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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
African Pilot’s June 2018 edition
The June 2018 edition of African Pilot featuring Lanseria International Airport as well as the EAA South Africa’s annual convention in Vryheid, the SAAF Museum airshow, the fantastic Lowveld airshow as well as many other interesting feature articles has been fully distributed. Thank you to the many aviation businesses and individuals that assisted with various aspects of this edition, especially those Lanseria International Airport clients.
African Pilot’s July 2018 edition
Perhaps one of the most important editions of the entire year, the July edition will be featuring all aspects of aviation training. This year African Pilot will be undertaking a far more in-depth look at the value of training organisations in South Africa with particular focus on the youth of our country who would like to become involved in the exciting world of aviation. This is the ideal time to present the ‘Aviation Training’ feature, because later in the year matric students will be preparing for their final examinations and they certainly don’t have time to focus on career options. Does your training organisation wish to be part of this valuable feature?
This edition will also feature the President’s Trophy Air Race (PTAR) in Bloemfontein as well as the Botswana Wesbank Matsieng International airshow over the same weekend and the Newcastle airshow. We have also introduced a new Chapter about ‘flying cars’, since this sector of aviation is developing rapidly. The deadline for the July edition is today 11 June 2018, but we can still accommodate advertisers until close of business today. For advertising positions, please contact Lara Bayliss Cell: 079 880 4359 Tel: 0861 001130 or e-mail: email@example.com 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 aviation news blasts with ‘breaking news’ as and when this happens.
We have also re-designed the option for the electronic version of African Pilot to be uploaded via our website. The cost of a single download is R18 (US$2) or R180 (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.
Video of the week
Spitfire MkV vs Bf 109 F-4 (not for sensitive people)
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
South African Airways offers their crew while shrinking their network
South African Airways (SAA) is offering spare pilots and cabin crew for temporary or permanent contracts with other airlines. As part of its turnaround strategy, the state-owned carrier is cutting unprofitable routes and thus needs fewer staff than it currently employs. CEO Vuyani Jarana announced the offer that should help SAA cut the costs. The crew will be able to set up contracts with other airlines to shrink the current size of the company, before returning to SAA if it manages to make profit again. “The hiring airline gets ready-made skills and we benefit from a reduction in overheads without people losing jobs,” said Jarana. South African Airways has been struggling for years. The airline has failed to secure profit since 2011 and already received $1.6 billion in government funding. It has also secured an additional $400 million that will allow the company to operate normally for the next five to six months.
In the long-term, SAA is looking for a strategic partner in order to stabilize its financial situation. By offering experienced staff, the carrier also tries to open opportunities to form alliances with other airlines. Bloomberg reports that discussions with several companies including Kenya Airways and Emirates were ongoing. Ethiopian Airlines, that assisted several other African countries in creating new airlines, could also come to the rescue of SAA. Meanwhile, the merger previously announced by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan between South African Airways and two other struggling airlines within the group: South African Express (grounded since 24 May) seems to have reached a standstill.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
14 June Thursday
Film Evening at the EAA Auditorium Rand Airport
The film to be shown is Piece of Cake, covering the Battle of Britain pilots, during WWII. It’s a wonderful portrayal of the immensely tough time pilots had during that time, both emotionally and physically. It is certainly well worth watching, according to Gordon Dyne, who is making the movie available and who has watched it many times.
There will be the usual great boerie and steak rolls, prepared by our very capable Braaimeesters. Gordon will man the bar, to ensure that no one goes thirsty. Please note the new time for commencement of the film, 19h00. Arrivals from 18h00 welcome, as the bar will be open. We look forward to welcoming you and request that you confirm your booking by dropping me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate the number in your party and preference for boerie / steak rolls. This will help with the catering arrangements.
