Rivet Joint Joins The RAF

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ObnoxiousJockGit, Oct 8, 2008.

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  1. Rivet Joint Joins The RAF. Strategy Page.

    Any opinions, oh flying ones?
  2. Not an aviation expert but its about time I think. But aren't the KC-135's really old airframes, or am I just confused?
  3. I'd say so as it seems that the USAF stopped using them in 1991. How much work is the airframe itself going to get?

  4. Aren't we just about to get new nimrods anyways?
  5. We are poor we can't buy shiney new ones so we are stuck with bulled up old ones.

    That said, the AH-64 is a 30 yrs old plus airframe, doesn't stop the Longbow being an upto date terry topper and alround scary bit of kit.
  6. KC 135's were tankers in my day - they were old then. They're based on a 707 I believe. So don't mind the fuel fumes, but then you'll probably be used to them.
  7. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Nimrod MR2A's an ASW/SAR jet primarily & not designed for what it's doing now in the Stan.This is about time.
  8. The new MRA4 would be able to do it and is practically a new plane!

    Just late and f expensive!
  9. Incorrect. The yanks still use them. They've re-engined most of them and stuck turbofans on them. They will remain in service for quite a long time to come especially as there is still quite a bit of kurfuffle over its replacement.

    The KC/C135 is actually based on the prototype that led to the 707 but was pretty much designed for the military. It does have a passing resemblance to the 707 but its actually about 15' less in length and wingspan.

    As for Nimrod MR4? Totally different role. If anything, RJ fits into where the Nimrod R1 currently sits but seeings how there is still some debate as to whether the R1s will get suitably upgraded or not (and going on any past, current and future experience of anything related to upgrading Nimrods - AEW, MR4 etc will make MoD quite twitchy) it is highly doubtful that it has any more useful life left. Hence why we are considering RJ.

    SandExporter. Do you suggest we rip out the guts of the shiny new MR4s and stuff it full of EW?? Yep, that'll be in service around 2097 and cost a gzillion pounds. :roll:

    As mdn states, age of the airframe isn't a major issue. Its not as if Rivet Joints are going to be cutting around low level. And as old as the airframes are, even the in-service KC135s of the USAF are only upto about 35% of their lifed airframe hours (although they are quite rusty by all accounts and servicing the old things is getting quite expensive). As you can imagine, the KC135s are one of the busiest airframes in their inventory.

    I just hope that if we do decide to go with the Rivet Joint, we dont do what we usually do and try to fiddle with it too much. Current Rivet Joint works so it aint broken- dont 'fix' it!
  10. Read the Wikipedia article some more; 1991 is when the KC-135s were transferred to the newly-created Air Mobility Command (AMC).

    Regarding current serviceability it says:

    “The Air Force projects that E and R models have lifetime flying hour limits of 36,000 and 39,000 hours, respectively. According to the Air Force, only a few KC-135s would reach these limits before 2040, but at that time some of the aircraft would be about 80 years old. The Air Force estimates that their current fleet of KC-135s have between 12,000 to 14,000 flying hours on them-only 33 percent of the lifetime flying hour limit. Nevertheless these aircraft are over 40 years old and maintenance costs are increasing, with airframe corrosion being the worst problem.”

    Overall I would say that the design might be as old as the Nimrod, however, the late model airframes are much younger than the Nimrods. Hence, I think it is a viable idea.
  11. Its not just about comparing age- like for like. Its how those airframes have been used and how durable they are today and in future. For example; a well cared for, well build Aston Martin thats only be used for a bit of motorway driving will probably last a darn sight longer than a similarly aged Ford thats be ragged around. KC135s tend to take off, climb, orbit, racetrack for a few hours, refuel a few jets then land. Nimrods on the other hand operate in a wide variety of areas, atlitudes (quite a bit of low level) and roles. Ffs, its one of the biggest fighters ever built!

  12. Jesus wept - how on earth Sir Max Hastings can think that someone capable of producing the utter b*ll*cks such as that piece by Page is someone whose comments on defence should be taken seriously is mind-boggling...

    KC-135R is still in service, and is scheduled to be so for some time to come - even longer now the KC-X programme has been binned. Even if KC-45 had gone ahead, a large number of R-model airframes would've been in service to, IIRC, about 2020.
  13. SandExporter. Do you suggest we rip out the guts of the shiny new MR4s and stuff it full of EW?? Yep, that'll be in service around 2097 and cost a gzillion pounds. :roll:

    No not gut the new late, overcost MRA4s, but use some of the now redundant tubes as the order has been cut back from 21 to 12.

    Economies of scale on the refit, acres of space (assumption as electronics are generations smaller), lower training & Support costs (use MRA facilities/ILS).

    Plus it looks like the sub hunter - rather like the R1s that got dressed as MR2s.

    Just an idea lol

  14. Effectively, you'd just be doing what is happening with the MR4.

    Are you suggesting that despite the fact we are only getting 12 of the 21 that the remaining 9 already exist as MR4 standard aircraft? Well, they dont so you are back to upgrading current Nimrod. Refit engines, avionics and most systems. Et voila, same boat as before. We cut it down to 12 because we couldnt afford it. How much do you think it would cost to just EW fit up an old MR2 to R1 spec? Probably alot more than just buying a handful of Rivet joints to be honest. Would you keep the same engines/avionics as current Nimrod? If so, you've achieved nothing except throw a huge amount of money (which we dont have) to give the current Nimord a few more years of life.

    Nope. Cut your loses on Nimrod now and buy something that actually works.