Air International 1996-03
Seen at Split Airport, Croatia, on January 31, 1996 is new locally-registered Antonov An-32B 9A-BAB which is devoid of any airline titles but presumable with a local operator.
One of five MiG-21Rs that are being converted by Tracor Flight Systems for target drones.
Framed by the Su-27P are some of US military aircraft exhibited at the show: a McDonnell Douglas AV-8B, McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D, Lockheed Martin F-16C and McDonnell Douglas F-15C. Facing them is a Beechjet 400A.
Two of the most high technology aircraft in the world today, meeting at Changi. The Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit and a Cathay Pacific Airways Boeing 777.
Prototype Boeing Sikorsky YRAH-66 Comanche 94-0327 gets airborne for the first time from Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center at West Palm Beach, Florida, at 1305hrs on January 4, 1996. The helicopter was airborne for 36 minutes in the hands of Sikorsky test pilot Rus Stiles and Boeing test pilot Bob Gradle. The current US Army requirement is for a total of 1,292 Comanches.
One of at least two dozen Mil Mi-8MTV-1 Hip-Hs acquired recently by the Croatian Air Force, H-211 was seen on February 1, 1996 at Divulje Barracks near Split where it is based alongside the UK IFOR helicopter assets. The helicopter carries the name Sveti Donst on the cabin door with a badge underneath depicting an octopus holding a Croatian shield. Also present was H-204, which is named Sveti Duje.
Aero LLoyd Airbus A320-232 D-ALAA (c/n 565), seen during a pre-delivery test flight as F-WWDR, is one of three new-build aircraft to be leased to the airline front ILFC.
The WTD.61 trials fleet at Manching is the only remaining Luftwaffe operator of the Su-22, with two Su-22M4s remaining airworthy - the example here, 98+14 (c/n 30918, ex 2529), is seen at No 2 Military Overhaul Factory (WZL-2) at Bydgoszcz, Poland, about to depart on January 26, 1996 following a month-long, 200hr overhaul which will see it continue in use for some time yet. Of note is the ‘flying tiger’ emblem on the nose which was applied during its stay and is a copy of the logo carried by Polish Air Force Su-22s from the 6th PLM-B at Pila, several of which were at Bydgoszcz for overhaul.
Illustrating the new livery and name of Interot Airways, which changed its name to Augsburg Airways at the beginning of January 1996, is DHC-8 Dash 8-103 D-BIRT/Agnes Bernauer seen at Augsburg Airport on January 10, 1996. Repainting of the fleet began in the first week of the new year and D-BIRT re-entered service on January 8.
China’s Y7H-500, making its Asian debut at Changi, is a dedicated cargo derivative of the Antonov An-26 tactical transport, powered by two Harbin Engine Factory HJ-5E turboprops plus an auxiliary turbojet in the rear of the starboard engine nacelle.
A former Hong Kong Sikorsky S-76A+ was exhibited in ‘typical’ naval livery in response to a predicted ASEAN market of 100 to 150 intermediate weight naval helicopters.
Singapore Technologies Aerospace has a 15% share in the production of the EC 120. Development began in January 1993 and the first flight took place in June 1995. Costing less than $1 million, first deliveries of the EC 120 are scheduled for the end of 1997.
Learjet exhibited two aircraft at the show; one of two Learjet 31s delivered to Singapore Airlines in January 1996 for use in its advanced flight trainer programme and a Learjet 60 (shown here) which was delivered to Malaysia last December for flight inspection.
Bell considered the Asia-Pacific market so important that it chose Asian Aerospace ’96 for the public debut of both the 407 (foreground) and the 430.
Asian Aerospace '96
Seen test flying at BAe Warton on January 25, 1996 is the first of eight Hawk Mk 109s for the Indonesian Air Force, TT-1201, wearing test serial ZH953. One of these aircraft was seriously damaged at the factory on January 29 when three women broke in and set about the aircraft with hammers in protest against arms sales to Indonesia. Some 16 single-seat Hawk Mk 209s are also on order.
The first F/A-18D Hornet for the Swiss Air Force, J-5231, near St Louis during its first flight on January 20, 1996 flown by McDonnell Douglas test pilots Dave Desmond and Guy Clayton.