“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere” author unknown
African Pilot’s June 2019 edition
African Pilot’s exciting June edition features business at Lanseria International Airport, the South African Power Flying Association’s (SAPFA) President’s Trophy Air Race (PTAR) that was staged in Saldanha (Western Cape), South Africa’s EAA National Convention in Vryheid (KZN) and the ABSA Lowveld airshow (Nelspruit airfield). In addition Divan Muller covered the USA’s Sun ‘n Fun staged in Florida. We also have published a comprehensive report on the AERO Friedrichshafen the premier European aviation trade show staged in Germany. This is a very busy time within the South African aviation calendar. African Pilot continues to be the foremost aviation publication that continuously brings the most important aviation events to its readers every month. The printing and distribution of the June edition is complete and African Pilot’s June digital edition was released on Friday 24 May. Should you wish to receive your copy of the digital edition, please visit the African Pilot website: www.africanpilot.co.za and sign up using the button provided. Thank you.
African Pilot’s July 2019 edition
The July edition of African Pilot will feature our annual Aviation Careers Guide as well as Flight Training Schools in southern Africa. African Pilot specifically plans to prepare the comprehensive aviation careers guide for the July edition so as to provide matric students with the opportunity to review their options within the July school holidays. At the same time there is no point in publishing this type of information in November when learners are busy with their matric exams. This edition will also carry a report on EBACE to be staged in Geneva, Switzerland between 21 and 23 May 2019 and the brilliant Botswana, Matsieng airshow. The closing date for editorial submissions was on Friday 7 June, but we still have some space for late advertising, so long as this reaches us by noon on Tuesday 11 June 2019. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: email@example.com
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Video of the week: Botswana Matsieng airshow
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SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
‘Little Annie’ needs your support please!
“My name is Little Annie. I am an orphan who was donated from Russia and flown all the way to South Africa. I attend most of the airshows throughout South Africa and the surrounding countries. On the day before the airshow I take the orphaned and underprivileged children from the area who have never had the opportunity to experience the joy of flight, to give them hope, encouragement and to share my true life story with them. My hope is to inspire them to achieve the seemingly impossible in attaining their dream commensurate with their natural talent. I have flown more than 3 000 children since I was adopted by Mark Hill and his family who founded the Just Love Mission Charity.
On 1 June I was invited to the Newcastle airshow for the very first time! My bags were packed and I was on my way. While flying, I started coughing up oil and my engine made a big bang sound! Fortunately, my father and brother were able to land me safely at the Newcastle airfield. I was not in a position to fly in the airshow and am too sick to fly back home. The doctors who work on me and who can get me flying again will need to spend a bit of time and will need to replace a part in my engine in a few months.
I have been invited to the Mozambique airshow in Maputo on 14 and 15 June, where I will be taking the children from the area flying. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend if my doctors cannot come and fix me. I would like to invite anyone who will be able to donate towards the doctor’s bills in order to get me up and ‘running and flying’ again. I will be over the moon if a few people can possibly assist me in raising the funds. The good news is that because I am a registered NPC and PBO that is B-BBEE rated as well as article 18A registered, you can benefit those with corporate social investment responsibilities and you can also claim a sizable percentage of your contribution back from tax. If you would rather not claim from tax, I will be very excited to give you recognition and exposure for your charitable donations!
Please contact my family should you be able to assist: 081 777 0444 or e-mail: email@example.com. You can also have a look at my website for more information: www.littleannie.co.za. I am excited to possibly hearing from you and hoping that this challenge of me being sick, will be able to be sorted out in order for me to carry on with my passion of sharing flight with the children!
