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    Refuelling Tankers for RuAF

    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:00 am

    if they need 20 fire fighting planes then that is also what they need... so rather that buying 200 multirole planes they should still be buying 250 multirole planes...
    All dedicated water/retardant bombers around the world r converted surplus cargo/special mission planes that were still too valuable to scrap or no1 wanted to buy. That's why if extra such planes r needed, AFs have kits to convert their planes to aid in the firefighting effort.

    I have said above the Il-96 is actually more suitable for operating with strategic aircraft... it carrys more fuel and is faster.
    but unlike the IL-478, it can't land on rough airstrips- as u also mentioned, for the same reason the A-100 on the IL-476 airframe is better than AWACS on IL-96M airframe.
    They may need extra cargo capacity which will be useful with convertible IL-478s as well.
    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:09 pm

    George1, zardof, LMFS, Hole and TMA1 like this post

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sun Dec 20, 2020 2:53 am

    All dedicated water/retardant bombers around the world r converted surplus cargo/special mission planes that were still too valuable to scrap or no1 wanted to buy. That's why if extra such planes r needed, AFs have kits to convert their planes to aid in the firefighting effort.

    True, but if you are short of cargo planes then you are hardly going to be happy losing a few more to go away and fight fires when needed...

    What I am saying is that multirole aircraft should not be used as an excuse to buy less than you need in the hope that you wont need too many types at once... remember there is a distance issue too... there are problems if there are massive fires in Siberia but cargo operations that need to be performed in St Petersberg... you can fit the multirole planes to do what you need but they can't be on two sides of the country at once...

    Of course amphibious aircraft that can scoop water in flight are more valuable for fire fighting so the multirole use of cargo aircraft for the job will just be in terms of offering extra help when things get really bad. They might be able to carry water but might have to fly 10 times further because the airfield they operate that has the water supply to fill them up is 500km further away from the the fire than a nearby river or lake an amphibious aircraft can use to get water.

    but unlike the IL-478, it can't land on rough airstrips- as u also mentioned,

    That is very true, but refuelling strategic bombers they will generally operate from the same 5km long very smooth paved runways the bombers operate from... a top up to full capacity just after takeoff is normally what they do anyway... but the Il-96 could certainly fly 2,000km out with a few aircraft and then top them up there to extend their range and then fly back to base...

    for the same reason the A-100 on the IL-476 airframe is better than AWACS on IL-96M airframe.

    It certainly makes them much more flexible, but these days more and more high quality runways are being built in the Arctic and Far East which means the Il96M could be used too... it is a bigger lower drag faster aircraft with better flight range and endurance.

    Not so great at delivering cargo to smaller airstrips but for carrying a lot of fuel or carrying large radars and electronic equipment it would be better... which is why they are considering it for inflight refuelling. Have heard nothing about AWACS use though... suspect they are happy with A-100.

    They may need extra cargo capacity which will be useful with convertible IL-478s as well.

    Hopefully they can ramp up production and get more airframes in to service to fill the gaps created by the retiring Antonovs...
    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Sun Dec 20, 2020 6:51 am

    ..these days more and more high quality runways are being built in the Arctic and Far East which means the Il96M could be used too... it is a bigger lower drag faster aircraft with better flight range and endurance.

    Their old modernized & new tankers r good enough.
    They could modify a few IL-62s or B-747s as tankers, but I don't think better performance is worth the trouble. 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rossiya_Airlines#Fleet

    They can send  a few extra tankers to ensure all planes get as much fuel as needed for the mission. Bombers can be prepositioned in forward airfields in the Arctic and Far East for extra unrefueled range.
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    Post  GarryB Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:48 am

    They could modify a few IL-62s or B-747s as tankers , but I don't think better performance is worth the trouble.

    Dude... we are talking about tankers for Russias strategic nuclear cruise missile carrying aircraft... there is zero chance of using a Boeing of any kind that is just silly... and why dig up ancient Il-62s when they could complete some Il-96s and use them for a role they would actually be rather well suited to...

