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Old 07-20-2022, 08:53 AM
Perennial Reserve
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Joined APC: Jan 2018
Posts: 9,148

Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Would presumably augment for longer missions.

They could also use an airline style IRO (likely enlisted) to sit in the right seat and assist the rated pilot. That would be for workload, not to augment the pilot while he takes a long break. Although I guess they *could* let an enlisted IRO fly the plane on AP in cruise while the pilot sleeps.

It's actually been done before with "tankers"... USN S-3.
Still, it creates a single point failure mode. I suppose you could have the single pilot wear one eyepatch to decrease the chance they might be flashblinded by a laser or nuke near-miss, but you might well have the better part of a squadron of fighters depending on that one tanker to get them to the target or get home.and it isnít just the cost of the ~$200 million tanker and 3-4 F-35s at $100 million apiece you are talking about, but the cost of all the infrastructure and logistics necessary to get them mission-capable to begin with - not to mention the lives of the receiver aircraft crews themselves you are putting at risk.

All to save one FO slot?

Maybe they can subcontract the FO slots out to Skywest or Republic.
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