Air Force RC-135, aircraft models, airplane models, Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, Chinese J-8, Chinese Su-27, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, EC-130, EP-3 Aries, f-16, Featured Hand-Carved Models, Foreign Military Aircraft Models, Grumman S-2T Tracker, helicopter models, J-8, J-8 fighters, Jet Model Planes, Military Plaques & Seals, Model Accessories, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, Navy EP-3 Aries, Other Nautical/Aviation and Decor, P-3A Orion, p-3c orion, plane models, Propeller Airplanes, RC-135, S-2T, Signature Series, su-27, Su27, U-2, U-2 spy plane, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Two Chinese Su-27 fighters penetrated Taiwan’s airspace June 29 and were turned back by Taiwan Air Force fighters. The incident is believed to be the first serious Chinese fighter incursion into Taiwan airspace since 1999.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed the incursion in a news release on Monday, but would not verify local Chinese-language media reports that the Su-27s were chasing a U.S. surveillance aircraft.
The U.S. Pacific Command did not respond to inquiries about the incident.
An MND source said it is not Taiwan’s duty to protect U.S. surveillance aircraft and the incident is not considered serious.
“There is a line between the two sides, and if any Chinese aircraft flies too close, we will respond,” he said. “If they cross the line, we treat it as a hostile act, but occasionally they fly close to the line, and to be honest, this happens all the time and is not a real problem.”
The June 29 incident was an “unintentional” and “inadvertent” incursion by Chinese fighter aircraft, he said. “The Chinese military has no intention of antagonizing Taiwan” because relations across the Strait are “calm” and there is “no reason for trouble.”
The news comes as Taipei pushes the U.S. to release 66 F-16C/D fighters. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last week that Washington would make a final decision on the fighters by Oct. 1.
Local media reports said the Su-27s were trying to catch a U-2 spy plane conducting a surveillance mission out of Osan Air Base, South Korea. The reports said the U-2 diverted to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, to avoid the Chinese fighters.
But surveillance aircraft specialist Chris Pocock was skeptical. There are only three U-2s based in East Asia, all at Osan, to watch North Korea, Pocock said.
“They may also fly southwards along the China coast as far as Taiwan, but not on a routine basis,” he said.
The aircraft might have been a Navy EP-3 Aries or Air Force RC-135, which operate at lower altitudes and have been harassed by Chinese fighters in the past.
In 2000, two Chinese J-8 fighters intercepted an Air Force RC-135 in international airspace above the East China Sea. A year later, a J-8 fighter collided with a Navy EP-3 Aries near Hainan Island in the South China Sea.
Despite Chinese complaints, the U.S. surveillance aircraft flies regular missions along China’s coastline. They stay in international airspace because straying into Chinese territory would make them easy targets for S-300PMU-1/2 and Hongqi-10 surface-to-air missiles.
During the Cold War, Taiwan’s Black Bat 34th Squadron flew similar missions with three P-3A Orion signals intelligence aircraft. As well, China shot down five U-2 spy planes operated by Taiwan’s Black Cat 35th Squadron over Chinese territory. Both programs were handled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Taiwan will soon take delivery of 12 P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft for anti-submarine patrols. The aircraft will replace aging Grumman S-2T Tracker anti-submarine aircraft. Taiwan technically has two squadrons of the S-2T, but sources say that only a handful are still operational.
Taiwan has attempted to procure signals intelligence aircraft in the past from the U.S., but procurement problems and budget delays have hampered the acquisition. Taiwan has one EC-130 for surveillance operations, but it is limited in mission scope.
Navy, News 737, aircraft models, airplane models, Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, Boeing, Boeing P-8, Boeing P-8A, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom models, Featured Hand-Carved Models, helicopter models, Jet Model Planes, LRIP-1, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, Other Nautical/Aviation and Decor, P-8, P-8A, plane models, Signature Series, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Boeing announced yesterday, July 19, that the first of three production 737-derived Boeing P-8A maritime patrol aircraft that will be used in the U.S. Navy’s flight-test evaluations completed nearly 6 hr. of initial flight evaluations on July 7.
Besides putting the first production P-8A into the air, the flights also marked the first test of the CFM International CFM56-7BE engines on the P-8.
Three previous flight-test articles used standard CFM56-7Bs that do not have the lower fuel-burn improvements of the “evolved” engine series. The first 737 with these -7BE engines for a commercial customer is due for delivery shortly to China Southern Airlines. Combined with aerodynamic improvements, the engines should lower 737 fuel burn by 2%.
Called LRIP-1, the newest P-8A is the first of six low-rate initial production aircraft that Boeing is building under a $1.6 billion contract awarded in January.
Besides offering flight-test crews a chance to test the basic operating parameters of the aircraft and its engines, the second of the July 7 flights served to transfer the airplane from Boeing’s dedicated P-8 final assembly manufacturing line at its 737 factory in Renton, Washington, to the P-8 mission systems installation facility at Boeing Field in Seattle.
