AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

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Timmymagic
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Timmymagic »

RichardIC wrote:So it looks like Wildcat is going to form part of the QLZ's airgroup when she deploys next year.
Pretty sure they mean it will be onboard an escorting vessel. Don't think there are any plans to actually keep Wildcat aboard the QE Class.

Interesting Leonardo Wildcat/Sea Venom video just released showing the engagement procedure for Sea Venom, and some video of a launch.


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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Timmymagic wrote:Don't think there are any plans to actually keep Wildcat aboard the QE Class.
What is the practice with the "guard" helicopter, launched to be ready for quick reaction should any 'ditching' occur?
- for the cost over many years Wildcat would be by far cheaper than a Merlin
- if it's launched from an escort, the interference with deck ops would be less
- there must be some specialist kit, to get the divers in and the other folks hoisted up? So the escort with that 'type of' Wildcat would become semi-permanently tied to the carrier... and the one-and-only would not always be available

Surely there is a standing procedure (by now) ?
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Scimitar54 »

Should be 2 x Guard HELOs, unless you think that it would be ok to abandon flight operations altogether if your only Guard HELO was incapacitated for any reason. :mrgreen:

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

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Scimitar54 wrote: unless you think that it would be ok to abandon flight operations altogether if your only Guard HELO was incapacitated for any reason
I can see that you can read between the lines... what I don't think :D . Carry on jogging, all good fun
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Timmymagic
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Timmymagic »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:What is the practice with the "guard" helicopter, launched to be ready for quick reaction should any 'ditching' occur?
- for the cost over many years Wildcat would be by far cheaper than a Merlin
- if it's launched from an escort, the interference with deck ops would be less
- there must be some specialist kit, to get the divers in and the other folks hoisted up? So the escort with that 'type of' Wildcat would become semi-permanently tied to the carrier... and the one-and-only would not always be available
Merlin seems to be the preferred plane guard helo, hopefully more often than not it would be the HC.4.

I've long advocated a cheaper, QE only solution for plane guard. A EC135 with hoist and flir turret, or an A109 if we have to go Leonardo. Over 20 years it would pay for itself. If an EC135 was used the majority of Merlin crew would actually be already qualified on it...and its already in use.

You could even make a case for some Aw139M onboard. Just a FLIR turret, hoist and thats it. Plane Guard, HDS and Vertrep could all be covered and save precious, and very expensive hours on the Merlin and Wildcat fleet.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Timmymagic wrote:Over 20 years it would pay for itself
+
Timmymagic wrote: Plane Guard, HDS and Vertrep could all be covered and save precious, and very expensive hours on the Merlin and Wildcat fleet.
Yep... all that remains is for the army to make its half of Wildcat fleet precious, too
- lots of suggestions have appeared on these pages
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)

Timmymagic
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Timmymagic »

Decent picture of Wildcat launching Martlet.

Image

And a bonus...have a look at the grey painted Wildcat (a mocked up naval Lynx 3 from 1984..)
https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/model/West ... k%20upxBCx

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by serge750 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:Don't think there are any plans to actually keep Wildcat aboard the QE Class.
What is the practice with the "guard" helicopter, launched to be ready for quick reaction should any 'ditching' occur?
- for the cost over many years Wildcat would be by far cheaper than a Merlin
- if it's launched from an escort, the interference with deck ops would be less
- there must be some specialist kit, to get the divers in and the other folks hoisted up? So the escort with that 'type of' Wildcat would become semi-permanently tied to the carrier... and the one-and-only would not always be available

Surely there is a standing procedure (by now) ?
I think the T45 can carry 2 wildcats? I wonder how busy the wildcats on a T45 get when they are with the carrier ?

Could it be that carrying another lot of spares on the carrier for plane guard helicopters would be more expensive than having Merlins do plane guard duties?

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Scimitar54 »

Better order some extra Merlins then! :mrgreen:

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Lord Jim
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Lord Jim »

Does the Wildcat have a Rescue Hoist?

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

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Lord Jim wrote:Does the Wildcat have a Rescue Hoist?
Yes. It's fitted as required over the Starboard door opening.
serge750 wrote:Could it be that carrying another lot of spares on the carrier for plane guard helicopters would be more expensive than having Merlins do plane guard duties?
One thing we're not short of is space on the QE Class, you wouldnt have to carry a huge number of spares. Carry 2 helo's and at most an ISO of spares. If the worst came to the worse and the helos went u/s you could always just task a Merlin or Wildcat. Spares availability of a helo like the A109 or EC135 is dramatically easier than Wildcat or Merlin.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

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And don’t forget that the escorting T45s will in all likelihood be carrying the spares for their “borrowed” Wildcats anyway. :mrgreen:

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Dahedd »

For a pure plane guard chopper they should have kept a few Sea Kings or Naval Lynx. Why waste either a Wildcat or Merlin In that role. The French use a positively ancient Alouette chopper don't they?

