Operators Themed Articles

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GAM Previews: Flight of the Hunter T7A Back in Issue 15 of GAM, Gareth Stringer told the story of a series of flights he was lucky enough to experience in Newcastle Jet Provost Group’s T3A. This time he trades the JP in for something a tiny bit faster - Hunter Flight Academy’s Hunter T7A WV318 / G-FFOX.
GAM Previews: Magnificent Meiringen Located in truly spectacular surroundings, Meiringen Air Base is home to the Swiss Air Force’s F-5E/F Tiger IIs of Fliegerstaffel 8 and the F/A-18C/D Hornets of Fliegerstaffel 11. January 2013 promised an intense period of flying, thanks in part to the World Economic Forum in Davos, and Frank Grealish simply could not resist the chance to return to one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
GAM Previews: Hiko Kyodotai - Japan’s Aggressor Squadron The Hiko Kyodotai (Tactical Fighter Training Squadron) is the Japan Air Self Defence Force’s dedicated aggressor squadron and operates what most of would agree are some of the best looking F-15s in the world. Steve Comber reports from Nyutabaru Air Base.
blogGAR: RAF Brize Norton Now that the airshow season is over and the long winter nights upon us, there’s plenty of time to catch up on some previously neglected trips out and about with the camera. Shaun Schofield reports from a fruitful October morning on the fence of RAF Brize Norton.
GAM Previews: Bad to the Bone The B-1B Lancer (usually referred to as the Bone, a corruption of B-One) has been in service with the United States Air Force (USAF) since 1986. GAR’s Chris Wood recently visited Dyess AFB, located near the city of Abilene in Texas, to see how it is shaping up in the current conflict in Afghanistan and to find out about upgrades to its capability.
GAM Previews: Israel Marks 45 Years of A-4 'Ayit' Operations Only four air arms currently operate the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, these being Argentina, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Israel Air Force. Of these, the latter operates the largest number with approximately 38 examples remaining airworthy. Bob Archer reports from Hatzerim as the Israel Air Force marks 45 years of 'Ayit' operations.
GAM Previews: Top o' the Sears If you want to have a TV antenna serving a large area, putting it on top of the highest building for hundreds of miles makes a lot of sense. If you want to replace it though, your options are a bit limited. Rob Edgcumbe joined the team undertaking this task.
GAM Previews: Malaysian Airline System at 40 As described in the Singapore Airlines (SIA) article in Issue 12 of Global Aviation Magazine, Malaysian Airline System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) were born in October 1972 as a result of the dissolution of Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). Doug Green concludes the 40th anniversary account with the story of Malaysia's national carrier.
GAM Previews: British Airways & Heathrow Terminal 5 Ever since the British Airways Board was established in 1971, London’s Heathrow Airport has always been the carrier’s main hub. Following the 14 March 2008 opening of Terminal 5, almost all of the airline’s services are now operated from this state-of-the-art facility. Company Airbus A320 pilot Dheeraj Bhasin takes us on an after-hours tour of BA’s impressive operation.
GAM Previews: Hellenic Air Force A-7 Corsairs The sight of the Northrop Grumman (Vought) A-7 Corsair II flying over the Greek countryside has been a common one for almost four decades, but, as has now been confirmed, 2013 will see the aircraft retired. Kevin Jackson reports from Araxos Air Base on the job the ‘SLUFF’ is still performing.
GAM Previews: Kenmore Air Seattle seaplane airline Kenmore Air has carved out a niche for itself as an important part of the city's transport network, whilst priding itself on great customer service and a warm, familial atmosphere. Paul Dunn profiles this popular operator.
GAM Previews: Central Air Force Museum Monino One of the world’s largest aviation museums, the Central Air Force Museum in Monino is home to an amazing array of some 173 aircraft, almost all of which are of a Russian origin. Following on from his report on the Russian Air Force’s 100th Anniversary Airshow, Steve Coe takes us on a guided tour of the Monino collection.
