African Pilot’s aircraft of the week identification quiz
I was amazed at how soon after APAnews was published that my inbox was filled with so many correct answers. It appears that with more correct answers that ever before, this exercise is becoming rather popular, so I will keep it going and look for more difficult aircraft to identify in future.
Those persons that identified the aircraft correctly this week: Mark Cope, Richard du Plessis, Hendrik de Klerk, Erwin J. W. Stam, Selwyn Kimber, Miche Godart, David Plew-Chisholm, Gavin Brown, Hilton Carroll, Willie Oosthuizen, Sid Peimer, Hendrik de Klerk, Johan Prinsloo, Ari Levien, Robert Green, Shaun Dowling, P. Rossouw, Pete Pienaar, Johan Vorster, Ted Michel, Greg Pullin, Bernard Stander, Rennie Van Zyl, Marco De Matos, Gavin Phelps, Bryan B, Andre White, LG Arvidsson, Richard Collocott, Dawid Hanekom, Nigel Maistry, Mathew Adams, Herman Nel and Nic Manthopoulos.
African Pilot’s March 2021 edition
The March edition featuring Turboprop aircraft, turboprop engines and propellers is complete and will be distributed today. This feature also includes information about the many aftermarket enhancements available for turboprop aircraft types. As you will notice with ALL editions of African Pilot, we publish important aviation news, historical aviation features as well as news from the Experimental and Space sectors. There is no other African Aviation or International Aviation publication that provides as much information together with superb pictures to its audience.
African Pilot’s April 2021 edition
The April edition will feature Business Jets, FBOs and Jet engines worldwide. We will also feature those companies involved in the Charter and Maintenance of Business Jets not just in southern Africa, but throughout the world. In the past, advertisers have reported excellent reaction resulting in sales due to the African Pilot aircraft features, since the magazine provides genuine information, not just cover to cover advertising with little editorial content. We are offering all Business Jet and Jet Engine sales representatives the advertising opportunities to accompany this specific feature.
African Pilot Digital Calendars
Wallpaper calendar for the months of February and March
Since we are not printing the paper magazine any longer, African Pilot is making digital calendars available to all its readers. We will be releasing a new one each month to download, print or use as your computer’s background wallpaper. Go to our website to download the calendars in three different resolutions.
GPS units for sale – contact Athol Franz
Cell: 082 552 2940 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall aviation media reach in Africa.
We are positioned 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.
The monthly magazine is available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers 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 or tap on any smart phone device.
Then of course this APAnews service has been part of African Pilot’s line-up since the inception of the magazine 20 years ago.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
African Pilot’s shop window
Over the past few weeks, I have received several e-mails asking for my assistance to place aviation friends in contact with service providers or to supply important information to assist them with answers within aviation. Understandably, I am not an expert in many aviation subjects, but via African Pilot’s considerable media reach including APAnews, I can assist to provide people with answers as who to contact for the respective inquiries. Please note that this is yet another FREE service to anyone in aviation and all you need to do is contact me via e-mail: email@example.com.
View and download African Pilot’s last three (3) 2020 editions.
Click on the covers below.
Wouter Botes’ e-book ‘Flights to Nowhere’
Wouter Botes’ E-book on Flight to Nowhere is available by visiting www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the button provided on the home page. We have provided an option for payment of R60 per download on the page.
AERO South Africa news
Early bird rates available for the ONLY dedicated General Aviation show in South Africa
AERO South Africa is the perfect platform to showcase your products and services and build profitable relationships whilst engaging with over 4000 visitors across the general aviation industry. Exhibitors to the show will also benefit from FREE landing, approach and ground handling fees, making AERO South Africa the most cost-effective opportunity to reach a niche target audience of general aviation enthusiasts and businesses.
Book your space at the premier General Aviation Business-2-Business event and benefit from a discounted rate, contact:
Marlene Bosch: Marlene.firstname.lastname@example.org or 084 622 3931
Annelie Reynolds: Annelie.email@example.com or 083 308 1251
Aero Club member support initiative
Aero Club coffee table Centenary Yearbook
The AeCSA Centenary Yearbook is now available to purchase from the online shop. Please visit www.aeroclub.org.za/shop.
