“It is the eternal struggle between these two principles; right and wrong throughout the world.
They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time.”
African Pilot’s January 2020 edition
The digital January 2020 edition was mailed to ALL subscribers on Thursday 12 December, earlier than usual so that our loyal subscribers would have this edition on their electronic devices well before the holidays. In addition, the printed edition was delivered to our national distributors well before the end of year holidays in 2019. The January edition also has a FREE 2020 A2 wall calendar that shows most of the important aviation events for this year.
African Pilot’s February 2020 edition
The February edition will feature those businesses at Grand Central Airport as well as all currently manufactured Piston Powered Aircraft. The editorial and advertising deadline for this edition was Friday 10 January 2020, but we still have some advertising space available. For advertising positions please contact Adrian Munro at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall media reach of all aviation publications in Africa where we are in a position to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers. Naturally the monthly printed magazine has an incredibly long shelf life due to its excellent design and layout. Then of course the monthly magazine is also available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers have enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
Video of the week: Strangest planes and flying apparatus in the world:
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact email@example.com
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
SAAF C-130BZ Hercules crash lands in DRC
On Thursday one of the two only remaining airworthy Hercules C130BZ transport aircraft serial 403 of the South African Air Force (SAAF) crash landed at Goma airport in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Based at 28 Squadron, AFB Waterkloof, this aircraft was transporting 59 passengers and eight crew members from the UN mission when it crashed and outer left engine caught fire when it struck the ground. The left wing is extensively damaged and there was a fire on engine No.1. MONUSCO dispatched a rescue team that brought the fire under control and everyone was safely evacuated safely.
The aircraft was returning from the eastern Congo city of Beni, where it was providing logistical support to the South African National Defence Force contingent deployed in the region. This aircraft (403) was in Egypt mid-December, then Cuba in late December and now is written off in the DRC in early January. This is the first serious accident / incident involving a SAAF C-130BZ in more than 50 years of operations.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
African Pilot’s 2020 calendar
We will publish the aviation calendar within APAnews three months ahead, but you can always visit African Pilot’s website: www.africanpilot.co.za if you would like to obtain the full calendar for the entire year.
Editor’s comment: It was interesting to note that another South African aviation publication’s January 2020 edition listed its calendar events with no less than six of the seven events listed occurring in November 2019!!! Yes, attention to detail is important and this is what African Pilot spends significant effort to achieve. This situation is especially serious, because the African Pilot aviation calendar of events is freely available in this format as well as on our website for anyone to copy and use within their own publications.
18 & 19 January
SAC Gauteng Regionals and Judges Trophy at Vereeniging Airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge Rand Airport Germiston
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
SAPFA AGM at Rand Airport at 14h00
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
SAPFA Speed Rally Witbank Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 855 9435
SAPFA Rally Navigation Training Course Venue AeroSud
Contact Mary de Klerk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 084 880 9000
4 and 5 March
Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition Addis Ababa 2020
Contact Tel +44 (0) 170 253 0000
E-mail: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
4 to 8 March
IADE International Aerospace & Defence exhibition Tunisia
Website: www.expomediatunisia.com E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Brakpan Fun Rally at Brakpan Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
7 and 8 March
SAC KZN Regionals at Ladysmith Airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Speed Rally at Bethlehem Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082855 9435
The Airplane Factory breakfast fly-in at Tedderfield Airfield
Contact Shanelle McKechnie E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 066 224 2128
21 and 22 March
FASHKOSH airshow at Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact: Anton Theart E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 079 873 4567
31 March – 5 April
Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo. Lakeland, Florida, USA
Contact Neil Bowden Cell 084 674 5674
E-mail: Neil1@telkomsa.net or email@example.com
1 to 4 April
AERO Friedrichshafen, Germany Global show for General Aviation
Contact Stephan E-mail: Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
2 to 4 April
SAPFA Rally Nationals and Fun Rally at Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
3 to 5 April
Groblersdal Flying Club fly-in at Groblersdal Airfield
Contact Richard Nicholson E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 490 6227
Robertson annual fly-in breakfast
Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 270 5888
Wings and Wheels Festival at Uitenhage Airfield
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 320 2615
Aero Club of South Africa Centenary Banquet venue TBA
Contact Marie Reddy E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 259 7691
Aero Club of South Africa Annual General Meeting EAA Auditorium Rand Airport
Contact Sandra Strydom E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 082 1100
Garden Route Airshow
Contact Brett Scheuble E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 418 3836
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
East Africa rotary wing growth
Helicopters are flexible and this has led to the total number of helicopters on the Kenyan civil registry crossing the 100 aircraft mark, with a similar trend being observed in Tanzania and Rwanda. Supporting these growing numbers has led to an increase in demand of rotary-wing pilots as well as for quality and reliable maintenance support facilities. The most common types of helicopter in the east African skies are Bell Textron and Airbus (formerly Eurocopter), with MD Helicopters, Robinson, AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) and Enstrom all having a presence.
