Korea / Japan

Korea and Japan, two colourful Asian countries, and with a huge variety of aviation subjects. With some airshows going on in a narrow timeframe a nice round-trip was worked out that should hopefully bring some images from these two Air Forces back. Time to start...

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Where? Korea / Japan
When? October 2011

The Yin and Yang are represented by the red and blue taegeuk in the centre of South Korea's national flag, representing a "continuous movement within infinity, the two merging as one", at least according to Wikipedia. Or heaven and earth by the blue and red colour. To many it is of course also a sign of (mental) balance and calmness, but looking at the omni-present tensions with its neighbour North Korea the reality is different. It is thus more than obvious that the Korean military is very restricted and secretive, so more or less the only chance to see some RoKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) aircraft is the bi-annual ADEX exposition at Seoul.

 Lumix 1120162 700 470 90
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The ADEX (Aerospace and Defence Exhibition) takes place at the Sinchonri (K-16) Air Base East of Seoul and serves mainly as a showcase for the local defence industry.

The most part of the photos from the Seoul Airshow can be found HERE, this is only a short summary to show the extent and variety of aircraft seen there:

Eoul ADEX So 9668 700 470 90
Eoul ADEX So 9668 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9601 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9603 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9605 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX So 9654 100 67 85
Zeoul ADEX So 9561 100 67 85
ADEX Fly By 9269 700 470 90
ADEX Fly By 9269 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8146 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8154 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8380 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 9279 100 67 85
ADEX Fly By 9051 700 470 90
ADEX Fly By 9051 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8098 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8112 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 8354 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 9165 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Fly By 9175 100 67 85
Eoul ADEX T 50 9191 700 470 90
Eoul ADEX T 50 9191 100 67 85
Eoul ADEX T 50 9219 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8423 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8428 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8433 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX T 50 8452 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8721 700 470 90
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8721 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8729 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8736 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8751 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8780 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX F 15K 8788 100 67 85
ADEX Black Eagles 9586 700 470 90
ADEX Black Eagles 9586 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9522 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9551 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9570 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9578 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Black Eagles 9580 100 67 85
Eoul ADEX Static 8202 700 470 90
Eoul ADEX Static 8202 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8075 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8167 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8171 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8172 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8198 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8206 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8291 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8442 100 67 85
Seoul ADEX Static 8446 100 67 85

Whereas the show at Seoul offered a quite open access to RoKAF hardware, the situation in the rest of country is very different.

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Mainly flying imported and locally licence-build (K)F-16s and (K)F-5s the RoKAF employs a huge variety of aircraft, many of which could be seen at the Seoul and Osan airshows. Furthermore the trusted F-4 Phantom II is still in service, flown as the F-4E in the air-air and air-ground role as well as still some RF-4C as a reconnaissance asset. These latter ones however are to be put out of service in 2012 and to be replaced by Recce-pod equipped F-16s.

Nonetheless, the view in the sky every once a while reveals some nice sights:

Wonju F 5 8917 700 470 90
Wonju F 5 8917 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8921 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8933 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8950 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9471 700 470 90
Cheongju F 4E 9471 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9476 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9485 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9488 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9504 100 67 85
ACheongju F 4E 9536 700 470 90
ACheongju F 4E 9536 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9512 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9546 100 67 85
Cheongju F 4E 9549 100 67 85
Daegu F 15K 9421 700 470 90
Daegu F 15K 9421 100 67 85
Daegu F 15K 9441 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9563 700 470 90
Suwon F 5 9563 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9567 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9583 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9587 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9593 100 67 85
Suwon F 5 9625 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9660 700 470 90
Suwon RF 4C 9660 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9687 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9708 100 67 85
Suwon RF 4C 9723 100 67 85
ZSuwon RF 4C 9650 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8917 700 470 90
Wonju F 5 8917 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8921 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8933 100 67 85
Wonju F 5 8950 100 67 85

Being in that part of Asia Japan is not far to go and so there was a small detour planned around that trip to Korea. Before that however a short stop was done at Seoul's International Incheon airport, which offers a very nice visitors deck on the East side of the airfield. A little bit elevated there is an excellent view of the airport and nice light in the evening. Unfortunately the sun was hidden behind clouds that day:

