In 1986, a friend and I were planning a summer tour of America and we both had a list of ‘must-do’ places to visit. These included the USAF museum, the water-bombers of Wyoming and the

Oshkosh airshow. For many years an Air Pass provided a popular, relatively inexpensive way for enthusiasts to travel extensively around the US. Several airlines offered the passes, which varied from a few flights to unlimited travel within a set timeframe, and you had to fly with the carrier across the Atlantic before being entitled to buy them.

Our travel agent said the best deal was


No Technical Faults Found in Fatal Cormorant Crash

AN OFFICIAL Aircraft Occurrence Summary was made public by the Canadian Forces Directorate of Flight Safety on September 8, providing more details surrounding the fatal crash of Canadian Forces/413 Squadron CH-149 Cormorant 149914 on July 13, 2006 (see Canadian Cormorant Tragedy, Attrition, September, p72). The summary concludes that «no pertinent technical deficiencies have been discovered to date and the investigation is focussing on environmental and human factors.» The report goes on to say that several human factors need to be further examined, including proficiency, crew resource management, situational awareness, crew pairing, use of night vision goggles and organisational issues such

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Nimrod – Replacement or reincarnation?

John Chevedden looks at the options for the RAF’s Nimrod replacement, all of which have a high US content.

THE REQUEST FOR Tender for the Nimrod replacement was issued on January 10, 1995. The final selection is expected in the late summer of 1996 with a 2002 in-service date. The contract could be worth nearly £2 billion (S3.1 billion), including training and logistics support — twice the value of the hotly-contested contract recently awarded to Lockheed Corporation for 25 new C-130J Hercules 2 military transport aircraft.

The Ministry of Defence Staff Requirement Air (SRA) 420 requires a demanding performance for

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New Sensors on RAF Sea Kings

UK PROCUREMENT Minister Lord Bach announced on June 18 that work had begun on installing advanced sensors on the RAF’s Sea King search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter fleet. The upgrade will significantly improve the ability of RAF SAR teams to detect missing people in all weather conditions. Initially, two Sea King HAR.3AS (ZH542 and ZH545) – operated by 22 Squadron A Flight and based at RMB Chivenor, north Devon — have been fitted with the new Sea King Multi Sensor System (SKMSS), which uses FLIR Systems’ STAR-Q thermal imaging equipment.

SKMSS is an infra-red detection system that can detect a person in

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Netherlands Concerned Over Spiralling JSF Costs

ALTHOUGH THE Netherlands plans to be involved in the next phase of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) development programme (see News Briefs, November, p12), the Dutch Court of Audit is expressing concern at the cost of the project. In its latest report to the Dutch House of Representatives, released on October 11, the Court says the cost per aircraft still cannot be calculated and there is no insight into development costs because 65% of the test phase still has to be completed.

If JSF is acquired for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), the current

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Names with wings

ITS TITLE IS curious (but probably the best available, considering the content) and the frontispiece of a Greek warrior donning armour implies one may have picked up a book on ancient history by mistake. After that, it gets better by the page.

The system — or, more recently, perhaps, the lack thereof — of allocating names to British military aircraft and their engines is not a subject for the superficial aircraft enthusiast, but those with a serious interest will find this book to be a mine of information. The Greek gentleman could be Hercules, Hector or Lysander (we are not

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Moscows Air Defence Commander

KUBINKA AIR BASE, located some 50 miles (80km) west of Moscow is the home of the Proskurovsky Fighter Air Regiment. The Regiment is equipped with four operational types — the Su-27 Flanker, MiG-29 Fulcrum, Su-24 Fencer and Su-25 Frogfoot. It also has its own helicopter and transport support aircraft which include Mi-17 Hips and An-26 Curls , ond the base houses maintenance facilities for MiG-23 and ’27 Floggers.

Kubinka’s important secondary role came to prominence in 1956 when Western journalists were invited to the base to see a static display of the latest Soviet military aircraft, which included many hitherto

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More On Polish C-130s

POLISH DEPUTY Defence Minister for Procurement, Janusz Zemke, announced on June 17 that five ex-Royal Air Force C-130K Hercules C.1/C.3 transport aircraft will be delivered to Poland by 2007. The aircraft are scheduled to arrive at their new home at Krakow-Balice Air Base in late 2005 and early 2006, where they will be operated by 13 ELTR (Eskadra Lotnictwa Transportowego — Airlift Squadron). Prior to delivery, they will be overhauled in the United States under a $75 million Foreign Military Fund programme, which will include some upgrade work. Additionally, around SI6.5 million from the Polish defence budget will be allocated

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Modern art.

One of the most interesting factors about aircraft is that the aerodynamics required to make them fly efficiently have, from the very beginning, created art forms that were, and are, indicative of the age.

The Beautiful Warthog.

The Mighty A-10 Warthog came close to a premature demise, but enter the Gulf War, and it did exactly what it was designed to do — bust tanks. In the photo, a four-ship of armed Michigan ANG Hogs join up in the wild blue yonder.

Night Eyes.

A U.S. Air Force «Viper driver» models ANVIS-9 night-vision goggles, and his F-16 looks on. Night-vision

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Missilex 99.

THE LAMPS SH-60B community, mostly associated with the USW role, recently received a few modified SH-60Bs referred to as ‘armed helicopters’. This term describes several Seahawks in the community capable of firing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The inventory now contains seven Rapid Deployment Kit (RDK) Seahawks with the Hellfire launcher assembly and the FLIR/Laser designation pod (same pod as the F-117A) mounted on the nose. The inventory also lists some SH-60B FLIR Contingency Kit (FCK) SH-60Bs, non-Hellfire capable helicopters but with the same advanced FLIR/laser designation pod mounted on the starboard side.

The players.

In the summer of 1999, Seahawk squadrons

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