HAWK - At the RIAT display the Red Arrows, to celebrate their 50th
anniversary, flew with representatives from the Frecce Tricolore
(MB339), the Patrouille de France (Alpha Jet), the Patrouille Suisse
(F-5E) and the Breitling Jet Team (L-39 Albatross). Hawk lost
against the Alenia Aer Macchi M346 for a Polish order for eight
HARRIER - Falklands veteran Harrier GR3 XZ130 which has been at the
Surbiton Air Training Corps HQ for nine years is to be removed by the
MoD for health and safety reasons. It is hoped that a home can be found
for it in Kingston or at the Brooklands Museum.
HUNTER - TMk7 XL618 has been saved and has moved from Caernarfon to the Newark Air Museum.
SEA FURY - The Royal Navy historic Flight Sea Fury TMk20 VX821 suffered
engine problems during a display flown by Lt Cdr Chris Gotke at the
RNAS Culdrose Air Day in July. During the display the engine started to
emit dense smoke but continued to run, causing the pilot to make a
forced landing. He approached with flaps down and undercarriage up. The
undercarriage extended late and failed to lock down, collapsed and
caused the aircraft to slew off the runway onto the grass after a
smooth landing. Chris Gotke was unhurt. Damage to the airframe appeared
In April the 500mph Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major powered racing Sea Fury T.20 "Dreadnaught" and a Cessna 210 collided over the sea near San Pablo Bay, California. The Sea Fury landed safely but the Cessna crashed in the sea.
TYPHOON - The RAF Museum's
Typhoon 1B, MN235, has been loaned to the Canada Aviation & Space
Museum, Ottawa, until 2017. The RCAF flew three squadrons of Typhoons
HURRICANE - RCAF MkXII G-CBOE flew from Thruxton in July after a very lengthy restoration. It, together with Peter Vacher's Mk1 and Hunter Mk58 Miss Demeanour, is for sale at Platinum Fighters.
PUP & 1 ½ STRUTTER - these RAF Museum aircraft have been moved from Hendon to Cosford for a WW1 exhibition.
The RAF is operating pairs of Tornados from Cyprus at targets in Iraq
about 600 miles from Akrotiri. The Times reported that on the first mission a Paveway IV laser guided bomb (cost £22,000) was dropped on a "heavy weapons position, possibly a mortar point" and a Brimstone missile (£100,000) was launched at a "pick-up truck", presumably armed. On another occasion four Brimstones were launched at a "pick-up truck and a minibus".
That's five Brimstones (£500,000) for two pick-up trucks and a minibus costing, say, £40,000 max if they were new, but they are certainly commandeered so cost nothing.
According to The Times a sortie from Cyprus to Iraq takes between four and eight hours so a six hour mission at £35,000 per hour with two Tornados costs about £420,000, not including the cost of the tankers.
Is it really cost effective to use two-seat, twin-engined, swing-wing supersonic bombers to attack, with sophisticated missiles, very soft targets? Of course not; but it's all we've got. All our single-seat, single-engined light attack aircraft are in the Arizona desert.