Amendola Air Base – 29 November 2018
Second day ( photos of the first day you can find them which) Amendola to follow the operations connected with the TLP 2018-4, the first involving the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighting II, the fighters of the 5th generation of our Air Force. Yesterday was not a lucky day, photographically speaking, but today the premises are very different. The sky, although not completely clear, It is also not completely covered like yesterday. The wind is much less and the temperature is pleasant: to be the end of November is almost hot.
There are fewer photographers yesterday, about half: and in fact the bus that takes us there is only one. While we're on board waiting to reach the point where we can take pictures, Gulfstream G550 takes off CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) and this is a good sign.
We get the point already used yesterday: the winter sun is very low, even if it is about noon and is behind us. The situation is ideal, but must hurry, dense clouds are moving toward us and could get across just during takeoffs. At about 13:30, punctual, we begin to feel the early reactors start hissing and see the parking lights of the US Air Force F 15C just before us accese.Si dances.
The first to take off, come ieri, It is the Learjet GFD, with the pilot who looks at us curiously as the plane ascends into the sky. The small twin-jet, come ieri, mount a “smart radar” Cassidian left and a pod ALQ 184 to the right.
Immediately after pounced on the trail of the Eagle that Lakenheat 46 years played remain among the finest military aircraft ever to sail the skies. The powerful American fighters are flying pushed by 22, 5 tons of 2 Pratt & Whitney F 100-PW-100 in full-AB. Under the wings of the classic mountain 2 tanks 610 gallon, with a simulacrum of AIM 120 AMRAAM on the same pylon of the left tank and a FPR pod (Flight Profile Recorder) along with that right. Interesting Sniper ATP (Advanced Targeting Pod) sul centreline pylon: surely greatly expands the targeting ability of the powerful American fighter. After a few F 15 here is a Luftwaffe Tornado ECR, heavily loaded: tanks subalari, simulacrum of AIM 9 FPR left and right, a BOZ 101 EC on right wing and Cerberus ECM pod under the left wing. The almost rasa light allows note that all the antennas, During the years, They were scattered on Tornado fuselage, tormenting their surface that from the outset was not particularly elegant. The blue and red flames characteristics of afterburners of RB 199, They stand out well against the background of the clouds that are beginning to affect the field sky.
Finally come the undisputed protagonists of the event. Unfortunately, when they come to us are already at a considerable altitude and with afterburners already turned off but the noise of Pratt & Whitney F 135 the F 35A is felt. We take into account that, alone, It is able to provide almost the same thrust of 2 engines of F 15!! The position of the sun allows you to take the particular surface of the Lightning II in all its details. I do not envy modelers who want to venture out in the proper playback of all the panels. Of course, any loads are within the bays, well hidden eyes and radar waves.
After a few more F 15 (including the only two-seater D), it was the turn of the single unfortunately AV 8B + of our Navy that takes off with 2 underwing tanks and an AN / AAQ-28 Northrop / Rafel Litening II targeting pod under the fuselage. The following are the Typhoon of the Luftwaffe and the Air Force: everyone goes airborne with 2 underwing tanks but while Italians 4th Wing have only a simulacrum of IRIS-T on the left and the inevitable FPR pod right, EF 2000 the 37th Wing and the Germans also a mountain Litening III pod on the centreline.
Those seemingly more loads, probably because of the small size of the hunt, They are F 16 Belgian and Dutch that go up with wing tanks, simulacri in AMRAAM alle tips, AIM 9X left, FPR right and 1 ALQ 131 on the centreline. Some Dutch also features a Sniper pod on the right side of the air intake. Among the others are in the Aermacchi also flight T 346 (con i soli tanks subalari) which it seems to be highly prized as Aggressor. In 50 minutes are taken off 37 planes. Now we have to wait landings, with the sun going down behind us, lengthening shadows and orange coloring everything: we hope you hurry up and that the sun does not drop too.
The first to recur are a couple of our Typhoon, exactly one hour after the last takeoff. The landings were much more diluted and ended with G 550 CAEW we photographed pretty much in the dark, pulling ISO and thus reducing the time. L’HH 101 the 15th has really closed the landing dances in front of us to pitch black in its black color: impossible for even the fundamentalists Aeronautical like us