Military Review

"The operator has to determine the location of the end of the filling rod by the shadow": the US press on the shortcomings of the KS-46A

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Columnist Thomas Newdick of The Drive writes that the Air Force's vision system for the KC-46A Pegasus prevents operators from seeing the end of the refueling boom. On sunny days, the operator has to locate the end of the boom from the shadow cast on the aircraft receiving the fuel.


On cloudy days, specialists have no choice but to rely on chance and on their experience in the position. But such "intuitive refueling" can hardly be considered as a natural and acceptable option.

Details about how serious the problems with the KS-46A were, became known after the editor of Air Force Magazine, Brian Everstein, visited Oskoda-Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan on May 25, 2021. The base was used by the military aviation for training as part of the flagship exercise Mobility Guardian 2021. This was the first flight of an independent media representative aboard the KC-46A Pegasus tanker.

All previous tanker aircraft had a specially equipped place where the boom operator was located, who could observe the boom with his own eyes and direct it to the aircraft receiving fuel. However, in the KC-46, the boom operator sits in the main cockpit of the aircraft and performs his functions with special equipment. It would seem that this is technical progress, but there are also problems. The 2D / 3D control system involves the wearing of special glasses by operators, which, it seems, should make their perception more accurate when observing the screen. In practice, however, these glasses are of little help.

With glasses, the center of the screen is sharp, but when you look at the edge of the screen, it becomes blurry and disorienting.

- writes Everstein.

There is another problem, which the author of Air Force Magazine immediately wrote about.

The camera image inaccurately shows the end of the boom - still about a foot and a half from what the operator sees on the screen. Therefore, operators are guided by the shade of the boom to determine where the end is before connecting to the input. If there is no shade, for example on cloudy days, the operator must rely on experience rather than technology to establish the connection.

- emphasizes the American observer.

Thus, the American press concludes that there is a fundamental problem in the operation of the KC-46A Pegasus aircraft. In certain situations, and there is no doubt that such situations will not be rare, this problem can prevent the refueller from performing his functions.

As a result, the Pentagon is now studying the possibility of redesigning the boom, but this is an expensive pleasure, costing about $ 100 million. The redesign could have been avoided in due time if the military had paid attention to the problems that had arisen much earlier.

Thomas Newdick concludes that the usefulness of the new KS-46A tanker aircraft remains limited and will remain so until the manufacturer solves the problem with the visibility of the fuel rod.
Author:
Photos used:
Twitter / US Air Force
26 comments
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  1. andrewkor
    andrewkor 28 May 2021 17: 06
    +9
    For some reason I am not very upset about this news! Maybe I am a Yankiphobe (sorry for my English)!
    1. Terenin
      Terenin 28 May 2021 17: 09
      +2
      "The operator has to locate the end of the fuel rod from the shadow":

      As in "300 Spartans" about the battle in the shadows ... "our arrows will cover the sun ..." laughing
    2. Mitroha
      Mitroha 28 May 2021 17: 11
      -4
      Something doubts take me, the first operator should have said about this problem during test flights. Or are mothers still giving birth there too?
  2. knn54
    knn54 28 May 2021 17: 09
    0
    Boeing seems to be a household name.
  3. RVAPatriot
    RVAPatriot 28 May 2021 17: 09
    +2
    And then another problem will come up, and there they drank and drank money until you finished ... Here is a feeder
  4. Thrifty
    Thrifty 28 May 2021 17: 11
    -2
    That is, lengthening, or shortening the barbell is not enough for the mind?
    1. seregin-s1
      seregin-s1 28 May 2021 17: 23
      +1
      If lengthening back does not fit!))
      1. Thrifty
        Thrifty 28 May 2021 17: 28
        0
        Seregin, then, make it telescopic, in normal mode it is folded, and when pumping fuel it extends! What's the problem?
        1. seregin-s1
          seregin-s1 28 May 2021 17: 30
          +2
          I don’t want to think for them! And you gave them an idea!)
        2. Bad_gr
          Bad_gr 29 May 2021 11: 40
          0
          Quote: Thrifty
          then, make it telescopic, in normal mode it is folded, and when pumping fuel it extends! What's the problem?

          It is already telescopic:
  5. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 28 May 2021 17: 26
    +4
    Israel ordered four KC-46A Pegasus. Released 45 pieces on
    present day.
    The plane is universal: tanker and transport strategist.

    The problem of the Remote Vision System - the location of cameras and sensors - is completely solvable.
    Here's what the gas station looks like to make it clear:
  6. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 28 May 2021 18: 15
    +3
    Thus, the American press concludes that there is a fundamental problem in the operation of the KC-46A Pegasus aircraft.

    Does the press reveal fundamental problems with aircraft? Have survived!

