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  1. #76
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    The Air Corps seem to use the Cessna for a lot of pilot hour building.

    A UAV is going to be pretty useless at that, and if it's fixed wing hours they need then it rules helicopters out as well.

    They also do some Para work. Again, your UAV isn't going to help you.

    If they need replacement because of age then get either A) New Cessna's B) Some other cheap to purchase and operate aircraft.

    As regards Recce work/A deployable asset, of course they're deficient - but the Air Corps would be better off getting a new type entirely and keeping the Cessna's for the more humdrum day to day work like dropping Parachutists or allowing someone to get a few hours under their belt.

  2. #77
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    hi there
    The Cessnas are poor parachute platforms at the best of times, as they can only hold 2 students and a jumpmaster or three freefallers.They are dead slow climbers and run out of puff at about 10,000 feet, which is why civilian jump schools prefer 182s or 206s and which is why the DF hires the services of Clonbulloge for a week each year.They can do more in one week that a year of begging for 172 time can deliver.In their own way, they are as worthy a buy as the Alouettes were, but they are less able to do their job as time goes on and should really be sold off and replaced with Caravans or Porters.
    regards
    GttC

  3. #78
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    Cessna Caravans doing Airborne Ground Surveillance and Reconniassance for EUFOR in Bosnia:



    Can read a car's registration from altitude, while remaining unseen and unheard. More info. at http://www.ameriforce.net/PDF/rng_wi...6_18-20-22.pdf

    For parachuting, the Cessna Caravan is said to be able to take 15 jumpers to 13,000 feet in 12 minutes. (Is that good?) And of course it does general transport. So, is this the best bet for a 172 replacement? Cessnas to replace the Cessnas?

  4. #79
    Closed Account ZULU's Avatar
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    Except the Caravan is 2 million euro? against 250,000 euro

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZULU View Post
    Except the Caravan is 2 million euro? against 250,000 euro
    There will be no need to replace them on a one-to-one basis, I don't think we will see more then 4 of the replacement aircrafts, but they will have a much increased capability, so the extra few bob will be worth it.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    hi there
    The Cessnas are poor parachute platforms at the best of times, as they can only hold 2 students and a jumpmaster or three freefallers.They are dead slow climbers and run out of puff at about 10,000 feet, which is why civilian jump schools prefer 182s or 206s and which is why the DF hires the services of Clonbulloge for a week each year.They can do more in one week that a year of begging for 172 time can deliver.In their own way, they are as worthy a buy as the Alouettes were, but they are less able to do their job as time goes on and should really be sold off and replaced with Caravans or Porters.
    regards
    GttC
    Hey GttC, I mentioned that the 172's were used as hour builders. I heard that before, but I can't quote the source or even remember where I heard it - so would you have any idea of of the breakdown in hours of their current uses?

    I.E. how much of their time is spent doing para drops, surveillance, hour building, general utility etc.

    Roughly, not looking for opsec info!

  7. #82
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    Giving pilots time in the air is not a good reason to buy more of a class of aircraft that has no other function that cannot be done better by other craft in the inventory. If that's all they're good for then charter a few private aircraft once in a while and let the boys joyride.
    UAVs beat a single seat cessna for recce, we are getting UAVs.
    Two military parachute a students in a cessna isn't a function, it's a pathetic joke.
    Pilots need time? Then spend money on a bird that provides a useful function - preferrably several - so that the pilots are getting useful time. I still vote for the Caravan. Rather 2 million well spent than 250,000 down the toilet. The Defence Forces and the Department both are going to have to get used to having bigger budgets, and increasing overseas roles. Who knows, get five of them and you could even push for the formation of an airborne company - to develop and keep the skills that might be required and expanded upon in wartime, isn't that how it goes?

