trex8
Topic Author
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:04 pm

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?
 
User avatar
USAF336TFS
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:58 pm

Did someone say something about "clearly the more capable" tanker somewhere?
336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
 
trex8
Topic Author
Posts: 4606
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:28 pm

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 
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:42 pm

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 avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:16 pm

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.
 
spudh
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:00 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:58 pm

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.
 
connies4ever
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:54 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:18 pm

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.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:33 pm

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.
 
iRISH251
Posts: 623
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:56 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:43 pm

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 avatar
Revelation
Posts: 13852
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:30 pm

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! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:24 pm

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.
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 1542
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:35 am

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
Image
 
LifelinerOne
Posts: 1497
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:30 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:21 pm

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
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2637
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:43 pm

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 avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2167
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:14 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 13):

  

Looks like a sex change operation gone bad.   

Or someone needs Viagra.
Bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:05 pm

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.
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 9968
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:23 am

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

 
GST
Posts: 808
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:27 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:56 am

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 avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:09 pm

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
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:09 pm

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 avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:12 pm

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 avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:19 pm

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.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:07 pm

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 avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:13 pm

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 avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:18 pm

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.
 
User avatar
scbriml
Posts: 13387
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:15 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 24):

So, despite knowing about issues refuelling Tornadoes, you were quite happy to jump on the Voyager bashing bandwagon?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
So what ever the problem is, it has to be a problem with the Voyagers themselves.

   but not surprised.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4083
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:36 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 22):
Not proof of total clearance but a firm rebuff of the original story.

The "news" is old, and certainly not worthy of an April 2012 publication date as Defence Aerospace gives it in their article...

Quote:

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when the first Airbus 330-200 Voyager will be delivered to RAF Brize Norton; and when he expects it to be fully operational; [87587]

(2) what the payment schedule is for the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft programme; [87588]

(3) what technical issues were observed during the in-flight refuelling test between the Tornado GR.4 and Airbus A330-200. [87589]

Peter Luff: The first Airbus 330-200 Voyager aircraft was dispatched to the AirTanker Ltd facility at RAF Brize Norton on 22 December 2011. This will allow the company to undertake the work required to register the aircraft; obtain the Civilian Aviation Authority Certificate of Airworthiness; prepare for handover and undertake familiarisation training for its staff.

The in-service date for the programme is May 2014 when nine aircraft are available for Air-Air-Refuelling.

The Voyager payment mechanism ensures the Ministry of Defence only pays for the service delivered. Payments are made against availability (number of aircraft booked per day) and usage.

Ground and Air-Air-Refuelling trials between the Voyager aircraft and Tornado GR.4 are continuing and progress has been made. During a trials programme, issues emerged on the stability of the hose and fuel leakage. Such incidents are not unusual in trials. Engineering solutions for these issues have been identified and are being developed.
http://www.publications.parliament.u...nsrd/cm120110/text/120110w0001.htm

Taken from the January 10th 2012 Hansard archives (UK Parliamentary Archives) as a written answer.

The actual issue was identified in 2011 and was resolved earlier this year. The A330-200 Voyager tankers currently have no issues refueling the Tornado aircraft.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:36 am

Quoting moo (Reply 26):
The actual issue was identified in 2011 and was resolved earlier this year. The A330-200 Voyager tankers currently have no issues refueling the Tornado aircraft.

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. 3) Accept that always trying to find fault with certain Non US aircraft types on here is getting old and does no credit to those who keep doing it, even despite being proven incorrect time and again.

That's just here, I bet The Sun , a 'paper' that has a self image of being that more supportive of the armed forces, though many of them seem to regard it with contempt, is not hurrying to apologise or print a retraction more than a few millimetres high.
 
User avatar
bikerthai
Posts: 2167
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:45 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:01 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 25):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
So what ever the problem is, it has to be a problem with the Voyagers themselves.

but not surprised.

  

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
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6678
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:23 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 25):
So, despite knowing about issues refuelling Tornadoes, you were quite happy to jump on the Voyager bashing bandwagon?

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 equation is the prime issue?

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 28):
Technically he may right. The problem with the Voyagers was it had too many fuel pump on

Does this mean that the Voyager is a bad a/c, no, it could very well be that those making up the SOP's neglected the needs of the Tornado or thought it was not needed because the Typhoon was taking over?

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.

Even Zeke highlighted the issue with the Tornado, so why did those behind the Voyager not know?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
Thanks, Zeke.

When Top and Zeke are passing pleantries I think the subject is not about bashing but informed speculation  
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:39 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):

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 service. Once that is done, then each and every aircraft type will need to be flight tested to get cleared, it is a very involved process.

