Category Archives: Aviation Features

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EADS is dead

So, European Aeronautic, Defence and Space (EADS) is called from today on what it should always have been called: Airbus! Clever thinkin’, chaps! Bonne idée! Gut gemacht! So we started looking for pics of military Airbuses, apart from the A400M Grizzly that we feel is truly beautiful. And … ehmm … welll … we managed to come with … uhmm … just one picture. But hey, it is rare – around here, anyway.

In our defence; apart from those stairs, that’s an Airbus A340 wingtip in front of there. And we promise this is our shortest amazing feature ever.

Brasil, Brasil. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Brasil, Brasil. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Overview: Royal Norwegian Air Force

Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) (Luftforsvaret) status as of 22 December 2015
(© 2014 Airheadsfly.com, source information: Forsvaret. Featured image: Cool ‘selfie’ from a RNoAF F-16 pilot while flying over Indre-Troms (Image © Forsvarets mediesenter))

>>> Check out our continuing news stream on the Royal Norwegian Air Force

Active number of aircraft: 117

  • 2x Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighter
  • 50x Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter
  • 4x Lockheed P-3C UIP Orion maritime patrol aircraft
  • 2x Lockheed P-3N Orion maritime patrol aircraft
  • 4x Lockheed C-130J-30 Hercules tactical transport aircraft
  • 2x Dassault DA-20 Jet Falcon electronic warfare aircraft
  • 1x Dassault DA-20 Jet Falcon VIP transport aircraft
  • 18x Bell 412SP utility & transport helicopter
  • 6x NHI NH90 helicopter for coast guard duties and as shipborne anti-submarine / anti-ship and naval support
  • 12x Westland Sea King Mk 43 search-and-rescue helicopter
  • 16x Saab MFI-15 Safari basic training aircraft

Aircraft ordered

  • 20x Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealty multi-role fighters. Total requirement 52. First two aircraft delivered in 2015 to Luke AFB, no. 3 and 4 in 2016 and then 6 aircraft every year in the years that follow. F-35s will replace F-16s.
  • 8x NHI NH90 helicopter for coast guard duties and as shipborne anti-submarine / anti-ship and naval support
  • 16x AgustaWestland AW101, first deliveries planned in 2017. Will replace Sea Kings.

Airbases (Flystasjon): 8

Reserve bases and secondary fields: 9

    • Banak Lakselv
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Andøya/Andenes (133 Luftving)
      • P-3 (333 skvadron)
    • Bardufoss (139 Luftving)
      • Bell 412SP (339 skvadron)
      • Lynx Mk 86 (337 skvadron)
      • MFI-15 Safari (Luftforsvarets flygeskole)
      • NH-90 (operational test & evaluation / 334 skvadron)
    • Bodø (132 Luftving, Huvudflystasjon (Main Air Base))
      • F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon (331/332 skvadron)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Ørland (138 Luftving, Huvudflystasjon (Main Air Base))
      • F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon (338 skvadron)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Gardermoen (135 Luftving)
      • C-130J Hercules (335 skvadron)
      • DA-20 Jet Falcon (717 skvadron)
    • Rygge (under command of 139 Luftving (Bardufoss))
      • Bell 412SP (720 skvadron)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron)
    • Sola (137 Luftving, avd Sola)
      • Sea King Mk 43 (330 skvadron main base)
      • Alert operation base for F-16s
      • NATO tanker aircraft airbase Northern Europe
    • Luke AFB, Arizona, USA (F-35 training unit)
      • F-35A (2 aircraft in 2015, 4 in 2016, 7 aircraft in 2017/2018)

    >>> Check out our continuing news stream on the Royal Norwegian Air Force

    Shooting Range (aka very nice shots)

