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Author Topic: Air Forces Monthly  (Read 11115 times)

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Air Forces Monthly
« on: April 01, 2005, 08:13:23 PM »
Probably one of the best (if not the best) monthly magazine available for military aviation news on the globe. I have been subscribed for two years now and used to buy single issues now and then before. For those of you, who are not familar with the magazine, check out their website at http://www.airforcesmonthly.com

I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in (modern) military aviation, especially when you want to be up-to-date about air force inventories, large military exercises and development/production of new military jets. Hpwever from time to time some errors do appear in the mag and not all articles are of superb quality or interesting. That's why I thought it would be nice to start a topic on the mag and review it so we can highlight the good issues and avoid the less interesting ones (if you are not subscribed).
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
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Offline skyler

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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2005, 08:56:44 PM »
I used to buy the magazine every month several years ago but then stopped. I can't remember the exact reason but think it had to do with the quality of some of the articles, probably during Allied Force, and some of the letters being written to the magazine.

I just picked up the March edition and it looks pretty good. Now that I'm doing serious (and paid) research I think I'll look into buying a subscription.

Court
Air Combat Information Group
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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2005, 09:13:17 PM »
AFM certainly had its ups and downs, but since most other (European) magazines seem to deal with civil aviation as well, I still prefer AFM.

Here's my 'little' review of the April 2005 issue. But if you don't know AFM articles, I am not sure whether it gives much info  :-[

I'll skip the aviation news part in the review. Although, it should be noted that a lot of news from India is present, since there was the Aero India 2005 show. So if you are interested in the IAF and its acquisition programs, check it out.

Little Rock's J
Report on the introduction of the C-130J into active USAF service. It starts with a little history comparing the C-47 and C-130 workhorses. Then it discusses the entry of the C-130J and explains the new type needs a new training and operating doctrine, which is interesting because it tells you how the J differs from the H. Also it is not just an informative story, but it quotes some of the USAF officers that are working with it.

Winter Watch
Small report of the RAF Tornado F.3s that were based in Lithuania. Other than some detailed information on the operating procedures and the fact that the Tornados did operate well considering the extreme weather, it doesn't give much extra information if you have been following the news reports.

Naval Air Wing 2 Says Goodbye
German Navy's second air wing (MFG-2), the one flying the Tornado IDS, is nearing its end. The article reports on how the maritime attack role and its aircraft and crews are handed over to the Luftwaffe's responsibility. Good article with both views from both the commanding officer of MFG-2 and the commanding officer of AG-51, the luftwaffe squadron that takes over the HARM and Kormoran anti-ship missions, as well as aircraft and crew. Very interesting, if you are a Tornado fan like me.

Mission Meulaboh
Report on the emergency relief operations in South Asia following the tsunami with the focus on the various types of helicopters involved.

War Hoovers
Sad story on the disbandment of the S-3B fleet of VS-21 squadron. All crews will be relocated, as well as some of its aircraft, although most will end up at the bone yard. It gives a good history of VS-21 since 2001 and a big piece from the last commanding officer. Fun to read but not really interesting or special.

UK Air Base Closures
Is a preview on the UK's Defence Airfield Review and primarily consists of 'may' and 'may not's. There is still a lot of uncertainty. Although it is a preview, it is not  valuable. The article contains a table with current and future uses for each UK base, but the future use column mainly consists of "unknowns".

The Digital Revolution
This article has hardly anything to do with military aircraft. It is namely an article about digital photography. It explains some of the "buzz-words" and tells us which of them are important. Perhaps a valuable article if you are an aviation photographer who is about to switch from analog to digital. I am not a photographer, so I cannot properly evaluate the things being said, and it left me with a feeling of 'this is not what I am buying AFM for'.

So Long Orions
The Royal Netherlands Navy P-3C Orions have been retired. The article looks back at its operational career, former upgrades, and the new owners. If you are from the Netherlands or interested in Orions or Martime Patrol Aircraft in general, it is a very useful and interesting article. The last part about the "new owners" is known to anyone who has been following the news though and the career of a MPA is not the most interesting in the aviation world.