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 Lumix 1120287 700 470 90
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Incheon 06 Incheon 9684 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9739 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9740 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9786 100 67 85
Incheon Korean 9802 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9685 700 470 90
Incheon 06 Incheon 9685 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9692 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9709 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9758 100 67 85
Incheon 06 Incheon 9776 100 67 85
Incheon Nacht 9835 100 67 85

Finding a convenient flight from Seoul to Tokyo was no problem and after a short hop I arrived in Japan.

Flying to Japan

One day of civil spotting at Haneda was planned to relax a little after the week in Korea and before the following - most probably exhausting - week in Japan.
With the new Terminal and the additional runway opened since the end of 2010 Haneda now also offers some international flights and proudly calls himself "Tokyo International Airport", obviously contesting Haneda with the offer of international connections and an extensive domestic network.

AHaneda Special Colour 9983 700 470 90
AHaneda Special Colour 9983 100 67 85
Haneda Air Do 0204 100 67 85
Haneda Air Do 9934 100 67 85
Haneda JAL 0064 100 67 85
Haneda Starflyer 0072 100 67 85

The new runway build in the sea limits the possibilities to see most of the movements from one of the visitor decks, and many additional international flights to Europe were not seen that day, but the extension of the visitor deck to the East in Terminal two (ANA-side) gladly offers some additional photo possibilities. Furthermore the fence with photo holes was replaced with wires that ease the panning of aircraft on take-off.

AHaneda So 9983 700 470 90
AHaneda So 9983 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 9906 100 67 85
Haneda So 0099 100 67 85

As you can see from the photos the weather was far from being perfect that day, but the expectation the see the first Boeing B787 entering airline service was given looking at the fact that ANA was going to start flying this new type the following week.
The new visitors deck made waiting worthwhile and even provided cover during some rain showers, until the 787 finally showed up for some loading trials on the gate. Later on it was towed to a parking position on the apron, giving enough tome to get some shots while the sun sporadically came out.

AHaneda 787 0161 700 470 90
AHaneda 787 0161 100 67 85
Haneda 787 0111 100 67 85
Haneda 787 0171 100 67 85
Haneda 787 0208 100 67 85
Haneda 787 0253 100 67 85
Haneda 787 9911 100 67 85

Some special colour scheme filled more space on the cards in the camera and then it was time to pick up the rental car.

AHaneda Pokemon 0028 700 470 90
AHaneda Pokemon 0028 100 67 85
Haneda Pokemon 0017 100 67 85
Haneda Pokemon 0154 100 67 85
Haneda Pokemon 9952 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 0186 700 470 90
Haneda ANA 0186 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 0193 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 0216 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 9933 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 9996 100 67 85
AHaneda SNA 9963 700 470 90
AHaneda SNA 9963 100 67 85
Haneda 07 Haneda 9858 100 67 85
Haneda 07 Haneda 9894 100 67 85
Haneda French Air Force 0286 100 67 85
Haneda Skymark 0136 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 0231 700 470 90
Haneda ANA 0231 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 9989 100 67 85
Haneda ANA 9994 100 67 85

After one more stop in DIY store to get a stepladder it was time to go and see some new military aircraft.

Airshows in Japan

Two airshows in one day...

And by the way, the full showreports can be found here:
http://www.flying-wings.com/airshows/2011/hamamatsu.html
http://www.flying-wings.com/airshows/2011/komaki.html

The show at Hamamatsu was one of the reasons for this hop from Korea to Japan. Not that much of a well known destination for aircraft enthusiasts as many of the other fast jet bases around Japan Hamamatsu hosts the T-4 training wings as well as the Airborne Warning & Control squadron equipped with 4 Boeing E-767.

Photography-wise the decision was quickly taken to spend the day outside for some nice photos. The spot in question was well known from my last stay there in 2005 and I lined my ladder up with many more Japanese photographers.

