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OP Boxtop

lenaitch

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Article online reports that the RCAF has moved CC-130 and CC-177 aircraft to Yellowknife to support the re-supply mission to CFS Alert.  I assume the regular route involves fuel stops at Gander and/or Thule.  Do our Globemasters not have the plumbing for in-flight re-fueling or is a matter of the crews are not trained in it, or perhaps a logistical/financial decision not to use it.

Just curious.

https://www.myyellowknifenow.com/48090/increased-rcaf-activities-in-yellowknife/

 

dapaterson

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The RCAF C17s were purchased off-the-shelf; the sum total of customization was the Canadian roundel.  (Only a slight exaggeration, but a large part of the reason we were able to bring them into service so quickly - we purchased off the line and maintain commonality with the worldwide fleet).

I suspect (pure supposition) that the BOXTOP routing has been changed to avoid travel through other countries.  My understanding is that the normal routing would be via Thule.
 

dimsum

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lenaitch said:
Article online reports that the RCAF has moved CC-130 and CC-177 aircraft to Yellowknife to support the re-supply mission to CFS Alert.  I assume the regular route involves fuel stops at Gander and/or Thule.  Do our Globemasters not have the plumbing for in-flight re-fueling or is a matter of the crews are not trained in it, or perhaps a logistical/financial decision not to use it.

Just curious.

https://www.myyellowknifenow.com/48090/increased-rcaf-activities-in-yellowknife/

One issue is that we do not have "flying boom" refuelling aircraft, just "probe and drogue".  The C-17 (like all USAF aircraft) requires a flying boom refueller.
 

YZT580

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Even if you could tanker you don't want to.  The whole business of re-supplying Alert needs to be done in a single day's flight time to avoid lay-overs and consuming the supplies you are bringing up.  If you tanker then you need crew-rest, ergo two crews.  Up and back in a single duty day.
 

dimsum

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YZT580 said:
Even if you could tanker you don't want to.  The whole business of re-supplying Alert needs to be done in a single day's flight time to avoid lay-overs and consuming the supplies you are bringing up.  If you tanker then you need crew-rest, ergo two crews.  Up and back in a single duty day.

That's a good point.
 

lenaitch

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Good points all. Thank you.  I forgot about the re-fueling system on the Globemaster, meaning we'd have to get the USAF or a private contractor to do it.
 

dimsum

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lenaitch said:
Good points all. Thank you.  I forgot about the re-fueling system on the Globemaster, meaning we'd have to get the USAF or a private contractor to do it.

For now, yes.  That may change depending on the outcome of the future fighter project - the F-35A is also only "boom" so we would affect our tankers, since their entire point is to refuel our fighters.  The CC-150 (Airbus A310) can possibly have a boom added but definitely not with the C-130H. 

I'm sure it's a lower priority right now, but it may become a big deal sooner than expected.
 

lenaitch

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Dimsum said:
For now, yes.  That may change depending on the outcome of the future fighter project - the F-35A is also only "boom" so we would affect our tankers, since their entire point is to refuel our fighters.  The CC-150 (Airbus A310) can possibly have a boom added but definitely not with the C-130H. 

I'm sure it's a lower priority right now, but it may become a big deal sooner than expected.

I have read in another forum that Boeing is willing to change the re-fueling system of the A model (or course adding to the cost), much like Norway got a drag chute, although I don't know who developed that.  The CC-150Ts will have to be replaced at some point but, of course, that is kicked down the road like everything else
 

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Given the massive downturn in commercial aviation, most operators are grounding their oldest airframes - like the small number of A310s still in service.  The way things are going, the RCAF will have to partner with airlines in Iran for parts and service for the CC150/A310 fleet, as they will be the only other people operating them (the Germans are replacing their A310 tankers with A350s)... or maybe the RCAF will replace them.
 

garb811

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dapaterson said:
Given the massive downturn in commercial aviation, most operators are grounding their oldest airframes - like the small number of A310s still in service.  The way things are going, the RCAF will have to partner with airlines in Iran for parts and service for the CC150/A310 fleet, as they will be the only other people operating them (the Germans are replacing their A310 tankers with A350s)... or maybe the RCAF will replace them.
Maybe Chile has tanker aircraft they are willing to rent?
 

dimsum

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dapaterson said:
...or maybe the RCAF will replace them.

