Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Russian “doomsday plane” is circling over Crimea right now

Just in case someone had doubts about air superiority over Crimea.

The Tupolev Tu-214SR is a Russian Special Mission Aircraft believed to act as a communication relay aircraft.

This kind of aircraft is often dispatched by the Russian Air Force to accompany Putin’s presidential aircraft on its travels and for this reason it is considered the Russian version of the U.S. E-4B, a so-called “doomsday” plane, with an airborne command and control role.

This aircraft was spotted over Sochi during the Winter Games and it is currently operating at FL270 (27,000 feet) over Crimea, quietly broadcasting its position by means of ADS-B transponder.

The Tu-214SR using callsing RSD48 has circled directly over Simferopol international airport and is currently heading towards Sochi airport, its departure airfield.

Image credit: FR24.com screenshot

 

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Meanwhile, additional U.S. aircraft are amassing in Poland

More U.S. aircraft have deployed to Poland amid growing concern for Russian presence in Central-Eastern Europe.

Last week, three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft deployed to 33rd Air Transport Base in Powidz, Poland.

The transport planes will take part in an exercise featuring also paratrooper drops over the Drawsko and Błędowska Desert ranges as well as launches over the Powidz base itself.

The joint drills are expected to include COMAO (Composite Air Operations) witn Polish F-16s and MiG-29s, as well as C-130Js, including grass runway training for the transport aircraft.

The Super Hercules turbo-prop transports come from Ramstein AFB in Germany and belong to the 37th Airlift Squadron, which is a part of USAFE.

Air Traffic Controllers and Command personnel is also going to participate in the event.

The official stance is that the Hercules deployment has nothing to do with Ukraine and is a routine activity related to the USAF rotation in Poland, but US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that due to the Crimean Crisis, Washington is going to increase its military presence in Central-Eastern Europe.

Twelve F-16 jet fighters hailing from Aviano airbase, Italy, came to Task AB mid-march. So far, the exercise they take part in has lasted for two weeks and is still going on.

The General Command of the Polish Armed Forces also informed that an American Officer is to work at Powidz AB on a permanent basis. He is going to replace one of the Poles who is currently staying in Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina.

Another two Polish captains are serving in Luke AFB, Arizona. The personnel exchange is based on 2012 memorandum, and serves to increase the  experience exchange between the staff.

Image Credit: DoD

Jacek Siminski foe TheAviationist

 

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Is this the shape of the new mysterious stealth jet spotted over Texas?

Some blurry pictures taken from the ground are all we know about a possibly new, unknown, U.S. stealth jet. Based on those images we have tried to figure out the shape of the mysterious plane.

On Mar. 10, 2014, three mysterious planes were spotted over Amarillo, Texas, by Steve Douglass, Dean Muskett and few fellow photographers.

The analysis of the photos shot by Douglass and Muskett showed something interesting: the aircraft was almost boomerang shaped and, based on the contrails, it was equipped with two engines (or at least two exhaust nozzles).

One of the images, seemed to show a loose resemblance with the B-2 “batwing” bomber, whereas another one, highlighted a shape reminiscent of an X-47B UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle) killer drone.

As done years ago with the famous Stealth Black Hawk exposed by the Osama Bin Laden raid at Abbottabad, based on the grainy images available, I worked with artist Ugo Crisponi to create an image that melted the various details that could be guessed by the shots taken by Douglass and Muskett.

Therefore, the one you can see in this post is a possible shape of a large 6th Generation (probably manned) aircraft, seen over Amarillo; a Black Project, inspired by the B-2 Spirit and F-117 Nighthawk, with inputs from more recent UCAVs designs.

What do you think?

 

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Video shows what is it like being on the receiving end of a Mig-29 Fulcrum’s gun

If you see a Mig-29 Fulcrum maneuvering towards you at low altitude, you better run away.

Filmed somewhere is Syria by someone who probably survived the attack, the following footage shows a Syrian Arab Air Force Mig-29 Fulcrum perform a strafing pass on rebel positions, as seen from the target’s point of view.

Since October 2013, Assad’s Fulcrums have become increasingly active against Free Syrian Army forces.

 

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[Video] Egyptian DHC-5 Buffalo utility aircraft performs belly landing

Quite unusual: an Egyptian Air Force plane is forced to perform a belly landing with extended nose gear.

You don’t see this kind of maneuver every day.

Reportedly filmed on Mar. 24, at an undisclosed airport, the following footage shows a textbook landing of an Egyptian Air Force DHC-5 Buffalo plane.

The transport plane suffered a failure that prevented its main landing gear from extending, forcing the Buffalo to attempt a belly landing.

The emergency ended with minor damage to the fuselage.

Recently we published another video showing an emergency landing on Dry Lake of a B-1B Lancer whose nose gear failed to extend.

 

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