“Standing up to a tyrant has always been illegal and dangerous. There is no guarantee but one to not live like a slave, nor to die like one.” Eric Schaub
Since last week’s mystery aircraft was relatively difficult to identify, according to the number of correct answers I received, this week I have provided another interesting aircraft to identify. Please send your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will publish the names of those that identified the aircraft correctly within the Thursday edition of APAnews.
What an amazing few days we had this past week, with the launch of African Pilot’s July edition, finalising the AERO South Africa digital Exhibition Catalogue, attending EAA Tail draggers on Saturday and attending Sling’s send-off breakfast for the three High Wing Slings that will be flying all the way to AirVenture in a few days’ time. Clearly sport and recreational aviation is starting to re-generate and we are seeing more events being organised.
Africa’s leading show for General Aviation is back
AERO South Africa will take place at Wonderboom National Airport over three days from 7 to 9 July 2022 and to date there are more than 40 aviation companies that will be exhibiting at this prestigious show. Once again African Pilot has been commissioned to produce the AERO South Africa official digital exhibition catalogue. Should your business be interested in exhibiting at AERO South Africa, please contact Annelie Reynolds as soon as possible: Annelie.Reynolds@za.messefrankfurt.com.
Visitor attendance is FREE and we are looking forward to meeting you at the show. Please register now by clicking on this link: https://bit.ly/3simOir. African Pilot will have a show stand at AERO, so you can meet up with our team over the three days.
The July 326-page edition of African Pilot featuring our popular Light Sport Aircraft, Amateur Built Aircraft and South African built aircraft was released to the global audience on Thursday last week. The July edition features 22 Videos and 10 Picture galleries. This edition also features the annual EBACE exhibition, Newcastle and Parys airshow reports and the Sports Aerobatics Nationals staged at Wings Park in East London all with videos.
African Pilot will be publishing its annual Avionics and Instrumentation and will include our annual headset review within the August 2022 magazine. The feature to be contained within the digital interactive magazine is an opportunity for all avionics, instrumentation, headset re-sellers, installers and panel upgrade companies to showcase their work.
The feature provides an important shop window for advertisers to display products and their abilities in a focused manner which includes editorial content to cover the features of their business.
The End of La Naranja Danzante
Royal Impression Academy (RIA) was launched in 2009 and has grown into a unique training and skills development institution, with a focus on offering accredited courses and meaningful interventions in addressing the triple threat of unemployment, poverty and inequality faced by various communities, spanning the Southern African region.
We are particularly proud of the fact that RIA is the only company in the country accredited by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to offer training on Aviation Cyber Security – a topic that has been brought into the spotlight recently with the scramble to move online and use more tech-based interventions in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic.
RIA’s Aviation Cyber Security course covers topics ranging from Cyber threats and vulnerabilities, Social engineering, Malware, Mobile phone security, Security issues around passwords, websites, emails, removable media and social media, as well as Cyber security risk management strategies.
Wallpaper calendar for the month of July. Go to our wallpaper page to download the calendars in three different resolutions.
EAA Taildraggers at Warmbaths airfield
Charlie Hugo and I drove to Warmbaths on Saturday 2 July to attend the annual EAA Taildraggers fly-in at this delightful airfield. The day started off cold, but as the sun climbed higher it was actually relatively hot for a mid-winter day with cloudless blue skies, ideal for an aviation event. As usual Richard Nicholson had prepared the airfield with all the creature comforts for an event of this nature. Security was excellent with a large standby generator supplying power when Eskom was load shedding.
Several exhibitors assisted with the costs of staging an event of this nature and my thanks go to David Le Roux from PilotInsure as the main sponsor, Rainbow SkyReach (Bushcat), Evans Aviation, Kit Planes for Africa and LSA Aircraft Covers for supporting this event. Airside safety was managed by Nigel Musgrave, whilst ATC was handled by Marelise Scheepers and Bo Burger. In all I was told that somewhere in the region of 108 aircraft, some gyrocopters and four helicopters arrived over the weekend. A full report with pictures and a video will be published within the August 2022 edition of African Pilot.