Brakpan Aero Club Cessna Fly-in from 08h00 for the day
Contact: Cell: 071 5422 993 E-mail: email@example.com
The new committee of the Brakpan Aero Club is wanting to place FABB firmly on the map for breakfast fly-ins and so much more. With our excellent restaurant ‘The Flying Grace’ run by the delectable Minnie van der Merwe, two kilometers of tarred runway and tarred taxiways, competitively priced fuel, clubhouse and swimming pool, the folk at FABB believe that they have the best airfield and Flying Club for a thousand square miles. This will be a fabulous day for all pilots and their friends.
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
24 to 28 June
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, enrichment 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!
African Pilot will be attending again this year – my 18th consecutive year in a row and I am looking forward to meeting all of wonderful friends in Camp Plakkerfontein again this year. This is almost your last chance to join the South African pilgrimage to the Greatest Show on Earth this July, because time is running out if you are to get your US visas and travel arrangements in order. Neil Bowden has advised me that he has booked 200 people, which is an all-time record.
African Pilot will also be looking for those enthusiasts who want to try their hands at being published in the magazine to try their hand at writing stories and taking pictures about their experiences at AirVentue2018. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Dustin Lynch, Maddie & Tae for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 opening concert
For the first time, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will have twice the star power for its traditional opening night concert, as country stars Dustin Lynch and Maddie & Tae kick off The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration with a post-airshow concert on Monday evening, 23 July. For the past 13 years, the opening-night concert sponsored by Ford Motor Company has provided a rousing start to the weeklong celebration of flight at Oshkosh. This year’s concert begins with Maddie & Tae at 18h00, followed by Dustin Lynch at 19h15.
Grand Central Airport Oshkosh competition
1 to 5 August
AC National Championships Tempe Bloemfontein
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
5 to 11 August
SAPFA World Rally Flying Competition Dubnicac Slovakia
Contact Website: www.akdubnica.sk
Women’s day fly-in at Stellenbosch Flying Club (Thursday)
Contact Alison 082 728 7386 or Louise 083 454 1104
24 & 25 August
Contact Stefan Fourie E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Sheila Taylor Fun Rally at Krugersdorp Airfield
Contact Grant Rousseau Cell: 082 329 3551E-mail: email@example.com
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
No survivors in FlySax plane crash in the Aberdares, Kenya
The Cessna C208 aircraft, registration number 5Y-CAC, left a Kitale airstrip in Trans-Nzoia County at 16h05 for Nairobi but lost contact with the control tower at 17h20. On board were the pilot, Captain Barbra Wangeci Kamau and First Officer Jean Mureithi. Sadly, all persons on this flight perished. This has shattered the hopes of families and friends of the crew and passengers who hoped to find their loved ones alive. The wreck was spotted at 06h45 on Thursday 7 June by the aerial search team at Elephant Point, some 11,000 feet above sea level. A ground team of military specialists in mountain rescue operations had been dispatched to the site, which is 11,900 feet on a 400m cliff face in a densely forested area at the Elephant Point.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Airbus and Bombardier in family ties with C Series deal
Airbus and Bombardier finalised their C Series agreement after receiving the necessary approvals. The integration of the plane family in Airbus’ catalogue will become effective from 1 July 2018. Airbus is to acquire a majority stake in the Société en commandite Avions C Series (SCAS), a joint venture which was originally created by Bombardier and Investissement Québec.
SCAS is in charge of the production of the CS100 and CS300, two regional airliners with a capacity of 120 and 140 seats respectively in standard configuration. The C Series company expects to benefit from Airbus global reach to boost the sales of its planes. The plant is based in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, presently employs 2 200 people. Another assembly line is expected to be created in Mobile, Alabama, United States, where Airbus already owns a facility for the American market.
A total of 17 C Series aircraft were delivered in 2017. Bombardier and Airbus expect to increase the output in the years to come, with a goal of 35 planes delivered in 2018. Presently the C Series family has a backlog of 115 CS100s and 258 CS300s on order. The last order was placed on 28 May 2018, by airBaltic for 30 CS300s with an option for 30 more.
