“To see what is in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.”
African Pilot’s July 2019 edition
The July edition of African Pilot featuring our annual Aviation Careers Guide as well as Flight Training Schools in southern Africa is printing. This edition provides 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 also carries a report on EBACE staged in Geneva, Switzerland between 21 and 23 May 2019 as well as the brilliant Botswana, Matsieng airshow.
African Pilot’s August 2019 edition
This edition will feature Light Sport Aircraft types up to 600Kg as well as our annual Nelspruit Airports feature. In addition this edition will provide extensive coverage to AERO South Africa to be staged at Wonderboom National Airport between Thursday 4 and Saturday 6 July. The closing date for editorial submissions will be on Friday 5 July. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why is African Pilot your finest aviation advertising platform in Africa?
1.Presently African Pilot prints, distributes and sells more magazines than any other aviation magazine on the African continent. Remember no publisher can distribute or sell more magazines than the publisher claims it prints
2. All major advertisers have digital enhancement as a click through to their websites within the digital edition of the monthly magazine
3. APAnews is the only FREE weekly communication delivered by a printed publication in the entire world that has an audience well in excess of 100 000 readers per month
4. APAcom attends to your aviation communication and public relations requirements
5. APAdigital is the video service available to ALL aviation customers of the monthly magazine
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit APAcom and register yourself as a user.
This is easy, just visit www.apacom.co.za and register on the APAcom portal.
Video of the week: CAASA 75th birthday bash
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact email@example.com
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
As discussed I have two buyers looking for Cessna 185s. The aircraft will be exported to New Zealand so they will require a current C of A. I would really appreciate your help if you know of anyone willing to sell their Cessna 185s
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 220 1501 or E-mail: Herman.Strating@pwc.ca
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Mozambique airshow brief report by Brian Emmenis
According to Brian this was an outstanding airshow staged over the water within the Maputo bay. Naturally most of the displays were flown by South African pilots, whilst the setting was staged before an incredible crowd of spectators who were very interactive. Apparently the display area was right under the approach line for commercial airliners and the coordination between all the various authorities was to be commended.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
AERO South Africa, the African show for General Aviation, is just three weeks away
We would like to bring your attention to the following important notice: the deadline for the show guide entry is Monday, 24 June 2019. The following information must be submitted:
100-word company description including contact details
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 Monday, 24 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 cell: +27 79 880 4359
Amanda Dube e-mail: Amanda.Dube@za.messefrankfurt.com +27 10 599 6170
Mafiking Airshow scheduled for Saturday 22 June cancelled again!
Once again and now the fourth time is as many years the Mafikeng airshow has been cancelled by the organisers just a four days before the scheduled event. Towards the end of last year when I was preparing the aviation calendar of events for 2019, I warned ASSA that due to the track record another cancelation within the week before the event was highly likely. My sincere belief is that ASSA has to look at this type of situation very carefully in future and also take advice from other persons who have been involved within the aviation industry for may years. Unless ASSA is prepared to take a substantial deposit from an airshow organiser such as Mafikeng, then I certainly will not be ever placing this event onto the African Pilot calendar again.
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.
19 to 23 June
SAC National Championships Klerksdorp
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
Reefsteamers train, plane, vintage car event from Krugersdorp to Magalies
Contact Ian Morrison e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
23 to 28 June
South African Hot Air Balloon Championships Skeerpoort North West Province
Contact Richard Bovell 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
3 & 4 August
SAC KZN Regionals Ladysmith airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
21 to 31 August
SAC Unlimited World Championships in France
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
Contact Stephan Fourie e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
26 to 28 August
Commercial Aviation Symposium Africa Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Contact Tel 011 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Grand Central Fun Rally – Grand Central Airport
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vans RV Fly-in to Kitty Hawk
Contact Frank van Heerden e-mail: email@example.com
25 to 26 September
MEBAA show Morocco Marrakech Menara Airport, Morocco
Contact Matthew Cunliffe Tel: +971 4 603 3323 Cell +971 56 171 5734
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.mebaamorocco.aero
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Mali Mi-35 spotted ahead of delivery
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Mali’s Air Force is set to take delivery of another Mi-35M attack helicopter from Russia, with the aircraft seen undergoing test flights earlier this month. Mali received two Mi-35Ms in 2017, after ordering four of the helicopters in 2016. A new Mi-35M, in desert camouflage, destined for Mali’s Air Force, was seen at Rostvertol’s facilities at Rostov on Don on 3 June, indicating delivery was imminent. Mali’s Mi-35M acquisition was first revealed in September 2016 when Yury Demchenko, Rosoboronexport delegation head for the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition in South Africa said over the next year Russian Helicopters would deliver Mi-8/17 transport and Mi-24/35 attack helicopters to Nigeria, Mali, Angola and Sudan.
