Tuesday, June 20

Flying the Flag

Above, Her Majesty's corgies disembark at Heathrow Airport

The government is shortly to order two new aroplanes for use by the Prime Minister and the Queen.

Downing Street sources were quoted as saying that one plane is likely be a Boeing 737, which can seat between 85 and 215 passengers, which will be used for long-haul flights. A second, smaller plane that can seat around 15 to 20 people is also likely to form part of the new arrangements and will be used for shorter flights.

Both will be leased on a permanent basis rather than purchased outright. The deal is expected to cost £1.5m to £2.5m more than the current arrangements, which amount to around £9.5m to £12.3m a year.
The cost will be spread across several government departments including the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence. Under current arrangements Number 10 charters planes or uses the Queen's Flight of the RAF.
The reaction from opposition parties yesterday was depressingly predictable. Shadow transport secretary Chris Grayling MP said the move "sends totally the wrong message for ministers to be spending millions of pounds of taxpayers' money on two new, official planes at a time when jobs are being cut in the NHS". He added:
"This reinforces the impression of a government which is out of touch with the real world, and is too concerned with the trappings of office rather than getting on with the job."

The Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies (Ming) Campbell said the "real question is whether these aircraft represent good value for the British taxpayer". Adding later a rather silly comment about environmental concerns and proposing that greater use is made of scheduled flights.
A real point if our Members of Parliament are going to make comment on matters aeronautical sould be to express deep concerns the vast billions of pounds that has been wasted on the EuroFighter and the European Airbus projects. Money which could have reduced British Subjects future tax demands by considerable amounts had it not been wasted on polticaly motivated 'European' schemes. If only our politicians would address real issues !

A very bad photograph of the EuroFighter taken from the club houes of Cleveland Flying School at Durham Tees Valley Airport by the edtior.


Stewed Cabbage said...

Is the new aircraft to be known as Blair Force One ?

Jabberwoocky said...

Perhaps we could save money on Blair Force 1 and 2 by removing any anti-missile defences and substituting lumps of metal of exactly the same size, shape and weight.

This is what the MOD had to do when they decided to save money on the RAF's Eurofighters by taking out the canon. But the committee that took the decision obviously lacked the physics/mechanical engineering knowledge to realise this would alter the aircraft's centre of gravity, its moments of rotational inertia, and therefore its entire flight characteristics!!! Typical EO's promoted well above their level of incompetence!