“It takes a very long time to learn that a courtroom is the last place in the world for learning the truth.” Alice Koller
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: The arrival of the first Cirrus Vision personal jet in South Africa. This is an African Pilot exclusive!
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact email@example.com
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
AERO South Africa, the African show for General Aviation, is just two weeks away
We would like to bring your attention to the following important notice: the deadline for the official Exhibition Catalogue is this Monday 24 June 2019. The following information must be submitted:
- High resolution logo R800 + VAT
- 100-word company description
- Company e-mail and website address
Please ensure that your company description and logo has been received by Lara Bayliss, a representative from our official show guide partner African Pilot, by no later than close of business on 24 June 2019. The Exhibition Catalogue will be sent to the printers on Wednesday 26 June to be ready for distribution to all exhibitors at AERO South Africa as well as a FREE handout to ALL visitors to this most important aviation show.
To submit the above information or to get advert space please contact:
Lara Bayliss e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 0861 00 11 30 +27 79 880 4359
Adventure Tales is a monthly event in Sandton where we host speakers to share their stories of adventure from around the world. We also screen an outdoor/adventure documentary. The goal of the evening is to inspire and get people to take on more adventures, however big or small.
Mike Blyth’s story
In April 1995 Mike Blyth and Olivier Aubert embarked on a record breaking microlight flight from Cape Town to North Cape in Norway over a four month period. The flying expedition tested the two adventurers and their trike type microlight aircraft to the limit as they battled weather, technical challenges and bureaucracy. The pair soared with the birds, marvelling in the view of the world from above, as they flew over jungles, deserts and oceans. This is a story or adventure, courage and friendship.
Tickets can be purchased from Quicket: https://qkt.io/AdventureTalesJuly
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/454508485336389/
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Arrival of the first Cirrus Vision personal jet in South Africa
On Wednesday 19 June the first Cirrus Personal Jet arrived in South Africa to touch down at Lanseria International Airport. To the Cirrus South Africa team, I know that this has been a day that has been anticipated for a few years and I was privileged to have been invited to share this most important time with Cirrus South Africa as this beautiful new addition to the Cirrus family was placed safely into the Cirrus hangar tonight. There is lots more to follow as African Pilot prepared video material and still pictures of this special occasion for all to see as the ‘Video of the Week’.
SAC championships and airshow staged in Klerksdorp
What a wonderful aviation day we spent in Klerksdorp on Saturday. With the Sports Aerobatics (SAC) competition taking place the organisers decides to treat the local aviation enthusiasts to an afternoon airshow. Thanks to the Klerksdorp Flying Club and its organising committee for planning an excellent airshow that will be remembered by the many spectators for month to come. African Pilot also wishes to recognise the many persons that always make an airshow work and this has to go to Brian Emmenis and his Capital Sounds team, the main driver in Cliff Lotter and so many other persons who were part of the success of this airshow. Thanks to the Puma Energy Flying Lions for providing me a lift to and from Klerksdorp airport in one of the three T6 Harvards. A full report with pictures will be published within the August edition of African Pilot.
Sports Aerobatics Club Klerksdorp results
Results provided by Quintin Hawthorne were as follows:
1st Chris Joubert Zlin 50 ZS OKZ
2nd Johan van Solms Pitts Special ZS MZY
3rd Machiel du Plees Vans RV-7 ZU WMW
1st Steve Brown Slick 360 ZU DXX
2nd Glen Warden Slick 360 ZU MDA
3rd Jason Beamish Extra 330LX ZS EXT
1st Eugene du Preez Extra 330SC ZS THS
2nd Gary Glasson Pitts Falcon ZU FTP
3rd Mark Sampson XA41 ZU XAX
1st Nigel Hopkins Extra 330SC ZS XSC
2nd Patrick Davidson Gamebird N536GC
3rd Barrie Eeles Extra 330SC ZS XBE
Freestyle – 4 minutes
1st Nigel Hopkins Extra 330SC ZS XSC
2nd Barrie Eeles Extra 330SC ZS XBE
3rd Patrick Davidson Gamebird N536GC
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
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.
