“Socialism is workable only in Heaven where it isn’t needed and in Hell where they have got it.” Cecil Palmer
African Pilot’s August 2019 edition
This edition features 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 that was staged at Wonderboom National Airport between Thursday 4 and Saturday 6 July. The August edition is printing and will be ready for distribution this week as well as for me to take to AirVenture, Oshkosh. I would like to thank all the advertisers that supported the August edition as well as the AERO South Africa exhibition catalogue.
African Pilot’s September 2019 edition
The exciting September edition will feature the 50th anniversary of EAA AirVenture being staged in Oshkosh and in addition, this will be my 19th visit in a row to the largest General Aviation show in the world. We will also feature some of the European airshows as well as African Pilot’s annual Avionics and Instrumentation feature. The reason why we feature the avionics and instrumentation within the September edition is because most avionics companies wait for AirVenture to announce their new products. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: email@example.com
Video of the week: Megan’s Sling 4 trip from Cape Town to Cairo
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Teenagers fly Sling 4 they built themselves from Cape Town to Cairo
A group of 20 South African high school students have built and flown a Sling 4 airplane from Cape Town, South Africa to Egypt, a distance of nearly 6,500 nautical miles. The BBC reports that the U-Dream Global project was founded by 17-year-old pilot Megan Werner. The purpose of the programme was to ‘show Africa that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.’ The teens took three weeks to build the Sling 4 from a kit manufactured by The Airplane Factory. The journey included stops in Namibia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Uganda before ending in Egypt. They were accompanied by a second Sling 4 airplane flown by professional pilots for most of the trip, but there were times when the six teenagers of the group who are licensed pilots were all alone. One of those was the last, 10-hour leg from Addis Ababa to Cairo via Aswan, where Werner said she and safety pilot Driaan van den Heever flew without the support aircraft.
The pilots dealt with such things as concerns about political unrest in Sudan to an avionics problem shortly after entering Egyptian airspace, which forced them to divert to the nearest airport in Cairo rather than their intended destination of Cairo International Airport. The avionics problem turned out to be a loose connector and was quickly resolved, according to Des Werner, a commercial pilot and Megan’s father who was one of those flying the support aircraft. But Megan Werner said that local authorities wanted to arrest the teens and take their passports. It took about four hours to sort it all out, she said. Along the way, the teenagers gave motivational talks to other teenagers. “I am so honoured to have made a difference around the continent at the places we have stopped,” Megan told the BBC.
How can the civil aviation industry continue to work with the SACAA?
The following is a letter received by one of African Pilot’s clients:
This e-mail serves to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail. Do not respond to this e-mail as this is an automated response. Please expect correspondence next via e-mail indicating to whom the application was assigned to for further action within six working days from receipt of this notification.
Note: All applications not allocated within the six working day time frame from the date of this e-mail may be escalated to the Manager: Aircraft Inspection and Registration at email@example.com
Kindly take note that an application for C of A renewal needs to be made a minimum of 60 days prior to its expiry. The processing time for all C of A and ATF renewals is 20 working days from the date of allocation to the relevant Currency Fee Officer. This excludes applications for which notifications were received stating that an aircraft was undergoing maintenance at the time of application.
Aircraft Registration & Inspection
Aviation Safety Operations
Tel: 011 545 1069 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.caa.co.za
The level of incompetence at the SACAA is becoming worse by the week and this situation has been exacerbated by the regulators IT systems failure during the first two weeks of July. In the past a Certificate of Airworthiness and Authority to Fly would take a few hours, but now an aircraft owner is expected to apply for the renewal of the Certificate of Airworthines two month ahead and the renewal now takes 20 working days. This effectively means that all aircraft in South Africa will have to spend many days grounded, because the regulator cannot get its act together. At the same time certain SACAA inspectors have become increasingly hostile towards the very clients they are supposed to audit, whilst it is abundantly clear that the aviation knowledge of certain inspectors is very poor. How much longer can South African Civil Aviation continue dealing with a regulator that is fundamentally dysfunctional?
What happened in aviation over the past week?
