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Tanker Issues

Old 29th May 2019, 14:13
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Tanker Issues

Probably been discussed before however, it still makes grim reading.https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https...3LLpYbdckBdwN0
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Old 29th May 2019, 16:57
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I mean, it makes 'grim reading' if you believe everything you read on a US website which publishes an article based entirely on quoting another author. Some of this stuff is passable as near-truth but 99% of it is what I would call 'airshow chat' and not worthy of worrying about. Consider the serviceability rates of the Voyager compared to the VC10 and Tristar fleets for example, in the mid 90 percents, we may not have many tankers but by god we fly them hard. Then consider the type of aircraft the article rightly says the Voyager can't refuel; C17, P8, E7, RC35... maybe consider whether in the modern context these aircraft need to be refuelled? Just because they can, doesn't mean it's actually a requirement. Anyway, just food for thought but I wouldn't take what's written in this article too seriously...WW.
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Old 30th May 2019, 04:26
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Then consider the type of aircraft the article rightly says the Voyager can't refuel; C17, P8, E7, RC35... maybe consider whether in the modern context these aircraft need to be refuelled? Just because they can, doesn't mean it's actually a requirement
It is certainly a happy coincidence that precisely those aircraft the Voyager can't refuel are the same aircraft that the RAF doesn't need to refuel. Serendipity indeed.
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Old 30th May 2019, 04:35
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
It is certainly a happy coincidence that precisely those aircraft the Voyager can't refuel are the same aircraft that the RAF doesn't need to refuel. Serendipity indeed.
RC-135 certainly needs to be refuelled and we're yet to know what impact not being able to refuel P-8 and E-7 will be as they're not in service with the RAF yet.....precisely.
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Old 30th May 2019, 08:17
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C17, P8, E7, RC35... maybe consider whether in the modern context these aircraft need to be refuelled?
RAAF IFR's our C-17's, E-7's regularly. One mission for an E-7 in Syria/Iraq required multiple events as they were airborne for 15+ hours. C-17 IFR heading Africa from Oz. P-8 is planned. Trials done...
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Old 30th May 2019, 08:29
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Melmothw, With a statement like
It is certainly a happy coincidence that precisely those aircraft the Voyager can't refuel are the same aircraft that the RAF doesn't need to refuel. Serendipity indeed.
you must have been involved in the procurement of Voyager or a member of the AFB.

All of the aircraft that were named may require AAR to provide the flexibility for us, the United Kingdom, to have a military influence throughout the world. Indeed, even closer to home the P8 would be enhanced by the availability of AAR when required to extend their on station time.
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Old 30th May 2019, 09:10
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Thanks Dominator, I was being sarcastic. It is clear that the capability (or lack of it in the RAF's case) is driving the AAR requirements, rather than the other way around.
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Old 30th May 2019, 11:01
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Dominator,

Up until the Falklands affair in 1982 NONE of the RAF Hercules or Nimrods were AAR equipped. The VC10, Argosy and Belfast all had AAR provision removed not long after introduction as it simply was never needed. The Nimrod R1 fleet was also never AAR equipped until the Falklands. AAR was removed from the Vulcan force as it was never needed up until 1982.
All of these mods were made purely for the South Atlantic prior to Mount Pleasant opening.
I can see a case for the E-7 to be AAR capable, and maybe the P-8A, but the C-17? Rivet Joint? Even the Voyager AAR fleet can't refuel.
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Old 30th May 2019, 11:27
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Dominator,

Even the Voyager AAR fleet can't refuel.
True, but that was because the original KUR was removed to make the PFI work. Other, more sensible, KC-30s operators can AAR their versions.
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Old 30th May 2019, 14:47
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Originally Posted by Whiz Wheel View Post
IThen consider the type of aircraft the article rightly says the Voyager can't refuel; C17, P8, E7, RC35... maybe consider whether in the modern context these aircraft need to be refuelled? J
And how many of them were envisioned for RAF service when the Voyager PFI was drawn up....
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Old 30th May 2019, 14:58
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
And how many of them were envisioned for RAF service when the Voyager PFI was drawn up....
Given the PFI was/is set to run for 25 years, you'd have hoped there would be some provision in there for new types to enter service.
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Old 30th May 2019, 15:01
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
And how many of them were envisioned for RAF service when the Voyager PFI was drawn up....
you can run with this line of reasoning but the decision not to fit a boom is IMO a poor one, inwards looking at best.

two main reasons:

firstly it it has been shown to be short sighted in RAF service alone.

Secondly a very large percentage of the operations the RAF undertake are coalition ops. As such the ability to refuel coalition aircraft adds to the flexibility and usefulness of the platform. Recently for example was routine for RAF fast air on SHADER to receive gas from coalition tankers, equipped with both boom and hose/drogue capabilities. At present the RAF voyager is excluded from a large percentage of operational assets due to lack of a boom. I imagine this has caused a level of consternation at times when other refueling assets have gone U/S, where an equivalent MRTT could have filled the gap.
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Old 30th May 2019, 23:34
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RAAF KC-30A is pumping gas to all comers in the ME every day..
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Old 31st May 2019, 05:21
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A third operational Voyager must remain in the United Kingdom to support fighters flying domestic air-defence missions.
If that means a fully-fuelled Voyager sitting around waiting for a Q launch, that must surely mean airframe fatigue issues? Not many airlines keep an A330 sitting on the ground at MTOM, but presumably the requirement was known to Airbus when the Voyager was specified...???

Whether 3 x A310 with around 72t each (3 x 72 = 216) rather than 2 x A330 with 110 each (2 x 110 = 220) would have been a better choice is a matter of history. But originally the Future Tanker Aircraft was intended to replace the entire VC10/VC10K/TriStar K fleet with around 24 airframes of A310 size.... Rather more hoses in the sky than you see today.
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Old 31st May 2019, 09:18
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If that means a fully-fuelled Voyager sitting around waiting for a Q launch
If the RS is 3 hours, as it was for the VC-10 (Bar the many years in the 1990s when there was no dedicated Q tanker support at all) would it need to be fully fuelled, rather than being topped up when called up to RS60?
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Old 31st May 2019, 13:24
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Not many airlines keep an A330 sitting on the ground at MTOM
No profit in that. But then fully fuelled is not MTOM unless the runway and environment are limiting.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 19:15
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
If the RS is 3 hours, as it was for the VC-10 (Bar the many years in the 1990s when there was no dedicated Q tanker support at all) would it need to be fully fuelled, rather than being topped up when called up to RS60?
Your thinking appears that be entrenched in the times before 9-11. An RS of 3 hours could not cater for the UKs response to the perceived aviation terrorist threat, which QRA is regularly called out for. And fuel on board varies, as does the aircraft in use to allow for flexibility in programming limited assets.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 09:17
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At Marham In the 70s we always had a "combat ready" aircraft on 3 hours readiness for Op Dragonfly (later called Tansor). I am pretty sure this aircraft always had a full fuel load (86K in the case of the Victor K1, more for the K2). Would this have meant fatigue issues for these aircraft? It's a serious question as I don't recall it ever being mentioned at the time, although that may just be my faulty memory.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 21:45
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Presumably but probably not recognised at the time. Later, at Sculthorpe, we used to taxy with empty pods and as little wing fuel as possible because of the state of the taxyway. We shunted the fuel in the opposite direction, for wing relief, before take off, as I recall.
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 00:05
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Thanks a lot Top West and thanks P-N for your message on the subject. As you said probably not recognised in those days.
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