Amman & Aqaba Airports

Very quick visit to lovely Jordan last month in which I could see and photo many attractive aircrafts; starting from Amman IAP where I spotted an interesting Bombardier (de Havilland Canada) Dash 8 reg. N570AW operated by U.S Department of State.

An Embraer 175 was our transporter to Aqaba AP, Embraer is realy a very respectful aircraft manufacturer, the interior is very simple, comfortable and spacious even the aircraft looks very small from outside.

My first time to spot a very interesting Lockheed L-1011 TriStar was operated by the Portuguese LUZAIR, this aircraft is no more flying since 2009 and I can't understand why they left it here in Jordan !?!?

The ever most amazing photo in my trip was this An-2 in Jordanian flag livery which was operated (seems to be long time ago) by the Jordanian Sky Dive team, I thought that Jordan never operated Soviet or eastern-made aircrafts.


Eye-Catching AFB: LARISSA & SOUDA (Greece)

The more you search and discover the Hellenic Air Force the more you find how unique and attractive it is, especially due to variety of models served in it.
Honestly, what attracts me in wreckage here is the way they phase out retired aircrafts, for example, in Russia they gather them in few bases (as posted previously), in the U.S of course to the final destination in Tucson, but here, they more alike SyAAF...when they decide this aircraft is to be retired no need for big efforts...just tow it 20m back and leave it on soil or gather them in an area of HAS's (but of course here are much more organized).
Anyway, another AFB is Larissa which is located around 215km to the north of Athena.

In the un-sheltered aircraft parking southern circles many retired Northrop F-5's rest.

All F-5's which were delivered to HAF since 1965 are retired.

A row of the frightful F-4's, due to the aggressive history and wide appearance of this aircraft in many wars, It's not very common to find it phased out.
Here they are located at the north taxi runner of this base.

Not in Larissa, but in Souda AFB which is located in the land of civilization, Crete island.
Row of 11 Lockheed T-33's retired in this base.

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


Eye-Catching AFB: AGRINION & ARAXOS (Greece)

Very interesting aircraft bone-yards in AFB's this time in Greece; starting from Agrinion AFB which is located in the west about 200klm from the capital Athena. 

Bone-yard at the further eastern end of the AB crowded with F-104G's. 

More than 32 phased out Starfighters R.I.P there, I would not talk more about history of these aircraft here as I'll dedicate a special post about aviation museum of this amazing airforce.

Another AFB is Araxos which is not very far at the south of Agrinion.

Again few F-104G's laid there, but the more are those A-7 Corsair's at the eastern parking platz of the AB.

Around 24 phased out units distributed there; of course engines, seats and other components can be re-used as spares for other aircrafts are stripped of.

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


Jeddah Airport 2011

Again from lovely Jeddah and during one of my trips, few aircrafts I could spot in King Abdulaziz Int'l Airport; above two Boeing 747's the one in white livery seems to be of the Royal Flight aircrafts.

From this AP the largest number of Saudi Airlines fleet is being operated since Jeddah is the only aerial port for Umrah and Pilgrimager whom are going to Makkah.

Boeing 747-300 belongs to the privately owned MAHAN Airlines registered "EP-MND" taxiing after landing.

Embraer 190 reg. "VP-COX" belongs to NAS Air, a very successful economic airlines in middle east area especially after the sudden shut down of the similar SAMA Air.

Airbus A330-200 reg. "70-ADT" belongs to Yemenia Airways.

Airbus A320-232 reg. "SU-TCA" belongs to the privately owned ALMASRIA Universal Airlines, note that this airlines' fleet consists of only two aircrafts of this kind. 

Airbus A320 reg. "9K-CAM" belongs to the Kuwaiti origin JAZEERA Airways just cleared to take off.


Royal Saudi Air Force Cavaliers

Amazing aircrafts are distributed everywhere in KSA which is realy very rich country in aircraft static display.

In Jeddah, the second largest city after Riyadh the capital, both British de Havilland Vampire and American T-6 Texan/Harvard are displayed.

There are not much info about Texan's service in RSAF, but many sources showed this familiar yellow camo for Saudi Texan's.

The same for Vampire, need to search more to know when and how many units were delivered to RSAF.

Another square with (probably) a Cessna, also not sure whether it was operated by RSAF or for civilian transport.

This time in Ta'if city not very far from Jeddah, a Lightning is also displayed, I'll talk more about history of Lightning in RSAF in my coming posts.


UPDATES : Alep & Damas Airports

Here we are again in Alep AB and very fresh photos showing only 11 Mig-23's of MLD & UB variants left in the parking platz of overhaul facility in this AB, still not sure how deep services these beasts are receiving in this facility.

For older variants of Mig-23, it's well known that Syria became qualified to maintain and extend engine life and even fit advanced electronics to such fighter.
On the right hand new Mi-8 appeared in this AB for being maintained and clearly it's repainted with common camo.  

Also from Damas with Love and my very first photo for the new turboprop ATR 72-500 which joined the Syrian Airlines fleet in early 2010.

New arrangement for the Military Transport division, Il-76 are mainly re-distributed here; I think the frontal one was shifted from the lower corner and been parked here.

Again thanks God these Tu-134's are still not operable, I couldn't recognize this twin-engined small transporter aside these Tu's.


Glance at China's Aircraft Industry: XI'AN & GUIZHOU

Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation (XAC) is another important manufacturer of medium and large sized airplanes to mention here, based in Xi'an city in Shaanxi in the middle of China.
It's the state first grade enterprise and its main client is PLAAF since it's founded in 1958, aside to the military aircrafts it built many commercial and transport ones such as MA60 and MA600 families, Yun-7 (chinese version of An-24), Yun-14 (chinese version of An-26) in addition to its essential participation in building the first Chinese passenger jet ARJ21.
Future project Xi'an focuses on is the Y-20, a four-engine heavy transport aircraft.

May be the Flying Leopard JH-7 is the current signature of XAC, a two-seat medium-sized fighter/bomber joined PLAAF in mid 1990s with around 150 units built.

JH-7 program was launched as a respond to PLAAF requirements in 1970s for a all-weather deep strike bomber to replace the H-5's (Chinese version of Il-28) and Q-5's, in addition to carry out anti-shipping missions.
The modest capabilities of JH-7 led to later on improvement to the program resulted the more improved JH-7A which was lighter, fitted with advanced radar and up to 9000kgs of ordnance. 

H-6 is the licensed-built version of Tu-16 the strategic bomber which first flew in late 1950s with more than 150 units delivered to PLAAF.
More than 15 variants of H-6 covered many roles in PLAAF (conventional bomber, nuclear bomber, recon, tanker, drone launcher...)
It's interesting to mention that B-6 (export variant) were operated by Iraq and Egypt air forces.

Another respectful manufacturer is Guizhou Aircraft Industrial Corporation (GAC) which is located in Guizhou southern province (I tried to search for the main production plant and I could find the above AB located in Anshunshi city, but still not sure whether it's realy belongs to (GAC). 

The JL-9 trainer is the current project of GAC to replace its own JJ-7 trainer from which the development of JL-9 was derived.

First flight was recorded in 2003 only 2 years after the start of the project, few airframes said to be accepted into PLAAF service.
GAC designated the FTC-2000 Mountain Eagle variant showing the interest of exporting abroad.