Mali’s Air Force already operates a number of older Mi-24s, but the upgraded Mi-35M is far more capable. It features several improvements over its predecessors, such as new avionics with multifunction colour displays, more powerful Klimov VK-2500 turboshaft engines developing 2 200 shp, fibreglass main rotor blades, main rotor head with elastomeric joints, a new swashplate and X-type tail rotor. The Mi-35M’s fuselage has shortened stub wings and fixed landing gear. The helicopter’s sighting system has a thermal imager, TV camera and laser rangefinder and designator. According to Russian Helicopters, weapons include Ataka-V or Shturm-V ant-tank missiles and Igla-V air-to-air missiles, 80 or 122 mm rockets and a GSh-231 23-mm twin-barrel cannon. In addition to weapons, the Mi-35M can carry up to eight personnel in its cabin or cargo weighing 1 500 kg while up to 2 400 kg can be carried on an external sling.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Daher announces its acquisition of Quest Aircraft
Daher is taking a major step in developing the company’s airplane manufacturing business with the planned acquisition of Quest Aircraft Company, based in Sandpoint, Idaho, which builds the Kodiak 100. The Kodiak 100 is a 10-seat, unpressurised, entry-level aircraft in the single-engine turboprop category. Originally created for humanitarian missions in developing countries, the Kodiak 100 is an agile and robust aircraft, capable of operating on uneven and ultra-short runways, while offering optimal safety. Certified in 67 countries, the Kodiak 100 is used worldwide by air-taxi, recreational and leisure operators, along with businesses, pilot-owners and humanitarian organisations.
Through this major acquisition, Daher is enhancing its presence in the general and business aviation segment by offering a wider multi-product range. Already well known for its TBM 910 and TBM 940 very fast turboprop aircraft, Daher’s airplane portfolio has now expanded to include the Kodiak 100. With more than 270 Kodiak aircraft in operation, this all-terrain multi-mission aircraft is used worldwide by recreational and leisure operators, along with businesses, pilot-owners and humanitarian organisations.
In addition to its development and purchasing synergies, the Quest Aircraft Company’s acquisition offers excellent commercial, technological and geographical complementarities. With more than 150 years of know-how, Daher now intends to invest in this production platform to offer an enhanced services and sales network. “The Kodiak 100 is an aviator’s aircraft, just like the members of our TBM family and we are happy to bring together two communities of passionate pilots and operators with the acquisition of Quest,” explained Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of the Daher Aircraft Business Unit. “We also are particularly pleased to welcome the 240 employees based in Sandpoint, Idaho to the Daher Group.”
“The know-how of Quest and Daher opens the potential for rapid growth, with the combined operation becoming a key international player. Our teams share the values for craftsmanship and quality, as underscored by Quest’s motto: ‘Built by hand in Sandpoint, Idaho,” said Quest Aircraft CEO Robert Wells. The acquisition’s closing is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, subject to approval by the appropriate authorities in both countries.
