Egyptian Air Force (1930-1952) - Part II

In addition to the Gladiator's REAF received in 1938, in the same year it received a squadron of Westland Lysander which performed liaison and recon. roles.

Hawker Hurricane was also supplied to REAF after the WWII.

This looks a Hurricane more than a Spitfire (as labeled from the original source of this image)...markings of downed / bombed aircraft, vehicles, and bombs dropped over settlement in Palestine during Arab-Israeli War in 1948.

Above, (as described in the original source of the image) pilots celebrating the arrival of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk's in late 1940's.

In the late stages of Palestine war in July 1948, REAF received the Short Sterling, the first four-engined heavy bomber to serve for an Egyptian air force.

After the end of 1948 war, Handley Page Halifax became the second heavy bomber to join REAF, served till late 1952.

Avro Lancaster is the third type bomber to join REAF after 1948 war.

Gloster Meteor F4 shifted REAF into the jet era when it was delivered 1949.
Meteor was not the only jet served for REAF, the de Havilland Vampire also was the second type of jets to serve for the REAF before the the Egyptian Revolution took place in 1952 ending the Royal Era in Egypt.


Egyptian Air Force (1930-1952) - Part I

We are talking here about the Egyptian Air Force in the Royal era, when King Fuad I founded the Egyptian Army Air Force (EAAF) in 1930.
Above, a record of flying hours for some pilot showing types of aircraft served in that period.

DH.60 Moth is the first aircraft to enter the service with EAAF in 1931 when de Havilland won the contract to supply 10 units of this trainer biplane.

Avro 618 was the first military transport multi-engined aircraft to serve for EAAF when 2 units were sent to Egypt in 1932.

Avro 626 is another trainer biplane served for EAAF.

10 units were delivered in 1934.

Totally, EAAF operated 25 airframes of Avro 626's, all were retired in 1944.

In 1937 EAAF became an independent branch after separation from army command to be named Royal Egyptian Air Force (REAF).
Miles M.14 Magister trainer served for REAF with 42 units.

The Gloster Gladiator was the first REAF real fighter to fly over Egypt, REAF acquired 2 squadrons in 1938. 

The above 2 photos might be taken during an army or air force ceremony.

Gladiator's perform maneuvers.


Eye-Catching AFB: KUCOVA (Albania)

Again an attractive and well known airbase in Albania...it's "Berat" AB or as widely known "Kucova" AB which is located 60km to the south of capital Tirane.

4030 Regiment (Mig-15bis, JJ-5, J-6) and 3rd squadron of 4004 regiment (Mig-15bis & UTI) were deployed in this base, even "Top Gear" team drove through here between these sadly retired airframes...

Around 37 aircraft of J-6's (Chinese Mig-19) and Mig-15UTI's are lined outdoor...actually I couldn't recognize any JJ-5 among these...

Albanian air force received around 38 ex-North Korean Mig-15bis & UTI in mid 1950s, also in late 1950s received around 12 Mig-19's which were later on exchanged with Chengdu J-7's (Chinese Mig-21) after the collapse of USSR-Albanian relations.

Tunnels been dug inside the hill with few entries to hide numbers of aircraft as Mig-15UTI and J-5 as shown above, this way is founded in "Gramsh" air base in Albania, as well as in some air bases in Serbia...

Outside, around 17 Mig-15, J-6 and J-5 are phased out also, it's reported that the collapse of Chinese-Albanian relations caused an extreme lack of spare parts which made maintenance so difficult and resulted in deadly incidents costing the life of more than 35 pilots.

Albanian air force received around 20 Nanchang CJ-6 trainers (the Chinese Yak-18), at least 8~10 units are retired here.

4 Y-5B's (Chinese An-2) are still in good condition, seems that there is maintenance facility for such aircraft in this base.

Always thanks for Chris for his permission to use his great photos.


LUN-Class Ekranoplan

Is it a ship or aircraft? it's a GEV "Ground Effect Vehicle"...which is defined as: the vehicle that attains level flight near the surface of the earth, making use of the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface...

Our GEV here is the Soviet Lun-Class Ekranoplan aircraft which is named "Duck" by NATO, was built in 1987 and served for both Soviet and Russian navies till late 1990s.
It was one of the largest "Seaplanes" ever built and which fly only 4 meters or little less above surface of water !!!

Fitted with 8 turbofans which can carry this 286 tonnes beast to a maximum speed of 550km/h, and enable it carry another 100 tonnes..!!!

In addition to the very basic self-defense of 2 gun turrets (which make it an easy prey for any faster aircraft or anti-ship missile), it's designed to carry 6 launchers for SS--22 Sunburn missiles.

Note the reflectors which re-orient missile's flames aside the fuselage.

It realy looks like a castel built of concrete !!

A glance at flaps and wing section can give a small idea where these 286 tonnes are distributed.

Sunburn is a 10m long and 4.5 tonnes anti-ship missile with an active-radar guidance system and operational range of 120km.

The dock is designed and built specially for this GEV, with a displacement of 500 tonnes.

The solid fin carries the rear elevators which have only little less wingspan than the wings.

Each turbofan produces almost the double thrust of a Tumansky R-15 does (which is fitted to the Mig-25). 

Huge bubbles on the fin, they include together with the nose the advanced tracking and targeting system for the Sunburns.

View from the tail gun turret.

And a view from the cabin, note that the crew consist of 6 officers and 9 enlisted men.

Crew bedroom...

Nice shot for this beast shows the few meters separate the 300+ tonnes fuselage over water surface while launching a missile.

Only one Lun-Class was built and it's still remained at a naval base near Kaspiysk city on the Caspian Sea.



Some historical and very rare photos for a Syrian pilot Nazhat El Yafi (1928 - 2008), was born in Qatana near Damascus, in 1948 he moved to Aleppo upon joining military flight school in its 3rd installment in Neyrab air base which was the main training base in Syria.
He graduated in 1950 and stayed in SyAAF till he was transferred to Syrian Air in 1953 as pilot until he was suspended from flying in 1945.
The above "Final Flight Report in School" shows that he flew 27:00 hours on PiperCub + 76:00 hours on Tigermoth + 47:20 hours on Fiat-46 + 50:40 hours on Harvard Texan...
Also shows the 4th installment dates which started in June 15th 1949 and finished in November 25th 1950.

Our hero in photos...note his photo together with president Anwar El Sadat in Cairo 1959, and his photo in Harvard Texan (which looks to be in light scheme camo) in Neyrab air base.