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bob
bob
August 30, 2013 7:42 pm

Put a Chinook on it and I will be impressed. A bunch of generic maritime helicopters it should be ble to carry anyway is hardly impressive.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
August 30, 2013 7:59 pm

@Bob
It is designed to take a Chinook.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 30, 2013 8:17 pm

As a matter of passing interest, in an emergency, could a F35B land (vertically, natch), take a suck of fuel, possibly re-arm or get a new electronic brain for the EW pre-flight messages, then take off again, vertically, and so prove itself useful? Or will the T45 deck melt? It bloody well shouldn’t, if Shabby Wood have got their act together (which would be a first).

Otherwise, it’s merely a case of every single little tiny detail being tied up within the “helicopter” box, and no detail being cross-referred to the “fast air” box, and so sub-optimal.

I’m not going to start on the level of cavalry officer HLS-choosing that I was expert in, once. “30 paces in all directions from my estimation of the centre of the forest clearing? Good enough. Call in replen, let the pilot work it out, and if he’s a Jessie and frit, toss the goodies overboard from a hover. “

They are only bloody taxi drivers.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
August 30, 2013 8:51 pm

Time to revisit the Skyhook Concept in my view…but then I have just spent the best part of the day at a Country Show in the Champagne Tent or sampling random booze (Edinburgh Gin out of the same stable as Pig’s Nose is EXCELLENT!)

GNB

Swimming Trunks
Swimming Trunks
August 30, 2013 10:36 pm
Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 30, 2013 11:26 pm

@ GNB,

Hendrick’s gin for me (and also Mrs RT, who loathes London Gin generally, but she’ll put up with Hendrick’s). I quite like it pinko, dash with some lemon juice and a silverskin onion.

@ Swimming Trunks,

doesn’t seem so big or wow to me. It’s a floaty little boat. We go to Spain once a year on something equally wow, with another 600 cars and sleeping in 300 cabins. Get 30 or so of the things in a loose formation and you’ve got the makings of a decent amphibious system-of-platforms. Until then, it’s just a target. (Hint: flat surfaces, metal, ENDEX)

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
August 30, 2013 11:31 pm

@RT – Hendricks Gin – distilled in Girvan…also the home of Sawney Bean, the notorious Scots Cannibal…

GNB

Obsvr
Obsvr
August 31, 2013 5:18 am

@ RT “I’m not going to start on the level of cavalry officer HLS-choosing that I was expert in, once. “30 paces in all directions from my estimation of the centre of the forest clearing? Good enough. Call in replen, let the pilot work it out, and if he’s a Jessie and frit, toss the goodies overboard from a hover. “

I knew a pl sgt who carried a felling axe, of course this was in a unit that understood what a tree was. Equally obviously the cavalry haven’t heard of that epitome of advanced technology the chain saw. You have vehicles, you may need air resup (dropping jerrycans of fuel or water is not the best idea), and you don’t carry a chainsaw – clearly amateur night at the village hall.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2013 5:59 am

@RT, strongly disagree about Hendrick’s. Slices of the small cucumbers ripening just now it must be

Opinion3
Opinion3
August 31, 2013 7:24 am

They really do make a big deal out of parking.

Imagine if the army posted everytime they parked a different vehicle on their plot. Chinook and Apache should both have done the same and now we await the F35 or MV22

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 7:50 am

Obsvr,

au contraire, we were fully chainsawed up. My Assault Troop had 4 of them, and we were meant to go mental with chopping down trees in the Harz mountains in a criss-cross pattern onto the firebreak roads if the Russkies looked like invading. Not that it did us much good in Germany on exercise (tree-felling completely verboten under eco-loon laws), nor in the desert on Gulf 1 (no trees).

I had a minuscule role in the selection of the Army’s Next Gen Chainsaw 2000 competition, back in the mid 80s. I kid you not, one of the tests was to get the competitors going, rev the tits off them and then drop them from the back of a Bedford truck, point down, onto concrete to see if either the chain or the blade broke on impact. Who the bloody hell thought that little test up?

