Monthly Archives: August 2017

Close Call: CL-415 Canadair Hits A Barge After Scooping Water In Scary Footage

Physical damage but no injuries. Impressive!

Reportedly filmed at Vallabrègues, on the left bank of the Rhône River, in the Gard department in southern France, the video below shows two Canadair CL-415 water bomber aircraft involved in a firefighting mission on Aug. 27, 2017.

One of the “Superscooper” planes hit a barge with its left hand wing while scooping water in the harbor to support firefighting activities in a forest fire in Collias, near Nimes.

The Canadairs belong to the fleet of the French Sécurité Civile, that operates a fleet of more than a dozen CL-415, a type of amphibious aircraft developed to deliver massive quantities of suppressant in quick response to fires.

As already mentioned in articles we have published here, the firefighting mission is undoubtedly one of the most hazardous for pilots. The very low altitude, the smoke that reduces visibility, winds causing turbulence, the large concentration of aircraft in the same area, the generally abrupt topography and the need of perform several fill-drop cycles in a short time make the water bomber role particularly risky.

This kind of incident, quite rare, did not injure but the footage posted to Youtube is really impressive.

H/T @manusLinux for the heads-up

 

Buzzed By A Flanker: Watch A Su-33 Fighter Perform Two Very Low Passes Over The Runway

Low Passes Are Always Cool. This Time It’s The Turn Of A Russian Navy Su-33.

In the recent past we have published several videos showing pretty dangerous low passes: a Su-27 flying really low over a group of people after performing a low approach at an airbase in Ukraine; a Su-25 Frogfoot buzzing a group of female soldiers posing for a photograph; another one performing a low passage along a taxiway of a military airfield in northwestern Ukraine; a Mig-29 overflying pro-Russia separatist blocking rails, an Ilyushin Il-76 buzzing some Su-25s and Frogfoots returning the favor while buzzing the tower; an Mi-17 helicopter flying among the cars on a highway and another fully armed Mig-29 Fulcrum in the livery of the Ukrainian Falcons aerobatic display team flying over an apron at an airbase in Ukraine.

However, Russian Air Force and Naval Aviation pilots love flying low and be filmed in the process too. Not only with the Su-24 Fencer, the type shown buzzing cars on a highway in a video that went viral few years ago causing military prosecutors to investigate flight records and safety measures carried out at military airfields. This time with a Su-33 Flanker-D.

The Sukhoi Su-33 is an all-weather carrier-based highly maneuverable air defence fighter based on the Su-27 “Flanker” and initially known as Su-27K. It has larger (folding) wings, upgraded engines, twin nose wheel, strengthened undercarriage for blue waters ops.

The Su-33 equips the only Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and, as reported last year, a Russian Navy Su-33 Flanker carrier-based multirole aircraft crashed during flight operations from the carrier at its inaugural combat cruise in the Mediterranean Sea, to support the air strikes in Syria, on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016.

According to the report, the combat plane crashed at its second attempt to land on the aircraft carrier in good weather conditions (visibility +10 kilometers, Sea State 4, wind at 12 knots): the arresting wire snapped and failed to stop the aircraft that fell short of the bow of the warship.

The pilot successfully ejected and was picked up by a Russian Navy search and rescue helicopter.

The Chinese Shenyang J-15, equipping the refurbished ex-Soviet Kuznetsov class carrier Varyag now “Liaoning” is also extensively based on the Su-27 and Su-33.

Anyway, the following video show a Russian Navy Su-33 at some airbase in Russia, performing a couple of really low passes buzzing the cameraman. Cool footage, probably not too safe.

 

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Here Is Japan’s First V-22: The First Osprey Tilt-Rotor Aircraft For A Military Outside Of The U.S.

The First V-22 For Japan Exposed By Photograph Taken At Amarillo During Engine Tests.

The first of 17 V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is about to perform its maiden flight from Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center, Texas.

The photo above, showing the first Japanese V-22, the very first Osprey for a military outside of the U.S., was taken at Amarillo by Paul Lawrence Braymen on Aug. 24, 2017, as the tilt-rotor aircraft, sporting Japan’s camouflage and roundel, performed engine tests ahead of the first flight (expected next week).

The JGSDF will receive the V-22B Block C variant, the same in service with the U.S. Marine Corps as MV-22.

The Osprey will undertake humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations increasing also the interoperability with the U.S. forces (both USMC and USAF) which operate the aircraft.

The sale of 17 V-22 Osprey and associated equipment for the JGSDF, split in various orders and worth 3B USD, was eventually announced in 2015 in spite of the criticism that has always surrounded the type’s presence in the skies over Okinawa caused by concerns that the tilt-rotor hybrid aircraft might be prone to crashes.

Image credit: Paul Lawrence Braymen

 

Danish F-16s Intercepted A Low-Flying Russian Navy Tu-142 Bear-F Anti-Sub Aircraft In A Very Rare Close Encounter Over The Baltic Sea

A new video released by the Royal Danish Air Force shows a low-flying Tu-142MK aircraft: a rare sight in the Baltic region.

