The Japan Security Watch blog has published images of the Kawasaki XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft conducting flight tests with two Type-91 anti-ship missiles on its inboard missile pylons. The two outboard pylons, between engines 1-2 and 3-4, are empty in the photos.
September 2011 Archives
My colleague Stephen Trimble of The Dew Line blog alerted me
this morning to a good Friday video from
Pretty much every Japanese Air Self Defense Force aircraft shows up, notably the developmental XC-2 transport. The only disappointment is that the XP-1 maritime patrol aircraft doesn't make an appearance. Highlights are the F-4EJ Phantoms, as well as XC-2 final approaches at 9:06 and 11:00.
Viewing this reminded me of the urgency the JASDF faces in upgrading its fighter fleet. Though a sentimental favorite, the F-4EJs are obsolete, and the F-2s and F-15Js are decidedly middle-aged - and I hate writing that because these were cutting edge when I was a kid.
Bids to replace the F-4s are due this month. Aircraft in the
F-X competition for 40-50 aircraft include the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super
Hornet, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.
F-X is a big deal, but the future F-XX competition to
replace over 200 F-15EJs will be a monster. The F-15 Silent Eagle and F-35 are
obvious candidates, but is it possible
More intriguingly, could an unmanned system such as Northrop Grumman's X-47B compete in F-XX? A large force of UCAVs would be cheaper to maintain, there would be less training involved, and they would have the legs to hit targets deep in the Asian land mass.
I saw a statistic in the last few days that there are more
As for the presentation itself, page five caught my eye, as it shows the world's carrier fleets. Interesting to see that Saab classifies
And while I'm a fan of naval aviation, I don't know anything about
Back to the aircraft itself...interesting to see an illustration of the Gripen's ability to operate from roads, requiring an effective runway of just 9x600m, and that Saab is looking at thrust vectoring, which would help with STOBAR launches.
Bennet is also planning on setting up a flight simulation centre for types such as the F-16, F-111, and the F-18. He is also working on prototype helicopter that he hopes to export.
In Martin Amis's 1984 novel 'Money' the main character has a nifty trick when running late for a flight. Before leaving home he would call JFK with a bomb threat, specifying his flight number. By the time the bomb squad worked out that the threat was a hoax, he would have arrived and checked in. Problem solved.
Interesting idea, but perhaps not something to try in 2011. Amis of course wrote Money in a far more trusting age. Too trusting, as it turned out.
In 1996 myself and two colleagues caught a flight from
"Everything is turned off anyway," yelled one guard, waving us through. "Hope you make your flight!"
I recall that the FBI probed
In 1998 I was with friends aboard a Japan Airlines 747 on the Tokyo-Singapore route. Since the flight was six hours delayed we had spent the day in Narita drinking Japanese beer. Despite our inebriation, the crew had no qualms about letting us visit the cockpit. There we stood, smelling of beer, chatting with the pilots. Hell, my friend actually brought a glass of whisky into the cockpit.
I'm sure Flightglobal readers have plenty of such pre-911 anecdotes. Perhaps it is not surprising that 9/11 happened, but that it took so long for it to happen. In the 80s and 90s we had but the veneer of security, when really the industry was a huge, lucrative soft target. Aside from the tragedies of 9/11 and the wars of revenge that followed, it is indeed a pity that aviation has lost its old carefree innocence.
Things are much different now. In 2002, at
The big question visitors will be asking is will Airbus
bring the A400M.
If the A400M is not at
Other types that would be cool to see at either show are the
F-35 and V-22 Osprey. The F-35 isn't involved in
As for the V-22,
The China Defence Mashup web site has published a photo
purporting to be of a crashed Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle. To me it looks
like the Pterodactyl, which itself looks like the General Atomics MQ-1
Predator. Apparently it went down in
Aside from some interesting stuff about
Below is a photo I snapped of a Pterodactyl model at last
year's Zhuhai show, as well as the plaque that accompanied it.