*** Please forward this newsletter to your friends in aviation ***
Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.
Jeffrey R. Snyder
African Pilot’s May 2018 edition
Once again, we have increased the May magazine by a further eight pages thanks to excellent advertising support mainly due to our annual helicopter feature. Comparison between other aviation magazines shows that there is no doubt that African Pilot has more editorial features than any of its competitors by a considerable margin. African Pilot does not fill its monthly aviation magazine with cover to cover advertising pages that do not provide any real readership value, whilst at the same time advertisers derive very little real value from double page spreads of advertising content.
African Pilot’s June 2018 edition
The June 2018 edition of African Pilot will be featuring Lanseria International Airport as well as the EAA South Africa’s annual convention in Vryheid, the excellent SAAF Museum airshow, the Lowveld airshow and the next instalment of Aircraft Technical, which is the new chapter we have added to the magazine. The closing date for all submissions and advertising was on Friday 11 May, but we can still accommodate further marketing material. Please contact Lara Bayliss Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion into this edition. Thank you.
What is changing at African Pilot?
Now you can get your favourite aviation magazine online
As our digital capability has grown substantially, we will be developing daily aviation news blasts within the next week. We have re-designed the option for the electronic version of African Pilot to be uploaded via our website. The cost of a single download is R16 (US$2) or R160 (US$20) for a 12-month subscription. In addition, we have created several other options. If you happened to miss out on a particular article or edition, back editions are available.
- Advantage of advertising your services within African Pilot
- Advertising is the only medium you can directly control
- Advertising allows you to target ideal customers specifically
- Advertising creates awareness for your product and content
- Advertising adds credibility to your message
- Advertising amplifies everything else you are doing to capture market share
Video of the week
Beautiful Girls Piloting Seaplanes – Cockpit View – Girl Pilot
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Lowveld airshow at the Nelspruit airfield
The Kishugu Lowveld airshow was thoroughly entertaining with action in the sky from early morning with the launch of several hot air balloons to well after sunset with the night formation flight of the Puma Energy Flying Lions, followed by incredible fireworks display and a rock band. The theme of this airshow was ‘Rock the Runway’ and this the band did having been set up in the back of a flatbed truck with lights and an incredible sound system. Although the morning started slowly by lunch time the airfield was filled with spectators many of whom remained until well after dark to enjoy the spectacle that had been arranged. Johan Heine and his Kishugu team, the Lowveld Aero Club and many others who were involved are to be congratulated on a superb fun filled day in the sun. I was flown by Juba Joubert in the Gazelle helicopter at the height of the show to take pictures of the entire airfield and surrounding areas – what a sight!
As always Brian Emmenis and his Capital Sounds team were well prepared with the excellent sound that also followed the theme of ‘Rock the Runway’. With a good mix of military aircraft, including the Gripen, two Airlink Embraer E195 displays, Working on Fire Huey helicopters and water bombers, the brand new to South Africa magnificent Blackhawk helicopter as well as a fantastic line-up of individual display aircraft and aerobatics teams this was an airshow to remember. More about this incredible past Saturday with perfect weather in the June edition of African Pilot.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
Aero Club of South Africa Special General Meeting at 18h00 in the EAA Auditorium
Contact Tel: 011 082 1100 E-mail: email@example.com
15 to 18 May
NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show near Bothaville, Free State
Contact Wim Venter Tel: 086 004 7246 E-mail: Wim@grainsa.co.za
16 to 18 May
Drone Con 2018 Vodaworld Centre in Midrand
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
17 & 18 May
8th Aviation Training and Education Summit Shanghai, China
Contact Josephine Zhu E-mail: email@example.com
19 & 20 May
SAC Free State Regionals Tempe airport Bloemfontein
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAASA Conference to be held at Lanseria
Contact Louise Olckers Tel; 011 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com
24 to 26 May
President’s Trophy Air Race Tempe Airfield, Bloemfontein
Website: www.sapfa.org.za E-mail: Race@sapfa.org.za
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 7032
Race director Robin Spencer-Scarr: E-mail: email@example.com
With less than three weeks to get racing in Bloemfontein, get your entries in, visit the sapfa.co.za website to register.
