Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby jalfrezi on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 9:05 am

The Baron wrote:Surely this sort of research should have been done before the order for the aircraft was placed?
I'd love to know the reason behind the runway works if Waddington is now unsuitable.


Perhaps it was an expensive way for them to get rid of the yearly airshow.... :whistle:
User avatar
jalfrezi
UKAR Staff

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby capercaillie on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 9:12 am

jalfrezi wrote:
The Baron wrote:Surely this sort of research should have been done before the order for the aircraft was placed?
I'd love to know the reason behind the runway works if Waddington is now unsuitable.


Perhaps it was an expensive way for them to get rid of the yearly airshow.... :whistle:


.....see I was more glass half full, thinking if they can get rid of the RC-135s and all the sensitive infrastructure, the airshow was coming back, and n104578r2d2 was going to come on here and announce the good news...... :yahoo:
"The surrogate voice of st24"
User avatar
capercaillie

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby davidjones533 on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 9:23 am

Isn’t it a no brainer that they would co-locate with the USAF RC-135s? They are a small fleet with very specialised equipment that requires particular maintenance and training etc. Surely it’s best to work together to also share operational experience, training, mission planning...

The runway work at Waddington is not wasted since one of the primary rationales was to remove the hump for the other aircraft that operate from there.
User avatar
davidjones533

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby Berf on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 9:43 am

The Baron wrote:Surely this sort of research should have been done before the order for the aircraft was placed?
I'd love to know the reason behind the runway works if Waddington is now unsuitable.



Paperwork SNAFAU - getting non computerised records for an ancient aircraft and converting data.

As Gertrude infers I seem to recall runway contract was already in place and is not really connected
Last edited by Berf on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Berf

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 9:54 am

boff180 wrote:It’s fair reasoning that the Waddington runway is/was fine for an E-3D at MTOW as they’ve never had any reported issues.


As I said in my previous post, it depends on a number of factors, the most trying probably being the weather. I doubt the public have access to the statistics of what departed when at what TOW or whether a sortie would have had to cancel or take-off at a lower TOW because of the met conditions.

I'd love to know the reason behind the runway works if Waddington is now unsuitable.


Because it also happened to be the time that Waddington's runway needed resurfacing and reconstructing (removing the unhelpful hump)? It happens at every well used airfield eventually. Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill.
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby The Baron on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 10:39 am

I didn't know the contract had been in place previously. That explains a bit so thanks for that. The question still stands though as to whether any research was done before hand to assess the suitability of the airframes to use Waddington.
The less powerful engines and having to rely on US tankers must surely have been known before the purchase?
Loafer for Mr. Da Vinci.
User avatar
The Baron

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby speedbird2639 on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:02 am

That was a genius decision by the manufacturer - have a less aerodynamic aircraft due to to all the 'sticky out bits' like aerials and pods etc and supply it with less powerful engines. Surely if you are paying £650m for just 3 planes you can tell the maker which engines you want on it? Seems barmy to me.
User avatar
speedbird2639

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby Berf on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:10 am

The Baron wrote: The question still stands though as to whether any research was done before hand to assess the suitability of the airframes to use Waddington.


Thought I answered that
Berf

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby capercaillie on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:14 am

speedbird2639 wrote:That was a genius decision by the manufacturer - have a less aerodynamic aircraft due to to all the 'sticky out bits' like aerials and pods etc and supply it with less powerful engines. Surely if you are paying £650m for just 3 planes you can tell the maker which engines you want on it? Seems barmy to me.


Doesn't really work like that though, the F108 series are compatible with the C-135 family, ever since the KC-135s were re-engine with the CFM series. For their main client, they have performed perfectly on all C-135 family aircraft that have been re-engine.

The 707 is a bigger, different aircraft, so the version of the engine re-fitted or manufactured for those is more powerful. The costs of putting more powerful engines onto the RC-135s for the RAF would have meant more costs type rating them, engineering, flight testing etc.
"The surrogate voice of st24"
User avatar
capercaillie

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby ericbee123 on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:31 am

What enemy is in range of Waddington without refuelling and doesn't the role these aircraft do, pretty much require refuelling for every mission ( live or training ) ?

