Each of the original three contenders to supply the UAE Air Force with an advanced jet trainer (AJT) offered unique selling points that could have tipped the balance in their favor. But following the recent rejection of the BAE Hawk submission, a final selection is expected imminently and could even be announced before the end of the show.
Three military aerobatic teams from Europe will appear in the daily flying display here, interspersed with a dozen solo acts. The Spanish air force Patrulla Aguila (Eagle Patrol) is making its Dubai debut, flying seven CASA 101 jet trainers. The Patrouille de France and the UK Royal Air Force Red Arrows are making return appearances. Among the solo performers, the MiG-29 OVT will likely attract the most attention.
While the first two prototypes of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 lead-in fighter trainer are engaged in a development program, a third is taking shape at the Italian manufacturer’s Venegono facility. It incorporates some differences from the two existing aircraft, having benefited from test and evaluation programs Alenia Aermacchi conducted with air force pilots from various countries.
The U.S. Air Force’s T-6 program office has suspended deliveries of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6A Texan II single-engine turboprop trainer “pending investigation of contract delivery issues,” according to a spokesman at the Air Force Air Education & Training Command (AETC). The AETC currently operates 320 T-6As for Air Force specialized undergraduate pilot training, and the U.S.
The Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong earlier this month was supposed to be a civil-only event. But the main China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) stand was dominated by a large model of the L15 advanced combat jet trainer. AVIC also released a DVD, which while showing the ARJ21 and MA60 regional passenger transports, was dominated by footage of China’s front-line combat jets.
Belgian visualization specialist Barco has been chosen by Aero Vodochody to supply high-definition displays for its L-159 modification program. Aero is converting four
Avions de Transport Régional has completely renovated its dedicated pilot training center at its Toulouse, France headquarters and is establishing new training sites in India and New Zealand. These are intended to complement its existing joint venture facilities with FlightSafety International in Miami, Florida, and Thales in Bangkok, Thailand.
Training pilots to fly combat jets is an expensive proposition. A proposal by European air chiefs to cut costs by combining forces has made only slow progress. However, two well established multinational training programs are readily available in North America. Meanwhile, “downloading” and “contractorization” are the prevailing buzzwords, as all air forces try to rationalize their flight training systems.
Visitors to Alenia Aermacchi, part of the Finmeccanica stand here at Le Bourget, will find the same M-311 lightweight jet basic/advanced trainer avionics demonstrator the company showed two years ago. However, the program has moved forward since then, with advancements in both the commercial and technical fields.
For the first time in many years, Pilatus Aircraft has full order books for both