Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Singapore's 1st F-15 'Eagle' flies

by Derek Yeo - SINGAPORE - 3 November 2008

BOEING Integrated Defense Systems unveiled today its first production F-15SG 'Eagle' fighter interceptor for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). It is the latest mark of the battle-tested F-15E.

Boeing Vice-President for Global Strike Systems, Mr Dan Korte said, "The F-15SG for Singapore moves the RSAF into the next generation of fighter aircraft capability." Mr Mark Bass, Boeing's F-15 Program Vice-President elaborated on the point. "The F-15SG has significant capabilities that will allow the RSAF to expand into new missions with new capabilities."

The aircraft derives cutting-edge killer features from its Integrated Sensor Suite (ISS). The ISS, comprising an Active Electronic Scan Array (AESA) radar and advanced Sniper targetting pod, provides long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground firepower.

F-15SG No 1 flew on her maiden flight on September 16 from Lambert International Airport, St Louis. Boeing will flight-test it now over the next one year at its facilities here and in Palmdale.

Twenty-four F-15SGs are on schedule for delivery to Singapore F-15SG delivery to the RSAF will start from March 2009. Deliveries are expected to complete by 2012.

F-15SG Eagles will equip the front-line air defence of Singapore in the coming decades. Meanwhile, the RSAF plans to station its F-15SGs at its detachment base in Idaho for training and joint-manoeuvres with the USAF. Singapore-United States defence ties are at their strongest.

Currently, more than 1500 F-15s of several variants are flying with a number of air forces. [See Note]

F-15s beefed up the following air forces:

Royal Saudi Air Force
United States Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force
Israeli Air Force
Japan Self-Defence Air Force

SOURCE: The Boeing Company

Copyright©2007– 2008 AIRMENews. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

205's last operational flying boat

by Derek Yeo - 14 October 2008

IN 1959, 205 Squadron turned out in full force, on its disbandment, to freeze this moment (photo) in its history. The occasion coincided with the last flight of its famous Sunderland flying boat.

The squadron, based in RAF Seletar, played a key role in the Korean War 1950 - 1953. Sunderlands flew sorties between Singapore and Japan supporting the Allies in the conflict against the North Korean, Soviet and Chinese forces.

Sunderlands flew countless missions on medical evacuations, troop reinforcements and repatriations. The legendary aircraft was the Allies' work-horse during the 2nd World War and the Korean War.

Many airmen who had served in Seletar during the Fifties would remember the squadron fondly. On the road to the station's swimming pool, one had to pass the picturesque squadron premises on the coast facing the Straits of Johor.
And the slipway that was used to launch and beach the flying boats.

In the picture, the squadron commander, flight commanders and pilots sat in the second row. Local civilian workers, seated on the ground, occupied the row in front of them. Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, junior NCOs and aircraftmen posed in the rows behind. Most of the men were on posting from the United Kingdom. A handful of them, however, were local enlisted Royal Air Force (Malaya) personnel.

Can you put a name to anyone in the group?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

RSAF 140 Squadron: Singapore's pioneer air defence

by Derek Yeo - 7 August 2008

FORMER airmen of Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), who had served with 140 Squadron (Hawker Hunters) would recall this grainy but iconic picture (circa 1970). Certainly for them, it would rekindle nostalgia and fond memories.

The photo-shoot, at Tengah Airbase, marked the fledgling squadron's first anniversary and elevation to operational status. The photo showed the squadron commander, Major Strong posing with his pilots atop the squadron's singleton, tail number 503. It froze their “Hunter moment” for posterity.

Major Strong, previously Commanding Officer of Royal Air Force's 20 Squadron, headed the only RAF squadron flying Hunter FGA Mark 9 jets in Britain's Far East Air Force. He was seconded to the Singapore Air Defence Command - as the RSAF was then known - when Singapore acquired Hunter jets from Britain to beef up the infant republic's air defence.

The RAF squadron operated Hunter FGA Mark 9 jets from RAF Tengah in the 1960s until the British pull-out east of Suez in December 1971.