    They can send a few extra tankers to ensure all planes get as much fuel as needed for the mission. Bombers can be prepositioned in forward airfields in the Arctic and Far East for extra unrefueled range.

    Il-78s could take off with the bombers and use their lower max fuel carrying capacity to top the aircraft off as they take off... Il-96 could fly 2,500km north with the bombers and then refuel them after they have burned some fuel to extend their range by the maximum amount.

    If they only used the Il-78s the amount of fuel an Il-78 can offload at 2,500km is rather less than an Il-96 could manage, and by topping them off just after launch the cruise missile carrying aircraft can operate well beyond their MTOW with extra fuel from the Il-78s.
    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:28 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    They could modify a few IL-62s or B-747s as tankers , but I don't think better performance is worth the trouble.
    Dude... we are talking about tankers for Russias strategic nuclear cruise missile carrying aircraft... there is zero chance of using a Boeing of any kind that is just silly... - they used foreign transports, bombers & fighters in WWII; the B-29 was copied; Soviet titanium was used to build SR-71s; Russian rocket engines were used by NASA for years; their airline now uses B-747-400s that still have Ks of hours left- why not use some of them as tankers if they r better in that role?
    and why dig up ancient Il-62s when they could complete some Il-96s and use them for a role they would actually be rather well suited to...-it's clear they decided not to at this point, since this variant isn't a priority.
    If they only used the Il-78s the amount of fuel an Il-78 can offload at 2,500km is rather less than an Il-96 could manage, and by topping them off just after launch the cruise missile carrying aircraft can operate well beyond their MTOW with extra fuel from the Il-78s.
    the VMF ships & subs also have/will have 2.5/4.5K km range CMs (besides Zircons) that can hit any target on the Globe from their regular patrol/deployment areas- no need to build top of the line tankers for that, at least in the foreseeable future. 
    However, tankers r needed by cargo, AWACS & doomsday planes during long missions; still, IL-78s performed well during the Cold War & until this day. Modernized/new IL-78/478s have more fuel efficient engines & can stay in the air longer with more fuel to transfer than before.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:30 am

    the VMF ships & subs also have/will have 2.5/4.5K km range CMs (besides Zircons) that can hit any target on the Globe from their regular patrol/deployment areas- no need to build top of the line tankers for that, at least in the foreseeable future.

    VMF ships wont be carrying around nuclear armed land attack missiles for normal operations, and during times of extreme tension they are hardly going to take all the anti ship and anti sub missiles off them and replace them with nuclear armed land attack missiles and send them off to sail around the place.

    Most likely the ships will remain in Russian waters helping to defend Russian air space and ports from enemy naval attack.

    The Russian Navy has never been and likely will never be a major use of land based inflight refuelling aircraft.

    They might develop an inflight refuelling aircraft based on a carrier based AWACS platform but that will be used to extend fighter patrol time and to keep the AWACS platforms in the air longer too.

    It is very unlikely they would be used for strike missions.

    However, tankers r needed by cargo, AWACS & doomsday planes during long missions;

    Which of their cargo types have inflight refuelling probes to receive fuel in flight?

    The major current user and major future user of inflight refuelling will be the Strategic bombers which will get a fuel top up just after take off to extend their flight range...

    Supporting doomsday planes and AWACS would actually be better suited using Il-96 tankers.

    Supporting tactical aircraft operations larger numbers of smaller aircraft like an Il-276 or Tu-330 would be better suited.

    their airline now uses B-747-400s that still have Ks of hours left- why not use some of them as tankers if they r better in that role?

    The Russian Air Force has no Boeings in service and has no planes to add any to its fleet. If they need more inflight refuelling tankers they already have Il-78, Il-478, and plans for Il-96 tankers for testing...

    .-it's clear they decided not to at this point, since this variant isn't a priority.

