SyAAF Mig-29M/M2 ?!?

A photo has been recently revealed for a Mig-29M/M2 thought to be one of 24 units ordered by SyAAF.

According to "Take Off" magazine (issue June 2011), the contract was signed in 2007.

Mig-29M/M2 that are close enough to the MiG-29SMT in terms of avionics, weapons and combat capabilities, but are, actually, newly-built aircraft, with the airframe, powerplant and avionics fit being the same as those of the Generation 4++ MiG-35.

(diagram extracted from Take Off magazine)

(diagram extracted from Take Off magazine)

Some sources reported that the single-seaters of (MiG-29K/KUB, MiG-29M/M2, MiG-35) were manufactured by the MiG Corp.’s production facility in Moscow and the twinseaters by the Sokol plant in Nizhny Novgorod.


SyAAF Conducts Live Fire Maneuvers

A new VIDEO extracted from Syrian TV shows live fire maneuvers conducted yesterday Dec.20 - 2011 by the SyAAF and Syrian Navy.

The maneuvers show participation of many aircraft:
- Mig-23 (looks to be ML)
- Mig-23BN
- Mig-29 (performing dog-fighting with pair of Mig-23's)
- Su-24 releasing free-fall bombs
- Gazelle's
- Mi-25
- Mi-17

Unfortunately, the resolution of the published here is not as good as seen on TV.


Updated AFB's on Google Earth - Dec.7th 2011

On Dec. 7th, GE has updated many areas in which there were few air bases.
Starting from Syria, Swaida AB (32°42'16.28"N 36°24'43.65"E).
This update confirms that this base has been abandoned in late 2004 (Mi-25's were last seen here in mid 2004).

Libya, Umm Aitiqah AB - Wheelus formerly - (32°53'35.74"N 13°17'10.22"E).
This updated image shows that this base wasn't targeted by NATO air strikes..may be because no military aircraft are operated from here anymore.

Qatar, Al Ubeid AB (25° 7'4.69"N 51°19'9.65"E).
Veeeery rich inventory of B1-B's..!!

Saudi Arabia, Dhahran AB (26°15'30.14"N 50° 9'18.27"E).

Iran, Shiraz AB (29°32'16.58"N 52°35'24.20"E).
Few Su-24's can be seen here.

Again from Iran, Kerman AB (30°16'38.15"N 56°57'25.37"E).
Many helis with two rotary wings...are they AH-1 Cobra's?

Pakistan, Peshawar AB (33°59'39.67"N 71°30'51.98"E).

Russia, Ivanovo North (57° 3'22.78"N 40°58'48.53"E).
Are these Beriev A-50 with rotodomes??


Updated AFB's on Google Earth - Nov.25th 2011

Few interesting air force bases were updated on Google Earth on Nov. 25th.
Starting from the Middle East from Libya, Sirt AB (31° 3'38.69"N 16°35'45.72"E).

Of course this imagery was taken during the revolution showing that all HAS's were targeted and bombed by NATO's LGB's.

You can clearly notice that all sliding gates are thrown sometimes 50 meters away from HAS due to the explosion of bombs inside.

Egypt, Kom Awshim AB (29°33'20.35"N 30°53'38.71"E).

This base looks to be the home base of CH-47 Chinook's.

Yemen, Sanaa' AB (15°28'37.04"N 44°13'11.71"E).

What's new...few shelters in the main yard are built for Mig-29's.

Turkey, Konya AB (37°58'46.33"N 32°33'44.80"E).

Inventory includes large number of F-5's, few F-16's in addition to the yard of Turkish Stars (aerobatic team F-5's).

Russia, Buturlinovka AB (50°47'32.59"N 40°36'33.74"E).

Mig-29's are operated from this base.

Another base in Russia, Kursk East (51°45'2.48"N 36°17'47.90"E).

North Korea, Pukchang AB (39°30'9.48"N 125°57'52.20"E).

Many Mig-23's can be seen here, also this base looks to have under ground tunnels for aircraft.

Another North Korean base, Pukchang (39°24'48.57"N 125°53'23.54"E).

Many Mig-29's and Su-25's look as stored in the forest way!?!?

China, Dandong Langtou base (40° 1'39.40"N 124°17'8.75"E).
Inventory includes J-6, J-7 and between those few J-8's !?!? (looks to be the first generation of J-8 which comes with the frontal air intake hole same as Su-7).


Onboard SyAAF Su-24 !!

A very rare video if not the first of a kind to be published on the net, thanks to "SyrianDevileyez" from ACIG whom drew our attention to this great video (which i couldn't resist posting it here again in this blog), showing 3 Su-24M2's during the air show which accompany the celebration of airmen graduation in Rasm Al Abboud (the main training AB in Syria).

This video was taken in October this year or the last one, details of this video are as below:

- in 0:00 till 0:20 the three Su's are over Aleppo.
- in 0:21 you can see the runway of Neyrab AB on horizon exactly under the belly of the right Su.
- in 0:22 till 2:35 they are on the way approaching Rasm Al Abboud AB.
- in 2:36 they enter the fence of that AB and running exactly over the runway.
- in 2:49 wreckage of newly added Mig-21's in front, behind 1 Meteor + 1 Flamingo + 2 L-29's + 1 Mi-8 + 2 Mig-17.
- in 2:56 they exit the AB.
- Till the end...the three cavaliers continue their way to the home base in T4.

I can't tell it is a courage from the pilot (especially in this critical period) to upload such video on web !!