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
Egypt the largest recipient for French military hardware in Africa
According to defence export statistics, Egypt has continued to be France’s leading military customer on the African continent. Orders for defence equipment from Egypt in 2018 were valued at €287.4 million, with the rest of the continent accounting for €266.4 million. Orders from the African continent amounted to €553.8 million and accounted for 6.07% of total export orders recorded by the French government for the year. The values represent a decline of 1.95% compared to 2017, with a nearly €100 million drop in orders from Sub-Saharan African countries primarily offset by an increase in orders from North Africa. Once again Egypt was again a significant export market, with 107 export licenses approved worth an aggregated €15.77 billion. Key areas of requests were in aircraft and UAVs, defence electronics, naval vessels and equipment.
Ethiopian Airlines Group voted ‘Best Airline in Africa’
For the third consecutive year at the Skytrax 2019 World Airlines Awards held in Paris on 18 June, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Group was been honoured as the ‘Best Airline in Africa’. In addition, Ethiopian won ‘Best Business Class in Africa’ and ‘Best Economy Class in Africa’ at the award ceremony.
Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said: “We are glad to have been named the ‘Best Airline in Africa’, ‘Best Business Class in Africa’ and ‘Best Economy Class in Africa’ which are determined based on the votes of travellers. I would like to sincerely thank first and foremost our global customers for the strong and consistent vote of confidence. Thanks to the entire colleagues at Ethiopian, who always make extraordinary efforts to delight their customers. We have grown to more than 120 destinations worldwide with 115 ultra-modern fleet, offering excellent connectivity with one of the best travel experiences that helped us become the best airline in Africa and one of the frontrunners in the world.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Pilots criticise 737 MAX design in Congressional hearing
On Wednesday the US House Transportation Aviation Subcommittee held a hearing looking into two accidents involving Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane which resulted in the fatal injury of a total of 346 people.
Among those offering testimony was Capt. Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, who famously ditched an Airbus A320 in the Hudson River in January, 2009. Sullenberger said the design of the 737 MAX allowed for a single point of failure that could lead to ‘cascading effects’ which could confuse and overwhelm pilots. “We should design aircraft for them to fly that do not have inadvertent traps set for them,” Sullenberger said.
Daniel Carey, the president of the Allied Pilots Association, also referenced the single point of failure aspect of the MCAS system on the airplane. In an APA release prior to his appearance before the committee, Carey said “The huge error of omission is that Boeing failed to disclose the existence of MCAS to the pilot community,” Capt. Carey states. “The final fatal mistake was, therefore, the absence of robust pilot training in the event that the MCAS failed. With regard to the public policy issues generated by the fatal MAX crashes, the foremost and most urgent, in my view, is assessment of the adequacy of the FAA aircraft certification process,” Capt. Carey said.
CNN reports that some Republican committee members questioned the ICAO standards for pilot training when compared to US standards and Rep Sam Graves (R-MO) said that the committee should not arrive at predetermined conclusions about what caused the accidents. Still, he said there are some concerns that the committee should address. “In reading the preliminary accident reports I, as well as, obviously, many others with a lot of flying experience, many have also raised concerns with the pilot training, with pilot experience, with aircraft maintenance and definitely with airline operations. All of these issues have to be investigated,” Graves said.
The FAA is currently preparing for certification flights for updated software for the MCAS, which may begin as soon as the next two weeks. A source told CNN that the certification process is expected to take a month to six weeks and if they are approved, the FAA may clear the 737 MAX to return to service in the US in September.
Boeing and Qatar Airways announce new commitment for five 777 Freighters
Qatar Airways has announced a commitment today to purchase five additional 777 Freighters from Boeing. The deal, valued at $1.8 billion at list prices, was unveiled at the Paris Air Show and signed in the presence of His Excellency Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Qatari Minister of Transport and Communications. Qatar Airways has rapidly grown its air cargo operations to serve more than 60 global destinations, becoming one of the top international air freight operators in the world. The latest freighter deal builds on the airline’s 777 Freighter order book as the airplane has become the backbone of Qatar Airways freighter fleet. It currently operates 23 freighters, including 16 Boeing 777 Freighters.