GAM Previews: The Buccaneer Aviation Group (TBAG) It’s been out of RAF service for almost 20 years but, as Gareth Stringer found out, opportunities to see and feel the power of the Blackburn Buccaneer in the UK are still very much available.
GAM Previews: Bill Charney and 'The Red Rockette' Bill Charney is a man with a life-long love for one particular aircraft type: the Beech Staggerwing. Some 50 years after first setting eyes on this pretty little biplane, he was finally in the position to purchase his own. This is the story of his association with ‘The Red Rockette’ and the journey the pair is still embarking upon together.
GAM Previews: Air Zermatt There can be few more challenging environments in which to operate and fly than the Alps. Huw Hopkins profiles a helicopter company that has been successfully carrying out all manner of unusual operations whilst doing just that for almost 45 years - Air Zermatt.
GAM Previews: Singapore Airlines at 40 40 years ago, on 1 October 1972, the airline then known as Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) was split in two, with one element becoming Singapore Airlines (SIA). The division prompted a rapid expansion that in December 2010 saw SIA credited with being the second largest airline in the world when measured in terms of market capitalisation.
GAM Previews: The Airbus A300 at 40 28 October 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the Airbus A300. Chris Wood takes a look at the aircraft that spawned a whole new family of commercial aircraft and challenged the American dominance of the world’s airliner market.
GAM Previews: AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin at 25 Gareth Stringer looks back at the history, development and operational usage of the AgustaWestland AW101, with help from Richard Luck, retired Royal Air Force Wing Commander and a hugely experienced rotary wing pilot.
Military Aviation >> 101 Sqn Celebrates 50 Years of the VC10 On 29 June 1962, the Vickers-Armstrong VC10 flew for the first time. A little over 50 years later, Wg Cdr Kev Brookes, Officer Commanding 101 Squadron, planned to take advantage of the fact that all three variants of the aircraft remaining in Royal Air Force service were in the UK concurrently – and for the last time ahead of retirement - to launch a three aircraft formation on a tour around the UK. Karl Drage and John Higgins were present at RAF Brize Norton to witness it. Words – Karl Drage, additional imagery - Neil Dunridge.
GAM Previews: Aviation Profiles - Frédéric Akary In the latest of GAM’s Aviation Profiles series, Elliott Marsh talks motivations, aerobatics and all things Hawker Fury with Frédéric Akary, the former French National Aerobatic Team member whose displays in Sir Sydney Camm’s piston powerhouse have been a highlight of airshows across Europe for the last five years.
GAM Previews: Air Force Reserve Command - AFRC The Air Force Reserve Command supplies people and equipment to support the USAF on operations worldwide, whilst at the same time maintaining a strategic reserve force that can be called upon in times of national emergency. Paul Dunn visits the 79th Air Refueling Squadron at Travis AFB, California, to learn more about the organisation and role of the reserve forces.
Beech Starships at Centennial Airport in Colorado These days, it's unusual to see an active Beech Starship, and with only five left out of the 53 manufactured, they are now spread very thinly across the USA.
blogGAR: Belugas at Hawarden and a stop-off at Manchester-Ringway Long range plans seldom come off but this was one such occasion. Pencilled in some six weeks in advance, Karl and Geoff travelled to the Airbus facility at Hawarden in the hope (and mild expectation) of a Beluga or two.
GAM Previews: Fairchild Republic's A-10 Thunderbolt II at 40 Forty years ago, the prototype of the A-10 made its first flight. Despite several attempts to get rid of it, the A-10 still provides an unbeatable capability, and GAM traveled to Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, to see how new pilots are trained on the aircraft and the operations of a front line squadron. Rob Edgcumbe reports.
GAM Previews: Drag-'Em-Oot Early June is synonymous with D-Day in Western Europe. As has now become the tradition, several Allied Nations from World War 2 commemorate the events of 6 June 1944 through a whole range of activites, with the primary purpose of acknowledging the phenomenally brave actions of those that took part. When I was invited to fly alongside Douglas C-47A Skytrain “Drag-‘Em-Oot” – herself a D-Day veteran - as she made her way to Lee-on-Solent at the start of her own now regular involvement in proceedings, it was an opportunity that was simply too good to miss.