The Voyager is a new generation tanker, it is a all digital setup, control over the offload rates and pressures are all automatic, however during the clearance flight testing they need to define the new aircraft type to the system.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:22 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 25):
So, despite knowing about issues refuelling Tornadoes, you were quite happy to jump on the Voyager bashing bandwagon?

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, decades even, without problems. So it the most likely problem has to be the Voyager. If you think that is bashing the Voyager, then you really need a vacation, my friend.

Quoting moo (Reply 26):
The actual issue was identified in 2011 and was resolved earlier this year. The A330-200 Voyager tankers currently have no issues refueling the Tornado aircraft.

Good. We will probibly never know what the problem was, or what the fix was.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
Nice if those on here who instantly blamed the Voyager would accept that they were mistaken?

I would, if you tell me what the problem was and how they fixed it.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
1) It WAS old news

But you didn't know that until moo posted it.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
2) Has been rectified

But you didn't know that until moo posted it.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
3) Accept that always trying to find fault with certain Non US aircraft types on here is getting old and does no credit to those who keep doing it, even despite being proven incorrect time and again.

Where was I proven wrong? You keep saying some here, including me, tend to find fault with Airbus airplanes. Yet, there are also some on your side of the Atlantic, and elsewhere who look for faults with Boeing, and you don't critisize them. That just shows you and I are the same. You like everything Airbus, and I like everything Boeing. Tell me, what is wrong with that?

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 28):
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

Thank you.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:34 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
But you didn't know that until moo posted it.

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 Sun . There is usually a pattern to these things!

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
I would, if you tell me what the problem was and how they fixed it.

I don't know what it was, don't pretend to.
Maybe the fix has not been made public.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):
Where was I proven wrong? You keep saying some here, including me, tend to find fault with Airbus airplanes. Yet, there are also some on your side of the Atlantic, and elsewhere who look for faults with Boeing, and you don't critisize them.

I was brought up to believe that two wrongs don't make a right. Unless you scan every post I've ever written I'd not be so sure about the second either.
Again, there is a pattern to these things, on here at least.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 32):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 31):I would, if you tell me what the problem was and how they fixed it.
I don't know what it was, don't pretend to.
Maybe the fix has not been made public.

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 means there is no reason to make it public. All military aircraft have fixes made and modifications made that just don't get publicly released. A good example of the is the RAAF KC-30 that lost its boom and was damged, along with a PAF F-16, during an EADS flight test. I am sure the problem that caused that and the fix is completed, but they did not release it to the public.
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4083
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:13 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 33):
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 means there is no reason to make it public. All military aircraft have fixes made and modifications made that just don't get publicly released. A good example of the is the RAAF KC-30 that lost its boom and was damged, along with a PAF F-16, during an EADS flight test. I am sure the problem that caused that and the fix is completed, but they did not release it to the public.

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 regard to some things  

In general, the public doesn't need to know the ins and outs of stuff like this - there was a problem, the aircraft achieved acceptance so therefor that problem must have been resolved. Its not like the MoD released a press release when they first discovered the issue - it was leaked by industry insiders, and then raised in Parliament by an interested constituent. So theres no reason why the MoD need comment on the exact fix, or even that it was fixed.

So there we have it.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:09 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 33):

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 means there is no reason to make it public.

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.
Had the competition in 2004 for the choice of airframe gone the other way, with the hellbent intention of inserting the whole PFI method, same would have happened.

Which brings me to that attempt in 2002/3 to have those 100 KC-767's via that leasing deal.
With the US forces and most of her allies, ramping up operations, there was an absolutely sound case for replacing the older, fuel hungry, likely heavier maintenance (if only with the engines) KC-135E's with 100 nice new KC-767's, as already under development for Italy and Japan.

Completely justifiable given the benefits that an injection of new airframes into the USAF tanker fleet would provide.
Why it was not done the normal way, escapes me, from the AF/DoD viewpoint at least.
Order 10-20 of them each FY, wouldn't be that long until the USAF was seeing the benefits. Not a huge budget buster. Might have given more impetus to the KC-767, maybe reducing those delays some.

That John MCain objected to the corporate welfare of this deal, someone who has known the importance of AAR personally, speaks volumes about how wrong headed it was?

If things had been different in this way? KC-767's, like the Italian and Japanese ones, in USAF service by now in increasing numbers?
There might well be plans for a second phase, to replace the KC-135R's, maybe eventually KC-10's, with a larger deal.
With A330 and 767 in competition.
Just speculation of course.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:13 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 35):
John MCain objected to the corporate welfare of this deal, someone who has known the importance of AAR personally,

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 deck.
 