The 777 Freighter is the world’s largest and most capable twin-engine freighter. It can fly 4,970 nautical miles with a payload of 224,900 lbs. The airplane’s long range translates into significant savings as fewer stops mean lower landing fees, less congestion, lower cargo handling costs and shorter delivery times. Customers from around the world have ordered 217 777 Freighters since the programme began in 2005, including a record 45 units in 2018. Boeing is the air cargo market leader, providing over 90 percent of the dedicated freighter capacity around the world.
American Airlines agrees to order 50 Airbus A321XLRs
American Airlines will acquire 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft, the new longer-range version of Airbus’ hugely successful A321neo. The purchase agreement includes the conversion of 30 of American’s existing A321neo slots to A321XLRs and incremental orders for an additional 20 A321XLRs. The A321XLR will have the longest range of any single-aisle commercial jetliner. The added range of up to 4,700 nm will allow airlines to operate the aircraft from U.S. East Coast airports to medium-size European cities. As a further enhancement of the A321neo and A321LR, the A321XLR will have a maximum take-off weight of 101 metric tonnes without sacrificing performance. The A321XLR is powered by the same engines, and has more than 90 percent commonality with the A321neo. American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is the largest Airbus operator in the world with 422 Airbus aircraft. Including today’s announcement, American has outstanding orders for 115 A321neos and A321XLRs from Airbus.
The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm – 15% more than the A321LR and with 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft. For passengers, the A321XLR’s new Airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience offering seats in all classes on a single-aisle aircraft.
Korean Air announces intent to acquire 30 Boeing 787 Dreamliners
At the Paris airshow Boeing, Korean Air and Air Lease Corporation announced the airline plans to add 30 new 787 Dreamliner airplanes to its fleet, with a commitment to purchase 10 new 787-10s and 10 additional 787-9 airplanes valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices. As part of this agreement, Korean Air will also lease 10 787-10s from ALC. As one of the largest transpacific carriers in Asia, the airline, will introduce the larger 787-10 to complement its long-haul fleet of 787-9 and 777 airplanes. This order will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once it is finalised.
The 787-10 is the largest member of the super-efficient and passenger-pleasing Dreamliner family. At 224 feet long, the 787-10 can serve up to 330 passengers in a standard two-class configuration, about 40 more than Korean Air’s existing fleet of 787-9 airplanes. Powered by a suite of new technologies and a revolutionary design, the 787-10 sets a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics when it entered commercial service last year. The airplane allows operators to achieve 25 percent better fuel efficiency per seat compared to the previous airplanes. Korean Air operates a fleet of 96 Boeing passenger airplanes, including the Next-Generation 737, 747, 777 and 787 airplanes. The airline also operates an all-Boeing cargo fleet with the 747-400, 747-8 and 777 Freighters. Korean Air also selected the GEnx engine to power its 30 additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners. This selection will increase Korean Air’s GEnx-powered Dreamliner fleet to 40 aircraft.
Embraer and United Airlines sign contract for up to 39 E175s
Embraer has signed a contract with United Airlines for up to 39 E175s. The order comprises 20 firm aircraft and 19 options in a 70-seat configuration. The order has a value of $1.9 billion, based on Embraer’s current list prices, with all options being exercised. The firm order will be included in Embraer’s 2019 second-quarter backlog. Deliveries are expected to begin in the second quarter of 2020. These aircraft will replace older 70-seat aircraft currently operated by United’s regional partners.
Including this new contract, Embraer has sold more than 585 E175s to airlines in North America since January 2013, earning more than 80% of all orders in this 70-76-seat jet segment.
Virgin Atlantic selects A330nNeo for its fleet renewal and expansion
Virgin Atlantic has selected 14 A330-900s to replace its A330neos from 2021, with options to further expand its fleet of highly efficient wide-body aircraft. The firm order for eight aircraft and six additional on lease from Air Lease Corporation (ALC), was signed at the Paris airshow by Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO and Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. Presently Virgin Atlantic operates a fleet of 40 wide-body aircraft and will soon take delivery of its first of 12 A350-1000s. This latest order for A330neos is a further commitment by Virgin Atlantic to continue modernising its fleet with aircraft offering the highest standards of fuel efficiency and noise reduction alongside the best in class cabin comfort.
The A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation.
The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB-inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new Airspace amenities including state-of-the-art passenger inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity systems.
