Air International 2012-01
One of the stars of the recent Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition held between December 6 and 10, 2011, was Mikoyan MIG-29N Fulcrum M43-03 (c/n 36587) of 17 Skuadron 'Bat' of the Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (Royal Malaysian Air Force) based at Sultan Ahmed Shah. The aircraft carried special markings to celebrate 53 years of operations. Malaysia is seeking to replace its ten MiG-29Ns in the form of 18 new multi-role combat aircraft. The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab JAS 39 Gripen are all under consideration, and examples of each type were on display at LIMA. The new aircraft will be funded in the 11th Malaysia Plan (2015 to 2020), with selection expected around 2013/2014.
The final Boeing 707-329C Trainer Cargo Aircraft (TCA, US designation CT-49A) in service completed its last flight with the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force based at Geilenkirchen in Germany on November 16, 2011. The aircraft (LX-N20199, c/n 20199, ex N3238S) is due to make a final flight to Maastricht Aachen Airport for the aviation school at Leeuwenburg, which will use part of it for ground-based training. The TCA has been operated by NATO since 1988 and accumulated more than 57,000 flight hours, while the three-aircraft fleet has flown 242,213 hours.
Douglas C-47B-15-DK Dakota IV KK156 (c/n 15295/26740, ex 43-49479) is believed to be the last of its kind in service with the Hellenic Air Force. It is operated by 355/1 Sminos Taktikon Metaforon (Tactical Transport Flight) 'Atlas' based at Thessaloniki-Mikra. It was flown alongside C-47 92622 (c/n 20474, ex 49-2622), although that aircraft is believed to have been withdrawn in late 2008. KK156 was equipped for target-towing but is currently used for ceremonial duties. It is seen at the Hellenic Air Force's 50th anniversary airshow held at Tanagra on November 6, 2011.
An unusual formation of 27 fully-armed F-16C Block 40 Fighting Falcons from the 8th and 419th Fighter Wings (FW) taxi down the runway at Kunsan AB in the Republic of Korea on December 2, 2011. The 419th FW based at Hill AFB, Utah, has temporary deployed aircraft to Kunsan to provide the 8th FW with a 'theater support package'. The event - known as an 'elephant walk' - was staged during an exercise held at the base to demonstrate the aircrews' capability to quickly and safely prepare aircraft for a wartime mission.
To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the affiliation of the 182nd Fighter Squadron with the Air National Guard in October 2012, the unit has painted F-16C Block 30F Fighting Falcon 87-0255 in special markings. The Texan Guard unit, known as the 'Lone Star Gunfighters', is assigned to the 149th Fighter Wing and operates from Lackland AFB, Texas. The aircraft received its special scheme in September 2011 at Homestead ARB, Florida, and was unveiled at its home base on October 1, 2011. The scheme will remain on the aircraft at least until the squadron celebrates its anniversary in 2012, and may be retained for a further year afterwards.
Смешанная боевая нагрузка Maverick/LOB (на снимке) обеспечивает максимальную гибкость при выполнении боевой задачи. Сейчас Maverick также совместима с самолетами Block 50 ВВС США.
Press reports suggest that US Air Force AC-130 gunships were involved in the November 26, 2011 attack on a Pakistani Army border post in the Mohmand district of Pakistan. Reports also suggest that NATO F-16s were involved. NATO has reportedly accepted responsibility for the attack and has apologized to Pakistan calling it a "tragic unintended incident," and has launched an enquiry.
The six Kongelige Danske Flyvevabnet (Royal Danish Air Force) F-16AM Fighting Falcons (including E-599/80-3599 seen here) returned from their deployment to NAS Sigonella on Sicily on November 2, 2011. Although the aircraft were due to land at Skrydstrup AB, dense fog forced a diversion to Karup AB. The aircraft flew on to Skrydstrup the following day. During operations over Libya the Danish F-16s gained mission marks for the first time, applied with a black felt-tip pen (see right).
Colourful Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk BuNo 167869/'NG-0' is the CAG-bird of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 (HSC-8) 'Eightballers'. The helicopter is seen over USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7) during a replenishment at sea with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74) in the Arabian Sea on November 10, 2011.
Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk 161326/'02' wearing its US Army identity 27227 is one of the first four delivered to the US Army for Sweden.
A US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III launches flares from its AN/AAQ-24 Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system over the Nevada Test and Training Range on November 16, 2011, during a Mobility Air Forces Exercise (MAFEX). MAFEX is run twice a year by the US Air Force Weapons School to test the abilities of Globemaster and C-130 Hercules aircrews.
