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
To be honest, this F-35 fighter jet High-AOA testing video has nothing to be impressed of May 21, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : F-35 , 2comments
I’ve seen the video released yesterday by Lockheed Martin at least a couple of time. Still, I struggle to find something to be impressed of.
The video was taken during a series of F-35A high angle of attack (AOA) testing that was recently completed.
According to LM: “The testing accomplished high AOA beyond both the positive and negative maximum command limits, including intentionally putting the aircraft out of control in several configurations. This included initially flying in the stealth clean wing configuration. It was followed by testing with external air-to-air pylons and missiles and then with open weapon bay doors. The F-35A began edge-of-the-envelope high AOA testing in the Fall 2012. For all testing, recovery from out of control flight has been 100 percent successful without the use of the spin recovery chute, which is carried to maximize safety.”
Some media outlets that received the release published interesting reviews about what they defined “shocking” or “most awesome” footage ever seen, allegedly showing the aircraft’s superior maneuverability.
Image: U.S. Air Force
Few weeks ago, Bill Flynn, Lockheed test pilot responsible for flight envelope expansion activities for the F-35, told Flight Global that all three variants of the Joint Strike Fighter will have better kinematic performance than any fourth-generation fighter plane with combat payload, including the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Such claims were strongly disputed by a Eurofighter Typhoon industry test pilot, who debunked all Flynn’s “theories” about the alleged superior F-35 performance.
The F-35 maneuverability shown in the video seems far to be special. Have you ever seen what a Su-27, a Mig-29 a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, with the latter highly facilitated by thrust vectoring engines, can do?
Even the SAAB Draken was capable to perform a “Cobra” some 40 years ago…
Related articlesMilitary Aviation , add a comment
The following interesting picture depicts the first Tranche 3 Typhoon, destined for delivery to the Royal Air Force, during electromagnetic testing.
The aircraft, British single seat no 116, was injected with simulated threat signals directly into specially designed points on the nose, tail and wing tips, as part of the so-called Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) test.
Direct Current Injection technique, ensure that core Typhoon systems, including the armament, fuel and flight controls systems, possibly susceptible to radio frequency emissions from ground radars and/or TV and radio transmission masts, will be able to operate safely and correctly when exposed to intentional or accidental threats.
After completing the EMC testing, lasting several weeks, the aircraft will proceed on to engine ground testing.
Related articlesMilitary Aviation , add a comment
Some interesting Saudi Arabian combat planes have visited Malta International Airport on their way home last week.
On Apr. 23, a RSAF Tornado upgraded under the TSP (Tornado Sustainment Program), have made a stopover in Malta. The Saudi strike fighter, wearing the typical desert color scheme with the RAF roundel and a TSP flag on the tail, was one of the final two upgraded to the standard that will enable the RSAF to operate the medium-range strike fighters until at least 2020.
TSP includes upgrades needed to employ a wide array of precision guided munitions: Brimstone, Storm Shadow, Paveway/Enhanced Paveway-series bombs etc. In other words, RSAF TSP Tornados are quite similar to RAF Tornado GR4s.
On Apr. 25, two two-seater Eurofighter Typhoons on delivery from BAe Warton made a stopover in Malta.
Image credit: Brendon Attard
The two RSAF Typhoon jets in the typical two-tone color scheme followed the same route staged for the delivery flight of the previous examples: Warton – Toulouse (France).
They departed from Malta on Apr. 26, destination Taif airbase (reportedly via Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt).
Written with David Cenciotti
Here’s how a Typhoon multirole aircraft can hit two targets at the same time with a single targeting pod April 29, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Military Aviation , add a comment
The recent article about the Typhoon fighter jet performing first laser guided, self designating, simultaneous guided bomb drops sparked some debate.
Image credit: BAE Systems
I asked Andrea Kay, Senior Communications Advisor at BAE Systems, one of the companies of the Eurofighter consortium, to shed some light on the matter.
Andrea inquired his colleague Bob Smith, Engineering Director for Combat Air and here is Smith’s response:
“ThePod is capable of illuminating/tracking multiple targets at any point in time, however, the implementation on the RAF Tranche 1 Aircraft was an austere implementation, limiting the system to a single target attack at any one time . So the answer to the specific question below is yes it does switch between targets at a high rate. The Laser does not need to change frequency for each target because the bomb is assigned to a target and just follows the Laser beam.”