Tag Archives: Royal Air Force

In spite of flight ban F-35 could still attend UK airshows

Even if nothing has been decided yet, it looks like the F-35 could still be able to attend Farnborough International Airshow in the UK.

As the fleet remains grounded by a flight ban announced on Jul. 3 following the Jun. 23 engine fire experienced by an F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, it may be possible that some F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) aircraft can be allowed to attend the two most important season’s airshows in the UK.

As many as four F-35s (three from the U.S. Marine Corps and a British one) were scheduled to take part in Royal International Air Show (RIAT) and Farnborough Airshow (FIA) near London. But, whereas it seems at least unlikely the aircraft can make it to RAF Fairford for RIAT, there could be some chances the aircraft could eventually attend FIA 2014, a major showcase which attracts aerospace companies and potential customers from all around the world.

F-35B turn

Indeed, while investigation into the cause of the engine fire continues and the rest of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Royal Air Force F-35s remain grounded, according to DefenseNews, the Marines may decide to allow their F-35B jets to cross the Pond, making happy aviation enthusiasts and…Lockheed Martin, facing the umpteenth issue with the troubled fifth generation aircraft.

“As part of that, there is the possibility NAVAIR would allow for return to flight before the Air Force or the UK did depending how they analyze and accept that data and manage risk,” Kyra Hawn, a spokeswoman for the F-35 joint program office, told to DefenseNews’s Aaron Mehta.

Therefore, even if U.S. Air Force and UK will not lift the flight ban in time for the airshows, the U.S. Marine Corps may decide it is ok for them to fly the jump jet aircraft overseas.

As said, nothing has been decided yet. Considering that RIAT opens this weekend, the participation to FIA appears at least a bit more likely. But, who’s going to accept the risk to allow the aircraft to fly in spite of a fleet-wide grounding and investigation underway?

Can you imagine the impact of an incident on the reputation of the much debated aircraft?

Image credit: Tony Lovelock

 

[Video] Turkish F-16′s ultra low landing at Waddington Airshow

Solo Turk F-16 buzzes the heads of spotters and photographers outside the fence at UK airbase.

If you want to take nice, close up, footage or images of military aircraft on final approach, then RAF Waddington, in the UK (home of the British drone force) is the right airport for you.

Each time the local airshow attracts aircraft from all around the world, there is a good chance to take some interesting photographs or footage of warplanes coming low, very low, on final approach for landing.

The following video was filmed there, on Jul. 5, at the end of the display of the Turkish Air Force Solo Türk aerobatic display team’s F-16C Block 40.

By the way, it’s not only a matter of how low the pilot flew the final approach: there are airports in Europe where runway threshold is so close to the airfield perimeter that you can have your head buzzed by a plane’s landing gear.

 

Awesome photo of British Typhoon intercepting fully armed Russian Su-27 over the Baltics

What a close encounter: Russian Su-27 and British Typhoon.

On Jun. 17, Royal Air Force Typhoons were scrambled to intercept multiple Russian aircraft as part of NATO’s Baltics Air Policing mission.

According to the information released by the RAF, the Typhoon aircraft, from 3 (Fighter) Squadron, were launched !after four separate groups of aircraft were detected by NATO air defences in international airspace near to the Baltic States.”

The “zombies” (how unidentified aircraft are dubbed in fighter pilots jargon), turned out to be a Tupolev Tu-22M “Backfire” bomber, four Sukhoi Su-27 ‘Flanker’ fighters, one Beriev A50 ‘Mainstay’ early warning aircraft and an Antonov An-26 ‘Curl’ transport aircraft “who appeared to be carrying out a variety of routine training,” even though the Flankers appear to be armed to the teeth, with 4x R-27 medium range and 2x R-73 short range air-to-air missiles

As usual, the Russian aircraft were shadowed and escorted on their way.

Su-27 RAF Typhoon

Image credit: SAC Dan Herrick / RAF /Crown Copyright

 

Typhoon with D-Day invasion stripes among Duxford D-Day Anniversary Airshow highlights

Here are some of the highlights of Duxford D-Day Anniversary Air Show.

The first airshow of the season at Duxford celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

Among the highlights of the D-Day Anniversary Air Show there was a flypast made by a Eurofighter Typhoon of the 29 Sqn from RAF Coningsby, representing its namesake predecessor (the Hawker Typhoon), and a Spitfire of the BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight).

Both aircraft were painted with the characteristic “invasion stripes”, alternating black and white bands painted on the fuselages and wings of allied aircraft during WWII Normandy campaign to increase recognition by friendly forces and reduce friendly fire incidents.

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Other interesting aircraft attending the air show were five DC-3/C-47 Dakotas, including “Whiskey 7,” a veteran of the air drops over France in 1944, which crossed the Atlantic Ocean to attend the D-Day celebrations.

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A Boeing B-17G-105-VE Flying Fortress.

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A North American P-51D Mustang flying with a Vickers Supermarine Spitfire.

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A Hispano HA-1112-M1L Buchon (a Spanish-built Bf-109 with Rolls-Royce engine).

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More images of the numerous interesting warbirds that attended the Air Show can be found here.

All images credit: Alessandro Fucito

 

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Photo comparison shows D-Day beaches as they were in 1944 and as they are today

RAF reconnaissance planes have taken shots of the D-Day beaches after 70 years. With today’s stand-off technology and higher resolutions.

RAF Tornado GR4 jets from II (AC – Army Co-operation) Squadron from RAF Marham have used today’s technology to emulate their World War II counterparts that, on D-Day, Jun. 6, 1944, took the first pictures of the Normandy landings.

The two Tornados flew at 400 mph and 20,000 feet over Gold, Juno, Utah and Sword beaches, replicating the images the same squadron and their Mustang brought back during the 36 reconnaissance sorties flown on D-Day.

70 years ago, II (AC) Squadron used bulky cameras loaded onto the bottom of the Mustangs to get panoramic images of the beaches. Today, a single Tornado sortie provides much better results using the RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado) which takes aerial images and the Litening III Advanced Targeting Pod that is able to capture Full motion video.

Here’s the comparison between the quality of images taken today as compared to those of 1944.

 

Image credit: Crown Copyright

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