Say what you will about Chicago-based (and formerly Seattle-based) Boeing Company‘s ability to field a competetive replacement for the U.S. Air Force’s (basically) obsolete KC-135 air tanker fleet, but it sure knows how to kill a contract it doesn’t like.
There’s no question that continuing production of the 767 would be good for Boeing and its workers, but would that be good for America? That’s the question of the day. Of course Boeing could rework the popular 777 or (soon to be popular, despite what Dan Rather says) 787 into a tanker, but those planes are selling well these days. If the best reason to buy the KC-767 is just to employ Boeing workers then that smacks of corporate welfare, does it not?
Yet another aging Boeing 767 put out to the boneyard. Now it might make sense to buy one used and fly it around as a wide-bodied corporate jet, as the founders of Google do, but what’s the logic behind cobbling together a new 767 FrankenTanker or modifying a 767-400? Click to expand:
“…intimated that Boeing’s problems were its own making, referring to last month’s guilty plea by former Boeing executive Darleen Druyun, who admitted talking to Boeing about a job during the time she served as an Air Force negotiator on the tanker proposal.
“I’m sure it was Airbus that motivated Ms. Druyun to negotiate with Boeing for a job. I’m sure they were behind that. I think it’s hilarious.”
Is the only way out of this mess a compromise deal where EADS gets half the contract and Boeing gets the other? Stay tuned.