Sunday 23 April 2017

LIMA 2017 - Part 2

Part 2, where it includes the short static display tour right up to the aerial display session. Quite some things to see here so continue on. To make it easier for viewing, here is the overview of the static display. (Pardon the quality. This was a scan with some clean-up)


First on the list is the Caracal, the suppos-ed upgrade to our ageing Nuri (Sea King-ish) helicopters.

RMAF EC-725 (M55-10)

A turn to the right allows a view of all the jets parked in front of the MIEC.

RMAF F/A-18D (M45-06)

Skies were really clear and this allowed for good lighting for photographs. Also allowed for lots of Vitamin D acquisition. This next photo shows the inards of the jet engine.

Looking into the engine

On the other end, as in the side of the hangar that houses Flying School's Diamond aircraft, I caught this Russian Beauty which I missed the previous LIMA. Presenting (the back) of the Il-76. Too bad they weren't open for us to take a look inside. Would love to have a seat at the tail gunner's position.

Russian Air Force Il-76MD (RA-78833)

The helicopter portion, the Lynx and Dauphins were blocked off that time as the opening performance's helicopter just came in for landing. I would only have the opportunity to visit it on my last day at LIMA.

Nose shot

Looking at the (double) chin of the nose, I guess it would be a great experience to be in that seat while they are airborne. Being able to see forward as well as below the aircraft. I wouldn't mind paying extra to get that seat should this be an airliner of some sort.

Next to the Il-76 is the Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster. This was one of the very few aircraft that was open to the public (not the cockpit though). They had nice signages in place as to what was what. The crew were ever ready to answer any questions you throw at them. PLUS, there was air conditioning in the aircraft. A prized amenity in the hot and humid weather of Langkawi.

Looking out through the rear cargo entrance

Referring to the first PIC, the DCA calibrator Learjet was parked at where the Gulfstream was. There was no Gulfstream in sight during the first 3 days.

Interior of the ILS Calibrator

Learjet Cockpit

This is a rather small business jet. I had my backpack with me and therefore couldn't fit through the equipment.

This next thing is a first for me. A Reaper Drone, something I see a lot in movies and games but not up close.

MQ-1 Predator

The wingspan of the drone is amazing. So wide. And they are prop powered.

Up next is the Famous Apache Attack Helicopter equipped with the Longbow Radar. They flew to Butterworth AFB before heading to Langkawi. Missed them at Penang Airport.

RSAF AH-64 Apache

Then we have the French Rafale. Their presence in this region was not only for the airshow, but also for the potential contract signing with the RMAF. The RMAF is looking (at that time) to get the Rafales.

Dassault Rafale C (142)

Next to the Rafale was the Gripen. Had to get a full back shot of it.

Gripen from the back

Now being a frequent spotter at WMKP, ATR-72s are very common. BUT and ASW ATR, now that's something. Equipped with sensors.

Itallian Air Force ATR72-600MP (MM62298)

No internal shots as they were only going to open during Public Days.

Black Eagles

The Korean T-50B Black Eagles were here for LIMA 2017 (YAY!).
A400 Loading Ramp

Had to walk quite a distance to the other end to get the above shot. (Referring to the plan, it is located next to the Korean Black Eagles' parking spot). Now I know how they prevent scratches and damage to the ramp. There are 3 bumpers.

Port Engines

RMAF Bombardier Global Express (M48-02)

Zooming to the tarmac, looks like an important individual has arrived.

Here's a good shot of the Saab Gripen, from the front.

Royal Thai Air Force Gripen

Managed to board the Falcon 900LX. Had a good chat with the pilot and he explained quite a bit about the aircraft and the capabilities. And I just noticed that this jet only has reversers on the middle engine.

Falcon 900 Cockpit

And finally, before the start of the Aerial Demonstration, here's the P-3 Orion that did a Touch and Go at Penang International Airport the day before. This time in really good light.

RAAF P-3 Orion

Aerial Display will be in Part 3. Stay tuned.

Monday 17 April 2017

LIMA 2017 - Part 1

Hey readers... It is that time of the year again where we have planes and ships from all over the world coming to one place, the beautiful island of Langkawi for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace ( LIMA ) Exhibition. 

This year, we have the Black Eagles from Korea and the Russian Knights demonstrating during the aerial display, in addition to the A400, A380, A330 (lots of Airbuses) and of course, a first time, a pair of B-1B Lancers (YUP... a pair).

This post entry would most likely be split to 4-5 parts, covering Penang, Exhibition Centre (MIEC) static display, Air Displays, Maritime Displays and more. So do enjoy and drop a comment.

