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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 14th Jul 2015, 21:37
  #1361 (permalink)  
 
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Please pay attention children! My point was that if Coastal Command had been a RN command from the outset instead of RAF, there is no certainty that it would have ended up going down the ultimately disastrous Nimrod path anyway. More likely that they would have followed the example of other friendly navies, operated Orion or Atlantique and now be introducing P8 into service.
Utter hoop! Ultimately flawed? The MR1/MR2 worked pretty well for 40 years. At the end it was the most capable MPA in the world. There was no way that Atlantique was ever going to be chosen. In fact there were a number of UK designs that scored better, including the Trident-based MPA, ahead of Atlantique in the queue.

I worked in MoD when a lot of the QEC work was being done and saw what the RN CoC traded out to protect the carriers. Anyone wondered why there are so few Astute boats and T45s? The RN mortgaged their future on QEC. There is no reason to believe they would have been any more keen to protect (the seriously flawed - Sorry Betty) MRA4. Mind you, the RAF has done the same with its FJ sqns with the stupendously expensive F-35. Pigeons, home, roost!
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 21:39
  #1362 (permalink)  
 
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Is it not coreect to say, however, that the MRA4 would never have been certified as 'safe' or Risks ALARP without a monumentally significant amount of extra cash - if at all?
Some seriously crazy (negligently hopeful?) decisions on that critical path / event cascade.
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 21:46
  #1363 (permalink)  
 
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That wasnt really my point.

Read my post.

Last edited by betty swallox; 15th Jul 2015 at 00:22.
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 22:08
  #1364 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post
I think I'm fairly sure in saying that while the Atlantic was a good political option, the RAF were set completely against it as it only had two engines.

And as for whether or not we'd currently be operating MPAs if the Navy ran the show, when I see just what the Navy have happily got rid of to have two new aircraft carriers, I think there is no guarantee of that.
That's what I thought, but once you get in amongst the DEFE and AIR 2 files on the subject, it turns out that RAF opinion was not what's often been portrayed.


This can all be discovered in the piece by Flt Lt Tom Yonge in Air Power Review:

http://www.airpowerstudies.co.uk/sit...prvol16no1.pdf (pp 92-109)

Which is what prompted me to have a look in the relevant files; the article is a distillation of a chapter in the MPhil thesis he did at Birmingham (which, if you're really keen on reading about the subject of MPA can be found at: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3985/1/Yonge12MPhil.pdf)
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 22:13
  #1365 (permalink)  
 
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Betty - I was not answering your oost as such; simply making a (factual?) point
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 22:26
  #1366 (permalink)  
 
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Yup. I can't disagree, btw.

But here's the thing. This has been covered ad nauseam elsewhere on PPRuNe.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 02:09
  #1367 (permalink)  
 
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I seem to remember that Vmca/Vmcg was a bit of an issue with the MRA4's larger engines and the small fin/rudder? That might be why BEagle states the porcine-like handling...

...I also remember that 2 out of 3 flap brackets cracked on flight test. Again, that would likely invoke porcine-like handling!

Anyway, I agree, let's move on as that ship has sailed to the great razor blade in the sky. So will it be P-8 or the Nipponese Wonder Jet?

LJ
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 02:18
  #1368 (permalink)  
MOA
 
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Vmca was stall limited so not an issue. Vmcg was achieved to meet the performance requirements specified, albeit with the addition of a gurney flap to the rudder. Of note, neither Vmca, nor Vmcg, have anything to do with the handling qualities of an aircraft. They are purely 'performance' numbers that drive your take-off speeds.

Can't remember the flap bracket failures, and definitely no failure that resulted in degraded handling qualities during a flight.

I'll call bullshit again....
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 05:39
  #1369 (permalink)  
 
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Gentlemen...please note this

But here's the thing. This has been covered ad nauseam elsewhere on PPRuNe.
Trolls gonna troll, haters gonna hate, but for those that actually know a thing or two about MPA, the MRA4 or military aviation in general, surely the discussion can be kept to...

Will we get one?
What challenges will it present?
And all other "looking forwards" stuff.

This MRA4 stuff is just so 2011.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 07:42
  #1370 (permalink)  
 
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Anybody going to RIAT 2015 over the weekend ?
Supposed to be 2 P-1's, flying and 1 static, don't know if the P-8 will be there are not.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 08:46
  #1371 (permalink)  
 
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The P8 is scheduled to appear, hopefully they will park the P1 next to the P8 and then the future users can see which one has the biggest kitchen. Seriously after our illustrious leaders comments at Waddington the other day surely there will be an announcement soon.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 09:36
  #1372 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The Old Fat One View Post
Gentlemen...please note this

Trolls gonna troll, haters gonna hate, but for those that actually know a thing or two about MPA, the MRA4 or military aviation in general, surely the discussion can be kept to...

Will we get one?
What challenges will it present?
And all other "looking forwards" stuff.
One lives in hope...
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 11:09
  #1373 (permalink)  
 
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TOFO.


Agree strongly!!

Not sure some on here do...!

Now I've got Taylor Swift in my ears. Thanks!
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 20:39
  #1374 (permalink)  
 
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Looks to me like Cameron has already decided what he wants to happen post SDSR. More Drones and SF.


MOA

I also fail to see how Vmcg is not an ac handling issue.

Vmcg is defined as the minimum speed, whilst on the ground, that directional control can be maintained, using only aerodynamic controls, with one engine inoperative (critical engine on two engine airplanes) and takeoff power applied on the other engine(s).
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 21:09
  #1375 (permalink)  
 
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MOA wrote:
I know every single pilot who ever flew the MRA4, including all the TPs, myself included, and it was not a pig. Initial configuration, yes, production standard, no.
The TP who briefed us was actually referring to the original aeroplane. If its poor handling qualities were eventually rectified, then fine, OK, I concede that betty swallox and you must be correct if it was indeed eventually made to fly satisfactorily.

