On Wednesday 17 May, Royal Air Force (RAF) Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) ZZ330 touched down at Rockhampton Airport as "Ascot 2136" direct from Hickam Field (Hickam Air Force Base) in Hawaii.
After arriving and parking at Gate 6 on the Southern end of the Rockhampton Airport parking apron, ZZ330 looked like it was being prepared for an overnight stay. It is believed that the No. 10 Squadron operated RAF Voyager is in the beef capital to pick up troops for further transport and should depart Rockhampton Airport early on Thursday 18 May.
The RAF Voyager is based on the Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft and provides the RAF with Strategic Air Transport and Aeromedical capabilities. In addition, the Voyager is an extremely effective Air-to-Air Refuelling aircraft, which is utilised to enable a variety of RAF aircraft to operate for extended periods. It is currently flown by both No. 10 and No. 101 Squadrons based at RAF Brize Norton in England and replaced the RAF's Vickers VC10 C1K and Lockheed L1011 Tristar fleets at RAF Brize Norton.
It’s interesting to note that there are two types of RAF Voyager aircraft – the KC2 which is a two-point tanker, equipped with 1 FRL Mk32B 900E pod under each wing – and the KC3 which is a three-point tanker with an additional centre line hose for larger ‘receiver’ aircraft. It is also capable of providing transport for up to 291 personnel, while the cargo hold areas remain available for freight on either military or civil pallets.
No doubt over the coming days, we will see many more photos of this great visitor to Central Queensland as I am told that there was a great crowd of spotters and curious onlookers to watch its arrival.
Sincere thanks to local plane spotter Kayanne H for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!
All photos taken by Kayanne Hardsman ©