Friday, 30 June 2017

LIMA 2017 - Part 5 - Final Walkthrough

It was time to head off to the airport for my flight.As we had to return our rental car at 12, I had a good 4 hours to roam around before I got on my plane. Once at the airport, a slight itch developed. The MIEC was a mere 10-minute walk from the airport.

You guessed it. I went back to the MIEC static display. I felt I did not get enough during the first day.

First up was the RMAF's helicopter workhorse. Under the scorching heat, the insides of it were relatively cool. Had a nice chat with the crew inside and came to know that the Nuri is a very reliable machine. Come good or bad weather, it still flies.

RMAF S-61 "Nuri" (M23-37)

Continued walking to the side of the Atlas. You can tell that it is going to be parked for a little while longer with the abundant "Remove Before Flight" tags.

RMAF A400 Atlas (M54-04)

Did not get a chance to visit the interior this time as the aircraft was already configured for "mission", which meant it was off limits to us civilians. There's going to be a lot of frontal shots of aircraft in this post.

Bulbous Nose of the A400

MMEA CL415 (M71-01)

Not many aircraft were open to the visitors this round. Like the one above. Stairs were there but the doors were closed. Barriers have been set up around the aircraft. Good and bad. The good is that the pictures will be clear of humans. Bad news, we cannot get close.

USAF F/A-18F Super Hornet (165892)

Next up, a few aircraft from Singapore. First we have the RSAF's Apache attack helicopter.

RSAF AH-64 Apache

Followed by their main combat aircraft, the F-15SG. These came with a barrage of armaments that could be fitted to the aircraft. If you look closely at the sides of the engine intake, you can also see their Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) which boosts their fuel capacity.

With the (inert) armaments on display

Side Profile of the F-15

Next to the Eagle was the Malaysian Army's A109LUH helicopter. One rather big movable contraption caught my eye.

Imagine the firepower

It was now nearing my departure time and I had one big thing to check off my list. One last one.

Il-76 (RA-78833)

More of the Il-76

Something which I missed during the last LIMA is now here in beautiful conditions. Just look at the beast. Next time, perhaps we can see it in the air.

This IL-76 was parked near the edge of the display area. Like 2 years ago, the helicopters were parked at the very end of the tarmac. As it was really hot and really out of the way, there weren't many people around save for a few avid photographers. Here's a Globemaster before the choppers.

C-17 Globemaster III (A41-209)

Although it is not visible, this photo was actually taken right above the barriers, which explains why the area in front of the aircraft was devoid of people. Anyway, here's a Lynx, and its location in relation to the Globemaster.

Malaysian Navy Super Lynx (M501-4)

Malaysian Navy AS555SN Fennec (M502-2)

Side Profile with the dummy torpedo

Time Check?? Really close to departure time. It was time to head back. Being me of course, anything along the way would be captured.

RAAF P-3 Orion

Airbus Helicopter H130 (HS-JCN)

EMC EC-135 (9M-DRA)

Now this (finally) ends the LIMA 2017 coverage. It was a great time there and I am glad that there were things that were here that were missing the last time, such as the Russian Knights and the Black Eagles, and of course the IL-76. Was hoping for at least an airliner to be parked and open for viewing.

Looking forward to the next airshow, Singapore Airshow 2018.


Saturday, 17 June 2017

LIMA 2017 - Part 4 - Maritime Display

No doubt this blog is mainly about aircraft and things that fly, it is after all the Langkawi International MARITIME and Aerospace Exhibition. So it is a must that some form of maritime display is included. We set off to the Awana Porto Malai Hotel, where the display was held. It was a short drive there. Despite arriving early, parking was close to being full. And after parking we arrived at the entrance only to be told that we had to wait until the display was open, at 10:00 am. We arrived at 9:30.

Waited awhile and after what felt like an eternity (cliche) we were finally allowed entry. By that time, the fast patrol boats were already doing their stunts.

