Monday, March 24, 2008

Northrop Grumman Disputes Boeing's V-22 Claim

Did Boeing Mislead Hugh Hewitt? Say it Ain't So!
My lunchtime reading lead me to this article where Northrop Grumman disputes Boeing's claim that the KC-45 won't be able to refuel the V-22:
In the protest, Boeing said the Northrop tanker had "significant shortcomings" including the inability to refuel aircraft like the V-22 Osprey. The Osprey takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. Northrop director of business development Marc Lindsley said that claim was false.

"The Northrop KC-45 can refuel the V-22," he told Reuters.

The ability to refuel the V-22 was not a mandatory requirement in the bidding competition, according to industry sources.

Both the Northrop KC-30 tanker and Boeing's 767 tanker include a center refueling boom, hose and drogue refueling equipment on the wingpods, and a center-line hose and drogue.

A drogue is a system that allows the tanker to pass fuel into the receiving aircraft using a retractable hose. It differs from the boom system, which has a long pipe that hangs under the plane and mates up with the receiving aircraft.

But neither company has flight tested the center line hose and drogue that would be used to refuel the V-22s, which the Marine Corps is now using in Iraq, according to industry sources.
And with that last sentence in the quote, this article became the closest thing to 'the whole truth' published to-date in the mainstream media about either KC-X competitor's ability to refuel the V-22.

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