Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] News, Discussions and Updates

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Had an authority mention they were considering allowing the use of iPads in the cockpit of a particular airframe. Asked the engineers in DMO if they had any concerns.

"Ahh....nope"

"That's a short response, normally its longer. Why so confident"

"Ummm.....we/they have been doing it for a couple of years no with no issues."

"oh"
Yes but try and get a risk adverse RM or CE to sign off something, even if they have been doing it for years without issue...... There is a real reluctance to sign thins off or permit under Tech Directives at times, forcing individuals to take the risk on themselves in work arounds just to get the job done.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
To be honest and fair, I should say that my limited DMO time did teach me the importance of contracts, attention to detail, Technical Air Worthiness, spreadsheets, and a new respect for the amount of tosh that Engineers have to deal with. Oops, I missed risk adversion. Based on my 3 years of observation, it was a true miracle that KC-30A was ever introduced to service through the various 'flight safety' empires. I'm guessing that the 2014 sandpit deployment helped considerably.
Now if only the same degree of enthusiasm was spent on operational flying training. I know, TAA is a necessary evil but saying 'no' seems to be the default answer for anything new with a committee of experts allowed to pontificate for long periods of time instead of the SQN authorising system just getting on with the job.
I'm waiting for the inevitable blow up over all the things previously covered by TAREGs that aren't covered by DASA because of the air worthiness filter that is applied these days. They may not relate to air worthiness or flight safety but some certainly are critical to mission success, or even survivability.
 

seaspear

Active Member
The U.S.A.F has demonstrated an amphibious MC130-Jj Would such a capability be of use to the R.A.A.F? Australia has no shortage of airfields of course but a quick long-range amphibious delivery system may be of use in some circumstances with just removable floats to return aircraft to normal operations.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The U.S.A.F has demonstrated an amphibious MC130-Jj Would such a capability be of use to the R.A.A.F? Australia has no shortage of airfields of course but a quick long-range amphibious delivery system may be of use in some circumstances with just removable floats to return aircraft to normal operations.
It hasn't demonstrated it. It is looking at having a prototype in the air in 17 months according to that video. It's a paper concept at the moment.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
The U.S.A.F has demonstrated an amphibious MC130-Jj Would such a capability be of use to the R.A.A.F? Australia has no shortage of airfields of course but a quick long-range amphibious delivery system may be of use in some circumstances with just removable floats to return aircraft to normal operations.
Very interesting but just digital mock-up ATM. It is under a fast track program with the intention to have one under test by 31st December 2022.

If it all goes good then would be worth seriously considering. Luckily such a short timeframe relatively in development we may by end of the year/early next year be able to start discussing this in depth if tests go ahead and validate the idea.

Have no doubt they could fit them but how it would affect the aircraft flight and payload will have to be determined first before we can get our hopes up.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Very interesting but just digital mock-up ATM. It is under a fast track program with the intention to have one under test by 31st December 2022.

If it all goes good then would be worth seriously considering. Luckily such a short timeframe relatively in development we may by end of the year/early next year be able to start discussing this in depth if tests go ahead and validate the idea.

Have no doubt they could fit them but how it would affect the aircraft flight and payload will have to be determined first before we can get our hopes up.
It could be one of those things that looks like a great idea on paper but in the end the cost and difficulties in developing it as a Military capability outweigh the benefits. Loading and unloading on the water would be far from simple and you would need a decent size boat ramp for the Aircraft to be able to leave the water. I doubt a medium size Air Force like the RAAF would be interested in such a niche capability that is of limited usefulness.
 

Sideline

Member
I doubt a medium size Air Force like the RAAF would be interested in such a niche capability that is of limited usefulness.
I could not disagree more, think about disaster relief alone (the main/easiest selling point).
There are approximately 8222 islands in Australia, Papua New Guinea has 600 main islands and 1000's of smaller ones
20 second google search shows 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean without Asia or the Indian ocean.

The cruising speed of a c-130 is 540 km/h, range 3790km with 11,250 kg of load (wikipedia)
having the ability to arrive with food, water and medical in 7 hours rather than 3 days makes
it worth a serious look. The fact that you could put SF 30ks off shore in 3-4 RIB's is a bonus.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
It could be one of those things that looks like a great idea on paper but in the end the cost and difficulties in developing it as a Military capability outweigh the benefits. Loading and unloading on the water would be far from simple and you would need a decent size boat ramp for the Aircraft to be able to leave the water. I doubt a medium size Air Force like the RAAF would be interested in such a niche capability that is of limited usefulness.
The value of it would be immense in my opinion. Take the current Tonga situation had the runway not been cleared aid supplies could have been drastically affected until naval assets got on station but a sea plane wouldn't have had to worry potentially.

