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Phantom Pharewell: The Movie

So here we are, 2013 is nearing its end. It was a year filled to the brim with aviaton news, but the most memorable moment was almost certainly the retirement of the great German F-4F Phantom. Vincent Kok was able to make a truly fantastic movie about this sad and at the same time festive occasion. Here’s to 2014 and the good ol’ Phantom one more time. Enjoy!

© 2013 AIRheadsFLY, with thanks to Vincent Kok.

Pics, pics, pics! Check these photo features!

Paint art at one of the last German Phantoms (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Phantom Pharewell Afterparty
Luftwaffe F-4F Phantom II with serial 38+28 in a shelter at Wittmundhafen AB (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Wittmund Pharewell
Hiko Kaihatsu Jikkendan. What's that? Hiko Kaihatsu Jikkendan, or in other words, the JASDF test unit. That's to whom this F-4EJ belongs. It is seen here at Gifu airbase. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Phantom Pheature

Embraer Legacy 450 takes to the skies

The Embraer Legacy 450 had its first taste for flight on Saturday. (Image © Embraer)
The Embraer Legacy 450 had its first taste for flight on Saturday. (Image © Embraer)

That’s a nice way to end the year 2013: Embraer Executive Jets’ newest aircraft, the Legacy 450, made a successful first flight on Saturday 28 december from São José dos Campos. Embraer test pilots Eduardo Camelier and Eugênio Cará, supported by flight test engineer Carlos Kobayashi, flew the aircraft for one hour and thirty-five minutes, conducting the evaluation of handling and performance characteristics.

The Legacy 450 is a mid-light business jet with a best-in-class six-foot flat-floor cabin. It is also the first business aircraft in its segment with full Fly-By-Wire technology, featuring side stick flight controls, the state-of-the-art Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite with four 15.1-inch high resolution LCD displays, graphical flight planning, Jeppesen charts and maps, and the Synthetic Vision System (SVS). The optional Embraer Enhanced Vision System (E2VS) encompasses the latest Rockwell Collins Compact Head-Up Display (HUD) and Enhanced Vision System (EVS).

The Legacy 450 is powered by two fuel-efficient Honeywell HTF 7500E turbofan engines. With four passengers and NBAA IFR Reserves, the Legacy 450 is capable of flying non-stop from Los Angeles to Boston, or Moscow to New Delhi.

The maiden flight covered a significant range of the flight envelope and allowed for a variety of inflight systems tests, benefiting from an advanced campaign of flight simulations and extensive ground tests. “The flight was a success,” said pilot Camelier. “The full fly-by-wire system, with side stick flight controls, made the flight very smooth. With the advanced avionics suite, the aircraft operation was very easy and intuitive.”

“The Legacy 450 will be the best-in-class mid-light business jet, responding to the needs and wishes of customers worldwide,” said Marco Túlio Pellegrini, Senior Vice President Operations and COO, Embraer Executive Jets. “With full fly-by-wire technology and the roomiest cabin in its category, this aircraft will deliver unique features and amenities.”

Source: Embraer

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Tough Russian Stuff

Normally we don’t just show a YouTube clip, but we feel this one is special. Asphalt runway or just a stretch of grass, the MiG-21 really doesn’t care, as this video shows. Tough stuff from Russia once again! Also, listen for the nice and loud ‘bangs’ these Hungarian MiG-21s produce on take off. The one at min 7:35 for example. Enjoy!

Bye bye to FAB Mirage 2000

The participation of FAB Mirage 2000s at the Cruzex Crusade 2013 was a bit of a surprise, as the Brazil is expected to stop flying the type in December. (Image © Ralph Blok)
A Força Aérea Brasileira Mirage 2000 seen during exercise Cruzex 2013. (Image © Ralph Blok)

A military ceremony held at Anapolis Air Base in Brazil on Friday 20 December marked the formal end of Mirage 2000 operations in the Força Aérea Brasileira ( FAB ). In January, F-5EM fighters will take over their role, protecting Brazilian airspace.

The Mirage 2000, baptized FAB F-2000 in Brazil, served the Latin American country since 2006. The fleet of twelve aircraft completed more than 10,000 hours of flight. The Mirage 2000 was purchased second hand from France as a temporary solution for fighter coverage over Brazil. The initial plan was that the jets would stop at the end of 2011, but with tweaks six aircraft remained flying until now. The government last week announced the acquisition of Saab Gripen E/F fighter as replacements.

Until the new fighters arrive, the air defense mission is in the hands of the F-5EM fighters. A group of six pilots remain in Anapolis and fly the F-5s. With the retirement of the Mirage 2000, ‘Jaguar’ squadron will be without aircraft. The Brazilian air force will then start working on composing the first group that will operate the new Gripens.

Source: Força Aérea Brasileira

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Poland buys M-346 trainers, tests in February

The sun is rising for Alenia Aermacchi and its M-346 lead-in fighter trainer. (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)
The sun is rising for Alenia Aermacchi and its M-346 lead-in fighter trainer. (Image © Alenia Aermacchi)

UPDATE 5 JANUARY 2013 Poland has invited Alenia Aermacchi to send a test aircraft to Poland for verification tests in February. Those test are to be held on 21 February, according to a tweet by the Italian aircraft builder. The final contract should be signed sometime in 2014.

Poland is set to buy eight M-346 trainers as lead-in fighter trainers for future fast jet pilots, Alenia Aermacchi parent company Finmeccanica said on Monday. The contract is worth 383 million USD and also includes an option for a further four aircraft.

In Poland, the M-346 replaces the trusty old PZL TS-11 Iskras, a type that first flew as early as 1960. Poland has been looking for a replacement aircraft for the last five years or so, another contender being the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle. The new trainers will mainly be used for training future F-16 pilots. Poland operates 48 state-of-the-art Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 52 fighters.

According to Alenia Aermacchi, the twin-engined M-346 is the most advanced lead-in fighter trainer flying today. With its fully digital flight controls and avionics, together with carefree handling and high AOA maneuvering, the M-346 is fully representative of new generation fighters. The trainer has already been ordered by Italy, Singapore and Israel.

The M-346 is capable of using a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) that is fully integrated into the M-346 aircraft avionics systems. HMD provides student pilots with a new generation personal avionics system that enables them to develop competency in the use of advanced weapons systems management in operations fully representative of modern combat aircraft.

© 2013 AIRheads’ Elmer van Hest

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