Archive | June, 2008

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Them’s fightin’ words … Aboulafia vs. McCain

Aboulafiavs.McCain From Aboulafia’s blog last week: “We know that McCain influenced the tanker selection processagainst Boeing with multiple letters to Deputy SecDef Gordon England andSecDef Robert Gates. We also know that McCain, for good and/or bad reasons,stopped the original Boeing tanker lease deal from going ahead. We know thatpeople in McCain’s office have also worked […]

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A400M roll-out

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Twittering Northrop Grumman’s teleconference on tanker

Check updates in the “Twitter Updates” space on the right for comments by Paul Meyer, Northrop Grumman’s VP for tanker programs.

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EB-52 standoff jammer … it’s baack!

It’s not everyday you see a $14.98 million contract announcement by the US Air Force that discreetly launches a $3 billion to $4 billion, long-term development program. Check Monday’s list of US Department of Defense contract announcements, and scroll to the bottom of the page. “The Boeing Co., of Wichita, Kan., is being awarded a […]

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Where the GE38 leads, others will follow

I learned in journalism school to always “follow the money”, but perhaps a better rule of thumb in the aerospace industry is to “follow the engines”. In more ways than one, engine technology is the propelling force of the aerospace industry. Airframers learned a long time ago never to launch a new aircraft unless at […]

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A lost decade

Quick: Name the last time that the US Air Force successfully signed a contract for an all-new aircraft, competitively-sourced, that wasn’t later canceled or indefinitely postponed due to legal challenges?Answer: October 26, 2001, or nearly seven years ago. That was the date when then-Secretary of the Air Force Jim Roche announced that Lockheed Martin won […]

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Should Boeing offer the KC-787?

Two of my favorite aviation writers — Guy Norris and Bill Sweetman — are highly dubious about the technical feasibility of adapting the 787, Boeing’s next-generation airliner, into a military tanker. Plugging refueling systems into an all-composite fuselage is no easy task, and may very well be impossible. It will certainly be expensive, and, with […]

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Pro-Boeing politicians speak out on tanker contract

Senator Pat Roberts, of Kansas:Representative Norm Dicks, of Washington:

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Twittering Wynne’s farewell

Today is Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne’s last day on the job. He is speaking to a small group of reporters at 8 am. I will be sending updates via Twitter, assuming I can get a cell phone signal inside Wynne’s conference room in the Pentagon. Watch the space on the right for […]

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Tanker protest analysis

For what it’s worth, here’s my take on the tanker protest situation. This article will appear in next week’s Flight International magazine. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruling thatcategorically rejects the US Air Force’s two-year process to award the KC-Xcontract sets up a repeat scenario with a changed political backdrop and vastlydifferent views about […]

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