Monday, 9 June 2014

Call sign 'Death', B 2 Spirit bomber arrival at RAF Fairford, 08 June for Exercise Sabre Strike

Large numbers of spotters and enthusiasts turned out yesterday, Sunday 08 June, to watch the B-2 Spirit bombers (call-signs "Death 11" and "Death 12") arrive into RAF Fairford where they will be spending most of this week on exercise "Sabre Strike". Given that B-2s operate strategic intercontinental strike missions this is a rare European deployment for these bombers from the 509th BW at Whiteman AF base, Missouri. Of the many shots gathered and posted on the various forums the picture above seemed to me to best capture the 'beast' and that air of 'menace' that it exudes - the lack of detail on the shot cloaks the lower surfaces in blackness. This particular snap was "the best of many" captured by Max aka 'skywatcher' on his iPad and is reproduced here with his permission!

Below;  a few 'screen captures' from a cool video of the arrivals by Ben Ramsey and embedded here using the standard youtube embed code. Ben writes , " the first aircraft 'Spirit Of Indiana' DEATH 11 performed two low approaches before landing on runway 27. 'Spirit of Louisiana', DEATH 12 was straight into land..."

A selection of hi-res images available on the AF Global Strike Command website

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Ms 406 - Ebay photo find # 26

courtesy of Marco @ koelsch333 Ebay sales

Folkestone airshow weekend 7/8 June 2014 - XH 134 Canberra PR 9 - Midair Squadron

...spent much of the weekend on the beach at Folkestone (Kent, England) enjoying the town's free air show. Of course I bought a programme and thus donated to the RAF's Benovelent Fund. Needless to say the Red Arrows were impeccable - here overflying the Battle of Britian memorial at Capel-le-Ferne on their way home after a brilliant display in a virtually cloudless sky.

also displaying were the Tucano in its 'Lest we forget' and 'flying through a cloud of poppys' scheme and the Strikemaster's display was pretty cool too .......

but for me 'Star of the show' was Midair Squadron's 'XH 134' Canberra  PR 9 and their Hunter T 7..

"....Midair Squadron is the brainchild of Canberra XH134's owner Mike Davis and was launched in 2013. He sees the opportunity to use the Canberra and two Hunter T7's as a unique PR and marketing tool, by having the ability to fly across the world displaying their aviation prowess to a global audience of aviation aficionado, celebrities and royalty. Based at the Cotswold airport and under the expert care of C2 Aviation, the Midair stable consists of ex-Royal Air Force 39 (1 PRU) Squadron Canberra PR9 XH134, now registered as G-OMHD, Hawker Hunter T7 XL577 (civil register G-XMHD) and Hawker Hunter T7 XL600 (civil register G-RAXA). When the Canberra was first brought into RAF service it was in a striking all over silver paint scheme and it is this scheme that Midair have adopted for XH134. The scheme is simple yet affective and the aircraft is finished with four foot high black 'XH134' lettering under each wing.."

.. and a short clip of the duo at Cosford the next day - click once to view here courtesy of Planes TV and youtube's embed code

..and on the front cover of this month's 'Aviation News'

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Duxford D-Day airshow 24 May 2014 - D-day Dakotas, Typhoon FRG 4 in invasion stripes

Duxford D-Day airshow 24 May 2014

D-Day Dakotas courtesy of Tad Dippel. You can find Tad and more of his superb photography on Facebook here

A selection of screen captures from "bannistator's" HD presentation of the entire show posted on Youtube, embedded here using the youtube embed code - one click to view here...

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

A quick guide to Flanker suffixes, Su 30 MKI, Su 30 MKK,

The Sukhoi Su 27 single-seat Flnaker entered service with the Soviet VVS in 1982 and its twin-seat trainer derivative, the Su 27 UB first flew in March 1985, entering service a short while thereafter. The twin seat combat trainer was constructed at the Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association (IAPO) factory in Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia. The Su 27 UB trainer was gradually developed by Sukhoi and the IAPO into a multi-role combat aircraft in its own right, designated Su 30. Possibly the most well-known of these was the Su 30 MKI (M=modified, K=Commercial, ie Export I=India). The Su 30 MKI incorporates Russian, Indian and Israeli avionics in a revised airframe with canard foreplanes and thrust-vector control fitted to the Lyulka AL-31 FP engines. Meanwhile the other major Soviet Su 27 construction facility, the Komsmolsk-na-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO) developed a different two-seater variant for the Chinese without canards or TVC, dubbed Su 30 MKK (Modified, Kommercial, Kitaisky, the Russian word for China) .

I am grateful to that well known Flanker obsessive Ken Duffy for posting the following on britmodeller recently - see also his "Sukhoi Export Flankers"  in Model Aircraft Monthly, April 2009) - a quick idiot's guide to Flanker suffixes !

".. Please stop calling it a Su-30 - thats a generic name for a series of vey different aircraft. The Academy kit tries to represent a Su-30 MKK (China) or a Su-30 MK2 (Venezuela, Vietnam etc) or a Su-30 M2 (Russian AF) - these are all basically the same aircraft - with tall square tipped fins, twin nosewheels, offset IRST and IFR probes..

 ...The very different Su-30 MKI (India) Su-30 MKM (Malaysia) & Su-30 MKA (Algeria) has the shorter Su-27 UB-style fins (with bigger rudders), twin nosewheels, offset IRST, IFR probe PLUS canards and TVC (thrust vectoring control) nozzles. So 'Su-30' is meaningless without a suffix..."

 Just to add that there is also a Russian Air Force version of the Flanker with canards and shorter UB-style fins with bigger rudders designated Su-30 SM. 

The Russian AF Su-30 M2 is the same as the Su-30 MKK, below, seen at MAKS courtesy Ken Duffey..and in the air at Zhukovsky last August..

Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) Su 30 MKM supplied by the IAPO. The Malaysians requested that the Israeli avionics of the Su 30 MKI be replaced. SAAB Avitronics was the supplier chosen, providing a new suite of sensors consisting of a missile approach warning system (MAWS-200) and a laser warning system (LWS 310) The MAWS comprises two 'pyramids', one on the spine behind the air-brake, the other forward of the nose via the Pilot.Strizhi info site

Piper almost lands on sunbather or 'idiot sunbathing at the end of an active runway' -aeronautical insanity (3)

A man stretched out on the sand in northern Germany had a lucky escape when a light aircraft came in to land almost right on top of him. Video footage obtained by German tabloid newspaper Bild showed the small plane, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer II, coming in to land on the airstrip at Dune – a touristic islet off Heligoland. The pilot descended towards the airstrip, but got increasingly close to the white sands – and the man lying face down beneath him. "I was watching the planes come into land," said Rainer Schmidt, 52, who shot the video. "I had seen five planes land before this one came in. I instantly realised that this one was coming in to land far too low. "The others were at least six metres high. It was so close to the man on the beach. The man was very lucky."

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Victor B.2 XL513 & XL 512 carrying Blue Steel - ebay photo find #57

An original Ministry of Defence photograph of Handley Page Victor B.2 XL513 equipped with a Blue Steel Missile. Note the four Vulcans on...