✈ Latest From Airplane Watch ✈

Thursday, July 2, 2015

✈ Russian Zeppelin Carry 200 Military Personnel or 60 Tons of Cargo ✈

The airship industry is slowing making a comeback since now almost seven decades after the German Hindenburg disaster that left 35 people dead. Estimates suggest that there are about 50 zeppelins in existence around the world most in use by private firms, but also the military.

Airship manufacturers have long insist that they are cheaper to fly than helicopters and airplanes and that they can carry more cargo and are capable of reaching very remote and hard-to-reach areas.

Nikolai Gogol once wrote that the two problems plaguing Russia are “fools and roads”. Roads and infrastructure have long been a major problem for Russia. At 17,075,400 square kilometres (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area. But soon for the Russian military roads or runways might not be such an issue.

Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Vladimir Putin is set to kit out the Russian military with a top secret spaceship-like aircraft that promises to be 'lighter than air'.

Work is already underway with the hi-tech 130-metre-long Atlant, which will be created merging the technology from planes, hovercraft and airships.

Capable of taking off and landing without a runway it will be able to carry 200 military personnel or as much as 60 tonnes of cargo at speeds of up to 86mph.

There will also be a smaller, swifter version, that can carry up to 16 tonnes at 105mph.

The futuristic craft is equipped with sophisticated high-precision computer technology, with Russian officials saying the $15million aircraft will be used by the Defence Ministry.

No further details on how it will be put into service have been released, but the company behind the 21st century blimp, Augur RosAeroSystems, has announced Putin's new toy will be ready for use by the army as early as 2018, reported The Siberian Times.

Mikhail Talesnikov, the vice-president of the firm, said all development work in the first phase of the project will be completed by December. Further work will then be undertaken by the technical team before test flights with a prototype begin.

He added that it will not use the same kind of ballast controls used by traditional airships, such as those dating back to the days of the ill-fated Hindenburg.

Mr Talesnikov said: 'It uses different principles of flight. In short, it retains the advantages of airships but is cured of their primary problems.

'During the unloading of the weight at the point of arrival, for instance, the airship will be able to get heavier via controls without needing ballast. In that way it will not get weightless after unloading and will not soar into the stratosphere.

'We also came up with the decision to make the airship harder by using special balancing system (SAB). It also has a hard shell. Not a frame faced by cloth, but a composite body.

'It is an innovative solution and this system is unique, nowhere abroad do they have that.'

Size of the Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Size of the Russian Zeppelin Atlant Ship By Augur RoseAercoSystems
Computer images of the Atlant show its main cabin resembles that of an airship, with an overly large cockpit window and two small wings fixed to the rear of the fuselage.

Designers say it will 'combine the best properties of an airship, plane, helicopter and hovercraft' but give no further details on how this hybrid will be created.

It is also being created to withstand outside temperatures of -40 Celsius, which are typical in the midst of Russian winters.

Established in 1991 Augur RosAeroSystems is a leading manufacturer of airships and two years ago unveiled the AU-30, which was capable to carrying a payload of half-a-tonne.

The Atlant will cost 30 per cent less than Russia's Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter, which can cost up to $25million.

Two different models will be created: the Atlant-100, which will be 130 metres long and able to fly at 140kph, and the smaller 75-metre-long version, the Atlant-30, which will be able to carry a 16 tonne payload at speeds of about 170kph.

There is speculation the Russian military aims to use the blimp at border points, such as to control drug trafficking. However it can also be used to move mass numbers of personnel around the country, or into combat zones, more efficiently.

The manufacturers say there is also interest from within the oil and gas industry in Siberia and the Arctic, particularly with the current costs and difficulty of building infrastructure and moving equipment.

Mass cargo transportation is another possible use for the new airship, and there are hopes that the Atlant could become a cheap method of moving people around Siberia.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

✈ Russian Fighter Jet Encounters US Spy Plane Over Black Sea ✈

US military officials said that an US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft encountered with a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea last month.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CNN on Thursday that the two aircraft came within 10 feet of each other on May 30.

