AIR INDIA FLIGHT 101. AIRLINE VOUCHER TICKETS. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM
Air India Flight 101
- Air India Flight 101 was a scheduled Air India passenger flight that crashed into Mont Blanc in France on the morning of 24 January 1966.
EH 101 Merlin
AgustaWestland AW101 (EH101 until June 2007) is a medium-lift helicopter for military applications but also marketed for civil use. The helicopter was developed as a joint venture between Westland Helicopters in the UK and Agusta in Italy (now merged as AgustaWestland). The aircraft is manufactured at the AgustaWestland factories in Yeovil, England and Vergiate, Italy. The name Merlin is used for AW101s in the British, Danish and Portuguese militaries.In Spring 1977, the UK Ministry of Defence issued a requirement for an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter to replace the Royal Navy's Westland Sea Kings. Westland responded with a design designated the WG.34 that was then approved for development.Meanwhile, the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) was also seeking a replacement for its (Agusta-built) Sea Kings, leading Agusta to discussions with Westland about the possibility of a joint development. This culminated in the joint venture being finalised in November 1979 and a new London-based company, EH Industries Limited (EHI), being formed in June the following year to manage the project.
As the design studies progressed, EHI became aware of a broader market for an aircraft with the same capabilities as those required by the British and Italian navies. On 12 June 1981, the UK confirmed their participation, with an initial budget of ?20 billion to develop nine pre-series examples.A major agreement securing funding for the development of the EH-101 program was signed by both the British and Italian governments in 1984. At the 1985 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, Agusta showed a mock-up of a utility version of the new helicopter, leading to a more generalised design that could be customised. After a lengthy development, the first prototype flew on 9 October 1987.
In 1989 demand for the EH-101 was uncertain, the American Blackhawk was providing competition with potential export customers, and neither Britain or Italy had placed production orders yet. The Canadian government had expressed considerable interest in 1991 in acquiring up to 43 EH-101s to replace their own aging naval helicopters; however with the end of the Cold War they were branded as excessive by several politicians and the acquisition was aborted in 1996. Britain maintained its commitment to the project, ordering 22 EH-101 helicopters in February 1995; Italy also pressed ahead with its order for 16 EH-101s in October 1995.
The first group of production EH-101s for the RAF began arriving in 1997.In 2002 Westland made an unsolicited and unsuccessful offer to provide the MoD with an enhanced version of the Merlin to meet the UK's demand for lift capability.Westland and Agusta merged together to form AgustaWestland International Limited in July 2000, closing down EHI as a separate entity shortly afterwards. Consequently in June 2007 the EH101 was re-branded as the AW101.
The RN's final order was for 44 ASW machines, originally designated Merlin HAS.1 but soon changed to Merlin HM1. The first fully operational Merlin was delivered on 17 May 1997, entering service on 2 June 2000. All aircraft were delivered by the end of 2002, and are operated by four Fleet Air Arm squadrons, all based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall: 814 NAS, 820 NAS, 824 NAS and 829 NAS. 700 NAS was the Merlin Operational Evaluation Unit from 2000 to 2008.
In March 2004, RN Merlins were grounded following an incident at RNAS Culdrose when the tail rotor failed on one of them. Investigations revealed that this was due to tail rotor hub manufacturing defects.Flights resumed the following year.
The Merlin HM1 has been cleared to operate from the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, Type 23 frigates and a number of RFA vessels including the Fort Victoria Class. It is also intended to equip the forthcoming Type 45 destroyers. A Capability Sustainment Programme is currently in place to upgrade 30 aircraft to the Merlin HM2 standard. This will include a new mission system and digital cockpit. It had been planned to include the remaining 8 airframes but this has now been dropped for financial reasons while alternative roles were sought for these aircraft.The UK had long considered the Merlin as a replacement for the Sea King ASaC7 in the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) role.On 15 December 2009, the future helicopter plans were announced. The RAF Merlin HC3 and HC3As will be moved to the Commando Helicopter Force replacing 'junglie' Sea King Commando helicopter, these helicopters being replaced with Chinooks in RAF service. The eight spare airframes will be refitted with equipment from the Sea King ASaC7. Sea King will also be replaced in the SAR role by a PFI deal, resulting in the retirement of Sea King, leaving the Navy operating Lynx Wildcat and Merlin, the RAF operating Chinooks, and Army operating Lynx Wildcat and Apache.The Lynx helicopter has been seen as a useful compliment to the newer Merlins, however it had been mooted in 1995 than phasing out Lynx for an all-Merlin
AIR INDIA 747-400 VT-ESN(cn1003)
Athens Eleftherios Venizelos airport...April 2007..First flight 21/101/1993.
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