Three High Wing Slings are off to Oshkosh
On Sunday morning 3 July I drove to Tedderfield Airpark to attend the Sling High Wing breakfast. Once again, the weather was superb with clear blue skies and only a slight westerly wind, although later in the morning some clouds did start appearing. The Sling team had set out a large public area on the ramp between the two main hangars with tables, whilst the delicious breakfast was served from within the final assembly hangar. Several guests arrived in their aircraft and one helicopter flown by Eugene Cousain and Marie Reddy arrived.
James Pitman provided a brief history of Sling and the numerous adventures the team had undertaken over the years. Then it was the turn of Linda Sollars to relate her story (within the July edition of African Pilot) followed by JP who has also built his Sling High Wing tail dragger and will fly this with the other two Slings to Oshkosh in a few days’ time. This was a wonderful gathering of many of the pilots and friends I know in aviation and I wish to thank Sling Aircraft for providing the idea of giving the six pilots who will be flying to the Greatest Aviation Adventure in Earth, Oshkosh in a week’s time.
African Pilot’s 2022 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.
7 to 9 July
AERO South Africa at Wonderboom National Airport
Contact Annelie Reynolds at E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA Kitty Hawk Rally
Contact Frank Eckard at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 083 269 1516
Garden Route airshow at George airport
Contact Brett Scheuble Cell: 084 418 3836
18 to 22 July
Farnborough International Airshow
22 to 31 July
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden at E-mail: email@example.com
Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* African Pilot will be present at AirVenture this year and we will provide regular updates about the greatest aviation adventure in the world.
29 and 30 July
Soutpansberg fly-in Louis Trichardt
Contact Jaco at E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 353 6002
Krugersdorp Flying Club Spot Landing
Contact Nandi at Tel: 083 577 8894 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SAPFA Speed Rally at Groblersdal airfield
Contact David le Roux at E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 073 338 5200
25 and 26 August
Public Safety and Security Drones Conference Emperors Palace Convention Centre
Contact Maria Jani E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
26 and 27 August
Bethlehem Airshow at Bethlehem airfield
Contact Stephan Fourie at E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 072 344 9678
25 and 26 August
Public Safety and Security Drones Conference Emperors Palace Convention Centre
Contact Maria Jani E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children’s Flight at Orient airfield
Felix Gosher at E-mail: email@example.com Cell: +27 (0)66 191 4603
Steady Climb fly-in at Rhino Park airfield
Contact David Le Roux at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 073 338 5300
Rand Airport Airshow (Sunday)
Contact Stuart Coetzee at E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 444 0407
10 and 11 September
SAC Limpopo Regionals at Phalaborwa airfield
Contact Annie Boon at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
14 to 18 September
STIHL National Championship Air Racers Reno Air Racing Association
September Website: www.airrace.org
15 and 16 September
Aviation Africa at the Kigali Convention Centre, Rwanda
Contact Mark Brown at E-mail: email@example.com
Krugersdorp Flying Club fly-in
Contact Nandi at Tel: 083 577 8894 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
19 to 21 September
Ag Aviation Africa Conference at Bona Bona Game Lodge
Contact Elsabe Carstens E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 074 933 0570
20 to 22 September
MRO Asia-Pacific, Singapore
Contact Jennifer Roberts at E-mail: Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
21 to 25 September
Africa Aerospace and Defence 2022 AFB Waterkloof
Contact Ms Michelle Nxumalo at E-mail: Expodir@aadexpo.co.za Cell 083 6320 676
Stellenbosch Flying club Heritage day event
Contact Anton Theart at E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 079 873 4567
Vans RV day at Kitty Hawk airfield
Contact Frank van Heerden at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 656 7253
24 to 26 September
ICAO Innovation Fair Innovation for enhanced resilience in International Civil Aviation.
Bayraktar UAVs for Djibouti
Djibouti appears to have become the most recent Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) customer. On 27 June, two aircraft on lowbed trailers, took part in the country’s 45th independence day parade. They featured Djibouti Air Force markings and one was fitted with two Roketsan MAM-L smart micro munitions. Jane’s reports that the delivery is likely recent, as flight tracking services recorded an Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft flying between Turkey and Djibouti in early June. Djibouti is the latest African Bayraktar TB2 operator after Niger ordered six of the type in November 2021.