    A 4-pack formation of RNoAF F-16 fighters in a narrow fjord during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    A 4-pack formation of RNoAF F-16 fighters in a narrow fjord during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    A RNoAF P-3C Orion from 333 squadron during the DV-day under the winter exercise Cold Response 2012 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    A RNoAF P-3C Orion from 333 squadron during the DV-day under the winter exercise Cold Response 2012 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    The latest Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules that was delivered as attrition to the one lossed in Sweden. (Image © Lockheed Martin)
    The latest Royal Norwegian Air Force C-130J Super Hercules that was delivered as attrition to the one lossed in Sweden. (Image © Lockheed Martin)

    A Royal Norwegian Air Force Dassault DA-20 Falcon in flight (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets Mediecenter)
    A Royal Norwegian Air Force Dassault DA-20 Falcon in flight (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets Mediecenter)

    RNoAF Bell 412SP with serial 167 coming in low, sporting Gatling guns on both sides of the aircraft (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    RNoAF Bell 412SP with serial 167 coming in low, sporting Gatling guns on both sides of the aircraft. (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    RNoAF/Kystvakt (Coast Guard) NH-90 with tail no. 049 from 139 Luftving during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    RNoAF/Kystvakt (Coast Guard) NH-90 with tail no. 049 from 139 Luftving during Cold Response 2014 (Image © Torbjørn Kjosvold / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    A Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) Westland Sea King (Image © Nils Skipnes / Luftforsvaret / Forsvarets mediesenter)
    A Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) Westland Sea King (Image © Nils Skipnes / Luftforsvaret / Forsvarets mediesenter)

    The final operational landing of a Norwegian Lynx (Image © Mats Grimsæth / Forsvarets Mediesenter)
    The final operational landing of a Norwegian Lynx, before the type was retired in December 2014 (read story and sea more images here) (Image © Mats Grimsæth / Forsvarets Mediesenter)

    One of the best Tigers ever, if we had our say. Which we have, now. The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter served within the RNoAF 1966 to 2000. Norway bought 78 single-seaters (A), 14 two-seaters (B) and 16 RF-5A tactical reconnaissance jets (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    One of the best Tigers ever, if we had our say. Which we have, now. The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter served within the RNoAF 1966 to 2000. Norway bought 78 single-seaters (A), 14 two-seaters (B) and 16 RF-5A tactical reconnaissance jets (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    The first Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 lands at Luke AFB. (Image © US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Marcy Copeland)
    The first Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 lands at Luke AFB. (Image © US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Marcy Copeland)

    Time for Twentynine

    It is July 29th today – and let’s just call this day International MiG-29 Day from now on. Yeah! Inspired by our recent digging up of ol’ F-4 Phantom shots, we started looking for some Fulcrums as well since we feel Phantoms and Fulcrums are sort of ‘in the same category’: the category of King of Cool, that is. Here are some hot shots.

    We like Poland and we like MiG-29s. Good combo right there.

    Was at 5 years ago already? That scorching hot airshow at Berlin-Schönefeld. This Polish MiG29 was a show stealer.
    Take off during a scorching hot airshow at Berlin-Schönefeld back in 2008. This Polish MiG-29 stole the show. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    We had to dust off our trusty scanner to get this shot somewhat presentable for you. It's another Polish MiG29, in the colours of its former owner, the Czech Republic. Photo taken at Dijon, France, 1997. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    We had to dust off our trusty scanner to get this shot somewhat presentable for you. It’s another Polish MiG-29, in the colours of its former owner, the Czech Republic. Photo taken at Dijon, France, 1997. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    Hungary is great too! Both its capital Budapest and its MiG-29s. Good combo again!

    Definitely not the time for a screwed up landing. Photo taken during the 2007 Kecskemét airshow. Kecskemét; we keep screwing up that name, so we checked the spelling especially for you, dear reader.
    Definitely not the time to screw up a landing. Photo taken during the 2007 Kecskemét airshow. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    For more than a decade, Germany used a bunch of Fulcrums that were leftovers from the Nationale Volksarmee (NVA), otherwise known as the East German army. The German MiG-29s were eventually sold to Poland, although a few are preserved in Germany.

