News

  • Leonardo Helicopters AW189
    by user+1@localhost.localdomain on January 14, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Leonardo Helicopters AW189 user+1@localho… Fri, 01/14/2022 – 21:17 The AW189 is a super-medium-twin category helicopter produced by European manufacturer Leonardo. Launched at the 2011 Paris Air Show, the AW189 first flew on Dec. 21, 2011, from the company’s Cascina Costa facility in Italy and was certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Feb. 7, 2014. Subsequently, the first AW189 was delivered to launch customer Bristow Helicopters in April 2014, with the first revenue operation taking place on July 21, 2014, carrying oil workers from Norwich International Airport in England. More than six years after the type originally received approval, EASA certified Safran Helicopter Engines’ Aneto-1K engine as an alternative to General Electric’s (GE) CT7-2E1, with airframes powered by the former using the AW189K commercial designation. That version of the AW189 made its first flight powered by Safran engines on March 9, 2017, from the Cascina Costa facility, with the AW189K formally being announced on Oct. 3, 2017. Following its launch, Leonardo announced at the 2020 Heli-Expo that the AW189K’s launch customer would be Qatar-based Gulf Helicopters, which was the launch customer in the offshore market for the CT7-2E1-powered AW189. At the time that Gulf Helicopters was announced as the launch customer, the manufacturer noted that the AW189K would enter service with that operator “in the second half of 2020.” Prior to the airframe’s certification in June 2020, the Aneto-1K engine received EASA approval on Dec. 19, 2019. Regardless of any distinctions between the AW189 and AW189K commercial designations, the type certificate for the AW189 is held by Leonardo S.p.A. of Rome, Italy. Although the AW189 is intended to be utilized by civilian operators on the types of missions noted below, the airframe itself is a derivative of the militarized AW149, which is capable of performing a number of other missions. Indeed, the AW149—which is described by Leonardo as being a multi-role helicopter—was launched five years prior to the AW189 at the 2006 Farnborough Airshow. Following its launch, the militarized airframe made its first flight on Nov. 13, 2009, from then-AgustaWestland’s—a corporate predecessor to Leonardo—facility in Vergiate, Italy, a flight that was performed by a demonstrator airframe that “combined the airframe and avionics of the [AW]149 and the dynamic train and engines of the AW139.” The first AW149 was delivered to Royal Thai Army in February 2017. Maximum Passenger Seating Capacity and Cabin Configurations The AW189’s 395.5-ft.3 cabin, which is promoted as being the largest and widest in its class, is certified to a maximum passenger seating capacity of 19. In order to accommodate that number of seats, the cabin must be configured in a high-density layout that spreads the seats out over four rows, while the AW189’s standard configuration includes 16 seats, the latter of which is described as being part of the “typical offshore passenger transport completion.” Both of those configurations are promoted as being of value to operators in the energy services sector, with the location of the seats noted as being aligned with the “large push-out windows, exceeding the Type IV emergency exits requirements.” Other benefits of the AW189 for this type of operator include the overall size of the cabin and baggage compartment, the latter of which is noted as having an 85-ft.3 volume. Further described as being a high-capacity baggage compartment that can be externally accessed from both sides of the helicopter, it features “composite protective panels” that allow for the carriage of unrestrained baggage. When required, Leonardo states that the cabin can also be reconfigured for medical evacuation (medevac) and limited search-and-rescue (SAR) operations, with the latter type of operations being further enabled by the “capability to rapidly install equipment for limited SAR operations.” In addition to the 16-passenger configuration, the typical AW189 utilized for offshore passenger operations also includes an environmental control system that provides air conditioning and a Helicopter Emergency Exit Light System (HEELS). Cabin layouts for executive and private operators are marketed as allowing up to 14 seats, while Leonardo promotes the size of the cabin—as well as the low internal noise and vibration levels—as improving the onboard environment. An additional benefit available for AW189s utilized for corporate and private transportation is the “wireless integration of personal devices and helicopter systems.” When configured for medevac and SAR operations, the cabin is able to accommodate “up to nine personnel, three stretchers and a full suite of life-support equipment.” Leonardo also markets the cabin as able to accommodate two longitudinally or transversely oriented stretchers, with the cabin itself promoted as able to be easily reconfigured. At the time of the certification of the AW189’s SAR variant in late 2014, the manufacturer noted that two stretchers, six seated survivors and two crew could be accommodated in the cabin. When loading and unloading patients—both on the ground and while airborne—the size of the sliding cabin doors is also noted as being beneficial. One of the characteristics of the AW149 that Leonardo markets as enabling it to be a multi-role helicopter are the number of possible configurations, with the cabin itself promoted as being “rapidly reconfigurable.” Those configurations include cargo pallet resupply and external lift, casualty evacuation (casevac) and medevac; command and control and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C2ISR); close air support/armed escort, SAR, special forces operations and combat SAR and troop transport. When configured for troop transport, the cabin can accommodate 19 “lightly equipped” soldiers or 16 “fully equipped” ones, with those personnel able to be seated in a number of different layouts. For missions that involve cargo pallet resupply and/or external lift, the size of the cabin and the cabin doors—combined with a 6,173-lb. cargo hook capacity—are promoted by Leonardo as being of value. When utilized in casevac and medevac operations, the cabin can accommodate up to four NATO stretchers “in a floor mounted module,” while a three-stretcher module can also be fitted “for more demanding missions.” Specific to the latter type of evacuation mission, the utility equipment for the airframe is marketed as allowing for the carriage of 4-6 stretchers. With respect to supporting special forces operations, the cabin can be configured with a “centrally mounted, sideways facing back-to-back seat layout” that speeds the egress and ingress of special force soldiers. For SAR operations, features such as the installation of a pair of seats for hoist operators and medics, as well a further seating for operators of defensive measures, are marketed as being value. Avionics Pilots operate the AW189 using a “fully integrated avionics system” that includes four 8 X 10-in. active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCD). Describing as having an “open-architecture avionics suite,” the avionics technologies installed are able to utilize performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures and routes including required navigation performance (RNP) 0.3 NM during “all phases of flight,” with RNP authorization required (AR), localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) and Automatic Oil Rig approaches also being possible. Depending upon the needs of the operator, automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast Out (ADS-B Out), multiple communication systems—high frequency (HF) and very high-frequency (VHF), as well as satellite communications (SATCOM) “with flight following”—nose-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) camera, helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS) with “dedicated offshore modes,” traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS II) and weather radar are also able to be installed. For both offshore operators and those performing medevac/SAR missions, an automatically deployable emergency locator transmitter (ADELT) is available. The avionics capabilities and technologies that are promoted as being of value for medevac and SAR operations include the integration of the cabin and cockpit of the AW189 SAR variant into a “single digital environment.” Indeed, Leonardo notes that the mission equipment is fully integrated into the AW189’s flight management system (FMS), including SAR mission equipment such as an automatic identification system (AIS) transponder, digital map, direction finder, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and weather radar. Airframe safety for such operators is enhanced by technologies such as the obstacle proximity lidar system (OPLS), which is described as providing pilots with clearance from “surrounding obstacles.” Also part of the “SAR open-architecture avionics suite” is search modes and patterns, the ability to intercept moving waypoints and hover point approach. The search mode and patterns feature of the SAR avionics suite incorporates a number of integrated modes and five search patterns, with a preview of each search pattern able to be displayed. In additions to the FMS, the SAR modes are also incorporated into the helicopter’s automatic flight control system (AFCS). A mission console is also present in AW189s outfitted for SAR operations, while other features of such airframes include an HF radio—as well as VHF and ultra-high-frequency (UHF) AM/FM tactical radio—and internal and external night-vision-goggle (NVG) compatibility. According to the EASA type certificate data sheet for the AW189 type, the number of pilots required is dependent on the type of