Following the official announcement of the partnership, new contracts are expected, most likely during Farnborough International Airshow in July 2018, when the C Series will be presented for the first time as part of Airbus catalogue. The European manufacturer estimates that 6 000 aircraft will be needed in that market segment over the next 20 years. Despite rumours in April 2018, the change of name of the CS100 and CS300 into respectively A210 and A230 was not confirmed.
Following the agreement, Airbus will acquire 50.01% of the programme for a token one Canadian dollar. Bombardier should keep a stake of about 31%, while the part of the government from Quebec will be reduced to about 19%. Of the $6 billion that cost the development of the project, $1 billion belonged to the government, after a cash injection back in 2015. Airbus will have the possibility to buy back Quebec government’s share of the programme by 2023 and Bombardier’s by 2025.
Philippe Balducchi from Airbus should take the reins of the programme. His first mission will be to meet Bombardier suppliers to negotiate a reduction in production costs, while promising in exchange an increase in orders. The biggest supplier with which Airbus will have to bargain is United Technologies (UTC). The U.S.-based giant owns Pratt & Whitney, the manufacturer of the exclusive engine powering the C Series, the PW1000G. UTC also acquired Rockwell Collins in September 2017. The avionics company provides most of the cockpit systems of Bombardier’s regional jetliner.
Lufthansa Group firms up order for six more A320neo and three A320ceo
Lufthansa Group has firmed up a previous option for six further Airbus A320neo, following a decision by the company’s supervisory board at the beginning of May. The latest agreement brings Lufthansa Group’s total order for the A320neo to 122 (77 A320neo and 45 A321neo). In addition, the airline signed an order for three more A320ceo, bringing the Group’s A320ceo orders to 273. With a total of 395 A320 Family aircraft on order, the Lufthansa Group is also Airbus’ biggest A320 operator with nearly 400 A320 Family aircraft in service. Lufthansa was the launch operator of the A320neo.
Akbar Al Baker new IATA board chairman
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, has assumed his duties as Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG) for a one-year term effective from the conclusion of the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting in Sydney, Australia. Al Baker is the 77th chair of the IATA BoG and the first CEO from Qatar Airways to hold the position. He has served on the BoG since 2012. He succeeds Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines.
EBACE2018 concludes as a strong, forward-looking show
On Thursday 31 May as the 2018 edition of the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) concluded its third and final day, organizers reported that by every measure, the event once again served as a powerful and forward-looking showcase for the European business aviation industry.
EBACE is jointly organized each year by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
EBACE2018 began its opening day with a standing-room-only session featuring an awe-inspiring keynote presentation by Yves ‘Jetman’ Rossy. An accomplished military and commercial pilot, Rossy is also the inventor of a series of experimental individual jet packs that have given him the ability to soar like a bird over the English Channel and US Grand Canyon and even fly in formation with an Airbus A380.
A packed exhibit floor featured 418 exhibitors, an increase over last year’s event, from across the world. EBACE2018 also welcomed a number of first-time exhibitors to the show, while a host of companies chose EBACE as the ideal venue to announce new aircraft, products and services, with press conferences and media events throughout the week. Attendees at the show represented about 100 countries.
The sold-out EBACE2018 static display featured 54 aircraft on the ramp at Geneva Airport, ranging from intercontinental business jets, to turboprop and piston aircraft, to helicopters. The event also hosted introductions of new aircraft making their first appearances at EBACE2018. Another prominent initiative on display throughout EBACE2018 was EBAA’s recently-unveiled Expanding Horizons programme, a continent-wide awareness campaign to highlight the value of business aviation in the European region. The week included the release of the EBAA study ‘Expanding Horizons: How millennials see the future of business aviation,’ which revealed that young professionals recognize the main benefit of the business aviation industry to be its ability to take people where they need, when they need.