Commercial aircraft production to hit a record high in 2019
According to analysis from Frost & Sullivan, the revival of competition between Boeing and Airbus is expected to result in record delivery of the highly popular narrow-body platforms and a 9.4% year-on-year growth in production. Boeing and Airbus will produce more than 1,750 aircraft in 2019, up from 1,606 units in 2018 and propel the market towards $258.95 billion. Boeing will receive a boost once it finalises its deal for Embraer’s airliner business in 2019 to counter Airbus’s acquisition of Bombardier’s C Series programme; it will continue to develop its new mid-market aircraft (NMA) platform and position itself for growth in next-generation markets. The 2019 Global Commercial Aerospace Outlook is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Aerospace research and analysis available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organisations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future.
Stratolaunch price tag $400,000,000
According to CNBC, the asking price for Stratolaunch, the enormous aircraft intended to launch commercial rockets, has reportedly been set at $400,000,000, including all the facilities, equipment and intellectual property. Stratolaunch has not commented on the report. The company, owned by the late Paul Allen’s holding company Vulcan, had intended to enter the commercial launch business with the unique platform, which was designed by Burt Rutan. The six-engine, two-fuselage behemoth has a wingspan of 385 feet and has flown just once.
The plane was purpose-built to carry a rocket between the fuselages and air launch it after reaching about 40,000 feet. Stratolaunch envisioned less expensive and more reliable launches for the burgeoning market for low earth orbit satellites used mainly for communications and internet services. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbital is launching a similar service but uses a former Boeing 747-400 airliner as the launch aircraft. There is no word on whether there are any potential buyers for the one-off, single-purpose aircraft.
FAA initiating rulemaking activities for civil supersonic aircraft
As part of the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) priority on innovation in transportation, the DOT and the FAA are taking steps to advance the development of civil supersonic aircraft. In line with this, the FAA is initiating two rulemaking activities on civil supersonic aircraft noise. The first activity is a proposed rule for noise certification of supersonic aircraft and the second is a proposed rule to streamline and clarify the procedures to obtain special flight authorisation for conducting supersonic flight-testing in the United States. The subsonic noise certification regulations of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 36 do not apply to supersonic aircraft. The current rulemaking activity related to noise certification of supersonic aircraft will determine the technological and economic basis that supports noise level requirements that are appropriate for supersonic aircraft.
There is support in Congress for the advancement of new supersonic aircraft. Section 181 of the FAA Reauthorisation Act of 2018 specifies that the FAA administrator exercise leadership in the creation of federal and international policies, regulations and standards relating to the certification and safe and efficient operation of civil supersonic aircraft. The publication of proposed rules will depend on the ongoing data and information gathering process being conducted. This is necessary in order for the FAA to fulfill its obligations under 49 U.S. Code (USC) 44715. The FAA anticipates meeting the statutory deadlines for the proposed rules. These deadlines are publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for noise certification of supersonic aircraft by 31 March 2020 and publishing a NPRM for streamlining the procedures to obtain a special flight authorization for testing by 31 December 2019. Notices of proposed rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register for public review and comment.
The two supersonic rulemaking activities would not rescind the prohibition of flight in excess of Mach 1 over land. At the same time, the FAA is working within the existing statutory and regulatory authority to consider the range of permissible supersonic operations. In addition, the FAA is assessing the current state of supersonic aircraft technology in terms of mitigating the noise impacts associated with supersonic overland flight. To this end, Section 181 also requires a biennial review of aircraft noise and performance data beginning on 31 December 2020 to determine whether to amend the current ban on supersonic flight by civil aircraft over land in the United States.
Since the FAA expects any new supersonic aircraft to operate internationally, we are collaborating with other national aviation authorities and working within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) to develop international noise and emissions standards appropriate for future supersonic aircraft and the engines that power them.
Currently, US law prohibits flight in excess of Mach 1 over land unless specifically authorised by the FAA for purposes stated in the regulations. The two supersonic rulemaking activities would not rescind the prohibition of flight in excess of Mach 1 over land.
Rolls-Royce targets 2020 for electric airplane speed record attempt
The Rolls-Royce anticipates that its ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) airplane will attempt to break the speed record for an electric airplane next year and the plane is also looking like a contender in the Reno Air Race. The ACCEL is currently undergoing flight trials at Gloucestershire airport outside Cheltenham, England. The programme is intended to pioneer a third wave of aviation in support of Rolls-Royce’s strategy to champion electrification, according to Rolls-Royce.
