Air International 2013-12
Antonov An-26 Curl RF-36009 (c/n 4304) is operated by the Voyska Vozdushno-Kosmicheskoy Oborony (Air and Space Defence Troops), an independent branch of the Russian military. The aircraft has a small, non­standard pannier under the centre fuselage. The force was formed on December 1, 2011, and replaced the Kosmicheskie Voyska Rossii (Russian Space Forces), with responsibility for operating military satellites and launch facilities as well as air and missile defence.
Two Mil Mi-17V-5 Hip-Hs, a Mi-17 Hip-H and a single Mi-24 Hind of the Force Aerienne Congolaise (Congolese Air Force) at Brazzaville-Maya-Maya Airport on October 25, 2013. The Mi-17V-5s (on the right) are equipped with a rear loading ramp and have a rescue hoist mounted above the front door The Mi-17 (possibly serial TN-368) wears a green and brown scheme, different from that on the example noted at Pointe Noire on June 25, confirming that a minimum of two are in Congolese service. At least one Mi-24P Hind-F was delivered to the Congo from the Ukraine in 2005. However, the aircraft illustrated appears to be a Mi-24V Hind-E variant, with a nose-turret mounted machine-gun rather than the fixed cannons of the Hind-F, indicating further deliveries have occurred. It is armed with a rocket pod under the stub wing.
A Mil Mi-26T Halo heavy-lift helicopter was recently delivered by Russian Helicopters to the Kazakhstan Ministry of Emergency Situations. The aircraft (UP-MI601, c/n 34001212137, ex CCCP-06007) was ferried on delivery from Novosibirsk, the administrative centre of Novosibirsk Oblast in Russia, to Boraldai at Almaty in Kazakhstan on October 13, 2013. It was upgraded and overhauled by the Novosibirsk Aircraft Repair Plant after being stored at Konotop in the Ukraine with 535 Aviation Repair Plant for more than 20 years. In May 2012 it was transported to Novosibirsk from Konotop - more than 2,000km (1,243 miles) - carried externally by a UTair Mi-26T. A second modernised Halo is due to be delivered to the ministry.
The fifth to seventh production Sukhoi Su-30SMs for the Russian Air Force arrived at Domna AB on November 11, 2013. A total of 14 are due to be delivered to the base by the end of the year to form the first operational unit with the type. Among those that will be assigned to the unit are the two (at least) currently at Lipetsk, ‘56’ (c/n 10MK51005) and ‘57’ (c/n 10MK51006), the third and fourth production aircraft. Su-30SM ‘56’ is pictured arriving at Lipetsk in late October.
Royal Saudi Air Force Boeing E-3A Sentry 1803 (c/n 23417) has begun taxi tests at King County International Airport/Boeing Field, Washington, following a year of upgrades at the airfield. The Saudi fleet of five is having Radar System Improvement Program components installed. The airborne early warning and command and control aircraft is seen during one of the tests on November 6, 2013.
Conducting a test flight from AgustaWestland's facility in Yeovil, Somerset, in early November 2013 was AW101 Mk 641 ZR350 (c/n 50249) destined for the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. Algerian titles are worn on the port side with English titles currently on the starboard. The aircraft is understood to be one of two on order configured for VVIP transport. It is due to become 7T-WVC upon delivery.
The last Lockheed Martin F-16C Block 32 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 194th Fighter Squadron (FS), 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard (ANG) left Fresno-Yosemite International Airport on November 2, 2013. Painted with a stylised rendition of the unit's emblem on its black tail, the aircraft (87-0301) was flown by the 194th FS’s commander, Col Sean Navin, for its final sortie. The unit has re-equipped with the McDonnell Douglas F-15C/D Eagle, transferring its F-16s to the 162nd Fighter Wing at Tuscon, Arizona.
Republic of Singapore Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52 Fighting Falcons of 140 Squadron arriving at Kuantan AB in Malaysia on November 7, 2013 for the start of Bersama Lima 2013.
EF-18M Hornet C15-41/‘15-28’ carrying inert AGM-88 HARM and IRIS-T missiles on approach to Albacete AB on October 8, 2013 during Nube Griz. The aircraft still carries the 25th anniversary markings applied in 2010.
A Lynx AH7 departing Princess Royal Barracks, Gutersloh, one of the last three British military aircraft based in Germany.
A US Marine Corps UH-1N Huey assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 (HMLA-467), lands on the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) during the type’s final active-duty squadron deployment.