EBACE2018 also featured numerous informative education sessions addressing top concerns in the European business aviation community, including the implications of Brexit for business aviation, improving access to European airspace and airports for business aviation operators, promoting career opportunities within the industry and the role of business aviation in times of crisis. During the event, organisers took a moment to recognise the life and legacy of Serge Dassault, who passed away on 28 May at age 93. EBACE2018 was dedicated to Dassault, who in 2009 received NBAA’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award for his contributions to business aviation. Next year’s EBACE will return to Palexpo and Geneva Airport between 21 and 23 May 2019.
Airbus BelugaXL completes vibration testing, prepares for taxiing
The first BelugaXL has passed the Ground Vibration Test (GVT), a requirement for certification of the aircraft that paves the way towards its maiden flight in summer 2018.
The objective of this test is to measure the dynamic behaviour of the aircraft and confirm theoretical models of various flight conditions, such as manoeuvring, flying in gusty conditions and landing. The test data also helps predicting the amplitude of vibrations the aircraft can go through while operating and clear its flight enveloppe. Such demonstration proves that the plane has no risk of “flutter”, a phenomenon responsible for several crashes in the past, including Braniff Flight 542 and Northwest Flight 710.
The GVT of BelugaXL was performed by French Office national d’études et de recherches aérospatiales (ONERA) in collaboration with German Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) over eight testing days in Toulouse using several hundreds of external accelerometers while the aircraft was stimulated by external shakers or seismic exciters. Tests were conducted under two configurations – with an empty fuselage and laden. More than 600 sensors, 7,000 m of cables and 300 m of optical fibres were installed on the fuselage, empennage, engines and sails. ONERA and DLR were already responsible for testing the A320neo, A350-900 and A380.
As BelugaXL is a reduced programme (only five planes to be built), the model used for ground testing is also the flight prototype. It had already received Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and will now be powered on and proceed to taxi tests.
The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. “Our programme is evolving. Today, the Beluga cannot load two wings of an A350 at the same time. We must send them one by one in the cargo bay, lying at 45 degrees. This doubles our transportation costs,” Bertrand George, director of the Beluga XL told Ouest France. The new oversize air transporter is based on the A330-200 Freighter, with a large re-use of existing components and equipment. The first five BelugaXLs will fly in summer 2018 and enter into service in 2019.
Philippine Airlines takes delivery of its first A321neo
This is the first of 21 A321neo aircraft ordered by the airline under its fleet renewal programme. Powered by Pratt and Whitney PurePower engines, the new aircraft features a premium two class layout with 12 business class seats and 154 seats in the main cabin. Selected for its outstanding operational efficiency, comfort and range, Philippine Airlines will deploy the A321neo aircraft across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia and India. The A321neo joins an existing Airbus fleet at Philippine Airlines that currently includes 25 A320ceo Family aircraft, 15 widebody A330s and five A340s. The carrier will also take delivery of the first of six A350-900 widebody aircraft on order later this year.
First A380 airliners to be stripped for parts
On Tuesday a German investment company said it would strip two unwanted Airbus A380 superjumbo passenger jets for parts after failing to find an airline willing to keep them flying following a decision by Singapore Airlines not to keep them in service. The decision by Dortmund-based Dr Peters Group deals a fresh blow to the plane maker’s efforts to maintain market interest in the double-decker, barely 10 years after it went into service hailed by heads of state as a symbol of European ambition.
Despite strong reviews for its quiet and spacious cabin, demand for the 544-seater has fallen as many airlines drop the industry’s largest four-engined aircraft in favour of smaller twin-engined ones that are more efficient and easier to fill with passengers. Airbus says the iconic jet will eventually prove itself as travel demand saturates airport capacity at major cities.