ACCEL is partly funded by the UK government and involves a host of partners including electric motor and controller manufacturer YASA and the aviation start-up Electroflight. The team brings together some of the top minds from the world of Formula E racing to help design the e-racer. “This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system and the most powerful battery ever built for flight,” said Matheu Parr, ACCEL Project Manager for Rolls-Royce. “In the year ahead, we are going to demonstrate its abilities in demanding test environments before going for gold in 2020 from a landing strip on the Welsh coastline.”
ACCEL has the most energy-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft, providing enough power to fly 200 miles (London to Paris) on a single charge. Green Car reports that the three motors on the ACCEL will designed to produce a combined 500 horsepower driving a low-rpm propeller. RR says the drivetrain is 90 percent efficient. The current speed record for an electric airplane is 182.485 knots set by Siemens in 2017.
Raytheon and United Technologies aerospace businesses to combine
Raytheon Company and United Technologies Corp. have entered into an agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals. The transaction will create a premier systems provider with advanced technologies to address rapidly growing segments within aerospace and defence. The merger of Raytheon, a defence company and United Technologies, an aerospace company, comprised of Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney, will offer a complementary portfolio of platform-agnostic aerospace and defence technologies. The combined company, which will be named Raytheon Technologies Corporation, will offer expanded technology and R&D capabilities to deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions aligned with customer priorities and the national defence strategies of the US and its allies and friends. The combination excludes Otis and Carrier, which are expected to be separated from United Technologies in the first half of 2020 as previously announced.
Under the terms of the agreement, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Raytheon shareowners will receive 2.3348 shares in the combined company for each Raytheon share. Upon completion of the merger, United Technologies shareowners will own approximately 57 percent and Raytheon shareowners will own approximately 43 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2020, following completion by United Technologies of the previously announced separation of its Otis and Carrier businesses. The timing of the separation of Otis and Carrier is not expected to be affected by the proposed merger and remains on track for completion in the first half of 2020. The merger is intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
Airlines cancel hundreds of flights due to GPS failure
Regional carriers operating for American, United and Delta Airlines were forced to cancel hundreds of flights last weekend due to an issue with their GPS systems. Forbes reports that the FAA issued an advisory saying ‘Certain aircraft equipped with the Rockwell Collins GPS 4000-100 and select ADS-B Out GPS receivers are indicating ADS-B Fail, unavailable, TCAS Fail or Transponder Fail messages.’ The FAA command center (DCC) is suspending pre-coordination with DCC of those aircraft impacted by the Rockwell Collins GPS issue that have working transponders. Aircraft without working transponders must still coordinate as per directive. Aircraft must file the appropriate equipment suffice consistent with the aircraft capability to ensure access to RVSM airspace. The FAA issued a later advisory issuing a blanket waiver for all flights experiencing the issue, but said affected flights must file flight plans keeping them below FL280 using RNAV routing. ‘If you are unable, you must file via traditional airways and / or NAVAIDS. This blanket approval was only valid until 10, 0400Z 10 June the advisory stated. In a statement to CNBC, the FAA said it was ‘working to determine the cause of the problem, which may have resulted from a software update to the aircraft navigation systems.’
NASA opens ISS to new commercial opportunities
NASA is opening the International Space Station for commercial business so US industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit. This move comes as NASA focuses full speed ahead on its goal of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, where American companies also will play an essential role in establishing a sustainable presence. NASA will continue research and testing in low-Earth orbit to inform its lunar exploration plans, while also working with the private sector to test technologies, train astronauts and strengthen the burgeoning space economy. Providing expanded opportunities at the International Space Station to manufacture, market and promote commercial products and services will help catalyse and expand space exploration markets for many businesses.
