RAF Voyager?

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Victor 23
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RAF Voyager?

Post by Victor 23 »

Hello All

Does anyone know how many aircraft the RAF Voyager can refuel at once?

G for George
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by G for George »

There's a picture on the RAF website of a Voyager refuelling two Tornados. It says different configurations are available, such as a central trailing hose for refuelling larger aircraft, but I'm not sure if there's provision for refuelling more than two smaller aircraft at a time. I'd imagine it'd be pretty tight squeezing any more into such small airspace.

Victor 23
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by Victor 23 »

With not seeing the Voyager yet in Lincolnshire and not knowing about its fuelling capacity, i wondered how many aircraft it could refuel. With the Victor it was 3 fighters or 1 large aircraft on centre hose.

XL189
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by XL189 »

Voyager KC.Mk 2, has two under-wing pods for refuelling fast jets, the Voyager KC.Mk 3, has an additional centreline hose for use by large aircraft.
I doubt if they would refuel from the wing pods and the centreline at the same time.

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Burleysway
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by Burleysway »

Hot off the press from the Daily Fail.

Fleet of jets costing £10.5billion that were bought to refuel RAF aircrafts in mid-air cannot fill up planes used by British Special Forces on operations

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... stead.html

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iainpeden
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by iainpeden »

Burleysway wrote:Hot off the press from the Daily Fail.

Fleet of jets costing £10.5billion that were bought to refuel RAF aircrafts in mid-air cannot fill up planes used by British Special Forces on operations

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... stead.html


So just to bring it all together:-
Typhoon, F-35B, Sentry and Atlas can be refuelled (and Tornado for a while)
C-17, RC-135, P-8 and Wedgetail (if and when) can't.
Is Voyager (still sounds like a Star Trek spin-off) refuellable?

KC-46 purchase anybody?
(Mark Twain: There are lies, there are damn lies and then there are statistics)

cg_341
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by cg_341 »

Everything in the UK inventory, bar the C-17, RC-135, and P-8 (likely E-7 too) is refuellable.

Considering the normal range of these types, that's not really as much of an issue as the DM would like you to think it is!

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CJS
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by CJS »

Well that's a surprise... :roll:
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Craig
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by Craig »

Maximum of two jets at a time can be refuelled. Even on the three pointers. They use either the centre point for large types or the two wing pods.

Interestingly the Voyager cannot be refuelled, they don't have probes and as an Airbus type they don't have the boom recepticle. I presume a probe could be retrofitted if required? In some ways surprising it doesn't have one but then I guess the unrefuelled range of an A330 is pretty good.

Dan213
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by Dan213 »

cg_341 wrote:Everything in the UK inventory, bar the C-17, RC-135, and P-8 (likely E-7 too) is refuellable.

Considering the normal range of these types, that's not really as much of an issue as the DM would like you to think it is!


Did you not read about how the C-17 nearly ran out of fuel when it went to Sudan? :shock:

Victor 23
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by Victor 23 »

Maybe we should have brought the McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender Tanker instead of the Voyager. With mixed flying boom & hose & drogue system.

GertrudetheMerciless
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by GertrudetheMerciless »

Craig wrote:Interestingly the Voyager cannot be refuelled, they don't have probes and as an Airbus type they don't have the boom recepticle. I presume a probe could be retrofitted if required? In some ways surprising it doesn't have one but then I guess the unrefuelled range of an A330 is pretty good.


There's no point. You'd need to seriously augment the crews anyway if you went down a refuelling route due to the amount of fuel it could carry. You'd need to send another tanker and crew to refuel it anyway, so that might as well take up the task requiring the original one to be refuelled!

And yes, even on a three point tanker, you can only refuel using either the wing hoses or the centerline hose at any one time. There are photos about of tankers with three in behind (not in contact), but it's fundamentally unsafe.

GertrudetheMerciless
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by GertrudetheMerciless »

Victor 23 wrote:Maybe we should have brought the McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender Tanker instead of the Voyager. With mixed flying boom & hose & drogue system.


Good luck with building a legacy airliner that's been out of production for a couple of decades. :whistle: :smile:

GertrudetheMerciless
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by GertrudetheMerciless »

cg_341 wrote:Everything in the UK inventory, bar the C-17, RC-135, and P-8 (likely E-7 too) is refuellable.

Considering the normal range of these types, that's not really as much of an issue as the DM would like you to think it is!


It's not an issue at all... As for E-7, if and when it happens, who says it can't have a probe fitted?

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ericbee123
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by ericbee123 »

Dan213 wrote:
cg_341 wrote:Everything in the UK inventory, bar the C-17, RC-135, and P-8 (likely E-7 too) is refuellable.

Considering the normal range of these types, that's not really as much of an issue as the DM would like you to think it is!


Did you not read about how the C-17 nearly ran out of fuel when it went to Sudan? :shock:


Range of C17 - over 10,000km

Distance to South Sudan from Brize Norton - under 4,000km with lots of friendly nations with large airports en route.
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

GertrudetheMerciless
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by GertrudetheMerciless »

ericbee123 wrote:
Dan213 wrote:
cg_341 wrote:Everything in the UK inventory, bar the C-17, RC-135, and P-8 (likely E-7 too) is refuellable.

