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.
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?
Filmed from the cockpit, the video lets you appreciate an in-cockpit experience thanks to the original sound. Obviously, if you were actually flying the F-15E, you would not hear that background noise you can hear in the video: it would be almost completely cancelled inside your HGU-55P flight helmet.
In the age of stealth bombers, standoff weapons, drones, cyberwar, electronic warfare, etc. low-level high-speed flying is still one of the most important parts of both planes and helicopters combat pilot training: pulling some Gs during aggressive low level turns needed to avoid obstacles and take advantage of terrain masking is a good way to improve handling skills as well as increase survivability (for instance, preventing detection by enemy radar systems.)
A-7K strafe and extremely low fly by in the rain at the Grayling Air Gunnery Range.
Here’s an interesting clip from the Grayling Air Gunnery Range in Michigan on a rainy day on Jul. 14, 1990. Although it’s not the best quality (it was an old VHS video filmed by Chad Thomas from Jetwash Images, who converted and uploaded it to Youtube.com), it is a rather impressive as it shows low altitude strafing passes by an A-7K, almost 24 years ago.
The other Stratotanker refueled Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripens by means of the hose released by the underwing pods. The so-called hose and drogue system is used for aircraft equipped with the IFR (In Flight Refueling) probe (U.S. Navy standard) whereas the rigid, telescoping tube with movable flight control surfaces (the “boom”) is used to refuel those aircraft equipped with the U.S. Air Force standard AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) receptacle.
Noteworthy, the U.S. planes depicted in the footage carry (dummy) missiles, whilst Swedish Gripens are unarmed.