Tag Archives: Avro

Last ever display for the Vulcan

The one and only flying Avro Vulcan in the world will soon fly no more. The famous aircraft – better known perhaps as ‘XH558’ – performed its final display flight on Sunday 4 October over Old Warden airfield in the UK. Two farewell flights over the UK – and perhaps two flights more – are all that’s left for the classic aircraft, known for its impressive howl and its daring participation in the 1982 Falklands War.

Vulcan XH558 flew for the first time in 1960 and was originally a nuclear-capable bomber. It was modified to an air-to-air refueling platform later in its operational career. The type was retired in 1984, but XH558 remained active in the airshow circuit until 1992. In 2007, the Vulcan to the Sky Trust brought it back into the air for appearances at airshows.

For today’s occasion, the Vulcan joined up with several other aircraft along the way, such as the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Costly
Keeping it flying is deemed too costly however, and keeping it flying these past years already required significant donations by the British public. The wings and engines in particular require extensive overhaul in order to continue safe flight.

XH558 will fly for the last time this month, marking her final good bye to British skies – and the skies altogether – on 10 and 11 October during two farewell flights across the UK. The aircraft will put on permanent display in the future.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Avro Vulcan XH558, seen here in 1992. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Big fire-fighters at work in Australia

For the first time in history Australia uses big airtankers as part of its fire-fighting force. A Coulson C-130Q Hercules and a Conair RJ85AT have been dispatched in the beginning of December to Avalon Airport southwest of Melbourne in Victoria. The state currently combats hard to kill bushfires, as well does neighbouring South Australia at the Sampson Flat just northeast of the outskirts of Adelaide.

The new Coulson C-130Q in action (Image © CFA)
Featured image: the new Coulson C-130Q Airtanker in action (Image © CFA)
Victoria’s Country Fire Authority (CFA) issued yet another emergency warning on 5 January 2015, advising people near Balmoral to move out because of a “fast moving, out of control bushfire travelling in a northerly direction from the Black Range State Forest”. The fire reached the Mt. Talbot Reserve on Monday and the CFA warned that “privae properties could be impacted anytime within the next hour”.

Air Fleet
Being used to bushfires during the current Summer season Victoria already had an air fleet of 46 planes and helicopters. The contracted support from Canadian companies Coulson and Conair adds big capacity to that, with the Conair RJ85AT no. 162 being able to drop 3,300 US gallons (12,492 litres) of water or fire retardant at a speed of 120 knots. Fully loaded the Avro is able to shuttle back and forth at a cruise speed of 390 knots. The Coulson Hercules no. 131 can even drop 3,500 gallons (16,000 litres) of stuff onto the fire. Both aircraft debuted on 18 December, fighting the Creightons Creek fire, south of Euroa.

Already in December Victoria pre-positioned some of its choppers. Two Orange Erickson Aircranes were moved to Essendon and Ballarat. The Coulson contracted pair of Sikorsky S61s were moved to Colac and Mansfield.

The Conair Avro RJ85AT  striking a pose at Avalon (Image © CFA)
The Conair Avro RJ85AT striking a pose at Avalon (Image © CFA)
The Coulson C-130Q striking a pose at Avalon (Image © CFA)
The Coulson C-130Q striking a pose at Avalon (Image © CFA)

South Australia
The South Australia Country Fire Service (CFS) has 14 fixed-wing and four helicopters steadily contracted during the Summer season, but more are possible. Aerotech First Response supplies up to 10 Air Tractor AT-802s. Of the AT-802s six are based at Woodside, two at Port Lincoln and two based at Mt Gambier. They can drop 840 US gallons (3,200 litres) of water or fire retardant at a time. An Erickson Aircrane (Sikorsky S64E) is based in the Adelaide Hills. It can drop 1,980 US gallons (7,500 litres) of fluid.

Moreover the CFS uses several scout and observation planes. Aerotech 1st Response supplies South Australia with Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and two Cessna 182s. Lincoln Air Charter owns a third Cessna 182. Moreover, two Eurocopter AS350 Squirrels, with an Eurocopter EC130 being provided by MAC Helicopter Rescue Service.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by the CFA and CFS

The Aerotech Air Tractor AT-802, of which ten are available in South Australia (Image © CFS)
The Aerotech Air Tractor AT-802, of which ten are available in South Australia (Image © CFS)
The MAC EC130 (Image © CFS)
The MAC EC130 (Image © CFS)
The Conair Avro RJ85AT in action (Image © Conair)
The Conair Avro RJ85AT in action (Image © Conair)

Meet the first new Ecuadorian C295M

The first of three new C295Ms of the Ecuadorian Air Force arriving overhead Eloy Alfaro de Manta Airbase  on 7 August 2014 (Image © Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana)
The first of three new C295Ms of the Ecuadorian Air Force arriving overhead Eloy Alfaro de Manta Airbase on 7 August 2014 (Image © Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana)

The Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana) received the first of three new Airbus (EADS / CASA) C295Ms on 7 August 2014. The plane was escorted by two of the FAE’s Super Tucano light attack aircraft on its way in to Eloy Alfaro de Manta Airbase.

The plances replace the Avro (Hawker Siddeley) HS748 with No. 1112 Squadron, after the HS748 has served the Latin American country for more than 40 years. With the new C295M (FAE-1030) arriving, one of the HS748s discharged of its duties shortly after the arrival ceremony.

Source: Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana

An Ecuadorian Air Force Avro HS748 is being decommissioned in August 2014 (Image © Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana)
An Ecuadorian Air Force Avro HS748 is being decommissioned in August 2014 (Image © Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana)