C17 Transport Aircraft Taking Off from RAF Brize Norton
A Royal Air Force 99 Squadron C17 aircraft taking off from RAF Brize Norton providing air transport assistance to France for the Central African Republic (CAR).
The C17 is capable of rapid, strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases anywhere in the world, or directly to more temporary forward operating bases owing to its short field capability. The design of the aircraft allows it to carry out high-angle, steep approaches at relatively slow speeds, thus allowing it to operate into small, austere airfields onto runways as short as 3, 500 feet long and only 90 feet wide.
The aircraft can operate into and out of problematic sites such as those surrounded by inhospitable terrain or made difficult by adverse weather conditions. The fully-integrated, electronic flight-deck and the advanced cargo-handling systems allow a basic crew of only two pilots and one air loadmaster to operate the aircraft.
On the ground, the aircraft can be turned in a very small radius and its four Pratt & Whitney engines are fully reversible, giving it the ability to manoeuvre into and out of restricted parking or freight-offload areas at undeveloped strips.
This enables the C-17 to deliver cargo to small airfields with limited parking space in a shorter time, so increasing throughput where time on the ground is kept to a minimum. The C-17 can transport 45, 360kgs of freight over 4, 500 nautical miles whilst flying at heights in excess of 30, 000 feet
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A400M Transporter Aircraft
An A400M at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2014 at Fairford, one of the largest Airshows in the UK.
The A400M aircraft, when in RAF service, will be named ATLAS and the RAF will take delivery of its first of 22 aircraft in Autumn 2014 with deliveries expected to be complete by 2019.
The A400M, which is a collaborative venture involving the governments and industries of six European countries, will support the deployment of the Joint Rapid Reaction Force and will give the RAF a tactical and strategic-airlift aircraft capable of supporting all three services and be interoperable with other nations.
The aircraft will be capable of carrying a load of 25 tonnes over a range of 2000nmls at speeds comparable with pure-jet military transports. It will be capable of operating either at low-level (down to 150ft agl) or at high-level altitudes to 40, 000ft, and it will be able to deploy troops and/or equipment between and within theatres of operation either by parachute (up to 108 paratroopers), or by landing on short, unprepared or semi-prepared strips. It will also offer significant improvements in reliability, maintenance and operating costs over the C-130J fleet
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Image of a Hercules C130 aircraft, taking off from RAF Brize Norton
Image of a Hercules C130 aircraft, taking off from RAF Brize Norton.
The C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft is the workhorse of the RAF's Air Transport (AT) fleet and is based at RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire , where it is operated by Nos 24, 30 and 47 Squadrons. The fleet comprises a mixture of C-130K C1/C3 and C-130J C4/C5 aircraft.
The C1 and C3 aircraft are used primarily to carry troops, passengers or freight and are capable of carrying up to 128 passengers, or 20 tonnes of palletised freight or vehicles, for up to 2000nmls. The freight bay can accommodate a range of wheeled or tracked vehicles, or up to seven pallets of general freight. In the aeromedical evacuation role either 64 or 82 stretchers can be carried, depending on the mark of aircraft and the stretcher configuration. The maximum unrefuelled ferry range is 3500nmls, which can be extended to over 4000nmls by air-to-air refuelling. The other main role of the C-130 is Transport Support (TS), which is the airborne delivery of personnel or stores by airdrop. In this role the aircraft supports airborne operations conducted by 16 Air Assault Brigade by the aerial delivery of paratroops, stores and equipment. The aircraft is particularly valuable in its TS role as it can be operated from unprepared and semi-prepared surfaces by day or by night.
The majority of aircraft are fitted with defensive infrared countermeasure equipment, whilst some aircraft used for special tasks have an additional, enhanced defensive-aids suite comprising a Skyguardian radarwarning receiver, a chaff and flare countermeasure dispensing system and a missile approach warning system. The C3 is also equipped with station-keeping equipment, which enables the aircraft to maintain its airborne position in a large formation in thick cloud or bad weather where the other formation members cannot be seen