10 years ago

The Taikoo Aircraft Engineering Co Ltd (TAECO) in Xiamen, China has begun the conversion of the first Boeing 747-400SF Special Freighter under supervision by Boeing.

The modification of a former Cathay Pacific 747 passenger aircraft to a freighter for that airline involves the installation of a rear cargo door and main deck floor strengthening.

The Department of Defence signed a contract with Australian Aerospace on June 2 for the acquisition of 12 Eurocopter MRH 90 troop lift helicopters, meeting the requirement of Phase 2 of Project Air 9000.

Initial deliveries commencing in 2007 will comprise four helicopters sourced from France followed by the remaining eight assembled from kits at Australian Aerospace’s Brisbane facility.

In a separate acquisition deal, the Department has signed a contract with Hawker Pacific for the long-term lease of three Beechcraft King Air 350s to be operated by the Army’s 173 Squadron based at Oakey, Queensland.

Firm orders and commitments for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner have reached 217.

The external design of the 787 has been recently finalised.

Most notable are a more conventional style vertical fin replacing the shark fin shape and a more rounded nose area.

An order from Japan Airlines for six Boeing 767-300ERs – three freighter versions and three passenger aircraft – was announced on June 30.

It assists in keeping the 767 production line open as a prelude to transitioning to the tanker version if Boeing is able to secure the hoped for KC-767 tanker orders from the USAF.

The Transport Minister, John Anderson, told parliament on June 22 that there was no need for a second airport for Sydney for the foreseeable future as the existing airport will meet the city’s needs for at least 20 years.

He said the cost of a second Sydney airport could not be justified and would be a costly white elephant.

25 years ago

June 2005 Australian Aviation featured a pictorial spread on the A380’s first flight and explored Australia’s new aviation security regime.

A Boeing 767-200ER leased from Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services to Royal Brunei Airlines created a new world distance record on June 10 in Class C-1Q for twin-engined commercial airliners with a takeoff weight between 150,000kg-200,000kg.

It flew the 14,891km (8,040nm) from Seattle to Nairobi in 18hr 29min.

The first prototype British Aerospace BAe 125-1000, G-EXLR, had its maiden flight from Chester on June 16.

The new version of the BAe 125 has a fuselage stretch of 82cm and can carry six passengers over a nearly 3,650nm (6,760km) range cruising at Mach 0.


The last of all 329 Saab Viggens to be delivered, the 149th example of the JA 37, was delivered to the Swedish air force’s F16 wing at Uppsala following a ceremony at Linkoping on June 29.

A USN submersible located the wreckage of rigid airship Macon off the coast of Point Sur, California on June 24.

On February 12 1935 the airship crashed carrying four Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk fighters.

The Sparrowhawks were spotted near the wreck.

The first visit by the British Aerospace Hawks of the RAF’s Red Arrows to a member of the Warsaw Pact will take place on the weekend of June 23-24 when they perform at an air display at Kiev.

The first prototype Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23A was unveiled at Edwards AFB, California on June 22.

The aircraft will compete with the Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics YF-22A for the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter contract.

A test was conducted at the Pacific Missile Test Center’s sea test range on June 26 with the first ship launch of the SLAM from a Harpoon canister on board the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain.

Control of the launch was made by a Sikorsky SH-60B with video downlinked to the ship via the helicopter’s Walleye datalink pod.

50 years ago

June 1990 Australian Aviation featured an interview with Qantas chief executive John Ward and profiled the MiG-29 Fulcrum

The prototype Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander, G-ATCT, had its maiden flight from Bembridge, Isle of Wight on June 13.

The 10-seat aircraft is designed for short journeys of 100 miles (160km).

The first automatic landing by an aircraft in normal commercial service took place at London Heathrow on June 10 when British European Airways Hawker Siddeley Trident 1C G-ARPG operated Flight 393 from Paris.

Captain E L R Poole was at the controls but did not touch them with the Smiths Autoland system engaged for the landing.

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress was used in an offensive action for the first time when 27 aircraft from Andersen AFB, Guam bombed communist positions 30 miles north of Saigon in the first Arc Light mission on June 18.

The first confirmed MiG kills of the Vietnam War were made on June 17 when four MiG-17s attacked two F-4B Phantoms of VF-21 from USS Midway.

Two of the MiGs were shot down by Sparrow air-to-air missiles.

A fifth attack carrier has been added to naval forces operating off Vietnam following the arrival of USS Independence at Subic Bay, Philippines on June 17 after a cruise around the tip of Africa from the Atlantic Fleet.

Ansett-ANA and TAA have confirmed to Douglas that they will each be buying the larger and heavier Series 30 version of the DC-9.

Both airlines will acquire three DC-9-30s for their fleets and have paid a US$50,000 non-returnable deposit for each aircraft.

The number of DHC Caribou in RAAF service will reach 23 when a further seven aircraft are delivered in two batches during June and July.

The first three are scheduled to depart Toronto on June 8 followed by the other four on July 28.

They will fly to Richmond via various US bases, Hawaii, Canton Island, Nadi and Norfolk Island.

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