BRIDEX 2013 Static Aircraft Display: Royal Brunei Air Force Aircraft

Posted: 20 March 2014 by SchwarzeMitternacht in PlaneTok

As promised in the intro post of this series, this post will focus on two aircraft of the Royal Brunei Air Force, namely the Pilatus PC-7 used by the Alap-Alap Formation aerobatic display team, and the CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft. Since I am no aviation expert myself, most of my information of these aircraft come from Wikipedia, aviation books, magazines and the like.

First up, it’s Alap-Alap Formation’s Pilatus PC-7.

AlapPC7-2

Alap-Alap Formation is the Royal Brunei Air Force’s official aerobatic display team. It was formed on the 7th of February 2011. They consist of 3 pilots, one local and 2 from the RAF (Royal Air Force) i.e. British. The aircraft they use is the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II.

The Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer is manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft in Switzerland. It is a low-wing training aircraft with tandem seating (meaning one seats behind another). The PC-7 Mk II is a development of the Pilatus PC-9’s airframe and avionics, retaining the PC-7’s wing to mount external stores. It is also powered by a 522 kW (700 shp) PT-6A-25C engine rather than more powerful PT6A-62 of the PC-9. This is apparently done to lower maintenance costs.

AlapPC7-1

As you can see from the picture above, the aircraft carries the tail-number TUDB 302. TUDB stands for Tentera Udara Diraja Brunei (which you can also see in the picture), the Malay for Royal Brunei Air Force.

(Note: in Brunei the Royal Brunei Armed Forces uses the acronym of RBAF, so to differentiate itself, the air force uses RBAirF. Meanwhile MoD in Brunei is not used by the Ministry of Defence like in other countries, but by the Ministry of Development. The Ministry of Defence uses the shortened form of MinDef).

During the air show proper, one of the Alap-Alap Formation pilots did a solo set at the BRIDEX Exhibition Centre. His name escapes me, but I believe he was one of the RAF pilots.

Next up, it’s the CASA/IPTN CN-235.

CN-235-1

The CN-235 is a is a medium-range twin-engined transport plane. It was jointly developed by CASA of Spain and IPTN of Indonesia as a regional airliner and military transport. This specific aircraft was apparently bought from IAe (Indonesian Aerospace, what IPTN is now called).

CN235-4

Here we can see visitors getting in and out of the aircraft. As you can see, there were a lot of people in the air base. My other pics will tell a similar story. These pics were taken on the last day of the static aircraft display. The fact that it was on a Sunday was obviously a factor too.

CN235-3

Here we can see people entering/leaving the aircraft from the cargo bay door at the aft of the aircraft. I wonder if that baby/toddler being carried will have any memory of this when he/she grows up.

CN-235-2

TUDB represent! I also wanted to make a joke on jeans here (501), but I just can’t think of one.

There was also an MBB Bo 105CB helicopter on display, and I believe  some sort of Cessna. I didn’t take pictures of them sadly. As I said in my earlier post, if I had thought of putting together this series of posts back then, I would have taken pictures of all the aircraft, and more of them.

Also, I had hoped to see at least one Sikorsky S-70i Blackhawk in the static aircraft display since they had one of the newly delivered helicopters on display in the BRIDEX Exhibition Centre. Alas, none were shown on the air base runway. Maybe next time, eh?

Well, that’s it for this post. The next post will be on the MV-22 Osprey and the KC-130J Hercules of the United States Marine Corps.

– SCM

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