Air International 2016-08
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News
Former Israel Air and Space Force A-4N Skyhawk C-FGZO ‘532' (BuNo 159534, N266WL), one of six currently flown by Canadian contractor Discovery Air Defence in support of the German armed forces, received a large red ‘R’ on its tail to mark the official re­establishment of Eurofighter-equipped Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 71 ‘Richthofen’ as a full wing on July 1, 2016. For the past three years, the Witmundhafen-based ‘Richthofen’ operated as a group within Norvenich-based TaktLwG 31 ‘Boelcke’.
Marine Attack Squadron 542 (VMA-542) ‘Tigers' based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, has AV-8B+ BuNo 165354/WH00 painted with a black and yellow tail featuring a tiger's head. The aircraft is seen at Cherry Point in late April 2016.
F/A-18A+ Hornet BuNo 162863/AF11 of Fighter Composite Squadron 12 (VFC-12) ‘Fighting Omars’ based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia seen at Fallon, Nevada in late-May 2016. VFC-12 deployed to Fallon to bolster the resident adversary force during Carrier Air Wing 8’s latest work-up.
A KC-135R Stratotanker assigned to the 434th Air Refueling Wing from Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana refuels a B-52H Stratofortress over the Baltic Sea.
Forca Aerea Portuguesa P-3C Orion-equipped 601 Esquadron based at Base Aerea 11 Beja has applied some colour to the tail of P-3C 14808. The tail markings feature a Wolf’s head; the official badge of Esquadron 601 ‘Lobos’ or Wolves. The aircraft is seen during a flight for the Lisbon Air Race on July 3, 2016.
One of the three new Australian Army CH-47F Chinooks delivered to Australia in June 2016 being unloaded from a US Air Force C-17A at RAAF Base Townsville.
Airmen and US Navy minemen assemble inert Mk62 Quick Strike mines at RAF Fairford during exercise Battops.
An airman assigned to the 5th Expeditionary Munitions Squadron and a US Navy mineman, cut arming wire on an inert Mk62 Quick Strike mine in preparation for loading on a B-52H.
Maintainers and aircrew of the 23rd Bomb Squadron pose for the author in front of B-52H 60-0037/MT at RAF Fairford.
The 1960s-era B-52H Stratofortress is powered by eight Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-3/103 turbofans. On take-off the engines generate very large smoke trails indicative of the engine designs from the 1960s.
A KC-135R Stratotanker assigned to the 434th Air Refueling Wing from Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana refuels a B-52H Stratofortress over the Baltic Sea.
Aerospace repair and reclamation craftsman, place a drag chute into a B-52H Stratofortress at RAF Fairford, following a mission for exercise Saber Strike 16. Measuring 43.5ft in diameter, the ribbon-type chute consists of a pilot chute, long bridle, short bridle, main chute, riser terminal and riser boot.
A highlight of this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford was the daily formation flypast by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows with an F-35B and a Typhoon or two (depending on serviceability). That's showbiz!
One of the three new Australian Army CH-47F Chinooks delivered to Australia in June 2016 being unloaded from a US Air Force C-17A at RAAF Base Townsville.
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (VMM-365) ‘Blue Knights' based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, has MV-22B BuNo 168305/YM00 painted with a full-colour tail featuring a blue knight. The aircraft is seen at Cherry Point in late April 2016.
Kazakhstan Air Force C295M 04 seen landing at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk on July 13, 2016. Two other Kazakhstan Air Force aircraft, C295M 03 and An-72 07, also arrived at RAF Mildenhall the same day. The three aircraft transported troops to the UK to participate in the second stage of Steppe Eagle 2016, an annual Kazakh-led international peacekeeping exercise. This year troops from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the UK and the United States participated in stage one, which took place at the Iliysky range in Kazakhstan during April. Stage two was held in the Stanford Training Area and designed to train troops in all aspects of peacekeeping operations, checkpoint activities and manning cargo convoys.
The first M-346 for the Sily Powietrzne RP (Polish Air Force) (Italian serial number CSX.55209) flew from Venegono airport for the first time on July 4, 2016. No Polish national markings were worn.
Despite the problems that have affected the A400M, the aircraft’s capabilities and service record has already started to win it the affection of its pilots and crews.
An A400M dropping paratroopers at Tarbes, southern France. Qualification of the aircraft for dropping paratroopers is part of a two-step programme to address issues over the aircraft’s tactical capabilities.
Investigating and then resolving engine issues has severely curtailed deliveries of A400Ms. Priority has been given to modifying the engines of in-service aircraft, meaning that deliveries will continue to be disrupted for some time.
Following an engine failure after take-off on a Royal Air Force A400M in January 2016, inspections revealed that some of the TP400 engines on some aircraft were suffering cracks to an input pinion plug. Europrop International and Avio Aero have developed an interim fix to the power gearbox problem, and each gearbox is being inspected every 200 hours.
The first A400M for the Ejercito del Aire (MSN44) after leaving the Seville Final Assembly Line ahead of its first flight.