operation conducted and the equipped engines. When operating in day visual flight rules (VFR) conditions—regardless of equipped engines—only a single pilot is required, while Safran-powered airframes are also certified for single-pilot operations in night VFR and instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions. A number of situations require two pilots, including Cat. A operations with both engine types—if the takeoff or landing is performed from the left seat—as well as operations in limited icing, IFR and night VFR conditions in CT7-2E1-powered AW189s. However, when certain conditions and limitations are met, GE-powered airframes are able to operate with a single pilot in VFR night and IFR conditions. When performing night vision imaging system (NVIS) operations, two pilots—or, alternatively, one pilot and one crew member—are required, with both “equipped with NVGs.” The avionics of the AW149 include the same four 8 X 10-in. NVG-compatible AMLCD displays as the AW189, while also featuring an FMS function and a four-axis digital AFCS that is marketed as having “advanced autopilot functions.” In addition to those features, the helicopter also has a communication system that enables secure data and voice, digital maps and a tactical data display, an enhanced vision system, identification and standby information systems, a civil and military navigation system and external/internal NVG lighting. Military communications technologies include a blue force tracker, personnel locator system, secure and combat tactical radios, tactical data link and video downlink. An EO/IR sensor, that can feature a laser range finder/designator, is located in the forward portion of the fuselage, while an integrated mission console provides capabilities such as C2ISR, link management and tactical processing. The AW149’s C2ISR capabilities come from a cabin mission console that is described as “fully integrated” with the helicopter’s mission management and systems, as well as sensors. Avionics features that clearly differentiate the AW149 from the AW189 include an integrated defensive aids suite (DAS) that incorporates an electronic countermeasure dispensing system (ECDS), IR jammer, laser and radar warning receivers (LWR/RWR) and a missile warning system (MWS). As is the case with AW189s outfitted for offshore energy services and medevac/SAR, the AW149 can also feature weather radar. Mission and Performance As is noted above, the missions which Leonardo markets the AW189 as capable of performing include corporate, private and offshore energy services passenger transportation, as well as medevac/SAR operations. At the time of its launch, the militarized AW149 was noted as filling the gap between AgustaWestland’s A109 and the NH90, the latter of which is produced by NHIndustries, a joint venture between Airbus Helicopters, Fokker Aerostructures and Leonardo. As was also previously discussed, the AW149 is a multi-mission helicopter that is capable of performing military missions such as command and control, counterterrorism, disaster relief support, medevac, parachuting, SAR, special operations and tactical and VIP transport. Operating limitations of the AW189 include a power-on, all-engines-operating (AEO) never-exceed speed (VNE) of 169 kt. indicated airspeed (KIAS), while the maximum operating altitudes vary based on the equipped engines. The maximum operating altitudes for CT7-2E1 and Aneto-1K-equipped AW189s are 10,000 ft. and 15,000 ft., respectively, while the maximum takeoff and landing altitudes are reduced to 8,000 ft. and 14,000 ft. on airframes powered by those engines. The altitudes for the GE engines are based on pressure or density altitude—whichever occurs first—while the maximum altitudes for the Safran engines are based solely on density altitude. The maximum range and endurance—which are based on the AW189’s maximum gross weight for takeoff and landing (MGW), sea-level altitude, standard conditions, no reserve and “extended range auxiliary fuel tanks”—also vary based on the equipped engines, with the respective range figures for Safran and GE-powered helicopters being 571 nm and 651 nm. Based on the same criteria, the AW189K has a maximum endurance of 5 hr. 20 min., a figure that is increased to 6 hr. 10 min. on airframes equipped with the CT7-2E1 engines. When equipped with GE engines—and operating in standard conditions at the MGW—both the AW149 and AW189 are promoted as being capable of a hover-in-ground-effect (HIGE) altitude of 12,953 ft., while the hover-out-of-ground-effect (HOGE) altitude is 9,490 ft. For airframes equipped with Safran engines, those respective figures are increased to 15,000 ft. and 12,750 ft. From a performance perspective, the AW149—when equipped with either GE or Safran engines—has reduced endurance and range when compared to the AW189. Assuming standard conditions, sea-level altitude and an 18,298-lb. airframe—as well as carrying no reserve but equipped with “under floor’ and ‘transversal’ auxiliary fuel tanks”—the range and endurance of AW149s equipped with the CT7-2E1 engines are 517 nm and 4 hr. 55 min., respectively. Based on the same weight and conditions, the comparative figures for Aneto-1K-powered helicopters are further reduced to 461 nm and 4 hr. 16 min. Variants AW149/AW189 Specifications Type Designation AW149 AW189 Commercial Designation AW189 AW189K Maximum Passenger Seating Capacity 19 Maximum Range (nm) 517 651 571 461 Engine (2X) GE CT7-2E1 GE CT7-2E1 Safran Helicopter Engines  Aneto-1K Safran Helicopter Engines  Aneto-1K Takeoff/Maximum Continuous Power (shp) 1,983/1,870 1,983/1,870 2,450/2,300 2,450/2,300 Maximum Gross Weight (lb.) 18,298/18,960 18,960 Usable Fuel Capacity (gal.)   679 559 Main Rotor Diameter 47 ft. 11 in. Tail Rotor Diameter (ft.)   9.5 Fuselage/Overall Length* 57 ft. 8 in. 47.9 ft./57 ft. 8 in. Fuselage Width (ft.)   9.9  Fuselage/Overall Height*   13.3 ft./16 ft. 7 in.  *With rotors turning CT7-2E1 Engine Leonardo states that the CT7-2E1’s engine ratings include a takeoff power of 1,983 shp—which can be maintained for 5 min—and a maximum continuous power of 1,870 shp. According to GE, the -2E1 is based on the company’s T700 series of engines, a series that also powers the Leonardo’s AW101, Bell’s 214ST and 525 and Sikorsky’s S-70 and S-92. Specific to the CT7-2E1 variant, GE Aviation describes it as “an advanced civil version of the T700-701D” engine. In addition to the -2E1’s fuel efficiency, the benefits of the CT7 series’ that are promoted by the manufacturer include its performance and ability to operate in “harsh environments.” Aneto-1K Engine Described by Leonardo as being in the 2,500-shp class of turboshaft engines, the Aneto-1K engine increases the takeoff and maximum continuous power limitations to 2,450 shp and 2,300 shp, respectively. The engine is based on Safran’s RTM322—a military engine that the company developed with Rolls-Royce—which it shares a type certificate with. According to the common EASA type certificate data sheet (TCDS) for the RTM322 and Aneto-1 series, the both engines are “two-spool turboshaft engines of modular design” that are controlled by a dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system. The components of the Aneto-1K include “a three-stage axial and single-stage centrifugal compressor,” an axial-flow gas generator turbine and axial-flow power turbine that both have two stages and which connect to “a forward-mounted output drive by a transmission shaft” and a reverse-flow annular combustion chamber. Safran states that the gas generator turbine incorporates single-crystal blades—while also promoting its high-temperature performance and “enhanced life margins and power growth”—with the power turbine noted for the longevity benefits of its low temperature. The engine’s compressors—which have inlet guide vanes—can accelerate to maximum power from flight idle “in less than 3 sec.,” while the dual-channel FADEC system is promoted for its “advanced functionalities” as well as the benefits that it provides with respect to flight comfort and reduced pilot workload. Named for the highest mountain in Europe’s Pyrenees Mountains, the performance benefits of the Aneto-1K include a HOGE at the airframe’s MGW “up to 6,000 ft.,” while also enabling operations between -50C and 50C. When compared to “similarly rated engines,” Safran promotes that Aneto series as having the ability to provide 25% more thermal power because of its power-to-volume ratio, expanding the “mission capabilities” of equipped helicopters. The manufacturer also states that the engine series is of particular value to operators utilizing their helicopters in high-altitude and hot-weather conditions, with those types of operators including those in the markets identified above, as well as aerial firefighting and military transport. AW189 According to Leonardo, the safety of AW189 operations is further enhanced by the fact that the main gearbox is capable of running without oil for 50 min. Supplementing the safety benefits of main gearbox’s “dry-run capability” is the “structural crashworthiness” that is integrated into “the design of the airframe, fuel system and seats,” as well as the fact that the windscreen is reinforced and “critical” controls are placed in an “optimum position.” The safety of ground operations is improved by the height of the main rotor and the clearance that it provides, as well as by the standard camera that is installed in the tail fin, the latter of which increases crew situational awareness. Also part of the previously mentioned typical offshore completion are emergency floats that have capabilities up to sea state 6, as well as external life rafts. Options promoted by Leonardo for this type of operator include a cargo hook, direction finder, extended-range fuel system that features pressure refueling and single or dual hoist. At the time the type was certified, AgustaWestland stated that the AW189’s