GAM Previews: Army Air Corps on Display in 2012 This year sees the Army Air Corps (AAC) sharing its public display duties between two teams – with both the Apache and Lynx appearing at events across the United Kingdom. Gareth Stringer met both teams and spoke to the man who pulls the whole thing together. Images as credited.
Airshows >> USA: US Army Parachute Team - The Golden Knights The Golden Knights parachute display team undertakes demonstrations throughout the year on behalf of the US Army. Rob Edgcumbe caught up with them at Janesville, Wisconsin, and rode along on one of their flights for GAR.
Aviation Events >> USA: 128th ARW Open House, Milwaukee, WI As the summer approaches, there are many air shows taking place across the United States. While some of these will be major events, some locations will provide a smaller scale opportunity to share with the local community the work that they do. Rob Edgcumbe reports from one such event.
blogGAR >> First Quarter 2012 Round-Up Paul Filmer blogs on his outings during the first few months of 2012; outings that have seen him shooting a wide variety of different types of aircraft in very different settings.
Aviation News >> Thomson's New Colours Applied to 767 G-OBYG Following on from last week's unveiling of Thomson Airways' new colours, John Higgins visited Manchester Airport this morning to capture the first of the company's aircraft to be painted in the new scheme, Boeing 767-304/ER, G-OBYG.
blogGAR: Beluga Hunting at Hawarden - 'Like Looking in the Mirror' Geoff Hibbert and Karl Drage took the trip to Hawarden in search of a very unusual aircraft - Airbus' A300-600ST (Super Transporter), affectionately known as the 'Beluga'. Here's Geoff's take on the day.
blogGAR: Hawker Hunter Aviation (HHA) at RNAS Yeovilton With RNAS Yeovilton now primarily a helicopter station, the roar of fast jets is seldom heard these days. So, when Shaun Schofield learned of Hawker Hunter Aviation (HHA) deploying its three Hunters to the base, what better opportunity to get out and about with the camera for the first time in 2012?!
blogGAR: Jeffco Air Tanker Base Ramps Up for the Season As another fire fighting season kicks into gear the tanker bases across the United States step up their preparations. Paul Filmer heads to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Colorado.
Aviation Events >> UK: Friends of The Fighter Collection (FoTFC) Evening With the start of the UK airshow season less than two months away, The Fighter Collection (TFC) invited both members and non-members of its supporters' club, 'The Friends', into Hangar 2 at Imperial War Museum Duxford for an after-hours event to showcase the Collection and to promote the annual Flying Legends Airshow organised by TFC. Thomas Pitts reports for GAR, with additional imagery from Huw Hopkins and Elliott Marsh.
Aviation News >> UK: The Shuttleworth Collection's Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, N49JC On 19 February 2012 the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden airfield in Bedfordshire took delivery of their latest acquisition: Grumman FM-2 Wildcat N49JC. Elliott Marsh reports for GAR, with imagery by Huw Hopkins.
GAM Previews: WIWOL - When I Was On Lightnings Part 2 In this, the second part of his feature on the English Electric Lightning, Gareth Stringer asked Jon Fynes about squadron life and his season displaying the aircraft in 1987 as the last Royal Air Force pilot to do so.
GAM Previews: Aviation Profiles - Paul Bonhomme Since obtaining his Private Pilot’s Licence at the age of 18, Paul Bonhomme has experienced the type of enviable career diversity most aviators can only dream of. With aircraft of a superbly diverse range filling his logbook – from Robinson R22 to Boeing 747 by way of everything from the ultra high performance Sbach 300 to the ubiquitous Supermarine Spitfire – Paul’s life in aviation has certainly been nothing if not varied. Elliott Marsh sat down with Paul to find out where it all began and more.
