“The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest meaning and significance”
African Pilot’s September 2019 edition
The exciting September edition features 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 where I am always surprised by the new developments within aviation. This edition also features one of the British 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. Last week the September edition completed its printing phase and is presently being distributed to all local airports by our team and nationally by our distributors.
African Pilot’s October 2019 edition
The October edition of African Pilot will feature Aviation Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) as well as Aviation Refurbishment companies in southern Africa. The closing date for all editorial and advertising is Wednesday 4 September 2019. Please contact Lara Bayliss Tel: 0861 001130 Cell: 079 880 4359 or e-mail: email@example.com Thank you.
Some facts about African Pilot:
1) Presently African Pilot prints, distributes and sells more magazines than any other aviation magazine on the African continent.
2) All major advertisers have digital enhancement as a click through to their websites within the digital edition of the monthly magazine
3) APAnews is the only FREE weekly communication delivered by a printed publication in the entire world that has an audience well in excess of 100 000 readers per month
4) APAcom attends to your aviation communication and public relations requirements
5) APAdigital is the video service available to ALL aviation customers of the monthly magazine
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Video of the week: EAA AirVenture 2019
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SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Bethlehem airshow Saturday 24 August
On Saturday one of the other shareholders in our Cessna 182, Keagan, his girlfriend, Christine and I flew to the Bethlehem airshow as a glorious early morning flight of just over an hour to land well before the airshow started. The weather for this airshow on Saturday was splendid with a gentle breeze from the north-west. It was great to be positioned right next to Brian Emmenis and his Capital Sounds vehicle together with safety officer Francois Hanekom and show director Keith Fryer for all the action. I was impressed at the huge crowd, which may have been a record for this Free State town. One of the most impressive moments was when the civilian skydivers jumped the BIG South African flag and Capital Sounds played the national anthem was to see thousands of people standing and cheering as the flag floated down under the huge canopy.
Unfortunately with so many spectators, comes the scourge of litter and there were many litter bins, they were filled to capacity well before midday. Therefore I have a suggestion for the organisers of the 2020 Bethlehem airshow. Why not place five or six large capacity skips around the airfield public area and many more litter bins? It would then be much easier for a litter management company to see to the emptying of the smaller bins throughout the day? Apart from the litter, the show was safe and most successful, providing a great day’s entertainment for thousands of local people who would not be in a position to enjoy the day in the sun if it was not for the generous sponsorship of this event.
Unfortunately, by the time we flew home at about 16h15 the airfield resembled a typical rubbish dump. However, I understand that Brian Emmenis announced that if all the public could pick up litter and bring it to a central pile at the announcer’s stand they would receive an ice-cream of a cold drink. What an initiative, Brian and well done! A full report will be published within the October edition of African Pilot.
U Dream Global completed at ExecuJet on Sunday 25 August
In a rather sad ceremony held at ExecuJet on Sunday, Megan Werner accompanied by one of the other pilots flying the U Dream Global Sling 4 the teenagers built, flew from Tedderfield to Lanseria where a group of media persons and family members were waiting for their arrival. They were accompanied by James Pitman and another of the teenage pilots in the Sling TSi. Thanks to ExecuJet’s CEO Gavin Keegan for hosting this event and also for your generous sponsorship of the teens flight to Cairo. This was a sad day due to the tragic accident that claimed Megan’s father Des Werner and Werner Froneman when the Sling 4 they were flying had an engine failure some distance from Tabora airport in Tanzania. Megan is a brave young lady and I believe she has a great future ahead of her. More about this story in the October edition of African Pilot.