configuration was “fully compliant with the requirements for offshore oil and gas operations and includes all relevant kits and avionic features to perform [that] role.” Additionally, the manufacturer noted that the airframe’s flight envelope allowed for operations “in demanding and harsh environments from initial entry into service.” For medevac and SAR operators, many of the same options are promoted—such as the direction finder—while additional airframe capabilities and outfitting include bubble cabin windows, an external loudspeaker, heavy-duty landing gear; a searchlight, belly-mounted swiveling light for the rescue hoist and taxiing lights; and a rescue hoist camera. The helicopter’s built-in auxiliary power unit (APU) enables corporate and private operators to condition the cabin without the need for the rotors to be turning, while the presence of an APU for medevac and SAR operations is noted as allowing “the continued operation” of medical devices, radios and rescue equipment—the hoist and lights—while airborne. According to the manufacturer, a number of “kits” have been certified which include much of the avionics technologies and SAR equipment noted above, while also allowing the operation of the helicopter at an 18,959-lb. maximum weight in order to increase the amount of payload that can be carried. Supplementing the SAR variant’s increased maximum weight, the fuel system is also noted as having a greater capacity. On Dec. 23, 2014, Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland—another corporate predecessor to Leonardo—announced the certification of the SAR variant of the AW189, a certification which allowed the delivery of the first airframe to Bristow to operate on behalf of Britain’s Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA). Although the certification of the SAR variant took place in late 2014 and the first delivery of that variant to Bristow took place in January 2015, it was not until March 31, 2017, that Bristow-operated AW189s began SAR operations for the MCA from a base at Lee-On-Solent in southern England. That entry into service was delayed by over a year because of delays related to the Full Ice Protection System (FIPS), a requirement of the MCA “because the helicopters are regularly called upon to perform mountain rescues.” Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced on Sept. 28, 2015, that the AW189’s Limited Ice Protection System (LIPS) had been approved by EASA, with the company noting that it was the first helicopter in its weight category to have its ice-protection system certified. Promoted as enhancing the airframe’s “all-weather capabilities,” the LIPS allows for “flight within a known and defined envelope of icing conditions provided that the capability to descend into a known band of positive temperature is available throughout the intended route, typical of conditions encountered, for example, over the North Sea.” Available as an option for the AW189, the components of the system include a heated windshield, ice detectors and an ice-accretion meter and a supercooled larger droplet (SLD) marker. While the LIPS does incorporate those components—and the standard airframe is equipped with an engine air intake heating system—it “does not require heated rotor blades and associated equipment.” From a performance perspective, the “performance and procedures for Cat. A operations” are retained, while the AW189 “has only limited restrictions in terms of low temperature and ice presence during IFR operations.” Because of its cost and weight, the system is described as being especially well-suited for offshore energy services, other passenger transport and SAR operators. Less than a year after the LIPS was certified by EASA, the AW189’s FIPS was also certified by the regulator. That approval was announced by Leonardo-Finmeccanica—yet another corporate predecessor to Leonardo—on July 11, 2016, with the airframe also being the first helicopter in the super-medium class to have that capability. The certification followed winter flight testing in Northern Europe and North America that lasted three years, and which evaluated system components that include the electrically heated main and tail rotor blades, an ice detection system and heated windscreens. From an operational perspective, the system is described as being “fully automatic once switched on by the pilot,” a feature that is promoted as having pilot workload benefits. AW189K Beyond the equipped engines and the improved maximum altitude performance noted above, the changes made to Safran-powered AW189s include an increased MTOW and a decreased usable fuel capacity. As is noted in the table above, the MTOW is increased by 662 lb. to 18,960 lb., while the usable fuel capacity is lowered by 120 gal. to 559 gal. Although it has a decreased fuel capacity, because the Aneto-1K engines are more powerful than the CT7-2E1 engines, the helicopter is promoted for its performance in high-altitude and hot-weather conditions. The types of operations that Leonardo specifically markets the AW189K for are essentially the same as those that were discussed above and include aerial firefighting, offshore energy services, parapublic and VIP transport. AW149 From a design perspective, the AW149 is considered to be a militarized derivative of Leonardo’s AW139 that, in comparison, has different engines, an enlarged fuselage and a higher gross weight, among other differences. Specific differences found in the AW149—in comparison to the AW139—include a “heavier fuselage [that is] more suited to military payloads,” as well as a drive train that has increased power. The features of the helicopter that are promoted to operators include the size of the airframe itself (and its ability to enable “confined-area operations”), the inclusion of dual electric and hydraulic systems, the handling benefits of the “fully articulated main and tail rotors” and the ability of the “robust undercarriage” and ground clearance to enable operations on rough terrain. Supplementing the avionic equipment noted above, a variety of role and utility equipment—as well as weapons systems—are available for the AW149. With respect to the latter, an observation and targeting system is available, as are a variety of other weapons that can be mounted either internally or externally. The internal weapons include a pair of machine guns and sniper rifles, while external weapons such as an air-to-ground missile launcher, gun pods and rocket launchers are available, the latter of which can be guided or unguided. Those and other weapons—including air-to-air missiles—as well as the targeting system, enable the airframe to be used as both an armed escort and a close-air-support platform. Role equipment available for the AW149 includes ballistic protection for the cabin and cockpit, crashworthy self-sealing fuel tanks, formation lights and a searchlight that are NVG compatible, an overwater kit with flotation and life rafts and a wire-strike protection system. One of the pieces of utility equipment available are foldable seats—which are also crashworthy—with additional options including the previously mentioned cargo hook, a FIPS and an internally located auxiliary fuel tank. With respect to supporting special forces operations, those forces able to be deployed two at a time per side using the fast-roping system, while the aforementioned rescue hoist—which is electric and can be of a single or dual type—can be utilized to recover such forces when the helicopter is hovering. Program Status At the time of its certification in 2014, AgustaWestland noted that the first AW189 production line would be located in Vergiate, Italy, with a second to follow at the company’s UK facility in the Yeovil, which are where production remains. That latter facility was initially meant to build Bristow’s AW189 that are operated for the UK MCA, with the facility subsequently producing airframes “to meet the global demand for SAR-configured AW189s.” References AWIN Article Archives Leonardo AW149/AW189 Commercial Materials GE Aviation CT7 Commercial Materials  Safran Helicopter Engines Commercial Materials (Aneto Series/Aneto-1K) EASA TCDS (AW189) EASA TCDS (RTM322/Aneto-1 Series) FAA TCDS (CT7-2E1) Channel Commercial Aviation Market Indicator Code Helicopter Category Helicopter – Turbine Image AW189 G-MCGW (Mike Hopwood) Article page size 10 Profile page size 20 Program Profile ID 390248

  • Boeing 787
    by user+1@localhost.localdomain on January 13, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    Boeing 787 user+1@localho… Thu, 01/13/2022 – 21:17 Boeing’s 787 is a family of widebody airframes produced by the Chicago-based manufacturer, with three variants of the series currently certified. Described during its development as being “a new super-efficient, midsized airplane,” the 787 was originally designated the 7E7, a designation that symbolized the improvements that Boeing sought to make in areas such as economics, efficiency and environmental performance. Formally launched in April 2004 with a 50-airframe order from Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), the first 787 to fly, be certified and enter service was the -8, a variant that was symbolically rolled out of Boeing’s facilities at Paine Field in Everett, Washington on July 8, 2007 (7/8/07). Following that rollout ceremony, the first -8 airframe—registered as N787BA and designated ZA001—made its first flight, which lasted slightly more than 3 hr., from Paine Field on Dec. 15, 2009. That first 787 was powered by a variant of Roll-Royce’s Trent 1000 engine; however, all three variants are also approved to be equipped with General Electric’s (GE) GEnx-1B engines. According to engine manufacturer GE Aviation, the first flight of a GEnx-1B-powered 787 took place on June 16, 2010, from Paine Field. Twenty months after the airframe’s first flight, and upon the completion of a flight-test program