Air International 2013-07
On June 5, 2013 a Chinese delegation witnessed a demonstration of Sukhoi Su-35S '07' red at Kubinka near Moscow. China has long had an interest in acquiring up to 48 Su-35s. On March 25 Chinese state media announced that the country had agreed to purchase 24 Su-35s, but the Russian authorities denied this. The latest delegation is understood to have held discussions with Rosoboronexport, the United Aircraft Corporation and Sukhoi towards finalising a sale.
The final four A-10Cs Thunderbolt IIs assigned to the 81st Fighter Squadron taxiing at Spangdahlem AB before departing for the United States on May 17, 2013.
Noted on a test flight from Yeovil in Somerset on May 23, 2013 was AgustaWestland AW101 Mk 642 ZR350 (c/n 50249) destined for Algeria. The helicopter is one of two Mk 642s ordered as VIP transports and destined for the Algerian Air Force. Six Mk 610s have already been delivered to the Algerian Naval Forces.
To mark its 35th anniversary Esquadra 751 'Pumas' of the Forca Aerea Portuguesa (Portuguese Air Force) has painted AgustaWestland AW101 Mk 514 19604 (c/n 50107) with special markings, including a Puma on the rear fuselage. The squadron, based at Base Aerea N° 6, Montijo, south of Lisbon, was formed in April 1978 and originally operated the Aerospatiale SA330L Puma, then converted to the AW101 in 2006.
Koninklijke Luchtmacht (Royal Netherlands Air Force, RNLAF) 323 TACTES Squadron celebrated its 65th anniversary on May 31, 2013. For the occasion F-16AM J-002 received these special markings earlier in that month. No 323 Squadron was established on November 15, 1948, at Twenthe AB as the first of six Dutch air defence squadrons operating Meteor F4/T7s (and later also F8s), converting in turn to the Hawker Hunter F4/T7 and T/F-104C Starfighter before receiving F-16A Fighting Falcons in 1981. The squadron was renamed 323 Tactical Training, Evaluation and Standardisation Squadron (TACTESS) in July 1992.
F-16AM J-006 of 322 Squadron has an image of a Spitfire on its tail, the aircraft flown during its time as an RAF unit and upon reactivation as the first Royal Netherlands Air Force fighter unit.
The first Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III assigned to the Macedonian Centar za Obuka na Piloti (COP, Pilot Training Centre) has received Makedonsko Voeno Vozduhoplovstvo (Macedonian Air Force) insignia. Bell 206B-3 401 (c/n 4513, ex EI-MER) was acquired from the Irish company Gaelic Helicopters and delivered to COP at Petrovec air base on November 22, 2012. COP is a joint venture between Elbit Systems of Israel and the Macedonian Ministry of Defence that was started in May 2011 to undertake helicopter training. Elbit Systems will deliver four JetRangers to Macedonia by the end of 2013, along with two full mission Mil Mi-17/171 and Mi-24 simulators currently being produced by Simultec of Romania. The Macedonian Air Force will assign five Zlin 242L piston-engine trainers (serials 102 to 106) to the establishment. All four JetRangers will eventually be repainted in the white with red and orange trim scheme already worn by the Zlins.
The contract was signed between the defence ministries of Argentina and Italy. The AB206B-1s will be used for scout missions by the Escuadron de Aviacion de Exploracion y Ataque 602 at Campo de Mayo in Buenos Aires, as well as with aviation sections across the country. Santiago Rivas
Seen performing overshoots at Wittmund on June 6, 2013 was Tornado ECR 46+57 from Aufklarungsgeschwader 51 (Reconnaissance Wing 51) 'Immelmann', painted in the scheme applied for the unit's participation in Exercise Arctic Tiger 2013 in Norway. The unit will send six Tornados to Orland for the exercise, which is due to run between June 17 and 28.
The Antonov An-70 prototype has been painted in a new grey scheme. The transport is seen at the company's flight test facility at Gostomel Airport in Kiev, Ukraine.
Boeing 727-282 Adv (RE) XT-BFA (c/n 22430, ex N727RE) operated by the Burkina Faso government, was used to transport VIPs to Brussels Airport in Belgium on May 15, 2013 to attend the international donor conference to raise funds for Mali. Three African government Boeing 727s arrived at Brussels on the same day, with XT-BFA joined by -2Y4 Adv (RE) TU-VAO (c/n 22968, ex VP-CML) of Cote d'Ivoire and Mali's -2K5 Adv TZ-001 (c/n 21853, ex LX-MMM).
On approach to Antalya Airport in Turkey on May 25, 2013 was Tupolev Tu-154M RA-85833 (c/n 01A1020) of Tartarstan Aircompany. The airliner was previously flown by Ural Air before entering storage by March 2012 and being transferred to Tartarstan at the end of last year.
Test flights of the first Pilatus PC-21 trainer for the Royal Saudi Air Force (901, c/n 155) are under way. The aircraft is seen at the manufacturer's facility at Stans in Switzerland on June 3, 2013. It was rolled out there on May 27, a year and two days after BAE Systems signed an order for 55 PC-21s for Saudi Arabia. Deliveries are due to start next year.