CAASA AGM at CAASA House Lanseria International Airport
The well-attended 75th CAASA AGM was held at CAASA House, Lanseria International Airport on Friday. In all, about 60 persons managed to squeeze into the large CAASA boardroom where business was conducted by Leon Dillman (CEO) and Lynette Loosen (Chairperson). Another speaker was Kevin Storie (COO) who addressed the deteriorating situation at the SACAA and since about November 2018 many matters that should have been addressed were regarded as closed by the regulator, but this certainly was not the case. Reading further into what Kevin said, it appears that the regulator is short of qualified staff, specifically within the inspectorate, which is something that many of the operators at the various airports have confirmed. After the financial report by John Morrison, which indicated that CAASA was in a very healthy financial position, Dr Roloef Botha delivered his rather humorous aviation sector economic outlook report much to the amusement of the audience. For those professional aviation businesses that are not members of CAASA yet, this is an invitation to join the professional aviation body that actually represents your business at every level of government and at the SACAA. We can only become stronger when we are heard with one voice and the general dissatisfaction of the manner in which the regulator conducts its business is aired at the highest levels.
Nylstroom Taildraggers fly-in
On Saturday 13 July I spent some at the Nylstroom Taildraggers annual fly-in where I heard that about 110 aircraft flew to the event, mostly on the Saturday. One of the other shareholders George Karatzas and my son Ricky Franz flew with me in our Cessna 182 ZS ILD. It is always good to meet up with African Pilot’s readers and supporters, whilst at the same time I was impressed at the quality of Air Traffic Control by the three controllers Marelise Scheepers (FALA), Sean and Roanda England (FALE) as they managed the Nylstroom circuit with absolute calm and sometimes some humour. The quality of an aviation event such as this is very important to the continued existence of General Aviation in our country, especially given the fact that the SACAA’s attitude towards GA has become questionable over the past year. A special thank you to Richard Nicholson and his amazing family who are the founders of this annual event and who have kept up the levels of enthusiasm through the past decade. Also thanks to everyone who made this important calendar event safe.
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.
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
SAAF Museum Airshow – AFB Zwartkops, Pretoria
The date has been changed for the third time
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
Wings & Wheels in Matjhabeng – Welkom airport
Contact Dirk Smit 082 558 3914 or Ian Buchanan 083 388 1678
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Kenya Airways and GE Aviation sign digital flight operations agreement
Kenya Airways has selected GE Aviation for the Flight Operations suite of digital products across the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737, 787 and Embraer E190 airplanes. Kenya Airways’ fleet adds to the 15,468 unique aircraft assets that are connected to GE Aviation’s digital solutions. Implementation is currently underway with completion this year. The Flight Operations suite integrates GE’s Event Measurement System (EMS), flight analytics, FlightPulse and fuel efficiency services. GE’s EMS and FOQA systems are being used on 8,932 aircraft including flight analytics service integrating data sources like flight information, weather, navigation, flight plans and other operational data to provide valuable insights for airline customers around fuel use and operations. Kenya Airways will add to the 57,702-airline crew relying on GE Aviation’s Network Crew Optimisation.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
EASA identifies five requirements for 737 MAX’s return to service
EASA has sent a letter to the FAA and Boeing outlining five major requirements the agency says need to be addressed before it will allow the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service in Europe.
Bloomberg reports that, according to an unnamed source at the FAA, the issues identified by EASA parallel the FAA’s concerns about the airplane. In a statement, the FAA said that the agency ‘confirm the specific matters being raised by EASA’, but said: ‘The FAA continues to work closely with other validating civil aviation authorities on our review of Boeing’s certification documentation for the 737 MAX. This process involves regular communications among all parties’, but did not confirm the items specified by EASA.
In a statement, Boeing said that the company is continuing to ‘engage with regulators and are providing information as we work towards the safe return to service for the MAX.’ The details of the letter have not been made public, but a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity said that the issues identified by EASA include potential difficulty for pilots to turn the manual trim wheel, the unreliability of the 737 MAX airplane’s AOA sensors and a software issue revealed last week by the FAA. The agency also cited a concern that had not previously been reported involving the failure of the autopilot to disengage in certain emergencies. EASA also listed several other issues that it has not flagged as ‘critical’, according to the report. EASA did not specify how it feels Boeing should address the issues identified in the report, but asks the company to propose solutions for evaluation. Boeing has told its customers and the industry in general that it expects the 737 MAX will be cleared for a return to service by September.
Saudi airline drops Boeing 737 MAX order in favour of Airbus airplanes
Saudi Arabian airline flyadeal has cancelled an order for up to 50 Boeing 737 MAX airliners in favour of a similar order for Airbus A320 family airplanes. In a news release on Saturday, flyadeal said that it was ordering 30 A320 neo aircraft and options for a further 20 A320 neo family aircraft. The order is in response to continuing growth in passenger demand across domestic, regional and international routes. Deliveries of the flyadeal aircraft will commence in 2021, the release stated.
