The Best is Still to Come — Indian Air Force Jaguars

As we lament the premature passing of the Jaguar in RAF service and look around to see that in France, Ecuador and Nigeria the venerable lady has also been laid to rest, we could be forgiven in thinking that the sands of time were also running out with the last two operators, Oman and India.

It may therefore come as a surprise to many that although Oman is considering an imminent replacement, in India the type is not only still going from strength to strength but has only just recently finished production, the last aircraft coming off the line as

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The ancient aviator and the Albatros

Geoff Roberts air tests Aero’s latest Albatros variant, the L 139.

MY FIRST HIDDEN reactions to an invitation to fly in the Aero L 39 Albatros could never be described as being fired with wild enthusiasm. After all, since 1974, over 2,800 of them have been produced and operated in 16 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America — hardly a new aircraft. Secondly, I admit to being influenced by badly informed sources regarding what I could expect at Famborough ’94. «L 39? An airborne Skoda isn’t it?» «Built by Emmett, I think.» How wrong they and I were.

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Testing for War

WHAT’S NEW IN the world of RAF attack aircraft? Squadrons may claim that their aircraft are to the latest operational standards, but by the time that a new piece of kit is fitted to a Tornado or Harrier it will be well familiar at Boscombe Down. Famous as the base of the MoD PE’s Aircraft & Armament Evaluation Establishment’, this Wiltshire aerodrome is also host to an RAF unit dedicated more to operational development than test flying and aircraft handling. The Central Tactics & Trials Organisation (CTTO) reports to HQ Strike Command at High Wycombe and directly controls its own

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Test Pilot

Aviation Week Video/Aviation Week & Space Technology, Volume 3; number 2. Approximate running time 70 minutes, £12.99.

This is one of a series of videos produced by Aviation Week and is of a high technical standard with good, informative commentary and unobtrusive music. Unusually for an American production, it is not entirely about US aircraft and pilots. The worst feature for me was the inclusion of three advertisement slots, albeit brief and entirely related to aviation.

After the introductory footage of an F-14 Tomcat mission, with the appropriate music, the commentary leads easily into the historical view of test pilots.

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I’m writing in regards to your “Technique” feature articles. I’m a 14-year-old boy living in Minnesota with hopes of becoming a pilot someday. I really enjoy the tips on how to perform specific procedures in an airplane.

I like how «Technique» isolates the different aspects of the maneuver or procedure and provides a description of how and when to perform the task.

I can’t wait to see what I’ll learn next month.


I have been a reader of Flight Training for 23 years. I can’t believe you published the article “Two Touchdown

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Taiwanese air force safety questioned

A GROUP OF Taiwanese politicians demanded tightening-up of aviation safety measures on May 9 following the deaths of at least 38 aircrew in military aircraft crashes over the past four years. Since 1990 at least 26 air force aircraft, including fighter, trainer and reconnaissance types, have been lost in accidents. The figure covers only major accidents to air force aircraft and does not include any army or navy incidents.

According to statistics provided by the air force, Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party stated that 60% of the crashes were due to pilot error, 28% due to mechanical faults

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Tactical Helicopter – Chinook

The Chinook’s RAF role is explained by Ken Delve.

The role

OF ALL THE ROLES examined in this series, that of the tactical helicopter has the most recent operational introduction, having a history of less than 40 years. Like a number of the other roles, this arose as a secondary consideration to the original concept for the operational employment of the helicopter. Helicopter development was slow and uncertain in the mid 1940s but by the late 1940s the Americans had taken the lead in this sphere.

Despite these early trials, there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the potential

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Surviving NATO shootdowns

AFM’s Alan Dawes sheds light on reports from *the other side’ describing the experiences of downed Yugoslavian Air Force pilots.

IN THE comparatively brief history of aerial combat, the role of the fighter pilot has always been glamorised in much the same way as we looked upon medieval knights. It is, therefore, tragically apt that the majority of Yugoslav Air Force fighter pilots known to have been shot down during Operation Allied Force have all belonged to the elite 127 Squadron, known as The Knights. The squadron name celebrates the memory of Serbia’s revered medieval leader and his band of

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Sukhoi Su-35-1 Maiden Flight

SUKHOI’S PROTOTYPE Su-35-1 multi-role fighter, ‘901 Blue’, undertook its first flight from Zhukovsky, near Moscow, on February 18. Built at the KnAAPO factory in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, it was completed in August 2007, just in time for the MAKS 2007 airshow. The aircraft was airfreighted to Zhukovsky inside an An-124 just before the show, where it was then placed on static display (see Sukhoi’s Su-35 Makes Its Debut, November, p20). Since then it had been completing a series of ground tests and was expected to have flown by November, but this was delayed by three months, for unknown reasons.

KnAAPO is currently

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The purpose of Aerial Reconnaissance is twofold.

There is reconnaissance that is confined to the environs of the battlefield, the purpose of which is to gather intelligence about the enemy’s disposition, strength and technology in the immediate area of localised conflict. The USAF identifies this as tactical reconnaissance. Then there is reconnaissance with a strategic emphasis. This includes the finding and pinpointing of targets for intercontinental warfare and seeks indications and warnings of a surprise attack, in addition to gathering intelligence of the enemy’s disposition, strength and technology on a global scale.

The so-called ‘overflights’ of the Cold War were


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