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
SAAF Museum Airshow – AFB Zwartkops, Pretoria
Contact Mark Kelbrick Cell 082 413 7577 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Grand Central Fun Rally – Grand Central Airport
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: email@example.com
Vans RV Fly-in to Kitty Hawk
Contact Frank van Heerden e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com Website: www.mebaamorocco.aero
26 to 27 September
Commercial Aviation Symposium Africa Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
Contact Tel 011 659 2345 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Barnstormers MFC Warbirds Day airshow
5 & 6 October
SAC Western Cape Regionals – Swellendam airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
SAPFA Rally Championships – Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
8 to 10 November
EAA Sun ‘n Fun at Brits airfield
Contact EAA National Committee Marie Reddy E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA EAA Sun & Fun Adventure Rally
Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAASA Awards Ceremony venue TBA
Contact Tel: 659 2345 E-mail: email@example.com
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards Venue TBA
Contact AeCSA office 011 082 1100 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
30 November – 1 December
SAC Ace of Base Vereeniging Airfield
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
African Pilot has started preparing the 2020 aviation calendar
Do you have an aviation event planned for 2020? If so please let me have the details so that I can add this information to the 2020 aviation calendar that has already started. Information is shared with the following organisations:
Capital Sounds – Brian Emmenis
Air Show South Africa (ASSA)
The Aero Club of South Africa (AeCSA)
South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA)
Sports Aerobatic Club of South Africa (SAC)
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA)
Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA)
Nearly ALL other aviation media use this calendar for the information they publish
Several other organisations both in South Africa as well as abroad.
Please send details to: email@example.com Thank you.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
South African High Court impounds Tanzanian plane in compensation case
Following a court application by a retired farmer who is owed compensation by the Tanzanian government, the farmer’s lawyer said that South African authorities impounded an Airbus 220-300 aircraft leased by Tanzania’s national flag carrier. The plane had been scheduled to fly from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Friday, but was seized on an order issued by the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, Tanzania’s transport ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Roger Wakefield, of Werksmans Attorneys, said his client, an elderly farmer who asked not to be named, was owed US$33 million, including interest, in compensation from the Tanzanian government after his land in the country was expropriated several decades ago. The farmer was subsequently awarded the compensation in an arbitration, he said. Wakefield said the only way Tanzania could secure the release of the plane was if it put up security or pay the debt. A Tanzanian government spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. Speaking to Reuters on the phone, Wakefield said the plane was impounded in line with South African and international laws allowing for an asset owned by a foreign entity to be attached to a case related to a foreign arbitration award.
While the Tanzanian government has acknowledged it owes the farmer money, has previously made some payments and promised to pay the rest, it has not made a payment since around 2014, Wakefield said. The plane is leased by loss-making state carrier Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL). President John Magufuli has personally taken charge of the revival of the airline, spending hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing eight new planes since 2016.
The airline’s existing fleet, which is leased from the state-run Tanzania Government Flight Agency (TGFA), includes one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, two Airbus A220-300 jets and three DHC Dash 8-400 aircraft, formerly known as the Bombardier Q400 turboprop. ACTL managing director Ladislaus Matindi told Reuters earlier on Saturday that the impounded plane was an Airbus 220-300 and arrangements had been made for its passengers to use another plane for their planned flight. Tanzania has pinned hopes on the revival of the national airline to turn the country into a regional transport hub and boost the tourism sector, its biggest foreign exchange earner.
In 2017, a Canadian construction firm seized one of Tanzania’s new Q400 turbo-prop planes in Canada over a $38 million lawsuit related to a compensation ruling by the International Court of Arbitration.
The Q400 was released in March 2018 after Magufuli sent the country’s prime minister and attorney general to Canada to negotiate its release. Aviation sources said the government reached a financial settlement to secure the aircraft.
American Airlines increases international presence
American Airlines has announced new routes that will be available next summer, which includes the multiple new services. When American begins service to Morocco next year, it will be the airline’s first entrance into the African continent. American will be the only US carrier with nonstop service to Casablanca, which will be operated three times per week utilising a Boeing 757.
