Friday, May 13, 2011

Tanker troubles

I'm looking at photos on the Flight Global web site of a British A330-200 Voyager tanker doing ground receiver clearance testing with a RAF Tornado GR.4 at Boscombe Down. Craig Hoyle's story says the RAF aircraft should be operational in November. Meanwhile, Australia's KC-30A variant of the same aircraft - identical, except for the in-flight refuelling boom - hasn't been handed over yet in spite of the fact it has been in flight test for years and supposedly has achieved European civil and Spanish military type certification.

The cause of the delay in the Australian program is attributed by officialdom to certification and paper work issues. Sounds about right - apparently the Spanish military certification process hasn't been too crash-hot, but Australian officialdom is fast becoming a by-word for mind-buggeringly slow processes and pigheaded adherence to process, with scant regard for outcomes.

If the Brits get their tankers into operational service before we do I shall spit.

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