03/12 - 16/12
Aircraft - Hawker Hunter F.58
Serial - ZZ190 (C/N 41H/697433)
Operator - Hawker Hunter Aviation Ltd (HHA) Squadron - N/a
Date and Location - 05/12 - RAF Coningsby (EGXC)
With a 17 strong fleet of fast jet military aircraft covering 4 basic aircraft types (Hawker Hunter MK58, Hawker Hunter T7/T8, Buccaneer S2B, and Sukhoi SU22 M-4) HHA is a CAA and MoD approved and regulated fast jet contractor with a proven track record of offering private sector outsourcing of realistic, high speed Aerial Threat Simulation, Mission Support Training and Trials Support Services to Armed Forces and Defence Contractors. Based at RAF Scampton, we own, maintain and operate one of Europe’s largest commercial fleets of military fast jets, flown by former RAF, RN & Test Pilot aircrew familiar with the latest NATO training, systems and operational requirements. In addition, HHA can operate on the UK military register and therefore integrate seamlessly with NATO procedures. HHA specialises in sourcing legacy platforms, upgrading these on a bespoke basis with modern equipment and subsequently employing them as cost effective Fast Jet Trials Platforms and Air Support training assets to ease the task and budgetary pressure on front line aircraft. Originally designed as an air superiority fighter in the 1950's, the Hunter went on to become the most successful post-war British Military aircraft with almost 2000 being produced. The Hawker Hunter is a transonic single seat fighter / ground attack monoplane, with swept-back wings, variable incidence tail plane, powered flying controls and cabin pressurisation. It is powered by a fifteen stage axial flow Rolls-Royce Avon MK 207 turbine engine developing 10,150 lbs thrust. The fuselage is of monocoque construction and manufactured in three main sections. The swept-back wings are two spar stressed skin structures covered with heavy gauge skin thereby ensuring a perfectly smooth finish and providing for the necessary stiffness of the internal structure. The tail is a multi spar swept back structure built in one piece. HHA's fleet consists of ten ex Swiss Air Force MK58 aircraft and are equipped with Radar Warning Receivers (RWR), Chaff and Flare dispensers and are capable of carrying the latest ACMI and Electronic Warfare (EW) pods.
Aircraft - - SABCA F-16 Fighting Falcon AM (x 3)
FB-86 (C/N 6H-86) - 10W (Aircraft operated by 31ste Smaldeel/31e Escadrille)
FB-126 (C/N 6H-126) - 2W (Aircraft operated by 1Ã¨re Escadrille/1ste Smaldeel)
FB-130 (C/N 6H-130) - 2W (Aircraft operated by 1Ã¨re Escadrille/1ste Smaldeel)
Operator - - Belgian Air Component (BAC)Squadron - Various
Date and Location - - 04/12- RAF Coningsby (EGXC)
The Belgian Air Force currently have some 59 F16's (59 x AM and 10 x BM) on strength in the Multirole Fighter Role. The F16 is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976. Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are still being built for export customers. The F-16A (single seat) and F-16B (two seat) were initial production variants of the Type. These variants include the Block 1, 5, 10 and 20 versions. Block 15 was the first major change to the F-16 with larger horizontal stabilizers. It is the most numerous F-16 variant with around 475 produced. With its commitments to NATO, Belgium has assigned its F-16s to NATO purposes. Two squadrons with a total of 16 aircraft have been designated for use by the Rapid Reaction Forces. The former Air Force became the Air Component (COMOPSAIR) of the Belgian Armed Forces. COMOPSAIR consists of the 2nd Tactical Wing in Florennes Air Base and the 10th Tactical Wing in Kleine Brogel Air Base, both flying F-16s in four squadrons. Out of the 160 F-16s originally bought by Belgium, only 105 were upgraded; with further reductions to 72 aircraft in 2005; and planned to 60 by 2015. Deliveries to the Belgian Air Force began in January 1979 and was one of the first four international customers for the F-16 Fighting Falcon. All of the Aircraft have been upgraded to MLU standard. In March 2011, Belgium deployed 6 F-16 Fighters to Araxos in Greece, in support of operation: Odyssey Dawn, to support the NATO operations over Libya. the aircraft were already at the base as part of a joint exercise and were transferred to NATO command. As of June 2011, the aircraft have flown over 1000 hours over Libya and attacked various military instalations and targets, without causing any collateral damage to the civilian population.
