06/08 - 12/08
Aircraft - Learjet Model 35 - C21A
Serial - 84-0110 (C/N 35A-556)
Operator - United States Air Force (Europe) (USAFE) Squadron - 76th AS
Date and Location - 09/08 - RAF Coningsby (EGXC)
Operated by the 76th AS based at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the aircraft is used 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. The engines are mounted in nacelles on the sides of the aft fuselage. The wings are equipped with single-slotted flaps. The wingtip fuel tanks distinguish the design from other aircraft having similar functions.The C-21A is an "off the shelf" military variant of the Learjet 35A, with room for eight passengers and 42 ft³ (1.26 m³) of cargo. In addition to its normal role, the aircraft is capable of transporting litters during medical evacuations. Delivery of the C-21A fleet began in April 1984 and was completed in October 1985. Dyncorp International provides full contractor logistics support at seven worldwide locations. There are 38 Air Force active duty aircraft, and 18 Air National Guard aircraft in the C-21A fleet. On 1 April 1997, all continental U.S.-based C-21As were realigned under Air Mobility Command, with the 375th Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, as the lead command. C-21As stationed outside the continental United States are assigned to the theater commanders.
Aircraft - Eurofighter (F-2000A) Typhoon (x 4)
Serial - MM7275/36-11 (C/N IS007) - X Gruppo CIO
MM7296/36-22 (C/N IS028) - XII Gruppo CIO
MM7297/36-23 (C/N IS029) - XII Gruppo CIO
MM7314/36-37 (C/N IS046) - XII Gruppo CIO
Operator - Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) Squadron - X Gruppo CIO & XII Gruppo CIO - 10º Gruppo ADX (10th Fighter Squadron)
Date and Location - 07/08 - RAF Leuchars (EGQL)
The AMI currently have some 62 Typhoons ( 41 EF2000 (F-2000A) and 11 EF2000T (TF-2000A)) in service in the Fighter Role with 4 Squadrons (9º Gruppo Caccia, 10º Gruppo Caccia, 12º Gruppo Caccia and 20º Gruppo Caccia). The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed by a consortium of three companies, EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems, working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986. The aircraft first flew on 27 March 1994 and entered operational service in August 2003. The Typhoon has entered service with the Austrian Air Force, the Italian Air Force, the German Luftwaffe, the British Royal Air Force, the Spanish Air Force, and the Royal Saudi Air Force. The first Eurofighter to be delivered to the Italian Air Force was handed over at Cameri AB on February 20th 2004 and on the 16th December 2005 reached initial operational capability (IOC). The Services Typhoons were put into service as air defence fighters at Grosseto Air Base, and immediately assigned to Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) at the same base. On April 17th 2009 the Italian Air Force reached 10000 Typhoon flying hours and have air policing operations over been used over Albania (requested by NATO) providing air defence duties for Albania, which lacks the assets to perform the task itself. The 24th May 2012 saw the Italian AF Typhoons replace the last of its leased F-16s on Quick Reaction Alert (QRA), becoming solely responsible for the defence of Italian airspace. The AMI will have some 121 EF2000 Typhoons in service when deliveries are completed. 10° Gruppo CIO are under the command of the 36° Stormo 'Riccardo Helmut Seidl' based at Gioia del Colle along with 12° Gruppo CIO.
Aircraft - Lockheed/SABCA F16A/M Fighting Falcon (x2)
E-007 (C/N 6F-50)
E-070 (C/N M12-5/61-623)
Operator - Royal Danish Air Force (Flyvevåbnet) (RDAF) Squadron - ESK 727
Date and Location - 07/08 RAF Leuchars (EGQL)
The RDAF (Flyvevåbnet) have 30 of the type in service in the Fighter role. Operated by two squadrons, Esk 727 and Esk 730, the aircraft make up the RDAF Fighter wing based at Skrydstrup. Each of the Squadrons operate 15 of the type each and have both recently been involved in maintaining the no-fly zone over Libya as part of the 2011 coalition intervention in Libya. From 19 March 2011, 6 F-16 aircraft from Fighter Wing Skrydstrup were deployed to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily. Apart from their multi-role tasking every single F-16 squadron has an additional task within the armed forces. Esk 727 takes care of the training role and therefore has the major part of the F-16BMs and Esk 730 contributes to the Rapid Reaction Force of NATO and also responsible for the tactical reconnaissance task formerly performed by Esk 726 at Ålborg Air Base that was disbanded on the 31st of December 2005. Further cost savings have been made by reducing the fleet of active F-16s from 68 to 62 aircraft. Six of the oldest Fighting Falcons have been earmarked for retirement as they reach their next major overhaul. The Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) was formed as a military service independent from the Army and Navy in 1950 from the merger of the Hærens Flyvertropper (Danish Army Air Corps) originally founded on July 2 1912 and the Marinens Flyvevæsen (Danish Naval Air Service) which had been founded on December 14 1911.
