“A socialist is somebody who doesn’t have anything and is ready to divide it up equally among everybody.”
George Bernard Shaw
African Pilot’s February 2020 edition
The February edition featuring aviation business based at Grand Central Airport as well as all currently manufactured Piston Powered Aircraft available in south Africa. This edition was completed last week and the printed magazine has been distributed nationally. The digital edition was mailed to all subscribers on Friday 24 January.
African Pilot’s March 2020 edition
The March edition will feature aviation business at Rand Airport as well as Business Jets available in southern Africa. The deadline for this edition is Friday 7 February 2020. Adrian has been distributing the February edition to the various Gauteng airports, whilst I have concentrated on Rand airport. I am pleased to report that we are receiving excellent comments on the overall quality and content of the February magazine. Thank you to our valuable advertisers who supported this edition. 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.
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Video of the week: Airbus Beluga the weirdest plane in the world:
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Transponder KTX2-F.V2 Mode-S Transponder
The new TQ-KTX2-F.V2 Mode-S transponder for standard 160 mm stacks is one of the most modern transponders on the market. Low weight, compact dimensions, featuring low power consumption, with a brilliant, transflective colour display suitable for direct sunlight. TQ, who took over the Dittel Avionik product line three years ago, is one of Germany’s largest electronic companies.
Future-proof compatibility with the ADS-B Out and intuitive operation result in an excellent price-to-performance ratio and the KTX2.V2’s exclusive loop-through antenna eliminates the need to install a second antenna for any ADS-B In hardware. An optional plug-and-play Adapter for Bendix-King KTxx connection, makes installation a breeze.
The TQ-KTX2-F.V2 Mode-S Transponder complies with Class 1 Level 2els
Approvals include EASA ETSO / FAA TSO, FCC
Weight: approx. 580 g
Dimensions: 158,4 x 41 x 155,8 mm
Coming soon: Aviation Radio KRT2-F Aviation radio KRT2-F 160mm
For more information, or to apply to become a TQ reseller / installer
contact PJ Aviation cc Cell: 083 265 0581
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Finalisation of SAA’s post commencement funding
The business rescue practitioners of South African Airways SOC (the Practitioners), supported by the Departments of Public Enterprises (DPE) and National Treasury (NT), have been successful in obtaining the balance of the post commencement funding (PCF) required to meet the short term liquidity requirements of the airline for the period until the business rescue plan (the Plan) is published and adopted. This Plan is required in terms of Section 150 of the Companies Act and is the responsibility of the Practitioners.
The advancement of the funds comes on the back of the business rescue process which began on 5 December 2019, with the local commercial banks providing the initial PCF of R2 billion in addition to the existing exposures to SAA. Discussions held with financial institutions have been fruitful with the Development Bank of Southern Africa offering to provide the next tranche of PCF, for a total amount of R3.5 billion, with an immediate draw-down of R2 billion. Furthermore, funding for the restructuring phase after the Plan is adopted is being considered by potential funders.
The restructuring of SAA will provide an opportunity to develop a sustainable, competitive and efficient airline with a strategic equity partner remaining the objective of government through this exercise and will result in the preservation of jobs wherever possible. SAA is a key strategic asset which needs to be positioned to provide reliable connectivity to markets within South Africa, the African continent as well as servicing selected international routes. Stakeholders of the airline should now have comfort that the rescue process is on a significantly sounder footing, and that passengers and travel agencies and airline partners may continue to book air travel on SAA with confidence.
Air Mauritius ‘Oscar’ Awards
On Thursday evening, I was privileged to be invited as one of only a handful of publications to attend the Air Mauritius travel agent awards dinner staged at the beautiful Houghton Hotel. This was certainly one of the most delightful awards ceremonies that I have ever attended with excellent speakers, beautiful décor and an amazing line up of trophies awarded. A full report with amazing pictures that I took will be published in the March 2020 edition of African Pilot.
