Produced by the industry-renowned team behind Airliner World magazine, charts the development of the first widebody, an aircraft that brought air travel to the masses. With superbly illustrated articles paying tribute to the Queen of the Skies, this new 100-page publication tells the story of one of the world’s most iconic commercial airliners from the inside, through the people who fly it and the passengers it carries.
This special issue is on sale for just £5.99 from WHSmith, Sainsbury’s and leading newsagents in the UK from March 30th onwards.
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Low-cost carrier Wizz Air has agreed to lease two new Airbus A321s and two A320s from Vermillion Aviation Holdings Ireland. The jets, which are powered by International Aero Engine V2500 engines, are due to be delivered between July and March next year.
Wizz Air’s fleet currently consists of 63 A320s and 16 A321s.
Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) has become just the sixth facility in the world to receive Skytrax’s ‘5-Star Airport’ ranking. The rating is awarded by the London-based aviation institute to airports providing first class facilities for its passengers combined with excellent service from airport staff. It takes into account the front-line areas for departures, arrival and transfer, including airport facilities, customer service, security, immigration, shopping outlets and food and beverage facilities. Doha joins Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo/Haneda and Munich as five star facilities.
Engineer Badr Mohammed Al Meer, COO of HIA, said: “Joining the elite of airports and being the first airport in the Middle East to earn five stars from Skytrax is an honour, and a direct result of the thousands of people who ensure HIA operates smoothly every day, every flight. No matter how long our guests are with us, we strive to make their journey flawless and memorable. This acknowledgement is highly gratifying, and will continue to motivate us to create an exceptional experience for everyone.”
HIA, which has only been operational for three years, has enjoyed several strategic milestones over the past 12 months, including the launch of its iBeacon enabled mobile app, the introduction of the dual passenger train shuttle to concourses D and E and the opening of multiple duty free stores.
The Qatari airport also enjoyed success at the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards, held in Amsterdam where it was named the “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the third consecutive year and awarded “Best Staff Service in the Middle East” for the second year running.
BOC Aviation has placed an order for 13 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The latest purchase agreement takes the lessor’s commitment to 209 aircraft from the Boeing Next-Generation 737 Family including 74 MAX 8s.
“Airlines are attracted by the 737 MAX 8’s lower operating costs and fuel efficiency, and we are delighted to announce the inclusion of these additional aircraft as we build our future delivery pipeline,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and CEO of BOC Aviation.
Dinesh Keskar, Senior VP, Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “BOC Aviation’s purchase for an additional 13 737 MAX 8s is a testament to the superior value, performance and economics the 737 MAX will bring to airlines around the world.”
Helicopter gunships were all the rage in the latter part of the Cold War. On each side of the Iron Curtain, huge numbers of NATO and Warsaw Pact gunships prepared for a conflict that never came. Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary and Poland all operated the Mi-24 Hind. Today the Hind is only flown in Europe by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. While the Czech Republic operates 17 Mi-24V/35s, Poland maintains a fleet of 28 Mi-24D/W versions. After grounding its Mi-24V fleet, Bulgaria has since returned a single example to service. Romania never operated the Mi-24 but did fly locally assembled IAR-330H Pumas, which could be armed. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, 30 Romanian IAR-330Hs were upgraded to the armed IAR-330L SOCAT standard.
Back in the Cold War days, the only NATO nation to operate dedicated gunships in Europe was the US Army, which fielded hundreds of AH-1 Cobras and subsequently introduced around 200 AH-64 Apaches. Today there are only around 30 US Army AH-64 Apaches left in Europe, flying from Ansbach-Katterbach Army Airfield in Germany.
However, European countries that once operated Bells, Bölkow 105s or Gazelles that could be armed with rocket pods and guns have now re-equipped with dedicated gunships. Italy has the Mangusta, while Turkey is developing its own T129 version, known as the ATAK. France, Germany and Spain all collaborated on the Tiger/Tigre, while Greece, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom went for the US option, the AH-64 Apache.
The current, April issue of AFM sees our correspondents continue their review of Europe’s helicopter gunships, covering Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. You can buy your copy of the magazine here.
AFM correspondent Alan Warnes caught this F-15SG in the static display at LIMA 17 at Langkawi International Airport in Malaysia. Assigned to the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s 149 Squadron ‘Shikras’ at Paya Lebar Air Base, 8319 was loaded with several types of laser-guided bomb (LGB).
Singapore ordered 12 F-15s plus eight options in December 2005 after a long selection process to replace the last of the RSAF’s fleet of locally upgraded A-4SU Super Skyhawks. Based on the F-15E Strike Eagle, the F-15SG is equipped with an Raytheon AN/APG-63(V)3 AESA radar, Sniper pods, Link 16 advanced datalinks and Tigereye infra-red search and track (IRST).
Air-to-ground weaponry includes Paveway II LGBs and Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). GBU-54 dual-mode Laser JDAMs are also in use.
In 2007 Singapore announced that it was exercising the eight options and adding four more aircraft to the order.
Despite earlier reports that the RSAF has 24 F-15SGs, a count of the airframes in Singapore and the United States indicates that there are 32 aircraft currently in service. In addition, the unexplained appearance of eight more F-15SGs on the US Federal Aviation Administration’s aircraft registry in June 2014 suggests the RSAF could have as many as 40 F-15s.
Leonardo is exhibiting a P-72A (company designation ATR-72MPA) maritime patrol aircraft at LIMA 17, where the type is making its public debut, Alan Warnes reports. The aircraft is one of three that have now been delivered to the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare)’s 41° Stormo based at Sigonella, Sicily.
The Malaysian Government has a requirement for a maritime surveillance aircraft and the Prime Minister had a look around the aircraft immediately after the opening ceremony this morning.
The Aeronautica Militare received its first two examples of the P-72A on December 13. Based on the ATR-72-600 regional turboprop, the P-72A will replace the Breguet P-1150A Atlantic in Italian Air Force service. A total of four P-72As are on order under the terms of a 2014 contract that also includes logistic support services. Final deliveries are due to be completed in 2017.
Equipped with the Leonardo Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance (ATOS) mission system, the P-72A will be used for missions including maritime patrol, search and identification of surface vessels, search and rescue (SAR), counter-narcotics trafficking, anti-piracy, prevention of smuggling, territorial water security and monitoring and intervention in the event of environmental catastrophes.
Scenery Solutions and Flight1 have released 3 new, major cityscapes for Spain. This includes the beautiful port cities of Barcelona ($5.95), Valencia ($4.95) and Malaga ($4.95).
In the last few weeks, they have also released the coastal Texas resort area of South Padre Island and Port Isabel, including KPIL airport. There have now been 25 products released for since the initial XpressSim launch back in December 2016.
All XpressSim products are priced between $2.95 and $5.95 each, making them very affordable options for such detailed and unique scenery. All XpressSim products include custom TexturePhoto terrain with full seasonal support, custom buildings in their real world locations and much more !
To find out more about XpressSim products, along with the free scenery areas available for download, please see their support forum or visit the XpressSim page at the Scenery Solutions site.