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Engine drops from B-52 bomber in rural North Dakota

This is a discussion on Engine drops from B-52 bomber in rural North Dakota within the Air Force forums, part of the Armed Services category; Originally Posted by M1A's r BEST If you haven't seen one of these, it's pretty awesome. Not as many up there as there were in ...


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Old January 10th, 2017, 10:26 AM   #46
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If you haven't seen one of these, it's pretty awesome. Not as many up there as there were in the 60's. When I check out Minot AFB on google earth there are never B52's sitting on the pads in the Christmas tree where the old alert buildings are at. I guess these days they don't feel the need to have 10 or so fully fuled/armed intercontinental nuclear armed bombers with ready crews available to leave within minutes of getting the warning that the base in under threat of nuclear attack within the next 20 minutes or so. And that's a good thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ7niLYSVFo
It is one of the best scenes in "A Gathering of Eagles"....

Imagine that, but lasting 2-1/2 hours.....it wasn't a MITO, but 90 second intervals. Sadly no thought the film it.


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Old January 10th, 2017, 11:45 AM   #47
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That would be replacing one dinosaur with slightly newer, heavier dinosaur.

And, I don't think the fuel savings over the next twenty years would break-even for the engineering and retrofit costs. Not to mention the expense of adding a new engine, and all of its associated spares and tooling to the supply system.

If the cost of re-engining the B-52 fleet were as cheap and straight forward as the KC-135 fleet (and it would significantly more expensive, Boeing had already done much of the work when they re-engined the 707), it would cost about 25 million an aircraft. The CFM is 100% more efficient than the older TF-33 and the operating cost for the KC-135 fleet has only dropped about $900,000 per year per aircraft.
I disagree. The JT8D-219s are a totally different engine(larger fan, lower bypass pressure) that the earlier JT8Ds. Every MD-80 series aircraft built used the JT8D-200 series engines. As these aircraft are being removed from the commercial fleet, their engines are becoming available is large numbers. The JT8D-200 series engines would be more fuel efficient than the current TF-33s. Likewise, spares would NOT be a problem as they are with TF-33s, not to mention that the E-8 platforms have already been converted to the JT8D-219s and NATO is seriously considering replacing the TF-33s on their E-3 Sentry airframes with JT8D-219s instead of the CFM56s. The JT8D-219s are also lighter than the CFM56s, depending on dash series. Another problem with the CFM56 is lack of thrust. Total thrust for the pair of TF-33s used on the "Hotel" model B-52 is 42,000 lbs. The thrust rating for the CFM56s used on the KC-135 conversion is 22,000 lbs. If you have to use TWO CFM56s to replace TWO TF-33s, what have you gained other than an engineering and aerodynamic nightmare? Ideally, you would want to use ONE engine to replace the paired TF-33s. The CFM56 couldn't fill that requirement.


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Old January 10th, 2017, 11:48 AM   #48
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B-52's are getting awfully long in the tooth
...and will be in service until at least 2040. It hard to retire a great airframe like the B-52.

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Old January 10th, 2017, 12:01 PM   #49
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They are mounted individually inside a sheet metal pod. If the mounts fail, a 4 ton engine will rip through the sheet metal pod.
HUH? The dry weight of a TF-33 is 4,650 lbs. That's slightly over 2 tons, not 4.

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Old January 10th, 2017, 12:34 PM   #50
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Could it have been a hostile action?

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Old January 10th, 2017, 01:21 PM   #51
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I disagree. The JT8D-219s are a totally different engine(larger fan, lower bypass pressure) that the earlier JT8Ds. Every MD-80 series aircraft built used the JT8D-200 series engines. As these aircraft are being removed from the commercial fleet, their engines are becoming available is large numbers. The JT8D-200 series engines would be more fuel efficient than the current TF-33s. Likewise, spares would NOT be a problem as they are with TF-33s, not to mention that the E-8 platforms have already been converted to the JT8D-219s and NATO is seriously considering replacing the TF-33s on their E-3 Sentry airframes with JT8D-219s instead of the CFM56s. The JT8D-219s are also lighter than the CFM56s, depending on dash series. Another problem with the CFM56 is lack of thrust. Total thrust for the pair of TF-33s used on the "Hotel" model B-52 is 42,000 lbs. The thrust rating for the CFM56s used on the KC-135 conversion is 22,000 lbs. If you have to use TWO CFM56s to replace TWO TF-33s, what have you gained other than an engineering and aerodynamic nightmare? Ideally, you would want to use ONE engine to replace the paired TF-33s. The CFM56 couldn't fill that requirement.
Yes, two tons. Still, the pod won't slow it down much.

I am not talking about replacing the TF-33 with CFMs. I am talking about the bill the KC-135 program had after all was said and done with the CFM re-engining project way back when. Which was actually in the grand scheme of things these days rather cheap at $25 million a piece, because a lot of the work was already done by Boeing back in 1979.

Re-engining the B-52 fleet with anything would be much more expensive than $25 million each, and I seriously doubt the yearly program savings would be greater than $1.5 million per aircraft per year, which is what the minimum savings would need to be to justify the project at that price.

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Old January 10th, 2017, 03:26 PM   #52
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Yes, two tons. Still, the pod won't slow it down much.

I am not talking about replacing the TF-33 with CFMs. I am talking about the bill the KC-135 program had after all was said and done with the CFM re-engining project way back when. Which was actually in the grand scheme of things these days rather cheap at $25 million a piece, because a lot of the work was already done by Boeing back in 1979.