Considering the normal range of these types, that's not really as much of an issue as the DM would like you to think it is!


Did you not read about how the C-17 nearly ran out of fuel when it went to Sudan? :shock:


Range of C17 - over 10,000km

Distance to South Sudan from Brize Norton - under 4,000km with lots of friendly nations with large airports en route.


Basically the Sudan example was a unique case. People also forget minor details such as the circumstances, whether refuelling could have helped or would have limited the operation, the extra time required etc (not to mention positioning a tanker at very short notice)

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iainpeden
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by iainpeden »

The focus of the DM article was that we have a/c in the inventory that we don't have the capability to air-to-air refuel despite the fact that the a/c in question have the capability to be so refuelled; that it's highly unlikely that those a/c will ever need to use the capacity in UK service is neither here nor there. However, I'm sure the relevant systems are regularly serviced and checked and therefore have a cost.
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McG
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by McG »

The RAF could have got Voyager with both a boom and a recepticle to receive fuel. The Aussies managed it.

http://video.airforce.gov.au/play/5xa2t ... nktM59AcBF

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ericbee123
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by ericbee123 »

McG wrote:The RAF could have got Voyager with both a boom and a recepticle to receive fuel. The Aussies managed it.

http://video.airforce.gov.au/play/5xa2t ... nktM59AcBF


The centreline point on the Voyager is a higher volume point and is used to refuel larger aircraft such as C130
and Sentry.
Australian C130s don’t seem to have a probe and are refuelled using a boom ( I guess - or not able to refuel?)
Now you can get adapters for the boom to convert it to probe and drouge , but then you might as well just have a drouge version like we do.

We would need a mixed fleet of Voyagers, I think we might already have ones that have just 2 wing drouges and therefore can’t refuel large aircraft. Some with 3 drogues that can refuel one large aircraft ( hose and drogue equipped large aircraft only) or 2 small aircraft simulateously.

We would need a third version that had a boom that could refuel one large Boom equipped aircraft or 2 small hose and drouge aircraft.

Gets messy, the Australians seem to have hose and drogue fighters and all boom equipped large aircraft.

We have an eclectic mix !

We even probably have some receiver aircraft with both receptors fitted.
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

GertrudetheMerciless
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by GertrudetheMerciless »

McG wrote:The RAF could have got Voyager with both a boom and a recepticle to receive fuel. The Aussies managed it.

http://video.airforce.gov.au/play/5xa2t ... nktM59AcBF


I believe the Aussie order postdated the Air Tanker/MOD by quite some time. Taking the rose tinted 20:20 hindsight spectacles off, we must remember that when conceived our only book capable receiver was the E-3D, which can happily do either boom or probe and drogue. C-17 came soon after but it’s only very recently other Boom receptacle aircraft have come on line - and one, P-8, could not have been remotely predicted 10 years ago, let alone 15-20. Same for E-7.

As for Boom-Drogue Attachments, they can only be used bun FJ receivers IIRC.

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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by ErrolC »

Victor 23 wrote:Maybe we should have brought the McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender Tanker instead of the Voyager. With mixed flying boom & hose & drogue system.


Or a A-330 fitted out like the Aussie ones, with exactly this. The issue isn't with the aircraft design, it's with the specification (don't think the Airbus boom was certified at time of RAF order, however).

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Tmyers123
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by Tmyers123 »

It would have been much easier if we had an A330 MRTT that had a refuelling boom, like the RAAF’s KC-30, but at the end of the day if our inability to refuel aircraft such as the C-17 and RC-135 was such a big deal, we would’ve either ordered variants of aircraft that generally don’t have probes (C-130, E-3) and had them fitted (which is what we did for those aircraft) or we would’ve ordered a variant of the Voyager that has a boom. The fact that the MoD hasn’t done either of those means that they don’t believe we need either options. Either that, or costs have had an effect on things.

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starbuck
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by starbuck »

As fully paid up NATO members can we not call upon our Brothers in arms to assist us with their assets if needed or is that not a consideration ever?

FarnboroJohn
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by FarnboroJohn »

Tmyers123 wrote:It would have been much easier if we had an A330 MRTT that had a refuelling boom, like the RAAF’s KC-30, but at the end of the day if our inability to refuel aircraft such as the C-17 and RC-135 was such a big deal, we would’ve either ordered variants of aircraft that generally don’t have probes (C-130, E-3) and had them fitted (which is what we did for those aircraft) or we would’ve ordered a variant of the Voyager that has a boom. The fact that the MoD hasn’t done either of those means that they don’t believe we need either options. Either that, or costs have had an effect on things.


Or, and this I think is what actually happened, we were on a trajectory that involved Nimrods with probes and perhaps upgrading E3: not to mention possibly replacing Nimrod R1 airframes - and then we weren't. Instead we went single source American for all the replacement options, with airframes that already had boom refuelling. Unfortunately, in the meantime we'd decided to specify A330 tanker without the boom everyone else bought, because we wouldn't need it - only now we do.

Stick with the cock-up theory of history - right every time.

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ericbee123
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Re: RAF Voyager?

Post by ericbee123 »

It’s ironic that what did for the whole Nimrod project in the end, was the installation of refuelling probes in the first place !!!
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