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Old 5th June 2020, 20:49   #61
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
Got an answer for you on the APU and power usage
Thanks, I wonder to what extend those APUs can be used in the air. I would need to check my Operations Manuals, but on a regular 747 it is limited to about 15000 feet or thereabouts, which is way too low to cruise at. Also, I am not sure you can actually start it in the air.

I wonder if they can run them in parallel to main generators?

Having them power the aircraft and all its elaborate systems on the ground, rather than relying on ground power makes sense. Most likely standard ground power is simply not sufficient. Also, in some countries, ground power is unreliable in voltage/frequency. Standard aviation instruments and system don’t like that, let alone more advanced stuff.


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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
AF1 is basically hardened against all sorts of EMP pulses and other radiation you can expect in doomsday scenarios such as nuclear war to concerted signals jamming. .
Hardening of electronic equipment mostly starts at the physical and logical level component upwards. Actual (physical) shielding of whole systems is near impossible due to weight constraints.

I do wonder what that means for the standard aviation suite of the 747? E.g. the electronics used to fly and control the plane? Hardening of components on the physical and logical level means a complete re-design.

I know that military planes often get designed with radiation threads as part of the design brief. But hardening existing hard- and software in flight controls, flight management systems? No idea how they do it.

Planes designed for high altitude operation have already some “hardening” built into their design and systems to cope with various radiation aspects.

Of course, it really depends against what you want to protect and to what levels. You get to close to an atomic bomb going off and no level of hardening will protect you.

Jeroen
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Old 5th June 2020, 22:10   #62
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

Permit me to offer a counter point of view. Do we as a country with some number around 400 million in absolute poverty really need to spend what certainly is well over USD 1 billion on just VIP transport for the PM and at most one or two others? Their arrival by coincidence in the middle of a double crises is bad timing to add to the wound. The 737s in the Comm Sqn are entirely capable of having extra belly tanks fitted to give them a practical range of 4000 nautical miles. Those three are already equipped with the needed defensive measures and communications equipment. With 4000 nm you can reach almost any world capital with just one refuelling stop. Personally I believe this is an unwise expenditure and wrong signalling within the country.

Brazil, a comparable country uses A319s with long range tanks. The best and most sensible solution from a cost and optics viewpoint is what Canada, Australia and now the UK follow -- as @ads11 said use a MRTT with a properly configured main deck. Of course this is just one man's view. Many may differ on grounds of national pride.
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Old 5th June 2020, 22:17   #63
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Permit me to offer a counter point of view. Do we as a country with some number around 400 million in absolute poverty really need to spend what certainly is well over USD 1 billion on just VIP transport for the PM and at most one or two others? Their arrival by coincidence in the middle of a double crises is bad timing to add to the wound. The 737s in the Comm Sqn are entirely capable of having extra belly tanks fitted to give them a practical range of 4000 nautical miles. Those three are already equipped with the needed defensive measures and communications equipment. With 4000 nm you can reach almost any world capital with just one refuelling stop. Personally I believe this is an unwise expenditure and wrong signalling within the country.

Brazil, a comparable country uses A319s with long range tanks. The best and most sensible solution from a cost and optics viewpoint is what Canada, Australia and now the UK follow -- as @ads11 said use a MRTT with a properly configured main deck. Of course this is just one man's view. Many may differ on grounds of national pride.
Mainly, I feel it's due to national pride sir. India is a country which as a whole is now stepping up onto the high table. When a majority of them have big fancy ones, why should we be left behind, is what may be the thinking. Yes, this signalling is wrong given the current circumstances, however, I sincerely hope this plane flies for 30 years at the least, if not more.

Last edited by DrPriyankT : 5th June 2020 at 22:18.
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Old 5th June 2020, 22:49   #64
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Having them power the aircraft and all its elaborate systems on the ground, rather than relying on ground power makes sense. Most likely standard ground power is simply not sufficient. Also, in some countries, ground power is unreliable in voltage/frequency. Standard aviation instruments and system don’t like that, let alone more advanced stuff.
Given how famously paranoid the US Secret Service is, I can imagine that an additional reason to having that APU redundancy means they can operate independently of any ground based power that may be sabotaged. Essentially they want to keep as many factors/variables as they can in their control when operating outside US soil and even within I'd say.
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I do wonder what that means for the standard aviation suite of the 747? E.g. the electronics used to fly and control the plane? Hardening of components on the physical and logical level means a complete re-design.
[
I mean the upgrades to the civilian counterparts of a lot of these jets are so extensive that the VC25 and E4B share little with the 747-200s they're derived from. It's why the spares and maintenance support for these jets is increasingly becoming so expensive and difficult and also why the conversion of those orphaned 747-8 airframes is taking so long.