The type popularity has led to Bell Textron, via its sales and support agent for Africa; Africair that is refocusing on the need for effective maintenance support for Bell products in the region. This has led to the set-up of Africair Helicopter Support (AHS) Ltd as a maintenance facility. Based in Ruiru Town, 30km from Nairobi central business district (CBD) as a dedicated Bell maintenance station, it is located near a long-serving Bell client; Devki Steel and is the only such facility in east Africa. Devki operates a fleet of Bell helicopters, including a Bell 407. AHS went through a rigorous quality process with the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority and was granted its approved maintenance organisation (AMO) certificate in 2017, thus becoming the first such centre to be located outside an airport or airstrip in Kenya. The AMO is approved to maintain a wide range of Bell products, including Bell 206 and 407 for overhaul, structural repair, non-destructive testing, component overhaul and maintenance, with parts support.
Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) has many aircraft operating in east Africa due to the ease of availability of this make in the used civilian rotary-wing market. The AS350 is the most popular model with most commercial operators, including Lady Lori, Tropic Air, ProFlight, KIDL and Everett Aviation.
Airbus’ penetration to the Kenya market was further cemented when the Kenya Air Force acquired nine AS350 Ecureuil (Fennec) helicopters. Due to its sales success cutting across the civilian and military sectors, Airbus Helicopters, via its South African subsidiary, Airbus SA has maintenance facilities in Midrand, South Africa. It also recently set up a new facility and mobile support unit in Wilson Airport, Nairobi. Furthermore, the Airbus AMO supports Airbus helicopter operations with a parts and components pool to assist other AMOs in maintenance. The Wilson Airport facility is located in a section of hangar leased from Air Kenya and offers scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and parts for Airbus models, including AS350 and A130. However, it still forwards full overhaul to its South African facility.
The newest investment in dedicated helicopter maintenance facilities is at Helint Aviation, which recently built a new hangar and set up related maintenance facilities at the Aero Club of East Africa in Wilson Airport. Helint Aviation aims to over a wide range of services in the rotary wing sector, including support of oil and gas / offshore energy, medivacs, charter, maintenance services, including support of third-party base maintenance, modifications and structural repairs. Helint Aviation has been appointed as an authorised maintenance centre for MD Helicopters, in addition to serving as a its parts centre. Helint will further serve as a distributor for MD Helicopters in the eastern Africa region.
Robinson, which has delivered more than 12,000 aircraft in 40 years, has also identified Kenya as a key target for making inroads into the African market. After appointing NAC to handle sales of its aircraft in South Africa, the manufacturer appointed Helicopters Charters of East Africa (HCEA) as the distributor of the Robinson product range in the eastern African market. HCEA is an approved helicopter operator with the R22 and R44 in its fleet. It is keen to facilitate sales of Robinson aircraft, from the piston-powered R22 and R44 to the new turbine-powered R66, in addition to providing parts to support Robinson operations.
