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cathasatail

Red arrows to get new aircraft

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I thought they were also used as a recruitment tool, how many of us see youngsters with Red Arrows hats, overalls and the like at airshows?

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And funny enuff they help sell model kits.

I once helped a model shop owner when he had a trade stand at the Air Show in Portrush.

Right after the Reds display to 'open' the event we sold about 50 Red Arrows Hawk and Gnat kits, when they were done punters took Spitfires, Hurricanes, Eurofighters.

~~I had to drive back t'shop to get more kits.

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5 hours ago, TeeELL said:

H i n t,

  you have overlooked the cost of redeveloping this item into an acceptable MOPO (Military operated, Publicly owned) item.  The necessary modifications, spares - probably prioritised for supply to an overseas country to whom we have sold the same wheelbarrow (WB) WB Tmk51.  All of these will drive up the cost of initial WB Tmk1, with the supply problems limiting the serviceabilty and availability of the WB.  This will also be an untried platform, requiring extensive testing at Boscombe Down furthermore, the transition from the WB Tmk1 to Hawk Tmk2 might well require a transitional platform.

 

The RAFAT might find some of their manoeuvres somewhat limited 'Concord' to 'Concourse', 'Roll off the Top' to 'Roll of turf off the front',  'Diamond 9' to 'Diamond paving slabs', 'Leaders benefit' to 'Leaders top soil' etc, etc.

(This'll be an interesting line of discussion, me 

No no you need a PFI

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28 minutes ago, Toe said:

I thought they were also used as a recruitment tool, how many of us see youngsters with Red Arrows hats, overalls and the like at airshows?

 

Not everything can easily be measured but as an overall tool I think the Reds are good value. I always remember as a kid I saw a picture of the Reds in formation with Concorde over flying the QE2, it filled me with much pride, only the Reds are left from that picture and to have them flying anything  other than something worthy fills me with sadness, but I am not green and those that procure such items will probably choose the equivalent of a Fiat Panda, therefore missing the point altogether

.

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4 hours ago, Hepster said:

How about the world's first Air Force drone aerobatic team!  Leading edge or what!

 

I know that is in jest, but think about it. UAVs and drones are replacing manned combat air. Can you imagine what RIAT will be like, in say, 15-20 years time?

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21 hours ago, TeeELL said:

Reflect, if you will, that media reports every year, for at least the last 10, have reflected upon the future of RAFAT.  I may be wrong - but I think 2018 will be RAFATs last season. 

I can't find the post from earlier where someone stated that the real hurdle will be finding a PM prepared to make a difficult decision & scrap the Reds, with the obvious Media Tabloid "outrage", yet as TeeELL states, there is a real cliff edge approaching in 2018 and the anniversary of the "100 year experiment" but NO MONEY to replace the current platforms. We may agree/disagree on the £10m+ /year being good value (& I enjoyed your banter PLC1966!), but I reckon CAS is frantically looking for coins down the backs of sofas in his office now trying to figure out how the RAF will fund new aircraft when he is DIRECTED by the PM to make it so - 'cos the figure is only going to be the other side of £10m by some margin. 

 

The ONLY solution is to double hat existing frontline airframes, but with hours as tight as they are, that is surely a non-starter. (& despite my obvious Dark Blue bias, I really do understand how stretched & how pressed the Typhoon force is now)......

 

Can't finish a post without some further attempt at fishing........

 

Could not the RAF Regiment do something exciting with their dogs, in formation. Perhaps like the Hawks, they could feed them food coloring in advance thus allowing some red, white & blue "trails" behind on the school playgrounds/public display areas when they clear back off to guard the NAAFI?     (I await some upset Rock Ape's reply!!)

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Military dogs,,,,,,,,,Brain on a chain...........nobody would confirm what end of the chain had the brain though...........

 

But knowing some of the boys in the Careers Office's, they reckoned pound for pound the RAF Police Dog Team were the best value recruiting tool we had, another thing gone........classic knowing the cost of a pound but not the value of a penny !!!

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Red ten was on the local radio this afternoon.

Currently on tour in the far East, the Reds will

hopefully be back in the UK on December 1st.

On the way back they will do several shows

in the middle East. Now someone must have

asked for them to appear at those shows, they're

not just going to turn up are they?