As demand continues to grow between the US and TLV, American is adding three weekly flights from DFW, its largest hub. These flights will serve customers throughout the US and allow many customers to make only one stop, rather than the previous two stops that were available, to TLV. And as the tech industry continues to grow in the market, American will provide the most efficient routing to US tech cities like Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, in addition to one-stop service to 33 new cities in the US. American will be the only U.S. carrier providing service to KRK, BUD and PRG from KORD.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
US Air Force research laboratory successfully conducts first flight of ROBOpilot
On 9 August the US Air Force Research Laboratory and DZYNE Technologies Incorporated successfully completed a two-hour initial flight of a revolutionary Robotic Pilot Unmanned Conversion Programme called ROBOpilot at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. “This flight test is a testament to AFRL’s ability to rapidly innovate technology from concept to application in a safe build up approach while still maintaining low cost and short timelines,” said Maj. Gen. William Cooley, AFRL Commander. “Imagine being able to rapidly and affordably convert a general aviation aircraft, like a Cessna or Piper, into an unmanned aerial vehicle, having it fly a mission autonomously and then returning it back to its original manned configuration,” said Dr Alok Das, Senior Scientist with AFRL’s Center for Rapid Innovation. “All of this is achieved without making permanent modifications to the aircraft.”
As the vision for AFRL’s CRI Small Business Innovative Research project with DZYNE Technologies of Irvine, California, ROBOpilot interacts with an aircraft the same way as a human pilot would. For example, the system ‘grabs’ the yoke, pushes on the rudders and brakes, controls the throttle, flips the appropriate switches and reads the dashboard gauges the same way a pilot does. At the same time, the system uses sensors, like GPS and an Inertial Measurement Unit, for situational awareness and information gathering. A computer analyses these details to make decisions on how to best control the flight. ROBOpilot also boasts a simple installation process. Users remove the pilot’s seat and install a frame in its place, which contains all the equipment necessary to control the aircraft including actuators, electronics, cameras, power systems and a robotic arm.
Das explains that this non-invasive approach to robotically piloted aircraft leverages existing commercial technology and components. ROBOpilot incorporates many subsystems and lessons learned from previous AFRL and DZYNE Technology aircraft conversion programmes. “ROBOpilot offers the benefits of unmanned operations without the complexity and upfront cost associated with the development of new unmanned vehicles,” Das said.
AFRL developed the system using a Direct to Phase II SBIR contract. During the past year, AFRL and DZYNE designed, built and tested ROBOpilot. Engineers demonstrated the initial concept in a RedBird FMX simulator, a full motion, feature-rich advanced aviation training device. ROBOpilot successfully completed simulated autonomous take-offs, mission navigation and landings in both nominal and off-nominal conditions in this Federal Aviation Administration-certified trainer.
Triumph sensors provide feeling of flight for remote operators
Triumph Group joins Sikorsky in celebrating the successful first flight of the optionally piloted Black Hawk helicopter equipped with a fly-by-wire technology kit. This technology will enable the helicopter to operate as both an unmanned aircraft or with reduced crew as the flight program develops. Triumph Mechanical Solutions, an operating company of Triumph Integrated Systems, is a strategic supplier to Sikorsky and provides a key component of the fly-by-wire kit, the Sensor Feel Module (SFM). The SFM provides tactile feedback to a pilot, simulating the feel of the existing UH-60 Black Hawk mechanical flight control system. “Fly-by-wire capabilities will allow the US and its allies to operate aircraft more safely, reliably and affordably. We look forward to continuing to supply innovative components to support these exciting developments in optionally piloted aircraft,” said Frank Dubey, Executive vice president for Triumph Integrated Systems.
Triumph Mechanical Solutions was awarded the contract for the SFM components in July 2015 and delivered the first prototype units in September 2017 from its facility in North Wales, PA. Sikorsky is aiming for the first fully autonomous flight using the technology in 2020. Triumph Group, Inc., headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, designs, engineers, manufactures, repairs and overhauls a broad portfolio of aerospace and defence systems, components and structures. The company serves the global aviation industry, including original equipment manufacturers and the full spectrum of military and commercial aircraft operators.
