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 »

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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Last edited by teacher on Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mighty mouse
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Re: Search planes to be replaced in 2014

Post by mighty mouse »

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 »

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 »

. . 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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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