Monthly Archives: July 2015

Watch a U.S. Air Force F-15E drop a dummy Nuclear Bomb on Nevada range during a test

The U.S. Air Force tested a B-61 on the Nevada Test and Training Range.

Between Jun. 29 and Jul. 1, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons center tested a (dummy) B61 nuke weapon on the Nevada Test and Training Range to the northwest of Las Vegas.

It was the first development flight test of the B61-12, the latest update to the nuclear gravity bomb that has been used since the 1960s.

According to the U.S. Air Force, “the B61 is in the process of a life-extension program, which includes upgrading aging components and a new tail kit assembly. When the program is completed, the B61-12 will replace four different B61 variants in the inventory.”

The video below shows preparation and drop of the bomb from an F-15E Strike Eagle out of Nellis Air Force Base. Pretty interesting to see is the release of the nuke, with the spin rockets activating shortly after separation for free fall weapon stabilization.

 

Freaking Awesome Photo of four U.S. F-15C Eagle jets Breaking the formation

Stunning air-to-air image shows a four-ship formation break.

The top image (click on this link for the high resolution version) shows four F-15C Eagle jets belonging to the 493rd Fighter Squadron, based Royal Air Force Lakenheath, UK, as they break the formation during flying operations on Jul. 22, 2015.

The 493rd FS recently received the 2014 Raytheon Trophy as the U.S. Air Force’s top fighter squadron.

Image credit: Courtesy photo by Ioannis Lekkas/Released

 

Photos of 10 Russian warplanes intercepted by RAF Typhoons over the Baltic Sea….in one sortie!

Last Friday was quite a busy day for the RAF Typhoons supporting NATO Baltic Air Patrol mission.

On Jul. 24, the Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon jets intercepted and identified 10 (!) Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

The RAF Typhoons from 6 Sqn at RAF Lossiemouth, in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) at Amari airbase, Estonia, were launched as a large formation of Russian planes flew close to the Baltic States airspace (most probably going to or returning from Kaliningrad Oblast).

Su-34s Jul. 24

According to the UK MoD, once airborne, the RAF jets identified the aircraft as 4x Sukhoi Su-34 Fullback attack planes, 4x Mikoyan MiG-31 Foxhound fighters and 2 x Antonov An-26 Curl transport aircraft who appeared to be carrying out a variety of routine training.

Su-34s Jul. 24 2

Newsworthy, Russian activity in the Baltic region has increased even more in the last few days. On Jul. 29, NATO interceptors identified 12 Russian military aircraft flying near the Latvian border: 3x An-76 and 1x Il-76 cargo planes, 4x MiG-31s and 4x Su-24s, were detected flying near the Latvian outer sea border, above the Baltic Sea in international airspace.

An-26 Jul. 24

Image credit: Crown Copyright

 

The Legenday F4U Corsair as you have never seen it before

You may like warbirds or not, but this video is awesome.

The Vought F4U Corsair is probably one of the most famous American fighter planes ever.

More than 12,500 examples of this aircraft were manufactured by Vought beginning in 1940, with final delivery of 1953, in what is known as the longest production run of any piston-engined fighter in U.S. history.

The Corsair, designed to operate from the flight deck of U.S. aircraft carriers, saw service during the WWII, during which it initially mainly operated from land bases in the hands of U.S. Marine pilots because of issues with carrier landings: once these were solved, the F4U became the most capable carrier-based fighter-bomber of the conflict.

The Corsair flew also during the Korean War.

As mentioned before, it is one of the most famous warbirds ever: even my son knows this plane very well as its fame was boosted amoung younger generations by its participation in the Disney movie “Planes” that features a Corsair named “Skipper” among the leading characters.

The following video shows a civilian registered F4U-1 (NX83782), the oldest airworthy Corsair in the world, during the 2012 Planes of Fame Air Show fly by.

 

Watch a Boeing 777 bank sharply and land in a 120 km/h wind storm

“Any landing you can walk away, is a good landing.”

The following video was shot at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on Jul. 25.

It shows KLM Asia Boeing 777 flying as KLM868 (from Osaka) approaching the runway and landing with a dangerous roll to the right just before touchdown, induced by wind gusts up to 75 mph (120 km/h) measured at the Dutch airport.

In the past, we have posted articles with videos and photos showing crosswind (xwind) approaches performed by civil liners as well as military aircraft (both airlifters and tactical jets).

As explained back then, a common procedure used with xwind wing gusts is to “crab” the plane (i.e. to apply a WCA, Wind Correction Angle, by aligning nose with the wind direction).

Just before touchdown, the pilot usually reduces the WCA angle in order to prevent landing gear damages by “decrabbing” the plane: this phase is the most dangerous one, as the airplane becomes more vulnerable to the gusts. For this reason, all aircraft apply cross-controls: left rudder, right aileron (if wind is coming from starboard) meaning rudder and aileron in opposite directions.

This doesn’t mean that the aircraft has always to lower the wing on the upwind side, but this may be required to keep the aircraft on the runway even though many experienced pilots landing on dry runway are able to land with levelled wings.