Search planes to be replaced in 2014

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teacher
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Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by teacher » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:14 pm

So what engines are being used to replace the current ones?

Antique search planes to be replaced in 2014; critics call them Tories' Sea Kings

By Murray Brewster, THE CANADIAN PRESS


OTTAWA - Canada's geriatric fleet of fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, originally ordered replaced five years ago, will have to keep flying until at least 2014 and possibly longer, federal budget documents have revealed.

The air force has been struggling to keep its 40-year-old, twin-engine Buffalos in the air along the West Coast, where their slow speed makes them ideal for searching mountain ranges.

Opposition critics say the unacceptable delay in replacing the six aircraft - which face frequent downtime because of a looming shortage of spare parts - makes a mockery the Conservative government's self-titled Canada First defence strategy.

"It's laughable," said New Democrat defence critic Dawn Black, a British Columbia MP.

"Search and rescue is becoming the orphan-child of the Canadian Forces in terms of equipment."

The air force relies on both the Buffalo and an aging flight of C-130 Hercules cargo planes for fixed-wing search. In addition, there 14 CH-149 Cormorant helicopters, which have had a spotty in-service record because of a shortage of spare parts.

Black said the Conservatives' procrastination over the Buffalo has started to look a lot like the former Liberal government's decade-long puttering replacement program for Sea King helicopters.

"They are just so preoccupied with the war in Afghanistan that nothing else really registers," said Black, whose party was adamantly opposed to the extension of the Afghan mission.

The Defence Department's report on plans and priorities for the new budget year says the Buffalo replacement project will only proceed into its definition phase this year, with the delivery of new aircraft not expected until 2014-15.

The new chief of air staff, Lt.-Gen. Angus Watt, said at his swearing-in ceremony last summer that a proposal for new fixed-wing search planes would go before the federal cabinet "soon."

The air force had done contingency planning to keep the Buffalos flying until 2015, but officials said last fall that no firm decision had been made because there was concern about a dwindling supply of spare parts.

In order to carry on until then, air staff planners said they would have to purchase retired Brazilian air force Buffalos to cannibalize.

The Conservatives promised in the last election campaign to replace the Buffalos with 15 brand-new aircraft. The pledge came one year after the former Liberal government announced it was spending $3 billion to buy new search planes - a promise that couldn't be fulfilled before the defeat of Paul Martin's government.

One of the aircraft-makers that has been waiting five years for the replacement project to get under way says Canadian aerospace companies could end up being hurt by a prolonged delay.

Aleina North America, a subsidiary of Italian-owned Alenia Aeronautica, has been trying to convince the Defence Department to look at its C-27J Spartan.

The company recently won a major contract with the Pentagon, and president Giuseppe Giordo said they have been talking with potential Canadian part suppliers.

"The program has already been delayed so long," Giordo said in an interview.

"The Canadian government has obviously decided to proceed with more pressing programs, related to Afghanistan, such as the C-17 (heavy-lift planes) and the C-130-J (medium-lift aircraft). But clearly one day or another the Canadian government will have to take care of its domestic needs."

Giordo said the current fleet is old and he wonders whether it can hold on until 2014-15.

The air force is proceeding with a life-extension program on the Buffalos that is expected to cost around $75 million. The work will focus on replacing the engines, strengthening the airframes and replacing the landing gear.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2008 ... 75276.html
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by mighty mouse » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:18 pm

Why cant those big yellow fire bombers pull double duty and do S&R on the side, I'm sure they are slow enough, just put in some windows.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by Chuck Ellsworth » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:27 pm

Yeh, and they can land in the water more often than a Buffalo. :mrgreen:
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by Changes in Latitudes » Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:48 pm

. . wrote:Yeh, and they can land in the water more often than a Buffalo. :mrgreen:
Depends if its a straight buffalo or a water buffalo...here all week folks :?
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by North Shore » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:15 pm

Why cant those big yellow fire bombers pull double duty and do S&R on the side, I'm sure they are slow enough, just put in some windows.
Cause the 215 version is almost as old as the buffs, and probably just as maintenance intensive, and the 415 is 18 months away if you put the money down tomorrow, but you'll have to wait behind whoever else (Thailand, France, Quebec etc...) is on the waiting list ahead of you..
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by 200hr Wonder » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:24 pm

Is there a door capable of dumping out a SAR tech if needed? What is the loiter/search time of the 415? Being an amphib might help though.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by sky's the limit » Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:29 pm

Changes in Latitudes wrote:
. . wrote:Yeh, and they can land in the water more often than a Buffalo. :mrgreen:
Depends if its a straight buffalo or a water buffalo...here all week folks :?