The east African helicopter market relies heavily on the air force and the police airwing to provide pilots to serve the sector. Kenya has only two approved training organisations (ATOs) offering helicopter pilot training; Sicham Aviation and Flight Training Center, with the latter operating the R44 as its trainer. HCEA aims to facilitate deliveries of the R22 and R44 for training and charter roles, as well as the new R66, thus increasing Robinson’s aircraft numbers in the region and serving as a basis for more investment in setting up an expanded maintenance base for the type.
Another helicopter manufacturer eyeing-up possible maintenance facilities in Kenya is Leonardo, which has made inroads into the Kenyan market with sales of its AW109 and AW139 models to Kenya Police Airwing and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company.
Kenyan air base attack - US spy plane destroyed
During al Shabaab’s attack on Camp Simba last weekend a highly modified Bombardier STAMP surveillance aircraft, which was apparently being used to track down terrorists in the region was amongst the six aircraft destroyed. US Africa Command said all six destroyed or damaged aircraft belonged to private contractors. In addition, three Americans (one US military servicemember and two contractors) as well as several attackers were killed. One of the aircraft destroyed was a highly modified Bombardier Dash 8 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft operated by US Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Under its SOCOM Tactical Airborne Multi-Sensor Platforms (STAMP) programme it operates two of the Dash 8s and three King Air B300 aircraft.
While flying under previous US Army contracts (Desert Owl and Saturn Arch programmes), the Dash 8s were configured with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and a sensor turret with electro-optical and infrared cameras. They were also fitted with a hyperspectral camera and satellite data link. Considering all the extra ‘lumps and bumps’ on the aircraft, other equipment, such as signals intelligence equipment, may have been installed. The US Army also acquired several Dynamic Aviation Dash 8s to convert into RO-6A surveillance aircraft with cameras, radars and signal intelligence systems, amongst others. It appears that a contractor King Air was also destroyed in Kenya. The identities of the other damaged / destroyed aircraft have not yet been confirmed. Other aircraft that have been known to use the Manda Bay airfield include Cessna 208 Caravans, U-28s (PC-12), C-146s (Dornier 328), CN235s, UH-60s and MH-6s and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles.
Burkina Faso Mi-17s returning to service
With the helicopters being overhauled in the Czech Republic, Burkina Faso is returning two of its stored Mi-17 transport helicopters to service. Jane’s Defence Weekly reports, the two aircraft were transported by an Il-76 from Base Aerienne 511 in Burkina Faso to Pardubice Airport on 15 March 2019 and then sent to Lom Praha’s facility at Kbely Airfield outside Prague. Having been stored for several years, the helicopters will have their service lives extended by four years, to 39years, meaning they have another eight years of flying left. Work is expected to conclude in early 2020, at which time the aircraft will be returned to Burkina Faso.
Danish EH101s deployed to Mali
The two EH101 helicopters along with 70 support personnel have been deployed to Gao in eastern Mali since mid-December 2019. The helicopters will be deployed until December 2020 as part of Denmark’s first contribution to Operation Barkhane. Although based in Mali, they may be sent throughout the region to countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania.
“The EH101 helicopter has a large transport capacity and will make a difference in Operation Barkhane. At the same time, it will make everyday life more secure and flexible for the soldiers on the ground, because it is significantly more dangerous to transport on land than in the air”, said Colonel Lieutenant Martin Birkedahl Nielsen, head of the Operations Staff Air Operations Section. Although new to Operation Barkhane, Denmark has provided aircraft for French-led efforts in the Sahel, starting with a C-130 in 2013 for Operation Serval in Mali. The Danish Parliament approved the military contribution to Operation Barkhane in October 2019.