    In two years, 45 units have already been released, which spent a lot of hours in the air and performed a bunch of gas stations. The refueling boom is constantly being modernized, and not because it is so bad, they say that it was too rigid on the first aircraft, but as new information was developed.
    The network is full of videos with gas stations both day and night and with and without 3D glasses.
  7. Dmitriy444
    Dmitriy444 28 May 2021 18: 22
    0
    This problem is very important for Russians, 90% of local pensioners. Yes, even if they hang a mirror from Ikea.
  8. Split
    Split 28 May 2021 19: 13
    -1
    How many wrecks were during refueling, and then there was 1 surprise !!! (from)
    Another pepelats ... This is not an airplane, but a flying chainsaw for cutting dough ala 35
    1. Rageee
      Rageee 28 May 2021 19: 33
      0
      I suspect that such sketches from the media and articles are being made just for such a comrade as you, and meanwhile this refueller and other American novelties are regularly produced and stably in combat service, while caps are thrown in the comments on specialized publications and washed bones with them, so and live))
      1. Split
        Split 28 May 2021 19: 35
        -1
        Well I'm not a fan, the media don't throw anything at me
        Well, my comments
        Quote: Rageee
        are made just for a friend like you
        1. Rageee
          Rageee 28 May 2021 19: 46
          0
          Well, for you, this article was a reason to write about another American "sawing the dough" ...

          I am very skeptical about such news sucked out of my finger .. has this Kc-46a tanker stopped producing? maybe it was rejected or because of its design defects there were some catastrophes? like no, then what is the fuss about? a new plane may have some kind of flaws, this is normal, but since it is presented in the Western media, and then served in the Russian ... well, this prompts me to think about it like this)
          reminds me of sketches about the F-35, which has almost 3000 defects there (for whom this nonsense is designed for it is not clear at all), but the plane is regularly produced in huge batches and successfully serves in the air forces of NATO countries and not only, but at the same time it is so bad that queues lined up for him for years to come laughing
          1. Split
            Split 28 May 2021 19: 50
            -1
            Quote: Rageee
            regularly produced in huge batches and successfully serves in the air forces of NATO countries and not only

            Well, Duc, they have printed the stock, they got the real thing from the satellites, and not green candy wrappers ... the circulation of dough in nature, so to speak. When he (35) voluntarily forcibly vparitsya and how many tantrums there were about the s-400 turkey. If he was excellent, our complexes would not scare them and infa about ERP 35 has long been with us
            1. Rageee
              Rageee 28 May 2021 20: 10
              0
              Doesn't Russia have its own printing press, on what are the rubles printed? why are you so attached to their printing press?)
              and of course you have never asked yourself why their "green candy wrappers" are in demand all over the world, and Russian rubles are only in Russia and partially in CIS?)
              tell us about the forced vparivanie Turkey, which really wants to get these planes, but the United States showed them a fig. On the other hand, the Turks culturally dismissed the offer of Russia for the supply of its aircraft to Turkey)
              The S-300 delivered to Syria does not really scare Israel, which constantly beats the Syrians, but the United States, of course, was scared, the point is in fear, I understand you))
              1. Split
                Split 28 May 2021 20: 16
                -2
                Quote: Rageee
                on what are the rubles printed?)

                On paper
                Do you want to remind you of the story of how German tanks rushed to Moscow for these candy wrappers? Who got rich in the 2nd World War? That is why she is in demand.
          2. Zhenya Khazarsky
            Zhenya Khazarsky 29 May 2021 17: 30
            0
            ... the plane is regularly produced in huge batches and successfully serves in the air forces of NATO countries and not only, but at the same time it is so bad that queues for it lined up for years to come


            Greetings!
            Well, you can look at it from a different angle ...

            When in a student dormitory, senior students offer the applicant to buy a brick / stone / empty pack of cigarettes from them and, given the size and number of these senior students, the first year has no opportunity to refuse the purchase, is it fair to say that a brick / stone / empty pack of cigarettes is so good and goes to grab?
  9. sergo1914
    sergo1914 28 May 2021 20: 24
    -1
    In my opinion, determining the position of the end by the shadow is zashkvar.
  10. tralflot1832
    tralflot1832 28 May 2021 20: 38
    +4
    It's just that the operators of the gas station made fun of the journalist, this is the holy of holies. Especially if the journalist did not like it. That's the whole problem. How many hours were there when refueling with KS 46 A?
  11. lisiy prapor
    lisiy prapor 29 May 2021 00: 13
    0
    "Well, stupid-s-e .." Move the headlight, and be guided by the shadow of a hooch in the dark. laughing
  12. dementor873
    dementor873 29 May 2021 02: 47
    +1
    That is, it is impossible to combine a filling hose with a pair of high-resolution cameras via cable and pack it into a single protective box?
    1. Piramidon
      Piramidon 29 May 2021 09: 14
      +1
      Opened the heading and without scrolling down the page read at the beginning "" The operator has to determine the location of the end ...