The ejection seat

Flying a jet fighter can be sometimes tricky, and in some cases, you may need to eject in order to save your life. The ejection seat technique dates back from 1945, and has since been improved to fit all modern jet fighters. But did you know that at some point, they thought about a flying ejection seat ? During the Vietnam War, the US Navy lost over 500 aircraft in combat, as a result of which nearly 200 aircrew became prisoners of war. Alongside them, the US Air Force suffered three times as many aircraft fosses. In every case there were aircrew who had either been killed, captured or were in need of rescue. And while rescuing aircrew from behind enemy lines was given top priority, the challenge was considerable. Dedicated USAF squadrons flying Sikorsky HH-3 ‘Jolly Green Giant’ helicopters, supported by heavily armed, piston-engined Douglas A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft, flew dangerous extraction missions, which, of course, put even greater numbers of aircrew at risk. This prompted the navy and air force to ask, ‘What if downed aircrew had the means to fly themselves back into friendly territory?’ Three different aircraft companies accepted the challenge of coming up with an answer. The results were worthy of a Transformers movie: ejection seats that, on firing their occupant out of a stricken aircraft, unfolded, extended and locked themselves into mini-flying machines. Bell Aerosystems suggested a jet-powered hang-glider that suspended the pilot, face down and still strapped to his seat, beneath it. Fairchild-Hiller also suggested a glider, but theirs was a sort of pop-up machine made of cloth stretched over a spring-loaded metal frame. My favourite is the gyrocopter designed by Kaman Corps. On ejecting, a two-bladed rotor unfurled above the pilot’s head, while a tail and a micro turbofan jet flicked up behind him. And the name given to this invention? Stowable Aircrew Vehicle Escape Roto-seat – or SAVER for short. How practical any of these ideas really were for aircrew disorientated and sometimes injured by the violent act of ejection itself remains a matter for conjecture as none, sadly, made it into service. But that they were dreamt up at all merits a hat tip to the creativity and ingenuity of aircraft designers – and to the importance that the USA attaches to bringing its soldiers home.

We are positioning a jet fighter in the south of France in May 2015. This is the perfect location to enjoy the sun and charm of southern France and experimenting the thrills of a jet fighter rides.

Save the date:
May 1-2-3
May 8-9-10
May 14-15-16

Jet fighter rides will start from Aix en Provence. The aircraft is the Fouga Magister, a jet fighter selected by the French National displays team – the Patrouille de France, for it’s incredible agility. This is one of the best aircrafts for aerobatics!

ou can book directly your jet fighter ride in France

Head for Aix en Provence – south of France- in October for your chance to experience a jet fighter ride. For a month, a specialist travel agent will station a jet fighter to organise leisure rides on the Fouga Magister, an aircraft that has been designed for aerobatics. So much so that the national display team – The Patrouille de France – has used the aircraft for over 24 years. This is truly a unique experience. Flights vary in length from 30mn to 60mn, and price starts at 1950 euros. The reason for this experience is to allow more people to truly experience the thrills of a jet ride, in the magnificent surroundings of the south of France, between sea and mountains. The Fouga Magister is one of the best designed fighter planes ever. Easy to fly, it brings security with its twin engines, and offers a great view thanks to its wide cockpit glass. Built in the 1950s, the Fouga Magister was conceived as a jet trainer. The plane was worked so well that it was quickly adopted by various air forces around the world, such as the Israeli air Force who used the plane extensively during the six days war in 1967. The Fouga Magister is one of the most agile fighter planes ever built. So much that it has been the favourite plane of the French national display team, The Patrouille de France, from 1964 to 1980, when it was replaced by Alphajets. You can get more information by following this link about this jet fighter ride in France.

jet fighter ride

Our L-39 is getting “pinked”

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.

l-39 jet fighter

Red Flag 2013 is go

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.

On September 15-16, images of the cutting-edge Chinese fighter jet appeared on the web. The state-of-the-art aircraft bears strong resemblance to the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. It looks like a traditional stealth fighter and will probably be known as J-21, although the Chinese authorities have never commented either on the name of their new and powerful machine nor confirmed the fact of its existence. On September 15-16, images of the cutting-edge Chinese fighter jet appeared on the web. The state-of-the-art aircraft bears strong resemblance to the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. It looks like a traditional stealth fighter and will probably be known as J-21, although the Chinese authorities have never commented either on the name of their new and powerful machine nor confirmed the fact of its existence. On September 15-16, images of the cutting-edge Chinese fighter jet appeared on the web. The state-of-the-art aircraft bears strong resemblance to the American F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. It looks like a traditional stealth fighter and will probably be known as J-21, although the Chinese authorities have never commented either on the name of their new and powerful machine nor confirmed the fact of its existence. The brand-new fighter spots a double-tail design, much like that of the F-21 and F-35. The location of its air inlets is also reminiscent of the F-35. Experts say the new aircraft could be a fourth-generation fighter with less sophisticated avionics than those of its American rivals. The so-called “J-21″ may have been designed as a lighter alternative to the J-20. Both planes could also be mutually supplementary. The new Chinese stealth jet copies many of American F-22 design solutions, for instance its tail and empennage (photo), as well as its fuselage and air inlets. China’s air fleet consists of a wide range of planes, many of which are in fact replicas of Russian and Ukrainian aircraft. More on this on Defense Talk

