The A-10 Thunderbolt II may be sacrificed in response to potential cuts in the US Air Force’s budget. Other aircraft under threat are the KC-10A Extender tanker/ transport, MC-12W Liberty intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, B-1B Lancer bomber, and the F-15C Eagle fighter.
Embraer has passed a major milestone in its E-Jet programme with the delivery of the 1,000th example of the airliner family. Embraer ERJ-175LR N407YX (c/n 17000370, ex PT-EBU) was delivered to Republic Airlines during a ceremony at the manufacturer’s facility at Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil on September 13, 2013. Republic operates the airliner on behalf of American Eagle. It is part of the order for 47 ERJ-175s (plus options for a further 47) announced in January.
Transiting through RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, on the evening of September 24, 2013 was the first two Lockheed C-130H Hercules for the Afghan Air Force. C-130HS 74-1675 (c/n 382-4640, seen here) and 74-1677 (c/n 382-4643) are among four former US Air Force examples that will enter service in Afghanistan, replacing the withdrawn Alenia C-27A/G222 fleet. Of the two, only 74-1675 displayed the housings for self-defence countermeasures sensors above the cockpit and on the rear fuselage. The second pair of C-130Hs will be handed over to Afghanistan next year.
Lockheed C-130H Hercules CH-13 (c/n 382-4047, ex CH-14, N130EV) sports a commemorative colour scheme to celebrate 40 years of service by the type with No.20 Squadron/15 Transport Wing of the Belgium Defence-Air Component. The first of 12 C-130Hs (CH-01 to CH-12) arrived at Melsbroek Air Base on July 25, 1972, and the last in April 1973. One (CH-06) was lost in a fatal accident on July 15, 1996, following multiple bird strikes while landing at Eindhoven Air Base in the Netherlands. A second Hercules was destroyed on May 5, 2006, in a hangar fire at Brussels Airport, where the aircraft was undergoing deep maintenance with SABENA Technics; CH-13, its replacement, was displayed at an open day at Melsbroek Air Base on September 21 and 22, held to celebrate 65 years of the formation of Nos. 20 and 21 Squadrons on May 1, 1948.
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner prototype N789EX landing back at King County International Airport/Boeing Field, Washington, at the conclusion of its second flight on September 19, 2013.
Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner VH-VKA (c/n 36227) departing Everett, Washington, on October 7, 2013, on delivery to Jetstar of Australia. The aircraft touched down at Melbourne-Tullamarine Airport, Victoria, two days later, after transiting via Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii. The first of 14 787-8s ordered by the Qantas Group for the low-cost carrier; they are due to enter service by 2015.
ATR-72-202F freighter HB-AFH (msn 313, ex VT-FQA) of Farnair Switzerland on the apron at Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands on October 1, 2013. The aircraft is the first to be painted in DHL’s distinctive yellow scheme for operation on behalf of the package distribution company. It departed Eindhoven for EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg in France to begin operations for the freight company carrying mail for the Swiss postal service.
Airbus Military CN235-300 tactical transport 2211/BuNo. 168988 (msn 188) arrived at Luqa Airport in Malta on September 27, 2013 during its delivery flight from the manufacturer at Seville, Spain, to the Yemen Air and Air Defence Force. It departed for Crete the following day. The aircraft was supplied via the US Foreign Military Financing programme (hence the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics serial number) to help the Yemeni Government combat al-Qaeda operatives in the country.
A400M F-WWMS bathed in lights during the ceremony at Seville on September 30, 2013.
VC10 K3 ZA147/‘F' touches down for the last time at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire, on September 25, 2013, ending the flying career of the iconic RAF tanker.
The Cessna 680 Citation Latitude prototype soon after the addition of its wings at Wichita, Kansas.
Airbus Military C295M EC-001, the fifth example for the Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara (Indonesian National Defence-Air Force), at Luqa Airport on Malta on October 1, 2013. It left the next day for Alexandria in Egypt on its journey to Indonesia. Nine C295Ms are on order for the air force, of which seven will be assembled in Seville, Spain, and two at Bandung, Indonesia, by IPTN.
Airbus Military C295M (c/n S-103), wearing United Nations titles, is one of two due to be delivered to Ghana under a recently announced lease-to-purchase scheme. It is due to support the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali. The transport is seen at Seville-San Pablo Airport in Spain on September 30, 2013. It was original destined for the Arab Republic of Egypt Air Force, but deliveries of military hardware to Egypt were suspended by Spain on August 28, allowing the C295M to be reassigned to Ghana.
Eurocopter Espana recently began crew training for the first Croatian Police pilots to be certified on its new Eurocopter EC135 (9A-HBA, c/n 689, ex EC-032). The helicopter is seen operating from Albacete on September 16, 2013. The Croatian internal affairs ministry issued a public tender for a new helicopter worth 29.2 million kuna (€3.9 million), plus tax, in July 2012, resulting in the order for the EC135.
AgustaWestland AW139 ZS-EOS (c/n 31502) departing the ExCeL London Exhibition and Conference Centre after being display at Helitech 2013 between September 24 and 26, 2013.
Robinson R66 RA-06350 taken from RA-06345 during the Russia team's recent round-the-world flight.
Twelve US Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornets arrived at Moron Air Base in Spain on September 27, 2013 during their deployment to a base within US Central Command’s area of responsibility, supporting ongoing operations in Afghanistan. All the aircraft belong to Marine Fighter Attack (All Weather) Squadron 225 (VMFA(AW)-225) ‘Vikings’ based at MCAS Miramar, California. While the other 11 have low-visibility markings, BuNo. 16541 H‘CE-01' has full-colour insignia and carries the unit’s unofficial 'Victory or Valhalla’ motto on the strake above the intakes.
AgustaWestland has completed the maiden flight of a production AW189. The twin-engined helicopter (I-RAID, c/n 49007) flew at Vergiate in Italy on October 10, 2013 and is due to be delivered to Bristow Helicopters before the end of the year. Two more AW189s are being assembled at Vergiate, while a second production line is being created at Yeovil, Somerset. More than 80 AW189s have been ordered, most of which will serve in the offshore energy support role.
Douglas DC-3TP YV2119 (c/n 14994/26439) was noted at Opa Locka in Florida in September 2013. The aircraft has been present at the airfield for at least 12 months, but its current operator is unknown. It was built as C-47B-10-DK 43-49178 for the RAF but entered service with the South African Air Force (SAAF) as 6849 in November 1944. It had joined Africair Ltd by January 1955 and, after passing though a number of civil operators, was re-acquired by the SAAF as 6892 in the late 1980s. In 1995 its piston engines were replaced with turboprops as a C-47TP (DC-3TP being the civil equivalent), and was sold four years later to Dodson Aviation of South Africa before moving to the United States. It passed to a Venezuelan operator in February 2008, but was noted at Opa Locka in late 2012.