Mirages F1CR belonging to the 2/33 Savoie Reconnaissance Squadron.
Seventy French airmen along with fourteen other nations took part in an electronic warfare field test in Sardinia from September 27th to October 17th.
This NATO exercise called « Trial Imperial Hammer » aimed at training the armed forces to fuse information gathered from various inteligence sources – aircraft, radars, satellites. An AWACS from the 702 French Air Force Base at Avord; 2 Mirages F1CR from 2/33 « Savoie » Reconnaissance Squadron at Reims, and a C160 Gabriel from Metz took part in the implementation of this field trial together with the French Navy and the French Army.
The development of the information management and communication capabilities is critical to ensure support for the operations.
A few days after he succeeded in crossing the Channel, I thought it was time to show who and what gave Yves Rossy the incentive to perform such breathtaking feats. Let’s have a look at this hero’s career.
When he was a child, he said « When I am older, I will be pilots » – with an S ! This became his motto from the day he got unable to go down from a tree by himself. The child has now become « Fusionman ». In order to understand what motivated this pilot, watch and listen to Yves Rossy’s comments (in French) on the video below:
As he explained, Yves Rossy has always admired the first pioneers. Every attempt used to end by death or breakthrough. Yves Rossy has now become « Fusionman », the first man flushed in a jet-engine-propelled wing, flying as if he were Icarus.
Yves Rossy was born on the 27th of August 1959 in Neufchatel – Switzerland. Both gazing skywards, and having his feet firmly planted on the ground, he was taught technical education and passed a mechanics baccalauréat. Natural-born sportsman, he has practised everything that glides, slides, or flies – surfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, skysurfing, parachuting, aerobatics, motorcycling, rafting, hang-gliding, etc. Flying with a jet-powered wing is the crowning of a 30-year career and numerous stunts, feats, and premieres.
Certainly one of the most intense periods in his career. Yves Rossy flew the supersonic Mirage III for 15 years. During this period, he flew some historical aircraft such as the Hunter or the Venom, one of the first English jet-engine fighters. He got the idea of going round Switzerland throughout several activities within a day. He carried out this feat on the 3rd of July 1991. During his trip, he flew a DC-9, went motorcycling, skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, paragliding, mountain-biking, bungee-jumping, he flew a helicopter, went skydiving, rafting, hydrospeeding, canoeing, drove a sportscar, went hang-gliding, horse-riding, barefooting, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and finally speedboating – that’s enough… 25 vehicles were used this day along 1,000 km for 15 hours and a half! Yves Rossy is a Swiss Air Force retiree, and keeps flying the two-seater Hunter belonging to the association Amici del Hunter. He works as a captain at Swiss Airlines, and his spare-time is dedicated to his passion. He has been supported since February 2007 by Jean-Claude BIVER, HUBLOT watches’ CEO.
HE FANCIES DOING WHAT NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE
Yves Rossy is used to venturing off the beaten tracks. He devotes all his hobbies to flight in all its forms. He multiplies the tests on contrivances that change with the passing experiments. An inflatable wing made him get over the 12-kilometer distance between the two shores of Lake Geneva. Many stunts were reported such as hang-gliding over the huge Geneva spray to surf on top of it, then land on the lake to grab a waterskiing handle, and get to the shore without getting wet! Another feat – he skydived on a disk over the Matterhorn. As Yves Rossy whished to get beyond his feats and dreams, he wanted to fly with as little instrumentation as possible – like a bird with the ability to move and steer into space, he got the idea of adding scale model jet engines under a wing.
The first attempt occurred in March, 2003. The German Jet-Cat company supplied the engines which were added under an inflatable wing, but this trial was a failure for lacking of rigidity. He developed a rigid spreadable carbon wing built-up at ACT Composites’ in 2004. It made an indifferent start. He spun and had to drop his wing at Al-Ain airshow. The wing parachute tore, and the device was damaged. From that time, the pilot worked hard to improve the spreading of the wing and aerodynamics at the wing tips in order to provide more stability. He achieved two flights with a two-jet-engine-propelled wing in 2005. He had a narrow shave a month later: an uncontrollable sway led him to drop his wing which crashed. After a long year and two extra jet engines added, the wing became more secure. As a matter of fact, the 5’40 » over Bex – Switzerland – came up as an awaken dream for this pioneer. Since then, Yves Rossy has relentlessly been training to optimize his wing. Yves was compelled again to drop his prototype wing while in a new test flight in April 2007. The wing was seriously damaged and took a few months to be repaired. In the aftermath of this failure, Yves Rossy decided to build up a new, more reliable, higher-performance wing. Since early 2008, his wings have become more and more sophisticated.
