Pakistan Air Force/41 Squadron HAMC Y-12-II 96-035 seen at its Chaklala base on May 12, 2001. Although there were reports some time ago that the Pakistan Air Force had acquired at least one Y-12, delivery of the aircraft had not previously been confirmed. It is believed that the Air Force has two examples in service while a further two have reportedly joined the Pakistan Navy and the Army are known to use two for para dropping.
Seen on the apron at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on May 23, 2001, shortly after delivery from the USA, is the first C-17A Globemaster for the RAF, ZZ171. Note the US-style presentation of the RAF serial on the nose, with the last four of the USAF serial below in smaller numerals.
Kolavia Tupolev TU-134A-3 RA-65943 (c/n 12096, formerly HA-LBN with Malev) seen on May 12, 2001 at Kemble, Gloucestershire, where it was undergoing VIP conversion by UK-based commercial aircraft interiors specialist Diamonite. The 43rd such conversion undertaken by the company for the Russian market, the Tu-134 is the largest aircraft type to have been dealt with by Diamonite to date, although the company had re-fitted the same aircraft previously for Malev in 1992.
Although Horizon Air has taken delivery of its first CRJ700, some minor avionics software problems with the type are preventing the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) from awarding FAR 121 operational approval. The aircraft has already received FAA FAR 25 type certification, but also requires FAR 121 approval to enable the airline to place the aircraft in revenue service. A problem with wind shear detection on the flight control computer and a fault in the flight data recorder are expected to be corrected shortly, enabling completion of certification by the end of June.
Alaska Air Group Inc is the owner of regional carrier Horizon Air. As well as a substantial fleet of Dash 8s, the latter also has 20 CRJ700s.
Belgian Air Force ERJ-135 CE-01 (c/n 449) seen at Brussels/Melsbroek on June 11, 2001, on which date it was officially handed-over In a formal ceremony. The aircraft had arrived at Brussels on June 4 and is due to be followed by second ERJ-135, CE-02 (c/n 486) on August 2. Two ERJ-145s are also on order.
The first production MiG-AT, 83 Red, seen after its formal roll out for the press at Zhukovsky on June 7, 2001. The aircraft features what MiG and the Russian Air Force say is the first digital flight control system which allows the aircraft to train pilots for a variety of different aircraft types ranging from fighters to transports. The aircraft is planned for display at the Paris Show and a cockpit mock-up will also be on show at Paris equipped with the French avionics fit developed for the export market.
Belgian Air Force Alpha Jet AT-26, seen here landing at Beauvechain Air Base on May 28, 2001, sports this smart new colour scheme in which Commandant Jean-Marc ‘Meumeu’ Meunier will perform solo displays of the type during this year’s airshow season. Note the e-mail address on the rear fuselage - the other side carries the address of the BAF website, www.mil.be/baf.
Having completed a successful six-week deployment to Australia, RQ-4A Global Hawk 95- 2005 (AV-5) Southern Cross II is seen here arriving back at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California, on June 8, 2001. During the deployment, the Global Hawk completed 11 sorties totalling 238.3 flight hours, four of those missions being in support of Exercise Tandem Thrust ’01. The flight home was AV-5’s 89th mission, bringing tool programme flight hours to 1,182 to date.
BMI British Midland Airbus A330-243 G-WWBB (c/n 404) was seen at Manchester throughout the weekend of May 6/7, 2001 undertaking crew training flights prior to inaugurating transatlantic services from the airport to Washington on May 12.
Lightning, Camera, Action, an 18in x 24in oil painting, by Charles Thompson, of a Lockheed F-5 of the 31st PS, 9th AF photographing the Normandy beach defences on May 6, 1944.
Seen here during pre-delivery test flying as D-AVZU, new Air Jamaica Airbus A321-211 6Y-JMH (c/n 1503) should have been delivered to the airline on lease front GE Capital Aviation Services by the time these words are read. The airline already has two similar aircraft in service, both being former Flying Colours aircraft which were taken on lease from ILFC in early 1999.
The devastating explosion which destroyed this Thai Airways Boeing 737-4D7, HS-TDC, while parked at the gate at Bangkok on March 3, 2001, was originally thought to have been caused by a bomb. An FAA airworthiness directive has now been issued in an effort to prevent a recurrence of the actual cause, ignition of fuel vapours inside the empty centre wing fuel tank.
American Trans Air’s first winglet-equipped Boeing 737-83N, N301TZ (c/n 28239), shows of the carrier’s revised corporate branding as it gets airborne from Seattle.
Illustrating the livery of newly launched Excel Airways is Boeing 737-81Q G-XLAD (c/n 29052, ex G-ODMW) at Manchester recently.
Continental Airlines’ first Boeing 737-924, N30401 (c/n 30118), was handed over in Seattle on May 29, 2001, making the airline the second carrier to take delivery of the new model.
Two of Alaska Airlines first three 737-990s, N302AS (c/n 30017), N303AS (c/n 30016) and N304AS (c/n 30013), all of which were delivered during May 2001, are seen at the formal hand-over ceremony of the first aircraft in Seattle on May 15. This view from above particularly emphasises the 138ft 2in (42m)-long fuselage of the new variant, the longest and largest capacity Next-Generation 737.
Hapag Lloyd Boeing 737-8K5 D-AHFT (c/n 30413) seen fitted with new advanced-technology winglets. Boeing announced on May 21, 2001 that the German carrier had become the first airline in the world to place a 737-800 with the new winglets into revenue service the previous week, operating the aircraft on routes from Germany to Mediterranean destinations. Hapag Lloyd has now started to retrofit the remainder of its 27-strong 737-800 fleet with the performance-enhancing winglets.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, accidents with ground vehicles continue to occur regularly, as evidenced by this recent incident which caused severe damage to the port engine nacelle of a Continental Airlines Boeing 737.
Prototype Aerostar 01, YR-6138, undertakes its first flight from Bacau Airport, Romania, on the evening of May 31, 2001, marking the company’s first venture into light aircraft development.