Turkey has sold its Bayraktar TB2 to Ethiopia, Ukraine, Morocco, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Poland. The Bayraktar TB2 has a cruising speed of 130 km/h with an operational altitude of 7 300 metres and 27 hours endurance (communications range is around 300 km). The 12 metre wingspan aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 700 kg and can carry a 150 kg payload. It is powered by a Rotax 912 engine and can be fitted with a swappable electro-optical / infrared / laser designator or multi-purpose AESA radar.
The Bayraktar TB2 is used operationally by the Turkish Armed Forces and is able to employ MAM and MAM-L guided munitions and UMTAS missiles (four munitions can be carried at a time). It has been proven in combat by Turkey in Syria and Libya, where Turkey backed the Tripoli-based government against eastern forces supported by Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. In Nagorno-Karabakh, the UAVs helped Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan defeat Armenia-backed forces and in Ukraine the Bayraktar TB2 has been used successfully against the Russian invaders.
Aircraft takes ground fire at Jackson airport
On Monday a Physicians Air Transport King Air 200 medevac aircraft was hit by a bullet while parked at Hawkins Field in Jackson, Mississippi and local officials didn’t seem very surprised. Apparently, a dispute over the city’s garbage collection contract has led to people on the ground taking pot-shots near the airport “I don’t think it helped that they put the garbage trucks on the airport’s property. It is a lot of hate now for the airport and some are shooting guns at planes and that is not the answer,” city councilman Kenneth Stokes told WJTV. He called for more police enforcement.
Meanwhile, the company that owns the airplane says it is likely to be out of action for a while and suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. “A random shot was fired from about 700 feet that way on the eastern boundary of Hawkins Field and the trajectory hit this airplane on the upper cowling,” said David Hood, a pilot with Physicians Air Transport. “We missed a lot of flights because of this and the chance to help a lot of people, and it’s going to be down for I don’t know how long,” said Hood. The bullet went through the cowling and hit the engine and damage is now estimated at $250,000.
Airbus awarded new orders from China
Airbus confirms the signature of orders with Air China, China Eastern, China Southern and Shenzhen Airlines for a total of 292 A320 Family aircraft, demonstrating the positive recovery momentum and prosperous outlook for the Chinese aviation market. Once the relevant criteria are met, these orders will enter the backlog. “These new orders demonstrate the strong confidence in Airbus from our customers. It is also a solid endorsement from our airline customers in China of the performance, quality, fuel efficiency and sustainability of the world’s leading family of single aisle aircraft.” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International.
“We commend the excellent work by George Xu and the entire Airbus China team as well as our customers’ teams for having brought to conclusion these long and extensive discussions that have taken place throughout the difficult COVID pandemic.” By the end of May 2022, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators totalled over 2,070 aircraft. At the end of May 2022, the A320neo Family had totalled more than 8,000 orders from over 130 customers. Since its Entry into Service six years ago, Airbus has delivered over 2,200 A320neo Family aircraft contributing to 15 million tons of CO2 saving.
US watchdog to audit FAA oversight of Boeing 737, 787 production
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has set a date to review the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) oversight of Boeing 737 and 787 production across the US. News of the audit follows multiple complaints regarding Boeing 747 and 787 production issues and allegations of unjustified pressure on employees at plane assembly lines. In a statement released on 29 June 2022, the audit is scheduled to take place in July 2022 and will be performed at several Boeing aircraft plants, including Charleston, Renton, South Carolina and Washington, the DOT’s Inspector General confirmed citing several complaints submitted to US Congress, the FAA, and the DOT itself, the watchdog said it would be evaluating the FAA’s processes for ‘identifying and resolving production issues’ as well as to address ‘allegations of undue pressure within the production environment’.
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for overseeing the safety of passenger aircraft in the United States, including ensuring that aviation manufacturers such as Boeing meet safety requirements when producing and delivering new aircraft. However, since 2019, a number of concerns have been raised regarding production of the Boeing 737 and 787 aircraft, the two production lines with the largest number of aircraft on order,” the DOT statement reads.
Boeing has not delivered any 787 aircraft in over a year due to production quality issues and in December 2021, FAA mandated inspections on certain previously delivered 787 aircraft due to reports of missed requirements during assembly. In light of these concerns, the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its Subcommittee on Aviation requested that we evaluate FAA’s oversight of Boeing aircraft production. According to the DOT, more than 330 million passengers worldwide flew on Boeing planes in 2021. With a backlog of almost 4,200 jets on order, the manufacturer completed deliveries of more than 160 new jets during the first half of 2022, including the MAX model.
