Air International 2011-05
The two Mil Mi-35P Hind-Fs purchased by the Fuerza Aerea del Peru (Peruvian Air Force) are currently completing their flying tests with Rostvertol in Russia prior to being transported to Peru for delivery. They will join Mi-25s already in service at Vitor with Escuadron Aereo 211 (Attack Helicopter Squadron 211) of Grupo Aereo N° 2 (2nd Air Group), which are due to be overhauled and modernised. Peru acquired 14 new Mi-25s and seven second-hand examples from Nicaragua. The order for the Mi-35Ps (including 696 seen here) was placed via Rosoboronexport in July 2010.
The latest Yak-130s delivered to the Russian Air Force at Borisoglebsk on April 6, 2011.
F-16AM FA-87 is No.31 'Tiger' Squadron's 2011 special scheme. The aircraft is seen during its roll-out from the paint shop at Kleine-Brogel AB.
F-16A ADF Fighting Falcon MM7249 (ex 81-0699) of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force) has recently appeared in a non-standard scheme. The aircraft is seen on approach to Trapani-Birgi on April 5, 2011. In 2009 MM7249 carried a special scheme to celebrate 1,000 hours on type by the commander of the X Gruppo Maggiore, Salvatore 'Cheero' Ferrara. In place of the shiny radar absorbing material (referred to as Have Glass paint) worn by the Italian F-16s since delivery in 2001, this aircraft has been repainted with normal grey paint.
One of the few Lockheed TriStars still in revenue earning service arrived at Budapest Ferihegy Airport in Hungary on March 26, 2011 from La Ceiba Goloson Airport in Honduras. The aircraft was on a charter flight to take a private group to Tahiti. It departed the next day for Papeete, but became unserviceable and had to divert to La Ceiba, stranding the passengers there until they were picked up by an Air Italy Boeing 767. The aircraft, L1011-500 TriStar HR-AVN (c/n 293B-1242, ex TL-ADW) was acquired by Rollins Air in mid-2009, but is still flown in Privilege Jet Airlines colours. Rollins Air, based at La Ceiba in Honduras, is a charter passenger and cargo operator. It has a second TriStar (HR-AWM, c/n 293A-1229, ex N163AT) stored at Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, plus a Boeing 737-232Adv (HR-AVR, c/n 23104, ex N332DL), two BAe Jetstream 31s, an Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia and a Piper Navajo.
Following the end of the flight training contract between the Iraqi Army Aviation Command and the US Security Assistance Training Management Organization in January 2011, the entire fleet of helicopters of the Iraqi Army began to relocate to Habbaniyah from Kirkuk Regional Air Base. The last Mil Mi-17 (404) is seen departing Kirkuk on March 1. It was followed by the Bell 206B-3 JetRangers and OH-58C Kiowas, with all having left for Habbaniyah by March 14.
The 'Eightballers' of Helicopter Sea Combat Support Squadron 8 (HC-8) based at NAS North Island, California, were present at NAS Fallon, Nevada, in April 2011 for training prior to their deployment with Carrier Air Wing 9 (CVW-9) onboard the USS John C Stennis. For this deployment Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk BuNo 167869 has been designated as the unit's CAG-bird, and wears a new scheme featuring a samurai warrior and rising sun design on the nose.
The second PZL Mielec-built Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk (SP-YVA, c/n 703652/0002) has been painted in the colours of the Saudi Ministry of Interior prior to delivery as MOI-31. SP-YVB (c/n 703660) will become MOI-32, while SP-YVC (c/n 703699) was noted at Mielec in Poland on March 7, 2011 already wearing MOI-33. Saudi Arabia is the launch customer for the variant, having ordered three in July 2010.
Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk 07-27172 of the United States Custom and Border Patrol (CBP) is seen during a training exercise in New Orleans, Louisiana, during March 2011. Four examples of the variant were delivered to the CBP by July 2010 under the Utility Helicopter Project to replace UH-60As.
Tornado GR4 ZA611, seen here on March 7, 2011, has been noted recently operating from MoD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, carrying a white pod under the fuselage. The pod carries QinetiQ titles and radiation hazard markings. Although the agency will not release any details concerning the object, it is believed to be a ground mapping radar, possibly to help counter improvised explosive devices.
AgustaWestland A109E Power Elite QQ100 (c/n G-CFVB c/n 11131) of QinetiQ is seen over the Salisbury Plain Training Area on March 24, 2011. The aircraft adopted the customised military markings - the first time Q has ever been used in any British military serial - on March 11, 2011. The helicopter has been flown by the military research agency since at least May 2009.
Boeing 727-256Adv TY-24A (c/n 20819) of the Benin Government is seen at the capital's Cotonou Airport. The aircraft has been in service with the Republique du Benin since around 2006 and was previously flown by Iberia as EC-CFI.
Former Portuguese Reims-Cessna FTB-337G 13729 inside the FAP C-130H Hercules on its delivery flight to Mozambique.
