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RAF Airbus Voyager KC.2/3

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The Voyager tanker/transport, based on the Airbus A330-200 airliner, is one of the RAF's newest aircraft, and the service's largest operational type ever. 

It performs the air-to-air refuelling, passenger/freight transport and medical evacuation roles. Uniquely, the fleet is provided to the RAF by the civilian company AirTanker, and a 'core' inventory of nine Voyagers operates from RAF Brize Norton with 10 and 101 Squadron. A further five can be provided as an emergency 'surge' capability if required. One of the five is currently leased to Thomas Cook, providing short and long haul passenger operations.

As a tanker, the Voyager can carry 111 tonnes of fuel to pass on to other aircraft with no effect on its air transport capability, since all fuel is stored in existing fuel tanks. The type is able to take 291 passengers on trooping flights (in the RAF's current seating arrangement) and a 43-tonne cargo payload. 

Up to 40 stretchers may be accommodated in the medical evacuation role. The first Voyager for the RAF arrived in 2011, and the type is now in full operational service in two variants: the K.2 two-point tanker and the K.3 three-point version.

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Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

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