AIR CADETS EXPERIENCE NORTH SEA REFUELING OPERATION

Air Cadets from 13 (City Of Exeter), 299 (Exmouth) and 2401 (Dawlish) Squadrons have been able to take part in air to air refueling operations over the North Sea. The fifteen air cadets who were accompanied by their volunteer staff took off from RAF Brize Norton aboard an RAF Voyager aircraft which was due to carry out the in-flight refueling of several RAF Coningsby Typhoon aircraft.

Voyager is the RAF’s sole air-to-air refueling (AAR) tanker and also operates as a strategic air transport.  The aircraft is in service as the Voyager KC.Mk 2, equipped with two underwing pods for refueling fast jets, and as the Voyager KC.Mk 3, with an additional centreline hose for use by large aircraft.

Fuel offloaded during AAR is taken from the aircraft’s standard wing and fuselage tanks, leaving the cabin free for up to 291 personnel and the hold available for freight.  As a tanker, capabilities include the ability to operate a ‘towline’, where the Voyager orbits around a prescribed area awaiting ‘receivers’, or in a ‘trail’, where it flies with a number of fast jets, refueling them over long ranges while taking responsibility for the formation’s fuel and navigation.

Alternatively, it can operate as a passenger aircraft in much the same way as a civilian airliner, but delivering personnel safely into theatre thanks to its defensive aids suite.  Voyager also offers considerable capacity for the movement of palletised and/or bulk freight in its lower fuselage hold.  A versatile aeromedical configuration, including the ability to carry up to 40 stretchers and three critical care patients is available, as is a modest VIP passenger fit.

Devon & Somerset Air Cadets Media Communications Officer, Squadron Leader Dave Rolfe said “The cadet’s flight lasted for over three hours, providing them with a great opportunity to see at first-hand how the RAF operates.”

If you’re aged over 20 you can volunteer as a member of staff. That’s it. No need for military experience or any form of previous training, we’ll take care of that. We’re just looking for suitable, enthusiastic individuals to help our cadets get the most from their time with us.

The benefits of being a part of the Air Cadet Organisation are the same for volunteers as for cadets – the opportunity to do lots of exciting activities and develop personal skills and talents. As a volunteer this is free to you!

For more information phone our membership line on 0345 6006601.