Just Love Mission Standard Bank
Acc: 062823760 Branch 014645 Swift Code SBZAZAJJ
After certain repairs ‘Little Annie’ arrived back at her home at Wonderboom National Airport on Thursday this week for more thorough engine examination. However, the engine of this An-2 has only 100 or so hours to go before it will be require replacement early next year. The cost of the ‘new’ 1000 hp radial engine will be in the region of R400 to R500K. For this reason ALL the generous donations that have already been made to the ‘engine replacement fund’ are most welcome. African Pilot has contributed R2000 to this fund, but I am aware that many other persons have donated more and for this ‘Little Annie’s’ family is most grateful. Just think if each person reading this communication paid just R1000 into the account provided, nearly all the required funds would be available. In anticipation, I thank everyone who has supported the ‘Little Annie’ outreach programme, which frankly has been the finest in all of South African aviation over recent years. I would also like to thank all those people in the aviation media who have worked very hard to promote the ‘Little Annie’ cause. The combined affect that we have ALL provided on our various platforms has been most important for the survival of an iconic aircraft and the role she fulfils in our country.
What happened in aviation over the past week?
CAASA’s 75th birthday
What a wonderful and well-attended birthday bash the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa had on Friday 7 June. CAASA organised several presentations and these will be individually reported on within the July 2019 edition of African Pilot. However, the most impressive was that of CAASA’s chairperson Lynette Loosen who touched on the wonderful history of CAASA and unveiled the original minute book. In addition, Mayday SA’s presentation by Marc Swartz where he composed a ‘poem’ about the plight of an aviation professional who may be affected by personal challenges beyond his / her control and why it is so important for ALL to understand and support. Veteran CAASA member and past chairman Jeff Earle provided a delightful aerial ballet in his 75 year old Tiger Moth. This was yet again a wonderful opportunity to meet and engage with the many important stakeholders of South Africa’s aviation industry and I personally thank CAASA for its ongoing support of African Pilot as the only aviation magazine that genuinely supports this most important professional organisation.
Africa Drone Conference – Emperors Palace Convention Centre
Unfortunately due to CAASA’s 75th birthday celebrations, I was only able to spend the Thursday at the drones conference. However, the various presentations I witnessed, including an interpretation of the LAW by an aviation attorney, were excellent. I also learnt that at this point in time there are only 41 UAV companies that have achieved their ROCs in South Africa, five years after the Part 101 Drone Regulations were promulgated by the SACAA. This is a shameful situation and certainly reflects on the regulator’s ability to administer this sector of aviation legislation. In fact, it is generally accepted that the SACAA is the most anti-drone regulator in the entire world, due to consistent problems with understanding the tremendous strides this particular sector aviation has made over the past few years.
Megan Werner’s Cape to Cairo adventure launched
A young, energetic person who is at the start of her professional career has ignited the fantasy of flight, which in turn has encouraged many diverse South African teenagers to become involved in the building of a Sling 4 at Tedderfield Air Park. I first met Megan about a year ago when the project as a dream to fly form Cape Town to Cairo as the very south to the north of the African continent about a year ago. Thanks to Megan’s wonderful parents the Sling 4 build project by more than 20 young South African’s culminated in the first flight of ZU UDG will start this coming week. African Pilot will be featuring this ambitious project of the love for aviation within the July edition as well as over the months that follow. To Meagan herself a young teenager who has quite rapidly become a young lady, your commitment for this project has been an inspiration to all of us in aviation as well as well beyond the boundaries of what we all within the freedom of flight. My personal blessing is that you will always have a guardian angel watching over you as you traverse the vast unknown territory of African continent VFR flying.
SAPFA Bethlehem Speed Rally
By Mary de Klerk
The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Speed Rally was held in Bethlehem on Saturday 8 June 2019. This discipline of General Sport Aviation is proving to be one of the most popular and growing disciplines in South Africa at this time with a total of 40 entries being received (plus a waiting list). Driven by Race Master Jonty Esser and his crew and under the expert route planning of the SAPFA Chairman Rob Jonkers (himself a Protea Pilot), this event was bigger and better than any that had gone before. Rob managed to successfully raise the bar in terms of the navigation skills required by plotting some rather challenging turn points around the spectacular mountain scenery of Clarens. This is after all a Speed Rally, which in itself spells ‘strong navigational skills are required’. The Bethlehem Flying Club put on a superb show with their hospitality from start to finish. The venue was great, the food was amazing, the camaraderie was unsurpassed and of course the weather could not have been more perfect. All in all – another successful aviation event hosted by South African Power Flying Association.