EAA Chapter 322 news
Drive-in night Jack Taylor Krugersdorp – postponed
Please remember that, due to lockdown restrictions at the time, a decision was made to postpone the Drive-in night at Krugersdorp this Saturday night (27th February 2020). Instead, we will be holding a fly-in and drive-in night on Saturday 27 March at Krugersdorp airfield. Diarise this event.
Consolidated regulations and consolidated directions are found at this link and in the Aviation4SA App: https://www.aviation4sa.co.za/features/aviation-legislation/
ACSA ‘in much better place’ as it makes progress towards securing financial sustainability
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has strengthened its financial position and secured funding to bolster its liquidity and sustain its business through to the 2023/24 financial year. CEO Mpumi Mpofu says that the company’s estimate of three-year funding support that may be required has fallen from mid-2020 estimates of up to R4-billion to about R600-million only in the 2023/24 financial year. “We are in a much better place than we were in mid-2020. While there is still a great deal of uncertainty about a recovery in air travel, we have successfully implemented most of the commitments we made in response to the impact of Covid-19 and are on track with further measures,” said Mpofu.
The core of these commitments is a reduction in annual operating expenditure of R1,2-billion and the deferment of infrastructure projects of some R14,5-billion. Capital expenditure up to 2024 is capped at R1-billion a year for maintenance and refurbishment that is required to keep airports operating safely and efficiently. CFO Siphamandla Mthethwa says capital expenditure projects that are based on assumptions about growth in flights and passenger numbers have been postponed. ACSA’s expenditure levels post-COVID will be 40% lower than pre-COVID budgets.
The funding position has been bolstered by the sale of the company’s 10% interest in Mumbai International Airport for a net R1,27-billion after tax, while an offer is being considered for ACSA’s interest in Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo, Brazil. The company has commenced a process for the potential monetisation of some of its R7,7-billion investment property portfolio.
ACSA has also issued R2,3-billion in preference shares. The preference shares have been taken up by national government in terms of an allocation made in the Second Adjustments Appropriation Act of 2020. Government holds a direct stake of 74,6% in ACSA. The company’s other major shareholder is the Public Investment Corporation with a stake of 20%. It is currently considering taking up preference shares. Minority shareholders also have the option to take up preference shares. Mthethwa says a key benefit of the preference shares instrument is that it is long dated which provides the company the ability to roll-up dividends. This allows the business sufficient space to recover while also guaranteeing shareholders a return on their investment.
Further funding initiatives for FY20/21 included securing R3-billion in short-term banking facilities and a loan of R810-million from the Development Bank of Southern Africa. The company also received a waiver of financial covenants until June 2022 from major lender Agence Française de Développement (AFD). ACSA expects its debt, including preference shares and funding initiatives for FY20/21, to peak at R9-billion before reducing to R8-billion by 2023/24. Excluding preference shares, ACSA’s debt is expected to decline to R5-billion over the same period. Over the six years before Covid-19 the company had reduced its debt from R17-billion to R6-billion.
The impact of COVID-19 on ACSA revenue and profit has been profound, says Mthethwa. Revenue in the first half of the 2020/21 financial year was R685-million compared to R3,5-billion for the same period in the 2019/20 financial year. First half profit in 2019/20 was R125-million with the pandemic fallout leading to a loss of R1,47-billion in the first half of 2020/21.
The number of departing passengers in 2020 fell by 65,8% compared to 2019, from 21,6 million to 7,4-million passengers. The decline in domestic departing passengers was 61,9% with international departing passengers falling by 74,6%. In 2020, seats made available by airlines for destinations within South Africa and between the country and international destinations were 41% of the previous year’s levels. So far in 2021, seats published are at 74% of 2019 levels.