GECAS orders 10 737-800 Boeing converted freighters and adds 15 options
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) signed an agreement with Boeing at the Paris airshow exercising 10 purchase rights to firm orders and adding 15 more purchase rights for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF). The 737-800BCF, which is made its airshow debut at Le Bourget last week, is Boeing’s newest freighter product. The company converts Next-Generation 737 passenger airplanes into cargo jets that are capable of carrying more payload; up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) and flying farther; 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) than previous standard-body freighters. This order is the third time that GECAS has purchased Boeing’s newest freighter since the programme was announced in 2016. GECAS, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric, now has 65 orders and options for the 737-800BCF. To date Boeing has delivered 14 737-800BCFs.
Siemens sells electric propulsion business
On Tuesday at the Paris Air Show in France, Siemens signed an agreement to sell its eAircraft unit to Rolls-Royce. Siemens eAircraft, which develops electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for the aerospace industry, has facilities in Germany and Hungary and employees approximately 180 people. Siemens reports that it has been working on electric aircraft propulsion development and research for about ten years, including projects such as Airbus’ CityAirbus and E-Fan X demonstrator.
“Electrification is set to have as dramatic an impact on aviation as the replacement of piston engines by gas turbines,” said Rolls-Royce Electrical Director Rob Watson. “We have already made significant strides in realising our strategy of ‘championing electrification’ and this move will accelerate our ambitions in aerospace by adding vital skills and technology to our portfolio. It brings us increased scale and additional expertise as we develop a product range of hybrid power and propulsion systems.”
According to Rolls-Royce, the two companies will continue to look for opportunities to work together as part of the agreement. Closing on the acquisition is expected in late 2019. Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
NASA electric X-Plane reaches development milestones
On Thursday NASA announced that it’s all-electric X-plane has made significant progress toward its stated goal of ‘demonstrating innovative technology through electric-powered experimental flight.’ The X-57 Maxwell, a modified Tecnam P2006T, has been undergoing a series of phased modifications in preparation for its first flight and eventual use as an electric propulsion research platform. As part of Mod II activity, which has included replacing the aircraft’s two combustion engines with electric cruise motors, the NASA team completed its first successful test of the motors and propellers since installing them on the aircraft. “This is the first time we have had the electric motors installed with propellers and had them spinning,” said NASA’s X-57 Principal Investigator Sean Clarke. “This was a big milestone, as it was a big systems test where we were able to run both motors on the airplane at the same time. It’s really exciting to actually have all of the systems integrated and to be able to operate the vehicle that we’ve been designing for our system tests.”
Testing took place at the Scaled Composites facility in Mojave, California. The initial ‘spin test’ was conducted using a ground power supply with plans to repeat it using battery power in the not-too-distant future. Following that, the aircraft will be delivered to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, for verification, taxi, and flight tests. Working simultaneously, the X-57 Mod III team has taken delivery of a new wing from contractor Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero). Mod III involves replacing the P2006T’s wings with high-aspect-ratio wings and moving the electric motors to the wingtips. According to NASA, the new wing will undergo verification testing followed by weight and balance measurement, ground vibration testing and wing loading tests. In preparation for the final phase, Mod IV, the wing will then be sent back to ESAero to have twelve nacelles added. Each nacelle will house a small, high-lift electric motor and propeller. In addition to being NASA’s first all-electric X-plane, the X-57 will be the agency’s first crewed X-plane in two decades.
NAC to acquire up to 100+ ATRs
Regional aircraft leasing specialist NAC and ATR, the world’s number one regional aircraft manufacturer, have signed a Letter of Intent for 35 firm ATR -600s, with options for a further 35 and purchase rights for another 35. The deal represents a seal of long-term confidence from the number one regional aircraft lessor whose desire to focus on the most efficient and sustainable technology has led them to invest in the ATR 72-600. NAC’s recognition of the quality of the ATR programme also highlights the enduring retained asset value of the -600 series and its value proposition in the market.
Deliveries of the initial 35 aircraft will begin in 2020 and run up to 2025; the delivery schedule is optimised to ensure that market demand is best satisfied over the five-year period. This new deal cements a very successful and longstanding collaboration between NAC and ATR. Since 2010, over 100 speculative ATR aircraft orders were turned into deliveries to NAC.
