First up this week we have a Irish Air Corps CN-235M-100P (253) at Manchester International Airport. The aircraft is one of 2 the IAC have in service in the Maritime Patrol role. The aircraft saw action during the Libyan conflict to evacuate some 40+ Irish civillians from the troubled area. The type is operated 101 'Maritime Squadron' based at Baldonnel along with the rest of the IAC's aircraft, under the 1st Operations wing. Both of the IAC's aircraft were upgraded in 2006/2007 by EADS CASA to the FITS Persuader standard with enhanced radar, forward looking infra red equipment and a new electronic and avionics suite.
East Midlands International Airport played host to a RSAF C130H (1630) this week. The aircraft is one of 30 C130E/H aircraft used in the Transport Role. The RSAF have some 40 C130s in service including 7 KC130H Aerial Tankers (RSAF 6 Wing/32 Sqn) and 5 VC130H aircraft for the transport of VIPs (RSAF 1 Wing – 1Sqn/Royal Flight). 1630 is operated by 16 Squadron which comes under the RASF 8 Wing based at Jeddah (Prince Abdulla Air Base). The RSAF recently sold 6 C-130E have to Turkey with 3 other examples have been scrapped for spare parts.
Humberside played host to a rather rare visitor this week in the form of a Swiss Air Force King Air 350C (T-721). The Aircraft is the only one of its type in Swiss Air Force Service and is used in the Photomapping Role. The Aircraft is operated by Swisstopo under the command of Lufttransportgeschwader 3 at Dübendorf Air base. Swisstopo is responsible for geographical reference data and all products derived from them and was founded in 1838 and also operate a Twin Otter (HB-LID) in the same role.
Beauvechain in Belguin (Home to 1 Wing and 1 Wing Heli) played host to one of the Air Components C130H (CH-08) from 20 Sqn (Sioux Blue/Blauwe Sioux) Flight Tactical Transport based at Melsbroek Air Base. The aircraft is one of 11 in service in the medium lift transport role. In 1970 the Belgian Air Force ordered twelve Lockheed C-130H Hercules (type 382C-25D) transport aircraft as a replacement for the Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar. The Squadron comes under the command of the 15th Wing and shares its aircraft with the Ops & Training Squadron, who are responsible for training pilots on the C-130H, A330-300, ERJ-135, ERJ-145, Falcon 20E and Falcon 900B.The C130H aircraft are due to be replaced by seven Airbus A400M's that are currently on order.
Another Hercules, this time in the form of Turkish Air Force C-130E (71-1468) at RAF Mildenhall. This particular example comes from from 222 Filo (Alev/Flame) based at Kayseri/Erkilet, which is the home to the 12nciHUAU transport wing. The Wing is made up of 3 Squadrons (221 Filo Esen/Brise with the C160D Transall, 222 Filo Alev/Flame with the C130b/E and 223 Filo (WFU) Kanat/wing with the CN325M-100). The Turkish Air Force has some 13 C130s in service consisting of a mixture of both B and E versions, all of which have been modernized by TAI under the 'Erciyes' program.
Mildenhall also played host to a USAFE C21A (40085) from the 76th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein Air Base. The Aircraft is one of 55 of the type in service in the VIP/Passenger role. The 76th AS provides operational support and distinguished visitor airlift throughout the theater and comes under the command of the 86th Airlift Wing, also stationed at Ramstein. This particular aircraft was built in 1984 and has been on the 76th AS strength since its introduction into USAF service. The aircraft is flown by a crew of 2 and is powered by two Garrett TFE731-2 turbofan engines. The cabin can be arranged for 6-8 passengers and has been designed for longer-range mission capabilities.
As well as the above Mildenhall played host to a couple of USMC C130T Aircraft (164105/NY and 163311/NY). The USMC currently have some twenty eight aircraft operated by the USMC in Aerial Reufeulling and Tactical Transport Roles. Based on the C130H Hercules the the T version incoperates extended-range and modified for aerial refuelling and can receive two receivers at one time. The KC130T has been in service with the USMC since 1983 and was used extensively during Operation Iraqi Freedom. These paticular aircraft come from the VMGR-452, nicknamed the Yankees, based at Stewart ANGB, NY.hey fall under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 49 (MAG-49) and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW).