The optimistic recovery scenario prepared by Airports Council International has global traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 and 2025 on a more pessimistic estimate. Mthethwa says the company is closely monitoring drivers of airport traffic specific to COVID-19. These including travel restrictions, consumer health concerns, the sustainability of virtual business practices, passenger experience of airports and airlines, ticket prices, consumer spending and the global rollout of vaccination programmes. He says the company’s strategic focus up to 2025 is to extend and defend core businesses and to explore emerging businesses. “Our vision remains to be the most sought-after partner in the world for the provision of sustainable airport management solutions by 2030. In spite of the tight focus on immediate priorities, we have in place a strategy that will take us through the recovery and into renewed growth over the next nine years,” said Mthethwa.
What is scheduled for this weekend?
Air Navigation Rally at Wonderboom National Airport
We are going to livestream the event and we have a live commentator who will be doing live interviews of participants and the crowd on the ground. It’s a bit of a challenge but we do it all in the love of aviation.
My Aviation Life – Community co-ordinator
RwandAir to be the first African airline to trial IATA travel pass
The airline will begin a three-week trial in April for customers travelling between Kigali and Nairobi in Kenya. The IATA Travel Pass is a digital platform to help passengers easily and securely verify that they comply with COVID-19 test or vaccine travel requirements, in turn giving governments the confidence to reopen borders. Developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, the platform is designed to be incorporated into airlines’ own apps, so travellers by air easily understand what they need before they fly. The trial app has a range of features, including a registry of testing centres and labs at the departure and / or arrival location which can conduct COVID-19 tests in accordance with the type of test required for the journey. RwandAir customers participating in the trial will create a ‘digital passport’ which verifies that their pre-travel COVID-19 test or vaccination meets the requirements of the destination they are travelling to. They will also be able to safely and securely share their test and vaccination certificates with participating authorities and airlines around the world to ensure smooth and seamless travel.
LAM 737-700 involved in Mozambique landing excursion
Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM) Boeing 737-700s has suffered a runway excursion during landing at Quelimane airport. LAM says the aircraft was operating the domestic flight TM1134 from Maputo on 26 February. The aircraft involved (C9-BAR) came to rest on rough grassy ground after arriving from the capital at about 14h00. Quelimane has a single runway, designated 18/36, around 1,800m in length.
LAM says the aircraft ‘ended up sliding, ending up at the end of the runway’. Images from the scene indicate passengers were disembarked using airstairs and the airline says there were no casualties.
Meteorological data for the airport at the time of the incident indicates good visibility, with no significant adverse weather, although it suggests crosswinds from the west and the presence of cumulonimbus cloud in the vicinity. Cirium fleets data lists LAM as having two 737-700s in a fleet which also includes a pair of Embraer 190s. The aircraft involved in the incident, originally delivered to Aloha Airlines in 2004, was leased by LAM in 2019.
Spatial disorientation fatal for three
On 1 March 2019, a Cessna 182S was destroyed when it hit terrain after take-off from Triangle North Executive Airport (KLHZ), in Louisburg, North Carolina. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed. The pilot obtained his IFR clearance by telephone before departure. The clearance instructed him to depart from Runway 23, fly a heading of 180° and climb to an altitude of 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl).
After take-off, a radar target identified as his Cessna 182 was acquired over the runway at 425 feet msl (about 60 feet above ground level) and 91 knots groundspeed. The plane maintained the approximate runway heading when it entered a right turn while at 1,225 feet msl (about 860 feet agl) and 99 knots groundspeed. About a minute after take-off, the Cessna 182 reached the top of its climb at 1,300 feet msl (about 930 feet agl) while in the turn. Afterward, it entered a descending right turn while its groundspeed began to accelerate. The last radar target showed the airplane at an altitude of 625 feet (about 260 feet agl) and a groundspeed of 145 knots, in the vicinity of the accident site. Interpolation of the radar data toward the bottom of the descent revealed a descent rate of about 6,000 feet per minute.
Two airport employees witnessed the take-off and reported they heard the airplane’s engine ‘power up,’ which surprised them because they had not noticed the airplane taxi past them or heard the pilot perform an engine run-up. The airplane’s lights were not clearly visible in the fog and had a ‘halo’ appearance. The witnesses also reported that the airplane accelerated and that the sound of the engine was smooth and continuous throughout the take-off roll and the take-off. The witnesses lost sight of the airplane when it was about 200 to 300 feet above the runway, which was about the same time that the airplane entered the clouds. One of the airport employees described the weather conditions as “foggy in moderate rain.” The other airport employee indicated that there were “low clouds and a lot of rain” and that he wondered “who would want to fly in this weather?”
