Air International 2012-04
News
Five Mikoyan MiG-29Ns of the Royal Malaysian Air Force's Smokey Bandits team. The fighters are assigned to No. 19 Squadron.
Frogfoot '87' red/RF-92255 is one of the aircraft already upgraded to Su-25SM3 standard.
The decision to retire 102 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft as part of the White House FY 2013 budget proposal created turmoil in the Pentagon air staff, according to one veteran A-10 pilot who spoke with AIR International.
The first Fairchild A-10C Thunderbolt II to be re-winged (80-0173) was delivered to the US Air Force at Hill AFB in northern Utah on February 15, 2012. Boeing will deliver 233 wing-sets - produced at Macon, Georgia, in co-operation with Korea Aerospace Industries - to the US Air Force by 2018. The first set was delivered in March 2011 and the prototype upgrade flew in November. The modification will allow the aircraft to serve until 2040.
Leeds-Bradford-based Multiflight has added a second Eurocopter Dauphin to its charter fleet, which also includes a Twin Squirrel and a Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III. The AS365N2 Dauphin (G-CGGD, c/n 6435) has been refurbished by the company's engineering and maintenance facility with new avionics, cabin interior and a full repaint. In addition to private charters, Multiflight, which offers private charter and air ambulance/emergency medical services, has five-year contracts with the UK's Great North Air Ambulance and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati (GRUPAER) of the Marina Militare Italians is made up of 14 AV-8B+ and two TAV-8B two-seat trainers. During missions flown in TLP 2012-1 the AV-8B+ Harriers made extensive use of the AN/AAQ-28 Litening pods. In 2011, the Wolves squadron reached 30,000 flight hours since being formed in 1991.
Douglas DC-8-63F 9G-AXC (c/n 45999, ex N828AX) of charter freight company Meridian Airways seen at Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya on February 14, 2012. Meridian flies three of these aircraft, with a further two stored at Ostend Airport in Belgium. The carrier was based there until July 2010, when it was put on the European Union's blacklist after technical problems with the aircraft were discovered. Its headquarters are in Accra, Ghana.
Between February 11 and 24, 2012 Exercise Cope North was conducted from Guam by components of the US Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). It was the first time the RAAF had taken part in the exercise, which traditionally has focused on providing an opportunity for Joint training for US and Japanese air arms. This group photo taken at Andersen AFB, Guam, on February 11 includes most of the aircraft that took part in the exercise, comprising (from left to right) a RAAF C-130H Hercules from No.37 Squadron; US Air Force F-16C of 18th Aggressor Squadron; RAAF E-737 Wedgetail from No.2 Squadron behind a No.1 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet; B-52H with a US Air Force F-15C and JASDF F-15J, behind a RQ-4B Global Hawk; E-3 and F-16CJ; JASDF E-2C Hawkeye and Mitsubishi F-2A; and a US Air Force C-130H.
SH-14D Lynx 277 was mounted on the back of a truck for its journey between Sirte the Netherlands.
Mirage F1ED 502 is seen conducting high-speed taxi trials on February 19, 2012 before departing Malta International Airport three days later. Both of the aircraft interned on the island are likely to be involved in the recently revived upgrade programme announced on March 1.
Noted in late February 2012 during at test flight from Marignane near Marseille in southern France was NHIndustries NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) ES 846, with its test registration (F-ZWBX) and constructor's number (1076) on placards in the rear cabin window. This is the eighth of 20 for the Hellenic Army, at least three of which have been delivered since June 2011 and entered service with the 2nd Army Aviation Battalion at Megara.
Lockheed P-3C PUP Orions 88 (c/n 5626, ex BuNo 159508) and 89 (c/n 5625, ex BuNo 160289) were inducted into the inventory of the Pakistan Navy on February 21, 2012 at PNS Mehran.
Super Etendard Modernise 31 of 17F of the Aeronavale lines up on the approach as a pair of F/A-18 Hornets join the circuit at Albacete AB during TLP 2012-1.