The other issue about which we were briefed was, as Finnpog wrote:
Is it not correct to say, however, that the MRA4 would never have been certified as 'safe' or risks ALARP without a monumentally significant amount of extra cash - if at all?
Again, the TP opined that certain design issues made the likelihood of MAA sign-off in the emergent risk-averse era rather unlikely.

Anyway, it's all razor blades now, so one must just hope that either the Boeing P-8 (Indian Navy has just ordered another 4) or the Kawasaki P-1 will become the UK's future maritime aeroplane.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 21:29
  #1376 (permalink)  
 
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Phoney Tony

I know, I agree with you but some people just want to believe...

Also for Vmca, it is also a de-facto handling issue:

Vmca is defined as the minimum speed, whilst in the air, that directional control can be maintained with one engine inoperative (critical engine on two engine aerolanes), operating engine(s) at takeoff power and a maximum of 5 degrees of bank towards the good engine(s)
I also saw, with my own fair eyes the pictures of flap bracket failures from the Capability Desk Officers for MRA4 in HQ 2Gp. Both were experienced MR2 captains and they also wanted to see MRA4 into service, however, some of the horror stories coming over their desks of alleged poor engineering/manufacturing techniques at the factory (some of which was personally reported by the Senior ground engineer in HQ 2Gp and his team direct to the AOC following an eng audit of one of the first production aircraft) and also some design issues already mentioned. I remember listening with incredulity when the company allegedly wanted the RAF to accept it into service with no sonobuoy clearance and also supposedly not being able to open the bomb bay doors above 200kts (because some critical flying controls were placed at the rear of the bomb bay and a large seagull hit could prove fatal! ).

So, I'm afraid I don't know what MOA's agenda is, but from where I was working the outlook for a fully capable aircraft at ISD was pretty unlikely back in 2010/11. It appeared to be TSR2 all over again, a complete shambles; although I suspect we will have to put up with future misty eyed views of 'look what we could have won' from individuals that may well have been so blinkered (due to having a vested interest to get back to KIS) that they were falling over themselves to find fixes for things that shouldn't have needed fixing in the first place! It wasn't as if the aircraft was designed on the back of a fag packet and so finding out that the rudder was too small is unacceptable in the modern era of CAD/CAM and computer modelling.

Talking of vested interests, I was amazed when at PJHQ that the kipper mates were literally falling over themselves to get the MR2 involved in overland ISR. I could not believe that we were using a Maritime Patrol Aircraft in the overland ISR role - putting 12 crew and a couple of LO's lives at risk to deliver something nowhere near the capabilities of Predator A (in sensor packages, weapons capability, beyond line of sight datalink capability and less of a manpower burden) was a big error in view. However, again, from my viewpoint, the forward leaning of the fleet to do this role and be a part of the action to fill an overland ISR capability gap cost us lots of money and very sadly some good people's lives. Which brings me back to MRA4, we had learned nothing in that aircraft's design by putting fuel, heat and an ignition source in critical points on the MRA4 airframe without any fire detection/suppression systems - hence there was LOTS of work to do to get her to meet modern safety case standards (and it was that, I believe, that was the final nail in the coffin for MRA4 in my humble opinion).

Anyway, waiting for more churlish calls of 'bullsh!t' and 'troll' comments from the peanut throwers that refuse to accept some of the stories from the time.

LJ

Last edited by Lima Juliet; 15th Jul 2015 at 21:40.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 22:08
  #1377 (permalink)  
 
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I am still amazed that the production pathway for the MRA4 was chosen, above all other solutions, to have the new wings mated to a bespoke box, to accomodate the 'dimensionally diverse' legacy fuses.

It must have made sense at the time.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 22:33
  #1378 (permalink)  
 
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Anyway, waiting for more churlish calls of 'bullsh!t' and 'troll' comments from the peanut throwers that refuse to accept some of the stories from the time.
You spectacularly miss the point old chap. Not a single point you raise is new, revealing, innovative or original. Much of what you post is indeed spot one...

I give you this...

Talking of vested interests, I was amazed when at PJHQ that the kipper mates were literally falling over themselves to get the MR2 involved in overland ISR.
Guess when some of us "kipper mates" predicted getting involved in overland ISR would end in tears.

Nineteen****ing eighty nine! And in writing!

The message is simply....it's history! Move on.

The nation needs an MPA. What it is and who operates it is mere detail.
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Old 15th Jul 2015, 22:48
  #1379 (permalink)  
 
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LJ,

No bullsh1t and troll coments from me but just a note to point out that the MR2 was doing the overland ISR bit from immediatly post 9/11 until Reaper came online much later. A gap of several years, as you will know. Were you in PJHQ asking such questions in 2001? And as a kipper mate going back to 1985, I am intrigued as to who was falling over themselves to get the MR2 involved in overland ISR and when?

Please PM me with names if your allegations have substance. Note that I have no adverse comments on Reaper performance - just that it didn't exist before 2007. I was also a key MRA4 bloke in 2 Gp before the death knell and fail to remember some of your comments such as 'the company wants to accept the MRA4 into service without a sonobuoy clearance'. And, Critical flying controls at the rear of the bomb bay - seriously?? Mate, as an aviator, what critical flying controls do you expect to find at the rear of a bomb bay??
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Old 16th Jul 2015, 02:58
  #1380 (permalink)  
 
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BEagle.

Response accepted.

However the whys and wherefores of certification have been adequately covered on PPRuNe, IMHO, before.

Time to move on.
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