“Never blame another person for your personal choice; You are still the one who must live out the consequences of your choices”
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. 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 that was staged in Oshkosh. This was 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. The closing date for the September edition is Tuesday 13 August. For advertising positions please contact Lara Bayliss at Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: email@example.com
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1) Presently African Pilot prints, distributes and sells more magazines than any other aviation magazine on the African continent.
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Video of the week: Central Flying Academy
Should you be interested in having your aviation event filmed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Propeller goes missing – help please
During road freight transport between Port Elizabeth and Wonderboom airport a very rare two blade Hartzell Q tip propeller from a Mooney M20K ZS-LEZ was hijacked and now the propeller is missing.
I would be surprised if there are more than one of these Q tip props in the country.
SA Mooney Sales & Services CC
+27-(0) 46-6245332/5345 W
+27-(0) 82 5658864 M
What happened in aviation over the past week?
The Pilot Insure Secunda Navigation Speed Rally – 10 August 2019 By Rob Jonkers
This Speed Rally held at Secunda on 10 August was the finale of the 2018/19 season and the 6th in the series, where it had returned to the birth of the Speed Rally concept just under a year ago. This format of rally has gone from strength to strength with increasing entrants and popularity, with an initial entry list of 23 to over 40 at its peak at the Bethlehem event in June 2019.
This being the season finale, the season winners were to be crowned on Saturday at the prize-giving at the Secunda Aero Club. The Secunda Aero Club went all out to make this a memorable event and between SAPFA and the club had also arranged video recording teams to follow the preparation and the event’s proceedings. The entries started out at 40, but some competitors dropped out due to technical issues and by Friday morning 32 entries were confirmed.
Many thanks to the Secunda Aero Club for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Jacques Jacobs with the ground marshals, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos and Mark Clulow doing the scoring with our handicapping guru the honourable Chester Chandler, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering, Jonty, Lizelle and Sandy for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks also extended to Santjie White of the ARCC who always watches over us and the ATNS team for managing the ATC for the weekend.
Fire at hangar no. 8 at Air Force Base Swartkop
The South African Nation Defence Force confirmed that a general-purpose hangar at Air Force Base Swartkop, which did not house any aircraft or museum artefacts, caught fire on Saturday, 10 August 2019 at around 05h00. Though there is extensive and structural damage to the hangar, there were neither human injuries nor fatalities. The cause of the fire is still unknown. The Base Fire Services and the Tshwane Fire Services managed to extinguish the fire to prevent further damages to other vehicles and equipment.
The SANDF with the support of the Tshwane Fire Services will immediately initiate a Preliminary Investigation and/or a Board of Inquiry to determine the cause and extent of the fire. The majority of the hangars of AFB Swartkop are classified as ‘heritage structures’ because this was the first established air force base in South Africa. The Base and the hangars were built from the early 1920s. This loss of the hangar is a setback to the South African Air Force and the history of Military Aviation worldwide. Since 2012, the Chief of the South African Air Force, Lt Gen FZ Msimang, has initiated a programme to preserve and promote our Air Force history, which includes former TBVC states and the Armed Wings of Former Liberation Movements in relation to the corresponding political, social and economic dispensation of the country under the theme ‘embracing our collective heritage’.
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.
21 to 31 August
SAC Unlimited World Championships in France
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
Guardians of the Aviation Industry safety evening at RAW Aviation Cape Town
Contact Courtney Kirby +27 (0) 79 296 1585 Mark Miller +27 (0) 82 894 7531
Starts at 18h00, all welcome to this safety evening, but please RSVP.
