Tempus Applied Solutions (TAS) announced on Aug. 14, 2017 that it has acquired six ex-Royal Air Force (RAF) Lockheed L-1011 Tristar tankers and three of them will be used for air-to-air refueling (AAR) operations.
Out of the six, four are already configured for air-to-air refueling while the other two are configured for passenger and cargo operations only. The company intends to use the remaining three for spare parts.
According to TAS press release although the aircraft served the RAF and NATO for 30 years until their retirement in 2014, they have many years of service life remaining.
RAF Trtistars, that were six ex-British Airways and three Pan Am L-1011-500s, served with No. 216 Squadron, and were based at RAF Brize Norton. The Tristar was replaced in RAF service by the Voyager (the service name for the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport).
The L-1011s, which have been in flyable storage in the UK since their retirement, are currently registered in the U.S. and will be ferried from the UK to an existing TAS base of operations in the continental U.S. upon acceptance and the completion of required maintenance.
Noteworthy TAS has started the marketing of the aircraft for contractor owned/operated AAR operations focusing on the U.S. Navy, NATO, and other allied air forces which require hose and drogue AAR services.
Company CEO Scott Terry stated, “We are very encouraged to have found a potential solution for the shortage of AAR services that currently exist within the US Navy and Marine Corps tactical aviation and many NATO/Allied air forces. We will perform the necessary inspections and evaluations over the next several weeks in order that the transaction can close as soon as possible.”
Photo credit: DVIDS via Wikipedia
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