SAAF Prestige Day at AFB Zwartkops
On Friday morning several media organisations were invited to attend the South African Air Force Prestige Day marking 25 years of democracy in the SAAF and 100 years as the second oldest Air Force in the world. The event was themed ‘Embracing Our Collective Heritage’ and since AFB Zwartkops is the oldest active air base in the world, this was particularly fitting. I was particularly impressed with Lt General Fabian Zimpande ‘Zakes’ Msimang’s speech, which certainly came from his heart. The flypast was incredible. From 21 helicopters, four Gripen and four Hawk fighters, turboprop transport planes, SAAF Museum planes including a Kudu and Bosbok, six Harvard Club T6s and the Presidential Boeing 737-700 flanked by Pilatus PC-7s of the Silver Falcons, this was a sight to behold.
At the luncheon, staged in Hangar 6, I thought the initiative of dressing the young children in flight overalls complete with epilates was touching and very special for everyone, especially when they sang our national anthem with enthusiasm. I would like to thank lovely SAAF lieutenant Tshiwela Ramaphala who escorted me to the top of the control tower where I was in an excellent position to capture some amazing overviews of the parade and the incredible fly-past. Thanks to the SAAF media relations team for making this a memorable occasion. A full report with pictures will be published within the March 2020 edition of African Pilot.
SAPFA PilotInsure sponsored Witbank Speed Rally
On Saturday I drove to Witbank to attend the South African Power Flying Association’s Speed Rally and the Grand Prix staged at the airfield. Congratulations to everyone involved from the Witbank Aeronautical Association, SAPFA officials, safety marshals, media persons present and of course the many race competitors who this a most successful aviation event. As Rob Jonkers said in his speech as the conclusion, there is no doubt that these events are becoming more competitive every year and the results certainly showed this. More about this SAPFA event in the March edition of African Pilot.
SAPFA Witbank Grand Prix race
In what was the second Grand Prix race in its second year, this event once again challenged the seven entrants to a photo finish at the end of the race. Staged as a figure of eight with a higher-level cross over above the airfield the handicapped race also had an Alouette 3 helicopter and a T6 Harvard as part of the line-up. What an incredible event that had the spectators on their feet at the finish when three aircraft completed the three circuits of the course almost simultaneously. The results and a selection of pictures will be published in the March 2020 edition of African Pilot.
What is scheduled for the next few months?
African Pilot’s 2020 calendar
Editor’s comment: African Pilot’s aviation calendar is the most accurate combined calendar available and I am happy for any other publication (printed or on-line) to simply copy and paste this aviation calendar FREE of charge.
4 and 5 March
Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition Addis Ababa 2020
Contact Tel +44 (0) 170 253 0000
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
4 to 8 March
IADE International Aerospace & Defence exhibition Tunisia
Website: www.expomediatunisia.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Brakpan Fun Rally at Brakpan Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
7 and 8 March
SAC KZN Regionals at Ladysmith Airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aero Club of South Africa 79th AGM
Time: 18h00 for 18h30 EAA Auditorium, Hurricane Road, Rand Airport, Germiston
SAPFA Speed Rally at Bethlehem Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082855 9435
The Airplane Factory breakfast fly-in at Tedderfield Airfield
Contact Shanelle McKechnie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 066 224 2128
21 and 22 March
FASHKOSH airshow at Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact: Anton Theart E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 079 873 4567
31 March – 5 April
FIDAE 2020 Arturo Merino Benitez Airport, Santiago, Chile
31 March – 5 April
Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo. Lakeland, Florida, USA
E-mail: Neil1@telkomsa.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
1 to 4 April
AERO Friedrichshafen, Germany Global show for General Aviation
Contact Stephan E-mail: Stephanie.email@example.com
2 to 4 April
SAPFA Rally Nationals and Fun Rally at Stellenbosch Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
3 to 5 April
Groblersdal Flying Club fly-in at Groblersdal Airfield
Contact Richard Nicholson E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 490 6227
Robertson annual fly-in breakfast
Contact Alwyn du Plessis E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 270 5888
Wings and Wheels Festival at Uitenhage Airfield
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 320 2615
Aero Club of South Africa Centenary Banquet venue TBA
Contact Marie Reddy E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 259 7691
Aero Club of South Africa Annual General Meeting EAA Auditorium Rand Airport
Contact Sandra Strydom E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 011 082 1100
Garden Route Airshow
Contact Brett Scheuble E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 084 418 3836
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.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Algerian Su-30 fighter jet crashes during night training
On the evening of 27 January an Algerian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jet crashed during a routine exercise, in the commune of Ain Zitoun, northeastern Algeria. The aircraft belonged to the 121st fighter squadron of the Algerian Air Force and was on a night training mission. Both the pilot and the navigator were killed. An investigation should be launched, the Acting Chief of Staff of the National People’s Army announced in a statement of the Ministry of National Defence (MDN). The crash rekindles the debate on the condition of the Algerian Air Force fleet. Between 2007 and 2017, 19 air accidents involving Algerian military aircraft, in Algeria or abroad, were recorded by the local defence media, Menadefense. 30% of all accidents were due to technical problems, while 40% were due to a human error.
