Air International 2007-05
News: Headline, Military, Civil
BAE Systems development Harrier GR.9A ZG477 seen at Warton, Lancashire, on March 21, 2007 with a Lockheed Martin AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) mounted on the port underfuselage weapons station as part of continuing integration trials with the pod. Lockheed Martin UK confirmed on February 26 that the Sniper ATP had been selected to equip the RAF Harrier GR.9 under an Urgent Operational Requirement for Afghan operations, although the number ordered has not been released. Announced on the same day were plans to deploy four more GR.9As to Afghanistan by mid-year, bringing the total in theatre to ten. Sniper ATP deliveries commenced in March and full capability deployment should be achieved in June.
NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (AEWF) Boeing E-3A LX-N90443 seen on approach to its base at Geilenkirchen, Germany, on April 12, 2007, resplendent in a new scheme to mark the 25th anniversary of the formation of the NATO E-3A component. The aircraft was returning after attention by Aeronavali at Venice/Marco Polo Airport, Italy, where the new colour scheme was also applied.
USAF/49th Fighter Wing 'grey ghost' painted F-117A Nighthawk 85-0835 departs Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on March 12, 2007 on its final flight to the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada. The aircraft was one of the first six that departed on that date for Tonopah, where they will be dismantled and placed in storage.
High-cabin NH90 BSWA003, the third for the Swedish Armed Forces but the first to be assembled by Patria in Finland, undertook its maiden flight from Halli on March 28, 2007. The helicopter is seen here a few days later on April 4 departing from Pori Airport, Finland, for a flight back to Halli.
The first MRH90 for the Australian Army, carrying test registration F-ZVLF in the rear cabin window, undertakes its maiden flight from the Eurocopter facility at Marignane, France, on March 28, 2007.
Luftwaffe/AKG 51 Tornado IDS 45+51 taxies out for departure from Schlewig-Jagel on April 2, 2007 for deployment to Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. The aircraft is one of six from the unit, plus two reserves, that will be based there for an initial six months to undertake reconnaissance missions in support of ISAF. Stood alongside the taxiway to see them off are Lieutenant General Klaus-Peter Steiglitz (Luftwaffe Chief of Staff), Dr Franz Josef Jung (Secretary of Defence) and General Wolfgang Schneiderhan (Inspector of the German Armed Forces).
USAF/412nd Test Wing/418th Flight Test Squadron C-17A Globemaster III 87-0025 'ED' (c/n T1), the first C-17A ever produced, flies over Owens Valley, California, during a sortie from its base at Edwards on March 22, 2017. The aircraft returned to Edwards on March 16 after a major upgrade at San Antonio, Texas, to enable it to continue test work for a further 15 years.
Madrid, Spain-based Air Plus Comet, now relaunched as Air Comet, has adopted this new livery, as seen on the airline's second Airbus A340-311, EC-KCF (c/n 013, ex G-VBUS), which had been delivered to the airline in Madrid on March 10, 2007 after repainting at Bristol/Filton, UK. It is seen here at Madrid on March 16. The aircraft joins A340-311 EC-KAJ (c/n 015, ex G-VAEL), both being former Virgin Atlantic aircraft acquired to operate the airline's new route to Santiago, Chile.
Boeing 777-333ER C-FITL (c/n 32256), the first of eight 777s for Air Canada, seen at Toronto/Lester B Pearson International Airport, Canada, on April 4, 2007. The aircraft was handed-over by Boeing on March 30 and was flown the following day from Seattle, Washington to Montreal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. It entered revenue service on April 6 with a flight from Toronto to London/Heathrow.
Taxiing in at Brussels/Zaventem Airport, Belgium, on April 8, 2007 is former Evergreen C-130E N130EV (c/n 4047, ex USAF/64-0552) following its arrival from Santa Maria, Azores, at the end of a ferry flight from the USA. The aircraft is to be refurbished at Brussels by Sabena Technics prior to delivery to the Belgian Defence Air Component as CH-14. It will replace C-130H CH-02 that was destroyed in a hangar fire at Brussels on May 5, 2006. The aircraft had left McMinniville, Oregon, on March 20 and initially attempted to reach Europe via Gander and Shannon but was thwarted by technical and weather problems, eventually opting for the southern route via Bermuda and the Azores.
Eurofighter Typhoon 7L-WA (AS001), the first for the Austrian Air Force, with temporary German test serial 98+40 taped over its Austrian markings, lifts off from the runway at Manching, Germany, at 1115hrs on March 23, 2007 on its maiden flight.
RAF Eurofighter Typhoon F.2 ZJ937 (BS028), the 46th UK aircraft, made its first flight on February 23, 2007 and is seen here about to make its second production test flight on March 6. What is unusual is that the aircraft, although largely in primer, has a fully painted grey tailfin with 29 Squadron badge and code 'BG', indicating that it has been fitted with the fin from ZJ808. The latter was at Warton last year for modification and has obviously acquired a new fin, whilst the old one went to Samlesbury for strengthening as part of an ongoing modification programme. Additionally, the port side of the front fuselage, also manufactured at Samlesbury, still carries the production identification markings, normally removed before first flight, including a red/white/blue roundel and 'Royal Air Force' titles.