    Interesting you think a 747 like Russian aircraft that is in low rate production is not suitable, while suggesting an American aircraft they don't have and are not going to add to their fleet as an alternative...
    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:51 am

    GarryB wrote:VMF ships wont be carrying around nuclear armed land attack missiles for normal operations, .. -we r in the CWII, & i bet they'll have some nukes on bard at all times when at sea.

    The Russian Navy has never been and likely will never be a major use of land based inflight refuelling aircraft. -some land based Tu-22/142s may be transferred back to the VMF, but even if not, anything can happen after they start ops far into the oceans & overseas. 
    Which of their cargo types have inflight refuelling probes to receive fuel in flight?-they'll regret not having them; the USAF C-5/130/141/17s have them & it's 1 of the things worth adopting.

    Supporting doomsday planes and AWACS would actually be better suited using Il-96 tankers.-their few good airstrips may be bombed, then what? IMO, some doomsday planes & all big AWACS better be based on big cargo airframes for extra room & fuel so they'll need less tanker support.
    If they need more inflight refuelling tankers they already have Il-78, Il-478, and plans for Il-96 tankers for testing...-I doubt those plans & planes will ever materialize in large #s, if ever. The USAF & others r switching to twin engine tankers that r more economical than 3-4 engine types. No matter how fuel efficient IL-96-400M r going to be, in the tanker role they'll not worth the investment. 
    Interesting you think a 747 like Russian aircraft that is in low rate production is not suitable, while suggesting an American aircraft they don't have and are not going to add to their fleet as an alternative...- I mentioned it for the sake of the argument. They could get them sooner & for a lot less from that airline then new IL-96s if there is such a pressing need for better tankers, at least as a stop gap. But, IMO it & the IL-96 is too heavy & is more suited to other roles; it'll never be direct counterpart to the KC-135.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Wed Dec 23, 2020 3:34 pm

    -we r in the CWII, & i bet they'll have some nukes on bard at all times when at sea.

    The ones that are from the cold war didn't have land attack cruise missiles to begin with...

    -some land based Tu-22/142s may be transferred back to the VMF, but even if not, anything can happen after they start ops far into the oceans & overseas.

    They certainly could but both types would be better suited as per their original roles and would not be very suitable as refuelling aircraft.

    -they'll regret not having them; the USAF C-5 /130 /141 /17 s have them & it's 1 of the things worth adopting.

    The imperial invasion fleet of the US did need them but then they also had a fleet of inflight refuelling aircraft to make probes worth while.

    -their few good airstrips may be bombed, then what? IMO, some doomsday planes & all big AWACS better be based on big cargo airframes for extra room & fuel so they'll need less tanker support.

    The problem there is that bigger planes designed to carry more fuel use more fuel to fly the same distance at slightly lower speed.

    The speed is not so important, but the extra fuel burn reduces the advantage of more fuel on board...

    .-I doubt those plans & planes will ever materialize in large #s, if ever. The USAF & others r switching to twin engine tankers that r more economical than 3-4 engine types. No matter how fuel efficient IL-96-400M r going to be, in the tanker role they'll not worth the investment.

    First of all I could care less what the US is doing... but if I did I would point out that the Il-96 they are talking about will eventually get two rather fuel efficient and powerful PD-35 engines which is exactly what you want them to have...

    I mentioned it for the sake of the argument . They could get them sooner & for a lot less from that airline then new IL-96s if there is such a pressing need for better tankers, at least as a stop gap. But, IMO it & the IL-96 is too heavy & is more suited to other roles; it'll never be direct counterpart to the KC-135.

    Russia does not need American planes for inflight refuelling duties... a wide variety of new and old aircraft could do a much better job than the old crap the US uses or plans to use.

    The Russian doomsday planes and AWACS aircraft wont need to remain airborne for days and damage to runways can often be fixed in hours anyway...

