Airbus A321 (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
Scimitar54
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Scimitar54 »

AFAIAC, to be correct, the “Jack” should be worn at the Nose, rather than at the Tail. :mrgreen:

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SKB
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SKB »

On aircraft and airliner livery, the canton (top left corner) of a flag should be at the nose, with the forward side of a flag on the the port (left) side of the plane.

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

Another indication these are going to be contractor operated, not RAF.

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news ... government

UK's Titan Airways to operate A321neo for the government

Titan Airways (ZT, London Stansted) is set to operate its first A321-200NX(LR) on behalf of the British government. The Airbus narrowbody has already been painted with a livery resembling Royal Air Force's VIP-configurable A330-200(MRTT).

G-XATW (msn 10150) was delivered to the British charter specialist in October 2020 but has never been deployed into revenue service so far. Following a brief period of storage at London Stansted, Titan ferried the aircraft to Bordeaux for cabin outfitting on November 15, 2020. It returned to the UK - first to Norwich for repainting and then to Stansted, where it remains - in March 2021. According to the ch-aviation fleets ownership module, the A321neo is owned by Air Lease Corporation. It was initially earmarked for operations under a long-term charter agreement with ultra-luxury tour operator TCS World Travel, which plans to operate the first round-the-world post-COVID itinerary in October 2021.

It is unclear if the aircraft will be exclusively operated for the government or also be available for Titan Airways' in-house charter flights when not needed for official duties. The carrier did not respond to ch-aviation's query in that regard.

The UK's current VIP aircraft, ZZ336 (msn 1363), plays the role of both a government transport and a multi-role tanker for the RAF.

Titan Airways is expecting the delivery of its second A321-200NX(LR) shortly.

The British government also has access to two passenger-configured BAe 146-100s. The quadjets are operated by the 32 (Royal) Squadron, which caters to the transport needs of the royal family and the elected officials. The aircraft are scheduled for retirement by the end of March 2022.

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »



Carrying Boris to Teesside last week. Civil registration, contractor operated. Not RAF.

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Jensy
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

RichardIC wrote:

Carrying Boris to Teesside last week. Civil registration, contractor operated. Not RAF.
Apparently flown to Jakarta today, following a stop in Dubai.

Makes one wonder what future, if any, Vespina has outside of conflict zones or other high risk VVIP travel.

SW1
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

Taking the foreign secretary out it would appear

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fore ... ooperation

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Tempest414
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Tempest414 »

This is in no way new Titan use to move HMG people around before in the 737 BBJ and also had the Falklands service contact with the 767 the only thing now is the plane is painted up

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

Tempest414 wrote:This is in no way new Titan use to move HMG people around before in the 737 BBJ and also had the Falklands service contact with the 767 the only thing now is the plane is painted up
HMG have used spot charters with lots of different airliners. They've also contracted out regular milk runs as you say.

But we don't know the terms of this contract, whether it's for exclusive UK governmental use, and for what period of time - so this isn't business as usual, move along now, nothing to see here.

The fact that branding has been applied is significant. It's not just a paintjob.

I suspect there will be a flurry of Parliamentary questions needing answers following the recess.

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Tempest414
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Tempest414 »

Give me a day or two and will see if any of the Titan pilots I know will speak

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Tempest414
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Tempest414 »

Had word back and it is lips shut at this time don't talk about it

I will try another way one of my Ex's step dad was the chief engineer at Titan and still sees Gene Willson

bozza72
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by bozza72 »

Any updates on this topic ?? Id love to know what extras this has been fitted with and to see pics from inside.
Thanks

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Tempest414
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Tempest414 »

No it is a firmly shut door no one wants to talk about it but it is safe to say that some in HMG are looking forward to many expenses paid trips overseas

bozza72
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by bozza72 »

G-GBNI Is getting fitted out in Bordeaux right now too.
https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/g-gbni

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

bozza72 wrote: G-GBNI
the call sign a nice 'poke' in Macron's eye (ref. G7)
the official name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,
especially as
bozza72 wrote:in Bordeaux right now too
the mentioned location also used to be part of the same (predecessor) kingdom
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »



Excellent thread on how the Government has paid £75 million to a travel agent in Bradford to provide what is effectively a private jet for Boris Johnson.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

RichardIC wrote:

Excellent thread on how the Government has paid £75 million to a travel agent in Bradford to provide what is effectively a private jet for Boris Johnson.
The U.K. need a VIP transport aircraft fleet. It’s how ministers and others travel round the place. The a321 took the foreign sec to Indonesia via the Mid East earlier this year. They’ve essentially replaced the bae 146s with a. Single a321.

Can’t think of another major country in the world that doesn’t provide secure transport for ministers and heads of state. I think German has near a dozen aircraft from global expresses all the way up to multiple a350s for example. Are you suggesting we don’t?

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

SW1 wrote:Can’t think of another major country in the world that doesn’t provide secure transport for ministers and heads of state. I think German has near a dozen aircraft from global expresses all the way up to multiple a350s for example.
Of course the UK needs secure Governmental transport. It’s the underhand methadology. Have you read the thread?

This is not an RAF aircraft. I certainly wouldn’t care if it were.

But this is a civilian aircraft operated by a charter airline, from a regional airport, via a financial agreement with a travel agent in Bradford which the Cabinet Office then deny any knowledge of. It’s the lack of accountability.

