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Ageing air transport aircraft....

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Ageing air transport aircraft....

Old 7th Mar 2009, 22:46
  #121 (permalink)  
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lack of corporate experience with 2-crew, EFIS, ETOPS jets was one - just one - of the reasons why a fleet of 10 interim transport jets couldn't possibly be operating in support of the Herrick airbridge within a timescale of 9-months
It didn't take 9 months to convert Flight Crew and engineers from ancient analogue B737-200s to the digital B757-200ER. Why should the RAF be different? There's nothing particularly magic about 2-crew, glass cockpit, ETOPS aeroplanes.
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Old 7th Mar 2009, 23:54
  #122 (permalink)  

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So what about this piece of kit? Bung a few of these on some civvy airliners and bob's your uncle....
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 00:29
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Any modification from the type approval will have to be submitted to the Authorty for acceptance: hence if you bolt wing pods on to an A330 that mod, together with any other mods required for military operation e.g a freight door, would require Authority approval.
Nope, not if it is a military aircraft operating under a MAR. The "certification" lies with the MoD airworthiness authorities.

The FSTA A330s have been allocated military serials ZZ330-ZZ343.

I think that there may be a plan for the aircraft to hold dual-identities so that they may also be operated as civilian aircraft under the AOC held by AirTanker Ltd. The aircraft's civilian type-certification will depend on the military equipment being deactivated when it is used for this purpose. Such concepts are entirely new-ground and are part of the reason that the project is taking a long time to get up-and-running.

In the past few years there have been several different iterations of civilian-owned aircraft in military service. The Grob Tutor is civilian registered and as such has to observe CAA operating regulations. The King Air originally had a civilian registration but now carries military serials. I believe that this change had to be made so that diplomatic clearance for overseas flights could be obtained, as there was no mechanism for the military to apply for such clearances with civilian aircraft. I don't know whether it has a MAR, but the fact that it is ostensibly unmodified for any military function would make the safety-case straightforward.

Blacksheep, I will say one more time. The 2-crew, EFIS, ETOPS thing is not a show-stopper, but converting airline pilots within an existing TRTO is not the same thing as starting a military operation from scratch with very little relevant corporate knowledge in any training or supervisory postions. As soon as you start trying to ameliorate this problem by importing civilian experience, you are right back into the same contractual issues that affect FSTA. And this is just one of the hurdles that any interim solution would have to face, along with the massive regulatory and airworthiness problems that have only just been touched on here. They could all be overcome, but the timescale is pure fantasy.

Anyone who has any experience of HMG practices knows that it is risible to suggest that a new aeroplane of this kind could be procured and modified, with crews trained and worked up, within 9-months. The person who made this claim had never heard of TES which, quite frankly, says it all about the validity of his argument.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 01:28
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Brain Potter

Why not? Qantas are doing just that for the RAAF A330 Tankers. The aircrew do their conversion sim and line training with QF. The Role training can then be done within the RAAF.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 05:37
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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The RAAF A330 MRTT (KC-30B) project has been in gestation for several years.

They never expected to go from nought-to-sixty in 9-months.

The very fact that the RAAF are sending guys to QF for line-training means that they acknowledge that they have no experience with the jet and think that it is sensible to accrue some corporate knowledge before setting-up their own operation.

Such contracts are not knocked-up overnight and require diligent "staffing". Again, this is eminently achievable but not within the fantasy timescales that have been suggested.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 08:26
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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I think that there may be a plan for the aircraft to hold dual-identities so that they may also be operated as civilian aircraft under the AOC held by AirTanker Ltd. The aircraft's civilian type-certification will depend on the military equipment being deactivated when it is used for this purpose. Such concepts are entirely new-ground and are part of the reason that the project is taking a long time to get up-and-running.
Not that easy to deactivate a lot of said equipment. Just having it fitted will actually security classify the airframe.

Not fitting it is not an option either - can't have a military tanker/trooper without the equipment to do the job.