Several witnesses who lived near the airport stated that they heard the airplane just after it took-off flying ‘low overhead’ and that the engine ‘went in full throttle’ when the sounds of impact were heard. One witness stated that ‘it was raining so hard’ at the time of the accident that it disabled his satellite television signal.
About an hour before departure, the pilot obtained an on-line weather briefing from ForeFlight that included terminal area forecasts for low IFR conditions, AIRMETs for low-level wind shear and a pilot report for severe turbulence along the airplane’s proposed route of flight. According to ForeFlight officials, the pilot did not view any weather imagery before the flight or obtain any updates or additional weather information before or during the flight.
A commercial pilot and flight instructor who flew with the pilot recreationally and in the Coast Guard Auxiliary stated that he was ‘proficient’ but was a ‘heavy user’ of the autopilot and that he would routinely depart, set up the autopilot and then contact air traffic control. When asked about the pilot’s mission planning and operational risk management assessments for flights with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the flight instructor stated that he was ‘proficient’ in those skills. When asked how those skills transferred to the pilot’s personal flying habits, the flight instructor stated that he ‘abandoned’ those practices when he flew for personal business or pleasure.
The aircraft broker who sold the airplane to the pilot in December 2012 was also based at KLHZ. The broker stated that he had watched the pilot depart in the airplane under visual flight rules (VFR) into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) on numerous occasions before he acquired an instrument rating. The broker also stated that, after he acquired his instrument rating, the Cessna 182 pilot departed in conditions that the broker considered challenging for a small single-engine airplane. The broker added that he had cautioned the pilot ‘numerous’ times about flying VFR into IMC and about overall risk management and risk decisions when flying into IMC, when measured against the equipment one operated, but that ‘there was no getting through to him.’
The airplane came to rest partially submerged on the southwest side of a creek about 1.5 miles beyond the departure end of the runway. Several pieces of angularly cut wood were found below damaged treetops on the northeast bank of the creek. The wreckage was destroyed by impact forces and displayed no evidence of pre- or postimpact fire. All major components were accounted for at the scene except for most of the right-wing structure, including the right flap and flap actuator. Those parts were later recovered when the creek water receded.
COVID-19 claims long-time aviation journalist
Mike Collins (59), a veteran aviation journalist, died 25 February 2021, after a weeks’ long battle with COVID-19. He was just 59 years old. Mike joined the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association as managing editor of AOPA Pilot magazine in 1994 and quickly became an integral player on the media team, according to AOPA officials. Over the years, he has led the magazine production process for AOPA Pilot and Flight Training magazines, shepherded the growth of AOPA ePilot and other e-mail newsletters, developed the association’s digital magazine strategy and wrote hundreds of magazine feature stories and news articles. He most recently held the role of Technical Editor and Director of Business Operations. Mike’s first love was photography. He learned darkroom skills on his own in junior high school and went on to earn a photojournalism degree from Western Kentucky University. From there he worked at various newspapers as a photographer, photo editor and editor.
Twenty-year forecast by Boeing sets demand for 4,400 new airplanes valued at $700 billion
According to Boeing’s 2020 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the intra-Southeast Asian market will become the fifth largest in the world by 2039 and the vast domestic and regional air-travel network across the region positions it well for a post-pandemic recovery. With low-cost carriers providing affordable service and added capacity, the CMO projects passenger traffic growth in Southeast Asia to grow by 5.7% annually throughout the forecast period. Through the period, Southeast Asia will become the second largest aviation market in the Asia-Pacific region after China.
Boeing projects the region’s commercial airplane fleet will grow 5.3% annually over the next 20 years. In addition, demand for aftermarket commercial services, valued at $790 billion will help maintain the fleet over the same period. While near-term airplane deliveries are impacted as a result of the pandemic’s effects, Boeing estimates operators will need more than 3,500 new single-aisle airplanes in the region by 2039. Single-aisle airplanes like the 737 family will continue to drive capacity growth in Southeast Asia, where low-cost-carriers have the highest market penetration globally.
