Category Archives: Aviation Headlines

Last Vickers VC10 C1K retired from RAF service

A Vickers VC10 C1K tanker aircraft of the Royal Air Force (RAF) doing a fly-by at Kleine Brogel AB, Belgium in 2007. (Image © Marcel Burger)
A Vickers VC10 C1K tanker aircraft of the Royal Air Force (RAF) doing a fly-by at Kleine Brogel AB, Belgium in 2007. (Image © Marcel Burger)

The last of the Vickers VC10 C1K, with registration XR808, retired from the UK’s Royal Air Force on July 29th, 2013. It made its last flight in 101 Squadron service from RAF Brize Norton to Bruntingthorpe.

The VC10s have recently been mainly used to provide inflight refueling, but during the first Gulf War in Southwest Asia in the 1990s RAF VC10s transported sometimes fifty thousand pound bombs for Tornado fighter jets in the area.

Thirteen VC10 C1s were converted for a dual tanker/transport role between 1993 and 1996. The flying fuel station for other aircraft dispensed the liquid of its own tanks through underwing refueling pods and these tanKers were designated C1K.

10 Squadron flew the VC10 C1Ks until October 2005, when 101 Squadron continued with them in addition to the 101’s K3 and K4s.

Aircraft XR808 has served the RAF for 47 years, during which it made 43,865 flying hours.

101 Squadron will retire its three remaining VC10s (K3s) in October, when the new Airbus Voyager (A300MRTT) will take over its role.

Source: Royal Air Force

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USN aircraft carrier Truman into the Mediterranean

US Navy CVN75 USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier passing Gibraltar on August 3, 2013 (Image © Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ethan Schumacher / USN)
US Navy CVN75 USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier passing Gibraltar at August 3, 2013 (Image © Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ethan Schumacher / USN)

The US Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier CVN75 USS Harry S. Truman transitioned to the Mediterranean Sea on August 3, 2013.

The flagship of its carrier strike group joined the US 6th Fleet in the area. It was seen passing the Rock of Gibraltar loaded with aircraft on deck.

Source: US Navy

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Magic Mirage

So, no more Brazilian Mirages from December on. Well, that’s one reason less to go there, although we are pretty sure there are many reasons left. But that’s future stuff; over the past 25 years or so, Mirages have worked their magic pretty well on us. Let’s see a few.

Yeah, there's two in there. Nice autumn light on these Dijon Deltas. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Yeah, there’s two in there. Nice autumn light on these Dijon Deltas. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The REAL Mirage, according to us. The classic shape of a classic fighter - from Switzerland. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The REAL Mirage, according to us. The classic shape of a classic fighter – from Switzerland. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Spain_MirageF1
The Spanish Mirage F1s ended their flying career earlier in 2013. This one is seen fully active at Florennes, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The Swiss also operated Mirages in the recce role. Good thing it came with a great camouflage job. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The Swiss also operated Mirages in the recce role. Good thing it came with a great camouflage job. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Mirages come in bigger size also, but not bigger than this Mirage 4P taking off from Kleine Brogel, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Mirages come in bigger size also, but no bigger than this Mirage 4P taking off from Kleine Brogel, Belgium. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Colmar, France, 1995. That about sums it up for this Mirage F1CT. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Colmar, France, 1995. That about sums it up for this Mirage F1CT. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Oh yeah, always finish with something rare, is what we say. Well, it is a shitty picture, but it IS a Moroccan Mirage F1, albeit pictured in Reims, France. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Oh yeah, always finish with something rare, is what we say. Well, it is a shitty picture, but it IS a Moroccan Mirage F1, albeit pictured in Reims, France. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

End of life for Brazilian Deltas

The twelve Brazilian Mirage 2000s were bought from France. Pictured here is a Mirage 2000 operated by the Armée de l'Air. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
The twelve Brazilian Mirage 2000s were bought from France. Pictured here is a Mirage 2000 still operated by the Armée de l’Air. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Brazil will retire its Mirage 2000s by the end of year, several Brazilian media announced this week. The twelve Mirages, compromising single- and two-seaters were bought from France for a sum of 80 million USD. The aircraft are nearing the end of their service-life.

The Brazilian Deltas started service in Brazil only in 2005, and were originally meant to be in service until 2011. Two years were added to that, but now the end is nearby. The aircraft will be temporarily replaced by up to twelve F-5M fighters, modernized by Embraer. Some time in the future the Brazilian government will decide upon a definitive replacement aircraft. Candidates are the Boeing Super Hornet, Saab Gripen NG and the Dassault Rafale.

Source: Força Aerea Brasileira

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First A400M enters military service

The first French Air Force A400M Atlas accompanied by the Patrouille de France (Image F. Lancelot / EM company © Airbus)
The first French Air Force A400M Atlas accompanied by the Patrouille de France (Image F. Lancelot / EM company © Airbus)
The French Air Force received its first production model A400M ‘Atlas’ on August 2, 2013. The tactical transport aircraft with serial MSN7 joined 123 Orleans Bricy Airbase.

But not before it did some real nice model work for ground and aerial photography, as displayed here at the l’Armée de l’Air’s webpage.

The delivery of the first production A400M to the French Air Force marks also the commissioning of the type in active military service worldwide.

Source: Airbus / l’Armée de l’Air

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