    The Doomsday plane and AWACS planes together with inflight refuelling planes have flight ranges of thousands of kilometres so the idea they wont have anywhere to land is just stupid.
    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Wed Dec 23, 2020 7:39 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    -we r in the CWII, & I bet they'll have some nukes on board at all times when at sea.
    The ones that are from the cold war didn't have land attack cruise missiles to begin with...- but now it's a weapon of choice

    -some land based Tu-22/142s may be transferred back to the VMF, but even if not, anything can happen after they start ops far into the oceans & overseas.
    They certainly could but both types would be better suited as per their original roles and would not be very suitable as refuelling aircraft.-not them, but they'll use VKS tankers. The Pac. Fleet MiG-31s use them now, as well as VMF Su-24/30s.

    -they'll regret not having them; the USAF C-5 /130 /141 /17 s have them & it's 1 of the things worth adopting.
    The imperial invasion fleet of the US did need them but then they also had a fleet of inflight refueling aircraft to make probes worth while.-the C-141 were the USN & Army logistics workhorses. IRPs allowed to take more cargo & less fuel before topping off later, & more range with max loads. The US mil. routinely moves cargo between bases in N. America, Europe, Australia, Diego Garcia & Asia; Russia doesn't, but with her size & expanding bases abroad she better get them installed on her IL-476s, AN-124s & future cargo planes.
    The problem there is that bigger planes designed to carry more fuel use more fuel to fly the same distance at slightly lower speed.
    The speed is not so important, but the extra fuel burn reduces the advantage of more fuel on board...-why can't they use 1-2 less engines while cruising to save fuel? in any case, that's why they need tankers!
    ..I would point out that the Il-96 they are talking about will eventually get two rather fuel efficient and powerful PD-35 engines which is exactly what you want them to have...-as mentioned, it won't happen, as different engines req. complete redesign of wings,etc., so a new plane is needed. Earlier they wanted to re-engine IL-86s to increase their range but nothing came out of it. 
    Russia does not need American planes for inflight refueling duties... a wide variety of new and old aircraft could do a much better job than the old crap the US uses or plans to use.-the fact that they been in service for so long & re-engined says they r not crap. The new pair of AF1s will be B-747-8s originally ordered by TransaeroRussia does the same thing with her Tu-22/95/142/160s & IL-76/78s.
    The Doomsday plane and AWACS planes together with inflight refueling planes have flight ranges of thousands of kilometers so the idea they wont have anywhere to land is just stupid.-still, if need be, they may use tanker support to reach remote rough airstrips their landing gear can touch on w/o breaking. They can afford to build, modernize & maintain 1.5-2x their # while new more expensive & demanding IL-96s r used in other roles. Instead of 4 IL-96 doomsdays, 2 could be build & the other 2 on IL-476 airframe to replace the IL-82s.
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:04 am

    .- but now it's a weapon of choice

    For the Caspian Sea and the Med, and even then only the conventionally armed models near conflict zones.

    These ships have limited numbers of available launch tubes... how many tubes would you suggest they use with nuclear armed land attack cruise missiles?

    For instance a Corvette with 8 missile tubes... I would expect they would have anti ship and anti sub weapons most of the time and only land attack missiles loaded when embarking on a planned mission.

    -the C-141 were the USN & Army logistics workhorses .

    The C-141 were not popular and of rather ordinary performance and were replaced as soon as the C-17s were ready for production, and didn't sell well commercially either.

    Russia doesn't, but with her size & expanding bases abroad she better get them installed on her IL-476s, AN-124s & future cargo planes.

    Russia doesn't.

    -why can't they use 1-2 less engines while cruising to save fuel? in any case, that's why they need tankers!

    Because turbofan engines used on subsonic types have enormous frontal areas... that is normally compensated for because of the thrust they generate when they are running... but when they are not running they generate enough drag to actually make it more fuel inefficient to shut them down because the remaining engines need to run at much higher revs to counter the extra drag.

    When a prop engine is shut down the prop is feathered... the blades are turned into the airflow like a knife cutting the air instead of acting like an airbrake with the blade flat on to the airflow.

    You can't feather a turbofan engine to allow air to flow through and therefore reduce the drag effect.... the best you can do is try to restart it.

    Earlier they wanted to re-engine IL-86s to increase their range but nothing came out of it.

