In an interview with Reuters news service, new Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said that the Air Force may want to re-engine some of its current KC-135 tanker force, so the number of new tankers the service might buy may be lower than anticipated. (The Air Force currently has some 500 KC-135s.) He told Reuters, “I don’t want to mislead manufacturers to believe that there’s going to be this massive buy, then at the end of the day you only buy 10.” The notion of re-engining old tankers is not new; it’s been done. The problem—as we have reported here and here—is that a new engine does nothing to solve the old airframe corrosion problems.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.