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RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?  
User currently offlinetrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4700 posts, RR: 14
Posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8490 times:
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http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...-incompatible-with-new-tanker.html

ROTFLMAO who didn't figure this out when the program began or is there something weird about the Tornados fuel probe?

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineUSAF336TFS From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1445 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8453 times:

Did someone say something about "clearly the more capable" tanker somewhere?


336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
User currently offlinetrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4700 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8425 times:
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Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 1):
Did someone say something about "clearly the more capable" tanker somewhere?

Well it may still be the more capable one, if you can transfer fuel   Or maybe its just a ploy to retire all the Tornados early and save money! Or a ploy by EADS to maker them buy more Typhoons 


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8419 times:

They've done successful trials with Typhoons, so, if this is up to date, the issues seems to be with the receiver aircraft, not the tanker?

What about the RAAF and F-18's?

30 years ago, in the preparation for the 'Black Buck' raids on the Falklands, the Vulcans had some very hazardous moments when training to receive from Victor tankers. That sound not unlike the report quoted.
It had been 20 years since the Vulcan had been AAR capable, the equipment had to be reactivated, de-sealed, it wasn't really needed in the Vulcan's deterrent role, then the theatre strike tasking, some veterans recalled it had been seen as unsatisfactory first time around when it had been used, on overseas deployments and similar.
It was fixed, including scoring scrapyards and removing surplus equipment from the mess hall, being used as ashtrays!


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8294 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 3):
It was fixed, including scoring scrapyards and removing surplus equipment from the mess hall, being used as ashtrays!

I was assigned to Castle AFB, CA back then. I remember the day they showed up to remove the refueling probe from the Vulcan bomber at the Castle Air Museum. I don't think it was ever returned.

As for not being able to refuel the RAF Tornados of today, it should not be an air refueling equipment problem with the receivers, as they have refueled from USAF KC-135s, KC-10s, RAF Victors and Tristars, Dutch KDC-10s, French C-135Fs, and I understand even German A-310MRTTs (as do German Tornados). So what ever the problem is, it has to be a problem with the Voyagers themselves.


User currently offlinespudh From Ireland, joined Jul 2009, 300 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8267 times:

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 1):
Did someone say something about "clearly the more capable" tanker somewhere?
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
As for not being able to refuel the RAF Tornados of today, it should not be an air refueling equipment problem with the receivers, as they have refueled from USAF KC-135s, KC-10s, RAF Victors and Tristars, Dutch KDC-10s, French C-135Fs, and I understand even German A-310MRTTs (as do German Tornados). So what ever the problem is, it has to be a problem with the Voyagers themselves.

You'll have to pardon my simplistic view on this but surely its as simple as sticking a basket that you know works (i.e. take your pick from every other NATO basket except this one) on the end of the bloody hose. Or since its a military project does it have to cost a million £££ every time a glitch is found?

I'm pretty sure I've some pipe threading kit and plumbers tape out in the shed somewhere if they're stuck.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8247 times:

Quoting trex8 (Thread starter):
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...-incompatible-with-new-tanker.html

ROTFLMAO who didn't figure this out when the program began or is there something weird about the Tornados fuel probe?

A major oops.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
I was assigned to Castle AFB, CA back then. I remember the day they showed up to remove the refueling probe from the Vulcan bomber at the Castle Air Museum. I don't think it was ever returned.

As for not being able to refuel the RAF Tornados of today, it should not be an air refueling equipment problem with the receivers, as they have refueled from USAF KC-135s, KC-10s, RAF Victors and Tristars, Dutch KDC-10s, French C-135Fs, and I understand even German A-310MRTTs (as do German Tornados). So what ever the problem is, it has to be a problem with the Voyagers themselves.

But if the Aussies have done good trials with their A330MRTTs, which should conformaly be the same as the Voyagers, why is there a problem ? This is a bit of a mystery, or media hysteria over something.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8194 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 6):
But if the Aussies have done good trials with their A330MRTTs, which should conformaly be the same as the Voyagers, why is there a problem ? This is a bit of a mystery, or media hysteria over something.

Put it this way, this story also featured in the UK tabloid Sun newspaper, with all the restraint and balance you'd not expect from them.
I've checked FlightGlobal , nothing on there.

