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MoD wants to lease more C-130J's

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MoD wants to lease more C-130J's

Old 8th Mar 2009, 20:58
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Re my previous post, I thought I was right about the floor, but was not sure.

It should be understood, and I would be surprised if at least Marshalls did not know, that all J models come from the factory plumbed for externals.

Aircraft can be fitted with externals, I believe it takes about two days.

The source of all bits could be taken off the K models as they go out of service.

Neither stretched J models of the RAF and RAAF have the flip over rollers (what a shame, because the RAF and RAAF were not prepared to finance the plug in extensions. Now of course that I believe it was developed for the USA stretched air planes the retrofit is so expensive.

Would have thought that both air forces having C17 experience would see the folly of cost cutting.

Anyone who has flown with the B& P sytem knows the restictions that places on you if you have to floor load.

I think you would be wise to buy more C130's even if it only gives you better use of the fleet by spreading the hours around.

Does anyone know when the first mainplane changeover is going to be made.

Hope you do not make the mistake of letting the K's go with the external fitted, like you did with the first batch that were traded to Lockheed.

Nose wheel centered, parking brake set, exit clearance and watch the props.

Col
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 21:49
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Didn't we sell off a load of our C-130s a few years back? They are still in service in Mexico, Sri Lanka and Austria.

I hope we got a good price for them!
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 22:09
  #23 (permalink)  

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A&C, not "trying to make myself look clever" merely trying to save the internet some space. However if do you want me to quote your entire post and then state that you clearly don't understand how we do business then fine.

It is clear that by civil standards the aircraft are under used, perhaps you should start to ask why when deployed on tactical tasks you only have one crew
What on earth have civil standards got to do with anything? Your're comparing apples and orangutangs. To be fair, I don't know you from a hole in the ground and you are entitled to your opinion but the military and civil worlds are different. Sure, one can draw comparisons between our shiny fleet moving lots of people (or not) from A to B and the way the civvies do it but I'm afraid the grubby world of the C130 is very different.

I think it is time for the RAF to have a hard look at the way it conducts business and suspect that the one crew per aircraft attitude started when the air force had a lot of aircraft, now it is due to the critical overstreach in manpower that I see when ever I talk to guys I know in the RAF.
Sorry, and you are? It's true the RAF is overstretched in places but I would hazard that the C130 pilot world isn't one of them (other than in terms of aircraft which are getting too knackered too quickly from being flown too much ) The deployed C130 could not sustain the flying hours of being worked 24hrs a day and to be honest they don't need to be. The one crew per aircraft "attitude", as you rather disparagingly refer to it, has nothing to do with the good ole days and me painting my name on the side of the old kite and everything to do with managing our fleet and personnel to create the best minimum arse-ache/maximum efficiency balance for all concerned. We don't have the aircraft/simulators/instructors or indeed requirement to sustain a massive expansion of C130J crews.

Basically (good basically) you're entitled to your opinions and as a civilian airline pilot they're probably fairly well educated opinions but don't be fooled into thinking that your procedures/rules etc have read-across or relevance to what we do on ops.

herkman
It should be understood, and I would be surprised if at least Marshalls did not know, that all J models come from the factory plumbed for externals.
Indeed they do however Lockheed were asking about 100 billion per tank and so we said no thanks. I didn't think the K tanks could be switched across to the J (1553 stuff?). That said, even if they could Marshalls would make a pigs arse of it and they'd end up costing more than the aircraft itself

Ideally, we'd buy some of the US Js and they'd come with all the good stuff already fitted - we only really need external tanks on a few aircraft.

HQ2
Didn't we sell off a load of our C-130s a few years back?
Yes, because it was part of the deal for the Js plus they were all pretty shagged anyway....
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 22:09
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst the externals from a C-130K could be fitted to the -J, LM will not underwrite that changeover, so externals for the C-130J will be new ones.
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Old 8th Mar 2009, 23:14
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Civilian Practices

I remember hearing a story that when the FSTA project was in it's infancy, a civilian aviation consultancy was hired to explore the concept of leasing aircraft to replace the VC10 and TriStar. They examined the flying programme and pronounced that they could redesign it such that the MoD would need 1.8 aircraft. Of course they had not factored in all the concurrent tasking and had not appreciated that some aircraft and crews are still doing their job when they are not flying, by holding a readiness state.