The allocation of the new aircraft to flyadeal follows from the agreement which Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation (SAUDIA) signed during the Paris Air Show in June this year. The agreement was for a total of 100 aircraft and was signed by His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. The additional aircraft are part of the dual brand strategy of the Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation where flyadeal serves the price conscious customer that is seeking Everyday Low Fares. This order will result in flyadeal operating an all- Airbus A320 fleet in the future, the carrier said.
Milestone expands world’s largest S-92 fleet
The Milestone Aviation Group Limited has acquired of an incremental Sikorsky S-92A aircraft, MSN 920155, bringing their total S-92A fleet to 79 units. As the largest owner of the S-92A globally, the purchase illustrates Milestone’s ongoing commitment to the type, which is the primary aircraft servicing the offshore oil and gas industry as well as serving search & rescue and executive transport. “The S-92A is the cornerstone of our Oil and Gas portfolio and, given the size and scale of our fleet, we believe we are uniquely positioned to manage these assets and provide optimal fleet & support solutions for our customers and the overall industry,” said Pat Sheedy, Managing Director of Portfolio and Underwriting at Milestone.
Milestone’s owned and debt-financed fleet of S-92A helicopters accounts for more than thirty percent of all S-92A aircraft in operation globally. Having been referred to by the FAA certification board as the ‘safest helicopter in the world’ and operating more than 1.5 million fleet flight hours, the twin-engine medium-lift helicopter offers strong economics, reliability, capacity and safety required for a range of operators’ missions.
Smart Aviation Poland expands its fleet with three Tecnam P2008JC MkII
Smart Aviation, Poland’s Authorised Training Organization (ATO), has ordered three new Tecnam P2008JC MkII training aircraft to expand and increase its flight training offering. Smart Aviation currently operates a training fleet of nine aircraft, which includes both the Tecnam P2002JF low-wing and P2006T Twin and also a simulator. This new and significant investment is part of Smart Aviation’s commitment to ensure that potential commercial pilots are being trained on state-of-the-art aircraft such as its wide range of Tecnam models. The single-engine Tecnam P2008’s versatility and ease of use has firmly established it as the aircraft of choice for Flight Training Organisations worldwide. With its carbon-fiber fuselage, metal wings and stabilator, the Tecnam P2008JC MkII has a vast number of advantages over traditional aircraft. This combination of both composite material and metal has resulted in a more fuel-efficient and much quieter aircraft. The Tecnam P2008JC MkII version features a number of significant enhancements. Among these are a new avionics suite, including a new design of both the dashboard and glare shield, thereby enabling the introduction of the Garmin’s innovative G3X Touch display with a MD302 attitude instrument, also available as VFR Night.
Rolls-Royce strengthening hybrid electric research
According to a company announcement on Monday, Rolls-Royce is working on an initiative to strengthen its hybrid electric power and propulsion research and development activities in Brandenburg, Germany. The company says the proposal will build on an established Rolls-Royce partnership with the Brandenburg Technical University (BTU) along with potentially including participation from small and medium-sized businesses in the region. As previously reported in APAnews, Rolls-Royce also signed an agreement to purchase Siemens’ eAircraft unit, which develops electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems, last month. Rolls-Royce says the initiative will focus on developing 400kW to 1000kW hybrid-electric propulsion systems. If approved, the programme will be funded by the State of Brandenburg and Rolls-Royce over the next six years. Details are expected to be agreed upon by the end of 2019.
FAA issues SAIB for flight controls; cable terminals on various GA airplanes
The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) concerning the potential for the cracking and fracturing of flight control cable terminal attachment fittings connected to turnbuckle barrels on all 14 CFR part 23 and CAR part 3 airplanes with mechanical flight control cables. With the exception of AD 2013-02-13, which addresses specific turnbuckle connections in the stabilator control system on certain Piper Aircraft Inc. airplane models, at this time, the airworthiness concern is not an unsafe condition that would warrant airworthiness directive (AD) action under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 39. However, the FAA continues to monitor this concern and may take additional action based on data received from operators and/or further examination.