BTW, it was rumoured years ago that BAe paid

for the fuel used by the Reds. I don't know if that

includes the diesel and dyes! (The dye is horrible stuff)

 

Oh, and the Saudi Green Hawks like to emulate a certain

other display team. No prize for guessing who.

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33 minutes ago, PLC1966 said:

Military dogs,,,,,,,,,Brain on a chain...........nobody would confirm what end of the chain had the brain though...........

 

But knowing some of the boys in the Careers Office's, they reckoned pound for pound the RAF Police Dog Team were the best value recruiting tool we had, another thing gone........classic knowing the cost of a pound but not the value of a penny !!!

Had the privilege of attending and watching their last public display at RAF Leuchars at the airshow there.  A few folks got a bit grit in the eye that day.

 

On the matter of replacement I would like to think that given the modest cost of keeping them going in terms of Government spending that the cash could be found from outside the defence budget if needs be.  God knows we find money for some really useless projects that really are white elephants.

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Hmm I think ascoteer said they cost 10 million a year which actually in the grand scale of things is not much the problem is little cuts here and there amount to a lot.....decimomanu (loved that. Place...when I was on Shars) only saved 10 million a year ....far better to use the north sea ACMI range with it's 365 nice weather...not! Anyhoo I digress....look after the little things and the big things will look after themselves.....the trouble is the little things are getting cut or ignored and that affects big things.

Manpower biggest single factor is ignored or treated as a commodity and the PR machine is part of that .Take away the things that make HM forces different and what have you got.

Right nuff said I will start ranting and being political. Sorry

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A fascinating thread, thanks all.

TeeELL;  Thanks for your most interesting and insightful comments. I am intrigued that those are the critical items. I had presumed airframe fatigue limits, though perhaps ten years on that is the limit next to hit.

Pete in Lincs – your comment about selection for the Arrows understood, it was indeed a plum job. I was very proud indeed when an acquaintance of mine, whom I’d instructed at one time, became a team member. And the professionalism the whole team demonstrates is a credit to the RAF and the services as a whole. Ascoteer is right; we don’t seem to like to recognise excellence in this country. Very sad.

PLC1966 – I liked your comment about  ‘brain on a chain’ – ouch! The RAF Police Dog team was impressive. On your thoughts about the PR value, with which I used to agree, I feel AWFK10 has  a very good point; if the shop is effectively empty, the PR value goes down drastically. Sadly that is probably correct.

(FIGHTSON – that was me commenting about PMs and media)

And oh yes, ascoteer and junglierating are so right about any saving being lost in the system. The tiny slices get overwhelmed

Oh well – if 2018 is to be the end, and it does make a rather dismal sense – best enjoy what is left and recall the good days.  Establishing a fulltime team made sense in the Sixties, maybe now is a sensible time to end it.

 

John B, who remembers the earlier Arrows as well as having the privilege of meeting the Yellowjacks at Valley.   Sigh…

 

As junglierating put it  - 'Nuff said'.

Edited by John B (Sc)

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One of my QFIs at BFTS was ex Lightnings and ex Reds,

 

Several of my friends have been on the team including Gary Waterfall (who became AOC 1 Gp), Smithy (who went on to become OC BBMF), Andy Offer (who was on my IOT and now flies with the Blades) and Andy Cubin (ex Jag display driver).

 

I was lucky enough to fly with the team back in 1997 when I was a Dominie Captain, having done RAFAT support several times on Albert.

 

It would be a terrible shame to see them get binned.

 

 

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After 20 years as a Hawk QFI, I always felf very proud when one (or more) of my students or fellow (and female) ex-instructors became team members on RAFAT.  One season had nearly every team pilot as someone I had taught.

  My brief, when I was tasked as FT2A, was - in conjunction with the Hawk engineering team - was to identify the means of keeping RAFAT going until 2018.  The problems with the undercarriage legs and the canopy were insurmountable as no replacements were available - there are few or no interchangeable parts between the T1 series and T2.  The downsizing of the training system allowed aircraft to be mothballed and those aircraft provided the 'spares' that has continued to keep the Hawk T1/1W/1A fleet flying.

  For my part, I had heard rumours of more Alphajets being aquired for 100 Sqn!  Ascoteer has mentioned the relatively small cost of keeping RAFAT going but the future requires a replacement aircraft - if that aircraft, in the hands of RAFAT, is also supposed to promote UK industry then the choice of replacement aircraft is open to question.  

