The first production Airbus Military A400M new generation airlifter for the Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri; TAF) has made its maiden flight on August 9, 2013. The aircraft, known as MSN9, took off from Seville, Spain, at 13:56 local time and landed back in Seville 5 hours and 30 minutes later.
The A400M programme for the TAF is also making good progress at the Airbus Military International Training Centre at Seville, where Turkish pilots, loadmasters, and maintenance technicians have already begun their training. Turkey has ordered 10 A400M tactical transport aircraft.
Airbus delivered its 8,000th aircraft on August 3, 2013: an A320 for the Indonesian company of AirAsia. The aircraft took off from Toulouse and arrived later at its new base in Jakarta.
AirAsia Group is the largest low-cost airline in Asia and operates an all-Airbus fleet. The airline is the largest customer for the A320 Family, having ordered a total of 475 aircraft, comprising 264 A320neo and 211 A320ceo. Meanwhile, Airbus wide-body aircraft are the choice of the group’s long-haul affiliate AirAsiaX, which has ordered a total of 26 A330-300s and ten A350 XWBs.
A total of 141 Airbus aircraft are flying today in AirAsia’s colours out of its 16 bases in the region, which include Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
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.
EasyJet confirmed its planned purchase of 135 Airbus A320 family aircraft, consisting of 100 A320neos and 35 A320ceos. The initial agreement was announced earlier in June, reports Airbus.
The A320 has a capacity of about 180 seats. The order by EasyJet sustains nearly 2,500 jobs as well as some 7,500 in the extended supply chain in the UK.
EasyJet operates one of Europe’s most extensive route networks, and is the UK’s largest airline, carrying 55 million passenger a year. In addition, easyJet is also the largest A320 Family customer and operator in Europe.
So far more than 9,500 A320s in various versions have been ordered. By July 2013 5,600 have been delivered to over 380 customers.