Ntspelich From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 764 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3319 times:
I was hoping that someone would be able to help clarify a few things about the royals and aviation in the UK.
I know that the Queen has a BAe-146 that is used for travel, but what about longer routes? Is a BA charter used or is it another RAF VIP aircraft that is used for these trips? Additionally, I recall Tony Blair flying to the US on a Concorde following 9/11; would the Queen go supersonic or be stuck below the sound barrier like most of us? (And, just to mix is up a bit more, what's the PM's typical means of travel, RAF or a BA charter?)
Additionally, I know that there is a separate terminal at LHR for her flights. Is this open just to the Queen and whomever is traveling with her that day, or is it also open for use by all members of the royal family? What about the PM?
Thanks in advance.
United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
Ant72LBA From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 414 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3296 times:
Blair tends to fly BA, most recently a 777 on his tour of the US and Asia. Prince Charles is in India at the moment and I think I'm correct in saying he went BA as well, chartered again I assume, though I'm not sure of the type of plane. Concorde was chartered where it was felt a more "British" image was needed, obviously no more. I think I'm correct in saying that The Queen once flew to New Zealand on a regular flight, her party being given the entire top deck of a 744, can anyone else elaborate/correct me on this?
The RAF doesn't really have anything suitable, VC10s could be used but given their age they don't seem to be used as VIP transports anymore. The 146's are used for short range flights though I'm not sure what is classed as short range. The planes are used by the Royal family, senior government figures and the top brass of the Armed Services. They used to have some HS125s and helicopters in this role as well, possibly still do?
The RAF is looking to upgrade its tanker and transport fleet, part of this may include a large VIP transport (nicknamed "Blairforce One" by the British press) but I haven't heard much about this in recent months.
I think the terminal at LHR is for any visiting VIPs, I saw a tv programme with the Chinese President being welcomed there.
Hope this is of some interest, maybe a few others can hekp fill the gaps.
Arsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3245 times:
Saw a picture of Prince Charles walking off a BA plane in India on TV, it looked like a 767 to me. Blair uses BA 777's on long haul trips, and sometimes using the royal BAe 146 for shorter flights.
There has been talk of a private plane for the Prime Minister, the so called "Blair force One", as a A330-200. But nothing is decided yet.
Speedbirdyvr From Canada, joined Mar 2003, 168 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (10 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3172 times:
When the Queen visited Pres. Bush Senior for a state visit in 1991, she flew on a chartered Concorde. If I recall, that was to celebrate the success of the first Gulf War.
Regarding the comment on Her Majesty flying commercial, she has only flown a scheduled flight once in her life, and that was aboard an Air New Zealand 744 during a visit down under a few years ago. Can't exactly remember which routing, but NZ used this event as a marketing tool, until Buckingham Palace reminded them that it is frowned upon in royal circles and protocol to advertise in the name of a royal.
When the Queen is invited for a visit to Commonwealth countries, it is usually the inviting country that shoulders the cost of the visit, and it is up to their governments as to the method of travel (of course with approval from the Palace). During the Golden Jubilee last year, the Queen visited several countries, and in the case of Australia/New Zealand, since they did not have a suitable VIP transport aircraft (I can hardly call a 737 BBJ or 757 suitable for Her Majesty and her entourage), a BA 777 was chartered. The captain even rehearsed the landing at Wellington a few times since it would be the first time an aircraft of that size would land at the shorter runway. For Her Majesty's tour of Canada the Canadian Forces A310 (a.k.a. "Flying Taj Mahal") was used.