Arriving from Madrid, the
aircraft will undergo a comprehensive conversion process from military
configuration to civilian fit, with the work being carried out for the first
time at the Voyager Hub by AirTanker engineers.
The aircraft, (destined to become
G-VYGJ and therefore wearing AirTanker’s civilian colour scheme) will not join the
operational fleet until this work is completed, after which it will replace
AirTanker’s current civilian registered A330, G-VYGG.
The Voyager fleet has amassed
almost 14,000 flight hours since its entry into service in December 2012 and
The fleet has carried over a quarter of a million passengers on air transport
flights, including those in support of Operation Herrick to Afghanistan and the
Falkland Islands air bridge.
The unique multi-role capabilityof Voyager means that it has also offloaded over 5,000 tonnes of fuel to almost
2,000 receiver aircraft as well as transporting over 21 million kilograms of
freight since the start of the service.
Voyager received clearance to
refuel the C-130 Hercules earlier this year, bringing the number of cleared
aircraft types to three, after the green light to refuel Tornado and Typhoon
aircraft was given last year. An RAF Voyager has also successfully supported
the Airbus A400M ‘Atlas’ test programme in Spain.
The FSTA contract will see the
delivery of 14 aircraft to the RAF, including the nine-strong core fleet and a
five aircraft ‘surge capability’.