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Aircraft running costs

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Aircraft running costs

Old 16th Jun 2009, 22:40
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Aircraft running costs

Hi all,
Got a bit of an essay to write and I was wondering if anyone knew where I could get an rough idea of the hourly costs of flying/running Typhoon / Harrier / C130 and C17?

Does the MoD publish this data externally or internally? I looked on the NAO website but found nothing. Just estimated figures are cool.

Plus, would anyone be able to point to ROC for Paveway / Brimstone etc or is all this commercially sensitive too?

I'm trying to weigh up the cost benefits of purchasing AC130's for OCA on the basis of cheaper thru life maintenance and flying costs maybe?

Thanks in advance!
Grimweasel is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2009, 22:56
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The figure of £17000 ph seems to stick in my head for operating a Chinook, afraid I cant help with the others.

Phone the MCO at the home stations, Im sure they will know.

minigundiplomat is online now  
Old 16th Jun 2009, 23:04
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C130 is approx 5k/hr
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Old 16th Jun 2009, 23:36
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Operating Cost or Running Cost (ie fuel and lubes are one thing, but the wage of the cook in the airmans mess in Lyneham and the cost of simulator etc are factored for Operating cost - or whatever they are called)...You will get a moderate number for one and a Huge cost for the other.

If you were to charter them out, as a company you would use the latter, as you would expect to pay for the airframe etc by the end of their use..
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Old 17th Jun 2009, 06:40
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QinetiQ’s website used to have the hourly costs of various aircraft on it (mainly Boscombe based stuff), whether it still does I don't know.
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Old 17th Jun 2009, 07:40
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Capitation Rates

Search for "capitation rates" on the Defence Intranet and you will get the info you are looking for. There are two tables - Full and Marginal costs. I am no expert but I believe that maginal costs are effectively fuel and consumables and full costs cover everything inc depreciation. Hourly figures for 09-10 for the platforms you mentioned:

Typhoon - Full £68716 Marginal £3780
Harrier - Full £35762 Marginal £3945
C-130 J - Full £11587 Marginal £1888
C-130K - Full £9924 Marginal £2132
C-17 - Full £42068 Marginal £4870


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Old 17th Jun 2009, 07:58
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Full costs are what you, as Joe Public would have to pay if you wanted the use of an aircraft. Say you wanted to make a film.

The marginal costs are the costs to another Government department. They can also be applied where it is assessed that benefit will acrue to the Department.

Now it would be interesting to see what charges were raised for that Top Gear programme - full, marginal or none
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Old 17th Jun 2009, 12:26
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Not an accountant, but

IIRC Full cost is the annual cost of everything to do with that airframe including all the support staff, buidlings, etc divided by the total number of hours flown in a year. i.e. all direct and indirect costs

The marginal cost is the cost of one more hour in the air ignoring all the indirect (fixed) costs, i.e. fuel and maintenance. Full cost per hour will vary with the number of hours flown, marginal will not.
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Old 17th Jun 2009, 13:24
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The Herc figures are fascinating:

C-130 J - Full £11587 Marginal £1888
C-130K - Full £9924 Marginal £2132

The newer aircraft will obviously cost more to operate whereas the additional flight rations and T&S for the supercargo make the K less economical to fly
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Old 17th Jun 2009, 17:03
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If you are looking into costs, then try JSP368 for info on costing, and also JDP2-02, for info on use of MOD assets for non defence purposes.

Also have a look on Hansard, their website can have some really useful answers lurking in the background, but you need to be clever with your search terms.
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Old 17th Jun 2009, 18:07
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While the given figures are as good as any, take all with a pinch / dollop of salt, an accountant type can come up with any figure they like, good or bad, to suit agendas...

As for the Top Gear programmes, I would guess they were regarded as recruiting aids, possibly rightly.

The fact J.Clarkson is a staunch supporter of ' Help For Heroes ' can't do any harm either, and there's always the argument ( ? ) that it was unusual training for the Typhoon pilot ( the Sea Harrier drag race seems a pretty standard manouvre ), and the aircraft if not there would have been in use anyway.

So, either do it for free for the publicity, ( the BBC may have contributed, don't know ), or make up a figure like telephone numbers...
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 11:59
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Excellent stuff guys - thanks very much for all the info. I knew fellow Pruners would point me in the right direction. Thanks to all that have replied!
Now, on with the essay!
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 13:03
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Not for journo purposes, just entertainment....

How about Chinook vs Merlin vs Puma vs Sea King 4?

Or Tornado GR4 vs Harrier GR7 vs F3?

TriStar vs VC10 K3?
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Old 18th Jun 2009, 13:26
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So, either do it for free for the publicity
Sounds pretty likely - a bit like the Puma that pitches up at the local school fete in the village - put it down under "community relations" and jobs a good 'un.

Or mark it down as SCT or the equivalent - the Commander at Culdrose, a submariner, got to 1st solo in a 705 Gazelle by using up gash SCT.
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