:smt038
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by C-FABH » Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:29 pm

I guess, according to this article, we should all vote NDP if we want our military assets upgraded :mrgreen:
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by CLguy » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:06 am

Is there a door capable of dumping out a SAR tech if needed?
Yes

Loiter for the 415 could be 4+ hours. Of course would all depend on the distance from airport to scene and return plus fuel burn while loitering. Once over the scene with 10 flap and power back fuel burn would be way down.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by Brantford Beech Boy » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:03 am

Viking has the stuff to make new Buffalos. (Maybe even Water Buffalos !? :lol: CIL)
Why not just get new versions of tried and true products made right here in Canada? Then we're good for another 40 years.

Hell, why not some new Twotters?

just a thought....

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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by Blakey » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:11 am

200hr Wonder wrote:Is there a door capable of dumping out a SAR tech if needed? What is the loiter/search time of the 415? Being an amphib might help though.
You need to check out the aircraft the Buffalo replaced!

http://www.rcaf.com/aircraft/patrol/albatross/index.php
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by teacher » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:13 am

I was under the impression that the replacement for the Twin Otters and Buffalos was gonna be a single air frame hence the 15 aircraft order and the fight between the C-27 and the C222. I've always wondered about using 415s however with no ramp to load pallets how useful in other roles would it be? I'm sure the CF wants to replace 2 frames with 1 to save training and spares costs.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by Alex YCV » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:46 am

teacher wrote: I'm sure the CF wants to replace 2 frames with 1 to save training and spares costs.
:lol:

You just suggested a government program and saving in the same sentence. Are you here all week too?
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by SAR_YQQ » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:09 pm

FWSAR repalcement must have VNE of 325KIAS. (There goes the 415)

Contrary to this article - we are not throwing $75 MCAD at the Buff - no new engines, props in the future (just yet). We are throwing under $1 MCAD at all 6 airframes updating the electronics (quasi glass panels, etc).
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by ch135146 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:23 pm

SAR_YQQ,

Thanks for the info.

Code: Select all

Why not just get new versions of tried and true products made right here in Canada? Then we're good for another 40 years.
I love the machine, but even back in '85-92, when I flew them, though there might be 3, 4, or 5 in the hangar, we might have none available to fly due to major snags.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by BigWillyStyle » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:55 pm

NDP criticizing the government for not spending enough on the military? What a laugh. It's because of billions being blown on warm and fuzzy social programs that the NDP like that we don't have the money for a Buffalo replacement. If the NDP was the government, we wouldn't HAVE a military, because we all love each other right?

Give me a break.

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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by J31 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:41 pm

SAR_YQQ wrote:FWSAR repalcement must have VNE of 325KIAS.
I'm sure the Buff does not have a VNE that high! Why that requirement?
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by SAR_YQQ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:01 am

Nope - Buff Vne is 227kias -

SOR for FWSAR replacement is for a platform capable of dashing to the scene, conducting the rescue and saving the day - all in a certain amount of time.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by WJflyer » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:21 am

The Buffs are getting increasingly difficult to service; many of the parts manufacturers have either gone out of business or stopped making the parts long ago. As such, aircraft availability is down; only a fraction of the Buffalo fleet is available for duties, if I remember correctly due to want of parts. The current option is to rebuild the birds, replacing everything that is no longer made with newer parts. The airframes are remarkably durable; being unpressurized helps in this regard. The issue is spare parts. A total rebuild to replace outdated and no longer made components will solve the spare parts issue and allow the Buffs to fly for another decade or more.

There is only 1 manufacturer that meets the FWSAR specifications as they currently are, and I'll leave you with imagination who it is. That option also is more attractive due to a very close and large supply chain that is being built. However, here in Canada, the procurement process is so broken due to endless bureaucracy, red tape, and political interference, we can't buy anything within a reasonable timeframe...
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by mellow_pilot » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:12 pm

teacher wrote:I was under the impression that the replacement for the Twin Otters and Buffalos was gonna be a single air frame hence the 15 aircraft order and the fight between the C-27 and the C222. I've always wondered about using 415s however with no ramp to load pallets how useful in other roles would it be? I'm sure the CF wants to replace 2 frames with 1 to save training and spares costs.
Not quite,

FWSAR is to replace Buff and Hercs. Hence the 15. The twotter replacement is separate, however, several people (including one of the companies competing for FWSAR) have suggested buying a couple extra airframes on the FWSAR account to get it all in one shot.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by canwhitewolf » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:42 pm

Blakey wrote:
200hr Wonder wrote:Is there a door capable of dumping out a SAR tech if needed? What is the loiter/search time of the 415? Being an amphib might help though.
You need to check out the aircraft the Buffalo replaced!

http://www.rcaf.com/aircraft/patrol/albatross/index.php
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love to have one of those for my own private use, good plane
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by jspitfire » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:21 pm

Just wondering how this extreme parts shortage affects the commerical operator of the Buffalo, Arctic Sunwest. Their Buffalo's seem to do a lot of flying up here.

Just seems odd that the military, with its government funding, can't keep them flying, but yet a commercial operator can actually make a profit flying them.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by AuxBatOn » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:28 pm

jspitfire wrote:Just wondering how this extreme parts shortage affects the commerical operator of the Buffalo, Arctic Sunwest. Their Buffalo's seem to do a lot of flying up here.

