Air International 2005-12
News: Headline, Military, Civil, Accidents, Airshow
Macedonian Air Force (MAF) Mi-24V MAF201 was one of two (the other being MAF 205) that were unveiled at Petrovec Air Base in a new camouflage scheme during a small ceremony on October 6, 2005 to mark the restructuring of the MAF. Under the reorganisation, a new Air Wing, Vozduhoplovna Izviduvacka i Napagacka Grupa or Air and Reconnaissance Attack Group was formed, comprising several squadrons. These include the Borben Helikoperski Skvadron (Combat Helicopter Squadron) with the Mi-24s, Transporten Helikoperski Skvadron (Transport Helicopter Squadron) with Mi-8/17s and UH-1Hs, Shkolsko Trenazen Skvadron (Training Squadron) with Zlin 242Ls, VIP and Transport Squadron with a single An-2 and an Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. From 2007 four Mi-24s will be retired (two Mi-24Vs and two Mi-24Ks), but two new Bell 206 JetRanger training helicopters will be acquired, one in 2006 and one in 2007. One Mi-17 will also be converted into VIP configuration.
Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29s 24 and 33 from 2/3 Iztrebitelna Avio Eskadrila fly in formation with USAF/31st Fighter Wing/510th Fighter Squadron F-16CGs 88-0541 'AV' and 88-0529 'AV' from Aviano Air Base, Italy, during the bilateral Bulgarian-USAF Exercise Viper Javelin. Held at Graf Igantievo Air Base, Bulgaria, between October 24-29, 2005, Viper Javelin involved six Aviano F-16s which flew over 25 sorties practicing intercepts against Bulgarian MiG-21s and MiG-29s, five and six of which, respectively, participated, flying over 50 sorties.
Patuxent River, Maryland, saw the arrival on November 2, 2015 of the first VH-71 test vehicle (TV1), which will be used largely for familiarisation training for pilots and ground crew. TV1 is actually a leased Italian Navy EH101 development aircraft, MM.X605 (c/n PP6), that has been brought in to enable training to begin at the earliest opportunity. It had arrived at Lockheed Martin's facility in Owego, New York, on June 10, shortly thereafter commencing further flight-testing. The helicopter is seen here on October 6 during a visit to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, to enable personnel from HMX-1, its future operator, to get a closer look at the helicopter. The first three actual VH-71 test vehicles are not due to arrive until spring 2007.
F-16C на авиабазе ВВС Индии Калайкунда, учения «Cope India 2005». На заднем плане - МиГ-27UРG.
USAF/35th Fighter Wing/13th Fighter Squadron F-16CJ 92-3894 'WW' from Misawa Air Base, Japan, taxies in at Kalaikunda Air Station, India, during Exercise Cope India 2006. The exercise commenced on November 7, 2005, beginning two-weeks of dissimilar air combat training involving the F-16s, a USAF E-3 airborne early warning and control aircraft and various Indian Air Force MiG variants and Su-30s.
South African Air Force A109LUHs 4005, 4007 and 4008 at the hand-over ceremony for the first four of the type to the SAAF at AFB Bloemspruit on October 19, 2005.
Airbus A380-841 prototype F-WWOW (c/n 001) flies over Sydney Harbour on November 13, 2005 during its visit to Australia, where it is taking part in Qantas' 85th anniversary celebrations. The temporary Qantas titles were applied to the aircraft after it arrived in Brisbane on November 12. The Australian airline has 12 A380s on order, with options on a further ten, first delivery being due in April 2007.
The second A380 to fly, A380-841 F-WWDD (c/n 004), during its maiden flight on October 18, 2005.
Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-251B N627US on the ramp at Guam on October 4, 2005, devoid of titles. The aircraft landed with the nosewheel retracted on August 19 and is thought to have been declared a write off.
Air New Zealand’s first Boeing 777-219ER, ZK-OKA (c/n 29404), which is being leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), was delivered to the airline on October 27, 2005 and left Everett, Washington, on delivery the same day. The aircraft made a stop over at Nadi before arriving in Auckland on October 29. Air New Zealand is to take delivery of eight of the Trent 800-powered aircraft, four of which are being leased through ILFC.