Anyway, the Husqvarna won (in not breaking), which is why I have a Husky myself. Seems quite reasonable, not let me down in around 8 years.

Amateur Night at the village hall? I suspect you recognise that when you look in a mirror.

Dunservin
Dunservin
August 31, 2013 8:08 am

@ Opinion 3

“They really do make a big deal out of parking. Imagine if the army posted everytime they parked a different vehicle on their plot…”

– I don’t think Army “plots” usually have obstructions like masts, whip aerials and rotating antennae within inches of rotor blades.

– I don’t think Army “plots” often have several tonnes of fuzed missiles, shells and assorted explosives buried inches beneath and around them.

– I don’t think Army “plots” regularly have a variety of high-powered radar and radios turning, burning and emitting dangerous levels of mutually interfering electro-magnetic radiation in close proximity.

– I don’t think Army “plots” commonly rise and fall several feet at a time, roll tens of degrees each way or lurch sideways unexpectedly while aircraft land, take off or just ‘sit’ on them.

– I don’t think the structure and motion of Army “plots” normally induce unpredictable winds and air turbulence for aircraft landing and taking off.

– I don’t think Army “plots” frequently rely on Flight Deck Officers and trained and experienced ground crews to ensure ‘all is safely gathered in’ from earthing the airframe before landing so as to prevent static discharge to securing it on deck with appropriate lashings.

– I don’t think Army “plots” typically need to ensure adequate type-trained SAR facilities are instantly available in the event of ditching.

– I don’t think Army “plots” generally have type-trained (including any air weapons & munitions carried) fire, emergency and medical parties on hand in the event of a ‘crash on deck’.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2013 8:34 am

I had been wondering how crewing on OPVs jumps by 50% as soon as the tiniest copter is added… Well,no more

I wonder which of those teams mentioned are typically from the dedicated helo support team, and which are drawn from the ship crew, just multitasking? I mean on a bigger ship than an OPV, even though they can also be quite big if you only consider tonnage

Observer
Observer
August 31, 2013 8:46 am

RT, you might have missed the bigger picture.

What was someone doing in the village hall with a chainsaw!! :)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 8:46 am

Dunservin,

seems like ‘elf ‘n safety gone mad to me. If these floaty little boats are so dangerous, then why the bloody hell are the Andrew allowed to fool about on them?

Here’s a proper HLS: http://www.trooping-the-colour.co.uk/lifeguard/lifeguardchange.jpg

And look, you can get airships in them as well! http://04varvara.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/00-00b-red-square-parade-02-11-11-vov.jpg

;)

Dunservin
Dunservin
August 31, 2013 9:03 am

@RT

I deliberately typed “I don’t think Army “plots”…” in my previous post because I would no more dream of presuming to know (let alone criticise) how the Army goes about its business as pontificate on what it should or shouldn’t do. Apart from the experience I gained while working in a few JFHQs, it’s beyond my area of expertise and I wouldn’t wish to leave myself open to justifiable ridicule by exposing my regrettable ignorance. ;-)

Opinion3
Opinion3
August 31, 2013 9:31 am

Can’t disagree with anything you said, my comments were a bit tongue in cheek, a bit ‘ for dramatic effect’ and a bit serious. The serious point is why does it take years (sometimes decades) to test and train in these things. I am not referring to experience, more the capabilities are there but not trained for. This is equally true with the refueling abilities of the RAF’s Merlins and probably many other capabilities throughout the forces.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 9:31 am

Dunservin,

all that appears obvious is that the Andrew have done some basic safety and engineering checks on various sizes of helicopters landing on the deck of its’ newest little boat. Hardly calls for a gushing press release, but the Andrew do seem to like issuing gushing little press releases every time someone farts.

In the space of just seven days, HMS Dragon has flown 4 types of helicopter. Well whoopie fucking doo. Doesn’t seem very exciting to me.