NHIndustries MRH-90 A40-010 (c/n 1191) was one of the Australian Army Air Corps helicopters participating in Riverfire 2013 in Brisbane, Queensland - the closing ceremony of the city's annual festival, so called because of the large fireworks display held over the river. The Australian Defence Force performs air displays at the event, and this year’s - on September 28, 2013 - was the first time the MRH-90 participated, the helicopter having been commissioned into service in July.
Arriving at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, on October 1, 2013, was P-3C BuNo 158206. The aircraft was painted in this heritage scheme for the Centennial of Naval Aviation in 2011 to represent EP-3B ‘Bat Rack’ aircraft of the 1960s. The airframe was last operated by Patrol Wing 10 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.
Lockheed WP-3D Orion N42RF (c/n 5622, ex BuNo 159773) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), visited King County International Airport/Boeing Field, Washington, on October 19, 2013. The WP-3D weather research platforms will become the first aircraft to receive the Allison 756 Series 3.5 enhancement. Developed by Rolls-Royce, the modification has demonstrated 10% reductions in fuel consumption during tests on a Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The first WP-3D to be upgraded will re-enter service in early 2015. The administration’s two WP-3Ds (the other being N43RF, c/n 5633, ex BuNo 159875) are based at MacDill AFB, Florida.
MH-60S BuNo 167901/’AJ610’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 (HSC-9) ‘Tridents’ based at NS Norfolk, Virginia. HSC-9 traces its history back to Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 3 (HS-3) which was established on June 18, 1952, at NAF Elizabeth City, North Carolina, equipped with the Piasecki UH-25B helicopter.
The fourth Boeing C-17A Globemaster III for the Indian Air Force (CB-8004, bln F261 ex 11-0104) left Long Beach, California, on October 19б 2013 on its delivery flight to Hindon, near Delhi. It transited through RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire (where it is seen on October 21) using the call sign IFC3413. Boeing will deliver another Globemaster to India before the end of the year and the remaining five on order during 2014.
E-2C Hawkeye Group 2 BuNo 164353/'AJ600' of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 124 (VAW-124) ‘Bear Aces' based at NS Norfolk, Virginia. The squadron acquired its nickname as a result of its crews' directing numerous interceptions of Soviet Tu-95 Bear bombers during a deployment to NAS Keflavik, Iceland, in 1981.On August 19 that year, two F-14A Tomcats under the control of VAW-124 intercepted and shot down two Libyan Su-22 Fitter fighter aircraft over the Mediterranean. The US Navy aircraft were all assigned to CVW-8 operating from the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) which was under way in the Gulf of Sidra. In June 1985, VAW-124 provided tracking of hijacked TWA Flight 847 as it crisscrossed the Mediterranean while deployed with CVW-8 on USS Nimitz.
The Boeing 777-9X and 777-8X (at rear) were officially launched on November 17, 2013 with commitments from four airlines.
Embraer 190-100LR D-ARJF (c/n 19000420, ex OE-IXF) of Niki at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany on October 19, 2013, while it was operated by airberlin. Niki is a subsidiary of airberlin. Airberlin flew three of Niki's ERJ-190s from March 2011, returning the airliners in September, October and November. D-ARJF served the German carrier from March 11 until November 5, when it adopted its previous Austrian registration.
Embraer 190-100LR PH-FNS (c/n 19000616) was the sole airliner operated by FlyNonstop. It was parked at the carrier's base, Kjevik Airport in Kristiansand, Norway, on October 30, 2013, the day before the carrier declared itself bankrupt.
Former US Navy EC-130Q BuNo 161495 at McClellan Field in Sacramento, California, on August 28, 2013 awaiting final approval as an air tanker. After spending ten years on display in Racine, Wisconsin, it was obtained for conversion to the firefighting mission by the Coulson Group, which also owns and operates Martin Mars fire bombers. Tanker 131, N130FF, is now equipped with a 3,500-gallon internal retardant delivery system, and is expected to be the first in a series of new civilian C-130 air tankers.
Taking centre stage in a night photo-shoot at RAF Northolt, West London, on October 17, 2013, was the RAF's sole surviving Hercules C1, XV295. Five days later XV295 departed RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, for St Athan airfield in South Wales for storage. The event was organised by Phil Dawe and station commander Gp Capt Andy Bacon to support the rebuilding of Northolt's famous Battle of Britain Sector Operations Building (Building 27), now renamed the Sir Keith Park Building.
