Air International 2017-02
Kazakhstan Air Defence Force Su-30SM 05 at the 604th Air Base at Taldi-Kurgan after its delivery flight from Russia.
Two Belgian Air Component F-16s launch from Kleine Brogel Air Base for a QRA training mission.
On December 15, 2016, the Spanish Fuerzas Aeromoviles del Ejercito de Tierra (Army Airborne Forces) received two additional NH90TTH Caiman helicopters in an official ceremony held at Airbus Helicopters in Albacete. Wearing serial numbers HT.29-05/ET-805 and HT.29-06/ET-806, they departed to Agoncillo-Logroho on their delivery flight to BHELMA III (3rd Manoeuvre Helicopter Battalion) to join the other three NH90TTHs already in service with the unit.
E-2D BuNo 166501 (c/n AA-1), one of two EMD aircraft, is the first of three to be modified for developmental test of an air refuelling system which is expected to run through to 2018, after which production cut-in and retrofit are scheduled to begin.
No less than 14 Armee de I’Air Rafales are now assigned to the Chammal detachment, based in Jordan and Qatar.
United Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777-322ER, N2331U (c/n 62642). United has ordered 17 777-300ERs to complement its 74 777-200s. It will initially use the new jets on domestic routes from New York Newark before flying them internationally.
Boeing has received 27 firm orders for the 767-300BCF. Its latest current market outlook forecasts a need for 400 conversions in the widebody aircraft segment over the next two decades.
Even though the Alpha Jets from BA705 Tours will be retired from service over the next few years, the ETO at BA120 Cazaux will continue to operate its fleet of modernised French and Belgian Alpha Jets for years to come.
The 787-9s that Qantas will use on the first non-stop scheduled service between Australia and Europe will be configured with 236 seats, with business, premium economy and economy cabins.
The Belgian Air Component retired the Dassault Falcon 20E-5 VIP from service with a final flight on December 22, 2016. Two Falcon 20s served with the Belgian Air Force for 43 years tasked with VIP air transportation of members of the Royal Family, government ministers and armed service leaders. At retirement the last aircraft, serial number CM-01, had accumulated 16,210 flight hours and 16,869 landings.
The Kaduna-based 301st Flight Training School accepted the first four often Super Mushshak trainers on December 5, 2016. The new trainers will supersede the Dana Air Beetle.
Lufthansa's first A350-941 D-AIXA (msn 74) photographed at Brescia, Italy during crew training. The airline took delivery of the jet, the first of 25 A350s it will receive, in December 2016 and it is due to start flying services with it on February 10.
Germany’s Heersflieger flew its final flight with the MBB Bo 105 at Celle Air Base on December 13, 2016. Bo 105P 87+62, the aircraft painted in a special colour scheme to mark the type’s retirement, made its final landing at 1412 local time ending 37 years of service with the Heersflieger.
The TB-30 Epsilon will be retired over the next few years as the PC-21 will be delivered from 2018 onwards.
Aermacchi’s M-311 prototype has been modified with a new nose, engine, air intakes and glass cockpit to reconfigure the aircraft as an M-345 HET prototype. Marked with Italian test serial number CPX-619, the aircraft will be used for the first series of test flights following its first flight from Venegono airport on December 29, 2016. Aermacchi expects to fly the first new-build M-345 HET this year.
The first examples of the J-20 have reportedly been handed over to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Flight Test Establishment at Yanliang for ongoing testing.
The Gulfstream G600 made its maiden flight from Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport on December 17, 2016. G600 prototype N600G (c/n 73001) lifted off the runway at 13:50hrs local time and spent two hours and 53 minutes in the air. Two other G600 test aircraft were due to fly early in 2017 and join the first jet in flight and certification testing ahead of the first customer delivery in 2018. The G600’s range is 6,200nm (11,482km) at Mach 0.85 and 4,800nm (8,890km) at Mach 0.90, and its maximum operating speed is Mach 0.925, the same maximum speed as the Gulfstream's flagship G650ER model.
F/A-18C Hornet-equipped Strike Fighter Squadron 34 (VFA-34) ‘Blue Blasters’ based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia is currently assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2) based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. On January 5, 2017, CVW-2 embarked on the USS Carl Vinson for a deployment to the Western Pacific. The squadron's CAG-bird, F/A-18C Hornet BuNo 165403/NE400, is seen conducting field carrier landing practice at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California on January 4 two days after leaving the paint shop.
Alaska Airlines recently completed the takeover of Virgin America, making it the fifth-largest airline in the United States. Boeing 737-990ER N493AS (c/n 41427) has received a one-off scheme that combines the liveries of both carriers, with the Virgin red transitioning into Alaska’s blue. The aircraft is pictured at San Francisco International Airport.
Sunwing Airlines has applied decals to some of its aircraft to highlight winter season destinations. Boeing 737-808(W) C-FTAH (c/n 29351), pictured at Toronto Lester B Pearson International Airport, has decals promoting flights to Cuba.
Italy became the first country outside of the United States to receive operational F-35A Lightning IIs on home soil when two aircraft arrived at Amendola Air Base on December 12, 2016.
Markings on the fuselage indicate the An-132 is a joint venture between Antonov and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology In Saudi Arabia.
The first An-132D following its roll­out at Kiev on December 20, 2016.
The An-132 is fitted with Honeywell Primus Epic avionics and has no Russian produced components or equipment.
The cargo bay compartment including the ramp is 16.66m long.
The first A330-900neo rolled out late in December. Note the Sharklet wingtip devices and the ‘shades’ cockpit design, two of the main visual differences from older A330s.