2009/07/08

Something's in the Air

We're used to seeing JASDF aircraft fly over our house several times a week, but while walking Momo this morning I saw an unusual formation consisting of a U125 "Peace Krypton" search and rescue plane with an F-4EJ "Phantom" right off its wing, and a little further out, a Kawasaki F-4 trainer. Several minutes later they made another pass.

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A U125 "Peace Krypton" used for search and rescue.

Well, I don't know what they were up to, but it seems unlikely to me that they would fly that combination of aircraft in formation, or for so long, as part of a tactical exercise. If they had an exercise of some kind, they would normally just fly over on the way to a block of airspace off shore which is there for that purpose. I think perhaps they were rehearsing for something else. Air Festival?



We enjoyed two air festivals in 2007. Last year, they didn't hold one at nearby Hyakuri Airbase due to construction on the field. So I searched the "internets tubes" for the 2009 calendar of the JASDF aerobatic team "Blue Impulse" and discovered that there is indeed an air festival in the works for Hyakuri this year. It will be held on Sunday, September 13th. As that is close to my birthday, I'll make it a present to myself.

7 comments:

Don Snabulus said...

I hope Superman never gets lost in Japan ;).

Portland finally switched from F-4 to F-15 quite a while ago. I am a bit surprised they are still common enough to see in Japan. Neat though.

Pandabonium said...

Don - those F-4EJs have been in service here since 1972! Of course there have been extensive upgrades over the years. Those old beasts are loud!

Many have been replaced with Mitsubishi F-15s (Japan has over 200 of those), but there are still four F-4EJ squadrons. There is also an unarmed Don - those F-4EJs have been in service here since 1972! Of course there have been extensive upgrades over the years. Those old beasts are loud!

Many have been are replaced with Mitsubishi F-15s (Japan has over 200 of them), but there are still four F-4EJ squadrons. There is also an unarmed reconnaissance version, RF-4EJ, of which they have 12.

Japan has been wanting to buy the (extrodinarily expensive) F-22 to replace all the F-4EJ, but the US says "no way". They'll have to find a replacement soon.

Maybe they can find a hybrid plane that gets better mileage. :)

Don Snabulus said...

or one that runs on aggression :D

HappySurfer said...

That must have been quite a treat seeing those planes flying by. It sure is nice to be able to identify the planes.

Pandabonium said...

HappySurfer - I've always had a fascination with planes. There are lots of pilots in my family and my dad was an aeronautical engineer.

The Moody Minstrel said...

September 13th, eh? I think I might be able to pop that one open. I haven't been to an air show in years, and since Hyakuri is only a fifteen minute drive away...

Pandabonium said...

Moody - might take a tad longer for you to get there on that day ;) but worth the effort. Bring some of your own water - they ran out last time and it was hot. Have fun.