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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:53 am 
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Duggy009 wrote:
The C-5A has been in operation for over 44 years and has over 22,500 flight hours and more than 5,470 full-stop landings.


C-17 is good to 42,750 flight hours.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:09 am 
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the attractive white over gray (

The plan for Travis is also to repaint the C-5 in white over grey.
It is going to take a couple of years to repaint the aircraft and construct a hard pad for it. The site chosen is across the street from the current C-141 that is on display.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:33 pm 
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p51 wrote:
JohnB wrote:
With all due respects for the venerable Lockheed, from personal experience, I know they had their fair share of maintenance issues (seemingly having to-do with the gear).

Yep, I sat in the upstairs PAX seating on one at McChord, waiting to taxi when the nose gear collapsed. Made for a very short trip.


Flew out of Clark AFB, Philippines on a Galaxy to Diego Garcia to catch the USS Ranger floating in the Persian Gulf, Air Force had great box lunches compared to the NAVY. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:52 pm 
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geek AAAAH ! What's next ? A Super " GUPPY " C-5 ?!! :shock: :lol: pop2

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:56 pm 
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I remember in the early 80's test jumping the C-5. They had the aircraft, aft of the door, covered in a chalklike substance. When you landed, you were to check yourself for any of that material on you. Interesting jump.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:51 pm 
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As a kid around 9 years old, I lived a ways north of Dobbins/Lockheed. I got to see C-5's fly over the house pretty often. It was easy to tell when one was coming over due to that distinctive sound!! My father worked as an engineer at Lockheed from about 1964-1971 or so.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:43 pm 
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I wish they would start a new production run of B-52s and C-5s'. Just think of all the jobs it would give to people, and the airframes are tried and true, and it would probably save the tax payer money. I am all for having the most state of the art aircraft. But we still need a compliment of conventional aircraft.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:42 am 
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I'm pretty sure the B-52 tooling no longer exists...I could be wrong, if I am, let us know.

IIRC, beginning in the 70s-80s, Congress mandated that contractors retain production tooling for military types (they got tired of hearing from contractors that producing parts would be expensive or they didn't have the ability to make a new batch of aircraft, like the C-5B or TR-1). I've read that's why the Skyraider wasn't put back into production during Vietnam.

On a working visit sit to D-M, I was shown some. Also, I believe some of the tooling was occasionally sent to the AFMC depot responsible for the overhaul and logistical support for the type so they could build or repair sections such as wings or control surfaces.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:38 am 
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JohnB wrote:
I'm pretty sure the B-52 tooling no longer exists...I could be wrong, if I am, let us know.

IIRC, beginning in the 70s-80s, Congress mandated that contractors retain production tooling for military types (they got tired of hearing from contractors that producing parts would be expensive or they didn't have the ability to make a new batch of aircraft, like the C-5B or TR-1). I've read that's why the Skyraider wasn't put back into production during Vietnam.

On a working visit sit to D-M, I was shown some. Also, I believe some of the tooling was occasionally sent to the AFMC depot responsible for the overhaul and logistical support for the type so they could build or repair sections such as wings or control surfaces.


Congress mandates but does not fund. The C-17 just went out of production and some tooling was retained, but not the entire wish list. Tooling also wears out and requires replacement or refurbishment. I'm sure there is plenty of B-52 tooling out there, but almost none of it is original '50s and '60s Boeing tooling.

The big problem is finding a supplier willing to build 1-5 spare parts. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is generally out of the picture building new planes, so they won't be interested (Diminished Manufacturing Sources, or DMS). Now you have to find another supplier with no expertise in building that exact part. Their processes will not be the same as the OEM and in many instances the processes used are proprietary to the OEM. You also have obsolescences where sub-tier suppliers no longer make the IC chips used in circuit cards or the sensing elements needed for oxygen flow sensors. Now the new supplier has to design the part and do all the qualification testing to prove the part is suitable for long-term aviation use. All this for the 5 parts that will be needed over the next one or two years. You can't amortize the start-up cost over 100 parts because all the seals would dry up sitting on the shelf for the next 40 years. Thus you have the $150K bleed air valve or $300K hydraulic pump. Then you may only get 5 or 10 parts out of your supplier because 3 years later they go out of business or merge with another company that doesn't want to make those products any longer.

