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UK Gov Offered Converted Air Tanker For VIP Jet  
User currently offlinespeedbird9 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 231 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8031 times:

Quote:
Senior British politicians and royals might consider making foreign visits in converted air force refuelling jets after a row over the use of a rented Boeing for a trade mission to tout European-made Airbus planes.

more below
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/0...meron-airbus-idUKBRE83J1E520120420

Interesting proposal, what do we all think?


Is the customer always right? Michael O'Leary: no the customer is nearly always wrong
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2981 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7807 times:
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Nothing new in this as those A330 MRTT aircraft were bought with trooping and VIP usage in mind from the beginning.

The main deck is a standard passenger fit.


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There are NO main deck tanks or pumping equipment installed and they don't even have the hump nose wheel and cargo door to make for a decent Hospital EVAC plane !

Those re-fueling pods are just re-worked models used on the wings of existing VC10 and USN fighters in buddy mode.
The UK MOD hasn't even had the option for flying boom fitted so can't refuel the likes of USAF F15 and others !

They apparently need further work / repositioning to operate with Typhoon's and this has already be picked on by the general media !

The aircraft is in shakeout testing at the moment - this WILL be fixable.

It will be history rewritten if the MOD are instructed to acquire a quick fit VIP kit (The VC10s had just such a kit and that was installable through the cargo door very easily) however without the cargo door its a painfully slow process.


User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4798 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7388 times:

From the link.....

Quote:
"Robin Southwell, head of the UK aerospace industry's lobbying association and also head of Airbus parent EADS in Britain, said he would propose the alternative use of the Royal Air Force jets when not needed for refuelling missions.

He compared the choice of airliner for Indonesia to a luxury car salesman turning up in a used Jaguar.

'If you are trying to sell a new Aston Martin to someone and you turn up in a used Jag and say the Aston Martin is the best thing since sliced bread and then drive off in the Jag, it isn't as smart as turning up in the model you tried to sell'."


Since the head of EADS UK had drawn the parallel and was too concerned about image, did he pause to wonder what others would say if the PM or HM pulled up in a converted petrol rig for a function instead of a Rolls?

Nothing like the spectre of compensation claims to quickly motivate a contractor to offer a salve to soothe his Government customer's pained sensibilities. Again.....

Quote:
"Southwell said using the aircraft would not add any cost.

[.....]

The defence ministry has acknowledged the planes had leakage problems during test refuelling of Tornado jets and threatened compensation claims in the event of delays or extra costs."


Quoting rutankrd (Reply 1):

It will be history rewritten if the MOD are instructed to acquire a quick fit VIP kit (The VC10s had just such a kit and that was installable through the cargo door very easily) however without the cargo door its a painfully slow process.

And no guarantee it would be appreciated...if the intended beneficiaries could have their say in the matter.  

Quote:
"A Downing Street spokeswoman said the government always considered various civil and military options when planning travel depending on the size of the group, cost and security.

'If it meets our needs and doesn't conflict with military operations, we would of course look at it, but it is just one of the options,' she said.

An EADS spokesman said the same option would be available to Britain's royal family, depending on requirements and protocol.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said it was too speculative to comment on whether the royal family would consider the plans."


  



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlinegingersnap From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2010, 893 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 7321 times:

I've been saying this for a long time now. If ever there was an opportunity to at least have something resembling a head of state/government aircraft...this was it.


Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
User currently offlineGBLKD From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2011, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7244 times:

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 3):
I've been saying this for a long time now. If ever there was an opportunity to at least have something resembling a head of state/government aircraft...this was it.

I think that an A318 or A319 CJ for Royal/Government use operated and maintained by BA could work quite well for official use if the finances added up.


User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2981 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7229 times:
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Quoting Devilfish (Reply 2):
Nothing like the spectre of compensation claims to quickly motivate a contractor to offer a salve to soothe his Government customer's pained sensibilities. Again.....

Quote:
"Southwell said using the aircraft would not add any cost

As i said they have are a effectively A330-200 PASSENGER planes with pods and a hose and drogue in rear freight bay .

The premise is just wrong these are passenger planes that can be deployed for air to air refuelling missions. They are NOT dedicated tankers.
If they were they would have been built with main cabin tanks a boom (with optional hose and drogue attachments a la KC10) and had a front cargo door but they don't .

The name is in the development title MRTT - Multi Roll Tanker/ Transport !