As no RAF tanker can refuel them, I guess just about every mission was planned to involve US tankers ( in the short to medium term - I'm hoping long term that the plan is for us some time in the future to either add a probe to Voyager or buy something else after the PFI deal finishes )
With the US umming and ahhing about Mildenhall/Lakenheath and Fairford, I'm guessing the RAF had to try basing them somewhere in the short term, now they have the excuse to move them to the logical place for them to be based for the medium term.
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.
User avatar
ericbee123

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby Talldan76 on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 12:00 pm

Excuse my ignorance here, but by relocating them to Fairford, are they not then going to need more fuel to complete a mission anyway - bearing in mind the extra distance they will need to fly on the way to and from the mission area?
User avatar
Talldan76
UKAR Staff

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby speedbird2639 on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 12:08 pm

Talldan76 wrote:Excuse my ignorance here, but by relocating them to Fairford, they are not then going to need more fuel to complete a mission anyway - bearing in mind the extra distance they will need to fly on the way to and from the mission area?


That - and Waddington has a 'perfect' SW runway whereas FFD is E-W so liable to crosswinds so isn't any advantage over runway length going to negated by wrestling against a cross wind whilst trying to get airborne in an fully fuelled but underpowered aircraft.

I think there is more to this story than we are currently being told. Given the SW end of the Waddington runway is just open fields for 1000s of feet beyond the end of the current runway surely it would have been a minimal extra expense to tack on an extra 1000ft when they were digging up the rest of the runway.
User avatar
speedbird2639

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby Seahornet on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 2:18 pm

speedbird2639 wrote:That was a genius decision by the manufacturer - have a less aerodynamic aircraft due to to all the 'sticky out bits' like aerials and pods etc and supply it with less powerful engines. Surely if you are paying £650m for just 3 planes you can tell the maker which engines you want on it? Seems barmy to me.


The E-3D has a fairly significant 'sticky out bit' too...

We've covered this before, but briefly, the E-3D is larger and heavier than the RC-135W, so it stands to reason that it needs more powerful engines. The power-to-weight ratio of the two types is almost identical, but the RC-135 has a significantly higher wing loading, and this is what kills the take off performance.

If you could graft the larger E-3 wing onto the 135, you'd make a big difference to the take-off performance, but bigger engines add more weight, and need more fuel, so there's no net benefit.
And as the smart ship grew,
In stature, grace and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the iceberg too....
User avatar
Seahornet

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby st24 on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 2:58 pm

Perhaps they should have left the hump in the runway to give a bit of a ski-jump effect..... :confused:
You caaan't trust the system... Maaan!
User avatar
st24

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby Marathon Milkshake on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 4:39 pm

I think there is more to this story than we are currently being told.


Most definately, but while the runway/wing/engine argument goes on and on, the real reason will be lost in the background, simple easy effective slight of hand.

It could be as simple as Waddington is far too open and public, we all know the RAF did not like having the airshow. Possibly as I've said before we own the airframes but do we own all the gubbins inside? The more I look at the whole Airseeker thing the more I think the USA is in charge of it.
Last edited by Marathon Milkshake on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Marathon Milkshake

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby Berf on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 4:43 pm

Does it really matter where the aircraft operate from?
Berf

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby Wes_Howes on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 4:48 pm

Joe Spares wrote:
Wes_Howes wrote:
bigcrow wrote:Great news for Fairford, also hearing the 352nd SOG may well end up there as well not Germany now due to CV-22 noise issues.

I spoke to some of the SOG crew at RIAT and they pretty much said that Fairford appears to be the most likely cadidate. Germany had tightened the noise regs only weeks before the Ospreys were to undergo testing.


Is it not just easier/cheaper to keep mildenhall open then

Or Moldyhall as the crew kept referring to it as.

The base is in need of a lot of work by all accounts.
User avatar
Wes_Howes

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 10:01 pm

speedbird2639 wrote:
Talldan76 wrote:Excuse my ignorance here, but by relocating them to Fairford, they are not then going to need more fuel to complete a mission anyway - bearing in mind the extra distance they will need to fly on the way to and from the mission area?