    Want to pimp your ride? Call the Germans! They know about proper paintjobs on airplanes. This Fulcrum was seen at Florennes, Belgium in 2001. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Want to pimp your ride? Call the Germans! They know about proper paintjobs on airplanes. This Fulcrum was seen at Florennes, Belgium in 2001. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    These guys are a bit rare, but have shown up in Dutch viewfinders before … Serbia operates a few Fulcrums and did so during the 2012 Batajnica airshow near Belgrade – a city we loved spending some time in while enjoying some Jelen beer.

    What's not to like about those lines?
    What’s not to like? (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Setting it down nicely on one of Batajnica's two runways.
    Putting it down nicely on one of Batajnica’s two runways. The 2012 airshow saw high temperatures, a huge crowd and the treat of nine Fulcrums, of which four were from the host nation. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    Next up is a Slovakian MiG-29. We like the Slovaks – simply because they are still flying these things.

    Back in the days, when Fulcrums were regulars at European airshows. This one shows its stuff at Fairford 1995.
    Back in the days, when Fulcrums were regulars at European airshows. This one shows its stuff at Fairford 1995.

    Bulgaria sent a MiG-29UB to the 2011 Izmir Airshow, and AIRheads↑FLY was there to capture it and enjoy some of that fine Turkish food and weather.

    Are we taking it with us all the way to parking? Yep, we are.
    “Are we dragging that thing with us all the way to the parking lot? Yep, we are.” (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    MiG-29s come in flocks too! One such flock is called Team Strizhi in Russian, or Team Swallows for non-Russian speakers.

    Team Stryyi were stars of the 2005 airshow in Brno. Key for succesfull photography at this airshow was to stay outside the airfield.
    Team Stryyi was the star of the 2005 airshow at Brno. Key for succesfull photography at this airshow was to stay outside the airfield. A spot to the south of the runway provided excellent views. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    Always finish with a rarity is our motto. We anticipate this is rare enough for a grande finale:

    A Cuban MiG29UB in the Museo del Aire in Havana. Yeah, that's rare, because it is on of only two Cuban MiG29UB's that ever excisted. This picture was taken in december 2006 and the museum has since completely vanished. Not a trace left. It made this MiG29 even rarer.
    A Cuban MiG-29UB in the Museo del Aire in Havana. Yeah, that’s rare, because it is one of only two Cuban MiG-29UBs that ever existed. This pic was taken in december 2006 and the museum has since completely vanished. Not a trace left. Our guess is this MiG now resides at San Antonio de los Banos airbase near Havana, away from public eyes. It makes this Fulcrum even more rare. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    © 2013 AIRheads editor Elmer van Hest

    Phantom Pharewell Afterparty

    ,,Can’t be!” one of the authors  of AIRheads↑FLY thought after seeing F-4F Phantoms touchdown for the last time at Wittmundhafen airbase in northern Germany. It should be Phantoms Phorever. So let’s throw a little afterparty, right here and now.

    Starting off with some chilling, easy Phantom vibes, here are some Germans doing what they do best: looking phabolous.

    germanF4F_1
    Luftwaffe F-4F blasting off from Laage airbase in 2006. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    German F-4F Phantom about to slam it down on RWY24 of Leeuwarden AB.
    German F-4F Phantom about to slam it down on RWY24 of Leeuwarden AB. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    Hellenic Air Force
    Turning up the heat with a taste of Southern Europe. The Greeks modified their Phantoms to F-4E AUP standard, including the AN/APG-65GY radar suited for AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Advanced radar warning receivers were added, and the Greeks also took the opportunity to integrate the Rafael Litening II pod and AGM-142 Popeye missile. Plus their Phantoms can use state-of-the-art JDAM ammunition. The modified Phantoms are recognized by the four IFF transponders on the nose. But we actually don’t really care about all that … as long as the results look this good.