Singapore Airlines launched A380 services in December 2007 but returned the first two aircraft to their German financiers some 10 years later after deciding not to extend the lease. The two discarded aircraft were flown to Tarbes in the French Pyrenees to be stored and since then their fate has been uncertain as their owner looked for other takers. “After extensive as well as intensive negotiations with various airlines such as British Airways, HiFly and IranAir, Dr Peters Group has decided to sell the aircraft components and will recommend this approach to its investors,” the company said in a statement.
Airbus has been working for months to try to stimulate a second-hand market for the A380 to encourage new airlines to take the risk of investing in the plane, knowing the asset would be worth the right amount when they decide to sell it on. When it was launched, the A380 boasted highly customised interiors to help airlines promote a luxury feel, but the cost of replacing such bespoke fittings is now seen as a handicap.
Diamond delivers first DA62 MPP
Diamond’s special-mission version of its DA62 light twin, the MPP (multi-purpose platform), which was introduced last year at the Paris Air Show, has been delivered to its first customer, the company said this week. DEA Specialised Airborne Operations, based in the UK, will use the aircraft to provide airborne-sensing services, such as surveillance and surveys. With a full-fuel payload of 1,000 pounds, the all-composite DA62 can fly missions up to 10 hours, while providing more space for crew and equipment than Diamond’s other multi-purpose aircraft. The surveillance technology has been ‘field proven’ and benefits from continuous improvement during more than a decade of operations, said Mathias Hutterer, head of the airborne sensing department at Diamond Aircraft Austria. The MPP is equipped with turbocharged Austro Engine AE330 powerplants that burn jet fuel at 7.4 gallons per hour at loiter speed. The passenger version has room for seven seats, so the repurposed cabin provides plenty of room for mission equipment. The MPP version also has a satellite antenna pod, camera turrets and a strengthened nose assembly to accommodate up to 220 pounds of surveillance gear. Diamond provides all necessary training for pilots, equipment operators and maintenance staff. The MPP will be on static display at the Farnborough Airshow in England, 16 to 22 July.
American Airlines flight encounters severe thunderstorm
On Sunday night last week an American Airlines Flight 1897 was forced to make an emergency landing after flying through a severe thunderstorm. The aircraft, which had departed from San Antonio heading for Phoenix, sustained significant hail damage to the windshield and radome. The A319 diverted to El Paso International Airport (ELP) and landed safely with no injuries reported. There were 130 passengers and five crewmembers on board.
The pilots reported that damage to the windshield was severe enough that they had lost most of their forward visibility. The hailstones encountered were estimated to be between 1.5 and 3 inches in diameter. A severe thunderstorm watch had been issued for the region. Rick Kohrs, a programmer and graphic artist who works at the Space Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, mapped the path of the flight on the satellite imagery of the storm. American Airlines issued a statement apologizing for the disruption to its customers’ travel plans and said their maintenance team is in the process of evaluating the aircraft. Passengers were put on another flight to Phoenix later that night.
Sonex is for sale
Along with announcing his retirement last Friday, John Monnett, founder and president of Sonex Aircraft, is also inviting offers from individuals and companies interested in purchasing the company.
Founded by Monnett in 1998, Sonex Aircraft is a kit aircraft company based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The company produces kits for several aircraft models, including the Sonex-B LSA, SubSonex jet and Xenos-B motor glider.
According to Sonex, Monnett is looking for a buyer who is ‘interested in continuing the successful heritage of Sonex Aircraft into the next generation, or in assisting Sonex Aircraft with transition to an employee-ownership succession plan.’ Sonex General Manager Mark Schaible added that ‘Sonex Aircraft is still going strong’ and that the company is ‘in the midst of its most successful period in recent years.’
Monnett’s retirement comes after nearly 50 years in the kit aircraft industry. He is an inductee into the EAA Homebuilders Hall of Fame and two-time winner of the Dr August Raspet Memorial Award and has received the EAA Freedom of Flight Award and the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Spirit of Flight Award, among others. “I am retiring from Sonex Aircraft but not forsaking my passion for aviation,” Monnett said. “I will continue to contribute where I can into the future but will be leaving day-to-day operations in the very capable hands of my staff.”