Interesting problem....
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 12:45
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Im reading this thread on the 330 with interest, my old boss is the DFO for Airtanker, and is working on there entry in to service, I have heard that he must be able to pass a RAF Medical when they start flying as he will be given a military rank, this could prove quite interesting, they have given him a trainer and fitness prog to follow as he is not in the best and slimest shape. I also understand the flying is going to done bu both Military and civil pilots, And as for line training , well he is flying the line with BKI to keep him current so my be that will happen with you guys.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 13:24
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone who has any experience of HMG practices knows that it is risible to suggest that a new aeroplane of this kind could be procured and modified, with crews trained and worked up, within 9-months.
Brain, that's the kind of MoD and Service bullsh1t that hinders progress: that and your comment regarding "staffing" reflects the muddled "but we have always done it this way" style of thinking that quite clearly differentiates your culture from the results driven commercial culture.

The thread title is "Ageing air transport aircraft" not AAR aircraft.

Flash to bang - 9 months: at least 10 AIR TRANSPORT aircraft.

Civil registered, civilian operated.

And since when have Globespan needed TES to go to the Falklands???

Last edited by The Real Slim Shady; 8th Mar 2009 at 13:51.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 15:33
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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TRSS,

You may think that it is bullshit, but that won't change the way that HMG works. The efforts of staff officers to get results within a framework of what they know is achievable is not "muddled thinking"; it is realpolitik. The idea that these guys are some breed of headquarters-dwelling pseuds is simply a fallacy. The chances are that immediately prior to their time in Whitehall they were in a command tour on an operational unit, and have first-knowledge of all the problems. They will expect to go back to these same units and want to see them equipped and managed as well as can be achieved. "Staffing" is not a self-serving headquarters process, it is how every single decision in the MoD is reached. It is only a parochial name for the same kind of managerial research that takes place in every organization before decisions are taken (except perhaps in RBS). There is good and bad staffwork and much of the good work never comes to fruition because of budgetary issues, but to simply dismiss "staffing" as an anachronistic concept is quite wrong. Diligent staff work is the only method by which the Treasury can be persauded to part with taxpayer's money. If you want to revolutionize the HMG processes you need start by becoming a big player in national politics, because that would be the level of clout required. I am not endorsing these practices, but am simply defending those who have to work within them.

To go back to the detail of the debate, I cannot see the point of MoD aquiring it's own fleet of 10 civilian operated "vanilla" transport aircraft. It would have no impact on the operational airbridge and would offer nothing that could not be achieved by chartering from the the likes of, as you say, Globespan. If the aircraft cannot go into theatre what would be the point of the investment?

I think this debate needs some perspective. Yes, the airbridge can be a painful experience for the user, costing them valuable days of R&R. But ultimately it is only an inconvinience, whereas other issues actually kill people. Snatch Landrovers are costing lives. Lack of SH costs lives. Nimrod airworthiness has cost lives. These are the problems that really do require the urgent application of precious MoD resources.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 15:59
  #130 (permalink)  
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To go back to the detail of the debate, I cannot see the point of MoD aquiring it's own fleet of 10 civilian operated "vanilla" transport aircraft. It would have no impact on the operational airbridge and would offer nothing that could not be achieved by chartering from the the likes of, as you say, Globespan. If the aircraft cannot go into theatre what would be the point of the investment?
I was just about to make the very same comment, BP!

