Archive for the ‘PlaneTok’ Category

2013 BRIDEX Static Aircraft Display: Fighter Aircraft

Posted: 31 December 2015 by SchwarzeMitternacht in PlaneTok

This is the first, last, and only post of 2015, from an article series I started in 2014, about something that happened in 2013. Tardy, I know.

It all started with this pic:

Fighters

From left of the image to the right, it is Royal Malaysian Air Force’s Sukhoi Su-30 MKM Flanker, Royal Thai Air Force’s SAAB JAS 39 C Gripen, and Republic of Singapore Air Force’s Boeing F-15SG Eagle. There was also an RTAF JAS 39 Gripen D on display which we will get to later. Let’s start with the Malaysian ‘Flanker’ shall we?

Flanker4

Before we go further, I want to say that this is one large fighter aircraft. All of my exposure to the Flanker series (and other fighter aircraft for that matter) are from magazines and video games like Ace Combat. I sort of expected the Flanker to be the size of an Eagle, its American equivalent. Turns out it is significantly bigger, at least to my eyes.

Flanker1

The SU-30 MKM is The Royal Malaysian Air Force’s variant of the Su-30 Flanker series. It is a supermanoeuvrable heavy fighter manufactured by Russia’s Sukhoi. MKM stands for “Modernizirovannyi Kommercheskiy Malaysia“, Modernised Export Malaysia. It is based upon the Su-30 MKI, the version used by the Indian Air Force.

Flanker2

Here we can see TUDM markings on the vertical stabilisers. TUDM stands for “Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia”, which is Malay for Royal Malaysian Air Force. The Su-30 fulfills the role of air-superiority fighter and also multirole (which is to say it can be used to engage both air and ground targets) aircraft for the RMAF. If you find it weird that the engine nozzle seems to be pointing downward, it is because the aircraft features 3D thrust vectoring. Simply put, the engines nozzles point in whichever direction the aircraft needs to maximise manouvrability, giving it its famed (some would say notorious) super manoeuvrability.

Flanker3

A closer look at the nozzles.

Flanker5

As I said earlier, one huge fighter aircraft.

FlankerSpecs

Lucky for me, I took a picture of the aircraft’s specification. No need for me to type out everything.

Up next are the ‘Gripens’ of the Royal Thai Air Force.

GripenC1

Yes Gripens, as in plural, because other than the single-seat JAS 39 C…

GripenD1

We also have the 2-seat JAS 39 D

GripenC2

The SAAB JAS 39 Gripen is a light, single-engined multirole fighter aircraft. It is designed and manufactured by Swedish aerospace company SAAB as a replacement for the SAAB 35 Draken and SAAB 37 Viggen.

GripenC3

Of the 3 fighter aircraft types on display, the Gripen is the one which is the most different. It has what is called the “Euro Double Delta” design, which is shared with its SAAB fighter aircraft predecessors, as well as its contemporaries the Eurofighter and the Dassault Rafale.

GripenC4

It is also single-engined. and by far the smallest and lightest fighter aircraft on display. If you look at the lead picture, by putting the Gripen between The Flanker and The Eagle, the Gripen actually looks almost dainty. This of course is not to say that it is not a capable fighter, just an observation on the size difference between the 3 jets.

GripenCSpecs

Here are the specs of the Gripen C.

GripenDSpecs

And here are the specs for the 2-seater Gripen D.

Last but not least, is the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s ‘Eagle’.

Eagle1

The Boeing F-15SG is the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s variant of the very successful and proven F-15E. It is a multirole strike fighter, manufactured by America’s Boeing.

Eagle3

Some of you who are familiar with the Eagle might be wondering “wait, isn’t the Eagle made by McDonnell Douglas?”. Simply put, Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas, are and now developing/manufacturing the Eagle and F-18 Hornet platforms.

Eagle5

Those large engines mean business. The original version of the F-15 Eagle held the record for the fastest climb and acceleration by a fighter aircraft, only to be beaten by the Su-27, the original Flanker. And being essentially American and Russian analogues of each other, there will always be arguments of which is better. And now neighbours Singapore and Malaysia have two of the latest variants of these awesome aircraft. The fanboys be arguing, and I don’t wish to take part in it.

EagleSpecs

Here are the specs of the F-15SG.

Before I go, I would like to say that BRIDEX is held once every 2 years since 2007. For some reason though there was no BRIDEX 2015. Hopefully it will be held again soon. Well, that’s all from me in 2015.

– SCM

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BRIDEX 2013 Static Aircraft Display: United States Air Force Aircraft

Posted: 20 November 2014 by SchwarzeMitternacht in PlaneTok

The United States Air Force (USAF) displayed the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

Globe1

The Boeing C-17 Globemaster is a large, four-engined jet powered military transport aircraft. Originally developed by the McDonnell Douglas aircraft company, it is now made by Boeing since Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged in 1997. As it name implies, it is the third aircraft designated ‘Globemaster’,the first two being the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.

And yes, if you look at the image above, that’s one rather long line of people waiting to get inside the aircraft.

Globe2

That’s one big proverbial transport jet right there.

