Tag Archives: Typhoon

Farnborough 2012: "Yesterday we had Raptor salad for lunch" Typhoon pilot said after dogfighting with the F-22 at Red Flag Alaska

Although a Royal Air Force Typhoon took part to the daily air display, the most interesting thing at Farnborough International Airshow 2012 was the opportunity to get some more details about the recent participation of the German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons to the Red Flag.

In fact the last Red Flag-Alaska saw the first attendance by both the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptors and German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons.

As we have already reported, the Typhoons and the Raptor had the opportunity engage each other in dissimilar air combat training but only a part of the story about the outcome of the mock engagements has been reported so far: the one about the German commander saying that the F-22’s capabilities are “overwhelming,” a statement that, according to Eurofighter sources, was taken out of context.

Indeed, Typhoon pilots at Farnborough said that, when flying without their external fuel tanks, in the WVR (Within Visual Range) arena, the Eurofighter not only held its own, but proved to be better than the Raptor.

Indeed, it looks like the F-22 tends to lose too much energy when using thrust vectoring (TV): TV can be useful to enable a rapid direction change without losing sight of the adversary but, unless the Raptor can manage to immediately get in the proper position to score a kill, the energy it loses makes the then slow moving stealth combat plane quite vulnerable.

This would be coherent by analysis made in the past according to which the TV it’s not worth the energy cost unless the fighter is in the post stall regime, especially in the era of High Off Bore Sight and Helmet Mounted Display (features that the F-22 lacks).

Obviously, U.S. fighter pilots could argue that, flying a stealthy plane they will never need to engage an enemy in WVR dogfight, proving that, as already explained several timeskills and HUD captures scored during air combat training are not particularly interesting unless the actual Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and the training scenario are known.

However, not all the modern and future scenarios envisage BVR (Beyond Visual Range) engagements and the risk of coming to close range 1 vs 1 (or 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3 etc) is still high, especially considered that the F-22 currently uses AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles, whose maximum range is around 100 km (below the Meteor missile used by the Typhoon).

Moreover, at a distance of about 50 km the Typhoon IRST (Infra-Red Search and Track) system is capable to find even a stealthy plane “especially if it is large and hot, like the F-22” a Eurofighter pilot said.

Anyway, the Typhoons scored several Raptor kills during the Red Flag Alaska. On one day a German pilot, recounting a succesfull mission ironically commented: “yesterday, we have had a Raptor salad for lunch.”

Above images (credit: The Aviationist’s photographer Giovanni Maduli) show the Typhoon at Farnborough International Airshow 2012.

Photo: Eurofighter Typhoon’s kill markings. F-16, F-18 and Mirage 2000 among the shot down fighters

As already explained several times, kills scored during simulated dissimilar air combat training are not particularly interesting (other than for marketing purposes) unless the actual Rules Of Engagement (ROE) and the training scenario are known.

However, there is a lot of people who consider kill markings and HUD captures extremely seriously.

Therefore, here’s an interesting picture, showing some kill markings on an Italian Eurofighter Typhoon.

Taken at Grosseto airbase in 2010 by Dario Leone, a reader of this blog, the photograph clearly shows the aircraft downed by the F-2000s of the 4° Stormo during DACT: F-18, F-16, Mirage 2000, Tornado and AMX (with the “Tonka” and the AMX not being particularly significant because they are fighter bombers that don’t excel in the air-to-air scenario).

In 2009, an F-22 kill marking on a EA-18G Growler made the news.


Infographic: Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Flypast

On Saturday May 19, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her first 60 years as monarch. Here are the graphics that explain how the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, a flypast of over 80 aircraft (more than those taking part to the previous editions) belonging to the British air arms, will take place.

Source: Royal Air Force

Two Temporary Airspace Restrictions or RA(T)s will be in force from 09:30 to 11:30 hours (UTC) and from 09:50 to 11:50 hours (UTC) on 19 May and affect a broad corridor of airspace from the South Coast to west London, corresponding to the route the formation will fly to reach Windsor, and then to the north and northwest of Windsor to facilitate the dispersal of the aircraft.

You will notice that the Typhoon, UK’s most advanced plane (F-35B aside) is not featured in the main flypast: don’t worry, it’s not being grounded like the RAF E-3s, nor being kept on alert for the Olympic Games.

The flypast will comprise two separate aircraft formations – nine Typhoon fighter jets open the event, followed later by the large mixed formation (including two formations of Tucano and Hawk aircraft, the Red Arrows, and aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Image credit: UK Civil Aviation Authority

There's a place in London where RAF Typhoons will buzz your car during the Olympics

If you plan to visit London during the Olympic Games and you are an aviation geek, I suggest you to pay a visit to one of the best (temporary) spotting places ever.

Judging by the image below, published on May 2 by the Daily Telegraph and taken during Exercise Olympic Guardian, the viewing area is located somewhere around RAF Northolt airport, in west London.

From there you’ll almost be able to touch the armed Typhoons while landing at their deployment base at the end of their missions to enforce the No-Fly Zone above and around the capital of UK.

The role of the British Eurofighters is, along with several other assets and a few SAM (Surface to Air Missile) batteries settled on top of some residential buildings, to defend the Olympics from 9/11-type of attack.

Last month two Typhoons launched to respond to an emergency signal from a helicopter caused a sonic boom that caused panic across England.

Leave a comment or send me an email if you are able to locate or give direction to the spotting point.

Picture: Julian Simmonds/Daily Telegraph

However, since the RAF does not plan to perform CAPs from RAF Northolt, the possibility to see a scene like the one depicted above are scarce. Unless a practice QRA or an air patrol is launched from there, the base could be much busier during the preliminary exercise than in the Olympics period.

Top Guns over the Canary Islands: DACT 2012 photo report

Between Apr. 16 and 27, Gando airbase, Canary Islands, hosted the annual DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) exercise. Organized by the Spanish Air Force, the 2012 edition was attended by about 40 aircraft, including the local F-18 Hornets of the Ala 46, the Typhoons of the Ala 11 from Moron, the F-18s of the Ala 12 and 15 from Torrejòn and Zaragoza, C101 of the 741 Esc. from Salamanca, and the Spanish Navy EAV-8 Harriers of the Escuadrilla 009, from Rota.

Supported by B707 and KC-130H tanker aircraft, the drill saw the participation of five Mirage 2000C of the EC 02.005, from Orange.

The following pictures were taken by The Aviationist’s contributor Tony Lovelock.

Tony Lovelock wishes to thank Gando Base Commander and Alejandro of Fightercommunity.com for making the photo-report possible.