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Permit me to offer a counter point of view...Brazil, a comparable country uses A319s with long range tanks. The best and most sensible solution from a cost and optics viewpoint is what Canada, Australia and now the UK follow -- as @ads11 said use a MRTT with a properly configured main deck. Of course this is just one man's view. Many may differ on grounds of national pride.
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Originally Posted by DrPriyankT View Post
Mainly, I feel it's due to national pride sir. India is a country which as a whole is now stepping up onto the high table. When a majority of them have big fancy ones, why should we be left behind, is what may be the thinking. Yes, this signalling is wrong given the current circumstances, however, I sincerely hope this plane flies for 30 years at the least, if not more.
I certainly lean towards V.Narayan's sentiments in this regard, the multi purpose use of the UK, CAN and AUS transports certainly to me at least should've been something I thought would appeal to the Indian mentality. I mean we've chopped and changed the tanker tender for the IAF so much that now the IAF AWACS tender is having to shoehorn in an additional tanker requirement. I've said it before in the thread, the optics especially at such a challenging time globally aren't disastrous, but they aren't exactly peachy either. And like DrPriyankT says I can understand the counterpoint being raised that the new jets will become emblematic of the rising aspirations and standing of India globally. All that being said I Do hope the programme managers have been pragmatic with it and we don't end up finding out down the line that there are lots of ostentatious or extravagant bells and whistles that the taxpayer ended up paying for.

I will say the giant range of even little narrow body jets like the 737 and A320 family in their newest guises is such that I think they actually make really rather great options for executive transport. As dragracer567 pointed out, quite a few smaller European nations make do rather practically with smaller transports.

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Btw, there is a very interesting Wikipedia article on the Air transports of heads of state and governments. Interesting how many smaller European countries are so frugal about the planes they use while the Gulf states go all out (despite having similar or lower GDP per capita) (link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_tr...and_government)
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Old 5th June 2020, 23:38   #65
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
Given how famously paranoid the US Secret Service is,
Well, when you are in the US Secret Service, paranoia is your middle name. A good friend of ours spend a number of years in the Sercet Service. Of course, there was not that much he could tell us, it was, obviously, secret (Duh ). But even so his stories always left me completely flabbergasted.

Just the number of threats the US president gets on an annual basis is up there in tens of thousands. And we are talking about individuals who actually take the trouble to actually write to the White house!! Mostly anonymous, but still!

There is much to be admired about the USA, but on many fronts it is also a very, very sick society!

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As dragracer567 pointed out, quite a few smaller European nations make do rather practically with smaller transports.
Just an update on what is shown on Wikipedia. The Dutch, being one of the most prosperous countries in the world, shell out only 90 million for a replacement 737 over the beat up old Fokker 70 we used to have.

And we have a cool king, who pilots it himself, so we save on pilot salary.

Also, in the past when the Royals had to travel far, they would just get the cheapest commercial tickets available. The would not book our national carrier KLM, but for instance book Emirates to fly to “down under”. The KLM pilots were up in arms. But the Dutch public approved. Because although we love KLM, we hate KLM pilots with a vengeance for the indecent amount of money they earn. They also live abroad so they don’t have to pay Dutch income tax.

The Dutch are not necessarily so much prudent, as much as they are just hardcore Calvinist!

Maybe Mr Modi should consider getting a pilot license?

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 5th June 2020 at 23:42.
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Old 6th June 2020, 06:24   #66
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Permit me to offer a counter point of view. Do we as a country with some number around 400 million in absolute poverty really need to spend what certainly is well over USD 1 billion on just VIP transport for the PM and at most one or two others? Their arrival by coincidence in the middle of a double crises is bad timing to add to the wound. The 737s in the Comm Sqn are entirely capable of having extra belly tanks fitted to give them a practical range of 4000 nautical miles. Those three are already equipped with the needed defensive measures and communications equipment. With 4000 nm you can reach almost any world capital with just one refuelling stop. Personally I believe this is an unwise expenditure and wrong signalling within the country.
Indeed sir, I completely agree with you and ads11 on this. I guess the 777s were ordered when our economy was on an upward trajectory, Indians were dreaming of becoming the next superpower on par with China and we were supposed to hit $5 trillion by 2025 and $10 trillion by 2030 which is just wishing thinking now.

Offcourse, right now this plane is just terrible optics but I’m not sure what the government can do other than receive the aircraft and start using it since because of its various upgrades, it cannot be sold back to the commercial market or even to private aviation without major expensive changes to convert it back to a civilian aircraft.

