Air International 2006-12
News: Headline, Military, Civil, Accidents, Special report
'AirSpace' aims to tell the story of British and Commonwealth aviation and this view shows how some of the most famous aircraft - Concorde, Lancaster and Vulcan - have been positioned in the revamped hangar.
A final blended five-ship formation flies over the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho on November 1б 2006 as a farewell to the F-16 with the 366th Fighter Wing. Led by 366th FW commander Col Anthony Rock, the formation comprises two F-15E Strike Eagles, one F-15C and one F-16C, all from the 366th FW at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, together with a US Navy EA-6B from the geographically separated 388th Electronic Control Squadron at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The 388th FW began drawdown with the F-16 on November 2, when the first five aircraft left Mountain Home as the Wing begins transition from an F-15E, F-15C and F-16 unit to an all-F-15E unit by 2011.
Polish Air Force F-16C 4043 taxies out for departure from RAF Leuchars, Scotland, on November 8, 2006 prior to flying direct to Poznan, Poland, during its delivery flight from the factory Fort Worth, Texas. Note that for the flight the Polish nationality markings were blacked out with tape and a star and bar was applied to the rear fuselage, although the latter only appeared on the starboard side.
USAF F-16C 86-0368 'CO' from the Colorado Air National Guard's 140th Wing/120th Fighter Squadron at Buckley AFB, Colorado, seen here on September 26, 2006, has been painted in this colourful scheme to mark the 50th anniversary of the ANG’s Minute Men aerial demonstration team, which was formed in 1956.
A final blended five-ship formation flies over the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho on November 1б 2006 as a farewell to the F-16 with the 366th Fighter Wing. Led by 366th FW commander Col Anthony Rock, the formation comprises two F-15E Strike Eagles, one F-15C and one F-16C, all from the 366th FW at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, together with a US Navy EA-6B from the geographically separated 388th Electronic Control Squadron at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The 388th FW began drawdown with the F-16 on November 2, when the first five aircraft left Mountain Home as the Wing begins transition from an F-15E, F-15C and F-16 unit to an all-F-15E unit by 2011.
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster III A41-206 (c/n P166) lifts off from Long Beach Airport, California, at 1103hrs on November 7, 2006 for its first flight. The aircraft, the first of four for the RAAF, is due to be formally handed-over on November 28.
Thai Airways International Boeing 777-2D7ER HS-TJR (c/n 34586) lands after a test flight on October 25, 2006. The aircraft is the first 777-200ER for the airline and left Paine Field, Everett, Washington, on November 1 on its ferry flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand. Four aircraft are on order and the remaining three will also be delivered before the year-end.
A computer generated image of the Boeing 777 Freighter in FedEx Express colours.
Making an interesting comparison with the SAX-40, one of the two 21ft (6.4m) wingspan X-48B Blended Wing Body concept development prototypes that have now been delivered to Edwards AFB, California, sits on Rogers Dry Lake bed adjacent to NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards on October 24. Jointly developed by NASA, the US Air Force Research Laboratory and Boeing Phantom Works, the X-48B will shortly commence ground testing in preparation for flight tests in early 2007.
USAF/New York Air National Guard/109th Airlift Wing/139th Airlift Squadron LC-130H 83-0493, callsign 'Skier 00', from Schenectady County Airport, New York, touches down at the South Pole on October 30, 2006 to commemorate the first aircraft landing there 50 years earlier. The first flight, on October 31, 1956, involved a ski-equipped Douglas R4D-5, since when the US military has performed regular flights under Operation Deep Freeze to support the National Science Foundation and US Antarctic Program in its mission to explore Antarctica.
Royal Air Force/3 Squadron Typhoon F.2s ZJ929/'QO-A', ZJ926/'QO-Y' and ZJ919/'QO-W' lead Royal New Zealand Air Force/40 Squadron Boeing 757-2K2 NZ7571 during a practice flypast over RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on November 9, 2006. The aircraft were rehearsing for a flypast over Hyde Park Corner, London, which took place on November 11 to mark the dedication of the new New Zealand Memorial.
BAE Systems announced on November 6, 2006 that the Republic of China Air Force has flown a prototype of the upgraded C/D variant of its F-CK-1 Indigenous Defence Fighter, 10005/95-8136, which is also known as the Shiang-Seng. The new version, which first flew on October 9, features a BAE Systems 32-bit digital flight control computer, together with additional fuel for increased range, improved avionics and electronic warfare systems plus an expanded weapons capability. The new computer will be installed as an upgrade on existing ROCAF F-CK-1A and F-CK-1B Ching Kuo fighters and on new production aircraft.
Making its first flight from Boeing's Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, Rotorcraft Systems facility on October 23, 2006 was the first new production CH-47F Chinook for the US Army. The aircraft will be delivered to the Army for operational testing before being deployed in 2007. An $163 million contract was awarded to Boeing on November 1 for new build production CH-47F helicopters for the US Army, with contract completion expected by December 29, 2009. The number of helicopters involved was not specified. The US Army plans to procure a total of 510 CH-47F/MH-47G helicopters, comprising 55 new production CH-47Fs, 397 CH-47Ds remanufactured to CH-47F standard and 58 MH-47Gs.
