Category Archives: Military Aviation

Spectacular video shows Mig-29 Fulcrum going vertical immediately after take off

In case you haven’t already seen it, watch the Polish Mig-29 Fulcrum “going ballistic” after take-off.

Filmed at the recent RIAT (Royal International Air Tattoo) at RAF Fairford, UK, the following video shows the Polish Air Force Mig-29 Fulcrum jet beginning its display with an amazing take-off followed by a vertical climb.

Although other fast jets are able to perform the same maneuver, the video went viral because it clearly shows from a good standpoint and through the eye of a zoom the sudden pull and subsequent fast, rocket-like ascension of the Polish Fulcrum.

By the way, we used the term “going ballistic” for the Mig-29’s vertical climb in full afterburner even though the term refers to the ballistic path (similar to the trajectory of a thrown or launched projectile) a jet put into a nearly-vertical climb would follow under the action of gravity, without propulsion.

H/T Giulio Cristante for the heads-up


Watch a U.S. Air Force F-15E drop a dummy Nuclear Bomb on Nevada range during a test

The U.S. Air Force tested a B-61 on the Nevada Test and Training Range.

Between Jun. 29 and Jul. 1, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons center tested a (dummy) B61 nuke weapon on the Nevada Test and Training Range to the northwest of Las Vegas.

It was the first development flight test of the B61-12, the latest update to the nuclear gravity bomb that has been used since the 1960s.

According to the U.S. Air Force, “the B61 is in the process of a life-extension program, which includes upgrading aging components and a new tail kit assembly. When the program is completed, the B61-12 will replace four different B61 variants in the inventory.”

The video below shows preparation and drop of the bomb from an F-15E Strike Eagle out of Nellis Air Force Base. Pretty interesting to see is the release of the nuke, with the spin rockets activating shortly after separation for free fall weapon stabilization.


Freaking Awesome Photo of four U.S. F-15C Eagle jets Breaking the formation

Stunning air-to-air image shows a four-ship formation break.

The top image (click on this link for the high resolution version) shows four F-15C Eagle jets belonging to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, based Royal Air Force Lakenheath, UK, as they break the formation during flying operations on Jul. 22, 2015.

The 493rd FS recently received the 2014 Raytheon Trophy as the U.S. Air Force’s top fighter squadron.

Image credit: Courtesy photo by Ioannis Lekkas/Released


Stunning images show U.S Air Force A-10s operating on a dry lake bed at Fort Irwin

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is still one of the toughest planes around.

On Jul. 16, two U.S. Air Force A-10s belonging to the 75th Fighter Squadron, from Moody Air Force Base, performed austere landing operations at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

This event marked the very first time Warthog pilots in a Green Flag-West training exercise landed at the NTC and to meet face-to-face with an Army ground commander: after the two aircraft landed sending up clouds of dirt, the two pilots met with the combat controllers who called them in. Then, according the Air Force, they got into separate Humvees and left the site to meet with an Army brigade commander and his staff in another location on the range.

‘Thunder’ rolls at Fort Irwin

“This meeting established rapport with the brigade and reassured them that the Air Force will be there for them when they call. By meeting with the commander and his staff and seeing the battlefield from the ground, the pilots gained an appreciation for what our ground forces go through during a Green Flag rotation,” the Air Force said in an official release.

The A-10s proved their unique capability to perform their Close Air Support, Combat Search And Rescue and Forward Air Control mission, then land in an unprepared field, to refuel and take off again to continue the fight.

Even though an airborne tanker would support real operations, the landing capability allows the “Hogs” to land to refuel on the ground if necessary: in a contested environment, the threat could be too high to have aerial refuelers support the attack planes.

Landing close to the battlefield provides additional on-station time for the A-10s.

The A-10 was built to land on an unprepared runway: the dirt won’t negatively affect the engine or tires. Thunderbolts deployed in Europe as part on an Air Force Theater Security Package have demonstrated austere landing capability at an abandoned Cold War-era airfield in Poland.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


The Indian Air Force has deployed four Su-30MKI Flanker jets to the UK

The Flankers are involved in exercise Indradhanush 2015.

Delayed by one day, on Friday morning Jul. 17, four Indian Air Force Su-30MKI Flankers (SB-065, SB-138, SB-167 and SB-309), all believed to be from 2 Sqd, deployed to RAF Coningsby, UK, for  Indradhanush 2015, a joint training exercise with the Royal Air Force.


Imminent arrival of the multirole jets was preceded by a C-17A CB-8008 from 81 Sqd and a C-130J-30 KC-3801 from 77 Sqd, carrying the ground crews, and all handling gear required for the 21-day deployment.


The Il-78 Tanker had also accompanied the Flankers to Coningsby (via Greece), but over-flew, heading for Brize Norton, from where it will operate for the duration of the drills.

The pictures in this post were taken at RAF Coningsby by The Aviationist’s contributor Tony Lovelock on Jul. 17.

Su-30 2

This is not the first time the Indian Sukhois deploy to the UK: in 2007, some Su-30s deployed to RAF Waddington to undertake joint training with the RAF.

Su-30 3

The Su-30MK is a multirole Flanker variant fitted with both canard forewings and thrust-vectoring nozzles which have further improved its agility.

As reported in a previous article, the Indian Su-30 used its maneuverability to beat the F-15 in several simulated dogfights conducted at Boeing’s St. Louis facilities.

Indeed, according to an article for AW&ST by David A. Fulghum and Douglas Barrie an anonymous USAF officer said that in the case of a missed BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missile (like the AA-12 Adder) shot by the Flanker, the Su-30 could turn into the clutter notch of the F-15’s radar, where the Eagle’s Doppler was ineffective.

Although the report is still much debated (the Rules Of Engagement) are unknown, the Su-30 is considered an excellent challenger for many Western combat planes, including the Eurofighter Typhoon that will probably have a chance to fly air-to-air engagements against the Indian Flankers during their stay in the UK.

Su-30 IAF

Image credit: Tony Lovelock