On May 17, the Italian Army celebrated the 40th anniversary of the CH-47 Chinook (“Cino” as it is nicknamed in Italy) helicopter with a ceremony held at Viterbo airport.
Along with the Chinook in a special color scheme, the ceremony featured a tactical event involving other assets of the Italian Army Air Cavalry: the A-129 attack helicopter and the NH-90, as the following images, taken by The Aviationist’s photographer Giovanni Maduli show.
The NH-90 on the ground, boarding special forces.
Here below, the CH-47 with a Bambi Bucket.
Image credit: The Aviationist’s Giovanni Maduli
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The following Google Earth screenshots were taken by The Aviationist reader Nicolae Sinu.
They show the airfield in Tibet where five Chinese J-11 fighter jets (indigenous Su-27 Flankers) appear to be based.
The base is a part of Chinese strategy of widening China’s power in the Indian region and it is considered to be a response to the Indian air bases of Chabua and Tezpur in Assam region.
Image credit: Google Earth
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It must have been a smokey morning at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, when the following video was filmed.
During this training events, aircraft are launched by a method known “cart-starts” from cartridge starts: a small-controlled explosive is inserted into two of the eight engines of the heavy bomber. The charges jumpstart the engines (the remaining engines are started while the aircraft taxies to the runway) removing the need to use ground equipment normally used for aircraft’s startup.
Using cart-starts, startup time is cut from more than an hour to less than 10 minutes.
[Video] RAF Sentinel spyplane operations in Mali May 23, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Mali, Military Aviation , add a comment
The following footage shows a Royal Air Force Sentinel aircraft deployed in Senegal, supporting French and African forces operating in Northern Mali.
The ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) platform flew more than 60 successful missions giving a 360 degree view of vast tracts of land.
The RAF Sentinel R1 spyplane have provided important data about ground movements in West Africa, helping planners to choose among those targets detected by its onboard sensors. A mission similar to that conducted in Northern Africa, during 2011′s Libya Air War, when highly skilled sensor operators on board the aircraft analyzed data and imagery to try to gain insights into what was going on on the ground and detect suspicious activities.
Image credit: RAF / Crown Copyright
We took part to an Air-to-Air Refueling mission on board a Boeing KC-767 during Ex. Star Vega May 22, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Military Aviation , add a comment
Star-Vega 2013 is the name of the largest Italian exercise scheduled in 2013.
Taking place between May 13 and 24, the Star-Vega is a joint ex. that sees the participation of all the Italian Air Force assets as well as units of the Navy, Army and a NATO E-3 AWACS from Geilenkirchen.
Five airbases are involved in the exercise: the Main Operating Bases of Decimomannu and Trapani, were the tactical planes are based; Pisa, from where the transport aircraft operate; Pratica di Mare, home of the tankers; and Amendola, the Italian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) base.
The exercise’s scenario is based on the lessons learned during the most recent conflicts, and was designed to minimize the environmental (and financial) impact.
During the drills, The Aviationist was once again invited to take part to a refueling mission aboard one of the four KC-767A tankers of the 14° Stormo.
The KC-767 refueled several Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets belonging to the 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo, the three Wings of the Aeronautica Militare equipped with the European fighter plane.
The pictures, taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito, not only show the F-2000s plugging into the refueling basket of the Boeing tanker, but also the refueler’s remote vision system and the Typhoon pilots adveniristic helmet.
Image credit: The Aviationist / Alessandro Fucito