According to the SAIB, turn-buckle connections are widely used in flight control systems on a multitude of airplane models that utilise mechanical flight control cables. The FAA has, over the years, received numerous reports of failures of the cable / turn-buckle attachment fittings, which have caused or have the potential to cause loss of flight control in one axis. In many cases, the failures have been discovered during inspection or ground operations. For those that occurred in flight, the pilot was often able to land the airplane without damage, although this can be very challenging. Accidents with substantial damage have occurred in some cases.
The specific focus of this SAIB is on the connecting fittings that are attached (swaged) to the flight control cables and threaded onto the turn-buckles. These fittings are typically manufactured from a type of stainless steel that is susceptible to stress corrosion cracking under certain conditions over time. Based on multiple part examinations, the stress corrosion cracking originates at general corrosion pits on the surface of the parts. Because the cracks are primarily below the surface, they can be extremely difficult to detect. Because stress corrosion cracking is usually preceded by or accompanied with visible corrosion, any presence of even light or moderate corrosion on these fittings is cause for concern. Factors that contribute to stress corrosion cracking for stainless steel fittings of this type are exposure to contamination (chlorides) along with being under sustained tensile stress. Heat is also a contributing factor. It is therefore likely to occur more quickly in a warm, humid, salt air environment and progresses based on calendar time rather than flight time. A number of failures have occurred in areas of the airplane adjacent to heating and ventilating ducts, thus raising the possibility that elevated temperatures and / or condensation associated with the ducting was an aggravating factor. Owners and operators of certain Beechcraft Bonanza and Debonair airplane models should be aware that multiple failures of an aileron cable terminal have occurred in a location just forward of the rear spar and underneath a ventilation / heating duct. This applies to most airplane Models 33, 35, and 36 manufactured between approximately 1964 and 1977, after which the aileron turn-buckles were moved to a location in the wheel well (although there may be exceptions falling outside those years). Being located in close proximity to the airplane battery can also be an aggravating factor. Based on reports received to date, the FAA would not expect failures to occur on parts with less than 15 years time in service.
Depending on whether safety wire or a safety clip is used to secure the turn-buckle, any corrosion such as this may be hidden from view by the safety wire, which needs to be removed in order to perform an adequate inspection. Another aggravating factor is the presence of sleeving or tape that is sometimes installed on the fitting shank for identification as an aid during initial airplane assembly. Corrosion can form more quickly underneath this material and be hidden from view during an inspection. This material has no functional purpose on an assembled airplane.
For those airplanes with a history of significant exposure to warm, humid, salt air environments, replacement of all primary flight control cables that have been in service for 15 years or longer is recommended. In addition, the replacement of any cable that has a turn-buckle fitting located in an area of the airplane subject to elevated temperatures, the prevalence of condensation, or in close proximity to the airplane battery and has been in service for 15 years or longer is recommended.
Cougar acquires advanced technology aircraft to fill market gap
Cougar Aircraft Corp has acquired the assets of the GA-7 Cougar light twin aircraft, designed and formerly produced by Grumman Gulfstream, famous for military and executive jets. Cougar now owns the FAA Type Certificate A17SO, the technology, production tools and world-wide rights needed to build this aircraft. The GA-7 is a perfect solution to fill the urgent need in the training market and with its robust construction can handle the real-life flight testing required to advance to the next stages in alternative propulsion.
The aviation training market has exploded with airline demand and it is forecast that training over 800,000 pilots worldwide will generate a need for thousands of new planes. That adds up to potential sales of over $7 billion. Market demand to produce new training planes has increased so much the one major light plane maker has revealed a 700-plane backorder and $350 million in annual turnover.
The GA-7 is a proven and respected aircraft that offers a safe and profitable training platform; what’s more, modified GA-7s have already flown with alternative powerplants. The GA-7 uses advanced fighter jet construction derived from its Grumman heritage, combined with simple modular assembly, allowing for low cost, high volume production of new aircraft. As an added bonus, the GA-7 offers an exceptionally long service life of its main wing components at 42,000 hours, compared to a typical 12,000-hour service life. This means many more profitable flight hours and less frequent aircraft fleet replacements.
The GA-7 could become the first and perhaps only light twin manufactured in China. Acquisition of an existing Type Certificate, which is valid forever, can save 10 years and many millions of dollars compared with development of a new, unproven aircraft model. With both single and twin-engine aircraft models and a 5,000 square meter facility ready to start production immediately, this is a golden opportunity for Chinese participation in aircraft manufacturing at a fraction of the usual cost of entry. Cougar Aircraft Corp is now inviting investors and suppliers to participate in their exclusive FAA and CAAC world-wide rights to bring these aircraft to a global market that is clearly in need of many more airplanes.
