Air International 2006-07
News: Headline, Military, Civil, Accidents, Airshow
Lithuanian operator Aviavilsa's Antonov An-26B LY-APN was temporarily based at Southend, Essex, from the end of May 2006 until early June to operate cargo flights on behalf of local operator Trans Euro Air. The aircraft is seen here between flights on the ramp at Southend on May 31.
New MchS Rossii (Russian Emergency Situations Ministry) Beriev Be-200ChS RF-32767 was displayed at ILA and is believed to be the fourth aircraft of seven ordered by MchS. Since ILA, Portugal has signed a lease deal for a single Be-200, with a view to ordering four aircraft if trials are successful, whilst there is also interest from Italy for the fire protection role and the Chinese Navy as an anti-submarine aircraft.
USAF/Oregon Air National Guard/173rd Fighter Wing/114th Fighter Squadron F-15C 78-0488, callsign 'Mazda 62', lands at RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, on May 30, 2006 after arriving from its base at Klamath Falls IAP, Kingsley Field, Oregon, via Otis ANGB, Massachusetts. The aircraft was accompanied by five others, 79-0079, 80-0047, 82-0046, 83-0016 and 83-0043, all of which were en route to Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, to participate in Exercise Sentry Lion, which takes place between June 2-16.
Marking the first time the type has been seen at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, since the early 1990s, US Navy S-3B 159744 'AB-705' from VS-32 arrived from the USA via Keflavik, Iceland, on May 22, 2006, leaving the following day for NAS Sigonella, Sicily. The aircraft was en route to join the USS Enterprise before it reaches the Arabian Gulf, replacing another S-3B on the carrier that has gone tech. A second S-3B, 158865 'AB-706', returned through Mildnehall in the opposite direction on May 25, using the same callsign as the earlier aircraft, 'Mauler 3', and is thought likely to have been the aircraft being replaced.
The highlight amongst the veteran and vintage aircraft at ILA was fully airworthy new production Messerschmitt Me-262A-1c D-IMTT/501244, which had only flown for the first time in Germany on April 24, 2006 after being delivered to the Messerschmitt Foundation in Manching. That was the first flight by the type over Germany since 1945. It made its first flight with the undercarriage retracted on May 11 before flying to ILA to make its public debut just a few days later. The aircraft is the second of five being built new in the USA at Fort Worth, Texas.
Making the first visit of the type to the UK, Airbus A380-841 F-WWDD (c/n 004) is seen at London Heathrow on May 18, 2006, after also flying over Airbus UK’s facilities at Broughton, north Wales, and Filton, Bristol. The aircraft was parked on Terminal 3 at the new Pier 6, which has been especially constructed to accommodate the aircraft and can take up to four A380s at any one time.
New production CRJ900 EI-DOU (c/n 15068) is the first of the type for Rome-based Italian operator Air One and is seen here passing through London Stansted Airport on its delivery flight to Italy on May 23, 2006. The aircraft is the first of six for the airline, which only placed the order a week earlier on May 15, whilst also taking out options on a further four.
Six US Army UH-1Hs previously used to support the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai seen at Tel Aviv/Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel, in early April 2006 awaiting transport back to the USA. The MFO supervises implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty and the Hueys supported the MFO through Aviation Company 97 under the 1st US Support Battalion. The unit has now transitioned from ten UH-1Hs to eight UH-60A Black Hawks, also painted in the distinctive red and white scheme seen on the Iroquois.
RAF/Lyneham Transport Wing Hercules C.1 XV206, seen here on the ramp at its base at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, in 1992, was destroyed by fire after landing at Lashkar Gar airstrip in Afghanistan on May 24, 2006.
Boeing announced on May 17, 2006 that it had successfully demonstrated the maritime capabilities of its Scan Eagle unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to the UK Ministry of Defence during Trial Vigilant Viper off the Scottish coast. Ten flights with autonomous launch and recovery operations were conducted from the Royal Navy (RN) Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland in rough sea conditions as part of the Joint UAV Experimentation Programme (JUEP). The ScanEagle, complete with Royal Navy titles, roundels and fin flashes, is seen here on its launcher on the flight deck of HMS Sutherland during the trials.
Russian Interior Troops/Novosibirsk Air Wing Mi-8 '112 Yellow', with tail boom severed and main rotors partially sheared off, seen following its crash landing at Kemorovo Air Base, Siberia, on June 2, 2006.
These two views show the extensive fire damage sustained by American Airlines Boeing 767-223ER N330AA following the uncontained failure of the No 1 engine during maintenance at Los Angeles International Airport on June 2, 2006. Los Angeles Fire Dept of the failure and after dousing it with foam it took several hours to completely clear up the spill. Damage was such that the aircraft is almost certainly a write-off.