The first Airbus A380-841 for Thai Airways International (msn 087) entered final assembly at Toulouse in France in late November 2011. It is seen at the first stage of final assembly, where the front, central and aft fuselage sections, wings, horizontal and vertical tail planes are Joined. Thai will take delivery of the aircraft in the third quarter of 2012, becoming the eighth airline to receive the type following Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, Air France, Lufthansa, Korean Air, China Southern Airlines and Malaysian Airlines. Six have been ordered by Thai.
Dornier Do 328JET-300 ZS-AAK (c/n 3162, ex OY-NCR) of Avex Air Transport on approach to Johannesburg-O R Tambo International Airport in South Africa. The aircraft was previously operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia, arriving in South Africa on delivery to Avex on March 17, 2011 and is used on charter services.
Boeing 727-2Y4Adv(RE) TU-VAO (c/n 22968, ex VP-CML) of the Republique de Cote d'Ivoire Government is seen at the conclusion of a test flight on approach to Johannesburg-O R Tambo International Airport in South Africa on October 15, 2011. The aircraft was previously operated by MIA Airlines on behalf of the Afghanistan Government before being transferred to the Cote d'Ivoire in October.
C-130B Hercules A-1305 (c/n 3583) of the Indonesian Air Force, alongside a Royal Australian Air Force No.37 Squadron C-130H on the ramp at RAAF Base Darwin, Northern Territory, during Exercise Rajawali Ausindo.
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 (HMH-463) is the first of the three CH-53D squadrons based at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii to retire its CH-53Ds.
Typhoons of No.3 Squadron Royal Saudi Air Force started air-to-ground operations in December 2011.
Sikorsky S-61A-1 U-278 departing Karup AB in Denmark for Hamburg on October 19, 2011.
On October 27, 2011, the Western Military District conducted a tactical army aviation exercise from Vyazma AB in the Smolensk region. Four Mil Mi-8s and Mi-24 gunships were involved in the exercise. Mil Mi-8MT RF-92492/'34' red is seen in formation with two of the other Hips. The helicopter was previously noted at Kubinka in April 2010, wearing larger Russian Air Force titles on the tailboom and no bort code. The exercise was held one day before the anniversary of the formation of the Russian Air Force's first helicopter squadron near Serpukhov in 1948.
Два прототипа X-47B на авиабазе «Патаксент-Ривер»
The two X-47Bs side by side at Edwards AFB, California, with AV-2 on the right.
Inset: The second X-47B UCAV making its maiden flight on November 22, 2011 at Edwards AFB, California. Of note on the nose landing gear door is the Pratt & Whitney badge (responsible for the powerplant) and skunk emblem of Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs ('Skunk Works', involved in the design of the low observable aerodynamic edges, inlet lip and control surfaces, and development of the arrestor hook).
The second X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator built by Northrop Grumman will be used to show the technology required to air-refuel an unmanned aerial vehicle from a manned tanker aircraft in 2014.
Press reports suggest that US Air Force AC-130 gunships were involved in the November 26, 2011 attack on a Pakistani Army border post in the Mohmand district of Pakistan.
Lockheed MC-130W 'Dragon Spear' 90-1058 (c/n 5241) is seen about to depart Runway 11 at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, on November 28, 2011, after a night stop. The aircraft is operated by the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, 27th Special Operations Wing based at Cannon AFB, New Mexico. The Dragon Spear programme was initiated following the end of plans to acquire an AC-273 'Gunship Light'. It is equipped with a GAU-23/A Bushmaster II 30mm gun, sensors, communications systems and precision guided munitions. Air Force Special Operations Command will convert all 12 MC-130Ws as Dragon Spears.
Tiger 74+20 of Kampfhubschrauberregiment 36 was one of four deployed to Fassberg for Exercise BORA 2011. The helicopter is seen at Stendal, which was used as a forward arming and refuelling point during the training.
LAN Airlines of Chile is one of the sponsors of Teleton 2011, a national campaign of fund-raising for medical aid for disabled children. Some of its short-range fleet have been fitted with stickers saying 'Con la fuerza del corazon - Teleton' ('with the strength of the heart'), including the latest addition to the fleet - Airbus A320-214 CC-BAR, msn 4892, ex-D-AWG - delivered on October 29, 2011. The airliner is seen at Santiago/Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Chile on November 12, 2011.
The prototype Airbus A320 has begun the flight test programme for the sharklet wingtip devices.
Airbus A320-212 D-AICA (msn 774, ex F-WWDN) of German carrier Condor Flugdienst has been painted in a 1950s retro scheme. The airliner was unveiled in the new colours on December 5, 2011, at Berlin-Schonefeld Airport.