I head directly over to a Missile Frigate docked quite some distance away. From that point, zooming out, you could see some ships docked. There are some ships which I am not too familiar with. Do drop comments and I'll update them.

Frigate 253 of the Pakistan Navy

Final fly-by of the display

Managed to register myself for the boat ride round all the docked warships. They took us really close to the ships. Our slot was at 12pm. They used the generic Langkawi Ferry for the trips.

Looking up on the C-130

As we were setting out, managed to get another glimpse of our Malaysian Navy's submarine. Sadly they did not allow any visitors on (obviously) or even near the sub, at least on that day.

RMN KD Tun Abdul Razak - Scorpene

Not long after we boarded the ferry, we started our trip. The frigate below was where I walked to before I came aboard the ferry. They weren't open for viewing just yet. They would be open for visitors only an hour after we dock.

Italian Navy Bergamini Class - Anti Submarine Frigate (F593)

Sri Lanka Navy INS Kora (P61)

The first big boat I saw coming up on our starboard side. A landing platform capable of carrying several helicopters.

Indonesian Navy Makassar Class KRI Banjarmasin (592)

Next up on the list was the Singapore Navy's RSS Tenacious (Formidable class), a stealth frigate. It really has all the makings of a stealth craft. The angles are equivalent to that of stealth fighters. Take a look at the anchor port. It even has a cover to reduce unwanted reflection of radar waves.

RSS Tenacious (71)

Up next was the resupply ship of the Pakistan Navy, PNS NASR. If you were to look really close at the bow of the ship, you can see a navy personnel standing there in the hot sun. Our entire ferry waved at him. He had no response. Disciplined?? Check.


This next craft garnered a lot of interest from the occupants. A Japanese Destroyer, anchored rather far away from land.

JMSDF Akizuki Class Destroyer (116)

KD Sri Indera Sakti Support Vessel (1503)

Just a few more to see on our return trip. We did a big loop so that we passed every vessel only once.

Vietnamese Dinh Tien Hoang (011)

HMAS Launceston - Armidale Class Patrol Boat (94)

Before we docked, this little boat sped by our boat. If you look closely, you can see someone on his video camera recording us. Media maybe? Friendly crew too.

Malaysian Patrol boat

Another view of our Malaysian Navy's Submarine

In about less than an hour after we departed, we were back on dry land. It was time to head over to the Italian frigate docked by the pier. Not too many photos were taken inside as it was rather dim. Most of the places we were at were corridors anyway.

On-board NH-90 (3-08)

The tour started in the hangar. They took us round the vessel a bit before reaching the bridge. Went through narrow corridors, through bulkhead doors, up (and then down) some very very steep stairs before we arrived.

Helicopter Hangar

Command console

We only had about 10 minutes on the bridge before we had to leave to make way for the next session. They explained a bit on the systems they had as well as answered questions posed by the tour group. There were about 20 of us. If you look closely at the middle window pane below, you can see a drawing of Langkawi Island. They draw the ports at which they will be docking at in order to take note of the clearance required.

Bridge view

Bridge was really spacious and filled with monitors and consoles (towards the right side out of the photo).

Bridge Interior

To end the maritime display, here's a view from the bridge of the Frigate that was docked near our ferry departure point.

Quite an interesting view

Will do a quick update of the last round at the airshow in the next post (wow, it's June already)


Friday, 5 May 2017

LIMA 2017 - Part 3

So here we are at 12pm, at a very hot and sunny MIEC (Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre). But that don't matter as the aerial display is going to begin. This year was a little different than last year. I only witness the display once, so everything that had to be taken had to be taken there and then.

This year's aerial display started with a fly-by of 2 airliners. The A330 and the A380. First up, the A330. 

Malaysia Airlines A330-323 (9M-MTD)

The sound system hasn't changed from 2 years ago. It was still soft especially if you are near the static aircraft display area. Heard the roar of rhe 330s engines before whipping up my camera. This was my first shot (missed the head on shot of it heading towards the airport). See the LIMA 2017 sticker?

Next we have the A380, sometimes also known as the dugong.

