Air International 2016-11
Stationed at Kubinka, An-26 RF-36013 is assigned to the Russian Space Forces, a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces which focuses on ballistic missile defence and the deployment of in-orbit space vehicles.
Bulgarski Voenno Vzdushni Sili (BVVS or Bulgarian Air Force) Su-25K Frogfoot, serial number 197, painted with special tail markings to commemorate 30 years of service with the BVVS.
A TAI T129A attack helicopter used by rebels at Akinci MJB.
The Mexican Navy (Armada de Mexico) took delivery of its first of ten upgraded AS565 MBe Panther helicopters on September 28, 2016.
Spain's last airworthy Boeing 707, T17-3/47-03, operated by 47 Grupo Mixto based at Torrejon Air Base near Madrid ceased operations on October 3, 2016, marking the end of the type's service in the Ejercito del Aire after 28 years and six months.
Two F-16s of 143 Filo taking off. That unit has been disbanded and its 17 F-16C/Ds handed over to the newly-formed 153 Filo.
A recent TV report about China’s helicopter development unveiled the new Z-18A based on the Avicopter AC.313, itself an updated design based on the Harbin Z-8 and a development of the French Aerospatiale Super Frelon.
Recently delivered Serbian Air Force (Ratno Vazduhoplovstvo i Protivvazduhoplovna Odbrana - RViPVO) Mil Mi-17V5 was displayed to the general public for the first time at the Batajnica Air Base open day on October 1, 2016. One of two Mi-17V5s was in the static display, serial number 12491, while aircraft 12492 took part in a combat search and rescue demonstration with an SA342 Gazelle. The brand-new helicopters were delivered from Russian Helicopters/Kazan Helicopters in late June and are assigned to the 890. mesovita helikopterska eskadrila (890th Combined Helicopter Squadron), part of the 204. vazduhoplovna brigade (204th Aviation Brigade) at Batajnica.
M60T tanks and AIFV armoured vehicles seen behind the tail of a S-70A helicopter at Akinci. The rebel troops gathered at the base with armoured vehicles to defend it from a counter attack;
UH-1H, AH-1P and S-70A helicopters at Akinci MJB. After it became apparent that the plot was going to fail, rebel helicopters gathered at the base, which was the command centre of the coup.
The Tornado wing at Piacenza, 50° Stormo, has been disbanded and 155° Gruppo has moved to Ghedi under the control of 6° Stormo.
This Armee de i'Air Rafale, armed with four live missiles, on quick reaction alert duty is ready to be airborne within seven minutes after receiving the alert.
Swiss charter airline Edelweiss is now operating A340-300 HB-JMG (msn 562), pictured at Palma. This is the first of three A340s that Edelweiss will use, initially on European routes, but later on services to the Far East and North America.
MiG-29SMT Fulcrum RF-90847/23 taxiing back to the flight line after performing a flying demonstration to the public. Approximately 150 older MiG-29s are scheduled to be upgraded to the improved SMT standard.
The An-140 was designed as a successor to the ageing An-24 Coke. Aircraft RF-41254 seen on static display at Kubinka is an An-140-100 version, with wider wingspan than the basic version.
Austrian Airlines' ninth E-Jet is E195 OE-LWH (c/n 486), formerly with Lufthansa CityLine as D-AEBJ, and pictured at Manchester. It was transferred to Austrian in August 2016 and is the first E-Jet to be painted in the Star Alliance livery.
The Aeronautica Militare has based two F-2000As at Cameri in a QRA cell for northern Italy, the first time in six years there has been such a capability based in the region.
The latest in a long series of night photo shoots held at RAF Northolt in West London on October 6, 2016 proved successful, with 14 aircraft attending from France, Ireland, Poland and the UK. Approximately ?150,000 has been raised by Phil Dawe and his team to support the restoration of The Sir Keith Park Battle of Britain Operations room (Building 27) since the first event in 2009. Those who attended included Aviation Legere de I’Armee de Terre Pilatus PC-6B2-H2 888/MCB, one of five assigned to the Escadrille de Transport et de Convoyage de Material based at Montauban.
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) unveiled its first JL-10 during the annual open day at Changchun Air Base on September 1, 2016. Under the theme ‘Pursuing the Aero Dream’, the event marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Northeast Aviation School in Jilin Province in north-eastern China - the current home of the Aviation University Flight Instructor Training Base.
Three RAF Chinook, each wearing respective squadron 100th anniversary markings, seen at Everleigh Drop Zone, Salisbury Plain on September 14, 2016. The helicopters took off from RAF Odiham, Hampshire, and flew a training mission to Salisbury Plain. Aircraft in the formation were Chinook HC4s ZA683 of 27 Squadron (nearest camera) and ZA712 of 18 Squadron both based at Odiham; and ZH777 from 28 Squadron based at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire.