The Rotary Wing Group of the Australian Defence Force recently recommenced full operational duties from Kandahar in Afghanistan. At least two Australian Army Air Corps Boeing CH-47D Chinooks from the 5th Aviation Regiment (including A15-104 seen here) based at Townsville, Queensland, have been embedded within the US Army's 159th Combat Aviation Brigade. The helicopters returned to Afghanistan after maintenance following the conclusion of the last deployment in October 2010. The Chinooks completed over 737 flight hours in theatre during the last rotation, carrying approximately 691,000kg (1.52 million lb) of supplies.
T-346A CSX55144 lifts off from Venegono Superiore on March 31, 2011 for its first flight. It will soon be delivered to the RSV along with the second aircraft.
Monarch Airlines' Airbus A320-212 G-OZBB (msn 389) has had titles applied to its front fuselage to mark the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London. The airliner is depicted departing Manchester International Airport on April 7.
Airbus A320-214 EI-DVM named St Colman (msn 4634, ex F-WWDV) was delivered to Aer Lingus on March 24, 2011 in a retro scheme to celebrate the Irish airlines' 75th anniversary. The colours were applied to the carrier's fleet between 1965 and 1974. The airliner is seen arriving back at Dublin from London Heathrow four days after being delivered.
Airbus A320-232 ZK-OAB (c/n 4553) of Air New Zealand was painted at Hamburg, Germany, in an all black scheme with a Koru on the tail to promote the nation's rugby team, the All Blacks, and New Zealand Rugby Union in general. The airliner was the first A320 delivered to the carrier, arriving in New Zealand in early February 2011. Four of the aircraft configured for 171 passengers will be delivered in 2011, with all in service by 2016 to replace leased Boeing 737-300s. It is operated on domestic routes and is seen on approach to Auckland on February 23.
Airbus A320-214 D-ABDD (msn 2685, ex F-WWIB) Julfa is seen departing Dublin on Runway 10 on March 28, 2011 during its delivery flight to AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines. The airliner was withdrawn by Air Berlin on February 28 and was painted in AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines colours at the Irish airport. It is due to become 4K-AZ83 upon entering service with its new operator.
Three Boeing 787 Dreamliners destined for Air India are currently stored at Kilo North on Paine Field, Washington. The latest to appear there is 787-837 VT-ANC (c/n 36274). All three are awaiting General Electric GEnx-1B engines and certification before they can be delivered, with the first expected to be handed over in October 2011, to become the fourth airline to fly the aircraft. The carrier originally expected to receive its first in September 2008.
Sikorsky S-64F Skycrane fire-fighter I-CFAG/'CFS-100' (c/n 64-088, ex-N213AC, 69-18480) of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato (State Forestry Corps) was noted at Cameri on March 23, 2011. It is one of four of the type currently operated by the organisation to fight fires and move heavy equipment.
Seen arriving at RAF Mildenhall, Norfolk, on March 23, 2011 was Bombardier DHC-8-202Q Dash 8 N349PH (97-0486, c/n 486) of the 524th Special Operations Squadron, 27th Special Operations Wing based at Cannon AFB, New Mexico. The aircraft was registered to Win-Win Services on February 11, 2010. The unit currently has four on strength.
Boeing 757-236 G-TCBC (c/n 29946, ex B-2861) of Thomas Cook is seen at Palma Airport on April 9, 2011 wearing a new special scheme to promote travel to Egypt. The airliner joined the carrier from China Xinjiang Airlines on January 27. The same scheme is due to be applied to G-TCBB (c/n 29945, ex B-2860).
The PW1000 PurePower series will be fitted on the Irkut MS-21.
Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-343X G-VSXY is seen on April 2, 2011 departing Manchester International Airport as Flight VS75 at the start of the type's first revenue flight with the carrier to Orlando, Florida.
RNLAF Cougars took part in what is likely to be their final TAC Blaze exercise in late March and early April 2011. S-450 of No.300 Squadron is seen departing the forward operating base for a reconnaissance mission over the Electronic Warfare Range at Spadeadam, Cumbria on April 4.
The first of seven Air Tractors arrive at Dov Field on March 31, 2011.
The PW1000 PurePower series will be fitted on Mitsubishi Regional Jet
The PW1000 PurePower series will be fitted on Bombardier CSeries
The pilot of Tornado F3 ZE791 kept the nose of his aircraft high while landing for the final time at RAF Leeming on March 28, 2011.
One of the three Mi-17V5s handed over to the RTA on March 28, 2011 departs Bang Khen helipad in Bangkok for a demonstration flight.
MC-130J 09-6207 is the first example of the variant built to replace AFSOC's MC-130P fleet.
Former Armee de I'Air (French Air Force) Airbus A319-115X Corporate Jet 1556/F-RBFB (msn 1556) destined for the Senegalese Government has been allocated the registration 6V-ANE and carries the name Pointe Sarene on its nose. It is seen on a test flight from Bordeaux. The second French A319, 1485/F-RBFA has become VQ-BKK.
The first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental is seen over Mount Rainer in the Cascade Range during its maiden flight on March 20, 2011.