Just seems odd that the military, with its government funding, can't keep them flying, but yet a commercial operator can actually make a profit flying them.
Maybe because the military isn't paid for the services they provide? It's government funder, remember ;)

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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by no name » Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:17 am

Somewhat related to the parts/lack of techs issue....

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/new ... a6706d3224

Air force needs $540M to keep flying
Pay up or planes stay down -- flying hours will be cut drastically, general warns

David Pugliese
The Ottawa Citizen


Thursday, April 17, 2008


The head of Canada's air force is warning that he will have to ground aircraft and reduce the flying time for other planes if he doesn't receive several hundred million dollars in additional funding for spare parts, repair work and fuel.

As many as 15 CF-18s would need to be grounded, along with four Hercules transport planes, four Aurora patrol aircraft and six Sea King helicopters because of a lack of money for parts, repair and overhaul, according to a strategic assessment produced by the air force.

Mounting fuel costs and lack of money to build hangars and other infrastructure for new planes being delivered is also putting a strain on the air force budget, warns the chief of the air staff, Lt.-Gen. Angus Watt.

The concerns are outlined in the general's strategic assessment for 2008-09, which has been leaked to the Citizen. The document and accompanying records, notes the general, provide a good summary of the pressures and risks that the air force faces in the future.

The report outlines what the air force needs to do its job, estimating an extra $540 million is needed.

Lt.-Gen. Watt was not available for an interview and air force officials could not comment.

A defence source said the air force has received $97 million to address the concerns raised by the service.

That new funding should take some of the immediate pressure off the air force, but retired officers say it won't make long-term problems go away and aircraft could still be grounded or have their flying hours reduced.

According to the assessment, the air force needs $209 million in new money for national procurement to pay for spare parts and repair and maintain aircraft fleets. "This gap, if not substantially addressed, will result in a serious loss of capability across the air force," the assessment warns. "A funding gap of this magnitude will accelerate the rate at which individual aircraft and fleets are required to be grounded and retired and will result in significant (flying) reductions, while potentially affecting civilian aircraft maintenance industries through corresponding layoffs."

An additional $110 million for spare parts and maintenance is needed just to meet the most critical shortfalls and deal with the bare minimum operational requirements, the assessment points out. But even with the minimum cash infusion of $110 million, the assessment points out that "there will remain significant operational impacts, as well as the requirement to defer work and postpone addressing some airworthiness issues. This will create a bow wave of increased costs, reduced aircraft availability, and outstanding work that will remain to be funded and completed in the future."

Serving and retired air force officers say while the Harper government has provided the cash to buy new aircraft, such as C-17 and C-130J transport planes, it has not provided enough money to maintain the service's other fleets such as CF-18 fighter jets, Aurora patrol planes, older C-130 Hercules transports and Sea King helicopters.

The lack of money to house the air force's new planes is also a problem. The government approved the purchase of four of the giant C-17 strategic transport aircraft, but there was not enough money set aside to house the aircraft and those funds will have to come from existing budgets. The same problem affects the new C-130J transport aircraft, which are expected to arrive within the next three years.

The air force estimates that new buildings to support the new aircraft fleets at Canadian Forces Base Trenton will cost $600 million over the next five years. Some of that money has been set aside from the Defence Department's procurement budget, but the bulk of it is to come from the air force.

The air force will also be required to contribute $45 million to a $176-million infrastructure plan for Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, N.S.

Some savings, however, will come from the air force's plan to cut its number of Griffon helicopters from 85 to 64 by 2010-11. Flying hours for Aurora maritime patrol planes will also be scaled back so the aircraft can go through maintenance procedures that will allow them to keep flying until 2016.

Besides the lack of money to operate aircraft, Lt.-Gen. Watt points out that he is dealing with a shrinking workforce for his organization, which requires highly-skilled technicians.

The strategic assessment notes the air force never recovered from the personnel cutbacks ordered by the Chrétien government in the mid-1990s. At the same time, the problem is made worse by the ongoing number of missions and the need to free up staff for work on transforming the military for the future.

Air technicians make up 40 per cent of the air force and the average age of those workers is 42. But 70 per cent of them are close to early or regular retirement.

"At the same time, the (air force) is experiencing significant attrition; the prospering economy and the ever-increasing burdens imposed on a limited pool of personnel draining away the very people that the AF requires to succeed in its mission," the assessment adds.

It recommends the Defence Department adopt more flexible hiring practices.

In the last several years, Liberal and Conservative governments have pumped billions of extra dollars into the defence budget, but military analysts have argued that is not enough and billions more are needed.
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by Kosiw » Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:07 am

Has the military ever considered replacing their old -300 twotters for the new build -400 Viking version?

Not sure if a C-295 or C27 Spartan can handle getting into the real small strips or off strip, like a twotter can :roll:
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