 

  As for the B&Q WB TMk1 - I bet it is made in China!

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8 hours ago, TeeELL said:

For my part, I had heard rumours of more Alphajets being aquired for 100 Sqn!  Ascoteer has mentioned the relatively small cost of keeping RAFAT going but the future requires a replacement aircraft - if that aircraft, in the hands of RAFAT, is also supposed to promote UK industry then the choice of replacement aircraft is open to question.  

 

  As for the B&Q WB TMk1 - I bet it is made in China!

 

That is very true TeeELL and the point I made earlier, we are all aware of the excellence of the team as a whole, that is with question, but what they fly is the other side of the equation, the Hawk is a British product and one of our best ever, and it has sold worldwide, due in no small part played  by the REDS displaying this wonderful aircraft so flying anything other than British produced products seems odd.

We all love the Reds, I was lucky enough to do a job in the house of a member of the team, as I climbed the stairs I noticed all the pics on the wall and enquried about them. To my surprise I was told that her husband was ground crew and would I like her to call him for a tour...the answer was immediate and within 20 minutes I was at the gatehouse being booked in. Everybody I spoke to in that hour and a half( when I should have been working:winkgrin:) were passionate about what they did and made me feel at ease and as if they were giving me my own private show for one, I was up close to the Hawk, given a tour around the Ejection seat room( not sure of its actual name) and more, it was totally engrossing.

That sums them up, going out of his way to look after me, a member of the public, and I would like to thank one all for that special one and a half hours.

They are special so lets keep them and give them the right tools to continue doing a grand job.

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While I am deeply sympathetic to the funding problems imposed on the MoD and particularly the threat to the Red Arrows, nobody has yet mentioned the idea of sponsorship.

It has been said that the team is in many ways promoting BAE, UKplc and Great Britain in general.

So can we try to keep 'The Reds' going with a bit of proper commercial input?

 

Obviously 'Red Bull' has been taken, but other companies could perhaps help out financially for the remaining years of the T1.

Rawlplug, Radweld and RadioShack spring to mind, add Rothmans for the smoke and Rustins for touching up the paintwork and the team name may be longer but it still flies.....  

 

I am already wearing my coat......

John

 

 

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The Reds currently have a sponsorship scheme on going - 'Put a Name on a Plane' [afair] Get a name on a RA Hawk for '17 show season. Prices start at £30 and leap to the multi thousands £

But mostly the money goes to the RAF museums I think.

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Did I not hear that certain of the more commercially orientated displays requested are at least partially supported by the company requesting them or is that wrong?

 

Personally I feel the question of aircraft replacement and continuation of the Reds is a fundamental part of the larger question of what sort of a society are we and what do we want.  

 

Perspective - Edinburgh has and had a flagship award-winning pubic bus service.  Someone thought it would be a good idea to replace one of the bus routes with a tram that does basically the same thing.  Projected cost? £400 million.  Finished years late with massive citycentre chaos but construction cost over £700 million with another £200 million still to pay in interest. Plus the cost of the public enquiry which finds no one to blame. And not counting the cost to retailers that went out of business as their streets closed for a year while the road was ripped up.  So my point is if we can spend that sort of money on a vanity project to replace a bus with a tram surely we can afford a little more on HM Forces. It's our money in the end of the day that they spend. How would £900 million have fixed the Reds up?  Problem solved I suspect.

 

John

 

PS and in the end they only laid tram track on half the proposed route after running out of cash !

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We could list a whole raft of such public spending mistakes.....but I shall not for fear of being sent to Coventry. What say John is absolutely true and so much money is wasted with no one being held to account and until this is stopped such iconic parts of our lives like the Reds will come under scrutiny.

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On 05/11/2016 at 1:17 AM, PLC1966 said:

 

That, my friend, is absolute rubbish.  You've heard about the amount of business concluded on the Golf Course, well, in the big boys world, there is no question the Reds, Cocktail Parties on the back of Navy Warships and generally 'flying the flag' tasks raises the profile of the UK in many places for many different, and generally positive, purposes.  

 

But what is the marginal effect of the 10m/pound a year RA project on this ambiguously defined mission? Almost zero, would be my guess.

 

It's also going to be a hell of a lot more than 10m/year if new airframes have to be capitalised. The T1s were paid for long ago, but new T2s off the showroom floor go for 16m a copy.