Contact Stephan Fourie e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAAF Museum Airshow – AFB Zwartkops, Pretoria
The date has been changed for the third time
Contact Mark Kelbrick Cell 082 413 7577 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
26 to 27 September
Commercial Aviation Symposium Africa Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Contact Tel 011 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com
Barnstormers MFC Warbirds Day airshow
5 & 6 October
SAC Western Cape Regionals – Swellendam airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 to 13 October
Airlines Association of Southern Africa 49th Annual General Assembly – Reunion Island
15 – 16 October
Drone Con International Convention Centre Durban
SAPFA SA Landing Championships at Brits Airfield
Contact Ron Stirk E-mail: email@example.com Cell:082 445 0373
23 to 25 October
AVI AFRIQUE Innovation Summit 2019
E-mail: AviAfrique@atns.co.za Website: www.atns.com
22 to 24 October
NBAA-BACE Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
SAPFA Baragwanath Fun Rally – Baragwanath Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Rally Championships – Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: email@example.com
8 to 10 November
EAA Sun ‘n Fun at Brits airfield
Contact EAA National Committee Marie Reddy E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA EAA Sun & Fun Adventure Rally
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: email@example.com
CAASA Awards Ceremony venue TBA
Contact Tel: 659 2345 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards Venue TBA
Contact AeCSA office 011 082 1100 e-mail: email@example.com
22 to 24 November
NBAA- BASE convention and exhibition in Las Vegas Convention Centre, Nevada, USA
SAPFA Springs Speed Rally – Springs Airfield
Contact Jonty Esser cell: 082 855 9435 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
30 November – 1 December
SAC Ace of Base Vereeniging Airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
EgyptAir maintenance and engineering establishes LM Station in Dubai
EgyptAir maintenance and engineering has signed a partnership agreement with SKAN Aviation to establish a line maintenance station in Dubai International Airport. The new station provides technical services for aircraft types A330, A320, B737-800, B777 and B787 and is expected to start operations by mid-August. Mostafa Ali El-Din Imam, chairman and CEO of EgyptAir maintenance and engineering said: “Future plans include further expansion in base maintenance services as study is underway to establish a hangar in one of the UAE’s airports. We trust our capabilities and our technical teams who can work under any circumstances. We rely much on our workforce, who enjoy world-class skills and work professionally to achieve the least turnaround time. We enjoy a long experience and a wide network of stations to reach the maximum satisfaction of our customers everywhere.”
Egypt acquires Il-76 transporters
The Egyptian Air Force has taken delivery of two Il-76 second hand transporters from Jordan as it expands its strategic airlift capabilities. Russian state arms holding company Rosoboronexport told TASS that Russia had allowed Jordan to transfer the aircraft to Egypt. Egypt is the only operator of the Il-76MF, a stretched version of the Il-76MD transport aircraft with a fuselage that has been lengthened by two additional 3.3 metre sections in front of and behind the wing, increasing the cargo compartment’s volume and aircraft payload. The variant also features new PS-90A-76 engines, upgraded navigational equipment and systems. Apparently Egypt is aiming to purchase eight Il-76MFs to bolster its strategic airlift fleet, which is quite limited. There were reports that Egypt was interested in acquiring Airbus A400M Atlas aircraft, but this does not seem to have proceeded anywhere.
BIRD Aerosystems providing protection systems on UN helicopters in Africa
Israel’s Bird Aerosystems has received a contract to provide missile protection systems for United Nations’ Mi-17 helicopters operating in Africa. On 5 August the company said that its AMPS-MV solution would be installed on UN Mi-17s operating in dangerous and complicated areas in Africa. The UN is already using BIRD’s airborne missile protection system (AMPS) and this is a follow-on order that will allow the UN to install the systems on additional helicopters. The system is designed to automatically detect, verify and foil surface-to-air missile (SAM) attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (flares and chaff) and by Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile’s infrared seeker. The AMPS-MV includes BIRD Aerosystems’ patented Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor (MACS), which provides confirmation of suspected incoming missile threats detected by the main electro-optical passive sensors, and eliminates false alarms. MACS ensures that only real missiles will be declared by the system and reacted upon, the company said.
Only upon validation of the threat by both MILDS and MACS sensors will the MCDU confirm the threat, initiate the optimised countermeasure dispensing programme and provide visual and audio alerts to the aircraft crew. AMPS-MV can handle up to eight simultaneous threats. Bird Aerosystems specialises in airborne missile protection systems and airborne surveillance, information and observation (ASIO) solutions. Its solutions are in use with commercial and military organisations, including NATO forces, the US government, Airbus and other major aircraft manufacturers. It says its AMPS is combat proven and has been operational in Afghanistan and Iraq with over 400 installations on platforms such as the EC155, BK117, EC145, EC635, EC135, Cougar, EC225, C-130, P-3C, B350ER, B200, Bell 407, CH-53, S92, UH-60, Mi-17 and Mi8.