US Boeing RC 135 Rivet Joint Reconnaissance Aircraft
US Boeing RC 135 Rivet Joint Reconnaissance Aircraft
According to the officials, the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet, flying at high speed, flew alongside the US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft at the same altitude, broke off, and shadowed the plane before leaving the area.

ABC News reported that a top defense official described the encounter as "an unsafe intercept" by Russia.

The two superpowers are engaged in series of military encounters during the past months.

In another similar incident in April, the United States announced that US RC-135U was intercepted by a Russian SU-27 Flanker in an "unsafe and unprofessional manner."


Meanwhile, the Pentagon released a video earlier this month about a “routine encounter” of a Russian warplane and a US destroyer in the Black Sea.

Published on 1 Jun 2015

USS Ross (DDG 71) observes the overflight by a Russian SU 24 aircraft while both were operating in international waters and airspace. Ross continued on her mission after observing the aircraft return to base. At no time did Ross act aggressively nor did she deviate from her planned operations. The conduct of her crew has been and continues to be professional. Ross' Sailors observed that the SU 24 carried no weapons - wings were "clean."

The U.S. Navy operates ships in the Black Sea on a routine basis, consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law."



The video showed a Russian warplane approaching from the distance and then quickly zooming past the American vessel.

Russian media reported the Su-24 aircraft forced the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross to change course when it was heading into Russia’s territorial waters.

The American destroyer was leaving the Romanian port of Costanta.

US Naval Forces Europe-Africa said in a statement the incident was routine and the warship never altered operations.

“Ross continued on her mission after observing the aircraft return to base,” said the statement. “At no time did Ross act aggressively nor did she deviate from her planned operations.”

AGB/AGB www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/06/12/415470/Russian-fighter-jet-US-spy-plane-Black-Sea

Thursday, May 21, 2015

✈ Top secret ‘Space Drone’ X-37B to Blast Off On Covert Mission ✈

The TOP secret US Air Force space-plane called X-37B will blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida today on a classified military mission.

The pilotless military space vehicle, a quarter the size of a NASA shuttle, is officially called a test vehicle.

Amazingly this is the X-37B's fourth mission.

US Air Force Drone Space-Plane called X-37B
US Air Force Drone Space-Plane called X-37B
The space drone is designed to orbit the earth and its longest flight has lasted nearly two years.

The craft is unmanned and operated robotically.

Previous speculation over X-37B's purpose is that it is used by America to spy on China.

While the Pentagon refuses to discuss its missions, Spaceflight magazine has in the past said snooping on the Asian powerhouse was its most likely purpose.

Editor Dr David Baker said: "Space-to-space surveillance is a whole new ball game made possible by a finessed group of sensors and sensor suites, which we think the X-37B may be using to maintain a close watch on China's nascent space station."

US Air Force X-37B Drone
US Air Force X-37B Drone
Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists agreed the space drone's most likely use was eavesdropping on fellow nations.

He said: "It's conceivable that a spy plane would introduce new versatility into overhead reconnaissance.

"The usual suspects would be targets. For instance, Iran or North Korea, or the various battle zones in the Middle East and elsewhere."

The US Air Force will not confirm how long the latest flight is for but have said its focus is a 'thruster experiment involving electric propulsion'.


The Boeing-manufactured plane, which is nine metres long, is boosted into space by a launch vehicle and then lands just like the Space Shuttle by gliding. All of its three previous trips have landed in California.

Giving brief details on the upcoming mission, Randy Walden, director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, said: "With the demonstrated success of the first three missions, we're able to shift our focus from initial checkouts of the vehicle to testing of experimental payloads."

Also tagging along will be the Planetary Society with a solar-sail demo, which aims to use stars to propel the plane.

It wants to show rockets can be powered by the sun's energy using the sails which will span 344 square feet.