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Quoting TeeELL : "For my part, I had heard rumours of more Alphajets being aquired for 100 Sqn!  Ascoteer has mentioned the relatively small cost of keeping RAFAT going but the future requires a replacement aircraft - if that aircraft, in the hands of RAFAT, is also supposed to promote UK industry then the choice of replacement aircraft is open to question."

 

I did have a brief mad moment imagining both the Arrows and the Patrouille in Alphajets...!  Yes, I know that's daft, it wouldn't exactly promote our industry. (Also, they must be getting short of available life too?)

 

Still, it  would make quite a fun 'What-If'.

Ok, ducking now and collecting my coat.

 

John B

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Well, pass me the salt and pepper!  It seems I must eat my hat.  I have heard today 'from a reliable source' that the Reds are due to continue to 2030, flying the Hawk T1.  Given all the problems perceived, 10 years ago, about how 'we' were going to manage the fleet to make 2018, it seems the canopy and undercarriage shortfalls have domehow been overcome.  In addition 100 Sqn will continue to use the T1/1A to 2015.  It's a miracle!!!

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3 hours ago, TeeELL said:

  In addition 100 Sqn will continue to use the T1/1A to 2015.  It's a miracle!!!

 

2015? That would be a miracle. Sign me up for the time machine!;):D

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 9:41 PM, TeeELL said:

Well, pass me the salt and pepper!  It seems I must eat my hat.  I have heard today 'from a reliable source' that the Reds are due to continue to 2030, flying the Hawk T1.  Given all the problems perceived, 10 years ago, about how 'we' were going to manage the fleet to make 2018, it seems the canopy and undercarriage shortfalls have domehow been overcome.  In addition 100 Sqn will continue to use the T1/1A to 2015.  It's a miracle!!!

 

 

Wow !  If true that suggests someone either found a supply of spares previously overlooked, or someone has had a new spares order put in on the QT.  Possibly a re-engineering of the main legs could sort that part of the issue. However, surely airframe life limits will come into play long before that, even though I think the Red Arrows duty is less onerous than advanced training or 100Sqn tasks.

 

John B

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On vrijdag 4 november 2016 at 10:15 PM, hairystick said:



If the Red Arrows are in fact for Public Relations purposes, surely having them do more than just fly around in pretty formations on random days?





 



AFAIK their T.1A's still have a secondary point defence role, witness the pictures of Red Arrows aircraft with underwing rails and AIM-9L's.



 



Cheers,



 



Andre


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The point defence role for the Hawk (Mixed Fighter Force) went some years ago - probably rather longer than I care to remember, thinking about it...

 

it's worth recalling that the number of Hawk T1 units is now significantly reduced - The RAFAT; 100 Sqn; 736NAS and the Centre for Aviation Medicine. 

 

Although the figures will have changed, a parliamentary answer 18 months ago gives us the following number of Hawk T1As

 

Forward Fleet - 66

Sustainment Fleet - 7

In Storage - 52

 

There are also 3 contractor owned (Qinetiq) Hawk T1s.

 

Those figures were arrived at when 208 was still carrying out flying training, of course, so forward fleet numbers have fallen; some airframes will be beyond their FI (but a possible source of parts), and it is possible that some have gone for disposal since the last time the fleet numbers were publicly stated in parliament.

 

But as you can see, the demand for Hawk T1As has declined and the practicality of keeping sufficient numbers in service to sustain RAFAT for some years to come remains. 736 is likely to go in 2020, while the last figure I saw in the public domain for 100 was 2027 for the retirement of its aircraft. The rationale for the retirement of 736 is that it'll be replaced by the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme provided by contractors (this is the thing for which the Textron Scorpion did a demo earlier this year, exciting some comment) first, with 100 surrendering its Hawks as ASDOT is fully rolled out.

 

The overall effect would be to ensure that there are enough - possibly only just - airframes and parts available for the Hawk fleet until 2030. I would guess that BAE and the RAF would rather that they don't have to push until 2030 so that the former can point to an aircraft in production and available for sale, while the latter would probably want a new, less aged airframe if possible, and one which is perhaps more representative of the RAF training force (which'll be the Hawk T2, the T-6 and the Phenom 100; i.e. the British aircraft will be the T2), even if good old 'defence engagement' is more of the rationale behind the RAFAT these days than selling the aeroplane they fly.

 

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