An article written by Jed Babbin, and published today by Human Events, claims that selecting the KC-30 goes against Newton’s Second Law of Motion and simple geometry. Mr. Babbin states:
According to the General Accountability Office decision overturning the contract award to Northrop-Grumman/EADS for the Airbus 330 tanker, “…there is no documentation in the record setting forth an analysis of whether Northrop Grumman’s proposed aircraft has sufficient operational airspeed when refueling the [deleted by GAO] to initiate an emergency breakaway procedure.”Mr. Babbin then goes on to discuss another area the GAO found fault with the Air Force, overrun:
What the GAO is saying, in its lawyerly language, is that the facts show that the Airbus 330 cannot reach a sufficient speed to pull away from one or more aircraft it’s supposed to refuel. And if it can’t, there could be a mid-air collision
According to the GAO decision, despite the fact that the Air Force had told Northrop Grumman that the Airbus apparently couldn’t accelerate quickly enough and reach the speed set by Air Force standards to perform an overrun, the Air Force disregarded its own mandatory guideline to keep the Airbus eligible for the contract. And, as the GAO decided, they had no reasonable basis to do so: “…the record does not establish that the [Air Force] had a reasonable basis for concluding that Northrop Grumman’s proposed solution would allow its aircraft to obtain the requisite overrun airspeeds to satisfy this…requirement.”Mr. Babbin then explains how the size of the A330 could hinder operations:
If the runway is a few feet narrower than the NATO standard, if the Airbus isn’t lined up with its right wheels on the farthest edge of the runway and if a lot of other ifs, the U-turning Airbus gets its nose off the runway and probably gets stuck.We hope that the KC-30 team has all the documentation that the GAO says is lacking on these issues. Because, somewhere in the final frontier and beyond the grave, we know Scotty is saying, "Ya can't change the laws of physics!"