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December 5th, 2011 by adminTags: , , ,
Posted in All, Jet fighter News
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The Rafale has lost again
The Swiss army, who had a bit of spare cash to buy some brand new jet fighters, decided it would go with Saab’s Gripen. This jet fighter has proved to be one of the best exports of Sweden’s military industry. Sweden has many of them, but also do the UK, the Czech Republic, Thailand, South Africa, and now Switzerland. Added to the aircrafts are many layers of partnerships and technological transfer and support. So far so good, but the French who were pushing the Rafale on the deal, are now angry because they were not selected. And this is now a recurring problem for the French Rafale, who looks more and more the part of the nasty contender to whom you can only win. So why is it that the Rafale never sells ? Dassault’s latest jet fighter is a fantastic aircraft, but curiously it never manages to get the upside when a deal has to be closed. And this for 4 reasons. The 1st reason the Rafale does not sell is technology. The Rafale is a great plane, but not as advanced and technologically capable as the F-22 or F-35. The Rafale is not as good as these two, and when technology is a massive factor, the French jet does not come first. You have to mix this with the second reason: purchasing and operating costs. The Rafale is not as good as the F-22 or F-35, but it is almost as expensive to operate. So countries looking for a better deal will be tempted to opt for a similar aircraft, but cheaper, such as the Typhoon, Gripen, F-16, F-15… The 3rd reason is politics. And of course many countries can be easily pressurized in making choices. That explains why so many ex-soviet countries still buy MiGs and Sukhois. It explains also the fascination of some countries like the Emirates, South Korea and Saudi Arabia for US jet fighters. Interestingly, when politics is aside, such as with the Swiss, the natural choice falls back on cost effective aircrafts such as the Gripen. The 4th reason is that French technology is good. And that is also a problem as countries looking to upgrade at low cost can buy a Mirage. It will do the trick. And no need to ruin yourself buying a top of the range jet fighter to perform the same easy tasks. Are these the main 4 reasons why the Rafale does not sell ? The aircraft simply has not found its market. If, as a country, you are very rich, you may want the F-22 or F-35. If you are ok and looking for a great plane, you will be probably go for the Typhoon or Gripen. If you are average and looking for a great plane, you can get, F-16, F-15. If you are poor, get an old Mirage. So basically, all this just makes it even more difficult for Dassault to sell the Rafale.
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Formation flying – man vs jet fighter
Can a man fly on his own with two jet fighters alongside him ? Say again ? Yves Rossi, whose nickname is “The Jetman”, has just done that. And this is simply mind-blowing. Yves Rossi is not your traditional thrill seeking crazy man. For one thing, he is 52 years old, so one could say he has reached wise age. He has been a military pilot, flying Hawker Hunter and Mirage III with the Swiss Air Force, and then flying as an airline pilot. But The Jetman always had the dream of flying the more naturally and starting working a unique project. Yves has developed a unique 2.4m wide wing that he carries on his back, with a reactor that allows him to reach a speed of 300Kmh. The best, with the down force and speed, he can actually fly, gain altitude, turn, and truly behave like his body is an aircraft. In 2008, he crossed the Channel, then he tried to cross the Gibraltar straight but had to abort in flight because of bad weather. In May this year, he flew over Grand Canyon. And now, he has achieved another incredible milestone. He flew in formation with two jet fighters of the Breitling Team. The two jet fighters were flying at minimum speed, while Yves Rossi was pushing at max speed. The video is incredible and after that, we are just wondering what will be the Jetman’s next challenge.
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In the cockpit of the F-16
If you are crazy about jet fighters, you will love this video. Take a tour of an F-16 with test pilot Desmond. He gives an introduction to the cockpit and instruments. The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force(USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976. Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta. The Fighting Falcon is a dogfighter with numerous innovations including a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, a seat reclined 30 degrees to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system that makes it a highly nimble aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and has 11 hardpoints for mounting weapons, and other mission equipment. Although the F-16's official name is "Fighting Falcon", it is known to its pilots as the "Viper", due to it resembling a viper snake and after the Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper starfighter. In addition to active duty US Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units, the aircraft is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations. The F-16 remains one of the best jet fighters ever made. We hope you enjoy the video.
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Fly a jet fighter in winter
Winter is coming and we can feel the cold slowly but surely getting there. Fall is not the best month to fly a jet fighter because the weather is changing rapidly, the ceiling is very low, and it rains many days of the month. Winter on the contrary can offer some exquisite flying days. Ok the sun is not always there, and it may snow, but when the sun comes out and clears the sky, you get a pilot’s dream sky with a very pale blue sky, beautiful snowy scenery, a comfortable temperature in the cockpit, and all the very best mood to enjoy a jet fighter ride. So don’t wait for Santa to bring you the gift of a lifetime and come fly with us. Whether for pure fun or instruction, we will take care of your experience from A to Z. Want to know more, check out our pages with information about flying a jet fighter in France. Contact us for any query you may have.