The agency’s ultimate goal in low-Earth orbit is to partner with industry to achieve a strong ecosystem in which NASA is one of many customers purchasing services and capabilities at lower cost. NASA’s plan addresses both the supply-side and demand-side for a new economy, enabling use of government resources for commercial activities, creating the opportunity for private astronaut missions to the space station, enabling commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit, identifying and pursuing activities that foster new and emerging markets, and quantifying NASA’s long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit.
More than 50 companies already are conducting commercial research and development on the space station via the International Space Station US National Laboratory and their results are yielding great promise. In addition, NASA has worked with 11 different companies to install 14 commercial facilities on the station that support research and development projects for NASA and the ISS National Lab. This effort is intended to broaden the scope of commercial activity on the space station beyond the ISS National Lab mandate, which is limited to research and development. A new NASA directive will enable commercial manufacturing and production and allow both NASA and private astronauts to conduct new commercial activities aboard the orbiting laboratory. The directive also sets prices for industry use of US government resources on the space station for commercial and marketing activities.
In the long-term, NASA’s goal is to become one of many customers purchasing services from independent, commercial and free-flying habitable destinations in low-Earth orbit. A robust low-Earth orbit economy will need multiple commercial destinations and NASA is partnering with industry to pursue dual paths to that objective that either go through the space station or directly to a free-flying destination. In addition, NASA is seeking targeted studies to better understand real and perceived barriers of potential new market entrants and to address broad ideas which could help stimulate demand. Successful proposals will define the path to broadly foster market growth, provide data-driven rationale to support the defined path, and lead to recommendations on which NASA, industry or other organisations could act.
Hybrid-electric Cessna 337 makes maiden flight
California aviation company Ampaire’s hybrid-electric Cessna 337 Skymaster has taken its first test flight. The flight, which took place above California’s Camarillo Airport, marked the first for a hybrid aircraft of that size. The Cessna 337 is a six-seater typically powered by twin 210-horsepower engines. Ampaire replaced one with an electric motor, creating a system in which the two propulsion devices work in concert to power the aircraft at a lower cost and with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of the FAA’s flight test programme, the Ampaire 337 will be flying multiple times per week from June through August of this year to collect data on its propulsion characteristics, the company said. Ampaire’s goal is to supply regional airlines. Toward the end of 2019, Ampaire plans to establish a pilot programme with Mokulele Airlines on a short commercial route on the Hawaiian island Maui, using another retrofitted Cessna 337. The aircraft will be another pre-production prototype with a similar configuration to the current Ampaire 337, but a battery and motor configuration adjusted based on what the company learns from flight tests. Ampaire is in the process of establishing another pilot programme with Puerto Rican regional operator Vieques Air Link and the company said it has signed letters of interest with 14 other airlines around the world.
Engine issues delay Boeing’s 777X first flight
The long-awaited first flight of Boeing’s 777X will be delayed further thanks to problems with the aircraft’s GE9X engines. A pair of the engines were installed on the airframe and started on 29 May, but during the test, ‘an engine gave us a signal about its health. We had an anomaly in the compressor and we halted the run,’ GE’s Ted Ingling said. The issue was with the engine’s 11-stage high-pressure compressor section, but has nothing to do with overall performance. “It is not an aerodynamic issue whatsoever,” Ingling said. The 777-9, which incorporates technology from the 787 and offers greater cabin width and seating capacity, was scheduled to start its flight test regime earlier this year. But launch customer Emirates Airlines reports that the first flight has been pushed back until at least 26 June. GE and Boeing agreed that the engines will be modified before attempting the first flight. GE says the GE9X engine is the most efficient turbofan it has ever produced, with a 10 percent lower fuel burn over the GE90-115B that powers the 777-300ER. The engine has the largest diameter fan section GE has ever attempted, but with only 16 4th-generation composite blades. According to GE, it has an overall engine pressure ratio of 60 to 1, the highest of any engine yet produced.
