Air International 2017-08
Air Force Reserve Command's 482nd Fighter Wing based at Homestead Air Reserve Base in southern Florida has painted F-16C 88-0440 in a striking black, blue and white colour scheme. The scheme features a stylized Mako shark (the Wing uses the nickname Makos) has been applied to mark the 55th anniversary of the 10th Air Force on February 12, 2017. The 10th Air Force is one of three numbered air forces assigned to Air Force Reserve Command and has its headquarters at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas where this shot was taken on July 7.
Recently overhauled Mi-14PL 35 Yellow of 10 MABr deploys divers during a search and rescue exercise which formed part of the Ukrainian Navy Day held in the port of Odesa on July 2, 2017.
Two Rafales at the QRA compound at BAH8 in May 2017. Both aircraft are equipped with two MICA IR and two MICA EM missiles.
The A380 test aircraft F-WWDD (msn 4), now a permanent static exhibit at the Musee de I’Air at Le Bourget, was displayed with mock-up winglets during the Paris week to highlight the A380plus studies.
Airbus says the winglets, featuring a 3.5m (11ft 4in) uplet and a 1.2m (3ft 9in) downlet, together with wing configuration changes to reduce drag should provide a fuel burn saving of 4%.
Nearly 17 years after its launch and more than 12 since its first flight the A380 still draws attention - but only 318 have been sold.
The last operational MiG-29 unit in the Russian Air and Space Force, the 14th IAP (Istrebitelnyi Aviatsionnyi Polk or Fighter Aviation Regiment) based at Kursk Khalino, 90km from the border with Ukraine, is retiring its MiGs. In June 2017, the regiment received its first two Su-30SM multi - role fighters to replace the MiG-29SMTs.
The first Pilatus PC-21 for the Armee de l’Air (French Air Force) wearing Swiss registration HB-HVA (to become 293/709-FC) made its first flight on July 10, 2017. Based on the expected military code, the aircraft is likely to be assigned to BA709 Cognac-Chateaubernard.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Lufttransportgeschwader 61 (LTG 61 or Air Transport Wing) based at Landsberg in southern Germany has painted Transall C-160D in an overall silver finish with a large side number/registration, representing the German-assigned prototypes of the German-French C-160 back in the 1960s and 1970s. With continuing deliveries of A400M Atlas transport aircraft delivered to LTG 62 at Wunsdorf and LTG 63 at Hohn soldiering on with the Transall for a few more years, LTG 61 will be disbanded in the coming months.
California Air National Guard's 163rd Attack Wing (ATKW) based at March Air Reserve Base held a formal ceremony introducing the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft to the base and the local community on June 14, 2017. The Reaper is now flown by the 163rd ATKW from March following completion of the move from Victorville, California, the initial operating site. Six MQ-9 Reapers, including 11-4166/CA, are based at March.
The first test flight of Lockheed Martin’s second T-50A configured aircraft occurred on July 25, 2016.
Lockheed Martin’s two T-50A aircraft, TX-1 and TX-2, are based at Greenville Donaldson Airport, South Carolina. The US Air Force’s presumed emphasis on cost is thought to give the advantage to the T-50A which is estimated to cost S21 and S30 million per aircraft in production quantities. Lockheed Martin wins outright based on availability of good images of their jets!
Avro RJ70 FAB-107 arrived at Southend Airport on July 15, 2017 on its ferry flight to TAM Bolivia, the military airline of the Fuerza Aerea Boliviana (Bolivian Air Force). The aircraft had been held in open storage at Bacau, Romania for eight years in the colours of former Indian operator MDLR Airlines, which ceased operations in 2009.
Gulfstream G550 0001 (c/n 5547) was officially handed over to the Sily Powietrzne RP (Air Force of the Republic of Poland) at Gulfstream’s service centre at Appleton, Wisconsin on June 18, 2017. The aircraft was delivered to 1 Baza Lotnictwa Transportowego (1 BLTr or 1st Air Transport Base) at Warszawa-Okecie on June 21. Gulfstream G550 0001 is the first of two ordered by the Polish Ministry of Defence in November 2016 for PLN 440 million. A second example should be delivered in July with full operational capability expected in September.
Seen at Cuatro Vientos aerodrome, Madrid is Gulfstream IV 9U-BKB (c/n 1151), the largest private jet to ever land at the airfield. Although nothing was reported about its arrival in Spain, the aircraft is understood to have arrived due to maintenance issues.
The L-159s participated in the final part of the FWITs air-to-air phase, which lasted until July 14, 2017; this year’s course runs between April 24 and November 9.
Iberia marked its 90th anniversary with a private event at Cuatro Vientos aerodrome, Madrid on June 25, 2017. Among the celebrations was a flypast by Airbus A330-302E EC-LZX (msn 1507) in formation with the Ejercito del Aire (Spanish Air Force) Patrulla Aguila.
