Air International 2008-02
News: Headline, Military, Civil, Accidents
Antonov An-2 HA-MKK crashed in Slovenia on January 11, 2008, killing the pilot and seriously injuring the other crewmember.
On December 21, 2007, Slovak Air Force MiG-29 0921 from 1 SLK at Sliac was unveiled in this new 'digital' camouflage scheme, variations of which are also to be adopted by the rest of the fleet. The aircraft is the last of 12 that have been upgraded locally at Trencin by RSK MiG, but the first in new colours.
AgustaWestland VH-71 Kestrel G-17-005 (TV-5) makes its first flight from the factory airfield at Yeovil, Somerset, on December 10, 2007.
The main body of the wreckage of USAF/Missouri Air National Guard/131st Fighter Wing/110th Fighter Squadron F-15C 80-0034 'SL', minus the cockpit section, is seen where it came to rest after the aircraft's in-flight break up on November 2, 2007. The accident led to grounding of the entire USAF F-15A/B/C/D fleet for two months whilst major inspections were undertaken to check for similar problems.
EADS Military Transport Aircraft announced on December 10, 2007 that the first in-flight contact with the newly developed EADS Air Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) has been successfully completed. Installed on the EADS A310 test-bed, the ARBS performed contact with Portuguese Air Force F-16A 15102 at an altitude of 27,000ft (8,230m). This was the 60th test flight with the boom and these sorties have now totalled more than 160 flight hours.
AgustaWestland announced on January 8, 2008 that Italy's Aviazione Dell'Esercito (AVES - Army Aviation) has taken delivery of its first NH90 multi-purpose Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH). The aircraft was handed-over on December 30 and is the first of 60 NH90 TTHs on order for the AVES to replace older types currently used in various utility roles. Through a Phased Logistic Support programme, AgustaWestland will provide a complete support and training package for these helicopters, with an initial commitment for three years.
The fuselage of Nimrod MR.2 XV246 is manoeuvred off Antonov Airlines' An-124-100 Ruslan UR-82007 at BAE Systems' Woodford Airfield, Cheshire, on December 19, 2007 after being flown in from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, to where it had been flown in for storage on January 12, 2006. The aircraft will now be converted to Nimrod MRA4 standard.
Seen on December 13, 2007 after arriving in Malta for a stop-over whilst on delivery from the UK back to the Royal Saudi Air Force is Tornado 6612, which departed the following morning to continue its journey home. The aircraft is one of three that arrived at BAE Systems Warton, Lancashire, during December 2006 for upgrade under the RSAF Tornado Sustainment Programme (TSP) and is believed to be the first to have completed the TSP modifications.
Italian Carabinieri AgustaWestland A109N Nexus MM81664 'CC-43' is seen here during an acceptance flight on December 5, 2007 at Turin-Caselle Airport, Italy, before hand-over. The first batch of these helicopters were handed-over to the Carabinieri at the end of October and a total of 17 are on order to replace a similar number of older A109A/A-IIs with various Italian Government agencies. Additional deliveries to other agencies, which will include the Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Guardia di Finanza and Polizia di Stato, will take place over the next few months. The Nexus is a new variant of the A109 specifically development for the Italian Government requirement and is based on the cabin of the A109 Elite, with the nose from the A109LUH and tail and rotor system from the A109S Grand.
Northrop Grumman's second E-2D Advanced Hawkeye development aircraft, 166502 (c/n AA2) 'Delta Two', which made its first flight on November 29, 2007, is seen here undertaking engine tests on the ramp at the company's facility at St Augustine, Florida, on December 1.
Former Bangkok Air Boeing 717-21S HS-PGP (c/n 55064) is seen here departing Glasgow Airport, Scotland, on December 11, 2007 for storage in the western USA pending re-allocation. The aircraft is one of four leased 717s that were operated by the airline but all are now being returned to their lessors as Bangkok Air introduces new Airbus A319s, the first of which was delivered last June.