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
Twin Tigers airshow pilot and passenger killed
On Saturday 25 January airshow pilot Mark Nowosielski and his passenger Nathan Sorenson died in the crash of the Mustang II homebuilt they were flying in Coweta County, Georgia. Nowosielski was part of the Twin Tigers team with Mark Sorenson, who is Nathan’s father. The two had flown from Florida where it was reported that Nowosielski had just purchased the Mustang II, a high performance two-place kit aircraft. The Twin Tigers flew Yak 55s in a variety of acts that earned Nowosielski the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship last year. He was a Southwest pilot as was Sorenson, who was the owner of the airshow team.
Caspian Airlines MD-83 skids off runway, ends up across highway
A Caspian Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-83 suffered a runway excursion at Bandar Mahshahr Airport (MRX), in Iran. The aircraft, with 135 passengers on board, ended its course in the middle of a highway. The Flight 6936 took off from Mehrabad International Airport (THR), Tehran, to Mahshahr Airport in the southwest of the country. According to IRNA news agency, on landing, the aircraft registered EP-CPZ, ran off the runway, skidded 90 meters beyond the threshold, through the airport perimeter before finally coming to a stop on a highway. Initial reports state that no one was injured in the incident and all passengers managed to safely deplane. Footage shows people being deplaned from the emergency doors by onlookers. Emergency services arrived shortly after. An investigation to determine the cause of the incident was opened. Currently, it is believed that one of the landing gears might have exploded upon landing.
US surveillance aircraft down in Afghanistan
According to the Taliban and an Afghan journalist, an airplane believed to be a US military electronic surveillance aircraft has gone down in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. USA Today reports that the US Army declined to comment on the claim made by the Taliban and journalist Tariq Ghazniwal. Video that is being widely viewed on the Internet reportedly supplied by Ghazniwal appear to show an aircraft with US military markings. There is no confirmed report as to the condition of the crew. Ghazniwal said the plane went down about 6.2 miles from a US military base. The area where the plane went down is entirely under the control of the Taliban.
US Central Command spokeswoman Army Maj. Beth Riordan acknowledged that the military is investigating reports of such an accident but would not comment further. The pictures appearing on social media suggest that the aircraft might be a Bombardier E-11 aircraft, which is used for electronic surveillance over Afghanistan. Those images show registration numbers on the plane that match the registration of US Air Force E-11A airplanes. One of the missions of the E-11A is to carry equipment that can be used to extend the range of radio signals and connect devices, such as a radio to a telephone.
Two fatally injured in California accident
A father and son were fatally injured Friday when the plane they were aboard went down in the area of Black Oak Golf Course in Auburn, California. According to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, three people were onboard the non-commercial aircraft when it went near the golf course. The two fatally injured have been identified as old Anthony Lawrence Wright and Anthony Lawrence Wright Jr. of Meadow Vista. Wright Jr. was a reserve officer and a full-time records officer with the Rancho Cordova Police Department. Deputies observed fuel leaking from the wreckage and immediately worked to extract the three people inside. One victim was found deceased at the scene and the second victim was life-flighted to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The third victim was taken to the hospital for moderate to major injuries. Television station KOLO reports that the aircraft was a Stinson Vultee V-77. Television station KCRA reports that the plane went down in a residential back yard near the Auburn Municipal Airport. Investigators with the NTSB and the FAA will be investigating all other details of the crash, including where the flight originated and what was the intended destination.