Aircraft - Lockheed AC-130U Spooky II
Serial - 90-0165 (C/N 382-5232)
Operator - United States Air Force - (USAF) Squadron - 4th SOS
Date and Location - 08/08 - Prestwick International Airport (EGPK)
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 - British Aerospace 125 CC.3
Serial - ZD704 (C/N 257194)
Operator - Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron - 32 Squadron
Date and Location - 10/08 (EGQL)
32 Squadron operates all 6 of the BAe 125 CC.3 used by the RAF with C flt the RAF's in the VIP Transport role. 32 also operate 2 Agusta A109s with B Flight and 4 BAE146 CC2’s with A Flight. No. 32 Squadron was formed as part of the Royal Flying Corps on 12 January 1916 at Netheravon and moved to France as a fighter squadron equipped with Airco DH.2s in May. The principal purpose of 32 Squadron is to provide communications and logistical support to military operations; the Squadron's capacity should be based on military needs only; and any royal or other non-military use of spare capacity is secondary to its military purpose. The British Aerospace 125 is a twin-engined mid-size corporate jet, with newer variants now marketed as the Hawker 800. It was known as the Hawker Siddeley HS.125 until 1977. It was also used by the British Royal Air Force as a navigation trainer (as the Hawker Siddeley Dominie T1) until January 2011 and was used by the United States Air Force as a calibration aircraft (as the C-29). The type used is the HS.125 Series 700 version powered by 2 Honeywell TFE731-3RH turbofan engines with 3,720 lbf (16.5 kN) of thrust each and first flew on the 19th June 1976. The squadron acquired four HS.125 CC.1s business jets in 1971. These would be supplemented and then replaced by two HS.125 CC.2s delivered in 1973 and six BAe 125 CC.3s delivered in 1982 and 1983. Of these just the 6 remain. 32 Squadron's aircraft have served as transports in several recent conflicts including Operation Granby (Gulf War), Operation Veritas (Afghanistan) and Operation Telic (Iraq 2003). Following a review by the Ministry of Defence, in 2004 the squadron's aircraft lost their distinctive livery inherited from The Queen's Flight, featuring red flying surfaces. This was due to the concern over the aircraft's vulnerability to terrorist attack. While they do carry missile countermeasures, it was felt that a more civilian-like livery lowered the profile of the squadron's aircraft.
Aircraft - Raytheon Sentinel R1
Serial - ZJ693 (C/N 9132)
Operator - Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron - 5 (AC) Squadron
Date and Location - 09/08 Norwich International Airport (EGSH)
The aircraft is one of 5 on strength with the RAF in Battlefield surveillance (ISTAR) Role with 5 (AC) Squadron. The Aircraft is a Bombardier Global Express jet, modified as an airborne battlefield and ground surveillance platform and is interoperable with other allied systems such as JSTARS and the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR710 turbofan engines, the programme involved five aircraft and eight mobile ground stations (six on wheeled all terrain vehicles and two in air transportable containers), and a training facility at RAF Waddington. The first flight of the modified prototype was in August 2001, which validated the modifications required for the ASTOR system. The first production Sentinel R1 made its 4.4 hour maiden flight on 26 May 2004. The aircraft entered operational service with V (Army Co-operation) Squadron and flew its first operational sortie in Afghanistan in February 2009. The Sentinel cockpit has a centrally housed, pull-down screen capable of displaying a moving map, Link 16 datalink information and defensive aids subsystem (DASS) data. The DASS comprises a towed radar decoy, missile approach warning system and chaff and flare dispensers and can be operated in automatic, semi-automatic or manual mode. It is crewed by a pilot, a co-pilot, an Airborne Mission Commander (AMC) and two image analysts. Mission endurance are around about nine hours. While the image analysts can analyse the images on board the aircraft it is expected that, unlike the JSTARS, the actual battle management will occur on the ground. 5 Squadron was formed on 26 July 1913 at Farnborough and have been operating the R1 since 1 December 2008.