✈ [Photo] Russian Antonov Spy Plane Spotted Over Lancashire UK ✈

A RUSSIAN spy plane has been spotted flying low over Lancashire as tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West mount to near emergency levels.

The Antonov An-30, armed with five high-resolution cameras, was spotted by photographer Steve Bradley, 41, who was astonished to see it over his garden in Colne, Lancashire.

Russian Antonov An-30 Spy Plane Photographed Over Lancashire UK May 2015
Russian Antonov An-30 Spy Plane - Photo By Steve Bradley
It comes as British Typhoon jets were forced to intercept a Russian spy plane last week and escort it away from UK airspace.

In the last month, three Russian warships have been monitored sailing through the English Channel.

MPs in east Lancashire have raised concerns about what the spy plane was doing just 30 miles from Menwith Hill, a hi-tech NATO monitoring station, and 22 miles from BAE Systems military aircraft factory at Samlesbury.

Mr Bradley said he was shocked to spot the military turboprop while working in his garden on Friday.

The semi-professional photographer captured several clear shots of the plane flying from east to west.

He said: "It was a bit scary to be honest. I just saw it flying pretty low and wondered: 'Should that really be here?'.

"My wife was in the kitchen and I just grabbed the camera and took a few pictures. I was dumbfounded.

"Afterwards I looked up the number on the underside of the plane and that confirmed it was a military jet. I suppose some Russian planes must be allowed here but I imagine it's pretty rare."


The Ministry of Defence confirmed the plane, nicknamed the 'Clank' , was from the Russian Federation Air Force and was flying with permission under a 2002 treaty with UK military personnel on board.

However some are still questioning its appropriateness when tensions between the West and Russia are rising.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and his Ribble Valley Tory colleague Nigel Evans are set to raise the issue of the flight and question Ministers on the treaty in the House of Commons.

Russian Antonov An-30 Spy Plane - Photo By Steve Bradley
Russian Antonov An-30 Spy Plane - Photo By Steve Bradley
The MoD confirmed the plane was from the Russian military but said it was allowed in British airspace under the Treaty on Open Skies.

The treaty allows unarmed surveillance flights to take place in 34 countries across the world.

A spokeswoman said: "It is a completely routine and allowable flight. It will have had UK personnel on board ." Mr Stephenson said: "I am very concerned about this Russian spy-plane being in East Lancashire's skies so close to Menwith Hill and BAE Systems military aircraft division factories in the county.

"I shall be raising its presence and whether the Open Skies Treaty should be reviewed in the light of rising tensions with Russia with ministers in the House of Commons at the next oral Defence and Foreign Office Questions.

Tensions have been rising with Russian aircraft escorted away from our airspace."

Mr Evans said: "I am very concerned and will be tabling written questions to ministers on this flight and whether we should look again at the agreement in the light of recent cases of Russian military aircraft and ships coming close to our shores"

Rossendale and Darwen Tory MP Jake Berry and new Blackburn Labour MP Kate Hollern also supported their colleagues in questioning the spy plane's presence and the suitability of the treaty in the current international climate.

Burnley Labour MP Julie Cooper said: "This seems very odd. I want to know what this plane was doing and why it was above Colne."

Former Blackburn MP Jack Straw, foreign secretary in 2002 when the treaty was signed, said: "This is a reciprocal treaty which allows us to fly over Russian. Revoking it would heighten tensions, not reduce them.

"The Russians have satellites if they want to study Menwith Hill."

He was supported by Tory former Foreign and Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and ex-NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson of Port Ellen.

Former Labour defence secretary Lord Robertson said: "This is appropriate under a reciprocal treaty. My concern would be that reducing such military co-operation might lead to misunderstandings and mistakes."