Pilot fatally injured in West Virginia accident
The pilot of an Aeropro CZ A220 was fatally injured Monday when the aircraft went down in a wooded area in Taylor County, West Virginia. The pilot has been identified by the West Virginia State Police as 67-year-old Dr Thomas Kaye of Haydenville, Massachusetts. NTSB investigator Adam Gerhardt said that the flight originated in Indiana and made a refuelling stop in north central West Virginia. The airplane went down in a wooded area. A post-impact fire ensued and consumed most of the aircraft. The debris field was described as ‘highly fragmented’ by an NTSB official.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Delta, American Airlines and Air Canada suspend flights to China
Delta and American Airlines decided to temporarily suspend all US to China due to ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus. Between now and 5 February Delta will continue to operate flights to ensure customers looking to exit China have options, the carrier said in a notice posted on its website. Presently Delta operates 42 weekly flights between the US and China, including daily service connecting Beijing and Detroit and Seattle, as well as Shanghai and Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle. American took a similar step on Friday. American suspended its operations to and from the Chinese mainland last week the airline said in a statement posted online. It is understood that Air Canada has also suspended all its flights to China with immediate effect.
Update on ICAO’s efforts in the international Coronavirus response
ICAO is continuing to assist in the coordination of the international response to the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak through the ICAO collaborative arrangement for the prevention and management of public health events in Civil Aviation, or ‘CAPSCA’ network of governments and international organizations. ICAO is also directly transmitting electronic bulletins on the Coronavirus to its member states and these are also made available for public view on the CAPSCA website.
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) now classifying the Coronavirus as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) and in light of the fact that civilian air transport is the most widely-used means of international travel, ICAO is strongly urging its member states to monitor the WHO website for updated information and to adhere to the recommendations and guidance provided by the WHO. ICAO is also calling on governments to comply with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) concerning the preparedness and management of public health emergencies. These were detailed in ICAO’s first Electronic Bulletin dated 24 January.
HAI closes successful HELI-EXPO 2020
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) concluded HAI HELI-EXPO 2020 in Anaheim and this year’s show was packed with business deals, new technology, as well as safety and professional training. The four-day event brought together thousands of attendees from around the globe, focusing their attention on every aspect of the rotorcraft industry. Spread across the breadth of the Anaheim Convention Center, attendees and exhibitors got close-up looks at the nearly 60 aircraft on the show floor, including such advanced aircraft as Airbus’s Vahana proof-of-concept testing vehicle. Also, NASA/JPL conducted a presentation on the Mars Helicopter before a packed room.
This year’s show covered 313,000 net square feet, with 657 exhibiting companies on the show floor. There were also 62 helicopters on display, ranging from small to large and from old aircraft to mock-ups of models approaching certification. Other display aircraft included several remotely piloted vehicles. Training was a very popular event at this year’s show, with attendees choosing from over 150 education courses, technical briefings, workshops, forums, meetings and seminars. Nearly 4,000 attendees participated in free Rotor Safety Challenge sessions that focused on improving safety in every aspect of the vertical lift industry. In addition, approximately 500 attendees participated in for-fee professional education courses, whilst more than 1,300 attended technical briefings provided by aircraft and engine manufacturers. Work is already under way for HAI HELI-EXPO 2021 in New Orleans, where we expect our attendees to have an extraordinary time. The show dates in 2021 are 22 to 25 March 2021.
Leonardo announces the acquisition of Kopter
Leonardo signed a contract with Lynwood (Schweiz) AG to acquire 100% of Kopter Group AG (Kopter). This move allows Leonardo to further strengthen its worldwide leadership and position in the rotorcraft sector; leveraging innovation, new capabilities and engineering skills which have been developed by the young, agile Swiss Company. Kopter’s SH09, a new single engine helicopter, is a perfect fit for Leonardo’s state of the art product range offering opportunities for future technological developments.