Panavia Tornado IDS 45+57 is the first production example for the Luftwaffe that has been upgraded with Avionics System Software Tornado Ada 3 (ASSTA 3). It made its initial flight following upgrade from Manching on February 8, 2012. The ASSTA 3.0 modifications give the Tornado the ability to carry and employ Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions, adds multi-function information distribution system/Link 16, a digital video and voice recorder and new radios. Deliveries to the Luftwaffe are expected to begin in the middle of this year.
Five E-2D Advanced Hawkeye radar early warning aircraft were funded in the 2013 budget, none were postponed. This shot shows an E-2D about to launch using the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) at the full-size shipboard-representative test site at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
The first Airbus A380, retained by the manufacturer as a test-bed, has been fitted with a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine in the number two position. The aircraft is seen making the powerplant's maiden flight on February 18, 2012.
On March 5, 2012 the first Airbus A380-841 for Thai Airways International completed its maiden flight from the manufacturer's airfield at Toulouse-Blagnac. The airliner (F-WWAO, msn 087) will become HS-TUA upon delivery. It entered final assembly in November 2011 and will be delivered in the third quarter of 2011. Six have been ordered by the carrier.
Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Challenger 850 4L-GAA (c/n 8046, ex 4L-GAF) is operated by Airzena Georgian Airways on behalf of the Georgian Government. The aircraft is seen here at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport in Hungary on February 16, 2012. It was delivered to Airzena in July 2011 and adopted its current registration in June 2011.
Mikoyan MiG-29UPG KBU3123 is one of three upgraded examples for the Indian Air Force currently flying.
C-130H FAC1004 completed the RDM overhaul in September 2011.
Yasur 985 at the site of the handover parade of the Tel Nof IASF Base Commander on the evening of February 9, 2012, shortly after AMU22 had delivered it to the 'Night Birds of Prey Squadron'.
Noted at Arusha General Airport in Tanzania on February 14, 2012 was Let L-410UVP Turbolet 9U-BHT (c/n 851432, ex UN67525 of Zhezhair). The aircraft carries no titles and its current operator is unknown.
Funding continues for the development of the X-47 unmanned combat aerial demonstration (UCAS-D) project to develop technology to operate a fixed-wing UAS from an aircraft carrier in 2013.
Alenia Aermacchi T-346A Master MM55145 is the second delivered to the Italian Air Force. It attended Singapore along with the first.
Air Livery at Manchester Airport rolled out two Monarch Airlines Airbus A320-214s (G-OZBK, msn 1370 seen here; and G-MRJK, msn 1081) in the carrier's new colours on February 7, 2012. The main changes are the yellow fin, replacement of 'flymonarch.com' with 'Monarch.co.uk' titles and the stylised 'M' on the front fuselage. G-OZBK briefly wore an incorrect, interim scheme from January 29, with purple undersides and nacelles instead of the indigo seen here, flying one service on February 3 in the colours.
Assembly of the prototype Northrop Grumman MQ-4C is progressing at Palmdale, California. The UAV is the first of five development aircraft for the BAMS programme.
All flight testing required for certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the General Electric GEnx-1B powered version of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner has been completed. Boeing announced the end of certification flight test activity for the variant on March 7, 2012, although operations finished in late February. It also confirmed that ground trials have been concluded. FAA certification will allow Boeing to start delivering examples of the Dreamliner powered by the GEnx. Boeing 787-837 N1015B (c/n 36276) will become VT-ANH when it is delivered to Air India. The aircraft made the last flight in the GEnx certification campaign and was displayed at India Aviation 2012 in Hyderabad from March 14.
Shorts Tucano T1 ZF374 of No.1 Flying Training School is one of two that will receive special markings for the 2012 display season. The primary aircraft, ZF269, is currently being painted in an eye-catching scheme with red, white and blue upper surfaces and red underside with the royal 'E II R' cypher under the wings and fuselage. ZF374 (seen here), the spare aircraft, retains the basic gloss black scheme but with 'E II R' titles. It's seen at its base, RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, on February 24. The 2012 display pilot is Flt Lt Jon Bond.
