Archive for the ‘aviation’ Category

Too little, too early…

posted by Viking
Dic 14

Too little, too early is what people like me thought yesterday, reading news like this:

So, farewell, then F-22

I’m not gonna spend too many words on this project, because it is well known that the F-22 was designed during the Cold War era, introduced the concept of “air dominance” instead of the common “air supremacy”, had problems during both the development phase ( flight control issues ) and the operational phase ( oxygen flow regulation issues )…

But even after all that, I still think that less than 190 aircrafts are not enough and that the F-15C fleet is aging, even considering things like the AESA AN-APG63. It’s like upgrading a computer without changing the mainboard. You can do that for a while, maybe, but you can’t do that forever. Even the mighty B-52H will probably be phased out earlier than expect.

Anyway, farewell, then, F-22. A lot of novels, movies, fictions and games were “based” on a future with you, a future that is gonna last really less than expected.


Ott 20

Short version:
the place is great and the admission is free: go visit it!

Long version:
The Royal Air Force Museum of Colindale is one of the best aviation museum a person could visit. There are so many aircrafts that an enthusiast will spend an entire day to see everything.
The visit is enjoyable at all ages, in fact there are many interactive panels and monitors showing the history, the facts and trivia of every aircraft ( including quizzes I passed with an average of 9.7 / 10 per aircraft ).
The various halls, from the smaller one of the “aviation milestones” to the larger bombers’ one, all contain something unique that could be hardly seen in other places or museums around the World.
From hystorical aircrafts like the Sopwith Triplane or the Vickers Vimy, to the Supermarine Spitfire ( a total of four version are on display! ), the Hawker Hurricane and Typhoon, the Avro Lancaster, the English Electric Lightning and Camberra, the Blackburn Buccaneer, the Avro Vulcan and the latest Panavia Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon ( the unique english DA2 “Black Typhoon” is on display ).
There are a lot of other aircrafts that served with the RAF but were not designed or build in the United Kingdom, like the Boeing B-17, the Consolidated B-24, the North American B-25 and P-51 and the McDonnell F-4 Phantom ( with the Rolls-Royce Spey engines, of course: what did you expect? ).
There is an entire hall dedicated to the Battle of Britain in which all the four bombers used by the german Luftwaffe, the Messerschmitt BF-110, the Junker JU-87 and JU-88 and the Heinkel HE-111 stand together. On the other side of this hall, it’s also possible to enter in a Short Sutherland flying boat.

During my visit at the beginning of October I had some small talks with a really nice attendant in the “aviation milestones” hall about the situation of the air forces and the navies in our respective countries. Needless to say we were both skeptical about the future.
Seeing how simple and yet how complicated were the aircraft of the past is something that always make people thinks.
The wreck of an ill-fated Avro Halifax, retrieved from the sea of Norway after many years under the water, stay in the bomber area, rembembering us what being a bomber’s crew meant during WWII.
Walking under the wing of the Avro Vulcan and standing under the bomb bay ( that now contains an LCD panel on which are showed some clips of the aircraft during the Cold War era ) is just great because really gives you the idea of how big the airplane really is and how advanced

The museum continuosly acquire new aircrafts. Always in the aviation milestones hall, there were two “brand new” ( well, sort of ) items: a WWII Gloster Meteor, that at the time of the visit was still undergoing re-assembly, and the mock-up of a Lockheed-Martin F-35A. The aforementioned attendant told me that there are about 20 aircrafts in storage they’re unable to show because of space issues.

So, in the end, if you’re an aviation enthusiast and you’re planning a trip to London, just add a day to visit the RAF museum at Colindale ( you can reach it via underground, is in zone 4 Link to Google Maps ) because… the place is great and the admission is free: go visit it!


Gen 28

Exactly 25 years ago, on January 28, 1986, I was still a baby so I can’t remember anything. I knew what happened after some years, when I got interested in aviation.

As everyone should know, because of a fuel leakage from the right SRB caused by a fractured o-ring, 7 people lost their lives 73 seconds after lift off of the Space Shuttle Challenger from the launch pad of the KSC.

The Day of Remembrance is the way the people at NASA remember the crews of Apollo 1, STS-51-L / Challenger and STS-107 / Columbia.

