28 September 2015

Unfair Comparison

And it's one I've fallen prey to from time to time as well.

This article on the new KC-46A.

They say that a KC-135A in 1957 cost $57.9 million in 2015 dollars.

This compares to the $188.2 million price tag of a KC-46A.  Oh, and that's also the same price as a cargo 767-300F.  Not like Boeing is ripping the DoD off here compared to commercial carriers.

Pretty damning huh?

Fine.

If Stratotankers are so affordable...

Build a brand new KC-135A.  Today.  Now.

Bet you it will cost more than $57.9 million per plane.

Why?

Because Boeing wasn't subject to even 10% of the regulations back then it's saddled with today.  Compliance with all manner of laws, rulings and regulation eats at the bottom line and adds to the final cost of everything.  There was no OSHA.  There was no EPA.  There was no EEOC.  Hell, there wasn't even an FAA yet!

Energy costs are never part of the official inflation calculations (or are severely discounted).  It takes energy to make anything.

So, Mr Bourdius, build it and they will come.  The USAF is actually quite happy with the KC-135R, it's got to the point where they can't be kept flying forever.  But with your production line open and cranking out 3 new KC-135 for every KC-46, why would they need to fix them?

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