Hamamatsu So 0044 700 470 90
Hamamatsu So 0044 100 67 85
Hamamatsu So 0049 100 67 85
Hamamatsu T 7 0015 100 67 85

Unfortunately heavy showers spoiled some of the displays, including the one of the F-2 from Gifu.

AHamamatsu F 2 0050 700 470 90
AHamamatsu F 2 0050 100 67 85
Hamamatsu F 2 0031 100 67 85
Hamamatsu F 2 0044 100 67 85

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hamamatsu und the 50th anniversary of the Air Rescue Wing as well as to commemorate the Earthquake disaster relief efforts a S-60 helicopter and a U-125 were adorned with special colours. The conditions were not the best to accentuate the scheme on the dark blue helicopter, but it presented very well its both sides of the scheme.

AHamamatsu S 60 0161 700 470 90
AHamamatsu S 60 0161 100 67 85
Hamamatsu S 60 0076 100 67 85
Hamamatsu S 60 0133 100 67 85
Hamamatsu S 60 0285 100 67 85

 

Hamamatsu U 125 0072 700 470 90
Hamamatsu U 125 0072 100 67 85
Hamamatsu U 125 0126 100 67 85

Contrary to this the weather was better for the E-767 and how often do you to see a 767 flight display? The aircraft was very well presented during different fly-bys and a touch&go.

AHamamatsu E 767 0112 700 470 90
AHamamatsu E 767 0112 100 67 85
Hamamatsu E 767 0108 100 67 85
Hamamatsu E 767 0142 100 67 85
Hamamatsu E 767 0209 100 67 85
Hamamatsu E 767 0225 100 67 85
Hamamatsu E 767 0247 100 67 85
Hamamatsu T 4 0017 700 470 90
Hamamatsu T 4 0017 100 67 85
Hamamatsu T 4 0100 100 67 85
Hamamatsu T 4 0269 100 67 85

By coincidence another airshow took place the same day at Komaki. My Japanese friend that I would be able to get there driving 'German style' and to also see the KC-767 tanker aircraft of the JASDF on the very same day.
After some more kilometres on the road and many more Yen for the highway toll I was at Komaki.

 Lumix 1120343 700 470 90
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Komaki / Nagoya is the home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - so to say the birthplace of the F-2 and F-15(D)J. It also hosts some of the C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as the KC-767 tanker fleet. With the opening of the CENTRAIR (NGO,Central Japan International Airport) the busy civil days of this former Nagoya/Komaki airport are long gone and part of the apron made place for a big shopping mall, which was quite a big change to see compared to 2005. That mall also offers a big parking place and upon arrival quote a few photographers were seen standing there with their ladders and camera bags.

AKomaki So 0648 700 470 90
AKomaki So 0648 100 67 85
Komaki So 0210 100 67 85
Komaki So 0475 100 67 85

The morning part of the flight display was of course already finished and the lunch break was on. Time to sit down, have a sushi and a green tea...
The view of the static display on the far side was overwhelming: there was a Shin Meiwa US-1 flying boat, jets from the Gifu-based Test Wing, a E-2C Hawkeye from Misawa and many more. Obviously hopes were high for the fly-out, but there was still some time and more to see until then.

Komaki So 0319 700 470 90
Komaki So 0319 100 67 85
Komaki So 0322 100 67 85
ZKomaki So 0243 100 67 85

Apart from the rescue demo wit two helicopters and two U-125 the highlight was of course the KC-767 tanker demo. Restricted by the massive surrounding cities it was more or less limited to some fly-bys, only slightly showing its top side in the first run. It then flew out of view to formate with two T-4 and an F-2 from Gifu.

AKomaki U 125 0342 700 470 90
AKomaki U 125 0342 100 67 85
Komaki S 60 0359 100 67 85
Komaki U 125 0376 100 67 85
Komaki U 125 0397 100 67 85

The 'Viper Zero' flew in the receiver position to simulate the air-air refuelling procedure. Afterwards each of the jets performed a (high) fly-by. With the landing of the KC-767 tanker the show was over, the cloudless blue sky and the low light gorgeous and it was time to wait for the fly-out.