MAX layoffs at Iceland Air
Iceland Air has dismissed 45 Boeing 737 MAX pilots as it settles into what appears to be an extended grounding of the type. The pilots are all newcomers to the airline. About half were hired last fall to fly the first deliveries of the aircraft and the others were training in anticipation of its return to service. According to aviation24.be, the latter batch learned their fate at a training session. The dismissals were part of the airline’s decision to build its schedule around a grounding of the MAX until 15 September.
Like most airlines that fly the MAX, Iceland Air went to the wet lease market and has three Boeing 767-300s and is looking for more. The type is larger than the aircraft the carrier normally flies because of its unique location. Because it’s in the middle of the Atlantic, Iceland Air can reach North America and Europe with single-aisle aircraft and was phasing out its Boeing 757s in favour of the MAX.
Mystery plane in taxi tests
An unusual teardrop-shaped aircraft with a pusher prop has been undergoing taxi tests at California Logistics Airport near Victorville, California, leading to speculation the Celera 500L is ready for its first flight. The plane has been under secret development for about a decade and is said to be an ‘extremely low drag’ design that will fly at 60,000 feet, possibly using one or two diesel engines for power. It is being developed by the Otto Aviation Group, owned by former North American-Rockwell applied physicist William Otto, who was chief scientist for the B-1’s avionics system. The most recent appearance by the aircraft included several high-speed taxi tests and the aircraft has grown winglets and a new prop since it was last spotted in December. The plane appears to be all composite and the bulbous design would lend itself to any number of configurations. The FAA registration says the aircraft has a Rakhlin Red A03 engine, a V-12 four stroke diesel that puts out 500 horsepower.
Burt Rutan returning to AirVenture 2019
Renowned aircraft designer and aerospace engineer Burt Rutan will be honoured and celebrated at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. Rutan is highly regarded among the aviation community after founding two ground breaking aerospace companies: Rutan Aircraft Factory and Scaled Composites, where he designed and developed 48 different aircraft. He is a two-time recipient of the Collier Trophy and has also been inducted into the International Air and Space Hall of Fame as well as the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
Rutan will be featured during the Theatre in the Woods evening programming on Thursday, 25 July while also joining in other events during the convention such as the Homebuilts in Review session and participating in three additional forums throughout the week. Rutan’s passion and innovations in aviation has continued to draw him back to AirVenture nearly every year. From 1972 to 2010, Rutan and his companies unveiled 24 separate research prototypes at EAA fly-in conventions.
La Compagnie’s first A321neo makes inaugural transatlantic flight
The first single-aisle A321neo destined for La Compagnie, an exclusively business-class French airline operating scheduled transatlantic flights, commenced transatlantic services from 6 June from Paris Orly Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport. On lease from GECAS, La Compagnie’s A321neo is powered by CFM International LEAP 1A new generation engines and features a business class only cabin with 76 full flat seats, offering passengers unmatched comfort. The cabin also includes a high level of connectivity onboard.
Selected for their outstanding operational efficiency, comfort and range, these new-generation single-aisle aircraft allow the French carrier to benefit from better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs on its transatlantic New York-Paris route. With this brand new A321neo, La Compagnie becomes the latest A321neo operator. The airline has two new A321neo aircraft on order. La Compagnie’s A321neo will be presented on the Airbus static display at the Paris Air Show on 18 June (professional day). Airbus says the A320neo and its derivative aircraft family members are the world’s best-selling single aisle aircraft with over 6,500 orders from over 100 customers since its launch in 2010.
D-Day veteran returns to Normandy by parachute
On 6 June 1944, Tom Rice arrived in Normandy, France via parachute at the beginning of the D-Day invasion. On 5 June 2019, he did it again on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the event. Rice participated in a tandem jump from a C-47 transport plane, one of about 200 skydivers who re-enacted the initial stage of the invasion. According to a report from Fox News, now 97 years old, Rice said it went ‘perfect. I’d go up and do it all again”.