Noted at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, on February 14, 2012 was Eurocopter AS350B3e Ecureuil 5Y-CDT (c/n 7238) of the Kenya Police Air Wing. The helicopter was delivered in December 2011 and was the first of the upgraded B3es for an African customer. In the background is Fokker F27-300M 5Y-BTD (c/n 10154, ex TR-LGH) of Imaatong South Sudan Airlines, which previously served with the Royal Netherlands Air Force as C-4.
Noted at Glasgow International Airport in Scotland on February 19, 2012 was this modified Bombardier DHC-8-202Q N8200H (c/n 494, ex N801VA of Vision Airlines) of Dynamic Avlease of Bridgewater, Virginia, in US Army titles. The aircraft stopped off for fuel, arriving from Iceland and proceeding on to Germany en route to Afghanistan.
The first Dornier Do 328-110 (G-BWWT, c/n 3022, ex D-CDXO) in Flybe colours operated the inaugural Manchester to Norwich International Airport service on March 5, 2012. The turboprop is owned and flown by Suckling Airways.
Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B RA-89005 painted in Sky Team colours is the latest example of the airliner to enter service. It first flew on January 15, 2012, and was delivered on February 28 to Aeroflot on lease from VEB-Leasing JSC. It is pictured arriving at Sheremetyevo International Airport on March 5 ready to begin operations.
VC10 K3, ZA147/'F‘ left RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, using the call-sign RRR843, for servicing at MoD St Athan on January 16, 2012. Its departure from the Welsh airfield on February 23 brought to a close RAF maintenance activity there.
Passing through Newcastle International Airport, located within Northumberland and Tyneside, on February 24, 2012 was de Havilland Canada DHC-7-102 C-GGUL (c/n 70), registered to Voyageur Airways of Ontario, Canada. The transport is equipped with a missile warning system, with sensors on the nose and tail cone. The aircraft is operated in Afghanistan, providing a shuttle between different Coalition bases.
The US Air Force T-38C will be replaced by a new trainer under the T-X programme. The budget plan postpones a 'source selection' for the T-X by one year until 2016, and puts off initial operating capability from FY2017 to FY2020.
The IAI Heron I entered service with the Republic of Singapore Air Force in 2011 and made its public debut in that service's colours during the show.
The four PZL-Swidnik W-3A Sokols, headed by 310921 (c/n 310921) with 310919, 310920 and 310922 behind it, at Clark AB before being officially handed over to the Philippine Air Force.
The first Airbus A330-303 PH-AKA (msn 1287) for KLM is seen on approach to Toulouse, France, on February 22, 2012, prior to being handed over as PH-AKA a week later.
Airbus A330-243F freighter F-WWKT (msn 1175) is the first (and so far only) example for Yangtze River Express. It is seen making its first flight at Toulouse-Blagnac in France on March 8, 2012. The carrier currently operates ten Boeing 737-300 and four 747-400 freighters.
No.25 Squadron ‘Eagles' of the Pakistan Air Force based at Rafiqui has recently painted Dassault Mirage 5EF 96.755 (c/n 55) in these luminescent markings in a bid to distinguish its aircraft from the other co-located night attack Mirage unit, No.27 Squadron.
The static display at Singapore Airshow 2012, with Boeing F-15SG Eagle 8328 of No.149 Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force in the foreground.
Six Boeing F-15S Strike Eagles of 92 Squadron of the Royal Saudi Air Force transited Moron AFB outside Seville on February 27, 2012. The fighter-bombers were on their way back to Prince Sultan Air Base, Al Kharj, from Nellis AFB, Nevada, after participating in Red Flag 12-2. The aircraft stopping off at the Spanish base were 9201, 9202, 9221, 9224, 9225 (seen here) and 9227.
The Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) Boeing YAL-1A 00-0001 (c/n 30201) arrived at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, on February 14, 2012 for storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. Previously operated by the 417th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, California, the project was cancelled in December 2011 and the decision taken to store the aircraft and its chemical oxygen iodine laser weapon. The aircraft is seen being prepared to enter storage in the desert on February 29.
The Basic Flying Training Wing at Risalpur, home to the Pakistan Air Force Academy, is currently taking delivery of 40 ex-US Air Force Cessna T-37Bs. Though only some of them will be put into service, these additional Tweets will enable the air force to ramp up its pilot training.
Phenom 300 PP-UTI is the first example of the light business jet equipped as a medical evacuation aircraft.
AgustaWestland HH-139A MM81796/"15-40' was officially handed over on March 8, 2012 to 15° Stormo 'Stefano Cagna' of the 83° Gruppo CSAR based at Cervia-San Giorgio.
The first two AgustaWestland AW139s ordered by Algeria's paramilitary Protection Civile were delivered in late February 2012, departing Varese-Venegono Airport in Italy on the 28th of that month. The helicopters (7T-VWE, c/n 31401, ex I-RAIR, and 7T-VWF, c/n 31402) are the first pair of five ordered by the service. AW139 7T-VWE is seen during a test flight from Varese-Venegono on February 16.
В декабре 2011 года состоялась выкатка 100-го экземпляра R66, а месяцем раньше был собран 10000-й вертолет компании "Robinson" (R44).
The 100th Robinson R66 on the flight line at Torrance Airport, California, with the manufacturer's assembly facility to the left.
Cheetah C FAE1347 is one often examples of the single-seat variant delivered to the Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana (Ecuadorian Air Force).
The last 12 Australian F/A-18F Super Hornets were wired for possible future conversion to EA-18G configuration and are designated as the F/A-18F+ within the RAAF.
There's no sunset for Super Hornet orders, the FY 2013 Navy budget includes 26 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters and 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
A pair of Army Air Corps' Apache AH1s undergoing rotor-turning-refuels during Exercise Pashtun Jaguar.
Northrop Grumman-owned Gulfstream II N82CR (c/n 80) had been modified to carry a multi-function active sensor destined to be carried by the MQ-4C. The aircraft previously tested systems for the US Army and Navy's cancelled Aerial Common Sensor programme.
Growler из 129-й эскадрильи РЭБ "Vikings" проходит над кормовым срезом палубы авианосца "Рональд Рейган". Снимок сделан в феврале 2008 года во время испытаний "на совместимость" самолета и авианосца.
An indigenous Australian electronic attack capability may well suit President Obama's recent publicly-stated desire to increase focus in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. US approval for Australia to gain the required EA-18G Growler mission systems would fulfil that requirement.
Boeing P-8A Poseidon BuNo 168428 is seen departing Boeing Field/King County International Airport, Washington, on March 4, 2012 for NAS Jacksonville, Florida.
McDonnell Douglas MD-11F N382WA (c/n 48411, ex N703GC) of World Airways Cargo diverted into Manchester airport on March 5, 2012 after declaring an in-flight emergency, the nature of which has not been revealed. The aircraft was on charter to the US military and parked at Stand 72 at the airport.
Lockheed Martin delivered the 250th C-130J Hercules on February 16, 2012. The aircraft (09-5684, c/n 5684) was handed over to the United States Air Force for the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess AFB, Texas. It was the 15th C-130J for the unit and the second of 11 due to be handed over in 2012.
Luftwaffe McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom 38+28 completed its first flight following maintenance on February 20, 2012 at Jever AB. The 45-minute sortie was the last Nachprufflug (NPF, Acceptance Check Flight) due to be undertaken by the type. It was flown by the Technical Test Pilot of Luftwaffeninstandhaltungsgruppe 21 (LwinsthGrp 21, German Air Force Maintenance Group 21), Major Winkler, with Lt Col Rex of Jagdgeschwader 71 (Fighter Wing 71) in the rear. To mark the occasion 38+28 has been painted on the tail with the badges of all three maintenance units responsible for the Phantom in Luftwaffe service. During 45 years the Jever-based maintenance units have completed 361 Depotinstandsetzung (DI, Depot Repairs), 31 Hourly Postflight Inspections (HPO) and 23 Periodic Inspections (PE) of F-4Fs, as recorded near the intake.
