Category Archives: Military Aviation

U.S. Air Force pilot reaches 9,000 flying hours on the B-52 Stratofortress bomber

A U.S. Air Force pilot has celebrated 9,000 flying hours on the B-52.

Lt. Col. Steve Smith, with 93rd Bomb Squadron from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, has the most flying hours in the B-52 Stratofortress: on Oct. 8, 2014, he has reached 9,000 flying hours in the iconic strategic bombers.

Smith, achieved the milestone during a flight from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. As the image shows he celebrated the 9,000th flying hour in a “Buff” with a special shoulder patch.

By the way, the next aviator is 2,000 hours behind him.

B-52 9000 FH

 

[Photo] F/A-18E lands on USS Nimitz with SLAM-ER stand-off missile

An interesting shot, shows a Super Hornet land on aircraft carrier with an AGM-84 Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response weapon.

This image shows an F/A-18E Super Hornet belonging to the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 Argonauts as it performs an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz underway conducting routine training exercises in the Pacific.

What makes the photo particularly interesting is the presence of an AGM-84 SLAM-ER on the Hornet‘s right hand underwing pylon, along with a centerline tank for buddy refueling.

The AGM-84H/K SLAM-ER (Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response) is a precision-guided, air-launched cruise missile for attack of land and sea targets at a maximum distance of 155 miles (250 km). The stand-off missile can be used for air strikes against still and moving targets, thanks to a GPS and IR (Infra-Red) imaging for its navigation and control and can be remotely controlled while in flight to be dynamically redirected to another target, should the need arise.

Even if the SLAM-ER is not a new weapon in the U.S. Navy inventor you can’t find many photos of the Super or Legacy Hornets operating from a flattop with the stand-off missile.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

 

[Photo] Armed Czech JAS-39 Gripen jets deploy to Iceland for NATO Air Policing Mission

Here are the first photos of the Czech Air Force JAS-39 Gripen fighter planes deploying to Iceland to undertake Icelandic Air Policing duty.

The Czech Air Force has deployed five of its JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft and a total of 80 aircrew and ground personnel from 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav to Iceland.

Their ferry flight to Keflavik was supported by an Italian Air Force KC-767A tanker from the 14° Stormo (Wing) based at Pratica di Mare.

Gripen formation

The Gripens mission is to provide Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASICIPPN) on behalf of NATO.

Noteworthy, the aircraft deployed to Iceland carrying live AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

Gripen landing

Image credit: Eggert Norðdahl

 

Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner loses radio contact gets intercepted by Italian Typhoons

A Boeing 787 was intercepted by the Italian Air Force after experiencing loss of radio contact with the Air Traffic Control

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner, flying between Delhi and Rome as Air India AIC123 flight was intercepted by two Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon interceptors from Grosseto airbase on Oct. 16.

According to the Italian Air Force, the aircraft, registration VT-ANQ, lost radio contact with the Air Traffic Control agencies and entered the Italian airspace unauthorized. For this reason the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) cell at Grosseto airbase was scrambled to intercept, identify and escort the liner, as done last month with a Lebanese A320 following a bomb threat.

The two F-2000A jets of the 4° Stormo (Wing) reached the B787 at 24,000 feet to the southeast of Rome. The Typhoons identified the civil plane and shadowed it from distance, not to be seen by passengers and once at 30 kilometers from destination, they were cleared to return to their base.

AIC123

Above, a screenshot from Flightradar24.com showing the route followed by the AIC123 flight.

 

Video shows what aerial combat looks like from aboard a Bulgarian Mig-29 Fulcrum

Rare footage shot from the cockpit of a Bulgarian Air Force Mig-29 Fulcrum during a mock dogfight.

On Oct. 11, the Bulgarian Air Force celebrated its 102nd anniversary with an air show at Sofia. One of the highlights of the event was the demo by a Mig-29 Fulcrum jet piloted by VVS gen. Rumen Radev who first performed a “Cobra maneuver” and then engaged another aircraft of the same type in a mock aerial dogfight.

The following video will bring you aboard an aging but still maneuverable Bulgarian Fulcrum during simulated air combat training with some interesting HUD (Head Up Display) footage.

One interesting thing worth a mention is the type of helmet worn by the pilot, quite obsolete and much less advanced than the standard JHMCS (Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System) and similar helmet mounted display systems used by modern western warplanes.

H/T to Simeon Miloushev for the heads-up