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Red White and Blue Voyager

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Red White and Blue Voyager

Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:06
  #81 (permalink)  
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Paint schemes

The more I consider it the more I think that, if you’re relying on your paint scheme to hide in the 21st century battle space, you may be in trouble. Helicopters may be an exception.

With this in mind I’m all for holding open colouring competitions for school kids to design schemes for each of our aircraft types.

OK, that last sentence may be stretching things just a little.

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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:15
  #82 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bismark View Post
And painting it grey does that at 35,000ft? What about contrails etc?
I confess that my original concern was simply expenditure on what I perceived as fripperies, especially in these difficult times.

I do, however, have a ‘thing’ about camouflage in the visual spectrum, however trivial it may seem to some, and had a ‘Desk’ interest in the field at MoD in the 90s.

BTW, do contrails occur at normal tanking heights? Genuine question.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:16
  #83 (permalink)  
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:24
  #84 (permalink)  
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Who is Larisa Brown and why should we take her word?
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:24
  #85 (permalink)  
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I despair. Oh, well, it will please the Media and Spotters. I’m just glad the Defence budget had £900,000 hiding down the back of the sofa. 😉
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:26
  #86 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by beardy View Post
Who is Larisa Brown and why should we take her word?
Defence and Security Editor for ... shiver ... the DM.

Doesn’t necessarily mean she isn’t telling the truth
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:27
  #87 (permalink)  
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From Blacksheep: So the spare Voyager aircraft that Air Tanker leased to Thomas Cook is now looking for a new customer. The government decides to take it on and, since it isn't required for front-line military service, they wish to replace the Thomas Cook livery with a more patriotic one for use by Royalty and government ministers - like 32 (Royal) Sqn) for instance.
There is just one Voyager at Cambridge - ZZ336 - which is a full capability Tanker that also has a VIP internal fit. The repaint will only alter people's perception when Boris rocks up somewhere in it - allegedly. It will have no effect on it's ability to perform AAR

The aircraft now released from it's Thomas Cook lease is part of Airtanker's surge fleet, which are leased out to make money (for Airtanker) when the RAF don't need them. Finding another airline willing to take it on is not an MoD task

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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:38
  #88 (permalink)  
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:39
  #89 (permalink)  
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Bloody good idea. Of course the usual suspects latched onto a handy excuse for Boris-bashing. But this aircraft is an important tool to sell the UK brand around the world. It doesn’t have to be grey and with hardly any exceptions, other nations VIP transports don’t routinely wear camouflage schemes.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:42
  #90 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian View Post

Now you're talking.
My dear chap, one does hope you realise that fin flash is French.... Sacre bleu!!!

Mind you the first VC10 that was painted away from home came back with similar...
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:49
  #91 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
I confess that my original concern was simply expenditure on what I perceived as fripperies, especially in these difficult times.

I do, however, have a ‘thing’ about camouflage in the visual spectrum, however trivial it may seem to some, and had a ‘Desk’ interest in the field at MoD in the 90s.

BTW, do contrails occur at normal tanking heights? Genuine question.
Re contrails- yes, depends on atmospherics.

The Voyager with the red RAF100 tail has flown on Ops. Apparently without being shot down. Is that tail a frippery or a worthwhile expense? At what range do you think it is possible to gain sight of the aircraft, versus being able to break out the tail paint?

If the aircraft needed a repaint anyway (not sure if this is actually the case) then is it “frippery”? The cost would have been incurred whether it’s grey or red or....

Last edited by flighthappens; 17th Jun 2020 at 15:31.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:52
  #92 (permalink)  
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A very quick search engine search indicates a 747 full paint job in the region of $200k, so £900k seems a bit of a piss take.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:53
  #93 (permalink)  
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Here's an idea, not new in some respects. Just about every nation state has a national airline, most are functionally insolvent but I digress... Why not have said national carriers occasionally, as needs be, lease a couple of their best aircraft, decked out in feather boas and/or whatever outrageous livery desired, to VIPS? Could be a marketing scheme for aforementioned state vanity project, whilst that airliner is not carrying about our moral and intellectually superior elected/appointed leaders. Imagine: "Fly the very airplane Justin the magnificent coiffed his bouffant in! Free Chrystia Freeland™ bobblehead figurine included! (for a small monthly fee charged to your credit card, no rights included...)"

