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New Air Force Cargo Planes Fly Straight Into Mothballs

Discussion in 'Topical Discussions (In Depth)' started by searcher, Oct 8, 2013.



  1. searcher

    searcher Site Supporter Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    New Air Force cargo planes fly straight into mothballs

    Published October 07, 2013

    [​IMG]
    There's nothing wrong with the C-27J, it's just that the Pentagon doesn't want it given budget constraints.



    The Pentagon is sending $50 million cargo planes straight from the assembly line to mothballs because it has no use for them, yet it still hasn’t stopped ordering the aircraft, according to a report.

    A dozen nearly new Italian-built C-27J Spartans have been shipped to an Air Force facility in Arizona dubbed “the boneyard,” and five more currently under construction are likely headed for the same fate, according to an investigation by the Dayton Daily News. The Air Force has spent $567 million on 21 of the planes since 2007, according to purchasing officials at Dayton’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Of those, 16 have been delivered – with almost all sent directly to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, where some 4,400 aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles, with a total value of more than $35 billion, sit unused.

    The C-27J has the unique capability of taking off and landing on crude runways, Ethan Rosenkranz, national security analyst at the Project on Government Oversight, told the newspaper. But with sequestration dictating Pentagon cuts, the planes were deemed a luxury it couldn't afford.

    “When they start discarding these programs, it's wasteful,” he said.

    The planes are built by Rome-based Alenia Aermacchi, under what was initially a $2 billion contract, though that was scaled back.

    Local politics appear to have played a role in the planes continued manufacture, according to the newspaper. Ohio's senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman, were both defenders of the C-27J when 800 jobs and a mission at Mansfield Air National Guard Base depended on it. Brown urged the military in a 2011 letter to purchase up to 42 of the aircraft, saying too few planes "will weaken our national and homeland defense." Congress pulled the plug on the broader expenditure.

    But canceling orders for planes already being built is not feasible -- even if they are not needed, according to Air Force spokesman Darryl Mayer.

    "They are too near completion for a termination to be cost effective and other government agencies have requested the aircraft," Mayer told the paper.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/07/new-air-force-cargo-planes-fly-straight-into-mothballs/
     
  2. Scorpio

    Scorpio Alpha Centauri Bound Founding Member Board Elder Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    and who might these 'other govt agencies' be?
     
  3. phideaux

    phideaux Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    And WTF is the US Goobermint doing buying planes made in Italy?

    I recently drove by that AFB in Tucson where all the "surplus" planes are parked.. It is an absolutely mind-boggling site. it's not like this base and the planes parked in the middle of nowhere, they are smack-dab in Tucson city limits, Block after block, dozens of square miles of planes parked, like cars at a shopping mall.

    Get a clue DC! Stop buying new planes, and sell the surplus!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
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  4. oldgaranddad

    oldgaranddad Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    The C-27J Spartan is a cut down C-130 that features most of the systems that are on the C-130. Unfortunately word on the tarmac is that the planes are built like your average Fix It Again Tony (Fiat) and have a history or problems (flight control system failures, etc.) The Army was initially interested in them to replace their C-23 Sherpas built by Short in the UK but the C-27Js did not live up to their hype when deployed by Air National Guard units. So the Army backed out leaving the USAF with them because of the usual government bureaucracy. Plans are now to pawn these craft off on the USCG instead of the USCG obtaining new EADS HC-144 Ocean Sentrys which cost half the amount to operate and maintain.

    We should just give these dogs to some banana republic as foreign aid and be done with them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  5. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Mother Lode

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    We're living in a freaking cartoon. . . . . :banghead:
     
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  6. Argentium

    Argentium Midas Member Midas Member

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    I'd imagine there are a bunch of C-130's parked there. The C-130 has the record as the longest production lifetime of any aircraft, the first ones were produced in the mid-1950's!. It ain't broke and has no need of replacement, especially by an Italian aircraft.

    I know there are C-141 Starlifters parked as far as the eye can see ,at that boneyard. What's wrong with them?
     
