Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fidae Air Show Brings New Material, Talk of Deals

The biannual Fidae air show is in full swing this weekend, with nearly 500 exhibitors and 75 aircraft on display. Here's a roundup of developments in this year's show.

Friday, March 30, 2012

F-16 Suffers Landing Gear Collapse

An F-16 fighter from the 5th Air Brigade at the Cerro Moreno Air Base near Antofagasta made an emergency landing after part of its landing gear failed. The jet landed with two its three wheels, sustaining some damage. The plane was in a training mission when the accident occurred around 1 pm on Friday, March 30. The two pilots were unhurt. Judging from the plane's markings and its home base, it was a F-16B MLU. The plane was part of a batch acquired second hand from the Netherlands in 2005.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Puma Helicopters Fixed Up, Go on Sale

Three Puma SA-330L helicopters just back from a major refurbishment are being put up for sale. The Army has had a change of heart and instead of using the helicopters now wants to standardize its transport copter fleet with AS-532 Cougar helicopters, according to El Mostrador. The Army already has purchased eight Cougars. The $20 million upgrade included new digital communications and control systems, GPS navigation, LCD cockpit displays, night vision gear and defensive countermeasures. El Mostrador blames intermediaries for Eurocopter for a program that ultimately served no purpose and diverted funds from other Army programs. Still, funds fromthe sale of the helicopters could be used on new material, possibly a Super Puma helicopter.