Air International 1993-11
Airscene headlines
Russia's rarely seen 'Air Force One', Il-62M RA-86561 with ‘Russia’ titles is operated by the government’s 235th Otdyel’ny Otryad Awiazii (Independent Aviation Unit) based at Moscow's Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports and is seen here visiting Warsaw in August 1993 when it brought in Russian president Boris Yeltsin. Non-standard features apparent include a communications aerial on top of the fin, a small GPS aerial above the cockpit, two rather than three windows at the extreme rear of the cabin, a long dorsal fairing along the top of the fuselage featuring many small air intakes along each side (the purpose of which is unknown), and a similar long, narrow, fairing under the rear fuselage extending from beneath the trailing edge of the wing through to the twin wheels of the rear hydraulic strut. The aircraft was accompanied by a similarly configured back-up aircraft, RA-86468.
Seen shortly after arrival at Bristol/Filton recently is Latvian-registered Tu-134 YL-LBB. The aircraft was refurbished by local company Diamonite with a VIP interior before being handed back to its owner, a Russian banker, on October 27, 1993.
Second prototype AIDC A-3 Lui-Meng 71-7002/0902 on public display for the first time at the Taipei Aerospace Technology Exhibition held between August 19 and 22, 1993 at Taipei/Sung-Shan Airport. The aircraft has an internal 30mm cannon and can carry two Hsiung-Feng II anti-ship missiles.
Riga Airlines/RiAir Express became the first privately-owned airline in Latvia to put the Saab 340 into service when SE-KPD began operations there on September 30, 1993. The aircraft is the first modern regional airliner delivered to the Baltic States.
The fifth prototype Let L-610M 40-seat transport, 0005 (ex OK-136), has been delivered to Vyzkumny Ustav 030 (VU-030), the Czech Air Force test unit, based at Prague/Kbely airfield for trials. It is anticipated that some 8-12 L-610Ms will be bought by the air force to replace four An-24s, four
An-26s and some L-410s in the transport role.
Classic lines of the Handley-Page Victor K.2 in a recent air-to-air study of a 55 Squadron example in the twilight of its career. On October 15, 1993 a formal disbandment ceremony for the squadron was held at Marham and the last of the V-bombers became just a memory.
Mirage 5BD BD-12 of 42 Squadron, one of two Mirages wearing special schemes at Bierset's air day on September 25, 1993 during the type's last public appearance before retirement at the end of the year. BD-12, in overall silver scheme, carries a 42 Sqn badge on the fin with, from left to right, on the rear fuselage, the badges of 8, 2 and 1 Sqns - all current or previous Mirage operators.