Milestone Dash 8-400 delivered to Ethiopian Airlines
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada and Ethiopian Airlines recently celebrated the delivery of the milestone Dash 8-400 aircraft bearing serial number 4600. The aircraft is also the 25th Dash 8-400 aircraft delivered to Ethiopian Airlines. Senior executives of Ethiopian Airlines, De Havilland Canada and Longview Aviation Capital, the parent company of De Havilland Canada, joined Ethiopian’s aircraft acceptance team and hundreds of De Havilland Canada employees for the celebration held at De Havilland Canada’s facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where Dash 8-400 aircraft are manufactured. Her Excellency Nasise Challi Jira, Ethiopian Ambassador to Canada and representatives of the government of Ontario were also in attendance.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Boeing CEO: MAX grounding ‒ ‘defining moment for the company’
Speaking at the Jefferies Global Industrials Conference on 7 August, Muilenburg opened his speech by expressing ‘deep sympathies’ to families and communities of the victims of two Boeing 737 MAX crashes. Muilenburg says the accidents ‘continue to weigh heavily’ on the company. The subsequent worldwide MAX grounding and the current situation is the ‘defining moment’ for the company, “one where we will reinforce our values and stay true to those values of safety, quality and integrity,” said Muilenburg.
Meanwhile, Boeing is working on the aircraft software update and finalising the recertification plans. It anticipates submitting recertification package in September 2019, while the earliest date on when the MAX could take up to the skies again remains at the ‘early’ fourth quarter 2019. However, the latter date remains dependent on regulatory approval by regulators around the world.
If the recertification is prolonged, Boeing is still looking at ‘hard’ scenarios, Muilenburg states, including reducing the production rate or even “temporary shut down” of MAX production. At the moment, the company still produces 42 MAXs per month, with hopes to increase the production to 57 per month next year. As for the airlines that both have their current MAX grounded and are looking at delivery delays in the future, Muleiburg states they remain the company’s ‘firm partners’, adding Boeing ‘had no order cancellations’.
Ryanair to close number of bases starting next year
Ryanair will close a number of bases due to the late delivery of up to 30 Boeing MAX aircraft from next year. Ryanair spokesperson said; “As announced on 16 July 2019, due to the late delivery of up to 30 Boeing MAX aircraft this winter a number of Ryanair bases will be cut or closed this winter. “These consultations are taking place with our people at affected bases currently. No routes will be affected as they will be served by flights from other bases from November when the winter schedule starts,” the spokesperson added.
The company expects that it will receive its first Boeing Max200 between January and February 2020. “Ryanair will now revise its summer 2020 schedule based on 30 incremental aircraft, rather than 58. This will cut Ryanair’s summer 2020 growth rate from 7% to 3%, which means full year traffic growth for the year to March 2021 will be cut from 162m guests to approximately 157m,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.
Ryanair did not specify which bases are going to be closed. However, industrial action at some bases are already hinting which ones might be closed. According to Portuguese media, Faro Airport will be one of the bases which Ryanair will close in winter. Accessibility to the region will not be affected by the closure of Ryanair’s base in Faro in January 2020, Algarve Tourism President João Fernandes told the Portuguese news agency Lusa. Ryanair’s spokesperson also confirmed that neither routes or frequencies to and from Faro will be affected by the closure of Ryanair’s base, as it plans to operate like the other 41 airlines flying to and from Faro airport ‒ without having a base there.
Cabin Crew Union president said that Ryanair is closing its base at Faro airport in January 2020. This would result in layoffs of some 100 workers, but flights would be maintained, as it is reported by Lusa. SNPVAC cabin crew had called a strike between 21 and 25 August 2019.