Source: www.express.co.uk/news/world/578583/Russian-spy-plane-spotted-over-LANCASHIRE-Shock-sighting-as-tensions-with-Putin-boil-over

Sunday, April 26, 2015

✈ [Caught On Video] Airbus A320 Turkish Airlines Emergency Landing ✈

Airbus A320-232 Turkish Airlines TC-JPE Flight TK-1878 from Milan Malpensa to Istanbul Damage Seen From Window
Damage Seen From Window
Turkish Airlines Airbus A320-232 with registration TC-JPE flight TK-1878 from Milan Malpensa in Italy to Istanbul, Turkey had to make an emergency landing after a failed approach on Istanbul Ataturk Airport's runway 05 at 10:22L (07:22Z) Apr-25-2015.

The flight was carrying 97 passengers and just before touchdown the Airbus A320 rolled right causing the right wing along with the engine to come in contact with the runway.

The crew initiated a go-around and then declared an emergency due to the right engine being inoperative.

The crew subsequently reported an unsafe gear indication after a hard touch down.

The Airbus still being able to fly the crew made a go-around and positioned themselves for an emergency landing on runway 35L. They touched down about 20 minutes after the accident, but with the damage seen to the right wing and right main gear collapsed the aircraft skidded on its right engine, with sparks and smoke trailing the engine.

The Airbus veered right off the runway spinning nearly 180 degrees. The aircraft was evacuated via slides while emergency services started to spray the aircraft. There were no injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage to the right hand main gear, right hand engine and its pylon as well as to leading and trailing edge high lift devices at the right hand wing.

Hats off to the crew for taking her down in that condition without any injuries to the passengers.


Airbus A320-232 Turkish Airlines TC-JPE Flight TK-1878 from Milan Malpensa to Istanbul Emergency Landing
Airbus A320-232 Turkish Airlines TC-JPE Flight TK-1878 from Milan Malpensa to Istanbul Emergency Landing


Friday, April 24, 2015

✈ The Most Commonly Sold Commercial Planes 2014 ✈

With new aeronautical technologies and advances in aeronautical engineering that we see these days, the list of airplane types and models continues to grow bigger and bigger. You may ask yourself which of all the commercial airplanes in use 2014 are the ones that are the most commonly bought by aircraft companies?

Lets have a look at some of the commercial planes in the world, according to a list issued by US-based therichest.com.

The Top 10 Commercial Planes Sold 2014

No.10 Airbus A380

Airbus A380, the airplane manufactured by French company Airbus, went into production in 2004. The airplane is highly preferred because it is a double-decker, meaning it can accommodate more passengers. In fact, the Airbus A380 is considered the biggest passenger aircraft as of today. Airline companies have invested in this model because it is a cost-efficient option for them.


Airbus A380
Airbus A380
Seating:
525 to 853 passengers

Range:
15,700 kilometres or 8,500 nm

Configuration:
Twin-deck, Twin-aisle

Cross Section:
7,15m (7150 centimeters)

Wing Span:
79.8m (261ft 10in)

Length:
72,75m (238ft 8in)

Height:
24,08 m (79ft)

Cruise Speed:
Mach 0.85

Max Cruise Speed:
Mach 0.88

Cargo Volume:
600.00 cubic metres (21,188.82 cubic feet)

Maximum Payload:
152,400.00 kg (335,981.04 lbs)

Maximum Takeoff Weight:
560,000kg (1,234,600lb)

Minimum Take Off Distance:
2,898.65 metres (9,510.00 feets)

Minimum Landing Distance:
762.00 metres (2,500.00 feets)

Fuel Tank Capacity:
356,000.00 litres (94,055.20 gallons)

Country of origin
Europe (France, Germany, Spain, UK)

Maiden flight
27 April 2005 from Toulouse, France.

First commercial flight 
25 October 2007 from Singapore to Sydney with Singapore Airlines.


No.9 Boeing 707

Boeing 707 was manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes from 1958 to 1979. The 707, which accommodate about 140 to 189 passengers, is powered by four engines. This model was the first one to make it to the commercial market.

