Air International 1999-11
The Eurocopter EC 155B made its UK debut at Helitech. The company's demonstrator E-WQEY (c/n 6542) provided customer demonstration flights of this enlarged version of the Dauphin.
Now wearing military markings as ZJ116 (ex G-OIOI), civil EH 101 Heliliner demonstrator PP8 was kept busy at Helitech providing customer demonstrations. As the EH 101 reaches maturity, the type has now passed the 10,000 flying hour milestone, reaching 10,084 hours at the beginning of August 1999, including over 700 hours with the Royal Navy’s 700M Squadron, the Merlin HAS.1 intensive flying trials unit, which now has five helicopters at RNAS Culdrose. The pre-production civil utility version, PP9/I-LIOI, has also completed the type’s first transatlantic tour, leaving Aberdeen for Canada on August 30 and returning to Aberdeen on September 28 after covering over 8,000 miles and undertaking 70 demonstration flights at eight separate locations. The Canadian Forces have ordered 15 EH 101 Cormorants, which are being built al Agusta’s Vergiate facility and will all be self-ferried to Canada, the recent transatlantic crossings providing useful route proving information for the first of those flights, due in early 2001.
Ozark Air Lines, resurrecting a famous name from the past, officially took delivery of its first Fairchild Dornier 328JET on October 7, 1999 at the manufacturer's San Antonio, Texas, facility, flying it the same day to its new base at Columbia Regional Airport, Missouri. This first example for the airline, N410Z, left Oberpfaffenhofen for Edinburgh, OK, on September 25 en route to the US, followed by the second aircraft, N430Z seen here, which passed through Edinburgh on September 28. Route proving flights are due to begin during October which should lead to commencement of scheduled services by Ozark by the end of November on daily scheduled flights to Chicago and Dallas.
First European Fairchild Dornier 328JET delivery was of OE-HTJ to Tyrolean Jet Service, the aircraft being seen here at Innsbruch on September 13, 1999, shortly after delivery. Deliveries of the type are now accelerating, with Skyways now having four, Ozark and Tyrolean both acquiring their first aircraft and another example being delivered on September 20 to Dogmoch, a group of companies involved in the water treatment industry, for company use.
Aero L-39C Albatros 3011, seen here during a recent pre-delivery test flight, is one of 12 ordered by the Unified Yemen Air Force earlier this year. The first example was delivered to Yemen during the last week in September 1999 and all 12 will have been received by the year end.
The first AirTran Boeing 717-200, N717XD (c/n 55003, to be N949AT) arrives at Atlantal Hartsfield International Airport on September 24, 1999, the day after official hand over at the Long Beach factory.
Boeing 767-432ER N76400(c/n 29703) gets airborne for its first flight at Baine Field, Everett, Washington, on October 9, 1999.
The Pilatus PC-7 Mk II M and PC-9M Military Trainers are purpose-designed to comply with the high standards required in the training of future operational jet pilots. The concept includes not only high quality, outstanding reliability, unsurpassed performance and excellent handling characteristics, it also provides a comprehensive training system, integrated logistics and customer support with a full range of ground-based training equipment. With significantly reduced costs and innovative products, Pilatus leads the way in modern turboprop training.
Seen here at Edinburgh on September 28, 1999, only six days after KLMuk announced the formation of its new low-cost airline, Buzz, the parent airline’s BAe 146-300 G-UKSC had already been painted in the basic Buzz colour scheme, albeit without titles.
Prototype LMATTS C-27J I-CERX (c/n 4043) lifts off the runway at Turin for its first flight on September 25, 1999.
The first RESCO AS 535 A2 Cougar Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) helicopter, seen here during predelivery test fiying as F-ZVMC, was formally handed-over to the Armee de l'Air (French Air Force) at Eurocopter’s Marignane facility on September 9, 1999.
Having debuted at Paris earlier this year, the AB139 mock-up made its first UK appearance at Helitech, where a launch order for two examples from locally-based Bristow Helicopters was announced.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) delivered the first production MH2000, JQ6005, to Japanese sightseeing company Excel Air Service Inc, based al Urnyasu Heliport, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, on October 1, 1999 at the company’s Komaki South Plant of its Nagoya Aerospace System Works. Delivery followed civil certification of Japan’s first indigenous helicopter design on September 24.
Pre-delivery shot of British Airways first Airbus A319-131 G-EUPA (c/n 1082, ex D-AVYK), which entered revenue service on October 7, 1999.
Artist’s impression of the Sikorsky Cypher II UAV, two prototypes of which have been ordered by the USMC.