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A (very) short history of jet fighters
A (very) short history of jet fighters. We love to fly a jet fighter. Fighter aircrafts are amazing machines, powerful, fast, yet delicate and precise, requiring concentration, physical fitness and mental sharpness. For years, fighter pilots have had to adapt to their changing aircrafts, from biplanes to flying the F-22 Raptor. So here is a very short history of jet fighters and their evolution with time. Fighters were developed in World War I to deny enemy aircraft and dirigibles the ability to gather information by reconnaissance. Early fighters were very small and lightly armed by later standards, and most were biplanes built with a wooden frame, covered with fabric, and limited to about 100 mph. As control of the airspace over armies became increasingly important all of the major powers developed fighters to support their military operations. Between the wars, wood was largely replaced by steel tubing, which became aluminium tubing, and finally aluminium stressed skin structures began to predominate. By World War II, most fighters were all-metal monoplanes armed with batteries of machine guns or cannons and some were capable of speeds approaching 400 mph. Most fighters up to this point had one engine but a number of twin engined fighters were built, however they were found to be defenseless against single engine fighters and were relegated to other tasks, some becoming night fighters, fitted with very primitive radar sets. By the end of the war, turbojet engines were replacing piston engines as the means of propulsion, further increasing their speed. Since the weight of the engine was so much less than on piston engined fighters, having two engines was no longer a handicap and one or two were used, depending on requirements. This in turn required the development of ejection seats so the pilot could escape and G-suits to counter the much greater forces being applied to the pilot during maneuvers. In the 1950s Radar was being fitted to day fighters since the pilot could no longer see far enough ahead to prepare for any opposition, and since then the capabilities have grown enormously and are now the primary method of target acquisition. Wings were made thinner and swept back to reduce trans-sonic drag which requiring new manufacturing methods to obtain sufficient strength. Skins were no longer sheet metal rivetted to a structure, but milled from large slabs of alloy. The sound barrier was broken, and after a few false starts due to the changes in control required, speeds quickly reached Mach 2, but this has proven to be the limit at which the human body can tolerate even with the assistance of G-suits - any faster and the aircraft is unable to maneuver to avoid attack. Air-to-air missiles largely replaced guns and rockets in the early 1960s since both were believed to be unusable at the speeds being attained, however the Vietnam War showed that guns still had a role to play and most fighters built since then are fitted with cannon (typically between 20 and 30 mm in caliber) as an adjunct to missiles. Most modern combat aircraft can carry a pair of basic air-to-air missiles and some of the larger fighters such as the Sukhoi Su-27 can carry as many as 12. In the 70's, turbofans replaced turbojets, improving fuel economy sufficiently that the last piston engined support aircraft could be replaced with jets, and making multi-role combat aircraft possible. Honeycomb structures began to replace milled structures and the first composite components began to be used on components subjected to little stress. With the steady improvements in computers, defensive systems have become increasingly efficient and to counter this, stealth technologies have been pursued by the United States, Russia and China. The first step in this was to find ways to reduce the aircraft's reflectivity to radar waves by burying the engines, eliminating sharp corners and diverting any reflections away from the radar sets of opposing forces. Various materials were found to obsorb the energy from Radar waves, and were incorporated into special finishes which have since found widespread application. Composite structures have become widespread, and include major structural components, reducing the steadily increasing weight - most modern fighters are larger and heavier than World War 2 medium bombers. Now that you know more about jet fighters, please come fly with us and experience the thrills of being a fighter pilot for a day.
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A tribute to Charles
We would like to pay tribute to Charles Crépin who passed away just a few days ago. Charles had been suffering from cancer for many years, pushing himself to the limit for him and his family. He tried out new tests and programs for years to hope for a better life without cancer. Unfortunately Charles lost his battle a few days ago and we are all saddened by this news. We came across Charles path at the end of last year when his wife contacted us to help him achieve his dream of flying into space. We came as close as possible by organizing a jet fighter ride in the Mig 29 to the stratosphere, the edge of space. Charles cleared the medical tests and was able to fly the Mig 29. Being a pilot himself, Charles even took controls of the jet fighter to feel the Mig 29. We are all saddened by Charles’ passing away. But we would like to pay tribute to his courage and will to live, to experience, and to achieve his dreams. Let it be a lesson to us all. Charles, have a good flight!
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Ace combat press clippings: flying a jet fighter
We were very fortunate a few weeks ago to welcome five reporters from Britain. They had been invited by Namco to feel the pulse of what a fighter pilot feels like when flying a jet fighter. This was a great day, sunny, and everyone was in a very good mood. The reporters got to play Ace Combat Assault Horizon, and then get ready for the experience of a lifetime, fly in a real jet fighter. Below are two articles that have been published, one in The Independent and the other in the Daily Star. We are very happy with their feedback, and we would like to thank Tom Green of Brands2Life, Namco’s PR Company, for giving us the chance to know them better and share this experience. This is something we love to do, and we are fortunate as more and more brands get interested in promoting their image with the once of excellence of fighter pilots and jet fighters. For us it is only natural, and it is tremendously funny to do. So do not hesitate to contact us should you want to use our jet fighters, or simply to experience a jet fighter ride.