Royal Canadian Air Force 412 Transport Squadron is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year. Its small fleet of five Challenger CC-144s are wearing commemorative badges on the forward fuselage aft of the main door and on the tail. CC-144C, 144618 (CL604 c/n 5535) is seen at Ottawa MacDonald Cartier International Airport on July 2, 2016. No.412 Transport Squadron is based in Ottawa, but administratively reports to 8 Wing at CFB Trenton, Ontario. The squadron operates the administrative flight service for high-ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries with VIP air transportation worldwide.
The first COMAC ARJ21-700, B-3321 (c/n 106), arriving at Chengdu at the end of its first commercial flight from Shanghai.
Having completed type certification testing, Falcon 8X F-WWOA (s/n 01) will now be used to test Dassault’s Combined Vision System and a head-up display, which will be introduced to the 8X in the future.
A highlight of this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford was the daily formation flypast by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows with an F-35B and a Typhoon or two (depending on serviceability). That's showbiz!
British Antarctic Survey DHC-7 VP-FBQ seen after its arrival at Coventry Airport, Warwickshire on July 16, 2016. The DHC-7 is in the UK for pilot training at Duxford and demonstrations of a new instrument port. The aircraft is due to return to the Antarctic in September.
One of the final two Super Pumas of EH 1/44 in front of the squadron's hangars in March 2016. The final two will be sold to Spain.
Kazakhstan Air Force C295M 04 seen landing at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk on July 13, 2016. Two other Kazakhstan Air Force aircraft, C295M 03 and An-72 07, also arrived at RAF Mildenhall the same day. The three aircraft transported troops to the UK to participate in the second stage of Steppe Eagle 2016, an annual Kazakh-led international peacekeeping exercise. This year troops from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the UK and the United States participated in stage one, which took place at the Iliysky range in Kazakhstan during April. Stage two was held in the Stanford Training Area and designed to train troops in all aspects of peacekeeping operations, checkpoint activities and manning cargo convoys.
Ethiopian Airlines’ first A350-900, ET-ATO (msn 40) departing Toulouse on a pre-delivery test flight.
Virgin Atlantic Airways has purchased 12 A350-1000s, nine directly from Airbus and three from a lessor, as it continues its fleet recapitalisation process.
The first Swiss CS100, HB-JBA, will be followed by 14 other CS100s into service with the airline, whose remaining C Series deliveries will be CS300s.
The final Bombardier-built B-415, N385AC (c/n 2095, ex Canadian test registration C-FLFI), for American operator AeroFlite, was the 95th built.
Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Squadron has painted CT-155 Hawk 155217 in a commemorative RAF Bomber Command colour scheme to mark its 75th anniversary. The aircraft also wears Lancaster X serial number KB799, a side code W (KB799 was coded VR-W), nose art featuring a black Moose outlined in white on a yellow background (the World War Two squadron motif), and a dedication to its first Officer Commanding Wg Cdr John ‘Moose' Fulton DSO DFC AFC.
Except for two aircraft for Operation Barkhane, the entire Mirage 2000D fleet will be stationed on the French mainland for about a year.
F/A-18E Super Hornet BuNo 168910/AJ300 of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron 87 (VFA-87) ‘Golden Warriors' based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia seen at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada in late-May 2016. The aircraft deployed to Fallon for the latest Carrier Air Wing 8 work-up in this CAG-bird colour scheme.
Just over 24 hours after the arrival of three F-35Bs at RAF Fairford three more F-35s arrived at Fairford on June 29, 2016. Assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, F-35A 12-5042/LF touched down on runway 09 at 2025hrs to become the first A-model aircraft to land in the UK. The three F-35As were flown to the UK to participate in the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford.
F-35A Lightning II 13-5072/HL of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base during a seven-aircraft deployment from its home base at Hill in June 2016.
On June 30, 2016, UK F-35B ZM137 and US Marine Corps aircraft BuNo 168727/VM19 flew in formation with RAF Tornado GR4 ZG771 over RAF Marham, Norfolk. This was the first flight of an F-35B at Marham, which also included one low and one STOVL approach and fly away.
A highlight of this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford was the daily formation flypast by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows with an F-35B and a Typhoon or two (depending on serviceability). That's showbiz!
At 2007hrs local time on June 28, 2016, aviation history was made at RAF Fairford when F-35B Lightning II ZM137 (c/n BK-03) landed at the Gloucestershire base; the first F-35 to land on UK soil. Accompanied by two US Marine Corps F-35Bs assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) ‘Warlords’ based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, the three jets arrived in the UK to participate in the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford and the Farnborough International Airshow.
One of the two 737 MAX 8s for Southwest Airlines that emerged from the Renton paint shop in June 2016.
The two variations of a twin-finned low observable aircraft, of broadly similar configuration to the F-35, incorporating stealth features including fuselage shaping, edge-alignment and jagged, serrated doors, panels and engine nozzles.
A manned aircraft, working alongside a UCAV and swarms of weapon-carrying and sensor­carrying Mules, is this vision of an FCAS.
The Airbus FCAS concept is intended to connect and integrate a disparate force of cooperating manned and unmanned platforms.
NASA said as many as five larger transport-scale X-pianes are also planned as part of the initiative that will see the X-57 demonstrate hybrid engine technologies.