Save a ton of dough and give flight crews a well paid reason to get out of bed that day.

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Old 17th Jun 2020, 14:59
  #94 (permalink)  

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Martin the Martian: I like your colour scheme, but please can we have "Royal Air Force TRANSPORT Command"

Yes, I know, Transport Command hasn't existed these last forty-plus years, but humour an old man.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 15:37
  #95 (permalink)  
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How much of the Voyager is British made as opposed to, err, European made? Its all well and good getting the Reds to do our bidding around the globe in the Hawk, but what happens if someone asks? Could be interesting if Airbus consider their position in the UK post-Covid and sans a trade deal...

I reckon they should re-paint the BBMF Lanc, show the world who's boss and all that.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 15:42
  #96 (permalink)  
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RAF plane for VIPs gets a union jack makeover

From the Guardian.

Air Force One for Boris? RAF plane for VIPs gets a union jack makeover

The prime minister’s plane, also used by royalty, is getting a new paint job costing £100,000 plus

Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor
Tue 16 Jun 2020 13.25 EDT

The RAF VIP plane used by Boris Johnson and senior members of the government to travel around the world is to have its grey livery repainted red white and blue in a makeover estimated to cost more than six figures.

The union flag-inspired paint job for the Voyager aircraft comes two years after the prime minister complained about the dullness of its former colour.
When foreign secretary, Johnson said: “What I will say about the Voyager, I think it’s great, but it seems to be very difficult to get hold of,” before adding: “And also, why does it have to be grey?”

Downing Street confirmed that a Johnson-inspired makeover was under way, while defence sources added that the plane is being repainted at a specialist secure hangar run by Marshall Aerospace near Cambridge.

David Cameron commissioned a £10m refit of the rented aircraft – dubbed “Cam Force One” – when he was prime minister but to reduce costs and deflect public criticism the plane was intended to have a dual civilian and military use.

But repainting it in the colours of the national flag suggests that it will be increasingly used for globe trotting by Johnson during the rest of his time as prime minister.

Andy Netherwood, a former RAF pilot and defence commentator, said: “The issue is project creep. If it really is an all-over shiny paint scheme then it’s starting to look – operationally and politically – much more like Air Force One for Boris.”

Currently the Voyager also provides air-to-air refuelling for other RAF planes when it is not being used by the prime minister, other senior ministers or members of the royal family, particularly for trips outside Europe.

It is based on an Airbus A330 with a first class cabin for the prime minister or leading VIP on the flight, with club class seating for business delegates and conventional economy class seating at the rear, used typically by press.

Tony Blair had planned to buy a plane towards the end of his time as prime minister, but the plans were scrapped by Gordon Brown in 2008 to save money. Ministers took scheduled flights or chartered planes if they wanted to take along a large delegation.

The scheme was revived by Cameron, although by the time he was first able to use the plane in July 2016, the prime minister was on his way out of a job as a couple of weeks before he had been defeated in the Brexit referendum and resigned.

A spokesman for the Royal Air Force said: “An RAF Voyager is currently in Cambridgeshire for pre-planned works.”

• This article was amended on 17 June 2020 to change a reference from “Union Jack” to union flag, and clarify that the £10m spent on the aircraft under David Cameron’s administration was for a refit, not the cost of the plane itself.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 15:48
  #97 (permalink)  
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The French one is rather nice...

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Old 17th Jun 2020, 15:48
  #98 (permalink)  
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Why grey?

From 13 years ago when the question was last asked:

Why grey, you may well ask....

It's an example of 'jointery' making optimal use of the UK's defence resources.

When John Major was PM, his office decided that rationalisation was needed and turned to him for leadership...

"Grey. I like grey. Grey is good. Pass me the peas please, Norma. Grey. Oh yes, absolutely. Have we got any grey?"

Now many year ago, long before WEBF was making noises about Sea Harriers (or even any noises at all as he hadn't been conceived then - in fact, neither had his father), it was RN tradition to paint everything and anything a fetching tone of battleship grey. So the Great Lord Pusser ordered lots of paint. Millions and millions of tins of the stuff. But then along came defence cuts and there was soon more paint than ships.

But Pusser was a wily cove. "Mr Major - I have a solution. You can paint the RAF's aeroplanes with some of my nice grey paint. I've got plenty to spare. You won't need to paint them in two-shades-of-sh*t, shiny white, hemp, brown or anything else. Just grey, lovely grey!"

