A great year indeed for everyone here in Airwingspotter . 2018 started with a bang with VMFT-401 Snipers from MCAS Yuma visiting KAFW.
On the same following week we got another visit from Snipers bringing in different jets.
2018 also started with a visit to NAS Fallon and Nellis AFB covering Red Flag 18-1. We got some really good ramp shots of VFC-13, NAWDC F-18,EA-18G and F-16.
Red Flag is always good and we have participants from RAF and RAAF but unfortunately due to an accident on the RAAF E/A-18G growler, the Australian did not fly during my visit.
More VMFT-401 Snipers came to visit us and for 2018 we already have 3 visit from these beautiful F-5n …. keep em coming….
Along came some F/A-18 superhornets from VFA-14 Tophatter callsign ” Camelot” in Ellington Field in Houston TX in Jan/Feb .
Singapore Aerospace International Airshow was covered by our correspondents in South East Asia and catching Some very different Aircraft types.
We also caught some very interesting locals and visitors in the month of Jan thru Feb in KNFW and KAFW.
March comes so quick with more coverage on VFA-86 CAG and VAQ-131 Lancers in Ellington Field and more F-5N from Snipers.
We did a visit to the Wings over Rockies Air and space Museum which shows some very unique exhibits.
A big coverage from our European correspondents on Exercise Iniochos in Greece. There was a great show of force and great coverage of aircraft types from F-4E to F-15E, Mirage 2000, Tornado , Euro-fighter and even Israeli Air Force F-16.
Catching Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16C/D+ in our local base KNFW always call for a celebration since they do not come over to our base as often. Go Singapore.
Heart of Texas Airshow started our airshow season with a very cold and gloomy spring weather. This show turn out to be a gem since we caught some very unique vapor shots and different aircraft types like the A-10C and some growler hotramp actions by the VAQ-129 Vikings.
April Fools day got us some Russian Heavies AN-124 delivering some helicopters. Catching this Giant coming in the land and later hot ramp actions shows the sheer size of this transport. It sure dwarf our C-5M galaxy. We also catch some T-38A from Tyndall AFB which acts as Aggressors for the F-22 Raptor.
We caught the very 1st Turkish F-35A on test in Lockheed Martin Plant here in Ft worth and these Turkish F35 will be a big controversy whether they will get their hands on since they bought into some Russian Missile hardware like the S400 Surface to air missile system. Only time will tell if the politicians can sort out this mess.
Dyess AFB home of the B-1B Lancer Bomber have their Open house in May. We were there to cover this event with lots of B-1B actions and C-130J parachute drop.
Beale AFB also have their Airshow this spring showcasing the Dragon Lady U2 Recon Aircraft.
AC-130W Spectre gunship was in base loaded up with live ammunition and I get my 1st glimpse of this majestic aircraft.
More locals and transients during this Spring time. Multiple catches on F-35A , E3F and other units visiting our base.
Summer came quick in 2018 with hot weather, heat haze and more heat haze. This June weather got us some Sidewinders VFA-86 F/A-18 Superhornets and more…….
The End of the Legacy F/A-18 for the US Navy came in 2018. Now, catching the Last CAG from Blue Blaster was a gem in Ellington Field.
Red Flag in Nellis calls for foreign participants but 2018 Red Flag 18-3 calls for Kfirs from the Colombian Air Force. They were transiting through Ellington Field and here we catch these Colombian Beauties.
Raptors in town….. We got some intel that F-22A is coming in and we all waited for her Arrivals.
August come quick with some Canadian CF-188 and my 1st catch on those Australian Air Force F-35A.
Texas September month is no joke with those scorching sun that could kill you. We beat that heat and get you more Superhornets from NAS Leemore. Republic of China AF F-16 and more local traffic.
ATAC decided to setup their operation here in KAFW to support their new acquisition of 63 Mirage F-1. They will be refurbishing all these jets to support their private contractor for the Air force and Navy doing adversarial role. Airwingspotter is there to cover the breaking ground of ATAC facility here in KAFW.
Fall Airshow for 2018 came with Slippery while wet weather. both Ft Worth Alliance and Wings over Houston have readjust their flight schedule due to weather. However with bad weather came excellent catches on jets with triple cone on the F-35A and lots of vapors on the demonstrating jets. Here you can see some vaporware in Ft worth Alliance Airshow.
Wings over Houston on the following week was also affected but this wet Fall weather.
Wings over Houston gave us a gem of an event whereby Collings Foundation F-4D and F-100 came out and do a photo shoot on the Sun Morning. We get to cover the entire hotramp, launch and recovery actions of these Magnificent fighters. Phantom Forever!
China is still very untouched in the Military aviation photography circle and we were privilege to be spotting in China’s aircraft production company. Catching FC-1 and J-10C testing out in the field is just priceless.
ZhuHai International Airshow in China is held once every other year. We cover this airshow with very different aircraft types and land warfare equipment.
This December comes with the death of our 41st President George H Bush and the president being a Naval Aviator calls for an Airwing fly by for his funeral. Unfortunately the weather was so bad during the launch that we have 300 ft visibility. The Naval Aviator from NAS Oceana fight the weather and did the spectacular fly by.
AC-130U capture which is 3 times we catch these gunships but these are of the earlier variants.
Winter Solstice for 2018 came and we get to catch some P-8 doing touch and go.
This pretty much sums up our 2018 . A great year indeed and wish all our readers a Happy New year and looking forward to 2019.
Article by Dave Chng
Photograph by Dave Chng, Bill Havel, George Karavantos, Tom Lee, Eric Grossman, Clint White, Ee Leong Teo and Scott Mecum