23/07 - 29/07
Aircraft - HC-130N
Serial - 93-2106 (C/N 5387)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 210th RQS
Date and Location - 28/07 - Prestwick International Airport (EGPK)
The aircraft is one of 35 (10 x HC130N, 23 x HC130P and 2 x HC130J) search and rescue variants of the Hercules on strength with the USAF. Based on the C130, the HC130 (Known as the Combat King) is an extended-range, search and rescue (SAR) and Combat search and rescue (CSAR) version of the C130. The aircraft can also be used to execute on scene CSAR command and control, airdrop pararescue forces and equipment, and are also capable of providing air refueling to appropriately equipped helicopters in flight. In this latter role, they are primarily used to extend the range and endurance of combat search and rescue helicopters. The type can fly in the day against a reduced threat; however, crews normally fly night, low-level, air refueling and airdrop operations using night vision goggles (NVG). The aircraft can routinely fly low-level NVG tactical flight profiles to avoid detection, and to enhance the probability of mission success and survivability near populated areas, crews employ tactics that include incorporating no external lighting or communications, and avoiding radar and weapons detection. The N version of the type is a rescue version of the C-130E/H, similar to the H version but without the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. All version of the aircraft are to be replaced by the HC130J Combat King II variant in the near future. The aircraft has modifications for in-flight refueling of helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft, including refueling pods on underwing pylons and additional internal fuel tanks in the cargo bay. The HC-130J Combat King II is also capable of itself being refueled in flight by boom-equipped tankers and first flew on the 29th July 2010. Given the advancing age of its current HC-130 airframes, all of which are based on the venerable C-130E airframe, the Air Force plans to eventually buy up to 78 HC-130J Combat King IIs to equip rescue squadrons in the active Air Force, the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard. The aircraft is operated by the 210th RQS, based at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska and has operated the HC130 since 1996. The Unit also operates the HH-60G Pave Hawk under the command of the 176th Wing (Alaska Air National Guard).
Aircraft - Boeing C17A (ER) Globemaster III
Serial - A41-210 (C/N F-239/AUS-5)
Operator - Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Squadron - 36 Squadron
Date and Location - 25/07 - Edinbrugh International Airport (EGPH) & 28/07 - RAF Brize Norton (EGVN)
One of 5 Aircraft on strength with the RAAF (A sixth example is due in 2013) in the Strategic Transport Role. unofficially known as the C17 'ER'. This is due to the fact they operate C-17As with extended range due to the addition of the center wing tank. This upgrade was incorporated in production beginning in 2001 with Block 13 aircraft. The C-17 is used for rapid strategic airlift of troops and cargo to main operating bases or forward operating bases throughout the world. It can also perform tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop missions. The C-17 carries the name of two previous, but unrelated piston-engine, U.S. military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. The C-17 is operated by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and NATO Heavy Airlift Wing and is on order by the Indians. The C-17 is 174 feet (53 m) long and has a wingspan of about 170 feet (52 m). It can airlift cargo fairly close to a battle area and is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, which are based on the commercial Pratt and Whitney PW2040 used on the Boeing 757. The aircraft requires a crew of three (pilot, copilot, and loadmaster) for cargo operations. Maximum payload of the C-17 is 170,900 lb (77,500 kg), and its Maximum Takeoff Weight is 585,000 lb (265,350 kg). With a payload of 160,000 lb (72,600 kg) and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 ft (8,500 m), the C-17 has an unrefueled range of about 2,400 nautical miles (4,400 km) on the first 71 aircraft, and 2,800 nautical miles (5,200 km) on all subsequent extended-range models that include sealed center wing bay as a fuel tank. 36 Squadron (RAAF) are based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland and have been operating the type since 2006, and had previously operated the C130H. Australia's C-17s have supported ADF operations around the world. Tasks have included supporting Air Combat Group training deployments to the United States, transporting Royal Australian Navy Sea Hawk helicopters and making fortnightly missions to the Middle East to supply Australian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The EDI Guy
Aircraft - Panavia Tornado IDS
Serial - 44+90 (C/N 481/GS143/4190)
45+35 (C/N 589/GS183/4235)
Operator - German Air Force (GAF) - Luftwaffe Squadron - AG51
Date and Location - 25/07 - RAF Lakenheath (EGUL)
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. twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by the United Kingdom, West Germany and Italy. There are three primary variants of the Tornado; the Tornado IDS (interdictor/strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences Tornado ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defence variant) interceptor. The IDS can carry a wide range of weaponry and is well-suited to low-level high-speed bombing missions thanks to its advanced nav/attack system. The Tornado IDS was so successful that nearly 1,000 examples were built, including 402 for the UK, 359 for Germany, 99 for Italy, and 96 for Saudi Arabia. Some 600 odd of the variant are still in operation. The Aircraft has 13 Hardpoints, 4× light duty + 3× heavy duty under-fuselage and 4× swivelling under-wing pylon stations holding up to 9,000 kg (19,800 lb) of payload, the two inner wing pylons have shoulder launch rails for 2× Short-Range AAM (SRAAM) each. AG52 is a tactical reconnaissance wing of the Luftwaffe. The Wing is named after World War I German flying ace Max Immelmann. The wing operates 25 Panavia Tornado aircraft in the tactical reconnaissance role and has two reconnaissance ground stations that can be deployed on overseas operations. The unit 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. In 2007, to support NATO coalition operations across Afghanistan, Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 "Immelmann" deployed Tornados to Mazar-i-Sharif, Northern Afghanistan.
