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Thread: Boeing noses out competition for 35B tanker

  1. #11
    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonMallari View Post
    Alabama's senior Senator is the staunch conservative Jeff Sessions, Washington's Senator is Patty Murray, who helped write the Obamacare health bill...draw your own conclusions
    Bingo! .
    Bill Davis

  2. #12
    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Johnson View Post
    Boeing has tried to hush this but the wings for their airframe will be built in China if I'm not mistaken.

    Eric
    Back in the '90s I designed some high speed water cooled motors go on spar mills that Cincinnati Milacron was shipping to China. At the time, I figured it would only be a matter of time...
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonMallari View Post
    Alabama's senior Senator is the staunch conservative Jeff Sessions, Washington's Senator is Patty Murray, who helped write the Obamacare health bill...draw your own conclusions
    Sessions is the junior Senator from AL. Richard Shelby is the senior Senator. Both are Republicans. Both the Washington plus both Illinois Senators are Democrats.

    The scuttlebutt was clearly that EADS would win so there will probably be a protest. Northrup pulled out so EADS cut the cost by Northrup's share of the profits...from a winning proposal last time. So I ask....if last time EADS/Northrup won the bid, how did EADS not win this time with cost per plane cut even further.

    I'm former Air Force with a couple of assignments in large systems procurement. Seems like these guys were playing with a funny deck of cards.

    Eric

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    Senior Member BrianW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Johnson View Post
    As a point of order....

    The EADS aircraft is flying today and is larger and hauls more gas (the whole point of the exercise) that the Boeing offering. Both the EADS and the Boeing will be built equally in the US. Boeing has tried to hush this but the wings for their airframe will be built in China if I'm not mistaken.

    Eric
    Excuse me Eric, but Boeing's NGT is based on the 767, of which Boeing has built 1000+ airframes. Payload & range comparison ?!?

    The key, besides the in country politics, could be "the China factor".
    Curious that up until PBO's last G20 summit trip to S. Korea and recent US visit of the ChiCom President, that the EADS offering was the winner in 2 previous bid competitions.
    Not to "dis" my WA neighbors and past business partners in Seattle, oops I mean Chicago ( now THAT couldn''t have ANYthing to do with the decision ?!? ) but we need the best airplane for the job at the best price. I'd be interested to see the money trail.
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    I don't think the payload and range numbers are available except in general terms. The numbers for a civilian version won't be valid.

    The EADS Airbus is reported to have a higher payload and in the tanker world, that generally means a greater range. Boeing had claimed that with the smaller airframe, they'd be able to get into more forward locations. That's a red herring since tankers don't operate out of forward locations. Boeing also is reported to have said that the Airbus greater payload exceeded the specs...duh?

    The previous Boeing proposal was for an airframe that had a problem. I don't know whether this is true with this go round or not. I assumed it was.

    <lights come on...> I know what it was. The Boeing airframe has been in production since the early 80's. This makes the "new" tanker nearly half the age of the KC-135. Hardly new.

    Eric

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    Senior Member BrianW's Avatar
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    Not to pick nits, but if the tanker has to cut in on its payload to extend its own range, then that reduces the amount available to refuel the fighters, bombers on missions etc which is its primary function.

    And "if" the Boeing NGT could land at a shorter runaway, say somewhere in A-stan/Iraq, that could be an advantage in not having to return to Fairchild AFB or similar. Not exactly a red herring in my view.

    But be that as it may, I wonder how the RFP's were changed this time around after past challenges in order that Boeing came out on top this time?

    And regardless of who "won" the contract, how many actually get funded will be the bottom line. I wouldn't want to bet on that right now.
    "It's not that government is inherently stupid, although that's a debatable question."
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    EADS snapping off a fuel boom destroying 2 aircraft weeks before the decision may have had something to do with it too. The Boeing aircraft actually meeting the original.requirements probably didn't hurt either. Then there is the way more advanced technology on the Boeing aircraft. If politcs played a role in keeping the money in the US well then the system worked for once.
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    Several friends of mine work at Boeing. One of them turned me on to this website. Lots of great information there.

    http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Not to pick nits, but if the tanker has to cut in on its payload to extend its own range, then that reduces the amount available to refuel the fighters, bombers on missions etc which is its primary function.

    And "if" the Boeing NGT could land at a shorter runaway, say somewhere in A-stan/Iraq, that could be an advantage in not having to return to Fairchild AFB or similar. Not exactly a red herring in my view.

    But be that as it may, I wonder how the RFP's were changed this time around after past challenges in order that Boeing came out on top this time?

    And regardless of who "won" the contract, how many actually get funded will be the bottom line. I wouldn't want to bet on that right now.
    That's what I was trying to say....payload and range are related such that with tankers you can't speak of absolutes....with the exception of the KC-135Q which carried a fuel that it itself couldn't use. If they need to go farther, they just tap into the other tanks and then they can't re-fuel as much.

    Tankers don't work from forward areas. The amount of fuel they need to load both for themselves and for the "customers" requires a huge infra-structure that won't be found at a forward base. Both submittals require 200,000+ pounds for a fully loaded aircraft. They need pipelines or a rail terminal to get the quantity of fuel they use onto a base. That said, they don't fly from a CONUS base for an overseas mission. We've operated tankers from Saudi for 30 years or more.

    Since both aircraft submitted this time are essentially the same as last time, it will be interesting to see what requirements were changed that Boeing met or met better that EADS did not. The one that I know of was the occupant of the White House was from Illinois this time.

    For some reason this is a fixed price contract but it's not for the full purchase. If this was to be figured with the sharpest pencils possible, you'd think they'd include the full purchase. In fact there is a "B" and a "C" procurement ahead. This purchase is for something like 179 aircraft. The "B" and "C" purchases will close out the fleet at about 400. if this were done to base the follow-on purchases on actual requirements (smaller force structure), why was it not simply an option? Instead, they are going to have to do these 2 packages as new RFP's. This raises the spectre of two different aircraft models again...even if Boeing gets the contract for the "B" and "C" packages. It's a strange way to do business as if they'd lumped them into a single procurement, they'd have gotten a lower unit cost.

    Eric

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Johnson View Post

    Since both aircraft submitted this time are essentially the same as last time, it will be interesting to see what requirements were changed that Boeing met or met better that EADS did not. The one that I know of was the occupant of the White House was from Illinois this time.

    For some reason this is a fixed price contract but it's not for the full purchase. If this was to be figured with the sharpest pencils possible, you'd think they'd include the full purchase. In fact there is a "B" and a "C" procurement ahead. This purchase is for something like 179 aircraft. The "B" and "C" purchases will close out the fleet at about 400. if this were done to base the follow-on purchases on actual requirements (smaller force structure), why was it not simply an option? Instead, they are going to have to do these 2 packages as new RFP's. This raises the spectre of two different aircraft models again...even if Boeing gets the contract for the "B" and "C" packages. It's a strange way to do business as if they'd lumped them into a single procurement, they'd have gotten a lower unit cost.

    Eric

    The size and landing requirements EADS didn't meet last time that were "tailored" after the fact so they would be able to bid at all. (The basis for Boeing's appeal on that award).

    They bid in phases so the gov't isn't on the hook for huge cancellation charges if they decide they don't want the aircraft for phases B and C.
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