Cabin fire causes Virgin Atlantic emergency landing
On Thursday night, Virgin Atlantic Flight 138 was forced to make an emergency landing at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) due to a fire in the cabin. The flight crew was able to extinguish the fire, which started at a passenger’s seat. No injuries were reported among the flight crew and 217 passengers on board the aircraft. However, one passenger reportedly refused treatment for a ‘smoke-related complaint.’
Along with other emergency response personnel, the Massachusetts State Police Ordnance Disposal Unit (MSP EOD) was called in to evaluate the incident. “MSP EOD located and examined a device located between the cushions of the seat that ignited,” the Massachusetts State Police said in a statement. “Preliminary investigation suggests it is a battery pack consistent in appearance with an external phone charger.” The Airbus A330 was travelling to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. The fire occurred approximately 25 minutes after take-off. An investigation is being conducted by the MSP EOD and Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit.
airBaltic Training receives Diamond aircraft fleet and orders more
airBaltic Training, subsidiary of the Latvian airline airBaltic, has completed acceptance of a new fleet of Austro Engine jet-fuel piston engine-powered Diamond Aircraft DA40 NG (six units) and DA42-VI (one unit) plus one Diamond DSIM flight simulator. Vilmantas Mazonas, Managing Director of airBaltic Training, signed another purchase agreement for three DA40 NG to be delivered in 2020.
The modern all composite aircraft are equipped with Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpits and efficient, clean and very quiet jet-fuel Austro engines. Nearly 1,000 DA42’s have been delivered since its introduction more than 14 years ago, outselling all other certified piston twins combined. With more than 2,000 Diamond DA40’s in worldwide service today, many in high utilisation commercial operations at renowned flight training organisations, the DA40 fleet is proving its durability and safety, day in and day out. Diamond’s model-specific flight training devices are designed both for basic and advanced instrument, navigation and procedural training. Diamond Aircraft simulators are perfectly suited for instruction, check flights, screening purposes and skill proficiency tests.
NTSB reveals new details in deadly plane crash, witness recalls tragedy
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Sunday morning’s plane crash at Addison Airport that claimed the lives of 10 people, including two children. During a Monday press briefing, NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg and lead investigator Dr. Jennifer Rodi said the twin engine Beechcraft BE 350 Super King airplane’s landing gear was down when it crashed into a hangar at the suburban Dallas airport.
“The airplane was airborne, so the airplane veered to the left, started to roll to the left, rolling when it collided with the hangar,” Landsberg said. Rodi also revealed the entire plane made impact with the hangar, meaning it didn’t fall apart in the air. Maintenance records also came into question during a press conference Monday afternoon.
“The FAA is now working on looking for the maintenance records for the aircraft. Anytime there is any maintenance done on an airplane it is documented by a certificated mechanic,” Landsberg said. The NTSB also was able to recover the plane’s voice recorder that captures communication between the pilots and their communication with air traffic control.
“We don’t know exactly what is on the recorder, but what the recorders do will capture external communications between the crew and air traffic; and of particular interest to us is of the internal cockpit conversation between the pilot and the copilot,” Landsberg said. “The ‘black box’ is being analysed in Washington, D.C., but added as far as they know communication seemed ‘completely normal’ that day. The small plane was cleared for take-off, the pilots acknowledged. There was no flight data recorder on the plane, because personal-use planes like the one involved in the deadly accident are not required to have them, although the NTSB has recommended it to the FAA, Landsberg said. This means the NTSB will ‘take the long road’ and rely heavily on the wreckage and especially on security video that captured the entire event. Investigators have spoken with just a few people who witnessed the horrific crash, including a long time local pilot. David Snell was readying for his own flight Sunday morning to catch breakfast with friends when he witnessed the accident. “My friend and I have flown for a long time,” he said. “We both knew that the sound that we were hearing out of that King Air was not correct.”
EASA issues first eVTOL certification rules
The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued a ‘special condition’ for the certification of eVTOL aircraft up to a maximum take-off weight of 7,000 pounds carrying up to nine passengers. The two-tiered regulation on so-called ‘small’ eVTOLs is described by EASA as a ‘first building block’ to integration of hybrid and electric VTOL aircraft that will mostly be used in point-to-point transportation. The nature of those operations will determine the classification used to certify the aircraft.