That's Major Strong on the canopy of the Mark 74 fighter. Shown standing: Captain Michael Teo Eng Cheng, later Brigadier-General (top, 4th from left); Captain Timothy De Souza, later Colonel (top, 5th from left) and Capt Singam, later Colonel (starboard tailplane).

Brigadier-General Michael Teo, later appointed Chief of Air Force, is now Singapore's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Some of the pilots in the famous picture were original members of of RSAF's Black Knights aerobatic team. Others were ex-RAF and ex-Royal Navy pilots.

The RSAF's pioneer fighter squadron, "one-forty" rose on several occasions to defend Singapore during the early years of Singapore's independence. One such occasion was in November 1986. It stood by at full combat readiness during the official visit of Israeli President Chaim Herzog. Malaysia, which did not recognise the Jewish state, had protested over the visit.

Amid the furore and Malaysians flexing their military muscle, the visit went without a shot fired.

Currently, 140 Squadron, equipped with the latest F-16C and -16D Falcon fighter-jets, is based at Tengah and Changi Airbases.

Copyright © 2007 - 2008 AIRMENews. .All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sixth Globemaster III joins RAF

by Derek Yeo - SINGAPORE - 12 June 2008

THE Royal Air Force accepted its sixth C-17 airlifter today. Boeing Company, the manufacturer, marked the aircraft's delivery at a ceremony at its Long Beach (California) C-17 production centre. The RAF's latest acquisition fulfils the United Kingdom's initial order for the C-17.

In his speech, Boeing's Vice President and C-17 Program chief Jean Chamberlin praised the RAF's achievements over seven years of C-17 operations with its five aircraft in service. He recounted how the RAF has proven the C-17's prowess on various missions to Iraq, Afghanistan and other places in crisis worldwide.

Accepting the aircraft, the RAF's Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Logistic Operations) Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Leeson emphasized, “Whether our C-17s are serving in combat or on humanitarian missions, we know they are often the difference between life and death.” He went on to praise Boeing for building “a remarkable airlifter that means so much to British military personnel as they transit to and from operational theatres and to those in desperate need of humanitarian aid in remote, hard-to-access sites around the world”.

Besides the military tasks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the RAF have flown mercy relief flights, using its C-17s, to aid victims of the 2004 tsunami in South-east Asia and the Indian Ocean and earthquakes in Pakistan. The aircraft's modern technologies enable it to fly non-stop between continents. Further, it can land on and take off from short and improvised airstrips in rough terrain.

RAF's C-17s fly with 99 Squadron* based at RAF Brize Norton near London. The advanced airlifters provide critical mobility for the station's strategic Joint Rapid Reaction Force.

The latest C-17 Globemaster III raises the number of C-17s operating around the world to 190: 173 in the United States Air Force; six in the RAF; four in the Royal Australian Air Force and four in the Canadian Forces.

SOURCE: The Boeing Company

Copyright©2007–2008 AIRMENews:Aviation Who, Why, ... and How?™. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Boeing's revolutionary aircraft flies

by Derek Yeo - SINGAPORE - 28 July 2007

BOEING Phantom Works, Boeing Aircraft Company's R & D unit, launched its research X-48B plane which featured a unique Blended Wing Body (BWB) design. The revolutinary craft took off on its maiden flight 20 July 2007 from California's Edwards Air Force Base.

During the successful flight, lasting 31 minutes, X-48B climbed to 7,500 feet.

The pilotless X-48B, measuring 21 feet wingtip-to-wingtip, looked like a giant stingray with three rear overhead-mounted engines. The engines' location meant less cabin noise and ground noise pollution during flight.

The BWB airframe design centred on both wings seamlessly fused with a broad flat fin-less fuselage. Radically different from the conventional wing-and-cylindrical fuselage, this resulted in more lift, less drag and therefore more fuel-efficient at cruising altitude.

A back-up X-48B is currently used for wind-tunnel studies.

Both X-48B craft, a collaboration among Boeing, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the USAF Research Laboratory, were built by Cranfield Aerospace in Bedford, England.

PHOTO: Boeing Aircraft Corporation Copyright © 2007 AIRMENews*. All rights reserved.