Three Lockheed LC-130H Hercules of the 139th Airlift Squadron, 109th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard deployed to Antarctica in October 2013 in support of the annual Operation Deep Freeze. The first (73-3300, c/n 4508, ex BuNo 159129) left Stratton Air National Guard Base at Schenectady County Airport, New York, on October 18, with another pair following four days later. Three more will deploy before the end of the year. The transports will support the National Science Foundation's Antarctic missions into February 2014.
Typhoon FGR4 ZK329/‘FH' of No.1(F) Squadron and Mirage 2000N 369/‘125-AG ’ of Escadron de Chasse 2/4 together during Exercise Capable Eagle.
Russian Helicopters’ Ulan Ude facility has delivered a new production Mil Mi-171E helicopter to Kazakhstan’s interior ministry. Aircrew and technicians for Kazakhstan are being trained at Ulan Ude. The Mi-171E variant is equipped for cold weather operations.
Two Mil Mi-17V-5 Hip-Hs, a Mi-17 Hip-H and a single Mi-24 Hind of the Force Aerienne Congolaise (Congolese Air Force) at Brazzaville-Maya-Maya Airport on October 25, 2013. The Mi-17V-5s (on the right) are equipped with a rear loading ramp and have a rescue hoist mounted above the front door The Mi-17 (possibly serial TN-368) wears a green and brown scheme, different from that on the example noted at Pointe Noire on June 25, confirming that a minimum of two are in Congolese service. At least one Mi-24P Hind-F was delivered to the Congo from the Ukraine in 2005. However, the aircraft illustrated appears to be a Mi-24V Hind-E variant, with a nose-turret mounted machine-gun rather than the fixed cannons of the Hind-F, indicating further deliveries have occurred. It is armed with a rocket pod under the stub wing.
The first Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Lavi for Israel has entered final assembly at the manufacturer's facility at Venegono Superiore in Italy. Work to combine the three major components of the aircraft’s structure started in early November 2013. The aircraft (build number D0001, c/n 0019) is the first of 30 due to be delivered to the Israel Air and Space Force from mid-2014 to replace Douglas TA-4 Ahits. Israel ordered the advanced trainer in February 2012.
Recently delivered Airbus A320-232 XY-AGT (msn 2128, ex P4-PAS) is the second of its type for Golden Myanmar Airlines. It arrived for maintenance at London Southend Airport, Essex, on September 23, 2013 from Bournemouth Airport, Dorset, where it was painted in Golden Myanmar's livery, and is seen departing on October 14 on delivery via Dubai. It was previously operated by Air Astana. The carrier's first A320 (XY-AGS, msn 1407, ex EI-EUE) was delivered on December 19, 2012.
VAQ-134 deployed all five of its assigned aircraft to NAS Fallon in October 2013.
EA-6B Prowler BuNo 163886/’AJ500’ of VAQ-134 ‘Garudas’ is the squadron's CAG-bird.
ATR 72-600 F-WWEC (msn 1114) conducting a test flight at Toulouse-Blagnac in France on October 23, 2013. The regional airliner was delivered to Avianca of Colombia as HK-4955 on November 2, the second of three on order. The third (HK-4956, msn 1116, ex F-WWEE) was handed over five days later.
Force Aerienne Congolaise (Congolese Air Force) CASA CN235M-10 TN-228 (c/n C009, ex N833CA) at its home base at Brazzaville-Maya-Maya Airport on October 25, 2013. The transport was one of two previously operated by the Botswana Defence Force Air Wing that were replaced by new CN235M-300s. Both were initially stored at Lanseria in South Africa, with one (5V-MBM/N820CA, c/n C008, ex OG1) due to go to the Togolese Air Force, although it never entered service with it. TN-228 was delivered to the Congo by March.
Xian MA60 TN-AJF of Societe Nouvelle Air Congo at Brazaville-Maya-Maya Airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo on October 25, 2013. The aircraft was handed over to the airline on June 20 and is understood to be its fourth MA60. The other three (TN-AHL, -AHN and -AHO, c/ns 04-05, 04-06 and 04-08) were delivered in 2006 and 2007.
Hawker 850XP FAM-002 was recently delivered to the Mozambique Air Force. It visited Lanseria in South Africa on October 25, 2013.
The Eclipse 550 is an improved version of the 500, incorporating many of the features originally envisaged for the earlier type.
Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign (N605CS, c/n 680-0001, ex N681CS) is the test­bed for Elliptical Winglets, which are due to enter service in 2015.
