Air International 2014-09
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News
Aerostar-upgraded Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 bis Fishbed 241 of the Mozambique Air Force on approach to Bacau in Romania.
Belarusian Air Force and Air Defence Corps Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot-A ‘32’ white at Lipetsk during Aviadarts-2014.
Sukhoi Su-30MKK Flanker-G 78033 of the People's Liberation Army Air Force - armed with an unguided-rocket pod - at Lipetsk during the international Aviadarts-2014 competition.
F-16C Block 25 TS-1625 on the tarmac at Hill AFB, Utah, after being refurbished for Indonesia.
Tornado GR4 ZA560/'050’ departing RAF Marham, Norfolk, on August 12, 2014 for RAF
Royal Thai Air Force Saab JAS 39C Gripen Kh20-8/56 ‘70108’ (c/n 39-404) landing at RAAF Base Darwin on August 4, 2014 - one of the 110 aircraft involved in this year’s Exercise Pitch Black. The biennial event, held in Australia’s Northern Territories, ran from August 1 to 22, with RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal hosting participants from France, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the US as well as Australian units. Offensive and defensive counter air missions formed the core of the exercise - which makes use of Delamere Air Weapons Range and the Bradshaw Field Training Area - although air-to-ground sorties and non-aviation activities were included.
Bell AH-1Z Viper BuNo 168800/‘QT-640’ of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) ‘Atlas' at MCAS Camp Pendleton, California, has an attractive red and black scheme over the standard grey finish worn by the majority of the type. The attack helicopter was noted at King Country International Airport/Boeing Field, Washington, on July 28, 2014 during ‘Marine Week' held in the Seattle area. Boeing Field was used as a staging area for helicopters taking part.
LOT - Polish Airlines Embraer 170 SP-LDH (c/n 17000069, ex PT-SVU) about to touch down on Runway 26 at Stockholm-Arlanda in Sweden on July 29, 2014, at the conclusion of a service from Warsaw in Poland. The aircraft has been painted with some of the characters from Disney’s Planes 2: Fire and Rescue (hence ‘Samoloty 2' on the tail) to mark the release of the film. The original movie was also promoted by special schemes applied to airliners, and additional aircraft are expected to receive special markings as part of the current marketing campaign.
Eurofighter Typhoon CSX7338 is the first Tranche 3A aircraft for the Italian Air Force.
One of the RAF Puma HC2s at Ovar in Portugal during the recent Hot Blade 2014, the first overseas exercise for the new variant.
A sight not seen in the UK for a very long time - two airworthy Lancasters with engines running. The nose of B.Mk I PA474 frames the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Mk 10MR at Biggin Hill on August 14, 2014.
Airberlin Airbus A320-214 D-ABFK (msn 4433, ex D-AWQ) carries special markings to celebrate Germany's participation in the recent FIFA World Cup in Brazil - which the European team won - and a locally brewed beverage. The airliner was seen departing Dusseldorf Airport in early August 2014. It has carried the markings since April.
Bombardier DHC-8-315 N8300L (c/n 352, ex ZS-NLY) arriving at Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Hungary on August 11, 2014. The aircraft was on its way east, having arrived from Glasgow-Prestwick Airport in Scotland, and departed Budapest the following day. It is owned by Dynamic Avlease Inc of Bridgewater, Virginia, but is operated on behalf of the US Army and carries the service's titles on its tail and forward fuselage. In addition to a threat-warning suite, the aircraft has a large satcom antenna on top of its forward fuselage and canoe-like sensor pods attached to its sides. Dynamic has at least six Dash-8 Srs 300s and N8300L is understood to be a replacement for another already operating in US Central Command’s area of responsibility.
On July 31, 2014 Thai Airways International conducted its last operational flight with an Airbus A300 after 36 years in service. A300-622R HS-TAZ Srisubhan (msn 787, ex F-WWAB) lifted off from Khon Kaen Airport for flight TG045 and flew for approximately 45 minutes on her final revenue-earning service. Upon arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, a farewell ceremony was held, attended by hundreds of the company's management, pilots and staff, as well as aviation enthusiasts. The first A300-B4 entered the Thai fleet in 1977, and the variant was joined by 12 A300-600s from 1985. The 35 A300s formed the backbone of the airline’s fleet for more than three decades.