Child stowaway found dead in Air France flight
Air France confirmed that the body of a stowaway was discovered in the well of the landing gear of a Boeing 777 (F-GSQY). It was performing flight AF703 between Abidjan Airport (ABJ) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on 7 January 2020. “Beyond the human tragedy, this indicates a major security flaw at Abidjan airport,” an Ivorian security source said. The airport has yet to determine how a ten-year-old child accessed the airplane and if any accomplices helped him.
In recent years, several stowaways, mostly from Africa, have been found dead from hypothermia or crushed in undercarriages. The landing gear wells are neither heated nor pressurized. In July 2019, a stowaway fell from the landing gear of a Kenya Airways flight to London Heathrow airport in the garden of a house in Clapham, south-west London.
Six new MD 530F helicopters delivered to Kenya
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) requested 12 MD 530F helicopters valued at $253 million in May 2017 and on 27 September 2018 MD Helicopters was awarded a contract to deliver the first six MD530Fs to Kenya under a $1.4 billion award that also covers the supply of up to 150 armed MD530Fs / MD530Gs to US and partner nation military forces. The Kenyan contract includes initial logistics support, aircraft systems and ground support equipment. On 13 September 2019, MD Helicopters announced that it had been awarded a contract for logistics support and training by the US Army Contracting Command in terms of the five-year Kenyan contract. It added that shipment of the six MD 530F Cayuse Warriors would be complete by the end of 2019.
Effective from 1 September 2019, the support contract covers transition training at the MD Helicopters headquarters in Mesa, Arizona, with foreign operations, including field service support, armament, and gunnery training, scheduled to occur at Laikipia Air Base in Kenya. The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency, in announcing the Kenyan contract in 2018, said the sale would advance Kenya’s efforts to conduct scout and attack rotary wing aircraft operations in support of their AMISOM mission in Somalia.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
Iran forced to admit that its forces shot down flight 752
The Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, which crashed in Iran on 8 January 2020, was shot down by an Iranian air defence system. Hours after the information was disclosed, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, was the first to confirm publicly having received similar indications from international allies and the Canadian intelligence service. When initially accused of the atrocity, the Iranian authorities initially denied; “One thing is for certain, this airplane was not hit by a missile,” Ali Abedzadeh, chief of the Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran (CAO), said during a press conference. Yet a video clearly shows the impact of the missile. Because physical evidence at the crash site could provide more information about what happened, Iran has used bulldozers to move around pieces of debris from a crashed Ukrainian passenger jet, potentially destroying evidence which could help determine exactly what happened to it. Images and reports from the crash site, just outside Tehran, show at least one bulldozer working in the debris at the site, where the Boeing 737-800 crashed. The crash site is at the center of a tense geopolitical struggle over exactly what happened to the jet, which was operated by Ukrainian International Airlines.
Complying with international regulations, the organisation reaffirmed its invitation for the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine (NBAA) to participate in the crash investigation. Besides, because the engines were partly manufactured by the company Safran (along with General Electric), the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) was also invited; a spokesperson of the organisation confirmed its participation.
The CAO intends to download the data of the voice and flight recorders itself but did not rule out asking for technical assistance from Russia, Canada, France or Ukraine if needed. After the flight recorders were recovered from the crash site by the Iranian search and rescue services, the authorities announced they would not hand them to the United States. Both flight recorders were damaged by the crash and the ensuing fire, according to the CAO, which said that the memory should be accessible, but analysis could take a month.
SANDF press release received on Thursday
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirms that one of its aircraft deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission (MONUSCO) has been damaged after crash landing at Goma on Thursday afternoon, 10 January 2020. The C130 from the South African Air Force was on its way back to Goma after delivering logistic supplies at Beni when the incident happened. No persons were injured during the landing and a Board of Inquiry will be convened to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. More information will be released as detail becomes available.