:rofl:

Partnering with Iran it is!  I hear their Shiraz is quite good.  :nod:
 

suffolkowner

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assuming the CC-150 does get replaced do anyone see a problem with the size of the Airbus offering?

            length ft  wingspan ft  height ft  fuel kg
CC150  155          144              52          36000
330      193          198              57          111000
KC46    159          156              52          73000
 

dapaterson

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suffolkowner said:
assuming the CC-150 does get replaced do anyone see a problem with the size of the Airbus offering?

            length ft  wingspan ft  height ft  fuel kg
CC150  155          144              52          36000
330      193          198              57          111000
KC46    159          156              52          73000

There are infrastructure assessments with any new equipment.  That's part of the PRICIE+G considerations in any acquisition.  Scrimping today by saying "We'll keep old infra that's aging out, and worry about it later" is not particularly solid management; biting the bullet up front generally has a better end state.
 

dimsum

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suffolkowner said:
assuming the CC-150 does get replaced do anyone see a problem with the size of the Airbus offering?

            length ft  wingspan ft  height ft  fuel kg
CC150  155          144              52          36000
330      193          198              57          111000
KC46    159          156              52          73000

Hangars and parking spots come to mind.  I'm not sure how big the ones in Trenton are.
 

bradley247

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Air refuelling transport aircraft doesn't make sense for Canada. When you factor in delivery costs (ie, a whole other airplane and all it's associated costs), fuel from a tanker easily costs 15x what it does on the ground. Then there would be the colossal cost of training and maintaining the currency for crews. There isn't much that we do in air mobility that is so time critical to justify it when you can just plan the flight with a fuel/crew rest stop enroute. Even the Americans do it far less these days, some of my USAF friends have gone entire flying tours in AMC and only refuelled operationally a handful of times.

As for Boxtop, Thule is closed to all non-resupply aircraft due to COVID, Yellowknife is the next closest airfield with the infrastructure to provide that much fuel.
 

dapaterson

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bradley247 said:
Air refuelling transport aircraft doesn't make sense for Canada. When you factor in delivery costs (ie, a whole other airplane and all it's associated costs), fuel from a tanker easily costs 15x what it does on the ground. Then there would be the colossal cost of training and maintaining the currency for crews. There isn't much that we do in air mobility that is so time critical to justify it when you can just plan the flight with a fuel/crew rest stop enroute. Even the Americans do it far less these days, some of my USAF friends have gone entire flying tours in AMC and only refuelled operationally a handful of times.

As for Boxtop, Thule is closed to all non-resupply aircraft due to COVID, Yellowknife is the next closest airfield with the infrastructure to provide that much fuel.

Fuelling is not only for uncontested administrative moves.  It is a capability that the RCAF maintains not because it's cheap, but because it can be operationally necessary.  And when operationally necessary, one cannot always rely on someone next door running out to do it for us.
 

dimsum

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dapaterson said:
Fuelling is not only for uncontested administrative moves.  It is a capability that the RCAF maintains not because it's cheap, but because it can be operationally necessary.  And when operationally necessary, one cannot always rely on someone next door running out to do it for us.

I think bradley247 was talking about refuelling aircraft like C-17s, which we don't do anyways.
 

dapaterson

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Ah!  My bad.  I read "Air refuelling transport aircraft doesn't make sense for Canada." as a call to scrap the CC150 fuellers and not replace them.
 

bradley247

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dapaterson said:
Ah!  My bad.  I read "Air refuelling transport aircraft doesn't make sense for Canada." as a call to scrap the CC150 fuellers and not replace them.

No no, not at all. I'm just talking about refuelling our transport aircraft, which wouldn't make sense for us.
 

Zoomie

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dapaterson said:
And when operationally necessary, one cannot always rely on someone next door running out to do it for us.
How is that unlike what we currently do? 
 
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