Whilst there is a downturn in the civil airline market, yielding ample spare leasing capacity, I cannot see any advantage in the RAF acquiring any single role strategic AT assets of its own.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 16:07
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Brain Potter:
Nimrod airworthiness has cost lives. These are the problems that really do require the urgent application of precious MoD resources.
The airworthiness, or lack of it, of many military aircraft involved in accidents to date leads one to wonder if the urgent application of precious resources that you speak of, BP, should be in the hands of just about anyone other than the MOD! As the UK military airworthiness authority it has reneged on its duty of care to ensure that the UK military airfleet does indeed comply with the military airworthiness regulations as highlighted in the Hercules (OK, FFP there), Nimrod and Chinook threads. From what I understand the failure is/was systemic and by extension affects all fleets, not only those that have suffered such terrible tragedies. Just as financial pressure does not excuse civil AOC holders from full compliance with CAA regulations, the same should apply to military operators. But the catch is that operator and regulator are one and the same. As with all self regulation the result is a compromised system, and in this case a deadly one. Military Airworthiness regulation needs to be removed from the MOD into a separate and independent Military Airworthiness Authority ASAP. The mess it will encounter will take years, probably decades, to put right. Yes, it will cost lots of money and we would never know for sure how much needless loss of life it prevents, but if the present arrangement continues we will only know of the loss that it could have prevented.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 16:55
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Chug,

I agree with a lot of your sentiments.

However, the issues highlighted by Nimrod, Hercules and Chinook make it even less likely that any politician, civil servant or air officer is going to approve the abbreviated airworthiness process that would be necessary to get a new aircraft, that meets TES, into service in the sort of timescale that TRSS has claimed.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 21:09
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry, only applies to military aircraft: i.e those with a military registration, or commandeered civilian aircraft in time of war, operated by a military crew or the militar
Sorry, applies to any aircraft on the UK register, at any time. If it didn't I'm sure it would say so.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 21:43
  #134 (permalink)  
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Sideshow Bob, correct!

For example, it applied to the multi engine training flying conducted at Prestwick for some ab-initio RAF pilots in the late 1990s.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 23:46
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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At a Secret Military Testing Facility in the West Midlands

And working with a Major National Institution, the Government are please to announce a Bipartisan, Multicultural, Job Creating Initiative to address the current temporary percieved shortfall in the RAF transport fleet whilst maximising assets and commonality across the present fleet, this ground breaking multifaceted and cost saving lease programme will give the men on our front lines what they both need and want...... Gentlemen I give you the Nimroooo....eeeeerm Comet



Call me Cynical
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 19:25
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Skilly View Post
I was always suspicious of the up front drivers when we always seemed to break down in Washington on the way back from Belize and actually on the tarmac at Calgary. .
Horseshit!

Never ONCE in my time on 10 Sqn did we have a "breakdown" that was not genuine - in fact we carried a good many faults (sometimes when we shouldn't have done) in order to get the job done. Personal and professional pride dictated that we do such.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 21:48
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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Double Horseshit

I second that Moggiee I spent ten years on the fleet and never once did we pull a fast one. Busting a gut to get the job done was a fact of life.
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 00:53
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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Exclamation

The great majority of AT (and AAR) crews continue to bust a gut to get the job done against all the obstacles that are placed in their way, from the Goverment, through inadequte funding, all the way down to uninformed PPruners. Some people really need to get a life!
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 12:14
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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des, and the provision of adequate resources to facilitate the best service to the customer should be a priority, be that " vanilla" civilian aircraft or juiced up heavily armed / self defensive military aircraft.
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 17:27
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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TRSS
We can't just introduce an aircraft into service and fly it straight into theatre, to expect this shows a degree of inexperience with the MOD set-up and the problems we face. Any new type to be operated under military rules requires a Release to Service. No RTS, no fly, end of. This is normally provided by Boscombe, every bit of kit used on the A/C has to be tested and entered into the RTS. This takes time and money. It can be done quicker, under an UOR (Urgent Operational Requirement), but even this takes some time.
To expect a jet to be introduce as quickly as an airline brings one into service is a bit like living in cloud cookooland. The airforce has quite a diverse fleet, all operated under the same broad rules, similar to but not the same a civvy regs. It took several months just to certifie the DAS for the Tristar, then each type (C2(A), KC1, K1) had to be done separately.
There is no quick solution; it will take time, even longer when you involve PFI's and politicians. What we needed was a fleet that was kept up to date and not left till it is on its knees, but it is too late for that now.
As for
" vanilla" civilian aircraft
there are not enough assets in theatre to allow hub and spoke, and no one stupid enough (thank god) to fly straight into theatre without DAS.
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