Drunk Capetonian pilot found guilty
Cape Town based pilot, Julian Monaghan, pleaded guilty to attempting to fly a passenger jet carrying roughly 300 passengers, whilst four times over the legal alcohol limit. The 49-year-old British Airways employee appeared in court in Crawley, southern England on Wednesday for the conclusion of his trial.
Monaghan was arrested on 18 January and dragged from the Boeing 777 when he attempted to fly from London to Mauritius while under the influence. He was scheduled to pilot the Boeing 777 on a long-haul flight from Gatwick Airport, when concerned staff reported Julian’s seemingly drunk condition shortly before take-off.
In a dramatic scene, Monaghan was arrested and removed from the aircraft in handcuffs by police. The flight was delayed by over two hours due to the incident. The pilot was charged with having 86mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system. The drink-drive limit is 80mg and the limit for pilots is 20mg.
A British Airways spokesman told Daily Mail UK: “We have taken this matter extremely seriously and will continue to assist the police with their inquiries. The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.” He has subsequently been fired from his job and will appear in court again later this month for sentencing.
FLYING CARS NEWS
SureFly Hybrid electric manned multi-copter enters FAA certification process
The FAA has accepted an application for a type certificate from Workhorse Group for the SureFly eVTOL aircraft. The 1 June application is an important step forward, as the SureFly design appears to be the first hybrid-electric eVTOL multi-copter to reach this important milestone with the FAA.
SureFly has been designed to create a new type of aircraft that is intended to be easy to operate, safe to fly and expected to be moderately priced relative to a conventional helicopter. SureFly has eight electrically driven props that are powered via a piston or turbine-based generator. The craft also has a small lithium battery that is designed to power the motors for a safe descent and landing in the rare event that the generator should fail while in flight. In addition to these redundancies, the SureFly design has a ballistic parachute that works above 100 feet of altitude.
The SureFly system features a state of the art fly-by-wire control system that enables single joystick control of the craft. The lightweight carbon fibre fuselage and large front windshield also lend a level of comfort and safety for the pilot and passenger. The SureFly can accommodate a pilot and passenger or a pilot and cargo for a wide variety of applications. “The FAA has yet to certify an aircraft like SureFly,” said Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group. “We have been working closely with the FAA while we have been under our Experiment Certification status, and we feel that their acceptance of our Type Certification application represents a vote of confidence in our team, our product and the future of electric vertical take and landing aircraft here in the United States.”
Because the FAA has not certificated an aircraft like SureFly before and because this is truly a first-of-its-kind design, much of the FAA’s regulatory certification framework does not apply to SureFly, so Workhorse is working closely with top experts in the field to develop new certification requirements that fit a hybrid-electric eVTOL like SureFly.
The Dart – an exceptional single person aircraft
The Swiss aircraft design company Ray Research AG presents an extremely compact single person aircraft with exceptional characteristics: With a wingspan of only 2.4m (7.9 feet) and a length of 2.0m (6.6 feet) it is smaller than many cars. It profits of a hybrid propulsion system with four electric motors and a combustion engine. But the most outstanding feature is the ability for silent vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). Therefore, enabling take-off and landing on any flat surface. In order to achieve maximum safety, the Dart will use the patent-pending fail-safe electric propulsion system, that Ray Research AG has developed for the long-range VIP Ray aircraft. The pilot will enjoy a maximum freedom adventure when flying headfirst powered by the four electric fans.
This exceptional aircraft was designed by the Ray Research AG team to compete for the GoFly prize. The GoFly prize is a Boeing sponsored competition, that inspired many innovators worldwide to design and develop the world’s first personal flying device for anyone, anywhere. Ray Research AG is a Swiss-based engineering company with an international team of engineers and scientists. It develops high tech solutions with the main focus on disruptive vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Its flagship development is the Ray-Aircraft, a five-seat long range VIP VTOL aircraft.
GoFly is a Boeing-sponsored competition pushing the boundaries of innovation, engineering and transportation to create a personal flying device for anyone, anywhere. The personal flying device must be safe, quiet, ultra-compact and near-VTOL, capable of carrying a single person for a distance of 20 miles without refuelling or recharging. Over the next two years, individuals and teams from around the globe will compete for $2 million in prizes, accessing global experts to bring their ideas to life.
Commercial BVLOS Drone Service uses FLARM for traffic avoidance
The Insel hospital group and drone manufacturer Matternet have started a commercial BVLOS drone transport service in the Swiss capital city of Berne. The drones are connecting the Insel university hospital and Tiefenau hospital, located four kilometers (2.5 miles) apart, carrying laboratory samples and urgently needed medication. The route is located entirely inside the controlled airspace around the city’s airport.
“When laboratory samples need to be transported as quickly as possible from A to B, every minute counts”, says Uwe E. Jocham, Insel’s CEO. The laboratory samples are currently transported by courier, but for urgent cases, Insel uses a taxi.
All drones are equipped with FLARM traffic information and collision warning system. This technology is standard in most aircraft operating in European airspace and allows both manned and unmanned aircraft to see and stay well clear of each other at any time. In addition, it enables the drones to be identified and tracked at all times, a key requirement of U-Space for the safe and efficient integration of drones into airspace shared with manned aviation.
In the near future, medical laboratory Zentrallabor ZLZ and Matternet will start another commercial BVLOS drone transport service above Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city. The service will connect ZLZ’s main medical laboratory with the Hirslanden Im Park hospital. The routing crosses the lake of Zurich and is partially in uncontrolled airspace. The Swiss Civil Aviation Authority FOCA has been involved in the project, has inspected the drone and its safety components, defined the legal conditions for flying it and granted approval for the flights in Berne and Zurich.
DJI / Axon announce drone partnership to strengthen law enforcement tools for public safety
Recently DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology and Axon (Nasdaq: AAXN), the global leader in connected law enforcement technologies announced an exclusive partnership, within the digital evidence management industry, to sell DJI drones directly to public safety and law enforcement agencies worldwide through the new Axon Air programme. The partnership was announced at the third annual Axon Accelerate conference for more than 1,500 police, security, legal and technology professionals from around the world.
More than 900 American public safety agencies use drones to improve officer safety, support tactical actions, reconstruct traffic collisions, support public safety at large events and perform search-and-rescue missions. At least 130 people around the world have been rescued from peril by drones, proving their value in life-or-death situations.
The Axon Air programme allows law enforcement agencies to purchase drones from a trusted partner and links DJI’s drone technology with Axon’s connected data network and Evidence.com services; the same platform that more than 200,000 public safety professionals use today. Evidence.com provides the same rigorous data management system, chain-of-custody controls and security protocols that law enforcement agencies rely on to preserve and protect data from body cameras and in-car video systems. Within Evidence.com the integrity of drone videos is preserved for the protection of police agencies and the public they serve. Drones currently available for sale through the Axon Air programme include: Phantom 4 Pro and Matrice 210.
“As the requirements and demands of unmanned aircraft programs grow, Axon is partnering with agencies to build out solutions that meet the complexities and requirements of public safety,” says Axon’s EVP of Worldwide Products, Todd Basche. “Together, we will focus on creating situational awareness, advanced evidence collection and program management tools that will allow agencies to manage their drone programme alongside their body camera and in-car video systems.”
“DJI’s partnership with Axon allows law enforcement agencies to add drone capabilities and data services through the same trusted provider they rely on for the tools, data and support they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Michael Perry, Managing Director of North America at DJI. “Law enforcement agencies are rapidly adopting drones for their work and often need guidance on how to establish a drone programme and integrate it into their departments. DJI’s Axon Air partnership will strengthen and enhance law enforcement’s ability to protect public safety, respond to emergencies and save lives.”
