15/07 - 22/07
Aircraft - Airbus A330-322
Serial - CS-TMT (C/N 096)
Operator - Belgian Air Component Squadron - 21SM
Date and Location - 15/07 RAF Brize Norton (EGVN)
This aircraft is the only one of the type in the Air Forces inventory. The aircraft has been dry-leased from Portuguese operator Hi Fly and will retain its civilian registration and has been used by the Belgians since October 23, 2009. The Aircraft is operated by 21 'Sioux Rouge/Rode Sioux' Squadron (Flight Liaison & Long Haul). The Squadron is operated under the 15th Wing based at Brussels/Melsbroek and operates 1 x A330-300, 2 x ERJ-135, 2 x ERJ-145, and 1 x Falcon 900B alongside 2 Falcon 20s, all in the VIP Transport Role.The Falcon 20s have been operated by the Belgians since 1973 and fly with a crew of 2. All of 21 Squadron's aircraft are all available to the Ops & Training Squadron when needed to meet the Squadrons demands. The Squadron is responsible for the training of all crews on the Air frames including the C130H Hercules. The aircraft was inducted into BAC service on November 19, 2009 and saw the aircraft intercepted by 2 F-16's of Florennes Airbase as it overflew its new base. This particular Airbus served under the colours of the Belgian National Company Sabena between 1999 and 2001 and is leased on a basis of 2000 flight hours /year.
Aircraft - Dassualt Falcon 20E-5
Serial - CM-02 (C/N 278)
Operator - Belgian Air Component (BAC) Squadron - 21SM
Date and Location - 17/07 RAF Lossiemouth (EGQS)
The BAC currently operate 2 of the type in the Light transport aircraft with 21SM from 1973. The aircraft, a Dassault Falcon 20 business jet - originally designated Mystére 20, is a low monoplane aircarft with 2 rear mounted General Electric CF700-2D-2 turbofans giving it a maximum speed of 465 knots/536 mph. Crewed by 2 pilots, the aircraft has a passenger capacity of 10-12 and can be configured to carry 2 stretchers if the need arises. In June 1972 the Belgian government decided to purchase two business jets with the money that was saved after the purchase of the Lockheed C130H Hercules (due to the devaluation of the dollar). In September 1972 an order was placed for two Dassault Mystère 20E (now Falcon). In 2004 both aircraft were transferred to Le Bourget (Paris) where they underwent a complete avionics update and more environmental engines were fitted before being returned to the BAC. This paticular example was delivered to the BAC on 18/05/73 and underwent its modernization on 01/05/04. The Squadron (21 Sqn Flight Liaison & Long Haul Sioux Rouge/Rode Sioux) 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 wing comprises two operational squadrons, the 21st Squadron and the 20th Squadron, and a Training & Conversion Unit.
Aircraft - DeHavilland Canada EO-5C Dash 7 (RC-7B)
Serial - N566CC/Co D (C/N 56)
Operator - US Army (US Government) Squadron - 204th Mi BN
Date and Location - 17/07 Prestwick International Airport (EGPK)
The US Army currently operate 5 of the type, previously designated the RC7B, in the Surveillance Role under the Airborne Reconnaissance Low program. The aircraft were converted for the role by California Microwave Incorporated. The Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL) is a multifunction, day/night, all weather reconnaissance intelligence asset developed and fielded by the Army in support of an urgent requirement for a low profile intelligence aircraft. The aircraft are equipped with communications intelligence (COMINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT), and Moving Target Indicator/Synthetic Aperture Radar (MTI/SAR) mission payloads. The Dash-7 aircraft's ability to operate out of austere runways, its ability to carry the mission payload and its endurance led to the Dash-7's selection. It is an extensively modified aircraft that has a higher maximum gross weight and extended range capability added in the ARL conversions. The Dash-7 is a medium sized, four engine, passenger and cargo transport. It is pressurized and can operate at up to 20,400 feet with a full mission crew. Mission duration can be up to eight hours with a range of 1,400 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 230 knots. The ARL-M system is designed to be deployable to any theater within four hours of notification. The individual aircraft can depart with the mission crew and expect to be self-sustaining for seven to ten days given minimal local logistics. A deployment of thirty days can be supported by two C-130 sorties.