that exceeded 4,800 hr., the 787-8 was simultaneously certified by the FAA and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in August 2011. Although at the time it was launched, the -8 was planned to enter service in 2008, the first 787 delivery—an airframe registered as JA801A—was made to ANA on Sep. 25, 2011, with ANA subsequently placing the type into service between Tokyo Narita Airport and Hong Kong on Oct. 26, 2011. Following the certification of the GEnx-1B-powered 787-8—Boeing received an amended type certificate (ATC) in March 2012 that approved GEnx-1B engines for the -8—the first such airframe was delivered to Japan Airlines (JAL) on March 26, 2012. The next variant of the 787 series to be developed was the -9, with Air New Zealand serving as that variant’s launch customer. As was the case with the -8, the first flight of the larger -9—which took place on Sep. 17, 2013, from Paine Field—was powered by a variant of Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 engine. That flight, which lasted 5 hr. 16 min., was performed by a -9 registered as N789EX and designated ZB001, while the first flight of a GEnx-1B-powered airframe—registered N789ZB and designated ZB021—took place slightly more than two months later on Nov. 19, 2013. Specific to the equipped engines, the Rolls-Royce and GE-powered airframes were equipped with the “Package C’ version of the Trent 1000 [and] the upgraded ‘PIP II’ variant of the GEnx-1B.” Subsequent to the completion a flight-test program that included “more than 1,500 hr. of flight testing,” Boeing received an ATC for the -9 in June 2014, a certification that was validated by EASA on the same day. Although Air New Zealand was the launch customer and received the first delivery of a -9, registered ZK-NZE, on June 30, 2014, it was ANA that was the first operator to place the variant into service. ANA, which received their first -9 on July 27, 2014—registered as JA830A—placed that airframe into service to domestic destinations from Tokyo Haneda Airport on Aug. 7, 2014, just ahead of Air New Zealand’s entry into service with the -9 between Auckland and Sydney on Aug. 9. Subsequently, the first delivery of a GEnx-1B-powered -9 took place several months later on Sep. 4, 2014, with a delivery to United Airlines. Launched on June 18, 2013, at the Paris Air Show, the first flight of the largest 787 variant, the -10, was made from Charleston International Airport in South Carolina, the location of Boeing’s second 787 production line. In keeping with the first flights of the smaller 787 variants, the first flight of the -10—which took place on March 31, 2017, was performed by an airframe registered as N528ZC and designated ZC001 and which lasted 4 hr. 58 min.—was powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce’s updated Trent 1000 TEN engines. The first flight of a GEnx-1B-powered airframe, registered as N548ZC, took place on May 2, 2017, with that airframe eventually being delivered to United on May 21, 2019. Following a flight-test program that included three airframes—two Trent 1000-powered and one GEnx-1B-powered—and which “accumulated about 900 test hours,” Boeing received the ATC for the -10 in January 2018. Singapore Airlines subsequently received the first -10 airframe, registered as 9V-SCA, at Boeing’s Charleston facilities on March 25, 2018—the first of 49 ordered by the carrier—with the type entering service a little more than a week later on April 3, 2018. Intended for use on Singapore’s “regional routes”—which are “loosely defined as up to about 8-hr. flights”— the company began operating the -10 to Osaka, Japan on May 3, 2018, Perth, Australia on May 7, Tokyo Narita on May 18 and Nagoya, Japan on July 28. The first operator to receive a GEnx-1B-powered -10 was Etihad Airways, which received their first airframe—registered as A6-BMA—on Oct. 30, 2018. Regardless of any differences between the -8, -9 and -10, all share a common type certificate that is held by The Boeing Company of Renton, Washington. 787 Variant FAA Certification Date 787-8 Aug. 26, 2011 787-9 June 13, 2014 787-10 Jan. 19, 2018 Passenger and Cargo Capacity/Volume and Cabin Configuration According to Boeing’s “Airplane Characteristics for Airport Planning” document for the 787, the -8’s typical two-class capacity of 242 passengers can be accommodated in a cabin that includes 24 business-class seats and 218 economy-class seats. While that document does not provide information on configurations that would accommodate the -9’s 296-seat two-class capacity, the same planning document does note that variant’s typical interior arrangement as including 290 seats that are divided between 28 in business class and 262 in economy class. Similar to the -9, the cabin configuration described in the airport planning document of the -10 depicts a 330-seat cabin, not the 336-seat layout that is promoted in Boeing’s marketing materials. The typical arrangement described in the planning document includes 32 business-class seats and 298 economy-class seats, with the seat pitch of the business and economy-class seats on all three variants noted as 85 in. and 32 in., respectively. However, in Boeing’s typical configurations, several of the business-class seats—four on the -8, eight on the -9 and 10 on the -10—have a reduced pitch of 75 in., while 30 seats in the -9’s economy-class cabin have a pitch of 33 in. In contrast to those available configurations, the FAA type certificate data sheet (TCDS) for the 787 notes that the -8, -9 and -10 have maximum certified passenger capacities of 381, 420 and 440, respectively. In terms of cabin features, Boeing promotes the 787’s size—of the overhead bins and windows, as well as the cabin more broadly—lighting and air quality as being of particular importance to both operators and passengers. Described as having a cabin that is “wider than that of the airplanes it replaces,” the size of the entryway and windows are highlighted—with the windows promoted as being “the largest windows of any jet”—as is its “vaulted ceiling.” Boeing also promotes the cabin’s light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, the filtration and humidity of the air that enters the cabin and the pressurization of the cabin itself. The combination of those three factors is marketed as making the cabin air “feel less dry” and helping to reduce fatigue. Additionally, the increased stiffness of the 787’s composite construction allows for a cabin altitude of 6,000 ft., in comparison to the 8,000-ft. standard cabin altitude of conventional, non-composite-fuselage airplanes. Supplementing the space in the 787-8’s cabin is 4,826 ft.3 of lower-deck cargo space that can accommodate 16 LD-3 containers in the forward compartment and 12 such containers in the aft compartment, as well as 402 ft.3 in the bulk-cargo compartment. On the -9, the lower-deck cargo space increases to 6,090 ft.3, the number of LD-3 containers that can be accommodated in the forward and aft compartments increases—to 20 and 16, respectively—and the bulk-cargo volume remains unchanged. For the -10, the total volume (6,722 ft.3) and forward and aft compartment LD-3 capacity (22 and 18) are increased, while the bulk-cargo volume once again remains the same. Avionics Flight crews operate the 787 using a Collins Aerospace avionics suite that includes five 15-in. multifunction displays (MFD) that are described as “provid[ing] more than twice the area as those used on the 777.” Despite having larger displays than the 777, Boeing promotes the “flight-deck commonality between the 787 and 777,” and the fact that this commonality can enable airlines to use “mixed-fleet flying” that allows the “scheduling [of] pilots to fly more than one kind of airplane.” With regard to the differences between those types and the training that is needed, Boeing states that “only five days of training” are required for 777 pilots to fly the 787, with the two types sharing a common pilot type rating. Mission and Performance Described as being “designed for medium-to-long haul flights,” Boeing also promotes the 787’s ability to enable new non-stop flights, with the number of “new point-to-point routes” made possible by the 787 since the -8 entered service numbering over 200. Boeing says it is the type’s “fuel efficiency and range flexibility” that allow airlines to begin serving such routes. The primary competition for the 787 is Airbus’ A330neo (new engine option) series of airframes. Comparison: 787 and A330ceo/neo Specifications   787-8 787-9 787-10 A330-200 A330-300 A330-800 A330-900 Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity 381 420 440 406 440 406 440 Typical Two-Class Capacity 248 296 336 247 300 257 310 Maximum Range (nm) 7,355 7,635 6,430 7,250 6,350 7,500 (242 metric tons) 6,550 (242 metric tons) 8,150 (251 metric tons) 7,200 (251 metric tons) Engines (2X) General Electric GEnx-1B General Electric CF6 Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Pratt & Whitney PW4000 Rolls-Royce Trent 700 Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.) 502,500 560,000 533,519 553,360 Wingspan 197 ft. 3 in. 197 ft. 10 in. 210 ft. Length 186 ft. 1 in. 206 ft. 1 in. 224 ft. 1 in. 193 ft. 208 ft. 10 in. 193 ft. 208 ft. 10 in. Height 55 ft. 6 in. 55 ft. 10 in. 57 ft. 1 in. 55 ft. 1 in. 57 ft. 1 in. 55 ft. 9 in.                   