Then we have a ‘BIG’ question to ask of all our racers on the use of GPS, ‘To GPS or not to GPS? That is the question…”
The Governor General’s Cup which became the State President’s Air Race and then the President’s Trophy Air Race has been run since 1937 with only a couple of breaks during the war years but pretty much has been the leader in the world with this type of amateur air event. It invites anyone with a pilot’s licence and a bit of experience to test his skills in accurate flying and navigating at the maximum speed his aircraft is capable of doing.
It is the one event that allows the weekend warriors to spend three days amongst friends and peers and to experience the adrenalin rush of flying as fast as possible whilst pitting his skills against those who would beat him to the line. Over the years the types of aircraft have changed and, in most cases have got more powerful and faster and, in the last decade or two, we have seen the advent of the smaller and lighter machines that are built out of materials so light that their power to weight ratios allow them to fly even faster than some of their larger brethren.
However, by far the most dramatic advances have been made in the field of navigation with NDBs and VORs initially and the advent of the amazing GPS. As the GPS has become more reliable and more satellites are positioned to ensure accuracy, we are beginning to wonder why we should not make use of them in our Race. “Aha” you say, “It’s about time” and, “Now we all have the same chance as those bastards who always cheat!”
Well you’re quite right but there are arguments both ways. For example, in order to keep the ethos of the Race, we should maintain the ban on GPS and force the competitors to navigate the old-fashioned way. This is great because we all know how to do it and it’s fun but, isn’t it a bit like racing a formula 1 car with drum brakes because the disc brakes make it easier ……..?
The argument for using GPS is equally as compelling because it will eliminate so many of the problems that we have experienced of late especially with the new glass cockpits that are fast becoming more and more popular. It would be very simple for us to allow them to be used and see where it takes us.
We believe that the result will be much closer racing with nobody getting lost or missing turn-points. The skill in this type of racing will be more in the pilot rather than the navigator as is the case at present. It will mean using wind, the elements and altitude more carefully.
“But hold on a minute…” I hear you shout, “what does the navigator do then?” Well, here is the choice we have. Do we just let the navigator go along for the ride and have him shout encouragement to the pilot or do we give him some work to do as well? Perhaps, like rally and precision flying we could have points along the route that have to be over flown within a certain distance and penalty points given if too far away, or some photo recognition to be done.
The PTAR has evolved in so many ways over the years and we are now standing, yet again, at a crossroad. Do we embrace technology, or do we maintain the status quo? In order to assist us in making this decision we would appreciate your input and opinion on the subject and it is probably going to be easiest if you answer the question in one of the following ways.
1. Do we keep things as they are?
2. Do we allow GPS usage with no restriction?
3. Do we design some sort of criteria that at least lets the navigator do some work as well?
We would sincerely appreciate your feedback and comments on this subject if you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and look forward to seeing you in Bloemfontein at the end of May.
Yours in Air Racing
Contact Riaan van Vuuren E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +26 771 66 1201
29 to 31 May
European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.
Contact Bianca Dorneanu E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +32 2 766 00 72
Contact Johan Pieters E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 923 0078
6 to 10 June
Zim Navex Prince Charles Airport Harare, Zimbabwe
Contact Marion Kalweit E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +26 37 725 7009
SAPFA Bethlehem Fun Rally Bethlehem Airfield
Contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 804 7032
Reef Steamers Train vs Vintage Planes, Cars and Bikes
From Krugersdorp departing 09h15 to Magaliesburg return 15h00
Contact: Ian Morrison E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 903 9463
South African Hot Air Balloon Championships Skeerpoort North West Province.
Contact Richard Bovell email@example.com
28 to 29 June
Drones Conference and Workshop 2018 at Emperors Palace Convention Centre
Contact Jerry Davidson E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
28 June to 1 July
Race for Rhinos at Sua Pan, Botswana
Contact Chris Briers E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 568 7988
13 to 15 July
Taildraggers Fly-in to Nylstroom
Contact Richard Nicholson Cell: 082 490 6227
SAPFA Hoedspruit Fun Rally Hoedspruit Civil Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
14 to 15 July
SAC Nationals Coastal venue TBA
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
73rd CAASA Annual General Meeting CAASA House Lanseria International Airport
Contact Office@caasa.co.za Tel: 011 659 2345 Time: 09h30 for 10h00
23 to 29 July
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig E-mail: email@example.com
Action, education, entertainment and everything in between makes EAA AirVenture Oshkosh your perfect, affordable northern hemisphere summer destination! For seven days from sunrise to well past sunset, your Oshkosh day is filled with dazzling displays of aerobatics, informative programmes and hands-on workshops, diverse aircraft spanning all eras of flight, concerts to keep you rocking into the night and much, much more. Fun for the whole family that you will only find in Oshkosh is waiting for you at the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration!