Aircraft - Lockheed L-100-30 HerculesAircraft - Embraer EMB-121AN Xingu
Serial - 77 (C/N 121077)
Operator - French Naval Aviation - Aéronavale Squadron - 28F
Date and Location - 05/12 - Bournemouth Airport (EGHH)
The French Navy operate 11 of the type in the Utility and training Roles with 28 Flotille Naval Air Squadrons. This particular aircraft comes from 28 Flotille based at Lorient – Lann – Bihoue. The aircraft is a twin-turboprop fixed-wing aircraft built by the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer. The design of this plane is based on the EMB 110 Bandeirante, using its wing and engine design merged with an all-new fuselage. The EMB 121 first flew on 10 October 1976. Crewed by Two (Pilot and Navigator) the aircraft has a capacity of 8 to 9 passengers and a range of some 1,230 nautical miles. The flotilla 28F is a flotilla under the naval aviation command formed on the 1st July 1944 and still active today. The unit have been operating the Xingu since March 2000 and currently have all 11 on strength. The unit have been based at Lorient – Lann – Bihoue since September 2010 but do have a detachment of Xingus positioned at NAS Hyères.
Serial - KAF325 (C/N 382-4955)
Operator - Kuwait Air Force (al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya) Squadron - 41 Squadron (KAF)
Date and Location - 05/12 - RAF Brize Norton (EGVN)
Operated by 41 Squadron based at Kuwiat International Airport (Abdulla AlMubarak Air Base). The aircraft is one 3 used by Kuwait in the Transport Role and have been in service since 1971. The Lockheed L-100 Hercules is the civilian variant of the prolific C-130 military transport aircraft made by the Lockheed Corporation and first flew in 1964, with the L-100-20 and L-100-30 versions developed later on. L-100 production ended in 1992 with 114 aircraft delivered. Lockheed decided to produce a commercial variant based on a de-militarised version of the C-130E Hercules. The prototype L-100 (N1130E) first flew on the 20 April 1964 when it carried out a 1 hour 25 minute flight. The type certificate was awarded on 16 February 1965. Twenty-one production aircraft were then built with the first delivery to Continental Air Services on 30 September 1965. The 3 Aircraft are due to be joined by 3 C130J-30 aircraft in 2013 to bolster the Air Forces Long Range Transport capacity. Lockheed Martin on May 27 announced the award of a $245 million contract covering the supply through Foreign Military Sales of three KC-130J Hercules tankers for the Kuwait Air Force (KAF). The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in late 2013, with final delivery early in 2014. The current version of the aircraft is a stretched variant with an addition of 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) in the fuselage section. Four L-100-30 Hercules transport aircraft were delivered in 1983, replacing the shorter L-100-20 version from which only one survived, the other sadly crashed in France). The Kuwait Air Force is the air arm of the State of Kuwait. The Air Force headquarters is located at Al Mubarak Air Base, with the remaining forces stationed at Air Defence Brigade, Ali Al Salem Air Base and Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base. The Kuwait Air Force numbers approximately 2,500 officer and enlisted personnel.