I would very much prefer our national leaders travelling on the RAF and with access to secure data links with security considerations in the National Interest than on a chartered commercial airliner (even one supplied by a supplemental carrier of an ally)


User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2981 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7179 times:
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Quoting GBLKD (Reply 4):

I think that an A318 or A319 CJ for Royal/Government use operated and maintained by BA could work quite well for official use if the finances added up.

That is also the option I prefer and in the grand scheme of things £120m is nothing however howls of anguish from the Murdock press and Daily Mail would reverberate from all directions and the CONLIB coalition (already pretty shaky) can not afford to loose their support for the continued message on the state being to big and costly (classic Tory mantra).


User currently offlinebongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3549 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6879 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 5):
The premise is just wrong these are passenger planes that can be deployed for air to air refuelling missions. They are NOT dedicated tankers.
If they were they would have been built with main cabin tanks a boom (with optional hose and drogue attachments a la KC10) and had a front cargo door but they don't

It has long been statedthat the MRTT reaches maximum gross weight on its installed tankage, installing tanks in either the lower deck or main deck would reduce fuel upload rather than increase it. Se have plenty of cargo capacity with the C17's, the main deck is required to move personnel.

I can't see that using any of the Voyagers for VIP transport is likely, if they had main deck cargo doors they could have had a quick change VIP interior, as it is the VIP fit would have to be permanant, which wouldn't fit in with military requirements,


User currently offlinerutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 2981 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6814 times:
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Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 7):
if they had main deck cargo doors they could have had a quick change VIP interior, as it is the VIP fit would have to be permanant, which wouldn't fit in with military requirements,

Agreed and i said a much above.

As in everything when you try to save money and don't buy what you specified you pay in the long run.

UK public bodies have NO IDEA how to get VALUE in the tender process - ITS NEVER the cheapest option

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 7):
It has long been statedthat the MRTT reaches maximum gross weight on its installed tankage, installing tanks in either the lower deck or main deck would reduce fuel upload rather than increase it.

No it would reduce operational range.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6425 times:

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 1):
The UK MOD hasn't even had the option for flying boom fitted so can't refuel the likes of USAF F15 and others !

Even though some of the RAF Voyagers should have a boom to refuel RAF C-17s and E-3s (and I believe the refit RAF KC-135Rs into RC-135W Air Seekers will also have a refueling receptical). These few versions of the Voyager could be called the K4.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 5):
As i said they have are a effectively A330-200 PASSENGER planes with pods and a hose and drogue in rear freight bay .

Actually, the version the RAF is currently flight testing is the K2, and it does not have a hose reel drogue system installed in the aft lower cargo bay. The Voyager K3 version will have this feature.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 5):
If they were they would have been built with main cabin tanks a boom (with optional hose and drogue attachments a la KC10) and had a front cargo door but they don't .

They really should have a cargo door fitted to all the Voyagers, both the K2s and K3s. If you really want versitility in your tankers, you would have done this and make the pax configueration easily removeable for more cargo (like the KC-135 and KC-10), or fitting a VIP suite, MEDEVAC suite, or "Smart Tanker" suite, etc.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 1):
There are NO main deck tanks or pumping equipment installed and they don't even have the hump nose wheel and cargo door to make for a decent Hospital EVAC plane !

Most tanker aircraft don't have fuel tanks and plumbing on the main deck, the KC-135, KC-707, KC-747, KC/KDC-10, or L-1011 K3 Tristars, KC/A-310MRTT, and KC-30/A-330MRTT don't have them or need them. I believe the VC-10 tankers do have main deck fuel tanks, though. KC/EC/MC-130 tankers do have a removable fuel thank that fits in the cargo hold.


User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7527 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6402 times:

iirc, not all VC10's had main deck fuel tanks.

I flew on one as a passenger in the mid 1990's. It was definately a tanker.


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9002 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6292 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
They really should have a cargo door fitted to all the Voyagers, both the K2s and K3s. If you really want versitility in your tankers, you would have done this and make the pax configueration easily removeable for more cargo (like the KC-135 and KC-10), or fitting a VIP suite, MEDEVAC suite, or "Smart Tanker" suite, etc.

The reason why the USAF and RAF tankers (e.g KC1) need cargo doors is that all of the under floor space is taken up with fuel tanks, they have no under floor cargo space. To get any versatility from those airframes, they need a cargo doors.

These are the underfloor tanks on the KC1 that take up the normal cargo bays.
http://www.airport-data.com/images/aircraft/small/639/639296.jpg
http://www.airport-data.com/images/aircraft/small/639/639298.jpg

The A330-MRTT does have the normal under floor cargo bays empty, and unlike the current USAF and RAF tankers (e.g KC1), those cargo bays have a fire suppression systems. A cargo door can be added at any time, it is an available certified standard modification to the A330-200 (i.e. it is an STC).