Chengdu JF-17 Thunder 07-101, wearing Pakistan national colours, with the rear of 07-102 just visible behind, sits on the ramp at Kamra on March 23, 2007 prior to participating in the Pakistan National Day Joint Services Parade and flypast over Islamabad. The aircraft are the first two for the Pakistan Air Force and had been airfreighted into the country at the beginning of the month.
Swedish Kustbevakning (Coast Guard) Bombardier Dash 8-Q311 C-FEDJ/'5O1' (c/n 622) taxies out on March 29, 2007 at Toronto/Pearson International Airport, Canada, for its first flight following conversion by Field Aviation to a maritime surveillance aircraft.
NASA Dryden's newly acquired General Atomics Ikhana (Predator B) UAV, NASA 870, during a sortie on March 5, 2007 from the GA-ASI facility at Gray Butte, California.
Fokker 50 9M-MGI (c/n 20175) is one of two former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) aircraft that form the initial fleet of MAS' wholly owned, low-cost subsidiary Firefly, which commenced revenue services from its base at Penang on April 3, 2007.
Former Flybe BAe 146-200 G-JEAW (c/n E2059, to be ZS-PUM) seen at Southend Airport, Essex, on April 2, 2007 after painting by Sprayavia at Norwich, Norfolk, in the colours of South African Airways feeder airline Airlink, which is leasing the aircraft from BAE Systems. After pre-delivery work at Southend by Inflite it was delivered to South Africa in early April to supplement Airlink's existing fleet of Jetstream 41s and Embraer ERJ-135s.
Southend, Essex-based Flightline's BAe 146-300 G-BPNT (c/n E3126) seen shortly after returning to Southend on April 12, 2007 after repainting by Sprayavia at Norwich, Norfolk, in VLM colours and with the name 'Spirit of Rotterdam'. This is the first jet aircraft for the Belgian carrier and it has now been delivered on wet lease from Flightline, operating its first revenue service on April 16, supplementing VLM's Fokker 50s on London City services.
Skyservice Boeing 757-236 C-GMYH (c/n 25053) of Skyservice Airlines seen at Toronto/Pearson International Airport, Ontario, Canada, on March 7, 2007 also wearing Maestro titles. The aircraft had been flying for Quebec-based tour operator Vacances Maestro (Maestro Vacations), which had begun operations in December 2006, but Maestro ceased flights on March 7, stopping all flights, with the 757 having Maestro titles removed later that day. The aircraft had previously been operated by Vancouver-based Harmony Airways between July 2003 and April 2004 - Harmony has also now fallen by the wayside, announcing on March 27 that all scheduled flights would be terminated on April 9 due to increased operating costs, aggressive price competition and overcapacity in the market.
Поставляемые на экспорт вертолеты модификации Ми-8АМТ получили обозначение Ми-171 (имеются подварианты). Недавно Ирак закупил партию модифицированных вертолетов Ми-171Э.
Military Transition Team members stand next to a newly refurbished Mi-171 helicopter for the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) at New Al Muthana Air Base, Baghdad, Iraq, on February 17, 2007. The helicopter was later transferred to Taji Air Base, where it is one of four refurbished examples of the type now in service with the IqAF's 4 Squadron, which had logged 67 flying hours with the helicopters by March 29, including their first two operational missions. None of the Mi-171 s yet wear serials and are flying unmarked, apart from national insignia.
Grob G120A-F D-EAVD at Cognac following arrival on March 29, 2007. The aircraft was one of the first two delivered on that date out of a planned total of 18 that will undertake ab initio training of French military pilots.
Following the decision to deploy the F2 standard Dassault Rafale on combat operations in Afghanistan, three of the type from the Armee de l'Air’s (AdlA - French Air Force's) EC.01.007 'Provence' at St Dizier arrived at Dushanbe, Tajikistan, at 1400hrs local March 12, 2007. The three aircraft, which had left France on March 11 and made a refuelling stop in Djibouti, are seen here on March 12 on the last leg of the flight from there to Dushanbe. The first mission over Afghanistan took place on March 14, whilst the three French Navy Rafales which are also participating, operating from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, undertook their first missions on March 24.
CFM International CFM56-5B-powered Airbus A319-112 OE-LEK (c/n 3019, ex D-AVXM), seen here during test flying on February 16, 2007, is the first for Austrian carrier Nikki and was formally handed-over in a ceremony at Hamburg/Finkenwerder on March 22. The aircraft is also the first A320 family aircraft to introduce a new state-of-the-art cabin interior. It joins five A320s and one A321 already in the Nikki fleet, whilst a further three A320s and one A321 are also on order.
Prague/Ruzyne-based Travel Service Boeing 737-86Q OK-TVC is now being sponsored by telephone company O2 and has had this smart colour scheme applied, seen as the aircraft departed Budapest, Hungary, on March 16, 2007 after making its first visit to the airport in the new colours.
Although not often photographed, Bell 412s operated by security company Blackwater USA have been operating in and around Baghdad, Iraq, for some time under contract to the US Department of State, although the contract is reported to be currently being re-bid. The helicopters fly without any registration markings but wear the colour scheme seen here on one of the 412s whilst flying over the scene of a car bomb attack that killed two people and injured nine others in the Bayaa district of Baghdad on April 2, 2007. Note that both the windows in the large side door have been removed to allow a clear field of fire for weapons carried by the personnel inside.