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UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Fri May 01, 2020 6:43 am

According to Planespotters.net I noticed that a CX 747-236F/SCD Reg. VR-HVY https://www.planespotters.net/airframe/ ... -sa/egkv1r was operated by the RAF. My question is what did the RAF use the 742F for? And did the aircraft ever received RAF colors?
 
GDB
Posts: 13528
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Fri May 01, 2020 7:26 am

In a word, no.
But what an interesting find which I think I can explain, as delivered to BA, it's one and only 742F, it did not last long, being sold to CX in March 1982, A month later it would have been of considerable use as the UK armed forces did a major airlift of materials to Ascension Island to re-take the Falkland Islands. But at the time it would have been in the process of being handed over to CX.

(More direct salt rubbing was the charter of Heavylift Short SC-5 Belfasts, operated by the RAF between 1966-76, however in civil service their in flight refueling had been removed, had the RAF still had some or all of them potentially they could have gone UK-Ascension-Falklands with IFR from Victors and forestalled the invasion by just showing up there before the Argentine forces, with even token reinforcements for the even more token garrison).

Now look at the date of the 742's 'RAF' service. Jan 1991, it was clearly chartered as part of the huge effort for operation Desert Shield/later Storm. Or was the UK called it, Operation Granby, (a small desert rodent, apt as the major UK ground formation, 2nd largest one after the US, included 7th Armoured Brigade, known in WW2 as the 'Desert Rats').

Being a fully UN mandated operation it was likely easier to charter, though looking at the data it was on the cusp of retirement by CX anyway. The Belfasts were also involved too.
This was the biggest UK deployment since WW2. The 742's charter lasted until March 1991, when the first Gulf war ended and likely finished it's Ministry Of Defence charter by bring material back.

Thanks for finding this, I know 'our' 742F went to CX but not the rest of it's history.

I remember how sharp G-KILO looked in 'British Cargo' colours, sadly it left the airline before I joined it.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pslg05896 ... /lightbox/
Last edited by GDB on Fri May 01, 2020 7:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Fri May 01, 2020 7:29 am

GDB wrote:
In a word, no.
But what an interesting find which I think I can explain, as delivered to BA, it's one and only 742F, it did not last long, being sold to CX in March 1982, A month later it would have been of considerable use as the UK armed forces did a major airlift of materials to Ascension Island to re-take the Falkland Islands. But at the time it would have been in the process of being handed over to CX.

(More direct salt rubbing was the charter of Heavylift Short SC-5 Belfasts, operated by the RAF between 1966-76, however in civil service their in flight refueling had been removed, had the RAF still had some or all of them potentially they could have gone UK-Ascension-Falklands with IFR from Victors and forestalled the invasion by just showing up there before the Argentine forces, with even token reinforcements for the even more token garrison).

Now look at the date of the 742's 'RAF' service. Jan 1991, it was clearly chartered as part of the huge effort for operation Desert Shield/later Storm. Or was the UK called it, Operation Granby, (a small desert rodent, apt as the major UK ground formation, 2nd largest one after the US, included 7th Armoured Brigade, known in WW2 as the 'Desert Rats'.
Being a fully UN mandated operation it was likely easier to charter, though looking at the data it was on the cusp of retirement by CX anyway. The Belfasts were also involved there too.
This was the biggest UK deployment since WW2. It lasted until March 1991, when the first Gulf war ended and likely finished it's Ministry Of Defence charter by bring material back.

Thanks for finding this, I know 'our' 742F went to CX but not the rest of it's history.

I remember how sharp G-KILO looked in 'British Cargo' colours, sadly it left the airline before I joined it.


So this aircraft never received RAF colors?
 
GDB
Posts: 13528
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Fri May 01, 2020 7:35 am

No. It would be a straight charter, the US also leased many civil freighters, in addition in the 1980's, they paid PA (and others I think), to convert some of their 741's with a cargo door, strengthened floors, for rapid conversion in wartime, which the DoD paid for. A bit like a flying SS United States.
Back then, the USAF's C-5 fleet was smaller, no C-17's, C-141's but with a rather narrower fuselage.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8106
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Fri May 01, 2020 12:43 pm

GDB wrote:
In a word, no.
But what an interesting find which I think I can explain, as delivered to BA, it's one and only 742F, it did not last long, being sold to CX in March 1982, A month later it would have been of considerable use as the UK armed forces did a major airlift of materials to Ascension Island to re-take the Falkland Islands. But at the time it would have been in the process of being handed over to CX.

(More direct salt rubbing was the charter of Heavylift Short SC-5 Belfasts, operated by the RAF between 1966-76, however in civil service their in flight refueling had been removed, had the RAF still had some or all of them potentially they could have gone UK-Ascension-Falklands with IFR from Victors and forestalled the invasion by just showing up there before the Argentine forces, with even token reinforcements for the even more token garrison).

