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PacoMartin
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Joined: Sun May 27, 2018 8:18 pm

VIP Helicopter

Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:38 am

As you may know the British Queen has a Sikorsky 76C++ helicopter for the royal family use. It s the second Sikorsky they have leased for slightly over 10 years apiece. As I understand it they have introduced a new S-76D with active vibration control and Quiet Zone™ transmission with a range of over 500 miles.

Glancing through her expense account, I see the Queen has only used her helicopter one time for a long trip.The other five trips she chartered a private jet.
£16,330 The Queen Charter 24-May Northolt - Aberdeen Residence to residence
£16,404 The Queen Charter 29-May Aberdeen - Northolt Residence to residence
£29,714 Queen and Duchess of Sussex (Royal train & charter 156 miles)
£16,731 The Queen Charter 19-Jul Northolt - Aberdeen Residence to residence
£17,689 The Queen Charter 09-Oct Aberdeen - Northolt Residence to residence
£21,230 The Queen (Royal Train / Helicopter ~ 100 miles)

    Four trips are between Northolt - Aberdeen is about 400 miles. These trips move her to her Balmoral Palace in Scotland.
    She took one trip on her 45 year old private train with the Duchess of Sussex right after her marriage to Prince Harry, They chartered a jet to fly 156 miles back to London.
    She made another trip to open a school, and once again went overnight on her private train. As no airport was nearby, the helicopter brought her back to London (100 miles).

The Queen who is in her 90s is probably sensitive to noise, and she misses the day when she had a yacht with 21 officers and 250 Royal Yachtsmen (‎16 April 1953 - ‎11 December 1997).

But her son, Prince Charles is only age 70 and he may appreciate the joy of going point to point with a helicopter insteading of driving 20 miles to an airport to take a leased jet.

My question is it practical for VIP travel of up to 400 miles with the new S-76D be done exclusively with helicopters?
 
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Aesma
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:28 am

Going by train and coming back by helo, might as well take the helo both ways, it will have to fly that anyway !
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:27 am

Aesma wrote:
Going by train and coming back by helo, might as well take the helo both ways, it will have to fly that anyway !


Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton have never taken a trip aboard the Royal Train. Surpisingly only Meghan Markle rode with the Queen about a month after her marriage to Prince Harry.

The train was given to Her Majesty in 1977 upon the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee. The train includes converted Mark 3 carriages originally built for the prototype High-Speed Train (HST) in the early 1970s. The train has 9 cars:

The Queen's lounge, bedroom and bathroom
The Duke of Edinburgh's lounge, bedroom and bathroom
Royal Household sleeping car
Royal Family dining car with kitchen
Royal Household dining car with kitchen
Royal Household couchette, diesel generator & brake van
Royal Household couchette, kitchen & brake van
The Prince of Wales's sleeping car
The Prince of Wales's saloon

The train is pointless as transportation in the 21st century, and is simply a throwback to the days of yachts and old trains. Members of parliament have recommended that it be scrapped, but it is so treasured by the Queen that they are reluctant to retire it while she is still alive. Of course, Prince Charles relishes everything regal, but I doubt that William will be interested when he is monarch.

But I am curious about VIPs and helicopters. The royal family chartered a jet 62 times during the fiscal year for domestic trips at an average cost of £11,368per trip. At least 10 times for the trip BZZ-ABZ (378 miles). ABZ (Aberdeen Airport) to Balmoral castle is 45.4 miles. Windsor Castle to Brize Norton is 58.6 miles. Personally, if I was a royal I would rather go palace to palace in a helicopter (400 miles), instead of driving an hour to an airport, flying for an hour, and driving another hour to the palace.

What do CEOs do faced with a 400 mile trip? Do they take helicopters or do they lease jets? It may be that it is cheaper to lease a jet.
 
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Aesma
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:54 am

The comfort in a helo seems more basic, unless you get a very big one like the US president gets. And the noise must also make a difference.

Ideally you'd want a V22 for that distance. I guess that's what's AgustaWestland is going for with the AW609.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:02 pm

Aesma wrote:
I guess that's what's AgustaWestland is going for with the AW609.


You are correct. That twin-engined tiltrotor VTOL aircraft would be a much more useful royal helicopter with a 750 nm range. That would bring not just domestic visits, but visits to nearby European capitals possible.

http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=MAD%0d%0aCDG ... 0x360&PM=*
 
mwhcvt
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:26 pm

For those that maybe don’t realise those jet trips are not leased aircraft they are 32sqd (Royal Flight) aircraft more than likely the BAE146 or if they have not now been retired the 125’s so it’s not a lease as in a private company but 32sqd has to Bill for each hour it’s used to the relevant body, be that the royal household or a ministerial department same as if they take the VIP prepped A330 Voyager on a longer trip, it all gets billed, this is partly why they younger royals will often fly commercial when not travelling on state business

Or they will sometimes take a private jet if someone else is offering it

It has been known where appropriate or before we had the long range VIP capability for the royal household to charter a ACJ/BBJ for longer trips but I don’t recall that happing since the A330 was serviceable

Now the royal helicopter that is actually the queens own helicopter not a part of the RAF and there was actually a second helicopter too in blue rather than maroon this was purchased around the time when William and Kate started having kids and was primarily for their use well still based in Norfolk and to make official duties easier on family life

The Queens/Royal helicopter is G-XXEB the S76++
The second Royal Helicopter is G-XXEC an A109 Grand

Interesting EB used to show up regularly on FR24 but I’ve not seen it in a long time so I’m guessing they had it blocked in the end
Must think up a new one soon, slow moving brain trying to get into gear ;)
 
vfw614
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:06 pm

Maybe safety is also a consideration? I suppose that helicopters are statistically less safe than fixed-wing airplanes.
 