Just like the refuel equipment is a standard certified modification that can be done to any A330, and different bits can be added/removed in modular form, if they want/need additional capability in the future, the capability is already been designed and tested, and can be installed if it is deemed necessary at a later stage.



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, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 6218 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 11):
The A330-MRTT does have the normal under floor cargo bays empty, and unlike the current USAF and RAF tankers (e.g KC1), those cargo bays have a fire suppression systems. A cargo door can be added at any time, it is an available certified standard modification to the A330-200 (i.e. it is an STC).

Your partially right. The KC-135 does not have a cargo deck fire surpressing system, but the KC-10 does.

I agree, a main deck cargo door can be added at any time to the RAF Voyagers, to me it just maks sense to add it during the FAL phase of construction.

Zeke, is the A-330F cargo door the same door that is on the A-306F, or is it different in size and/or locking features?


User currently offlinebennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7527 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6206 times:

iirc, there are several several different cargo doors for the A300F.

There was the BAE door for those modified at Filton, a different door for those modified at Dresden, and probably a third type for those built as A300-600F's.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 2 days ago) and read 6189 times:

Thanks bennett123. But is the A-306F factory installed during FAL the same door used on the A-330F?

User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4798 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6139 times:

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 4):

I think that an A318 or A319 CJ for Royal/Government use operated and maintained by BA could work quite well for official use if the finances added up.

This would be nice compensation.....   

http://www.controller.com/listingsde...A318/2012-AIRBUS-A318/1190109.htm?



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9002 posts, RR: 75
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6099 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):

Your partially right. The KC-135 does not have a cargo deck fire surpressing system, but the KC-10 does.

Just for clarification, you are saying that the KC-10 has a main deck fire suppression system ? If yes, that is news to me. As far as I am aware, the KC-10 has no available under floor cargo space like the KC-1, that is where the additional fuel tanks are (3 in the forward hold, and 4 aft hold from memory).

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):

I agree, a main deck cargo door can be added at any time to the RAF Voyagers, to me it just maks sense to add it during the FAL phase of construction.

As far as I am aware, the aircraft being offered to the RAAF/RAF are those built for KC-X contract. Last I heard they were stored at EADS EFW facility, that is where they were sent for cargo door installation as part of the KC-X contract.

For the A330-200F, the cargo door is not added on the FAL either, it arrives at the FAL as a fuselage barrel section with the cargo door provisions.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):

Zeke, is the A-330F cargo door the same door that is on the A-306F, or is it different in size and/or locking features?

No, I do not think it is the exact same part number as found on the A310 or A300. The door being offered for the A330P2F project is the one already approved under the A330-200F STC. It is more than just a door, the surrounding frames that the door fits into also get replaced.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinehighlander0 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6011 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
Even though some of the RAF Voyagers should have a boom to refuel RAF C-17s and E-3s (and I believe the refit RAF KC-135Rs into RC-135W Air Seekers will also have a refueling receptical).

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E3Ds are fitted with probes. I'm under the impression that C-17s are flying non-stop to KAF/BSN at the moment and if required will stop for fuel. When we receive the Air Seekers, I imagine that the training of aircrew will include tanking from boom equipped aircraft.

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 1):
The UK MOD hasn't even had the option for flying boom fitted so can't refuel the likes of USAF F15 and others !

They apparently need further work / repositioning to operate with Typhoon's and this has already be picked on by the general media !

The basic fact is that we have no need to re-fuel aircraft that require a boom. The US Air Force has numerous aircraft at their disposal for this requirement and if required, the KC-46 of the Italian Air Force or the KC-135s of the French Air Force can provide a boom capability.
The RAF fleet (KC135TopBoom correct me if I'm wrong) provide the capability of refuelling probe A/C, like the US Navy and US Marine Corps Hornets, Prowlers, Growlers, Italian AMXs and Typhoons, French Rafales and Super Étendards all the while freeing up A/C that would need the probe adapter fitted.

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Photo © Gary Stedman



We have operated in this manner since the Victors where tanking and reports from HERRICK frequently show that we are refuelling Italian, French and US A/C.

The reports from the Media were about the Tornado and was based on information present back in January. Please see moo's post here.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6001 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 16):
Just for clarification, you are saying that the KC-10 has a main deck fire suppression system ? If yes, that is news to me. As far as I am aware, the KC-10 has no available under floor cargo space like the KC-1, that is where the additional fuel tanks are (3 in the forward hold, and 4 aft hold from memory).