Twin-aisle airplanes such as the 777X and 787 Dreamliner will remain foundational to Southeast Asia’s air travel industry. Over the next 20 years, nearly one in four twin-aisle airplanes delivered to the broader Asia-Pacific region will go to a carrier operating in Southeast Asia. Overall, Boeing forecasts regional demand for 760 new widebodies by 2039, enabling efficient replacement and versatile network growth for Southeast Asia’s airlines. While long-haul market recovery is expected to take longer, Southeast Asia’s twin-aisle fleet is slated to grow by 55% – to 780 widebodies – by 2039.
The region’s commercial aviation services growth remains promising in the long term. Southeast Asia commercial services are valued at $790 billion over the next 20 years, a slight increase from last year’s projection, driven largely by growth in freighter conversions and digital solutions and analytics. The region is expected to require 183,000 more commercial pilots, cabin crew members and aviation technicians over the forecast period.
Globally, Boeing projects the need for 43,110 new commercial airplanes and the demand for aftermarket services to be equivalent to $9 trillion over the next two decades. World air cargo traffic is projected to grow 4% annually due to solid industrial production and world trade. Freighters will remain the backbone of the cargo industry with the need for 930 new and 1,500 converted freighters during the same time span.
China still worried about the Boeing 737 Max
On Monday, when asked if it was considering following others in allowing the plane to fly again, the deputy head of the country’s aviation regulator said China still has big safety concerns about Boeing’s 737 Max. Once issues have been fully dealt with, China will conduct a final review of the aircraft, Dong Zhiyi said at a briefing in Beijing. Authorities have been in ‘full communication’ with Boeing and the US’s Federal Aviation Administration, he said.
China, a crucial market for Boeing and the Max, was the first country to impose a ban on the aircraft after a crash in Ethiopia in March 2019 that killed 157 people. The previous October a Max jet operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea, claiming 189 lives. Both disasters were partly blamed on software that pushed the planes into nosedives. Other nations followed China’s lead on the flight ban, resulting in the Max being grounded globally for about 20 months. Several countries have certified it to fly again in recent months and it is back in service in places including the US, Europe and Brazil. Australia lifted its ban on the plane last week, as did Saudi Arabia on Monday, state media reported.
A spokesperson for Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. Boeing’s China orders largely dried up in the past four years amid heightened tension between Washington and Beijing around trade and other areas, as well as concern over the Max, which was a bestseller. “I do believe that when a constructive relationship is begun, then things will quiet down and the Chinese will want to get airplanes,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said in December, the same month the Max returned to commercial service in the US for the first time since the grounding.
China has three main criteria that need to be met before allowing the Max to fly again: changes in design aimed at fixing the plane’s problems need to be approved by China, pilots need to be retrained to fly the jetliners following those changes and the conclusions from the Ethiopian and Indonesian crash reports need to be clear. The nation’s main carriers, Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are all Max customers, with about 10 other Chinese airlines. The US manufacturer said in its latest outlook on the Chinese market, Boeing said the country will continue to be the main driver of the aviation industries worldwide growth over the next 20 years. China’s airlines are likely to buy 8,600 new airplanes worth $1.4 trillion during the period.
The coalition for the energy of the future
Launched in late 2019, the Coalition for the Energy of the Future aims at accelerating the development of future energies and technologies to sustain new green mobility models and reduce the impact of transport and logistics on climate change seven projects have already been developed with the first milestones to be reached as early as 2021. “Airbus has a leading role to play in the ambition for sustainable aviation,” says Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Engineering, Airbus. “We are convinced of the benefits that joint initiatives can bring in finding innovative solutions to reduce the C02 emissions of our industry, because we know this challenge requires a collective effort. We believe this coalition will foster the development of creative projects with effective results that will pioneer new mobility models across the sector.”
According to Matthieu de Tugny, President of Bureau Veritas Marine and Offshore, “Innovative projects and joint development programmes will be certainly vital to make sure we are ready for the future. The different stakeholders and experience of this coalition certainly brings real power across the shipping sector & supply chains to develop the innovative solutions we need. It is a collective approach and all our efforts definitely need to be connected to sustain new green transportation models.”
