About Craig Hoyle

Author Archive | Craig Hoyle

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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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Venezue-low: Su-30 pilot goes Caracas

It seems that it’s not just our friends in the Brazilian air force who enjoy nothing more than a good low-level flypast. This Rex Features shot shows one of the Venezuelan air force’s 24 Sukhoi Su-30 fighters getting down below rooftop level during Independence Day celebrations in Caracas on 5 July. Hopefully President Hugo Chavez […]

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Saab’s Gripen fighter pilot school – name needed

Before the madness of the Farnborough air show kicked in (and boy, does that feel like an age ago), I had an enjoyable day with Saab at the Royal International Air Tattoo. This included a quick briefing about the company’s plans to open a Gripen Fighter Weapon School at Overberg air base in South Africa. To […]

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Away from Farnborough, BK-2 takes flight

Apologies for the lack of blogging from me while the Farnborough air show has been in full flow, but just to prove that life goes on away from soggy Hampshire, here’s a nice image of something happening in sunny Texas. Lockheed Martin performed the first flight yesterday with BK-2 – the second short take-off and […]

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