New start-up GCS (Global Charter Services) Cargo received the first of two former MNG Airbus A300 freighters on October 14, 2011. Airbus A300F4-203 EK-30277 (msn 277, ex N277EF) is operated by GSC Cargo on wet lease from Skiva Air. The freighter is seen at Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates on November 16, 2011. It is due to be used on services between the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone and Kabul in Afghanistan.
A prototype Kamov Ka-226T took part in a security training exercise held at Sochi in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, during November 2011. The exercise was part of training in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics, due to be held in the seaside resort, during which responses to natural and man-made emergencies were practised at various Olympic facilities. During the exercise the Ka-226T was used to monitor events and perform a simulated medical evacuation in conjunction with Ministry of Emergency Situations' personnel.
One of the upgraded CN235 MPAs is seen in early December 2011 transiting through Luqa on Malta on its way to Turkey. It is wearing a French test registration, F-ZWML, and has all the national markings covered, except the seagull emblem of 301 Filo.
The Fuerza Aeronaval (Mexican Naval Air Force) has taken delivery of the first of four Airbus Military CN235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) (AMP-122, c/n 191). The manufacturer announced the handover on November 16, 2011. The aircraft were ordered via EADS North America as part of the Merida Initiative, a security agreement between the United States and various Latin American countries aimed at combating narcotics trafficking and organised crime. The other three will be delivered in the first half of 2012.
China Eastern airlines Airbus A330-243 F-WWKH (msn 1267, to become B-6538) is seen at the manufacturer's facility at Toulouse/Blagnac in southern France on November 8, 2011, the day it made its first flight. The airliner has been painted in the colours of SkyTeam, which China Eastern Joined on June 21, 2011.
VR-46 is one of three fleet logistics support squadrons now due to deactivate in 2012, according to an October 11, 2011 directive from the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Recently noted in a hangar at Johannesburg/O R Tambo International Airport in South Africa was Douglas DC-9-31 C5-AEB (c/n 48145, ex-C5-JDZ) of Ghadames Air Transport of Tripoli, Libya. The airline received two of the airliners on lease from Jetran in 2010, but is believed to have ceased operations when the Libyan revolution began last year.
Douglas DC-9-32 9Q-CWE (c/n 47701, ex N212ME) of Wimbi Dira Airways seen on approach to Johannesburg/O R Tambo International Airport in South Africa. The scheduled and charter carrier, based at Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is on the list of airlines banned from operations in Europe.
The first Eurocopter EC725 for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (M55-01) was unveiled via a live broadcast from Marignane in France to the Langkawi Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia on December 6, 2011. Malaysia ordered 12 EC725s in April 2010, eight of which were being assembled in late 2011. The first is due to start flight tests in early 2012, with deliveries expected to start later that year and due to continue into early 2014. They will be used for search and rescue, and transport roles.
The first Airbus Military C295M for the Ghana Air Force (550, c/n S-081) was recently delivered to the Transport Squadron. The delivery was announced by the manufacturer on November 18, 2011. The second aircraft will be delivered in the first half of 2012.
Airbus A330-202 Multi-Role Tanker Transport 2401 (msn 980/MRTT010, ex EC-338) for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) is seen landing at Getafe in Spain on November 25, 2011, at the conclusion of an air-to-air refuelling trial with an Ejercito del Aire (Spanish Air Force) EF-18M Hornet. The aircraft was originally due to be delivered in mid-November, but was still being used to train Saudi pilots at the Airbus Military facility in early December. The second RSAF aircraft is nearing completion after conversion at Getafe and the third will be ready from mid-year.
The first US-assembled Phenom 100 at the Global Customer Center at the opening ceremony for the facility on December 5, 2011.
Cessna 208B Caravan I D-FCAE (c/n 208B-1296), of CAE Aviation of Luxembourg Airport, staged through Glasgow Airport on November 10, 2011. It was on its way to Niagara Falls Airport in New York, where it will be fitted with survey equipment. The aircraft has already been modified with a four-blade propeller and extended exhaust pipe to keep hot gases away from a deployable Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infrared turret mounted in the rear fuselage. CAE Aviation has around five Caravans among its fleet for geophysical survey, surveillance and reconnaissance for civil and military agencies.
The second prototype Hawker 200 may be the last of its type to fly after Hawker Beechcraft suspended development of the light business aircraft.
Army Air Corps Apache ground crew monitor the aircraft during Exercise Crimson Eagle in the United States.
Sukhoi test pilot Sergey Bogdan completed the maiden flight of Sukhoi T-50-3 on November 22, 2011 from Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia. The aircraft is the third flying prototype of the fifth generation multi-role fighter and spent just over one hour in the air. It is the first example equipped with the Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design active phased-antenna array radar and lacks the nose-mounted pitot tube of the first two. A batch of 16 Ufa Motor Building Production Association 117S engines for the T-50 has been completed, according to an announcement by the engine manufacturer on November 24. Six will be used for static tests and others fitted to T-50s.
