After many months on the ground, we are pleased to see the F-22 Raptor resuming normal flight operations. Some modifications were completed, especially to life support equipment, and particulary breathing systems. Completion of this task eliminates the need to restrict flight operations to remain within a 30-minute flying distance from an airfield suitable for landing. F-22 crews have also resumed their aerospace control alert mission in Alaska after the Automatic Back-up Oxygen System was installed in Elmendorf-based aircraft. Altitude restrictions have also been incrementally removed for F-22s that have received the ABOS modification. Altitude restrictions for training flights remain for non-ABOS equipped F-22 aircraft; however, those restrictions will be removed as each aircraft is modified. The return to normal flight operations hinged on completing eight near-term actions identified by the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, successful fielding of the modified Combat Edge upper pressure garment valve, and fielding of the automatic backup oxygen system. All actions identified by the SAB were completed in December 2012. Fielding of the modified Combat Edge upper pressure garment valve and related pieces was completed in January. The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine fifth-generation supermaneuverable fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, andsignals intelligence roles. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Defense, Space & Security provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems. The aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the years prior to formally entering USAF service in December 2005 as the F-22A. Despite a protracted and costly development period, the United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of U.S. tactical air power, and claims that the aircraft is unmatched by any known or projected fighter. Lockheed Martin claims that the Raptor’s combination of stealth, speed, agility, precision and situational awareness, combined with air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, makes it the best overall fighter in the world today. Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the “F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built. The aircraft was grounded after serious faults in its oxygen and breathing systems which caused pilots to black out. These problems are fixed now, allowing the aircraft back in the air.
France could produce the Rafale jet fighter in Malaysia. At a time when things are not going smoothly in France with lots of talk and noise about relocation, industries and competition, France has started discussing producing and manufacturing the Rafale fighter plane in Malaysia.This could be of course, if Malaysia was to purchase the Rafale. Malaysia is looking to buy 18 combat fighters to replace its ageing Russian Mig-29s, with the Eurofighter, Boeing’s F-18 and Saab’s Gripen also in the running. The multi-role Rafale, which entered service in the French military in 2001, can carry out air-ground or air-sea attacks, reconnaissance, aerial interception or nuclear strike missions. France is keen to make its first foreign sale of the Rafale, which has struggled to find buyers, to support a project that has cost tens of billions of euros. India has selected the Rafale, with most of the 126 fighter jets they plan to buy expected to be built there if the final contract is signed this year as hoped. Malaysia is keen for its local companies to be involved in the manufacturing, and Dassault said the company has spent considerable effort in lining up local suppliers should the Rafale be selected.
You may have seen some images of the exercise in some blogs and specialized press, but a recent event occurred in South Korea. The military exercise is design to improve cooperation between US and South Korean forces. As part of the exercise is a bombing training. And for this the U.S. Strategic Command officials sent two B-2 Spirit bombers for a long-duration, round-trip training mission from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., to South Korea March 28 as part of the ongoing bilateral Foal Eagle training exercise. The exercise demonstrates the commitment of the United States and its capability to defend South Korea and to provide extended deterrence to our allies in the Asia-Pacific region. This mission by two B-2 Spirit bombers assigned to 509th Bomb Wing, which demonstrates the United States’ ability to conduct long range, precision strikes quickly and at will, involved flying more than 6,500 miles to the Korean Peninsula, dropping inert munitions on the Jik Do Range, and returning to the continental U.S. in a single, continuous mission. The United States is steadfast in its alliance commitment to the defense of South Korea, to deterring aggression, and to ensuring peace and stability in the region. The B-2 bomber is an important element of America’s enduring and robust extended deterrence capability in the Asia-Pacific region. It always strikes me as impressive that a bomber pilot will arrive at the base near his home in the US, prepare the mission, fly around the world, drop the load without even being seen as the B-2 is stealthy, and return home later that night to have dinner with the family. Technology has transformed radically the way we approach the perception of a conflict.