AKomaki KC 767 0235 700 470 90
AKomaki KC 767 0235 100 67 85
Komaki KC 767 0179 100 67 85
Komaki KC 767 0223 100 67 85
Komaki KC 767 0417 100 67 85
Komaki KC 767 0508 100 67 85
Komaki Formation 0196 700 470 90
Komaki Formation 0196 100 67 85
Komaki Formation 0206 100 67 85
Komaki Formation 0444 100 67 85

The Shin Meiwa flying-boat, easily the highlight for most of the photographers, was first and the sound of its four engines and propellers when set to full power settings on take-off will for long not be forgotten! One visitor after the other then taxied for take-off, and the conditions for all of them were perfect as for the orange/white target-towing U-36A Learjet of the JMSDF, the blue F-2 from Gifu or the bright blue C-130 Hercules. Combined with the trees in the background better photographic conditions are rare...

AKomaki U 36A 0778 700 470 90
AKomaki U 36A 0778 100 67 85
Komaki C 1 0692 100 67 85
Komaki C 130 0679 100 67 85
Komaki T 400 0593 100 67 85
Komaki U 4 0258 100 67 85
Komaki YS 11 0682 100 67 85
AKomaki F 4 0705 700 470 90
AKomaki F 4 0705 100 67 85
Komaki F 2 0709 100 67 85
Komaki F 2 0721 100 67 85
Komaki F 4 0294 100 67 85
Komaki F 4 0688 100 67 85
AKomaki US 1 0555 700 470 90
AKomaki US 1 0555 100 67 85
Komaki E 2 0602 100 67 85
Komaki E 2 0651 100 67 85
Komaki P 3 0752 100 67 85
Komaki US 1 0533 100 67 85
Komaki US 1 0576 100 67 85

After the last aircraft was gone and the fire trucks also left, it was time to sit down, relax and think a bit about this great day. The last photos were shot of a Fuji Dream Airlines (FDA) E170 coming in shortly before sunset.

Komaki Fuji Dream Airlines 0284 700 470 90
Komaki Fuji Dream Airlines 0284 100 67 85
Komaki Fuji Dream Airlines 0409 100 67 85
Komaki Fuji Dream Airlines 0792 100 67 85

The most impressive (and expensive...) highway was next, fortunately in the direction of leaving the mega-conglomeration of Nagoya, Kobe and so on. The kilometre-long traffic jams leading back towards the city made it easy to guess that many people spent that beautiful day North of the city in the mountains enjoying the Autumn colours and some fresh air.

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This was also my plan for the next day. Heading Northwards Mt. Fuji was the first target the next day.

Japanese Marine Self Defence Force - JMSDF

Fog early in the morning was not the best thing to start the day, and under through the gray layer above Lake Kawaguchiko it could only be guessed where the top of Japans highest, and of course most well-known, volcano was hidden.
A short drive along the lake finally revealed the desired view and the leafs of the trees were still showing their autumn colours, however the top of Mt. Fuji was not yet covered with snow and in the short term the clouds also won the fight and Fuji was soon covered again. Time to move on...

Fuji 10 Fuji 0310 700 470 90
Fuji 10 Fuji 0310 100 67 85
Fuji 10 Fuji 0321 100 67 85
Fuji 10 Fuji 0330 100 67 85
Fuji 10 Fuji 0353 100 67 85
Fuji 10 Fuji 0359 100 67 85

Atsugi was next on the list. This base is in the hands of the US Navy and mostly known by the detachments of the Pacific Carrier Air Wings. However this time the Navy was on cruise, thus the expectations to see their aircraft were low and all the hopes were lying on the JMSDF, which is also using the base.
Movements were not as big as on other airfields, but the arrival of one US-2 Shin Meiwa, being there on detachment from Iwakuni, was a welcomed sight, though the dark blue colour did not really pop out against the hazy sky.

