“There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are ‘just’ because the law makes them so.”
African Pilot’s aircraft of the week identification quiz
Moments after being dropped, the XLR-11 engine was lit by the pilot. Speed and altitude increased until the engine was shut down by choice or fuel exhaustion, depending upon the individual mission profile. The lifting bodies normally carried enough fuel for about 100 seconds of powered flight and routinely reached from 50,000 feet (15,000 m) to 80,000 feet (24,000 m) and speeds above Mach 1
Once again, I was amazed at how soon after APAnews was published that my inbox was filled with so many correct answers, which are increasing every week. Thanks to all African Pilot’s readers that identified this unique aircraft correctly, but why do ladies not enter this quiz?
Those persons that identified the aircraft correctly this week: Shaun Dowling, Righardt du Plessis, Mike McLaughlin, Erwin Stam, Mark Cope, Theo Arrenbrecht, Arie Levien, Bernard Stander, Hilton Carroll, Selwyn Kimber, Wouter van der Waal, Ray Webber, Anthony Bass, Stuart Low, Rex Tweedie, Greg Pullin, Nic Manthopoulos, Johan Venter, Kevin Farr, Herman Nel, Riaan de Wet, Joseph Bryant, Marie Reddy, Brian Millett, Peter Moir, Greg Yatt, Brian Melmoth, Les Smith, Jaco van Jaarsveld.
Which part of the law controls the requirements for Commercial Pilots Licence?
Messe Friedrichshafen has cancelled AERO, the Global trade show for General Aviation, for this year. In view of the travel and event restrictions due to the COVID 19 pandemic, it had already moved the originally envisaged AERO date from April to summer at the beginning of this year. But at present, despite rising vaccination numbers in Europe, it is foreseeable that AERO 2021 will not be allowed to take place in July either.
In order to provide some perspective on the pandemic and its effect on world aviation, I prepared the following from in-depth reading of prepared papers around the world.
Report by McKinsey & Company
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment. The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and quickly fall on floors or surfaces. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth.
This article updates our perspectives on when the coronavirus pandemic will end to reflect the latest information on vaccine rollout, variants of concern and disease progression. In the United Kingdom and the United States, we see progress toward a transition to normalcy during the second quarter of 2021. The new wave of cases in the European Union means that a similar transition is likely to come later there, in the late second or third quarter. Improved vaccine availability makes herd immunity most likely in the third quarter for the United Kingdom and the United States and in the fourth quarter for the European Union, but risks threaten that timeline. The timeline in other countries will depend on seven crucial variables and when herd immunity is reached, the risks will not vanish; herd immunity may prove temporary or be limited to regions in a country.
The fall in COVID-19 cases across much of the world over the past ten weeks signals a new dawn in the fight against the disease. Vaccines are proving effective and rapidly scaling, bending the curve in many geographic regions. However, this is a fragile dawn with transmission and deaths still high, unequal access to vaccines and variants of concern threatening to undo progress to date.
The trajectory of UK and US cases has enabled the beginnings of a transition toward normalcy:
- the first and more important of the pandemic’s two endpoints. We expect this transition to continue in the second quarter of 2021 and will likely see many aspects of social and economic life return to the pracademic normal, consistent with UK Prime Minister Johnson’s staged reopening plan for the United Kingdom
- US President Biden’s goal of a normal Independence Day.
- We are more confident in this timeline for the United Kingdom than for the United States, given that the first has already experienced a wave driven by a more infectious variant, whereas the latter could still face one.
- Parts of the European Union have recently faced setbacks: fewer doses in arms than in the United Kingdom or United States, a new wave of cases and new lockdowns. A transition toward normalcy is mostly likely in Europe during the late second or third quarter of 2021. The timing will probably vary by country, depending on accelerating vaccine supplies, the impact of vaccinations on hospitalisation rates and the occurrence (or not) of new waves driven by new variants.
