Tag Archives: Spanish Air Force

Albacete’s NATO Tactical Leadership Programme Spotters Day

On Oct. 1 and 2, the Tactical Leadership Programme and Albacete Airbase organized a two-day Spotters Day during TLP Flying Course 2013/5.

With nearly 400 spotters attending the event, it has was the largest spotter day organized since the TLP moved from Florennes to Albacete.

Sea King

The FC 2013/5, which was the last course of the year, saw the participation of several assets from Spanish Air Force, Swiss AF, French AF, Polish AF, Turkish AF, Italian AF and the RAF.

Mirage 2000N

As a side note, the Spotters Day was one of the last non operation daily flights of the Spanish Mirage F1 which are in the process of being stored for the sale.

Mirage SpAF

Nicknamed ‘La abuela’ (Grandmother) by the Spanish fighter jocks, the Mirage F1 is being gradually replaced by the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Typhoon landing

Image credit: Alvaro Muñoz-Aycuens


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Spanish pilot achieves impressive milestone: 4,000 flying hours on the Northrop Grumman F-5 Freedom Fighter

On Jul. 11, 2013, Lt. Col. Jesus Antonio Caballero, head of the Research Group & Air Forces of the Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire) 23 Wing in Talavera Air Base, completed 4,000 flying hours on the F-5 aircraft . This accreditation, obtained individually, is a unique landmark in the Spanish Air Force and even internationally, as to date, there is no evidence that any other pilot from countries that operate or have operated different versions of F-5, to have reached that milestone.

The historical flight during which Caballero reached 4,000 flying hours consisted of a air-to-air nterception training mission, included in the Plan of Instruction for IPs (instructor pilots) of the 23 Wing.

SpAF F-5 pilot

Lieutenant Colonel Caballero made his first flight in F-5 back in 1987, after being assigned to the 23 Wing as a student. He continued with that fighter in the 21 Wing Air Base in Morón and in the Center of Logistics Armaments and Experimentation (CLAEX) in Torrejon Air Base. From 1993 he returned to the 23 Wing as an IP, having piloted the F-5 A/RF/B & M versions of this veteran aircraft.

The 23 Wing’s main mission is to provide training, both theoretical and flights (Fighter & Attack Phase) to students in the 5th year of the Spanish Air Force Air Academy selected to perform the said phase.

Bought in the sixties, the Spanish Government took the decision to provide to the Spanish Air Force +50 F-5 A & B fighters built under license by CASA.

First units provided fighter missions in Moron and Canary Islands Air Bases. Later, all the F-5 units marched to Talavera to replace veterans T-33.

In recent years the F-5 has undergone a complete modernization, especially its avionics, to suit the teaching Fighter & Attack skills as a step towards next-generation aircrafts such as the F/A-18A+ Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon. This new version of the aircraft is called F-5M

All fighter pilots that currently fly in the Spanish Air Force were formed in the F-5M.

El Lince Analista for TheAviationist.com

Picture Credit: Spanish Air Force


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Eurofighter Typhoon celebrates 200,000 flying hours with special markings

On Sept. 8, Eurofighter confirmed that the Eurofighter Typhoon has now achieved more than 200,000 flying hours since the entry-into-service of its worldwide fleet.

719 aircraft on contract, 571 aircraft ordered and 378 aircraft delivered: these are the figures of the programme that is Europe’s largest defense program today.

Alberto Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, said: “Every day our aircraft are protecting the skies in Europe, the Middle East and even in the Southern hemisphere. They are on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Eurofighter Typhoon is combat proven since the Libya operations and is now gaining considerable momentum – indeed the programme has never looked stronger.”

The statement came while six Typhoons are providing the air defense of Cyprus amid growing tensions with Syria.

The press release issued by Eurofighter for the 200K FH provides some interesting details about the history of the program.