The footage below is particularly interesting as it shows a quite rare “visitor” to the Baltic: a Tu-142 Bear-F long-range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

The Royal Danish Air Force F-16s from Fighter Wing Skrydstrup intercepted and shadowed the anti-sub aircraft flying at low-level in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

Derived from the Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber, the Tu-142 is a platform that entered active service in November 1980. It is operated by a crew of 10, including two pilots, two navigators, a nav/weapon systems operator, an on-board operator and a rear gunner.

According to “Russia’s Warplanes, Volume 2” by Piotr Butowski published by Harpia Publishing, one of the most authoritative sources on Russian-made military aircraft and helicopters today, the Russia’s Naval Aviation has two Tu-142 squadrons, one with Tu-142MK (NATO reporting name Bear-F Mod. 3) aircraft at Kipelovo-Fedotovo and one with Tu-142MZ (Bear-F Mod. 4) at Mongoktho.

The one involved in the close encounter with the Danish Vipers appears to be an MK from Fedotovo, located near railway station Kipelovo on a major railway to St.Peterburg. Indeed, the aircraft does not feature the typical chin fairings that characterize the MZ version.

The Tu-142MK and MZ are both able to carry a maximum of 9,000 kg (19,842lb) weapons load inside two fuselage weapons bays, with options including three torpedoes (the rocket-propelled APR-2/APR-3, or the electric AT-2M or UMGT-1) or depth charges (such as the Zagon/Zagon-2 guided charges and nuclear depth charges), mines and sonobuoys. The typical loadout of a Tu-142MK comprises 3x torpedoes and 66x RGB-75, 44x RGB-15, 10x RGB-25 and 15 RGB-55 sonobuoys.

According to the RDAF, the Tu-142 has only been seen in the area a few times earlier. In fact, the majority of the missions flown by the Russians over the Baltic Sea or around northern Europe involve long-range strategic bombers, such as the Tu-22M Backfire, the Tu-160 Blackjack and the Tu-95 Bear, rather than an asset specialized in ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare).

 

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U.S., Chinese And Russian Bombers Each Flew Air Patrols Over East China, Sea Of Japan Close To The Korean Peninsula In Last 24 Hours

Even the Russian Tu-95 Bears made a rare tour close to South Korea’s airspace yesterday.

Two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers briefly violated South Korea’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ) on Wednesday, prompting the country’s fighter jets to scramble to shadow the “intruders” for a few miles. The episode it’s worth of note since unlike the U.S. bombers, the Russian rarely fly close to the Korean peninsula.

Generally speaking an ADIZ is “the airspace over land or water in which the identification, location and control of civilian aircraft is performed in the interest of national security.”

ADIZs may extend beyond a country’s territory to give the country more time to respond to possible hostile aircraft: in fact any aircraft flying inside these zones without authorization may be identified as a threat and treated as an enemy aircraft, leading to an interception and VID (Visual Identification) by fighter aircraft.

“As the Russian aircraft entered the KADIZ in formation yesterday morning, a squadron of our Air Force jets made an emergency sorties,” said an officer to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

The Russian planes, however, did not intrude into South Korea’s aerospace, he added.

According to the Russian MoD, during the trip the Russian Bears were accompanied by Russian Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets and A-50 early warning and control aircraft. The flight was also intercepted by the Japan Air Self Defense Force.

Russia does not acknowledge the air defense identification zones of neighboring countries. Sometimes, its warplanes enter the zones which are a sort of defense-purpose concept neither stipulated in any state-to-state treaty nor regulated by any international body. As happened on the night of May 3, 2017, when a “mini-package” made of two Tu-95MS Bear bombers, escorted by two Su-35S Flanker-E jets, and supported by an A-50 Mainstay, flew inside the Alaskan ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) and were intercepted by two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors some 50 NM to the south of Chariot, Alaska.

However, the Russian Bears were not the only bombers to fly in the region during the last 24 hours. Indeed, on Aug. 24, the JASDF had to intercept six Chinese Xian H-6K long-range strategic bombers (south of the KADIZ). Here below you can see the track they followed skirting Japan.

A more constant presence in the area are the U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers providing support to the CBP (Continuous Bomber Presence) from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. According to the reports, two “Bones” flew from Guam to South Korea on Aug. 24.

Indeed, U.S. B-52 and B-2 bombers routinely fly nuclear deterrence missions in the Asia-Pacific theater from both CONUS bases and Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Sometimes, they also intrude the Chinese ADIZ: in November 2013, a flight of two U.S. B-52 bombers departed from Guam airbase entered the new Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over East China Sea close to the disputed islands without complying with any of the rules set by Beijing for the ADIZ. In that case, the mission intentionally skirted the disputed Diaoyu Islands (known as Senkaku islands in Japan).

A big thank you to @phxasc for the heads-up!

Top image credit: Sputnik News

 

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