  7. obilly

    obilly Silver Member Silver Miner

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  8. Silver

    Silver Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I'm sure Homeland Security could put them to good use, maybe for moving those 2700 MRAPS they purchased around. Or shipping ammo and equipment to the different units attached to the central command. :(
     
  9. Usc96

    Usc96 Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Some municipal police forces, or college campus security units, might want to add them to their arsenals of MRAPs and tanks for future use against peaceful protesters standing up for their constitutional rights.
     
  10. Ebie

    Ebie Midas Member Midas Member

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    Sell them to the Italian airforce.
     
  11. 917601

    917601 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    Flew ALOT in these, many remote locations, dirt runways, rock runways, blacktop runways, PSP plate runways,......
    Certain " secretive" DOS operations require these beauties, entire " programs" are dependent on them......painted grey, no N numbers, small, very small black letters just above the L 1 door, " US DOS",...... You will not see DOD using these aircraft......
     
  12. 917601

    917601 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    That's who we bought the initial ones from, they performed very well, brought out more from the boneyard ( made in the early 80's or so for the US Air Force who put theirs in the boneyard) then found they were perfect made to order for small covert operations, ( like Afghanistan, Africa, and SA).A few years ago DOD ordered more up, these. Do not worry, they will be pulled back out of the boneyard to support DOS operations abroad......they use a lot of MI 17s ,Beech 1800s , all pulled from the boneyard......we used up ALL of the boneyards Broncos......Boeing has the last two in San Antonio planning to introduce 2800 or so with glass cockpits and re engined......they make perfect light attack aircraft for hostile environments, they have ejection seats, CIA ordered up the first few prototypes.....enough said......well not really, they also ordered up a bunch of Air Tractors from Olney with hard points on the wings ( weapons mounts) ,they will not be your ordinary Ag planes......done.
     
  13. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Site Supporter Midas Member

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    I believe that is Davis - Monthan AFB, back then it was open to the public. I walked a huge portion of it in 1966. It was both interesting & depressing.
    As I was leaving, lightening stuck the power pole next to my new 1966 Chevy Caprice. I thought I had been shot with a HOWITZER !!!!
     
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  14. 917601

    917601 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    MRAPs will not fit, and ammo is very, very heavy, not going to happen.......from memory, only about 20,000 lbs payload, enough for a small team and equipment only, short landing and take off operations......
     
  15. phideaux

    phideaux Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    So there were mothballing planes back in '66??
     
  16. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Site Supporter Midas Member

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    YUP, B-52's & a lot of jet fighter's (F-86, F-89, F-........) it's been too long to give a list, but, rest assured,
    it was at least 1/2 a mile square & they were stacked alternately, to get as many as possible, in as little area as possible.

    Another mothball area is out in the Mojave Desert, it is all commercial airliner's - 100's of them.
     
  17. Ebie

    Ebie Midas Member Midas Member

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    Why mothball commercial airliners?
    Why not discard or recycle them?
     
  18. 917601

    917601 Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    Why? They still operate just fine, those old three holers do not have to operate on an ETOPS program, only drawback, they are fuel guzzlers, and can be bought for a few hundred thousand instead a few hundred million....World, Omni, all pulled old DC10s out of mothballs to fly troops supplies in/ out of Iraq, Afghanistan,.....they made millions flying those contracts, more than a dozen L1011s were also put back to work......we keep many of them for that purpose, war, emergency, and give many military aircraft as military aid to poorer countries.......just sent more than 50 757's to the boneyard, and a few dozen 747's, they do not even come close to the fuel efficiency of the 777's, it is all about operating costs.....and military airlift capabilities.....civil airliners ( Craf )moved 80 percent of all the Gulf war troops.....120 plus of NW's Dc9s are headed there next....

    Read up on the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, ....

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1990/PJA.htm

    I will add that the US Air Force is in a tight spot their C17's are falling apart and they must have serious down time for overhaul, big , big airlift capability problems , almost panic time.....the last C 17 was just delivered last month, no more....Boeing made 230 for the USAF.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
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