1 to 5 August
SAC National Championships Tempe Bloemfontein
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
5 to 11 August
SAPFA World Rally Flying Competition Dubnicac Slovakia
Contact Website: www.akdubnica.sk
16 to 26 August
SAC Advanced World Championships in Romania
Contact Annie Boon E-mail email@example.com
Rand Airshow (Sunday) Rand Airport
Contact Stuart Coetzee E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 827 8884
24 & 25 August
Contact Stefan Fourie E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Sheila Taylor Fun Rally at Krugersdorp Airfield
Contact Grant Rousseau Cell: 082 329 3551E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Chad takes possession of Cessna 208 ISR aircraft
Chad’s Air Force has officially taken delivery of two new Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft configured for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) role. The two aircraft were officially introduced into the air force at a ceremony on 2 May at a base outside the capital N’Djamena, attended by US ambassador to Chad Geeta Pasi. The aircraft originally arrived in Chad on 2 December 2017 and were initially used for pilot training as well as maintenance and logistics.
In January this year the US military said Chad’s Caravans are being used as intelligence surveillance reconnaissance platforms that will be used in the fight against terrorist organisations in the region. The US Air Force’s 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron (MSAS) sent eight Airmen to advise, train and assist with ISR, aircraft maintenance, logistics and security anti-terrorism at Adjikossei Air Base, Chad, between 8 and 19 January. The two-week programme consisted of classroom instruction and hands-on training for 40 Chadian airmen.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
US exit of Iran deal threatens billions of dollars in aviation
On 8 May, the President of the United States Donald Trump announced his intention to pull out from Iranian nuclear deal and to restore sanctions on Iran. The bans about to be enforced again concern the trade of oil, metal and aviation. The decision will affect many companies of the aviation industry on both sides of the Atlantic, countering hundreds of aircraft sales worth billions of dollars to Iran.
Threat to hundreds of aircraft sales
Following the 2015 agreement, the US Treasury had delivered specific licenses on September 2016 to both Boeing and Airbus, allowing them to sell commercial planes to Iran. On 11 December 2016, Boeing agreed to sell 80 aircraft to Iran. This included 50 B-737 and 30 B-777. The delivery was to be made in the next 10 years, with the first planes landing in Iran in 2018. The total contract of about $16.6 billion was expected to secure up to 100,000 jobs in the United States. The U.S. based manufacturer also secured a $3 billion contract with Iranian company Aseman Airlines for thirty Boeing 737 MAXs that were to be delivered between 2022 and 2024.
A few days later, on 22 December 2016, its European rival Airbus also received a firm order from Iran Air for 100 aircraft: 46 A320, 38 A330 and 16 A350XWB. Two A330-200s and an A321 were already delivered in 2017. The total price of those aircraft was estimated at $10 billion. Another contract was eventually signed between Iran Air and the French Airbus and Italian Leonardo joint venture, ATR, for 20 ATR 72-600s, for a price of $536 million, with an option to double the number. The deliveries started in April 2017 and were supposed to finish in 2018. The objective for the national carrier Iran Air was to modernise its aging fleet. Several aircraft of the company are on the EU blacklist and those still allowed in European airports are regularly inspected when parked. The oldest Airbus still in passenger activity is part of that fleet Airbus A300-B2 EP-IBS which more than 38 years old.
Soon after Donald Trump’s announcement, the US Treasury Department said that the licenses obtained by Airbus and Boeing to sell passenger jets to Iran would be revoked. The companies have 90 days to comply with the new legislation, a period after which they will not be allowed to export commercial aircraft to Iran, nor will they be able to conclude deals with Iranian companies. Boeing reacted immediately, declaring that it would comply with the change of legislation. “As we have throughout this process, we will continue to follow the U.S. government’s lead,” said Boeing’s spokesperson Gordon Johndroe at a press conference.