That being said my biggest concern is in the fact they are trying to take an existing aircraft designed and built around flying a particular way and trying to turn it into a part time boat. One constant I noticed about all sea planes is that the bottom half resembles a boat which to my cursory research is a must have just in simple terms of landing, floating and taking off. It won't so much slice through the water then rather smash against it..

Do I have my fingers crossed hoping it works yes I do, do I think they could technically do it sure but it all depends on the trade offs as to if it is worth it. Could very well become more costly but less capable than the US-2.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I could not disagree more, think about disaster relief alone (the main/easiest selling point).
There are approximately 8222 islands in Australia, Papua New Guinea has 600 main islands and 1000's of smaller ones
20 second google search shows 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean without Asia or the Indian ocean.

The cruising speed of a c-130 is 540 km/h, range 3790km with 11,250 kg of load (wikipedia)
having the ability to arrive with food, water and medical in 7 hours rather than 3 days makes
it worth a serious look. The fact that you could put SF 30ks off shore in 3-4 RIB's is a bonus.
So you now have an Aircraft with Pallets sitting in the back, several hundred Metres offshore, how do you intend getting those Pallets ashore? The vast majority of those Islands will not have the facilities for an Aircraft of this size to just drive up a Ramp and any that do also have a decent Airfield. All your figures are for Airfield to Airfield, do you think a C-130 could carry the same load to a water landing? That great Pontoon sitting underneath is going to seriously effect the flight performance of any Aircraft, so no point quoting performance figures for a standard C-130.
 

Morgo

Active Member
The value of it would be immense in my opinion. Take the current Tonga situation had the runway not been cleared aid supplies could have been drastically affected until naval assets got on station but a sea plane wouldn't have had to worry potentially.

That being said my biggest concern is in the fact they are trying to take an existing aircraft designed and built around flying a particular way and trying to turn it into a part time boat. One constant I noticed about all sea planes is that the bottom half resembles a boat which to my cursory research is a must have just in simple terms of landing, floating and taking off. It won't so much slice through the water then rather smash against it..

Do I have my fingers crossed hoping it works yes I do, do I think they could technically do it sure but it all depends on the trade offs as to if it is worth it. Could very well become more costly but less capable than the US-2.

I agree. Is it the optimal seaplane solution? No. If it can be made to work safely and cheaply would it be a great extra capability? Yes.

One question though - how would it become more costly than the US-2 ie how would a couple of floats and presumably some updates to the avionics cost as much as a whole airframe?

Unless of course it's not safe... in which case the cost could be a whole C-130 plus crew plus cargo.
 

Sideline

Member
That great Pontoon sitting underneath is going to seriously effect the flight performance of any Aircraft, so no point quoting performance figures for a standard C-130.
OK fair point, as long as you accept that C-130 arriving with 2 x RIB's, a Doctor/3~4 nurses, medical supplies, a sparky/coms, 2 x 6kva gensets, food and water in 7 hours beats the shit out of a LHD in a 5~6 days
 

Morgo

Active Member
OK fair point, as long as you accept that C-130 arriving with 2 x RIB's, a Doctor/3~4 nurses, medical supplies, a sparky/coms, 2 x 6kva gensets, food and water in 7 hours beats the shit out of a LHD in a 5~6 days
Or say eight of them doing daily flights with that same cargo for that 5-6 days. And possibly taking the injured back to Australia for treatment on the return leg (if you could get them on board safely).

It would certainly be an impressive way to say "we've got your back."
 

Morgo

Active Member
One other point - presumably this capability will be completely useless for doing anything but dropping off and collecting SF unless you're landing on a harbour or the sea is dead calm.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
So you now have an Aircraft with Pallets sitting in the back, several hundred Metres offshore, how do you intend getting those Pallets ashore? The vast majority of those Islands will not have the facilities for an Aircraft of this size to just drive up a Ramp and any that do also have a decent Airfield. All your figures are for Airfield to Airfield, do you think a C-130 could carry the same load to a water landing? That great Pontoon sitting underneath is going to seriously effect the flight performance of any Aircraft, so no point quoting performance figures for a standard C-130.
I am now going to exhibit my class prejudices.