Mr TAN Chong Meng CEO, PSA International, declares: “PSA is proud to be a part of the coalition, which is in line with our mission to enable greener logistics choices for all by working with like-minded partners. We are excited to support the development of future energies and technologies and to do our part to collectively create a more sustainable future for transport and trade.”
With these additional members, the coalition continues to rally major industry leaders from different sectors and pursues its ambition to accelerate the development of energies and technologies sustaining new, lower-carbon models to reach carbon-neutral objectives in transport and logistics. To achieve genuine technological breakthroughs with tangible results by 2030, the Coalition’s three main goals are:
- To unlock a more extensive portfolio of clean energy sources
- To decrease the energy consumption per kilometre-equivalent of goods mobility
- Reduce the proportion of emissions linked to transport and logistics.
Hartzell STC’s Voyager Propeller for Cessna 180/182/185/206
Hartzell has expanded the eligibility of its popular three-blade aluminium Voyager props. The Voyager is now STC approved for the large fleet of Cessna 180/182/185/206 aircraft, powered by Continental 520 and 550 engines. The Voyager, which has reportedly been well received by bush pilots, was previously approved for Cessna’s A185E/F Skywagon and AgCarryall aircraft.
“Inspired by enthusiastic customer acceptance since we introduced the Voyager in 2019, we decided to make it available to a much broader fleet,” said Hartzell Propeller President JJ Frigge “We are also excited to partner with the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) to offer its members a $1,000 discount off the regular price from now until the end of 2022.”
The custom-designed Voyager propeller provides premium performance with up to seven knots faster cruise speed, 10 percent better take-off acceleration, an exceptional climb rate and quieter flight. It features swept aluminium blades designed for optimal performance. Cessna backcountry adventurers are encouraged to contact Hartzell Propeller or one of its Recommended Service Facilities to order the Voyager. Following STC approval, Hartzell expects to deliver more than 50 additional Voyager propellers by the end of the year. The Voyager propeller has a 2,400-hour, six-year TBO and the longest propeller warranty in the business through first overhaul.
Rostec received approval for serial production of PD-14 engines for MS-21 airliner
The certificate of production organisation approval provides the right for serial production of PD-14 aircraft propulsion engines and their supply to customers for installation on MS-21 airliner. The document, granted by the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya), was issued to UEC-Perm Engines (United Engine Corporation, part of Rostec). The certification process was organized in two stages. At the first stage, a commission of Rosaviatsiya and Aviation Register representatives analysed the quality management system (QMS) for compliance with the requirements of the Federal Aviation regulations. At the second stage, experts evaluated the technological processes of manufacturing, assembling and testing aircraft engines. The production certification process also included qualification testing of one of the new PD-14 engines, which confirmed the compliance of its technical characteristics with the design documentation.
PD-14 is the first turbofan engine created in the modern Russian Federation. Its design was built upon time-tested design solutions using modern technologies and domestic materials. The operating costs of PD-14 are anticipated to be 14-17% lower than that of similar existing engines and lifecycle cost will be 15-20% lower.
Israel launches COVID-19 tracking bracelet for travellers
On Monday Israel launched a new scheme for travellers coming to the country at a time when the coronavirus disease is on a resurgence across the world. The authorities are giving them bracelets which will exempt them from being sent to a quarantine hotel. Israel obliges everyone arriving from overseas, apart from those who have already had the COVID-19 illness or received vaccines against it, to undergo a two-week quarantine in a hotel paid for by the state.
Everything you need to know about the scheme:
- The pilot programme began on Monday with 100 tracking systems given to incoming travellers at Ben Gurion Airport. The bracelet will notify authorities if the travellers violate a mandatory isolation period.
- The system includes an electronic bracelet, a smartphone and a wall-mounted tracker.
- The slim and lightweight bracelet is waterproof.
- The system alerts the authorities if someone removes the bracelet or ventures too far from the home monitor.