Atsugi 11 Atsugi 0826 700 470 90
Atsugi 11 Atsugi 0826 100 67 85
Atsugi 11 Atsugi 0837 100 67 85
Atsugi US 2 0801 100 67 85

But the type to see at Atsugi this time was the Kawasaki P-1, previously known as the P-X. This indigenous development is intended to become the JMSDF's successor of the venerable P-3 Orion. With only two aircraft flying at the moment the chances were not that high, but as the second prototype 5502 was placed outside the shelter there was a certain chance to see it in the air.

Atsugi P 1 0391 700 470 90
Atsugi P 1 0391 100 67 85
Atsugi P 1 0402 100 67 85
Atsugi P 1 0880 100 67 85
Atsugi P 3 0373 700 470 90
Atsugi P 3 0373 100 67 85
Atsugi P 3 0380 100 67 85
Atsugi P 3 0849 100 67 85
Atsugi P 3 0871 100 67 85

As it became evident later on the test crews were just waiting for the clouds to clear up a bit before starting their flight and the test was scheduled for midday. Another highlight was the chase aircraft for this flight, JMSDF's only UP-3C Orion, this one also being the only remaining Japanese Orion in the grey on white scheme with colourful tail markings.

After their take-off they left for a 4 hour test flight and with both aircraft well on 'film' it was time to move on.

The Tateyama airfield an airbase located on the other aide of Tokyo bay and hosts the 21 Kokugun (Fleet Air Wing). Best reached by a 10km long tunnel under the Tokyo bay followed by a bridge of nearly the same length this is not the cheapest, but most convenient way.

Tateyama So 0425 700 470 90
Tateyama So 0425 100 67 85
Tateyama So 0429 100 67 85

The arrival there was in well in time for the afternoon wave to come back, but unfortunately the flying activity was very low. The following request to photograph the gate guards (two Sea Kings, one Sea Hawk and two aircraft) resulted also in an invitation to visit the base museum explaining the JMSDF history as well as the wings present activities, including moving documentations of the disaster relief activities following the big earthquake followed by the disastrous Tsunami in March 2011.

Tateyama Gate Guards 0435 700 470 90
Tateyama Gate Guards 0435 100 67 85
Tateyama Gate Guards 0437 100 67 85
Tateyama Gate Guards 0439 100 67 85
Tateyama Gate Guards 0441 100 67 85
Tateyama Gate Guards 0444 100 67 85
Tateyama Museum 0448 700 470 90
Tateyama Museum 0448 100 67 85
Tateyama Museum 0450 100 67 85
Tateyama Museum 0456 100 67 85
Tateyama Museum 0461 100 67 85
Tateyama Museum 0462 100 67 85

After this visit two S-60 returning to base concluded this rather quiet but very nice 'Navy' day.

Tateyama S 60 0469 700 470 90
Tateyama S 60 0469 100 67 85
Tateyama S 60 0482 100 67 85
Tateyama S 60 0941 100 67 85
Tateyama S 60 0965 100 67 85

Once again it was finished with a drive through the night. Only half an hour after sunset the glowing green bamboo forests were only black silhouettes against the dark blue sky, with some small and bright reflections in the watered rice fields.

Hyakuri Air Base - JASDF

Then is was time for the JASDF, and once again it proved to be true that Hyakuri needs at least two days to get some good photos. With the Japanese F-15 fleet still on the ground due to an accident with an external fuel tank that happened some weeks before, the flying activity was rather low, but Hyakuri nearly became a Phantom-only base – that is of course apart from the usual T-4 trainer aircraft.

These noisy and smoking little jets were the only aircraft of the F-15-flying 305 Hikotai to be seen, but whereas their future within the JASDF is still long, the days of the venerable RF-4 Recce Phantoms seem to be counted. Rumours speak of only a dozen airworthy aircraft of the mixed fleet of RF-4E and RF-4EJ and an end of their career in the timeframe of 2012/2013. But without a proper reconnaissance asset replacements this might change.

Hyakuri RF 4E 1125 700 470 90
Hyakuri RF 4 1325 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4E 0865 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4E 1125 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4E 2182 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4E 2232 100 67 85

Nonetheless 4 bright tan coloured E-models seen on the ramp seem to be the biggest part of the rest of the once acquired 14 aircraft. Adding to this came some RF-4EJ, easily recognizable by their dark green camouflage, but without the real Recce nose.