Re-engining the B-52 fleet with anything would be much more expensive than $25 million each, and I seriously doubt the yearly program savings would be greater than $1.5 million per aircraft per year, which is what the minimum savings would need to be to justify the project at that price.
Much of the re-engineering work has already been accomplished. In 2001, both DoD and Boeing approved the installation of JT8D-217 and -219 engines as replacements for the TF-33 engines installed on 707 family airframes. Since the JT8D-200 series engine is roughly the same size and weight of a TF-33, the conversion costs would be minimal. The Super 27 program replaced the outboard JT8D-11s on 727s with -219s. It gave the aircraft the same power-to-weight ratio as the 757 and negated the need for "hush" kits on all three engines. The E-8 platforms have witnessed a 17% reduction in fuel consumption since the installation of the -219s. There are 17 of those aircraft. If memory serves me, there are somewhere around 91 B-52 "Hotels" in service. Reducing the fleet fuel consumption by 17% would be a sizeable portion of the re-engineering costs, especially when measured over the projected service life extension (2040...23 years).

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Old January 10th, 2017, 05:07 PM   #53
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...and will be in service until at least 2040. It hard to retire a great airframe like the B-52.
Oh it's a legendary aircraft, that goes without saying.

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Old January 10th, 2017, 06:11 PM   #54
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Much of the re-engineering work has already been accomplished. In 2001, both DoD and Boeing approved the installation of JT8D-217 and -219 engines as replacements for the TF-33 engines installed on 707 family airframes. Since the JT8D-200 series engine is roughly the same size and weight of a TF-33, the conversion costs would be minimal. The Super 27 program replaced the outboard JT8D-11s on 727s with -219s. It gave the aircraft the same power-to-weight ratio as the 757 and negated the need for "hush" kits on all three engines. The E-8 platforms have witnessed a 17% reduction in fuel consumption since the installation of the -219s. There are 17 of those aircraft. If memory serves me, there are somewhere around 91 B-52 "Hotels" in service. Reducing the fleet fuel consumption by 17% would be a sizeable portion of the re-engineering costs, especially when measured over the projected service life extension (2040...23 years).
Between 71 and 76 operational, depending on who you talk to.

And, none of that pre-design work was B-52 specific. With the KC-135 most of the work was 707 based, and the KC-135 and 707 are far more similar than a 707 and a B-52. If it can be done today at $1.75 billion ($25 million per aircraft), I'd be amazed. More likely $7 to $10 billion, $100 to $115 million each, even over twenty years you're not likely to save that much gas.

Besides, with "only" $160 billion in the total USAF budget, and not likely to increase over the next few years (more likely go down, since the Navy has been seeing cuts recently), that has to be split between paychecks, Mil-Con, O&M ($37.5 billion, the B-52 slice of that pie is $500 million, almost a bargain, plus fuel, $28 billion for the B-52 fleet), RDT&E, new procurement, and other miscellaneous cost, I don't think they will have a spare $7 to $10 billion laying around to spend on this....


Last edited by lysander; January 10th, 2017 at 06:55 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 08:35 PM   #55
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On the open market, a low time JT8D-219 runs about $1.5-2.0 million. Take the high side, you're talking $16 million for engines. That leaves $ 9 million for associated structures, tubing, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems upgrades. Remember, Pratt still supports the JT8D-219 with spares and engineering upgrades.

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Old January 11th, 2017, 04:30 AM   #56
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Besides, with "only" $160 billion in the total USAF budget, and not likely to increase over the next few years (more likely go down, since the Navy has been seeing cuts recently), that has to be split between paychecks, Mil-Con, O&M ($37.5 billion, the B-52 slice of that pie is $500 million, almost a bargain, plus fuel, $28 billion for the B-52 fleet), RDT&E, new procurement, and other miscellaneous cost, I don't think they will have a spare $7 to $10 billion laying around to spend on this....
This article makes it appear the Navy is concerned about Cuts !?

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/...goal-355-ships

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Old January 11th, 2017, 06:29 AM   #57
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On the open market, a low time JT8D-219 runs about $1.5-2.0 million. Take the high side, you're talking $16 million for engines. That leaves $ 9 million for associated structures, tubing, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems upgrades. Remember, Pratt still supports the JT8D-219 with spares and engineering upgrades.
750 engines minimum (8 per aircraft, 76 aircraft, plus 20% spares minimum, and since these are used engines 35%-45% sparing would be safer)- you're talking 1.5 billion in engines alone, that's 87% of your $1.75 billion budget.

Do you think anyone is going to do all the engineering work, subsystem reconfiguration and integration work and all the other non-recurring work, AND procure required associated material, AND actually perform the work of rebuilding the pods on 71 to 76 aircraft for $250 million?

When one says $25 million per aircraft that includes not only the that aircraft's engine and work done to it, but their share of any additional spares required, the engineering, and other non-recurring costs.

And, Pratt & Whitney doesn't support the JT8D-219 with spares and engineering upgrades for free. So, they'll suck off another few million for their contribution to the engineering effort.

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Old January 11th, 2017, 06:34 AM   #58
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This article makes it appear the Navy is concerned about Cuts !?

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/...goal-355-ships

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Yes, the Navy has seen budget cuts over the last few years. I predict that soon the Navy's budget will be boosted a few billion at the expense of the Army and Air Force, who have not seen cuts, or as deep of cuts, recently.

Generally, the DoD budget remains a constant percentage of the overall Federal budget, it is just the internal division between the three Departments varies from year to year.

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Old January 13th, 2017, 02:41 PM   #59
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engine shroud

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Same thing happened near our farm about 30 years ago. But I can't remember if it was an entire engine, or just the shroud. Fell into the field of a neighboring farmer.

That reminds me... growing up in the vicinity of Grand Forks AFB, I remember sonic booms all the time. Would shake the house sometimes.
It fell ib Eagan near the intersection of Roberts street and Lone Oak road. I drove past this sight every day/ Tom from MN

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