The answer was not as straightforward for Airbus. “We are carefully analysing the announcement and will be evaluating next steps consistent with our internal policies and in full compliance with sanctions and export control regulations,” said Rainer Ohler, communications chief of the European plane maker. “This will take some time.” However, as many of ATR and Airbus aircraft parts are manufactured by US – based companies and even owns an assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, it seems highly unlikely that its deal with Iran Air will hold.
It is not yet known if the contract between Russian United Aircraft Corporation and two Iranian airlines, Aseman Airlines and Iran Air Tours (the charter subsidiary of Iran Air) will be affected, as some parts of the SSJ100R avionics are produced by U.S. companies.
In 2015, the US president of the time Barack Obama reached an agreement with the Iranian regime after years of negotiations: Iran would give up its nuclear programme in exchange of a progressive lift of the international sanctions affecting its economy. The agreement involved Iran and the 5+1 group (the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China, all members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany). But as he promised throughout presidential campaign, Trump withdrew from the agreement, judging it as too indulgent vis-à-vis Iran – a country, described by Trump as the main sponsor of international terrorism.
ICAO inspects new route to North Korea
Two officials from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) departed from Beijing to Pyongyang on 7 March 2018. They will start discussions on opening a new route between Pyongyang and Incheon, after a request was sent by North Korea. In February 2018, a demand was sent by North Korean government to the ICAO regional bureau in Thailand to open a new route between Sunan International Airport (FNJ) the airport of North Korean capital Pyongyang and Incheon International Airport (ICN), the biggest airport of South Korea.
Direct flights between the two Koreas have been very limited since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Only a few charter flights have been recorded. The last ones happened in the early 2000s when South Korea’s ‘Sunshine policy’ allowed relatives from both sides to visit each other, but following the missile crisis of 2006, the policy was aborted and so were the charter flights.
However, things changed around the time of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. An Airbus A321-200 of Asiana Airlines took South Korean skiers to a training session in North Korea, before flying back carrying the skiers and the North Korean Olympic delegation. It is around that time that a demand was sent to ICAO local bureau in Thailand. North Korean government proposed that an Air Traffic Service (ATS) route should be set up between Pyongyang Flight Information Region (FIR) and Seoul Incheon FIR. This new route is under consideration by the ICAO. Its representatives should discuss aviation safety and outline the proposition further with the North Korean officials.
Air France survival is at stake, says French minister
In a consultative referendum, 55.44% of Air France employees refused the multi-year salary plan that was offered by the board. As a result, Jean-Marc Janaillac, CEO of Air France-KLM since May 2016, resigned. On 16 April 2018, a draft wage agreement was presented to the unions. It offered a 7% salary increase spread over the next four years, starting with a 2% increase in 2018. After nine days of strike in his company, Jean-Marc Janaillac announced that he would ‘accept the consequences’ if the agreement was refused after the fifteen days consultation. A few minutes after the results of the vote were published, Janaillac called a press conference to announce he would commit to his engagement: “Beyond the salary expectations, this vote is the result of a discomfort. In line with the commitment I made, I accept the consequences of this vote and I will present my resignation in the coming days”
On 6 May 2018, the French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire commented on the resignation announcement to BFMTV. He declared that the government would not pay off Air France debt to save a “company who is not making the necessary efforts in terms of competitiveness”. For Le Maire, “the survival of Air France is at stake.” Philippe Evain, president of the Syndicat National des Pilotes de Ligne (SNPL), the main pilot union at Air France, accused Bruno Le Maire of ignorance regarding Air France situation on French radio France Inter. “Air France has not touched a single penny of the state for 25 years,” he said. Evain added that the competitiveness efforts are already made, as “in 2017, Air France-KLM reduced its debt from €3.6 billion to €1.6 billion.”
However, amongst the unions blows the wind of discord. The Confédération française démocratique du travail (CFDT), the main union among Air France ground personnel, called its members to vote ‘yes’ to the consultation. In an interview to Les Echos, Laurent Berger, general secretary of the CFDT, accused the SNPL of blocking the debate solely in the interest of the pilots, disregarding the other corporations involved in the movement. Philippe Evain answered by reminding that ‘all personnel voted’ in the consultation. So far, thirteen days of strikes cost the airline more than €300 million. Two more days of strikes are planned on 7 and 8 May.