Herd immunity, the second endpoint, is most likely in the third quarter for the United Kingdom and the United States and in the fourth quarter for the European Union, with the difference driven by a more limited vaccine availability in the European Union. However, the risks to these timelines are real and herd immunity may not be achieved by the end of the year if vaccine hesitancy is high, if countries experience disruptions in vaccine supply, or if a variant that renders existing vaccines less effective spreads widely. Herd immunity may look different in different parts of the world, ranging from strong nationwide or regional protection to temporary or oscillating immunity to some countries not reaching herd immunity over the medium term.
My personal view is that this pandemic has been an ideal opportunity for the world’s governments to bully citizens into submission about this pandemic. Just a few days ago, I was speaking to one of my black friends who told me that during the full lockdown in South Africa, the townships continued to party whilst liquor and cigarettes were freely available. In addition, the very authority tasked with enforcing the regulations (SAPS) were often the visitors of the taverns. The Vetinary drug Ivermectin, now available through your medical practitioner showed that it worked on thousands of people who contracted COVID-19. Please note that I only support the prescription of this drug if done so by a medical practitioner.
Obviously, my views reflect those of informed individuals, many of whom have already recovered from COVID-19 and are now donors for disease research. The pro-ivermectin campaign has taken a particularly strong hold in South Africa, where coronavirus infection rates are among the worst in the continent and the vaccination programme has yet to cover all the country’s most vulnerable. Some doctors have been prescribing the drug to COVID-19 patients, claiming anecdotally that it alleviates virus symptoms, despite the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) warning against its use. Ivermectin is also thriving on the country’s black market, where one tablet can sell for as much as R500 and sales of veterinary forms of the drug have skyrocketed.
How to use Ivermectin
Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 millilitres) on an empty stomach at least one hour before a meal. Ivermectin is usually taken as a single dose or series of doses, or as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your weight, medical condition and response to treatment. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
African Pilot’s April 2021 edition
The April edition featuring Business Jets, FBOs and Jet engines worldwide was completed during the final week of March and sent to the world before the end of the month. This edition also features companies involved in the Charter and Maintenance of Business Jets not just in southern Africa, but throughout the world. In the past, advertisers have reported excellent reaction resulting in sales due to the African Pilot aircraft features, since the magazine provides genuine information, with excellent editorial content accompanied by superb pictures.
African Pilot’s May 2021 edition
The exciting May edition will feature helicopters from all over the world as well as helicopter operators and training schools. Within the same edition we will also feature Insurance and Financing of all aircraft types. With its extended reach throughout the world, African Pilot as set the benchmark for digital aviation publishing, not just in South Africa, but all over the world. Without dedication, perseverance and a deep understanding of aviation matters, no aviation publication will be positioned to provide world-wide coverage of a significant range of aviation subjects.
African Pilot Digital Calendars
Wallpaper calendar for the months of March and April
Since we are not printing the paper magazine any longer, African Pilot is making digital calendars available to all its readers. We will be releasing a new one each month to download, print or use as your computer’s background wallpaper. Go to our website to download the calendars in three different resolutions.
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall aviation media reach in Africa.
The African Pilot team is positioned to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers.
The monthly magazine is available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen or tap on any smart phone device.
Then of course this APAnews service has been part of African Pilot’s line-up since the inception of the magazine 20 years ago.
View and download African Pilot’s last three (3) 2020 editions.
Click on the covers below.
The mystery of Flights to Nowhere
For those of you who will be following the FLIGHTS TO NOWHERE TV series, herewith the daily broadcast schedule premiéring tonight at 18:00 and 21:00 on People’s Weather DSTV Channel 180 and Openview Channel 115.
April 19 – 22 Episode 1 to 4
April 26 – 29 Episode 5 to 8
AERO South Africa 2021 exhibition cancelled for this year
2021 Sling Africa Tour invitation
Feel free to share this as you wish:
Aero Club Communique March 2021 - Update on Airweek
Airweek starts tomorrow in Middleburg and African Pilot will be present throughout the weekend. Programme updates on what will be happening at the airfield over the four days are as follows:
- EAA will be holding its annual convention
- Sports Aerobatic Club will be holding multiple displays
- Balloon flights daily with night glows
- SAPFA Speed Rally taking place 27 April
- Sling Aircraft will be bringing a build project for demonstration.
