Tag Archives: U.S. Air Force

Watch A C-5 Galaxy Perform A “Short Take Off” From A Runway In Central America

A Galaxy uses every inch of runway 33 at Ilopango airport, El Salvador.

The following footage shows a U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy taking off from Ilopango airport, located on the eastern part of the city of San Salvador, El Salvador. The massive cargo aircraft, with a wingspan of 222 ft 9 in (67.89 m), exceeding the runway’s 148 ft (45.1 m), generates a spectacular cloud of dust.

What makes the video really interesting is the fact that the giant American cargo aircraft uses most of runway 33 (2,240m/7,349ft in length), proving the somehow unknown STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) capabilities of the C-5. Needless to say, technically speaking, the Galaxy is not STOL: according to Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (JP 1-02) to be considered STOL the aircraft has to be able “to clear a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle within 1,500 feet (450 meters) of commencing takeoff or in landing, to stop within 1,500 feet (450 meters) after passing over a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle.”

Still, the C-5 has what can be considered excellent field performance for its size and weight. Indeed, according to its aircrews, Galaxy jets can operate out of a 5,000 foot long runway as well as from unimproved surface with substantial fuel and cargo load to support a special operation, even though such missions are nowadays preferably undertaken by C-17 Globemasters.

Please note: the video was filmed in 2011. The reason of the visit to El Salvador is not known.

Footage From Inside A Russian Tu-95 Bear Strategic Bomber As It Is Escorted by U.S. F-22 Raptors Off Alaska Last Week

The Russian Air Force has released a video that includes a short clip filmed from inside a Bear bomber escorted by two F-22 stealth aircraft.

On May 12, two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor jets were launched from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to intercept and visually identify two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers flying off Alaska, north of the Aleutian Islands, in the ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone).

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.

Alaska ADIZ detail

According to NORAD, the Russians were “intercepted and monitored by the F-22s until the bombers left the ADIZ along the Aleutian Island chain heading west,” and, as usual, remained in international airspace.

Nothing special then, considered that these close encounters occur every now and then, as reported last year.

What’s a bit more interesting this time is the fact that the Russian Air Force has released some details and footage about the training activities conducted by its long range bombers. During the last round of “winter period” training, five long range missions were launched involving strategic missile carriers Tu-160 and Tu-95MS, as well as long-range Tu-22M3 bombers: these flights brought the Russian aircraft over the Pacific, the Arctic Ocean, Japan, East China, Black, Barents, Norwegian, Northern, Bering and Okhotsk Seas.

On May 12 mission off Alaska, the F-22s (that were filmed while shadowing the Bear, as the clip below shows) remained with the Tu-95s for 40 minutes.

“As for the last such flight, only one pair of US Air Force F-22 fighters have escorted our aircraft. Just one, it says that a certain effect of surprise has worked. Usually, during the execution of such flights, we are escorted to five or seven aircraft, while escorts are carried out by fighters of various states. I want to note that during this flight no one intercepted anyone. US Air Force planes accompanied our aircraft in the airspace over neutral waters. The pilots acted in the air correctly. No violations were recorded,” said commander of long-range aviation Lieutenant-General Sergei Kobylash in an article published by Zvezda.

While it’s somehow hard to believe that the large strategic bombers caught someone by surprise, the video is interesting, especially the short part where you can see a pair of F-22s from the window of a Russian Bear.

This Updated Chart Shows (Most Of) The Assets Involved in Apr. 14 Air Strike On Syria

This revised chart provides a good overview of the assets that took part in the Trilateral strikes on Syria last month.

As our readers already know, in the night between Apr. 13 and 14 the U.S., UK and France launched air strikes against Syria. By means of an OSINT analysis, we were able to determine the presence of most of the aircraft which took part in the operation, most of those could be tracked online via information in the public domain, hours before their involvement was officially confirmed.

