Crab Air

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by ShoghunUK, Dec 24, 2003.

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  1. Just a small gripe about military flights....

    Just completing my sunny tour of Iraq and am dreading the flight home!! Not only are the RAF using antiquated aircraft (that are lucky to actually get off the ground) but they are cramped, uncomfortable and noisy!! What the hell is this all about??

    To make matters worse, a certain British airline (starting with V, apparently) offered to transport us troops in relative comfort, but, wait for it, the MOD refused!! Can you believe it!! The MOD would rather we shipped out in aircraft older than my father's grandfather and rarely, if ever, take off on time!!

    Why is this? Surely it costs the MOD a fortune to get these pieces of junk in the air? Yet, they could have done it for a £1 per person!! Is it me or does this strike anyone as insane.

    By the way, this isnt meant to be a flame against the RAF, its not their fault that they are given no money for new aircraft.
     
  2. What aircraft are you going back on ???
     
  3. VC-10 (if its working!!) Tried to get back on a C-17, but thats a toughy - especially for end of tour.

    btw - I hate flying backwards :D
     
  4. Flew back in a VC-10 at the end of the war fighting phase.

    Good crew, left on time, stopped over in Cyprus to refuel, got pissed on duty frees.

    Great.

    I would have been happy to have flown back in a Lancaster Bomber.

    But without a detour at Dresden...
     
  5. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    The VC-10 is, now that Concorde is no longer flying, still one of the fastest airliners in service. It's also one of the safest, with backwards facing seats; in any case, as far as I know, none has ever crashed.

    Although old, it is a superb airframe which provides passenger, cargo, aeromed and tanker capabilities.

    However, it's certainly true that the government has consistently failed to fund a modern AT fleet.

    I would much rather fly on an RAF aircraft, which are at least well maintained and professionally flown, than on some of the dubious crates chartered by MOD - the lowest bidder is unlikely to have the best aircraft and crew.
     
  6. I think most of the guys have adequately covered it - the VC10 is still one of the best aircraft about for what it does. What's the appeal of a C-17 ???
     
  7. Well, the VC-10 is tiny (I'm 6ft 5") and the C-17 has shed loads of leg room, less flying time and is a lot less noisier - and I can hang me hammock up and have a kip on the way home :)

    'nuff said?
     
  8. Consider yourself lucky the crabs don't send you to Calgary on a Herc. They did me.
     
  9. Ah, I see the problem. You need to speak to your local friendly Movements staff and get one of the 3 seats by the center door. Speed wise, the VC10 is approx 50 kph faster than a C-17, so she'll get you back quicker. Hammock ??? I've never seen one put up in a VC10, so I can see your point there.

    I'm actually a big fan of the C-17, but it's not being used to it's full potential by the RAF (probably frightened they'll bend one and don't have many).

    Have a good flight anyway.
     
  10. I once did Lyneham, Lossiemouth, Gander, Florida and Washington State in a Herc - 4 flipping days, just to deliver a stupid periscope to a stupid Navy submarine who had bent theirs in the Carribean - my bost boring flight ever - just me in the back with a 40 ft long box and some RAF parachutists !!!
     
  11. Sure it wasn't a jolly to get the parachuting club somewhere nice and warm?
     
  12. They got off when I did at Fort Lewis - funny thing was I never saw them after that 8O
     
  13. Shogun,
    The RAF AT fleet in general, and the VC10 fleet in particular, has been underfunded for some time. The original VC10's entered service in 1966, should have been replaced over 10 years ago, and now carry numerous restrictions on their ops (eg limitations on the use of certain fuel tanks to reduce fatigue). Nevertheless, as Virobono suggests, they remain the fastest airliner in the world, and no VC10 has ever crashed. Problem is, they don't have the range to do UK-Gulf in one hop. Aside from AT, all VC10s (and some Tristars) are dual tasked for Air-Air Refuelling (AAR), and this remains their primary operational task. Ops in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq have further racked up their airframe lives.

    However, hope is at hand! The VC10s (and maybe some of the Tristars) will be replaced by either Boeing 767s or Airbus A330s from approx 2006. This contract (known as the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft), will see aircraft 'leased' to the RAF by a subcontractor, although crews will remain light blue suited.

    Whilst civvy AT such as Virgin offers some advantages, I guarantee that you'd get less leg room in a 747 than you would in a VC10 or Tristar (unless you were lucky enough to be allowed into Club Class!). Additionally, the US military use a considerable amount of contracted ac for AT. The result is that many of these companies know that they have the DoD over a barrel and can call the shots on costs and schedule, especially when it goes within a thousand miles of what they call a 'war zone'. As an example, last year in Oman, USAF guys were regularly having to wait up to 6 weeks after ending a 6 month det to get a flt home!!!!

    Regrettably, the 4 RAF C-17s are leased (a deal that has cost the MoD more than an outright purchase!!!!!!), and we have severe limitations in what we are allowed to use them for. It took months before Boeing authorised their use into Afghanistan, and the aircrew are not even allowed to wear UK flying kit! Hopefully, we will be allowed to purchase these C-17s outright in the near future, and hopefully buy at least one other given the emphasis now being placed on expeditionary heavy lift.

    Hope this is useful, and hope you have agood trip home! :D
    Merry Xmas
    M2
     
  14. VC-10 or being told to fcuk off and walk, or worse, stay? Take your chances with crab air.
     
  15. Good grief!!!

    I remember flying to Singapore in a VC10 in 1968, we were so happy not to have been put on a Brittania flight as it took two days!!!!

    Just think yourselves lucky you don't have to go everywhere in a Herc :lol: