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Higgsr71


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#1097 2007-10-17 08:18 GMT-5 hours    
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http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/10/16/218272/boeing-offers-c-17b-to-us-army.html

Boeing is seeking US Army support for a new version of its short take-off and landing (STOL) C-17 airlifter, a month after the concept was publicly rebuffed by a senior US Air Force official.

The C-17B adds a centreline landing gear, more powerful engines and redesigned flaps that increase lift for short take-offs - similar in concept to the 1970s-era McDonnell Douglas YC-14 prototype.

Boeing is pitching the idea as a near-term and low-risk solution to transporting US Army Future Combat System (FCS) units to remote landing sites, perhaps lacking prepared runways.

With a $2.5 billion price tag for development, Boeing argues the C-17B is cheaper than either the army's planned vertical take-off and landing Joint Heavy Lift rotorcraft, or the air force's Advanced Joint Combat Air System concept for a short take-off and landing airlifter.

Fresh orders would also protect Boeing's endangered Long Beach, California C-17 production line for several years, with the company warning that it will begin shutting down during 2008 without a new contract.


But USAF officials have not been swayed by Boeing's case to launch the C-17B. "Right now, I don't really see it fitting in," Gen Arthur Lichte, commander of Air Mobility Command, said in September. The company says army support for the concept could add pressure on the USAF to give the go-ahead.

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John

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What don't kill you make you more strong"

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#1098 2007-10-17 11:32 GMT-5 hours    
Well, I guess anything to keep the production line open...

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#1115 2007-10-18 12:31 GMT-5 hours    
If the Army decides to go for the C-17B, why does the USAF have to give the go ahead?

-Ray

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#1116 2007-10-18 15:36 GMT-5 hours    
I would guess it's to do with who'd operate it... I personally can't see there being any C-17s with U.S. ARMY stenciled down the forward fuselage - thus the Army would need to convince the USAF that they need the C-17B to carry whatever it is the Army want them to carry to wherever they want them to carry it to (which a C-17A can no doubt do a good job of anyway).

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#1118 2007-10-18 18:33 GMT-5 hours    
It is against the US Army's charter to operate fixed-wing aircraft over a certain size/weight. That is why they do not have C-130's or even A-10's, two types they would love to operate. The US Army had more aircraft in it's inventory than the USAF did during my service, 92-96.

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#1120 2007-10-18 18:36 GMT-5 hours    
Yes, I forgot about the size restrictions.

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#1121 2007-10-18 20:05 GMT-5 hours    
USArmy has never had such a big aircraft in their inventory, so probably Airforce pilots have to fly it in the first years. Now the biggest fixed wing aircraft in use with the USArmy is probably the C-23 (C-29 no taken in consideratoin because this is a demo aircraft for the Golden Knights) and this can't be compared to a Globemaster.

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