GAM Previews: Royal Singapore Air Force Museum The Asian city-state of Singapore has one of the most prosperous economies in Asia and indeed the world. Its armed forces operate some of the most advanced equipment available and are considered to be the best-equipped in the region. The Republic of Singapore Air Force maintains a small but very interesting museum at Paya Lebar Airbase, which traces the history of the air arm from independence to its current potent incarnation. Paul Dunn pays a visit for Global Aviation Magazine.
GAM Previews: Brooks Fuel - A Retrospective The name Roger Brooks is synonymous with the spirit of true outback flying in harsh conditions with old propliners. Roger is, of course, the founder of Brooks Air Fuel based in Fairbanks, Alaska. When Paul Filmer sat down with him to chat about the operation, little did he realise that this would end up becoming a retrospective piece.
blogGAR: Operation ELLAMY Mission Marks at RAF Marham When Glenn first mentioned a day out at RAF Marham, Karl wasn't convinced by the weather forecast but ultimately succumbed and ended up having a good day Operation ELLAMY mission mark hunting in Norfolk.
blogGAR: Kenn Borek Air Migration Through Colorado Kenn Borek's sizeable fleet of DHC-6 and BT67 (or DC-3T) aircraft provide air-support for the many operations at each pole throughout the year, as well as fulfilling other tasks throughout the world, but here it's the Polar fleet that Paul Filmer captures arriving and departing.
GAM Previews: USS George H.W. Bush Following on from GAR’s visit to “The Bush” on its Liberty port visit to Portsmouth, UK, we were privileged to accept an invitation to join the carrier at sea. Paul Dopson reports from the United States Navy’s 6th Fleet area of operations, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea.
Aviation News >> Air Spray L-188 Electra from Honduras Air Force It's always nice to see an aircraft that everyone assumes will never fly again get a new lease of life against all the odds. This is exactly what has happened to an L-188 Electra that has been rescued from Honduras by Air Spray of Canada. Paul Filmer reports from Casper, Wyoming where maintenance issues forced an extended stay.
GAM Previews: High-Altitude ARNG Training Site - HAATS Paul Filmer, a Colorado resident, travels into the mountains near the popular ski resort of Vail to find out about the Army National Guard’s training camp designed to teach rotary wing pilots the secrets of operating at high altitudes and in difficult surroundings. This is HAATS - High-Altitude ARNG Aviation Training Site.
GAM Previews: The 100th ARW and Operation Unified Protector Between March 16 and October 31 2011, the United States Air Force’s 100th Air Refueling Wing from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, UK, provided KC-135 tanker support for Operation Unified Protector - the name given to a NATO operation enforcing UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, which authorised the use of all necessary means to protect those civilians in Libya under the threat of attack from Colonel Gaddafi’s forces. Glenn Beasley was given the chance to join them.
Special Events >> UK: Air Atlantique Classic Flight Night Runs 2011 Christmas nears and the weather begins to chill, setting the scene for the annual Air Atlantique Classic Flight Night Runs at Coventry Airport – now in its 4th consecutive year. Huw Hopkins froze for GAR.
Aviation News: 29(R) Squadron Unveils English Electric Lighting Gate Guard 'XP765' 29 (Reserve) Squadron today rolled out English Electric Lightning F.6 XS897 in full 29 Squadron markings during a private ceremony at the Squadron's RAF Coningsby home station. The aircraft has been modified and painted to represent Lightning F.3 XP765 that served with 29 during the 1960s and '70s.
GAM Previews: The 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, Philippine Air Force There may not be a large number of military or government aircraft based at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila but what is there is pretty interesting. Following on from his article on the airport’s civilian operators for Global Aviation Resource, Paul Filmer reports from the Philippines on the other Ninoy Aquino residents.
GAM Previews: The Fighter Collection's (TFC) Curtiss P-40B Warhawk, 41-13297 With the first in a new series of features titled Warbird Histories, and timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Huw Hopkins details The Fighter Collection’s Curtiss P-40B Warhawk, 41-13297.
