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-   -   Ageing air transport aircraft.... (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/362741-ageing-air-transport-aircraft.html)

Brain Potter 27th Feb 2009 10:49

SFFP,

Go back and re-read the debate from where TRSS issued a claim that he thinks the RAF could have a fleet of 10 modern commercial jets in AT service within 9-Months. He based that claim on having seen airlines achieve similar feats.

I said that 2-years would even be a outside bet because, amongst other things, the RAF does not operate any similar types and has a very limited pool of experience with modern, 2-crew, EFIS twin-jets to draw-on (and I mean all of these characteristics together on one aircraft type). I did not say that introduction of a new type was impossible, but was disagreeing with TRSS's ambitious timeframe. I used the C-17 as an example of how a new type can be quickly and successfully brought to FOC, but also highlighted aspects of it's operation that were favourable to achieving such a smooth introduction.

You appear to have taken the 2-crew, EFIS aspect of my point in isolation and are offering the C-130J as counter-argument. In many ways the introduction of the J reflects what I am saying; it wasn't as easy and quick as some people expected. I absolutely agree that Hercules pilots do have relevant experience with glass, and many of them would have to be stripped away at very short notice to help setup the kind of operation that TRSS proposes. Could Lyneham afford such a loss right now?

Even if Lyneham, 99 Sqn and Astor were plundered there would still be no aircrew or groundcrew experience with Boeing or Airbus commercial airplanes. Again, I re-iterate that this would not be an insurmountable problem, but it is certainly one of reasons why, unlike an airline, the RAF could not have a new fleet of 10 modern twin-jets at FOC within 9-months.

dallas 27th Feb 2009 11:07

Brain

With a buoyant market for pilots right now, why not either opt for a civvy crew and/or sign-up willing volunteers to the RAuxAF? With the exception of some added tactical stuff, they shouldn't need to do much more than fly a familiar type between A, B and C, should they?

Ditto servicing - apart from fitting DAS, what else do we need for purely pax trips around the world? A temporary solution to a temporary(...ish) problem doesn't necessarily have be 'we always do it that way', does it?

Brain Potter 27th Feb 2009 12:13

Dallas,

A fair point, but if you think about it the MoD already does an extensive amount of business that way by simply chartering, with the added bonus of no ownership or training costs.

Could the MoD hire civilians to fly RAF aircraft into theatre? I suppose so, but you are entering into a whole new debate about mercenaries. Type-experienced pilots could certainly be signed on as Reservists if they had previous military service. Either way, could enough personnel be sourced to make procurement of an interim type a viable project before FSTA arrives? Doubtful, but even if it was deemed worthwhile I just don't believe that 10 aircraft in 9 months is in any way possible.

I have a feeling that an unsolicited bid for an interim aircraft was made about 18-months ago. It was studied (by staff work and not by internet hearsay) and rejected as too difficult to implement and not offering value-for-money with the imminent (in MoD terms) arrival of FSTA.

If government policy continues to dictate that AT aircraft must have DAS to operate into theatre, then I cannot see how any solution that it not simply traditionally-procured and RAF-operated could proceed in any way that doesn't end-up looking exactly like FSTA (which does include type-experienced reservists). Any new direction will have to replicate the years of staffwork and contractual negotiations that have already been accomplished. The contract has been signed and FSTA is coming, but if it is cut-off at the knees right now a replacement programme will not be on the ramp at Kandahar any sooner.

RS30 27th Feb 2009 13:00

Lets talk numbers..bums on seats!

Suppose we were able to fly a 6 day a week shed into theatre with some modern, reliable, properly equipped 250 seat class strat airlifters.

That's 1500 bods a week.

Say we had 10,000 bods in theatre (a figure banded about recently in the media as possible in the near future)

It would take 7 weeks to rotate everyone once, allowing for a bit of flex for WX and snags. Another 7 weeks to give everyone an R&R break and another 7 weeks to rotate out the replacements giving a min 21 week tour.

To run such a schedule needs at least two of these 250 seat a/c plus a reserve to ensure against tech snags. Two crews for each return flight (min) so a manning to cover leave/sickies/training/JPA of at least 3 and possibly 4 crews per jet.

