Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
We each form our opinions based on experiences. Mine are based, primarily, on the period 90-93 and I have nothing but good memories of EWAD and SRB. They never let me down which automatically puts them in the top 5% in my book. Iím sorry your own experience is a little tainted.
BUCCANEER SCAMP, thanks for the link. I was told that the plan originally was that the RAF was going to strip out all the sneaky beak stuff because of concerns about latent signals data still being left in the cabling and avionics(?) However when it came round to it, the aeropark were told 'we don't want the gubbins, keep em...'(or words to that effect) May be an apocryphal tale, but who knows..?
Well if the information isn't that important it probably just crawls along the wires and lets more important information overtake. So of course some messages just got stuck when the plane was switched off.
How many rivets are there in the actual airframe construction?
@ Willard, you can't call it Senior Citizen unless the four lovely CFM-56 mysteriously be replaced by 4 sorry make that 8 Pegasus and then requires the full load of the Voyager to keep it afloat (ahem ) in the sky after take off
Forget the old saying about Black and White at least its theres some white and some grey or maybe
I'm fairly sure the OP's photo is real, not a Photoshop job. If it is a PS job, it's well done, by someone who knows the airplane. The "AIR FORCE" sits further aft than on USAF examples, because the word "ROYAL" is longer than "U.S.". Also, note the piles of brown craft paper and tape on the floor - this is a paint hangar. The fact that there is no sort of tail number or other ID on it tells me this is just after the major paint work was done, but before any detail stuff was done. I strongly suspect this is the scheme - at least to start with - that the RAF will be using.
Here's what she might look like in full 51 Squadron colors...
Thanks for the link to Scottys pics on Flickr. Just as I remember it with a few post Starwindow changes. It was all super secret in my day. no pictures ever left 4H or 86A. suprised to see all the LRUs in situe. who pinched all the cup holders?!
And yes Tuc we did have some good people in spite of what BGG says! however there was only a few who should have not been let loose near aircraft.
I too remain in touch with one or two folks from the era.
Oh and all you photo shoppers- I think the "Royal Air Foce" should be on the white top side! How are the Formation Eating Team going to get through that small crew door and up the stairs?
So what was wrong with using the brand new Nimrods which were trashed? 1964 airframes? I've just sold a 16yo Merc which I loved because it was going to be too expensive to maintain. If the Nimrods were unsuitable did we consider an A340 airframe?
Fatigue life? I suspect we might run out of AVTUR first...
Here is the data for the KC-135R from which ours will be based. This should be worst case.
The March 2004 Defense Science Board Task Force Report on Aerial Refueling Requirements found that "Usage, which induces material fatigue, is not the driving problem. Total flying hours are relatively low for the KC-135s: the current airframe average is about 17,000 hours. Fatigue life is estimated to be 36,000 hours for the E, 39,000 hours for the R. Cycles are commensurately low on average (3800 for the R and 4500 for the E). Thus, the airframes should be capable to the year 2040 based on current usage rates."