Boeing notes that the ranges listed above are for the -8, -9 and -10 are based on two-class capacities of 242, 290 and 330 passengers, respectively. Regarding performance limitations, all three variants have a common maximum operating limit speed (MMO) of 0.90 Mach, while maximum operating altitude varies between 43,100 ft. for the -8 and -9 and 41,100 ft. for the -10. Variants 787 Specifications   787-8 787-9 787-10 Maximum Certified Passenger Capacity 381 420 440 Maximum Range (nm) 7,355 7,635 6,430 Engines (2X) General Electric GEnx-1B Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW)(lb.) 502,500 560,000 Wingspan (ft.) 197 ft. 3 in. Length (ft.) 186 ft. 1 in. 206 ft. 1 in. 224 ft. 1 in. Height (ft.) 55 ft. 6 in. 55 ft. 10 in.           787-8 Engines 787-9 Engines 787-10 Engines Trent 1000 Variants GEnx-1B Variants Trent 1000 Variants GEnx-1B Variants Trent 1000 Variants GEnx-1B Variants Trent 1000-A GEnx-1B64 Trent 1000-A2 GEnx-1B67/P2 Trent 1000-J3 GEnx-1B74/75/P2 Trent 1000-A2 GEnx-1B64/P1 Trent 1000-AE3 GEnx-1B70 Trent 1000-K3 GEnx-1B76/P2 Trent 1000-AE3 GEnx-1B64/P2 Trent 1000-D2 GEnx-1B70/P1   GEnx-1B76A/P2 Trent 1000-C GEnx-1B67 Trent 1000-D3 GEnx-1B70/P2   Trent 1000-C2 GEnx-1B67/P1 Trent 1000-J2 GEnx-1B70/75/P2 Trent 1000-CE3 GEnx-1B67/P2 Trent 1000-J3 GEnx-1B74/75/P1 Trent 1000-D GEnx-1B70 Trent 1000-K2 GEnx-1B74/75/P2 Trent 1000-D2 GEnx-1B70/P1 Trent 1000-K3 GEnx-1B76A/P2 Trent 1000-D3 GEnx-1B70/P2     Trent 1000-E GEnx-1B70C/P1 Trent 1000-G GEnx-1B70C/P2 Trent 1000-G2 GEnx-1B70/75/P1 Trent 1000-G3 GEnx-1B70/75/P2 Trent 1000-H   Trent 1000-H2 Trent 1000-H3 Trent 1000-L2                                                                       Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Engines As noted above, the first flights of each 787 variant were powered by a variant Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 engine series, engines described by the manufacturer as “draw[ing] on [the company’s] technology and experience” with the four prior generations of the Trent engine. Further promoted by Rolls as being “optimized specifically to power the 787” and allowing it to be “20% more efficient than the Boeing 767 it replaces,” the Trent 1000 also has, at 10:1, the “highest bypass ratio of any Trent engine.” Indeed, Rolls-Royce states that the higher bypass ratio enables the Trent 1000 to be the “quietest engine on the 787 today.” In terms of thrust generated, more than “85% of the engine’s thrust is generated by the 2.8-m [approximately 9.2-ft.] diameter fan.” The company also claims that the three-shaft architecture of the Trent 1000 is better able to “support ‘all electric’ aircraft [like the 787] with a blessless engine system.” Since it entered service with ANA in 2011, the Trent 1000 series has undergone several improvements, with those changes designated by Rolls-Royce as the Package B and C configurations, as well as the Trent 1000 TEN. The changes made as a part of the Package B improvements primarily involved fuel consumption, while Package C improved specific fuel consumption (SFC) and provided the increased thrust necessary for the engine to power the 787-9. According to Rolls-Royce, the Trent 1000 TEN (Thrust, Efficiency and New Technology) is “not an improvement package;” rather, “it is a step-change in design and performance” that incorporates “design architectures” from the Trent XWB engine that powers Airbus’ A350. To that end, the Trent 1000 TEN “employs a scaled version of the IP [intermediate-pressure] and HP [high-pressure] compressors from the Trent XWB-84,” with other technological improvements coming from the company’s Advance3 demonstrator. The high-pressure turbine (HPT) “architecture is shared with the Trent XWB-97” and promoted as enabling “better component life results for the Trent 1000 in service.” In comparison to the Package C production standard engine, the Trent 1000 TEN is designed to improve fuel burn by 2%. Following its test program, Rolls-Royce announced on Aug. 19, 2017, that it had received EASA certification for the Trent 1000 TEN, with the engine subsequently entering service in November 2017. Air New Zealand, Norwegian and Singaporean low-cost carrier Scoot were among the first airlines to operate Trent 1000 TEN-equipped airframes. Also in 2017, Rolls-Royce transitioned Trent 1000 production from the Package C configuration to the TEN. According to the 787’s type certificate data sheet (TCDS), the takeoff static-thrust limit—based on a standard day and sea-level altitude—varies between 59,631 lb. for the Trent 1000-E that powers the -8, and 78,129 lb. for the Trent 1000-J2, J3, K2 and K3 on the -9, and J3 and K3 on the -10. General Electric GEnx The other engine option for the 787, GE’s GEnx-1B, is promoted as offering a number of benefits, including SFC that is a 15% improvement in comparison to “the engine it replaces”—the company’s CF6—while also being able to “stay on-wing 20% longer” and “using 30% fewer parts.” As is the case for the Trent 1000 series, the GEnx-1B also incorporates improved technologies and materials, with the goal of improving performance and efficiency, while reducing the engine’s fuel consumption and weight. The technologies incorporated into the engine include a twin-annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor—which is touted as reducing nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions—while the front fan case and fan blades are both made from carbon-fiber composites, with the use of composites in those two components noted as being a first for a commercial jet. GE Aviation further describes the carbon-fiber fan blades, which are reduced in number from 22 to 18, as incorporating an updated design that improves efficiency, while the composite fan case allows for the weight to be further reduced. The efficiency and weight improvements of the GEnx are further enhanced by the engine’s low-pressure turbine (LPT), which is promoted as “incorporat[ing] next-generation 3D aerodynamics.” Additionally, in the LPT’s sixth and seventh stages, titanium aluminide blades are utilized, the use of which results in a weight reduction of 400 lb., as well as an increase in fuel efficiency. Based on the same criteria noted above for the Trent 1000, the GEnx-1B engines certified for 787 vary in takeoff static thrust from 67,000 lb.—for the 787-8’s GEnx-1B64, -1B64/P1 and -1B64/P2—and 78,500 lb., with the latter limitation being applicable to the GEnx-1B76A/P2 that powers both the -9 and -10, as well as the -1B76/P2 that is only certified for the -10. System Design Beyond the engine advancements noted above, the 787 also relies less on the bleed air from the engines—with the design described by Boeing as being “more electric” and not featuring a traditional pneumatic system—an arrangement known as being “bleedless.” Using a “no-bleed architecture, the engines provide the majority of airplane systems power needs in electrical form via shaft-driven generators.” In comparison to systems “that were powered by bleed air or hydraulics” on the 777, systems including airframe ice protection, cabin air conditioning, engine start, horizontal stabilizer trim, pressurization, wheel brakes and wing anti-ice are electrically powered on the 787. For starting 787’s engines, traditional pneumatic starters have been “replaced with a pair of gearbox-mounted main-engine starters/generators.” The benefits of the no-bleed electrical systems include improved efficiency—“the 787 systems architecture accounts for predicted fuel savings of about 3%”—and reliability, as well as lowered maintenance costs and weight. Boeing says the use of electrical power in lieu of engine-generated pneumatic power is “more efficient” and will result in the extraction of “as much as 35% less power from the engines.” On the 787 series, non-electric systems include nacelle inlet anti-ice protection, a system which “occasionally” uses engine bleed air. Composite Use As for the 787’s increased use of composites, Boeing notes that the airframe “is 50% composite by weight,” with composites representing “a majority of the primary structure” including the fuselage and wing. The use of composites in the type’s wing is noted as allowing it to have a higher aspect ratio of 10:1 that gives it “better lift-to-drag performance,” with the lift-to-drag ratio being “5% better” that on the 777.  Similar to the use of carbon-fiber composites in the GEnx engines, the benefits of using composites on the 787 airframe include efficiency gains and fuel-burn reduction due to the composite material’s lighter weight. Further benefits are found when it comes to maintaining the airplane, with Boeing pointing out the fact that composite materials “do not fatigue or corrode,” resulting in less scheduled maintenance. The overall costs of operating the 787 are also promoted as being reduced, with operating and maintenance costs reduced by 15% and 30%, respectively. Distinctions Between 787 Variants Although the -8 is the smallest 787-series airframe in terms of passenger capacity, from a performance perspective its published range makes it the middle-of-the-range option of the series. Described as having the capability to “grow routes first opened with the 787-8,” the larger -9 represents a 20-ft. stretch in comparison the first 787 variant, with that stretch enabling it to carry 48 more passengers in a typical two-class configuration. The increased space afforded by the -10’s 18-ft. stretch—in comparison to the -9—allows for passenger capacity in a two-class configuration to be increased by another 40 seats to 336. Program Issues While the 787 has been a commercial success for Boeing, the program has encountered multiple issues since it first entered service, including several related to the Trent 1000 engine. Prior to the discovery of those engine issues, however, the program encountered battery problems that resulted in the type being grounded for over three months in 2011. Following a Jan. 7, 2011, fire at Boston’s Logan International Airport that involved the auxiliary power unit (APU) battery of a JAL 787, as well as an issue with the main battery on an ANA domestic flight six days later that necessitated a diversion, the fleet—which at the time stood at 50 airplanes—was grounded. However, rather than redesigning the 787’s electrical architecture, Boeing redesigned the airplane’s two 32-volt lithium-ion batteries, as well as the enclosures they are contained in. The updates “include a 1/8-in.