Thomas Cook Belgium has taken delivery of an additional Airbus A320. The former Hellas Jet A320-232, OO-TCN (c/n 425, ex SX-BVA) 'Dream', was painted at Southend and is seen departing from there on May 28, 2006 on its delivery flight to Brussels with its former Greek registration taped over its new Belgian identity.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Berlin on May 16, 2006 between the German Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense establishing baseline conditions for US/German Government co-operation on interoperability of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and EuroHawk systems. The EuroHawk will have a new signals intelligence (SIGINT) mission system designed by EADS to meet Luftwaffe requirements and a demonstrator system is scheduled for delivery in 2010 to commence replacement of the SIGINT Atlantic fleet.
Bombardier Dash 8-Q311 C-FEDJ (c/n 622) '501', the first for the Swedish Kustbevakning (Coast Guard), seen shortly after arrival at the Field Aviation facility at Toronto/Pearson International Airport, Ontario, on April 29, 2006 after delivery from the Bombardier factory at Downsview, Toronto. The aircraft is the first of three on order and will now be fitted out in maritime surveillance configuration before delivery to Sweden next year.
PIA's first ATR 42-500, AP-BHH (c/n 645, ex F-WWLE), wearing PIA's smart new colour scheme and 'Gwadar The New Port City' titles, seen during an air-to-air photographic session on May 24, 2006. The aircraft was handed-over in Toulouse on May 31 and arrived in Pakistan on June 2 before operating its first service on June 10.
The first Israel Air and Space Force (IASF) Gulfstream G550 Compact Airborne Early Warning (CAEW) aircraft, N637GA (c/n 5037), during its first flight on May 20, 2006 from Savannah, Georgia. Gulfstream
Airbus A330-203 F-WWYI (c/n 747), the first of five aircraft for conversion to Multi-Role Tanker Transport configuration for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), arrives at Getafe, Spain, on June 2, 2006 for work on the conversion to commence.
Airbus A330-243 B-6070 (c/n 750, ex F-WWKA), the first for Air China Southwest Branch, was delivered to the airline at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Sichuan Province, on June 8, 2006, having left Toulouse the previous day. The airline becomes the first operator of the type on the Chinese mainland and has the aircraft is configured in a 283 passenger, two-class layout, with 12 in business class and 271 in economy. The aircraft will be used on routes connecting Chengdu and the high-altitude airports at Jiuzhaigou, Lhasa and Lingzhi.
BAE Systems Hawk Mk 120s 251 and 252 were formally handed-over to the South African Air Force (SAAF) in a ceremony at Denel’s Kempton Park facility on May 24, 2006. The aircraft are the first of 24 for the SAAF and left that afternoon on delivery to 85 Combat Flying School at Air Force Base Makhado. Of the two, 251, seen here taxiing for departure on May 24 after the hand-over ceremony, had been flown to Makhado last September for ground crew familiarisation, but had subsequently returned to Denel.
As a prelude to the final retirement of the type from RAF service, 39 (1 PRU) Squadron has painted special tail markings on Canberra PR.9 XH134, seen here on approach to its base at RAF Marham, Norfolk, on June 6, 2006. The type is destined for final retirement at the end of July or in early August.
During a delivery ceremony at the manufacturer's Hamburg/Finkenwerder factory on May 30, 2006, Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris took delivery of its first two directly ordered A319s, including A319-132 N501VL (c/n 2771, ex O-AVWP, to be XA-VOA) seen here. Volaris placed an order for 16 A319s, with options on a further 40 A320 family aircraft in January and already has four leased A319s in service.
New Chinese carrier East Star Airline took delivery of this new production A319-112, B-6229 (c/n 2762, ex D-AVWJ), on May 12, 2006 at Toulouse on lease from GE Commercial Aviation Service (GECAS). The aircraft entered revenue service on May 22 operating a flight from Wuhan to Shenren. East Star is acquiring ten A320 family aircraft direct from Airbus and a further ten on lease from GECAS.
Dash 8-Q402 HL5252 (c/n 4119, ex C-FFCH), the first of five (plus three options) ordered by Jeju Air of South Korea, last year seen at Downsview Airport, Toronto, Ontario, on May 3, 2006. The aircraft had been formally handed over there on April 26 at Bombardier's facility at Downsview and subsequently operated the airline's inaugural flight, from Jeju International Airportto Gimpo Airport, on June 5.
Winglet-equipped Boeing 737-808 C-FTDW (c/n 34704, ex N17868) was delivered to Canada's Sunwing Airlines on June 6, 2006, becoming the first new Next-Generation 737 operated by the airline, which also has two second-hand aircraft in service. The aircraft was flown from Boeing Field to the airline's home base at Toronto Pearson Airport.