Boeing 737-7ES Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) N356BJ (c/n 33962), due to become 06-001 with the Turk Hava Kuwetleri (THK, Turkish Air Force), is seen landing at Stansted Airport on March 8, 2012. The aircraft arrived from Bangor International Airport, Maine, using the callsign Boeing 211, and later departed Stansted for Turkey on delivery to the THK.
Former Kingfisher Airlines Airbus A321-232 VT-KFQ (msn 2927, ex D-AVZC) on approach to Shannon Airport in Ireland on February 20, 2012. The airliner, owned by lessor ACG, later departed for the United States to become N927AG and is believed to be heading for a Mexican operator. Dublin International has become a storage area for airliners owned by Irish leasing companies and operated by carriers that have recently ceased operations or, like Kingfisher, are experiencing difficulties. Former Kingfisher A320-232s VT-KFA (msn 2413), owned by Parilease, and VT-KFD (msn 2502) of Trapper Aircraft Leasing arrived on February 25 and 29, and are currently stored there along with eight Spanair A320s and a Malev Boeing 737-500.
Boeing 737-322 P4-TIE (c/n 24249, ex N189AQ) named Arawak is the first example for Arubian carrier Tiara Air, joining a trio of Shorts 360s in service. The airliner was handed over on February 14, 2012 and delivered from Opa Locka Airport in Florida to Aeropuerto International Reina Beatrix (Queen Beatrix International Airport) in Oranjestad, Aruba, three days later. It is seen at Opa Locka on February 12. Tiara Air will use the airliner to expand its services to Colombia and Venezuela as well as introducing flights to the United States. A second Boeing 737-300 is expected to join the fleet later this year.
Insitu was awarded a contract for the Integrator in July 2010 under the STUAS programme and two four-aircraft systems had been delivered by February 2012 for an early operational capability.
Boeing 747-8KB(BBJ) A7-HHE (c/n 37544, ex N5022E), eventually destined for the Qatar Amiri Flight, made its first flight on January 30, 2012 and was delivered to GT&ES on February 28.
Boeing 737-7K2(WL) PH-XRA (c/n 30784, ex N1786B) of Transavia has had stickers applied to promote the forthcoming 2012 European Beach Volleyball championship. The airliner is seen here taking-off from Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the Netherlands on its first flight in this special scheme on February 4, 2012. The bikini-clad girl diving for the volleyball dominates both sides of the forward fuselage. The sports event will take place between May 30 and June 3 at The Hague Beachstadion on Scheveningen beach, The Hague, Holland. Transavia is running a photo competition with tickets to the event to be won by submitting a photograph of the airliner.
On February 7, 2012 the Sahil Guvenlik Komutanligi (Turkish Coast Guard) completed operational tests of the flight deck of the TCSG Dost ('Friend'), the first of its four Coast Guard Search and Rescue ships. An Agusta Bell AB412EP of the Coast Guard Air Command was used in the trials. The service currently has 14 AB412EPs and three EADS CASA-TAI CN235MPA fixed wing aircraft for surveillance, patrol and search and rescue missions. Six Sikorsky-TAI T-70 Black Hawks will join the fleet under the Turkish General Purpose Helicopter Project.
Cessna 560 Citation Excel G-VECT is the first aircraft operated by Fly Vectra based at London Oxford Airport (previously known as Kidlington) in Oxfordshire.
Beechcraft King Air 350C VH-NAJ at the Hawker Pacific facility at Cairns Airport, Queensland.
The Grif-1 tactical UAV is mainly being developed for the Belorussian Armed Forces and is also offered to export customers.
The Yotaisc X200 unmanned co-axial helicopter displayed at Singapore carried the cryptic message 'Prior to your mind' on its side.