WestJet Boeing 737 skids off runway in Halifax
Upon landing in Halifax, a Boeing 737-800 of the Canadian airline WestJet slid off the runway. The airport had experienced a snowstorm. No injuries were reported. The aircraft, registered C-FUJR, was carrying out flight WS248 from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ), Canada, on 5 January with 172 passengers and seven crew members on board. The flight crew requested assistance after landing as they were not sure of their position. The Boeing 737 was found past the threshold of runway 14/32, where it ended up on soft ground. Passengers were deplaned using mobile stairs and were taken on buses to the terminal. None of the occupants were injured. The aircraft appeared undamaged.
TM-1 Thunder Mustang down in California
On Saturday last week a plane identified by the FAA as a home-built TM-1 Thunder Mustang crashed in Los Angeles County, California, resulting in the fatal injury of the pilot. Along with the arrival of Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel, deputies located the small aircraft engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished and the sole occupant of the aircraft was pronounced deceased at the scene. The name of the pilot has been identified by friends as Wayne Richards. FAA records indicate that the plane was registered in his name. It was reported that Richards made an emergency call to air traffic controllers saying there was a problem with the aircraft and he intended to land. A witness who was cycling in the area said that the plane had flames coming out of the engine as the pilot attempted to land.
Wheel falls off Dash-8
On Friday 3 January passengers aboard an Air Canada Jazz flight from Montreal watched as one of the wheels fell off as it lifted off from Trudeau International Airport. At least one passenger caught the unusual event on his cellphone and it made for a good story on social media. The brief video shows fire in the hub of the inboard left main gear of the Dash-8-300 and as the aircraft leaves the runway the tyre and wheel assembly falls away to the runway a few dozen feet below. However, the flight was far from over. Instead of taking the hour-long flight to Saguenay, about 230 miles northeast of Montreal, the 49 passengers and three crew spent a couple of hours in a hold burning off fuel to lighten the plane for the unorthodox forthcoming landing. The arrival back in Montreal was uneventful and Jazz, Air Canada’s largest regional contractor, praised the crew but didn’t say why the wheel fell off.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Airbus to produce seven A320 per month in Mobile, Alabama by 2021
The productivity rate in its manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, US has improved to a level where seven Airbus A320 family aircraft will be built per month in the facility starting early-2021. Consequently, the facility will welcome a $40 million investment from the European company and create 275 additional jobs. Combined with the planned production rate increase of the former-CSeries aircraft, the A220, Airbus plans to roll out 130 jets per year for customers.
Lucky Air Airbus A320-200
A first-time flyer boarding Lucky Air flight took an extra step to ensure the flight goes well and smoothly. Unfortunately for the passenger, throwing coins at aircraft engine is not seen as a good way to ensure flight’s safety in aviation. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The passenger was ordered by a court to pay-up approximately $17,000 for the airline in compensation. In February 2019, a 28-year-old man was due to take a domestic flight in China onboard Lucky Air Airbus A320neo. To ensure some extra good luck, as the passenger explained later, he tossed some small coins at the aircraft engine. The coins were noticed by ground crew on the ground near one of the engines. Consequently, the flight was cancelled, passengers deplaned and the aircraft taken for inspection.
The 162 passengers from the (un)lucky flight 8L9960 were taken on replacement flights, some flew out only the following day. On another hand, the traveller who tossed the coins faced a longer hold-up: he was detained by the police for ten days, charged with disturbing public order and sued by Lucky Air for damages in a civil case. Initially, the budget carrier estimated that the incident cost it over $20,000 (140,000 yuan). In court, it was asking to compensate over $17,600 (123,000 yuan). The defendant, on the other hand, claimed that the airline should have warned passengers beforehand that throwing coins at aircraft engine is not allowed. The Yixiu District People’s Court in Anqing sided with the airline, ordering the superstitious passenger to pay over $17,000 (120,000 yuan) in damages for the airline.