Aircraft - McDonnell Douglas KDC-10
Serial - T-255 (C/N 382-4955)
Operator - Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) (Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu)) Squadron - 334th Transport Squadron
Date and Location - 07/12 - Prestwick International Airport (EGPK)
A military version of the three-engined DC-10 airliner, the aircraft incorporates military-specific equipment for its primary roles of transport and aerial refueling. It was developed to supplement the KC-135 Stratotanker following experiences in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. One of two that the RNLAF have on strength in the Aerial Refuelling/Passenger/Cargo Role, the aircraft ( T-264 "Prins Bernhard" and T-235 "Jan Schäfer") are the only two of the variant and were specifically built for the RNLAF. The aircraft were bought in June 1992 from the civil airliner Martinair (in those days they were designated with DC-10) and came operational with the service in 1995. To make it a military aircraft it must have specific NAVO equipment like avionics, navigation- and communications systems. Other systems that were build in into the planes are: the installation of the 'boom'-system and -lightning, adjustment of the fuel-, electric and hydraulic systems to use the boom, a 'Remote Air Refueling Operating' (RARO)-control station with the corresponding systems. The boom operator control station is direct behind the cockpit. The KC-10A Extender from the United States Air Force seems like a Dutch KDC-10. Main difference is that the KC-10 has internal fuel tanks through which the KC-10 can give more fuel. On the other hand the KDC-10 has a larger transport capacity. In the first 5,500 hours flown with the service the aircraft were used in their tanker role for 50% of the time. Besides being used by the air force and NATO allies, the KDC-10s are also used to support peacekeeping and humanitarian aid operations. Of the first three years, 32% of the flight hours were used for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid. Both Dutch KDC-10s were operating out of Manas AFB in support of allied forces during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Aircraft - Lockheed C130H Hercules
Serial - CH-03 (C/N 382-4461)
Operator - Belgian Air Component (BAC) Squadron - 20 SM Squadron
Date and Location - 10/12 Lossiemouth.
Operated by 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 H version is the basic airlifter variant of the Air lifter. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 60 nations. 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. On 5 May 2006, a Belgian C-130 "Hercules" undergoing updating at the Sabena Technics was destroyed when the hangar that it was in burned to the ground. The Belgian Air Force announced its intention to acquire a secondhand C-130 to replace the one lost in the fire. A month later, the Air Component acquired a C-130E from the American operator Evergreen (serial N130EV, to become CH13).
Aircraft - Lockheed U2S 'Dragon Lady'
Serial - 80-1080 (C/N 080)
Operator - United States Air Force (USAF) Squadron - 99th RS
Date and Location - 13/12 - 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 - Gulfstream IV SP
Serial - V11 (C/N 1009)
Operator - Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) (Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu)) Squadron - 334th Transport Squadron
Date and Location - 12/12 - RAF Lakenheath (EGUL)
Operated by the 334th Squadron based at Eindhoven Airport, V-11 is the only one of its type on strength with the RNLAF used in the VIP Transport role. Built by Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Savannah, Georgia. Gulfstream, in collaboration with Grumman began work on the Gulfstream IV in March 1983 as a re-engined,stretched fuselage derivative of the Gulfstream III. A decision to redesign the wing structure for weight reduction presented an opportunity for an aerodynamic redesign of the wing to reduce cruise drag and increase range. Wing contour modifications had to be restricted to the forward 65% of wing chord so that no redesign of the control surfaces would be necessary. Modification of the inboard wing would have entailed a redesign of the fuselage floor structure, consequently this region of the wing was not modified. Outboard wing modifications were aimed at reducing the peak subcritical pressure coefficient and moving it aft in an effort to reduce shock strength and increase shock sweep. The first GIV made its maiden flight on September 19, 1985. The model received type certification from the FAA in April 1987. Crewed by 2, the SP has a passenger capacity of 14-15. Powered by 2 Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8, producing some 13,850 lbf (61.6 kN) of Thrust, gives the aircraft a VNE of Mach 0.80 (505 Knots). The squadron was formed in 1946 and continued the traditions of No. 1316 (Dutch) Communications Flight of the RAF, formed 7 July 1944. Just after formation the unit was known as the Transportvliegtuigafdeling 1 (TransVA 1). The compliment of the squadron was extremely steady for more than 3 decades. It was only until 1994 when the first new type for the squadron entered service. In this year the first of two Lockheed C-130 Hercules was delivered. It was only the prelude of a number of new types to enter service. One year later the first of two ex-Martinair (K)DC-10 tanker aircraft arrived, followed by the sole Gulfstream IV later that year.