Ethiopian Airlines has ordered ten more A350-900s to go with the 12 it already has on order and fuel the airline’s ambitious expansion plans.
Mitsubishi Aircraft took out one of the four Mitsubishi MRJ90STD flight test aircraft, JA23MJ (c/n 10003), from flight testing to give the delayed clean-sheet regional jet its initial showing in public at the 52nd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget in June 2017. The aircraft was repainted into the livery of the type’s launch operator, All Nippon Airways, which is now due to receive its first delivery in 2020.
A T-45C Goshawk assigned to Carrier Training Wing 2 makes an arrested landing aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
A T-45C Goshawk training aircraft assigned to Carrier Training Wing 2 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
The unique box wing of the RACER is designed to provide maximum aerodynamic efficiency and lift in the cruise.
Airbus now intends to fly its RACER demonstrator in September 2021.
Airbus Helicopters says the RACER, which is due to fly in 2020, will offer a 50% increase in speed over a conventional helicopter.
Elements of the X3 and Bluecopter, which respectively demonstrated the compound helicopter concept and an engine eco mode, are part of the RACER design.
The Gulfstream G500 and its G600, G650 and G650ER are to benefit from an agreement announced at Paris between GE Aviation and AT&T that connects the on-board and off-board portions of the GE Aviation Aircraft Health and Trend Monitoring System on these aircraft.
The Essex & Herts Air Ambulance’s new Leonardo AW169 G-HHEM (c/n 69049) helicopter was delivered after Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) received European Aviation Safety Agency approval for its medical interior after a lengthy certification process. SAS has also delivered three more AW169s to other air ambulance operations around the UK.
Airbus launched its Skywise open data platform at the Paris Air Show, and the company intends to make it available for all its products - airliners, helicopters and military aircraft.
SpiceJet will put the Dash 8 Q400’s 90-seat layout into use later this year when it receives its first aircraft.
Monarch is leasing Boeing 737-800 G-ZBAV (c/n 40874, ex-TC-AAY with Pegasus Airlines). This is the first 737 to wear the Monarch livery for more than 20 years. It will assist the airline as it prepares to transition to the 737 MAX 8 from 2018.
On July 7, 2017 Bell Helicopter announced the Bell 525 Relentless programme has resumed flight test activity after receiving experimental certificate renewal from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Bell Helicopter President and CEO, Mitch Snyder said the company had worked with the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA since the crash of the first prototype FTV-1, registration N525TA, on July 6 last year, adding the team is focused on certification in 2018.
Initial flight trials of the VSR700 optionally piloted vehicle demonstrator will focus on refining the automatic flight control system before tests without a safety pilot aboard.
Norwegian’s 737 MAX 8 EI-FYA (c/n 42826) is to receive a tail decal depicting the low-cost long-haul pioneer Sir Freddie Laker, reflecting how the carrier will use its new 737 MAX 8s on transatlantic services to the eastern United States.
United Airlines will receive 100 737 MAX 10s, although these orders have been switched to the variant from the smaller 737 MAX 8.
Boeing has secured 361 orders for the 737 MAX 10, which will be able to accomodate up to 230 passengers.
The E195-E2 at the show was resplendent with an eagle painted across the nose, a reference to Embraer calling the E-Jet the ‘Profit Hunter'.
The prototype E195-E2 PR-ZIJ (c/n 1902005) during the flying display at Paris, an event during which Embraer announced orders for 51 of its E-Jet family aircraft.
A serial production version of the CH-5 Caihong 5 (Rainbow) made its maiden flight in Hebei Province in northern China on July 14, 2017. First flown in August 2015, the completely revised version of the CH-5 was first unveiled at the 2016 Zhuhai Air Show last November. Compared to the prototype, the new version of the CH-5 is more aerodynamically refined, and has sleeker lines in order to improve stealth-characteristics.
The Boom Supersonic XB-1 is set to fly in 2018. This aircraft will be a demonstrator for a proposed 55-seat supersonic airliner.
The central place among models of currently produced military and civilian aircraft in the hall of the Russian United Aircraft Corporation at the 52nd Paris Air Show at Le Bourget was occupied by the futuristic M-60 project.
An artist’s impression of the Eviation Alice, a new nine-seater commuter aircraft that is using Stratasys 3D printing technologies in its development.
EasyJet, which recently took delivery of its first A320neo G-UZHA (msn 7649), is one of the early adopters of the Airbus Skywise system, using it for fleet-wide predictive maintenance.
On June 15, 2017, the first prototype Saab JAS 39E Gripen 39-8 made its maiden flight from Linkoping flown by a Saab test pilot. During the 40-minute flight over the eastern part of Ostergotland, the aircraft conducted various test points including retraction and extension of the landing gear.
One of the EC145s assigned to the rotary wing of the French Gendarmerie. In 2018 the wing will receive a replacement for the EC145 that crashed in the Pyrenees last year.