SS is quite rightly points out that the C-130 is a world away from airline operations, but it is also worth bearing in mind that the much-maligned shiny/Strat AT fleet consists of only 3 aircraft. The rest are also tankers, a role that also has unique facets, with no civilian equivalent.

I hope you get your extra frames, they are going to be needed as A400M tries to shed it's excess 12 tonnes.
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 05:49
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Well your statement about externals and lockgreed is undoubtably correct.

But the US forces have just done upgrade and they did it within their own structure.

About time this new breed of aces at LM, learnt who is the customer is and people getting ripped off by their excessive costs need to take a long hard look at what they are doing.

It is the RAF who did the in flight refueling from bits which I believe came off the Vulcan, and did it all in 6 weeks.

Tanks, come the need for wartime for operation could be on in days. The RAAF has tanks in reserve for just this need and they are the same tanks.

Regards

Col
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 07:32
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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What we actually need is 5/6 C130J (Mk4s) fully equipped with externals, decent floor and winch, RWR, etc, etc.

This 'mini-fleet' could be put to very good use releasing 5/6 'standard' C130Js back to the strat/tac AT pool.

The C130Ks are sha**ed - and yes we did sell a load off as part of the C130J buyback scheme. Each one went with external tanks and cupola! - most of them were Mk1s as well - the platform that has suffered the worst combat attrition.

However, if we don't decide to buy them now it will almost be too late - we need to plan for the next conflict/operation.
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 08:24
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Hows this for cost saving

Buy your 5 J's Replace the floors with the current k floor from the aircraft you are scrapping,instant fully interegrated Airdrop platform at a fraction of the money that is being wasted on developing new airdrop platforms and systems for the current J. how radical.
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 08:45
  #29 (permalink)  

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Rip out the enhanced cargo system, the flip floor and the built in winch and replace it with parquet flooring...Genius. And while we're at it we could rip out that annoying glass cockpit and get rid of those tedious high performance engines too....

To be honest, I wouldn't put that sort of idiocy beyond UK Plc. Intead of such nonsense, how's about we just use the US systems? Or just integrate our current/development systems with the new, clever cargo system? Given that it's the serviceability of the dash 4 that's causing most of the problems I can't see my suggestion taking much longer to integrate....
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 15:13
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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how very droll

isnt it wonderfull how a T**T like stop start bleats on about engines and glass cock pits. dont believe i mentioned anything about that , just a sensible cheap and effective way to get 5 fully spamed up aircraft out in to theatre as quick and effectively as possible to cope with the demands of certain ops
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Old 9th Mar 2009, 15:59
  #31 (permalink)  

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Bleats? Bless you for your kind words. Clearly irony passes you by
I'll elucidate for you.
Ripping out a flip floor ECHS back-end to fit a K floor would be the equivalent of pulling the engines off a J and fitting K ones in their place. Nigh on impossible, a backward step and, of course, pointless.

just a sensible cheap and effective way
Your idea is none of those things.
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 09:37
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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K floor on a J, awesome idea.

Where do these clowns come from?
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 09:47
  #33 (permalink)  

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"Location: lyneham, wilts, Uk" ....which makes it even more distressing...
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 10:03
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Distressing? I actually just had a good laugh at that. Remember to laugh Stoppers! Dont become one of those serious South Siders!
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 11:50
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Dont become one of those serious South Siders!
Hey Juliet - don't jump to conclusions about every 'south-side'.

A lot of us have done 'north-side' - well before the J arrived!!!!

We're all one big happy family south-side

I think we all agree we need more, fully-equipped platforms and quickly - before we sh*g another fleet through excess fatigue!

Last edited by Truckkie; 10th Mar 2009 at 11:51. Reason: spooling chock
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Old 10th Mar 2009, 15:01
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Hows this for cost saving

Buy your 5 J's Replace the floors with the current k floor from the aircraft you are scrapping,instant fully interegrated Airdrop platform at a fraction of the money that is being wasted on developing new airdrop platforms and systems for the current J. how radical.
You can't rip the floor out, the J is manufactured around the ECHS and the flip floor.

Mac
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 12:00
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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All,

Don't start the North/South willy-waving contest again........pleeeeease!

Anyway, been on both sides of 'the bund' and the view from either side is great and everyone (apart from Juliet, apparently) takes their role very seriously and (dare I say it) professionally - shock horror!!?