The first 5,000 flying hours were achieved in November 2005. 10,000 hours came in August 2006 and 20,000 in May 2007. By August 2008, the Eurofighter Typhoon fleet had surpassed 50,000 hours and 100,000 flying hours was reached in January 2011. In the course of these flying hours, Eurofighter has demonstrated 100 per cent availability in numerous international deployments including: Alaska; Malaysia; the United Arab Emirates; the USA; and India.

The global Eurofighter fleet now comprises 20 operating units with locations in Europe, the South Atlantic and the Middle East. Specifically there are: 7 units in the UK (4 in Coningsby, 2 in Leuchars and 1 in Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands); 5 in Italy (2 in Grosseto, 2 in Gioia del Colle, 1 in Trapani); 3 in Germany (Laage, Neuburg and Nörvenich), as well as 3 in Spain (2 in Morón, 1 in Albacete) and one each in Austria (Zeltweg) and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – all of them have contributed to the 200,000 flying hour total.

To mark the 200,000 flying hours a German Typhoon “30-70” was given red celebrative markings as the image in this post shows.

Image credit: Eurofighter


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F/A-18 Hornet pilot performs one of craziest flybys ever

Poor airmanship or skilful pilot?

Most probably both.

The new video (actually posted to Youtube a couple of years ago – thanks to Juanma Baiutti for the heads-up) that will fuel the debate about the alleged braveness of this kind of stunts, shows an F/A-18 Hornet of the Spanish Air Force performing a low level flyby along a taxiway at Gando airbase, on the Canary Islands.

As already explained several times on this blog, commenting the famous Argentine pilots flybys, such “improvised air shows” can be very dangerous, even when they don’t imply difficult maneuvers. Indeed, the problem is that, in Aviation, “Improvised” things are usually “Dangerous” things.

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Eurofighter Typhoon takes the stage at the Zeltweg airshow among several interesting participants

On Jun. 28 and 29 Zeltweg airbase hosted Air Power 2013, Austria’s main air show.

Even if several planes took part in the airshow, the Eurofighter Typhoon emerged as the highlight of this year’s Air Power.

Indeed, a Typhoon belonging to the Austrian Air Force performed a solo display; then, two Austrian Eurofighters performed a simulated alert take off to intercept a C-130; finally, four Typhoons belonging to four different Air Forces were in static display.

Zeltweg 2013 Airshow II Giorno 161

One was an Italian F-2000A (as the fighter is called according to the Italian Mission Design Series) of the 37° Stormo from Trapani; another one belonged to the Austrian Air Force; a third one was an FGR.4 of the RAF 3rd Squadron based at RAF Coningsby; and the fourth one was a Spanish twin seater Eurofighter of the Ala 11 of the Ejercito de l’ Aire (Spanish Air Force) form Morón Airbase .

Static Display

Image credit: Elio Taraborelli

Typhoon aircrews were particularly chatty: so, whereas the Italian Typhoon driver explained that “The F-2000A is a stunning air to air platform” the RAF pilot said that the fighter “is equally capable in both air-to-air and air-to-ground roles, an absolutely lethal aircraft.”

Zeltweg 2013 Airshow II Giorno 015

Still, maybe the most interesting chat was with the Spanish pilots who said that “when strictly compared to the EF-18 (the Spanish version of the F/A-18 Hornet) the Typhoon has got a better radar with greater range and a far superior thrust of its engines, which make of the Eurofighter a really badass fighter.”

Although the Typhoons of several European air forces took the stage, other interesting aircraft took part in the Air Power airshow; among them, the SAAB Gripen, the Soko G-2 Galeb, the Su-22 Fitter and the only flying Italian MB-326 warbird.

All images by The Aviationist’s photographer Alessandro Fucito, unless stated

Zeltweg 2013 Airshow II Giorno 207

Zeltweg 2013 Arrivi & Prove 033

Zeltweg 2013 Arrivi & Prove 088

Zeltweg 2013 Arrivi & Prove 003

Written with David Cenciotti

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