Tag Archives: U.S. 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

 

Cockpit video (with raw sound) of F-15E Strike Eagle flying through canyons

An F-15 Strike Eagle low level flying in between canyon walls.

Here is what it looks like to fly at high-speed, low altitude, through canyons in the back seat of an F-15E Strike Eagle.

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.)

H/T to Matt Fanning for the link to the video!

 

Video clip shows A-7K Corsair jet’s strafing passes on Michigan Range 24 years ago

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 Corsair (dubbed “SLUFF”, Short Little Ugly Fat Fellow) belongs to the 121st Tactical Fighter Wing Ohio ANG (OH), 162d Tactical Fighter Squadron, Springfield Air National Guard Base, Springfield, one of the last to fly the A-7.

The unit received the A-7D in 1978, transitioned to the A-7K in 1982 and eventually moved to the F-16 in May 1993.

[Video] U.S. F-16s, Swedish Gripens refuel from KC-135 tankers during Baltic Operations

Tankers play a major role during real ops and large drills. Like BALTOPS 2014.

The following videos were filmed from different KC-135s belonging to the 100 ARW (Air Refueling Wing) from RAF Mildenhall, during BALTOPS 2014 exercise in Northern Europe.

One of the KC-135s equipped with flying boom, refueled some of the 18 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, deployed to Lask Air Base, Poland.

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.

H/T to Lars-Gunnar Holmstrom for the heads-up

Unique formation: F-15, F-22, Su-30, Mig-29N, BAE Hawk and F/A-18 flying together

Here’s something you don’t see too often!

As already explained, Cope Taufan 14 is a biennial Large Employment Exercise taking place from Jun. 9 to 20 in Malaysia, to improve U.S. and Malaysian cooperation.

During the exercise, which also featured DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) between U.S. F-15s from 104th Fighter Wing, from Barnes ANGB (Air National Guard Base), Massachusetts, and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters from the 154th Wing, Joint Base Peal Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, participating units arranged a quite unique mixed formation of U.S. Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force aircraft.

On Jun. 18, RMAF MIG-29N Fulcrum, Su-30, a BAE Hawk, and an F/A-18 Hornet formated off the coast of Penang, Malaysia, with the U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle and F-22 Raptor, for a photo-session.

Such large, dissimilar formations are usually arranged to celebrate the end of large multi-national exercises with at least one aircraft belonging to each of the participating units.

Cope Taufan

Image credit: U.S. Air Force