Hyakuri RF 4EJ 0897 700 470 90
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 0897 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 1334 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 1351 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 2043 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 2205 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 0605 700 470 90
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 0605 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 0654 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 0853 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 0931 100 67 85
Hyakuri RF 4EJ 1109 100 67 85

The first day at an for end-October unusual humid and hazy Hyakuri was not the best to get some nice photos, but the morning of the second the wind from the North brought some clear and dry air into the area after experiencing some night-flying activities.

Hyakuri Nachtflug 0745 700 470 90
Hyakuri Nachtflug 0745 100 67 85
Hyakuri Nachtflug 1594 100 67 85
Hyakuri Nachtflug 1622 100 67 85
Hyakuri Nachtflug 1709 100 67 85
Hyakuri Nachtflug 1738 100 67 85

The next day it was (nearly) photographers heaven and all one could ask for: nice morning light, good looking jets and quite some flying activity.
302 Hikotai is the second Phantom Squadron at Hyakuri. Once known as 'Naha Phantoms' they have moved North in 2009 and can easily be recognized by their colourful eagle tail markings.

Hyakuri F 4E 1802 700 470 90
Hyakuri F 4E 1802 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1819 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1868 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1898 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 0776 700 470 90
Hyakuri F 4E 0776 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1058 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1767 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1770 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 2009 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 2126 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 0574 700 470 90
Hyakuri F 4E 0574 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 0647 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 0671 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 0679 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1289 100 67 85
Hyakuri F 4E 1490 100 67 85

However their flying was also restricted by the fuel tank problems of the F-15 and flying was limited to only two aircraft in each round carrying no additional fuel. But nonetheless some touch&goes were done in the afternoon and provided many opportunities to get some nice shots with the Autumn-coloured trees in the background.

Hyakuri T 4 1762 700 470 90
Hyakuri T 4 1762 100 67 85
Hyakuri T 4 1764 100 67 85
Hyakuri T 4 2133 100 67 85

Chitose Air Base - JASDF

Hokkaido is the Japan's Northern Island, and offers apart from a beautuful scenery also some special sights to the aviation enthusiast: Chitose, which is the northernmost airfield of the JASDF and home of two Squadrons of F-15s (201 & 203 Hikotai) as well as the fleet of the two Boeing B747-400 VIP-aircraft.

Chitose Natur 0982 700 470 90
Chitose Natur 0982 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1004 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1006 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1017 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1051 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1061 700 470 90
Chitose Natur 1061 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1064 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1080 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1097 100 67 85
Chitose Natur 1197 100 67 85
Chitose B747 2401 700 470 90
Chitose B747 2401 100 67 85
Chitose So 2374 100 67 85

Relating to their position as the Northern outpost the markings of 203 Hikotai feature a nice panda bear backed by a red flash, whereas 201 Hikotai features an arctic wolf.

Chitose T 4 1164 700 470 90
Chitose T 4 1164 100 67 85
Chitose T 4 2348 100 67 85
Chitose T 4 2556 100 67 85
Chitose T 4 2675 100 67 85

As the grounding of the Eagles was still effective, only active T-4 could be photographed. Not the best thing to do, but at least a possibility to try out different spots and appreciate the nice 'Northern-style' background.

Chitose F 15 2415 700 470 90
Chitose F 15 2415 100 67 85
Chitose So 2504 100 67 85
Chitose So 2658 100 67 85

On the second day the ramp was filled with some F-15s, and the QRA aircraft were changed. So there was last the chance to get a glimpse of these Japanese Northern defenders.
And for a surprise there were also quite some 305 Hikotai Eagles from Hyakuri on the ramp. Obviously this was for a detachment from Hyakuri before the grounding became effective.