The world keeps turning, and a Navy 1/19th of the size of Nelson’s navy keeps trying to remain relevant. And not just 1/19th the size, but considerably diminished in power projection, vim and vigour.

Observer
Observer
August 31, 2013 9:32 am

Damn budget cuts, the lifeguards were at least 2 horses in the middle short of a proper “H”!

WiseApe
August 31, 2013 9:52 am

I hope Simon, our resident mathematician, drops by and has a look at RT’s Red Square airship photo. What I’d like to know is: How many of them would have to let go the cables before the rest of them float off into the wide blue yonder? The bloke centre left looks like he’s providing alot of the ballast.

Rocket Banana
August 31, 2013 10:06 am

The bloke centre-left looks like he’s full of the same gas that is in the blimp and appears to be only one of two tied to the thing. Therefore one cannot calculate the hilarious idea of the poor bastards that were not given the memo to “let go” :-)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 11:26 am

Simon,

I can bring some science to this (not the Red Square photo, in which Ivan has clearly started with the wrong idea of a blimp, as opposed to an Bernoulli influenced design with wings taking advantage of wind).

Take an 8 year old boy of average height, possibly a bit chunky as I’m training him to be an inside centre. Distract his mother, because she frets. Inflate 5 cubic metre aerostat with helium to 200 kPa and fly it in a reasonable breeze, upwind of your test range. Attach 8 year old boy, release ground tether. Watch as he can “fly” from one baseline to the other on the tennis court (we didn’t have the net up, but he’d have cleared it if it was). More giggles from both father and son than could reasonably be expected. Teenage daughter declares “cool”, but declines a ride herself (she’s the same weight as he is, but she’s a skinnie minnie). All three then inhale helium and return to kitchen to fail to amuse mother with Donald Duck voices, and get told to wash our hands before sitting down to eat lunch.

(the 5 cuM aerostat of course only lifts 2.5 kg, but if you’ve got wings on it and a decent breeze, it’ll lift an 8 year old)

Dunservin
Dunservin
August 31, 2013 12:39 pm

@Opinion3 “Can’t disagree with anything you said, my comments were a bit tongue in cheek, a bit ‘ for dramatic effect’ and a bit serious. The serious point is why does it take years (sometimes decades) to test and train in these things?…”

– Tongue in cheek bit noted. I’ve been known to be guilty myself. :-)

– Training and certification is never a once-only event. It’s an ongoing process to maintain one’s superior edge. While key warfare skills need to be rehearsed and maintained constantly, much of the theatre-specific stuff depends on role, requirement and opportunity (e.g. the availability of USN/USMC Sea Hawk helos with which one is expected to operate – What is their capability? What visual references do they need for landing/take off? Do they float and if so, for how long? Where are the escape hatch/window releases? How many crew do they carry? What is their susceptibility to EMC? What do they radiate? What is their comms fit? What are the hazards? What weapons need to be considered? What fuel do they use? Is there anything else I should know?).

– It’s not just the ship and its equipment that need a tick in the box. Many of HMS Dragon’s ship’s company will be serving in a Type 45 for the first time and some will be serving in a ship for the first time. Even ‘old hands’ will be filling unfamiliar posts with different tasks and levels of responsibility owing to promotion or job changes. Give it another six months and some key personnel will have changed, too. The new ones will require OJT (On Job Training) in the unfamiliar aspects of their jobs.

– Last but not least, all skills are perishable and need constant refreshing to remain effective. The ability of an individual (e.g. on-watch OOW, PWO, Surface Plot Supervisor) or team (e.g. on-watch Fire & Emergency Party) to detect, identify and quantify a sudden ship-threatening situation (e.g. a missile attack or an aircraft crash on deck) and react correctly with split-second decisiveness depends on it.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
August 31, 2013 1:08 pm

Regards fire response to a flight deck fire, initial response is provided by the air crew and the fire monitors based overlooking the deck, support parties etc are then drawn from the rest of the crew. The smaller the crew the more the support parties will be needed as the air crew will be also smaller. The fire fighting capabilities onboard have to be pretty high anyway the only difference with adding air crew is that they will be specially trained regards helo fires.