Overall handicap results:
1. ZU RVI – RV10 Eduard Scholtz / Johannes Striecher
2. ZU LNC – Lancair Leon Joubert / Sandi Goddard
3. ZS ECK – C182H Rhett Shillaw / Ryan Shillaw
Track accuracy results:
1. ZU FWS – Harmony Leon Bouttel / Martin Meyer
2. ZS FVV – PA28 Quinton Kruger / Johan Whiteman
3. ZS ACA – Cirrus SR22 Simon Abbot / Chris Shillaw
Cape Town International Airport named Africa’s leading airport for the third year
At the 26th World travel awards, Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) was named Africa’s leading airport for the third consecutive year. The gala ceremony 2019 held at the Sugar Beach resort in Mauritius. The gala awards ceremony was attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators and destinations and representative of CTIA, Deidre Davids, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs, CTIA was in Mauritius to receive the award on behalf of the airport.
“Once again Cape Town International Airport is honoured to receive this esteemed industry award. The World Travel Awards are globally recognised as the ultimate independently assessed travel accolade, so being named Africa’s leading airport for the third consecutive year is both a testament to the ongoing hard work and commitment to excellence demonstrated by all staff at this airport. This award is also viewed as a challenge for us not to rest on our past achievements but to continue to work hard to remain an award-winning airport,” said Cape Town International Airport, General Manager, Deon Cloete.
The World Travel Awards serve to recognise, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry and are voted for by travel and tourism professionals and consumers worldwide. Cape Town International Airport is managed by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and is the third largest airport in Africa and global travellers continue to regard Cape Town as a destination of choice. Over the past few years Cape Town International Airport has shown sustained growth in international passenger numbers with a 9.6% increase in 2018. For the first time in December 2016, the airport exceeded the 10 million passenger-per-year milestone. This was repeated again in December 2017 and 2018 when passenger numbers significantly exceeded the 10 million passenger mark. Through partnerships such as Cape Town Air Access, the airport has seen 15 new routes and 19 route expansions since 2015 and a doubling of international seat capacity by 1,5 million seats.
Congratulations to the team at Cape Town International Airport, since you deserve this award. African Pilot will be featuring Cape Town Airport within its November 2019 edition and this is an opportunity to celebrate this achievement.
AERO South Africa, the African show for General Aviation, is less than a month away
We would like to bring your attention to the following important notice: the deadline for the show guide entry is 14 June 2019. The following information must be submitted:
100-word company description, including contact information
Company website address
Please ensure that your company description has been received by Amanda Dube or Lara Bayliss, a representative from our official show guide partner African Pilot, by no later than 14 June 2019.
To submit the above information or for advertising space please contact:
Lara Bayliss e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org +27 861 00 11 30 / +27 79 880 4359
Amanda Dube e-mail: Amanda.Dube@za.messefrankfurt.com +27 10 599 6170
We look forward to welcoming you at AERO South Africa at Wonderboom National Airport.
Military land in the Western Cape could be rezoned for low-cost housing
The five sites are the Culemborg railway ground between the N1 and Cape Town CBD, Air Force Base Ysterplaat, SAS Wingfield, the Youngsfield military base and Denel property between Khayelitsha and Strand. On 30 May Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said these properties could yield up to 100 000 housing units which would be enough to meet half of the affordable housing demand on Cape Town’s database. He said he was looking forward to discussions with de Lille “on transferring the large tracts of land owned by the national government, to be used for housing.
Former Western Cape Premier Helen Zille also called for Ysterplaat, Youngsfield, Wingfield and the Denel property to be used for low cost housing. The SANDF said there were discussions last year with the Department of Public Works over unused military land but no discussions have taken place this year. However, the majority of the Air Force Base Ysterplaat site was donated by the Graaf Trust to the state around the First World War so that it could be used for military purposes and the Trust is the primary rights holder of the land. The Trust would need to approve any development of the land.