Bombardier announced an order for ten CS300s from Turkish airline Atlasjet on November 15, 2011 at the Dubai airshow.
Hawk T2 ZK022/'M‘ was present at No.IV(R) Squadron's re-forming ceremony held at RAF Valley on Anglesey on November 24, 2011.
Convair 580(F) freighter ZS-SKL (c/n 458, ex-EC-CBF) of the Titan Helicopter Group (THG) is seen at Cape Town International Airport, Western Cape in South Africa. The freighter is used to support operations of the company's helicopters and is a relatively recent addition to its fleet.
One of the items on display at the Hellenic Air Force's 50th anniversary airshow held at Tanagra on November 6, 2011, was Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawk PN54 (c/n 70-1964). A total of eight S-70B-6s and three S-70Bs serve with 2 Mira Elikopteron Naftikou (Naval Helicopter Squadron) of the Hellenic Navy based at Marathon-Kotroni. The Aegean Hawk is a hybrid of the SH-60B and SH-60F and is operated from the Hellenic Navy's MEKO 200HN frigates.
Camcopter S-100 OE-VXX during the trials undertaken from L'Adroit.
View of the Y-9 maritime patrol version recently released on the internet. Of note is the open weapons bay.
Airbus A319-133 (CJ) VQ-BVQ (msn 4842, ex D-AVWI) of Rizon Air is seen at Manchester Airport on December 7, 2011, following work undertaken by Air Livery. It arrived at Manchester via Southend Airport, Essex, on November 18, having been delivered eight days earlier to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg in Switzerland for outfitting.
Boeing 737-55S OK-XGB (c/n 26540) is seen arriving at Stockholm/Arlanda Airport in Sweden on November 30, 2011. The airliner is painted in CSA's 1957 scheme and is seen on approach to Runway 26 near the conclusion of the daily flight from Prague in the Czech Republic. It was rolled out of the paint shop at Bournemouth Airport, Dorset the day before.
Virgin Atlantic has also come out in support of the Bill, saying the reforms are long overdue.
Seen at Cologne Airport in Germany on November 30, 2011, was Air Berlin's Boeing 737-86J(WL) D-ABMC (c/n 37752, ex-N1787B) adorned with 'Santa Claus Tour 2011' titles. The airliner was delivered to the carrier on November 14, 2011.
Seen at Manchester Airport on October 23, 2011, is Boeing 737-7L9 G-STRN (c/n 28007) for TonleSap Airlines, the first for the carrier. The airliner was repainted there by Air Livery, having served with Astraeus prior to delivery to the Cambodian airline. TonleSap began operations in January 2011 with a single McDonnell Douglas MD-82.
Boeing 737-85P EC-HGQ (c/n 28386), previously of Air Europa, is due to join Air Nok of Thailand as HS-DBC. The airliner was painted in its new scheme by Air Livery at East Midlands Airport and rolled out on October 10, 2011. It is seen at Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport on November 19, 2011.
Two Bell 412EP helicopters were delivered to the Sri Lanka Air Force during a ceremony held at Bell Helicopters Piney Flats facility in Tennessee on December 1, 2011. Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Air Marshall HD Abeywickrema, took ownership of the helicopters at the event, one of which has been identified as N437EA (c/n 36558). Both are configured for VIP transport.
Lockheed Martin F-35A ... stranded
F-35B Lightning II BK-1 was rolled out on November 20, 2011.
Lt Christopher Tabert made the first take-off in a Lockheed Martin F-35C Lighting II from the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) test facility at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, on November 18, 2011. CF-03 from the test fleet at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, was the aircraft used in the test launch. The F-35C is the fifth type launched by EMALS.
The Patroller F-WUAV optionally piloted vehicle is based on the Stemme S15 motor-glider. It has recently concluded a series of test flights from Istres in France.
The first Embraer EMB-145 AEW&C for the Indian Air Force lifts off for its maiden flight on December 6, 2011.
Noted arriving at Malta International Airport on November 6, 2011, was ATR 72-212A TS-LBD (c/n 756, ex F-WWEQ) named Hasdrubal in Tunisair Express colours. Tunisair Express is the new identity of Tunisian regional airline Sevenair, which was rebranded in March 2011 as an outcome of the change of political regime in Tunisia (Sevenair used to be owned by a relative of ex-President Ben All's wife). Sevenair titles have been stripped from the fleet but repainting is going slowly and this aircraft is only the second to appear in the full new livery.
One of AVX Aircraft's concepts under investigation for the US Army's JMR programme.
An artist's impression of the AVX/BAE Systems submission for the US Navy's MRMUAS requirement.