- The bracelet has been manufactured by SuperCom, which said in a statement that there is a potential for the pilot to quickly expand into a project consisting of thousands of units for more wide scale use to assist in quarantine compliance in Israel. The company’s CEO Ordan Trabelsi told Jerusalem Post that they have named it ‘Freedom Bracelet’.
- The pilot project was launched on a day when Israel’s top court ruled that the government must curb its use of the domestic spy agency to track coronavirus infections. It said that ‘draconian’ surveillance constituted a blow to democracy.
- The Israeli government began using the Shin Bet’s surveillance technologies in March 2020, when COVID-19 infections began to spike.
Kitty Hawk, Falck partner on emergency response eVTOL
All-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Kitty Hawk and international health care company Falck have announced that they will be collaborating on adapting Kitty Hawk’s Heaviside eVTOL for emergency response operations. According to the companies, the partnership’s priority will be developing a framework for integrating Heaviside into emergency services. Falck intends to introduce the Heaviside emergency response model in Denmark, where the company is based, before bringing it to the US.
“The agreement with Kitty Hawk takes us to the next level in our commitment to integrate eVTOL aircraft into our ambulance operations,” said Falck CEO Jakob Riis. “Kitty Hawk brings the technology, while we at Falck contribute with our ambulance service area as a use case. This combination gives us the best conditions to investigate how we can jointly unleash the potential of new technology and develop the ambulance-borne health solutions which are likely to set the standard in the near future.”
California-based Kitty Hawk reports that the Heaviside eVTOL has demonstrated a range of 100 miles, speed of 180 MPH and noise level of 35 dBA at 1,500 feet AGL. Kitty Hawk has currently built 13 Heaviside prototypes which have completed more than 700 test flights to date. Following its introduction in 2019, the eVTOL was selected as a finalist for the Robert J. Collier Trophy.
FAA selects five host airports to test-evaluate UAV detection and mitigation
The FAA has selected five host airports to evaluate technologies and systems that could detect and mitigate potential safety risks posed by unmanned aircraft. The effort is part of the agency’s Airport Unmanned Aircraft Systems Detection and Mitigation Research Programme. These airports meet FAA requirements for diverse testing environments and represent airport operating conditions found across the United States. The research will lead to the implementation of new technologies that will make airports safer for passengers and manned aircraft. Researchers plan to test and evaluate at least 10 technologies or systems at these airports. Testing will begin later this year and continue through 2023. It will create standards for future unmanned aircraft detection and mitigation technologies at airports around the country.
The FAA selected the following airports:
- Atlantic City International Airport in Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Syracuse Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York
- Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio
- Huntsville International Airport in Huntsville, Alabama
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle, Washington
The FAA Reauthorisation Act of 2018 requires the agency to ensure that technologies used to detect or mitigate potential risks posed by unmanned aircraft do not interfere with safe airport operations. The FAA does not support the use of counter-UAS systems by any entities other than federal departments with explicit statutory authority to use this technology, including requirements for extensive coordination with the FAA to ensure safety risks are mitigated.
DJI’s FPV drone promises extensive capabilities
DJI has launched a new type of drone, an FPV drone that combines the first-person view and performance of racing drones, the camera capabilities of traditional drones and an optional innovative single-handed motion controller that allows pilots to control the drone with just hand movements. The DJI FPV ecosystem includes the drone, goggles, a dedicated remote controller and a new intuitive motion controller option that steers the drone based on the movement of your hand. The drone features high-performance motors for incredible speeds, an intuitive user interface and the latest safety features for greater control. The new FPV system lets pilots see from the drone’s perspective in low-latency high definition thanks to O3, the third iteration of DJI’s OcuSync technology. It can capture smooth and stable 4K video at 60 fps with the assistance of RockSteady electronic image stabilisation.
DJI FPV’s safety features include a new Emergency Brake and Hover feature to help make flying safer and less intimidating for new users, as well as DJI’s suite of industry-leading safety solutions, including GPS-based geofencing to advise pilots of airspace restrictions and potential hazards and an ADS-B receiver system to warn pilots when other manned aircraft are nearby.
