The UAE Air Force aerobatic display team formed up with an Etihad Airways A380 for the 2016 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
On Nov. 27, an Etihad Airways A380 performed the traditional pre-Grand Prix race flypast in formation with the seven Aermacchi MB-339 jets of the Al Fursan (The Knights) display team.
The following footage, filmed from both inside the UAE AF display team jets and the civilian “superjumbo” show the amazing pass conducted by the unusual formation at dusk.
The Al Fursan team was formed in 2010 and made its first appearance with a simple fly-by with 4 MB-339s at the graduation ceremony at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College on Jan. 20, 2010. In July the same year, eight pilots moved to Italy to start training under the supervision of the Frecce Tricolori of the Italian Air Force, world’s largest display team based at Rivolto, and flying the same kind of aircraft. The training course ended in 2011.
The team made its first public aerobatic demonstration on Nov. 13, 2011, during the opening day of the Dubai Air Show.
The three Jetmen Yves Rossy, Vincent Reffet and Fred Fugen flew together with the Patrouille de France in an unprecedented aerial choreography.
Little more than one year ago, Jetman Dubai flew in formation with an Airbus A380 over Dubai during a special publicity event organised by Emirates Airlines.
In October 2016, the three jetpack-equipped pilots formed up with the 8 Alpha Jets of the Patrouille de France, the French Air Force aerobatic display team and flew together at an altitude of 4,000 ft (1,200 m) and a speed of 140 knots (260 km/h).
Although it may seem an easy or random task, such formation flying requires much preparation in order to reduce turbulence and consequent instability.
Here below you can watch the rather unusual men-aircraft formation.
In two decades of flying global airshows as well as competitive events, during which he has clocked more than 1,800 flight hours (1,000 of them in aerobatics) Podlunšek has also had the opportunity to form up with some interesting warbirds.
Bulgarian Air Force Fulcrums greeted the very first visit of an Airbus A380 to Sofia.
On Oct. 16, a Lufthansa Airbus A380 landed for the very first time in Sofia.
Piloted by the only Bulgarian A380 Lufthansa pilot, Senior First Officer Mario Bakalov, the largest passenger aircraft of the world took off from Frankfurt as a special flight carrying a delegation of politicians, customers and media to the Bulgarian capital to introduce the Lufthansa A380 to customers and the general public in the country and to promote long-haul flights to the U.S. and Asia.
Noteworthy, during its flight across the Bulgarian airspace the Airbus A380 was met by three Bulgarian Air Force Mig-29s (including a two-seater photo-ship). In this post you can find some stunning images taken by the BAF while escorting the giant two-deck airliner inbound to Sofia.
Here’s a short clip showing the three Mig-29s as seen from inside the A380.
Image credit: Bulgarian Air Force / Ognyan Stefanov
Chased by a dual seater F-16B of the RNoAF, the aircraft, brought back to airworthy conditions in 13 years by the Norwegian Foreningen Starfighterens Venner (Friends of the Starfighter Association) flew for about 50 minutes becoming the first “Zipper” (or “Missile with a man in it” in accordance to one of the several nicknames the legendary plane has had during its long career) to fly in Europe in more than 11 years: the last flight of an F-104 in the Old Continent took place in Italy, on Jul. 27, 2005, when the Italian Air Force retired its last aircraft (a two-seater TF-104, the same type of aircraft this Author had the opportunity to fly in November 2000) after more than 40 years of service.
Eskil Amdal, a Norwegian test pilot, flew the Starfighter “637” during its newest “first flight” that was broadcast live on Facebook.
The following video shows the takeoff of the chase F-16B that performed an airborne pickup of the F-104 and the later approach and landing:
Here’s an interesting clip with footage from inside the cockpit:
The following footage shows the CF-104D from the backseat of the F-16B (taken by Helge Andreassen):
There are rumors that the Norwegian association will some day bring the F-104 back to airshows around Europe. However it looks like there are no plans (and possibly clearances) at the moment to fly this magnificient aircraft outside of Norway.
H/T to Giulio Cristante, Bjørnar Bolsøy and all the readers who sent us links and comments!