RAF Typhoons scrambled twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft
Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets intercepted five Russian military aircraft early this week; four after launching on Monday and another on Tuesday. The Typhoons are operating from Ämari Air Base in Estonia in support of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission.
On Monday the fighter jets intercepted a Russian Antonov AN-26 ‘Curl’ transport aircraft. Following this and on the same mission, the fighters later diverted to intercept a Russian TU-142 ‘Bear’ Bomber and two SU-27B ‘Flanker’ fighters. On Tuesday the Typhoons intercepted a Russian Tupolev TU-134 ‘Crusty’ transport aircraft flying close to Estonian airspace. Baltic Air Policing is a routine NATO mission for the Typhoons and provides reassurance that the UK is here to work in partnership with Estonia.
A Typhoon pilot from XI (Fighter) Squadron, attached to 121 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW), was conducting Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) duty when Monday’s scramble was called. He said: “We were scrambled to intercept a Russian AN-26 aircraft routing west close to Estonian airspace. Once complete with this task, a second task was initiated to intercept a group of contacts operating to the south close to Lithuanian airspace. “These aircraft transiting the Baltic region were not on a recognised flight plan or communicating with Air Traffic Control. In the end, the intercept was uneventful and conducted in a professional manner throughout.”
The Royal Air Force is deployed on Operation AZOTIZE in Estonia in support of Baltic Air Policing. These were the fifteenth and sixteenth QRA scrambles resulting in intercepts since the RAF took over enhanced Air Policing (eAP) from the German Air Force on 3 May 2019 as part of Baltic Air Policing. The UK operates in support of NATO to reassure our allies and is a further demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the security of the region.
Icon Aircraft announces layoffs in ‘rightsizing’ move
The move lowers cost structure across the organization and right-sizes the business for current Icon A5 demand. “For long-term success, we need to make tough decisions,” said Thomas Wieners, Icon President and COO. “Icon is currently structured for higher volume production, but after producing more than 100 aircraft, we now have a very good understanding of costs. While the Icon A5 is truly an exceptional plane, the necessary higher price lowers demand considerably and requires us to adjust the organization size as a result.” The restructuring comes on the heels of recently received funding from investors. The funding enables Icon to keep all core functions operational, but with more streamlined staffing. In total, approximately 40 percent of Icon’s workforce will be impacted, reducing the employee base from nearly 650 to about 400 team members. “We are making it a priority to support all affected employees through this transition, whilst the remaining team is an incredibly strong group who will be focused squarely on our future.” added Wieners.
With the revised business plan, Icon A5 production will continue at a lower rate with flexibility to scale as demand increases. New and existing owners will continue to receive a first-class ownership experience with personalised, one-on-one relationships. In addition, the company’s internal and external service provider network and flight training partnerships will also remain intact and grow as needed to support owners across the country. “Our vision and commitment have not changed and our adventure-seeking owners love that the A5 delivers an unparalleled flying experience,” said Wieners. “Creating a new category is challenging, but rightsizing the organisation now is a necessary next step so that we can grow demand and continue to introduce even more people to this incredible plane.”
US Navy declares death of pilot in F-18 ‘Star Wars’ canyon crash
After a day of research, the US Navy announced the death of the pilot of a single-seat F/A-18E Super Hornet jet that crashed in Death Valley National Park, California. The incident injured seven tourists on the ground. The aircraft was part of the ‘Vigilantes’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California and attached to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. It was on a routine training flight when the mishap occurred.
According to a statement released by the NAS Lemoore, the crash happened 40 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, on 31 July 2019. The seven people injured on the ground were French tourists, all members of the same family. “We were in front of the valley and the planes crashed, around 50 meters from us,” said one of the tourists. While six of them only sustained minor injuries due to the shrapnel from the crash, a woman had to be transported to a local hospital after suffering burns on her back. A search operation was started to retrieve the pilot. A witness said that he did not see any sign of ejection. On 1 August 2019, Navy spokesperson Lydia Bock announced the death of the pilot. An investigation into the cause of the incident has been opened.