Please visit the website for more details. https://www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek/
Registration is also open for attendance: https://forms.gle/fNu45vALTcrRGzQMA
Those who wish to camp and hire tents: https://forms.gle/jHhK9t2PGQvVWSvB8
For Exhibitors wishing to book exhibition space, visit the website https://www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek-events-pg-2/ for details and exhibitor forms.
If you have any queries or require information, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presidents’ Trophy Air Race (PTAR) newsletter #3
By Rob Jonkers
Hello fellow Air Racers, this our third newsletter of the year in the run up to the PTAR which is less than two months to go. The following is important information. Firstly, entries are still open. Please go to the SAPFA website for the entry link.
Date: Friday and Saturday 21 & 22 May 2021
Where: Ermelo Airfield, Mpumalanga
Fees are as follows:
- Entry fee R3 850 per aircraft as the early bird fee (this amount can be paid into the SAPFA bank account – First National Bank – Account No: 62879279307. Fees will increase after 30 April to R4 500
- Membership fees Aero Club and SAPFA R900 per crew member – to register or renew https://aeroclub.blueboxonline.com
- FAI licence R260 per crew member (can also be purchased online on the Aero Club Bluebox payment system)
If neither of the crew are SAPFA members then the total fee per crew is R2320. If preferred, this total amount can be paid to SAPFA, SAPFA will apportion to Aero Club the membership fees.
- Additional banquet tickets R 450 each (the two crew members get a banquet ticket each as part of the entry fee of R 3 850)
- Accommodation: we have negotiated rates at Ermelo Inn for the competitors and guests (see website for details) – please mention PTAR in your booking
- Car hire: Options for the hire of vehicles will follow
The race format will follow what was established in 2019 in Saldanha, which has also been successfully executed in the Speed Rally series. Organisation of the event in Ermelo is progressing well, the Race Committee have conferred and have held meetings with the club, have prepared the proposed airfield layout, and are busy getting the necessary approvals in place.
Home page for PTAR – http://www.sapfa.co.za/index.php/presidents-air-race (watch this space)
Further details of the planning and run up to PTAR 2021 will be communicated in due course. Your comments are most welcome to email@example.com
Until next time, fly safely,
Rob Jonkers (race director)
Aero Club coffee table Centenary Yearbook
The AeCSA Centenary Yearbook is now available to purchase from the online shop. Please visit www.aeroclub.org.za/shop.
Aero Club support
Absolute Aviation announcement
As the authorised Textron parts distributor and the only stocking distributor for Textron on the African continent, Absolute Aircraft Parts is positioned to offer an extensive inventory of proprietary and general aircraft parts. In addition, Absolute Aircraft Parts is the distributor for a number of Original Equipment Manufacturers and Parts Manufacturer Approval international parts brands, as well as factory aircraft engines and performance enhancement products.
The Absolut Parts Online store was created to make the ordering of aircraft parts easier, more efficient and convenient for Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) and owners across the African continent. It has both a USD and ZAR login view. You can add more info maybe as you experience the site’s look and feel and ease of navigation.
Link to Parts online site: https://absoluteaircraftparts.co.za/
Link to main website parts info: https://www.absoluteaviation.co.za/maintenance-parts/
Only 15 SAPS aircraft are operational
According to reports of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Air Wing’s 34 aircraft, only 15 are operational, whilst the remainder are undergoing maintenance or grounded after incidents. This was stated in a reply to a parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance’s Annette Steyn. Minister of Police Bheki Cele replied that 17 aircraft are undergoing mandatory periodic inspection and two aircraft are grounded for investigation purposes, after a crash and a hard landing respectively. A SAPS Squirrel helicopter crash-landed at Virginia Airport in August 2019 during an exercise and the aircraft ended up on its side.