Boeing’s 777-200LR is given a traditional water cannon salute after touching down at London/Heathrow at 1330hrs on November 10, 2005 to establish a new world record for distance travelled non-stop by a commercial aircraft. The aircraft had taken off from Hong Kong at 2230hrs local time the previous evening but headed eastbound to go the long way round to the UK, completing its 22 hour 42 minute flight after covering a distance of 11,664 nautical miles (21,601km). The aircraft routed over the northern Pacific Ocean and the USA before crossing the mid-north Atlantic Ocean en route to London.
MAT Macedonian Airlines’ first Embraer 170-100LR, PT-SVD (c/n 170-00006), is scheduled for delivery before the end of the year. Although not yet announced by Embraer, MAT revealed on October 8, 2005 that it has signed a contract for purchase of one Embraer 170 and two Embraer 175s, the latter being both due for delivery in 2006.
Embraer announced delivery on October 21, 2005 of the 100th E-Jet with the hand over of this appropriately marked Embraer 175, C-FEKD (c/n 170-00101, ex PT-SAC), to Air Canada, which already has nine of the type in service. The aircraft departed Sao Jose dos Campos the same day, routing via Belem and Barbados before continuing the following day to Nassau and then finally arriving at Montreal to join the airline.
The first USAF TH-1H training helicopter, 73-22133, is put through its paces at Randolph AFB, Texas, on November 5, 2005 by Captain John Beurer, with instructor pilot Jeff Cutrell in the left-hand seat.
Trade Air Let 410UVP-E19A 9A-BTA, which was written-off on October 30, 2005, seen at Zagreb-Pleso on September 28, 2005.
American Airlines Boeing 767-223 N308AA takes-off from Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Texas, on November 10, 2005 for the first time after installation of the BAE Systems Jeteye self-protection system.
Maxjet Airways' first aircraft, Boeing 767-238ER N250MY (c/n 23306), was used to inaugurate the airline’s transatlantic services on November 1, 2005 between London/Stansted and New York/JFK.
Jazeera Airways’ first A320-214, 9K-CAA (c/n 2569), was delivered to the airline on October 24, 2005.
Bellview Airlines Boeing 737-2L9 5N-BFN, which was written-off on October 22, 2005, killing all on board.
Seen passing through Glasgow on September 19, 2005 was Dash 8-315 C-FDHE (c/n 614) on delivery to Heli Malongo, a subsidiary of Chevron Oil, in Angola, where it will be registered D2-EYM. The aircraft is one of two that will be used to ferry oil workers around Angola, the first, D2-EYL (c/n 613, ex C-FDGW), also passed through Glasgow on August 27.
Over the last couple of months two SN Brussels Airlines aircraft have been flying with depictions of world-famous comic strip heroes Asterix and Obelix on their forward fuselages as part of a collaboration with the publishers of the long-running adventures of Asterix, Editions Albert-Rene. Seen here is Avro RJ100 OO-DWH painted with Asterix chasing a Roman soldier.
Cessna's Citation Mustang displayed in the static park at Orlando was fully furnished, with a club-four leather seating and a roomy cockpit incorporating a three-screen Garmin 1000 avionics system.
The wrecked fuselage of Freedom Air Shorts 330 N76NF on the ramp at Guam on October 4, 2005. The aircraft was destroyed inside the Continental Micronesia hangar here on December 8, 2002, when struck by Super Typhoon Pongsona.
Ghana International Airlines' first aircraft, Boeing 757-225 N930RD (leased from Ryan International), sports this smart livery incorporating the colours of the Ghanaian flag and was used to inaugurate services between Accra and London on October 29, 2005.
Alenia C-27J Spartan C.S.X62216 (c/n 4115) was displayed in the static park at Pisa-San Guisto Air Base on September 10, 2005 during an air show to mark the imminent retirement of the G.222 from Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI - Italian Air Force) service. The C-27J will begin replacing the G.222 next year and this aircraft is the first to be completed in full AMI configuration, including a reinforced undercarriage and airframe, in-flight refuelling probe and electronic warfare self-protection suite. It made its first flight after upgrade to AMI configuration on August 28 at Torino-Caselle.
