Tag Archives: France

Formation flight of the mega planes

Airbus wide-body aircraft in formation, September 2013  (Image H. Goussé / e*m company © Airbus)
Airbus wide-body aircraft in formation, September 2013 (Image H. Goussé / e*m company © Airbus)

The Airbus wide-body family of flight test aircraft, the A380, A330 and the all-new A350 XWB, took off from Toulouse on September 19, 2013, flying together for the first time before continuing on separate flight test missions.

We could write long stories on all of these three aircraft, but sometimes just taking a look at a great picture says all.

Valence Vacation

With a shot like this one, who needs another shot? (Image © Dennis Spronk)
With a shot like this one, who needs another shot? (Image © Dennis Spronk)

So you’ve seen the Armée de Terre helos at the Le Luc airshow and you think “I would like some more of those”. Valence airbase near Lyon gave AIRheads↑FLY exactly that; more French helos waiting to be photographed and digitally transferred to your computerscreen. Great colours on these French choppers. What a way to spend a vacation.

No vacation for the pilots of this Aérospatiale Gazelle. It is seen here hovering about. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
No vacation for the pilots of this Aérospatiale Gazelle. They are seen here hovering about. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Yet more hovering for this Gazelle. The very first Gazelle probably did the same before its very first flight on 7 April 1967. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Yet more hovering for this Gazelle. The very first Gazelle probably did the same before its very first flight on 7 April 1967. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Pictured just before transition from hovering to regular flight; an AS532 Cougar. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Pictured just before transition from hovering to regular flight; an AS532 Cougar. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Valance2
Not all Gazelles seen were moving under their own power. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Look at Le Luc

A Tiger of a different kind. The ecole de l'aviation légère de l'armée de terre is where future pilots learn to fly the EC665 Tigre attack helicopter, among others. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
A Tiger of a different kind. The Ecole de l’Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre is where pilots learn to fly the EC665 Tigre attack helicopter, among other helos. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

So, what to do on a hot summer day in France? It didn’t take AIRheads↑FLY a very long time to come up with an answer to that one, actually. So we packed our baguettes, some fine wine and a bottle of sunscreen and we headed along l’autoroute to the EALAT Airshow at Le Luc airbase. EALAT stands for Ecole de l’Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre, just so you know. And by the way, we also brought along a camera.

Slighty less hi-tech are the SA341/SA342 Gazelles. Probably a better idea to start the learning proces on those, then. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Slighty less hi-tech are the SA341/SA342 Gazelles. Probably a better idea to start the learning process on those, then. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Otherwise this AS555 Fennec will make a nice learning experience. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Otherwise this AS555 Fennec will make a nice learning experience. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The SA330 Puma is still doing its thing in a lot of armed forces. Bit of an unsung hero if you ask us - please do. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The SA330 Puma is still doing its thing in a lot of armed forces. Bit of an unsung hero if you ask us – please do. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The Pumas will eventually make way for the NH90, one of which is seen here. The camouflage makes up for, well... a lot of things. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The Pumas will eventually make way for the NH90, one of which is seen here. The camouflage makes up for, well … a lot of things. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The Socata TBM 700 never was a big seller. The French however operate quite a lot of the single engined turboprops. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The Socata TBM 700 never was a big seller. The French however operate quite a lot of the single engined turboprops. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

And now make some noise! It weren’t only helos or props at Le Luc, there were fighters as well, courtesy of the Armée de l’Air and the French Marine.

It's hard not to miss Ramex Delta, a display team operating two Mirage2000N from Luxieul airbase. They are frequent and much welcomed visitors to European airshows these days. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
It’s hard not to miss Ramex Delta, a display team operating two Mirage2000N from Istres-Le Tubé airbase. They are frequent and much welcomed visitors to European airshows these days. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Fly Navy! Perhaps todays favourite performer, although it was accompanied by a second Rafale M. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
Fly Navy! Perhaps today’s favourite performer, although it was accompanied by a second Rafale M. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

We close of in style however, with a fine study of the rotary future for some time to come: the EC665 Tigre.

We close of in style however, with a fine study of the rotary future for some time to come; the EC665 Tigre. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This Tigre flew several times at Le Luc, along with a German example. The German forces also have their training at Le Luc. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Airbus delivered its 8,000th aircraft

The 8,000th Airbus takes off for delivery to its customer. This A320 will fly with AirAsia out of Indonesia (Image P. Pigeyre / EM company © Airbus)
The 8,000th Airbus takes off for delivery to its customer. This A320 will fly with AirAsia out of Indonesia (Image P. Pigeyre / EM company © Airbus)

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.

Airbus has another 5,000 aircraft on order.

Source: Airbus

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

Check out the Brazilian Air Force Orbat at Scramble.nl