Spirit Airlines inks 100 Airbus A320neo airplanes order
On 6 January Airbus confirmed that United States-based ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines finalised an order for 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The order could be worth as much as $10 billion (at list prices). This order includes a mix of Airbus A319neo, A320neo and A321neo aircraft, to be delivered by 2027. The deal was first announced as a memorandum of understanding in October 2019 and included an option for 50 more airplanes. Spirit Airlines is an all-Airbus operator. Its current fleet stands at 145 aircraft and is composed of 31 A319s, 64 A320s, 20 A320neos and 30 A321s at an average of 5.6 years. In 2016, the airline became the first US operator to take delivery of an A320neo.
NASA astronaut Christina Koch sets space endurance record
On 28 December 2019 according to NASA astronaut Christina Koch set a record for the longest continuous single spaceflight by a woman. On that date, Koch passed the record of former Station Commander Peggy Whitson, who spent 288 days in space. By the time she arrives back on Earth in February 2020, she will have spent 328 days in space. Earlier in the mission, Koch made history through her participation in the first all-female spacewalk. Koch graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. Her Astronaut Candidate Training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training, as well as water and wilderness survival training. She was assigned to her first space flight, a long duration mission on the International Space Station, in 2018.
C919 AC106 completes maiden flight
The C919 aircraft AC106 took off for its first flight from Shanghai Pudong International Airport on 27 December 2019 and after completing 30 test points during a flight of 2 hours and 5 minutes, the plane returned and landed at the same airport. All six C919 flight test aircraft have been placed in flight test status, whilst the programme has officially entered into intensive flight test phase with all aircraft carrying out flight tests in four locations.
At the same time, various verification tests of C919 aircraft have been rolled out. A breakthrough has been made in the independently developed normal control law and flight tests have been carried out for verification; the determination of critical icing based on the amendment of FAR25-121 is completed for the first time in China; it is the first time to complete the icing wind tunnel test of wing anti-ice system in China, which fills the gap of the simulated icing and ice protection tests in China. The last subject specified in the test programme of the test aircraft AC01 for whole aircraft static test was completed on 30 November 2019, which means that all the static tests undertaken by the test aircraft AC01 for C919 aircraft static test before certification have been completed. In addition, all production work of C919 aircraft is being carried out simultaneously, whilst the operation support system has been recognised by the authority. The manufacturing of the test aircraft AC02 for whole aircraft fatigue test has been completed, the production of the parts and components of the first delivered aircraft has commenced, and the system and structure orders are being issued.
US to accelerate electric airliner research
Bills have been introduced in the US House and Senate that would authorise $850 million for NASA over the next five years to promote development of technologies to reduce noise and emissions from airliners. The Cleaner, Quieter Airplanes Act would fund ‘ongoing work to develop and demonstrate new technologies, including systems architecture, components, or integration of systems and airframe structure’ with the goal of cutting both noise and greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 for regional aircraft and 2040 for aircraft seating more than 125 people. Although the mandate sounds broad, it is really a push toward electric technology for larger airframes but it will start with smaller platforms. The bill tells the FAA to get going on setting certification standards for the new technologies and to learn from ‘the certification and operation of small aircraft using electric propulsion in order to inform subsequent standards for larger aircraft.’ The bills want results, including test flights of a new design for an electric regional, by 2025.
First flight of restored FW 190
On 12 November 2019 a Focke-Wulf FW 190 belonging to the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio made its first flight, which was the culmination of a project that has been underway for several years. Charlie Hotel Aviation posted news about the flight to the Taildragger Pilots United Facebook page. According to the post, the plane was built around the nameplate of an FW190 F-8 which was shot down in 1944. It was manufactured by Arado company which was one of several companies building FW 190s during the war. This nameplate was salvaged together with other parts and shipped to the US in 2000. According to the post, rebuilding around a nameplate makes the airplane a genuine FW-190 and not a replica. The project was donated to the Tri-State Warbird Museum in 2007 and the restoration was led by Paul Redlich. Some modifications to the aircraft were necessary, as an original engine was not available. Installation of a Pratt & Whitney R-800-57M2 made a change to the upper cowling necessary.