So that 3 frames for just one schedule. Same again if we support two theatres and some extra for EX and training, plus the crews to make it so.

The thing is we need this NOW! Not in 5-10 years! I don't care who makes 'em as long as they can do the job and be delivered by monday!

To paraphrase the guy in the filum "We were Soldiers"
"If the planes stop coming...we all die!":\

A TP

Truckkie 27th Feb 2009 17:28


Suppose we were able to fly a 6 day a week shed into theatre with some modern, reliable, properly equipped 250 seat class strat airlifters.

That's 1500 bods a week.

Say we had 10,000 bods in theatre (a figure banded about recently in the media as possible in the near future)

It would take 7 weeks to rotate everyone once, allowing for a bit of flex for WX and snags. Another 7 weeks to give everyone an R&R break and another 7 weeks to rotate out the replacements giving a min 21 week tour.

To run such a schedule needs at least two of these 250 seat a/c plus a reserve to ensure against tech snags. Two crews for each return flight (min) so a manning to cover leave/sickies/training/JPA of at least 3 and possibly 4 crews per jet.

So that 3 frames for just one schedule. Same again if we support two theatres and some extra for EX and training, plus the crews to make it so.

Er - isn't that 216 Sqn and their Tristars various?

3 C2s for the main pax schedule - Tankers and PCF for the rest?

:ok:

RS30 27th Feb 2009 20:52

Pity is you can't get 250 in a C2 on that shed and we are lucky to have even one C2 servicable some weeks!

As I said, we need reliable frames, not withstanding or decrying the near heroic efforts of 216 aircrew and eng dets on a very punishing schedule, the decision to replace the Tristar was 10 years too late.

The Real Slim Shady 27th Feb 2009 23:16


It was studied (by staff work and not by internet hearsay) and rejected as too difficult to implement and not offering value-for-money with the imminent (in MoD terms) arrival of FSTA.
That is PRECISELY what holds the RAF back: staff work.

Regulated thinking, a failure to look beyond the next posting or career move.

Too difficult to implement? 9 months, I can have 10 widebodies transporting your troops and freight around the world - easy.

At a push, 6.

brit bus driver 27th Feb 2009 23:24

TRSS...I hear you fella, I really do. But DSCOM have widebodies trucking the troops aroundthe world...to the tune of about 250 million a year on charter.

That doesn't fix the inter-theatre airlift problems, nor could you in 9 months.

The biggest issue is the DAS; unless there is a sea-change in the goverment's appetite for risk, this will continue to be the Achilles' heel of the AT force. It's an A4 (or A6) problem which has to be dealt with by 2 Gp, Brize Norton and, ultimately of course, the boys & girls of 216 who are - as everyone has acknowledged - doing a sterling job.

Too little, too late..as ever.

glhcarl 28th Feb 2009 00:54


Pity is you can't get 250 in a C2 on that shed and we are lucky to have even one C2 servicable some weeks!

As I said, we need reliable frames, not withstanding or decrying the near heroic efforts of 216 aircrew and eng dets on a very punishing schedule, the decision to replace the Tristar was 10 years too late.
Sorry but the actual numbers don't support your conclusions:

In the final six months of 2008 (July - December) the three C2's operated 501 flights (1787 flight hours). In the 184 days one C2 flew 179 times.

ASCOT Ops Retd 28th Feb 2009 06:57


That is PRECISELY what holds the RAF back: staff work.

Regulated thinking, a failure to look beyond the next posting or career move.

Too difficult to implement? 9 months, I can have 10 widebodies transporting your troops and freight around the world - easy.

At a push, 6.
I used to be reflexely suspicious of officers who claimed to 'staff' something, as opposed to 'work on it', as well as SNCOs who referred to themselves as 'senior NCOs' rather than 'Sneks' - as an unscientific rule of thumb it proved to be surprisingly good [email protected] AEW.