22 Squadron is a maritime helicopter squadron operating Lynx and Oryx helicopters on behalf of the South African Navy while 35 Squadron is a maritime patrol and transport squadron operating C-47TP Turbo Dakotas. Should Ysterplaat be closed, there would be implications regarding the South African Air Force’s ability to fulfil its airborne maritime search and rescue obligations as most of its air search and rescue assets are located at Ysterplaat. South Africa is expected to carry out search and rescue operations from Namibia to Mozambique and south to the Prince Edward Islands, a region of 17 million square kilometres, as part of its SA Search and Rescue (SASAR) obligations. Frankly the aircraft based at Ysterplaat could easily be relocated along the coast at Air Force Base Overberg (TFDC) as one possible destination and that just because an aircraft is configured for maritime surveillance does not mean that all aircraft need to be based in the Western Cape.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
SAAF Museum airshow at AFB Swartkop back on the calendar again!
Some weeks ago we were told that due to the elections on Wednesday 8 May the annual SAAF Museum airshow was postponed from its usual date at the beginning of May to Saturday 31 August. Then we heard that this new date had been cancelled. However, I have since found out that the annual AFB Swartkop airshow will indeed be held on Saturday 31 August. Despite numerous attempts to contact the SAAF to obtain information, there appears to be a serious communication problem.
African Pilot’s 2019 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.
10 to 16 June
SAPFA World Precision Flying Championships – Castellon Spain
Contact Hans Schwebel cell: 082 656 3005 e-mail: email@example.com
Maputo airshow in Mozambique
Legend Gold and Safari Resort fly-in Sterkriver
19 to 23 June
SAC National Championships Klerksdorp
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
21 to 23 June
EAA Chapter 322 flight training Boot Camp at Mwala Lodge
Contact Neil Bowden Cell: 084 674 5674 E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Relibile Mofokeng E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 073 837 0162
Reefsteamers train, plane, vintage car event from Krugersdorp to Magalies
Contact Ian Morrison e-mail: email@example.com
23 to 28 June
South African Hot Air Balloon Championships Skeerpoort North West Province
Contact Richard Bovell e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
27 to 30 June
SAC National Championships Malelane airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
4 to 6 July
AERO South Africa Wonderboom National Airport, Pretoria
Amanda Dube e-mail: Amanda.Dube@za.messefrankfurt.com +27 10 599 6170
After months of planning and preparations, the Aero South Africa team is excited to announce that visitor registrations to Africa’s inaugural trade show for the general aviation are now OPEN. Exhibitors will cover the full spectrum of services, so this is the ideal place to source new products, view the latest technology and even sell or buy new aircraft. Daily seminars will be FREE to attend. Secure your FREE visitor pass online now and get ready to discover the latest industry innovations available to the African market: https://www.tisevents.co.za/Event/AERO/Default.aspx?id=3651
CAASA AGM at CAASA House Lanseria International Airport
Contact Tel: 011 659 2345 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 to 14 July
Taildraggers Fly-In at Nylstroom
Contact Richard Nicholson Cell: 082 490 6227 e-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Hoedspruit Fun Rally Hoedspruit Civil Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
22 to 28 July
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com
Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
25 to 27 July
SAPFA Air Navigation Race (ANR) Nationals at Brits airfield
Contact Frank Eckard e-mail: email@example.com cell: 083 269 1516
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
African States achieving more sustainable development
Opening the Sixth ICAO Africa (AFI) Aviation Week in Kampala last week, ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu stressed how ongoing aviation safety, security and capacity improvements all across Africa are maximising air transport’s role as a catalyst for socio-economic development in the region. Her remarks were delivered in the presence of Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport, Ms. Monica Azuba Ntege and many other governmental and diplomatic dignitaries including members of the ICAO Council.
