«Fighter pilot Jose F-1 plane 210 He is a very good pilot. One day he had to jump ». A child letter; a school photo under which is written: pilot. And a stamp of the Air Force. It is the child card with which a little one played and dreamed of conquering the skies one day. In the 90s, Alex and José were two children who went by bicycle to see their father, an electronics mechanic, at the Albacete air base, headquarters of Wing 14.
The Eurofighter is a fourth-generation aircraft with qualities that make it the spearhead of the Spanish Army’s combat fighters. Piloting it requires a great qualification and, furthermore, it requires being in a permanent state of alert. “We have intercepted several Russian planes that have entered NATO airspace,” says José in the aforementioned report. “In Spain we carry out the same type of missions. We are on alert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week , and in the event that an unidentified aircraft enters the airspace without a flight plan, we intercept it.”
As regards the Airbus A400M, has been in service with the Spanish Air Force since 2016. It is an impressive transport aircraft that has a glass cabin or “glass cockpit”, multifunction screens and a fly-by-wire system (in essence, the movements of the controls are transformed into electronic signals that are transmitted by cables), which places it at the technological forefront. According to the technical specifications of the Air Force, this monster of aviation is powered by four turboprop engines, and is capable of carrying out a ferry flight, without cargo, direct Zaragoza-Las Vegas. The A400M can carry a NH-90 or a helicopter Chinook CH-47, or a heavy infantry fighting vehicle.
In the summer of 2021, Álex flew an A400M to Kabul to rescue several Spanish diplomats and Afghan civilians. The situation there was chaotic, with the city on fire and thousands of people trying to flee from the Taliban. In that grim scenario, the A400M earned his trust, according to his own admission. “For me, Kabul has been a before and after with the A400M. You might like a plane a lot, but until it bails you out and proves itself, you can’t say it’s your plane.”
“The brothers have always had a friendly rivalry with each other, a rivalry between a fighter pilot and a transport pilot. It will come to an end very soon as José temporarily leaves the Spanish Air Force. He enters the world of commercial aviation to become an A320neo pilot. What will undoubtedly remain will be the latent smell of kerosene on his skin». With these words ends the profile of two pilots who have given the Spanish Air Force reasons to be proud.