To mark 40 years of CH-47 Chinook operations by the Aviazione dell'Esercito Italiano (Italian Army Aviation) retired CH-47C airframe MM80824/‘EI-802' has been painted as ‘EI-801', the first delivered on February 16, 1973, and had special markings applied. It is seen at Viterbo on May 17, 2013, home to the 1° Reggimento Aviazione dell'Esercito (1st Regiment Army Aviation) 'Antares', which operates the Italian Chinook fleet.
The first example of the ICH-47F Chinook was exhibited in late May, 2013 at the AgustaWestland plant in Vergiate, where the Italian production line is located. CSX81778 (c/n M7801) is the first of 16 ordered by the Italian Army, which also has options for a further four. The CH-47F variant is being produced under a joint production contract signed by Boeing and AgustaWestland on July 16, 2008. It differs from the Boeing-built CH-47F by having new communications, navigation and mission systems provided by Selex, including an integrated threat alert system, ballistic protection, passive countermeasures launcher and crashworthy seats for the crew. The Italian order was announced on May 13, 2009, for delivery between 2013 and 2017 and the first is due to fly later this year.
Undertaking a test flight at the Airbus facility in Toulouse-Blagnac in southern France on May 24, 2013 was A320-214 F-WWIP (msn 5614). The airliner was delivered five days later to Aeroflot Russian Airlines as VP-BNT named Dobrolet in the scheme worn by the carrier's aircraft in the 1970s. It first flew on April 18.
Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton BuNo 168457 during its maiden flight on May 22, 2013.
Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Airbus CC-150 Polaris (A310-304) 15001 (msn 446, ex-C-GBWD) has recently been repainted in a VIP scheme with Government of Canada titles in English and French on the fuselage. The RCAF has five CC-150s assigned to No.437 Squadron, 8 Wing, based at CFB Trenton, Ontario. CC-150 15001 is seen at Cologne, Germany, on June 8, 2013.
The prototype Boeing 787-9, ZB001, on the assembly line at Everett, Washington. Work to connect the major sections of the airliner began on May 30, 2013.
Fokker F27-200MAR D2-01 is seen on the apron at Cuatro Vientos on May 25, 2013, awaiting preparations for its transfer to the nearby Museo del Aire.
The first production Ka-226T powered by a pair of Turbomeca Arrius 201 turboshafts (other Ka-226 versions are powered by Rolls-Royce 250-C20R/2 engines) was handed over to the Russian Ministry of Emergencies just few days before the exhibition.
An ATR 72-600 destined for Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) of Antigua and Barbuda is undertaking flight tests at Toulouse-Blagnac in southern France. The aircraft (F-WWEN, msn 1077) is seen on approach at the airfield on June 4, 2013. It first flew on May 7 and will become V2-LIA upon delivery. UAT's order for three ATR 42-600s, plus options for a pair of ATR 72-600s was announced in January, with deliveries due to start in June. However, V2-LIA is the first of two ATR 72-600s for the company, owned by the Air Lease Corporation, scheduled to be delivered in June and August.
Noted on the Airbus Military flight test line at Seville in Spain in late May 2013 was CN235 msn 208 for the Armee de I'Air du Cameroun (Cameroon Air Force). An order for a single example of the transport was announced by the manufacturer on June 6, 2012.
On June 5, 2013 EADS North America announced that the 15th Airbus Military HC-144A Ocean Sentry had been delivered to the US Coast Guard. The maritime surveillance aircraft (2315, msn 207) is seen undergoing flight tests at the Airbus Military facility at Seville-San Pablo Airport on May 30. The last two handed over (2313 and 2314, msns 202 and 203) were noted at Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Mobile, Alabama, in March. The Coast Guard has received 15 HC-144As, 14 of which have entered service at CGAS Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and CGAS Miami, Florida, as well as at Mobile, while a further three are due to be delivered this and next year. A fleet of 36 is planned.
A400M EC-402 fitted with a Cobham 908E air-refuelling pod, on final approach to Seville International Airport on May 29, 2013.
Superjet 100-95LR 97006 (c/n 95032) is the prototype long-range version of the basic airliner. It completed its maiden flight on February 12, 2013.
Artist's impression of the Challenger 350.
Cessna conducted the maiden flight of a production Cessna J182T Turbo Skylane JT-A on May 21, 2013 from its facility at Independence, Kansas, with senior test pilot Dale Bleakney at the controls. It is the first production diesel-fuelled aircraft offered in the Cessna light aircraft range, powered by a 230hp (169kW) SMA SR305-230E, and has replaced the T182T Skylane TC in its product line. The powerplant will also run on Jet A fuel. The aircraft (N94883, c/n J182T-00002) was fitted with a long-range ferry tank in the rear cabin to make its international debut at AeroExpo at Sywell, Northamptonshire, between May 31 and June 2.