Australian airports to undergo massive security upgrades
Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on 7 May 2018 that airport security upgrades will be included within the federal budget. The security upgrade, prompted by the alleged terrorist plot to down an aircraft leaving Sydney airport (SYD) in July 2017, will bring domestic travel in line with international flights across the country’s airports. In a country that has had very few domestic terrorist attacks, the alleged bomb plot discovered at Sydney airport in July 2017 has raised serious concerns over airport security procedures and prompted the aviation security announcement.
Prior to Dutton’s announcement, news emerged that full-body X-ray scanners will be installed at screening points of domestic airports as part of the major security changes in Australia’s airport security protocols, the details of which are yet to be announced. To date, passengers on domestic routes have been subjected to far less scrutiny than those traveling abroad. Now, Dutton says, officials are looking at ways to provide support, particularly to regional airports, in security and passenger screening. “We are worried about the settings at our domestic airports,” he told reporters on 7 May. “Obviously there is a different security setting at our international airports where we do have full body scanners.”
On 15 July 2017, Australian police foiled a developing terrorist plot targeting Sydney airport, after two men allegedly tried to smuggle an explosive device hidden in a meat grinder onto an Etihad Airways commercial flight from Sydney, to Abu Dhabi. Two suspects; brothers Khaled and Mahmoud Khayat were charged on 4 May 2018, with two counts of acting in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist attack.
Stricter passenger and luggage screening procedures at airports across Australia were in place immediately after the alleged bomb plot was discovered by the police. Speaking to reporters at the time, Dutton said the incident could prompt longer-term airport security changes. “It may be that we need to look at the security settings at our airports, in particular our domestic airports, for an ongoing enduring period,” In the wake of the incident, airline pilots also began voicing their concerns over the major holes in screening they had observed. Pilots claimed that staff with access to aircraft, such as cleaners, baggage handlers and catering staff, were not being properly screened and they called for domestic passengers to show identification before boarding. In addition, pilots were concerned that private contractors were doing the security screening rather than a government agency.
The developments at Australian airports resonate with the ever-increasing passenger screening at US airports. Amid growing concerns about the possibility of hidden explosive devices, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began stricter scrutiny of electronic devices by U.S. travellers back in the summer of 2017, requiring domestic travellers to remove all electronics larger than mobile phones from carry-on baggage for screening.
Kathmandu airport closed after plane skids off runway
With 139 passengers onboard, a Boeing 737 of the Malaysian company Malindo Airlines skidded off the runway on the evening on 19 April 2018. The plane was heading to Kuala Lumpur. It was accelerating on the runway of Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) and was about to take-off, but the pilots detected a problem, which has not been revealed and decided to abort the take-off. Flights towards Kathmandu were cancelled for about twelve hours as emergency services tried to free the plane from the mud, about 30 meters off the runway.
Qatar Airways order from Airbus will include A321LR
Back in 2011, Qatar Airways placed an order of 50 A320neos. On December 8, 2017, the contract was renegotiated and upgraded to 50 A321neos. But Qatar’s enthusiasm for the A320neo family does not seem to fade, as the order will include some A321neos in ‘Long Range’ configuration. The exact number is unknown but should be between 10 and 15 according to Al Baker. The A321LR, which performed its maiden flight on January 3, 2018, is equipped with three fuel tanks (one more than the A320neo) and two General Electric-Safran LEAP engines. The deliveries of this new model should start in late 2018. More than a hundred of these planes are already sold.
Truman strike group conducts aviation operations in support of OIR
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) commenced air operations 3 May 2018, in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). Operating from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1’s strike fighter squadrons conducted sorties over Syria, demonstrating HSTCSG’s ability to support two different geographic combatant commanders simultaneously.
HSTCSG entered the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations April 18 as a part of a regularly-scheduled deployment in support of coalition partners, NATO allies, European and African partner nations and US national security interests. Deployed assets comprising the HSTCSG are the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75); the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60); the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and USS Bulkeley (DDG 84); along with the embarked staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, CVW-1 and Destroyer Squadron 28.
Embarked CVW-1 squadrons include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11; VFA-81; VFA-136; VFA-211; Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 137; Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126; Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 11; and detachments from HSM-48 and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.
