Air International 2008-09
News: Headline, Military, Civil
Russian troops in the village of Kurcha in Abkhazia head towards the border with Georgia on August 10, 2008, as a Mil Mi-24V Hind-E provides cover.
The 15th Transport Wing of the Belgian Air Component celebrated its 60th anniversary by painting the fin of Lockheed C-130H Hercules CH-07 (c/n 382-4476, ex 71-1803) with the Sioux Indian motif of the unit's badge, over which the names of all the different aircraft types that have served with the Wing are listed. The Hercules is seen information with a pair of 31 Squadron/10th Tactical Wing F-16 Fighting Falcons on July 18, 2008.
Serbian Air Force SOKO J-22 Orao (25207) appeared at the Serbian Aviation Day event at Batajnica Air Force Base on August 2, 2008 in this newly applied striking colour scheme. The aircraft is assigned to the 252.lovacko-bombarderska avijaciska eskadrila (Fighter-bomber Aviation Squadron) named the Kurjaci sa Usca ('the wolves from the mouth of the river’). The depiction of the eagle along the sides of the aircraft is a reference the type's name Orao (meaning 'Eagle').
On July 28, 2008 Airbus handed over the first A380 to Emirates Airline, the most important customer for the aircraft, at a ceremony in front of 500 invited guests at Hamburg Airport in Germany. At the end of July Airbus held firm orders for 198 A380s, plus commitments for another four, from 17 customers, with Emirates accounting for 58 of the total. The airline also unveiled its cabin configuration, seating 489 passengers comprising 14 in first class suites, 76 in business and 399 in economy. Emirates also took the opportunity to sign a Letter of Interest at the event for further Airbus wide-body airliners. The following day the A380 departed for Dubai International Airport, and completed its first commercial service on August 1 between Dubai and New York.
The prototype Boeing 777F (N5020K c/n 32967) is depicted landing back at Paine Field at the end of its initial flight.
Greek charter operator K2 SmartJets ordered two Embraer ERJ-135BJ Legacy 600s at Farnborough International, held between July 14 and 20, 2008. The first is due to be handed over next year. K2 received its first Legacy 600 (SX-CDK c/n 14500998, depicted here) in July 2007 and uses the aircraft for air charters from corporations and private individuals from its base at Athens to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Lockheed L100-30 5A-DOM (c/n 4992) of the Libyan Arab Air Force has received a new scheme at the OGMA maintenance facility at Alverca in Portugal. Not visible in this view of the aircraft taken on July 17, 2008 is the Libyan roundel on the rear fuselage, although the air force titles in Arabic above the crew door identify its operator. Previously most Libyan Arab Air Force Hercules wore Libyan Air Cargo colours (the commercial division of the air force) as well as civil registrations to facilitate flights overseas, but since the normalisation of relations between the country and the west some of its transports have adopted airforce titles.
ZJ946 became the first British-built production Tranche 2 Typhoon to fly on August 6, 2008.
This anonymous-looking Boeing 767-200 is the CTA loaned by Boeing to the Italian Air Force to train crews prior to the delivery of the KC-767A tanker/transports.
Boeing 767-23B(ER) I-AIGH (c/n 23973) was delivered to Air Italy on June 15, 2008, having previously served with MAXjet Airways as N252MY until that carrier ceased operations on December 24, 2007. The widebody is depicted approaching a runway at Rome Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport on July 20. Air Italy currently has a second 767 (-340ER, I-AIGG c/n 28041) that it has flown since August 2006 and expects to receive a third in the near future. The carrier flies scheduled services for tour operators to destinations in Europe, Brazil and Kenya.
New charter cargo start-up Janes Aviation began operations from Southend, Essex, in July 2008 flying a single BAe 748 Srs 2A (G-AYIM c/n 1687), the sole airline to continue to fly the type in the United Kingdom. It began flying services on July 8 with a flight from Southend to Liverpool, and is seen returning to its base the same day. A second aircraft (G-OSOE c/n 1697) is expected to join the original BAe 748 shortly.
Further to BAe 146QT Customer Named Amerer Air of Linz in Austria has taken delivery of the first new example of the Quiet Trader produced on the conversion line at Bacau in Romania. The aircraft (OE-IAA c/n E2099, ex G-JEAJ) was painted in Amerer's red scheme at Southend, Essex, in late July, 2008. It was handed over to its new owner in August.