Egyptian Air Force (1930-1952) - Part II

In addition to the Gladiator's REAF received in 1938, in the same year it received a squadron of Westland Lysander which performed liaison and recon. roles.

Hawker Hurricane was also supplied to REAF after the WWII.

This looks a Hurricane more than a Spitfire (as labeled from the original source of this image)...markings of downed / bombed aircraft, vehicles, and bombs dropped over settlement in Palestine during Arab-Israeli War in 1948.

Above, (as described in the original source of the image) pilots celebrating the arrival of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk's in late 1940's.

In the late stages of Palestine war in July 1948, REAF received the Short Sterling, the first four-engined heavy bomber to serve for an Egyptian air force.

After the end of 1948 war, Handley Page Halifax became the second heavy bomber to join REAF, served till late 1952.

Avro Lancaster is the third type bomber to join REAF after 1948 war.

Gloster Meteor F4 shifted REAF into the jet era when it was delivered 1949.
Meteor was not the only jet served for REAF, the de Havilland Vampire also was the second type of jets to serve for the REAF before the the Egyptian Revolution took place in 1952 ending the Royal Era in Egypt.


Egyptian Air Force (1930-1952) - Part I

We are talking here about the Egyptian Air Force in the Royal era, when King Fuad I founded the Egyptian Army Air Force (EAAF) in 1930.
Above, a record of flying hours for some pilot showing types of aircraft served in that period.

DH.60 Moth is the first aircraft to enter the service with EAAF in 1931 when de Havilland won the contract to supply 10 units of this trainer biplane.

Avro 618 was the first military transport multi-engined aircraft to serve for EAAF when 2 units were sent to Egypt in 1932.

Avro 626 is another trainer biplane served for EAAF.

10 units were delivered in 1934.

Totally, EAAF operated 25 airframes of Avro 626's, all were retired in 1944.

In 1937 EAAF became an independent branch after separation from army command to be named Royal Egyptian Air Force (REAF).
Miles M.14 Magister trainer served for REAF with 42 units.

The Gloster Gladiator was the first REAF real fighter to fly over Egypt, REAF acquired 2 squadrons in 1938. 

The above 2 photos might be taken during an army or air force ceremony.

Gladiator's perform maneuvers.


Eye-Catching AFB: KUCOVA (Albania)

Again an attractive and well known airbase in Albania...it's "Berat" AB or as widely known "Kucova" AB which is located 60km to the south of capital Tirane.

4030 Regiment (Mig-15bis, JJ-5, J-6) and 3rd squadron of 4004 regiment (Mig-15bis & UTI) were deployed in this base, even "Top Gear" team drove through here between these sadly retired airframes...

Around 37 aircraft of J-6's (Chinese Mig-19) and Mig-15UTI's are lined outdoor...actually I couldn't recognize any JJ-5 among these...

Albanian air force received around 38 ex-North Korean Mig-15bis & UTI in mid 1950s, also in late 1950s received around 12 Mig-19's which were later on exchanged with Chengdu J-7's (Chinese Mig-21) after the collapse of USSR-Albanian relations.

Tunnels been dug inside the hill with few entries to hide numbers of aircraft as Mig-15UTI and J-5 as shown above, this way is founded in "Gramsh" air base in Albania, as well as in some air bases in Serbia...

Outside, around 17 Mig-15, J-6 and J-5 are phased out also, it's reported that the collapse of Chinese-Albanian relations caused an extreme lack of spare parts which made maintenance so difficult and resulted in deadly incidents costing the life of more than 35 pilots.

Albanian air force received around 20 Nanchang CJ-6 trainers (the Chinese Yak-18), at least 8~10 units are retired here.

4 Y-5B's (Chinese An-2) are still in good condition, seems that there is maintenance facility for such aircraft in this base.

Always thanks for Chris for his permission to use his great photos.


LUN-Class Ekranoplan

Is it a ship or aircraft? it's a GEV "Ground Effect Vehicle"...which is defined as: the vehicle that attains level flight near the surface of the earth, making use of the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface...

Our GEV here is the Soviet Lun-Class Ekranoplan aircraft which is named "Duck" by NATO, was built in 1987 and served for both Soviet and Russian navies till late 1990s.
It was one of the largest "Seaplanes" ever built and which fly only 4 meters or little less above surface of water !!!

Fitted with 8 turbofans which can carry this 286 tonnes beast to a maximum speed of 550km/h, and enable it carry another 100 tonnes..!!!

In addition to the very basic self-defense of 2 gun turrets (which make it an easy prey for any faster aircraft or anti-ship missile), it's designed to carry 6 launchers for SS--22 Sunburn missiles.

Note the reflectors which re-orient missile's flames aside the fuselage.

It realy looks like a castel built of concrete !!

A glance at flaps and wing section can give a small idea where these 286 tonnes are distributed.

Sunburn is a 10m long and 4.5 tonnes anti-ship missile with an active-radar guidance system and operational range of 120km.

The dock is designed and built specially for this GEV, with a displacement of 500 tonnes.

The solid fin carries the rear elevators which have only little less wingspan than the wings.

Each turbofan produces almost the double thrust of a Tumansky R-15 does (which is fitted to the Mig-25). 

Huge bubbles on the fin, they include together with the nose the advanced tracking and targeting system for the Sunburns.

View from the tail gun turret.

And a view from the cabin, note that the crew consist of 6 officers and 9 enlisted men.

Crew bedroom...

Nice shot for this beast shows the few meters separate the 300+ tonnes fuselage over water surface while launching a missile.

Only one Lun-Class was built and it's still remained at a naval base near Kaspiysk city on the Caspian Sea.