SibNIA TVS-2MS RA-1573G (c/n 1G203-15, ex RA-17754) was converted from an An-2 airframe by replacing the piston engine with a Honeywell TPE331-12UHR turboprop.
The final Airbus Defence and Space HC-144A Ocean Sentry for the US Coast Guard was noted during a test flight at Seville-San Pablo Airport in Spain on August 6, 2014. The aircraft (2318, msn C-211) is the last of 18 HC-144As on order, after plans to acquire additional examples were abandoned following an agreement with the US Air Force to transfer surplus Alenia C-27J Spartans to the maritime service.
Airbus Defence and Space A400M msn 15, the first destined for the RAF, during its initial taxi trial on August 10, 2014.
Airbus Defence and Space Military A400M A4M013 (msn 013) completed its maiden flight at Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain, on July 30, 2014. The aircraft made a 3 hour 20 minute test flight over the Alboran Sea, off the coast of Granada, after which the transport landed safely back at Seville. The number four Europrop TP400 turboprop was unpowered for the landing approach, possibly intentionally as part of the test programme. The transport is the second example for the Turk Hava Kuvvetleri (Turkish Air Force). The first A400M for Turkey (13-009, msn 009) was accepted on April 4 and entered service with 221 Filo ‘Esen’ at Kayseri-Erkilet 12 days later.
Production standard Cessna 525B Citation CJ3+ N30CJ performed its first flight on July 27, 2014.
The unpainted second production Cessna 680A Citation Latitude lifting off from Wichita, Kansas, for its maiden flight on July 25, 2014.
British Aerospace Hawk T1A XX240/‘CU-840’ No. 736 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) on the apron at FIN AS Culdrose, Cornwall, on July 23, 2014. The aircraft wears the lightning bolt on its tail and codes on the front fuselage, both of which are being applied across the fleet. The lightning marking first appeared on the squadron's Supermarine Scimitar F1s in the 1960s, but is derived from the unit's badge, which comprises a gold eagle volant surmounting a white lightning bolt. No. 736 NAS was re-commissioned from the assets of the Fleet Requirements and Aircraft Direction Unit on June 6, 2013.
Airbus A330-343 F-WWKD (msn 1549) was delivered to AirAsia X as 9M-XXT on August 14, 2014. The airliner is seen on its first flight from Toulouse-Blagnac in southern France on July 23, painted in what the carrier calls its Xcintillating PhoeniX scheme. The design is the result of an open competition for AirAsia Facebook subscribers to create a distinctive livery for one of the airline's new A330-300s. Entries had to be submitted via e-mail by September 2013 and competitors could draw inspiration by chosing from the names XKLusive, Xiao Long Bao, Xeoul Mate, Xiaolin Spirit, Harmonious DiverXity, Xakura Blossom and Xcintillating PhoeniX. The scheme was designed by Denzel Yap Shuet Lih.
Airbus Defence and Space C295M ‘03’ red (msn S-119) is the third of the type for the Kazakhstan Air Defence Force. The nation signed a memorandum of understanding for two and options for six more in February 2012, ‘03' being the first of two of options exercised in late 2013. It was noted test flying from Seville-San Pablo Airport in Spain on July 17, 2014.
The first Airbus Defence and Space C295 maritime patrol aircraft for the Royal Air Force of Oman (msn S-118) was conducting flight tests from Seville-San Pablo Airport in Spain by early August 2014. The unpainted aircraft is equipped with a search radar; a forward-looking electro-optical/infrared turret under the nose; under-wing searchlight; a Terma 9000 side-looking airborne radar attached to the fuselage above the main landing gear sponson; and self defence and warning systems. In May 2012 Oman ordered three C295Ms for maritime patrol, equipped with the Fully Integrated Tactical System, as well as five standard transports.
The F-15-equipped 65th Aggressor Squadron based at Nellis Air Force Base is due to stand down on September 26, 2015.
Sikorsky S-76D N7610B (c/n 76-1010) is the first D-modeI configured for search and rescue to be delivered, the manufacturer announced on July 14, 2014. The helicopter was recently handed over to the Japan Coast Guard via the Mitsubishi Corporation, which ordered 11 on behalf of the government agency.
Beechcraft T-6C Texan II N2826B soon after arriving at Stansted Airport, Essex, on August 2, 2014 during its delivery flight to New Zealand.