Based on the “picture” we have contributed to build up, the popular one-man site CIGeography has prepared an interesting chart to visualize the type and number of the assets that have taken part or supported the strike. Although this is a revised version of an original chart posted on Apr. 29, it still contains some inaccuracies: for instance, just 6 out of 8 French C-135FR tankers are shows; at least 11 US tankers supported the American aircraft at various times; two RQ-4s are shown in the chart although we have tracked just one example [#10-2043 – a serial that is still subject to debate] and no other Global Hawk is known to have been committed, etc. Moreover, little is known about the aircraft that operated from the UAE and Qatar bases (including the EA-6B Prowlers, known to have supported the B-1s) and whose presence and number could not be determined by means of online flight tracking; still, it represents the only available chart that summarizes the types, the airbases and the weapons used to attack Syria last month.

Make sure you follow @CIGeography on Twitter and Facebook. You can also buy one of the posters based on this and other charts CIGeography has produced here.

Puerto Rico Air National Guard WC-130H Crashes near Chatham City, Georgia.

Reports Say 9 People on Board Dead.

A Lockheed WC-130H transport plane, 65-0968, from the 156th Airlift Wing from Puerto Rico has crashed near Chatham City, Georgia today. There were 5 crewmembers and 4 passengers on board. All of them reportedly died in the accident.

Local and social media in the area has shown video and photos of the aircraft burning heavily with debris, including most of the tail section on a roadway. Some flights to the nearby Savannah airport have been affected by the incident, although it is unclear if the aircraft was operating in connection the Savannah facility at the time of the crash.

One witness told CNN.com that, “The ground shook like a bomb going off.”

A WC-130H burns after crashing near a roadway in Georgia. (Photo: IAFF574 Savannah via Twitter)

The Lockheed WC-130H variant of the C-130 Hercules is tasked with weather reconnaissance including hurricane reconnaissance. It can remain in flight for as long as 15 hours and carries specialized meteorological monitoring equipment including the dropsonde wind speed and direction sensor.

This accident continues a series of recent incidents and accidents in U.S. military aviation.

Top image credit: Eduardo Rivera / Minaya Photography.

U.S. B-52 Bomber Performs Show Of Force Over Moroccan Range During Exercise African Lion 2018. And Here Are Some Interesting Details.

A Stratofortress bomber flew over Morocco as part of a round-trip Global Power mission from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.

On Apr. 20, a USAF B-52 made several bombing runs over a range near Tan Tan, Morocco, as part of Ex. African Lion 2018, an annual multilateral exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of African partner nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures.

The American strategic bomber launched from Barksdale AFB, home of the 2nd BW (Bomb Wing), using callsign Mytee 51. It crossed the Atlantic Ocean and before engaging the Moroccan range was joined by two 48th FW F-15Cs and two RMAF F16 Block 52+ from Ben Guerir Air Base, a former U.S. Air Force base located about 36 miles (58 km) north of Marrakech which served as a Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) site for the Space Shuttle, and MOB (Main Operating Base) for the exercise.

Airspare was MYTEE52 and was showing on ADSB and recovered somewhere south in Florida for some reason. (credit: @aircraftspots)

 

Along the way, the B-52 was supported by several U.S. Air Force KC-135 tankers, including Qid 259 and 260 from RAF Mildenhall, UK.

100th ARW KC-135Rs were launched from RAF Mildenhall to support the B-52 mission. Image credit: @aircraftspots

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 191st Air Refueling Squadron refueled both the B-52 and its escorting aircraft, including the RMAF F-16s whilst the package was also escorted by at least one Mirage F1 (shown in the picture below).

A Royal Moroccan air force F-16 prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 191st Air Refueling Squadron, during Exercise African Lion April 20, 2018. Various units from the U.S. Armed Forces will conduct multilateral and stability operations training with units from the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces in the Kingdom of Morocco. This combined multilateral exercise is designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of each nation’s tactics, techniques and procedures while demonstrating the strong bond between the nation’s militaries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Malcolm Mayfield)

H/T to our friend @aircraftspots for providing the details about the routing, callsigns etc you can find in this post.