Vietnam Airlines flies its first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Boeing has delivered the first of eight 787-10 Dreamliner airplanes to Vietnam Airlines via lease from Air Lease Corporation. The Vietnamese flag carrier plans to place the 787-10 on the busiest routes in its expanding network. The new 787-10 will complement Vietnam Airlines’ existing fleet of 787-9 jets. Both feature the Dreamliner’s ultra-efficient technology and passenger-pleasing comforts. The 787-10 is longer than the 787-9, providing the space to carry 40 more passengers and more cargo and helping it offer the lowest operating costs per seat of any twin-aisle jet in service today. Vietnam Airlines is outfitting its 787-10 models with 367 seats (24 in business class and 343 in economy class). In addition to its size and fuel efficiency, the 787-10 can cover long distances. With a published range of 6,430 nautical miles (11,910 km), the 787-10 can fly more than 95 percent of the world’s twin-aisle routes.
EAA Aviation Museum adds two record breaking aircraft to its collection
The EAA Aviation Museum is displaying two new aircraft that made appearances during EAA AirVenture 2019. These two displays include the BlackFly from Opener and the AutoGyro MT-03 from AutoGyro GmbH, adding to the world-class collection at the museum. The BlackFly is the very first addition to the EAA Aviation Museum that operates entirely on electric power. This single seat, ultralight aircraft had its first manned flight in 2018 and is scheduled to be available for purchase to the public later this year. The BlackFly was on display outside the Urban Air Mobility exhibit at this year’s AirVenture, showing a small glimpse at the future of personal aerial vehicles. Opener displayed the BlackFly initially during AirVenture 2018 and then donated the aircraft to the EAA Aviation Museum during AirVenture 2019 on July 22. The AutoGyro MT-03 is the most recently notable one of five AutoGyro aircraft on display at the EAA Aviation Museum, two of which (including the MT-03) are world record holding aircraft. In 2019, Irishman Norman Surplus completed the very first around-the-world journey flown in an AutoGyro. Surplus made his way through 32 countries over the nine-year journey across the globe. The AutoGyro MT-03 will be on display in the museum through AirVenture 2020 and will feature a map pinpointing the exact flight path and various stops Surplus made along the way.
Electric aircraft down in Norway
Norway’s first electric aircraft went down last week after experiencing a power failure during a flight that carried State Secretary Aase Marthe J. Horrigmo as a passenger. Neither Horrigmo or the pilot, Avinor CEO Dag Falk-Petersen whose company owns the airplane, was injured in the accident. Air Transport World reports that local media in Norway is characterising the accident as a setback in the country’s plan to make all domestic aviation electric-powered by 2040, despite the fact that the technology is still under development. According to the report, the plane went down in a lake shortly after take-off from Arendal airport, southwest of Oslo. Falk-Petersen told the local newspaper VG that they were returning to the airport when the power issue developed and then failed completely. The cause of the power failure has not been determined. Photographs published by Norwegian media show the plane nose-down and partially submerged in the lake.
Avinor operates Norway’s 44 state-owned airports as well as Wideroe Airlines. Several electric aviation start-ups are working with Avinor in its effort to shift the country’s GA segment to electric aircraft. Aviation Safety Network lists two other accidents involving electric aircraft. One occurred in January in Switzerland, in which the pilot made an emergency landing when an electric airplane lost power shortly after take-off. The other occurred in October 2018 in the Netherlands which involved a fatality.
Airbus goes the distance, prepares to unveil A350-1000ULR
Airbus A350XWB family of jetliners have become the aircraft-of-choice for many airlines competing in the ultra-long-haul market. But as the market grows, so does the appetite for an aircraft capable of flying ever longer distances. Airbus is reportedly preparing to launch the A350-1000ULR, an ultra-long-range variant of the largest member of the A350 XWB family of jetliners.
In late 2018, rumours began to spread that Airbus may be planning an upgraded version of its latest wide-body A350XWB family. At the time, Bloomberg reported that the European manufacturer could be preparing to produce a short-haul re-engined version of the A350. Although the rumours have so far proven to be false, the report did get one thing right – that Airbus was seeking to develop a new product to take on Boeing’s brand-new 777X and the proposed 797 or NMA, a report by Aviation Analyst reveals.