Those that will be used privately and away from congested areas will be able to certify by showing they can make a controlled emergency landing if they have an inflight emergency. Those that will be used in cities or in commercial service will have to be able to either make it to their destination or an alternative ‘vertiport’ after experiencing a failure. “We are actively engaging with the industry to develop the right technical requirements to take benefit of the new technologies bringing safety and environmental benefits to the community,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said in a statement. “The establishment of a common set of conditions for the certification of these new concepts of vehicles will enable a fair competition on the European market as well as clarity for future manufacturers and their investors.”
The Nano-UAV market set to grow to $1.81 billion by 2029
Drones have long been a mainstay in long-range reconnaissance and targeted assassinations, but the increasing sophistication of nano-UAV technologies has seen their usefulness extended to combat patrols. One of the most obvious areas on the battlefield where a machine like this can make a difference is in combat patrol. With living memory largely defining the patrol as a foray into territory held by insurgents who strike from behind cover, before melting away into the terrain, having the ability to fully perceive the combat space beforehand could make all the difference between a successful repulse of the enemy and calling in a medevac.
Nano UAVs are gaining popularity with their increasing demand in several application areas such as search and rescue operations, product delivery and high altitude mapping among others. There are several advantages of using Nano UAV. The drones require less energy compared to large delivery vehicles. In addition, these drones can be easily controlled through a wireless remote controller. Furthermore, these drones can access hard to reach places and are being increasingly implemented in search and rescue missions and media coverage among other applications. Moreover, Nano UAVs are being used by law enforcement agencies due to their enhanced capabilities of transmitting high resolution videos and images. In addition, these drones are also capable of providing real time surveillance data to their base stations. These factors are further aiding to the growing demand for Nano UAV during the forecast period. However, there are certain factors limiting the growth of the market. The use of Nano UAV has led to the rising concern for privacy. This in return has led to reforms in government regulation for using Nano UAV which is expected to hinder the growth of the market.
The report analyst commented “The increasing trend for better video and image resolution capabilities of Nano UAV is expected to drive the market in future. Furthermore, the increasing technological innovation has resulted into the development of 4K video capable smartphones and televisions. This is in return is increasing the demand and expectations of consumers for drones with similar abilities. Companies like, YUNEEC and DJI are offering drones with HD video monitoring and 4K video recording capabilities. Moreover, the falling price of components is resulting into falling price of high resolution cameras with better video recording capability. In addition, the Nano UAV are increasingly being used for product deliveries which requires constant video monitoring abilities and safe and timely delivery of the products. This factor is expected to push the market for Nano UAV in future”
Impossible Aerospace US-1 drone responds to California fire
The US-1 unmanned aircraft from start up Impossible Aerospace made another public demonstration on Friday 28 June, this time at a four-alarm construction site fire burning only minutes away from the company’s Santa Clara headquarters. Equipped with thermal and optical sensors, the aircraft hovered on station for one hour and six minutes before the fire was extinguished, demonstrating its endurance.
According to an Impossible Aerospace news release, the US-1 delivered high definition thermal video to ground crews, allowing them to easily identify hot spots to share with first responders. The aircraft was operated by Impossible Aerospace pilots as part of the company’s Rapid Response programme offered to neighbouring agencies. The US-1 delivers between 78 and 90 minutes of flight time when carrying payloads used by first responders, significantly outperforming other multirotor drones on the market. In other configurations, its flight time has exceeded two hours, said the company.
The US-1 outlasted three other news helicopters that also arrived on scene, according to the company.
As the demand for domestically-sourced aerospace technology continues to rise, Impossible Aerospace is forging partnerships with local governments, police and fire departments and private customers alike. The best-in-class US-1 has a longer battery life and is integrated with combined thermal and optical sensors built for critical missions.
German company plans to assess drone strike danger
The rapid rise in the number of drones worldwide has been accompanied by increasing reports of near misses with commercial aircraft. Bird-strike tests for aircraft are mandatory. However, to date there is no equivalent standard test procedure for collisions with drones. In order to be able to fundamentally understand the consequences of a collision between an aircraft and a drone, the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI is now planning to build a test bench for recreating various collision scenarios with complete drones.