Former weather research Hercules W.2 XV208, now de-converted back to standard configuration, seen in the Marshall Aerospace facility at Cambridge after installation of the TP400 power plant on December 3, 2007 in place of the aircraft's No 2 engine.
Transaven Let 410UVP-E3 YV2081 disappeared on January 4, 2008 on approach to Los Roques Airport, Venezuela, and is believed to have crashed into the sea. To date there has been no sign found of the aircraft or the 14 persons on board.
Displayed publicly for the first time on December 12, 2007 at Pleso Air Base, near Zagreb, during the Air Force's 16th anniversary celebrations, were these two new Croatian Air Force Mi-171Sh helicopters, H-220 and H-221. They had only been airfreighted into the country a week earlier, on December 5, and are the first of ten ordered from Russia as part of debt repayments to the Balkan country.
Newly delivered Etihad Airways A320-232 A6-EIB (c/n 1945, ex PH-MPE with Martinair) was unveiled on January 7, 2008 in this special Formula 1 colour scheme to highlight the airline's sponsorship of the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will be the UAE's first Formula 1 race. Etihad introduced the A320 as its first narrow body type late last year with one purchased and two leased aircraft, whilst A6-EIB is the first of a further three being introduced during the first quarter of 2008.
НАСА использует Global Hawk с 2007 года. Самолеты применялись для различных исследований, включая изучение озонового слоя и погоды. В 2010 году два Global Hawk НАСА успешно пролетели через ураган.
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) announced on December 20, 2007 that two early Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) have recently been transferred to NASA DFRC. The UAVs, 95-2001 (c/n AV-1) and 00-2006 (c/n AV-6), previously in use for USAF trials at Edwards Air Force Base, California', have now moved across the airfield to NASA's co-located DFRC facilities to support NASA's Airborne Science Program research missions. One has already been painted in the NASA blue and white colours and re-serialled as NASA 872, as seen here on the ramp at Dryden on December 3. The aircraft were made available to NASA because the USAF no longer has a requirement for them now that ACTD testing has been completed. After modifications for their new role, they are expected to be available for initial research activities in 2009.
On December 8, 2007 the Indian Airforce staged an impressive demonstration of its tactical air power at the Pokhran air to ground weapons range near its Jaisalmer forward air base in the northwest of the country, close to the Pakistan border. Almost 50 aircraft participated, using live weapons against a range of mock targets, including these three MiG-27ML Bahadurs, which dropped 1,000lb (454kg) bombs on a mock petroleum/oil/lubricant dump.
Bombardier Dash 8-Q311 C-FNEA (c/n 653), the first Q300 for Air Philippines/Island Holidays, taxies out at Toronto/Downsview Airport, Ontario, Canada, on November 25, 2007 for a test flight. The aircraft arrived in Manila after completing its delivery flight on December 11, now wearing registration RP-C3016. The aircraft is one of three on order, with options on a further three, under a contract signed on April 25, 2007. They will join a fleet currently made up of eight Boeing 737-200s. The next two Q300s are scheduled to join the airline in the first quarter of 2008.
Seen here at Dublin, Ireland, on December 29, 2007, ATR 42-300 SP-KCN (c/n 409) of Polish operator White Eagle Aviation is currently being leased to Irish operator Aer Arann to supplement its fleet.
Airbus A400M prototype c/n 001 is towed out from the final assembly line in Seville, Spain, on January 2, 2008 after being removed from the jigs. It was moved to an adjacent hangar where work will continue to prepare the aircraft for its maiden flight this summer.
ACAC unveils the ARJ21-700 at the Shanghai Aircraft Company factory at Dachang Airport, Shanghai, on December 21, 2007.
Airbus celebrated a further milestone in a ceremony at Toulouse on December 14, 2007, when it handed-over its 5,000th aircraft, A330-202 VH-EBG (c/n 887, ex F-WWKD), to Australian flag carrier Qantas. This is the seventh of ten A330-200s ordered by the airline. Airbus delivered its first aircraft, an A300B2, in May 1974 and then it was to be 19 years before the 1,000th was delivered, in 1993. Reflecting rapid growth and expansion of products, the 2,000th followed only six years later, in 1999, the 3,000th in 2002, and the 4,000th in September 2005, whilst it only took another two years to reach the 5,000th milestone.