-thick stainless steel battery enclosure,” battery charger, vent-line assembly, wire bundles and associated hardware, with the enclosure itself “designed to meet a 300C [572F] event without thermal risk to the aircraft.” In the aftermath of the grounding, 787 deliveries resumed on May 14, 2011, with the delivery of ANA’s 18th -8, while revenue operations for the type resumed with an Ethiopian Airlines flight on April 27. Issues with the 787’s Trent 1000 engines include those which are associated with the Package B and C upgrades, as well as others that have been discovered on the newer Trent 1000 TEN design. Durability issues related to those upgrade packages have been found in the intermediate and high-pressure turbine (IPT/HPT) blades, as well as in the intermediate-pressure compressor (IPC). The durability issues related to the IPT blade involve chemical corrosion—sulphidation—that Rolls-Royce noted is “caused by pollutants in the air” and was addressed by the company “introduc[ing] a new blade design featuring an improved protective coating.” The durability issue affecting the HPT blades, which resulted in the deterioration of the blades “earlier than expected,” also necessitated a new blade design, which was “made available in October 2018.” The problems related to the IPC involved the fact that, “under certain conditions the blades could vibrate, which caused a few of them to crack.” The Trent 1000’s IPC issues affected both Package B and C engines, with Rolls-Royce announcing in January 2019 that they have received approval for a redesigned IPC blade for Package C engines. Additionally, while no problems have been found on the IPC blades of the more recently certified Trent 1000 TEN variants, the IPC blades of those Trent 1000s would also be replaced “as a precautionary step.” Although no problems have been found with the Trent 1000 TEN’s IPC blades, deterioration issues were found on the TEN’s HPT blades in the spring of 2019, resulting in launch customer Singapore Airlines deciding to ground two of the 787-10’s for inspections. Following the discovery of the Trent 1000 TEN’s HPT issues, Rolls-Royce “agreed to a new inspection regime for this engine design,” while also “developing and testing an enhanced version of the blade” that was anticipated to be “retrofitted into the fleet in early 2020.” The company announced in November 2019, following the completion of “a detailed technical evaluation” of the redesigned HPT blade that revealed that it would not “deliver a sufficient level of enhanced durability…that an improved blade is unlikely to ready before the first half of 2021.”  As a result of these concerns, “dozens” of 787s remained grounded in early 2019, with the number of grounded airframes “believed to have peaked at about 50.” Beyond grounding a significant number of airframes, the Trent 1000 problems have also resulted in a reduction in extended operations (ETOPS) limitations, causing additional service disruptions for 787 operators. Environmental Performance In addition to its performance capabilities, Boeing also promotes the 787 series as having a reduced environmental impact with regard to both emissions and noise. To that end, the 787 series is touted by Boeing as having a noise footprint that is “60% smaller than the airplane that it replaces.” The company also notes that “sounds of 85 dB [decibels] or higher never leave airport boundaries,” while a UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) report that stated that “[t]he 787 is on average up to 7 dB quieter on departure than the 767, and 8 dB quieter than A330 aircraft.” Additionally, the same CAA report notes that the 787 is “up to 3 dB quieter on arrival than the aircraft types it is intended to replace.” The emissions reductions of the 787 are enabled, in part, by the improvement in fuel economy, improvements that differ based on the variant. Boeing promotes the smaller -8 and -9 variants as reducing fuel burn and emissions by 20%, with the -8’s reductions in those areas being compared to “the airplanes it replaces.” Conversely, the -9’s reductions in emissions and fuel use are noted as being in comparison to “similarly sized airplanes.” For the -10 variant, the emissions and fuel burn are noted as being improved by 25% when compared to the airframes that the variant is designed to replace, while also being promoted as a 10% improvement in comparison to “the best on offer by the competition.” Program Status/Operators Unlike other Boeing commercial airplanes, production of the 787 is split between manufacturing facilities in Everett, Washington, and North Charleston, South Carolina. Specifically, Boeing’s facilities at Paine Field produce the -8 and -9, while the larger -10 is exclusively produced at the company’s facilities in South Carolina. The company’s North Charleston production line was announced on Oct. 28, 2009, with the facility completed in June 2011 and the first South Carolina-produced airframe rolled out on April 27, 2012. The first delivery of a 787 produced in North Charleston, a -8 to Air India, was announced by the company on Oct. 5, 2012. Although Boeing has maintained production lines for the airframe in both Washington and South Carolina since the latter facility opened, the company announced on Oct. 1, 2020, that it would “consolidate” all 787 production in North Charleston beginning in “mid-2021.” The 787-8’s flight-test program involved the largest number of flight-test airframes, with a total of six—designated ZA001-ZA006—used to perform the testing required for certification. Of those six flight-test airframes, four were equipped with Trent 1000 engines (ZA001-ZA004) and two (ZA005 and ZA006) were powered by GEnx-1B engines. The second -8 test airframe, which was designated ZA002 and registered as N787EX, made its first flight on Dec. 22, 2009, while the fourth 787 built—ZA004, registered as N7874—became the third of the type to fly when it made its first flight on Feb. 24, 2010. Several years later, in 2014, ZA004 was used as part of Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program that evaluates “new technologies [that are] aimed at improving aviation’s environmental performance.” The fourth 787 to fly, designated ZA003 and registered as N787BX, made its first flight on March 14, 2010; while ZA005—registered as N787FT—the first GEnx-1B-powered 787, made its first flight on June 16, 2010. According to Boeing’s press release announcing the first flight of ZA005, the airframe was to “be used to test the [GE] engine package and demonstrate that the changes made with the new engine do not change the airplane’s handling characteristics.” The final flight-test airframe—ZA006, registered as N787ZA— made its first flight from Paine Field on Oct. 4, 2010, and represented the second GEnx-1B-powered test airframe. In comparison to the number of airframes used in the -8’s flight-test program, the -9 required five airframes to perform its 1,500-hr. flight-test program: three designated flight-test airframes and two production airframes. Those latter airframes—the fourth and sixth -9s produced—were eventually delivered to ANA and Air New Zealand, respectively. In addition to the flight-test airframe that performed the -9’s first flight—ZB001—the second and third test airframes were designated ZB002 and ZB021, with ZB002 being Trent 1000-powered and registered as N789FT. The 787-10’s flight-test program involved three airframes, the Trent 1000-powered ZC001 and ZC002, as well as the GEnx-1B-powered ZC036, the latter two of which were registered as N565ZC and N548ZC, respectively. Channel Commercial Aviation Market Indicator Code Commercial Category Commerical – Widebody Image B787-9 G-VCRU (Mike Hopwood) Article page size 10 Profile page size 10 Program Profile ID 639

  • Boeing KC-46
    by user+1@localhost.localdomain on January 11, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    Boeing KC-46 user+1@localho… Tue, 01/11/2022 – 22:17 The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus is a U.S. air-refueling tanker based on the commercial Boeing 767 airliner. The aircraft will replace the KC-10 and partially replace the KC-135 in U.S. service. A total of 179 aircraft are on order for a total program cost of at least $44 billion with $34.9 billion in procurement and $6 billion in research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) funds. As of the time of this writing, the KC-46 has two foreign military sales (FMS) customers: Japan and Israel. As of the time of this writing, 52 KC-46As have been delivered to the U.S. Air Force and a single example has been delivered to Japan.  