Prestwick International saw a rare visitor this week in the form of Algerian AF IL-76TD (7T-WIG). The aircarft is one of 12 IL-76s (Il-76MD x 3 and Il-76TD x 9) in Algerian Service in the Long Haul Transport role. The aircraft is operated by 347e Escadron de Transport Stratégique under the command of 2e Escadre de Transport Tactique et Logistique Wing. The Algerian Air Force (QJJ) is the aerial arm of the Algerian People's Military and has around 440 aircraft and 191 helicopters on strength. The Algerian Air Force operates all of their 50+ Transport Aircraft in 2 sqns.
This week saw another visit from a Hungarian Air Force AN26 (603), this time night stopping at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. The Aircraft is one of 5 of the type used in the Tactical Transport role operated by 3. Szallitó Repülö Század (Teve) based at Kecskemét Air Base. The aircraft are to be replaced between 2011–2014 by the C-27J or second-hand C-130H Aircraft. The Squadron comes under the control of the 59th Wing and are the only Fixed Wing Transport Squadron in the Magyar Légierő (Hungarian Air Force). The current Hungarian Air Force is primarily just for defensive purposes. The flying units of the air force are organised into a single command, known as Air Command. The HAF have some 5000 personnel and 90+ aircraft in its inventory.
This week saw 5 RAF Hawks (2 x T2 and 3 x T1s) from Valley at RNAS Yeovilton. The aircraft (ZK016, ZK025, XX194, XX218 and XX284) are part of a mixed fleet of Hawks, 28 Hawk T2s and 128 T1s, in RAF service in the Jet Trainer Role. RAF Valley is the home to the No. 4 Flying Training School and houses 4 Squadron, 208 (R) Squadron and C Flight of 22 Sqn with Sea King helicopters in the SAR Role. No. 4 Flying Training School takes RAF and Royal Navy pilots from 1FTS at RAF Linton-on-Ouse and trains them to fly fast jets, prior to training on an Operational Conversion Unit. Unofficially the motto for RAF Valley is 'One Valley, Training Aircrew and Saving Lives'.
Leeds Bradford International played host to 2 RAF G115E Tutors this week (G-CGKC and G-CGKB). Flying as Poacher 1 and 2 the Aircraft arrived from RAF Cranwell for a lunch stop. The RAF currently have some 94+ Tutors in service in the Basic Training Role. The two aircraft are operated by 45 Squadron under the command of D Flight. 45 Squadron is responsible for Royal Air Forces King Airs used in the Multi Engine Training Role. The Tutors that are used by 45 Squadron have a more advanced avionics suite in them and all Pilots on 45 Squadron must complete a short course on the aircraft. The squadron comes under the command of 3 Flying Training School.
RAF Lakenheath played host to two German Air Force Tornado IDS aircraft from AG51 (46+14 and 46+15). The Germans currently have a total fleet of some 177 Tornados in service (145 IDS and 32 ECR) in the Electronic Air Warfare and Ground Attack roles. AG52 (Immelmann) are based at Jagel Airbase in German and also operate the GAF 3 IAI Heron (Machatz-1) UAV aircraft. The total number of Tornados delivered to the Luftwaffe numbered 247, including 35 ECR variants. Originally the Tornados equipped five fighter-bomber wings (Geschwader), with one tactical conversion unit and four front line wings, replacing the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.
A superb set of shots here from MigF4 showing the last acceptance flight of a F4 Phantom for thr German Air Force - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=52521
A great set of shots here from Fen showing some of the aircraft he has caught on his travels - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=52519
Spanish Air Force anyone? A lovely set of shots from SoundBarrier showing Spanish AF Pilot training at Murcia - San Javier - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=52463
Thats all for this week!A belting thread here from Lucasvlt showing some of the action at Malta last year - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=52550
Sorry there late I was celebrating my 21st