Four No.736 Naval Air Squadron Hawk T1/1As over the Cornish coast
Pilatus PC-7 Mk II P-101 (c/n 690) was the first of its type to arrive at Dundigal, where the trainer was inducted into Indian Air Force service at the end of May 2013.
Airbus A330-343X F-WWTR (msn 7420, to become RP-C3341) is the first of the type for Cebu Pacific Air of the Philippines, leased from CIT Aerospace. Cebu will lease eight A330-300s powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772Bs, two of which will be delivered in both 2013 and next year. The first made its maiden flight from Toulouse-Blagnac on May 15, 2013 and is seen making a test flight from the south-west France airport eight days later. It was delivered on June 13 and will enter service on long-haul flights between Manila and Dubai on October 7.
Airbus Military used this year's trade media briefing to launch the C295W fitted with winglets, which is aimed at improving hot-and-high airfield performance.
AA350-900 F-WXWB (MSN1) above south-west France on its first flight on June 14, 2013.
MSN1's flight test crew comprised from the left: Peter Chandler Airbus chief test pilot, Emanuele Costanzo flight test engineer, Guy Magrin A350XWB project test pilot, Patrick du Che Head of Development Flight Tests, Fernando Alonso Head of Airbus Flight & Integration Test Centre and Pascal Verneau test flight engineer.
Guy Magrin, the A350XWB project test pilot discusses the plan with Airbus chief test pilot Peter Chandler onboard MSN1 on June 14, 2013.
Voyager KC3 MRTT021/EC-338 (msn 1334, to become ZZ335) was rolled out of the Air Livery hangar at Manchester Airport on May 28 after being painted in RAF colours. It is expected to be the sixth to be delivered to RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.
The first EMD Beech King Air 350ER EMARSS during its maiden flight on May 22, 2013.
The first AW139 assembled in Russia was due to be handed over to Exclases Holdings in June 2013. During the exhibition, Exclases Russia ordered five more AW139s.
AgustaWestland AW139 CSX81814/'PS-108' is the first of two of the type ordered by the Italian Polizia di Stato (State Police) for the European Union's Frontex. The helicopter is seen at Vergiate, equipped with a sensor turret under the nose and searchlight, as well as emergency floatation equipment. Scheduled for delivery soon, both are due to be based at Pratica di Mare, near Rome. The Polizia has options a further six AW139s. The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union is shortened to Frontex (Frontieres exterieures - French for ‘external borders'). It is the agency responsible for coordinating the activities of the member states' border security forces. The helicopter displays Italian and Union flags on its tail.
Arriving for the 352nd Special Operations Group (SOG) based at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, on June 7, 2013 was Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando II 10-5714 (c/n 382-5714). The aircraft is the first of its kind to be based in Europe and will be assigned to the SOG's 67th Special Operations Squadron. The unit will receive 12 MC-130Js within five years to replace its current fleet of first generation special ops Hercules variants. The SOG was also due to receive its first pair of Beil-Boeing CV-22B Ospreys this June. Ten of the tiltrotors will be based at RAF Mildenhall by the end of 2014.
HeliRussia 2013 attracted 205 companies. Among novelties, Eurocopter's EC130 T2 made its debut in Russia.
Mi-35M combat helicopter in front of the hall of HeliRussia 2013 exhibition.
WestJet Encore's Bombardier Q400 NextGens have started flight tests at the manufacturer's facility at Toronto-Downsview Airport, Ontario in Canada. DHC-8-402 C-FHEN (c/n 4441, fleet number 402, seen here) is understood to be the second destined for Encore. C-FOEN (c/n 4440) is likely to become fleet number 401. WestJet firmed an order for 20 Q400s, plus 25 options, on August 1, 2012. The carrier will assign the turboprops to the new WestJet Encore regional division that was due to be running in June. Initially, the subsidiary will serve routes from Fort St John and Nanaimo in British Colombia, as well as from locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including Grande Prairie, Edmonton and Calgary.
An artist's impression of the Pilatus PC-24, details of which were revealed at EBACE in Geneva, Switzerland.
Boeing 747-830I D-ABYI (c/n 37833) was the 50th of the Dash 8 variants to be delivered. It was handed over to Lufthansa on May 29, 2013.
Пробный неуправляемый пуск ракеты AIM-120
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighting II AF-01 flown by Lt Col George ‘Boxer’ Schwartz, the F-35 Integrated Test Force director, completed the first in-flight missile launch on June 5, 2013. The aircraft fired an instrumented AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) within the Point Mugu Sea Test Range over the Pacific Ocean. This was the first time the aircraft had demonstrated a launch-to-eject communications sequence and ignited the weapon's rocket motor. An AIM-120 was first 'dropped' from the F-35A on October 19, 2012, during a separation trial, but its rocket was not fired. The latest trial was undertaken as part of the aircraft's Block 2B software tests prior to its service introduction later this year.
Australia has ordered two F-35A Lightning IIs and committed to 14 aircraft.
At a projected cost of $270 million each, the US Navy's F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is an expensive jet to operate from super carriers.