Tag Archives: Royal Air Force

F-35B successfully completed initial tests with ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons

UK F-35B has conducted first tests with ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, United States.

A British test team, has successfully completed initial trials with ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile) missiles and Paveway IV LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs) on the F-35B, the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, at NAS Patuxent River, US.

“Dummy” weapons (identical in shape and weight to the original ones) were tested during 9 flights in different configurations of both weapons types on two F-35Bs, flown by Billie Flynn, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 test pilot and Squadron Leader Andy Edgell from the RAF.

According to the team, which included personnel from BAE Systems, “the initial tests are an important step in integrating weapons onto the F-35B, allowing test pilots to understand how they affect the way the aircraft performs and handles.”

Such tests are the first step towards full interoperability of the two weapons, already used by the Royal Air Force on its existing fleet, with the F-35B, destined to enter in UK’s active service, with both the RAF and Royal Navy by 2018.

As already highlighted in the past, whilst carrying significant payload on external wing pylons makes the JSF more “convincing” as a multi-role platform, it makes the plane much less stealthy as well.

Image credit: BAE Systems

 

RAF pilot draws what someone thought was a “giant penis” over UK base sparking complains

In what is just an unfortunate accident, a RAF jet on holding pattern for landing at a UK base drew what someone thought was a giant penis in the sky.

It is “not what it perhaps appears to be” said a spokesperson at RAF Lossiemouth airbase, in the UK, answering questions raised by contrails in the sky that allegedly drew a “giant penis” near the Scottish airbase.

Indeed, it looks like someone mistook the vapour contrails left by one the aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth waiting for landing on a holding pattern, and thought that a rude shape was drawn on purpose by one of the British pilots.

However, as you can see in the photo below, much fantasy is needed to see something pervert in the so-called “racetrack” flown by the RAF jets at high altitude…

As RAF spokesman said: “people sometimes look into the sky and see all sorts of things.”

Contrail RAF Lossiemouth

Image credit: Cascade via Mirror.co.uk

The contrails (short for condensation trails) appear for the quick condensation of the water vapour that is contained in the exhaust of the engines and in the surrounding air (due to a quick decrease in pressure and temperature) and crystallization of it around the solid aerosol particles ejected by the aircraft’s engines. As temperatures where the change of state happens are extremely low (from -40° Celsius), contrails should appear from altitudes around 8.500 meters (in ISA, International Standard Atmosphere, that has a ground temperature of 15° C and a vertical temperature gradient of -6,5° C/1,000 meters).

RAF Lossiemouth is one of the main operating bases within UK, home to both Tornado and Typhoon squadrons.

 

Here are the photos of the Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers intercepted by RAF Typhoon jets

Once again, the RAF releases air-to-air images of the long-range Russian Tu-95 bombers intercepted off UK earlier this week.

On Oct. 29, the RAF scrambled two Typhoons on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) to intercept two Tu-95 Bear H strategic bombers.

The two Russian strategic bombers flew parallel to the Norwegian coast, heading to the south-west, were part of a larger package that included four more Bears and four Il-78 tanker aircraft that returned to Russia after skirting the Norwegian airspace.

During the time the Typhoons shadowed the Tu-95s , the RAF pilots had the opportunity to get some nice shots of the Bears, like the one you can see in this post.

Tu-95 escorted by Typhoon

Image credit: RAF/Crown Copyright

 

Exotic planes, Special Colors and Display Teams at the Malta International Air Show 2014

The yearly Malta International Airshow at Luqa airport, once again proved to be one of the most interesting events in southern Europe.

Held at Malta International Airport in the weekend of Sept. 27-28, the traditional Malta International Airshow featured some really interesting visitors.

EAF C-130

Among the highlights of this year’s edition, the K-8E jet and C-130H Hercules cargo plane of the Egyptian Air Force, the German Navy P-3C, the AW139 of the Italian Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard), the BN2 and Alouette helicopter of the Armed Forces of Malta and the G550 AEW aircraft of the Israeli Air Force.

Egyptian AF K8

Noteworthy, during the Sunday’s Finale, the Red Arrows display team made a flypast escorting an Air Malta A320.

Photographer and The Aviationist’s contributor Estelle Calleja took the following interesting pictures of the airshow.

Image credit: Estelle Calleja

 

Video shows Brimstone anti-armour missile fired by RAF Tornado destroy ISIS armed pick-up in Iraq

Here’s the effect of the first British air strike on ISIS in Iraq.

On Sept. 30, RAF Tornado GR4 aircraft from RAF Akrotiri airbase, Cyprus, attacked ISIS positions in northwestern Iraq.

The two planes, were flying an armed reconnaissance mission when they were tasked to support Kurdish troops who were under attack from ISIS terrorists.

During the second strike, the British “Tonkas” destroyed a “technical” (armed pick-up truck) with a Brimstone missile.

The Brimstone, is a fire-and-forget anti-armour missile, first fielded during 2008 after an urgent operational requirement, used on the RAF’s Harriers during operations over Afghanistan, that became the RAF weapons of choice during  in the Air War over Libya.

The Tornado GR4, that didnt’ carry the Brimstone on their very first armed patrol over Iraq, carry a mixed load out with a single rack of three Brimstones and two Paveway IV 226kg bombs along with the Rafael Litening III targeting pod.

Optimized for use against fast moving platforms, these small guided missiles feature a warhead of 9 kg and have a range of 7.5 miles. They use a millimeter wave (mmW) radar seeker with a semi-active laser (SAL) that enables final guidance to the target by either the launching platform or another plane, and are perfect to destroy a vehicle with very low collateral damage risk, and an accuracy of about 1 – 2 meters.

Brimstone is an extensive redevelopment of the AGM-114 Hellfire and can be used on fast jets, helicopters and UAVs.