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Hercules

Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on centre-of-gravity problems with the RAF's short-fuselage C-130J Hercules C5 aircraft. [112684]

The centre of gravity for all transport aircraft has to be managed carefully to ensure that aircraft remain within safe operating parameters.The Hercules C-130J Mk5 is cleared for use in accordance with the Military Airworthiness Release and Release to Service, which detail the limitations and configurations of the aircraft operation. The centre-of-gravity of the Mk5 is a known limiting factor on certain aircraft configurations and is overcome by the use of ballast.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reports he has received of squadron pilots refusing to fly the RAF's short-fuselage C-130J Hercules C5 aircraft in certain operational configurations owing to concerns over centre-of-gravity problems. [112685]

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the fleet utilisation of the RAF's short-fuselage C-130J Hercules C5 aircraft was in the last 12 months; and what the utilisation was of (a) the long-fuselage Hercules C4 fleet and (b) the remaining C-130K variants. [112686]

Fleet utilisation is not a term in common usage within the RAF. Officials have therefore interpreted this to be the average number of hours flown over the last 12 months per aircraft for each Hercules type.

Aircraft TypeAverage hours flown per aircraft
Hercules C-130J C5 (short-fuselage)436.50
Hercules C-130J C4 (long-fuselage)1,033.93
Hercules C-13 OK C1508.80
Hercules C-13 OK C3807.20

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the RAF's fleet of short-fuselage C-130J Hercules C5 aircraft. [112692]

Total hours flown per month by each aircraft type
Aircraft type/ number of aircraftAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctober
C5(J)/10290377401301384476320
C4(J)/151,0458861,0391,3551,2521,3321,237
C3(K)/202,1311,6541,4921,2371,1011,4241,546
C1(K)/531826448712720037358
Total hours flown per month by each aircraft type
Aircraft type/number of aircraftNovemberDecemberJanuaryFebruaryMarchTotal flying hours
C5(J)/102541944093256344,365
C4(J)/151,1771,0981,3792,1121,59715,509
C3(K)/201,2151,0511,0211,0591,21316,144
C1(K)/5361412181212012,544
Total Hercules flying hours during last 12 months38,562

Source:

Strike Command Monthly summary of statistics