Posts Tagged ‘F-15 fighter jets’
The 120th Fighter Wing of the Montana Air National Guard will extend its current air combat alert mission at Joint Base Pearl-Hickam, Hawaii until September 2012.
The extension is a result of a recent decision to leave the F-15 mission at MANG longer than originally anticipated. MANG is performing the 24-hour alert mission in Hawaii while that base converts from the F-15 to the newer, more high-tech F-22 Raptor. Approximately 30 pilots, maintainers and logistics personnel, in addition to six F-15s, from MANG have been deployed to Hawaii since August of last year. They were originally scheduled to return in January 2012.
When the personnel were fist deployed, a MANG spokesman said many of those making the trip had sold their homes or rented them out in anticipation of a long deployment.
An alert-status mission means the F-15s must be ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fly at a moment’s notice if an aircraft is in trouble or an unidentified plane enters restricted airspace or acts erratically, according to MANG officials.
An IAF F-15 fighter jet was forced to make an emergency landing on Thursday after one of its engines caught fire during a routine training flight. Initial details suggest the F-15′s engine caught fire due to a bird-strike. The jet landed safely at the Tel Nof Air Base. The pilots were unharmed.
A military source confirmed the incident, adding: “Around 11:20am, an F-15 on a training flight was hit by a bird. The pilot and copilot followed procedure and immediately aborted the flight landing safely.
“The jet is currently undergoing a mechanical and technical inspection to determine whether it sustained any damage.”
Bird strikes, or BASH (Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard) are considered a significant threat to both civilian and military flight safety. In most cases, a bird hits the windscreen or flies into the engines, causing them to fail.
Luckily the majority of BASH incident do not cause human fatalities.
There are rumblings that the Boeing F-15 deal with Saudi Arabia is delayed. There are also speculation the Saudis are upset with President Obama’s support of Arab Spring demonstrations or his opposition to Palestine becoming a state through U.N. approval.
“We hear the same rumblings, but to narrow it down or be able to pinpoint it, we’re up in the air about that right now. We don’t know,” said Aerospace Machinists president Gordon King.
“They are keeping it pretty close chested of what the reasons might be”
King feels the Saudis are still interested with the F-15s, but admits there has been a hold-up in the transfer of money.
Lt. Col. Wes “Pappy” French, a Kingsley Field instructor pilot, passed a significant flying milestone this summer. On June 8, the 45-year-old fighter jet pilot logged his 3,000th hour flying the F-15, becoming the third active Kingsley pilot to reach the mark.
If you do the math, that’s 125 days spent roaming the skies in the tight cockpit of the air-to-air fighter jet.But that doesn’t take into consideration the countless hours French and about 25 other instructor pilots at Kingsley spend preparing to the fly the $30 million machines.
“Every milestone has been a proud moment, but to me the more important part is that every hour I’m up there I’m providing good training for the guys I’m working with,” said French, a member of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing.
Instructor pilots at Kingsley fly about four days a week, logging five to six hours in the air over that time period. Kingsley trains pilots to fly the F-15 and is the base to train pilots on the F-15C, a single-seat version of the fighter jet.
“We take a guy that is straight out of pilot school and train him for about six months to make the F-15 a fighting machine,” French said. “It’s very tough for them.”
Source: Herald and News
When Oroville trucker Brian Walker’s was sent him to Virginia a couple of weeks ago to haul back wings of an F-15 fighter jet from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to Chico.
“He didn’t tell me what kind of wings,” said Walker in an interview Friday in Oroville. “He just told me airplane wings. I had no idea it was an F-15 jet.”
Walker drove one of two farm semis carrying the wings, nose, burn cans and a huge green box filled with parts and panels to put the F-15 back together.
Although they were ready to roll July 22, the group had to wait because they couldn’t travel during the weekend through the Virginia city of Hampton, where Langley’s located. The group finally left around the base around 2 p.m. EDT July 25, but they only traveled about 240 miles the first day, partly due to permits.
