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Cambridge News: Criminals to be chased by police aeroplanes in Cambridgeshire as helicopter scrapped

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About time, NPAS is no longer fit for purpose, costs millions, drones are the way forward


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The advantage of having a helicopter of course is the fact that it can hover above an incident, where as a plane will have to make passes.

I would imagine a plane will be able to carry more advanced recording equipment to offset this disadvantage?

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Is anyone aware of any feasibility studies in relation to NPAS operating drones of a similar nature to that operated by the RAF?

I don't know the figures obviously but I would be very surprised if the overall purchase, maintenance and running costs of a drone were more than a helicopter.

Added on top of that then the ability to cut down on facilities and staff and the increase in flight time ect I really can't understand why this is not an option.

If the law stands in the way then it would not be difficult to change it with the right political will.


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Is anyone aware of any feasibility studies in relation to NPAS operating drones of a similar nature to that operated by the RAF? 

I don't know the figures obviously but I would be very surprised if the overall purchase, maintenance and running costs of a drone were more than a helicopter.

 

Added on top of that then the ability to cut down on facilities and staff and the increase in flight time ect I really can't understand why this is not an option.

 

If the law stands in the way then it would not be difficult to change it with the right political will.

 

 

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A surveillance drone costs around $3000 per flight hour (plus one hour maintenance for every hour in the air) to operate according to a US website for the ones that patrol Mexican border.

 

MPS reckon their helicopters cost £850 per flight hour to operate. Devon and Cornwall say it's £1700 per hour.

 

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1 hour ago, Jedi Knight said:

The advantage of having a helicopter of course is the fact that it can hover above an incident, where as a plane will have to make passes.

They can circle you know!

1 hour ago, Jedi Knight said:

I would imagine a plane will be able to carry more advanced recording equipment to offset this disadvantage?

Not sure about more advanced but aircraft like that used by the PSNI can have two observers instead of the one in a helicopter.

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Not sure about more advanced but aircraft like that used by the PSNI can have two observers instead of the one in a helicopter.


I can remember seeing a program about police planes a long while ago, they were saying they can stay in the air a heck of a lot longer and if they circle from a little distance they can keep constant obs because their circle radius isn't around the target.

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How things go full circle.

Hampshire had a fantastic aircraft, a fixed wing Islander I think it was, Boxer One Zero, that was mothballed due to cutbacks and went to sharing a helicopter with other forces.

Here's a force going back to an aeroplane...

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Cleveland had a fixed wing for several years, before a helicopter if my memory serves me right

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5 hours ago, Milankovitch said:

They can circle you know!

Not sure about more advanced but aircraft like that used by the PSNI can have two observers instead of the one in a helicopter.

But, they cannot hover and, they cannot land on a bowling green in an emergency. 

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13 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

But, they cannot hover and, they cannot land on a bowling green in an emergency. 

They don't need to hover if they are at a higher altitude and circle. 

There are pro's and con's to both types of aircraft to be honest, but being able to land on a bowling green probably isn't so important in the grand scheme of things ;)

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A surveillance drone costs around $3000 per flight hour (plus one hour maintenance for every hour in the air) to operate according to a US website for the ones that patrol Mexican border. 
MPS reckon their helicopters cost £850 per flight hour to operate. Devon and Cornwall say it's £1700 per hour.
 
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Well that does suppose me and I honestly am struggling to work out why the cost of the drone is so much more expensive.


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I think if you are talking about military drones then they are flown from the ground by fully trained pilots and the drones cost tens of millions way beyond the cost of any police helicopter or fixed wing. But some of the heli- drones would probably suffice if they have quality optical surveillance cameras and trained operators.

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I think what's being missed here is that Cambs are NOT setting up their own plane.

They are losing helicopter coverage which was already having to come from NPAS in Norfolk.

NPAS will apparently be basing all fixed wing aircraft centrally and by their estimations (which we know from the last '20 minute.' falsehood to be a lie) still only provides 80% of the helicopters capability but with longer range.

I think we can mostly agree the majority of air support deployments are time sensitive for them getting to scene rather than longevity of flight.

This is a cost cutting measure in the main and yet again our air support capability is cut. 

NPAS is a joke. The pilots and crew say it, I say it...but the top brass keep lying and people keep lapping up the lies.

Edit to add... NPAS fixed wing site is Doncaster.

So allowing for passing the job, authorisation, pre-flight drills, take off, reaching cruise speed, flight paths etc I'd guess from request to arriving at Cambridge would be an hour easily. So don't expect planes to be chasing criminals through Cambridgeshire too soon...

I guess for the plane to reach us in sunny Kent would be another 20-25 minutes on top.

So short of a pre-planned operation I doubt I'll ever see one.

Edited by MerseyLLB
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27 minutes ago, MerseyLLB said:

 

I think what's being missed here is that Cambs are NOT setting up their own plane.

I think we can mostly agree the majority of air support deployments are time sensitive for them getting to scene rather than longevity of flight.

This is a cost cutting measure in the main and yet again our air support capability is cut. 

NPAS is a joke. The pilots and crew say it, I say it...but the top brass keep lying and people keep lapping up the lies.

So short of a pre-planned operation I doubt I'll ever see one.

 

Edited by MerseyLLB

 

 

Certainly not missed by me mate ;) couldn't agree more.

But it's going to get a lot worst in next few years, senior management at NPAS have either lost touch with reality or have given up the fight, either way the result for the end user is the same!

I for one remember the promises (or lies) we told before NPAS took charge of my old forces air support.

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