The South African Police Service Air Wing operates several different aircraft types, the most numerous of which are helicopters. According to Scramble magazine, the Air Wing has 13 AS350 Squirrel, six R-44 Raven II, two MD500 and one BK 117 helicopters and nine PC-6 Turbo Porter, one PC-12, one King Air C90 and one Citation Sovereign fixed wing aircraft. According to Cele’s reply, SAPS aircraft are spread out across the country. Most SAPS aircraft are located in Gauteng, with three helicopters at the National Heliport in Pretoria: one helicopter and one aeroplane at the Johannesburg Air Wing at Rand airport, two helicopters and eight aeroplanes at the Wonderboom Air Wing. SAPS aircraft are used in policing operations including crime prevention, vehicle tracking and pursuit, dagga plantation spraying, crowd control and monitoring, VIP transport and search and rescue operations. Some are equipped with hoists, cameras, searchlights and slings
SAA to begin training pilots in preparation to resume flights
Following his appointment as interim chief executive of SAA last week, Thomas Kgoloko said plans to kick-start SAA’s journey back to the air are afoot with one of the first tasks being to begin training for the airline’s pilots as they have not flown for an extended period of time. In a television interview, Kgoloko said the business rescue process that the airline had undergone for a period of 15 months, had identified the operational and financial challenges that the airliner was seized with. “From a compliance perspective, we need to make sure that we are at the right level from an aviation point of view,” Kgoloko said. He also listed marketing the airliner as a significant aspect of SAA’s journey back to the skies. He also added that compliance was fully adhered to at a corporate level. “They have managed to do a lot of clean up, so this gives us an opportunity to have a fresh start and with the work that has been done so far we are able to take the organisation forward,” Kgoloko said.
He said there had been a lot of expenses cut down by the airline, including employee costs, with the company’s workforce now down from 5 000 to 1 000. He said another task would be to ensure that all the vacancies within SAA were filled. “We are also going to look at the type of aircraft we are going to use going forward in terms of making sure that they are fuel efficient and also go for a decent marketing campaign to ensure that as we get back online our loyal customers can start using us again,” Kgoloko said. However, he added that this would not be easy as the new era at the national carrier would require new thinking.
Mis-balanced take-off results in Alitalia A320 tail strike
An Alitalia Airbus A320 aborted its take-off at Milan Malpensa Airport in Italy after suffering a tail strike attributed to mismatched seating of passengers. According to the Italian aviation investigation authority ANSV, the single-aisle airliner pitched up at just 42 knots on its Rome-bound flight. The crew aborted the take-off and no one was injured on what would have been the third and last leg of a Rome-Hamburg-Milan-Rome trip, flown in support of a cruise company.
The ANSV reported that 171 passengers boarded in Hamburg, of which 68 were bound for Milan and 103 for the final destination, Rome. To speed the disembarkation process in Milan, boarding agents seated the Milan-bound passengers in the front of the cabin and all the Rome-bound passengers in the center and rear segments. Also, the Milan passengers’ luggage was loaded in the front cargo hold of the Airbus to facilitate unloading in Milan. So, the Airbus left the gate for the Milan-Rome flight with all its passengers and luggage in the center and aft sections of the airplane.
Because Hamburg was outside the airline’s usual network, weight-and-balance data was not electronically uploaded, but rather was delivered in emailed, printed form. Handlers in Milan mistakenly assumed the data was appropriate for the final leg of the multi-sector trip.