Kopter’s SH09 third prototype (P3) flies higher and faster in Sicily
In March 2019, Kopter transferred its third prototype (P3) aircraft and a team of 20 flight test engineers, pilots and mechanics to Sicily to set up an additional flight test base in Pozzallo. This site provides the perfect operational conditions to conduct the SH09 intensive flight test campaign needed for certification. It offers very limited restrictions and favourable weather conditions throughout the year, while giving the opportunity to test the helicopter in a demanding climate with hot temperatures, high humidity, strong winds and a salty atmosphere. Since its arrival and over a period of two months, the flight test crew has performed 34 flights with P3, allowing the aircraft to reach around 100 flight test hours. In this timeframe, the first major inspection has been carried out successfully.
The major outcome is the opening of the SH09 flight envelope up to 10,000 feet of altitude speeds up to 135 knots. During all flights, P3 performed as expected and generated a large volume of valuable data that are being used to finalise the design of the serial production SH09. The next phase of the flight test campaign, after implementing some aerodynamic refinements further improving P3 handling qualities and the retrofit of the main gear box housing, will see P3 going higher, faster and further. It will allow gathering the remaining data needed to finalize the configuration of Pre-Series aircraft (PS4 & PS5), which will contribute to the certification flights next year. Kopter continues to target 2020 for EASA certification. Kopter management and team are fully committed to deliver the SH09 with the highest levels of safety, performance, flight qualities and competitiveness.
Aspen announces VFR version of Evolution E5
Designed for primarily for VFR aircraft, the Aspen Evolution E5 Electronic Flight Instrument has received STC approval for installations without an onboard GPS. That is, it’s meant to be installed with a conventional set of nav/comm radios. The E5 is approved for IFR flight when it’s connected to a TSO’d GPS. According to the company, the new configuration was based on market requests for a system in VFR aircraft with the intention of training students on the use of glass cockpits without incurring the expense of a full IFR-approved setup. The E5 sells for less than US$5000 in this configuration. This new version of the E5 is the same as ever, including combined attitude indicator / directional gyro display with tape-style airspeed, altitude and vertical speed indications; an internal battery for two hours of operation after the loss of ship’s power; and compatibility with ‘most legacy autopilots.’ As delivered, the E5 can accept digital course-deviation signals to show a VOR or localiser / glideslope display, though older systems (like the zombielike Bendix/King KX155) need a separate signal converter. The Evolution E5 can be upgraded to have such features as ADS-B traffic and weather depiction, angle of attack and synthetic vision.
Corgan design for Uber Air Skyports adds third dimension in transportation
At the Uber Elevate Summit, Corgan, a leading architecture and design firm, revealed their concept for the Skyport Mobility Hub, a modular, connective and sustainable infrastructure for Uber’s eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) flying taxis. Corgan’s design, CONNECT | EVOLVED, is a system of components that enables speed to market, provides flexibility to scale operations and can be customised as both a greenfield solution as well as a retrofit atop existing buildings and parking garages.
The Uber Lobby is the first touchpoint between the passenger and UberAir. There, reception services help passengers customise their experience while biometric ticket and security validation clear passengers in under one minute before they ascend to the Quick Queue Lounge on the elevated Flight Deck. Two touchdown and lift off pads and five eVTOL staging and charging stations on the Flight Deck efficiently and precisely choreograph the movement of eVTOLs as passengers move through dedicated pathways and transitions for safe and easy navigation. Designed to integrate into existing highway networks, Corgan’s concept not only mitigates noise by taking advantage of existing noise corridors, but also repurposes these familiar, underutilised frameworks as community serving assets. Activating the areas around and underneath highways, the design connects communities with a light-filled amenity-rich landmark with last mile ground connections, bike / scooter stations, restaurants, retail, coworking and entrepreneurial makerspaces and Greenlight Hubs to support Uber employees.
CONNECT | EVOLVED is a practical system of modular, customisable components to be built according to the demands for urban air mobility, needs of the site and development budget. The modular design can be expanded; adding additional landing and parking pads, retail and activity spaces with minimal additional development and providing for ease of construction with components that can be fabricated off-site. The flexible Flight Deck is compatible with several eVTOLs on the market and can adapt to advancements in the evolution of eVTOL flight. Likewise, the design considers the maintenance and use of eVTOLs and regulation of low-altitude airspace to minimise intrusion on the community and infrastructure without impacting or prohibiting future development.
