Royal New Zealand Air Force

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
And I would argue that the B777 would also be a regional strategic enabler as what the C-17 is - what the new Aotearoa is as well. For example freeing up KC-35's of the RAAF to primarily focus on the A2A role and the C-17's for outsize loads - when the flag goes up. They swallow the same amount of 463L's in the lower deck that the B757 does on the main and still carry pax's/troops. And like the JASDF's Cygnus One and Cygnus Two even the potential to be used as a Comms node. Singapore Airlines pre-covid used to get them in and out of WLG with its rather truncated 1500m runway thus can get up and down on plenty much all of the runways of Pacific island capitals with a reduced but still excellent MTOW.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
And I would argue that the B777 would also be a regional strategic enabler as what the C-17 is - what the new Aotearoa is as well. For example freeing up KC-35's of the RAAF to primarily focus on the A2A role and the C-17's for outsize loads - when the flag goes up. They swallow the same amount of 463L's in the lower deck that the B757 does on the main and still carry pax's/troops. And like the JASDF's Cygnus One and Cygnus Two even the potential to be used as a Comms node. Singapore Airlines pre-covid used to get them in and out of WLG with its rather truncated 1500m runway thus can get up and down on plenty much all of the runways of Pacific island capitals with a reduced but still excellent MTOW.
We are right in Aust, lots of options should the need arise.

 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
Doubt there are any used A321LR and certainly no A321XLRs available. The 777s apparently are partially owned by the NZ government so although they big, probably less to acquire and I would think their resell value (if the government were to dispose) is low considering the state of commercial air travel.
The NZ Govt has a 52% shareholding in Air NZ, they couldn't just take the aircraft they would have to pay for them. Air NZ have 7 undelivered orders for A321neos, I'm sure the NZG could purchase 2-3 of them and ask Airbus to deliver them as LR or XLR variants.


The B777-200 are ideal actually. They can lift more to the ice than a C-17 can; 78 tonne payload Vs 56 tonnes. With 74 pax one can nonstop fly Auckland to Washington DC. The acquisition and conversion cost is relatively cheap and the freighter variant is already certified. All four of the Air NZ ones could be acquired with three being converted to Combis for less than $300 million. The fourth one would be used for spares. They are a strategic airlifter. If the pollies want a medium twin then they fund it themselves or fly commercial.
The 777 freighter was developed from the 777-200LR, the LR is a vastly different aircraft from the 200ER which Air NZ own, different engines, different floor, upgraded landing gear, beefed up structure, the 200LR is a shortened 300ER rather than an improved 200ER. There are also no certified combi conversions for the 777-200, nor is there currently a P2F conversion for the 777-200 & 200ER aircraft, you can only get a P2F conversion on a 300ER & 200LR IAI have just started the first conversion this year. So if NZ decided to turn 4 of Air NZ's 200ER's into combi freighters we would have to get someone to designed, build and certify it, I'm pretty sure that's going to cost a lot more than 300m and it leaves us with an orphan fleet of aircraft which nobody else has.
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
The 777 freighter was developed from the 777-200LR, the LR is a vastly different aircraft from the 200ER which Air NZ own, different engines, different floor, upgraded landing gear, beefed up structure, the 200LR is a shortened 300ER rather than an improved 200ER. There are also no certified combi conversions for the 777-200, nor is there currently a P2F conversion for the 777-200 & 200ER aircraft, you can only get a P2F conversion on a 300ER & 200LR IAI have just started the first conversion this year. So if NZ decided to turn 4 of Air NZ's 200ER's into combi freighters we would have to get someone to designed, build and certify it, I'm pretty sure that's going to cost a lot more than 300m and it leaves us with an orphan fleet of aircraft which nobody else has.
In the meantime you could fly B772's unmolested and wait until the commercial freight sector pays for the STC's for 200ER conversion like GECAS bankrolled the IAI 773 conversions for a major FFC client (Like UPS bankrolled the B757 conversions to set that ball rolling). There is nearly an 8:1 ratio of 200ER potential feedstock versus the fairly rare 200LR. Since Covid has seen the 772 go from being needed in the fleet to stored almost indefinitely, with the likelihood that the 773 has a much greater chance to return in the pax role, which will see their value rise, and the 772LR built in low numbers, the 772ER is becoming money on as the most likely Heavy to be converted.
 

