Tuesday, 25 March 2014

F-35B Lightning II Demo @ 2014 MCAS Yuma Air Show

First ever F-35B Lightning II demo - could it be headed to Farnborough and RIAT ? 

 " WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department is poised to approve the first trans-Atlantic flight of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jet in July, when the new warplane is expected to take part in two international air shows near London, according to multiple sources familiar with the issue.." U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is "very close" to a decision that would allow two or three F-35s to fly at the Royal International Air Tattoo, or RIAT, an annual military air show .."


F-4 Phantom II

Introducing a run of F-4 Phantom II posts;

Below;  a U.S. Navy McDonnell F-4B-9-MC Phantom II (BuNo 149426) of Fighter Squadron VF-143 "Pukin' Dogs" aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). VF-143 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 14 (CVW-14) aboard the USS Constellation (CVA-64). This aircraft landed either by mistake or due to an emergency aboard the small Essex-class carrier which did not operate the F-4. It was common to paint "visiting" aircraft with comments (see: "Down Bird"; "Train your troops"; "If you can't fly 'em park 'em"; "Captured by the Bonnie D!ck CVA 31").

Takashi Takeda photo

Takashi Takeda photos

Launch of 892 Sq FAA F-4 from Ark Royal displaying the 'final tour' crest on the radome. Via Gordon Lewis on the British Phantoms Facebook Group

"On the prowl..." Picture by and © Gokhan Topuzelli. Current header photo of the FB F-4 Group

Line-up of British Phantoms, Wattisham photo-call 1992 via Charlie Brown

Kostas Asimakopoulos photo

Greeks are the best low-level F-4 E operators!

Beautiful red-tailed 56 Sqd RAF F-4 Queen's Silver Jubilee Flypast aircraft awaiting takeoff at Wattisham. Much more on British Phantoms on this blog soon

Thursday, 20 March 2014

last sorties of the RAF's Tristars 24 March 2014

posted by 'canberraman' on BM

" Monday March 24th will see the last operational sorties flown by the Lockheed Tristar in RAF service. Two of the remaining four in service will be flown on a final mission that will include some AAR work and then fly pasts at several airfields with which the type has been associated including Marshalls of Cambridge. The duo are due to take off at around 1030 local and should return in the early afternoon. The 4 that are left are then expected to be flown out of Brize on March 25th, presumably to Bruntingthorpe for scrapping.
Can't say I took that much notice of the type during most of its illustrious 30 year service bring an avowed VC10 fan, but its surprising how much more appealing certain aircraft become when you know they wont be around much longer! "

Screen captures from the video footage below of the final flights from Brize norton on 24 March 2014 of ZD 948 and ZD 950

I once photographed one - a gloomy Fairford during the post-Gulf War 1991 RIAT

Tristar KC 1 refuelling Typhoon FGR 4 over the North Sea on 24 March 2014, last operational sortie of the type..posted on the RAF's FB page

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Iluyshin 20 M - Elint, recce version of Coot airliner

The Il-20 is a military version of the Il-18 passenger airliner, with electronic equipment and an array of external antennae. It is still used by the Russian Air Force as flying command post. This version is sometimes unofficially referred to as Il-20 or Coot-A in NATO code. A maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft, the Il-38, was also developed from the Il-18.

" MOSCOW, October 24 2013 (RIA Novosti) – Two Turkish fighter jets have been recently scrambled to intercept a Russian military plane in international airspace over the Black Sea in a rare air incident between the two countries, the Turkish military said. The General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement on Wednesday that two F-16 jets were scrambled on Tuesday afternoon to prevent a potential violation of Turkish airspace after a Russian Ilyushin II-20 plane was detected flying in parallel to Turkish coast. The Turkish aircraft monitored the Russian plane until it left the area heading to the Bulgarian border, the statement added. It is not clear why the Russian plane approached the Turkish airspace as the Russian Defense Ministry has not yet commented on the incident. The Ilyushin Il-20 (NATO designation Coot-A) is a Soviet-era reconnaissance aircraft designed to carry out a variety of electronic and communications intelligence missions. Around 20 Il-20’s were reportedly built between 1969 and 1976, but their remaining number in service with the Russian Air Force is unknown. Japan and Sweden reported in the past similar interceptions of Il-20 planes flying close to their airspace..."
Ilyushin Il-20M (2)

Ilyushin Il-20M Nose

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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...