Testimonies – fly a jet fighter

What’s it like to fly a jet fighter ? Flying a jet fighter is an extraordinary experience. We are very fortunate because we make people live something unique, and for some, it is an achievement, the realization of a dream. And to be part of it is simply great. We meet people who are very nervous and anxious at first. They open up through the day until they get seated in the plane. There, they get nervous again as we go through the instruments review. But once the canopy is closed, we can feel they are getting ready to enjoy their jet fighter ride.

It is scary at first for some, others are anxious to get it over with, but once they get airborne and we start the first evolutions, they relax and enjoy it. They take it all in and we can hear the comments – sometimes it’s just “arghhhh”, or “oh my god, oh my god”, or “unbelievable”… Then we get the “what ?”. That’s when we ask them if they want to take the controls… We are very fortunate because we see smiling and happy people all day. Of course some are a little white when getting out of the aircraft, but also part of the experience. So just to thank you all, here are some testimonies that you have been kind to send us after the flight. We thought there is no better way to share the experience than to let you explain it with your own words.

fly jet fighter

Dear all, thanks again for a wonderful day in Beauvais. I am now back to my usual self and would like to thank your team and your pilot Pierre for the amazing ride. You have made my day perfect, and I will never forget this experience. Thanks again. Paul Chesap – UK.

A personal thanks to Claire and Claude for their amazing kindness and a fantastic flight. I never thought I could actually fly the aircraft… I still have the sensations of the flight and I am actually looking forward to doing it again – Carol Van Dyck – Canada.

Flying to the edge of space in the Mig 29 was utterly mind blowing. Thank you so much for a fantastic experience. I never thought I would do this one day, and I am so happy I actually have been one of the very few to reach for the stars. It was incredible. Thanks to the pilot and to the team in Russia for making this my life changing experience – Leonie Marin – France

I felt incredibly powerful and sick at the same time. It was very weird and I am so happy I did the ride. Thank you for your support and kindness throughout. Feeling G force is an extraordinary experience. I will strongly recommend your team. Bob Hardy – UK

We have decided to put more testimonies online and it will be done so each month. Keep your testimonies coming, we always like to hear that you are well and to get your feedback.

The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by the United Kingdom, West Germany and Italy. There are three primary variants of the Tornado; the Tornado IDS (interdictor/strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences Tornado ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defence variant) interceptor.

tornado jet fighter

The Tornado was developed and built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (previously British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy. It first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 1979–1980. Due to its multirole nature, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) became an export operator of the Tornado in addition to the three original partner nations. A tri-nation training and evaluation unit operating from RAF Cottesmore, the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment maintained a level of international cooperation beyond the production stage.

The Panavia Tornado is a multirole, twin-engined aircraft designed to excel at low-level penetration of enemy defences. The mission envisaged during the Cold War was the delivery of conventional and nuclear ordnance on the invading forces of the Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe; this dictated several significant features of the design. Variable wing geometry, allowing for minimal drag during the critical low-level dash towards a well-prepared enemy, had been desired from the project’s start. Advanced navigation and flight computers, including the then-innovative fly-by-wire system, greatly reduced the workload of the pilot during low-level flight and eased control of the aircraft.

As a multirole aircraft, the Tornado is capable of undertaking more mission profiles than the anticipated strike mission; various operators replaced multiple aircraft types with the Tornado as a common type – the use of dedicated single role aircraft for specialist purposes such as battlefield reconnaissance, maritime patrol duties, or dedicated electronic countermeasures (ECM) were phased out – either by standard Tornados or modified variants, such as the Tornado ECR. The most extensive modification from the base Tornado design was the Tornado ADV, which was stretched and armed with long range anti-aircraft missiles to serve in the interceptor role.

tornado jet fighter

In order for the Tornado to perform well as a low-level supersonic strike aircraft, it was considered necessary for it to possess good high-speed and low-speed flight characteristics. To achieve high-speed performance, a swept-wing or delta-wing platform is typically adopted, but these wing designs are inefficient at low speeds. To operate at both high and low speeds with great effectiveness, the Tornado uses a variable-sweep wing. This approach had been adopted by earlier aircraft such as the American General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark strike fighter, and the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 fighter. The F-111 has many similarities with the smaller Tornado, however, the Tornado differs in being a multi-role aircraft with more advanced onboard systems and avionics.

The Tornado was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Italian Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force during the 1991 Gulf War, in which the Tornado conducted many low-altitude penetrating strike missions. The Tornados of various operators were used in conflicts in the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War and Kosovo War, Iraq during the Gulf War and the Iraq War, Libya during the Libyan civil war, as well as smaller roles in Afghanistan and Yemen. Including all variants, a total of 992 aircraft were built.

