The BAe125 (and all of the successor names) was a dominant biz jet for many years. It also found a few roles in military operations from transport, through trainer, to flight calibration and reconnaissance. The JASDF was one such operator with the aircraft designated U-125 in Japanese service. Hyakuri is home to a detachment and one of the jets flew during my visit. It taxied out and headed off on its mission.
Returning later on it was stopped in time to make the taxiway not far passed my location. The aircraft has a fairing underneath the fuselage for the search radar. The operator sits in the fuselage just above this location. They are also provided with a huge observation window for observing what is going on outside. Must be a good spot for taking pictures! I’m not jealous…
The BAe146 was a regular feature in the 90s. It was a popular regional jet with use both in Europe and the US. They were still in service when we moved to Chicago and I traveled on them on occasion. However, a four-engine jet became a bit dated and they have mostly been replaced in service with newer and more efficient types. Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to see one show up at Vancouver. In their later iterations, they were renamed Avros to pay homage to one of BAe’s predecessor companies. They were basically just a tweaked 146 as far as I was concerned though. The new generation RJX made it to protype form but was cancelled before production. I guess the economics were just never going to be compelling.
Just a quick picture today. This Strikemaster is operated by Blue Air and was parked on the ramp at Davis Monthan when we were watching the arrival of the visiting jets. It looked to be in great condition. Shame it didn’t fly but it was a nice surprise.
Another flashback post today. This one is an old Farnborough airshow and it included a rather large flying contribution from the Royal Navy. I don’t now recall exactly why the Navy was so committed to this show. This wasn’t even on the public show days when the display is often modified for the public from the format used for the trade days.
The main element of the display was six Sea Harriers. These were FRS1 models prior to the F/A2 upgrade program. The aircraft took off in groups of three and included a formation hovering routine with the jets arrayed along the runway providing a jet in front of most of the viewing crowd. Some fast flying was also a part of the display of course.
Helicopters also contributed to the display and the low speed capabilities of the Harrier meant that it was possible to combine the fixed and rotary elements together in one formation. The whole thing made quite an impression as a recall. The sound of six hovering Harriers was certainly enough to give the eardrums a workout!
The attendance of the Russian contingent at Farnborough in 1992 was pretty impressive but they weren’t the only game in town. There were plenty of other aircraft on display. The Rafale prototype was there to follow up from the demonstrator a few years before. The first A340 was also part of the flying display.
Plenty of smaller types were on show including the Optica and the Pillan. Harriers and Hawks flew and the Gripen development program was represented by one of their jets. The Tucano for the RAF was taking part and the US military had a Black Hawk in the static display. Quite a variety of stuff to enjoy and interesting to see what is still in production today and what has disappeared from service.
In my youth I had one of the coolest jobs I have ever had. I spent a summer working for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in London as part of their noise measuring unit. I spent a lot of time traveling to various different airfields to make noise measurements of the air traffic. I often took a camera along with me on these jaunts.
One trip was some weekend working – overtime! At that time, London City Airport was relatively new and was a turboprop only airport being served by Dash 7s, principally of Brymon Airways. Very different from its current role, it was still a relatively new airport with a shorter runway. There was a lot of interest in adding jet service to the airport with the BAe146 seen as the type that could meet the requirements of the glideslope as well as concerns about noise. This is where we come in!
A demonstration was set up one weekend with a couple of 146s operating from the airport. We were there to take some noise readings to compare them to the turboprops. (As an aside, I felt the noise from the Dash 7s was far more intrusive, even if the readings were actually lower than for the jets.) We went along with our noise measuring gear and took a bunch of readings. There was a period during the day when the flying wasn’t taking place and we were allowed to go to the airport to get fed. Since we had CAA passes, we also got to head on to the ramp.
These shots are what I got that day. Nothing too impressive as tends to be the case for my old stuff. The original scans showed up a lot of damage to the negatives which required much time in Photoshop to take out the worst of it. Still not the cleanest of images but a day that won’t be repeated which is enough to justify a post and a chance to share an old experience.
I have spent time with Art Nalls and his Team SHAR at various events over the years but it had been a while since we had last crossed paths. Therefore, it was good to see Art and the guys again at Gary for the Chicago Air and Water Show. This year has been a busy year for the team. Not only have they got themselves well established on the show circuit but the lack of military participation has meant a relatively modern fast jet is in high demand to fill the gap left by the normal front line fighters. Add to that, the difference that a Harrier brings and you can see why their calendar has been filling up.
I caught up with Art early in the day and ended up running some errands with him for a while. However, I didn’t want to miss other acts on the ground so left them for a while to do some other stuff. I did get back later in the day and chatted to the guys for a while and watched the launch and recovery. With the jet on the ground, I also took the time to get some shots of it while no one was working on it. On the final day of the show, I did head back to the beach to try and catch it in action too.
It was, as always, great to hang out with the team. They did a great job and closed out the show nicely. I hope it isn’t as long before I next see them!