An artist's impression of the Boeing HH-47, which has been selected as the winning contender in the USAF CSAR-X competition.
'AirSpace' aims to tell the story of British and Commonwealth aviation and this view shows how some of the most famous aircraft - Concorde, Lancaster and Vulcan - have been positioned in the revamped hangar.
The tail section of ADC Airlines Boeing 737-2B7 5N-BFK protrudes from a cornfield near Abuja Airport, Nigeria, following its take-off crash there on October 29, 2006, which killed all but nine of the 105 on board.
A final blended five-ship formation flies over the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho on November 1б 2006 as a farewell to the F-16 with the 366th Fighter Wing. Led by 366th FW commander Col Anthony Rock, the formation comprises two F-15E Strike Eagles, one F-15C and one F-16C, all from the 366th FW at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, together with a US Navy EA-6B from the geographically separated 388th Electronic Control Squadron at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The 388th FW began drawdown with the F-16 on November 2, when the first five aircraft left Mountain Home as the Wing begins transition from an F-15E, F-15C and F-16 unit to an all-F-15E unit by 2011.
Passing through Southend, Essex, on November 9, 2006 en route from Belgrade, Yugoslavia, to Kemble, Gloucestershire, for storage were former Centavia BAe 146-200S YU-AGL (c/n E2210) still in full colours and all white VU-AGM (c/n E2220). Seen here on approach to Southend is YU-AGL. Centavia had leased the two aircraft from BAE Systems Regional Aircraft and undertook its first charter flight on July 8, subsequently planning to add daily scheduled services from Belgrade to Podgorica. On the day these were due to commence, the airline's Air Operators Certificate was withdrawn by the Montenegrin Civil Aviation Directorate, forcing the carrier to return the aircraft to BAE Systems.
Learjet 40 D-CNIK, owned and operated by German airline company Cirrus Airlines is seen here parked at Skopje Airport, Macedonia, on November, 2006. As can be seen, the aircraft has now been repaired following its serious accident at London-Gatwick on March 17, 2006.
Close up of the damage to ExcelAire Embraer Legacy 600 N600XL at the Brazilian Air Force Base at Cachimbo following its emergency landing on September 29, 2006 after the mid-air collision with GOL Boeing 737-8EH PR-GTD. The severed port winglet and loss of part of the tip of the port tailplane was the only damage suffered by the aircraft.
Second prototype Bell/Agusta BA609 civil tiltrotor, N609AG (c/n 60002), seen during its first flight on November 9, 2006 from Cameri, Italy.
'AirSpace' aims to tell the story of British and Commonwealth aviation and this view shows how some of the most famous aircraft - Concorde, Lancaster and Vulcan - have been positioned in the revamped hangar.
The wreckage of Finnish AF/Training Air Wing/HavLLv 41 Hawk Mk.51 HW-335 is seen in woods close to Kruunupyy Airfield where it crashed following an engine flame out on September 28, 2006.
Still wearing its 'MY' tailcode from its service with the 479th Flying Training Group/435th Flying Training Squadron at Moody AFB, Georgia, T-38C 69-7079 arrives at Laughlin AFB, Texas, on October 4, 2006. The aircraft is the first of around 15 T-38s and a similar number of T-6A Texan Ils that will transfer from Moody to the 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin over the next six to eight months to perform the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) course, which was previously undertaken at Moody. Introducing pilots to air-to-air employment, air-to-surface attack and low-altitude navigation, the IFF course is expected to be up and running at Laughlin by summer 2007.
Royal Air Force/3 Squadron Typhoon F.2s ZJ929/'QO-A', ZJ926/'QO-Y' and ZJ919/'QO-W' lead Royal New Zealand Air Force/40 Squadron Boeing 757-2K2 NZ7571 during a practice flypast over RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on November 9, 2006. The aircraft were rehearsing for a flypast over Hyde Park Corner, London, which took place on November 11 to mark the dedication of the new New Zealand Memorial.
Forca Aerea Brasileira (FAB - Brazilian Air Force) EADS CASA C-295/C-105A Amazonas FAB 2800 (c/n 029) was handed-over to the FAB at the factory in Seville-San Pablo, Spain, on October 16, 2006. The first of 12 on order for the FAB, it was officially welcomed in Brasilia on October 23 following completion of its delivery flight. The aircraft is seen here on October 9 during a pre-delivery test flight from San Pablo.
A final blended five-ship formation flies over the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho on November 1б 2006 as a farewell to the F-16 with the 366th Fighter Wing. Led by 366th FW commander Col Anthony Rock, the formation comprises two F-15E Strike Eagles, one F-15C and one F-16C, all from the 366th FW at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, together with a US Navy EA-6B from the geographically separated 388th Electronic Control Squadron at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington. The 388th FW began drawdown with the F-16 on November 2, when the first five aircraft left Mountain Home as the Wing begins transition from an F-15E, F-15C and F-16 unit to an all-F-15E unit by 2011.
Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) Hawk Mk 129s 501/ZK108 and 502/ZK109 lift off from BAE Systems' Warton factory airfield in Lancashire on October 13, 2006 at the beginning of their delivery flight. After a four-day ferry flight, they arrived at Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain, on October 17. The remaining four aircraft on order will be delivered in early 2007.
Seen here at the MCAS Miramar Air Show on October 15, 2006 is resident US Marine Corps F/A-18C 165188 'VW-00', the squadron commander’s aircraft, which has been flying for a couple of years now in this distinctive and unusual 'digital' camouflage colour scheme.
Airbus A318-111 D-AUAA (c/n 2910), the first A318 Elite corporate jet version, takes off from Hamburg-Finkenwerder on October 10, 2006 for its first flight. Subsequently registered F-WWIB, the aircraft is scheduled for delivery to launch customer Comlux in Zurich, Switzerland, as HB-IPP in spring 2007 following completion of cabin outfitting over the winter. Since launch of the Elite in November 2005, this variant has achieved 22 orders and commitments to date. The CFM56-5-powered Comlux aircraft was also used on October 28 for a series of compatibility tests, including steep approaches, at London City Airport, complementing those carried out in May with a PW6000A-powered A318 at the Airport. Steep approach certification for both PW6000 and CFM56-5 powered A318s is anticipated during 2007.
Following the merger of SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express last year, the amalgamated company announced on November 7, 2006 that the carrier will in future operate under the Brussels Airlines brand. Operations under the new name will commence on March 25, 2007, whilst until then flights will continue to be operated under the separate brand names of SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express. A new corporate colour scheme is also being adopted for the airline's aircraft, as seen here on SNBA's newly repainted A319-112 OO-SSG. Initial fleet for the merged airlines will be three Airbus A330-300s (with a fourth due to be added), three A319-100s, ten Boeing 737-300s/400s and 32 Avro RJ85s/RJ100s/BAe 146-200s.
Indian Airlines Airbus A319-112 VT-SCF (c/n 2907 ex D-AVWT), the first directly purchased example for the carrier, was handed-over in Toulouse on October 17, 2006 and arrived at New Delhi/Indira Gandhi International Airport on October 19 following completion of its delivery flight. The aircraft is one of 43 Airbus aircraft (20 A319s, four A320s and 19 A321s) that were ordered by the airline in February 2006. A further six will be delivered in 2007, more than ten in 2008 and the remainder by 2010.
Making a rare visit to Toronto/Pearson International Airport, Canada, on September 22, 2006 was Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Boeing 737-33A B-4018 (c/n 25502), which arrived from Winnipeg. The aircraft is operated by the 34th Division at Beijing-Shahezhen and is one of seven 737-300s and two 737-700s operated by the PLAAF in government colours and without titles. An eighth Series 300 aircraft, 737-3Q8 B-4052 (c/n 24701), is operated in an all-grey colour scheme, fitted with various radomes and aerials, and is believed to be used as an airborne command post. The PLAAF are reported to be ultimately planning to operate a total of 16 of the type.
Saab announced on November 7, 2006 that it has successfully undertaken the first flight tests of the Gripen carrying the IRIS-T air-to-air missile. Swedish Air Force Saab JAS 39D Gripen 39822/'822' is seen here during the flight tests with an IRIS-T mounted on each of the wingtip missile rails. FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, ordered integration of IRIS-T on the Gripen at the end of 2005 and this work is expected to continue through to 2009.
China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-409F B-18723 (c/n 34266) undertakes a test flight on October 18, 2006. The aircraft is the 20th for the Taiwanese national carrier and was delivered on October 25.
Boeing 737-8AL 5Y-KYA (c/n 35069), seen here during test flying on October 9, 2006, is the first of 30 of the type ordered by Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) and was delivered on October 27 for operation by Kenya Airways. The aircraft joins four 737-700s already in service with the airline.
Bouraq [Buraq] Air Boeing 737-8GK 5A-DMG (c/n 34938) Tripoli, seen here during test flying on October 13, 2006, is the first of three ordered by Libya's first private airline and departed Boeing Field, Everett, on its delivery flight on October 28. The aircraft arrived at the airline's home base in Tripoli on October 30. The second aircraft was scheduled for delivery during November.
Wreckage of the wings of GOL Boeing 737-8EH PR-GTD seen in the dense Brazilian jungle following its mid-air collision with ExcelAire Embraer Legacy 600 N600XL on September 29, 2006, which killed all on board the 737.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge University unveiled their revolutionary concept developed under the Silent Aircraft Initiative on November 6, 2006, revealing the SAX-40 blended wing body design seen here. The aircraft has no flaps or slats, a major source of airframe noise when landing, and engines mounted on top of the fuselage to screen much of their noise from the ground. The ultra-high bypass engines have variable size jet nozzles to allow slower jet propulsion during take-off and climb for low noise and optimised for maximum efficiency during cruise. The concept is aimed at the generation after next aircraft that could be in service around 2030.