As German Gen. Erwin Rommel chased British forces across the North African desert, a stray Royal Air Force fighter crashed in the blistering sands of the Egyptian Sahara on June 28, 1942. The pilot was never heard from again. The damaged Kittyhawk P-40 – a couple of hundred miles from civilization – was presumed lost forever. Until now. In what experts consider nothing short of a miracle, a Polish oil company worker recently discovered the plane believed to have been flown by missing Flight Sgt. Dennis Copping. And almost 70 years after the accident, it’s extraordinarily well-preserved. The fighter’s “state of preservation is incredible,” British military historian Andy Saunders told CNN. “The thing just landed there in the desert and the pilot clearly got out. … It is a complete time capsule really (and) an exceptionally rare find. These things just don’t happen.” Copping’s plane — authorities have not confirmed his identity, though it has been widely reported in British newspapers — crashed after the 24-year-old pilot got lost while trying to fly it from one RAF base to another for repairs to its front landing gear, which wouldn’t retract. Copping, part of the RAF’s Egyptian 260 Squadron, was trying to get the American-built plane back in fighting condition in the run-up to what would prove to be the pivotal Battle of El Alamein.

The young pilot, according to Saunders, apparently became disoriented during the flight and headed in the wrong direction. Another RAF pilot flying nearby “tried all sorts of things” to get his attention, but Copping “bizarrely” ignored a series of warnings, Saunders said.
By the time Copping realized his mistake, he was too low on fuel to turn around. Several pieces of evidence at the crash site — including a parachute believed to have been used as shelter from the sun — indicate the strong probability Copping survived the landing. He almost certainly could not, however, survive the blazing Sahara heat for long. Copping “would have stayed by the aircraft initially,” Saunders noted. While the plane’s glass valve radio was likely knocked out of commission by the crash, “the parachute gives him shelter and a means to be identified from the air. The guy also would have had a little silver signaling mirror to attract passing aircraft and a pistol with a limited number of flares.” Why would Copping leave the wreckage? “Maybe he got desperate when he saw nobody was coming for him, and thought (the) only way to survive was to walk out” and look for help, Saunders speculated. RAF pilots in North Africa at that time didn’t have much in terms of rations. Copping’s supply would have been very limited, assuming he had food or water at all. Pilots were “flying with very basic life support systems,” Saunders said. “His chances of survival were not good.”

As Copping’s story becomes known, British authorities are hoping to bring his plane back to the United Kingdom and put it on display at the RAF Museum in London. Museum representatives are working with the British Embassy in Cairo and Britain’s Ministry of Defence on a possible recovery operation. ”It’s an incredible story,” said museum spokesman Michael Creane. “It’s a perfect story in so many ways. It’s incredible the plane sat there in this untouched part of the world for so long. … We’re dedicated to recovering it as fast as we can. This would be a fantastic asset.” Most of the plane’s fuselage, wings, tail and cockpit instruments remain intact. For safety reasons, Egyptian officials have removed its ammunition and guns.

Roll out of the last F-22 for USAF

The last F-22 Raptor to be built for the US Air Force took-off on its inaugural test flight earlier today with a company pilot at the helm, a Lockheed Martin executive says. “I was just watching the take-off of aircraft 4195, so it’s now made its first flight on its way to delivery,” says Jeff Babione, Lockheed’s F-22 programme manager. “We just had everyone outside the building watching the take-off of the final Raptor.”

Lockheed test pilot Bret Luedke– a veteran aviator who has flown almost every Raptor the company has ever built–is flying the aircraft. Babione says that company pilots usually fly two sorties to verify that the aircraft is functioning correctly. Super-cruise testing is usually conducted over Tennessee and Alabama, he says. The aircraft is capable of cruising at around Mach 1.8 without afterburners and has a top speed of around Mach 2.2. “It’s a real rigorous shakeout to make sure the aircraft is performing as designed,” Babione says.

Following the company test flights, government Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) pilots repeat those two sorties as part of the military’s acceptance procedures. The lead DCMA test pilot is Robert “Trigger” Wallace. Only after the aircraft completes those four test sorties will it receive its stealth coatings, Babione says. The aircraft also has to complete a mandatory government inspection. Lockheed will formally deliver aircraft 4195 to the USAF on 2 May, but the company will probably finish the work well ahead of time, Babione says.

The aircraft will be picked up from the factory by Lt Col Paul Moga and will then become the new “flagship” for the 525th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. Lockheed only has five F-22s left to deliver to the USAF. The air force recently took delivery of tail number 4190, which became the new flagship for the 90th Fighter Squadron-which is also part of the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf.

The aircraft passed its mandatory government inspection with flying colours, but it also has to be inspected once it arrives at its home station. The 4190 landed at Elmendorf “code one”-or with no problems to report-but it has yet to complete inspections. Babione says that he’ll know in the next few days if the aircraft will get a “Platinum Star” rating for having “zero defects.” The next aircraft, tail number 4191-which is the last jet built under a 60-aircraft, multi-year purchase-is set to be formally handed over to the USAF on 15 March, Babione says.

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