It has to be something thought up by an an officer who was left unsupervised for more than three minutes.

As @Morgo has said above, once there is a bit of a seaway on flying boats / seaplanes run into problems with takeoff and landing restrictions. Once a sea gets up it becomes to dangerous for them to operate on the water, and that's for aircraft specifically designed and built to operate on water.
Maybe if someone could build a larger rear ramp transport variant of the ShinMaywa US-2, or similar. But it would be expensive and there would be a limited market for it.
 

Rock the kasbah

Active Member
Float planes are only good for lakes, rivers, lagoons. However those ww2 albatross I believe could drive up on hard sand.
Might be time to have a relook at a certain NT companies share price
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
One question though - how would it become more costly than the US-2 ie how would a couple of floats and presumably some updates to the avionics cost as much as a whole airframe?

Unless of course it's not safe... in which case the cost could be a whole C-130 plus crew plus cargo.
If only counting floats added to an existing C-130 then no wouldn't be more costly but I am looking at it as a hole of aircraft and end capability outlook. In that regard the US-2 is similar if not cheaper the a C-130J when comparing Japan's 6th order in 2013 for $156m and the offer to India with local assembly at $113m a unit in 2016 while New Zealand in 2020 ordered 5 C-130J's for $1.4b.

According to specs the US-2 can carry upto 15 tons of water (so has ability to carry a bit of weight), under what conditions and limitations I don't know but can be done, while C-130 can do circa 20 tons. Do we truly think a C-130 not designed from the outset to be a seaplane will be able to carry that same payload with just some strap on floats?

For the record the PBY Catalina had a max landing weight of 12,380kg in waves of over 2 feet with that considered for the class as rough seas. Modern aircraft I don't know about but will look it up. Frankly more I think about it and the more the osprey sounds like an easier route if you want a ramp capability.
 

Rock the kasbah

Active Member
If only counting floats added to an existing C-130 then no wouldn't be more costly but I am looking at it as a hole of aircraft and end capability outlook. In that regard the US-2 is similar if not cheaper the a C-130J when comparing Japan's 6th order in 2013 for $156m and the offer to India with local assembly at $113m a unit in 2016 while New Zealand in 2020 ordered 5 C-130J's for $1.4b.

According to specs the US-2 can carry upto 15 tons of water (so has ability to carry a bit of weight), under what conditions and limitations I don't know but can be done, while C-130 can do circa 20 tons. Do we truly think a C-130 not designed from the outset to be a seaplane will be able to carry that same payload with just some strap on floats?

For the record the PBY Catalina had a max landing weight of 12,380kg in waves of over 2 feet with that considered for the class as rough seas. Modern aircraft I don't know about but will look it up. Frankly more I think about it and the more the osprey sounds like an easier route if you want a ramp capability.
As I said float planes need flat water
Sea planes are called that for a reason If you were to say land a seaplane on a HADR mission in the south pacific motor up close do you reckon we might be able to offload some supplies to a canoe
Let the yanks have the expensive shit
 

oldsig127

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
One constant I noticed about all sea planes is that the bottom half resembles a boat which to my cursory research is a must have just in simple terms of landing, floating and taking off. It won't so much slice through the water then rather smash against it..
Definitely cursory research. If the fuselage is the shape of a boat's hull, and the aircraft lands on it, it's a "flying boat"

If the aircraft is actually an ordinary aeroplane with floats, it's a "seaplane"

Two different ways to achieve the same results.

BTW, they really *aren't* the solution in waters which are loaded with flotsam from any sort of disaster. Even a small floaty thing would bring a sudden end to their missions.

oldsig
 

old faithful

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I could not disagree more, think about disaster relief alone (the main/easiest selling point).
There are approximately 8222 islands in Australia, Papua New Guinea has 600 main islands and 1000's of smaller ones
20 second google search shows 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean without Asia or the Indian ocean.

The cruising speed of a c-130 is 540 km/h, range 3790km with 11,250 kg of load (wikipedia)
having the ability to arrive with food, water and medical in 7 hours rather than 3 days makes
it worth a serious look. The fact that you could put SF 30ks off shore in 3-4 RIB's is a bonus.
Don't forget the regional surveillance units.
It dawned on me when I was working for Paspaley Pearl's here in the NT, the farms are crewed via seaplane flights. I'll see if I can dig up some photos. Amphib aircraft are very very handy things!
 
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