AirForces Monthly - July 2013

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“You want to land THERE?”
Derek Bower explains how the Royal Air Force manages rough-field operations for its Hercules tactical transport aircraft and provides mobile air traffic control.

Future Fleet Air Arm TOP GUNS
Royal Navy fixed wing pilots are flying with the US and French navies. Lewis Gaylard explains why.

They think it’s all over – it is now. After 40 years of service the German Air Force is about to retire the last of its McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom IIs – Gary Parsons reports from Wittmundhafen Air Base in Germany.

F-35 International: Surviving Politics and Avoiding the ‘Death Spiral’
In spite of sequestration in the United States, those running the F-35 programme expect to bring down costs by selling the system to partner nations’ air forces for years to come. David C Isby investigates.

BAE Hawk AJT BAE System’s Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer carries the name and pedigree of one of the world’s most successful trainer aircraft since the war, but, as AFM’s Jerry Gunner found out, today’s Hawk is a bird of a very different feather.

The Hog Trough
One of the many units at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base is the ‘Brown Birds’ of the 66th Weapons School – Gary Wetzel visited the squadron to find out about its vital role training US Air Force Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots.

Warthogs – Extinct in Europe
Hans Drost and Dick Wels report from Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany as the last US Air Force A-10s left Europe in May.

End for Croatia’s Fishbeds?
Frank Noort and Stephan van den Krommenacker visited the MiG-21s of the Croatian Air Force to find out how long the veteran Fishbeds can keep going.

Serbia’s new Tigers
Igor Salinger reports on the Serbian Air Force’s first newly trained J-22 pilots in a decade.

Boeing’s X-37B: the USAF’s Reusable Space Plane
Like us, Blair Watson is intrigued by the US Air Force’s X-37 project – just what is it all about? 



Deployments and Contracts


Letters and e-mails from readers.

Force Report: Bulgarian Navy
Robin Polderman visited Chaika to report on the country’s all-helicopter naval air arm.

Exercise Report: DACT 2013
Roberto Yáñez and Alex Rodríguez had the tough task of reporting from the Canary Islands on the Spanish Air Force’s big exercise of the year, which had support from the RAF.

Exercise Report: Trident Fury
The Royal Canadian Air Force played host to the US Air Force over Vancouver – Derek Heyes reports.

Exercise Report: Swedes Train for Afghanistan
Swedish Hkp16 Black Hawk crews have been preparing for Afghanistan, as Corné Uittenbogaard describes.

Exercise Report: Star Vega 2013
Francesco Militello Mirto reports on the Italian Air Force’s biggest exercise of the year, held over the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean.

Ops Board
Just when is RIAT? All the summer events and airshows.

And Finally…“Once a fighter pilot – always a fighter pilot”
Dave Eade reports on how a 90-year old former jet display pilot was reunited with his aircraft.