Program History The KC-46’s genesis began from a 2001 U.S. Air Force (USAF) effort to lease 100 tankers to replace the service’s oldest KC-135s. Northrop Grumman partnered with EADS (Airbus) to offer the KC-30 based upon the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) while Boeing offered a modified KC-767. The USAF awarded Boeing a $20 billion contract in 2003 but the program was suspended in December over allegations of misconduct on behalf of a senior USAF official charged with overseeing the program. The contract was ultimately canceled in 2005 and the USAF proceeded to completely restructure its tanker recapitalization strategy. The Air Force published a “tanker roadmap” in 2006 that called for a three-step replacement for a then-combined fleet of over 500 Boeing KC-135 and KC-10 tankers. A “KC-X” contract award for the first 179 aircraft would be succeeded by a follow-on “KC-Y” contract 15-20 years later. Finally, a “KC-Z,” representing a purpose-built refueling system, would come last. In April 2006, the USAF completed an analysis of alternatives validating the plan. The initial request for proposals was released in January 2007. Northrop Grumman paired with EADS to again offer an MRTT derivative (KC-45) while Boeing again offered a KC-767 derivative (KC-46). Airbus planned to open an MRTT modification and assembly line in Alabama as part of its proposal. The USAF selected Northrop’s KC-45 in February 2008 but Boeing protested the award to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that March. The GAO sustained Boeing’s protest in June 2008 stating, “The Air Force, in making the award decision, did not assess the relative merits of the proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria identified in the solicitation, which provided for a relative order of importance for the various technical requirements”. Source Selection Evaluation Team (SSET) ratings for each respective bid and Integrated Fleet Aerial Refueling Assessment values. Credit: GAO Following the GAO ruling, the DoD suspended the KC-X competition and effectively deferred the issue to the Obama Administration. In September 2009, both the USAF and the DoD announced the third tanker recapitalization effort would feature greatly refined selection criteria and a rigorous contracting strategy. Critically, the Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase would feature fixed price inventive fee contract with a ceiling value. Lots 1 to 5 production would utilize firm fixed-price contracts with the final 111 aircraft using a not-to-exceed value contract structure. In December 2009, Northrop CEO Wes Bush announced the company would not participate in the relaunched tender citing financial burdens and the current RFP favored Boeing. Airbus ultimately opted to compete without a U.S. prime. The final RFP was released in February 2010 and the program entered source selection on July 9, 2010. The Milestone B Defense Acquisition Board was held on Feb. 23, 2011 and Boeing’s victory was announced the following day. The EMD contract was valued at $4.4 billion with a cap of $4.9 billion, after which Boeing would be responsible for any overages. Boeing reported in its 2020 Q4 earnings that it has paid more than $5 billion in KC-46A related overcharges (see upgrades section for additional details on deficiencies):    2014: $425 2015: $835 2016: $1,128 2017: $445 2018: $736 2019: $148 2020: $1,320 Total: $5,037 Boeing completed the preliminary design review (PDR) in April 2012 and concluded the KC-46 critical design review (CDR) in July 2013. First flight of the 767-2C, an aircraft labeled EMD-1 or VH-001, occurred on Dec. 28, 2014. The first pair of EMD articles (EMD-1 & EMD-2) were built to the 767-2C configuration and were later converted to the KC-46A Pegasus standard. The fourth and final EMD airframe took first flight in April 2016. These aircraft were initially delivered without aerial refueling equipment. Features Credit: Boeing The KC-46A’s primary role is air-refueling with a secondary role of transport and aeromedical evacuation. Compared to the KC-135, the new aircraft can deliver more fuel at all ranges; operate from shorter runways; and carry three times as many cargo pallets, twice the number of passengers and over 30% more aeromedical evacuation patients. The KC-46A is based on the Boeing 767-2C, a derivative of the 767-200ER commercial jet. Retaining the 767-200ER fuselage, the -2C includes a strengthened main deck cargo floor, a cargo door, several freighter features, strengthened 767-300ER wings, 767-400ER horizontal stabilizers, 787-based cockpit displays, auxiliary body tanks for increased fuel capacity and provisioning for the plumbing and extra 50 mi. of wiring required for the refueling mission systems. The aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4062 turbofans producing 62,000 lb. of thrust each and has a maximum takeoff weight of 415,000 lb. The tanker’s refueling equipment will allow it to offload fuel to any fixed-wing aircraft via both boom and probe-and-drogue methods. At its rear centerline, the aircraft carries an advanced version of the KC-10’s refueling boom that can offload fuel at 1,200 gallons per minute (GPM). A Center-line Drogue System (CDS) is also installed, which can offload fuel at 400 GPM. In addition, the aircraft is provisioned to carry Wingtip Air Refueling Pods (WARPs), which can also offload fuel at 400 GPM to probe-equipped aircraft. Through this Multi-Point Refueling System, the KC-46 can refuel two aircraft simultaneously from its two WARPs. The KC-46 can carry a total of 212,299 lb. of fuel, of which 207,672 lb. can be offloaded through any of these transfer systems. The boom, CDS and WARPs are controlled by an Air Refueling Operator System (AROS), located behind the cockpit, rather than at the rear of the aircraft as in earlier tanker designs. The AROS is equipped with two side-by-side control stations, one for an operator and one for an instructor, with independent stick controls. The Remote Vision System (RVS) consists of a 24-in. main display connected to the boom camera and three 15-in. displays above the main display, which together provide a 185-deg. panoramic view. Located above the refueling system is a cargo deck that can be configured to handle mixed loads of cargo, passengers and patients. The deck can accommodate up to 18 463-L cargo pallets, 58 passengers (or 114 in “contingency” situations) or 58 aeromedical patients (24 litter and 34 ambulatory). The cargo handling system contains seat tracks that accommodates multiple combinations of pallets, passenger seats and patient support pallets. These configurations do not affect the 15 seats for permanent aircrew, including the aerial refueling operator and aerial refueling instructor. Designed to operate safely in medium-threat environments, the KC-46 hosts a series of self-protection mechanisms. An ALR-69A radar warning receiver alerts the pilots when hostile radars illuminate the aircraft. The AAQ-24 Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) system combines a two-color IR missile warning system with a directed IR countermeasures set that blinds incoming IR-guided missiles with lasers. A Tactical Situational Awareness System compiles threat information from onboard sensors and friendly aircraft and, when a threat is detected, automatically alerts the crew and suggests a new route. In addition, the cockpit is armored, the fuel tanks have ballistic protection and the entire aircraft is hardened against electromagnetic pulses. Upgrades Deficiency Corrections The KC-46 program has been marred by a series of deficiencies which has resulted in delays to production and acceptance of aircraft as well as more than $5 billion in incurred losses for Boeing. The Air Force was originally scheduled to take delivery of its first aircraft in August 2017, but the service would not accept its first aircraft until January 2019 – insisting changes were required prior to delivery. Boeing had 34 KC-46A’s at its Everett facility at varying stages of completion during this period. Under the terms of the contract, the USAF withholds 20% of the payment price for each aircraft until Boeing remedies each Category One issue during EMD. The government classifies Category One deficiencies as “those that may cause death, severe injury, or severe occupational illness; may cause loss or major damage to a weapon system; critically restrict the combat readiness capabilities of the using organization; or result in a production line stoppage”. Throughout testing, the USAF has identified the following Category One issues:   Refueling boom extending without command (2017) Refueling boom scraping the receiving aircraft (2017) Radio antennas generating electrical sparks when transmitting (2017) Stiff refueling boom (2018) Cargo locking system (2019) Leaks with the fuel system (2020) Drain tubes with refueling receptacle (to remove water) can crack in low temperature environments (2021) Flight Management System produces “navigation anomalies” (2021)   As of June 2021, the stiff refueling boom and RVS constitute the most significant challenges to the program.  Stiff Refueling Boom According to a May 2021 Defense Department’s Inspector General (IG) report, Boeing changed the off-the-shelf design of the original refueling boom a year after the KC-46 contract award, but the U.S. Air Force’s acquisition office never updated system’s assessed technology risk level. The 48-page report sheds new light on the causes of a deeply flawed refueling boom that now must be redesigned for $100 million and replaced on all KC-46s that will be delivered through 2023. “Because the refueling boom was too stiff, it caused pilots of receiver aircraft to inadvertently use excess engine power or not use enough engine power, which, upon disconnecting from the refueling boom, could cause the receiver aircraft to rapidly accelerate toward or away from the tanker,” according to the IG report. As a result, the Air Force has banned the KC-46 from refueling the A-10 and certain versions of the C-130. Operating restrictions are also imposed on refueling operation for most other types, including the B-52, C-17, F-15, F-16, F-35A, HC/MC-130J, KC-10, KC-46A, and KC-135. But Boeing’s refueling boom was expected to be one of the lowest-risk items of a seemingly mature platform at contract award. During the KC-X competition, Boeing touted that the KC-46 would use the same refueling boom as the KC-10. Upon contract award in February 2011, the Air Force agreed with Boeing’s description. A mandatory Technology Readiness Assessment identified the refueling boom for the KC-46 as a mature technology, a categorization that exempts the system from more rigorous testing protocols. A year later, however, Boeing presented refueling boom design changes at the preliminary design review, according to the IG report. The new design included a computer control system. “In contrast, the mature technology of the KC-10 refueling boom—which the KC-46A tanker refueling boom was proposed to be based upon—did not include a computer control system,” the IG report said. But the Air Force never updated the Technology Readiness Assessment for the new boom design with a computer control system. In early 2016, Air Force pilots started noticing problems with the refueling boom. “The boom was too stiff and would not extend or retract during flight testing unless subjected to more force than the system performance specification required,” the IG report said. Boeing tried to resolve the problem with software updates, but it wasn’t enough. The company then added hardware and software updates to fix it. Those changes helped, but the axial loads remained too high for refueling certain aircraft, including the A-10, C-17 and F-16. The Air Force issued a Category 1 Deficiency Report about the refueling boom in 2018. A year later, the Air Force agreed to pay Boeing to redesign the boom and modify the existing aircraft after the new design becomes available in 2024.   