The Swiss company’s competencies will boost future developments towards more disruptive technologies, mission capabilities and performances, including innovative hybrid/electrical propulsion solutions. This acquisition will replace the planned investment aimed at the development of a new single engine helicopter. Within the Helicopter Division of Leonardo, Kopter will act as an autonomous legal entity and competence center working in coordination with the larger entity. The purchase price, on a cash and debt free basis, consists of a $185 million fixed component plus an earn-out mechanism linked to certain milestones over the life of the programme, starting from 2022. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions and is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2020.
Meanwhile, Kopter presented the final design features of its next generation single engine helicopter at a press briefing held on the eve of Heli-Expo 2020. The SH09 design now embeds all enhancements identified during the intensive flight test campaign undergone by the third prototype (P3) first in Mollis, Switzerland and then in Pozzallo, Italy. These optimisations include a new main rotor configuration and redesigned tail rotor, an enhanced design for the gear box, a new shape for the upper cowlings, modified landing skids, an optimised fuel system allowing to have a larger cabin and an additional seat, as well as a new aerodynamic package to enhance the riding quality and stability of the SH09.
Air France-KLM orders additional 10 A350 XWBs
The Air France-KLM Group has decided to place a firm order for 10 additional widebody A350-900s, which will take its total order for the type to 38 aircraft. By acquiring the industry’s most efficient and technologically advanced widebody aircraft, the airline will benefit from a significant reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions. The A350 XWBs are intended to be operated by Air France. Presently Air France-KLM operates a fleet of 159 Airbus aircraft.
Chile’s SKY Orders 10 A321XLRs
SKY, a Chilean-based ultra-low-cost carrier, has signed a Purchase Agreement with Airbus for 10 A321XLRs. The airline will expand its international route network with the new aircraft. The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo / A321neo Family, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload in a single-aisle aircraft. The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented narrow-body airliner range of up to 4,700nm, with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared with previous-generation competitor jets, allowing airlines to expand networks by making new longer routes economically viable.
Air Canada’s first A220-300 takes to the skies
The first A220-300 for Air Canada has successfully completed its inaugural test flight from the Mirabel A220 final assembly line in Canada. The first of 45 aircraft for Air Canada is scheduled to be delivered to the Montreal-based airline in the coming weeks. With its first A220 commercial flight in early 2020, Canada’s flag carrier will become the first airline in Canada to operate the Canadian-designed and built A220. It will also become the first carrier in North America to fly the A220-300 variant. Air Canada is planning to use the A220 on various domestic routes in Canada as well as to the United States. The A220’s unequalled performance and range capability will enable the airline to serve new markets, such as Montreal to Seattle and Toronto to San Jose, connecting the carrier’s main hubs to the West Coast, as of Spring 2020.
Gulfstream delivers 400th G650 aircraft
Entering service just five years ago, the G650ER quickly gained recognition for its ability to connect far-flung cities at the fastest speeds. The G650ER offers passengers both style and comfort with the signature Gulfstream Cabin Experience, featuring 100 percent fresh air, the lowest cabin altitude in business aviation, quiet sound levels and 16 of the industry’s largest windows. The G650 can fly up to 7,000 nautical miles at Mach 0.85 and 6,000 nm when flying faster at a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90. The G650ER can fly up to 7,500 nm at the same long-range cruise speed and 6,400 nm at Mach 0.90. Both aircraft are capable of a near-supersonic maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 and have a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 feet.
FAA issues emergency AD Boeing 777-300ER GE engines
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD), warning Boeing 777-300ER powered by GE engines of a potentially unsafe condition affecting the power plants. This is the second emergency AD, which follows an uncontained engine fire incident back in October 2019. The emergency AD, issued by the FAA on 17 January 2020, orders operators to have interstage seal removed from General Electric Company GE90-110B1 and GE90-115B model turbofan engines, listing 16 serial numbers. The AD comes in addition to a previous emergency AD, which listed eight engine serial numbers.