At Fokker Services' facility in Woensdrecht on October 24, 2013 was Fokker F28-3000 5H-CCM (c/n 11137) of the Tanzania Government Flight Agency. The aircraft arrived in the Netherlands three days earlier for scheduled maintenance. It has been operated by the Tanzania Government ever since it was delivered in November 1978.
Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer L-02 (c/n 539, ex HB-HLV) received special markings for the 25th anniversary of 131 EMVO (Elementaire Militaire Vlieger Opleiding, elementary military pilot training) Squadron, celebrated on October 10, 2013 at its home base, Woensdrecht AB. The unit took delivery of ten PC-7s (L-01 to L-10, c/n 638 to 647) between January 26 and September 14, 1989; a further three (L-11 to L-13, c/n 610 to 612) were added on July 11, 1997, in response to a need for more pilots. The aircraft were repainted from their original yellow, red and white colours to the current black with yellow in 2005/2006.
C-27J 08-27013, a former Ohio Air National Guard aircraft operated by the 179th Airlift Wing based at Mansfield Lahm municipal airport, arrived at David-Monthan on August 7, 2013. The aircraft is currently awaiting a parking allocation for Type 1000 storage, which requires the airframe to be kept in near-active condition. Other C-27Js, the first of which (serial number 09-27021) arrived on July 23, have been retired from Maryland, Michigan, and the US Army.
Airbus Military C295M 028 (c/n S-104) completing a test flight at San Pablo Airport, Seville in Spain, on October 28, 2013. The transport, the fifth of five ordered for the Polish Air Force in mid-2012, was delivered along with the fourth on November 2, taking the total number for Poland to 17.
A firefighting modification for the Airbus Military C295 recently conducted a flight test from the manufacturer’s airfield at San Pablo in Seville, Spain. The C295 prototype (EC-295, c/n P-001) was noted making a test flight on October 17, 2013, returning an hour later with the rear emergency door and newly-installed under fuselage hatches open. Five days later the company announced it had begun water-bombing trials at a site near Cordoba. Further tests are planned to evaluate the aircraft’s potential in the firefighting role.
The four Eurocopter EC145s for the Peruvian National Police Force's Aviation Unit at Donauworth prior to delivery, headed by PNP-128 (c/n 9621).
The new Chinese unmanned air vehicle - either a new programme or a radical redesign of the Xianglong.
Beechcraft Corporation delivered the first King Air 350i to Wheels Up during a ceremony October 21, 2013, the day before the opening of the National Business Aviation Association Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. The membership-based private ownership operator has ordered up to 105 King Air 350is valued at $1.4 billion, including support services. The aircraft (N800UP) is the first of 35 scheduled for delivery by mid-2015, including a further eight that will be handed over by year's end.
Prior to the unveiling of XE111, VX-9 already had one colour bird - F/A-18F Super Hornet BuNo 166791/’XE260' - which features a green fin band outlined in white with the squadron’s ‘XE’ tail code inset.
F/A-18F Super Hornet BuNo 166663/’AJ200’ of Strike Fighter Squadron 213 (VFA-213) ‘Black Lions' based at NAS Oceana, Virginia, seen landing at NAS Fallon. VFA-213, formerly F-14 Tomcat-equipped Fighter Squadron 213, transitioned to the F/A-18F in May 2006, becoming the first fleet squadron to fly APG-79 AESA radar-equipped Super Hornets.
Bell 429WLG prototype C-FCTA was unveiled at Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 22, 2013.
Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint ZZ664 touches down at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, on November, 12, 2013.
F-5N BuNo 761544 is currently painted in the lizard colour scheme shown. The aircraft wears the legend ‘1973-2013 40 Years' on the tail and side number 40 to celebrate the anniversary.
On November 3, 2013 Bombardier delivered the first Model 415 Superscooper to be acquired by an American operator. The water bomber (C-GUZF, c/n 2089) was handed over at the Canadian manufacturer's North Bay facility in Ontario, Canada, to Tenax Aerospace of Ridgeland, Mississippi, and will be operated by Aero-Flite of Kingman, Arizona, under contract to the US Forest Service from December. The B415 is the 50th built at North Bay, where production moved after 39 had been built at the Dorval plant at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, Quebec. Aero-Flite currently operates three earlier Canadair CL-215s for the US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management in Alaska as well as two owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
HAL Hawk Mk 132 IN032, one of 17 that will be delivered to the Indian Navy.