Global Hawk drone shot down by Iran
A US Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk reconnaissance drone was shot down by Iran over the Strait of Hormuz late Wednesday (local time) in what the US is calling an ‘unprovoked attack’. US Central Command said in a statement that a US Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance ISR aircraft, known as a BAMS-D, was shot down on Wednesday. Fox news reports that, according to a military source, the drone was in international airspace about 17 miles from Iran. However, Iran claims that the aircraft had violated its airspace. In a speech aired on Iranian state television, Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami said that Iran is ‘fully ready for war’, but does not have any ‘intention for war with any country.’ The Revolutionary Guard said it shot down the Global Hawk early Thursday morning using a truck-based missile system called Third of Khordad, leading to some confusion about the timeline. President Trump said on Twitter after the attack that Iran had made ‘a very big mistake’.
80% of drone Airprox reports are misclassified by the UK Airprox Board
Following a Freedom of Information Act request, the UK Airprox Board, the official body which collates airprox (‘near mis’) reports from pilots, described the process they use for classifying a drone airprox:
The Board adopts a pragmatic approach wherein if a pilot can positively identify the object as a drone (e.g. number of rotors, recognition of a particular type) then the reporter’s identification is taken at face-value. If a reporter can only describe the object in generic terms (e.g. a rectangular object) then the UKAB classify it as an unknown object. Analysis of the 216 airprox reports published in the current format using this ‘pragmatic approach’ reveals that 187 (over 80%) have been misclassified as ‘drone’. Shockingly six out of the seven airproxes published in April 2019 were misclassified as ‘drone’.
Airprox 2018032 – ‘Drone’ The F15 pilot reports that he was on the ILS approach when both crew saw something go down the right side of the aircraft. They both thought that it was not a bird but that it could be a ‘gyrocopter’ or some type of UAS. The pilot advised the crew in an aircraft that was behind them on the approach who did not see anything.
Airprox 2018089 – ‘Drone’: The B787 pilot reports that on passing 800 feet in the climb-out from Heathrow RW09R, a black object about 1-2 foot wide, believed to be ‘copter’ shaped, passed 100 feet down the left-hand-side of the aircraft. ATC were informed.
Airprox 2018222 – ‘Drone’: The B737 pilot reports that they were being vectored for RW22 at Stansted when the Captain called ‘drone’, at which point the FO looked up and saw a dark coloured square / rectangle shaped object pass down the right side of the aircraft with minimal separation. The airframe was inspected on the ground after landing for any evidence of suspected contact or damage and none was observed. The incident was reported to ATC immediately after making visual contact and, following confirmation, ATC confirmed they would be filing a report.
Airprox 2018275 – ‘Drone’: The A319 pilot reports that they were at 7nm final on the ILS to Heathrow RW27L, when they passed a flying object. It was V shaped, yellow and about 1m in diameter. The type of the object was not clearly identifiable, but it was thought to be a drone.
Simon Dale of Airprox Reality Check said, “Using the UK Airprox Board’s own stated ‘approach’, more than 80% of drone airproxes should in fact have been published as ‘Unknown Object’. In other words, in the last two years the UKAB’s figure is in fact forty three drone airprox reports, not two hundred and sixteen. The rest are literally UFO reports.” The UK Airprox Board must reclassify all of their more than three hundred and fifty published drone airprox reports and notify the Minister for Aviation as soon as possible.
AFRL XQ-58A UAV completes its second successful flight
The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrator, a low-cost unmanned air vehicle, successfully completed all test objectives during a 71-minute flight on 11 June at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona. The test marked the second successful flight for the aircraft this year. The inaugural 72-minute flight was recorded in March. The US Air Force Research Laboratory developed the low-cost unmanned air vehicle together with Kratos Defence & Security Solutions, Inc. The joint effort falls within AFRL’s Low Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology portfolio, which has the goal to break the escalating cost trajectory of tactically relevant aircraft. There are a total of five planned test flights for the XQ-58A, with objectives that include evaluating system functionality, aerodynamic performance and launch and recovery systems.
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)