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Author Topic: Which air force has the world's best maintainence?
mbaxter
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posted 06-06-2000 02:48 PM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Just curious, since there's a lot of guys here who've served in military aviation in various countries, from your experiences, which country or countries do you think have the best standards when it comes to maintainence? This doesn't neccesarily mean which countries have the lowest accident rates, because some countries do train harder than others of course, but I'm sure accident rates are a direct reflection on maintainence.

From what little I know, I would think the US, France, Japan, and a few of the other more advanced airforces are the best when it comes to maintainence. This is just an educated guess. What do you guys think?


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Raver
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posted 06-06-2000 04:49 PM     Profile for Raver   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I would have thought that it would be those airfarces that the less crashes!


The Raver has spoken!


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Envelope
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posted 06-06-2000 05:31 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, how about some kind of indicator of good maintainance and how it is achieved? Some airplanes are tougher to keep flying than others so you have to correct for that too. I like to imagine that Russian airplanes are easier to work on. True? I also imagine that American airplanes are fussier about parts. Should you include the hours or cost of parts in judging maintainance capability?

And again, we are talking about the armed forces and not civilian aviation.


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_ALEX_
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posted 06-06-2000 05:41 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
3 hours passed since the question was asked, and nobody said that it was Canada?

One thing for sure - it's not Russia.


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'
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posted 06-06-2000 05:59 PM     Profile for '   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Just wait. Major is probably sleeping.

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Skoonj
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posted 06-06-2000 07:48 PM     Profile for Skoonj   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I had always been told it was South Korea. Their crew chiefs had to keep their jets extremely well. One write-up and the pilot belts him in the mouth.

Skoonj

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Excelsior, Fathead!
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mbaxter
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posted 06-07-2000 12:19 PM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Heh, I wonder how the Japanese are when it comes to maintaining their aircraft? For that matter, one has to wonder if the Chinese take maintainence seriously or if they take a more Soviet/Third World type view?

I imagine information on Japanese aviation statistics could be found easily but I suspect it would be impossible to get accurate info on the PLAAF's flying stats; they are so secretive about everything.


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Lud von Pipper
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posted 06-07-2000 06:14 PM     Profile for Lud von Pipper   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'd like to say it's Italy for once (I wonder how they can keep those 104 still flying!), but, other then this, I'd say Sweden is the one to go for: they have done a world wonder with the Viggen type 37 program, and still it have to be equaled.
The Viggen arm system allows him to be mantained and revised by common draft men and this can be done directy on the field without support of specialized airports and hangars!
Still it's one of the most efficient and complex arm systems in the world!
LvP

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Akulashaker
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posted 06-08-2000 03:34 AM     Profile for Akulashaker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
LvP > That's a tribute to the superb design of the Viggen and Gripen themselves, not to the maintenance teams on the ground.

In the Mediterranean, the best reputation for maintenance usually goes to Israelis and Greeks. Both can regularly achieve turn-around times for tactical air fighters in the order of 5-8 mins (refuel, reload guns, reload AAMs).

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Zed
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posted 06-08-2000 07:55 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Sorry guys, but i have to say Iran is in this group. The ability to keep high maintenance birds flying that should have been grounded, and starting from nothing, no organisation, no concept, no training...ability of ground crews to build burnt out wrecks during war...

If you were to look at them in '85, to see where they are now (still not great) its unbelievable...they are made of stern stuff.

Z

[This message has been edited by Zed (edited 06-08-2000).]


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Kilo
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posted 06-08-2000 12:59 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Canada
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Jason
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posted 06-08-2000 03:27 PM     Profile for Jason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
i like to think it is USA but i always thought the IAF had excellent maintance

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Ozias
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posted 06-08-2000 04:50 PM     Profile for Ozias   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have to put in a bid for Iran as well, they are/have converting/converted their Hawk SAMs to be carried on their F-14s.
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mbaxter
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posted 06-08-2000 05:18 PM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I thought the HAWK was just a ground based system for firing Sidewinders. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

BTW, regarding maintainence, I think extra credit should be given to any airforce that can keep Russian aircraft flying with a low rate of accidents and mechanical failures.

To my knowledge no airforce that uses Russian aircraft has managed to keep up a safety record on par with the Western nations. I wonder how Malaysia has done with their SU-27's?


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Bob Wade
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posted 06-08-2000 05:19 PM     Profile for Bob Wade   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
While i have to say that Iran do not have the best line maintenance in the world, they do deserve respect for the level of ability that have indigenously gained/created for long term overhaul for their American aircraft. These aircraft (especially the F-4) require high maintenance per man-hour of flight, and the fact that they are even flying, let alone operational is quite a feet.

As someone mentioned the ability to rebuild crashed/fire-gutted aircraft is greater than any other i know; they never throw anything away.

