Archive | May, 2012

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Silica gel mishap grounds Vulcan bomber

Oh dear, it’s bad news for the world’s last flyable Avro Vulcan, with two of XH558′s Rolls-Royce Olympus engines having been destroyed during an incident on the ground on 28 May. Things of course go wrong on classic aircraft, but initial indications point to the mishap at Robin Hood airport (which serves Doncaster and Sheffield and […]

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A400M has rough time during landing trials

While attending Airbus Military’s Trade Media Briefing in Toulouse last week, I watched A400M development aircraft “Grizzly 2″ setting off on its way to performing the type’s first unpaved runway landing trials at Cottbus-Drewitz airport in Germany. The company today issued a brief press release and one picture from the trials activity, and stated that the […]

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NATO AGS and the Anglo-French contribution

NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) programme has got off the ground at last, with 13 nations having agreed to fund the acquisition and initial operation of five MP-RTIP-equipped Northrop Grumman Block 40 Global Hawks. Signed on the sidelines of NATO’s Chicago Summit, the AGS deal is worth $1.7 billion. That’s a major investment to make […]

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What a routine (for now) F-35 training sortie at Eglin AFB looks like…

US Marine Corps Col Arthur Tomassetti, 33rd Fighter Wing vice-commander, had his first local area F-35B flight scrubbed yesterday due to weather. Today, however, the weather was good and he managed to log 1.5 hours on the jet–which returned home with zero discrepancies. USAF Photo by Major Karen Roganov–these are from yesterday’s attempt… Most of […]

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Typhoon replaces the last of Italy’s F-16A ADFs in the air defense role

The Eurofighter Typhoon has replaced the last of the Italian Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons in the air defense role, the consortium announced today. Italy currently has 62 Typhoons in its inventory dispersed between four squadrons at two different bases around the country. The Italians have been operating 34 F-16A model jets, the […]

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Saudi spending spree reaches trainer fleet

Yesterday saw the confirmation of an impressive 102-aircraft programme to equip the Royal Saudi Air Force with a new-generation pilot training fleet from 2014. Brokered under a new agreement between the Saudi Arabian and UK governments, the deal includes 22 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers and – as revealed exclusively by my colleague Stephen Trimble […]

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Eglin F-35 initial cadre starts transition training

F-35 pilots from the initial cadre at Eglin AFB, Florida,have started their transition to the new aircraft. Initially, the 33rdFighter Wing had two test pilots who were putting the jet through its paces.   Recently, however, US Marine Corps Col Arthur Tomassetti,the unit’s vice commander, has gotten checked out in the F-35 at the Navy’s […]

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USMC F-35B starts local area flights over Eglin AFB

The US Air Force’s 33rd Fighter Wing and USMarine Corps flew their first Lockheed Martin F-35B local area flight at EglinAFB, Florida, earlier today (22 May). But while today was the STOVL model’sday, the wing’s F-35A fleet is performing very well, a senior USAF officialsays.   The F-35A had already flown 47 sorties to date, […]

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UK’s next A330 tanker ready for conversion

Yesterday I wrote from Airbus Military’s Getafe site near Madrid about a change of conversion plan for the UK’s next (and fifth) A330 Voyager tanker/transport, and lo and behold, look what I saw taking to the air in Toulouse today, but the very same aircraft. Airbus expects the “green” widebody to arrive in Getafe towards […]

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Grizzly 2 heads for unpaved runway trials

Airbus Military’s A400M development aircraft “Grizzly 2″ just took off from Toulouse, France on its way to performing the type’s first unpaved runway trials. The aircraft is now en route for Cottbus, Germany, where it is expected to stay through the rest of this week. First on the agenda will be making landings on a grass […]

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