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Glenn E. Chatfield

Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 854
Location: North Liberty, IA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:53 am    Post subject: Aircraft 50 90 news Reply with quote

On Monday, 2/14 I photographed this aircraft at the Cedar Rapids, IA airport.

Today's Cedar Rapids Gazette newspaper had a good article about this plane, except they have an error stating the aircraft flew in on Tuesday. Here's the article:

Peaceful mission

German air force cargo plane seeking life extension in C.R.

By Dave DeWitte

The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS - It may not be a looker, but the unusual cargo plane that landed at The Eastern Iowa Airport on Tuesday has delivered tons of goodwill for the German government over the years.

The German air force C-160 Transall twin turboprop cargo plane, capable of carrying 15 tons, turned a few heads by virtue of its sheer girth and mass. After winter flight trials, it stopped off in Cedar Rapids so that Rockwell Collins could evaluate the requirements for a cockpit electronics upgrade, which is needed to allow the plane to meet future certification requirements.

The visit was a farewell flight for Lt. Commander Ingo Wilde of the German air force, who is retiring this year. Wilde flew with a C-160 crew to Cedar Rapids in 1994, to pick up some equipment and to show Rockwell Collins the fruits of its contribution to a previous avionics upgrade in 1991 and 1992.

The C-160 visiting Rockwell Collins this week didn't much resemble a military aircraft.

Only a small German flag and an iron cross insignia stood out on the otherwise white body color.

'It's a white-colored aircraft because we have a limited number of aircraft that we particularly use for humanitarian flights, relief flights, and whenever we do that, we put on the marking, like United Nations, UNSCOM, the Red Cross, whatever,' Wilde said.

'All the others are gray and green camouflaged.' Wilde, who's visited Rockwell Collins a num ber of times, clearly doesn't mind the long trips.

'We usually try to keep a close contact to the company and it's worked out very, very good, and I'm glad to be here again,' Wilde said.

In the case of the C-160s, it's paying off in extending the life of an aircraft that's been a real workhorse for the German air force.

A planned replacement for the aging C-160, the A-400M, has been delayed.

Wilde said the plane's arrival has been pushed back four years, and it could be another four years before it is fully ready for use.

As a result, Wilde said, the air force has been making preparation to extend the life of the C-160 by upgrading the flight management system and some other key avionics.

The C-160's crew of 11 took a Rockwell Collins personnel on a flight Tuesday to show them how its current flight management system works.

The aircraft is based in Wilmsdorf, Germany, with the 62nd Air Transport Wing of the German air force.

Wilde seemed to be enjoying his farewell flight.

He said his flights to the United States are usually on commercial aircraft.

Despite the noisy conditions in the cargo plane, he joked that in the C-160, 'You can move around, you can smoke on board, so it's more comfortable for us.'

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