Beechcraft King Air 350ER AMP-190 is the first of four for the Mexican Navy.
AgustaWestland AW139 AS1428 is the first of its type for the Armed Forces of Malta.
The AgustaWestland AW149 military utility helicopter was awarded its Type Certificate from the Italian Directorate of Air Armaments (ARMAEREO) on July 15, 2014 at the Farnborough International Air Show in Hampshire. It was evaluated by the Reparto Sperimentale di Volo at Practica di Mare during the second quarter of this year. CS-X81848 (P6, ex l-AWTH) is the sixth AW149/189 prototype; it was displayed at Heli-Expo 2014 at Anaheim, California, in February, in the colours of Era Helicopters, one of the customers for the AW189. No orders for the AW149 have been announced, although the helicopter is being offered to fulfil Polish military requirements and Italy has expressed interested in it for combat search and rescue.
PZL-Swidnik SW-4 Solo RUAS/OPH demonstrator SP-PSZ (c/n 600104) was recently demonstrated to the Italian defence ministry.
The third prototype Xian Y-20 after its first flight.
Images of the fourth Chengdu J-20 fighter prototype (2012) on the ground began appearing on Chinese internet sites in June 2014. It has since been revealed the aircraft made its first flight, which lasted around two hours, on July 26. The jet displays modifications introduced on the third aircraft (2011), which was first noted in January, including a faceted ‘bulge’ under the nose, possibly a housing for an electro-optical targeting system; refined air intakes; and a reprofiled upper tail from which a triangular section has been removed from the top of the trailing edge.
A Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron 31 (VFA-31) ‘Tomcatters’ launches from the deck of the USS George H W Bush on August 8, 2014. The aircraft is carrying live 500 lb (227 kg) bombs and AGM-64 Maverick air-to-surface missiles under its wings.
The Kaman K1200 K-Max unmanned helicopter hovers over a landing zone at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, while awaiting a load to deliver to Forward Operating Base Payne.
Bristow Helicopters, the launch customer for the AgustaWestland AW189, began offshore operations with its first two aircraft in late July 2014, supporting a contract with oil and gas firm GDF SUEZ E&P. The company has six AW189s on order for offshore work, and 11 in search-and-rescue configuration to support a UK SAR contract from next spring. Two of the SAR AW189s have been delivered in kit form to AgustaWestland’s Yeovil factory in Somerset for final assembly, with first delivery expected in September to allow crew training to begin.
A Boeing C-40A Clipper transport (BuNo 168980, c/n 43827) for the US Navy rolled out in mid-July at Renton, Washington, is the 5,000th production Next Generation (NG) 737. The C-40A (model designation 737-7AFC) is based on the commercial 737-700C combi. The aircraft completed its first flight on July 22, 2014 using the test registration N513NV. At that point, Boeing held orders for 6,804 737 NGs and 2,109 737 MAXs. Total Boeing 737 orders now exceed 12,000, including Classic airliners and more than 100 for military roles.
The prototype Pilatus PC-24 during the unveiling ceremony at Buochs-Stans, Switzerland, on August 1, 2014.
Arriving at King County International Airport/Boeing Field, Washington, on August 1, 2014 was Boeing 747-89L B-2485 (c/n 41191), the first destined for Air China. The airliner was flown from nearby Snohomish County Airport/Paine Field, the day after its first flight. Air China will become only the second carrier to operate the Intercontinental version of the 747-8 after Lufthansa, all other deliveries to date being for Freighters. Air China ordered five examples in September 2012.
The Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft Experimental Demonstrator completed its maiden flight from Wonderboom, Pretoria, on July 26, 2014.
The Orlan-10 is used for tactical reconnaissance by the Russian military. STC has orders for an undisclosed quantity for the Russian Land Forces and Airborne Troops, enough to keep the production line busy throughout 2014.
Australia's first F-35A A35-001/AU-01, painted with the markings of No.2 Operational Conversion Unit at the unveiling ceremony at Fort Worth on July 24, 2014.
The second F-35A for the RAAF, A35-002/AU-02, provided the back-drop for the VIP morning tea after the ceremony. The aircraft was also finished in the markings of No.2 Operational Conversion Unit.
Airbus Helicopters EC145T2 D-HADF (wearing its test registration D-HADO) was the first of the variant to be delivered, going to DRF Luftrettung.