Rocket Banana
August 31, 2013 1:54 pm

RT,

Well, I see you’re impressed with the Bernoulli “wings” bit. Perhaps you should just drop the “helium” bit altogether and get to grips with the kind of flight that nature intended ;-)

5 m^3 of helium must have made you sound rather like Alvin and his chipmunk friends.

PS: However much I put down your aerostat (which, I’m not really), I still want a go when it can take 80kg :-)

Ace Rimmer
August 31, 2013 3:05 pm

I’d like to see a CH-53E park on the back, or are the MOD worried the RN might want some?

RT, I remember a notice on the flight ops room wall, it was a list of the first flying regulations issued by the RFC circa 1914, one of the first one’s was ‘Spurs must not be worn inside the aircraft’. I’m guessing a great many cavalry offices became ‘taxi drivers’ when the RFC was first formed!

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 3:24 pm

Simon,

the problem with conventional flight is that it needs an engine for the MoD to fund it. Their little spreadsheets on cost /benefit return a DIV/0! result if you don’t put in cost and weight parameters for an engine.

I’ll make you (well, I won’t, but I’ll sub-contract) an aerostat to lift the svelte Simon-80 kg for about £20k. Call it 180 cuM to allow for a decent lunch, step forward to a helium sphere of around 7 metres diameter. How long do you want to stay up for? The £20k buys a week, if you want longer you need extra-special expensive envelope material, might double the cost to £40k.

But if you just want a jolly being hoisted and swept along the length of a rugby ground, 30 cubes should do on a windy day.

There’s also this, for those struggling with the idea of wind and lift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEZiZ9G-gNs

Anyway, back to my point: can the F35B land and take off again from a T45? Because if it can’t, either the spastically expensive jet or the fantastically one-trick ponied floaty little boat are total wastes of money. Or both are.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
August 31, 2013 3:25 pm

Ace – they did – the other options included serving in the trenches or hanging about in formed units waiting for an elusive breakthrough…and no doubt getting endless stick from the PBI for doing so; so flying was hardly a surprising choice in the circumstances…

Oddly, far fewer went for the Tank Corps, which attracted many more Grammar School Types from the big industrial cities.

GNB

Observer
Observer
August 31, 2013 3:29 pm

Not surprising Gloomy. Tankers are supposed to be skilled in terminal grammar. Aka getting the last word in. :P

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 3:32 pm

@ Ace Rimmer,

there’s no coincidence at all the the RAF rank of Squadron Leader is the same words as the cavalry appointment of leading a squadron. It’s because in the early days of the RFC the Army put out a general invitation to young officers with private pilot licences / knowledge of flying to transfer to the RFC, and, not unexpectedly, the only people to have such licences were rich young men, most of whom were serving in the Cavalry.

Sounds odd, but completely true.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 3:47 pm

Actually, this video much better than my earlier one (but put the sound on mute)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww_rSUNPPlA

I have just shown that to Mrs RT, who is deeply worried about my ability to not seriously injure our darling little boy (just wait until he starts full contact rugby, that’s all I’m saying). Her reaction to the video was “¡Me cago en la hostia! Joder! Coño!”, which is Spanish for “No”.

Ace Rimmer
August 31, 2013 4:37 pm

RT, thought the video was great, are you trying to get in touch with your inner ‘boarder dude’?

Hang ten bro’, loved the soundtrack, AC/DC?

x
x
August 31, 2013 4:55 pm

I think there were squadrons of ships long, long before there were squadrons of aircraft, cavalry.

Rocket Banana
August 31, 2013 4:55 pm

RT,

£20K? For 168 hours of flight. I make that slightly under £120 per hour. Change the 80kg of Simon to a Synthetic Apature Radar and some bits (40kg of air-cooled generator???) and go back to the MoD and explain that they fund these and there’s no engine in sight ;-)

…can the F35B land and take off again from a T45?

