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Spyplane comes to RAF Base, been there a while, has'nt it ??

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Spyplane comes to RAF Base, been there a while, has'nt it ??

Old 10th Feb 2009, 18:44
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Spyplane comes to RAF Base, been there a while, has'nt it ??

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Spy plane comes to RAF base
scarecrow450 is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2009, 20:21
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Yes, the first Sentinel arrived almost 2 years ago. I think the news item was highlighting the fact the fifth and final aircraft has now been delivered.
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Old 10th Feb 2009, 22:07
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Come a long way from the Nimrod AEW Mk3 haven't we?
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Old 10th Feb 2009, 22:36
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Come a long way from IOT...where's all Harry's hair gone?
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Old 10th Feb 2009, 23:23
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where's all Harry's hair gone?
18 months on 5 (AC) Sqn with Raytheon - 'nuff said!
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 05:49
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This system is about answering the questions the customer on the ground needs answering.
Wonderful stuff, I wish I was a new age infanteer. It'd be nice to see a Group Captain working a checkout, packing bags and asking if I wanted cashback.
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 12:12
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For the outsider, could someone say on what airframe the Sentinal is based? Was it adapted/expanded or was the original airframe simply modified?

As an uninformed, non-spotter, it looks like a Canadair regional jet but that is partly due to the picture having no sense of scale, with a/c airborne.
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 12:17
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Based on the Bombardier Global Express.
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 19:28
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These things can fly for 9 hours without refuelling.

Begs the question, do the crew have use of a toilet?
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 20:01
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Despite the Defence cuts, the RAF has indeed stretched to a toilet (and a galley with 'oven' and kettle).
However, I can confirm that it is from the more 'bargain basement' end of the Bombardier fittings brochure than the loo installed on Bill Gates' Global Express
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Old 11th Feb 2009, 21:37
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It'd be nice to see a Group Captain working a checkout, packing bags and asking if I wanted cashback.
I do hope this isn't a reference to the good Gp Capt's resemblance to a well known daytime TV celebrity...



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Old 15th Feb 2009, 09:19
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Life-saving Sentinel R1 spy planes grounded by lack of crews

From The Sunday Times
February 15, 2009:

Life-saving Sentinel R1 spy planes grounded by lack of crews

A NEW billion-pound fleet of spy planes able to spot the roadside bombs that kill troops in Afghanistan will be out of action until at least the middle of next year because the RAF has failed to train enough crew.

Two Sentinel R1 aircraft were deployed to a Gulf base at the end of last year to fly over Afghanistan, conducting trials with their stand-off radar (Astor). The aircraft had an immediate impact — commanders were delighted by its ability to provide high-definition video footage of an area 200 miles long and 200 miles wide, day or night.

Astor can detect any movement and even record the speed of a car from more than 200 miles away in almost any weather. It flies seven miles up, far out of sight of guerrillas.

It will allow commanders to spot Taliban planting the bombs that David Miliband, the foreign secretary, said last week had led to “strategic stalemate” in Afghanistan. A total of 37 troops have been killed by explosions caused by roadside bombs and mines since the Taliban started using them in the current attacks, which started in August 2007. A further 32 soldiers have died from other causes during the same period.

The failure to train sufficient crew and imagery analysts means the RAF will not be able to deploy a Sentinel full-time until 2010. Two crews a plane, making a total of 50 personnel, are required to operate the five aircraft. Ten have been trained.

Each aircraft is operated by a five-man team of two pilots, a mission commander and two imagery analysts. The planes, converted Bombardier passenger jets, have been built by the American firm Raytheon at sites in Texas and near Chester.

The aircraft, on which the RAF spent £954m, will remain at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire until the crews are ready.

An air force spokesman said: “You’ve got to have all five aircraft and all 10 crews ready before you have full operating capability. It could be 2011 but everybody is busting a gut to bring that date forward.”
BEagle is online now  
Old 15th Feb 2009, 10:25
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Thanks for that Beags - picked myself off the floor now!

Reminds me of a lead dry (see above) who, with a completely straight face, informed an antipodean journo that Searchwater could detect a submarine periscope at 10 fathoms This information duly made it verbatim into the national rag, no doubt causing much consternation in Moscow

Obviously this information was complete bolleaux, everyone knows Searchwater only has a limited capability down to 6 fathoms, on a good day and in sea state 5 or above.
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Old 15th Feb 2009, 11:06
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Top Journalism

Read the article this morning - really expected more from the Sunday Times. If they can be that factually inaccurate over such an article as this, who knows how misleading the rest of the paper is.
I'm pretty sure there was a full Media day at the base this week - I wonder if this character bothered to attend, or just got the story third-hand. I'd like to think that if my work was this wide of the mark, I'd have someone to answer to........I know, I know, how hopelessly naive of me.
Love the Dale Winton line 'though, Leon!!

Last edited by Gwladys; 15th Feb 2009 at 11:07. Reason: Typo
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