Monday, October 29, 2007

Billion Dollar Relics

When the Air Force took delivery of its first KC-135 tanker, Sputnik hadn't flown, the Edsel was still on the drawing board, and "Gunsmoke" was the number one rated television show in America.

The Air Force wants to retire 85 of the old planes. It considers 52 of those "parked" -- unable to fly.

But some folks in Congress refuse to let the Air Force retire the planes -- forcing the military to pay millions to keep the rusting relics on the flightline for missions that will never come.

There are other restrictions on other aging aircraft -- so worn out, the Air Force is afraid to fly them.

But Congress members keep them on the books -- at billions of dollars billed to taxpayers -- so they can keep an air base open in their district -- or steer contracts toward companies that try to fix up the old planes.

In the case of repairing worn out C-5 Galaxies -- the bill might come to $11 billion dollars. (WaPo)

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