Drawing attention to the cooperative planning and capacity-building which ICAO and African States have been pursuing together for many years now, Dr Liu underscored that ‘aviation’s benefits are first and foremost dependent on a State’s effective ICAO compliance.’ She also explained that while Africa still has work ahead to bring all of its States up to the current global and regional targets established for aviation safety security and facilitation, the continent today “is the world’s fastest improving Region in terms of the Effective Implementation of ICAO Safety SARPs, largely as a result of the AFI Plan and your related activities.”
In the security and facilitation domain, Dr Liu noted that effective and proactive regional planning and cooperation among States, industry, regional and international partners and ICAO’s Regional Offices has delivered tremendous improvement. The significant progress recorded in security and facilitation areas is attributed to the AFI SECFAL Plan established in 2015. Helping her audience to recognise the important tie-in between their levels of ICAO compliance and the benefits each can realise in terms of economic growth and local prosperity, Dr Liu declared that “Twenty-first century civil aviation is now being more and more recognised as a driver of economic, social and cultural development.”
The Secretary General also held meetings with Directors General of Civil Aviation of Member States, the Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission and senior officials of International and Regional Organizations, and industry. The Sixth ICAO AFI Aviation Week closed on 17 May 2019. It ran concurrently with the 6th Aviation Safety Symposium, the 22nd AFI Plan Steering Committee, the 4th AFI Security and Facilitation Symposium and the Eighth AFI SECFAL Plan Steering Committee meeting, at which the fifth RASG-AFI Aviation Safety Report was released.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
IATA: Slowing demand and rising costs squeeze airline profits
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a downgrade of its 2019 outlook for the global air transport industry to a $28 billion profit (from $35.5 billion forecast in December 2018). That is also a decline on 2018 net post-tax profits which IATA estimates at $30 billion (re-stated). The business environment for airlines has deteriorated with rising fuel prices and a substantial weakening of world trade. In 2019 overall costs are expected to grow by 7.4%, outpacing a 6.5% rise in revenues. As a result, net margins are expected to be squeezed to 3.2% (from 3.7% in 2018). Profit per passenger will similarly decline to $6.12 (from $6.85 in 2018).
In 2019, the return on invested capital earned from airlines is expected to be 7.4% (down from 7.9% in 2018). While this still exceeds the average cost of capital (estimated at 7.3%), the buffer is extremely thin. Moreover, the job of spreading financial resilience throughout the industry is only half complete with a major gap in profitability between the performance of airlines in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific and the performance of those in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Mitsubishi in negotiations with Bombardier to acquire CRJ programme
The Air Current reports that Bombardier has been discussing a sale of the CRJ programme with several entities, but now the negotiations with Mitsubishi have become exclusive and are in their late stages. Industry analysts believe that an announcement of the sale could be made at the Paris Air Show which begins on 17 June. Bombardier acknowledged the talks in a release to the media Wednesday. “Bombardier has recently stated it would explore strategic options for the CRJ Programme. From time to time, this may lead to discussions with potential counterparties. While Bombardier does not generally comment publicly on market speculation or rumours, in light of recent media reports, Bombardier believes it is prudent to advise stakeholders that it is in discussions with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. with respect to its CRJ Programme,” the company stated. If a deal is made, The Air Current reports that it would likely signal Bombardier’s exit from commercial aviation. Bombardier acquired Canadair in 1982 and the CRJ programme was developed from the CL-600 business jet.
KLM and TU Delft join forces to make aviation more sustainable
KLM president & CEO Pieter Elbers and Dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) Professor Henri Werij have signed a new cooperative agreement to work together on making aviation more sustainable at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul. KLM will be contributing towards TU Delft’s research into an innovative flight concept known as the ‘Flying-V’, which embraces an entirely different approach to aircraft design, in anticipation and support of sustainable long-distance flight in the future.
The aircraft’s v-shaped design will integrate the passenger cabin, the cargo hold and the fuel tanks in the wings. Its improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will mean it uses 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350, today’s most advanced aircraft. A flying scale model and a full-size section of the interior of the Flying-V will be officially presented at the KLM Experience Days at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in October on the occasion of KLM’s 100th anniversary.