The requirement follows investigative findings into October 2019 event, during which a Boeing Model 777-300ER, powered by GE GE90-115B model turbofan engines, experienced an uncontained high-pressure turbine (HPT) failure. As a result, the aircraft suffered damage and had to abort a take-off. It is understood that the incident in question is Thai Airways Flight TG-970. On 20 October 2019, Thai Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER was due to operate a long-haul flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Zürich, Switzerland, with 359 people onboard. The widebody was accelerating for take-off from runway 01L when the left-hand engine (GE90) failed. The crew rejected the take-off and safely returned to the apron. None of the 339 passengers or 20 crew were injured during the incident. The aircraft, on the other hand, was damaged by debris from the failed engine, which impacted the aircraft fuselage and the other engine.
Thomas Cook: Condor taken over by LOT Polish airlines
The Polish airline LOT has demonstrated its ambition on joining Europe’s big aviation groups league by announcing its intention to acquire Condor, the former subsidiary of the bankrupt tour operator Thomas Cook. Following the collapse of its parent company in September 2019, the ailing German leisure airline managed to maintain its flights up until now thanks to a public loan. Polish Aviation Group (PGL), the owner of LOT Polish Airlines, announced the acquisition of Condor on 24 January 2020. “The acquisition of Condor fits perfectly into PGL’s strategy,” said Rafał Milczarski, President of the Management Board of the group, adding “we want to develop Condor’s iconic brand in Germany and also introduce it to other markets in Europe.” The financial details of the deal have not been made public by either company. Pending regulatory approval, the deal should be completed in April 2020.
Airbus super-transporter BelugaXL enters service
The smiling aircraft, registered F-GXLH, took off from Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse Blagnac Airport (TLS) to pay its first visit to Bremen Airport (BRE), the center for wing equipment for all Airbus widebody aircraft. Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the Airbus BelugaXL is a derivative of the A330-200 Freight. With 63 meters long and a fuselage diameter of eight meters, the BelugaXL has the largest cargo hold cross-section of all existing cargo planes in the world, recalls Airbus. This allows the aircraft to carry the full wing of an Airbus A350 XWB, compared to its predecessor the BelugaST, derived from the Airbus A300, which can only carry a half wing. With a maximum payload of 51 tonnes, the Airbus BelugaXL has a range of 4,000 km (2,200 nm).
The aircraft is the first of six aircraft to enter service alongside the BelugaST. Launched in November 2014, to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019, the BelugaXL obtained its type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November 2019, following an intensive flight test campaign during which the aircraft performed more than 200 flight tests, clocking more than 700 flight hours. Airbus chose to give its special transporter the unique appearance of a smiling Beluga whale, to honour the animal the plane is named after.
Embraer and Boeing study turboprop joint venture
Reuters reports that a top Embraer executive said that the discussions are in the ‘advanced stages but are subject to necessary regulatory approvals. Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO John Slattery said that the airplane would have a ‘natural adjacency’ to the E2 regional jets. ‘The business case is going well,’ he told the news service. Presently ATR dominates the turboprop airliner market, accounting for about four-fifths of sales in the segment. The De Havilland DHC-8, formerly Bombardier’s Q-400, is also in the space, whilst China is hoping to gain some market share with its Xian MA700. According to aviation analysts, turboprops are more efficient than jets over short distances, which can make a major difference in airlines’ bottom lines when fuel prices are high.
Nordic Aviation Capital finalises order for 20 A220 Family aircraft
This latest order from NAC, counted in the 2019 order-book, is a huge endorsement and affirms the strong market demand for the state of the art, fuel efficient A220 Family. “NAC’s order for the A220 shows this aircraft is just as relevant in the regional world as it is in the mainline one,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “We are delighted to work with NAC going forward, we thank them for their confidence and congratulate them on their new offices in Limerick.” Presently NAC is the largest lessor of regional aircraft in the world, managing and owning 500 aircraft on lease to 78 airline customers in over 50 countries. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market. The aircraft brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, along with significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint. By December 2019, the A220 had accumulated 600 orders and over 100 aircraft in service with seven operators worldwide.
Dassault and Thales to build the next French electronic spy plane
The French procurement and technology agency, Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) has awarded the Archange airborne strategic intelligence programme to Dassault Aviation and Thales. This programme will see three Dassault Falcon 8X being fitted with Thales electronic intelligence technologies. The contract was awarded on 30 December 2019, the DGA announced on 14 January 2020. Thales and Dassault Aviation are now tasked with equipping the future French Army strategic intelligence aircraft with ‘Universal Warfare Capacities’ (CUGE). The initial order covers the first two Dassault Falcon 8X aircraft. With the first plane expected for 2025, they should eventually replace the two Transall C-160G Gabriel aircraft currently operating in the French Air Force.