Boeing 707
Boeing 707
Seating:
189

Range:
5.000 NM (9.260 km)

Wing Span:
142,4 ft (43,40 meters)

Length:
152,9 ft (46,61 meters)

Height:
42,2 ft (12,85 meters)

Cruise Speed:
1009 km/h

Empty Weight:
148.800 lbs (67.495 kg)

Maximum Takeoff Weight:
333.600 lbs (151.381 kg)


No.8 Airbus A320

Airbus A320 is also known as the Airbus A320 Family. This is a smaller plane and is perfect for domestic commercial flights. It is built with a narrow body and its engineering makes it appropriate for short-to-medium-distance flights. The maximum capacity of Airbus A320 Family reaches 220 passengers.

Airbus A320
Airbus A320

No.7 Boeing 727

Boeing 727 was made for short-to-medium-range distance. Total number of passengers that this plane can accommodate is about 149 to 189. After improvements to the original model by Boeing, the latest version can reach up to 2,700 nautical miles. This is a plane that is commonly bought by airlines because it is perfect for shorter runways. Smaller airports, particularly the ones that only offer domestic flights, can provide better service with a plane like the Boeing 727.

Boeing 727
Boeing 727

No.6 Boeing 767

Boeing 767 is among the finest creations by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. This is powered by twin engines and is characterized by the relatively wider body. This model was a breakthrough for the company because during its production it was the only plane that had a glass cockpit for two crew members. Among the planes that Boeing has designed and created, it is also the first to have a wide-body twinjet.

Boeing 767
Boeing 767

No.5 Boeing 757

This plane is among the more recently produced aircraft by the company. Initial production began in 1981 and the company continued manufacturing it until 2004. Compared to the others, the major technological advancements of the Boeing 757 are that it has a super-critical wing design and reduced aerodynamic drag. This average-sized plane is ideal for commercial flights because it can accommodate up to 289 passengers.
Boeing 757
Boeing 757

No.4 Boeing 787

Boeing 787 is also called the Dreamliner. This is a model that brings much pride to Boeing. It was a ground-breaking event when this was introduced for commercial flights primarily due to its fuel-efficiency. Apart from that, Boeing is also proud of its creation because a big part of the body uses composite materials. 

Compared to other planes from the company, this is more economic and energy-saving, Even the engineering for the interior focused on saving power and improving the flight experience by maximizing the use of four-panel windshield, using noise-reduction techniques for the engine and a whole lot of other innovations. Boeing 787 is among the commonly bought aircraft by airlines operating international routes. Its big capacity and intelligent engineering makes it a great option.



Boeing 787
Boeing 787
Seating:
210 to 250 passengers

Range:
7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 to 15,200 kilometers)

Configuration:
Twin aisle

Cross Section:
226 inches (574 centimeters)

Wing Span:
197 feet (60 meters)

Length:
186 feet (57 meters)

Height:
56 feet (17 meters)

Cruise Speed:
Mach 0.85

Total Cargo Volume:
4,400 cubic feet

Maximum Takeoff Weight:
502,500 pounds (227,930 kilograms)

Program milestones:
Authority to offer late 2003
Program launch April 2004
Assembly start 2006
First flight December 2009


No.3 Boeing 737

Boeing 737's family continues to grow. The ones currently under use in commercial airline companies are -600, -700, -800 and -900 ER. Since this is among the top-sellers of Boeing, the company is venturing into the creation of the latest model of Boeing 737, dubbed 737 MAX. However, do not expect it to take to the sky before 2017.

Boeing 737
Boeing 737

No.2 Boeing 777

Main reason why this plane is a popular option for commercial airline companies is its big capacity. This plane can accommodate about 300 to 550 passengers. It is one of the best options, especially for airline companies that provide international flights. Another advantage of this aircraft is that it has turbo fan engines with the largest diameter, for better flight and movement.