DJI FPV is reportedly the first integrated FPV drone that allows pilots from beginners to professionals to choose from multiple flight modes to match their skill level:
- Normal (N) Mode: During N mode operation, DJI FPV operates like other DJI drones, hovering in place with the use of GPS and/or visual positioning systems (VPS) on the bottom of the drone. The most approachable flight mode, N mode allows for obstacle detection sensors on the front to be activated to warn when obstacles are near and slow down. Pilots are tasked with manoeuvring the drone away from any detected obstacles.
- Manual (M) Mode: Take full control over the drone with M mode which is designed for more experienced users. While in M mode, all sensors and hovering features are disabled.
- Sport (S) Mode: A new hybrid blend of M and N mode, S mode offers some of the dynamic movement capabilities that come with M mode along with some of the key safety features of N mode. S mode is the middle step between the three modes and developed to give pilots more room to explore their skills as they get accustomed to FPV flight.
While in the air, pilots can also use a suite of safety features that make flying not only a memorable experience, but a safe one as well. A dedicated Emergency Brake and Hover feature is available in all flying modes to make the drone stop and hover in place at any time during flight. Obstacle detection sensors can be activated while operating in N mode, which will alert pilots of any detected obstacles and automatically slow down the aircraft. Visual Positioning Sensors (VPS), along with an auxiliary light on the bottom of the aircraft are also available to assist in smooth take-offs and landings. Failsafe Return to Home is another important feature that will bring the drone back to its home point automatically with a press of a button or if transmission signal is lost. The ADS-B receiver system provides audio and visual notifications to the pilot via the FPV Goggles when traditional aircraft such as airplanes or helicopters equipped with ADS-B transmitters are in the vicinity.
DJI FPV pilots can see a clear, long-range, low-latency feed from the DJI FPV aircraft while wearing the DJI FPV Goggles V2. New motors bring a max speed of 87 mph and a max acceleration of 0-62 mph in just two seconds. O3 transmission is the next step in FPV transmission technology. It offers a 10km1 transmission range, auto-switching dual-frequencies, a high bitrate of 50 Mpbs, and state-of-the-art anti-interference methods to ensure a reliable feed. Announced in 2019, the DJI HD transmission system brought the world’s first low-latency, HD digital feed to the market.
The new DJI FPV system uses that same technology to bring a crystal-clear image to the goggles with ultra-low latency. Pilots can choose from several different viewing options, including:
- High-Quality Mode: See the world in 1440x810p in either 60 fps with a wider 142° Field of View (FOV), or 50 fps with 150° FOV. In this mode, latency is as low as ≤ 40 ms.
- Low-Latency Mode: In this mode, pilots activate high frame rates for a more cinematic look to signal latency is decreased to 28 ms. Resolution is 1440×810p 120 fps with a 142° FOV or 100 fps at 150° FOV.
- Audience Mode: Share the pilot’s perspective in audience mode, which connects up to eight additional goggle sets to the pilot’s view so even onlookers can experience the flight.
The integrated 4K/60fps 120 Mbps camera is on a single-axis gimbal, providing stability during intricate manoeuvres while rotating vertically for unique angles. Additionally, RockSteady stabilisation technology smooths shaky footage and eliminates the rolling shutter effect when filming fast-moving scenes. Advanced distortion correction software can remove the warped and unappealing fisheye look common in FPV footage. Pilots can record footage in 4x Slow Motion in 1080p and 120 fps to relive epic moments in every detail. Footage can now be stored in H.265 or H.264 which uses less space on the memory card but preserves fine details during compression.
DJI FPV uses the latest version of the DJI Fly app, which now includes detailed tutorials on how to operate DJI FPV. The newly developed DJI Virtual Flight App is a free simulator app2 that familiarises new pilots with drone flying movements in an easy, fun and risk-free environment. The simulator allows pilots to fly the DJI FPV drone in various settings using the dedicated controller.
The standard DJI FPV Combo includes the FPV drone, remote controller 2, FPV Goggles V2, all required cables and one battery for the retail price of $1,299. The DJI FPV Fly More Kit is also available, which includes two additional Intelligent Flight Batteries and the dedicated charging hub for the retail price of $299. The optional Motion Controller is sold separately and can be purchased for the price of $199.
Twice Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until Monday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)