Cancellation of the 2022 FAI World Air Games and future overhaul of the event concept
Regretfully the FAI has announced that the 2022 FAI World Air Games, due to take place in Turkey, have been cancelled. The Turkish Aeronautical Association (THK), which had been awarded the organisation of the event, asked the FAI to postpone the Games until 2025, due to the current difficult economic situation in Turkey. Following this request, the FAI Executive Board, after consultation with the Air Sports Commission Presidents, took the decision to cancel the 2022 Games rather than postponing them. The Board further announced that the Federation will undertake an overall review of the FAI World Air Games concept and format before deciding on any future edition of the Games. FAI President Bob Henderson said: “This has not been an easy decision to make. However, it has been taken with all interests at heart and with a long-term and strategic view. The FAI World Air Games is the flagship event of the Federation and, as such, we must make sure that it be held in optimal conditions. The FAI will take this opportunity to discuss internally the future of the Games taking all FAI stakeholders’ best interests in consideration.
Hyundai partners with Uber to develop air taxis
The Hyundai Motor Company and Uber have announced a partnership to develop Uber Air Taxis for a future aerial ride share network and unveiled a new full-scale aircraft concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, America. In this partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the air vehicles, whilst Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation and customer interfaces through an aerial ride share network. Both parties are collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for this new class of vehicles. Hyundai is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, bringing automotive-scale manufacturing capability and a track record of mass-producing electric vehicles.
The air vehicle concept that Hyundai displayed at the CES was created in part through Uber’s open design process, a NASA-inspired approach that jump-starts innovation by publicly releasing vehicle design concepts so any company can use them to innovate their air taxi models and engineering technologies. In preparation for this announcement, Hyundai worked with Uber Elevate to develop a PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) model, S-A1, that uses innovative design processes to optimise electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for aerial ridesharing purposes. It is designed for a cruising speed up to 290 km/h, a cruising altitude of around 300 to 600 m above ground and to fly trips with a range of up to 100 km. The Hyundai vehicle will be 100% electric, using distributed electric propulsion. During peak hours it will require about five to seven minutes for recharging. The distributed electric propulsion system drives multiple rotors and propellers around the airframe. This enhances safety by decreasing any single point of failure. Having several, smaller rotors also reduces noise associated with large rotor helicopters with combustion engines, which is very important in cities. The S-A1 is designed to take off vertically, change to wing-borne lift in cruise, and then revert back to vertical flight to land. Initially the Hyundai vehicle will be piloted, but over time they will become autonomous. The four-passenger cabin will allow passengers to board and disembark easily and with enough space for a personal bag or backpack.
WORLD DRONES NEWS
Drones for real estate: What you need to know
The benefits of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) are substantial. Technology has moved forward rapidly, and what used to be considered toys are quickly becoming powerful commercial tools that can provide enormous benefits in terms of safety and efficiency. Today, drones are being used in almost every commercial industry. The real estate industry is leading the way, capitalising on ‘drone fever’ around the globe.
Drone technology allows real estate agents to take aerial photographs and videos of the property for sale as well as nearby amenities, offering valuable information to buyers. Drone technology allows real estate agencies to take aerial photographs and videos of the property as well as nearby amenities, offering valuable information to buyers. Drones can also be operated at a fraction of the cost and in areas that would simply be inaccessible to traditional manned aircraft. In the United States, for example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) anticipates that real estate and aerial photography will be one of the largest industries to capitalise on drone technology, accounting for 22% of total commercial drone use by 2020.
While the benefits of drones to the real estate industry are clear, individuals and companies flying drones need to understand the regulatory environment in which they are operating. While the specific details may vary by jurisdiction, below are a few key topics that realtors should consider.
Many Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) require commercial drone pilots to obtain some form of a pilot’s licence or certificate. The need or type of licence required may vary depending on factors such as the weight and capability of the drone being operated and the location or type of environment where the drone flight will take place.