A Beijing-bound Boeing 777-200 plane with nearly 240 people on board went missing shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. Boeing, the manufacturer of the aircraft, has rushed a team to help with the investigation. Although the latest incident has put the American aviation giant’s 777 series under the spotlight, the model remains one of the favorites of commercial airlines around the world, primarily due to its large capacity.

Boeing 777
Boeing 777

No.1 Boeing 747

There is little doubt that the Boeing 747 should win the top spot, considering the fact that this is more commonly known as the Jumbo Jet and it is the base model of Air Force One. It is deserving of the number one position because a lot of airline companies rely on this plane. Some use it for commercial flights while others utilize the plane for cargo. Hence, this is the number one plane in the world.

Boeing 747
Boeing 747

✈ Russian Mi-24 Attack Helicopter - IKEA Parking Lot ✈

Hello everyone,

I thought this was an interesting video captured by AirMaster on youtube recently showing a Russian Mi-24 Attack Helicopter idling on the IKEA parking lot. (And yes that's the one from Rambo)

Now because there are so many variations of this helicopter I'm not really sure if it's the Mi-24, Mi-25 or Mi-35 but I did find a picture that display all the early model variations of the helicopter so maybe that can narrow down the exact model.

From wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-24

The Mil Mi-24 (Russian: Миль Ми-24; NATO reporting name: Hind) is a large helicopter gunship and attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport with room for eight passengers.

It is produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and has been operated since 1972 by the Soviet Air Force and its successors, along with more than 30 other nations.

In NATO circles, the export versions, Mi-25 and Mi-35, are denoted with a letter suffix as "Hind D" and "Hind E" respectively. Soviet pilots called the Mi-24 the "flying tank", or летающий танк (letayushchiy tank). More common unofficial nicknames were "Crocodile" (Крокодил or Krokodil) due to the helicopter's camouflage scheme and "Drinking Glass" (Стакан or Stakan) because of the flat glass plates which surround the cockpit of the Mi-24.


Camera: Sony AX100 Ultra HD 4k

AirMaster

General characteristics
  • Crew: 2–3: pilot, weapons system officer and technician (optional)
  • Capacity: 8 troops or 4 stretchers or 2400 kg (5,291 lb) cargo on an external sling
  • Length: 17.5 m (57 ft 4 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 17.3 m (56 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 6.5 m (21 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 6.5 m (21 ft 3 in)
  • Disc area: 235 m² (2,530 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 8,500 kg (18,740 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 12,000 kg (26,500 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Isotov TV3-117 turbines, 1,600 kW (2,200 hp) each
Performance
  • Maximum speed: 335 km/h (208 mph)
  • Range: 450 km (280 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 4,900 m (16076 ft)

Armament

Internal guns
  • flexible 12.7 mm Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B Gatling gun on most variants. Maximum of 1,470 rounds of ammunition.
  • fixed twin-barrel GSh-30K on the Mi-24P. 750 rounds of ammunition.
  • flexible twin-barrel GSh-23L on the Mi-24VP and Mi-24VM. 450 rounds of ammunition.
  • PKB passenger compartment window mounted machine guns
External stores
  • Total payload is 1,500 kg of external stores.
  • Inner hardpoints can carry at least 500 kg
  • Outer hardpoints can carry up to 250 kg
  • Wing-tip pylons can only carry the 9M17 Phalanga (in the Mi-24A-D) or the 9K114 Shturm complex (in the Mi-24V-F).
Bomb-load
  • Bombs within weight range (presumably ZAB, FAB, RBK, ODAB etc.), Up to 500 kg.
  • MBD multiple ejector racks (presumably MBD-4 with 4 × FAB-100)
  • KGMU2V submunition/mine dispenser pods
First-generation armament (standard production Mi-24D)
Second-generation armament (Mi-24V, Mi-24P and most upgraded Mi-24D)
  • UPK-23-250 gunpod carrying the GSh-23L
  • B-8V20 a lightweight long tubed helicopter version of the S-8 rocket launcher
  • 9K114 Shturm in pairs on the outer and wingtip pylons

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