The current Mexican president famously refused to use the B787 ordered by his predecessor and decided to give the plane away in a raffle since he couldn’t find anyone ready to buy the plane (I guess it didn’t have the countermeasures and other additional systems like the AF1 and AI1). It was joke amongst the Mexican people since even if someone won raffle, no one can really afford to fly it! So, he’s what they did:

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Mr López Obrador has now decided to give 100 winning ticket holders $1 million (£773,000). The government hopes to raise about $160 million from 6m ticket sales.

The remaining money will be used to buy medical equipment for public hospitals and ensure the plane is kept in flight condition while the president tries to sell or rent it.
Right now the options are really limited for the Mexican government, but let’s see how it unfolds! The results for the raffle will be announced on 15 September 2020 - the Mexican Independence Day.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
The Dutch, being one of the most prosperous countries in the world, shell out only 90 million for a replacement 737 over the beat up old Fokker 70 we used to have.
It seems like the only wide-bodies used in Europe are the British A330 MRTT, French A330 and the German A340 (to be replaced now by an A350) if you don’t count Russia. Most other countries either have narrow body Jets or even smaller private jets. I just love how Western Europe in general have got their financial priorities right!

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

Because although we love KLM, we hate KLM pilots with a vengeance for the indecent amount of money they earn. They also live abroad so they don’t have to pay Dutch income tax.
I guess anyone who’ve flown KLM would love it! Their planes, flight attendants and service are indeed excellent and much better than it’s partner airline - Air France. Also, Schiphol airport is much better than the CDG airport.

With regards to taxes, I wonder if that’s the case with Air India or any other international airline as well? Where do pilots pay their taxes? Let’s say for Ryanair, do their pilots pay their taxes in Ireland?

Last edited by dragracer567 : 6th June 2020 at 06:28.
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Old 6th June 2020, 07:51   #67
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by DrPriyankT View Post
Mainly, I feel it's due to national pride sir. India is a country which as a whole is now stepping up onto the high table. When a majority of them have big fancy ones, why should we be left behind, is what may be the thinking.
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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Indeed sir, I completely agree with you and ads11 on this. I guess the 777s were ordered when our economy was on an upward trajectory, Indians were dreaming of becoming the next superpower on par with China and we were supposed to hit $5 trillion by 2025 and $10 trillion by 2030 which is just wishing thinking now.
:-) Both of you are right. I am being a grouchy old man. In ~1981 {skanchan95 or Foxbat can correct me please} when the B737-200s were ordered/delivered there was a similar sentiment whether a poor nation ought to spend like this for VIP transport. Ten years later it wouldn't raise an eyelid. In a way symbols do matter and as we inch our way to being the 5th largest economy {jostling with France and the UK for that spot right now} symbols of power & position do matter

The Tupolevs were effectively a gift from USSR and served us well in Comm Sqn till the infamous crash in 1977 where the crew were killed but the then 82-year old PM Morarji Desai survived unscathed.
Quote:
Yes, this signalling is wrong given the current circumstances, however, I sincerely hope this plane flies for 30 years at the least, if not more.
Yes going by Comm Sqn's past track a 25 year run is easily forecast. I do wish these new machines are operated by the Comm Sqn and not Air India. I believe these will be operated by the IAF and not AI.
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It seems like the only wide-bodies used in Europe are the British A330 MRTT, French A330 and the German A340 (to be replaced now by an A350) if you don’t count Russia. Most other countries either have narrow body Jets or even smaller private jets. I just love how Western Europe in general have got their financial priorities right!
I agree. In many respects the current generation of Western Europeans {after end of the Cold War} are the most sorted as a community -- two world wars, the wealth, greed and cruelty of Empires and the national catharsis of losing them all has contributed to this evolution.


Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-comm-sqn-1a.jpg
The first of the lot. Vickers Viscount 700D. Like the current pair of B777's a pair was purchased under Indian Airlines' fleet order and then moved to the IAF to avoid noise in Parliament about ostentatious expenditure! They entered service with the IAF sometime around 1957 I think.

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The Tupolev's we were all so proud of. The Soviets used gifts of Tupolevs as Head of State transports to win Governments over :-) True. And it worked very well.

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The crash of 1977

Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-comm-sqn-3.jpg
B-737-200
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Old 6th June 2020, 08:13   #68
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

When these are re-fit to ferry the VVIP passengers , can understand the refit inside and the high sensitive communication equipment.