Investigators find that a crushed phone sparked the fire on British Airways Dreamliner
On 1 October 2020, British Airways Boeing 787-9, registered as G-ZBKF, was en route from Miami International Airport (MIA), United States, to London Heathrow Airport (LHR). About 40 minutes before landing at LHR airport, when the jet was descending, the flight crew made an announcement, which woke up one of the passengers. The passenger moved her seat to an upright position and went to the washroom. While the passenger was away from her seat, a flight attendant came to remove the bedding and noticed a strong odour. It was coming from a charging cable plugged into the seat socket with its other end hanging on the side of the seat. The smell was getting stronger. A few moments later, the cabin crew heard an unusual sound and noticed grey smoke emanating from the seat. They also saw an orange glow in the seating area.
The investigation disclosed that the cabin crew member who was the closest to the scene took the first fire extinguisher and fire gloves for the senior cabin crew member (SCMM) and asked a third cabin crew member to switch the seat power off. The SCMM pulled back the seat padding, noticed a phone trapped in the seat mechanism and discharged several bursts of the fire extinguisher into the device. The flight attendant then took a water extinguisher and filled the ice bucket with water. Meanwhile, the third cabin crew member was communicating with the flight crew informing them that thick smoke was emanating from a seat in the forward part of the cabin and the crew used a firefighting drill. However, shortly before receiving the call from the flight attendant, pilots had already smelt an odour in the flight deck. The pilots immediately started the smoke, fire, or fumes checklist and evaluated their diversion options. Meanwhile, the third pilot of the jet went back to the cabin to assist.
When the SCCM discharged the fire extinguisher, the smoke vanished and the cabin crew noticed a red mobile phone trapped in the seat mechanism, which they attempted to remove. However, the device was jammed. Since some heat was still coming from the phone, the cabin crew decided to check for secondary heat sources but did not find any of them and reported to the Captain about the ongoing situation. One of the flight attendants remained seated near the place of the incident being equipped with an extinguisher and ready to discharge it if needed.
According to the report, since the source of the grey smoke had been identified and the fire was extinguished, the Boeing 787-9 was only 20 minutes from landing at the planned destination and the Captain of the airline decided to continue flying to the LHR airport. The flight crew also alerted Air Traffic control about the emergency onboard to ensure the fire services met the jet on landing. The Captain also made an announcement to the passengers as well as gave a NITS briefing for the cabin crew members. Fortunately, the aircraft landed safely at Heathrow with no further incidents and no damage to the aircraft.
The investigation found that the passenger’s phone was trapped in the seat mechanism and was damaged now when the seat was adjusted before the passenger left for the washroom. This action damaged the battery of the phone while generating smoke, flames and fumes. The AAIB also concluded that the airline had the appropriate announcement for passengers on all its flights onboard jets equipped with electrically powered seats to prevent electronic devices to be lost, as is recommended by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The British authority also found out that the airline tried to redesign the seats in order to limit the risk of the electronic device being lost or trapped in the seat mechanism. However, such incidents continue to occur.
Russia cancels mass-production of new Il-96-400M
Sources say that only two Il-96-400Ms are going to be built, painting a grim future for the new flagship of Russia’s aviation industry. The change in plans was revealed by Russian newspaper Vedomosti on 15 March 2021, quoting several sources from the Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). It was later confirmed by the government. “There are no orders from airlines and since wide-body airliners worldwide are grounded due to COVID-19 pandemic, there are no plans to mass-produce the Il-96-400M,” the press service of Russian deputy prime minister Yuri Borisov told Vedomosti. According to sources within UAC, two aircraft are going to be built for the Special Flight Detachment “Rossiya”, which is a company responsible for transporting Russian officials, including the head of state. Il-96-400M is a deeply modernized version of Il-96, a four-engine wide-body airliner which first flew in 1988.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise orders 15 Boeing 737 MAX jets
On 20 April Boeing and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) announced the aircraft lessor is growing its 737 MAX portfolio, with an order for 15 737-8 jets. DAE had been investing in the 737 MAX by purchasing jets from existing customers and leasing them back to the carriers. The new order is DAE’s first direct 737 MAX purchase from Boeing as it modernises its portfolio for better economic and environmental performance. The order will appear on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website once finalized. The new purchase is DAE’s second investment in the 737 MAX in the past year. In the third quarter of 2020, the lessor signed an agreement with American Airlines to purchase and lease back 18 new 737-8 airplanes. Since the agreement, the lessor has delivered 17 of the jets to the U.S. carrier. DAE previously completed a similar purchase-leaseback deal with Brazilian carrier GOL for five 737-8s.