Let's start from Penang....

I had about 4 hours to walk around before my flight started, so as a avid planespotter, I did what I did, spot for planes.


P-3 Orion

Was waiting for the Orion to taxi back to the apron. But they did not. It was only the next day where I had the chance to speak with the crew. They did a touch and go and ended their circuit at Butterworth AFB.

MASKargo A330-223F (9M-MUB)

It was pouring earlier, and that gave me the opportunity to see the water effects within the comfort of the departure hall (albeit with bluish green tint).

This C-130 was also here ferrying people (I suppose?) to and from Langkawi, and was the exact same one that came during LIMA 2015.

USAF C-130H (74-067)

YJ, if you are reading this, here's your plane.

Some narrowbodies to showcase. Malindo and AirAsia jets.

Malindo B737-9GP(ER) (9M-LNJ)

AirAsia A320-216 (9M-AHE) Honghe Nativeland

As per most cargo carriers, MASKargo departed. All aircraft used Taxiway Bravo.

My ride came shortly after MUB departed. AirAsia AJX. This is one of the few AJ series without sharklets.

AirAsia A320-216 (9M-AJX)

Seat 20A

Before starting our pushback, this special one came in and parked right next to us.

AirAsia A320-214 (9M-AFD) Bo Rocks

As we started our pushback, you get the lineup of tails, AirAsia jets and others.

Tail lineup

View from Taxiway Bravo

Just as I began to feel "Ahhh.... I'm flying to Langkawi", we were already on our final approach into LGK.

Cloudy weather in Langkawi

Lineup of Jets for LIMA 2017

Had the chance to grab a few apron shots. They usually direct us into the terminal, but this time we had to wait for some airport vehicles to pass. So got my camera up and got these few.

RMAF A400 (M54-04)

After that was a ride to my guest house, and the place I would stay for the next 3 days. Managed to catch a glimpse of a single Russian Knights jet practicing for the big event on Tuesday.

Just a speck

Fast forward it about 12 hours and here I am back at the MIEC where the opening ceremony was about to begin. The crowd was building up, people were getting ready and the feeling was just awesome. Had a chance to do a short walk around the place.

Black Eagles

Staring the 330 in the face

Malaysia Airlines A330-323 (9M-MTD)

This sole A330 there with the LIMA 2017 sticker would later be used for a fly-by during the start of the aerial exhibition at 12. For now, it is just sitting here resting. Turning about 180 back, these caught my attention. The PM's jet, an ILS Calibrator and a cargo transport.

More tails

Zooming out to show the crowd

I must commend them for setting up platforms for the media to get a clear photo above the crowd, and for setting up fans all directed at the audiences. It is Malaysia and with the morning sun, you would be sweating in no time.

Thai Gripens

After about half an hour, during which we had the welcoming address by the officials and the PM, it was time for the show to start. The much anticipated opening ceremony of LIMA 2017.

It started with a single F-18 flying past Center Stage at speeds beyond the sound barrier.

F-18 high speed flyby

Deploying flares

And if the roaring flyby wasn't enough to wow the audience (it wowed me for sure), the did a high speed pull up while deploying some flares, something we don't get to see everyday.

One thing about the opening ceremony, you are always hit with surprises. You will see a jet flying from left to right, and before it is over, you have another one roaring in from the back.

More flares

Then come the helicopters, pulling amazing maneuvers and performing simulated firing. The ground had charges ready to pop as the choppers flew by.

Look at the climb

After the simulated attacks

Once the choppers were done parading, we were then presented with a colourful entrance of the Jupiter Team.

Jupiter Team with smoke on

During LIMA 2015, the team's performance had to be cancelled as there was a mid air collision during their practice sessions. All pilots were safe but 2 aircraft were written off. It is great to see that they are now back in action.

Before the final flypast of the RMAF's jets, the Air Force presented the audience with a fly-by of 3 A400s. YUP, in close formation. Lighting isn't the best here but the feeling itself was more than enough.

One broke off from the formation to show us the capabilities of the A400, making tight turns and steep climbs. If you noticed, the fan blades spin in opposite directions of each other. From what I've read, it was to increase the efficiency of the engines by using the flow of the the air generated by the blades.

The finale was a large simulated explosion which was really impressive. Large, and HOT, even from about a few hundred meters away. No photos though as the zoom lens was attached instead of the wide angled one.

And here we have it, the final fly past of our jets.

Hornets, Sukhois and Hawks

Taxiing to parking after the opening ceremony

Time to move to Part 2.