Air International 2017-01
Volga-Dnepr's decade-long joint venture with Antonov Airlines to operate An-124-100s, including RA-82047 (cln 9773053259121) pictured here in September 2016 at Warsaw, was due to end by the end of 2016.
Four 145 Squadron Block 52+ F-16Ds took part in this year's Exercise Torrent.
A Block 52+ F-16D takes off with the Mobile Air Traffic Control Tower in the background.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Marine and Aviation Operations has two WP-3D Orions, including N43RF ‘Miss Piggy’ shown, based at its Aircraft Operations Center at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The Orions collect data for tropical cyclone research and forecasting using a unique array of scientific instrumentation, radars and recording systems. During November both Orions were in temporary residence at Clearwater Airport, Florida due to runway work in progress at MacDill.
An Austrian Air Force Sikorsky S-70A-42 Black Hawk from the Mittlere Transport Hubschrauber Staffel at Tulln-Langenlebarn loaded with Belgian Special Forces landing during a typical autumn setting in a field during exercise Black Blade 16.
The serviceability of the French Rafale fleet has increased by 10% over the last few years.
HiFly Airbus A340-313 9H-TOM (msn 117), which Swiss Space Systems will use for zero-g flights, has recently been repainted into a striking all-black gloss paint scheme. The aircraft is pictured at Frankfurt in November 2016.
Between November 28 and December 2, 2016, the Russian Federation operated one of its Tupolev 154M-LK1s from Getafe, Madrid. The aircraft, registered RF-85655 and wearing a new colour scheme, flew one Open Skies Treaty flight over Spain on November 30. The aircraft is seen taking-off from Getafe on December 2 on its way back to Kubinka Airport, Russia.
Only half of the 22-aircraft Atlantique 2 fleet is currently operational.
The Aviation Legere de l'Armee de Terre currently has 49 of its 60 Tigre attack helicopters operational.
The first Type Certifiable Predator B (TCPB) on its first flight. The Royal Air Force will receive 20 Protectors, which will be based on the TCPB.
On December 1, 2016, the Ejercito del Aire (Spanish Air Force) received its first Airbus Military A400M Atlas, registered T.23-01(10074) 131-21 at Seville-San Pablo. After the formal handover ceremony in San Pablo, the aircraft took off for a 50-minute flight to its new home at Zaragoza Air Base, to serve with Ala 31 currently equipped with ten C-130H and KC-130H Hercules. The aircraft is shown parked in front of anew hangar purpose built for the A400M. The Ejercito del Aire expects to receive 14 A400Ms through to 2022 and another 13 from 2025.
Irish airline Cityjet has recently taken delivery of its third Sukhoi SSJ-100 Superjet, EI-FWC (c/n 950111), pictured at Manchester operating a charter. Cityjet has ordered 15 SSJ-100s to replace its Avro RJ85s and is placing the aircraft in wet-lease and charter markets.
Canada's new search and rescue aircraft is going to be the C295. On December 8, 2016, the Government of Canada announced selection of the Airbus C295W to meet its Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue program. The Royal Canadian Air Force will receive 16 C295s modified for search and rescue with in-service support provided by a joint venture between Airbus Defence and Space and PAL Aerospace. Canadian content is substantial in the C295. Each aircraft comes with two Pratt & Whitney Canada engines; an L3 Wescam electro-optical system; and pilot training from a new facility developed by CAE. The first Royal Canadian Air Force C295 will be delivered three years after contract award.
An F-15SG departs from the LCK road.
Note the removal of the conformal fuel tanks. Smoke swirls from the tyres of an F-15SG as it lands on the LCK road. Other aircraft were concurrently landing on the main runway and taxiways inside Tengah Air Base.
Bearing the badge of the new 142 Squadron, an F-15SG Eagle make the type's inaugural launch in Exercise Torrent.
F-WMIL is the first of three A350-1000 prototypes, and being used to explore the flight envelope and for some systems and engine trials.
The first A350-1000, F-WMIL (msn 59) peels away from the Falcon 20 chase aircraft over southwest France during its November 24, 2016 first flight.
The first A350-1000 flight test crew: from left to right, Frank Chapman, Stephane Vaux, Patrick du Che, Gerard Maisonneuve, Emanuele Costanzo and Hugues van der Stichel.
Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines, each delivering 97,000 lb (423kn) of thrust, are one of the major differences from the A350-900.
The A350-1000 is 7m (23ft) longer than the A350-900, thanks to the addition of 11 further fuselage frames, six forward of the fuselage and five aft.
The first A350-1000 test flight lasted four hours and 18 minutes.
The first Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft 08-1201 seen at Gifu Air Base Japan in November 2016. Conceived as a replacement for both the Kawasaki C-1 and C-130H Hercules, the C-2 was developed for the indigenous C-X programme first funded in 2001. Prototype 08-1201, was rolled out on July 4, 2007, and undertook its maiden flight 30 months later on January 26, 2010. Programme delays caused by funding and structural problems has seen the programme slip five years beyond its original schedule.