At the moment, the Voyager fleet is on delivery and undergoing trials.
In all major projects, this process throws up glitches. This is what such trials are meant to expose. To clear them for service, they are not yet in service.
Let us remind ourselves of the long delays the Italian and Japanese 767's had, the KC-46 will have their share of issues to be wrung out on it's trials.

Due to the botched financial way the UK government chose to procure this aircraft, it's been controversial, meaning press attention. Along with it being well known that the RAF's aging and hard worked Tristar and VC-10 fleets are in need of replacement, the latter having long gone past their intended retirement dates, the former suffering decreasing reliability, which on the UK-Afghanistan air-bridge, which is something that can impact more widely then usual.

Again, how are the RAAF doing? They are further down the path to service the compared to RAF after all? The Australian government having just gone and brought the aircraft, as opposed to the UK government trying some fancy PFI option, which is a bounty for lawyers and creates long delays with all the wrangling this brings.

I know that's an inconvenient question, due to the burning desire of some here to crap on the Airbus tanker at every opportunity, since it came to market, Boeing have not sold any 767 tankers with the exception of the USAF (second time around after a politically inconvenient first procurement of the Airbus), since the Italian and Japanese orders a decade or more ago. Both those nations also being significant industrial partners on the 767 from it's development as an airliner.

Lets just see how this develops, if it's a pain in the butt glitch that needs attention having just emerged, or it's something that emerged some time ago and is in the process of being attended to - often the press are way behind the curve on these stories.


User currently offlineIRISH251 From Ireland, joined Nov 2004, 964 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7896 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):

I was assigned to Castle AFB, CA back then. I remember the day they showed up to remove the refueling probe from the Vulcan bomber at the Castle Air Museum. I don't think it was ever returned.

It was returned.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Drage - Global Aviation Resource



User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12359 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7850 times:

Quoting IRISH251 (Reply 8):
It was returned.

For those who don't click the link, the caption is interesting:

Quote:

Following a visit to Castle AFB, HRH Queen Elizabeth II decided she would like to donate this aircraft to the museum, however, during the Falklands conflict, several components were removed to keep the fleet in the region airworthy! At the end of the conflict they came back and refitted everything!

Very neighborly of both parties to make sure the real Vulcans were fit for duty and that the museum copy was made right again afterwards!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7762 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 6):
But if the Aussies have done good trials with their A330MRTTs, which should conformaly be the same as the Voyagers, why is there a problem ? This is a bit of a mystery, or media hysteria over something.
Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Let us remind ourselves of the long delays the Italian and Japanese 767's had, the KC-46 will have their share of issues to be wrung out on it's trials.

The Aussies don't fly the Tornado. The RAAF probe and drogue refueling tests were don't with Spanish AF F-18s, just like the ones the RAAF flies (well, nearly alike). The A-330MRTT uses the same Cobham 905E refueling pods on all A-330MRTTs, including the RAF and RAAF versions.

The Voyagers now in flight testing with the RAF are the KC2 version, which only have the under wing refueling pods. Later delivered tankers will be the KC3 version will also have the underwing refueling pods, plus the Cobham 805E centerline drogue with the hose reel assembly inside the airplane (in the aft cargo bay, I believe). The RAAF version is essentially a KC3 with the refueling boom, a receiver receptical, and GE engines in place of the RR engines of the RAF version.

GDB, no I didn't forget about the Japanese and Italian KC-767 delays. But I remind you the RAAF KC-30 was also delayed 3 + years. Also the KC-30 still had that unexplained boom seperation from the tanker incident. That perticular tanker (KC-30 #1) has not been delivered to the RAAF, yet.


User currently offlineflipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1562 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7639 times:
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Doesn't sound like a massive issue to me, if the probe does t work then change it and get on with it. There is no fundemental problem here, just maybe a probe modification, like we often say, if nothing was expected to go wrong they wouldnt need testing. Sensationalism at its worste and it's good to see some here jump on it like there is a competition of mine is bigger than yours. Oh well human nature I suppose.