ISAF Air Assets
Discuss the aircraft avialable to ISAF in Afghanistan. Apart from the nice big shot of the Dutch Apaches over Kabul, the article is useless. It tells you about the deployment of the different helicopters and C-130s from several European countries, without going into it. Basically it is a summary of recent news releases on the deployments.

Ukraine Prepares for NATO
Nice article illustrated with even nicer photos. It discusses the recent political events in the Ukraine and the possible results for the military equipment. It gives info on the number and types of former-Soviet aircraft that were inherited in 1992 and the current status of the enormous fleets and what will happen to it when the country transforms for NATO membership. Good article, but fails to distinguish effectively between in store and in service aircraft. In the end, you still have only a vague idea of the air force. The article ends with "if you can update us", I hope people will respond so we can learn more about the Ukrainian forces. The equipment table gives numbers per aircraft for 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015.  For the last two, the author seems to have only information for the Tu-22M, since all other types are given the same numbers as in 2005. Which seems highly unlikely after he explains the need of reducing the fleet. (Typo, in table, bottom, Mi-6, 2010, 2 should be 42)
In short, nice article, nice read, but don't bother looking at the table beyond the first column.

Jaguar Draw Down
I expected a similar story compared to the S-3/MFG-2/Orion stories, but this one goes more into the current operations of 16(R) and 54(F) squadrons of the RAF. It starts with a short history of the Jaguars and the squadron, before going into detail about the training course, since 16(R) is the Jaguar OCU until the drawdown. After that the article discuss the maintenance, the new Adour Mk.106 engine, before going to the 54(F) squadron and its deployments to exercise Magic Carpet 2004 and Snow Goose in 2005. The article is great if you are looking for operational info of the Jaguar OCU or a frontline squadron, or interested in the Jaguar community. Apart from the short history and engine part, it doesn't give information about the Jaguar itself. And the draw down plans for the total Jaguar fleet is not discussed, which leaves me a bit without an answers to many of the questions which popped up when seeing the title.

Well, that's it. Bit long review, but I hope it is helpfull. At the renewing process of my subscription, I missed the March 2005 issue. If someone could review that for me, I'd greatly appreciate it.
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
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Offline skyler

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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2005, 11:40:23 PM »
Quote
ISAF Air Assets
Discuss the aircraft avialable to ISAF in Afghanistan. Apart from the nice big shot of the Dutch Apaches over Kabul, the article is useless. It tells you about the deployment of the different helicopters and C-130s from several European countries, without going into it. Basically it is a summary of recent news releases on the deployments.

Holy cow, exactly what I'm looking for (previous post elsewhere). I'll have to look for the issue this weekend.

Thanks for posting that!

Court
Air Combat Information Group
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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2005, 11:44:49 PM »
Well, it discusses current ISAF assets and upcoming deployments. I don't think it is what you think it is. It mentions upcoming F-16 deployment, but not the past ones.
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
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Offline skyler

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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2005, 12:16:42 AM »
It's still good. I'm working on a book with Tom Cooper about Afghanistan and my contribution is from 2001 - present so right until press time I have to keep current on all deployments, and the difficult part is ISAF as Global Security doesn't cover it as much.

I was typing too fast last time. I picked up a copy of Air International for the article on the F-15Es, but I prefer AFM as I'm not as interested in commercial aviation.

Court
Air Combat Information Group
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Offline skyler

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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2005, 08:37:23 PM »
Finally got my copy of the April AFM, looks good so far and the attrition section is always helpful for getting more information on crashes, like unit and cause. Looking forward to reading the whole issue. I guess we must be about a month behind Europe in getting the 'current' issue.

Court
Air Combat Information Group
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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2005, 07:24:27 PM »
I just received the May 2005 issue, and I am happy to see that two of the MILAVIA contributors got into it. Leandro Maldonado and Ivan Peña Nesbit. Congratulations to you.
  • Interests: Su-15, Su-27, Tu-22, Tornado, RNLAF
Niels Hillebrand
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Re: Air Forces Monthly
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2005, 04:01:54 PM »
Hi Webmaster,
As u say Probably one of the best (if not the best) monthly magazine available for military aviation news on the globe, but how i get the images of different aircrafts.
PAKISTAN AIR FORCE (www.paffalcons.com)

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