Battleland

Costly Flight Hours

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An F-16 readies for takeoff.

Last week, Battleland bemoaned the increasing difficulty finding cost-per-flight-hour data for U.S. military aircraft.

In a flash, longtime defense watcher – from a perch on Capitol Hill, as well as a stint at the Government Accountability Office – Winslow Wheeler piped up to say he recently sought, and got, such data from the Air Force comptroller’s office.

He adds that he has tried to get similar data from the Navy, without luck. What’s up with that, Admiral Kirby?

The Air Force provided Wheeler with cost-per-flight-hour for dozens of aircraft.

Here’s a sample of what it costs to keep these Air Force aircraft airborne for one hour last year (the so-called “ownership” cost-per-flight-hour, which includes modifications):

A-10C Warthog Attack Plane — $17,716

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AC-130U Spooky Gunship — $45,986

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B-1B Lancer Bomber — $57,807

B-2 Aircraft.  USAF Photo by SSgt Mark A. Borosch

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B-2A Spirit Stealth Bomber — $169,313

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B-52H Stratofortress Bomber — $69,708

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C-130J Hercules Cargo Plane — $14,014

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C-17 Globemaster Cargo Plane — $23,811

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C-20B VIP Plane (Senior Pentagon Officials) — $32,212

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USAF

C-32A VIP Plane (Vice President, Cabinet Officers) — $42,936

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USAF

C-5B Galaxy Cargo Plane — $78,817

C-5A/B GALAXY, CARGO, AIRCRAFT, Photo by: Mr. Ken HackmanPrimary function: Long-range, heavy logistics transport. Contractor: Lockheed-Georgia Co. Speed: More than 500 mph at 25,000 ft. Dimensions: Wingspan 222 ft. 9 in., length 247 ft. 10 in., height at tail 65 ft. 1 in., stabilizer span 68 ft. 9 in., cargo compartment--height 13 ft. 6 in., width 19 ft. Range: 5,259 miles with 112,600 lbs. cargo at 507 mph. Crew: six.

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CV-22B Osprey Tilt-Rotor — $83,256

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E-3B Sentry AWACS Radar Plane — $39,587

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E-4B Flying Headquarters — $163,485

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F-15C Eagle Fighter — $41,921

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F-16C Viper Fighter — $22,514

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F-22A Raptor Fighter — $68,362

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HH-60G Pave Hawk Helicopter — $24,475

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KC-10A Extender Tanker — $21,170

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MC-130H Combat Talon II Special Operations Plane — $32,752

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MQ-1B Predator Drone — $3,679

081131-F-7734Q-201

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MQ-9A Reaper Drone — $4,762

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USAF

RQ-4B Global Hawk Drone — $49,089

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T-38C Talon Jet Trainer — $9,355

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T-6A Texan II Turboprop Trainer — $2,235

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U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane — $30,813

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UH-1N Huey Helicopter — $13,634

UH-1N Huey, Helicopter, aircraft, Photo by MSgt Ken Hammond.<br /><br /><br /> Primary function:  Support of distinguished visitors, VIPs missile sites and ranges.  Contractor:  Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Speed:  150 mph.  Dimensions:  Length 57 ft. 3 in., width 9 ft. 1 in., height 12 ft. 10 in., diameter of main rotor 48 ft., diameter of tail rotor 8 ft. 6 in.  Range:  250 miles.  Armament:  Two 7.62mm machine guns.  Crew:  two

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VC-25A Air Force One — $161,591

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4 comments
buttholepunch
buttholepunch

Without context and the formula used, this is useless

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

Considering the nature of modern warfare, let's cut it back to the A-10 Warthog  for ground attack...you cannot kill those things, predators, F-15's and pick a bomber.  Let Tomahawk cruise missiles handle the rest.  We certainly don't need the vast array of warplanes that we currently field.

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

Cut military spending. Reduce the size and scope of the military. FYI, I vote Republican.

chaimss
chaimss

@HudsonValleyTim While that sounds great for our current conflict, that would be suicide in any future conflict that may include those with decent air defenses, such as China, Russia, Iran, etc.

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