Aircraft - Panavia Tornado IDS
Serial - ZH917/6631 (C/N 942/65037/43483)
Operator - BAE Systems TSP/RSAF Squadron - Tornado Sustainment Program (TSP)
Date and Location - 18/07 BAE Warton (EGNO)
The Aircraft is part of the Tornado Sustainment Program and is based at Warton. TSP is a Upgrade programme that will equip the RSAF fleet of IDS aircraft with a range of new precision-guided weapons and enhanced targeting equipment, in many cases common with those systems already fielded by the UK Royal Air Force's Tornado GR4s.The RSAF have some 82 Tornado IDS aircraft in service with most of the aircraft meeting stage 1 modernisation. This has included BAE working in partnership with local companies in Saudi Arabia. Initial enhancements to the aircraft have focused on cockpit modernisation, such as the addition of GPS navigation, changes to some displays and switches have also been changed. The programme aims to get interoperability between the RSAF and the RAF, to enhance new weapons planning and fly with coalition forces like the Typhoon Force. In 2003, BAE Systems announced that it was negotiating an upgrade programme and desired configuration for the Royal Saudi AF (RSAF) Tornado IDS fleet that was delivered from 1986. BAE Systems entered a prototype phase for the Tornado Sustainment Programme (TSP) upgrade for the RSAF Tornado IDS fleet in early 2005 with three aircraft (two IDS from 66 Sqn and one IDS(T) trainer from 75 Sqn). The First fully upgraded aircraft was delivered from BAE Systems in late 2007 back to the RSAF.
Aircraft - Rockwell B-1 Lancer
Serial - 85-0064/DY (C/N 24)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 28th BS
Date and Location - 19/07 RAF Mildenhall (EGUN)
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a four-engine variable-sweep wing strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force. First envisioned in the 1960s as a supersonic bomber with sufficient range and payload to replace the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, it developed primarily into a low-level penetrator with long range and supersonic speed capability at high altitude. The B-1 has a blended wing body configuration, with variable-sweep wing, four turbofan engines, and triangular fin control surfaces. The wings can sweep from 15 degrees to 67.5 degrees (full forward to full sweep). Forward-swept wing settings are used for takeoff, landings and high-altitude maximum cruise. Aft-swept wing settings are used in high subsonic and supersonic flight. Powered by 4 × General Electric F101-GE-102 augmented turbofans, the aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.25 (721 knots/830 mph) and a range of some 6,478 nautical miles. In the 1990s, the B-1B was converted to conventional bombing use. It first served in combat during Operation Desert Fox in 1998 and again during the NATO action in Kosovo the following year. The B-1B has supported U.S. and NATO military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. The 28th Bomb Squadron (28 BS) is part of the 7th Bomb Wing based at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The unit provides a strategic bombing capability. The 28 BS is the largest bomb squadron in the Air Force and flies to the mission capability of providing all the B-1 initial qualification, requalification, and instructor upgrade training for Air Combat Command. The unit, based at Dyess AFB since 1994, have been opertating the type since 1988 (Stationed initially at McConnell AFB, Kansas after reactivation in 1987) and trains more than 200 active duty crew members a year. The B-1B, nicknamed the B-ONE, is expected to continue to serve into the 2020's.
Aircraft - Lockheed C130J Hercules
Serial - 08-8602/RS (C/N 382-5611)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 76th AS/ 86th AW
Date and Location - 19/07 RAF Mildenhall (EGUN)
United States Air Force has 91 aircraft (62 C-130J-30s, 10 C-130Js, 3 EC-130Js, 2 HC-130Js, 4 MC-130Js, and 10 WC-130Js) in service as of January 2012. The USAF have a full fleet of over 450 C130s in various versions. The Lockheed Martin C-130J "Super" Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the venerable Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 50 years of service, the family has participated in military, civilian, and humanitarian aid operations. The 86th wing's primary mission is to conduct airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation operations flying the C-21A, C-20H, C-37A, C-40B and C-130J aircraft. The aircraft are flown by the 37th Airlift Squadron and previously operated the C130H and E before starting the transition to the C130J in 2009. The unit currently operate 14 C130J-30s from the base. The Unit has been involved in operations in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Provide Promise and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Changes made have improved performance over its C-130E/H predecessors, such as 40% greater range, 21% higher maximum speed, and 41% shorter takeoff distance. The J-model is available in a standard-length or stretched -30 variant. Fifteen nations have placed orders for a total of 300 C-130Js, of which 250 aircraft have been delivered as of February 2012.
