About Craig Hoyle

Author Archive | Craig Hoyle

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Bonkers Tonkas: UK sets Tornado retirement date

There has been a fair bit of uncertainty for a while now about the likely shape and size of the UK’s future combat aircraft fleet, but the Ministry of Defence’s planners appear to have resolved at least part of this, according to BAE Systems. Contained within the company’s lengthy half-year results statement on 2 August was the […]

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Fabulous Flankers in Australia

The six-nation exercise ‘Pitch Black 2012′ kicked off in Darwin, Australia on 27 July, with the Royal Australian Air Force hosting visiting aircraft and personnel from Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the USA. Among the equipment on show are four of the Indonesian air force’s great-looking Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 fighters, which are making a […]

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The Yak-130, those engine intake doors and our exclusive flight test

One of our most-read stories from the Farnborough air show reported on the confusion caused when eagle-eyed flight ops types caught sight of the Yak-130′s engine-intake blanking doors for the first time and were concerned that something was not right with the aircraft. Only after some reassuring words from Irkut personnel about this being a […]

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‘Drone Wars’ – the UK’s involvement over Libya explained

I shudder to use the expression ‘Drone Wars’ when talking about what are more correctly termed unmanned air systems or remotely piloted air systems, but the phrase seems to have entered the public psyche too far now to ban entirely on The DEW Line, and is admittedly attention-grabbing for headline purposes. My interest was caught the other day, […]

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Four blimey: Rafale half-year deliveries

I didn’t make it to Dassault’s half-year results briefing in Paris today, but there are a few interesting items for all to see within the company’s media material from the event, which is now available online. Firstly, only a combined four Rafales were delivered to the French air force and French navy in the first six months of […]

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Another Voyager enters conversion

AirTanker just Tweeted this shot of the sixth A330 to enter conversion as a Voyager tanker/transport for the UK. Photographed on its arrival from Toulouse on 23 July, the widebody will be the fourth aircraft to enter work at Airbus Military’s Getafe site near Madrid, following a recent decision to relocate the activity from Cobham […]

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The Bear stays rare: UK air defence stats

My daily trawl of the UK’s Hansard publications threw out an interesting snippet this morning, with an answer in the House of Lords revealing the number of times the Royal Air Force has scrambled quick reaction alert fighters due to Russian activity within the last four years. Noting that “The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace at all […]

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VIDEO: Ahhh – Vulcan at RIAT

It was good to see The Vulcan to the Sky Trust’s XH558 back in action at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and Farnborough air show earlier this month, following the team’s rapid replacement of both port engines following a ground incident. In case you haven’t been fortunate enough to see the last of Avro’s […]

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VIDEO: Norway marks century of military airpower

It’s a Friday thanks to our friends at the Norwegian defence ministry for sending through a link to a short video showing a stunningly-liveried F-16AM fighter (1984-vintage aircraft 686) strutting its stuff over and around the nation’s beautiful capital, Oslo. The reason for the snazzy colour scheme (which replicates the Royal Norwegian Air Force roundel) and […]

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Hey, what’s that whistling sound?

During a pre-Farnborough briefing day with MBDA about three weeks ago, we received an update on the Fire Shadow loitering munition system, developed to meet part of the British Army’s indirect fire precision attack requirement. Production deliveries were made in March, but a decision has been taken to not deploy the weapon – which, as the company-supplied image […]

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