AIR International - December 2013

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Features

THE PRIDE OF PAKISTAN
The JF-17 Thunder is maturing in Pakistan Air Force service, as Tomislav Mesaric reports.

DEFENDING THE NORDIC NICHE
Finnair still has its niche of direct flights to Asia from Scandinavia but for how long? Andreas Spaeth investigates.

SHARPENING SKILLS
Roberto Yáñez and Alex Rodríguez outline the latest Tactical Leadership Programme in Spain.

VOYAGER: ON HER MAJESTY’S SERVICE
Following an exclusive visit to AirTanker at RAF Brize Norton, Ian Harding concludes his two-part account of the RAF’s brand new Voyager tanker.

BELL 407: LONG-LIVED UTILITY SUCCESS
Rafael Treviño profiles the Bell 407 and focuses on the latest civil incarnation of this utility helicopter, the GX.

MUD MOVER
Robert F Dorr reports on the 25-year career of the US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle and the advances being made for its future.

UNDER PRESSURE
Airberlin is confident in its business model, despite being under pressure. Andreas Spaeth explains.

THE SWISS SPACE SHUTTLE
S3 wants to put Switzerland on the map in the emerging world of commercial spaceflight, as Mark Broadbent finds out.

AUSTRALIA’S TROJANS
Despite early teething problems, the Royal Australian Air Force’s C-130J-30 Hercules operated by No.37 Squadron has developed into a valuable workhorse, as Nigel Pittaway discovers.

News

BREAKING NEWS
Boeing launches the 777X and takes large orders at Dubai - as does Airbus. Piaggio’s unmanned HammerHead takes to the air, Dassault’s mystery SMS revealed as the Falcon 5X, BAE Systems flies the Taranis UCAV in secret, Airbus Military looks at the potential of the C295 as a firefighter, the AgustaWestland AW189 gets it largest single order to date and South Korea eyes former US Navy Lockheed S-3B Vikings.

GENERAL NEWS
First RAF RC-135W arrives in the UK, Angola buys Flankers, Mozambique rebuilds its air force, PC-12s in Afghanistan, the Netherlands says ‘yes’ to F-35A and partially reverses cuts, Lineage 1000E unveiled, second Airbus A350XWB flies, FlyNonstop stops, Aeroflot launches Aurora, Norway selects AW101, Bell 429WLG announced, Taiwan’s first Sky Eagles, and a new Chinese ‘Dragon’ emerges.

SR-72 THE NEW BLACKBIRD
Lockheed Martin is developing a successor to its legendary SR-71. Mark Broadbent reports on the SR-72.

BLACK BOMBER, RAPID RAPTOR AND ARMY ANXIETY
Despite crippling budget cuts, the US air Force is proceeding with its Long-Range Strike Bomber. Robert F Dorr sheds light on the proposal.

A CHRISTENING, A MAIDEN FLIGHT AND A FINAL DEPLOYMENT
Rick Burgess outlines the christening of the USS Gerald R. Ford, and the maiden flight of the MQ-8C Fire Scout.

IRAN’S PHANTOMS
Babak Taghvaee details the Project Dowran upgrade for Iran’s F-4 Phantoms.