That - and Waddington has a 'perfect' SW runway whereas FFD is E-W so liable to crosswinds so isn't any advantage over runway length going to negated by wrestling against a cross wind whilst trying to get airborne in an fully fuelled but underpowered aircraft.
[/quote]

Apart from the >50% of the time the wind isn't perfectly from the SW. Quite often at different ends of the day too. :smile:

I think there is more to this story than we are currently being told. Given the SW end of the Waddington runway is just open fields for 1000s of feet beyond the end of the current runway surely it would have been a minimal extra expense to tack on an extra 1000ft when they were digging up the rest of the runway.


You might want to run that past the residents of the village at the SW end of Waddington. And the road users of the A607 and other local routes. :smile:

As for the previously mentioned "choice" of where to base the RAF's RJ fleet, where else could they have realistically (the major factor here) gone?
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 10:08 pm

Marathon Milkshake wrote:
I think there is more to this story than we are currently being told.


Most definately, but while the runway/wing/engine argument goes on and on, the real reason will be lost in the background, simple easy effective slight of hand.

It could be as simple as Waddington is far too open and public, we all know the RAF did not like having the airshow. Possibly as I've said before we own the airframes but do we own all the gubbins inside? The more I look at the whole Airseeker thing the more I think the USA is in charge of it.


No. It really was as simple as the MoD owning two viable pieces of estate able to accommodate the airframes. Now, which do they choose, the one full of ugly big grey things and tankers, or the one with all the other RAF ISTAR assets? Talk of other bases would only work long term due to the very significant investment required to bring them to a U.K. standard - the airfields might look great and be fairly well equipped but the infrastructure would be quite different perhaps after several decades of foreign tenants?

It's not rocket science.
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby MC hammer on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:04 pm

Berf wrote:
The Baron wrote: The question still stands though as to whether any research was done before hand to assess the suitability of the airframes to use Waddington.


If the research said that operating from Waddington would require the aircraft to be significantly under it's maximum take off weight and then be tanked once up, you have a choice, either do that or don't buy at all. So if you decide to purchase, you have to do the tanking bit as well, exactly the same as the USAF do when launching from Mildenhall now.

With the prospect of a longer runway at Fairford being available and the opportunity to work alongside the USAF operating the same type, as David Jones mentioned earlier, a move makes sense in some ways, regardless of whether Waddington is suitable or not.

I wonder if the longer take off distance available at Fairford (longer runway now plus an extra 1,000ft of underrun at the rolling end once work is complete) will allow the aircraft to be sufficiently heavy so as not to require a tanker for some of the shorter missions? Or perhaps they will continue to be refuelled, giving them the option of staying over the mission area for longer.
MC hammer

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby vulcan558 on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 11:48 pm

GertrudetheMerciless wrote:
speedbird2639 wrote:
Talldan76 wrote:Excuse my ignorance here, but by relocating them to Fairford, they are not then going to need more fuel to complete a mission anyway - bearing in mind the extra distance they will need to fly on the way to and from the mission area?


That - and Waddington has a 'perfect' SW runway whereas FFD is E-W so liable to crosswinds so isn't any advantage over runway length going to negated by wrestling against a cross wind whilst trying to get airborne in an fully fuelled but underpowered aircraft.


Apart from the >50% of the time the wind isn't perfectly from the SW. Quite often at different ends of the day too. :smile:

I think there is more to this story than we are currently being told. Given the SW end of the Waddington runway is just open fields for 1000s of feet beyond the end of the current runway surely it would have been a minimal extra expense to tack on an extra 1000ft when they were digging up the rest of the runway.


You might want to run that past the residents of the village at the SW end of Waddington. And the road users of the A607 and other local routes. :smile:

As for the previously mentioned "choice" of where to base the RAF's RJ fleet, where else could they have realistically (the major factor here) gone?[/quote]
Cottesmore was wasted when the Harrier was retired, you Have Honignton next door to Hall and Heath.
vulcan558

Re: Airseekers leaving Waddington?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 12:06 am

vulcan558 wrote:Cottesmore was wasted when the Harrier was retired, you Have Honignton next door to Hall and Heath.


Neither of which are open (or anyway near live), configured, or realistically able to support a modern large multi-engined aircraft type of which we have only three airframes.

(and Cottesmore's runway is near as damn it identical to Waddington in length and direction. At least Honington vaguely points in a better direction IIRC)
GertrudetheMerciless

Previous

Return to Aviation Waffle

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Amp, Bing [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot], MicrolightDriver, Paul_Reflex, Yahoo [Bot] and 30 guests