Remote Vision System Credit: Air Mobility Command The most enduring problem with the KC-46A has been the RVS. The problem with the RVS is what the Air Force calls a “rubber sheet” effect that distorts the image on the visual display used by the boom operator during refueling operations. The black and white image only images displayed on the baseline RVS 1.0 is are also equivalent to 20/50 visual acuity. These issues make it harder for the boom operator to judge depth perception and distance from the receiving aircraft. In March 2020, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Goldfein testified that while the KC-46 would be used in a high-end contingency – the service will not use them in day-to-day operations until the RVS was fixed. In April 2020, Boeing and the U.S. government have finalized an agreement on a previously undisclosed hardware and software redesign of the KC-46’s RVS. Boeing and the Air Force inked two separate memorandums of agreement – the first on the redesigned vision system, which the service is dubbing RVS 2.0, and the second on releasing $882 million in withheld funds, which was withheld because of the contractor’s performance. Every single facet of the RVS will be altered. The new system will be outfitted with modern, 4K high-definition cameras, with a fiber-optic cable running imagery from the cameras to larger, 4K color displays for the operator, Roper says. “Right now, the cameras are slanted, which creates that warping…We’ll remove that, which will make the image that the operator sees the same as the reality outside of the tanker, so no more warping or rubber sheeting,” he says. Additionally, the new system will incorporate a Lidar laser ranging sensor where the camera box resides. This will paint the receiving aircraft as it approaches the tanker and its boom, providing precision range information to the operator. In January 2022, Aviation Week reported the Preliminary Design Review for RVS 2.0 has been delayed. Testing began in May 2021 and was expected to conclude by the Fall of that year. As of the time of this writing, the Air Force will recommend keeping the PDR open until a fix is fielded to the panoramic display system. The full system is scheduled to field in 2023. Airborne Battle Management System The U.S. Air Force has restructured the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) program as part of its FY22 budget in a manner that will allow the service to communicate more clearly on Capitol Hill and to deliver new capability regularly – including applications for the KC-46. The Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) is serving as the integrated program executive officer and selected the KC-46 pod as Capability Release 1. The wing-mounted pod would allow the F-35 and F-22 to pass sensor data back to distant command and control centers, according to Air Force Materiel Command Chief Gen. Arnold Bunch. The RCO is working with specific programs and to release new ABMS increments in a “regular battle rhythm,” Bunch says. Under the Trump administration, ABMS was one of the service’s top priorities but the fiscal 2022 budget request revealed the Air Force was looking to par down the effort. The service’s fiscal 2022 budget justification documents acknowledge the $204 million better reflects the Air Force’s objectives. The previous year’s budget proposal projected the Air Force would request $449 million for ABMS in fiscal 2022. Congress has been skeptical of the ABMS program and reduced the effort’s budget from $302 million to $158 million in fiscal 2021. The bulk of ABMS funding in fiscal 2022, $147 million, is dedicated to Capability Release 1, while $57 million is for a new digital infrastructure that features secure processing, connectivity and data management. Production & Delivery History United States As of January 2022, Boeing had delivered 52 KC-46As to the USAF (not including the four company operated aircraft). The FY22 budget allocates $2.38 billion for 14 KC-46As, spares and related support. Since the approval of low rate initial production in in August 2016, a total of 94 aircraft have been placed on contract according to the May budget release. The full program of record of 179 aircraft is expected to be procured through 13 production lots through 2027 – with the last aircraft delivering two years later in 2029. The service plans to induct approximately 15 each year throughout the 2020s. Bridge Tanker KC-Y The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center issued a sources sought announcement in June 2021 to determine the number of qualified companies that can provide a non-developmental product. “The Air Force is seeking companies that have the capability to deliver approximately 140-160 Commercial Derivative Tanker Aircraft – at a rate of 12 to 15 per year,” the sources sought notice reads. The Air Force is finalizing KC-Y requirements but notes in the sources sought notice that neither stealth nor unmanned capabilities are planned. The service intends to release a final solicitation for KC-Y by the end of 2022 and requires the aircraft to be operational by 2029. The service intends for the KC-Y to bridge gap to the next Advance Air Refueling (AAR) Tanker recapitalization phase, formerly known as KC-Z. Despite the passage of 15 years, the contenders for KC-Y remain exactly the same. Boeing plans to offer the KC-46. Airbus expects to propose the A330 MRTT, with Lockheed serving as the US-based prime contractor. Over a decade ago, a Republican coalition formed in support of the Alabama-based KC-45 bid. Democrats, meanwhile, generally supported Boeing’s Washington-based KC-46 bid. In 2021, the partisan divide over the Air Force’s tanker acquisition programs has revived on the House Armed Services Committee. During a June 2021 hearing, three Republican members pressed Air Force leaders to re-open the competition to build the last 77 aircraft of the KC-X program, citing Boeing’s seven-year delay for delivering a fully operational KC-46. “Why are we not bringing this up for a bid?” asked Rep. Jerry Carl, the Republican representative of a district that includes Mobile, Alabama, the home of an Airbus narrowbody aircraft manufacturing center. Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican who represents a Virginia district that borders the site of the Airbus Americas headquarters, agreed, saying: “I think the [current] program is irreparable and the underlying cause is a bad contract.” A Democrat, however, challenged the Republicans’ arguments during the hearing. Rep. Donald Norcross, who represents a New Jersey district that lies directly across the Delaware River from a Boeing helicopter plant, said the Republicans are holding the KC-46 to a higher standard than any other weapon system. Meanwhile, the Air Force’s refueling needs are growing. In 2019, the Air Force assessed that its existing tanker fleet could support only half of the training sorties scheduled by the service’s major commands. That demand could draw scrutiny over the different sizes of the candidates. In 2011, Airbus offered the A330 MRTT with 20% more fuel capacity than the KC-767. Despite the MRTT’s larger fuel capacity, interoperability with major U.S. allies and industrial benefits, introducing a new type into the inventory would entail a host of training, manning and logistics support costs the service would likely be keen to avoid.  Japan The Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) ordered four KC-767 tankers from Boeing which were delivered between 2008 and 2010. In October 2015, Japan became the first foreign military sale (FMS) customer of the KC-46 program.  In Sept. 2016, the DSCA issued a notification regarding the potential sale of six KC-46As as well as associated equipment and support services for an estimated $1.9 billion.  In September 2019, Boeing began manufacturing of the JASDF’s first KC-46.  The fleet is expected to be based at Miho Air Base in Tottori Prefecture and will supplement the JASDF’s existing KC-767s. In June 2021, the Air Force announced it had recently begun training JASDF KC-46 pilots at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. A total of six pilots and six boom operators will participate in the first three month course. The JADSF took delivery of its first aircraft in January 2022.  Israel The US State Department approved a pending sale of eight Boeing KC-46 tankers to Israel on March 3, 2020. The export package includes eight KC-46s and 17 Pratt & Whitney PW4062 engines, which includes a spare propulsion system. Raytheon also would supply 18 GPS receivers, with an anti-jam and spoofing capability. The entire package, including logistics and training support, is worth $2.4 billion. In February 2021, Israel signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA) for its first pair of KC-46s. Jerusalem signed an LoA covering an additional pair of aircraft on Dec. 30, 2021. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2025.      Channel Defense Market Indicator Code Military Category Air-Refueling Tankers Image KC-46A Profile Article page size 10 Profile page size 10 Program Profile ID 1104

Greenwood Aerospace News

Fire Danger

Fire Danger