered to Hercs for in-theater transport.

The C-17 can pick up payload Stateside and transport it anywhere in the world, right to the FEBA if necessary, negating the need for that intermediate change of planes.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:05:05 PM EDT
Shame on seeing that plant close. Once saw a DC-10 cross the road in between the plants. Anyone who worked around DC-8s,9s or 10s,will always remember the toughness of a Douglas jetliner.
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:28:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:

Originally Posted By Spooky130:

The C-17 is a great airplane and deserves most of the credit it gets - however, it is not a real "strategic" airlift platform. Yes, it can do it to a limited extent but there are platforms that do it better. It does excell at the "stractical" airlift role.




The C-17 was designed for direct delivery.

In the past, C-141s and C-5s would haul stuff across the pond, then the cargo would be downloaded, then transfered to Hercs for in-theater transport.

The C-17 can pick up payload Stateside and transport it anywhere in the world, right to the FEBA if necessary, negating the need for that intermediate change of planes.



Let me quote something you might have seen out and about:

The C-17s are coming:
With two pallets and a tanker...

Spooky
Link Posted: 9/13/2005 4:38:59 PM EDT
If the .gov would stop dicking around with the cash cow and obsolete space program and the shuttles, there would be more than adequate money to spend on our Nation's defense.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 2:30:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Spooky130:

Let me quote something you might have seen out and about:

The C-17s are coming:
With two pallets and a tanker...

Spooky



Uh oh I hear some jealousy speaking. The C-17 can carry more than the max gross weight of a C-130 in cargo, and in fuel. 240K of gas will get you a long way before you need a tanker, and at least they can refuel, unlike slick hercs. Our max landing weight is the same as max takeoff weight too, btw so we never even need to dump gas if it needs to divert back after takeoff. I can assure you we fly more than "two pallets" every day here, I see the pathetic weight restricted old hercs limping along with half a dozen pax every day, its all they are good for these days. I'd post the stats from the theater on just how the volume of cargo and pax compares, but the data are confidential and I wouldn't want to embarass the 130 guys. Aren't you a flight attendant navigator? No wonder you're jealous, we don't need those or FEs and you feel threatened.
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