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A380's suitable for AEW or Maritime S&R ASW roles?

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A380's suitable for AEW or Maritime S&R ASW roles?

Old 21st May 2020, 15:04
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A380's suitable for AEW or Maritime S&R ASW roles?

Reading that many airlines are mothballing their a 380 fleets, isn't this an opportunity for the MoD to purchase and convert the widebody frames to AEW/ASW/AS&R roles?
Without much modification surely supply and support roles at the very least?
Just bringing back PPE by the shedload must be wirth punt?

With the slump in civil aviation likely to take many years to recover, there must be many other airframes suitable for a variety of support roles?
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Old 21st May 2020, 15:11
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Or maybe a couple or 3 B737 or A320 pax/freighter combis to replace the 146's?
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Old 21st May 2020, 15:18
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Originally Posted by Icare9 View Post
Reading that many airlines are mothballing their a 380 fleets, isn't this an opportunity for the MoD to purchase and convert the widebody frames to AEW/ASW/AS&R roles?
Without much modification surely supply and support roles at the very least?
Just bringing back PPE by the shedload must be wirth punt?
Way too big and expensive to operate for the role surely.........which is exactly why the airlines are rapidly getting shot of them.

They are not a viable conversion to freight either, although the seats can be removed, all cargo in the PAX space has to be hand loaded, again not an option, when a 777 can carry a bigger cargo payload, not to mention the 747F being even better.

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Old 21st May 2020, 15:31
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Originally Posted by Green Flash View Post
Or maybe a couple or 3 B737 or A320 pax/freighter combis to replace the 146's?
Plenty of 737Maxs available.
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Old 21st May 2020, 15:33
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AEW/ISR platforms are shrinking to business jet size from 707 size, not growing. Which is why SAAB is doing so well in the market. With the cargo fleets filled by C-17/A-400M/Y-20 I really cant see any military market.
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Old 21st May 2020, 15:37
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Originally Posted by Icare9 View Post
Reading that many airlines are mothballing their a 380 fleets, isn't this an opportunity for the MoD to purchase and convert the widebody frames to AEW/ASW/AS&R roles?
Without much modification surely supply and support roles at the very least?
Simple and short answer, No.

Slightly longer one - modification is never easy, simple or cheap. D&D and flight trials would be long and expensive. The A380 is way too big to fill any role apart from pax transport. Anyway, E-7 is coming to fill AEW, and P-8 is coming to fill ASW & LRSAR roles - or at least they were until the UK's GDP decreased thanks to CV19, which is going to mean an even bigger hole in the Defence budget
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Old 21st May 2020, 15:41
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
AEW/ISR platforms are shrinking to business jet size from 707 size, not growing. Which is why SAAB is doing so well in the market. With the cargo fleets filled by C-17/A-400M/Y-20 I really cant see any military market.
And most likely to be autonomous drones in the not too distant future
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Old 21st May 2020, 15:56
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Just think of the amount of Dairy Cream Sponge you could get on a 380. A kipper fleet crew could stay airborne for months!
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Old 21st May 2020, 18:13
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I hear that Harry Gows are planning a fleet of pie re-supply drones designed to home on to the P8 and lob pastry based ordnance into the sonobouy launchers
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Old 21st May 2020, 18:19
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Originally Posted by Roland Pulfrew View Post

Slightly longer one - modification is never easy, simple or cheap.
Plus, with the MOD's record on modifications, the cost would be astronomical!
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Old 21st May 2020, 18:36
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Depends on how this Corvid 19 works out. It is possible that in eighteen months or so it will, like SARs and various historical flu viruses, die out or a cure may be found. In that case the 380s will be dragged off their chocks and punched back into service.
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Old 21st May 2020, 18:57
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The only military use I can think of would be a tanker conversion but they already have those. Suppose if itís cheap enough you could use it as a target?

I like the A380 as a passenger, reports are itís nice to fly but the empty weight is equivalent to two 777Fs. It was doomed before CV-19 and I donít think things have improved since...
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Old 21st May 2020, 19:15
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These are massive passenger aircraft...so why not keep a small fleet in reserve for transporting massive numbers of passengers?

Disaster relief? The ability to evacuate big numbers quickly? I'm sure the UN could afford to keep 4 or 5 maintained (by Emirates?) and stored for emergency use globally?

Can't see much use otherwise...perhaps conversion to hospital aircraft, life the DC10 that flies around Africa providing eye surgery?

Mind you, it needs suitable airfields, which might be the clincher...
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Old 21st May 2020, 19:47
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The right aircraft at the wrong time. Such a shame as it is lovely for the Pax.
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Old 21st May 2020, 21:12
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I think this idea has some merit.

Huge fuel capacity, so long on station time. Which is nice for the blunties to see on paper.

For crew, plenty of galley space. I mean more DCS than the catering department can handle galley space. Keep the showers, for less post flight time to the bar.

Four jet engines, so no broadband noise, and let's face it, maritime needs 4 engines.

P8 is for weenies
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Old 21st May 2020, 22:44
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The closest the SAR and ASW folks will get to an actual A380 on the premise is when they crack the pull tab on the top of the aluminum beer can in the mess....
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Old 22nd May 2020, 04:36
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Originally Posted by 2Planks View Post
Just think of the amount of Dairy Cream Sponge you could get on a 380. A kipper fleet crew could stay airborne for months!
Just leave the lounge in place: barista coffee and cake at 38,000ft




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Old 22nd May 2020, 06:53
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Slight thread drift but I believe that a 380 cargo was designed but the launch customer pulled out(?). I'm sure I read recently that someone is starting to convert the surplus 380's into freighters.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:31
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Slight thread drift but I believe that a 380 cargo was designed but the launch customer pulled out(?)
Was Fedex, wasn't it?
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:34
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UPS and FedEx Express had firm ordered new A380 freighters but Airbus halted that version when they had those harness troubles in the early days of the passenger version. The freighter had been intended to be the base for heavier weight passenger versions and stretches as well. Only a pair of wings got built with some different high lift system.
Converted passenger aircraft might make sense as package freighters but the cabin floors are not good for general cargo and the upper deck needs new high level lifters. Maybe for express cargo? Think about all those EK A380 coming off lease. More promising than AEW or anti submarine for sure.
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