As someone mentioned on the SimHQ forum a while back, they will probably be the last operator of the F-14.

BW


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Zed
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posted 06-08-2000 05:25 PM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Malaysia does not have Su-27, it has MiG-29 and never lost one. But then it has never lost an F/A-18 either...hell these guys are beat Australian F/A-18s at exercise, in their MiG-29s.

The is a Hawks medium range SAMs.

Zed

[This message has been edited by Zed (edited 06-08-2000).]


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Skoonj
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posted 06-08-2000 05:53 PM     Profile for Skoonj   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
mbaxter: You are probably thinking of Chaparal. Hawk is a larger missile.

Skoonj

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Excelsior, Fathead!
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mbaxter
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posted 06-09-2000 03:23 PM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Skoonj - oops. You're right.

Where did I get the idea Malaysia had SU-27's? Do the Malaysian Mig-29's carry the AA-12?


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Zed
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posted 06-09-2000 03:33 PM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yes they have modified radar N-019ME, and the R-77M (mod 1). That is, new digital high speed processor, dual target engaugement, GPS, etc...part of the 800hr overhall. Payload capacity has gone up also to 3t.

This is the best operational MiG-29 squadron in the world.

You probably got the idea from the facty that, before the Asian monetary crisis, they were interested on buying Su-30MKK aircraft (the Indonesian spec aircraft).

Z

[This message has been edited by Zed (edited 06-09-2000).]


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115th_Jedi
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posted 06-10-2000 06:11 PM     Profile for 115th_Jedi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Sweden??? Well, maybe they need to have effective maintenance, because in my opinion, swedish fighter aircraft aren't worth much. they've had a few mishaps with them where suddenly the aircraft goes crazy and the pilot has to eject because he's lost all flight controls... So, yes, maybe they have the best maintenance... got to hand it to those guys for keeping those birds in the air at all...

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Abrams
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posted 06-10-2000 08:04 PM     Profile for Abrams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I was talking with Tathlum about this (he was a maintaince guy in the USAF) topic and he said the USA and IAF because they both can turn planes around fast and they both do phase docks a few times a year. Also the high-tech planes (you know the F-117 and B-2) take a lot of maintaince to keep them running, so does the B-52's.

The older the plane gets the harder it is to maintain, so those guys operating the F-104's and keeping them in good shape are good!


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Major Tom
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posted 06-10-2000 09:20 PM     Profile for Major Tom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
My vote goes to Canadia

We sold them broken F/A-18 airframes and they made some use out of them. My hats off to you gentlemen.


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Bogey
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posted 06-11-2000 08:29 AM     Profile for Bogey   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kära granne, 115th_Jedi...

The Gripen that crashed was not an operational aircraft, but in testing.
Between those two crashes, it had flown over 1500 times without any serious problems.
The flight control system was american, and that's where the problem was.

This design problem is now gone, and it is an excellent little aircraft now.

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Up there, where the air is rare...


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TheDoctor
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posted 06-12-2000 10:57 AM     Profile for TheDoctor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think the US (flew 60% of the missions in allied force, and only 2 losses, both non-maintenance related) and especially IAF have the best maintenance of any world air force. if you factor in the mission loads and responsibilities that the planes undertake, you will see why.
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mbaxter
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posted 06-12-2000 04:15 PM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I agree - it's important to point out that air forces with the lowest accident rates do not neccesarily have the best maintainence. Some air forces keep accident rates down by not training. In that case the cure is worse than the disease.

Perhaps a better measure would be average pilot flight hours divided by the accidents per year. Just an educated guess but by this formula I'll bet the USA and Isreal would come out best.

[This message has been edited by mbaxter (edited 06-12-2000).]


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Lud von Pipper
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posted 06-12-2000 05:33 PM     Profile for Lud von Pipper   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'd guess not mbaxter once you take account of National Guard accident rates!
It's would be unfair to list only USAF or USN, where only the most recent planes are kept in line: you should compare with the other nations, which often have only one air force, including recent and obsolete mounts.

As for the Italian f-104, none of them is more than 25 years old: the S version entered service in 1969, and only 50 of the yougest planes (among more than 250 produced of this version) are still in line, so Sweden, with their 37 Program, is flying almost equally old machines
LvP


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Skoonj
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posted 06-12-2000 08:21 PM     Profile for Skoonj   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In my time, Air National Guard accident rates were pretty low. My wing never lost an F-4. Once we got the F-16 we lost one when the problematic engine went out on one, but in my experience the ANG has excellent maintenance.

Skoonj

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Excelsior, Fathead!
--Jean Shepherd



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Nacant
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posted 06-15-2000 07:02 AM     Profile for Nacant   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I've read a lot about MiG-29s beating Hornets
and R-77s being superior to slammers on this forum today, and I'm very interested in this matter.Can anyone tell me where I can get some detailed information about this ?