The aircraft was originally conceptualised as a potential aircraft design for the future, but can be compared to today’s most advanced aircraft, the Airbus A350. Although the plane is not as long as the A350, it does have the same wingspan. This will enable the Flying-V to use existing infrastructure at airports, such as gates and runways, without difficulty and the aircraft will also fit into the same hangar as the A350. What’s more, the Flying-V will carry the same number of passengers (314 in the standard configuration) and the same volume of cargo. The Flying-V will be smaller than the A350, giving it less aerodynamic resistance.
The Flying-V also provides researchers a unique opportunity to improve passenger experience in aircraft, from the seating layout in the wings, to the design of the seats and bathrooms. Everything has to be as lightweight as possible in order to maximise the efficiency gain the new aircraft shape provides. Passenger comfort is also taken into account. The Flying-V is propelled by the most fuel-efficient turbofan engines that currently exist. In its present design it still flies on kerosene, but it can easily be adapted to make use of innovations in the propulsion system; by using electrically-boosted turbofans for example.
EASA approves Garmin’s G500H TXi flight display for helicopters
Built on the proven capabilities of the original G500H series, the G500H TXi offers a vastly expanded array of features, options and panel possibilities that bring a new level of reliability, adaptability and affordability to helicopter operations. The G500H TXi boasts a bright LCD design including a large 10.6-inch display and two versions of 7-inch displays, available in portrait or landscape orientation, and features traditional concentric knobs for added versatility and convenience. For helicopter-specific mission readiness, the G500H TXi is equipped with a five-colour Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System1 (HTAWS), WireAware wire-strike avoidance technology and Garmin HSVT 3-D synthetic vision.
Trump administration implements a ban on private flights to Cuba
On Tuesday the US Treasury Department unveiled amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to further implement President Trump’s foreign policy on Cuba. These amendments complement changes to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which Commerce is also unveiling today. These regulatory changes were announced on 17 April 2019 and include restrictions on non-family travel to Cuba. “Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “This Administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. These actions will help to keep US dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”
These actions mark a continued commitment towards implementing the National Security Presidential Memorandum signed by the President on 16 June 2017 titled “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba.” These policies continue to work to channel economic activities away from the Cuban military, intelligence and security services. The Treasury changes took effect on 5 June 2019 when the regulations were published in the Federal Register.
Stratolaunch, builder of the world’s largest airplane for rocket launches may be closing
Reuters reported on Friday 31 May that Stratolaunch Systems Corp., which built a huge rocket-toting aircraft named Roc to launch satellites (and eventually people) into space, will soon shut down, citing four anonymous sources. However, Stratolaunch officials have told Space.com the company ‘remains operational’ as of now.
Microsoft co-founder and long time space enthusiast Paul Allen established Stratolaunch in 2011. But the billionaire died last October at the age of 65 and his sister Jody; chair of Stratolaunch parent venture Vulcan Inc. and trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust decided to ‘set an exit strategy’ late last month.
“Jody Allen decided to let the carrier aircraft fly to honour her brother’s wishes and also to prove the vehicle and concept worked, one of the four people said.” That flight took place on 13 April from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port. During the 2.5-hour test jaunt, Roc reached a peak altitude of 17,000 feet (5,180 meters) and a top speed of 189 mph (304 km/h), Stratolaunch Systems representatives said at the time. Roc’s wingspan is a record-breaking 385 feet (117 m); longer than an entire football field, including the two end zones. The aircraft is designed to haul a launch vehicle up to about 35,000 feet (10,700 m), at which point the booster will separate and make its own way to space.
Another company, Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, plans to air-launch satellites in a similar manner, though with a much smaller carrier plane. And Virgin Orbit’s sister outfit, Virgin Galactic, employs a carrier plane to get its six-passenger SpaceShipTwo suborbital space liner aloft.