Airbus long range families
Recently, Airbus has been betting on distance to open new routes and attract new customers. At the Paris Air Show in June 2019, the European plane maker wowed-the-crowds with the launch of its single-aisle Xtra-Long-Range A321 version, the A321XLR.
But back in 2018, it was A350-900ULR that stole the show, entering into service with launch customer Singapore Airlines in September of last year. Capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles or over 20 hours non-stop, the A350-900ULR is currently the world’s longest range aircraft.
Highly scrutinised Icon crash need not have happened... again!
The details published by the NTSB is their Preliminary Report about a 27 July Icon A5 crash contains a plethora of cautions that appear to have been ignored or gone unnoticed by the occupants of the aircraft. At about 1220 Eastern Daylight time, the amphibious, Icon LSA, N663BA, operated by the company and a company instructor, sustained ‘substantial damage during an impact with trees shortly after departure from Littlefield Lake, Lake, Michigan.’ The NTSB report explains that, the airplane was registered to and operated by Icon Aircraft Inc. as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 business flight when the accident occurred. The Airline Transport pilot sustained minor injuries, whilst the passenger (also a pilot) sustained serious injuries.
The report’s details raise a lot of questions… “According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was a sales demonstration flight with a potential client. When he arrived at Littlefield Lake, he estimated the winds to be about 8 to 10 knots from the southwest. After landing, he taxied to the client’s home and beached the airplane so the client could board. After taxing the airplane to the selected departure area, he said the wind had increased and he estimated the speed to be between 12 and 15 knots. He said when he started the take-off run, he saw three small wakes, consistent with those from wave runners, which helped propel the airplane into the air. He said that they got into the air on the first take-off attempt. He said the take-off was normal and there was nothing wrong with the plane at all. He stated that they got to the shoreline, they were treetop height plus an estimated 50-60 feet. His plan was to execute a left turn to stay over the lake in the event of an engine failure. Before starting the right turn, he looked at the angle of attack indicator and it showed one needle width below the top of the green and he estimated his speed between 55-60 knots. He started to initiate a 10° turn to the right to stay over the lake and it suddenly sounded like they ‘hit a wall.’
The pilot rated passenger, who was seated in the left seat at the time of the accident, stated that ‘the weather was not the best’ and that the wind was shifting 180°. He said he told the pilot-in-command (PIC) this sentiment and that it took four take-off attempts to get airborne. After the second attempt, he said he told the PIC that it would not break his heart if they did not go. He said that the airplane felt very sluggish and acted as if it did not want to come off the water. When they did get airborne, they were about 100 feet from the trees, headed straight toward them and the airplane ‘felt very heavy.’ When asked to elaborate on the weight, he said the PIC told him they had 485 lbs available and only ¾ of a tank of fuel.
Further details show that, ‘A post-accident weight and balance calculation, based upon the most recent available weight and balance and information provided to a Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector by the PIC, revealed that the airplane was about 70 lbs over max gross weight and outside of the weight and center of gravity envelope limits contained within Pilot’s Operating Handbook.
A review of video of the accident flight shows the airplane in a nose-high attitude with the flaps extended as it approaches trees after take-off. As the airplane reached about the midpoint of a stand of trees, the angle of attack appears to increase and the nose drops. The right wing then lowered and impacted one of the trees. The airplane subsequently descend rapidly into the water. A witness to the accident stated that they saw the airplane make three take-off attempts before the airplane became airborne.