Aside from the USAF, the C-17 is also in service with the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Qatar, United Arab Emirates. Kuwait, India and NATO’s Heavy Airlift Wing.

Globe3

As with all my pics, I try to grab a picture of the aircraft’s transport ramp. As you can see though, there is a US Airman (if that’s the correct terminology) standing there telling people to stand clear.

A bit of background information, I was taking pics of the C-17 around close to 5pm local time, basically when the static display was wrapping up. The reason people were told to stand clear was because…

Globe4

they…

Globe5

were…

Globe6

raising…

Globe7

the ramp…

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up.

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They still allowed people to come into the plane from the side though.

In this pic we can also see the C-17 is called the “Spirit of Kamehameha”. So my guess is that this plane is based in Hawaii.

The next post should be about the fighter aircraft on display (as was teased oh so long ago). I am undecided whether or not to split it into 3 different articles, or create just one big post. Stay tuned.

– SCM

BRIDEX 2013 Static Aircraft Display: United States Marine Corps Aircraft

Posted: 20 November 2014 by SchwarzeMitternacht in PlaneTok

As promised way back in March (8 months ago? Dang), this post will focus on the aircraft on the United States Marine Corps (USMC) which were displayed at BRIDEX 2013.

First Up, the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey.

Osprey1

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a tiltrotor military aircraft capable of vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) and Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL). It is made by Bell Helicopter and Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.

Osprey2

The MV-22 is the Marine Corps version of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. It is designed as an assault transport for troops and supplies capable of operating from ships and expeditionary fields ashore. The more eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that there are actually 2 MV-22s on display.

Osprey3

Here we can see the other aircraft with it’s rotors tilted upwards, thus showing why it’s classified as a tiltrotor. If I remember correctly both of these aircraft were based in Okinawa Japan.

Osprey4

Currently the only operators of the V-22 are the United States Air Force (USAF) and the USMC. Both Japan and Israel have aircraft on order which should be delivered soon.

Osprey5

Sure looks cramped in there…

The other USMC aircraft on display is the Lockheed Martin KC-130J Hercules.

Herc1

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules was a four-engined turboprop military transport aircraft. The Lockheed Martin C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. The aircraft on display is the KC-130J variant, which is the extended range tanker version used for air refueling.

Herc2

Here we can see who operates this specific KC-130J. Personally I like the whole ‘ghosted’ look of the lettering, which I am pretty sure is more for camouflage purposes than to simply look cool. Just like the MV-22s, this aircraft was also based in Okinawa Japan.

Herc3

Now that’s some space right there.

Recently, the Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) has placed an order of one C-130J Super Hercules for maritime patrols and humanitarian efforts. This makes sense because there are regions in South-East Asia which are vulnerable to natural disasters like floods, typhoons, earthquakes and such. Brunei’s military, small though it is, has lent a hand in conducting humanitarian efforts in disaster hit areas. Having a relatively large aircraft like the Super Hercules would help in conducting such efforts significantly.

Next post, the USAF’s Boeing Globemaster III.

– SCM

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

BRIDEX 2013 Static Aircraft Display: Intro

Posted: 18 March 2014 by SchwarzeMitternacht in PlaneTok

Hello there! It’s been rather a long while since I made a post here in KupiTok (the ‘Coming Soon’ teaser post notwithstanding). As the title of this post implies, I will make a series of posts on the Static Aircraft Display portion of BRIDEX 2013. This is an all text article, so no pics on this one.

A little bit of background. BRIDEX, or Brunei International Defence Exhibition, is a biennial event held here in Brunei. It started off mainly as a static exhibition held originally at Brunei’s International Convention Centre, before moving to a dedicated location named, perhaps rather obviously, BRIDEX Exhibition Centre. Nowadays, the event also includes an air show, with aircraft flying over the exhibition centre, and a static aircraft display at the Royal Brunei Air Force base in Rimba. My upcoming posts would focus on the latter.

Before I begin though, a couple of things I would like to share. I did not go to the static air display with thoughts on doing a blog post on it in mind. As such, I did not think of taking pictures of all the aircraft on display, nor did I take a lot of pictures of ones that I did. I only had the idea on doing a series of posts on the static display after looking at the pictures I have taken and wanting to share them. I hope you guys like the teaser photo I posted earlier showing Singapore’s Boeing F-15SG, Thailand’s Saab JAS 39C Gripen, and Malaysia’s Sukhoi Su-30MKM. My next post though will focus first on two of Brunei’s aircraft on display, a Pilatus PC-7 flown by Alap-Alap Formation aerobatic team, and a CASA/IPTN CN-235 transport aircraft.

Another thing, as of this writing, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 has been missing for over a week, and there is still a lot of confusion over what has actually happened. I would like to say, in behalf of all the authors of Kupitok, that our prayers and thoughts are with all that are affected by this unfortunate event, passengers and family members alike, and hope that at least some semblance of closure can be found soon.

– SCM

Coming Soon…

Posted: 08 March 2014 by SchwarzeMitternacht in PlaneTok

Fighters

– SCM