Unique flight demos highlight airshows throughout week at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022
Military demonstration teams, jetliners, and unique aircraft of all types will be part of the week-long aerial display line-up at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh between 25 and 31 July 2022. “This year at Oshkosh is unique with the number of special aerial events, ranging from military demo teams to displays from airliners and anniversary formations from homebuilt aircraft,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programming. “Every day at AirVenture has features during the afternoon airshows that make the week unforgettable, along with the unexpected surprises that create only-at-Oshkosh moments.”
Among this year’s scheduled aerial demonstrations are:
- US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey demo team (30 / 31 July)
- US Air Force C-17 aerial demo (28, 30 and 31 July 28)
- US Air Force U-2 profile (27 July)
- US Air Force Special Operations Command (25 July)
- US Air Force Heritage Flight with F-35 and vintage warbirds (26 to 28 and 30 and 31 July)
- US Navy Legacy Flight E/A-18G Growler and / or F-35C plus vintage warbirds (27 to 31 July)
- US Navy E-2D Hawkeye demo (29 and 31 July)
Other aerial demonstrations
- Delta Airlines A330-900 (26 July)
- United Airlines Boeing 777 demo (26 July)
- Flight of the Grumman ‘Cats (27 and 29 July)
- Van’s RV 50th anniversary formations (25 July)
- Airbus Perlan II and Grob Egrett (26 July)
- Ampaire Electric EEL and Lift Aviation Hexa (26 July)
Additional demonstrations are expected to be added as well. EAA AirVenture afternoon airshows begin at approximately 14h30 25 to 30 July and 13h00 on 31 July. Night airshows on 27 and 30 July begin at approximately 20h00.
Billionaire Branson visits Antonov An-225 Mriya wreckage at Hostomel Airport
Billionaire Richard Branson has visited Hostomel Airport in Ukraine where the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, was destroyed by Russian forces at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. After his visit to Ukraine, Branson wrote in a blog post that he hoped “Mriya’s legacy will endure and that the international community will find ways to help Ukraine rebuild not only this airfield but bring Ukraine’s aerospace industry back to life”.
According to the local politicians, Branson said he was ready to help Ukraine rebuild the An-225 aircraft. But Ukrainian reporter Alex Khrebet claimed that Branson is interested in restoration of the airfield, not the An-225 Mriya aircraft. Russian forces destroyed the An-225 cargo plane following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Since the early days of war, there has been a lot of talk about building another Mriya. In May 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted to build another An-225 Mriya in honour of the pilots who have died during the war.
Sweden places order for two Saab surveillance aircraft
On 30 June Sweden and Saab signed a US$708 million deal for two GlobalEye surveillance aircraft. The contract also includes options for two additional Saab surveillance aircraft. Deliveries are expected to start in 2027. “GlobalEye will provide Sweden with world-class airborne early warning and control capability. Saab’s most important mission is to keep people and societies safe and I am proud that GlobalEye will further strengthen the Swedish Armed Forces’ capability,” said Saab’s President and CEO Micael Johansson. The GlobalEye was launched in 2016 and was specifically designed for the United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF). While manufactured by Saab, the GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft is actually based on the Canadian-made Bombardier Global Express 6000 business jet. The aircraft features the Erieye Extended Range radar, which has a range of more than 550 kilometres and is capable of early warning and control over air, sea and land.
Russia asks Bermuda to de-register Russian aircraft following safety concerns
Russian airlines have informed the Bermuda aviation authorities of the need to revoke registration of all aircraft that were reregistered in Russia, The Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation has said. “Russian aviation companies sent Bermuda’s aviation authority a notice regarding the necessity of deregistering the aircraft. In order to avoid breaking Article 18 of Chicago convention by the Bermuda’s aviation authority, said authority has to remove the aircraft, that were registered and are being used in the Russian Federation, from its aviation registry.” The statement also says that Russia does not agree with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) concerns regarding safety issues posed by many Russian-owned aircraft being registered in two separate countries.
Prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, most aircraft operated by Russian airlines were leased from Western lessors and registered in Bermuda, reportedly for tax evasion purposes. Due to the sanctions invoked following the invasion, the lessors demanded that the aircraft be returned to which Russian authorities responded by re-registering the aircraft within Russia.
