RAF considering operating from Motorways.

Beat me to it.
Also have Typhoons etc been designed with the capability of taking off/landing over a couple of thousand feet of potholes ? C-130s would probably be OK

Depends on the pothole
pothole1.gif
Pothole2.gif


Not the aircews fault i hasten to add - nobody thought to Issua a NOTAM about the bloody great hole halfway down the strip.

Obvious as it is in the pics - it wasnt the case at dark oclock when it landed ( Fortunatly No fatalities)
 

giatttt

War Hero
As far as I know it's the sealing inch and a bit of tar between the adjoining concrete surfaces. If places like Deci and other airfields in hot climates can manage then why can't we?
The days of using bitumen to fill expansion joints are way in the past, polysulphide mastics are the standard and what should be used.

OTOH bitumen is dirt cheap - works as long as it's not too warm or too cold.
 
It was done in Germany 40 years ago. The Armco near Laarbruch was removable.
It was done in the DDR throughout the Cold War. Massive slices of the Liepzig autobahn,were left with no central reservation,as were the autobahns,East,West and ,South of the Hermersdorfer Kreuz interchange.

When the Rostock Autobahn was being built, Hardened shelters and taxiways at various locations were mapped by the AMLM's from Day one, along with monitoring,the size, shape and,location of fuel tanks going into 'tankstelles' along the way...some were used during "Waffenbruderschaft 80",by both the Soviets and EG airforces.
 
Depends on the pothole View attachment 590709View attachment 590710

Not the aircews fault i hasten to add - nobody thought to Issua a NOTAM about the bloody great hole halfway down the strip.

Obvious as it is in the pics - it wasnt the case at dark oclock when it landed ( Fortunatly No fatalities)
Also, avoid water buffaloes. The RAAF did a fantastic job reopening in very quick time a critical Indonesian airport that had been rendered u/s by the Boxing Day Tsunami, only for a water buffalo to wander into the path of a 737 as it landed. Ermintrude 1 : 737 main undercarriage 0. Aircraft left stranded with wheels ripped off half way down the runway, all humanitarian aid traffic suddenly unable to get in. RAAF had to get a Herc loaded with big inflatable lifting bags to do a very tactical landing on what was left of the runway to allow the 737 to be jacked up, and dragged out of the way.

Ermintrude survived by the way...

And before anyone asks - yes, there are now water buffalo herds in the UK at trendy farms.
 
Having done this sort of thing with the C130 fleet (recce-ing, activating and operating temporary landing zones on disused airfields, beaches, desert, etc), and seen it done in Germany with Harriers back in the Dark Ages), I can safely say that there are very few stretches of UK road infra that would be anywhere near safe to operate as runways for combat aircraft. As people have said up-thread, there are places where it can be done but these are designed specifically for it (3km straight, flat stretch of autobahn with a service station at either end and no bridges, wires or lampposts). There is just too much other stuff around and across the roads that could not be moved quickly and so there are very few places to train for such an event.

Existing civilian airports are the only viable option in the UK. However, they are not safeguarded in the same way as military airfields, so there are very few with safe headings for aircraft to be parked with forward-firing weapons on. Dispersals for bombed-up aircraft are similarly hard to come by, so it can only be done "dry" and at significant disruption to the fee-paying commercial traffic.

All that said, I think this is exactly the sort of conversation we should be having about survivability and might go some way to reinvigorating the martial spirit that is woefully lacking in a lot of the RAF ground branches and trades. We can start by sorting out the logistics of it all by re-introducing the RAF Servicing Commandos, as that is the sort of support that the Agile Basing Concept will require in a proper conflict.
My dear boy,the RAF spend a lot of taxpayers money on the mighty Regt for anything martial.
The idea of civvy airports is not new,when i started 82 hunters were having newcastle airport on elder forest.
Losing Lechurs it was pointed out left nothing between lossie and leeming and some raf jets have made landings at iirc newcastle, however unless you had places that were DSTL or BAE runways rhag and barriers are going to be missing
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
The days of using bitumen to fill expansion joints are way in the past, polysulphide mastics are the standard and what should be used.

OTOH bitumen is dirt cheap - works as long as it's not too warm or too cold.
Yes I agree, which is why the 'contractor' at BZN needs dipping in his own idea of proper sealant...
 

Jacl

Old-Salt
Depends on the pothole View attachment 590709View attachment 590710

Not the aircews fault i hasten to add - nobody thought to Issua a NOTAM about the bloody great hole halfway down the strip.