So if you wanna know something about those extraordinary men and women, please visit the following link.


During the days of Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12 2010 respectively, on the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana) base of Rivolto (UD), have taken place the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the “313° gruppo addestramento acrobatico” (313th acrobatic training group), popularly known as “Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale” or PAN (national acrobatic team) and also known as “Frecce tricolori” (tricolor arrows).

Celebrations consisted of a two days long airshow. Actually, all the displays of saturday have been performed also on sunday. Indeed the Red Arrows was the only team missing on saturday.

Because of the downturn in the economic course that led to cuts in funding for defense, solo displays were quite few and limited only to Italian aircrafts:

  • Alenia Aermacchi MB-339CD, the “Charlie-Delta”, that stands for “Completamente Digitale” (completely digital) in reference to its glass cockpit. The display was performed by an aircraft and a pilot both from the “Reparto Sperimentale Volo” or RSV (experimental flight department) located in Pratica di Mare (Rome);
  • Alenia/Embraer AMX “Ghibli”, also from the RSV. I believe it was an ACOL, “Aggiornamento Capacità Operative e Logistiche” (operational and logistic capabilities upgrade), but I’m not sure;
  • Panavia (PA-200) Tornado IDS, the InterDiction and Strike version, always from the RSV;
  • Alenia Aermacchi M-346 “Master”, preproduction series vehicle, from Alenia Aermacchi;
  • Eurofighter EF-2000 “Typhoon”, always from the RSV.

No helicopter displays were performed, excluding the straight flight with the flag of an Agusta-Bell AB-212.

The static display was also limited to italian aircrafts only. Aircrafts were the same of the solo displays with the addition of a McDonnell Douglas AV-8B+ “Harrier II” Plus of the Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy), and a pair of General Dynamics F-16A ADF “Fighting Falcon”s from the 37° Stormo (37th Fighter Wing) located in Birgi (Trapani).
Static display also consisted of a Breda-Nardi NH-500, an Agusta HH-3F “Pelican” and a NHIndustries NH-90 helicopters.
The Selenia Spada SAM system was also shown on the static display as well as the historical jets of the various Italian acrobatic teams that are usually present on the base.

There were 8 acrobatic team (7 on Saturday):

  1. Bialo-Czerwone Iskry (“White-and-Red Sparks”) Polish team flying the PZL TS-11 “Iskra” (Polish for “spark”);
  2. Krila Oluje (“Wings of Storm”) Croatian team flying the Pilatus PC-9;
  3. Royal Jordanian Falcons team flying the Extra 300S;
  4. Patrulla Aguila Spanish team flying the CASA C-101 “Aviojet”;
  5. Patrouille Suisse team flying the Northrop F-5E “Tiger II”;
  6. Patrouille de France team flying the Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet;
  7. (only on Sunday) Red Arrows British team flying the BAe Hawk T1A;
  8. Frecce Tricolori team flying the Aermacchi MB-339A/PAN.

Of course it was a great show, but being a “veteran” (I was there also for the 45th and 40th anniversary), means that I’ve made a comparison between the three airshows and the result are not excellents.
The 40th and 45th anniversary were both better. There were a lot of aircrafts from other countries, both flying and on static display.
The only news, at least for me, this years, were the Bialo-Czerwone Iskry and the Krila Oluje teams, because I’ve already seen everything else. If it’s true that many people haven’t already seen so many (or even any) military aircraft, it’s also true that many people follow this kind of shows by years.
Last year I was in Zeltweg for the AirPower 09 and It was really terrific! Troups deployment and hostages rescue demonstrations, “Blackhawk”s demonstrating their heavy lift capabilities, “Typhoon”s simulating a QRA mission with an “Hercules”, warbirds, historical airliners… the AirPower 09 really redefined my standards (beside, of course, of commercial air shows, like those of Le Bourget or Farnborough).

Another issue of the show was the time the show started. At 11 o’clock am (or 0900z if you prefer, and remember the daylight saving time) it’s too late! It’s awful to take pictures at 6 o’clock pm (1600z), almost at sunset, with a runway heading of about 240 degrees.

Nevertheless, considering the downturn in the economic course, I cannot complain too much. I hope anyway that the show for the 55th will be far better that this.