On 15 June ICAO issued a closed bulletin saying that double registration poses a safety risk and demanded Russia solve the issue or face being declared a country with flight safety issues. “We want to remind that, since Bermuda’s aviation authorities revoked flight certificates for the Russian aircraft, Russian Federation stopped intergovernmental agreements that relegated Bermuda’s aviation authorities to oversee airworthiness of the aircraft,” the statement continued. “Transferring the aircraft to the Russian registry gave Russian aviation authority the possibility to oversee the airworthiness of the aircraft and issue flight certificates in accordance to established norms and requirements.”
ICAO calls on Russian Federation to cease dual registration of its aircraft
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the UN’s aviation arm, is calling on the Russian Federation to cease the dual registration of its aircraft in an attempt to bypass global sanctions. The request has come about subsequent to the 226th Meeting of the ICAO Council. The Council has made it clear that under the Chicago Convention, a State may change the registration of its aircraft to another state. However, once a State has registered an aircraft, a number of safety-related obligations fall upon it by virtue of the Chicago Convention and its Annexes. The Convention also makes it clear that no aircraft may be validly registered in more than one state at any particular time and that safety concerns will always be raised that relate to the international validity of each airplane’s certificate of airworthiness and radio station license.
The Council has now called on the Russian Federation to immediately cease its infractions of the Chicago Convention, with a view to preserving the safety and security of civil aviation and to urgently remedy these violations. In addition, the Council has requested that the Secretary General report these infractions, if not urgently rectified, to all Chicago Convention Contracting States, in accordance with Article 54 j) of the Convention and further decided to submit this matter to the 41st Session of the ICAO Assembly this September-October, for Contracting States’ consideration in accordance with Article 54k) of the Convention.
Electric Aircraft Symposium returns to Oshkosh
The Vertical Flight Society will host the 16th annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. After two years of virtual-only programming, the symposium returns with a hybrid event at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus and online. The symposium includes presentations from more than 40 experts from industry, academia and government, participating in 14 panel discussions covering topics such as electric aircraft configurations, propulsion systems, community integration, demand forecasting, autonomy, vertiports, noise, urban operations, training, hydrogen propulsion, certification, regional air mobility and defence / public services.
Gulfstream G800 business jet performs first flight
The Gulfstream G800 business jet has completed its first flight, marking the start of a flight test programme. The new G800 took off from Savannah / Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) on 28 June 2022 and landed back at the airfield after successfully performing a two-hour flight. The G800 jet made flight using a blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the company said. Deliveries are expected to start in 2023. The Gulfstream G800 jet was launched in October 2021. The new aircraft is currently the world’s longest-range private jet with the capability to fly up to 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 kilometres) at Mach 0.85 (1041 kilometres per hour) and 7,000 nautical miles (12,964 kilometres) at the top speed of Mach 0.92 (1127 kilometres per hour).
South Korea to order 20 additional F-35 fighter jets
South Korea’s state defence procurement committee has approved the acquisition of an additional 20 Lockheed Martin F-35A lightning II fighter jets. According to the South Korea Herald, the purchase was approved by a special subcommittee, paving the way for a feasibility study that could lead to 3.9 trillion won ($3 billion) order. If approved, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) could begin to receive the new aircraft in 2023. South Korea has been mulling the purchase of additional F-35As since 2017, alongside a plan to possibly order a fleet of F-35Bs, capable of operating off the country’s amphibious assault ships.
The new aircraft would join 40 F-35s already operated by ROKAF. The aircraft, ordered in 2013, were delivered between 2019 and 2022, making South Korea one of the few countries to operate a significant number of fifth-generation fighter jets. The F-35s would operate alongside the KAI KF-21 Boramae, South Korea’s upcoming domestically manufactured stealth fighter jet, which is expected to enter into service in 2026.
Greece sends request for 20 F-35 stealth jets
According to Reuters, while speaking the NATO summit in Madrid on 30 June 2022, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his country had sent a letter of request (LoR) to purchase Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets. According to Mitsotakis, the country intends to purchase 20 fighter jets, with 20 more being considered as an option. The Hellenic Air Force is expected to start receiving the new jets in 2027/8. “Our intention is to acquire an F-35 squadron with a possible option for a second one. Sending a Letter of Request (LoR) which has happened in the past few days is part of this process,” Mitsotakis said. Greece has been mulling the purchase of F-35s since 2009, but the order has been delayed numerous times due to the country’s financial situation.