Aircraft - Dassualt Falcon 20E-5
Serial - CM-02 (C/N 278)
Operator - Belgian Air Component (BAC) Squadron - 21SM
Date and Location - 25/07 RAF Lakenheath (EGUL)
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 - Lockheed U2R/S 'Dragon Lady'
Serial - 80-1079 (C/N 079)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 99th RS
Date and Location - 25/07 - RAF Fairford (EGVA)
The Dragon Lady is a single-engine, very high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The U-2 remains in frontline service more than 50 years after its first flight despite the advent of surveillance satellites. The U-2 has outlasted its Mach 3 SR-71 replacement, which was retired in 1998. The USAF have 25 of the type in service in the Reconnaissance Role. Operated by the 99th RS under the command of the 9th RW based at Beale AFB, the Dragon Lady is used to fly reconnaissance missions around the world.The 99th Reconnaissance Squadron is responsible for providing critical intelligence for use by the highest levels of the US government as well as flying humanitarian, search and rescue and environmental missions. Pilots on the Squadron fly the Lockheed U-2S to continuously train to upgrade from a normal aircraft commander status to that of instructor pilot status.Operating the U2 since 1976, the unit have flown operational missions including extensive reconnaissance efforts during Operations Urgent Fury, Just Cause, Desert Shield, Desert Storm and operation Iraqi Freedom as well as humanitarian efforts covering wildfire and earthquake damage in California and Midwestern United States floods. 99 RS personnel are currently temporarily assigned to four overseas detachments. Capable of flying at 70,000 feet, the all weather capable jet is expected to carry on in US service until 2023. The U-2R, first flown in 1967, is significantly larger and more capable than the original aircraft. A tactical reconnaissance version, the TR-1A, first flew in August 1981. A distinguishing feature of these aircraft is the addition of a large instrumentation "superpod" under each wing. Designed for standoff tactical reconnaissance in Europe, the TR-1A was structurally identical to the U-2R. The two-seat trainer variant of the TR-1, the TR-1B, was redesignated as the TU-2R. After upgrading with the F-118-101 engine, the former U-2Rs were designated the U-2S Senior Year.
Aircraft - Socata TBM-700A
Serial - 147-XS (C/N 147)
Operator - French Air Force - (Armée de l'Air (ALA) Squadron - ETEC00.065 "Transportation, training and calibration squadron"
Date and Location - 27/07 - Glasgow International Airport (EGPF)
The aircarft is one of 16 of the type in FAF service in the VIP Transport Role. The SOCATA TBM 700 is a very high performance single engine turboprop light business and utility aircraft manufactured by SOCATA. The TBM 700 was offered until 2006, when the TBM 850 was introduced. Operated by a crew of 2, plus a capacity of 4-6 passengers, the aircraft has a range of some 2,813 km at a maximum speed of 593 km/h. The aircraft is constructed ofmainly aluminium and steel construction, but with the tail surfaces built of Nomex honeycomb and powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 engine delivering 700 shp (522 kW). First flying in July 1988, there are some 600 of the type in both civilian and military service across the world. ETEC00.065 are under direct command of the Minister of Defence, in charge of the transportation of the President, the Prime Minister and other French government officials and are based at Villacoublay Air Base (BA107). The Unit operates a variety of aircraft (The ETEC uses 1 Airbus A330-200, 2 Falcon 7X, 2 Falcon 900, 2 Falcon 50, 7 TBM 700 and 3 Super Puma helicopters (VIP-configured) in the VIP Role. The transport squadron, training and calibration of 00,065 has its origins in the air group training and liaison 87 (GAEL) was created in July 1945 on the ground at Le Bourget. The unit recieved the TBM-700A in 1992 and will operate the type for the foreseeable future.