GDB
Posts: 12653
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:29 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 36):
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 deck.

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 that wasn't entirely my point with him, pretty hard to label him with the usual abuse of anyone who questions nakedly dodgy deals.

If they'd done it the proper way, much of the farcical, protracted and expensive 'tanker wars' with the USAF would have been avoided. If only maybe put off until a second round.
And you'd have new tankers coming off the line now and would have for some time.
Without cheating on the taxpayer and lining lawyers pockets at almost the same rate as a AAR fuel transfer. Either with the original leasing scheme or the 'tanker wars'.

My broader point though, is that we in the UK did NOT avoid a very dodgy scheme to finance and operate new tankers, it's of a different kind but equally as financially corrosive in the long term and politically damaging.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:48 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 36):

Many would argue having operational experience as either a receiver or as a boomer gives one next to no qualification for the selection and deployment of a new weapons platform like a new tanker, if anything the USAF experience has shown it is actually a liability. In fact many of the people involved in the RAF Voyager selection had no operational tanker experience.

Sen McCains involvement in the tanker program put a stop to the corporate welfare, and resulted in a number of people from the military and industry going to goal for illegal practices. End result is a weapons platform that is on paper far more capable, for much better value to the tax payer. Down side is it is taking almost 2 decades to achieve even a small fleet of what will be an obsolete airframe. Meanwhile the model being used by the MOD will allow them to upgrade to a newer tanker platform again by 2025-2030, about the same time as the last KC-X tanker will enter service.

If you had your way, you would send the next generation of tanker crews up in aircraft that were around before your time, being potentially unsafe, potentially leaving the USAF with widespread groundings, and massive budget black hole for unknown maintenance issues and spare parts.

The RAF on the other hand have a new weapons platform that was very fast to enter MOD service, met its needs, for a much lower cost than the USAF counterpart, and without having to resort in corporate welfare or illegal selection practices.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:57 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 37):
If they'd done it the proper way, much of the farcical, protracted and expensive 'tanker wars' with the USAF would have been avoided. If only maybe put off until a second round.

I agree with that.

Quoting zeke (Reply 38):
Many would argue having operational experience as either a receiver or as a boomer gives one next to no qualification for the selection and deployment of a new weapons platform like a new tanker, if anything the USAF experience has shown it is actually a liability.

Actually, in this 3rd round, the USAF finally did talk extensively to the tanker crews about what they wanted and needed as far as capabilities vs. costs were concerned. The second round was also tainted with favortism, I point to Gen. Arthur Lighte, the then Commander od AMC and his lobbying for the A-330 over the B-767 based tankers in 2008. Lighte had set himself up with a post retirement job with NG. For the 2011 compitition, he worked as a board member for EADS-NA, again pushing the A-330 tanker.

Quoting zeke (Reply 38):
If you had your way, you would send the next generation of tanker crews up in aircraft that were around before your time, being potentially unsafe, potentially leaving the USAF with widespread groundings, and massive budget black hole for unknown maintenance issues and spare parts.

First off any military aircraft type can face a wide spread fleet grounding at any time. Do you remember the fleet wide F-15 grounding of 2009? The last fleet wide grounding for the KC-135 fleet was in 1981 due to a landing gear failure accident. It was initially for inspections, and 95% of the fleet returned to flight status within 3 days. The remain ing had to have the MLG reworked, and even they were back flying within two weeks. There is no saying if the A-330MRTT fleet will ever need a fleet wide grounding, or not. The military forces use it very differently than the airlines do.

Quoting zeke (Reply 38):
The RAF on the other hand have a new weapons platform that was very fast to enter MOD service, met its needs, for a much lower cost than the USAF counterpart, and without having to resort in corporate welfare or illegal selection practices.

The RAF Voyager A-330 is more of an airliner than a military platform. It does not have a boom and the systems needed to operate it, like the RAAF KC-30 has. The only real difference between the Voyager K2 and a commerical A-330 with RR engines is the refueling pods and the avionics suit (the underwing pods plumbing is a simple mod to the A-340 system). The Voyager K3 will be a lot more different as it will have the centerline drogue drum system in the aft cargo compartment, needing seperate systems to operate it, like modifications to the fuel system plumbing, etc. It does not have the receiver refueling system, although I think it is planned to get a refueling probe later, but maybe only on the K3 version. I still believe the biggest mistake with the entire A-330MRTT program is the lack of a main deck cargo door, which would allow more cargo capability than it has now. Had the USAF selected the A-330MRTT, it would have been designated (again) as the KC-45A and it would have a main deck cargo door. IIRC, the 2008 selection of the A-330 also had a main deck cargo door.

