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As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

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Slater

France requests C-130J's

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Because there are air flow problems when refuelling (especially) helicopters. A Hercules has a smaller tire print/weight as well. Its been in the works for some time. Watch them buy more later as well.

PM

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As I've read in various places, the A400 fits between the C-130 and C-17 in size and carrying ability, so there is still a place for the Herc in French service. I believe the Herc is also still the prefered option for dropping airborne troops and special ops groups.

The Herc is still a massively useful and versatile platform, There's a place for it even alongside the A400. The two will complement each other well.

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Because there are air flow problems when refuelling (especially) helicopters. A Hercules has a smaller tire print/weight as well. Its been in the works for some time. Watch them buy more later as well.

PM

I understand there are also problem with para dropping from the side doors, again something to do with airflow.

That's trully a pity, as those two items were certainly high on the capability list...

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I understand there are also problem with para dropping from the side doors, again something to do with airflow.

That's trully a pity, as those two items were certainly high on the capability list...

I thought the C-130J had the same problem as they hadn't tested the jetwash from the new engine and props.

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Must have been corrected by then?

The paradrop problem could and would be corrected on the A400, but not the helo flight refuelling issue!

So here we are with a fleet of capable CSAR machine, and we're not able to refuel them in flight!

That's really the main (and only) reason behind this C-130 deal, at least if it happen, as AdA and Ministère de la Défense both keep a low profile about that!

Really strange, but I left it there, as the rest is pure politic.

One thing though, I can't understand why all four are not KC-130.

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I think that it is a good idea and personally think that the MoD should be doing the same in order to provide 16 Air Assault Bde with the para drop capability that it needs. At the moment paratroopers are only being dropped in Company sized formations rather than in a Battalion Group of around 800-1,000 men as per the old 5 Airborne Bde days of the 80`s-90`s,

The French used their Para`s in a drop in Africa last year and must have realised that they didn`t have enough tactical airlift capability to support this?

Cheers

Tony

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I know the RAF paras lowest drop chute doesn't work with the A400M, maybe the same reason?

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I understand there are also problem with para dropping from the side doors, again something to do with airflow.

I thought that is why the A-400M's props are counter-rotating on each wing - to straighten out the airflow specifically for paradropping?

In other words - benign airflow for paradropping was 'designed in' - a bit late now to be finding out there is a problem.

Re the refuelling issues(?) - as I understand it, the RAF cannot use their Atlas's for IFR - 'cos of the contract with the owners of the Voyager tankers (Air Tanker Ltd) who have 'exclusive rights'.

Add to that the fact that the UK Voyager doesn't have a Flying Boom - so cannot refuel any RAF aircraft with a receptacle - (e.g. RC-135W Rivet Joint

Ken

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The French used their Para`s in a drop in Africa last year and must have realised that they didn`t have enough tactical airlift capability to support this?

Nothing to do with this.

As mentionned above, it's some sort of crash-buy-off-the-shelves to have the IFR capability needed by the CSAR helo fleet.

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The last three RAF Atlas aircraft were to be AAR capable but were cancelled apparently because of the Air Tanker exclusivity deal.

Trevor

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The last three RAF Atlas aircraft were to be AAR capable but were cancelled apparently because of the Air Tanker exclusivity deal.

Trevor

Thats really handy if you want to use the RN Merlin `Junglies' as long range insertion for SF,.........isn`t that why the AAR probe was introduced onto the type, but it would explain why this has been quietly dropped and I`ve not seen a probe on a Merlin for years? It`s a bit hard to refuel helicopters at low level from a converted airliner but then again I suppose it is a bit of a niche requirement in our modern armed forces where cost is king and isn`t the new Chinook capable of longer range with those larger sponsons? Are the latest Chinook`s AAR capable like those used by the US Army I wonder?

Cheers

Tony.

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The last three RAF Atlas aircraft were to be AAR capable but were cancelled apparently because of the Air Tanker exclusivity deal.

Trevor

I was under the impression (perhaps mistaken) the all the RAF Atlases carry the Hose/Drogue unit as it is part of the aircraft's normal equipment fit. Even though it's effectively redundant kit they would probably have to rewrite all of the FBW software to account for the different weight distribution if it was removed.

I've only ever seen a Merlin fitted with an AAR probe in the static park at Fairford.

Edited by Richard E

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I was under the impression (perhaps mistaken) the all the RAF Atlases carry the Hose/Drogue unit as it is part of the aircraft's normal equipment fit. Even though it's effectively redundant kit they would probably have to rewrite all of the FBW software to account for the different weight distribution if it was removed.

I've only ever seen a Merlin fitted with an AAR probe in the static park at Fairford.

Not sure about that but the last three were apparently going to be permanent, or at least assigned to, AAR. I believe that finances was also a factor in their cancellation.

Trevor

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Genuine question here from someone not upon the process of aircraft design.

In Formula 1 the teams can model and understand what the airflow is doing once it's passed over/through their car. I've heard that some teams are able to modify their aero package to make it harder for following cars to get close and into an overtaking position by making the air more dirty. So knowing that F1 has an understanding of this why is the Atlas in a position where very little seems able to follow behind or jump out of it ? Was this something that wouldn't have been looked at during design ?

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Genuine question here from someone not upon the process of aircraft design.

In Formula 1 the teams can model and understand what the airflow is doing once it's passed over/through their car. I've heard that some teams are able to modify their aero package to make it harder for following cars to get close and into an overtaking position by making the air more dirty. So knowing that F1 has an understanding of this why is the Atlas in a position where very little seems able to follow behind or jump out of it ? Was this something that wouldn't have been looked at during design ?

Good point and well presented,......I totally agree! Surely each individual nation told Airbus what their requirements were,...... didn`t they?

I cannot see the RAF Atlas`s being used in a tactical role but as a back up to the C-17 on standard transport operations. I hope that I`m wrong!

Cheers

Tony

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The problem is, in peacetime, forces get what the political masters say they can have. In wartime, when backs are to the wall, the forces get what they need. Fine with simple kit, but totally useless with complex stuff that takes years to develop. A govt may last five years, but kit has to last maybe 40, and still be fit for purpose. Unless you are in a constant combat situation, the forces assume a lower profile in some minds.

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Flexibility is required by the forces like never before, who knows what we will wake up to tomorrow morning?

Flexibility often means the difference between an operation being possible with minimum loss of life and not.

Given the fact that the French with ourselves still believe we can contribute something to policing the world every additional capability is useful and understanable. A full transport capabillity may look like C27J, Bae146, C130J, Atlas, Voyager, C17. This should be possible across the alliance even with spending cuts. It just depends on how much each state wishes to do on its own.

Nigel

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The only replacement for a Hercules is another one !

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I saw the full size mockup of the A400M at Farnbro' in 1992. How long does it take to produce a Freighter? The RAF C-130Js had a lifetime's service before the RAF got them

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I saw the full size mockup of the A400M at Farnbro' in 1992. How long does it take to produce a Freighter? The RAF C-130Js had a lifetime's service before the RAF got them

They didn't start building it until 2007! 6 years from first flight to in-service, 15 years of indecision

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The genesis of the A400M project goes back to the 80's when Lockheed were on board.

Trevor

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In the meantime mobile phones went from a car battery with wired hand set to something in (just about) everyones pockets, PCs went from very expensive to a tablet. TVs.. 30" squarer flatter tube to a 60 inch LED less than an inch thick.The Russians were coming,Common Market,Liverpool was a winning football club,Chelsea were crap (OK thats not changed),A Drone was a Bee . The A400M is still coming soon.

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