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Slater

A400M - so far

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This is one aircraft that doesn't seem to generate a lot of news articles/publicity. I know that at one time there were issues with the engine gearboxes (since corrected?). How is overall serviceability these days? Have they been well received by their operators? 

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Have heard rumors of problems with airframe cracking,but nothing official.

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The rumour mill says they are still a bag of bolts, on going gearbox problems, software issues, the electronic flight logs won't work and as fatalbert says there is talk of fatigue cracking etc etc.

 

Not so long ago the rumour was there were only two serviceable frames and that some of the long term hangar queens were being used as storage sheds, but I'm not sure I believe that one. I do know that on a trip around the pan recently most parked airframes had some maintenance activity going on with up to 5 Airbus vans parked around some of them.

You don't see them flying that much, that's for sure.

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Well they seem to like transiting over VL...be careful what you talk about on this site ....I'm sure most if not all that is said is in the public domain but loose lips and all that especially if you are in the mob still.....that said its early days early doors show me a new airframe that doesn't have issues😮🤔😁👍

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Posted (edited)

Any facts as opposed to rumours, hearsay, conjecture and unfounded speculation?.

Was the C-17 programme not also plagued by problems and, even facing cancellation? The C-5 Galaxy almost got cancelled too.

They both turned out all right in the end. Who knows, even the F-35 with all of its well publicised and detailed problems might actually work properly some day

 

Allan

Edited by Albeback52

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On 7/23/2019 at 7:16 PM, junglierating said:

Well they seem to like transiting over VL...be careful what you talk about on this site ....I'm sure most if not all that is said is in the public domain but loose lips and all that especially if you are in the mob still.....that said its early days early doors show me a new airframe that doesn't have issues😮🤔😁👍

This....⬆️ means that my answer to ⬇️

On 7/23/2019 at 10:02 PM, Albeback52 said:

Any facts as opposed to rumours, hearsay, conjecture and unfounded speculation?.

Was the C-17 programme not also plagued by problems and, even facing cancellation? The C-5 Galaxy almost got cancelled too.

They both turned out all right in the end. Who knows, even the F-35 with all of its well publicised and detailed problems might actually work properly some day

 

Allan

Is 'yes, there are some facts. And they're not pretty. And that's all I'm saying....'

 

Generically, the feeling in my neck of the woods from members of the AT fleets is that the A400M will be made to work, but that it'll take more time and money that it should to resolve the issues, and that some of them may never be fully sorted out.  There is also a body of opinion which says that a new batch of C-130Js will be required rather than the retirement of that type.

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On 7/24/2019 at 12:02 AM, Slater said:

Apparently they're still working through the paratrooper issues:

 

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/07/23/french-a400m-can-almost-drop-enough-paratroopers/

That is good to hear,...... I thought that the main problem was the turbulent slipstream caused by the huge propellers which turn in different directions,........ especially when it comes to Sym. Sticks from both doors and blokes meeting and crossing over behind the aircraft.

 

Cheers

           Tony

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On 7/25/2019 at 12:46 AM, XV107 said:

This....⬆️ means that my answer to ⬇️

Is 'yes, there are some facts. And they're not pretty. And that's all I'm saying....'

 

Generically, the feeling in my neck of the woods from members of the AT fleets is that the A400M will be made to work, but that it'll take more time and money that it should to resolve the issues, and that some of them may never be fully sorted out.  There is also a body of opinion which says that a new batch of C-130Js will be required rather than the retirement of that type.

It is my feeling too,..... especially when it come to Tactical Airlift,.....paratrooping etc that we need another squadron`s worth of Herk`s,........ at the moment 16 Air Assault Bde is limited to parachuting a company strength unit at best,..., and that is if 47 Sqn can spare one of their overworked Herk`s. 

Cheers

          Tony  

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Posted (edited)

You can never have too many Hercules. It's a disgrace that.... <political rant removed>

Edited by Mike
No politics please

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Posted (edited)
On 8/2/2019 at 9:20 PM, tonyot said:

It is my feeling too,..... especially when it come to Tactical Airlift,.....paratrooping etc that we need another squadron`s worth of Herk`s,........ at the moment 16 Air Assault Bde is limited to parachuting a company strength unit at best,..., and that is if 47 Sqn can spare one of their overworked Herk`s. 

Cheers

          Tony  

You may be right. That might be the sensible approach but, "sensible" is not often a word that may be applied to actual decision making by the involved government(s).

 

Getting back to the C-130Js, they have been worked very hard and, a NAO audit as far back as 2009(I think) identified problems with the wings, undercarriage and , fuselage belly areas. These would inevitably need extensive(and expensive) remedial work. 

 

The RAF does not have the money and, is unlikely to recieve it given the decision to "standardise" (probably not the best choice of words) on the A-400 instead of operating a mixed batch if C-130/ A-400. 

Personally, I think that would have been the sensible option because it would have given the RAF a very flexible mix of capabilities,especially with the C-17s in the fleet.However, it is not to be.

Something else to consider. There is now the possibility of a General Election looming.  That is usually the cue for another round of defence cutbacks masquerading as a "Strategic Defence Review" by politicians looking for ways to deal with very large holes in budgets.

 

As everything seems to be getting flung into the bottomless money pit labelled "Trident replacement", I would not hold out any hope for retaining even a handful of Hercs. In fact, I can see further reduction not only  to existing  operational squadrons but, much reduced procurement of even new items like F-35. Maybe I am being too pessimistic or even cynical?

 

Allan

Edited by Albeback52

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The RAF plan for the C130J is to retain 14 (13 C4 + 1 C5) until 2030. These have begun having their central wing boxes replaced  by Marshall’s of Cambridge. The remainder will be sold off with 2 already having gone to Bahrain and one to Bangladesh with possible another 3 to go to the latter.

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8 hours ago, EwenS said:

The RAF plan for the C130J is to retain 14 (13 C4 + 1 C5) until 2030. These have begun having their central wing boxes replaced  by Marshall’s of Cambridge. The remainder will be sold off with 2 already having gone to Bahrain and one to Bangladesh with possible another 3 to go to the latter.

.and one to the USMC to support the Blue Angels.

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