The crash happened near one of the most famous plane spotting locations of the United States, the Rainbow Canyon. It is popularly referred to as the ‘Star Wars Canyon’ due to its resemblance to the fictional planet of Tatooine, or to the manoeuvres of the pilots, which remind some that can be seen in the movie. This place is especially popular among tourists and aviation enthusiasts, as it allows them to observe flights of military aircraft at an exceptionally low altitude. The United States Air Force even refers to it as the “Jedi Transition” in its official documentation.
Smoke-filled British Airways A321 emergency landing in Spain
On Monday after smoke filled the cabin, nineteen passengers were injured after British Airways Flight 422 made an emergency landing at its intended destination of Valencia, Spain. The Telegraph is reporting that the Airbus A321 was on approach to Valencia when the ‘technical issue’ occurred. The passengers were evacuated via the emergency slides. Other news reports say the Airbus had a fire in one of the engines that had extinguished itself by the time the jetliner had landed.
According to British Airways, “Flight BA422 from Heathrow to Valencia experienced a technical issue on its landing approach into Valencia. All our customers were evacuated safely by our crew and met by the airport’s emergency services. There were 175 customers on board the flight, with six cabin crew and two pilots. Three customers were taken to hospital as a precaution and have since been discharged. The safety of our customers and crew is always our highest priority. In addition to our team on site, other British Airways team members have arrived in Valencia to help our customers and our local airport partners with anything they need.”
Passengers reported that the pilots were able to land wearing oxygen masks but that the cabin masks were not deployed. The British pilots union, BALPA, praised the professional job done by the pilots and crew. Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary said, “The pilots and crew appear to have done an excellent and highly professional job of getting this aircraft safely onto the ground in very difficult circumstances and safely evacuating all the passengers with no reported serious injuries. We believe the pilots landed this aircraft wearing full oxygen masks and goggles which is extremely challenging.”
Noting passengers’ complaints that the oxygen masks had not deployed, BALPA noted that “this is because they, unlike pilot and cabin crew oxygen systems, are not designed to be used in smoke events as they mix the oxygen supply with the ambient air. Passenger oxygen masks are used during decompression events.”
Ka-32 helicopters to be used for firefighting in Turkey
Russian Helicopters Holding Company, a part of Rostec State Corporation, has delivered three Ka-32A11BC multipurpose helicopters to Turkey to be used for firefighting. In July 2018 contracts were signed with KAAN Air (Turkey) for delivery of three Ka-32A11BC multipurpose helicopters. All three have been handed over to the customer. The rotorcraft were purchased primarily for firefighting purposes. The Ka-32A11BC multipurpose helicopter is designed to perform complex firefighting operations, special search-and-rescue and high altitude construction operations, to transport cargo inside the fuselage and on the external sling, to log forest, transport patients and evacuate injured persons.
The co-axial scheme and absence of the tail rotor ensure compactness, high power-to-weight ratio and manoverability, as well as exceptional controllability of the helicopter. Ka-32A11BC has a high load lifting capacity up to five tons of cargo on the external sling. The assigned service life of Ka-32A11BC is extended to 32,000 hours which guarantees lower operating costs.
The firefighting version of Ka-32A11BC can be equipped with various fire extinguishing systems, including Bambi Bucket and Simplex type, as well as a horizontal firefighting system. The helicopter is capable of extinguishing flames on the highest floors of high rise buildings and on oil-and-gas industrial facilities. The Ka-32A11BC has been acknowledged by experts as one of the world’s best firefighting helicopters; it is a symbol of the Global Helicopter Firefighting Initiative (GHFI) – a programme intended to improve the operating efficiency of specialised firefighting helicopters. The Ka-32A11BC helicopter is EASA certified and meets FAR-29 and AP-29 standards. It is being successfully used in Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Spain, Canada, Kazakhstan, China, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, South Korea and Japan.
Flight Design continues to develop new aircraft
At its press conference at EAA AirVenture, Flight Design said that the company is currently producing four aircraft per month at their facilities in Germany and Ukraine and its EASA certified CTLS is now being delivered in Europe. The company is incorporating its ‘Vision Zero’ safety features in all their future aircraft. The Vision Zero concept of Flight Design is designed to make the safest aircraft possible by incorporating advanced safety features with the goal of zero casualties in the event of an emergency landing or other situation.