Finally, Yves « Fusionman » « Rocketman » « Jetman » Rossy found his place in Aviation History on the 26th of September 2008, having joined Calais – France – to Dover – England. Congratulations to Yves Rossy and thanks to MEDIA IMPACT and its staff which supplied me with materials and information to write a post about Yves Rossy.
The French Prime minister François Fillon has addressed an official statement this morning:
After the reform, “The French Army will have shed 20 Regiments/Batallions”, The Air Force will have shed 11 Air Bases,and the Navy will have shed “a Fleet Air Arm Base”.
The units or sites concerned are small, medium, and large ones – from tens of people up to 2,502 people as far as Metz AF Base is concerned.
As early as 2009, the French government plans the closing down of the AF Base 101 stationed at Toulouse.
In2010 Colmar-Meyenheim (Haut-Rhin) AF Base 132 should close down (1,276 people).
From 2011 -2012, Nîmes Garons Fleet Air Arm Base (1,332 people) will close down, as will the AF Base 112 stationed at Reims (1,545 people), and Taverny Air Base (Val-d’Oise, 986 people) as well. The AF Base 128 (Metz-Frescaty, Moselle, 2.502 people), AF Base 103 of Cambrai-Haynecourt (Nord, 1,364 people), AF Base 217 at Bretigny-sur-Orge (Essonne, 1,955 people). Overseas AF Bases: 365 Lamentin (650 people) in Martinique in the French West Indies, and overseas AF Bases 190 Papeete – Faa’a (Tahiti), in Polynesia (920 people), and AFB 181 Sainte-Clothilde, La Réunion. The radar Air Force Base 943 Nice Mont-Agel is to be shed too.
While 83 military sites will close down, it is deemed that around 60 sites will be operationally-meant reinforced. Evreux (Eure) Air Force Base 105 is expected to get a reinforcement up to 800 people.
The French government plans 54,000 jobs to be axed in the Armed Forces and Defense within a seven-year period. The current France strength is 320,000 (without the Gendarmerie). The French Air Force should reach down to 50,000 strength.
EADS Socata last month announced the first flight of an avionics-upgraded Embraer EMB 121 Xingu of the French Military Air Transport Flight School, based in Avord.
The 1-hour, 15-minute flight validated the system improvements implemented during a 15-month intensive avionics modernization program led by EADS Socata for the French armed forces in-service Xingu fleet.
This avionics upgrade provides the twin-engine Xingu training/transport aircraft with a glass cockpit environment that meets today’s air traffic environment. Its configuration is built around two Sagem Avionics 10-inch ICDS-10 displays for primary flight information and one ICDS-10 multifunction display for engine instrumentation.
Completing the new avionics suite are the Garmin GNS 430 navigation/communications system, a Garmin SL30 communication and navigation set with 8.33 kHz spacing, and a Garmin GTX 330D Mode S transponder with antenna diversity.
The improvement package also will include mission preparation software.
EADS Socata’s flight test program with the upgraded EMB 121 will last three months, and is to involve the rework of a second Xingu from the French Navy to complete the contract’s first installment. A successful conclusion of this work will lead to the start-up of a second contract phase – scheduled through several additional installments, with the supply of avionics kits for retrofit of the French Armed Forces – remaining 39 EMB 121 Xingus.
In service since 1982 with the French Air Force and the French Navy, the EMB 121 Xingu is operated by the Military Air Transport school based in Avord to train transport and patrol aircraft crews from France and certain participating countries. They serve also as liaison aircraft within the French Navy.
« This maiden flight successfully concludes the first installment of this major avionics retrofit program, » stated Raphaël Maître, EADS Socata’s Vice President of Customer Service. « It highlights our know-how in this field, and underscores our ability to offer military customers high-quality service in accordance with program specifications and budgetary envelope. »
Special thanks to FRONTIER INDIA DEFENCE & STRATEGIC NEWS