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RAF Voyager ZZ336 Government Transport

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RAF Voyager ZZ336 Government Transport

Old 23rd Mar 2021, 18:02
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Has any of this been confirmed? Could be painted for a film for all we know - they painted one in Indian Airlines colours last year....
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 19:13
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
Has any of this been confirmed? Could be painted for a film for all we know - they painted one in Indian Airlines colours last year....
​​​​​​
If you were painting an Airbus for a film, not sure a brand new A321Neo would be your best choice?
(but I've been wrong before)

Then there's the talk of a second ship, G-GBNI, bow ar Finkenwerder
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 20:21
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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As sensible a choice as some of the suggestions so far....

My point was there seems to be an awful lot of smoke and not much fire. Are the A.321's for 32 sqn, are they replacing the 146's? etc etc
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Old 23rd Mar 2021, 20:55
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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That is indeed a good question!

Post retirement of the 146, No. 32 (The Royal Squadron) would appear to then consist of one helicopter, presumably being renamed The Royal Flight again. The A330 is not a Detachment of 32, but indeed part of the Brize/Airtanker orbat. How the A321 fits with anyone, at a remote location and under Titanís management is undoubtedly causing some head-scratching at HQ Air.

The rest of Northolt, exempt 1 AIDU, is largely a collection of orphans from Uxbridge needing a home. And the costs are presumably partly subsidised by Heathrow-Lite, the Biz Jet facility.

Itís a conundrum
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:03
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
As sensible a choice as some of the suggestions so far....

My point was there seems to be an awful lot of smoke and not much fire. Are the A.321's for 32 sqn, are they replacing the 146's? etc etc
I don't believe the A321's have anything to do with the military - purely a government leased toy that just happened to be wheeled out of the paint shed on the day of the Defence Review. Previously, future CSAT requirements were being driven by both ministerial and military input. I suspect future CSAT requirement is now purely being driven by what the military need. The 146 was always going to be retired in 2022 due to increasing engineering contract costs. With procurement times, that leaves a gap, so I'd guess the rotary boys alone keep the lights on for 32 Sqn for the period between the 146 retiring and a new fixed wing jet coming into service.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:06
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Why would they keep one helicopter as a 'Royal' Squadron when the Royals either use the S76 based at Odiham or a helicopter chartered from Starspeed at Fairoaks (convenient for Bagshot Park and the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park)?
As I said, I can see the airfield at Northolt being handed to a civilian contractor leaving the north side as an RAF enclave.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:15
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Why would they keep one helicopter as a 'Royal' Squadron when the Royals either use the S76 based at Odiham or a helicopter chartered from Starspeed at Fairoaks (convenient for Bagshot Park and the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park)?
As I said, I can see the airfield at Northolt being handed to a civilian contractor leaving the north side as an RAF enclave.
I don't think the Squadron has flown a Royal in years....it's largely a historic title nowadays. I doubt you would keep it going for one helicopter, but the Defence Review has a future fixed wing CSAT asset planned.,,it's just that there will probably be a gap in capability. I'm not sure how easy it is to hand the airfield to the civilians. Their movements are tightly capped, the airfields reason-d'etre is as a government facility, not just for 32 Sqn, and the Stop Northolt campaign would go absolutely beserk. It's also Boris's constituency and he doesn't seem a fan of aviation.