"Thank you - I shall see that it is done"

And lo, it was.

Except for the trainers. They used the black paint which Pusser had left over from the bit below the waterline of his old battleships. But there wasn't quite enough left in Pusser's paint locker, so the Dominie was painted to look like a skunk, with some of Pusser's finest white flagpole-paint on the top of the fuselage.

But Pusser's paint was too heavy for the wretched little plastic planes which the RAF turned to for elementary flying training when they could no longer afford to buy their own, so they are au naturel in Bundesweiss fibreglass...

Even the Army Air Corps were given the wretched grey, some years after their original supply of green and black became unavailable...

One fine day when Woopert and Wodney of the Umpty-Umpth Queen's Own Chinless Pwancers were discussing horses' fetlocks, the price of bwown bwogues and pink corduroys over afternoon tea, they were alarmed to receive a call from their Corporal-of-Horse.

"Sirs - there's something very strange just arrived at the Q-stores"

W&W decided to investigate. Asking a passing competent NCO to show them the way, they discovered a puzzled quartermaster looking at a large metal object..

"Eh seh, wot is that, Quartermaster?" asked Woopert.

"Errm, it says 'tank' on the label, sir"

"Good gwief! It's not for us, is it? Does it eat hay?" squeaked Wodney.

"Err, it is sir. It seems that we're to be a mechanised cavalry regiment - and this will replace our chargers"

"Menc..Mechan....Mechanised cavalwy? Surely not - it's just isn't done" shrilled Woopert.

But it was true. So some weeks later, vast quantities cans arrived at the Q-stores, marked 'Paint, green, little tanks for the painting of'. Much to the horrified astonishment of the Comptroller General of the Queens Paint. "How simply fwightful. It's sooo not us. I have all these tins of black enamel for making Dobbin's hooves look all spiffing on pawade - I don't want all this wuddy gween!"

But the Corporal-of-Horse, being an NCO with a sound eye for a quick bob or two had an idea. "Errm, excuse me, Sirs, but I fink I can shift a few of them cans. I know a mate in the Army Air Corps...."

"Army Air Corps - wot's that?" enquired Wodney.

"Errm, well, Sir -you know, the chaps who fly around Salisbury Plain in helicopters"

"Oh those fwightful bounders? Rotters who scared m'pony during m'last chukka at Tidders last week. Righty-ho, Corporal-of-Horse, they can have as much as they wuddy well want" said Wodney.

"Errm, my mate'll need a bung to take 'em of me hands, Sir. Perhaps the regimental fund...."

"Certainly, Corporal-of-Horse. The wedgiment's officers will sort that out for you. A couple of thousand or so to help with your efforts?"

"Thank you very much, Sirs, I shall get on to it immediately"

"Well see you do. Now cut along like a good chap. Spot of tiffin, Woopert?"

And not long afterwards, the Army Air Corps' helicopters started to receive nice new green and black paintwork.....until the good Corporal of Horse was nicked by the Redcaps - and Pusser found himself with a new customer.

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Old 17th Jun 2020, 16:07
  #99 (permalink)  
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The Johnson Jet(s)?


£0.9m for a Union Flag respray. Is that for just one airframe? I was under the impression that the core fleet comprised 6 airframes that could be used in passenger/Govt VIP role and, given the short lead time on missions, it'd be challenging to plan the fleet so that one specific airframe could be used for short notice PM need. It is reported that he complains that they are rarely available for him as it is. So if he needs one, and demands the new livery, does anyone know whether they are respraying just the one, or eventually all? Can imagine it going tech and not being on the spare....
So pleased to see this as the priority in these slow times when there's so little else for Govt to worry about. I can imagine Cabinet meetings pondering over a choice of livery designs on models arranged down the centre of the table. Hancock would want NHS logo on it, and Truss would effuse at the patriotic nature of arriving at Andrews AFB to sit down for trade talks with The Donald with it as a backdrop. So good to know we are 'back in control' and a strong world power once again.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 16:14
  #100 (permalink)  
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Can't see what all the fuss is about. Just another little-englander flag-waving exercise to make the buffoon feel important. The cost, apparently, is only £900,000 and a recent u-turn from Jenrick saved more than 40 times that amount in potential tax receipts. So give the little fat one a break - he hasn't got much else going for him at the moment.
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