But other than that , what really is the fuss about the counter measures in the plane itself. End of the day , these are bulky passenger carriers and can't do anything out of the operational ceiling they were designed for.

My take is , the biggest counter measure say a plane like AF 1 can have is , armed to the teeth fghters escorting it anywhere across the Globe with the bases that US has. That is the effective counter measure such a VVIP plane can have. Rest all just exist on paper , when push comes to shove.

Any expert insights into this?
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Old 6th June 2020, 09:24   #69
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Any expert insights into this?
Understandably if someone knows he cannot speak :-) You may be underestimating what ECM can do. Of course if a rouge Govt decides to send two fighters to shoot it down by cannon fire then that is an open act of war. One suspects flight planning will avoid such countries. Very little AI-1 or any other Head of State can do about that. But ECM can protect you from rogue missile launches like what hit MH17 of Malaysian Airlines. ECM can do a lot more.
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Old 6th June 2020, 09:45   #70
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Of course this is just one man's view. Many may differ on grounds of national pride.
Where does NATIONAL PRIDE come in when the aircraft is manufactured/ bought from a third country.

My view - India, as a country certainly can afford it. But the optics are bad.

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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
There have been many Indian politician pilots as well. There's Rajeev Pratap Rudy, who was/is an Indigo A320 pilot. I believe the current Telengana Congress President- Uttam Kumar Reddy was a IAF pilot and had flown MiG-23MFs. There have been other pilots who went on to be become politicians as well - Rajesh Pilot I believe was an IAF transport pilot as well and flew DHC-4s.
Biju Patnaik?

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Old 6th June 2020, 10:15   #71
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
:-) In ~1981 {skanchan95 or Foxbat can correct me please} when the B737-200s were ordered/delivered there was a similar sentiment whether a poor nation ought to spend like this for VIP transport. Ten years later it wouldn't raise an eyelid. In a way symbols do matter and as we inch our way to being the 5th largest economy {jostling with France and the UK for that spot right now} symbols of power & position do matter.

The Tupolevs were effectively a gift from USSR and served us well in Comm Sqn till the infamous crash in 1977 where the crew were killed but the then 82-year old PM Morarji Desai survived unscathed.
Wow! I really didn’t know that we used Tupolevs at one point to fly around our leadership! I’ve always imagined they always used western aircraft despite being close to the soviets.

Last edited by dragracer567 : 6th June 2020 at 10:19.
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Old 6th June 2020, 10:15   #72
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Default Re: Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Permit me to offer a counter point of view. Do we as a country with some number around 400 million in absolute poverty really need to spend what certainly is well over USD 1 billion on just VIP transport for the PM and at most one or two others? Their arrival by coincidence in the middle of a double crises is bad timing to add to the wound.
Bravo Sir! It is a question that very few people have the guts to ask these days for the fear of being trolled or being cluster bombed by "whatabouteries" and "wherewereyouwhens". I agree with your completely now that I know the 737 BBJs can be modified to get that extra range (something which I didn't know previously).

To play the devil's advocate, may be the 737 does not have the space to comfortably accommodate the PM's large entourage in long trips like to the US or Australia (businessmen, ministers, defence personnel etc),something which the AI 747 was able to do easily OR do the lesser mortals travel in a separate aircraft on such trips and only the PM & his select few travel on AI1?


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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
:-) Both of you are right. I am being a grouchy old man. In ~1981 {skanchan95 or Foxbat can correct me please} when the B737-200s were ordered/delivered there was a similar sentiment whether a poor nation ought to spend like this for VIP transport.
The Boeing 737-200s were ordered after PM Morarji Desai had a miraculous escape from the Tu-124 accident in the late 70s that you pointed out. The logical replacement of the Tu-124s was a modern jetliner such as the Boeing 737-200 which was at that time, were already in service with Indian Airlines.

Orders were placed for two Boeing 737s, these being "diverted" from Indian Airlines and in turn to be replaced by new aircraft when they were delivered.

These two specially configured B737-200s, painted in Indian Air Force livery, were inducted in IAF's Air HQ & Comms Sqdn in August 1981 (Serial nos. K2370 & K2371, which were former Indian Airlines VT-EFM & VT-EFL respectively, delivered by Boeing to Indian Airlines in 1977) and were based at Palam airport, New Delhi.

The interior configuration for these aircraft were installed by Indian Airlines engineers with the design of the internal cabin and decor being configured for VIPs. The major maintenance work was the responsibility of Indian Airlines while line maintenance work was responsibility of the IAF. These VIP 737s were flown by IAF pilots of the Air HQ & Comms Sqdn.