GAM Previews: WZ507 and The Vampire Preservation Group If you're a regular British airshows attendee, there's a good chance you'll have seen de Havilland Vampire T.11 WZ507 being displayed for your viewing pleasure at some point in the last decade. Those seven minutes of entertainment come at an awfully high cost to the individuals who maintain and operate the Vampire; a cost which stunned Elliott Marsh when he met with Vampire pilot Mark Hooton for a chat about exactly what goes into keeping this lovely vintage jet flying.
Aviation News: Deputy Prime Minister Visits RAF Waddington to Pay Tribute to UK Armed Forces’ Role in NATO’s Campaign Over Libya With NATO declaring the end of sanctioned military operations over Libya, the Royal Air Force, Army Air Corps and Royal Navy air assets are now home from what the UK titled Operation ELLAMY. Gareth Stringer was at RAF Waddington as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg dropped by to welcome some of them home. Images – Karl Drage.
Civil Aviation >> Mauna Loa Helicopters, Hawaii Mauna Loa Helicopters operates across the Hawaiian Islands providing flight training and pleasure flights. Rob Edgcumbe paid them a visit to find out more about the company's operations and to experience the island of Kauai from the air.
Military Aviation >> Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose - Then & Now GAR staffer and former Royal Navy Sea King pilot Chris Wood recently paid a nostalgic visit to his old stomping ground of RNAS Culdrose in west Cornwall, 25 year after he left. Here he describes how things have changed.
Special Events >> USA: N999BW - Classic Jet Tours' BAC1-11 Charter Flight A unique opportunity was presented to enthusiasts a few months ago to fly on one of the few remaining BAC1-11s that are capable of carrying passengers, and, on Saturday August 27, that day dawned. Paul Filmer reports on this unusual flight from Dallas Love-Field, Texas.
Airshows >> UK: Bill Ramsey and Vulcan XH558 - Part Two Having joined Bill Ramsey in the cockpit for his first Vulcan trip in 34 years, he now brings us up to speed with his training and then the experience of displays from the cockpit of XH558 at RAF Waddington and RNAS Yeovilton. Images as credited.
Airshows >> UK: Brendan O'Brien and his Flying Circus - One on One Brendan O'Brien is one of the UK's most experienced and charismatic airshow personalities, with O'Brien's Flying Circus being the most instantly recognisable element of his current repertoire. Gareth Stringer caught up with him recently for an interview that covered a multitude of airshow and flying related topics. Images as credited.
Military Aviation >> Royal Air Force: Hawk T.2 Gathers Pace at RAF Valley After more than three decades as the RAF's sole advanced jet trainer, the Hawk T.1 has now been joined on the flightline at RAF Valley by its younger and much more modern incarnation, the Hawk T.2. Gareth Stringer reports with images as credited.
Military Aviation >> USA: Colorado Army National Guard (CO ARNG) LUH-72A Lakota Transition The Colorado Army National Guard's D Company 3rd Battalion, 140th Aviation (D/3-140 GSAB) has recently received four LUH-72A Lakotas (EC145) to replace its OH-58 Kiowas. Paul Filmer reports from Colorado as he takes a look at these new helicopters.
Warbirds >> Boeing B-17G N5017N Aluminum Overcast - Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) B-17G Flying Fortress N5017N 'Aluminum Overcast' is the flagship of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and is based at the famous Oshkosh airfield in Wisconsin when not flying all over the USA and Canada on touring schedules. Paul Filmer reports on its latest visit to Colorado.
Airshows >> UK: Royal Navy Historic Flight (RNHF) Update The Royal Navy Historic Flight (RNHF) has endured a series of recent setbacks but now has a flyable Swordfish, a powerhouse of a Sea Fury T.20 routine and the prospect of great things to come in the 2012 season. Paul Fiddian provides the latest from RNAS Yeovilton, with additional photo contributions as credited.