Aircraft - Lockheed C130E Hercules
Serial - 63-3186 (C/N 382-4011)
63-3187 (C/N 382-4012
Operator - Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) Squadron - 222 'Alev (Flame)' Filo
Date and Location - 22/07 RAF Mildenhall (EGUN)
The Turkish Air Force currently have 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. 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 TuAF are due to replace some of their older C130 Airframes and augment the remaining ones with the A400M. Turkey is also a partner nation in the Airbus A400M program. Although the A400M is essentially a heavy tactical lift aircraft, it can also be transformed into a tanker aircraft for aerial refueling at short notice and has ordered a total of ten of the type. 222 have operrated the type since 1964 and currently operate all 13 of the aircraft including the Turkish Stars Support Aircraft. The TUAF has been using 6 C-130B since 1981 and 7 C-130E since 1961 for personnel carrier, fire extinguishing, and cargo. C-130s have been used for channel missions that 2 are programmed two times a week in order to carry the material shipments between the Turkish borders, and to carry materials overseas because of its ability to go further than the other airlift aircraft in the TuAF, the C-160s and CN-235s.
Aircraft - Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey
Serial - C168225/EH-13 (C/N D0162)
Operator - United States Marine Corps (USMC) Squadron - VMM-264
Date and Location - 16/07 RAF Mildenhall (EGUN)
The United States Marine Corps had 126 MV-22s in operation in the Multi-Mission VTOL Aircraft Role (350 Aircraft are Planned). The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft. The B version is the Basic U.S. Marine Corps transport and were the lead service in the development of the V-22 Osprey. The Marine Corps variant is an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or from expeditionary airfields ashore. It is replacing the Marine Corps' CH-46E and CH-53D.Marine Corps crew training on the Osprey has been conducted by VMMT-204 since March 2000. The Osprey has been replacing the CH-46 Sea Knight on a squadron-by-squadron basis since 2007, a process which is to be completed by 2019 when remaining Sea Knight helicopters will be retired. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264 (VMM-264) is a United States Marine Corps tiltrotor squadron consisting of MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft. The squadron, known as the "Black Knights", is based at Marine Corps Air Station New River and have been operating the type since April 2009. The Unit were the last east coast squadron to transition to the MV-22 Osprey. First fielded it in 2007, the aircraft is currently supplementing the USMC's CH-46 Sea Knights. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air Force, fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in both combat and rescue operations over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. In March 2011, two MV-22s from the USS Kearsarge participated in a mission to rescue a downed USAF F-15E crew member during Operation Odyssey Dawn. This was one of the first times that a USMC Osprey was used in a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP).
Aircraft - Vickers VC10
Serial - ZA150/J (C/N 885)
Operator - Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron - 101 Squadron
Date and Location - 20/07 Newcastle International Airport (EGNT)
Operated by 101 Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton. No. 101 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates the Vickers VC10 C1K, K3 and K4 and since 10 Squadron disbanded in 2005, the squadron is the only operator of the VC10. In 1978, the RAF announced a plan to convert second-hand civil Vickers VC10 aircraft for conversion to aerial refueling aircraft and the first K2 flew in 1982. No 101 Squadron was chosen to operate the aircraft and was reformed at RAF Brize Norton on 1 May 1984. The VC10 and Lockheed TriStar tanker/transports are due to be replaced in RAF service by the Airbus A330 MRTT under the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft Project; they are currently restricted to use as tankers, and will not be used beyond the end of the 2010-2015 support contract. VC10s supported the British air strikes on Libya on 19–20 March 2011 as part of the coalition operations to enforce UN Resolution 1973. As of now 8 VC10s remain in the Royal Air Force but the type will be retired in March 2013. 101 Squadron was formed at Farnborough on 12 July 1917 operating the Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b and have been operating the VC10 since April 1994. All servicing of the RAF fleet of VC10s was undertaken at RAF Brize Norton in a purpose built hangar. Known as "Base Hangar" when built in 1969 was considered the largest cantilever-roofed structure in Europe; a quarter of a mile in length with no internal supports. Six VC10 aircraft could be positioned inside with provide working space around the aircraft.