  8. #83
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    Hi Pym
    Didn't someone post the breakdown of all Air corps hours flown on this site? Some tasks can be done by different aircraft, ie, the Casas, the Cessnas and the helicopters can and do drop parachutists but only the Cessna tows targets...when the pilots are building hours on the Cessnas, they are not just blindly wazzing around, knocking off hours.They're either doing cashies or other military-orientated observational duties or such duties as fish counts, bird counts, forestry surveys and so on for Govt departments.Some of the flights are minor shite like picking someone up at A and bringing them to B. The new pilots stay on Cessnas until a slot further up the food chain appears, such as a PC-9 instructorial slot or a heli or multi-engined slot appears.It's a good grounding for them as it enables them to get very familiar with the countryside at low level(ideal for heli pilots) and it matures their decision-making processes.
    regards
    GttC

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  10. #84
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    Hi there
    Apart from it's cost, the Caravan is brick-tough, easy to service and maintain, utterly reliable and, by being a turbine, uses the same Avtur fuel as the rest of the fleet and so takes Avgas out of the supply chain (which is in line with NATO's/EU's preference). they trialed them ages ago so it's only down to fudging as to why they haven't bought them before now.It's a no-brainer.
    regards
    GttC

  11. #85
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    Have to agree, The Caravan is the logical choice.

    Something close to it, at lower cost, more modern and also better shortfield operations (somewhat lower payload) is the Quest Kodiak. Possible contender?

    Easyrider,
    Interesting article. Most interested in the photos. Is the aircraft in the article the same as that in your photo or is there more then one? The reason I ask is as follows:

    Your photo shows a sensor system under the tail of the aircraft which is not in the article. It makes me wonder if the staged photo shoot utilised a non equipped aircraft or are the photos altered? Note also the lack of Reg no on the article aircraft. The article also shows a post mission photo. I would be inclined to think that the left hand screen is a SAR image, probably with GMTI overlay, its all the rage these days. If so it is likely that the sensors on this machine cost more then the machine itself. Without these it is just a big plank with eyeballs up front, 172 is just as good at that.

    Another interesting point is the parachute handles above the door, wonder what thats all about? Damn spooks never know what their up to!

  12. #86
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    If that's all they're good for then charter a few private aircraft once in a while and let the boys joyride.
    it happened in the past with the warriors. Its not beyond the bounds of reality to lease in aircraft to fill the void left betwwen basic training and operational types such as the PC9 which is a lead in trainer as opposed to a basic trainer.

    Use your four or so caravans operationally having done the primary training on a leased in aircraft.
    Just visiting

  13. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    Have to agree, The Caravan is the logical choice.

    Something close to it, at lower cost, more modern and also better shortfield operations (somewhat lower payload) is the Quest Kodiak. Possible contender?

    Easyrider,
    Interesting article. Most interested in the photos. Is the aircraft in the article the same as that in your photo or is there more then one? The reason I ask is as follows:

    Your photo shows a sensor system under the tail of the aircraft which is not in the article. It makes me wonder if the staged photo shoot utilised a non equipped aircraft or are the photos altered? Note also the lack of Reg no on the article aircraft. The article also shows a post mission photo. I would be inclined to think that the left hand screen is a SAR image, probably with GMTI overlay, its all the rage these days. If so it is likely that the sensors on this machine cost more then the machine itself. Without these it is just a big plank with eyeballs up front, 172 is just as good at that.

    Another interesting point is the parachute handles above the door, wonder what thats all about? Damn spooks never know what their up to!

    The article mentions that CAE use a number of Caravans in Bosnia, so it may be that the photos in the article and the one I posted are of different machines. Certainly 'N950BZ' is one of them, as it also features in an article about EUFOR in the current issue of Air Forces Monthly.

  14. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post
    it happened in the past with the warriors. Its not beyond the bounds of reality to lease in aircraft to fill the void left betwwen basic training and operational types such as the PC9 which is a lead in trainer as opposed to a basic trainer.

    Use your four or so caravans operationally having done the primary training on a leased in aircraft.