Quoting GDB (Reply 37):
My broader point though, is that we in the UK did NOT avoid a very dodgy scheme to finance and operate new tankers, it's of a different kind but equally as financially corrosive in the long term and politically damaging.

Actually, the RAF will be paying considerily more per tanker than the USAF will. Their deal is a lease deal, but modified from the 'traditional lease' deals. It is also much more expensive, per tanker, than the USAF KC-767A leased tankers deal from back in 2002.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:56 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
The only real difference between the Voyager K2 and a commerical A-330 with RR engines is the refueling pods and the avionics suit (the underwing pods plumbing is a simple mod to the A-340 system).

No, Voyager is a modular mutli-role platform, additional capabilities can be added or removed at any stage. The Voyager fleet exceeds the capability provided by the VC10 and Tristar.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
I still believe the biggest mistake with the entire A-330MRTT program is the lack of a main deck cargo door, which would allow more cargo capability than it has now.

Any in service or new build A330 can have a main deck cargo door. You might want to have a look at what is under floor on the Tristar tanker....

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):
Actually, the RAF will be paying considerily more per tanker than the USAF will. Their deal is a lease deal, but modified from the 'traditional lease' deals. It is also much more expensive, per tanker, than the USAF KC-767A leased tankers deal from back in 2002.

Care show the maths to back that up ?

FYI prior to the PFI, the MOD looked at buying 19 second had 767s and converting them into tankers, the PFI model worked out cheaper than that pathway by 10-15%.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:07 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 40):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 39):Actually, the RAF will be paying considerily more per tanker than the USAF will. Their deal is a lease deal, but modified from the 'traditional lease' deals. It is also much more expensive, per tanker, than the USAF KC-767A leased tankers deal from back in 2002.
Care show the maths to back that up ?

FYI prior to the PFI, the MOD looked at buying 19 second had 767s and converting them into tankers, the PFI model worked out cheaper than that pathway by 10-15%.

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 forgot how much time, but I assume it to be about 15 years).

The USAF KC-767A lease deal was to have costs about $27B for 100 aircraft, for 10 years, at which time the aircraft could be purchased.

I don't recall what the conversion of USD to GBP was in 2002, but today it is $0.62 USD to 1 GBP, or 1 GBP to $1.59.

So assuming the exchange rate for USD to GBP was about 1 GBP equiled $1.50 USD in 2002, that means in GDP the per airplane lease deal from Boeing was about $405M per airplane (including construction and leaseing costs). From Air Tanker Inc the costs, in 2002 dollars, would be about $1.285B USD per airplane (including construction and leasing costs).
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9855
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:54 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):

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 projected total cost of the tanker fleet over 27 years, Including aircraft, hangers, crew, fuel, maintenance etc. the actual cost of the fleet depends on how much they fly, as the aircraft are wet leased by the hour. It also includes the VC10/Tristars until the Voyages are online, as it is the projected cost of the tanker fleet, the contractor has to pay the MOD if the aircraft are not available.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
LifelinerOne
Posts: 1497
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:30 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:06 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 13):
there is a boom to drogue adaptor.

I know these things exist, but I also know we don't have them for our KDC-10's...

Cheers!   
Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
 
User avatar
scbriml
Posts: 13387
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

RE: RAF Voyagers Can't Tank Tornados?

Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:11 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):
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 forgot how much time, but I assume it to be about 15 years).
http://www.airtanker.co.uk/

The FSTA contract is for 24 years (from delivery of first aircraft) and includes support services, maintenance, training, infrastructure, fleet management and ground services.

The cost is "around" £13billion, so, the RAF gets their tanker PLUS all of above for about £38.5m/plane/year for 24 years.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 41):
The USAF KC-767A lease deal was to have costs about $27B for 100 aircraft, for 10 years, at which time the aircraft could be purchased.
http://www.fas.org/man/crs/RL32056.pdf

According to this CRS Report for Congress, the KC-767s would only have been leased for six years. At the end of six years, if USAF wished to retain the full fleet, they would have to start purchasing each batch.

So, the USAF would get their tankers for around $45m/plane/year for just six years, after which they would have to buy them if they wished to keep them. I believe that $45m is acquisition cost only and doesn't include all the ancillaries that FSTA does. In addition, the purchase of the 100 KC-767s at the end of their 6-year leases would add another $4.4b to the acquisition cost. All these numbers are at 2002 US$.

So, which is more expensive? Without knowing exactly what ancillaries, if any, were included in the 767 lease deal, they don't look too far apart.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TheF15Ace and 10 guests