Modern jets feature an impressive instantaneous roll rate
The roll rate, expressed in degrees per second, is the rate at which an aircraft can change its roll attitude. Modern jet fighters can achieve quite high maximum roll rates: the faster they can rotate around longitudinal axis the faster they can transit from one maneuver to another one.
However, the roll rate is just one of the parameters (not all equally important) that influence the aircraft’s maneuvering performance.
Although the roll rate depends on the configuration, weight, speed, altitude and the fact the rate is measured from stable flight (instantaneous roll rate) or after the rotation has been given some time to build up (i.e. the aircraft keeps on rolling long enough), the maximum roll rates for some of the most famous combat planes can be either found on vendors datasheets or online (hence, take them with a grain of salt): according to most reports a Rafale features a maximum roll rate of 270 deg/s, the Eurofighter Typhoon is able of around 250 deg/s, the F/A-18E Super Hornet has a maximum roll rate of 120 deg/s whereas the F-16 can roll at 240 deg/s.
Accurate or not (sometimes such performance data are PR-influenced…), the maximum roll rate may data gives a hint of the ability of the modern aircraft to rotate around the longitudinal axis.
During the flight, the pilot (Maj. Alessandro Olivares, Commander of the 212° Gruppo) showed me the stunning roll performance of the new aircraft (believed to be able of a 280 deg/s roll rate): he performed an aileron roll, an aerobatic maneuver in which an aircraft does a full 360° revolution around its roll axis.
Here below you can see the video of the maneuver.
The aircraft was extremely responsive, immediately achieved a high angular acceleration and rolled so fast, my head almost hit the canopy.
The roll rate of the T-346A (the designation of the Master within the Italian Air Force) may have been 280 deg/s or not; for sure, it was impressive to me, and similar enough to that of the 4th and 5th generation fighter jets to the student pilots of the LIFT (Lead-In to Fighter Training) course on the M-346 destined to fly F-35 or Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role jets.
Some cool pics showing the “zombies” intercepted by the Spanish Eurofighter Typhoons have emerged.
Deployed at Ämari airbase, in Estonia, four Eurofighter Typhoons and 114 personnel of the Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) have been supporting the NATO Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission since Jan. 1, 2015.
Four C.16s (according to the SpAF designation) belonging to Ala 11, from Moron airbase, contribute to the air defense of the airspaces of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Once again, such photographs confirm that the Baltic is the stage for some really interesting close encounters between Baltic Air Patrol QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) jets with “Ivan”.
Although no further detail about the images has been released, the fact that they depict two Su-34s at least one Su-27 and one An-26 may suggest the photographs were shot on Mar. 21, when two An-26s, two Su-27s, two Su-34s were identified according to the Latvia MoD:
Air Policing jets on 21 MAR in international airspace above the Baltic Sea near LV border identified RU AF. 2x An-26, 2x Su-27, 2x Su-34.
However, needless to say, they may have been taken on different missions.
As leading service of the current BAP rotation, the Italian Air Force has recently claimed that its Typhoons have launched 27 times (currently 28) since the beginning of the year to intercept Russian aircraft flying in international airspace.
Although such “escorts” are no more than routine stuff most of the times, a few intercept missions have been a bit tense: in one case, a Tu-22 was unusually flying at supersonic speed towards Sweden; in another episode, a Mig-31 Foxhound almost collided (at least according to the Royal Norwegian Air Force report) with an F-16 involved in a Su-34 identification and escort mission.
The alert take off of the QRA aircraft was ordered by the CAOC (Combined Air Operations Centre) in Uedem, Germany to intercept a Russian Il-20 on a routine intelligence gathering sortie over the Baltic Sea.
Interestingly, the intercept mission flown by the Italian F-2000s (as the Typhoons are designated within the Aeronautica Militare) was the 27th since the Italian Air Force took over the lead role of BAP on Jan. 1! Quite impressive, if compared to the standard frequency QRA cells are scrambled during the standard national air security service at home.
Interesting footage shows Saudi warplanes involved in Operation Decisive Storm.
On Mar. 25, Saudi Arabia launched the first air strike on targets located in neighbouring Yemen.
Codenamed Operation Decisive Storm, the air war was started to counter the Houthi offensive on Aden, the provisional capital town of the internationally recognized (yet domestically contested) Yemeni government.
As Yemeni President Hadi left Aden to Saudi Arabia, the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) along with several regional air arms launched the first raids against Houthi, who are allied with Yemen’s ousted former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Warplanes from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain are taking part in the operation.
The following footage shows RSAF Tornado IDS, F-15S and Eurofighter Typhoon jets launch and recover, day and night, from King Khalid airbase.
Noteworthy, the clip also shows one of the four Sudanese Air Force Su-24Ms that are taking part in the coalition air strikes in Yemen.
Here below you can find another interesting video, focusing on UAE Air Force contribution to the Operation:
H/T to ACIG.info Forum, for hosting the most interesting thread on the Yemen air war you’ll find on the Web.
According to our sources, this was the very first time a Russian Air Force plane flying from mainland Russia to Kaliningrad Oblast was flying abeam Latvia, within the Riga FIR (Flight Information Region), heading towards Denmark and the Scandinavian peninsula at supersonic speed.
The Backfire decelerated to subsonic speed and rejoined with the rest of the formation that was picked up by a flight of two Su-27s from Kaliningrad that relieved the other two Flankers.
Although the Russians did not violate any rule, their flying without transponder, without establishing radio contact with any ATC agency, may pose dangers to civilian aviation. Even more so, if the bombers or their escort jets fly at supersonic speed or aggressively react to aircraft that are launched to intercept them.
Some analysts believe the purpose of the flight was provocative: Moscow has recently warned Denmark that if it joins Nato’s missile defense shield, its navy will be a legitimate target for a Russian nuclear attack.
As a side note, on the afternoon on Mar. 24, the Italian Typhoons were scrambled again to perform another supersonic interception of two Su-27 Flanker returning to mainland Russia from Kaliningrad: the pair that had been relieved by the second flight of Flankers earlier on the same day.
H/T to Erik Arnberg for providing additional details.
Image credit: Alex Beltyukov – RuSpotters Team /Wikipedia