    Back in the days when the Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) was still at Florennes in Belgium. This Greek Phantom is taking off ahead of the pack for a refuel at Leeuwarden. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Back in the days when the Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) was still at Florennes in Belgium. This Greek Phantom is taking off ahead of the pack for a refuel at Leeuwarden. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Still at Florennes, a different Phantom. There's a runway there, somewhere ... (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Still at Florennes, a different Phantom. There’s a runway there, somewhere … (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    Turkish Air Force
    Slightly further south Turkey still uses Phantoms everyday. In 2011 the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri showed a modified RF-4E during the Izmir airshow, celebrating a 100 years of military aviation in Turkey. That’s two tasty Phantoms!

    Oven-like hot day in Izmir, cool camouflage. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Oven-like hot day in Izmir, cool camouflage. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Not hot enough for you? Warm your hands on what these J-79s put out at Lechfeld in Germany. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Not hot enough for you? Warm your hands on what these J-79s put out at Lechfeld in Germany. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    South Korean Air Force
    Okay, getting into serious Phantom territory now, with rarer-than-rare South Korean rhinos. The Koreans used the ancient F-4D up till a few years ago. Crazy stuff.

    Heart-attack moment at Seosan when - in the middle of a flock of F-16s - came two F-4D dinosaurs. We're talking October 2000 here. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Heart-attack moment at Seosan when – in the middle of a flock of F-16s – came two F-4D dinosaurs. We’re talking October 2004 here. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    The South Korean RF-4Cs are nearing the end of their lives, but they still haul some serious equipment around. Feel free to guess what the center-line pod on this Phantom is … because we just don’t know.

    What's that under the fuselage? No prizes for the right answer (or any answer). Just look at that RF-4C Phantom. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    What’s that under the fuselage? No prizes for the right answer (or any answer). Just look at that RF-4C Phantom. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    The F-4E is still in use in South Korea. No problem, keep it going! Phantoms Phorever!

    Approaching Cheongju airbase in central South Korea. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
    Approaching Cheongju airbase in central South Korea. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

    As we are still digging through our archives, we found Japanese, Spanish and US Phantoms caught a long time ago. They are screaming to be seen again. So, we’ll be back soon with more of the mighty Phantom.

    © 2013 AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest

    NATO Tigermeet 2011

    Czech Air Force Mi-35 Hind (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force Mi-35 Hind (Image © Dennis Spronk)

    In 2011 Cambrai hosted the 50th NATO Tigermeet. Because of this anniversary and the fact that this French airbase was due to close the Tigermeet provided a last opportunity to visit Cambrai while still at operational status.

    AIRheads’ Dennis Spronk went to hunt for Tigers and this is what he caught.
    >>> Check full coverage here >>>

    Royal Navy Merlin (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Royal Navy Merlin (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Portuguese Air Force F-16AM (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Portuguese Air Force F-16AM (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Turkish Air Force F-16C (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Turkish Air Force F-16C (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    French Air Force Mirage 2000C (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    French Air Force Mirage 2000C (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Polish Air Force F-16C (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Polish Air Force F-16C (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    German Air Force Tornado ECR (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    German Air Force Tornado ECR (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    German Air Force Tornado ECR (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    German Air Force Tornado ECR (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    German Air Force Tornado ECR (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    German Air Force Tornado ECR (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Break of Tornados (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Break of Tornados (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    French Air Force Mirage-5F (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    French Air Force Mirage-5F (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Spanish Air Force EF-18A (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Spanish Air Force EF-18A (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force JAS 39C Gripen (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force JAS 39C Gripen (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force JAS 39C Gripen (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force JAS 39C Gripen (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force JAS 39D Gripen (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force JAS 39D Gripen (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force Mi-35 Hind (Image © Dennis Spronk)
    Czech Air Force Mi-35 Hind (Image © Dennis Spronk)

    >>> Check full coverage here >>>

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