Shin-Nihon continues Bell legacy in Japan
Bell’s history in Japan started with the delivery of three Bell 47D-1s to Mainichi Press, Yomiuri Press and Chunichi Press on 24 November 1952. Shin-Nihon is not breaking from tradition, as it accepts two 407GXis. Shin-Nihon Helicopters will use both aircraft to conduct powerline patrol missions for electric power companies. The purchase of the Bell 407GXi helicopters adds to Shin-Nihon Helicopters all Bell fleet which includes Bell 206, Bell 412 and Bell 427 helicopters. The Bell 407GXi is equipped with the Garmin G1000H Xxi and Rolls-Royce C47E/4 dual-channel FADEC turbine engine, creating an enhanced flying experience with ultra-modern display systems and improved power.
Boeing and contractor lock horns over Air Force One delays
Air Force One subcontractor GDC Technics filed a lawsuit against Boeing on 16 April 2021, claiming at least $20 million after the plane maker cancelled its contracts. On 7 April 2021, Boeing reported that Texas-based GDC Technics failed to complete the required interior works on the two 747-8 airliners destined to become the next Air Force One aircraft and were nearly a year behind schedule in fulfilling their contractual obligations. The delays ‘threaten to jeopardise work that is of critical importance to the (US Air Force) and the president of the United States,’ Boeing stated as the reason for launching legal action. Now, GDC Technics decided to counter-sue, claiming that it was ‘Boeing’s mismanagement of the completion of two Air Force One presidential aircraft, not delays caused by GDC, that has caused a delay in the completion of those aircraft.’
Since 2007, the USAF has been studying a possible replacement for the two Boeing 747-200Bs, known as VC-25A, currently in service. In July 2018, Boeing received a $3.9 billion contract to convert two 747-8s to the Air Force One standards, with a delivery set for December 2024. Those standards include but are not limited to an advanced radar system, a radar jam system, flare and chaff countermeasures to protect it from incoming missiles and very-low-frequency radio systems that allow communication with submerged submarines. It is unknown at this point if the delays described by Boeing will affect the delivery date.
Engineers discover more electrical issues on Boeing 737 MAX
An electrical issue that led airlines to temporarily suspend certain groups of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from service has caused fresh concern after engineers reportedly found new electrical faults elsewhere in the aircraft. News about the additional findings on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft came a few days after Boeing sent out recommendations to 16 Boeing 737 MAX operators to ‘address a potential electrical issue’ prior to operating certain groups of 737 MAX aircraft. According to the regulator, the electrical problem is not related to the flight control system error that contributed to two fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
Alaska Airlines and SkyNRG sign partnership to advance sustainable aviation fuel
Under the MOU, SkyNRG Americas will initially focus on the development of dedicated SAF production facilities to supply Western US airports. These facilities will use commercially available technologies that enable the use of municipal solid waste and other waste-based inputs as feedstocks, as well as incorporating green hydrogen and renewable energy for minimizing carbon intensity. Beyond the focus of building out SAF production capacity, SkyNRG Americas and Alaska Airlines will continue to build awareness and understanding of SAF technologies and advocate for public policies to accelerate the development of the SAF industry and infrastructure. This collaboration builds on the Alaska-Microsoft partnership announced in October 2020, aiming to use SAF to offset Microsoft employee travel between Seattle and San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles.
Gulfstream flies first production G700
Gulfstream announced the Gulfstream G700 aircraft dedicated to testing the cabin experience has flown for the first time and now joins the five other test aircraft already in the steadily maturing certification programme. The fully outfitted aircraft took off today and flew three hours and 36 minutes, reaching an altitude of 48,000 feet and a top speed of Mach 0.935. The test regiment will encompass more than 15,500 test points, validating every facet of the cabin to ensure the utmost in interior comfort and reliability upon customer delivery.
