Author Archives: David Cenciotti

This Is What It’s Like to Fly to the Edge of Space in a MiG-29 Fulcrum

GoPro cameras bring you aboard a Mig-29 Fulcrum during a flight to the Edge of Space.

Ever wondered what flying one of the most famous Russian warplanes at supersonic speed and so high (between 17 and 22 km) that you can clearly see the curvature of Earth?

The video below will give you a hint.

It was produced by MigFlug, a company that offers fighter jet flying experiences in wide variety of aircraft in Russia, Europe and North America, during a Edge of Space mission with their MiG-29 Fulcrum.

Edge of Space Flight I

Interestingly, the video was shot by a famous aviation video producer, Artur Sarkysian, who attached a GoPro cameras to the two-seater Mig-29UB’s outer surfaces in such a way they could withstand speed up to 2450 km/h and a load factor of 9g!

Edge of Space Flight II

From several different points of view you can watch one of the most famous Soviet-era jet (still serving in Russia, Ukraine, North Korea, Poland, Syria and Iran, among the others) fly at supersonic speed and high altitude, maneuver, perform aerobatics and land.

Edge of Space Flight V

The video was produced over a time of 6 months. But the results are stunning.

Edge of Space

Here below you can watch the whole video. Enjoy!

 

U.S. and Moroccan F-16s train during largest Department of Defense exercise in Africa

U.S. and Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16s have operated together during the annual, bilateral African Lion exercise in Morocco.

Six F-16 Fighter Falcon aircraft belonging to 480th Fighter Squadron from Spangdahlem, Germany, along with support assets deployed to Ben Guerir airbase, in Morocco, to participate in joint and combined air training during African Lion 2015, the largest U.S. exercise in Africa.

Taking place between May 15 and 22, the annual exercise is designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures.

According to the U.S. Air Force, the training included first-time Royal Moroccan air force in-flight air refueling with U.S. tankers, emergency landing barrier training and joint datalink ops.

RMAF F-16 break

The training activities were carried out few days after a Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16C Block 52+ (serialled #08-8008), taking part in the Saudi-led coalition air campaign in Yemen was shot down by Houthi rebels on May 11.

Tail RMAF F-16

The aircraft, belonging to a contingent of six F-16s deployed to UAE to take part in the air war against ISIS, was involved in one of the very first RMAF missions over Yemen when it was hit by small arms fire. Pilot was killed in the downing.

 

Cool photograph of a head-on ultra-low level flying Mig-23 Flogger

Libyan Mig-23 Flogger performs insanely low flyby.

Some videos showing FLAF (Free Libya Air Force) Mig-23 Flogger jets have emerged recently: filmed from at an unknown airbase and posted on the official FB page of the Libyan Air Force they show the Soviet-era jets thundering at ultra-low altitude.

In this post you can find another image that has surfaced on the social network, reportedly released by the FLAF showing one of the flybys from a quite privileged standpoint.

According to the always very well informed Oryx Blog, the Libyan Air Force currently has two MiG-23MLs operational: 6472 based at Benina and 6132 based at al-Watiya. The two aircraft support the war of attrition against Libya Dawn forces that also operate one remaining Mig-23ML (the other one crashed after attacking the airstrip of al-Zintan on Mar. 23, 2015).

Image credit: FLAF

 

Awesome video of KC-10 refueling another KC-10 against a full moon….through IR vision

This incredible video was taken by a Damocles targeting pod.

The video in this post was probably taken somewhere over Afghanistan.

It shows U.S. Air Force KC-10 “buddy” refueling against a full moon.

The IR-vision scene, with the moon appearing closer due to the magnifying effect of the zoom, was filmed with a Damocles multi-function targeting pod, by a French aircraft, possibly a Dassault Rafale, a Mirage 2000 or a French Navy Super Etendard that are equipped with the pod used for laser designation and day/night smart weapons guidance.

H/T Gizmodo

 

Rare video exposes U.S. Special Operations helicopters at work in north Iraq

A clip filmed with a smartphone shows a formation of Special Ops helicopters at work north of Baiji in Iraq.

Although the quality of the footage is pretty bad, the clip in this post, filmed by Iraqi forces north of Baiji, Iraq, is extremely interesting.

It shows a formation of four U.S. MH-60 and two MH-47E choppers, followed by two more Black Hawks, flying at very low level during a mission somewhere in Iraq.

The helicopters belong to the US Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) “Night Stalkers”, a Special Operations unit that has been quite active in the region since August 2014. More recently, the 160th SOAR took part in a “daring” raid to kill ISIS high level operative Abu Sayyaf,  in eastern Syria.

Here below you can find a couple of screenshots:

MH-60

MH-47 over Iraq

Noteworthy the helicopters are not flying under the cover of night: returning from a raid or heading towards the target?

 H/T to @guidoolimpio for the link to the video