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US Military Aviation

DEC xx 2011
Military Aviation >> Worldwide: Military Aviation in Manila

The most high profile of the based squadrons in the military corner of the airport, known as Colonel Jesus A. Villamor Air Base, is the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, which operates a fleet of aircraft and helicopters on behalf of the Philippine President.

The flagship of the fleet is Fokker F-28-3000 (c/n 11153) which was built in 1979 and is currently registered as 1250. It was originally delivered as RC-C1177 in 1980 into the hands of Government Financial Institutions (GFI), before being donated to the Office of the President (as RP-1250), and was then transferred to the inventory of the Philippine Air Force in 2007 when the RP was dropped from the serial.

The 3000 series was produced with a shorter fuselage length than the original 1000 series, and has a greater structural strength and increased fuel capacity. This variant was popular with various governments around the world as executive and VIP transport. Still fitted with its original Rolls-Royce Spey Mk555-15H engines, which was a simplified and lighter version of the original Spey engine, also known as the "Spey Junior" in some circles. With the relatively short range of the F-28 the President will use a Philippine Airlines 747-400 for long-range journeys, but the F-28 whenever practical. Although it doesn't have hush-kits installed, the F-28 can still fly to most countries in the region with the exception of Singapore, which has noise restrictions.

This F-28 has very low airframe hours at only 5696 with the aircraft expected to fly around 200 hours per year. This aircraft is certainly kept in extremely good condition.

The Presidential Airlift Wing also operates a single F-27-200 (59-0259 c/n 10115). This aircraft is a backup to the F-28 and also serves to fly security personnel in advance of the F-28 to secure the area of visits. Unusually this aircraft carries a full military serial as opposed to the RP that designates government aircraft.

This airframe was originally delivered to the Philippine Air Force on 2 September 1959 and was the 15th F-27 built (the 13th to fly as two were used for static tests), and this is currently the oldest F-27 still active in the world. It was converted from a 100 to 200 series in 1966.

Along with the two fixed wing assets, the Presidential Airlift Wing also operates a variety of helicopters. The only airframe that I had access to was a Bell 412HP (RP-2000).

The Philippine Air Force also operates a further pair of F-27s under the 220th Airlift Wing. 10669 is an F-27-500RF and was in service with Jersey European Airlines as G-JEAH (I flew on this airframe with JEA many times) and later with EuroCeltic Airways as G-ECAH. 10620 is an F-27-200MPA that was delivered new to the Philippine Air Force.

There are a further three F-27s that have been withdrawn from use and are stored just outside the two military ramps. 10327 and 10267 are both F-27-200s, originally built as 100s for Philippine Airlines in 1965 and 1967, and later transferred to the Air Force. 10310 is a 1966 example that took the same route as the other two examples. All still had their engines intact in 2010 but by 2011 they all had the engines removed.

On to a couple of unusual types that can be found at this airfield. First up a SIAI-Marchetti SF-600TP Canguro (RP-3101 c/n 009) of which only 10 were built. The original prototype was bulit with Lycoming piston engines, but production models were built with Allison 250 turboprops. When SIAI-Marchetti were taken over by Augusta, a venture with Sammi in South Korea to build these aircraft plus others came to nothing, and a similar venture with he Philippines Aerospace Development Company (PADC) also come to nothing. Two examples were delivered to the Philippines with RP-C1298 (c/n 008) ditching in the sea on 1 September 1977, near to Fortune Island to the south west of Manila. Ten people were on board with one becoming a fatality. The example still extant is in very faded Philippine Coast Guard colours. The licence was later obtained by Italian company Vulcanair along with the Partenavia P.68.

Another unusual airframe is the PADC X-100A Hummingbird, which was built locally as a design for the Philippine Air Force. It was a re-design of the Bolkow Bo105 but PADC was threatened with sanctions by MBB and the project was cancelled with only this single frame being modified.

I also spied a Philippine Coast Guard Cessna 421 (RP-1244) on a previous trip (but not seen since). This was acquired in 2000 without cost from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, but due to current budgetary constraint, the aircraft is not yet in service.

The last local government aircraft I saw was a Philippine National Police BN-2A Islander (RP-4177) while a US Navy UC-12F reportedly based at NAF Atsugi, Japan was also parked on one of the ramps.


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2012-08-19 - Jan F Homma
Paul, first compliment with the nice story. I have some with your type spec of the Fokker F28 Mark 3000:

The 3000 series was produced with the same length than the original 1000 series, and has a the same structural strength plus extended wings and increased fuel capacity.
This variant was popular with various governments around the world as executive and VIP transport.

The F28 is standard fitted with its original Rolls-Royce Spey Mk555-15 engines, which was a simplified and lighter version of the original Spey engine, also known as the "Spey Junior" in some circles. (Mark 1000 & 2000)
The F28 Mark 3000 & 4000 was delivered with more powerful Mk555-15H or Mk555-15P engines. Only the F28 Mark 3000R (reduced) has the standard Mk555-15 engines. (Indonesia)

Very Regards,

Jan F Homma



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