Air International 2016-09
Western Fighters
A formation flight of four 301st Fighter Wing F-16C Block 30s over downtown Fort Worth. The unit operates 28 examples of the aircraft.
The 301st Fighter Wing's flagship leads this formation. The unit is one of only three US Air Force Reserve Command combat wings left flying the F-16.
The 10th Air Force flagship jet taxies for an afternoon launch. When mobilised for active duty, the wing is assigned to Air Combat Command's 12th Air Force.
Air Reserve Technicians (ARTs) carry dual status, working as a full-time Department of Defense civil service employee and as a Reservist performing the same job in an Air Force Reserve Command unit;
An F-16C departs Fort Worth for a training sortie in the local military operating area in the upper part of Texas; the 301st Fighter Wing is the sole Air Force Reserve Command fighter unit in the state.
A mix of ARTs and full-time Reservists constantly train on loading and offloading various weapons on the various hard points on the F-16;
One side of the 301st Fighter Wing ramp at Fort Worth
ARTs in the Air Force Reserve, seen here re-attaching a nose to an F-16C, typically wear civilian clothes during the week;
A pilot from the 457th Fighter Squadron does a final pre-flight walk around of his aircraft before climbing the ladder to prepare for engine start.
Final checks and inspections are made by the ART supervisors as a practice JDAM is loaded on to an F-16C. Typically, Reserve ARTs are some of the most experienced F-16 maintainers anywhere in the world.
Receiving fuel over Oklahoma from an Iowa Air National Guard KC-135.
One of ATAC's Hunter Mk58s at Naval Air Station Key West during a detachment to provide VFA-122 with advanced adversary support.
An Eglin Air Force Base F-35A Lightning II receives fuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker over the Gulf of Mexico on March 2,2016, following the 58th Fighter Squadron's first successful munition employment at a nearby range.
Remote, deserted northern Sweden and airspace almost four times larger than that used for Red Flag exercises gives valuable training opportunities.
There has been an increase in QRA activity around Scandinavia in the past couple of years.
The Gripen's Volvo RM12 engine produces 80.5kN (18,0971lb) of thrust.
A restriction of the low temperatures is that pilots can never be further away than 19 minutes flying time by the rescue helicopter.
The Flygvapnet squadrons work in three-year cycles, starting out training students, spending a year preparing for international readiness and then being in readiness in the third year.
F 21 fly night sorties every Thursday from around the beginning of October to the end of May, weather permitting.
There are also four weeks each year during which F 21 only flies night sorties, to compensate for the sorties cancelled due to weather.
Missions are carried out even if it's -25 C outside, but the wind chill factor can make it feel more like -55 C.
Flygvapnet JAS 39C/D squadrons do not have their own airframes; all Gripens are shared amongst each wing. Inset: Cross-border training between Sweden, Norway and Finland involves a range of scenarios, including weapon delivery against ground and airborne targets, combating simulated anti-aircraft artillery, low-level flying and air-to-air refuelling.
The entire F 21 wing finally upgraded to the JAS 39C/D in 2008, and will transition onto the latest JAS 39E/F in the future.
Eurofighter 30+07 approaching Neuburg on a winter evening, showing the standard QRA weapons configuration of two Diehl BGT Defence IRIS-T missiles, cannon and 1,000-litre drop tanks.
Eurofighter 30+29 was painted in a special scheme to denote the unit's participation in this year's NATO Tiger Meet.
A QRA aircraft undertaking a T-Scramble. Night flying is a essential part of the training with operations from January to April and September to December.
Eurofighter 30+30 landing at Neuburg. The helmet equipment assembly presents essential flight and weapons aiming information through line-of-sight imagery, enabling the pilot to look in any direction while the data always remains in their field of vision.
This jet, 30+74, has received special '60 Jahre Luftwaffe' markings on the tail to promote the tenth anniversary of Luftwaffe Eurofighter operations.
Eurofighter 30+68 is currently painted in a striking blue and white colour scheme designed by German artist Walter Maurer and featuring 60 years Luftwaffe. The aircraft was painted by the Neuburg wing.
This shot is taken from the aft cockpit of a T-34C Mentor and shows a target area marked out in the desert littered with pot marks made by BDU-33 practice bombs dropped from Super Hornets.
Two VFA-122 Super Hornets over Fort Jefferson part of the Dry Tortugas islands National Park 70 miles west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico.
An F/A-18F Super Hornet leads two F-5N Tiger IIs from VFC-111 'Sundowners' over the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Jefferson.
'Flying Eagles' Super Hornets hold on the ramp awaiting clearance from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
A sailor signals to the pilot of an F/A-18E Super Hornet, directing him to the parking spot on the flight line at Naval Air Station Key West in Florida.
Aviation technicians assigned to the West Coast Demonstration Team inspect the tail hook during a test.
An F/A-18E Super Hornet takes the wire on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
Aviation technicians fit a new wheel to the starboard side main landing gear.
Breaking in to the pattern at Naval Air Facility El Centro.
An aircraft director signals to the pilot while taxiing his Super Hornet to a parking spot.
Tight formation near Key West.
A GE Aviation F414 engine sits on a trailer after removal from a Super Hornet at Naval Air Station Key West during a combined basic fighter manoeuvring and fighter weapons and tactics phase detachment.
Landing signal officers watch a student pilot approach the flight deck aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
The wing has a handful of twin-seat Eurofighters, including 30+35, identifiable as a Tranche 1 aircraft by the lack of a rear Missile Approach Warning System.
This shot of an F-35 A parked in its sun shelter on the 33rd Fighter Wing's flight line provides some perspective of the size and actuator arrangement of the aircraft's horizontal stabilisers.
58th Fighter Squadron F-35A 11-5023/EG and 11-5024/EG taxi to runway 30.
A crew chief signals to the pilot as the aircraft emerges from one of the sun shelters used by the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.
This shot shows the serrated panels on the forward fuselage, the faceted window assembly of the AAQ-40 Electro-Optical Targeting System and the fuselage form at the engine inlet.
Rafale M20 is being positioned on the catapult. Note the buddy-buddy refuelling pod under the central fuselage; at least one Rafale is in this configuration at all times.
Rafale M19 a fraction of a second before it traps. The aircraft is configured for in-flight refuelling.
Rafale M20 comes in to land fitted with two empty triple ejector racks, two 2,000-litre fuel tanks and a Damocles targeting pod.
A catapulting mode automatically controls the launch and climb-out for the first ten to 15 seconds.
Rafale M17 being towed out of the forward lift after undergoing maintenance in the hangar, below the flight deck;
Rafales undergoing maintenance inside the Charles de Gaulle's huge hangar;
An AM39 Exocet anti-ship missile photographed inside its transport/storage container.
On the Charles de Gaulle's fly deck: three Rafales, M13, M33 and M34, have just started their M88 turbofans and will soon be catapulted away for another mission.