“Experienced in desert weather flying, a British pilot lands an American made Kittyhawk fighter plane of the Sharknose Squadron in a Libyan Sandstorm, on April 2, 1942. A mechanic on the wing helps to guide the pilot as he taxis through the storm.”
Bloomberg contract photographer Chris Ratcliffe relished an invitation to visit the frontline of combat fighter aircraft production at BAE Systems Plc’s final assembly hangar in Warton, U.K.
Rarely are we granted an opportunity to catch a glimpse behind the scenes to see how the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft is meticulously put together.
Lucky apprentice technicians, part of BAE’s efforts to employ more than 500 apprentices across all of its sectors, were photographed in action on the Typhoon final assembly line.
Eurofighter Fast Facts:
Max Speed: MACH 2.0
Thrust: 90kN from each ej200 of two turbojet
Length: 15.96 metres
Max Altitude: 55,000 feet
Wingspan: 10.95 metres
Materials: A carbon fibre composite airframe reduces weight by 30% less than traditional materials
Bloomberg News recently reported:
“Sales abroad are critical to Western military contractors as they look to offset sluggish domestic spending and keep production lines alive.”
“BAE Systems Plc said the U.K. and Saudi Arabia agreed on pricing terms for Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets already handed over, providing Europe’s largest defense company with a boost to last year’s earnings.”
Many former Warsaw Pact combat aircraft especially earlier generation aircraft are now resting in storage salvage depots and are an unwanted heritage of the Communist era. These two early MiG-21 F-13 Fishbed Cs, along with the nearby MiG-15 rear fuselage once proudly flew with the Hungarian Air Force, before cutbacks in the force made them un-necessary.Similar storage/salvage depots have been seen in other Eastern Bloc countries. In most cases, needed or useful parts are stripped from the aircraft then they are held awaiting the final decision to scrap them.