Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Aviation Round-Up

The 49th Paris Airshow is rolling along with all the aviation companies trying to sell their wares to anyone with money or good financing. Saab is demonstrating their JAS-39 Gripen NG demonstrator, they are looking for Brazil orders and re-entry into the Indian MMRCA competition. Boeing has displayed the latest 747-8 cargo version.

Airbus/EADS is of course there with their products. The A380 suffered another embarrassing moment, on top of a previous accident where a 380 clipped a smaller jet, when its wing-tip clipped a building. So a Korean Air Lines A380 did the fly-by while the damaged plane sat on the tarmac with a cover over the damaged wing.

Nor was this Airbus/EADS only mishap, the very long delayed A400M had one also. To whit a cracked gearbox in one of the turboprop engines, so another A400M had to be slotted in. To add to the controversy surrounding the four year overdue A400M, the RAF will name their planes Atlas and not Grizzly, shades of the Eurofighter Taifun/Typhoon name controversy. All the delays surrounding the A400M project has allowed American companies to snag orders; Boeing happy with C-17 orders to the RAF, RCAF, RAAF, Oman, and Hungary and Lockheed-Martin selling C-130Js to RAF, RCAF, and a host of other possible A400M customers. And South Africa has cancelled it's A400M orders. And is it me or does the A400M nose and cockpit look like a C-141?

And what post on modern aviation would be complete without mentioning the Peoples Republic of China? It seems the designers at Chinese Military Aviation have developed a new airlifter in the 400,000lb category that bears a strong resemblance to the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. Very curious confirmation on Chinese intelligence efforts and on Chinese power projection goals, perhaps to places like Africa or Taiwan?

File this under old airshow news. Back in 2009 the Islamic Iranian Air Force had their own airshow. One of the centerpieces was supposed to be an overflight of their IL-76 Candid based AWACs plane named Simurgh. As the video in this link shows, things went terribly wrong and resulted in the loss of crew and plane.

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