GeorgeWelch wrote:There is nothing particularly fancy about the C-17, it is truly nuts and bolts. In other words, there's nothing India couldn't either source elsewhere or make themselves if they had to.
Except that the C17 is the most software intensive cargo aircraft ever
But you would already have the software, so what exactly would be embargoed?
Brando wrote:and its Pratt and Whitney engines are not going to be as easily sourced should they need to be replaced or retooled.
It's basically the same engine that powers the 757 so parts have to be made available for the civilian market and thus cannot be embargoed.
Brando wrote:What does the wing's position have to do with cargo compartment in the fuselage ?
In what you would consider a 'traditional' low wing design like any modern airliner, the wing box actually splits the fuselage into 2 compartments. Basically you sit on top of the wing and the luggage goes UNDER the wing. In a high wing design like the C-17 or Il-76, the wing sits entirely above the fuselage thus leaving it as a single usable space.
Brando wrote:If the engines were say to be placed above the wing or around the fuselage, there is no reason, the wings couldn't be brought down lower to exploit greater lift.
Even if a low-wing design didn't impinge on the cargo hold (and it does), mounting the engines above the wing is a bad idea because it increases maintenance costs as it makes the engines harder to get to and requires more specialized equipment to get them on and off the wing.
Brando wrote:Well that is exactly the center of contention! The fact that it really isnt a "better" military transport for its price.
Then why did you compare it to a commercial 747? Saying it's bad because it's not as efficient as a 747 is nonsensical.
Brando wrote:It is possible to transport a tank on a 747 "Massive beams" not withstanding.
So the floor of the C-17 is just for show? It has no purpose?
Transporting a tank on a 747 may be possible, but it would require extensive engineering to create a pallet or support structure that would evenly distribute the load.
It certainly wouldn't be a 'drive-on' experience like with the C-17.
And even then it couldn't land on a dirt strip.
Are you seriously arguing that the 747 is a better military transport?
Brando wrote:Some of the performance problems the C17 had during its development show that it is not nearly as versatile on short unprepared airfields as it alludes to.
Whatever 'problems' it has, it does routinely operate from dirt runways in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Brando wrote:meaning that not ALL short unprepared airfields can handle a fully loaded C17 vs say a C130.
Um, no kidding. The C-130 is a significantly smaller plane, of course it would be able to land at even more runways. However you were comparing it to the 747, and yes, the C-17 can land at significantly more runways than a 747.
Brando wrote: GeorgeWelch wrote:
The original plan was for only 120 C-17s. But they liked it so much, they kept ordering more.
Apparently Boeing has a very proficient and capable marketing team that they can sell a distorted history!
In April 1990, Defense Secretary Cheney reduced the projected buy from 210 to 120 planes...............A January 1995 GAO report revealed that while the original C-17 budget was US$41.8 billion for 210 aircraft, the 120 aircraft already ordered at that point had already cost US$39.5 billion.
If you note, that was before the first C-17 even flew. When the time came to actually purchase the plane, the plan was for 120.
However, even if you want to go for 210, current orders now exceed even that and have no end in sight. So your argument that it is too expensive for even the richest airforce doesn't hold water.
GeorgeWelch wrote: Now they feel they have met and more than met their current and future transport requirements and would like to use the money in other places
Well thats an awfully polite way of saying "Thanks but no thanks!" considering that they've been slowly purchasing C17's a dozen or so each time for the AF "reserve" and various national Guard units.
If they get more of them, they'll find a use for them, but more C-17s is certainly NOT a priority for the USAF.
Brando wrote:I imagine they'd like to use their money in other places say, to upgrade the C-5A's for example- an aircraft can carries twice as much just as far and costs much less!
Yes, one of the ways Congress critters are trying to justify the unjustifiable (more C-17s) is to kill the C-5M program. Eliminate the C-5M and suddenly there is a whole lot more cargo capacity that is needed and thus more C-17s.
However, it isn't quite so black and white. The C-5, even after the C-5M upgrade, is a horribly unreliable beast. It is not uncommon for aircraft to be on the ground for MONTHS at a time.
If you send a C-5 to do a job, you never know when it will get there or when it will get back plus you'll likely need a spare to carry a critical part out to some forsaken outpost where it broke down.
This makes trying to deliver time-critical supplies a logistical nightmare.
In the meantime the C-17 quietly GETS THE JOB DONE.
There is a lot to be said for simply working.