Bell reveals the city of the future at CES 2020
Bell Textron has presented a vivid look into the future of the smart city ecosystem at CES 2020. The Bell Nexus air taxi and the Autonomous Pod Transport (APT), both ground-breaking technologies will coexist to move people, products and information across connected cities. In a world where nearly 70 percent of the population will be living in urban areas by 2050 and cities are outgrowing their current transportation systems, the need for urban mobility solutions has never been greater. Fortunately, the transportation industry has reached an inflection point and many of the world’s top minds are working toward solutions for the optimal smart city design. Bell remains at the forefront of this pursuit with a clear mission of finding solutions to the infrastructure challenges of tomorrow’s transportation networks.
Bell features its MaaS plans, which look beyond the aircraft and demonstrate how to integrate MaaS into communities, making on-demand air mobility available to everyone whenever they need it. Bell’s service is powered by Bell AerOS, a proprietary system running on Microsoft Azure created to manage fleet information, observe aircraft health and manage throughput of goods, products and predictive data and maintenance. This digital infrastructure is prevalent in Bell’s Smart City vision at the show and serves as another step in bringing connected mobility to the masses.
Bell showcases the evolution of the Bell Nexus: The Bell Nexus 4EX (Four for the number of ducted fans, E for Electric and X for experimental). The aircraft features Bell’s signature powered-lift concept with four tilting ducted fans that can be configured as hybrid-electric or all-electric. Bell believes this design unlocks the key for all electric technology, but the vehicle will remain propulsion agnostic depending on customer needs.
WORLD DRONES NEWS
French UAV air strike in Mali
For the first time France has conducted an air strike with one of its Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles in Mali, days after guided bombs were added to the aircraft. The French military said the strike took place after an operation during the night of 20/21 December that saw French troops neutralising 33 jihadists in the central Malian region of Mopti. The Reaper strike took place on 21 December during a follow-up operation, killing seven fighters. In addition, a Mirage 2000 was also used to support ground troops.
French Reapers carried out a firing campaign from Niamey air base in Niger between 15 and 17 December, with four evaluation drops carried out using GBU-12 laser-guided bombs. France operates three Reaper block 1 UAVs from Niamey and two more from Cognac. In December the French defence minister Florence Parly said: “The armed drones will considerably improve the security of our soldiers on the ground and will strengthen our means in the face of an increasingly fleeting enemy. The pressure on armed terrorist groups will only be greater”. France’s Reapers are first being armed with four GBU-12 laser-guided bombs, already fitted to the Mirage 2000s deployed in the Sahel and towards the end of 2020 with Hellfire air-to-ground missiles.
A judge was interviewing a woman regarding her pending divorce from her airline captain husband and asked, “What are the grounds for your divorce?
She replied, “About four acres and a nice little home in the middle of the property with a stream.”
“No,” the judge said, “I mean what is the foundation of this case?”
“It is made of concrete, brick and mortar,” she responded.
“I mean,” he continued, “What are your relations like?”
“I have an aunt and uncle living here in town and so do my husband’s parents.”
He said, “Do you have a real grudge?”
“No,” she replied, “We have a two-car carport and have never really needed one.”
“Please,” he tried again, “is there any infidelity in your marriage?”
“Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don’t necessarily like the music, but the answer to your questions is yes.”
“Ma’am, does your husband ever beat you up?”
“Yes,” she responded, “about twice a week he gets up earlier than I do.”
Finally, in frustration, the judge asked, “Lady, why do you want a divorce?”
“Oh, I don’t want a divorce,” she replied. “I’ve never wanted a divorce. My husband does. He said he can’t communicate with me!”
Weekly News from African Pilot
Should you miss out on any edition of APAnews, please visit the website: www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the APAnews link on the front page. All past weekly APAnews publications have been archived on the website.
Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)