Obvious as it is in the pics - it wasnt the case at dark oclock when it landed ( Fortunatly No fatalities)
A few yards of bodge tape plus a tube or two of Araldite and it's as good as new.

Several years ago in Brüggen there as a similar incident involving an MT vehicle. Brüggen was on Bolthole during which a similar size hole had been dug in the runway. MT driver found it, at night. I heard that there was a smell of sulphur in the air afterwards.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Oh, and the notion that the MOD will take over civvy airports in future conflicts is for the birds.
The question was based on the assumption by a journalist that we would be in the tactical phase of a Transition To War with Russia. If anyone here thinks that our future wars will be with Russia then that's what is really for the birds!
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
This subject pops up every 10 years or so, usually via the pen of a journalist.

As far as I recall, the last time the Transition To War dispersal of aircraft was addressed, it concluded that there were scores of suitable surfaces available, particularly on the eastern side of England. Everything from operational civil airports, through closed military airfields with good enough runways, right down to the firebreak roads in Thetford Forest for the Harriers.

Common sense will show anyone that doesn't go around with their eyes closed that plenty of places would be suitable. Even substitutes could be used for example: if Marham, Lakenheath and Mildenhall were put out of service by enemy action, then Stansted, Norwich and Cambridge Airports would be used. Second tier former airfields such as Thurleigh, Alconbury and many others could be on standby.

Bit of a non-story really and as for landing aircraft on UK motorways - not a chance in my humble opinion...


While I was at Thorney Island the runway was inspected a few times to make sure it was ok for emergency use by larger aircraft. It had a few light aircraft , one of the officers (just before I got there) used to fly his own light plane regularly until he crashed it and died on the way back from somewhere (France maybe)

They were also looking at landing hijacked aircraft there and as a temporary mass morgue, specifically as they could fly bodies in (apparently)
 
According to UK Defence Journal the RAF are considering some test dispersals to Motorways and civvy airfields in a series of ‘no-notice’ scatter drills called Exercise Agile Stance. I'm not sure if that has been done since the Jaguar landed on the M55 near Preston back in the 80's.

I'm reading "RAF considers renting motorway service stations close to convenient straight bits in order to sell of existing land".
 
Having done this sort of thing with the C130 fleet (recce-ing, activating and operating temporary landing zones on disused airfields, beaches, desert, etc), and seen it done in Germany with Harriers back in the Dark Ages), I can safely say that there are very few stretches of UK road infra that would be anywhere near safe to operate as runways for combat aircraft. As people have said up-thread, there are places where it can be done but these are designed specifically for it (3km straight, flat stretch of autobahn with a service station at either end and no bridges, wires or lampposts). There is just too much other stuff around and across the roads that could not be moved quickly and so there are very few places to train for such an event.

Existing civilian airports are the only viable option in the UK. However, they are not safeguarded in the same way as military airfields, so there are very few with safe headings for aircraft to be parked with forward-firing weapons on. Dispersals for bombed-up aircraft are similarly hard to come by, so it can only be done "dry" and at significant disruption to the fee-paying commercial traffic.

All that said, I think this is exactly the sort of conversation we should be having about survivability and might go some way to reinvigorating the martial spirit that is woefully lacking in a lot of the RAF ground branches and trades. We can start by sorting out the logistics of it all by re-introducing the RAF Servicing Commandos, as that is the sort of support that the Agile Basing Concept will require in a proper conflict.

If after a SODCIT event, and all the UK's MOBs have been malleted, the phrase "safe to operate" is being used, then that individual needs to be taken round the back and shot.

Likewise commercial airports getting a vote in "disruption".

Survive to Operate should be the watchword...
 
They'll all be up near the M6 Tebay services - got by far the best catering..........
Tebay?

That place holds to "ancient local traditions" all right, mostly concerning the wearing of masks and the statement "Stand, and Deliver!". Send in the F-35 force, so the RN squadrons can get all enthusiastic about counter-piracy.

No, the bigger battle will be with some RQMS at Kinloss or Leuchars who decided that the big long stretch of tarmac would be a perfect vehicle park, and why can't he paint nice white lines all over it? "Fvck off out of that HAS, that's got my stores in it!"
 

Londo

LE
How many of the old V Bomber dispersal stations are still capable of use?
There are a few although not many , mostly being used as civil airfields these days .
Do a google for ' Former RAF air stations'
Keep you busy for a few days .
 

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