The first fully outfitted G700 features the industry’s only ultra-galley, with more than 10 feet of counter space; a dedicated crew space; an entertainment and presentation area; a six-place conference and dining area and a state room with full-length wardrobe interior elements include award-winning seat design; natural stone flooring in the galley and bathrooms; quartz countertops; powered single seats; surround sound; and other bespoke features that come standard on the aircraft. The Gulfstream Cabin Experience on this G700 test aircraft includes the all-new ultrahigh-definition circadian lighting system along with Gulfstream’s signature 100% fresh, never recirculated air, the industry’s lowest cabin altitude, whisper-quiet noise levels and an unprecedented 20 panoramic oval windows. The G700 cabin, the most spacious in the industry, can be configured for up to five living areas with the option to include a passenger lounge in the ultra-galley and / or a grand suite with optional shower.
The Symmetry Flight Deck™ on the G700 features the industry’s only active-control sidesticks, most extensive use of touch-screen technology and a data concentration network, as well as the award-winning Gulfstream Predictive Landing Performance System and Enhanced Flight Vision System and Synthetic Vision on dual head-up displays. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines and can fly at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 for 6,400 nautical miles or at its long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 for 7,500 nm.
Honeywell turbogenerator to power Electric aircraft
Honeywell announced it is developing a power source for hybrid-electric aircraft, planned for demonstration later this year. At 280 pounds, the Honeywell 1-Megawatt generator weighs about the same as a motor scooter but delivers enough energy to power an entire neighbourhood block. This generator will be combined with the Honeywell HGT1700 auxiliary power unit, currently flown on every Airbus A350 XWB, to form a turbogenerator 2.5 times more powerful than the version the company unveiled in 2019.
The new turbogenerator from Honeywell will be able to run on aviation biofuel, including Honeywell Green Jet Fuel, which is chemically similar to fossil fuel but made from more sustainable alternatives, as well as conventional jet fuel and diesel. Honeywell’s turbogenerator can be used to operate high-power electric motors or charge batteries and can satisfy missions from heavy-lift cargo drones to air taxis, or commuter aircraft. The first demonstration of this turbogenerator system will occur in the third quarter of 2021, with ongoing development and qualification to follow.
Traditionally, aircraft use fuel-burning engines to mechanically turn rotors, propellers or fans. However, many new designs use distributed electric propulsion architecture, in which many electric motors can be tilted or turned off for vertical take-off and horizontal flight. A Honeywell turbogenerator can provide electric power for multiple electric motors anywhere on an aircraft.
In December, Honeywell signed a memorandum of understanding with British start-up Faradair Aerospace to collaborate on systems and turbogeneration unit that will run on sustainable aviation fuel to power Faradair’s Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft (BEHA). Faradair intends to deliver 300 hybrid electric BEHAs into service by 2030, of which 150 will be in a firefighting configuration. Honeywell is in advanced discussions with several other potential turbogenerator customers, working to help define power requirements based on mission profiles required by various manufacturers.
Qatar Airways and the Airbus A380
While the COVID-19 crisis single-handedly wrote off the future of the Airbus A380, as international travel came to a screeching halt, there was still some hope that some airlines would operate the type going forward. A few, including British Airways, Emirates and Qantas, have come out and indicated that they would fly the double-decker once restrictions ease regarding international travel. However, Qatar Airways, which previously indicated that it would shrink its A380 fleet, is seemingly joining the list of airlines that are not going to operate the aircraft if conditions do not improve hastily. The Doha-based carrier, which currently still owns 10 Super Jumbos, via its chief executive, stated that five of them would not return in the foreseeable future, if ever. Now, a shadow of doubt has been cast on the remaining five, as the CEO of the airline, Akbar al Baker, commented that there was no tomorrow for the aircraft if the pandemic continued to hinder international travel.