Production of the Bombardier Global Express long-range business jet reached a major milestone in June 2008 when the 300th aircraft rolled off the assembly line at Downsview Airport in Toronto, Ontario. The aircraft (BD-700-1A10 Global Express XRS c/n 9300) was issued the Canadian registration C-FRJV on May 23 for its flight trials and is depicted on June 24 before final painting and installation of the cabin interior. The Global Express programme was formally launched on December 20, 1993, and the first production aircraft was handed over to Toyota on July 8, 1999.
The last airworthy Shorts Belfast (RP-C8020 c/n SH1819, ex G-HLFT and XR365) continues to serve with HeavyLift Cargo Airlines. The aircraft arrived at Luqa International Airport in Malta on August 3, 2008 and departed three days later. However, it was forced to return to Luqa with its number two engine feathered, possibly after a fuel pipe fractured. The problem was fixed and the aircraft departed again later the same day. Meanwhile, scrapping of G-BEPS (c/n SH1822, ex XR368) commenced on August 13 at Southend, Essex.
The unusual layout of the WK2 was necessary to accommodate the SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle under the central wing section.
Fokker 70ER KAF 308 (c/n 11557) of the Republic of Kenya arrived in the mid-afternoon of August 8, 2008 at Rotterdam Airport. The following day it flew to Woensdrecht, where the Fokker-Stork maintenance and overhaul facility is located. The aircraft was delivered to Kenya in late 1995 and is used as VIP transport by high-ranking members of the Kenyan government.
The first A319 for Gulf Air of Bahrain was being prepared for delivery in late July 2008 by Skyservice Airlines at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada. Airbus A319-112 (c/n 1901) wears the Canadian registration C-GTDS, but will become A9C-EV upon delivery. It was formerly leased by Skyservice to Skybus Airlines as N551SX in a special 'flying pigs' colour scheme prior to the carrier becoming bankrupt and returning the aircraft to Skyservice.
The Rossiya Special Flight Detachment (Rossiya Rossiiskie Avialinii) of the Russian State Transport Company has taken delivery of a second-hand Airbus A319-111 (VP-BIT, c/n 1761, ex N909FR of Frontier Airlines). The aircraft flew from Lake City to Jacksonville in Florida, on to Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada (on July 29, 2008) and then to Keflavik in Iceland during its delivery flight to Moscow. Rossiya operates a variety of aircraft to provide VIP transport for the Russian administration. It already flies four A319s leased from Sibir and the latest delivery is one of a pair of former Frontier Airlines' examples provided by VTB Leasing. The second aircraft will be c/n 1890, currently N917FR.
Monarch Airlines has painted one of its Airbus A321-231s (G-OZBI c/n 2234) in a scheme to promote a new television show due to be aired on the British ITV2 channel this autumn. The latest in the trend of ’reality' programmes, it involves a group of minor celebrates completing training as cabin crew at Luton before flying on Monarch services. The first such service will be flown on August 26, 2008 between Gatwick and Alicante.
Airbus A321-231 SU-GBT (c/n 680) is the first aircraft in the new Egypt Air colour scheme, which represents the ancient Egyptian god Horus, the King of the Sky. The aircraft was noted at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on July 29, 2008 and is believed to have received the new colours at the beginning of that month.
At a ceremony held at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, on July 21, 2008 Boeing and Cargolux marked the delivery of the 16th and final Boeing 747-4R7F (LX-YCV,c/n 35895, named City of Contern) to the cargo carrier. The aircraft made its first flight on July 8. Cargolux is the launch customer for the 747-8 Freighter and is due to receive the first of 13 of the new-generation aircraft in 2009.
Blue Air has added its first Next Generation Boeing 737 to its fleet, a former Ryanair 737-8A3 (YR-BIA c/n29925, ex EI-CSJ). The carrier is a Romanian budget airline and flies the aircraft on scheduled services from Baneasa Airport in Bucharest. It is depicted at Rome Fiumicino on July 20, 2008. A second example is due to join the airline later in 2008.
King Air 350ER YI-151 is the first of five examples equipped for ISR to enter service with the Iraqi Air Force.