    Possibly because of a lack of a suitable engine maybe?

    -as mentioned, it won't happen, as different engines req. complete redesign of wings,etc., so a new plane is needed.

    The Tu-95 has had its wing redesigned several times already and the Il-476 also had a new wing design... redesigning the wing is not a big deal....

    It is much more expensive to create a brand new much more powerful engine than it is to design a new wing to carry those new engines.

    A lot of money is going in to the PD-35 and other related engines in that engine family and to get the best value for money they need as many aircraft to use them as possible.

    To that effect most of their new transport planes will likely get an engine from this new engine family including the Il-476 and Il-276 and Il-106 and any replacement for the Antonovs currently in service...

    To get the best value for money from a new engine that has lots of thrust and low fuel burn and is reliable and should have good operational performance, you use it on as many platforms as you can.

    With new engines even older planes will get much better performance and for a plane like the Il-96 they could increase the amount of composite materials in the wings and fuselage and make it lighter and stronger... new engines will make it competitive with even the newest designs today.

    .-the fact that they been in service for so long & re-engined says they r not crap.

    They are totally crap... the instant anyone suggests the Russian military is using Boeings for inflight refuelling duties the US will immediately impose sanctions and the damn things will be useless within a week.

    The new pair of AF1s will be B-747-8s originally ordered by Transaero

    Ordered and then rejected... except the Russian military wouldn't even bother with the order.

    Tsavo Lion
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    Post  Tsavo Lion Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:53 am

    GarryB wrote:
    ..how many tubes would you suggest they use with nuclear armed land attack cruise missiles? I would expect they would have anti ship and anti sub weapons most of the time and only land attack missiles loaded when embarking on a planned mission.-Oscars & Yasens can hit N/C US with a few dozen LACMs even from the Arctic/N. Atlantic/Pacific, & they will have ~50:50 ratio of them with AshMs.
    The C-141 were not popular and of rather ordinary performance and were replaced as soon as the C-17s were ready for production, and didn't sell well commercially either.-they were popular as there was no other such plane for a long time; the C-17s started to replace them  only after their mass production started.
    Because turbofan engines used on subsonic types have enormous frontal areas... that is normally compensated for because of the thrust they generate when they are running...-can running them on low rpm do the trick?
    Earlier they wanted to re-engine IL-86s to increase their range but nothing came out of it.
    Possibly because of a lack of a suitable engine maybe? -that's very possible; also by that time "market reforms" resulted in airlines switching to foreign built planes & it was to financially risky to modernize their IL-86s.
    The Tu-95 has had its wing redesigned several times already and the Il-476 also had a new wing design... redesigning the wing is not a big deal....-we talking about a passenger plane with a lot more checklist items involved, with different safety req's, not a bomber or a mil. cargo plane.

    ..for a plane like the Il-96 they could increase the amount of composite materials in the wings and fuselage and make it lighter and stronger... new engines will make it competitive with even the newest designs today.-if u compare the [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_777#:~:text=a 747%2D400BCF.-,777X,9 on March 13%2C]latest variant[/url] of the B-777 with the earlier models (they r longer & could also be made into [url=https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/kc-777.htm]tankers[/url]), it's clear that it was substantially, if not completely, redesigned; will the cost of redesigning, producing & testing a twin engine IL-96 family be less than designing a new plane? I'm not certain of that.
    They are totally crap... the instant anyone suggests the Russian military is using Boeings for inflight refuelling duties the US will immediately impose sanctions and the damn things will be useless within a week.-& jeopardize future sales/leases of passenger planes to RF & others, while the trade war with China is ongoing with no end in sight. By ur own logic, they could also re-engine them with their own comparable engines.
    The new pair of AF1s will be B-747-8s originally ordered by Transaero
    Ordered and then rejected... except the Russian military wouldn't even bother with the order.-The Transaero defaulted on payments before their delivery & later went bankrupt, to be taken over by Aeroflot, otherwise they would be flying them now. Whenever there's a need, the military can requisition anything useful until better times.


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