EVA Air Airbus A330-203 B-16303 was unveiled on October 21, 2005 in this special scheme featuring characters from the Hello Kitty cartoon series as part of a joint promotion with the Sanrio Company. The special theme continues inside the cabin with Hello Kitty paintings on the walls.
Though not yet flying, one must take very seriously the two new models from Embraer. Announced earlier this year as the Light Jet and the Very Light Jet, these two aircraft received new names at the Convention - the Phenom 300 and Phenom 100 respectively. The Phenom 100 is expected to be in service by mid-2008 and the Phenom 300, which has little commonality with the smaller model, will follow a year later.
Irish Air Corps EC 135P2 270 (c/n 0425), seen here at Baldonnel on November 8, 2005, arrived on delivery from the Eurocopter factory in Germany on November 3 in company with 271 (c/n 0431). The helicopters had left Donauworth the previous day and after a night stop at Norvenich Air Base, Germany, they left for a refuelling stop at Koksijde Air Base, Belgium, before flying on to Ireland. The helicopters will be operated by 301 Squadron at Baldonnel, finally replacing the veteran Alouette Ills, which have served for almost 40 years.
Spectrum compares the size of its aircraft with the Citation CJ2, but quotes a better performance due to the light weight of its carbon-fibre airframe and fuel-efficient engines. It is the brainchild of Linden Blue, who was the inspiration behind the Starship during his tenure as President of Beech Aircraft some years ago.
Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) K-8 2106G (c/n L832 00313), seen here, together with 2104E (c/n L832 00311), were welcome visitors to the South African Air Force ‘Fighter Meet’ at AFB Makhado on October 8, 2005. The AFZ began taking delivery of the type in late 2004/early 2005 at Thornhill Air Base outside Gweru, where they are operated by 2 Squadron, replacing Hawk Mk 60As, for which the AFZ is unable to obtain spares due to trade restrictions.
US Marine Corps/VMGR-352 ‘Raiders’ KC-130J 166765 ‘QB-765’ made its first visit to RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, on October 22, 2005 and is seen here the following day taxiing out for departure, using callsign ‘Raider 41’. Fresh off the Marietta production line, the aircraft was only delivered to the unit at MCAS Miramar, California, on September 27 in these special high visibility markings as the aircraft of the unit’s commanding officer, Lt Col Tomas McGinnis.
Vietnamese Air Force PZL M28-05 Skytruck 312, which was lost in a fatal crash on November 4, 2005.
Former Future International Boeing 737-4Q8 EC-INQ (c/n 25169) outside the Sprayavia facility at Norwich following rollout on October 21, 2005 in a special colour scheme as the first jet equipment for Canary Islands-based Binter Canarias. This was Sprayavia’s most complicated job to date, with a complex design of 31 different colours that took 12 days of 24 hour working to complete, twice the normal time for a respray. The design features scenes from each of the seven Canary Islands and took 1,000 man hours to complete.
Indonesian Air Force S-58T H-3451 at Atang Senjaya in July 1999. The helicopter went missing on October 12, 2005, and a month later had still not been found.
Two-seat JAS 39D 392801 ‘01’, the first for the South African Air Force, lands after its maiden flight from Linkoping on November 11, 2005.
Saab JAS 39D Gripen 42, the first two-seat aircraft for the Hungarian Air Force, takes off on October 27, 2005 from Linkoping, Sweden, for its first flight. Note that the aircraft carries the new, toned down, all-grey Hungarian national insignia on the fin.
Boeing 737-8Q8 C-FTAH (c/n 29351, ex G-XLAH) seen at Southend on November 7, 2005 after pre-delivery work by ATC Lasham and painting in the colours of new Canadian start-up carrier Sunwing Airlines. Sunwing, part of the Sunwing Travel Group, have leased the aircraft from Excel Airways for the winter period and planned to commence operations from their base at Toronto/Pearson International Airport on November 17 with a flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Air China 737-79L B-5201 (c/n 34023), delivered on October 26, 2005, is the first of two being specially-painted with the official 2008 Beijing Olympics logo and theme ‘One World, One Dream.’