The F2 is now completing SLSA flight testing. It is a pre-impregnated carbon composite airframe aircraft, and it meets the ASTM F-3180 low-speed standard. It features a cabin that is 53 inches wide, incorporates structure mounted airbags in the panel and well sport a Garmin avionics package. The aircraft will be powered by a Rotax 914iS or 915iS engine, whilst there is a Siemens electric model in the works as well. A ballistic parachute is incorporated into the airframe.
The electric version of the F2, known as the F2e, is anticipated to be used for the flight training and personal recreation markets. Due to the weight of the batteries, it is anticipated that the F2e will have a airframe is closer to the size of the F4 (2,200 pounds MTOW), which will allow for batteries to provide a three hour plus endurance. The goal of the companies to have a 2 to 2 ½ hour flight time available for each charge. With further advancement battery technology, it is anticipated that the flight time may be extended further.
True Blue Power introduces fifth-generation lithium-ion battery family
True Blue Power, introduced the company’s new, fifth-generation (Gen5) main ship batteries to attendees at this year’s AirVenture . The ultra-lightweight, TB20 (20 amp-hour), TB30 (30 amp-hour) and TB40 (40 amp-hour) are the company’s first on-condition, lithium-ion, engine-start batteries. Engineered to address the many challenges lead-acid and Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) technologies present, the True Blue Power Gen5 family eliminates expensive battery maintenance, frequent capacity checks, low-voltage operational delays and most battery-related AOG situations.
True Blue Power’s on-condition Gen5 batteries eliminate expensive scheduled battery maintenance and frequent, costly capacity checks. This paramount improvement saves owners and operators up to 90% in total maintenance cost. These battery systems simply indicate if attention is ever needed, including end-of-useful life.
The intelligent Gen5 engine-start batteries communicate real-time state-of-charge (SOC) and state-of-health (SOH) data. Battery configurations are programmed to meet the needs of each specific aircraft. This includes charge current limit, end-of-life capacity, minimum dispatch capacity and engine-start readiness. The Built-in Test (BIT) indicator provides SOC data without the need for external test equipment, load banks or auxiliary power. The Gen5 lithium-ion batteries are engineered to address the challenges of heavy, lead-acid and NiCad batteries. They eliminate toxic metals and acid spills and significantly reduce carbon emissions. True Blue Power lithium-ion batteries can be recycled or disposed of in area landfills.
Textron Denali turboprop headed for flight testing
Textron brought the Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop full-scale cabin mock-up to AirVenture 2019 and said the prototype aircraft should enter flight testing by the end of the year. Announced back in 2016, the company plans to use the prototype and two production-conforming aircraft in the flight test programme, while ground test airframes will be used for static and fatigue tests. The 1300-SHP Catalyst FADEC engine provided by GE Aviation, is being developed specifically for the Denali and will drive a digitally controlled McCauley five-blade composite propeller. The engine is slated to have a 4000-hour TBO, but a 5000-hour TBO is the ultimate goal. The Denali is expected to have a 1600-mile range and typical fuel burn of 60 GPH, while the single-pilot aircraft will have a service ceiling of 31,000 feet. The aircraft will have a digital pressurisation system that maintains a 6000-foot cabin at 30,000 feet. The Denali will have a three-screen (14-inch wide-screen displays) Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck, which was fully assembled in the mock-up shown at AirVenture. The system has synthetic vision, ADS-B In and Out plus ship’s weather radar, as you would expect in an airplane of this calibre. With a cruise speed of 285 knots, while the full-fuel payload is around 1100 pounds.
The cabin (which can be configured for up to nine seats) is designed to convert between passenger and cargo configurations and the aircraft has a 53-by-59-inch rear cargo door. An optional externally serviced belted lavatory can be quickly removed for more storage and the cabin has LED lighting, a refreshment center and an interior that follows the lead of Cessna’s higher-end biz jets. Textron said the Denali, which will compete directly with the Pilatus PC-12NG, is expected to be priced at $5.35 million.