Fred


User currently offlineLifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1916 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7437 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
As for not being able to refuel the RAF Tornados of today, it should not be an air refueling equipment problem with the receivers, as they have refueled from USAF KC-135s, KC-10s, RAF Victors and Tristars, Dutch KDC-10s, French C-135Fs, and I understand even German A-310MRTTs (as do German Tornados). So what ever the problem is, it has to be a problem with the Voyagers themselves.

I don't think Tornado's have taken up fuel from our KDC-10's as they only have a boom, not a hose. A Tornado can't connect to the boom.

Cheers!   



Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3392 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7391 times:

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 12):
I don't think Tornado's have taken up fuel from our KDC-10's as they only have a boom, not a hose. A Tornado can't connect to the boom.

there is a boom to drogue adaptor.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Boeing_KC-135E_boom_drogue_adapter.JPEG
http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%...g_KC-135E_boom_drogue_adapter.JPEG


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2072 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7349 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 13):

  

Looks like a sex change operation gone bad.   

Or someone needs Viagra.
Bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7296 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):
g tests were don't with Spanish AF F-18s, just like the ones the RAAF flies (well, nearly alike). The A-330MRTT uses the same Cobham 905E refueling pods on all A-330MRTTs, including the RAF and RAAF versions.

So most likely the issue is with the 905E pod then?
Which could also mean if it was fitted to another, roughly comparable type, (like a 767?), the glitch could well still exist.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7143 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 7200 times:

This looks like a picture of a voyager refuelling a Tornado.



User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7131 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 16):

Or at least trying to. They're not going to find out they're incompatible just by plugging a static tornado's probe into the drogue on the ground (would that even work?).


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8880 posts, RR: 75
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7097 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 16):

Video of them doing a refuel, and the caption says the Voyager is now operational in the RAF.

""The Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (ACAS) signed the Voyager Release to Service and Certificate of Usage yesterday (05 Apr 12) and the aircraft will commence flying operations On the Military Aircraft Register with the RAF next week. Voyager is already a certified tanker and Air to Air Refuelling trials to clear RAF receiver aircraft to receive fuel from Voyager continue. As would be expected with a new aircraft, there have been some technical problems, but these are being addressed. AirTanker fully expects to deliver the core fleet of nine aircraft by 2014 in line with the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) Contract.
For more information on AirTanker and the FSTA programme, please go to www.AirTanker.co.uk"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai8SZQWe5tU&feature=player_embedded

I think the tornado may not be fully cleared, which would be understandable if the tanker was only released to service on the 5th of April.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7040 times:

Well done Zeke! I kept checking for the story on reputable and specialised sites, finding nothing, in the terms of new or breaking news.
Clearly there have been glitches, I did however suspect that this was an issue from some time ago, spotted by a hack via today's 'WikiGoogle journalism' and reheated for a story.

The most interesting part of this is who jumps on the bandwagon. And why?


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8880 posts, RR: 75
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7011 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 19):

The most interesting part of this is who jumps on the bandwagon. And why?

Why ?

My only guess is to blow some smoke, some tanker submissions are on the table around the world at the moment. the RAF is not exactly seen as having 3rd world standards nor some insignificant southern hemisphere colonial outpost. Their tick of approval in my view is an asset to the platform.

I think this would have to be one of the fastest and smoothest release to service for the RAF for any weapons platform since WWII.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7003 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 16):
This looks like a picture of a voyager refuelling a Tornado.

So, were these dry contacts, which would not show a fuel leak?

Quoting zeke (Reply 18):

""The Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (ACAS) signed the Voyager Release to Service and Certificate of Usage yesterday (05 Apr 12) and the aircraft will commence flying operations On the Military Aircraft Register with the RAF next week.

Thanks, Zeke.

The problem may, or may not be with the Cobham 905E refueling pods. We won't know until further testing is accomplished with the Tornado. It could be as simple as the seal used on the probe, or on the drogue, a fuel leak that is unique to that specific tail numbered fighter-bomber, or the fuel pressure from the tanker through the refueling pods and down the hose. But I would think the most likely problem is with the Cobham 905E refueling pods. The VC-10 tankers carry the smaller Mk. 32 wing refueling pods (some models also have a centerline HDU), manufactured by the Sargent Fletcher Corporation.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13170 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6983 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
So, were these dry contacts, which would not show a fuel leak?