Aircraft - Boeing C17 Globemaster III (ER)
Serial - ZZ178 (C/N F-245)
Operator - Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron - 99 Squadron
Date and Location - 09/08 Exeter International Airport (EGTE)
One of 8 Aircraft the RAF have in the tactical Transport Role and are 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 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas; the company later merged with Boeing. 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. In addition to the U.S. Air Force, the C-17 is operated by the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and NATO Heavy Airlift Wing. Additionally, India has ordered C-17s. The first C-17 was delivered to the RAF at Boeing's Long Beach facility on 17 May 2001 and flown to RAF Brize Norton by a crew from No. 99 Squadron which had previously trained with USAF crews to gain competence on the type. No. 99 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was a bomber squadron in both first and second world war. At present it operates the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III from RAF Brize Norton, the RAF's air transport hub. The squadron was the first RAF unit to receive the Avro Aldershot, Handley Page Hyderabad, Handley Page Hinaidi, Vickers Wellington, Bristol Britannia and Boeing Globemaster. In case of the Avro Aldershot the squadron even was its only operator as it is now for the Globemasters. One of the first high profile missions of the squadron was the deployment of Lynx helicopters and support equipment to Macedonia as part of a NATO peacekeeping force. This deployment was codenamed Operation Bessemer.
Aircraft - Airbus A320-214CJ Prestige
Serial - 555 (C/N 4117)
Operator - Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) (Al-Quwwat al-Jawiyya al-Sultaniyya al-'Umaniyya) Squadron - 4 Squadron
Date and Location - 07/08 Bournemouth International Airport (EGHH)
On of two (554 & 555) A230's used by the RAFO in the VIP Transport role based at Muscat/Seeb Intl, along with the services Gulfstreams IVs. The Airbus A320 family are narrow-body (single-aisle) aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear and are powered by two wing pylon-mounted turbofan engines. Being the first member of the A320 family—the A320—was launched in March 1984, first flew on 22 February 1987, and was first delivered in 1988. The A320 Prestige however, is as a variant of the type with more interior space, a passenger capacity of 30 and larger hold. The Airframe has a range of 4,100 nmi (7,600 km) with two removable fuel tanks. As off 31 December 2011, a total of 2,860 of the A320 model have been delivered, with 2,752 still on order. The aircraft is used by various government and air forces around the world in the VIP Transport Role. The Sultan of Oman's Air Force (SOAF) was formed with British personnel and aircraft in March 1959. The first aircraft were two Scottish Aviation Pioneers transferred from the Royal Air Force. The first armed aircraft was the Percival Provost T52. The unit have been operating the type since late 2010. The purchase of the type was aimed at reinforcing the standard of performance and quality of the Royal Air Force of Oman, in order to cope with the requirements of modernization and development, as well as, the needs of the Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF) to contribute in boosting the Sultanate's comprehensive development. The aircraft has been used to transport Royal Family and High Ranking Government/Military Officials around the globes and replaced the BAC-111 in the same role.
Thats all for this week!Aircraft - Beech 200T Super King Air - Desert Owl
Serial - N44U (C/N BT-14)
Operator - United States Army/Dynamic Avlease Inc Squadron - Unknown
Date and Location - 11/08 Norwich International Airport (EGSH)
The US Army currently operates a number of versions of the King Air (17 x C-12C, 14 x C-12D, 17 x C-12F in the Utility Transport role and 12 x RC-12D, 6 x RC-12H 18 x RC-12K in the Reconnaissance Role). This particular example is used by Dynamic Aviation (Under a US Army Lease) is used for detecting IED's (Improvised Explosive Device's) from the air with a number of sensors and ground imaging tools. Dynamic Aviation deliver innovative aircraft solutions that meet the complexities and challenges of various missions and task. The Company has precise aerial assets that can be changed uniquely to meet various requirements. Dynamic Aviation currently have more than 150 aircraft operating from twenty locations on four continents and offer specially modified aircraft, experienced flight crews, and reliable maintenance services. Since 2002, Dynamic's largest growth engine has been the US military, with modification work primarily dedicated to sidecars or pods for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) packages, most likely to be flown over Iraq and Afghanistan. The Aircraft were involved as part of the US Army's Desert Owl operation's systems in Iraq. The Desert Owl system was deployed to find command-wire improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using synthetic aperture radar and advanced image-processing algorithms to detect when terrain has been disturbed on or near a road. The aircraft are fitted with a PenRad 7 synthetic aperture radar system and the L-3 MX-15 electro-optical/infrared sensor and provides full-motion video feeds in the electro-optical and infrared modes, as well as laser illuminator and designator "for precision targeting". The Desert Owl system provides the commander an intelligence collection capability to accurately detect, identify, and report changes in the environment. It provides the tactical commander with coherent change detection to assist in C-IED operations. The system provides full-motion video feeds in electro-optical and infra-red modes to one system remote video terminal, the Desert Owl ground control station, or through the Task Force ODIN SIPR architecture. The BE200T is a version of the King Air with optional wingtip fuel tanks, optional dome-shaped side windows in the rear fuselage, and modified belly to allow aerial photography. Prototype and subsequent aircraft converted from Model 200s and 23 have been delivered so far.
Apologies they are a bit late!