Rice was with the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division 75 years ago. He said on that jump, he got caught in the door as he exited the airplane, but he managed to free it and get out. At least one bullet tore through his canopy as he descended, he told the Associated Press. He said that the main difference between the two jumps was that the 1944 jump was done at night, while this was a daytime jump so he could see where he was and this time, no one was shooting at them, whilst he and his tandem jumper were flying an American flag. Rice worked with a physical trainer for six months to prepare for the anniversary jump. The landing zone a field of wildflowers outside of Carentan, which was one of the landing zones for the paratroopers jumping into occupied France. While Rice said he remains troubled by the destruction caused by the war, but said returning to Normandy was ‘a matter of closure’ for him.
Melbourne, Australia joins Dallas, LA as a first trial city for Uber Air
The Government of Victoria, Australia has announced that its capital city, Melbourne, will join Dallas and Los Angeles as a first trial city for Uber Air, a transformational aerial ridesharing service using small, environmentally friendly electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft within major metropolitan areas. The announcement was made at the Uber Elevate Summit 2019 in Washington, DC. The summit convenes a global community of builders, investors, policy makers and government officials working toward making the vision of urban aerial ridesharing a reality.
Uber Air is being designed to be a fast and convenient way for people to take longer trips to and across cities. Riders will open the Uber app and select the Uber Air option alongside existing UberX and Uber Pool options to request a flight. Uber Air flights will be multimodal, operating between fixed Skyports that will be located based on rider demand, with transportation to and from Skyports being coordinated by the Uber app. Uber Air is expected to enter field trials in late 2020 or early 2021 and potentially launch commercial service in 2023.
The Government of Victoria, Australia, will work closely with Uber Air leading up to and through the field trial phase. Its team of professionals in Australia and the United States will assist by engaging all levels of government, connecting Uber Air to a range of stakeholders in a vast array of industry sectors, and providing a local perspective and advice to guide the significant community consultation required for success.
Boeing eVTOL prototype crashes
Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Science’s autonomous Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV) electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) prototype crashed during its fifth test flight, company spokespeople told several news outlets at the Uber Elevate Summit this past week. No one was injured in the accident since the PAV was flying unmanned and no damage beyond that sustained by the aircraft has been reported. The cause of the crash, which occurred on 4 June in Manassas, Virginia, is under investigation. As previously reported the full-scale PAV prototype completed its first successful test flight on 22 January 2019. Since then, it has made three other incident-free flights. The prototype is 30 feet long with a 28-foot wingspan and has a range of approximately 43 NM. The aircraft is being developed as part of Boeing NeXt, a division of the company that focuses on urban air mobility research and development, for use as an air taxi.
Uber Eats delivery by drone to be tested in San Diego
In California, Uber Eats is getting set to begin testing delivery of food by drone in a dense urban environment in San Diego. The initial phase of the testing was recently completed at San Diego State University with fast-food giant McDonalds, but other restaurant partners are expected to be added soon. However, the urban environment presents unique challenges. Many residences do not have open spaces where a drone can land to make the delivery, so the ‘last mile’ will have to be completed by more traditional delivery means, according to a report from Tech Crunch. The drone will fly to a predetermined landing zone, where a driver will collect the food and take it to whoever placed the order. Uber’s Elevate Cloud System will be used to track the progress of the order. Eventually, Uber hopes to be able to land its delivery drones on top of a ground vehicle near the end location for transportation over the ‘last mile’ to the customer.
“We have been working closely with the FAA to ensure that we’re meeting requirements and prioritising safety,” Uber Elevate Head of Flight Operations Luke Fischer said in a statement. “From there, our goal is to expand Uber Eats drone delivery so we can provide more options to more people at the tap of a button. We believe that Uber is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge as we’re able to leverage the Uber Eats network of restaurant partners and delivery partners as well as the aviation experience and technology of Uber Elevate.”
EU-wide rules on drones published
On 11 June 2019 common European rules on drones, Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019 / 945 & Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019 / 947, were published to ensure drone operations across Europe are safe and secure. The rules will amongst others help to protect the safety and the privacy of EU citizens while enabling the free circulation of drones and a level playing field within the European Union.