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Zed
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posted 06-15-2000 11:19 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
You'll be lucky...there was an article a few paragraphs long in AFM, but most of this is classified data. Could check Jane's munitions index, but the values vary so widely that no real conclusions can be made outside those using them.

I do believe that the R-77 does have a range advantage over the AMRAAM, which would be a good reason for the 'C5' update.

The -29s beating the -18s were with RMAF R-77s beating AIM-7Ms which have the same range as AIM-120s, and the R-77 were used in semi-active mode. The range diff equated to about 10-20 km, which at a closure rate of 1000km/h equates to between 2-4 seconds, you could loose that by fumbling the controls, but due to the -29s ergonomic issues could mean this range advantage is greater (the -18 haveing automated launch modes using HOTAS).

Z

[This message has been edited by Zed (edited 06-15-2000).]


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TV Man
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posted 06-15-2000 11:45 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Maintenance- are the crews the ones to thank, or is it the aircraft?

Judging maintenance is difficult. If an F-14 keeps breaking down, is it because the F-14 is just a hard to maintain aircraft or is it because of human incompetence?


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wenchboy
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posted 06-15-2000 09:47 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm a prior-service UH-60 mechanic and was able to spend alot of time with Russian aviation in Bosnia. I can tell you that Russian maintenance standards are the worst I ever want to see (I hope there is nothing worse!). I have some great photos of MI-8 tail rotor de-lamination, busted safeties, leaking hydro lines, and bottomed out head dampers all over the aircraft. I would never fly in a Russian maintained aircraft (coming from a helicopter mechanic's point of view). The only Russian built aircraft I would feel very safe in are the MI-24s and Hips the US Army maintains out of Biggs Airfield, Ft Bliss. Those are some gorgeous and well pampered aircraft. Beautifully maintained and cared for by America's best Army and civilian mechanics.
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Envelope
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posted 06-16-2000 12:13 AM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
wenchboy, were the Russian aircraft you saw airworthy? Its one thing to be in a bad state of repair and another to need it to be airworthy. Does the Russian air force have a high rate of accidents due to poor maintainance?
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Zed
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posted 06-16-2000 02:43 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
We'll i guess that is really a testimony to the excellence of the design to be able to withstand this.

Z


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Envelope
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posted 06-16-2000 12:00 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
That is what I am wondering. It makes no sense to make an airplane that will outfly and outfight anything if it spends all its time on the ground with mechanics crawling all over it.
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mbaxter
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posted 06-16-2000 04:26 PM     Profile for mbaxter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, just for the record, Russian accidents rates for both military and civilian aviation are among the highest in the world.

So even if Russian designs are more sturdy, it seems incredibly bad maintainence still brings these aircraft down in alarming numbers.


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Envelope
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posted 06-16-2000 05:23 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
"Seems?" Somebody must know. Is the high accident rate a consequence of poor maintainance?

Maybe the aircraft depend on so little maintainance that the tendency is to neglect any maintainance at all.

Meanwhile, what is the source of the high rate of Russian aviation accidents? This, at least, I have heard reports of. I have mused that maybe they have not all been accidents. There are still people who insist that the Egyption airliner crash was an accident.


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Skoonj
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posted 06-16-2000 05:54 PM     Profile for Skoonj   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In the late 1970s I was in Tehran, flying a C-141 with a load of toilet paper. We were parked just down the ramp from a Soviet transport, their equivalent of a C-130.

That plane was a piece of junk. The rivets must have been placed by Rosie the Riveter. None of them were in a straight line. And the door was almost as flimsy as a screen door.

I know the Soviets had a reputation for innovative design, but at that time the real production values were pretty bad.

Skoonj

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Excelsior, Fathead!
--Jean Shepherd



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Envelope
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posted 06-16-2000 10:16 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yes, but was it airworthy? We can allow it wasn't ready for United Airlines.

Be honest now, didn't it have a kind of funky charm to it?


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_ALEX_
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posted 06-17-2000 04:37 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Put it this way. Russian aviation is not the safest in the world. Granted.

Yet, I am still alive having flown over a 100 "sorties" in birds like IL-18, IL-62, IL-86, Tu-152, YAK-40, YAK-42. Goddamn, even on AN-24! In Soviet and (mostly) in post-Soviet times. Always knowing that it is considerably safer than a car.

And heck, civilian aircraft pilots in Russia normally live until retirement.

Maybe it's not that bad, eh?


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_ALEX_
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posted 06-17-2000 04:40 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Oops... forgot Tu-132, Boeing 747 and 757 and some french airbus which I dont remember. All in russian companies.
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