Depending on the location and altitude at which the drone will be flown, there may be airspace restrictions or other requirements that apply.
Restrictions on flying over people and vehicle traffic
Many CAAs prohibit or limit the ability of drones to fly over people, as well as over moving vehicles. While this may not be an impediment to flights in rural and suburban areas, this restriction can make it difficult or impossible to fly in more densely populated urban environments where the flow of people and vehicles on the ground cannot be controlled by the operator.
Property rights and privacy issues
Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be a requirement to obtain permission from a property owner before flying over someone else’s property. In some jurisdictions there may be local laws relating to nuisance or privacy issues that could impact a drone operator’s ability to fly in some locations. Drones are incredibly helpful for real estate purposes. However, given these policy issues and others, you may want to consult with your local CAA prior to deploying drones in the real estate industry.
US Department of the Interior grounds Chinese-made drone fleet
US Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed Secretary’s order 3379 ordering the temporary cessation of non-emergency unmanned aircraft systems fleet operations. “Drones are important to critical Department of the Interior missions, such as combating wildfires and conducting life-saving search and rescue operations. However, we must ensure that the technology used for these operations is such that it will not compromise our national security interests,” said DOI spokesperson Carol Danko. “After an ongoing review of Interior’s drone programme, Secretary Bernhardt issued a Secretary’s Order, affirming the temporary cessation of non-emergency drones while we ensure that cybersecurity, technology and domestic production concerns are adequately addressed. Drone use for non-emergency operations will remain grounded while the Department of the Interior reviews the possibility of threats and ensures a secure, reliable and consistent drone policy that advances our mission while keeping America safe.
This action will ground the entire DOI drone programme, which relies on drones made with globally sourced components to create the federal government’s largest and most innovative civilian drone fleet. This decision makes clear that the US government’s concerns about DJI drones, which make up a small portion of the DOI fleet, have little to do with security and are instead part of a politically-motivated agenda to reduce market competition and support domestically produced drone technology, regardless of its merits,” the company said in the statement posted on its website. “DJI makes some of the industry’s most safe, secure and trusted drone platforms for commercial operators. The security of our products designed specifically for the DOI and other US government agencies have been independently tested and validated by US cybersecurity consultants, US federal agencies including the Department of Interior and the Department of Homeland Security, which proves this decision has nothing to do with security.
Leonardo’s M-40 target drone used to prove latest Mistral missiles
Leonardo has concluded a series of flights with its M-40 target drone as part of a trial campaign in Italy. The drones were simulating modern airborne threats, allowing for the realistic demonstration of MBDA’s latest surface-to-air Mistral missile. The M-40 is Leonardo’s latest entry in its Mirach target drone family and is able to mimic a variety of aircraft and missiles, including radar, infrared (IR) and visual threats. During the Mistral demonstration, the M-40 simulated enemy airborne platforms for the missile to target. Altogether 15 international delegations witnessed the trials, the center piece of which was the live firing of a Mistral missile at an M-40 drone. The missile intercepted the target, proving its capabilities and allowing MBDA to collect valuable data on the missile’s performance. In total, the M-40 drones carried out six flights between 28 October and 6 November 2019.
A fleet of M-40 drones is in-service with the Italian armed forces, with Leonardo operating the targets on behalf of the armed forces on a managed service basis, providing trained crew and all necessary support. Other nations, including some of those attending the trial, have registered interest in a similar service model and the M-40 is also available for purchase as a standalone product. Leonardo offers the M-40 alongside its Mirach 100/5 target drone, which has been used for over 20 years by a range of armed forces: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, UK, Algeria, Argentina and Israel have all used Mirach family drones to train. This experience, coupled with modern technology, has allowed Leonardo to develop the M-40, which delivers medium-to-high performance at a price comparable with competitors’ entry-level drones. It is inexpensive to fly and offers 60 minutes of endurance, making it a cost-effective option for a wide range of training and proving requirements. Meanwhile, the Company continues to offer the twin-engine Mirach 100/5 for occasions when customers need to simulate the highest-performance threat systems.
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