On the main cargo deck, yes. It was added sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s. You are correct, there is no cargo capability below the main deck on the KC-10 (or KC-135) as that is where the body fuel tanks are.

Quoting zeke (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
I agree, a main deck cargo door can be added at any time to the RAF Voyagers, to me it just maks sense to add it during the FAL phase of construction.
As far as I am aware, the aircraft being offered to the RAAF/RAF are those built for KC-X contract. Last I heard they were stored at EADS EFW facility, that is where they were sent for cargo door installation as part of the KC-X contract.

For the A330-200F, the cargo door is not added on the FAL either, it arrives at the FAL as a fuselage barrel section with the cargo door provisions.

That was only two airplanes built, and as far as I know only one of them has been offered to the RAAF.

Quoting zeke (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
Zeke, is the A-330F cargo door the same door that is on the A-306F, or is it different in size and/or locking features?
No, I do not think it is the exact same part number as found on the A310 or A300. The door being offered for the A330P2F project is the one already approved under the A330-200F STC. It is more than just a door, the surrounding frames that the door fits into also get replaced.

Yes, I know, the original frames where the cargo door is placed have been replaced with a horizontial frame that is attached to heavier and stronger frames (compaired to the original frames) on either side of the door opening. I don't know about the A-330 cargo door frame design, but on the KC-135, the extra strong frames fore and aft of the cargo door extend to the second fromes from the door, and the horizontial beam also extends to these second frames.

But thanks for clearing up the part numbers of the A-300, A-310, and A-330 cargo doors.

Quoting highlander0 (Reply 17):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):Even though some of the RAF Voyagers should have a boom to refuel RAF C-17s and E-3s (and I believe the refit RAF KC-135Rs into RC-135W Air Seekers will also have a refueling receptical).View Large View MediumPhoto © Charles Cunliffe - ReaperPhotography

E3Ds are fitted with probes. I'm under the impression that C-17s are flying non-stop to KAF/BSN at the moment and if required will stop for fuel. When we receive the Air Seekers, I imagine that the training of aircrew will include tanking from boom equipped aircraft.

Correct, but the E-3Ds also have a refueling receptical, so they can refuel from both a Boom tanker and a drogue tanker. I also understand the USAF provides KC-135/KC-10 refueling support for RAF, and RAAF C-17s. But I believe now that the RAAF has a few KC-30s their refueling requirement from US tankers will deminish.

Quoting highlander0 (Reply 17):
Quoting rutankrd (Reply 1):The UK MOD hasn't even had the option for flying boom fitted so can't refuel the likes of USAF F15 and others !

They apparently need further work / repositioning to operate with Typhoon's and this has already be picked on by the general media !
The basic fact is that we have no need to re-fuel aircraft that require a boom. The US Air Force has numerous aircraft at their disposal for this requirement and if required, the KC-46 of the Italian Air Force or the KC-135s of the French Air Force can provide a boom capability.
The RAF fleet (KC135TopBoom correct me if I'm wrong) provide the capability of refuelling probe A/C, like the US Navy and US Marine Corps Hornets, Prowlers, Growlers, Italian AMXs and Typhoons, French Rafales and Super Étendards all the while freeing up A/C that would need the probe adapter fitted.

To say the RAF has no need for Boom refueling is not accurate, as some of your airplanes are receptical equipped. Yes, the RAF tankers do provide some drogue refueling to US and other nations aircraft, but so do US drogue equipped tankers like the WARP equipped KC-135s, the KC-10s, and the KC/EC/MC-130s.

Air refueling is a critical mission for most Air Forces now, and it is rapidly becoming a shared mission among nations with tankers like the UK, France, Turkey, Indoneasia, Aiustraila, Italy, Japan (in some cercumstances), US, Germany, and Canada.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13185 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5904 times:

This old cheshunt again?
If it's felt that a dedicated, or better semi dedicated VVIP type is needed, easily fixed.
Source one of two white-tail R/R powered A330-200's, fit military comms, self defence kit, don't bother with a tanker conversion.
These are added to the RAF A330 fleet, with tasks such as aircrew conversion training - thus releasing more hours for the primary tanker/transport role, general airlift support, available for disaster relief/medevac if needed.
And VVIP tasking, for the PM, for the Monarch.

You won't be able to justify the latter without some or all of the former, maybe not even then.


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