CDS - As others have pointed out, a J with a K floor is a non-starter - period! SS was quite right to compare such folly with the retrograde step of replacing FADECs with 'Mrs Shilling's Orifices' - even if he was a bit harsh - perhaps you didn't appreciate the complexity/impossibility of changing the floor! Either way, please lighten up both.

J - Get 'serious'!

SS - As you know, I've seen both sides of the aviation spectrum and I think that Vin Rouge may have a valid point that manning/crewing levels are not doing you the best of favours and only predisposing crews and ground-staff to fatigue induced error/strain. Please let me know if I'm out of date but history, even if recent, is a good teacher.

In 2002-4, remember how hard everyone was working on the J in OIF - but you had 4 ac sitting on the pan at LYE with no engines! How hard would everyone have been working with 4 extra ac to fly?

Now, no-one expects a J, K or C17 to work 24/7 (except in a slip pattern - do you do those anymore?) but there is no reason why a well-serviced and maintained ac with the right number of spares and engineers in theatre should not be working 18-20 hours a day, even with re-roling and minor servicing (a contentious statement perhaps - so feel free to appraise me of the state of the AT fleets). But of course, most combat-threat flying is done at night which may reduce these hours a little!?

Truckkie - I accept that if you have to 'live' on the ac it may it cloud things a bit in theatre - but its nothing that a few portacabins, DRASH or even some 12 x12s wouldn't fix - its been done before!?

Unfortunately, I suspect all your problems will lie with Group/PMA manning levels rather than with the number of ac . In OEF and OIF (01-05), the Herc crewing levels had dropped significantly from that of the Cold War. In 01-02, trying to run an airbridge to AFG from a 'neighbouring country', we could barely keep 5 ac (out of 8) flying each night - with just 2 crews per ac in theatre (flying 17-21 hour 'days') and a full engineering det and a few AGEs. Back at LYE, the theoretical manning levels were about 3:1 but we never got our full quota of crews in theatre; for the simple fact that they weren't actually available - or were knackered/out of hours! That's why you need more crews. We were lucky that our loads only required 5 ac/night, plus a spare frame , with 2 ac constantly being worked on. To the detacthment's great credit, even then, we ran the movers out of loads to AFG! Instead, they found us some pilgrims to take to Mecca but that's another story!

Okay, you won't need as many as 6 -7 crews per ac as VR suggests - perhaps 3 or 4:1 would be sufficient to allow for a short surge; bearing in mind, it feels like we have been 'surging' for almost 11 years - since Kosovo/Sierra Leone!

However, the fact is that the 2 Gp/AC budgets have shrunk (aided and abetted by PMA) so as to keep the ac crewing levels way below acceptable levels - they are probably about 2:1 for a constantly falling number of ac, which is barely sufficient IMHO. OTOH, if crew numbers were to increase there would be a greater training and admin burden - at geat cost to AC/HMG, so I don't think this is a starter.

However, should there be an accident where fatigue caused by insufficient manning is a major factor, then 'the MoD system' as a whole, could be at fault for not providing you guys with enough raw material (people) with which to do the job. Arguably, more ac would be better but the system would have to provide with more crews to go with them, so that's not going to happen either - its an 'angry oval' or 'vicious circle'; as you prefer!

Just getting on with it, in old military fashion, is just not sufficient defence these days. Everyone needs sufficient rest - its a physical requirement - just like food and water (and even sex)!!! Anyone who thinks they can get operate efficiently and safely with insufficient rest for more than a couple of nights, is fooling themselves. Countless studies and anecdotal evidence have underline this but yet we all convince ourselves we are 'fine, thank you'. If you want to see what years of insufficient rest does to someone - see how Maggie Thatcher and even Tony Bliar look now!

So, if you can't use the ac to their full potential with the number of crews that you have - don't try to get the proverbial quart out of a pint pot! Pressure your execs to point this out to Group/PMA and up the manning levels - which really would buck a trend.

I will gladly eat my hat if you succeed!

flipster
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 12:06
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Spot on post Flip!
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 16:48
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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It would also help if you had an AOC who knew a bit more than four and threequarters of f**k all about AT!

3P
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Old 11th Mar 2009, 17:04
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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3putt

Ah......that old chestnut....t'was ever thus!

flipster
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