Yes if all you want to do is fly around for a bit with no weapons or fly around for less than a bit with them :-(

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 5:46 pm

Simon,

It is surprisingly cheap, but there’s not much to go wrong. Essentially, the gas envelope and wings should be regarded as disposable items – 3-4 months usage at 1:1 aloft:down ratio, but for £20k, who is fussed? Being pessimistic, 3 months = £80k per year, times 2 = £160k a year for 24/7/365 coverage. Most Kevins don’t get out of bed for that paltry a sum.

The tricky bit is in the power tether. Until someone invents some long life Unobtanium batteries that will do the job for a week and weigh virtually nothing, by and large you need to squirt the juice up the tether to have a worthwhile time aloft. We have looked briefly at hoisting generators, but there is only a narrow window in which it makes sense. Don’t forget that the payload budget starts one centimetre forward of the ground tether point.

DARPA are doing some interesting stuff with an AESA 5,000 feet up, with power and data tether, being dragged off the back of a research ship. I don’t know if 5,000 feet is a constraint of their test rig or merely a useful constant height for trials, with higher possible. I’m not much enamoured with the weight penalties of the data part of the tether – I think wireless rebro is the way to go. Those Raspberry Pis are wickedly good if you assign the right software engineer to them, and Zigbee as a COTS standard a useful benchmark. But for military use there are already endless data links.

X,

the earliest reference that I’m aware of for a cavalry squadron was in Alexander the Great’s army. Did he form his Triremes into squadrons?

Dunservin
Dunservin
August 31, 2013 5:56 pm

@ x “I think there were squadrons of ships long, long before there were squadrons of aircraft, cavalry.”

– You think correctly. The Fishery Protection Squadron is the oldest squadron of the Royal Navy and can be traced back to 1481, possibly 1379. The Greek for squadron is επιλαρχία, pronounced epilarchía, and doesn’t sound at all alike whereas the French escadrille sounds much more similar.

– Air Ministry Weekly Order 973 dated 1 Aug 1919 introduced new ranks for RAF officers largely based on ranks used in the RNAS during World War I. The rank of Squadron Leader was derived from the RNAS rank of Squadron Commander. Other RNAS ranks included Wing Captain, Wing Commander, Flight Commander, Flight Lieutenant, Flight Sub Lieutenant, Flight Observer, Observer Lieutenant and Observer Sub Lieutenant. The RFC used normal Army ranks and these pages, derived from the London Gazette, provide some insight:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1918/1918%20-%200008.html
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1918/1918%20-%200009.html

x
x
August 31, 2013 8:11 pm

@ TD

Yes I see it. Another word for a wedge is a chock. Surely it must be an accident of history that the Corps’ personnel aren’t known as chockheads?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 31, 2013 8:50 pm

@ Dunservin.

Very UK-centric thinking. And you mistake ancient Greek for ancient Macedonian, the language of Alexander. It’s not even possible to trans-literate the diacrits. Rest assured that there were squadrons of cavalry – as we understand them – in Alexander’s day. I’m not saying there were not also squadrons of ships back then, merely that cavalry sub-units of around 120 men capable of independent action existed.

(How recent is the Fisheries squadron? Seems Johnny come lately to the debate. And no one was mentioning escadrilles.)

I love the British naval word “flotilla“. A little fleet, from the Spanish. A little fleet of floating things, from which – after much cutting back to single ships being sent around the place – you can derive “floaty little boat”.

Only the Americans have proper ships these days, and a proper fleet. We’ve got a lashed together collection of little boats. That’s no shame on the honourable sailors in the RN, but a crying shame that as a country, we let Ministers, civil servants and the gin sozzled Navy Board get away with dreams of what could have been, while not willing to pay for it.

George
George
September 3, 2013 12:28 pm

@RT: “but a crying shame that as a country, we let Ministers, civil servants and the gin sozzled Navy Board get away with dreams of what could have been, while not willing to pay for it.”

Well said Sir!