Axon will partner with public safety agencies to identify the solutions that meet the demands of their communities and will bring drone video into the Axon Network of people, devices and apps. Interested agencies should reach out to their Axon sales representatives to learn more about how they can adopt this technology today.
L3 MAS teams with Israel Aerospace Industries for RCAF RPAS project
On 31 May 2018 L3 MAS announced that it has teamed with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to form Team Artemis to offer the state-of-the-art Artemis Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), based on IAI’s Heron TP, for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) programme. The Artemis UAS is a mature and highly capable platform with a proven operational track record. This medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAS will be equipped with a wide variety of sensors and other payloads designed specifically to meet Canada’s requirements.
The Artemis UAS is uniquely positioned to assist Canada in preserving its national security and sovereignty interests at home and abroad. L3 MAS will be the prime contractor for the team, building on its extensive in-service support (ISS), airworthiness, integrated logistics and programme management experience. It will also lead the Artemis Canadian industrial team, including Pratt & Whitney Canada, which will provide the power plant for the air vehicle, as well as other prominent Canadian partners to be named at a later date. The Artemis solution will deliver substantial economic benefits to Canada, including the creation of high-value Canadian jobs.
Under the RPAS programme, the Department of National Defence (DND) will procure a number of MALE UAS aircraft, with associated ground control stations (GCS), sensor suites and support equipment. The contract is scheduled to be awarded in 2021-2022 and will include the acquisition of the equipment and the full spectrum of in-service support for 20 years.
DJI Drones being used to save entangled whales
Every fall, pods of enormous humpback whales make their way towards Hawaii, where they can ride out the winter in warm waters of NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. For centuries humans have watched this noble migration with awe and wonder. But today, an ever-growing number of these amazing animals are finding themselves in grave danger, entrapped in fishing gear and other marine debris.
Specialists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have worked with local volunteers to help save the whales by launching small boats with trained teams to disentangle them while in the water. It’s risky work, bringing people into close contact with the gigantic mammals. Knives on long poles work to cut free ropes that have sunk deep into the whales’ flesh. Last year, a volunteer was killed when a whale struck him. To help make the process safer, the whale rescue squads are turning to a new technology: drones.
Matt Pickett, a former NOAA sanctuary manager, is now the founder of Oceans Unmanned, a non-profit organisation that facilitates the use of drone technology for marine conservation. Oceans Unmanned recently unveiled the freeFLY programme, a new initiative designed to provide aerial support using small drones for large whale entanglement response efforts. “In the past, we had to get close to the whales at least three times,” explains Pickett. “Once to figure out where the animal was entangled, once to cut them free and once to make sure the job was done right and nothing was left behind.” With drones, the team can cut that down to just one step. Using small, remote controlled quadcopters with powerful cameras they can do their initial assessment and final check. “It makes the entire process much safer for both the humans and the whales.”
Drone delivery Canada, Toyota Tsusho Canada announce new initiative
Drone Delivery Canada and Toyota Tsusho Canada have signed an agreement to collaborate on a drone delivery logistics platform. “This agreement with TTCI is expected to open international markets for us as a company,” commented Tony Di Benedetto, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada. “Working alongside a global industrial leader such as Toyota Tsusho also provides us quick access to a very extensive international global network and a breadth of commercial skills.”
“We are confident drone delivery services are the way of the future. This agreement with DDC will enable us to participate in this cutting-edge technology,” commented Hidetoshi Tada, President of TTCI. Under the agreement, TTCI will participate in Drone Delivery Canada’s commercial pilot programme in Canada as an initial stage. Collectively, the two groups will look to commence flight testing and identify other international markets to deploy DDC’s proprietary drone delivery platform as a transportation solution. TTCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. The ultimate parent company of TTCI is Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the trading affiliate of the Toyota Group of companies.
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