Air International 1994-12
Airscene Headlines
Smart looking An-124-100 UR-UAP of Antonov OKB's air freight arm, now known as Antonov AirTrack, seen during one of several visits to Warsaw/Okecie Airport, Poland, during October 1994. Thought to be the first Ruslan in the company's new colours, it is also the first registered with a three-letter suffix rather than the old Soviet-style five-number suffix.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force a number of JASDF aircraft have received special celebratory colour schemes, one such being this impressive dragon artwork on the side of Koku Kyunandan (Air Rescue Wing)/Hyakuri Detachment UH-60J 28-4556 seen on static display at an air show at Iruma on October 9, 1994.
First Airbus A320 for newly established British Mediterranean Airways, G-MEDA seen about to depart Heathrow on October 12, 1994 for a crew training flight prior to commencing daily flights to Beirut on October 28.
A new addition to the ever growing list of Airbus aircraft operators is Aerolineas Argentinas which has taken delivery of two ex-Delta A310-324s and is also expected to add a third from the same source. F-OGYR, the first example to enter service, is seen here on approach to Los Angeles International on October 17, 1994.
First Learjet 45 fuselage, designed and manufactured by Shorts, in the Belfast factory awaiting delivery. It was despatched to the Wichita final assembly line on October 18, 1994 in a HeavyLift Short Belfast.
Seen on approach to Las Vegas/McCarran International on October 10, 1994, American West Boeing 757-257 N902AW sports a special 'Teamwork' scheme designed by one of the airline's pilot's 11 year old daughters to celebrate the airline's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on August 10. The aircraft was rolled-out in the new scheme at Phoenix on August 29.
Seen at the roll out and hand-over ceremony at SABCA 's Gosselies plant in Belgium on October 11, 1994 is the first Mirage 5M Elkan, 711, for the Chilean Air Force (FACh). The aircraft is the first of 25 former Belgian Air Force examples being prepared by SABCA for delivery to Chile. Following initial air and ground crew training in Belgium, the aircraft will be airfreighted to Chile in 1995 inside Russian Antonov transports to join Ala 1's Grupo 8 at Cerro Moreno/Antofagasta, supplementing the existing FACh fleet of 14 Mirage 50s and Panteras.
Having lost the USAF ATF competition to the F-22, the two Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23 prototypes, 87-0800 and 87-0801, have now been acquired by the NASA Dryden research facility at Edwards AFB. There are currently no plans to fly second prototype 87-0801, which is seen here in open storage at Dryden on October 6, 1994. The first example is, however, currently being worked on and will shortly join the NASA trials fleet. As an interesting aside, a mysterious night time accident in the UK at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, on September 26 which was veiled in secrecy is rumoured to have involved an aircraft derived from the YF-23, indicating another previously unknown black programme.
Armee de l’Air Mirage IVP 31/‘BD' of EB 1/91 Gascogne wearing a special anniversary scheme to celebrate the type's 30 years in the nuclear deterrent role. The unit’s Mirage IVAs and their AN11 nuclear bombs were first placed on round the clock alert on October 1, 1964 and after several changes in role the type, now modified as the Mirage IVP for the dual strike and reconnaissance role, carries the Aerospatiale ASMP 300 kiloton stand-off weapon.