Friday, September 19, 2008

KC-X Fiasco Update

I've been wrestling with a pig (again) in the comments at over the merits and fallout of the farcical Boeing protest and their (Boeing's)manipulation of the political process to get a do-over on the KC-X program. Its been fun to a point, but not nearly so much fun as finding out that apparently Boeing's contender only promised 'more' when it came to cost. A lot more.

Boeing's bid was over 23% more expensive for the first 68 aircraft. At the link one will find such gems as the DoD Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics quoted:
"Young said that Northrop promised earlier delivery and that its aircraft "provided more tanker capability and offload rate and was substantially cheaper to develop."
followed immediately by my favorite citation:
"Frankly," he said, Boeing's tanker "was smaller and should have been cheaper. . . . A member of the American public might conclude that Boeing sought to charge more than the Defense Department reasonably expected" to pay.
And Boeing's gambit apparently now has the added taxpayer funded feature
of Northrop Grumman/EADS being paid Termination Costs (quite rightful considering the circumstances I'd say) which should ensure they have enough in their war chest to blunt any technical improvement that Boeing may be able to make in superceding their current K767 concept -- should NG/EADS choose to continue dancing this crazy Tanker Two-Step.

Funniest (sad) quote in either link is from Boeing 'spokesman' Dan Beck:
Boeing spokesman Dan Beck declined to comment on Young's remarks but said the company "is looking to the future and is looking forward to a renewed tanker competition when the Pentagon proceeds. As we go through this interim period we're not interested in revisiting the past."
Yeah, I bet you're not Dan.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin: Popular vs. Populist

Dang! Beldar beat me to the punch

I've been thinking of posting on this topic for a couple of days, but Beldar nails it.

It's like the media is trying to redefine 'Populist'...or are they that ignorant?

One of the "Greats" is Gone

Had I known about this earlier, I would have found a way to make the service. Don Cornell was a one of a kind: A Golden-Armed Great Stick, who was a really nice guy and always made sure we balanced work with family life. He would have at least made full Colonel, except he thought his family needed him more.

When I first met Don, I had the strangest feeling I knew him already. Being military guys, we went down the list of where we had been, but we had never crossed paths. That déjà vu feeling never went away... until I was going through one of my old books I had picked up at Lemoore NAS in 1979: "A-7 in Action". There's a newer version out there, but in this edition, a large part of it was filled with Don Cornell, as Don was one of the few pilots who flew both the F-100 and A-7 (its replacement) in combat. Don also did a cruise as an exchange pilot with the Navy, and was known to answer a 'call the ball' in whatever he was flying when the occasion arose.

Friends and readers know I do not fawn over meat-servos as a class, but I have the deepest abiding respect for those few I've known who really deserve it. Don was a great pilot, yes. But he was so much more.

I await the day when the magnitude of his accomplishments and contributions to this great land become known to his family and the country as a whole. Today, we have only a glimpse.

Godspeed Don