Notes on this latest Icon disaster:
This is not the first time that an Icon A5 has gone down with a factory pilot aboard, though this time both survived and with the known issues with its limited payload and meagre performance in maxed out conditions, one wonders why there were so many attempts at a take-off when the airplane clearly was not ready for take-off. The aircraft’s performance is now being called into question after a number of incidents. Several years ago at AirVenture, African Pilot requested an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive review of the aircraft. However, apart from presenting a delightful brochure and pictures of the A5 Icon at various exotic locations, I was not offered the opportunity to really test fly the aircraft. However, it was noted that at AirVenture this year the usual Icon show stand was missing – perhaps this was as a result of the misfortunes the company has seen in recent years as well as the scaling down of the business.
Aerobatic accident claims the life of prominent broadcaster and airshow pilot
It’s been another really tough day for aviation as a well-known aerobatic pilot and aviation advocate lost his life while flying a local reporter for a story about his life’s efforts. Franklin Augustus, one of the few African American Airshow pilots in the world, as well as being heavily involved in the local chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, went down in his 1983 Pitts S-2B about a half mile from New Orleans Lakefront Airport. He was giving an aerobatic ride to prominent local TV Reporter Nancy Parker when the aircraft went down. The accident did not appear remotely survivable caught fire as a result of the impact pretty much consuming the aircraft. Little detail is yet known about the circumstances just prior to the accident, other than the fact that Augustus noted that he would be using the local aerobatic practice area.
Few other details are known at this time, Augustus was flying Parker as she was working on a story about his activities. Augustus was heavily involved in aviation outreach, had been an airshow performer and Aerobatic Competency Evaluator and gave a great deal of time and effort into introducing young people, especially young African Americans, to the world of aviation. Augustus was 69 years old.
Certified! Tecnam’s P2012 Traveller
Tecnam has announced FAA has awarded full Type Certificate to the P2012 Traveller with the number A00076CE for Part 23 of the FAA Regulations. Tecnam is now on track to commence deliveries to aviation companies across the globe, beginning with the first 20 of the one hundred P2012 Travellers awaited by Cape Air in Massachusetts, US. The first few P2012 Travellers, already produced and ready to go, will fly from Capua to the Cape Air base in Hyannis, MA in the upcoming weeks.
Powered by two 375 HP turbo-charged Lycoming engines, the Tecnam P2012 Traveller features a modern design and state-of-the-art equipment, allowing single-pilot operations, depending on individual country regulations. The aircraft’s simple and easily accessed airframe and systems, fixed landing gear, robust interiors and easy-to-replace parts, result in high efficiency and low maintenance costs. These attributes, and many more, reportedly make it the ideal aircraft for regional airlines.
The arrival into service of the next-generation 11-seat, twin-engine P2012 Traveller is much anticipated by a large number of airlines, who have been demanding a replacement for the many hundreds of ‘heritage’ aeroplanes in the FAR23 / CS23 category currently in service around the world. This key certification milestone will add and ensure new and significant profitable revenue streams for Tecnam, which have been built on a foundation of over 70 years’ aircraft manufacturing.
Tecnam’s Managing Director, Giovanni Pascale says: “The FAA certification of the P2012 Traveller marks a significant milestone for the Tecnam team, our very first commuter airline aircraft. We have embraced new challenges and developed new skills. I am very proud, together with my father Paolo, to lead one of the most innovative and growing global aviation companies. We dedicate this important achievement to Luigi and Giovanni Pascale, the two brothers, my grandfather and my great-uncle, who started all this in 1948.”
Bell 407GXi earns IFR certification
Bell has announced that the FAA has issued an IFR STC for the Bell 407GXi. The certification is a requirement for the Navy Advanced Helicopter Training System competition, enabling the Bell 407GXi to replace the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger as the US Navy’s training helicopter. Bell’s replacement bid offers a unique combination of capability, ease of transition and low sustainment costs, giving the best value to the US Navy. Should the Bell 407GXi be selected for the US Navy Advanced Helicopter Trainer programme, the company plans to conduct final assembly of the aircraft in Ozark, Alabama.
A Bell to Bell transition offers low-risk to the Navy by streamlining instructor pilot and maintainer transition training as well as using common support equipment and infrastructure. The 407 airframe has already proven capabilities as the platform for the MQ-8C Fire Scout for the US Navy. Bell’s industry-leading customer service and support has established capability with cost-efficient and effective helicopter training solutions.