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What is a jet fighter
A fighter jet is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets. The hallmarks of a fighter are its small size, speed and maneuverability. Many fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, and some are dual-roled as fighter-bombers. It is not unusual for aircraft that do not fulfill the standard definition to be labelled or described as fighters. This may be for politicial or national security reasons, for advertising purposes or other reasons. Fighters are the means by which armed forces gain air superiority over their opponents in battle. Since World War I, achieving and maintaining air superiority has been essential for victory in conventional warfare. Alternatively Guerrilla warfare attempts to find victory without air superiority but may only do so at a great cost in lives. The initial purchase price represents only small part of the total cost so that maintaining a viable fighter fleet consumes a substantial proportion of the defense budgets of modern armed forces. The word "fighter" did not become the official English term for such aircraft until after World War I. In Great Britain's Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force these aircraft were referred to as "scouts" into the early 1920s. The U.S. Army called their fighters "pursuit" aircraft from 1916 until the late 1940s. The French chasseur and German jagdflugzeuge are terms that continue to be used for fighters, and mean "hunter" and "hunting aircraft" respectively. This lead has been followed in most languages except Russian where the fighter is an "истребитель" (pronounced "istrebitel"), meaning "exterminator". As a part of military nomenclature, a letter is often assigned to various types of aircraft to indicate their use, along with a number to indicate the specific aircraft. The letters used to designate a fighter in various countries differ - in the English speaking world, "F" is now used to indicate a fighter (eg F-35) or Spitfire F.22 though when the pursuit designation was used in the US, they were "P" types (such as with the P-40). In Russia "I" was used (I-16), while the French continue to use "C". Although the term "fighter" specifies aircraft designed to shoot down other aircraft, such designs are often also useful as multirole fighter-bombers, strike fighters, and sometimes lighter, fighter-sized tactical ground-attack aircraft. For example, in World War II the USAAF and RAF would later favor fighters over dedicated light bombers or dive bombers, and types such as the P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Hurricane which were found to be no longer competitive as fighters were relegated to ground attack. A number of aircraft such as the F-111 and F-117 had no fighter capability despite carrying the designation but did so for political reasons - the F-111 was originally intended to fulfill a fighter role with the Navy but this variant was cancelled, while the F-117 was thus designated for national security reasons. This blurring follows the use of fighters from their earliest days for "attack" or "strike" operations against enemy troops, field positions, vehicles, and facilities by means of strafing or dropping small bombs and incendiaries. Versatile multirole fighter-bombers such as the F/A-18 Hornet are a less expensive option than having a range of specialized aircraft types. Some of the most expensive fighters such as the F-14 Tomcat, F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle were employed as all-weather interceptors as well as air superiority fighter aircraft, while commonly developing air-to-ground roles late in their careers. An interceptor is generally an aircraft intended to target (or intercept) bombers and so often trades speed or maneuverability for climb rate.
Gavin Ramjaun of ITV flies our jet fighter in France
We had a fantastic time welcoming Gavin Ramjaun from ITV Daybreak, in France. He came to experience the thrills of a jet fighter ride and what it feels like to be a fighter pilot. This experience was organised by Performance Entertainment and Warner Bros for the launch of the Green Lantern DVD in a few days in the UK. And it was a fun day. We are getting used to camera crews, and it is quite funny to see the presenter rehearsing and then doing his bit. Then the serious stuff started… We got Gavin dressed up with the flying suit, then seated in the cockpit for the briefing about instruments, communication and security in the jet fighter. Especially for the show, we have put the smoke system to make it more visual, and then it was engines on… The jet fighter flight started with a pass over the runway for the camera crew and then off we went for a 30mn ride including aerobatics. This was a great day and a pleasure to meet Gavin and the team. Here are a few pictures of the day. If you want, like Gavin, the fly a jet fighter, do not hesitate to contact us.
September 27th, 2011 by adminTags: , , ,
Posted in All, Fly fighter jets
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Flying the Jet Provost
Fly the BAC Jet Provost in the UK. This trainer plane was in use by the Royal Air Force from the 50s to 1993 and still used by private companies to train pilots at flying fighter jets. Going to Mach 0.7, the Jet Provost has been a successful jet trainer and has served more than 10 air forces around the world. Its twin seating makes it a convivial plane. It is also easy to fly and agile, and very impressive at low altitude. There are still many Jet Provost flying in private hands, and this your opportunity to get in the hot seat. If you want to know more about how to fly the Jet Provost, contact us and we will get you in touch.