BEagle 28th Feb 2009 07:16

"It's being staffed" actually means "I've buried it at the bottom of my in-tray and hope it won't rise to the top before I'm posted".
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a3...rnet/zxzxz.jpg

The only way things are done quickly is through a UOR (if it's still called that). But later various shiny ar$es will float to the surface and announce that the UOR 'wasn't intended for long term sustainability'....:ugh:

The sort of dross :8 who used to fill obscure corners of the Wyton gin palace, for example.

The Real Slim Shady 28th Feb 2009 10:53

Hear hear BEags.

Seldomfitforpurpose 28th Feb 2009 11:44

Brit Bus............on the face of it 9 months is easy.

Buy 6 more J's, find somewhere friendly and close to the Stan, then adopt the method currently used for the other sandy place and voila.........

How difficul to put that into practice is another matter :(

glad rag 28th Feb 2009 11:49

Last 4/5 posts
 
...so on the money it hurts to read.....IMO:ok:

Mighty Quercus 28th Feb 2009 16:30

Surely once the troops pull out of Iraq that would free up the Telic C130's to do the Charter-Tac airlift from a friendly Middle east base into Afg.

As SFFP said, this all worked well for Telic so with that headache gone hopefully by Jul09, cant it be switched to support Herrick from then.

Or is that all too simple!!!!

Willard Whyte 1st Mar 2009 09:48


I said that 2-years would even be a outside bet because, amongst other things, the RAF does not operate any similar types and has a very limited pool of experience with modern, 2-crew, EFIS twin-jets to draw-on (and I mean all of these characteristics together on one aircraft type). I did not say that introduction of a new type was impossible, but was disagreeing with TRSS's ambitious timeframe. I used the C-17 as an example of how a new type can be quickly and successfully brought to FOC, but also highlighted aspects of it's operation that were favourable to achieving such a smooth introduction.

You appear to have taken the 2-crew, EFIS aspect of my point in isolation and are offering the C-130J as counter-argument. In many ways the introduction of the J reflects what I am saying; it wasn't as easy and quick as some people expected. I absolutely agree that Hercules pilots do have relevant experience with glass, and many of them would have to be stripped away at very short notice to help setup the kind of operation that TRSS proposes. Could Lyneham afford such a loss right now?

Even if Lyneham, 99 Sqn and Astor were plundered there would still be no aircrew or groundcrew experience with Boeing or Airbus commercial airplanes. Again, I re-iterate that this would not be an insurmountable problem, but it is certainly one of reasons why, unlike an airline, the RAF could not have a new fleet of 10 modern twin-jets at FOC within 9-months.
Out of interest, and I ask because I don't know the answer(!), how long does it take to convert to a different type for our civil brethren?

Daysleeper 1st Mar 2009 10:05


Out of interest, and I ask because I don't know the answer(!), how long does it take to convert to a different type for our civil brethren?
..... couple of weeks for ground school, ten simulator sessions (say 2 weeks with days off) day for circuits, day to get all the paperwork sorted then line training.

Call it 5-7 weeks before starting to make money for the company.

Then anything from 20 - 50 sectors line training (but done on revenue flights) with a trainer.

Depending on the type of operation line training can be done in 3 - 6 weeks.

So 10-12 weeks till fully released.

Depending on type might be a day or two more or less.

The Real Slim Shady 1st Mar 2009 10:23

As Daysleeper says for an experienced Captain on another type / experienced FO staying in their seats 3 months.

Experienced FO on another type moving to LHS new type up to 4 months.

Ab initio cadet FO on first commercial job up to 5 months.

A and C 1st Mar 2009 16:01

EFIS Training time
 
Last year I went from the B738 to the A320, from the start of the course to the end of line training was 10 weeks.

As the core course was an Airbus "generic" rather than a company course it took about two weeks longer than a company specific course, So If the trainning used the company SOP,s from the start the course time would be nearer eight weeks.

tubby linton 1st Mar 2009 19:38

When the 330 eventually appears as a tanker in the RAF will the boys from Boscombe want to play with it or will it be certified within the current civil envelope?An ex-boscombe friend told me that they discovered a lot more about the Tristar than Lockheed knew at the time when he and his colleagues got hold of it.
It may be interesting what Boscombe find.I wonder if they would give a 320 a going over?


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