Avionics obsolescence is a huge problem as well.

BTW, a USAF Depot is probably the most expensive place you could find to manufacture spare parts.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:51 am 
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Nathan wrote:
I wish they would start a new production run of B-52s and C-5s'. Just think of all the jobs it would give to people, and the airframes are tried and true, and it would probably save the tax payer money. I am all for having the most state of the art aircraft. But we still need a compliment of conventional aircraft.


You'd need 2-3 times as many on station due to their unreliability and their operating costs, including fuel consumption and maintenance, are astronomical. You are also dismissing the massive safety improvements available from modern aircraft design. B-52s were designed in the era of the DeHavilland Comet and Lockheed Electra. Modern aircraft also require a lot less labor to build, but if you want a jobs program why not build twice as many of a safer and better-performing aircraft?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:32 am 
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Bdk, you're certainly correct about the cost and pricing of spare parts.
My response was very general in nature and wasn't intended to address the larger parts issue. You're correct about depot prices, but sometimes that were the only places were a part could be fabricated. I won't begin to address the other issues with depots...aging facilities, unions (and the various abuses they seemingly encouraged/protected) and "pork barrel" politics among them.

Simply put, people...politicians, journalists and the general public...just don't think about or know enough about the topic.
Even here where you'd expect some level of technical understanding, we see "experts" rant and perpetuate long disproved tales of waste and malfeasance. Yes, someone might have been a wrench turner while on active duty, but that doesn't mean they know the complete story.
Hence you see mention here of $600 coffee posts and toilet seats.

I spent years at AFMC HQ sitting in on discussions like this...tooling issues, parts supply, small quantities, out of date systems, long gone contractors who made a small but important part...as I said, even the most ardent "enthusiast" here has little appreciation of the issue.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:37 pm 
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I'm in full agreement with you! These issues are far more complex than the media communicates.

JohnB wrote:
Bdk, you're certainly correct about the cost and pricing of spare parts.
My response was very general in nature and wasn't intended to address the larger parts issue. You're correct about depot prices, but sometimes that were the only places were a part could be fabricated. I won't begin to address the other issues with depots...aging facilities, unions (and the various abuses they seemingly encouraged/protected) and "pork barrel" politics among them.

Simply put, people...politicians, journalists and the general public...just don't think about or know enough about the topic.
Even here where you'd expect some level of technical understanding, we see "experts" rant and perpetuate long disproved tales of waste and malfeasance. Yes, someone might have been a wrench turner while on active duty, but that doesn't mean they know the complete story.
Hence you see mention here of $600 coffee posts and toilet seats.

I spent years at AFMC HQ sitting in on discussions like this...tooling issues, parts supply, small quantities, out of date systems, long gone contractors who made a small but important part...as I said, even the most ardent "enthusiast" here has little appreciation of the issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:31 pm 
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Thanks for taking the time, guys - it's how we "enthusiasts" learn! 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:00 pm 
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A story related to the parts problem. 20 years ago or so the wife got a call from a customer who was rather frantic about needing some parts made to get an airplane into the air. She told the customer she would see if she had any of the exotic material on hand as it would be nearly impossible to order any for a quick delivery. The wife found some on the shelf that had been properly protected and she had all the documentation/certs for it. She told the customer to have a driver there in 3 hours to pick up the parts. She asked the customer what kind of plane and the customer said she needed to go and wouldn't tell her.
After the parts were done and the driver picked them up the wife received a fax that simply said SR-71 Edwards. The wife never knew that those parts they made for years were for the Blackbird. At that point in time all the planes had been retired and dispersed to museums except for the 2 NASA had at Edwards AFB and they must of had a hot mission to be flown.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:18 am 
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Regarding upgrading "A"s to "M"s, I saw a post on airliners.net a while back about C-5s that the contract was only for the upgrade itself, it did not include funds to address other maintenance issues that have plagued the planes for years. The Air Force really missed the boat on not doing this. The C-5 is a considered a national defense asset.

The bill will be higher if you add other things to fix when up on jacks, but the bill will be a lot higher when you come back later and just have to address those issues. I do this with my vehicles when they are in the garage, within reason.


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