MH A380-841 (9M-MND)

Just a single pass and both airliners were off. They did however give way to these two slender beauties.

USAF B-1B Lancer

That's right, a pair of them flew by center stage. A first for me and probably others too. They were amazing. And this was just a low-speed fly-by.

High-speed fly-by

And with that, they returned to their base. This officially starts the aerial display. The first is of course, our very own Sukhoi Su-30MKM.

Su-30MKM Takeoff

I must say though that their performance was great, though they were really high up. A lot of shots, though heavily backlit. Here's a closeup of the cockpit.

Our heroes in the sky

After the Sukhoi, it was the Black Eagles' turn. They are the Royal Korean Air Force (RoKAF) with their T-50B aircraft. As they did in Singapore Airshow, they came in a 8-ship formation.

RoKAF entrance

I've always enjoyed their performance. Very interesting and colourful. Not all teams employ coloured smoke. And they do it with 8 aircraft.

Diamond Formation


After all the group performance and the rainfall display, they group split to smaller formations, flying with and towards each other.

And one final display for the end of the RoKAF show. Heading straight for center stage.

Ending formation break

The Rafale was next and gave us a show as to how maneuverable it was. I would say for a fighter its size, it does seem to have the maneuverability of an F-16. Very quick and precise.

Rafale in Climb


Like the Sukhoi, the Rafale was rather difficult to photograph as it was a solo performer and was usually heavily backlit. The notable shots are the ones in climb and when they touch down on the runway.

Next up was Indonesia's Jupiter Aerobatics team. They were here two years back though a mid-air collision during their practice run means that they had to pull out from the display.

You don't get the roars and the booms from this one, just the humble hum as they pass you. Very pleasant indeed. Wonder why they didn't use coloured smoke as they did in the opening ceremony.

The second last performer was the Royal Thai Airforce's Gripen. Like the Rafale, it was highly maneuverable. It zoomed in, from the left, back, front and center all at high speeds.

High-speed pass

The Gripen did display its low speed capabilities as well. This reminds me somewhat of the RSAF's Black Knights performance of the LOW and SLOW, accompanied by the theme song (cue Katy Perry's Roar).

Low-Speed Pass

Back on the ground

At this time, it was close to 2pm in the scorching sun. I was lucky enough to get a nice spot underneath the tail of the KC-135. Although it is a "Narrowbody" aircraft (derived from the B707), it did provide adequate shading. Here's what caught my attention.

KC-135 refuelling Basket

The last one on the agenda was the performance by the Russian Knights. They have now been upgraded to the Su-30 aircraft.

Lift Off


Unlike the other aerobatics team, the Russian Knights did not have the roaring head on approaches nor did they do high-speed fly-bys. Their main display was how they were able to keep in such a tight formation at such slow speeds. Look at how tight the formation is.

No afterburners

After the multiple passes, it was time to "peel". Two of the four separated and landed leaving 2 more for the other displays.

Like other teams, this particular move is almost like a must, regardless if you are a prop, or a Russian jet.

Chutes Deployed

And all but too soon, we were left with just 1 jet doing the performance. More or less similar to what our TUDM does as after all, they are the same type with almost similar capabilities. With some luck, I had the chance to get the pic below.

Su-30 vs 787

Final high speed pass

And that concludes the entire 2 hour display session. Very impressive I must say. I kinda missed the Al-Fursan and the Singaporean Black Knights though.

For those of you who were wondering, here was my camp site.

Looking to the back

Looking to the front

Looking up into the refuelling basket

It was almost 3pm and there wasn't much to do but to go to the indoor display. Just some random photos around before I head into the MIEC.

Chopper lineup

Tail of the Il-76

RSAF Fokker 50

The maritime opening ceremony would then start about an hour later. Did not manage to attend this session. Here are some helicopters heading to the location.

Looking back, here's the last look at my spot. It was a nice two hours there. Till we meet again in 2 years' time.

That concludes Part 3. Part 4 will focus on the maritime display.