Aircraft - Lockheed C130J-30 Hercules
YI-304 (C/N 382-5702)
YI-305 (C/N 382-5703)
YI-306 (C/N 382-5704)
Operator - (IQAF) (Al Quwwa al Jawwiya al Iraqiya القوة الجوية العراقية) Squadron - 334th Transport Squadron
Date and Location - 14/12 - Prestwick International Airport (EGPK)
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.Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 60 nations. In the 1990s, the improved C-130J Super Hercules was developed by Lockheed (later Lockheed Martin). This model is the newest version and the only model in production. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J model has new turboprop engines, six-bladed propellers, digital avionics, and other new systems. The Iraqi Air Force consists of nine squadrons and one training wing, with the C130's due to be operated by the 23rd Squadron based at Bahgdad International Airport (New Al Muthana Air Base). The Unit is currently operating 3 ex USAF C130H aircraft in the Tactical Airlift Role. Another 3 of the J variant are due to be delivered in the early part of 2013. Sixteen recently graduated U.S. trained C-130J Iraqi maintainers, seven pilots, and one loadmaster will be used to crew the 3 aircraft. The new transport aircraft will provide Iraq with the ability to operate seamlessly with U.S., NATO and coalition forces engaged in a range of operations and missions.
Aircraft - Panavia Tornado GR4 'Shiny Two II'
Serial - ZA398 (C/N 199/DSo65/3097)
Operator - Royal Air Force (RAF) Squadron - II (AC) Squadron
Date and Location - 10/12 Bwlch Exit
Further Information -
Operated by 2 Squadron based at RAF Marham in the Reconnaissance Role. The aircraft is part of the 108 strong fleet of GR4s in service in the Strike Aircraft Role. 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%. Several Tornados flew 3,000-mile (4,800 km) strike missions against targets inside Libya in what were, according to Defence Secretary Liam Fox, "the longest range bombing mission conducted by the RAF since the Falklands conflict". A variety of weapons were used in operations over Libya, including Laser-guided bombs and Brimstone missiles. The aircraft 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). The Air Defence Variant was retired from Operation Service in 2011 after 25 years of Operation. The first of more than a dozen Tornado prototypes first took flight on 14 August 1974 at Manching, Germany flown by Paul Millet and saw the first aircraft delivered to the RAF 5th June 1979. This aircraft, nicknamed 'Shiny II' has been painted in the stunning scheme to commemorate the unites 100th Anniversary on the 1st May. No. II Squadron holds claim to being "the oldest heavier-than-air flying machine squadron in the world".
Thanks for looking!Aircraft - AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat
Serial - ZZ406 (C/N 476)
Operator - Army Air Corps (AAC) Squadron - 700W NAS/Wildcat Fielding Squadron
Date and Location - 10/12 RNAS Yeovilton (EGDY)
Further Information -
The UK is to initially receive 34 Wildcats for the British Army and 28 for the Royal Navy. In December 2011 it was reported that four more Wildcats were being ordered for use in the special forces. These are to be joined by four from the current fleet on order, for a total of eight Wildcat Light Assault Helicopters. The Army variant is to enter operational service in 2014, with the RN variant following in 2015. The Future Lynx project originated in two studies in 2002 to determine the suitability of a derivative of the Super Lynx 300 to replace the existing Lynx helicopters of the Royal Navy and British Army. These requirements were known as the Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft (SCMR) and Battlefield Light Utility Helicopter (BLUH) programmes, respectively. The utility transport aspect of the BLUH requirement was subsequently de-emphasised and the programme renamed Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopter (BRH). Both Army and Navy variants are based on a common airframe built for marine use with a wheeled undercarriage. The AW159 Wildcat is powered by two 1,362 hp (1,016 kW) LHTEC CTS800 turboshaft engines, and has a new composite tailboom, tailplane, tail rotor, nose structure and avionics suite. The naval version is also equipped with a SELEX Galileo Seaspray 7000E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The first flight took place on 12 November 2009 and has taken part in trials aboard HMS Iron Duke off the coasts of England and Scotland. The trials were designed to test the helicopter in challenging weather conditions, test its onboard systems and define the Wildcat's ship-helicopter operating limits for when the helicopter enters service in 2015. During the trials 390 deck landings were completed, including 148 night landings. The Royal Navy commissioned a Wildcat Fielding Squadron, known as 700W Naval Air Squadron (700W NAS) in 2009. The Army Air Corps also formed the Wildcat Fielding Team. Both units are located at RNAS Yeovilton.
Merry Christmas one and all!