Supporting the Edwards test flight aircraft was this temporary deployed 319th Bomb Wing/ 905th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135A, originating from Grand Forks (ND). The 905th ARS was supporting some 6512nd TS B-1B activities from Edwards. The 319th converted from B-52 to B-1B in the 1986-1987 timeframe and a lot of new-weapons tests were carried out by the 6512 TS B-1Bs. As the 905th became very experienced with B-1B aerial refueling, it was logical to deploy one of their Lancers to Edwards that lacked KC-135As in their fleet.
Rarely photographed were the F-111 Aardvarks of the 6512 TS. Lucky me :-). Two airframes were, among other things, used for development tests of low-flying earth-following systems that eventually were used in for example cruise missiles as well as with inert navigation systems for tactial fighter jets.
Completely contrasting with the white/red F-4Es at the Edwards flightline was this Vietnam camo F-4E. Nice to know is that this Phantom once flew with the famous Thunderbirds flight demonstration team in the seventies. After that, it was transferred to an operational squadron and was selected for flight tests from Edwards. The F-4 was stored at Davis Monthan as FP0629 from March 1992 and then... became a Thunderbird again!! The Phantom was repainted in the right colours, but never took the skies like that, its is now preserved like that in the Pima Air museum (AZ).
Arrival days and departure day at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford are usually very good for photography. Aircraft of the static will show themselves without people, fences, market stalls, flags, fairground amusement and so on. Likewise this Ukrainian Air Force Il-76, coming from the static show on that Monday departure and taxying to the runway.
A test F-4C (designated as NF-4C) at the massive platform of Edwards AFB (CA). In these day's countless F-4s in all variants could be found here. Check the large pitot tube of this old Phantom. The 6512th Test Squadron under command of the 6510th Test Wing operated at that time with A/YA-7D, VA-7F, A-7K, NA/OA-37B, NF-4C/D/E, YF-4E, NRF-4C, F-15A/B/C/D/E, F-111A, F-111D, FB-111A (later, F-111G), UH-1N, O-2A, T-37B, T-38A, AT-38B, T-38C, and UV-18 (haha!) in all kinds of test missions. The F-4s were eventally pashed out in 1992. The squadron is currently known as 4445th Flight Test Squadron.
Saab JAS-39 Gripen, quite a success on the export market, countries like Czech Republic (14), Hungary, South Africa, Thailand, are enthusiastically operating this most manoeuvrable jet fighter. Brazil has 36 on order yet (with an option to buy another 36). Multiple other countries show their interest in purchasing the aircraft. This Swedish JAS39C shows its sleek lines at the RIAT after its display.
Only just withdrawn from use when it was pictured at a platform at Edwards (the fin tip of the aircraft was temporarly cannibalized to keep another prototype in the air), this B-1A prototype in a great camouflage jacket. The 74-0158 made its first flight on 23 December 1974 as the first of four prototypes of the Lancer from Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale (CA). By the time that the B-1A programme was cancelled, 0158 had made 79 flights totaling 405,3 hours. It was eventually dismantled and used for weapons training at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado.
This F-4E flew with the 457th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Carswell AFB (TX). This base was later renamed to Naval Air Station , Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. The 457th, part of the Air Force Reserves (AFRes) flew with the squadron until March 1991 after which is was stored at Davis Monthan (as FP0622). In 2007 it was selected for the QF-4E programme and delivered to the 82d Aerial Targets Squadron (ATRS) at Tyndall in 2008. The Phantom was shot down (unmanned) over the Gulf of Mexico on 11 March 2010. Check the 7th Bomb Wing B-52Hs on the back ground, these were also based at Carswell.
A "Spads" F-4E at the flight line of Carswell AFB (TX) in Aug'89. The 457th started to fly the F-4D in 1981 and converted to the F-4E in 1987. These birds were swapped to F-16A/B Block 25 in 1991. The tailcode of the F-4Es stands for "Texas Humpbacks" (the F-16s now fly with TX tailcode). This 67-0392 is marked with two MiG-kills and a fine Texas flag over the intake. While operating with the 469th TFS from Korat, Thailand, this F-4E shot down a MiG-19 (or J-6) with an AIM-7E-2 "Sparrow" on 2 September 1972 and out manoeuvered a MiG-19 (or J-6) on 6 October 1972 that subsequently crashed.
Two Ukrainian Air Force Su-27s full afterburner, leaving home after a succesful RIAT. The single seater, nearest to the camera, a Su-27P1M, and the dual seat Su-27UB both belong to the 831st Guards Tactical Aviation Brigade based at Myrhorod (Ukraine).
This F-16BM of 331 Skv received special colors as the RNoAF celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2019. Norway was inspired to paint this F-16 in the colors of an aircraft they once used: Spitfire IX, PL258 FN-K, of 331 (Norwegian) Squadron. This Spit has a Norwegian wartime history. FN-K crash landed on 29 Dec 1944 near Tubbergen (Netherlands). Remains of the wreckage were located by a team of the Norwegian Spitfire Foundation. These remains now form the core of a restoration project (temporary registration G-NSFS) that will become PL258/FN-K in Norway. The F-16 also sports D-Day stripings.
As Airbus Military reports: The A400M "Atlas" is the most advanced, proven and certified airlifter available, combining 21st century state-of-the-art technologies to fulfil the current and upcoming armed forces' needs. The A400M combines the capability to carry strategic loads with the ability to deliver even into tactical locations with small and unprepared airstrips and can act as a frontline-tanker. One aircraft that can do the work of three - the A400M. And I think they are right, and besides that, it's a beautiful aircraft too!