LHMARK From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 7255 posts, RR: 45 Posted (9 years 10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6712 times:
I'm just curious what these planes offer that keeps them flying for the RAF despite their age. I think they're utterly beautiful aircraft, so I'm glad they're still in the air, but I wonder why they haven't been replaced with newer types.
Of course, you could point to the KC-135s the USAF flies and ask the same question.
"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
SATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6584 times:
Quoting LHMARK (Thread starter): I'm just curious what these planes offer that keeps them flying for the RAF despite their age. I think they're utterly beautiful aircraft, so I'm glad they're still in the air, but I wonder why they haven't been replaced with newer types.
Quoting DL021 (Reply 1): BEcause they are there, paid for, and have life left in them
I'll add this to DL021s comment: RAF has them in QUANTITY, unlike the L1011s or in the USAF case the KC-10.
Saintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6446 times:
The RAF would get rid of them if they could. They are very expensive to keep in the air. The engines are not the most fuel efficient (Nice and powerful though) and the spares are getting harder and harder to get. I know that they have the retired aircraft to use but getting components serviced is very costly. They have to get things like seals specially made. One offs cost the earth.
If it was just transport aircraft they needed there would be no problem, but they need the AAR facility and they won't get the A330 replacement for a number of years. Until the contract is signed with AirTanker the aircraft will not be converted.
Of course it means that we will still be able to see it gracing the skies so its not all bad.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13351 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6378 times:
Around the time the last stored ex BA VC-10's got converted, around 15 years ago, a plan was mooted to do a comprehensive VC-10 upgrade, including 4 x V2500 engines.
It was soon dropped as it was then expected the VC-10's would retire by 1999.
Not only has that not happened, but since 2001, VC-10 tasking has increased.
For all that, better to wait for a really good replacement, in the A330, which can also replace L1011's.
L1011 in many ways is an inferior tanker, being only a centerline single point refueller.
It was procured as the need to maintain the link to the Falklands came up, at the same time that the nearly new BA L1011-500 fleet was up for sale.
DEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 5085 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5077 times:
Quoting Saintsman (Reply 7): but they need the AAR facility and they won't get the A330 replacement for a number of years. Until the contract is signed with AirTanker the aircraft will not be converted.
Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 12): Now with the British economy going up for years, plans were made to modify the tankerfleet.