Aircraft - Boeing 757-22 (C32A)
Serial - 98-0001 (C/N 29025/783)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 1 AS
Date and Location - 26/07 - RAF Mildenhall (EGUN)
The United States Air Force (USAF) operates four VIP-configured 757-200s under the designation C-32A, with missions including the transport of the Vice President of the United States under the callsign Air Force Two. The C-32As are outfitted with a communication center, conference room, seating area, and private living quarters. The USAF also operates two 45-seat 757-200 aircraft, designated C-32B, for use by the U.S. State Department Foreign Emergency Support Team. The C-32As feature the blue-and-white paint scheme used by the USAF for its VIP transport fleet, while the C-32Bs are painted in solid white with minimal identification markings. The first C-32s were delivered in 1998 and replaced C-137 transports. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have at times flown on a C-32 as Air Force One in place of the larger VC-25A. The aircraft is crewed by 16 (But this can be dependent on the mission) and has a range of some 5,650 nautical miles un-refueled. The C-32 is more fuel efficient and has improved capabilities over its VC-137 predecessor. It can travel twice the distance on the same amount of fuel and operate on shorter runways down to 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in length. Its 92,000 pound (41,700 kg) fuel capacity allows the aircraft to travel 5,500 nautical miles (10,000 km) un-refueled. The Aircraft is fitted with a Traffic Collision Avoidance System and Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System. Weather systems are enhanced with a Predictive Windshear Warning System. Other items include the future air navigation system with Global Positioning System, Flight Management System/Electronic Flight Instrument System, Controller Pilot Data Link Communications and Automatic Dependent Surveillance. The 1st Airlift Squadron (1 AS) is part of the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. The Unit has the mission goal of 'Provides global Special Air Mission (SAM) airlift, logistics, aerial port and communications for 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' and has been operating the C32A from since June 1998 alongside the C40B Clipper used in a similar role.
Aircraft - Shorts Tucano T1
Serial - ZF144 (C/N S10/T10)
ZF205 (C/N S30/T30)
ZF240 (C/N S43/T40)
Operator - Royal Air Force - (RAF) Squadron - 72(R) Squadron
Date and Location - Newquay Cornwall Airport (EGHQ)
Operated by 72(R) Squadron based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, home of the 1 FTS. The RAF have some 90 Shorts Tucano T1’s on strength in the Training from RAF Linton-on-Ouse, situated near York. This is one of the RAF’s busiest Bases and is home to No 1 Flying Training School and the Royal Air Forces Tucano’s. Linton-on-Ouse is used to provide fast jet pilot training before they move onto the BAE Hawk T.1 aircraft at No 4 FTS, RAF Valley in Wales. Weapon Systems Operators receive part of their training here also. Student pilots fly around 130 hours during their training course and are instructed on Navigation, Night Flying and Formation Flying amongst other things. 72 Squadron formed at Netheravon on 2 July 1917 from a nucleus provided by the Central Flying School and were re-assigned as Reserve Unit at Linton on Ouse in 2002 after being deisbanded. The unit had flown the Puma in Operations in Northern Ireland. The Short Tucano T1 (S.312) is a two-seat turboprop basic trainer used by the Royal Air Force. It is a licence-built version of the Brazilian Embraer EMB-312 Tucano, and is also used by the air forces of Kenya and Kuwait.The Short Tucano was developed by the Northern Irish Short Brothers company in order to meet a requirement to replace the Jet Provost as the basic trainer for the RAF, as laid down in Air Staff Target 412. It is an adaptation of the Embraer EMB-312 Tucano fitted with the more powerful 1,100 shp (820 kW) Garrett turboprop engine in place of the EMB-312's 750 shp (560 kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine, to give higher climb performance. The aircraft differs somewhat to the Embraer including a strengthened airframe, a new cockpit layout similar to the Hawk advanced trainer, a four-bladed propeller, as opposed to three-bladed, a Ventral airbrake and restyled wingtips and also the fitting of Martin-Baker MB 8LC ejection seats for both crew.
Aircraft - Boeing RC-135U F-108 Combat Sent
Serial - 64-0847 (C/N 1205)
Operator - United States Air Force - (USAF) Squadron - 45th RS
Date and Location - 25/07 - RAF Mildenhall (EGUN)
The USAF currently have 3 types of the RC135 in service at present - 3 RC-135S, 2 RC135U and 17 RC135V/W - in the Reconnaissance Role. The Boeing RC-135 is a family of large reconnaissance aircraft used by the United States Air Force to support theater and national level intelligence consumers with near real-time on-scene collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities. Based on the C-135 Stratolifter airframe, various types of RC-135s have been in service since 1961. Many variants have been modified numerous times, resulting in a large variety of designations, configurations, and program names. There are 16 different variants of the RC135 and has been in service for the past 30+ years. The RC-135U Combat Sent is designed to collect technical intelligence on adversary radar emitter systems. Combat Sent data is collected to develop new or upgraded radar warning receivers, jammers, decoys, anti-radiation missiles, and training simulators. Distinctly identified by the antennae arrays on the nose, tail, and wing tips, three RC-135C aircraft were converted to RC-135U (63-9792, 64-14847, & 64-14849) in the early 1970s and 63-9792 was converted to Rivet Joint, late 1978, and all aircraft are based at based at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. Minimum crew requirements are 2 pilots, 2 navigators, 3 systems engineers, 10 electronic warfare officers, and 6 area specialists. Assigned to the 55th Operations Group and stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, the unit have been operating the RC135 since 1994. The Units mission goal is to maintain, operate, and support OC/RC/TC/EC/WC-135 aircraft providing worldwide reconnaissance and treaty support to the National Command Authorities, warfighters, and international treaty members. Squadron personnel fly world-wide reconnaissance and treaty missions on demand, often on extremely short notice. The 45th Reconnaissance Squadron provides data for the National Command Authorities, theater CINCs, and international treaty members.