ANA Group to open new state-of-the-art training centre
Located near Haneda Airport in Tokyo, ANA Holdings has announced the opening of its new training centre, ANA Blue Base (ABB). Construction concluded in March 2019 and allowed for partial operation from 15 April 2019. ANA HD plans for the facility to be both fully operational and open to the public by June 2020. ABB will serve as a training hub for a wide range of ANA employees, offering top-of-the-line instruction and connecting the diverse professionals such as pilots, flight attendants and maintenance staff who help make ANA a world class airline. ABB will be used to improve the quality of ANA Group’s operations across the board, while also fostering professional development and promoting innovation. As ABB transforms professional culture at ANA, the knowledge gained here will lead to more efficient work techniques and enhanced safety tactics, the number one priority for ANA Group.
Once the base is complete, it will house training simulators that will provide ANA personnel with the experience they need to appropriately respond to a wide range of potential emergencies. In addition to advanced mixed reality and virtual reality flight simulation technology, the facility is home to a motion mock-up for flight attendants and interactive firefighting training both first in Japan. There will also be door training for emergency situations and a specially designed pool to recreate water landings.
Viking plans a world demonstration tour for the Guardian 400
Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia has announced its plans to hold a world demonstration tour for its Guardian 400 aircraft, the special missions variant of the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter at the CANSEC Defence & Security show. The world tour will include detailed briefings and demonstration flights in Europe, Africa, Middle East, India, South East Asia, Oceania and North America.
For the past six months, a production Series 400 Twin Otter has been undergoing modifications to transform into Viking’s Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft for the proposed world tour. It will feature a left-hand SCAR pod with Hensoldt Argos EO/IR imaging turret, multi-spectral HDTV camera, megapixel HD Thermal imager, laser range finder, multi-mode auto tracker and Remote Image Bus (RIB) video feed for display on the cockpit MFD or crew workstation. The demonstrator will also feature a right-hand SCAR pod with Leonardo Osprey Radar System and Sentient Vidar Camera system.
In addition to its mission sensor package, the Guardian 400 prototype will be equipped with an Airborne Technologies’ tactical workstation with high-definition touchscreen monitors, data/voice/video recorder, Mission Management Unit (MMU), mission radio communications, intuitive hand controller for MCU & SLR camera targeting, CarteNav AIMS mission system software, Kestrel MTI targeting software and IKHANA ergonomic mission seat for optimized crew comfort. The prototype will also be equipped with Viking conformal bubble windows, left and right wing-mounted hard points by IKHANA, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks and an aft lavatory for crew comfort. With a target launch date of September 2019, the Guardian 400 world tour has briefing and demonstration flights proposed throughout Europe, North Africa, Central Africa, Southeastern Africa, the Middle East, Southern Asia, Asia Pacific, North America and will culminate in Ottawa, Canada to coincide with the 2020 CANSEC Defence & Security show.
Viking developed the Guardian 400 in response to foreign military and government agency demand for a medium-range maritime patrol, SAR and critical infrastructure platform based on the new Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Designed as an economical force multiplier for 21st century surveillance and security requirements, the Guardian 400’s low acquisition and operating costs combined with its modern, flexible architecture allows it to be customised to suit operators’ financial and mission requirements.
Honeywell unveils compact fly-by-wire system for urban air vehicles
Honeywell has unveiled a new compact ‘fly-by-wire’ system that is approximately the size of a paperback book. The computer packs the ‘brains’ of an airliner’s flight controls into one system and is the next step towards autonomous and Urban Air Mobility vehicles. The flight control computer from Honeywell adds stability to these revolutionary aircraft designs by driving electric actuators and dynamically adjusting flight surfaces and motors for smoothly following flight paths. It reduces turbulence and allows designers to push the limits of aerodynamics, eliminating the need for heavy hydraulics, control cables or pushrods.