“Europe will be the first region in the world to have a comprehensive set of rules ensuring safe, secure and sustainable operations of drones, both for commercial and leisure activities. Common rules will help foster investment, innovation and growth in this promising sector” said Patrick Ky Executive Director of EASA. The common rules will help drone operators, whether professional or recreational, to have a clear understanding of what is allowed or not. At the same time it enables them to operate across borders. Once drone operators have received an authorisation in the state of registration, they are allowed to freely circulate in the European Union. This means that they can operate their drones seamlessly when travelling across the EU or when developing a business involving drones around Europe.
The new rules include technical as well as operational requirements for drones. On one hand they define the capabilities a drone must have to be flown safely. For instance, new drones will have to be individually identifiable, allowing the authorities to trace a particular drone if necessary. This will help to better prevent events similar to the ones which happened in 2018 at Gatwick and Heathrow airports. On the other hand the rules cover each operation type, from those not requiring prior authorisation, to those involving certified aircraft and operators, as well as minimum remote pilot training requirements. The new rules will replace existing national rules in EU Member States. While the EU regulation will enter into force in the next 20 days, it will be applicable only in one year, to give Member States and operators time to prepare and implement it. As of June 2020 operators of drones will need to register in the Member State where they have their residence or their main place of business.
CSIR progressing with UAV developments
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is getting ready for flight testing of its Long Endurance Modular Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (LEMU), which will take to the air before the end of the year. The LEMU can be flown with multiple engine configurations, including petrol and electric. The petrol engine version will fly first. CSIR has built three LEMU airframes: two with a configuration similar to the Modular UAV on which the LEMU is based (one petrol engine powered and one fitted with electric motors) and a single fuselage variant with either power plant. The CSIR has also considered hydrogen fuel cells as a power source for LEMU as they have a very high energy density and would provide a 12-hour endurance in addition to being quieter and more reliable than internal combustion.
LEMU can meet a range of requirements in the civil market, from search and rescue (with the option to drop survival equipment) to border surveillance, large area LIDAR measurement of ground and vegetation cover etc. The Internal Combustion variant of the LEMU has a take-off weight of 65 kg and payload of up to 20 kg excluding fuel. Maximum speed is 170 km/h and climb rate is over 700 feet/minute. Endurance would be up to eight hours dependent on payload. The Electric model has a top speed of 140 km/h and endurance of up to two hours depending on payload.
The LEMU is an extended range version of the original CSIR Modular UAV research platform, which first flew in 2009. A central hard-point on the wing provides the capability to mount custom-sized payload pods. All major aerodynamic control surfaces (ailerons, elevator, rudders) are replicated (exist on both sides of the twin boom configuration) introducing redundancy into the airframe. The original funding for the Modular UAV was provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and managed by the Meraka institute of the CSIR.
The CSIR’s other flying UAV is the Indiza. It has been successfully tested in 50 km/h winds and on border safeguarding missions with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), which is deploying it to the Democratic Republic of Congo for peacekeeping operations with the United Nations.
The Indiza is a hand-launched two metre span, rugged mini-UAV that can fly for over an hour at distances of up to 10 km using a brushless electric motor powered by a lithium battery pack. The Indiza airframe can house a number of generic camera pods, including day and night cameras. Various payloads up to 500 grams can be accommodated in Indiza’s modular payload bay. A laser ranging system is able to determine the UAV’s height above the ground and assists in the autonomous landing process where the camera is retracted upon landing.
Indiza’s ground-based equipment consists of a laptop with data link modems and optional tracking antenna system to extend the range and improve the communication quality of the video and data links. An optional radio control transmitter can be used for man-in-the-loop control of both the airframe and camera system. The CSIR said Indiza can be used for surveillance activities such as border management and infrastructure monitoring as well as research and development projects.
John was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully, “Give me one last request, dear” he said.
“Of course, John,” his wife said softly.
“Six months after I die,” he said, “I want you to marry Bob..”
“But I thought you hated Bob,” she said.
With his last breath John said, “I do!”
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)