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747classic
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:54 pm

PacoMartin wrote:
Aesma wrote:
I guess that's what's AgustaWestland is going for with the AW609.


You are correct. That twin-engined tiltrotor VTOL aircraft would be a much more useful royal helicopter with a 750 nm range. That would bring not just domestic visits, but visits to nearby European capitals possible.

http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=MAD%0d%0aCDG ... 0x360&PM=*


- A twin engined tiltrotor will never be selected due safety constraints, see : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accidents ... -22_Osprey
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.
 
Redsand187
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:25 pm

How much entourage goes with her? She probably travels with more than a helicopter's load of people and cargo. For other VIP's a helicopter is probably perfect for these type of missions. As the Head of State to one of the most powerful countries in the world, and that with the longest legacy, I am sure travel isn't simple enough for a helicopter. A full fleet of helicopters like Marine One would probably be required, but they don't have the unchecked spending ability of the US government.
 
mwhcvt
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:04 pm

Redsand187 wrote:
How much entourage goes with her? She probably travels with more than a helicopter's load of people and cargo. For other VIP's a helicopter is probably perfect for these type of missions. As the Head of State to one of the most powerful countries in the world, and that with the longest legacy, I am sure travel isn't simple enough for a helicopter. A full fleet of helicopters like Marine One would probably be required, but they don't have the unchecked spending ability of the US government.


Very little entourage at all, as a general rule of thumb when travelling by road she would have her vehicle, a reserve and a police car usually as SEG (Special Escort Group) Range Rover, and 4-5 SEG outriders if travelling within London or the general area, if out of area then it will be same but policing provided by the local constabulary rather than the Metropolitan Police, additionally with her with be specialist officers where ever she travels from the Royal Protection Unit, both RPU and SEG officers are Armed additionally you’ll quite often see a VW transporter as part of the motorcade this is for assistants to the Queen like her private secretary etc

Often when she travels to Sandringham then she will take a public train with just 2 or 3 RPU Officers, this will be just a normal public train with members of the public travelling too, however the royal household will take over one carriage for the journey just for the queen

If taking the helicopter then there will be a mirror motorcade waiting at the destination but as above this will never be a massive motorcade, put simply there’s just not the threat level to VIPs in the UK as you’d find in other countries

Finally there’s also some key thing that needs to be taken into consideration, the British Tax Payer just will not stand such excess as you see with other nations when it comes to there security

Just look up videos on YouTube for Queens Motorcade or even Prime Minister Motorcade and you’ll see just how small they are compared to other nations
Must think up a new one soon, slow moving brain trying to get into gear ;)
 
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GCT64
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Re: VIP Helicopter

Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:28 am

mwhcvt wrote:
For those that maybe don’t realise those jet trips are not leased aircraft they are 32sqd (Royal Flight) aircraft more than likely the BAE146 or if they have not now been retired the 125’s so it’s not a lease as in a private company but 32sqd has to Bill for each hour it’s used to the relevant body, be that the royal household or a ministerial department same as if they take the VIP prepped A330 Voyager on a longer trip, it all gets billed, this is partly why they younger royals will often fly commercial when not travelling on state business

Or they will sometimes take a private jet if someone else is offering it


The 32SQN 146s aren't the only aircraft used for the Royal Family now, often it is a chartered executive jet. London Executive Aviation (before it became Luxaviation UK) were frequent providers of executive jets to the royal household.

The comment on Wikipedia (yes, I know!!) says: "Small fixed-wing charter aircraft were chartered for a total of 351 hours in 2011. The vastly reduced use of 32 Squadron in FY2011 gave rise to the a large increase in small fixed-wing charter flights during the year."
Flown in: A21N,A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A359,A388,BA11,BU31,(..55 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
mwhcvt
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:01 pm

Re: VIP Helicopter

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:34 pm

GCT64 wrote:
mwhcvt wrote:
For those that maybe don’t realise those jet trips are not leased aircraft they are 32sqd (Royal Flight) aircraft more than likely the BAE146 or if they have not now been retired the 125’s so it’s not a lease as in a private company but 32sqd has to Bill for each hour it’s used to the relevant body, be that the royal household or a ministerial department same as if they take the VIP prepped A330 Voyager on a longer trip, it all gets billed, this is partly why they younger royals will often fly commercial when not travelling on state business

Or they will sometimes take a private jet if someone else is offering it


The 32SQN 146s aren't the only aircraft used for the Royal Family now, often it is a chartered executive jet. London Executive Aviation (before it became Luxaviation UK) were frequent providers of executive jets to the royal household.

The comment on Wikipedia (yes, I know!!) says: "Small fixed-wing charter aircraft were chartered for a total of 351 hours in 2011. The vastly reduced use of 32 Squadron in FY2011 gave rise to the a large increase in small fixed-wing charter flights during the year."


I can believe that it’s probably cheaper to use a private charter company than the 32sqn Jets, as the private charter companies can spread their costs over a much larger usage pattern it would be kind of interesting to see the routes flown on these charters, maybe a breakdown of in country or over seas and who it was booked too but that’s really only because of my interests in the royal household in general I find it all interesting
Must think up a new one soon, slow moving brain trying to get into gear ;)

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