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Lord Jim
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Lord Jim »

Not anymore, they have some rather nice new Airbus helos and I am sure Xav has a video on the unit that operates them somewhere on here.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Timmymagic »

Lord Jim wrote:Not anymore, they have some rather nice new Airbus helos and I am sure Xav has a video on the unit that operates them somewhere on here.
Alouette III is out, but they're using AS365F Dauphin at the moment (which are also ancient). They'll cover the role until the H160 arrives in 2025+.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by serge750 »

Haven't we got a few wasps in museums we could use :D seriously though, it does seem a bit of overkill to use a merlin do it as there are so few airframes avaliable.

Thinking about it, is there not a dedicated few Merlins to rescue downed pilots inland & are they the same crews ?

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whitelancer
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by whitelancer »

Are plane guards a thing these days?
If so is a dedicated platform required?
Does it need to be airborne during flight operations?
Would deck alert be ok?

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Scimitar54 »

Perhaps there are 4 x Wessex that could be made to fly again! :mrgreen:

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RichardIC
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by RichardIC »

whitelancer wrote:Are plane guards a thing these days?
If so is a dedicated platform required?
Does it need to be airborne during flight operations?
Would deck alert be ok?
The RN is looking at experimenting with quadcopter drones - potentially much, much cheaper.

Gabi Tweeted a link to a PIN contract notice a few months ago but I don't have time to look for it currently.

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RichardIC
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by RichardIC »

Then I found this in 20 seconds. I don't think it's exactly what Gab Tweeted but certainly similar.

https://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTIC ... HTML&src=0

https://des.mod.uk/des-investigate-tech ... potential/

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

RichardIC wrote:quadcopter drones - potentially much, much cheaper.
We could buy them off Amazon (they wouldn't be the the middleman, but the principal party).
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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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by abc123 »

RichardIC wrote:
whitelancer wrote:Are plane guards a thing these days?
If so is a dedicated platform required?
Does it need to be airborne during flight operations?
Would deck alert be ok?
The RN is looking at experimenting with quadcopter drones - potentially much, much cheaper.

Gabi Tweeted a link to a PIN contract notice a few months ago but I don't have time to look for it currently.
:?
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What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Timmymagic »

whitelancer wrote:Are plane guards a thing these days?
If so is a dedicated platform required?
Does it need to be airborne during flight operations?
Would deck alert be ok?
- Yes, still a thing. The French and US seem to think so.
- A dedicated platform makes sense as you can leave your very expensive ASW helo's on their own missions. Merlin and Wildcat cost per hour are huge. A SAR helo only needs a FLIR, searchlight, 2 engines and a rescue hoist. An EC-135 (or the military EC635) makes sense as its dirt cheap to operate, spares are available everywhere, single pilot operation etc. Cost per flight hour would pay for itself over a period of years, with the added benefit of practically all UK military pilots are already qualified to fly it.
- It would need to be airborne during flight ops, deck alert wouldn't work that well as you'd need to spot the helicopter prior to take-off if you were operating F-35, that would add vital minutes to any launch. The good news is that often you need to have aircraft up anyway in order to maintain pilot flight hours, schedule pilots onto plane guard for that purpose and you're not going to be paying much more. Plus if you need to do a personnel transfer having a cheap helo around is always handy (although the bigger EC645 would make
RichardIC wrote:The RN is looking at experimenting with quadcopter drones - potentially much, much cheaper.
Not as daft as it sounds. Half the battle in Search and Rescue is getting eyes on the casualty and keeping them on. If it can dispense life saving gear as well it could be a good solution..but its aimed at Man Over Board more than an air crash.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by abc123 »

Timmymagic wrote: Not as daft as it sounds. Half the battle in Search and Rescue is getting eyes on the casualty and keeping them on. If it can dispense life saving gear as well it could be a good solution..but its aimed at Man Over Board more than an air crash.
Right. For those that think tha'ts such a great idea, I only wish they are the ones that need to be rescued by that stupid drone.
Just buy more Wildcats or whatever and don't try constantly to be smarter than everyone else. :thumbdown:
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Timmymagic »

abc123 wrote:Right. For those that think tha'ts such a great idea, I only wish they are the ones that need to be rescued by that stupid drone.
Just buy more Wildcats or whatever and don't try constantly to be smarter than everyone else.
It's not for Plane Guard duties...

This is for all large vessels, not just aircraft carriers, so includes RFA and LPD's.....anything that gets assistance and eyes on in a Man Over Board situation is a great idea. Better than waiting for the boat or helo to be launched which takes time. And you couldn't just launch a UAV if you were in the middle of flight ops either..

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