The production standard Kawasaki C-2, 68-1203, has joined the Gifu-based Air Development and Test Wing (ADTW), the third jet to be assigned to the developmental test programme. The first two non-prototype aircraft built had to be returned to the manufacturer as part of an exchange programme to reinforce the fuselage. C-2 flight testing is currently underway with the prototype and aircraft 68-1203, which was delivered to the ADTW on June 30, 2016. The second production aircraft, 68-1204, undertook its first flight on October 20, 2016.
Virgin Spaceship Unity during its first solo free flight in December 2016.
EA-18G A46-301 (BuNo 169148) takes off from St Louis-Lambert Field Missouri on the first flight of an Australian Growler.
The CS300 touches down in Riga on November 30, 2016, following a night stop in Stockholm.
The first of 20 Bombardier CS300s for Air Baltic is YL-CSA (c/n 55003), pictured here before delivery with its Canadian registration C-FOWY.
Air Baltic has ordered 20 CS300s. The first route is Riga - Amsterdam but the airline is planning to fly to the Persian Gulf with the new aircraft.
At 127 ft (38.7m) long the CS300 can accommodate between 130 and 160 passengers; Air Baltic's aircraft are configured for 145 seats.
Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon A47-001 in the markings of 11 Squadron, flies over the St Vincent Gulf near Adelaide in South Australia.
The first Mi-8AMTSh-VA was delivered to Russian Naval Aviation in November 2016 and assigned to the Pacific Fleet's 7060th Air Base at Yelizovo on the remote Kamchatka Peninsula.
Cathay Pacific Airways 747-467, B-HUJ (c/n 27595) pictured at Manchester following its arrival from Hong Kong. The aircraft was on its way to Bruntingthorpe for scrapping. This aircraft was the last 747-400 used by Cathay Pacific and was retired in October 2016.
The 747-400 SuperTanker pictured departing Tel Aviv on its first firefighting mission after deploying to Israel.
Batik Air Boeing 737-8GP 9M-LCK (c/n 38318) at Renton Municipal Airport prior to delivery, wearing a logo to denote that it is the 178th 737-800 for the Lion Air Group, Batik’s parent company. It has recently been announced that Batik has received an air operator’s certificate for operations in Australia.
Not an official milestone for the F-35 programme, but impressive nevertheless, was a two-ship formation seen flying through a canyon in southern California on December 3, 2016. Both aircraft, F-001 (c/n AN-01) and F-002 (c/n AN-02), are assigned to the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s 323 Test and Evaluation Squadron based at Edwards Air Force Base, California; one of five test units assigned to the JSF Operational Test Team.
The first two F-35I Adirs for the Israel Air Force, 901 (c/n AS-01) and 902 (c/n AS-02), arrived at Nevatim Air Base on December 12, 2016. Aircraft AS-02 completed its first flight on August 8, 2016 from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.
Dutch muscle. The test pilot of F-35A F-001 passes through the canyon with the afterburner engaged. Pratt & Whitney's F135-PW-100 axial-flow engine produces up to 43,000 lb (191.2kN) of thrust with the afterburner engaged.
Japan's second F-35A, 69-8702 (c/n AX-02) made its first flight from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth on November 30, 2016. The aircraft will be delivered to Luke Air Force Base to join the international training programme.
F-35B BF-05 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) ‘Salty Dogs' launches from the flight deck of USS America (LHA 6) loaded with four externally carried 500 lb inert GBU-12 test vehicles during DT III.
The UK is gradually building up its fleet of F-35Bs. In early December 2016 F-35B ZM140 (c/n BK-06) was delivered to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to join the ranks of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) ‘Warlords'. UK F-35Bs ZM141 (c/n BK-07) and ZM142 (c/n BK-08) shown here are already flying with Lockheed Martin at Fort Worth.
USS America (LHA 6) underway off the coast of California on the first day of the Lightning Carrier Proof of Concept Demonstration with 12 F-35Bs on deck.
A new nose section was added to the LL PSV design to reduce drag as much as possible. At the MAKS air show in August 2015, the LL PSV was demonstrated with a non-transparent temporary canopy and fitted with stub-wings. The wings were removed during the flight-test programme.
The LL PSV maiden flight on December 29, 2015 was used to test the stability and controllability, wearing the old-style exhaust ducts. Vibration and noise levels in high-speed flight will also be evaluated.
The LL PSV flying testbed sports all-new main-rotor blades with tip shapes optimised for high-speed flight. The new blade design is also intended to be retrofitted on the Mi-28NM attack helicopter to achieve higher speed.
The PSV/RACHEL was set to be powered by a new-generation derivative of the VK-2500-01 turboshaft seen here, which powers the LL PSV. Designated as the VK-2500M, it is set to boast an OEI rating of some 3,000shp (2,237kW) compared to 2,700shp (2,013kW) for its predecessor.
A scale model of the V-37/PSV/RACHEL was first revealed by Russian Helicopters during 2012. The design is intended to boast a maximum speed some 1.5 times higher than that of today’s medium-class rotorcraft in commercial operation.
The Kamov Ka-92 concept sports co-axial rigid rotors, a pusher prop and is advertised with a cruise speed of 243kts (450km/h).
Peach Airlines has ordered 13 more A320 Family aircraft (13 A320neos, three A320ceos).