The trip became known as the Freedom Eagle project and took five days through eight states. They arrived in Chico July 31.Walker said the best part of the trip was seeing the reactions of people along the way. Some motorists whizzed past and slowed down once they realized what he was hauling, or they would ride up beside Walker’s truck and make gestures or point.
The F-15 aircraft also drew people when the truckers stopped. At times, the convoy was able to stop at empty parking lots, but within minutes, the lots would have 15 or more cars “with people taking pictures, talking to us, and wanting their pictures taken with (the plane).”
“It was an experience I will never forget,” Walker said somberly. “It’s an honor that I got to do it.”
Two F-15 fighter jets performing at this weekend’s air show during the Columbia Cup land in the Tri-Cities Tuesday morning. The Air Force F-15 fighter planes will perform tricks and spins over the Columbia River for tens of thousands of hydroplane fans.
Since this is the first time these premiere planes have been involved in the annual show, pilots say they plan to show off the full aerobatic capabilities of their planes.
“We’ll get it low, we’ll get it on the deck, going almost the speed of sound, we’ll be doing the rolls and the loops, showing off the maneuverability of the airplane,” says Major Mike Maeder. “We’re gonna climb it. It’s got a max climb that’ll go 3 miles high in less than 20 seconds. Just lots of after burner, lots of noise, lots of fighter jets up close and personal.”
The F-15 planes are set to perform on Saturday and Sunday.
Boeing could continue manufacturing variants of its F-15 Eagle — a fighter first flown in 1972 — all the way until the 2020s, the president of its military aircraft division confirmed Tuesday.
If Boeing can lock in deals with the air forces of Saudi Arabia and South Korea, it could make new investments “for the long term,” Chris Chadwick told reporters, to make its Eagles or Silent Eagles as cheap and easy to produce as they’ve ever been.
At stake are a total of about 144 aircraft — the potential for around 84 for the Saudis and some 60 for the South Koreans — and Chadwick said Boeing is making a pitch very similar to the one it makes for its F/A-18 Super Hornet: The Eagle may not be the newest bird in the sky, but customers can get a familiar fighter for predictable costs, and both the Saudis and the South Koreans will get the convenience of commonality with their existing, older fleets of F-15s.
Boeing is at war with Lockheed over the South Korean fighter deal, but it could have the edge with the Saudis, who are said to like the Silent Eagle. Chadwick said he had no information about that, but he did say the discussions he’s seen between the Saudis and the U.S. government, which would be the go-between on a sale, “have been very positive.”
So does that mean that Boeing could sell Eagles to the U.S. Air Force? If it asked for them, sure, Chadwick said, but he acknowledged the Air Force is locked in to the F-35 and he didn’t expect more American sales of F-15s. However, he said there is the possibility that the Air National Guard may want to replace some of its F-15s, but it hasn’t asked for any new jets yet.
On June 11, two US F-15 fighter jets intercepted a small civilian plane flying near Camp David, the presidential retreat where Barack Obama is spending the weekend with his family.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said the F-15 jets intercepted the Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft near the Maryland retreat at around 3:25 pm (1925 GMT).
NORAD said they escorted it away “without incident.”
“The civilian aircraft, which was out of radio communication, was intercepted approximately 11 miles from Camp David,” it said in a statement.
“The F-15s… escorted the aircraft out of the area and it landed at Hagerstown, Maryland, without incident.”
NORAD spokeswoman Stacey Knott said the plane was intercepted out of an “abundance of caution” because it was out of radio contact, adding that it did not appear to pose any threat.
Camp David is one of the United States’ eleven ‘No-Fly Zones.’ Originally a three-mile radius, it was increased to eight-miles after September 11, 2001.
The area, known as Prohbited Area 40 is over Thurmont, Maryland, surrounding Catoctin Mountain Park.
The retreat has been used to host multiple heads of state since Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Winston Churchill to join him there in 1943.
The camp is also U.S Navy installation and is alleged to be one of the safest places in the world.