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Opinion – Remember the Caribou?

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 9, 2012

I’ve been writing stories for the past three issues of sister publication ADBR about the seemingly never-ending search for a Caribou replacement for the RAAF.

I’ve looked at all the options – official and unofficial – the issues surrounding the US ANG C-27J program, what Airbus is countering with, and the possible timings of it all happening.

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And then I saw this video on YouTube.

What more can I say. The only replacement for a Caribou appears to be … a Caribou!

Andrew McLaughlin

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

9 Comments

  • Perplexed

    says:

    Exactly. Note Viking Aviation are producing the DH6 again, perhaps there is hope for someone with the foresight. They retain the licence.
    And in your last issue, you note that the Nomad has arisen again.
    All designed pre Computer, and conception by sliderule.
    Could teel us something?

  • Perplexed

    says:

    “tell” us something

  • pez

    says:

    Wow, you could stand there with your arms out and have a crate drop in your arms. Great work. Maybe wear a helmet though……

  • random

    says:

    Begs the question – why is it that aircraft that have no obvious replacement are not kept in production. Industry continually seeks to upgrade equipment but sometimes there is no real reason to change the basic frame.

    The common result of changing the frame is a completely different piece of equipment that doesn’t really do the same jobs…. incremental change for no real gain.

  • David Bentley

    says:

    I saw plans in 1985 for the turboprop Caribou conversion when I was at 38SQN. It always amazed me that it was not done. Turboprops are much more reliable and lower maintenance than the old R-2000 and the torque comes on instantaneously in situations where it is needed. The airframes were bullet proof (well some had bullet holes) and as for STOL performance-unmatched…

  • Martin

    says:

    Good opinion.

    So what is the reason for Caribou being withdrawn from RAAF service? I seem to recall high maintenance costs stated as being a key factor. How much of those costs related to the radial engines vs other systems and the airframe itself? Is anyone in Defence in a position to assess the viability (ie: cost effectiveness) of still implementing such a mod now? Strategic Reform Program would suggest that it should be done but I suspect there will be too many in the hierarchy who just think new is better. Heck, even the media was critical of Seasprite because it was an old airframe but I don’t think that had anything to do with the problems the RAN faced with it… it was all the new systems we tried to integrate into it which caused the problem???

    PS: Are the aircraft in appropriate storage or are they now exposed to the elements and unattended?

  • Michael Angelico

    says:

    Reskinning is a known phenomenon and gives an aircraft a close to zero timed airframe. Add the turboprop option and it’s starting to get close to the advantages of either the CN-295 or the C-27J. If there’s any cash left in the kitty shove a C-130J flight deck into the things…

    Perplexed, good point re the Twin Otter and Nomad. Back in the days they built them slow and rugged. Now everything has to be fast so there’s nothing with that kind of short field performance.

  • JACK CAIRNS

    says:

    HI FOLKS – AS AN OLD RETD. A+P – I WONDER WHY NO MENTION OF THE D.H.C.- 5 – THE BUFFALO – IT IS TURBO PROP POWERED – G.E. CT-7 – AND WAS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO REPLACE THE D.H.C.- 4 CARIBOU – THANX J.C.

  • Charlie

    says:

    We could have more Caribous, or we can have more Chinnoks or more JSF. Last time I checked, the government doesn’t let defence get everything. If defence were seruious about replacing the Caribou (and I mean serious) they would purchase the Osprey. It has greater range, payload, can do what a Caribou does as well as operate from a ship.

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Opinion – Remember the Caribou?

written by australianaviation.com.au | March 9, 2012

I’ve been writing stories for the past three issues of sister publication ADBR about the seemingly never-ending search for a Caribou replacement for the RAAF.

I’ve looked at all the options – official and unofficial – the issues surrounding the US ANG C-27J program, what Airbus is countering with, and the possible timings of it all happening.

Advertisement
Advertisement

And then I saw this video on YouTube.

What more can I say. The only replacement for a Caribou appears to be … a Caribou!

Andrew McLaughlin

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

9 Comments

  • Perplexed

    says:

    Exactly. Note Viking Aviation are producing the DH6 again, perhaps there is hope for someone with the foresight. They retain the licence.
    And in your last issue, you note that the Nomad has arisen again.
    All designed pre Computer, and conception by sliderule.
    Could teel us something?

  • Perplexed

    says:

    “tell” us something

  • pez

    says:

    Wow, you could stand there with your arms out and have a crate drop in your arms. Great work. Maybe wear a helmet though……

  • random

    says:

    Begs the question – why is it that aircraft that have no obvious replacement are not kept in production. Industry continually seeks to upgrade equipment but sometimes there is no real reason to change the basic frame.

    The common result of changing the frame is a completely different piece of equipment that doesn’t really do the same jobs…. incremental change for no real gain.

  • David Bentley

    says:

    I saw plans in 1985 for the turboprop Caribou conversion when I was at 38SQN. It always amazed me that it was not done. Turboprops are much more reliable and lower maintenance than the old R-2000 and the torque comes on instantaneously in situations where it is needed. The airframes were bullet proof (well some had bullet holes) and as for STOL performance-unmatched…

  • Martin

    says:

    Good opinion.

    So what is the reason for Caribou being withdrawn from RAAF service? I seem to recall high maintenance costs stated as being a key factor. How much of those costs related to the radial engines vs other systems and the airframe itself? Is anyone in Defence in a position to assess the viability (ie: cost effectiveness) of still implementing such a mod now? Strategic Reform Program would suggest that it should be done but I suspect there will be too many in the hierarchy who just think new is better. Heck, even the media was critical of Seasprite because it was an old airframe but I don’t think that had anything to do with the problems the RAN faced with it… it was all the new systems we tried to integrate into it which caused the problem???

    PS: Are the aircraft in appropriate storage or are they now exposed to the elements and unattended?

  • Michael Angelico

    says:

    Reskinning is a known phenomenon and gives an aircraft a close to zero timed airframe. Add the turboprop option and it’s starting to get close to the advantages of either the CN-295 or the C-27J. If there’s any cash left in the kitty shove a C-130J flight deck into the things…

    Perplexed, good point re the Twin Otter and Nomad. Back in the days they built them slow and rugged. Now everything has to be fast so there’s nothing with that kind of short field performance.

  • JACK CAIRNS

    says:

    HI FOLKS – AS AN OLD RETD. A+P – I WONDER WHY NO MENTION OF THE D.H.C.- 5 – THE BUFFALO – IT IS TURBO PROP POWERED – G.E. CT-7 – AND WAS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY TO REPLACE THE D.H.C.- 4 CARIBOU – THANX J.C.

  • Charlie

    says:

    We could have more Caribous, or we can have more Chinnoks or more JSF. Last time I checked, the government doesn’t let defence get everything. If defence were seruious about replacing the Caribou (and I mean serious) they would purchase the Osprey. It has greater range, payload, can do what a Caribou does as well as operate from a ship.

Leave a Comment to random Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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