United Airlines increases ‘bottle to throttle’ limits
Few flyers have been in the business for long without hearing about there being at least an eight hour bottle to throttle rule and now United Airlines pilots have a few more hours to add to the formula. After recent bad press involving pilots suspected of being drunk or at least under the influence as they prepared to fly, United Airlines seems ready to set aside some additional boundaries to avoid further such temptations. They have good reason to be rethinking this strategy. In one of the most recent incidents, it was two of UA’s pilots who wound up under arrest as they prepped for a scheduled FAR 121 flight from Scotland’s Glasgow Airport to the US’s Newark Airport, on 3 August. United Airlines 162 was cancelled, as a result.
The change makes UA’s policy one of the toughest in the business, even exceeding the limits set aside by the FAA and similar national regulators. The FAA requires a minimum of eight hours alcohol abstinence before flight, which may not be the most scientific way to guarantee a sober cockpit, though they also demand a measurable 0.04 percent limit for blood-alcohol measurement. Other airlines, for the moment, still side with the FAA’s definition but it is expected that UA’s example may find imitators in short order.
Embraer developing demonstrator aircraft with electric propulsion technology
Last week on the eve of its 50th anniversary, Embraer unveiled images of the demonstrator aircraft with 100% electric propulsion technology, which is currently under development. The prototype has a special paint scheme and is ready to receive systems and components. The aircraft’s electric motor and controller are being manufactured by WEG at the company’s headquarters in Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil, as part of the scientific and technological cooperation agreement for jointly development of electrification technologies. Advances on the project include the partnership with Parker Aerospace that will be responsible to supply the cooling system for the demonstrator aircraft.
In the forthcoming months, the companies’ technical teams will continue to test the systems in the labs preparing the integration in the demonstrator aircraft for testing under real operating conditions. The first flight of the prototype is scheduled for 2020. The proposed scientific development programme of aeronautical electrification, formalised through the cooperation between Embraer and WEG announced in May 2019, constitutes an effective and efficient instrument for experimentation and maturation of the technologies before they are applied in future products. The partnership, in the context of pre-competitive research and development, seeks to accelerate the knowledge of the necessary technologies to increase the energy efficiency of an aircraft, considering the use and integration of electric motors into innovative propulsion systems. A small single-engine aircraft, based on the EMB-203 Ipanema, will be used as test bed, carrying out the initial evaluation of the electrification technology.
The electrification process is part of a series of efforts carried out by Embraer and the aeronautical industry aimed at ensuring the commitment with the environmental sustainability, as already done with biofuels to reduce carbon emissions. y establishing strategic partnerships through more agile cooperation mechanisms, Embraer is stimulating knowledge networks to allow a significant increase in Brazil’s competitiveness and the construction of a sustainable future.
Boeing 777-8 development delayed
Boeing is delaying development of the 777-8, the ultra-long-range version of its widebody 777X family, which includes the 777-8 and the slightly larger 777-9. While the company had not previously announced a planned entry-into-service date for the 777-8, it is being considered alongside an ultra-long-range version of the Airbus A350 for Qantas Airlines’ Project Sunrise, a plan that aims to launch nonstop flights from Sydney, Australia, to long-range destinations including London, England, beginning in 2022. It is unclear how much the 777-8 delay will affect Boeing’s chances of partnering with Qantas for the project, but the airline is expected to select the Project Sunrise aircraft by the end of 2019.
According to Boeing, the 777X programme is ‘progressing well through pre-flight testing’ with a target of late 2020 for the first deliveries of the 777-9. However, the company says there is ‘significant risk to this schedule given engine challenges, which are delaying first flight until early 2020.’ Both versions of the aircraft are powered by the GE Aviation GE9X engine. The 777-9 will carry as many as 426 passengers with a range of 7,285 NM. The 777-8 is expected to seat up to 384 passengers and have a range of up to 8,730 NM.