The flight control computer has architectural features derived from Honeywell’s proven and certified existing compact fly-by-wire systems for airplanes and is built to aviation industry certification standards, providing the highest levels of availability and integrity. Honeywell’s offering features a triplex flight control computer architecture, providing multiple backup options and eliminating the risk of relying on one system failure. In addition, each computer uses lockstep processing, meaning it has two processing channels that constantly check each other’s work. These features provide the safest and most reliable operation that will meet the future requirements of transporting passengers in highly populated urban areas.
Dubbed compact fly-by-wire system because the controls are augmented by electronics versus purely manual controls, this new compact computer can be held in one hand compared with similar technologies installed on larger aircraft that are roughly the size and weight of a fully loaded suitcase. Honeywell’s solution will draw less power, cost a fraction of current systems and can be used on multiple aircraft types, including more traditional aircraft vehicle designs. Honeywell plans to demonstrate the new system on 11 and 12 June at the Uber Elevate Summit in Washington, D.C.
This system is the latest in a series of products Honeywell is developing for the fast-growing urban air mobility market. More than 100 companies worldwide are designing new cargo and passenger aircraft capable of on-demand flight across short distances, many of them self-flying and able to take off and land vertically.
Honeywell recently exhibited its new hybrid-electric turbo generator prototype, designed to power the multiple propellers and fans found on many new urban air vehicles. The turbo generator combines the flight-proven HTS-900 turbine with two miniaturised generators, producing a total of 400 kilovolts; enough electricity to power 40 average American homes running air conditioning at full blast.
Honeywell has also signed agreements to develop navigation and automatic landing systems for Volocopter’s vertical take-off and landing aircraft and to develop avionics, radios, navigation, flight control systems, connectivity and other products for Pipistrel’s vertical take-off and landing aircraft as well as eViation’s fully electric ALICE aircraft.
Boeing invests in commercial UAS services provider Robotic Skies
Boeing has made an investment in Robotic Skies, a services provider that connects manufacturers and operators of commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with a global network of more than 170 civil aviation authority-certified repair stations. The investment is part of Boeing’s disciplined, long-term strategy of entering into value-added partnerships that enhance and accelerate growth and deliver key differentiators for customers. “Unmanned and autonomous commercial aircraft operations are increasingly mirroring those in manned aviation, including the need for quality maintenance provided by certified technicians,” said Brad Hayden, founder and CEO of Robotic Skies. “This latest investment will allow us to continue to grow our global footprint and expand operational capabilities to support customers.” Boeing HorizonX Ventures led this funding round with participation from Thayer Ventures, Sun Mountain Capital and KickStart Seed Fund. The investment builds on a previously-announced collaboration with Robotic Skies, Boeing Global Services and its subsidiaries Aviall and Jeppesen to provide enhanced commercial UAS services.
NASA’s Reno drone test a winner
Looking ahead to the day that the stalwart postman or FedEx driver is replaced by a package-carrying drone, NASA has been testing a US ‘national traffic management system’ for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The latest simulations took place in Reno, Nevada, where NASA tested the avoidance capabilities and other features of its UTM (short for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management).
UTM combines the onboard hazard avoidance software in the UAVs along with a network of data providing ‘dynamic geofencing, severe weather and wind avoidance, congestion management, terrain avoidance, route planning and re-routing, separation management, sequencing and spacing as well as contingency management.’ As with ADS-B, the UAVs would share their location through the UTM to help provide separation. NASA says the Reno test was a success, and that this phase of the four-year programme will continue in Reno and Corpus Christi, Texas, through the summer.
Silent Falcon introduces extended endurance UAS
Equipped with the newest technological innovations in solar panels, battery and solar power conversion, the Silent Falcon EE UAS can stay aloft for up to eight hours during the day and four hours at night. The communications capabilities of the Silent Falcon EE have also been upgraded, thanks to the inclusion of three MIMO MANET radios at the Ground Control Station with the SF TriAntenna configuration. Not only does this configuration greatly increase connectivity, bandwidth and reliability, but it also allows one of the radios to be used to connect a remote site, such as a command centre to the radio network.
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)