The F-35s are expected to replace Greece’s ageing McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II fighters delivered in the 1970s and 1980s. Greece has been heavily modernising its air force in recent years, ordering Dassault Rafales from France to partially replace its Mirage 2000 fleet and upgrading older F-16 jets.
US Army, Sikorsky sign $2.3B deal for H-60M Black Hawk helicopters
The United States government and Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Helicopters have signed a five-year contract worth $2.3 billion for 120 H-60M Black Hawk multi-mission combat assault utility helicopters, with options for an additional 135 aircraft. According to the company, if all options are exercised, the potential contract could be worth up to $4.4 billion. Deliveries are expected to start in July 2022 and continue through 2027. More than 4,000 Black Hawk aircraft of all variants are in service worldwide today, with 2,135 H-60 Black Hawk helicopters serving the US Army alone.
Air New Zealand unveils new cabin concepts including Economy Class beds
Air New Zealand has unveiled several new concepts for its Dreamliner fleet that includes lie-flat beds in Economy Class. From 2024, Air New Zealand will offer a new Business Premier Luxe suite, a new Business Premier seat and the Skynest, a lie-flat Economy Class bed. The airline’s new Dreamliners, due to arrive in 2024, will give customers more choice than any airline in the world, providing the best sleep in the sky regardless of the cabin customers choose to fly in, the airline said. This includes a new Business Premier Luxe seat, designed for customers looking for more space and privacy and Skynest, the world’s first sleep pods in the sky for Economy travellers.
Feedback from extensive customer research over five years has highlighted the importance for a good night’s sleep and the need for more space and comfort, so the new experience is designed around creating a home away from home that leaves customers refreshed and raring to go at their destination, the airline said. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran points to the airline’s ambition to create the greatest flying experience and says the new cabin, combined with world-leading Kiwi hospitality, is the winning formula. “New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul travel experience. We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot they want to hit the ground running. It’s a proud moment to finally unveil five years of hard mahi, in what truly is a cabin of possibility. One that will provide customers with options to get some shuteye wherever they are sitting.”
Airbus and Linde to cooperate on hydrogen infrastructure for airport
Airbus and Linde, a leading global industrial gases and engineering company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work on the development of hydrogen infrastructure at airports worldwide. The agreement follows a cooperation agreement signed in Singapore in February and covers collaboration on global supply chains for hydrogen, from production to airport storage, including the integration of refuelling into normal ground handling operations. Both companies will define and launch pilot projects at several airports from early 2023 onwards. In addition, Airbus and Linde will analyse the potential of Power-to-Liquid fuels – a type of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) made from the synthetically produced liquid hydrocarbon through the conversion of renewable electricity.
The use of hydrogen to power future aircraft is not only expected to significantly reduce aircraft emissions in the air but could also help decarbonise air transport activities on the ground. In 2020 Airbus launched the ‘Hydrogen Hub at Airports’ programme to jumpstart research into infrastructure requirements and low-carbon airport operations, across the entire value chain. To date agreements have been signed with partners and airports in France, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Singapore.
Cyprus orders six H145Ms for its National Guard
The Government of Cyprus has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters for the purchase of six H145Ms with an option for another six aircraft. The five-bladed helicopters will be operated by the Cypriot National Guard. “The implementation of this agreement will provide the National Guard with a cost-effective and high-performance helicopter solution that satisfies the operational requirements set by the General Staff and addresses many of the future challenges of light attack helicopter fleets. Able to operate in very demanding environments, the H145M will enhance the National Guard’s day and night capabilities in delivering rapid response, fire power and precision, providing effective combat support and acquiring critical information,” said Andreas P. Louka, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus.
The H145M is a multi-role light utility military helicopter. Derived from the civil H145, the latest version of the H145M features a new, innovative five-bladed rotor that increases the helicopter’s payload by 150 kg. The design of the new bearingless main rotor also simplifies maintenance operations. Equipped with the Airbus HForce weapons system the H145M can be operated as a light attack helicopter. The weapons range includes guns, rockets and missiles are currently being integrated. Combined with Manned-Unmanned Teaming capabilities and integration into networked combat, its bandwidth makes it the most performant helicopter in its class.