The LRIP contract calls for Boeing to produce three production-level aircraft for the P-8A flight-test program at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.
The flight-test aircraft already are at work. But they do not have the full mission systems suites of production aircraft.
LRIP-1 is to reach Patuxent River next year. After a year of flight testing it is slated to join the fleet in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2013.
The first day’s flight took off at 11:03 a.m. PDT and landed at 2:21 p.m. The aircraft was brought back to Renton for evaluation before a second flight at 5:11 p.m. and touching down at Boeing Field at 7:50 p.m.
Navy, News aircraft model, airplane model, Authentic Models, Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, Boeing F/A-18, Clear Canopy Model Planes, custom model, custom model plane, custom model ship, custom models, custom ship model, display, display model, F-15J, F-35C, Featured Hand-Carved Models, Foreign Military Aircraft Models, Growler, Hornet, Jet Model Planes, Joint Strike Fighter, model aircraft, model airplane, model display, model plane, model ship, model vessel, plane model, ship model, super hornet, warplanes, wood, wood model plane, wood plane model, wooden airplane model, wooden model airplanes
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet was not supposed to live this long. But with the latest slippages in the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program and aging fighter forces worldwide, Boeing talks about stretching production to 1,000 aircraft and keeping the line open to the end of the decade, despite the recent loss in India’s Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition. The program is close to 700 aircraft, including 41 additional U.S. Navy aircraft announced this year to mitigate JSF delays.
Active campaigns include Brazil and Denmark. A Middle Eastern customer—possibly Kuwait—has expressed interest. The Super Hornet is Boeing’s candidate for the next Japanese fighter order, competing with the Eurofighter Typhoon and JSF. The idea of another Super Hornet buy is being mooted in Australia, which could face a front-line fighter gap if the JSF slips further. Boeing says a number of JSF partners have asked for information on the Super Hornet.
Boeing’s strategy is not to initiate comparisons with JSF, although Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick called Lockheed Martin on the mat in May for what he termed “fundamentally untrue” statements about the Super Hornet’s price. However, Boeing never talks about its product without pointing out that it offers “date and cost-certain” capabilities and that all Super Hornets and Growlers have been delivered on cost, and on or ahead of schedule. Recently, Chadwick suggested that the JSF “might become a niche fighter” on the international market because of its cost.
More details have emerged about the “international roadmap” features that have been disclosed piece-by-piece over the past year. The most visible are the conformal fuel tanks (CFT) above the body and the low-radar-cross-section (RCS) centerline weapons pod. Those are to be wind tunnel-tested this year, with a decision on a flight-test program to follow.
The CFTs carry 3,200 lb. of fuel. Boeing says they have no net drag at cruising speed, because they reduce trim drag enough to offset their added frontal area. As a result, a configuration with CFTs and a centerline tank delivers as much range as a three-tank configuration today. The weapon pod carries four AIM-120 missiles, a 2,000-lb. bomb or two 500-lb.-class weapons.
Transonic acceleration and specific excess power, particularly when temperatures at altitude are high, were criticized on the Super Hornet when it entered service. A roadmap option is an enhanced-performance engine (EPE) variant of the General Electric F414, offering up to a 20% thrust boost. That would take the EPE to 26,500 lb. of thrust, giving it the best thrust/weight ratio of any fighter engine—almost 11:1. It has a new core, based on demonstrations conducted with U.S. government funds in 2004 and 2006, and a redesigned fan and compressor. A third test engine was run in 2010.
GE says that it has developed 17 new or derivative engines successfully from the same technology readiness level. Unfortunately, India did not accept that argument.
Also on the roadmap menu is a spherical-coverage missile-approach warning system and an infrared search-and-track (IRST) system in a chin pod. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are working on a repackaged, updated version of the AAS-42 IRST (originally developed in the 1980s for the Grumman F-14D) for the Navy’s Hornet fleet, carried in a modified fuel tank. Boeing is open to other options for the international aircraft. (Japan, for instance, has its own domestic IRST technology on the F-15J Kai upgrade.)
Inside the cockpit, a new option is a big-screen display comprising an 11 X 19-in. panel, which could be flight-tested next year. Based on commercial technology, the panel is a hedge against obsolescence and a potential cost-saver as well as offering options for new display formats. A low-profile head-up display using digital LCD projection eliminates the big optical box that previously ruled out a panoramic display.
Boeing has been taking a working model of the big-screen cockpit to trade shows and bases worldwide, both to promote it and to get pilot reactions to conceptual display formats.
Although Boeing is careful to keep the “international” label attached to the new options, they are all designed for retrofit to Block 2 aircraft, all but 24 of which belong to the U.S. Navy. And while the modified aircraft will not directly match the F-35C in signatures, it closes the gap in RCS and range (with the CFTs), is lighter and more powerful, and current estimates say it will be less expensive to buy and operate.