On the video, 'fuel transfer is on' can be heard.

Not proof of total clearance but a firm rebuff of the original story.


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8880 posts, RR: 75
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):

Cobham, Sargent Fletcher, Flight Refuelling Limited are the same company. The make the wing and center-line units for a lot of aircraft, including the RAAF/RAF A330 based tanker, the USAF 767 based tanker, C130, A400M, as well as the buddy system used on the tornado and F/A-18.

The tornado has always been a difficult receiver, everything has a lot of trouble getting fuel into it. I have heard people say on the KC-135 they turned pumps off to reduce the pressure/flow rate.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 51
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6948 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 23):
The tornado has always been a difficult receiver, everything has a lot of trouble getting fuel into it. I have heard people say on the KC-135 they turned pumps off to reduce the pressure/flow rate.

That is correct. The refueling manual says we can refuel it with two air refueling pumps, but in reality it could only handle one pump. So, most crews only turned on one pump, and those crews who had never refueled a Tornado before started out with two pumps and 'blew' the receiver off the drogue.

Going to one pump did not reduce the initial fuel pressure, it would stay about 45 psi until various fuel tanks filled and the valves closed off. The fuel flow rate, however would begin dropping off almost immediately, unless all his fuel tanks were 'open' to receive fuel.


25 Post contains images scbriml : So, despite knowing about issues refuelling Tornadoes, you were quite happy to jump on the Voyager bashing bandwagon? but not surprised.
26 Post contains links moo : The "news" is old, and certainly not worthy of an April 2012 publication date as Defence Aerospace gives it in their article... http://www.publicatio
27 GDB : Thanks. Nice if those on here who instantly blamed the Voyager would accept that they were mistaken? Since, 1) It WAS old news. 2) Has been rectified
28 Post contains images bikerthai : I like TopBoom, so let be be the first to defend him. Technically he may right. The problem with the Voyagers was it had too many fuel pump on bt
29 Post contains images par13del : So if all the problems with the Tornado were already known, is it not logical to assunme in the absence of facts that the latest addition to the equa
30 zeke : So little has been published, I think it is unfair to blame any platform. The flight testing process involves first getting the tanker released for s
31 KC135TopBoom : Where was I bashing the tanker? I pointed out a possibile cause of the problem. The Tornados have been refueling from other tankers for years, decade
32 GDB : No, but I suspected it and said so. Same with that it might well have been rectified. Made more so by also spotting the story on a front page of The
33 KC135TopBoom : I suspect you are right about that. I doubt the fix will ever be made public. That doesn't mean it is classified, or anything like that, it just mean
34 Post contains images moo : Yup, I'm pretty sure the people involved don't really care (or aren't aware) that there are people waiting on every word they publicly say with regar
35 GDB : Yes, industrial I.P. or just plain 'OPSEC' reasons. There is a scandal with the RAF 330 program, not with the aircraft but that PFI deal mentioned. H
36 KC135TopBoom : Actually, he knows and understands very little about air refueling. He was a bomber pilot and flew A-4s from the deck, to the target, and back to the
37 GDB : As a USN pilot who saw combat, would have at least trained in AAR, if not employed it in action, he still had much greater insight than most. But tha
38 zeke : Many would argue having operational experience as either a receiver or as a boomer gives one next to no qualification for the selection and deploymen
39 KC135TopBoom : I agree with that. Actually, in this 3rd round, the USAF finally did talk extensively to the tanker crews about what they wanted and needed as far as
40 zeke : No, Voyager is a modular mutli-role platform, additional capabilities can be added or removed at any stage. The Voyager fleet exceeds the capability
41 KC135TopBoom : The FSTA with Air Tanker Ltd will cost some 10B-12B GBP for 14 aircraft, for 10 years, extendable to 30 years, or purchase after a period of time (I
42 zeke : To date the MOD have basically paid nothing for FSTA aircraft apart from their internal costs to do the selection. The number you mentioned is a proj
43 Post contains images LifelinerOne : I know these things exist, but I also know we don't have them for our KDC-10's... Cheers!
44 Post contains links scbriml : http://www.airtanker.co.uk/ The FSTA contract is for 24 years (from delivery of first aircraft) and includes support services, maintenance, training,
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