Of course this hop to Chitose was a disappointment due to the lack of flying activity, but the remote location offers also the chance to get some rare visitors. During the two days there these were of course transport aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules or C-1, but the airbase also saw regular visits of Recce Phantoms from Hyakuri, thus virtually increasing their effective range and making it possible to fly more far North or to longer loiter any sea area East of Japan. After an RF-4E the first day an RF-4EJ was also spotted. Much to my surprise it featured a special painted silver tank with "1961-2011" written on it, celebrating the 50th anniversary of 501 Hikotai. This one would have been a treat on the taxiway at Hyakuri rather than sitting far away on the ramp at Chitose...

Chitose RF 4E 1127 700 470 90
Chitose RF 4E 1127 100 67 85
Chitose RF 4E 2549 100 67 85
Chitose S 60 2496 100 67 85
Chitose YS 11 ELINT 2431 700 470 90
Chitose YS 11 ELINT 2431 100 67 85
Chitose YS 11 ELINT 2585 100 67 85

Of course their real mission of the assets will remain a secret, as it is also the case for one of the rare ELINT-modified YS-11, which arrived at Chitose for a nightstop.

 Lumix 1120439 700 470 90
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Chitose Flug 2733 100 67 85
Chitose Flug 2736 100 67 85
Chitose Flug 2788 100 67 85

Take-off the next morning was just in time for the flight back to Seoul, where a visit to the "Osan Airpower Day" of the PACAF should put a good end to this trip.

PACAF Osan Air Power Day - South Korea

The two-day airshow at Osan provided a nice end to this trip with flying displays of many RoKAF aircraft as well as an PACAF airpower demo employing many flares and flying of the famous U-2. Summarized you will see photos here, the more extensive report is linked HERE.

1312 700 470 90
1312 100 67 85
Osan So 1226 100 67 85
Osan So 1308 100 67 85
Osan So 1311 100 67 85
Osan So 3325 100 67 85
Osan U 2 3412 700 470 90
Osan U 2 3412 100 67 85
Osan U 2 3428 100 67 85
Osan U 2 3436 100 67 85
Osan U 2 3438 100 67 85
Osan U 2 3449 100 67 85
Ozan U 2 2836 100 67 85
Osan T 50 3753 700 470 90
Osan T 50 3753 100 67 85
Osan T 50 3758 100 67 85
Osan T 50 3760 100 67 85
Osan T 50 3779 100 67 85
Osan T 50 3783 100 67 85
Osan T 50 3793 100 67 85
3640 700 470 90
3640 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3581 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3585 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3594 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3598 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3614 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3628 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3643 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3644 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3662 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3692 100 67 85
Osan Black Eagles 3693 100 67 85
3069 700 470 90
3069 100 67 85
Osan A 10 3051 100 67 85
Osan A 10 3068 100 67 85
Osan A 10 4076 100 67 85
Osan A 10 4091 100 67 85
Osan A 10 4301 100 67 85
4127 700 470 90
4127 100 67 85
Osan F 16 3084 100 67 85
Osan F 16 3095 100 67 85
Osan F 16 4119 100 67 85
Osan F 16 4154 100 67 85
Osan F 16 4182 100 67 85
Osan Static 1457 700 470 90
Osan Static 1457 100 67 85
Osan Static 1464 100 67 85
Osan Static 1466 100 67 85
Osan Static 1470 100 67 85
Osan Static 1475 100 67 85
Osan Static 1479 100 67 85
Osan Static 4359 100 67 85
Ozan Static 1455 100 67 85

Osan So 1264 700 470 90
Osan So 1264 100 67 85
Osan So 1273 100 67 85
Osan So 2877 100 67 85
Osan So 2878 100 67 85
Osan So 2880 100 67 85
 

After two weeks, two countries, numerous gigabytes filled on the memory cards and plenty of nice memories in the mind it was time to head back home again.

Courtesy of Lufthansa the A340 brought me back via the vast Siberian landscape to Munich, landing at Sunset and being thrown back into a cold and nasty autumn weather.

 Lumix 1120474 700 470 90
 Lumix 1120474 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120481 100 67 85
 Lumix 1120487 100 67 85
Flug 16 Rueckflug 1899 100 67 85
Pinit Fg En Rect Red 20
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