Our L-39 Albatros is getting “pinked”! That’s a funny colour for a jet fighter… All this is for an advert to be shown soon, and that’s a surprise so we won’t say too much about it, except the brand’s colour is a bit pinkish. Therefore the aircraft has been redecorated to match the colours. We are often asked to rent the jet fighter for TV commercials, scenes in movies, and it’s always a pleasure to do that. It’s fun to see our aircraft then in adverts or movies. This jet fighter is located in Paris, and you can come and fly with us. Fly the L39 Albatros fighter jet in Paris. The L39 Albatros is a jet that will deliver all the sensations of a fighter pilot as it is used for training in many air forces around the world. Ideal to try out evolutions such as barrels and tactical flying, you will enjoy this unique jet fighter ride so close to Paris, in France. Your pilots are all highly trained and qualified, one of them even being a key member of the Patrouille de France, the national air display team. Get suited up and ready for a fighter jet flight that you will never forget. Your jet fighter pilots are highly skilled and qualified. They have logged many hours flying. One of them is even a key member of the Patrouille de France, the national air display team. They like to share their passion and always fly to your G tolerance in order to make this jet fighter ride a once in a lifetime experience.
The international aerial and strategic event Red Flag is go for 2013. The event has been launched by the 79th Fighter Squadron, the ‘Tigers’ as they launched eight F-16 Fighting Falcons during a day and night time mission to kickoff the event. Red Flag is an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, the latter location being known as Red Flag – Alaska and being a successor to the previous COPE THUNDER exercise series. Since 1975, air crews from the United States Air Force(USAF) and other U.S. military branches and allies take part in one of several Red Flag exercises held during the year, each of which is two weeks in duration. The Red Flag exercises, conducted in four to six cycles a year by the 414th Combat Training Squadron of the 57th Wing, are very realistic aerial war games. The purpose is to train pilots from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations. This includes the use of “enemy” hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises within the Nevada Test and Training Range. The 79th FS, commanded by Lt. Col. Jason Plourde, led members of his unit from takeoff to landing as the exercise kicked off . The unit out of Shaw AFB, S.C., has approximately 15 F-16 Fighting Falcons on the ground here and 35 pilots slated to fly throughout the three-week long exercise. As Red Flag gets underway, Plourde plans to ensure the men and women of his unit train hard and meet quite a few set objectives. While members of the 79th FS conduct similar types of training at Shaw, Red Flag offers a more vast and more challenging environment to train in, Plourde explained. The mission of the 414th Combat Training Squadron (Red Flag) is to maximize the combat readiness and survivability of participants by providing a realistic training environment and a forum that encourages a free exchange of ideas. To accomplish this, combat units from the United States and its allied countries engage in realistic combat training scenarios carefully conducted within the Nellis Range Complex. The Nellis Range complex is located northwest of Las Vegas and covers an area of 60 nautical miles (111 km) by 100 nautical miles (190 km), approximately half the area of Switzerland. This space allows the exercises to be on a very large scale. The missions conducted during the first day were challenging but 79th pilots feel they will provide plenty of opportunity for lessons learned, explained Capt. Ryan Miller, 79th weapons officer.
It was the talk of the month, when the F-35 lightning II was grounded because of cracked blade. Now the grounding has been lifted, and it seems this is good news. The Defense Department lifted its grounding of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter after analysis concluded that a cracked turbine blade in an engine on a single plane resulted from overuse in test operations, according to an official with the F-35 Joint Program Office. In an email statement, the official, Kyra Hawn, said engineers have so far discovered no other cracks in inspections of the other engines, and no engine redesign was needed. “This decision concludes a cautionary flight suspension that began on Feb. 21 after a 0.6-inch crack was found on a third stage turbine blade of a test aircraft at the Edwards Air Force Base, (Calif.,) F-35 Integrated Test Facility during a routine inspection,” Hawn said. The blade also underwent comprehensive tests at the Pratt and Whitney facility in Middletown, Conn., she added. The engine in question, she explained, is part of the F-35 test aircraft fleet and had been operated for extended time in the high-temperature environment in its mission to expand the F-35 flight envelope. “Prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other operational stressors on this specific engine were determined to be the cause of the crack,” Hawn said. Within the current DOD inventory, 17 F-35s are employed in test and development at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base. The remaining aircraft are assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla, and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., and comprise the initial F-35 training fleet. The problem remains quite serious though. This problem is causing a serious impact on the entire US army as all aircrafts are grounded. Fortunately, the F-35 is still undergoing testing, but this demonstrates how an incident or flaw could potentially ground an entire fleet. As aircrafts are designed to the needs of each air force in a same mold, a flaw could potentially damage the entire aerial force. This is quite serious. And the timing is not good either, after China announced the development of its own jet fighter, but more importantly purchasing Sukhoi jet fighters, which apparently do not have a problem. There is a noticeable trend here that tech, and power that goes with it, is shifting to the East.