CJR

Member
The NZ Govt has a 52% shareholding in Air NZ, they couldn't just take the aircraft they would have to pay for them. Air NZ have 7 undelivered orders for A321neos, I'm sure the NZG could purchase 2-3 of them and ask Airbus to deliver them as LR or XLR variants.




The 777 freighter was developed from the 777-200LR, the LR is a vastly different aircraft from the 200ER which Air NZ own, different engines, different floor, upgraded landing gear, beefed up structure, the 200LR is a shortened 300ER rather than an improved 200ER. There are also no certified combi conversions for the 777-200, nor is there currently a P2F conversion for the 777-200 & 200ER aircraft, you can only get a P2F conversion on a 300ER & 200LR IAI have just started the first conversion this year. So if NZ decided to turn 4 of Air NZ's 200ER's into combi freighters we would have to get someone to designed, build and certify it, I'm pretty sure that's going to cost a lot more than 300m and it leaves us with an orphan fleet of aircraft which nobody else has.
Even with those constraints wet lease some of AirNZ's currently surplus airframes for politician or troop hauling and that'll take enough load off the 757s that their reduced flying hours can be concentrated on the military freight role and the (relatively) few passenger runs where a commercial lease doesn't work (e.g. Antarctica).
 

KiwiRob

Well-Known Member
Nobody is going to convert the non LR 200’s into freighters, they aren’t worth it.

The 200 before covid were going to be replaced by more 797-9’s and 787-10s.

4 773’s are being brought back into service, these are the ones stored in Auckland. The other 3 will be reactivated when needed.
In the meantime you could fly B772's unmolested and wait until the commercial freight sector pays for the STC's for 200ER conversion like GECAS bankrolled the IAI 773 conversions for a major FFC client (Like UPS bankrolled the B757 conversions to set that ball rolling). There is nearly an 8:1 ratio of 200ER potential feedstock versus the fairly rare 200LR. Since Covid has seen the 772 go from being needed in the fleet to stored almost indefinitely, with the likelihood that the 773 has a much greater chance to return in the pax role, which will see their value rise, and the 772LR built in low numbers, the 772ER is becoming money on as the most likely Heavy to be converted.
There are twice as many 300ER's than 200ER's. There is an active program to convert 300ER's there isn't a program to convert 200ER's.

As for a conversion based on the 777-200ER, with an in-service fleet currently averaging 14 years, the ideal window to launch a program may have already passed. “Fast forward four years in time, and the average age is going to be 18 years old.” For this size airframe, the age is beyond what GECAS would deem worthy of building a conversion program around. According to Cargo Facts Consulting (CFC), at present there are about 241 777-200ERs aged 16-20 years old. By 2024, the number of 777-200ERs in this age range falls to about 100.
This article was from 2019, 2 years ago, the average age has increased since then, there still isn't a P2F program for the 200ER. If it was going to happen it would have happened by now.

 

kiwipatriot69

Active Member
The B777-200 are ideal actually. They can lift more to the ice than a C-17 can; 78 tonne payload Vs 56 tonnes. With 74 pax one can nonstop fly Auckland to Washington DC. The acquisition and conversion cost is relatively cheap and the freighter variant is already certified. All four of the Air NZ ones could be acquired with three being converted to Combis for less than $300 million. The fourth one would be used for spares. They are a strategic airlifter. If the pollies want a medium twin then they fund it themselves or fly commercial.
getting back to my original question, how OLD are they?
 

MrConservative

Super Moderator
Staff member
Who knows what will happen.