RED Aircraft announces that their technology powers Airlander 10
RED Aircraft has been working closely with Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd (HAV) to provide the technology to power Airlander 10. The RED A03 engines will be used in the base configuration of the aircraft, using four of its ultra-efficient piston engines. Airlander 10 is set to deliver up to a 75% reduction in emissions over comparable aircraft in similar roles. Utilising a combination of buoyant lift from helium with aerodynamic lift and vectored thrust, Airlander 10 creates significant efficiency over conventional aircraft and helicopters.
The RED A03 combustion engines have been selected for Airlander 10. Created from a clean-sheet design, the engine provides ultra-efficient power and performance. The RED A03 drives many environmental benefits when compared with other equivalent propulsion solutions. Characterised by significantly lower CO2 emissions, the RED A03 is also an optimal platform for the development of hybrid-electric aircraft installations. High thermodynamic efficiency drives low fuel consumption. Optimised combustion results in reduced exhaust emissions. Low exhaust noise stems from intelligent engine architecture.
Airlander is the next step towards a greener future, combining the RED engine with the innovative characteristics of Airlander has created a significantly efficient aircraft. Normally, full power is only needed for take-off and climb, whilst during cruise, only a fraction of the available power is needed. With this concept, the RED A03 engine in combination with Airlander buoyant and aerodynamic lift makes for superb efficiency levels.
Authorities discover a dead body on a flight to Schiphol
On 19 April a dead body in the landing gear section of a KLM A330-200 on a flight from Nigeria to the Netherlands was discovered upon landing. It is believed that the stowaway hid in the wheel arch section of the plane on the flight PH-AOD from Lagos, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), which had a total flight time of six hours and 45 minutes. While a pending investigation is still to determine the man’s identity, authorities suspect that the likely cause of death was due to hypothermia and the extreme conditions that can be experienced at cruising altitude in an unpressurised section of a plane. At a normal cruising altitude of 37,000 feet, temperatures drop to as low as minus 57 degrees Celsius and loss of consciousness is expected to occur between 30 and 60 seconds.
CAAC establishes EHang eVTOL certification team
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has established a type certification team for EHang’s EH216 ‘passenger-grade’ autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. According to EHang, the team met for the first-time last week with ‘the aim to officially advance the type certificate approval work’ for the autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV). During the two-day meeting, the team began its evaluation of the design features, technical points and safety performance of the EH216 along with visiting EHang’s research and development center.
EHang officially submitted the type certificate application for the EH216 in December 2020 and it was accepted by CAAC in January 2021. The two-passenger EH216 AAV has a range of 35 km (19 NM), top speed of 130 km/h (70 knots) and payload of 220 kg (485 pounds). The aircraft completed its first public passenger flights in Vienna, Austria, in April 2019 and has since conducted demonstration flights in countries including China, the US, South Korea, Austria, Netherlands, Qatar and UAE.
Japanese RQ-4B Global Hawk completes successful first flight
On 15 April Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully completed the first flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk from Palmdale, California. With an unmatched combination of range, endurance and payload capability, Global Hawk is the only platform that provides greater data collection flexibility than space or medium-altitude assets. “The unarmed RQ-4B Global Hawk will provide Japan with on-demand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information supporting the Japan Air Self-Defence Force’s missions of protecting borders, monitoring threats and providing humanitarian assistance in times of need,” said Jane Bishop, Vice President and General Manager, Autonomous Systems, Northrop Grumman. “This successful first flight is a significant milestone in delivering Global Hawk to our Japanese allies.”
Global Hawk is the only high-altitude, long-endurance Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) to deliver near real-time on demand data around the clock. Once fielded, Global Hawk will integrate with other Japanese intelligence assets, including ground-based command and control units. The capability will provide solutions to monitor and deter regional threats to ensure Japan has a highly effective national security posture well into the future.
Twice Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until Monday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)