China invests in scramjet engines
China’s government is moving forward with plans to build a commercial-scale plant to produce hypersonic engines for both military and civilian aircraft, according to a recent report in the South China Morning Post. The scramjet engines could produce speeds up to Mach 5. The project will bring together the expertise of the Institute of Mechanics, a technical school that has focused on the development of hypersonic weapons, with the local government, to create the facility. Scramjet engines could theoretically cut flying time from Shanghai to New York to just two hours, compared to almost 15 hours for commercial airliners today. The engines also could provide power for spacecraft, according to the Post.
Analysts told the Post a spacecraft could use a turbine engine to take-off and reach supersonic speed, then switch to the scramjet for a speed boost, then fire a rocket for the final push to orbit. The three-stage system could be significantly cheaper to operate than today’s technology. If the new plant develops that kind of system, hypersonic expert Liu Hong told the Post, “I think their goal for commercial production is possible. It is within the reach of current technology.”
Airbus Helicopters delivers 200th H145 Helicopter to Norsk Luftambulanse
Last week, Airbus Helicopters delivered the 200th H145 to Norsk Luftambulanse (NOLAS). The Air Rescue Operator will use the helicopter for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) in Norway. The 200th H145 is the final H145 delivered to NOLAS under its current order, bringing the operator’s Airbus fleet to a total of eight H145s and seven H135s, all dedicated to delivering HEMS from bases across Norway. This fleet renewal will equip NOLAS to be the only air ambulance operator worldwide to operate a 100% Helionix-equipped mixed fleet of H135s and H145s, ahead of commencing operations on 1 June as Norway’s national HEMS operator.
The global H145 fleet has achieved more than 100,000 flight hours since entry into service in 2015, with Babcock being the largest global H145 operator. This customer has a global fleet of 31 H145s in service, operating in HEMS and police missions. G-SASS, an H145 operated by Babcock for Scottish Ambulance Service, is the global H145 fleet leader with more than 2,500 flight hours. The entire H145 family (H145, EC145 and BK117) has accumulated more than five million flight hours, with more than 1,400 helicopters delivered to date. The H145 is the most advanced member of Airbus Helicopters’ multi-purpose twin-engine category.
Boeing to ramp up 767 production
With the economy continuing to strengthen and more people shopping online, Boeing says it will increase production of its 767 airliners from 2.5 to 3 airplanes per month beginning in 2020. Boeing currently has 99 firm orders for the 767. Of those, 61 are freighters and 31 are KC-46 tankers. Among the 767 customers are UPS, which has four new freighters on order and is converting three passenger aircraft to freight configuration. Amazon is leasing 40 Boeing 767s for its Amazon Air unit. Muilenburg also said that there has been an increase in demand for the 777 freighter. Both Qatar Airways and ANA have the larger freighters on order or under Letters of Intent.
FLYING CARS NEWS
Uber Elevate pursues air-taxi vision
At the Elevate Summit on Tuesday Uber’s Mark Moore (Uber Elevate’s engineering director), said Uber will be ready to start commercial service with urban air taxis by 2023. The electric-powered VTOLs are still in development, but Uber released its latest concept showing a four-passenger aircraft with four rotors. “Stacked co-rotating rotors or propellers have two rotor systems placed on top of each other rotating in the same direction,” Uber says. “Initial experimentation of this concept has revealed the potential for significantly quieter performance than traditional paired rotors and improved overall performance.” The company said testing will begin in 2020, with Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles as the first test sites. Their goal is to provide the service at a rate comparable to an Uber ride on the ground.
Several Uber partners also revealed concepts of new designs. Tine Tomazic, R&D director at Pipistrel, said his new eVTOL is optimised for speed and distance. It will be quiet and aims to be easy and comfortable for passengers to use. Pipistrel is partnering with Elan to develop the eVTOL structure, Tomazic said. It will be designed for serial production, and scalable to various sizes and missions. Embraer X, an Embraer branch and Karem Aircraft, also revealed eVTOL concepts. Uber also said it has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to create a new air traffic control system that could manage fleets of low-flying autonomous aircraft in urban areas.
Embraer X unveils first eVTOL concept
Last week Embraer X, an Embraer organisation dedicated to developing disruptive businesses, unveiled its first electrical Vertical take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft concept. The unveiling was made during Uber Elevate 2018, in Los Angeles, California. Embraer X is engaged in several projects, including the development of eVTOL concepts through a cooperation with Uber and other companies to explore business opportunities within the Uber Elevate ecosystem. The eVTOL concept presented at Uber Elevate 2018 represents an aircraft with a mission to serve passengers in an urban environment, based on the key design drivers of safety, passenger experience, affordability and a very low footprint for the community, in terms of noise and emissions.