The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation rules coming into effect from 2028 with their new engine stipulations will affect new build B773's.
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
RNZAF executed a medical evacuation of a member of the US program in Antarctica
Flew from Christchurch Sunday(?) evening, performed landing on the ice at McMurdo under NVGs (first use by RNZAF under such conditions), refueled and loaded patient, returned to Christchurch Monday(?) afternoon. Medical condition/situation of the patient not released.. Press release seems to state they had been trying to find a weather/conditions window for the past week.

Well done Kiwis

 
Will the C-130J have the range to fly from Christchurch to McMurdo, decide a landing isn't on, and get back to Christchurch or at least Invercargill.
Or do we have to wait for the new 'Strategic Airlifter'?
 

Rob c

Well-Known Member
Will the C-130J have the range to fly from Christchurch to McMurdo, decide a landing isn't on, and get back to Christchurch or at least Invercargill.
Or do we have to wait for the new 'Strategic Airlifter'?
If it's carrying anything more than the crews lunch, it is not going to happen and the way the current thinking appears in regard to the 'Strategic Airlifter', I have my doubts as to this being at all suitable for the job. But on rare occasions miracles to happen With regard to defence very rare occasions.
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
Will the C-130J have the range to fly from Christchurch to McMurdo, decide a landing isn't on, and get back to Christchurch or at least Invercargill.
Or do we have to wait for the new 'Strategic Airlifter'?
As stated in the release, essentially no. That's why they had to wait for the right forecast.
“"... Flying to Antarctica is one of the highest risk missions we fly due to the lack of divert airfields and inability to get down and back without refuelling. The crews therefore are highly trained to analyse the situation with regards to the weather and the airfield state before making a decision to proceed,” he said. ..."
 

t68

Well-Known Member
As stated in the release, essentially no. That's why they had to wait for the right forecast.

Which in hindsight instead of buying vanilla C130J they might have been better of with a fleet of KC-130J along with a refueling probe and with a couple of Harvest Hawk kits, least it gives options in these case of AAR and have the ability to do MPA even if you do not buy Hellfire to go along with it
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Which in hindsight instead of buying vanilla C130J they might have been better of with a fleet of KC-130J along with a refueling probe and with a couple of Harvest Hawk kits, least it gives options in these case of AAR and have the ability to do MPA even if you do not buy Hellfire to go along with it
There's no reason why two or three KC-130J cannot be acquired at some stage. We wouldn't need to go Harvest Hawk because the USMC operate KC-130s and I believe that they either have or are moving to the KC-130J. Of course we'd have to modify our J-30s to take probes.
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Or, we just keep doing what has been working for the past 65 years? There is no reason the new hercs will not keep flying south just the same as the old hercs...if it was that much of an issue we would have stopped C-130 flights into Antarctica decades ago.

Unless we are going to fly a escorting KC down with every trip at added cost then what exactly is the point? Even the US does not do this, and they actually can.
 

t68

Well-Known Member
Or, we just keep doing what has been working for the past 65 years? There is no reason the new hercs will not keep flying south just the same as the old hercs...if it was that much of an issue we would have stopped C-130 flights into Antarctica decades ago.

Unless we are going to fly a escorting KC down with every trip at added cost then what exactly is the point? Even the US does not do this, and they actually can.

Like you said with every trip down it would not need an escort for AAR, but under these circumstances it being a aeromedical evacuation it would be prudent to have some sort of plan B for what ever reason being able to have AAR increases mission success
 

RegR

Well-Known Member
Like you said with every trip down it would not need an escort for AAR, but under these circumstances it being a aeromedical evacuation it would be prudent to have some sort of plan B for what ever reason being able to have AAR increases mission success
I've always wondered why they could not just come up with palletised self sealing fuel pod system plumbed in for these types of things considering the majority of the hold would be empty and unused on a mission like this and weight would not be an issue. I get that venting, proximity to fuel, H&S etc etc is always an issue (even though it is completely full of fuel anyway) but surely soloutions, compromises and waivers could be enacted for specific cases, if it was actually needed of course.
 
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