ATP Flight School expands fleet with the Cessna Skyhawk
At EAA’s AirVenture Textron Aviation announced its agreement with long-term customer, ATP Flight School, for orders and options for up to 100 Cessna Skyhawk aircraft through 2023. The new aircraft will be supplementing and replacing aircraft in ATP’s current fleet of over 375 aircraft and adds to the 20 Skyhawks ATP has already taken delivery of over the past year. The new Skyhawks will be used exclusively by students in ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Programme, as they train on the most efficient path towards becoming airline pilots amid unprecedented demand for airline pilots. The stable flight characteristics, advanced avionics and proven dispatch reliability of the airplane have made it a dependable training platform for ATP, who flies 31,000 flight hours per month. More Skyhawks have been delivered to customers around the world than any other type of aircraft, with more than 44,000 placed into service.
Cochin International Airport suspends operations after water level rises
Cochin International Airport (COK) informed that all aircraft operations are suspended due to the floods until 15h00 on 11 August 2019. Nine flights are affected and are either diverted or cancelled. The heavy water flow in the Periyar river started once again on 8 August 2019. Red alert has been issued in nine affected districts. The natural disaster has already claimed 14 lives since 8 August 2019. Last year, due to the same disaster, the airport was shut for 14 days, due to which it suffered an estimated loss of $2.4-2.7 million.
Flyboard inventor skims across the English Channel
The inventor of the Flyboard has successfully flown his machine across the English Channel, a 22-mile trip that lasted about 22 minutes. The BBC reports that Zapata departed from Sangatte, near Calais, shortly after 0600 GMT on Sunday, landing in St Margaret’s Bay in Dover after a refuelling stop during the trip. Zapata’s first attempted the crossing on July 25, but an issue refuelling the Flyboard forced him to abandon the attempt. He ran out of fuel and ditched in the ocean before reaching the boat where he planned to switch backpacks for one with a full load of fuel. This time, a larger boat and platform supported the attempt, along with a three-helicopter escort. He said he reached speeds of up to 106 mph (92 knots) during the flight. While some may call the flight historic, Zapata was not so quick to say it was. “I’m not the one to decide,” he told reporters. “Time will tell.”
United flight deck crew facing impaired charges
A United Airlines captain and his first officer are in jail in Scotland awaiting a court appearance on charges they planned to fly a Boeing 757 full of passengers to Newark while impaired. The flight deck crew, aged 61 and 45, were intercepted in the airport and prevented from boarding for the scheduled 09h00 flight. No details of what prompted the arrest have been released. The pilots are reportedly cooperating with police. The flight had to be cancelled and passengers put on other flights. The pilots were taken into custody after allegedly failed breathalyser tests. Authorities didn’t say what they blew but it doesn’t take much to bust the limit. Scotland’s threshold for impaired driving is .05 and the aircrew limit is .025. The Scottish dontriskit.info website reminds that driving the day after a night of drinking can be as perilous as drinking just before driving because “alcohol stays in your system longer than you think.” United suspended the pilots.
Alaka’i Skai fuel cell powered eVTOL
Alaka’i Technologies debuted Skai, a hydrogen fuel cell powered electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) system last May. According to Alaka’i, the Skai eVTOL will have an endurance of up to four flight hours, payload of 1,000 pounds and range of about 400 miles. The five-seat aircraft is designed to fly at speeds of up to 118 MPH and refuel in under 10 minutes. It will be capable of piloted, ground-piloted and fully autonomous flight. The company says features will include a whole-airframe parachute, six-rotor propulsion system, triple redundant autopilot and “fly-by-light fibre optics based controls for EMI and lightning protection.”
WORLD DRONES NEWS
New research shows public safety drone programmes are growing rapidly
As public safety agencies continue to adopt unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and related technology for life safety missions, new research from DRONERESPONDERS (the leading 501(c)3 non-profit programme supporting public safety UAS, provides a better understanding about how these new programmes are developing, as well as a glimpse at many of the challenges facing first responders who are increasingly operating drones. Among the key findings that DRONERESPONDERS discovered in its 2019 mid-year public safety UAS report:
• Three out of four public safety agencies claim they are already either operating drones or working on implementing a UAS programme.