Typhoon FGR4 ZK329/‘FH' of No.1(F) Squadron and Mirage 2000N 369/‘125-AG’ of Escadron de Chasse 2/4 together during Exercise Capable Eagle.
VX-9’s F/A-18E Super Hornet BuNo 166857/'XE111' was unveiled in its new colour scheme at NAWS China Lake in November.
F/A-18E BuNo 166776/’AJ100’ of Strike Fighter Squadron 31 (VFA-31) ‘Tomcatters’ based at NAS Oceana, Virginia, touches down on Fallon’s 14,005 ft-long runway 31L. The stylish colour scheme includes the CVW-8 badge on the inner tail fin and ‘Felix the Cat’ artwork on the outside fin surfaces. VFA-31 is the second-oldest continuously active US Navy squadron.
F-4E Phantom 3-6541 of the 91st TFS prior to take-off for a test flight over the Semnan missile test range on January 19, 2012 to integrate the C-802A and AN/APQ-120 radar.
F-4E Phantom 3-6541 prior to a test flight from Mehrabad loaded with a C-802A missile.
F-4E 3-6649 loaded with a C-801K missile at Mehrabad on September 25, 2013. During a ceremony at the IACI facility that day, domestic production of air-launched C-801K and C-802A missiles was officially announced by the Minister of Defence.
During an IRIAF exercise at Tabirz in September 2008 F-4E 3-6634 (c/n 4674) launches an R-73E Vympel missile.
The prototype Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout (BuNo 168455) made its maiden flight at Naval Base Ventura County, California, on October 31, 2013.
Air Serbia Airbus A319-131 YU-APC approaching Runway 26 at Stockholm-Arlanda on November 8, 2013 after flying from Belgrade.
The Piaggio P.1HH HammerHead technology demonstrator taking off from Tapani, Sicily, during its first flight on November 14, 2013.
Bombardier DHC-8-402Q ET-AOE (c/n 4428, ex C-GRUC) is one of approximately five of the regional turboprops operated by ASKY Airlines, based at Lome-Tokoin Airport in Togo. The carrier began services on January 15, 2010, after being formed by Ethiopian Airlines, which holds a 40% stake. The Q400 is seen on October 14, 2013 at Ouagadougou Airport in Burkina Faso, one of 22 destinations served by the company in west and central Africa. ET-AQE was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines on December 10, 2012, and is leased to ASKY.
Indonesia's Lion Air Group took delivery of its 100th 737 Next-Generation airliner from Boeing on November 4, 2013. The aircraft, 737-9GPER PK-LOF (c/n 38741), is one of 67 Dash 900ERs now operated by the company's main Lion Air unit, the largest low-cost carrier in the country. It is pictured at King County Airport/Boeing Field two days after being handed over. Lion Air also flies 19 737-800s, with the group's other 14 737NGs operated by Batik Air, Thai Lion Air and Malindo Air. The Lion Air Group also holds firm orders for 201 737 MAX airliners plus 150 options.
The SR-72 will have a distinctive delta planform.
The SR-72 will cruise at Mach 6 and be powered by a Turbine-Based Combined Cycle engine.
A diagram of the SR-72's Turbine-Based Combined Cycle engine.
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II 07-0744/‘ED’ (b/n AF-6) of the 461st Flight Test Squadron, 412th Test Wing, completed the first live-fire launch of a guided air-to-air missile over a military test range off the Californian coast on October 30, 2013. Operating from the unit’s base at Edwards AFB, California, the jet launched an AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM).
The first Lockheed Martin F-35A for the Royal Australian AU-1) is now in final assembly and due to be rolled out on July 1, 2014. AU-1 began the fuselage ‘mate’ process at Fort Worth, Texas, on October 7, 2013, marked by a ceremony attended by Head of New Air Combat Capability Air Vice-Marshal Kym Osley. The second aircraft (A35-2, AU-2) will be rolled out on August 1 and both will be delivered to Luke AFB, Arizona, in early 2015 to support pilot and maintenance training. Initial operating capability for the F-35A in Australia is set for late 2020, by which time the first of three F/A-18A/B Hornet squadrons, No.3 Squadron, will have completed conversion and been declared operational.
A French Navy Dassault Rafale takes off from the flight deck of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier with an inert ASMP-A air-to-ground nuclear missile on its central fuselage weapons station.
An artist’s impression of the Dassault Falcon 5X, unveiled in Las Vegas, Nevada, in late October, 2013.