    That sounds sensible. Maybe they can fully get over the foreign training phobia and send pilots on exchange programmes with some of the neighbours to gain time on other interesting types.

  15. #89
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    Coincidentally, there is a full page ad. in this month's 'Flying in Ireland' for... the Cessna Caravan.

  16. #90
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    Having read the comments of the merits of the Air Corps acquiring the Cessna 208 Caravan as a replacement for the Ce172s I think readers should be aware of some of the not so favourable statistics for the Ce208.

    Certainly with nearly 1,500 produced (including 300 for Fedex) since its first flight in 1982 the type has been a commerical success. However, the Caravan has gained a rather unwanted reputation, to-date there have been 138 hull losses. A total of 286 lives have been lost in those incidents. In December 2007 alone there were 4 reported crashes. And the percentage for all occupants surviving a crash is a mere 21.3%. (source www.aviation-safetly.net)

    Now if is correct that the Air Corps have discounted the Pc-6 on the grounds of its apparent safety record, then should the Caravan not be similarly discounted?

    Grass

  17. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZULU View Post
    Except the Caravan is 2 million euro? against 250,000 euro

    2 million Euros isn't alot of money for something that will have upwards of a thirty year lifespan and will be employed in such a wide varity of roles.
    I'd also love to see the Cessna's and King Air with a common colour scheme, they should adopt the same scheme as the PC-9's, It looks abit unprofessional to have 4 or 5 colour schemes for such a small inventory.

  18. #92
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    Hi there
    The PC-6 is a superb aircraft and a lot of it's accidents, like the Caravan, relate to the fact that they are being operated from poor runways, in often bad weather, in countries with bad support infrastructure and sometimes scant maintenance.A PC-6 operated by the Don would have a much more benign life by comparison.Go to Clonbulloge, County Offaly and witness a PC-6 doing the hard job of parachute dropping every week, off a grass runway and getting field maintenance with no huge infrastructure and lots of manpower.I think Pilatus(and Clonbulloge) know a bit more about the PC-6 than the Don so if they think it'd be up to the job, then I'd take their advice.
    regards
    GttC

  19. #93
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    How about the PBN Defender?

    Already in service with GASU
    Can take a sensor suite / weapons if required
    High wings
    Twin engined
    Suitable for free fall & static line parachuting (10 + jumpmaster)
    Exceptional airframe fatigue life
    Less then one maintenance man-hour per flight hour
    Low operating cost
    Low stall speed
    Up to 8 hour endurance
    STOL from poor runways
    Cost cUS $2 million

    http://www.britten-norman.com/products/bn2t4s/

  20. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    How about the PBN Defender?
    An excellent aircraft. The BN factory is not far from me and my local Police Force use the Defender.

    One of the quietest ive heard, it passes quite low over my home on its decent into its home base at HMS Daedalus on a regular basis.
    Last edited by pmtts; 24th February 2008 at 22:20.

  21. #95
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    Hi there
    Given the grief the Don has had with the Defender's avionics, I doubt if you give them one for free.A bog-standard BN-2T would do.
    regards
    GttC

  22. #96
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    Quest Kodiak and Cessna Caravan are fantastic looking aircraft(not a fan of the PC-6-tail draggers are just plain outdated and add an unnecessary risk and different flying skills that will have no relevance on other aircraft in the fleet)

    From a pilots point of view both the Kodiak and the Caravan are a lot of plane for any low hours pilot, even if they have completed the Wings course on the PC-9. There certainly would be a lot of differences training and dual flying required before a young pilot could be let loose in one of those things. I don't think a lot of people realise that they are quite a large aircraft for single engined machines. Yes there are similarities such as both have buckets of power available, but they are not "hour builders" by any stretch of the imagination. Neither do they have the economics of the Cessna's. Don't get me wrong, I would be huge advocate of having either aircraft in the inventory(and have been earlier in this thread) for a light transport type role, but not in either of the roles of ATCP(Cash in Transit)/Observation or Hours/Experience builders.