Embraer X’s first eVTOL concept is the outcome of extensive interaction with potential urban air travellers about their desired experience, combined with the expertise of Embraer’s teams and the collaboration with various companies and institutions. Embraer X will continue to engage with communities to expedite the development of desired solutions for this new market.
Over the last five decades, Embraer has designed, developed and certified close to 50 aircraft models, delivering over 8,000 aircraft to 100 countries. Embraer’s fleet has accumulated more than 50 million flight hours. Leveraging Embraer’s experience and longstanding relationships with aircraft certification authorities around the globe, Embraer X will ensure that safety design drivers meet and exceed the highest industry standards.
UAV Industries Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS)
A leading commercial drone pilot training and operations company has announced the launch of its accredited BVLOS training course, open to all drone pilots in possession of a valid Remote Pilot Licence (RPL). First to market in Africa, the B-VLOS training course is endorsed by both the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The advent of BVLOS training in South Africa represents a big step up for both UAV Industries and the SACAA in terms of international BVLOS operations and standards. There are currently no other African countries within the ICAO states offering a BVLOS endorsement that complies with both ICAO and local regulations. This endorsement allows a correctly certified RPL pilot to now undertake BVLOS operations, ensuring a consistent standard that complies with accepted international aviation standards.
Current Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) drone regulations limit operations to a radius of 500m of the drone operator and a maximum upward distance of 400 feet. With a BVLOS rating and operating commercially with a suitable operating business and equipment, a BVLOS pilot will now be able to undertake much longer missions, making the use of drone technology more effective. Furthermore, a single pilot can now cover a much wider area within a single mission.
Much of the BVLOS endorsement training focuses on the people skills and specialist training needed to operate such missions safely. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAS) or drones used to undertake these missions will have special emphasis on air to ground communication technology and redundant options, as well as sense-and-avoid technology, so that other airspace users can be avoided if necessary. Spread over 10 days, the training course is open to RPAS pilots with a valid RPL and is currently being offered at the UAV Industries Flight School in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, commencing in Cape Town immediately.
Applications that will immediately benefit from this are security and linear infrastructure inspections (railway lines and power lines). Security operations for wider areas can be undertaken with one team operating overnight, covering 100 square kilometers of land by drone. In other operations, certain ground features being examined are long by nature, e.g. pipelines and electricity distribution cables. In such instances, a BVLOS operation will allow a single pilot to cover 60-100 km of these features in just one fight. Over time, this distance capability is expected to extend as technology improves.
GPS jamming: major threat to drone operations
As drones multiply, incidents of GPS (or GNSS) jamming and spoofing are expected to rise in concert over the next decade. That poses not just a threat of loss of the vehicles, but also to nearby aircraft and unaware people on the ground, according to Jeremy Bennington of Spirent, a company that specialises in jamming and spoofing defence. Bennington spoke at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL Expo in Denver last week and sketched a threat that is not yet emergent but will escalate enough to require drone manufacturers to harden their aircraft against interference. Bennington said more than 150,000 incidents of jamming or spoofing have been recorded, affecting aircraft, ships and ground vehicles and it’s not a hard thing to do. “If you want jam GPS, get your credit card out. It’s really rather easily done,” he told a group of XPONENTIAL attendees. The event was organised by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and although dominated by aircraft systems, land and marine vehicles are also represented, and all of them have been jammed or spoofed.
In one incident in Hanover, Germany, Bennington said, a GPS emulator being used for maintenance disrupted inbound aircraft navigation and actually electronically moved the runway threshold. It took authorities hours to find the source. NASA’s ASRS has recorded more than 100 incidents of interference, some serious enough to cause aircraft to lose position data. While jamming splatters the signal, spoofing actually fools the GNSS receiver into believing it is somewhere else. In one well-known incident in the Mediterranean Sea, more than 20 ships were spoofed into believing their positions were miles away from their true location.
Drones are beginning to use a method called sensor fusion; cross checking position with radar, lidar or inertial systems to defeat spoofing, but these systems add cost and weight. Bennington says the industry will have to respond sooner than later. “We will see the impact as more drones enter service,” he said.
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)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.
*** Please forward APAnews to your friends in aviation ***