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A330 Voyager RAF/Civil Operations  
User currently offlinebthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5012 times:

Recent article: AirTanker performs first airline operations with A330 Voyager

AirTanker has operated its first flight as a civil operator using A330 MRTT G-VYGG - albeit for the RAF. This is the first aircraft under the PFI to carry a civil registration and looking at the picture doesn't appear to have all the military modifications - defensive aids & comms etc.

I was under the impression that all aircraft operated by AirTanker would be fully modified to KC2/KC3 spec with, at any one time, 9 being in service with the RAF and 5 being operated by AirTanker. The spare 5 would be available on short notice to the RAF and would also cover any downtime of the core 9 aircraft. This however would not be the case if the 5 'civil' aircraft had only certain modifications such as AAR. These impressions were based on a visit to the AirTanker facility at BZZ last summer.

Can anyone enlighten me as to what the latest arrangement is? It could of course be that G-VYGG hasn't had its complete set of mods yet.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6837 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4923 times:

According to the wikipedia article about AirTanker none of the planes are able to fly into dangerous zones like Afghanistan so I'm getting that they're just tankers without defensive capabilities.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinebthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4905 times:

Hmm looks like that source was from 2010 so hopefully they would have fixed that by now. I think the problem was that it originally - for whatever stupid reason - didn't have specs for those types of operations, but I think they have fixed it.


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From this picture, it definitely looks like it has defensive aids.

[Edited 2013-01-22 12:42:35]

User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5724 posts, RR: 44
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4734 times:
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Quoting bthebest (Reply 2):
but I think they have fixed it.

I suspect Aesma may be right, the image of G-VYGG at RAF Akrotiri displays a very different (none.. perhaps) defensive fit than the image of ZZ330 lining up at Warsaw



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlinebthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4726 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
wikipedia article about AirTanker none of the planes are able to fly into dangerous zones

This source article was referring to all Voyager aircraft, so they've obviously made some changes to give military registered aircraft defensive aids.


User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2185 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

The way I understand it is that AirTanker is the company that operates the civilian registered A330's on behalf of the RAF. As such they won't be going to 'danger zones' as those will be left to the RAF A330's that are fitted with the defensive aids (and have military reg's and titles).


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User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13239 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4138 times:

Prince Harry and his unit came back by Voyager, from the brief footage taken in low light at Brize, it did not look like this one had self defence gear fitted, though apparently this might have been the first Air Tanker 'civilian charter', which was for the MoD to pick up troops from Cyprus.

(Returning Afghan deployed troops 'de-compress' at the UK base on Cyprus before coming home- as in go out on the piss and generally let off steam, Prince Harry said he returned to the UK via Cyprus).
That trip would not require a self defence equipped Voyager but I bet most of these 'civilian charters' will be for the MoD. Useful on the UK-Falklands run too.


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4134 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 6):
Returning Afghan deployed troops 'de-compress' at the UK base on Cyprus before coming home- as in go out on the piss and generally let off steam

Actually they don't really go on the piss these days... they're allowed 6 cans of beer and they do a lot of debriefing, yoga and other health activities from what I understand. Lots of psychology involved really.


User currently offlinebthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4037 times:

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 5):
The way I understand it is that AirTanker is the company that operates the civilian registered A330's on behalf of the RAF. As such they won't be going to 'danger zones' as those will be left to the RAF A330's that are fitted with the defensive aids (and have military reg's and titles).

That's certainly what it appears to be, but I would have thought the best way to run the fleet efficiently was to have them all capable of the same missions, so they can cover aircraft of downtime and can be fully theatre capable for times of national emergency.

Quoting GDB (Reply 6):
Prince Harry and his unit came back by Voyager, from the brief footage taken in low light at Brize, it did not look like this one had self defence gear fitted, though apparently this might have been the first Air Tanker 'civilian charter', which was for the MoD to pick up troops from Cyprus.

Was indeed a civil one (but not the first) as you are able to track them on FlightRadar - not very secure in my opinion! It's actually in the air right now (12:56 UTC) heading back to Brize, callsign TOW.

Quoting GDB (Reply 6):
Useful on the UK-Falklands run too.

Absolutely perfect for this route. Currently operated under charter with HiFly on A330//340.


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