After two new VIP 737-200s were delivered (registrations unknown), K2370 & K2371 were given back to Indian Airlines in early/mid-1984 and they resumed their service with Indian Airlines with their former civilian registrations as VT-EFL & VT-EFM. In 1991, VT-EFL, operating as flight IC257 from Kolkata to Imphal crashed near Imphal with the loss of all on board.

However, later four more 737s were diverted from Indian Airlines fleet to the IAF. The first one being VT-EHX which became K2413
VT-EHX
Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-eh1.jpg
became K2413
Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-eh2.jpg

These four 737s ( serial nos. K2412, K2413, K3186 & K3187 which were former VT-EHW, EHX, EAJ & EAK) remained with the IAF for the rest of their service lives probably because atleast two of them were permanently modified with sensitive communication and/or EW/ESM equipment.

Notice the array of antennas and bulges on the belly of these two IAF 737-200s
K2412 (ex-Indian Airlines VT-EHW)
Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-k2412.jpg

K2413 (ex-Indian Airlines VT-EHX)
Air India One : The new official airplane of India's leaders-k2413.jpg

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Biju Patnaik?

Sutripta
He as well

Last edited by skanchan95 : 6th June 2020 at 10:36.
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Old 6th June 2020, 10:31   #73
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As per this news, these planes will be flown by IAF with Air India acting as a "co-pilot" for initial phase and then the operations will be fully under control of IAF.


Quote:
India Today TV has learnt that IAF will be operating the two newly-refurbished Boeing 777 that will be commissioned for VVIP services in the month of August. Initially, Air India pilots will be flying alongside their Air Force counterparts but eventually, the operations will be completely handed over to the IAF.
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Old 6th June 2020, 12:19   #74
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Where does NATIONAL PRIDE come in when the aircraft is manufactured/ bought from a third country.
Now that makes for an interesting perspective. This would mean only a handful of countries would be able to have a governmental plane: There is not even a single country that can claim Airbus as it is manufactured all over Europe.

We were ok with our little Fokker for a while under such a regime of course!

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Originally Posted by dragracer567 View Post
Where do pilots pay their taxes? Let’s say for Ryanair, do their pilots pay their taxes in Ireland?
All countries have their own fiscal regimes, but as a rule of thumb: you tend to pay (income) taxes in your country of residence. What constitutes “country of residence” , how it is defined and measured, differs wildly, but for most of us, irrespective of profession, or the country or registration of your employer tend to be rule. But this being a fiscal rule, this rule only applies unless there are other fiscal rules overriding such basic regime.

For pilots and for instance also sea farers, there might be an additional rule based on where the control of airline/shipping company resides. (which is not necessarily where it has its (fiscal) head quarter. Diplomats being resident in different countries tend to have different fiscal rules all together.

But it is a very complex system and there always endless amendments made to these fiscal regimes and how various countries deal with them. Don’t forget about social securities too. That tends to be even more complex. Where you pay and where you could claim benefits.

Have a look at this:

https://stolwijkkelderman.nl/pilots-...cial-security/

I have lived in a number of different countries and always ended up paying my (income) taxes in whichever country I happened to be officially resident. Whereas there are many kind of different taxes, even for private individuals, all countries seem to have some sort of income tax, whether you are employed or self employed.

When I was in the merchant navy I was resident in the UK, working for a Dutch company. There was an arrangement between the UK and the Netherlands. My Dutch employer would pay my social security and pension in the Netherlands, but my income tax was handled in the UK. At the time the UK had a so called 183 day regime. If you were a resident of the UK, but spend 183 days or more per year abroad, you were more or less tax exempt. In those days seafarers easily spend 8-9 months a year working, so that applied to me.

When I lived in India I paid income tax in India on my income in India. Not over other sources of income worldwide. Only after so many days registered as a resident did I become liable to pay other Indian personal taxes as well. In practice that worked out to be after almost 4 years for me.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 6th June 2020 at 12:48.
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Old 6th June 2020, 13:43   #75
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Now that makes for an interesting perspective. This would mean only a handful of countries would be able to have a governmental plane: There is not even a single country that can claim Airbus as it is manufactured all over Europe.

We were ok with our little Fokker for a while under such a regime of course!
But do the leaders of these countries think of presidential transport in terms of national pride? This is somewhat different from supporting/ showcasing your countries products and technology.

Khrushchev would certainly have felt going about in an IL 14 a national disgrace, so the TU114. The day we can do something similar, I'm all for it.

If you have no part of it except paying for it, don't bring patriotism/ nationalism/ jingoism into it.

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