We are thrilled that Nicole just completed her flight on the MiG 29 to the stratosphere. This is an extraordinary experience and we are thrilled that Nicole enjoyed this one in a lifetime experience. Checking-out the earth from above, at 80,000 feet is something totally unique. We just wanted to share. And if you do want to try that, see our dedicated page Fly to the edge of Space in the MiG 29
The MiG-29 is ending its maintenance and ready to fly again. Remember there is a 60 days timeframe to select your date to enable the security check. Flying the MiG-29 is absolutely awesome. This is the fastest jet fighter you can hold of and the beast is super powerful, agile and you will need that G force suit to resist. There are four options to fly the MiG-29:
1/ a discovery flight: you fly the aircraft at subsonic speed, and discover all the aerobatic maneuvers the MiG-29 is capable of. Loops and barrels are just the easy ones. Get ready for this intense program but do not worry, if you think that’s too much, you can always ask the pilot to stop.
2/ A supersonic flight: go faster than the speed of sound. This is one of the few chances to travel super fast and experience breaking the sound barrier. This program usually ends up with an aerobatic program, just to demonstrate going supersonic is not only what it does.
3/ Stratospheric flight: reach the edge of space in the MiG-29. Fly up to 70,000 feet, twice as high as a normal airliner, and admire the curvature of the earth. The sky is pitch dark, and you are at twice the speed of sound. This is an extraordinary experience, and the only one so far to get you into the stratosphere.
4/ Suborbital flight training. This program is design for the people who have signed up already for a suborbital ride, whenever it will be. In the meantime, you get to experience all the thrills in the MiG-29, with parabolas, G force, and the full program of an astronaut.
All these programs are just exceptional. What’s more: you get your own interpreter and guide on site, with driver that will assist on the day, but will also show you around after your MiG flight. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Contact us for additional information.
Is Russia playing with the nerves of its neighbours ? That seems to be the case as two Russian fighters violated Japanese airspace on Thursday, Tokyo’s defence ministry said, prompting Japan to scramble its own warplanes in what was reported to be the first such incident in five years. The planes were detected off the northern island of Hokkaido for just over a minute, shortly after Japan’s new prime minister said he wanted to find a “mutually acceptable solution” to a decades-old territorial row between the two. Japan’s foreign ministry lodged a formal protest over what it said was an incursion by a pair of Russian Su-27 fighters. Four Japanese F-2 fighters were sent up to visually confirm the Russian planes, according to Kyodo news. The last breach was in 2008. Although Moscow denied any breach, the incident demonstrates again the tensions in the region about small islands that are effectively rich under with gas, oil and fishing rights. Long talks have been going on with Russia and Japan, about these. In December, Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to restart talks on signing a peace treaty formally ending the hostilities of World War II that has been stymied by the dispute about the islands. Soviet forces seized the isles, which stretch out into rich fishing waters off the northern coast of Hokkaido, in the dying days of WWII and drove out Japanese residents. The islands were later re-populated by Russians but remain a poor and undeveloped part of the country. One can help think that between the Russians and the Japanese, the Russians must necessarily be the bad guys. What is that so?
We take a quick look back as 2013 is underway. We have had some tremendous fun – and we would like to thank you all that have flown with us – as it has been pleasure meeting you. We love to share our passion about jet fighters, flight, and pushing the limits. Over the years, we have had many different people flying in the back seat, but always good spirited and keen to experience what it feels like to be a fighter pilot. We met also many reporters for TV shows and news papers, and all have also enjoyed the experience – so they said – and we are glad they have been able to push our experience forward to their audience. Our great pleasure is in meeting new people and sharing the passion of flight. It does not matter that you do not sustain well the G force – unless we have to clean after you off course – we take our adrenaline kick from the smile on your face. So thank you all very much. It’s been good fun. And 2013 seems promising already. We are flying the Fouga Magister each day. This is one of the most agile jet fighter even if it looks “old school”. The process of registering the L-39 is finally coming to an end and we anticipate flying again the aircraft for early spring. Good news coming also as we are looking to get other jet fighters to give you even more experiences. So here are a few pictures to remember the past years, but we promise, we are totally looking forward to 2013 and the years to come. So come and fly with us.