KC-X: Lego tanker vs. … Acme tanker?

Click here to read The Woracle’s brilliant idea to nickname Boeing’s KC-767 the “Lego Tanker”.

It’s such a perfect nickname that I resolved to come up with something at least as good for the KC-30.

So here goes: if the KC-767 is the Lego Tanker then the KC-30 is the Acme Tanker.

Here’s why:

The KC-767 is actually a composite of structural pieces borrowed from four different versions of the commercial 767. Hence the Lego moniker. Of course, this can be viewed as either a strength or a weakness. Boeing either wants to or needs to be this flexible in order to meet the air force’s requirements.

The KC-30 airframe is a generic passenger-to-freighter conversion A330-200. Remove the two pods on the wings and the boom on the underbelly and it’s any other A330-200 found in commercial service worldwide. Again, this is either a strength or a weakness. Either Northrop Grumman and EADS believe they have the perfect aircraft for the job, or simply lack the flexibility to tailor the design to meet the air force’s requirement.

I’ll let you figure that out for yourselves, as long as you start calling it the Lego vs. Acme tanker race!

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