    Why has the switch to turbine power been so strongly mooted? Commonality, yes but at the price of a loss of some of the roles a slower aircraft like the Cessna can do at operating costs, which in aircraft terms amount to buttons. Is it that important to have an all turboprop fleet? One of the most important things in the development of a pilot is getting out there on your own and developing confidence in your own ability. I doubt this would be possible with either of the Kodiak or the Caravan (or heaven forbid the PC-6), until the pilot has amassed 500-600 hours at the MINIMUM. No pilot would or may I add should be sent solo in that type of aircraft until they have at least that many hours. People will say "If they can solo in the PC-9 then surely they can easily handle a Caravan ". Wrong. Why? They dont have the get out of jail free card that is the Martin Baker armchair under their backsides.

    I know I might have my head bitten off for even suggesting this but I think something like the GA8 Airvan is tailor made to replace the Cessnas. Yes it has a Lycoming up front. But its got 300 thoroughbreds pulling you along and it can seat 1 pilot and 7pax, or with the seats removed can accommodate 8 skydivers, or an 800kg useful load(subtract the fuel carried to get the payload). Considering it burns just 13 gallons an hour, thats quite an economic aircraft for something in that size category. Size wise it's fills the gap between the Cessna 206 and 208. Good slow speed characteristics-a nice thing to have for the observation work it would be involved in.
    I'll be lucky enough to fly one in less than a month so I'll report back and let you know what it's like.


    Photo courtesy of Nathan Havercroft www.airliners.net
    Last edited by Jetjock; 29th February 2008 at 15:55.

  23. #97
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    Very nice aircraft. Here's one used by the Iraqi Air Force for surveillance and reconnaissance.

    http://bp1.blogger.com/_P40mRVMRjWo/...h/DSC00086.JPG
    Last edited by Fireplace; 29th February 2008 at 17:39.
    You will never have a quiet world until you knock the patriotism out of the human race

  24. #98
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    Hi there
    I have and it's excellent.Lots of very user-friendly features, well-built, big sliding door for the meat bombs, a few design quirks but overall, it's a delight to fly and well worth the public euro.
    regards
    GttC

  25. #99
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    The AC need a twin engined aircraft to replace the Cessna for safety (Special Report on the AC & NS)

  26. #100
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    Is the text of that report available online? The twin engine option was first suggested by PWC, a long time ago now.
    Cant see any real evidence to the safety aspect? The Air Corps never lost anyone to engine failure in the Cessnas. Over almost 38 years of operations.
    Co-incidentally, to dispel a common misconception, you do not need a twin engined aircraft to operate IFR in this country. There are numerous single engined aircraft in this country that operate IFR all the time. The only time you will need two engines to operate an aircraft in IFR is when they are being used for charter/public transport operations. Privately owned/Military aircraft are exceptions.
    Twin is overkill in my opinion.Two engines..twice the maintenance. Safety? In a lot of aircraft, as they say "the second engine is just there to bring you to the scene of the crash".There's nothing suitable below the size of the Defender, and thats not something that you throw the keys to a newbie and say "off with you". Twin engined flight requires a much higher level of skill than single engine operations. Even light twins such as the Piper Seneca or Beech Duchess. You can forget the ATCP role with it as well, unless you equip it with a basic sensor suite. Why? It has a much bigger turn radius and therefore would need to fly at a higher altitude to maintain visual with the CIT convoy. Sensor suites cost money. You might end up with a budget for one aircraft instead of like for like replacement. The Rockets are a bog standard military plane. Definitely not Gucci. They perform a role and they perform it well. Why replace something that works with a different category of aircraft? You'll gain some in terms payload but you'll lose more in terms of the flexibility and economics of what we already have. Something simple, reliable, good value, difficult to break is what is needed. An enhanced Cessna. The Airvan definitely fits that category. It's like a Cessna 172 on steroids.
    Last edited by Jetjock; 29th February 2008 at 19:30.

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