Seen from the inside: stunning Lancaster’s on-board video shows aerial gunner’s view of Derwent Dam flypast May 18, 2013Posted by David Cenciotti in : Military Aviation, Military History , add a comment
On May 16-17, UK’s Royal Air Force celebrates the 70th anniversary of one its most famous raid in RAF history: the Dams raid conducted by 617 Squadron.
The “Dambusters”, half of those never returned from the raids, were honoured with a dramatic tribute: on May 15, a Lancaster from RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, performed three runs over the Derwent Dam that, back in 1943 was used by the 617 Sqn pilots to train in preparing of the daring night missions against the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams, pivotal to Hitler’s industrial heartland in the Ruhr Valley.
Below, an AP image of the Lancaster taken from the ground.
Image credit: AP
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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.
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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
UK flying its MQ-9 Reaper UAVs from RAF Waddington as well as from Creech AFB, Nevada April 26, 2013Posted by Richard Clements in : Drones, Military Aviation , add a comment
British media outlets are reporting that the Royal Air Force is now flying its MQ-9 Reaper drones from Lincolnshire as well as from Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
The Guardian has reported that the crews based at RAF Waddington are working in tandem with their colleagues in the U.S. providing round the clock operations in Afghanistan due to the time difference between the UK and US.
No 13 Squadron stood up at Waddington at the end of October to operate the MQ-9 Reaper alongside 39 Squadron based at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
The Sky News website quotes the British MoD as saying ”XIII Sqn have commenced supporting ISAF and Afghan ground troops in Afghanistan with armed intelligence and surveillance missions, which are remotely piloted from RAF Waddington.”
The Guardian quoted a source as saying ”We aren’t flying any more operations than we were before, but with the time differences between the US, Afghanistan and the UK, it is now possible for pilots at Waddington to work in relay with the those in the US.”
It is thought that the RAF has three control stations at its drone ‘hub’ at Waddington and these have gone through a very tough testing process to make sure these new stations are fit for purpose.
Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com
Image credit: U.S. Air Force
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Held twice each year in the Scottish Exercise Areas, Joint Warrior is a large exercise that sees the participation of assets from all three UK armed services as well as numerous foreign ones.
Taking part to the JW13, that kicked off on Apr. 15 and is due to last until Apr. 29, are personnel, aircraft, warships belonging to the UK, France, U.S., Brazil, Canada, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Norway and Italy.
The two airbases involved in the exercise are Lossiemouth, which hosts maritime patrol aircraft and local Tornado GR4s; and Leuchars, where fighters and foreign jets are headquartered.
The current Order of Battle of the JW, is as follows.
- Tornado RAF
- 1x P-3AM BrazAF
- 2x CP-140 CAF
- 2x ATL-2 FN
- 2x P-3C USN
- 1x Shadow R1
- 3x HH-60G USAF (LN)
- Typhoon RAF
- 1x E-2C FN
- 7x Rafale N FN
- 7x Super Etendard FN
- 1x Chinook HC2 RAF
- 4x Hawk T1A RAF
Missions flown during a JW range from Close Air Support, to TASMO (Tactical Air Support to Maritime Operations) to Defensive Counter Air. Usually, during the first week the aircraft involved in the exercise get used with the local procedures and fly basic sorties; during the second week, things become tough and realistic, with MPA aircraft aloft up to 10 hours and live firing activities.
Noteworthy, both the RAF Typhoons and the French Rafale taking part in the exercise are being operated as multirole planes. According to Officer Commanding 6 Squadron, Wing Commander Mike Baulkwill, who spoke to The Courier:
“Joint Warrior brings together our pilots and our engineers with their French equivalents who have a slightly different way of operating, so we can learn lessons from them and likewise they can learn lessons from us. It is about making sure that when we go and do this for real we can get it right first time.”
Image credit: Alessandro Fucito
All the images in this post were taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito, who went to Lossiemouth to observe some JW13 flying activity.