Aircraft - Westland Sea King HAR3
Serial - XZ599 (C/N WA865)
Operator - Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron - 202 Squadron/E Flt
Date and Location - 22/07 Filey Bay
The aircraft is one of 25 (19 HAR3 and 6 HAR3A) of the type in the SAR Role. The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines. The HAR3 version of the Sea King is fitted with a relocated rear cabin bulkhead giving greater cabin length, extra fuel capacity and additional observation windows. The aircraft is a dedicated search and rescue (SAR) version of the Sea King and was developed for the RAF Search and Rescue Force. The aircraft, designated the HAR3, was introduced into RAF Service in 1978 to replace the Westland Whirlwind HAR.10. Up until 1992 19 of the type were in service until six further helicopters were ordered to replace the last remaining Westland Wessex helicopters in the SAR role, entering service in 1996 (Designated the HAR3A). The six Sea King HAR3As featured updated systems, including a digital navigation system and more modern avionics. 12 HAR3/3As were dispersed across the UK, a further two HAR3s were attached to the Falkland Islands, providing 24-hour rescue coverage. Some Royal Navy HAS5 ASW variants were adapted for the SAR role and served with 771 Naval Air Squadron, Culdrose and HMS Gannet SAR Flight at Prestwick Airport in Scotland and are expected to remain in service until 2018. 202 Squadron - Semper vigilate - 'Be always vigilant' - was formed in 1914 at Eastchurch and have been operating the Sea King's in a series of three Flights, of two aircraft at a number of stations around the coast. Detached Flights are currently based at Boulmer ('A' Flight), Lossiemouth ('D' Flight) and Leconfield ('E' Flight).
Thats all for this week!Aircraft - Embraer 190AR - VC2
Serial - FAB2591 (C/N 19000177)
Operator - Brazilian Air Force - Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) Squadron - GTE (Grupo de Transporte)
Date and Location - 22/07 Farnborough International Airport (EGLF)
One of 2 of the type used in the VIP Transport Role, the aircraft is based on the successful Embraer 190. Two modified Embraer 190 jets, designated the VC-2, christened as "Bartolomeu de Gusmão" and "Augusto Severo", are used for presidential travel within Brazil and South America. The Brazilian Air Force purchased the aircraft on 2 June 2008 to replace two Boeing 737-2N3 (VC-96) that were previously used for short-range presidential transport. Comfort, safety, performance and technology were the priorities for choosing the new Embraer jets. The aircraft is configured with special communications systems, a private presidential office and a meeting room. It has the capacity for carrying 40 passengers with a range of over 2,500 miles. Along with the VC-1A and the VC-2s, 19 other aircraft are part of the fleet: Two VIP-configured Eurocopter Super Puma (VH-34) presidential helicopters, Two VIP-configured Embraer ERJ-145 (VC-99C) aircraft, Ten Embraer ERJ-145 (C-99A) jets, Three Gates Learjet 35 (VU-35) jets and Two Eurocopter EC 135 (VH-35) helicopters. The Unit is based at Brasília Air Force Base. The Unit, comprises 55 pilots current on all of the aircraft in the Unit and comes under the command of the 6th Airlift Squadron (ETA-6) under 1st Special Transportation Group (ETG) The FAB is the largest air force in Latin America, with about 700 manned aircraft in service, and 73,000 personnel on active duty. An additional 7,655 civilian personnel are employed.