The Jetstream J41 used by the UK Coastguard for the trial was provided by Eastern Airways, which operates 17 J41s.
A photo taken shortly after the coup attempt. It was intended to fly this A400M Atlas from Kayseri 12th Main Transport Base to Malatya to support rebel troops. It and five other transport aircraft were prevented from taking off by civilian vehicles;
Modifications were made to this Tupolev Tu-134, RF-93949/17, to configure the aircraft as a trainer for Tu-160 Blackjack and Tu-22M Backfire aircrew. Its modified designation is Tu-134UBL.
An Armee de I’Air EC725 Caracal from Escadron d’Helicopteres 1/67 ‘Pyrenees’.
A brand-new AS332C1 Super Puma purchased by the Spanish Government arrived at Airbus Helicopter’s plant at Albacete at the end of July 2016 for modification to search and rescue configuration and painting took to the air for the first time in full Ejercito del Aire colours on September 22.
Lufthansa's first A350-900, D-AIXA (msn 74), following roll-out from the paint shop at the Toulouse Final Assembly Line.
The milestone 10,000th Airbus delivery was the latest A350-900 for Singapore Airlines, 9V-SME (msn 54, ex F-WZFD).
The first Mitsubishi Regional Jet, JA21MJ (c/n 10001), above Washington. The aircraft is now undertaking flight testing from Grant County International Airport.
Bombardier CS300 FTV-8 C-FFDO (c/n 55002) has been in Europe operating route proving trials to various destinations from Riga, the home base of the CS300's launch operator Air Baltic.
On September 30 and October 1, 2016, there was a semi-official presentation of the Chengdu J-20A. Four pre-production aircraft were seen performing an air display over Chengdu airfield. Reportedly seven pre-production aircraft exist and the first two were delivered to the flight test centre at either Cangzhou or Dingxin Air Force Base.
Air Tanzania has received two Bombardier Q400s (5H-TCD, ex-C-FIFG, c/n 4495 and 5H-MWF, ex-C-FHNF, c/n 4492). They were painted at Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing in August 2016 and received custom modifications by SkyService at Toronto before delivery to Africa.
Development of the Chinese Z-20 helicopter started at the end of the 1990s at Institute 602, Harbin and Changhe as a 10-tonne class new generation multipurpose helicopter. The Z-20 is based on the US S-70C-2 Blackhawk, 24 copies of which China acquired in 1985. The type’s maiden flight took place on December 23, 2013, with only a few blurred images released to date. Now, after nearly three years of flight testing, the first clear images of prototype Z-20, number 633, were posted, showing a five- blade main rotor and noticeable design changes to the landing gear and tail.
An F-35C Lightning II of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) ‘Salty Dogs' performs an arrested landing on the USS George Washington (CVN 73). The US Navy has announced that Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) ‘Argonauts’ will be its first operational F-35C unit.
Qatar Airways has signed a Letter of Intent for 60 examples of the 737 MAX 8.
The second C-130 Hercules fire-fighting tanker for the United States Forest Service is now on station at McClellan Field in Sacramento, California. Tanker 116, former US Coast Guard HC-130H 1708, is seen at McClellan on October 10, 2016, shortly after a period of Programmed Depot Maintenance at the Warner Robins Air Complex at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. Tanker 116 is now equipped with a Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System unit pending future installation of a gravity flow system.
In early September 2016, Commander in Chief of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force General Ma Xiaotian confirmed that development of a new strategic long-range bomber is underway development at the 603 Institute and XAC and is reportedly designated the H-20. The aircraft is likely to be a four-engine, subsonic stealthy flying wing design similar in configuration to the US Air Force B-2 Spirit and remains in the engineering detailed design phase. The first prototype could fly as early as 2018.
An artist’s impression of the recently-announced Bell V-247 Vigilant
Unveiled in the livery used by Air Education and Training Command's T-38C Talon fleet, Boeing-Saab's T-X looks like a hybrid design with components that resemble those from the legacy F/A-18 Hornet; air inlet, tails and stabilisers, and some features from Saab’s design house. The aircraft appears to be quite big and at least a couple of steps away from current trainer designs.
Deliveries of A320neos are picking up. By October 2016, 24 had been delivered (up from 16 a month earlier), including the first for the Mexican carrier Viva Aerobus, pictured here (F-WWDY, msn 7060, to become XA-VIV). Another recent delivery was the first aircraft for a US carrier, Spirit Airlines' N901NK (msn 6833).