NEXA advisors complete landmark urban air mobility study
NEXA advisors and the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) have completed a comprehensive year-long study, Urban Air Mobility, Economics and Global Markets. The ground breaking NEXA report, undertaken in a partnership with VFS, contains forecasts for 74 metropolitan areas over the period of 2020 – 2040. The online databases include thousands of geocoded data features and characteristics of each city, as well as the study’s findings on their potential market for urban air mobility (UAM). Included on these web pages are custom ArcGIS maps of each city. The public can explore the deep city-level analysis available, using New York City as an example, at www.nexa-uam.com.
Each metropolitan area has a unique ‘DNA’; a complex blend of current transportation issues, congestion, population density, airports, existing transportation infrastructure, regulation, business aviation, gross domestic product (GDP), local politics, per capita income and a host of other factors that contribute to the likelihood of it being an early or late user of electric-powered vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. “Despite the many differences, even the smallest cities will eventually create sustainable and profitable UAM services for their communities,” said Michael Dyment, NEXA’s Managing Partner. “With over 60 data layers, the interactive city data sets allow subscribers to analyse their own investment opportunities and business cases, an unparalleled tool in today’s emerging UAM market.”
WORLD DRONE NEWS
Russian President Putin unveils ‘Hunter’ stealth drone
Russia has published video the first flight of its ‘Hunter’ stealth drone competed last week. The UK newspaper The Express reports that The Sukhoi-built ‘Okhotnik’ drone is expected to be able to carry out combat as well as surveillance missions. In the video, the aircraft is shown taking off from an airport, conducting some basic flight manoeuvres and then returning to land. The exact specs of the Hunter drone are classified, as one might expect, but it has an estimated gross take-off weight of 20-25 tons and be capable of flying at speeds up to Mach 1.13. Its range is estimated at nearly 2,700 nautical miles. The Hunter closely resembles the RQ-170 Sentinel drone. It is considered to be a major upgrade to other UAVs previously developed by the Russian military.
FAA approves drone food delivery in North Carolina
The FAA has approved the start of food deliveries by drone in Holly Springs, North Carolina by drone company Flytrex and the drone services company Causey Aviation Unmanned, Inc. (CAU). As part of the FAA’s UAS Integration Pilot Programme (IPP) and in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Causey Aviation, the Town of Holly Springs and Kite Realty Group Trust, Flytrex will soon begin its on-demand, unmanned food delivery via commercial drones for local residents.
The announcement comes in the wake of the recent validation of Flytrex’s self-triggered parachute recovery system by NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research), according to standards set by the FAA and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Flytrex and Causey join the few select companies to be authorised to operate in a suburban area.
Per the approved proposal, Flytrex drones will operate along one predetermined delivery route, connecting a distribution center at Holly Springs Towne Center, a shopping destination owned and operated by Kite Realty Group, with a single delivery point: Ting Park, a nearby outdoor sports and recreation hub. The flight route crosses over Route 55 and will fly primarily over unpopulated areas, avoiding flights over adjacent neighbourhoods. CAU Drone Delivery Operations for compensation under this provision will be conducted in accordance with Part 107 Rules and within Line of Sight of the Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC).
Gatwick drone investigation costs almost double
In March of 2019, the BBC reported that the policing cost and investigation into flight disruptions at Gatwick in December 2018 had cost to date, £459,000. Ian Hudson has been the king of submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to hold truth to power and he encouraged me to do the same back in June. I have now had a response to that FOIA and it would seem the cost of policing has almost doubled. Sussex Police Freedom of Information Officer Roger Brace responded with a bottom line of £886,210. There is still absolutely no evidence of any RPAS being over the airfield or in the area. Other police forces were involved so I am sure the one million pound bubble has been burst.
Editor comments: Come on Gatwick officials; there was no drone activity! You were all so spooked that even a bit of flying paper in the wind was seen as a drone. Sheer hysteria all for nothing.
Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)