• More than 80% of public safety UAS operators either have obtained, or are pursuing, their FAA Part 107 certification.
• 82% of public safety agencies with UAS programme are operating multi-rotor systems, while only 11% are using fixed or delta-wing drones.
• Over 35% of public safety UAS programmes are using the FAA’s LAANC system for airspace requests.
• The DRONERESPONDERS data included survey responses from 288 public safety professionals, combined with expert insight from DRONERESPONDERS analysts who work with a variety of stakeholders within the public safety UAS sector on a regular basis. Their findings paint a telling picture regarding the current state of public safety drone operations in the US.
While conducting the research, DRONERESPONDERS was able to identify many of the key challenges still facing public safety UAS operations. Among them were a lack of standardised training and procedures for public safety remote pilots, a need to continue to adopt professional aviation decision making and risk management standards, improved understanding of operations within the National Airspace System and greater proficiency at managing UAS data and producing actionable intelligence for incident commanders.
$91.5 billion autonomous last-mile delivery market, 2030
At a compound annual growth rate of 20.3% during the forecast period, the autonomous last mile delivery market size is expected to grow from USD 12.0 billion in 2019 to USD 91.5 billion by 2030. Technological advancements in the drone technology and rising demand for autonomous last mile delivery applications are the major factors driving the growth of the autonomous last mile delivery market, globally
The autonomous last mile delivery market is driven by the increasing use of aerial delivery drones and ground delivery vehicles in logistics and transportation as well as retail and food delivery applications across the globe. However, formulation and stringent implementation of various regulations to ensure safety in flying drones are expected to restrain the growth of the market across the globe.
The -10 kilograms weight segment is estimated to account for the largest market share in the autonomous last mile delivery drones market in 2019. The payload weight segment of the global autonomous last-mile delivery drones market has been segmented into >5 kilograms, 5-10 kilograms and > 10 kilograms. The > 5 kilograms category includes package delivery applications for retail & food last-mile delivery. The 5-10 kilograms category consists of the aerial delivery drones & ground delivery vehicles required for postal and medical equipment delivery.
The demand for > 10 kilograms category is increasing across industries due to the changing consumption patterns and production of goods and services. For example, in the logistics industry, freight forwarders are employing autonomous last mile delivery capabilities to address the changing needs of customers. The demand for autonomous last mile delivery is increasing, which is leading to the increasing demand in the aerial delivery drones market.
The North America region is estimated to lead the global autonomous last-mile delivery market in 2019, and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. This region is upgrading various capabilities by undertaking developments in the field of aerial delivery drone manufacture. The US and Canada are investing in next-generation drone technologies to enhance and gain a tactical edge. This is an opportunity for drone manufacturers to conduct long term partnerships with various logistics and transportation as well as e-commerce companies
Drones will fly for days with this new technology
Researchers with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley just broke another record in thermophotovoltaic efficiency, an achievement that could lead to ultralight engines that can power drones for days. For the past 15 years, the efficiency of converting heat into electricity with thermophotovoltaics; an ultralight alternative power source that could allow drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to operate continuously for days, has been stalled at 23 percent. However, recently, a team of researchers led by corresponding author Eli Yablonovitch recognised that a highly reflective mirror installed on the back of a photovoltaic cell can reflect low energy infrared photons to reheat the thermal source, providing a second chance for a high-energy photon to be created and generate electricity. This ground breaking discovery has allowed the researchers to raise the efficiency of thermophotovoltaics to an unprecedented 29 percent. According to Yablonovitch, who is a senior faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley, the current study builds on work that he and students published in 2011, which found that the key to boosting solar cell efficiency is, counterintuitively, by externally extracting light from an intense internal luminescent photon gas. The researchers are now aiming to reach 50 percent thermophotovoltaic efficiency in the future by applying these new scientific concepts.
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)