That said, didn't it have the runway redone a couple of years ago...usually a good prediction of closing an airfield!
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:26
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Northolt was resurfaced during summer 2019 I think - during Trump's visit, his helicopters were based at Biggin Hill.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 10:43
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Originally Posted by VigilantPilot View Post
That said, didn't it have the runway redone a couple of years ago...usually a good prediction of closing an airfield!
They re-clad all 4 hangars at Bovingdon in 1968, then closed the airfield next year because it was too costly. The hangars were then demolished so as to build a prison so maybe that's how Northolt will end up.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 11:04
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Why would they keep one helicopter as a 'Royal' Squadron when the Royals either use the S76 based at Odiham or a helicopter chartered from Starspeed at Fairoaks (convenient for Bagshot Park and the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park)?
As I said, I can see the airfield at Northolt being handed to a civilian contractor leaving the north side as an RAF enclave.
Royal and ministerial travel is not a primary role of 32 Sqn; this was provided from 'irreducible spare capacity'. CSAT recapitalisation is, apparently, still in place; although less likely something shiny like a BD7500 or G600 is purchased now the government has access to a A321.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 11:45
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I wonder whether the cheapest way to procure VIP government transport isnt indeed by a charter from the private sector. By committing to a minimum number of hours per year you can secure a reasonable cost, and even get to call the shots on livery if you commit to enough hours. Im guessing that the market is pretty competitive at the moment. Rather like obtaining your car on PCP instead of purchasing it. Avoids the oncost of it being operated within the RAF, maintaining separate airfields, and all the squadron number / Royal flight mumbo jumbo. For those concerned about such important (?) people being flown by "civvies" isnt that the default option anyway?
All seems, for once, remarkably sensible to me.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 11:52
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Originally Posted by falcon900 View Post
I wonder whether the cheapest way to procure VIP government transport isnt indeed by a charter from the private sector. By committing to a minimum number of hours per year you can secure a reasonable cost, and even get to call the shots on livery if you commit to enough hours. Im guessing that the market is pretty competitive at the moment. Rather like obtaining your car on PCP instead of purchasing it. Avoids the oncost of it being operated within the RAF, maintaining separate airfields, and all the squadron number / Royal flight mumbo jumbo. For those concerned about such important (?) people being flown by "civvies" isnt that the default option anyway?
All seems, for once, remarkably sensible to me.
But could you plaster a big Union Jack along the length of a chartered aircraft? Seems to be the goal, as much as anything.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 12:03
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Originally Posted by Ascoteer View Post
Royal and ministerial travel is not a primary role of 32 Sqn; this was provided from 'irreducible spare capacity'. CSAT recapitalisation is, apparently, still in place; although less likely something shiny like a BD7500 or G600 is purchased now the government has access to a A321.
Yep, exactly. There seems to be a few people on the other thread totally confusing the Titan lease as 146 CSAT replacement. The two are completely different.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 12:34
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
There was a second reason for the stop at Shannon: passengers were processed through US customs during this stopover so that when arriving at JFK, they could proceed as if getting off a regional flight.
They were on the earlier of the two flights each day but not the later flight which served dinner on the ground as described and ended with the usual unfriendly reception from JFKs customs officers. I assume the reasoning behind the Shannon pre clearance was to allow passengers to get into Manhattan earlier for business meetings; the later flight arrived in the early evening in time for a dinner meeting or drinks so time spent in JFK was less of an issue.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 12:58
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
But could you plaster a big Union Jack along the length of a chartered aircraft? Seems to be the goal, as much as anything.
I really would much rather that you didn't - there's not enough to go round......

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Old 24th Mar 2021, 13:10
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So who is using those government flights and couldn't they just book something from Heathrow? What groups are these beyound what the prime minister could use some Netjet or MRTT for?
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 13:40
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Originally Posted by Ripton View Post
They were on the earlier of the two flights each day but not the later flight which served dinner on the ground as described and ended with the usual unfriendly reception from JFKs customs officers. I assume the reasoning behind the Shannon pre clearance was to allow passengers to get into Manhattan earlier for business meetings; the later flight arrived in the early evening in time for a dinner meeting or drinks so time spent in JFK was less of an issue.
Did not know that, thanks!
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 15:57
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
So who is using those government flights and couldn't they just book something from Heathrow? What groups are these beyound what the prime minister could use some Netjet or MRTT for?
Netjets are often used by Royals living within 10 - 15 miles of Farnborough.
Basing the A321s there too would avoid the paparazzi.
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Old 24th Mar 2021, 16:25
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Back to the original title of this thread, said aircraft ZZ336 just landed at Athens probably to disembark Prince of Wales.

Last edited by esscee; 24th Mar 2021 at 18:03. Reason: spelling
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Old 25th Mar 2021, 14:35
  #60 (permalink)  

 
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Courtesy of flightradar24, it looks like it's been doing some real work while it's there.....



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