The reason that’s important is because other countries do it properly and this is prime BoJo underhand double dealing. He wanted a new jet, he wanted it now, screw the RAF, screw the British taxpayer.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

RichardIC wrote:
SW1 wrote:Can’t think of another major country in the world that doesn’t provide secure transport for ministers and heads of state. I think German has near a dozen aircraft from global expresses all the way up to multiple a350s for example.
Of course the UK needs secure Governmental transport. It’s the underhand methadology. Have you read the thread?

This is not an RAF aircraft. I certainly wouldn’t care if it were.

But this is a civilian aircraft operated by a charter airline, from a regional airport, via a financial agreement with a travel agent in Bradford which the Cabinet Office then deny any knowledge of. It’s the lack of accountability.

The reason that’s important is because other countries do it properly and this is prime BoJo underhand double dealing. He wanted a new jet, he wanted it now, screw the RAF, screw the British taxpayer.
I’ve read the thread. It is a civilian a/c but then budgets are tight and they weren’t willing to buy one. Because then it would headlines of bojo buying jets for himself.

The need for it because the bae146 should of gone a while ago and no doubt prices were probably lower last year as they have done a pretty good job of shafting the entire U.K. aviation industry this past year and half.

Lord Jim
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Yes the RAF used to operate quite a few aircraft that could be used by Government Ministers, though in the past they often liked to charter an aircraft from British Airways, especially for long haul.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

RichardIC wrote:
Excellent thread on how the Government has paid £75 million to a travel agent in Bradford to provide what is effectively a private jet for Boris Johnson.
Are you seriously suggesting this aircraft has been bought so that Boris can go on vacations? No doubt to his national flagship yacht moored off Monte Carlo?

Recommend strongly that you stop reading the Guardian and listening to Diane Abbott. Both are dangerous to your mental health :D

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

Ron5 wrote:Are you seriously suggesting this aircraft has been bought so that Boris can go on vacations? No doubt to his national flagship yacht moored off Monte Carlo?

Recommend strongly that you stop reading the Guardian and listening to Diane Abbott.
Mods, is there any way we can get a Mute function just for Ron?
SW1 wrote:I’ve read the thread. It is a civilian a/c but then budgets are tight and they weren’t willing to buy one. Because then it would headlines of bojo buying jets for himself.

The need for it because the bae146 should of gone a while ago and no doubt prices were probably lower last year as they have done a pretty good job of shafting the entire U.K. aviation industry this past year and half.
I've got no objection to the MoD leasing aircraft for RAF VIP use if it's part of a long-term plan. But that isn't what this is. This is £75 million for a two year lease so budget tightness seemingly not an issue here. And it's so expensive because there was a middle man introduced (the Bradford travel agent) to make the procurement as opaque as possible, then there's also the charter airline that needs to make a profit.

And it includes the Boris paintjob. Applying it and presumably removing it at the end of the lease.

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Jensy
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

SW1 wrote:They’ve essentially replaced the bae 146s with a. Single a321.
So far at least: https://www.jetphotos.com/info/A32X-10238

A second aircraft is going to be needed if Titan is expected to provide continuous availability.

Confusingly some OSINT resources refer to G-GBNI as being an RAF aircraft. Which I suppose is due to the lack of a suitable state owned entity to take ownership of a wet lease.

'RAF Airlines':
https://www.planespotters.net/airframe/ ... ays/r1pq06
https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/g-gbni

Amidst the wilful obfuscation that this government loves, my main curiosity has been: why lease at brand new prices when the global airliner market is awash with nearly new and unwanted stock (good enough for our E-7 fleet)?

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

Jensy wrote:
SW1 wrote:They’ve essentially replaced the bae 146s with a. Single a321.
So far at least: https://www.jetphotos.com/info/A32X-10238

A second aircraft is going to be needed if Titan is expected to provide continuous availability.

Confusingly some OSINT resources refer to G-GBNI as being an RAF aircraft. Which I suppose is due to the lack of a suitable state owned entity to take ownership of a wet lease.

Amidst the willful obfuscation that this government loves, my main curiousity has been: why lease at brand new prices when the global airliner market is awash with nearly new and unwanted stock (good enough for our E-7 fleet)?
They are more awash with wide body aircraft than narrow. Also Airbus narrow bodies more in demand than b737 due to the max disasters. Also you don’t buy Boeing to ferry round UK ministers when they zero uk aerospace content.

The aircraft was available so leased appears to to have the sat com upgrade available on the aircraft depicted by the ray dome fwd of the vertical tail.

The lease said about the e7 debacle the better.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

RichardIC wrote:
Ron5 wrote:Are you seriously suggesting this aircraft has been bought so that Boris can go on vacations? No doubt to his national flagship yacht moored off Monte Carlo?

Recommend strongly that you stop reading the Guardian and listening to Diane Abbott.
Mods, is there any way we can get a Mute function just for Ron?
SW1 wrote:I’ve read the thread. It is a civilian a/c but then budgets are tight and they weren’t willing to buy one. Because then it would headlines of bojo buying jets for himself.

The need for it because the bae146 should of gone a while ago and no doubt prices were probably lower last year as they have done a pretty good job of shafting the entire U.K. aviation industry this past year and half.
I've got no objection to the MoD leasing aircraft for RAF VIP use if it's part of a long-term plan. But that isn't what this is. This is £75 million for a two year lease so budget tightness seemingly not an issue here. And it's so expensive because there was a middle man introduced (the Bradford travel agent) to make the procurement as opaque as possible, then there's also the charter airline that needs to make a profit.

And it includes the Boris paintjob. Applying it and presumably removing it at the end of the lease.
Aircraft are always repainted at end of lease when going to a different customer. Cost of bringing them into uk service would be much more expensive.

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