Eurocopter EC 225 B-7126 (ex F-WWOY) was one of two handed-over on December 18, 2007 in Zhuhai to the Chinese Ministry of Communications for search and rescue operations with the China Rescue and Salvage Bureau.
Dornier 228-212 PH-CGN (c/n 8181, ex D-CNLA and 9N-AFS with Cosmic Air) is one of two of the type recently added to the Dutch Kustwacht (Coast Guard) fleet. The other is PH-CGC (c/n 8183, ex D-CNLB and YV-534C with Aerotuy). During a ceremony at their base at Schiphol-Oost on December 11, 2007 they were formally transferred to Ministry of Defence ownership and will now be operated on behalf of the Kustwacht by the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Both were extensively modified for the role by RUAG at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, with equipment that includes Terma sideways looking airborne radar, a Star Sapphire forward-looking infra-red system, satellite communications, an automatic identification system, oil sampling buoy and a jettisonable life raft. PH-CGN was delivered on July 17 and PH-CGC followed on October 10, they replace a single Dornier 228-212, PH-MNZ (c/n 8206), which had been operated since June 1992 but is now up for sale following delivery of the two more capable aircraft.
Royal Netherlands AF/301 Squadron AH-64D Q-01, with the damaged areas of the nose sheeted over, is recovered following its wire strike on December 12, 2007.
Pilatus PC-12/45 N131JN (c/n 446) arrives at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, on January 8, 2008 for the 318th Special Operations Squadron (SOS), which is due to formally activate in March as part of the 27th Special Operations Wing (SOW).
QinetiQ Jaguar T.2B XX833 seen on December 20, 2007 during its final sortie from Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, where it has now been withdrawn from use.
Brand new Iberia Airbus A319-111 EC-KKS (c/n 3320, ex D-AVYF), which was handed-over to the airline in Toulouse on November 19, 2007, has been painted in this special 1950s retro scheme to mark the airline's 80th birthday. Iberia launched operations on December 14, 1927, with its maiden commercial flight (and also the first ever commercial flight in Spain) from Madrid/Cuatro Vientos to Barcelona, a route on which it used three ten-passenger Rohrbach-Roland trimotor aircraft. To celebrate the event, the A319 made a special commemorative flight from Cuatro Vientos to Barcelona on December 14, although passengers were first picked up from Madrid/Barajas Airport, as Cuatro Vientos is now mainly a military base.
Lockheed Martin's Boeing 737 CATBird F-35 mission systems testbed undertakes one of its final check flights on December 7, 2007 before commencing F-35 testing.
After months of training, proving flights and a rigorous certification process, Frontier Airlines' new subsidiary, Lynx Aviation, finally operated its inaugural flight on December 7, 2007 from its hub at Denver, Colorado, to Billings, Montana. The first of ten brand new Dash 8-Q400s on order was delivered to the airline on July 20, 2007. Seen here taxiing out on January 2 from Pearson International Airport; Toronto, Ontario, to begin its delivery flight is the seventh Lynx Dash 8-Q402, N507LX (c/n 4181, ex C-FMUF). Following the carrier's 'whole different animal' theme, which differs on each aircraft, this Q400 carries baby seal artwork on the tail, very appropriate for the frigid and snowy delivery day. The aircraft also used Lynx's new 'Shasta' callsign, with flight number 'SHA8507' for the flight to Kansas City International, Missouri.
Canada's Sunwing Airlines announced on January 7, 2008 that it is further expanding its fleet and will be operating nine Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s at the height of the winter season. One of the latest to be delivered is 737-86N C-FEAG (c/n 33003, ex G-XLAG of XL Airways) which is seen here departing Southend Airport, Essex, on December 18 for Toronto via Glasgow on its delivery flight after maintenance and respray.
The first STOVL Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, BF-1, was rolled out at Fort Worth, Texas, on December 18, 2007.