Now look at the date of the 742's 'RAF' service. Jan 1991, it was clearly chartered as part of the huge effort for operation Desert Shield/later Storm. Or was the UK called it, Operation Granby, (a small desert rodent, apt as the major UK ground formation, 2nd largest one after the US, included 7th Armoured Brigade, known in WW2 as the 'Desert Rats').

Being a fully UN mandated operation it was likely easier to charter, though looking at the data it was on the cusp of retirement by CX anyway. The Belfasts were also involved too.
This was the biggest UK deployment since WW2. The 742's charter lasted until March 1991, when the first Gulf war ended and likely finished it's Ministry Of Defence charter by bring material back.

Thanks for finding this, I know 'our' 742F went to CX but not the rest of it's history.

I remember how sharp G-KILO looked in 'British Cargo' colours, sadly it left the airline before I joined it.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pslg05896 ... /lightbox/



My dear father was a 747 Captain for Cx in 1991 and was in charge of that operation, flying several trips himself
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Fri May 01, 2020 9:51 pm

Does anyone have a photo of VR-HVY when it was in RAF service?
 
GDB
Posts: 13528
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Sat May 02, 2020 12:50 am

UA857 wrote:
Does anyone have a photo of VR-HVY when it was in RAF service?


That would be it in CX livery, between Jan-Mar 1991, at a major staging airfield for the airlift operations.
You won't find any RAF roundels, serials or RAF aircrew flying it.
Since it was never in RAF service.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1203
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Sat May 02, 2020 11:13 am

RE: GDB 4, I don’t think the US chartered any PA birds, they were built as CRAF fleet members, but it was activated for OIF and Enduring Freedom. The US system is a bit complicated but basically a lot of the 747’s were built with the cargo door specifically to enable conversion to freighters I believe (back in the early 70’s they started paying a bonus to the airlines for operating dedicated/convertible freighters in the CRAF fleet).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Reserve_Air_Fleet

https://archive.org/details/AHistoryOfT ... 1/mode/1up

(Go to around page 180 and they discuss how it was sort of enhanced in the 70s).
 
GDB
Posts: 13528
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Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Sat May 02, 2020 12:37 pm

texl1649, thanks for info, it might be that I recall an article in Flight International (as it was pre internet) about it in the 1980's, since I read it weekly from early 83 onwards.
It might be around the time of OIF I saw it.
 
BlueberryWheats
Posts: 632
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:46 am

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Sun May 03, 2020 9:05 am

The aircraft's last operator was Midair. Maybe its just me, but thats quite an unfortunate name for an airline...
The tallest blade of grass is the first to be cut.
 
UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Mon May 04, 2020 6:36 am

GDB wrote:
UA857 wrote:
Does anyone have a photo of VR-HVY when it was in RAF service?


That would be it in CX livery, between Jan-Mar 1991, at a major staging airfield for the airlift operations.
You won't find any RAF roundels, serials or RAF aircrew flying it.
Since it was never in RAF service.

So the aircraft was flying for the RAF in full CX colors?
 
GDB
Posts: 13528
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Mon May 04, 2020 7:01 am

UA857 wrote:
GDB wrote:
UA857 wrote:
Does anyone have a photo of VR-HVY when it was in RAF service?


That would be it in CX livery, between Jan-Mar 1991, at a major staging airfield for the airlift operations.
You won't find any RAF roundels, serials or RAF aircrew flying it.
Since it was never in RAF service.

So the aircraft was flying for the RAF in full CX colors?


I think Planespotters.net really should have instead put 'Ministry Of Defence' not RAF, they would have chartered it.
Those SC.5 Belfasts I mentioned were in Heavylift livery with their crews.
 
UA857
Topic Author
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:41 am

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Mon May 04, 2020 7:28 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5VX3e7BC-8&t=183s Could that be VR-HVY when it was in RAF service skip to 2:12?
 
GDB
Posts: 13528
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Mon May 04, 2020 7:49 am

Yes, you'll also note the Tower Air 747 too, like VR-HVY chartered by the US Department Of Defence.
I saw VR-HVY a few times at LGW in the 80's.
 
canyonblue17
Posts: 663
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:22 am

Re: Why Does the RAF have a 742F?

Mon May 04, 2020 3:47 pm

Speaking of unusual British 747s - I heard a CargoLogicAir 747 leaving LAX for ANC last night. Technically owned by Volga-Dnper, I believe it is operated out of England. The airline, which previously operated 2 747s, shut down in February of this year, but was reinstated in April.
negative ghostrider the pattern is full

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