Aircraft - Lockheed AC-130U Spooky II
Serial - 89-0513 (C/N 382-5232)
Operator - United States Air Force - (USAF) Squadron - 4th SOS
Date and Location - 24/07 - RAF Mildenhall (EGUN)
The USAF Currently operate 25 AC130's, 8 x H and 17 x U versions, (In 2 dfferent variants) in service in the Gunship Role. The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily-armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The basic airframe is manufactured by Lockheed, while Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support. The AC-130A Gunship II superseded the AC-47 Gunship I during the Vietnam War. The Aircraft are armed with 2× 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannons, a 1× 40 mm (1.58 in) L/60 Bofors cannon and 1× 105 mm (4.13 in) M102 howitzer. Most of the weaponry aboard is mounted to fire out from the left or port side of the aircraft. During an attack, the gunship performs a pylon turn over the target area (flying in a large circle around a fixed point on the ground, the fixed point being the target). This allows it to maintain fire at a target far longer than a conventional attack aircraft. In March 2011 the US Air Force deployed two AC-130U gunships to take part in Operation Odyssey Dawn, the military intervention in Libya. The USAFS AC130s are underthe Air Force Special Operations Command which is made up of 3 Wings and 4 Squadrons. The upgraded AC-130U "Spooky" has a single 25 mm GAU-12 Equalizer in place of the Spectre's twin 20 mm cannons, as well as an improved fire control system and increased capacity for ammunition. The aicrafts power is provided by four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops, the standard engine throughout the C130 fleet worldwide. The H variant of the aircraft is due to be replaced by the new AC-130J gunships, based on MC-130J Combat Shadow II special operations tankers. 16 of the type are due to replace the older models and supplement the fleet. The 4th Special Operations Squadron (4 SOS) is part of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The Units mission is to Directly support unified and theater special operations commands by conducting close air support, armed reconnaissance, and interdiction missions worldwide in support of Secretary of Defense taskings. The AC-130U aircraft flown by the 4th SOS are maintained by the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit and has been used by the 4th since 1995.
Aircraft - Airbus A319133ER (VC-1A)
Serial - FAB2101 (C/N 2263)
Operator - Brazilian Air Force - Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) Squadron - GTE (Grupo de Transporte)
Date and Location - 25/07 - Farnborough International Airport (EGLF)
The main presidential aircraft currently used to transport the President of Brazil is a modified version of the Airbus A319, with tail number 2101. It was designated by the Brazilian Air Force as VC-1A, and officially christened as the "Santos-Dumont", after the Brazilian aviation pioneer. It is used to transport the President on all medium and long-range international flights. The VC-1A differs from standard A319 in features and security configuration. The cabin is divided into three separate sections. The first section (near the cockpit) is the presidential area of the aircraft, configured with a private office, a presidential suite, a meeting room and a security office. The middle section is configured with first-class seats reserved for authorities and senior staff. The rear section is configured with 20 business-class seats reserved for journalists and other passengers. The aircraft is also equipped with an Intensive Care Unit, three galleys and satellite communications. To guarantee the protection of classified and sensitive information, the aircraft is linked with the "SISCOMIS" (Brazilian Military Communications Satellite) which can be used to transfer data, image and voice between the aircraft and Brasília. 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. Brazilian Air Force One is the Brazilian Air Force call sign of the aircraft carrying the President of Brazil. On international flights the aircraft uses the Brazilian Air Force ICAO code BRS01 and callsign Brazilian Air Force 01. The Special Transport Group (GTE) is the unit of the Brazilian Air Force responsible for transporting the President, Vice-President and other senior government officials.
Thats all for this week!Aircraft - Lockheed C130E Hercules
Serial - 63-3187 (C/N 382-4012)
Operator - Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) Squadron - 222 'Alev (Flame)' Filo
Date and Location - 24/07 - 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.