The incidence of drones impacting air traffic has risen in recent years. In 2018, there were 158 cases reported at German airports. Indeed, Germany’s federal police has warned of a massive threat posed by unmanned aerial vehicles. This year, at the beginning of May, flight operations at Frankfurt Airport had to be shut down completely for a short period following the sighting of a drone. The total number of drones in private and commercial use in Germany is forecast to rise to 847,000 by 2030, an increase of almost 80 percent. Drones endanger not only aircraft coming into land but also low-flying helicopters. Pilots live in fear of a drone hitting the cockpit wind-shield, the engine or the leading edge of the wings. Experts are of the opinion that a collision with a drone would cause more damage to the aircraft than the impact of a bird strike. Before being certified for use, aircraft must undergo a standard test to assess their tolerance to bird strike. Researchers from Fraunhofer EMI in Freiburg are keen to see changes here. “From a mechanical point of view, drones behave differently to birds and also weigh considerably more,” explains Dr Sebastian Schopferer, one of the scientists working on this project. “It is therefore uncertain, whether an aircraft that has been successfully tested against bird strike, would also survive a collision with a drone.”
The Fraunhofer Institute has conducted initial impact tests with drone batteries and motors and says the danger has been confirmed. “Using compressed air, we accelerated these two components to speeds ranging from 115 to 255 meters per second (250 to 500 mph) and fired them at aluminium plates up to eight millimetres (0.3 inches) in thickness that were mounted in a test bench,” Schopferer explains. Given their weight, both the battery and the motor can cause major damage: “There was substantial deformation and indentation of the plates and the drone battery and engine were completely destroyed.” The outcome of the tests was recorded with a high-speed video camera.
The primary objective of this series of tests is to determine the transfer of momentum at the instant of impact with the two aforementioned components and to investigate the associated damage to aircraft materials such as aluminium alloys and fibre composites. In parallel to these dynamic investigations, researchers also conducted a number of quasi-static pressure tests in order to determine the strength and rigidity of the drone components. These results will play an essential role in the derivation of numerically efficient, predictive simulation models that the aviation industry can then use to ascertain new and important findings about the impact behaviour of drones. Using such models during the design phase, it will be possible to assess the resistance of new aircraft components to the impact of a drone.
In order to simulate realistic impact scenarios, researchers are now planning to construct a new type of test bench for investigating the impact of complete drones with a maximum weight of three kilograms (6.6 pounds) and flying at speeds of up to 150 meters per second (335 mph). “We will be able to investigate the impact and fragmentation of complete drones during collision with both rigid and flexible targets and thereby study the presumably catastrophic effects of a drone strike for an aircraft,” Schopferer explains. “Tests in this weight class of drone have never been carried out before.” The tests will be conducted with a variety of drones, including both amateur and semi-professional models, weighing between one and three kilograms (2.2 – 6.6 pounds). In addition to aircraft manufacturers, these investigations will also benefit aviation authorities, providing them with important information for a more in-depth assessment of the danger to aircraft posed by drones.
Three Israeli drone companies to establish a presence in New York State
Following a recent trip to Israel, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a New York-Israel partnership to create UAS Center of Excellence. Governor Cuomo said in a news release that Empire State Development will provide a $250,000 planning grant to establish a new Unmanned Aerial Systems Research and Testing Canter of Excellence in New York State. It will be led by the NUAIR Alliance, an organisational partner of CenterState CEO.
The organisations are strategically aligned in their efforts to build public and private partnerships to advance leading edge UAS and UAS traffic management technologies and create a hub for the industry that will attract investments and business development. New York and Israeli companies will use the new Center of Excellence to focus on advancing technologies, which will bring Israeli technology and R&D to the New York drone market and open Israeli’s markets to New York State UAS companies.
Three Israeli tenant companies – Vorpal, Flytrex and CivDrone – have already committed to working with NUAIR and utilising this new Center of Excellence. This week, the parachute system equipped on Flytrex’s package delivery drones was validated as compliant with industry standards for parachutes, after testing completed by NUAIR at the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York.
UAS Company Civdrone will host a demonstration day as part of further New York State expansion. Civdrone’s success in the GENIUS NY programme has stimulated investment interest that will allow the company to expand even further in New York State than previously planned. Civdrone CEO Tom Yeshurun will tour the state to select an appropriate construction site to stage a demonstration day for contractors and civil engineering firms, as one of the most important applications envisioned for the Civdrone UAS product is to assist in coordinating physical construction with its blueprint design. The demonstration day will take place in mid-August. Civdrone develops fast, reliable and autonomous marking solutions on enterprise drones for the construction industry. Digitalising and automating land surveying services increases productivity and shortens construction time while lowering costs.
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)