First up this week we have a US Army Dash 8 (N8200H) flying as Grizzly 35 at Glasgow International. The aircraft is operated by Dynamic Air Lease on behalf of the US Army and is used for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Based on the Civil Dash 8, the aircraft incorporates various communications systems and sensors to aid it in its role. This particular air frame first flew in July 1997 and is one of 7 that Dynamic Air Lease have on strength.These aircraft are believed to be involved with Special Forces work in current US Operations. The Aircraft arrived at Glasgow for a fuel stop before heading East.
Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) Bombardier BD-700-1A10 (M48-02) was caught arriving at Penang International Airport this week. The Aircraft is operated by 2 'Parakeet' Skn, under the 1st Division of the TUDM, based at RMAF Subang/Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah. This is the only BD700 the Air force has and is used in the VIP Transport role. This type of aircraft is currently in service with 6 Air Forces around the globe in various fits and guises including the RAF Sentinel R1s. 2 Skn's motto is 'We have within our reach, the world' and operate the Fokker F-28 Fellowship, Falcon 900 and Boeing BBJ along side the BD700 all in the VIP Transport Role.
Newcastle International played host to another French Air Force A310 (F-RADB) this week. The aircraft is one of 3 the Armée de l'Air have in service in the Strategic Airliner/Transport role. The aircraft are operated by ET 03.060 'Esterel' based at Paris - Roissy (Charles de Gaulle airport) but the official base of ET 03.060 is Creil-Senlis (BA110). The unit is also responsible for operating the Services 2 A340 aircraft used in the same role.The French Air force operates a large number of Cargo aircraft with the backbone of its cargo fleet being the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160. They will start to be replaced by the Airbus A400M once it becomes available.
Scamptons new Gate Guardian was seen for the first time this week. Hawk T.1A XX253 has been repaired for the role after its was involved in a Mid Air Collision last year in Crete. First flown in 1978, XX253 was founder aircraft when the Team transitioned to the Hawk in 1979 and had flown with the team since that time. The Aircraft is to have both Flt Lt Jon Egging and Flt Lt Sean Cunningham's names added to them as a standing memorial to the two pilots who were both killed last year while with the Team. Scamptons last gate Guardian (Lancaster B MK7 NX611) is now based at East Kirby as 'Just Jane' which is in running condition with the aim to get her airworthy in the future.
RAF Mildenhall played host to a USAF C37A (01-0076) from the 309 Airlift Squadron based at Chièvres Air Base, Belgium. The Unit comes under the control of the 86th Airlift Wing and provides executive airlfit for NATO. The USAF currently operate 11 (9 x A Versions and 2 x B Versions) of the type in the VIP Transport role. The unit have been operating the C37 since 2002 and is commanded by Lt Col Michael A. Dickinson. The U.S. Air Force equips the C-37s with a basic crew of two pilots, one flight engineer, one communications systems operator, and one flight attendant.
Stansted international played host this week to a USAF C40 (01-0040) of the 89th ALW based out of Joint Base Andrews. The Aircraft is one of 10 the USAF Have in service (4 x B Versions and 6 x C Versions) in the VIP/Passenger Aircraft. The 89 AW provides global Special Air Mission (SAM) airlift, logistics, aerial port and communications the President, Vice President, Combat Commanders, senior leaders and the global mobility system as tasked by the White House, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Air Mobility Command. The Boeing C-40 Clipper is a military version of the Boeing 737-700C airline transport. It is used by both the United States Navy and the United States Air Force.
RAF Lakenheath and Mildenhall both has incidents this week involving aircraft having to take the 'Cable' due to In Flight Emergencies. USAF F15C (84-0001) of the 48th Fighter Wing took the Cable at RAF Lakenaheath after declaring a IFE. The 48th FW 48th Fighter Wing, also known as the Statue of Liberty Wing (The only USAF wing with both a number and a name) Wing is made up of three combat-ready squadrons of F-15E Strike Eagle and F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft ( The 492d Fighter Squadron (F-15E) The 493d Fighter Squadron (F-15C/D) and The 494th Fighter Squadron (F-15E)). This Paticular aircraft comes from the 493d Fighter Squadron (493 FS), nicknamed "The Grim Reapers"
RAF Tornado GR4 (ZD792/100) flying as ASCOT 9726 took the cable at RAF Mildenhall after declaring a 'PAN' due to a Hydraulics Failure. The Aircraft is one of around 100 Tornado GR4s the RAF have in service in the Strike role. This paticular aircraft was used by 13 Squadron until the Squadron disbanded in May of last year. The RAF operate the GR4 with 2,9,12,15,31 and 617 Squadrons between RAF Marham and Lossiemouth. GR4s have been used extensively in operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The 19 March saw the GR4 Force start working with Coalition forces as part of Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, which has been officially ended by NATO. The Tornado GR4 Force (16 in all) involved with the Operations completed over 8,000 hours of flying and almost 1,500 sorties with a success rate of 97%.
RNAS Yeovilton played host to one of Boscombe Downs Alpha Jets (ZJ645) operated by QinetiQ . QinetiQ have 6 Alpha Jet A’s that former Luftwaffe aircraft and are used by QinteQ and the ETPS. The Aircraft are used in the Fast Jet Test Squadron at Boscombe Down for continuation traning and trials work. 12 Aircraft were bought from the Germans and 6 of these were used for spares. The aircraft themselves are owned by DERA (Defence Evaluation and Research Agency) and contracted to the MOD.
RAF Lakenheathe played host to a Royal Danish Air Force ( Flyvevåbnet) CL-604 Challenger (C-168) from Eskadrille 721 with the Air Transport Wing at Aalborg Air Base. The Aircraft is one of 3 the RDAF use in the VIP Transportation Role. The Unit also operates the RDAFs 4 Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules. The RDAF was created in 1950 as a amalgamation of the Danish Army Air Corps and the Danish Naval Air Service. The RDAF have operated aircraft such as the Supermarine Spitfire, Lockheed F-104G Starfighters, North American F-100D and F-100F Super Sabres and the Lokheed Martin F16.
Thats all for this week!
Again, Sorry they are late!