The H145 was developed as a civil model for day and night operations and in the most adverse conditions. It is used by armed forces, police and rescue teams all over the world. It is powered by two powerful Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2E turbines, controlled by the FADEC (full authority digital engine control) system. In addition, the helicopter is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite and thus offers not only innovative flight data management but also a powerful 4-axis autopilot, which considerably reduces the pilots’ workload in their missions. Its particularly low noise emissions make the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.
The H145M is already in service in Hungary (20), Germany (15), Serbia (9), Thailand (5) and Luxembourg (2). The US Army operates a fleet of more than 460 locally built civil helicopters of the H145 family under the name UH-72 Lakota.
Cygnus finishes mission after providing the ISS with an orbital boost
The Cygnus spacecraft has finished its mission, successfully boosting the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS). According to NASA, the Cygnus detached from the ISS and headed to burn up in the atmosphere on 28 June 2022, after four months in orbit. Just prior to the departure, on 25 June the spacecraft completed a 301-second burn, boosting the ISS to a slightly higher orbit. According to Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the Cygnus, the spacecraft demonstrated the capability to perform this role and will be used for such tasks in the future.
The ISS flies in an orbit where it experiences some drag from the atmosphere and requires a boost every year or two. It has previously been boosted by the Russia’s Zvezda Service Module or its Progress spacecraft. In March 2022, Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russian space agency Roskosmos, warned that the agency would no longer cooperate with Western space agencies if sanctions enforced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were not lifted. According to Rogozin, Russia could stop boosting the ISS, causing it to fall and possibly impacting populated areas.
Microwave-sized satellite to test unique orbit around the Moon
CAPSTONE, or the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, launched on Tuesday at 05h55 EDT (09:55 UTC) on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. Now on the first leg of its journey, the microwave oven-sized spacecraft will be the first to explore a unique path around the Moon, where the pull of gravity from Earth and the Moon interact to allow for a nearly-stable orbit.
CAPSTONE’s test of this special orbit will blaze a path for Gateway, our future lunar space station. This Moon-orbiting spacecraft will be built by NASA and its commercial and international partners to one day serve as a staging area for missions to the Moon and potentially as a jumping point for missions farther into space.
CAPSTONE launch to the Moon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGx400xCDVY
EASA proposes rules for urban VTOL air taxis
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published proposed rules for the operation of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air taxis in cities. “With this, EASA becomes the first aviation regulator worldwide to release a comprehensive regulatory framework for operations of VTOL-capable aircraft, which will offer air taxi and similar services,” said EASA executive director Patrick Ky. “We have done our best to address general societal concerns and the expectations of EU citizens with respect to safety, security, privacy, environment and noise.”
The proposed regulatory framework is open to public consultation until September 30 and covers the technical domains of airworthiness, air operations, flight crew licensing and rules of the air. It complements existing EU regulatory material for operations of uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), the unmanned traffic management system known in Europe as U-space and certification of aircraft capable of VTOL, as well as EASA guidance on the design of vertiports. Key provisions of the proposed rules include initial limits on the number of vertiports operating in each city, establishing predefined routes and operating altitudes, setting minimum forward visibility requirements of 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) for VFR operations and limiting operations to those flown by experienced pilots. EASA stressed that predefined routes would provide traffic deconfliction and avoid noise-sensitive areas with the goal of gaining greater public acceptance for the technology.
Skydio – electric infrastructure inspection with drones
Utility inspections are absolutely critical for ensuring uptime and safety of the power grid, but these inspections often pose serious safety risks to the inspector. Inspectors must often fly low over power plants, transmission towers and distribution poles by helicopter, or climb to high altitudes in high-voltage environments. In some cases, safety requires so much of the inspector’s attention that the data quality of the inspection suffers. The solution? Drones. Deploying drones for inspection use cases can help the inspector generate fully comprehensive inspection datasets, while their operators remain safely on the ground.
However, not all drones are created equal. Last-generation manual drones are challenging to fly and cannot be flown up close to utility structures without introducing high crash risk, so manufacturers have raced to add larger and more expensive, camera payloads to photograph infrastructure from a distance. Skydio autonomous drones can accomplish better inspections with smaller cameras simply by being able to fly closer to the subject, reducing the requirement to carry and risk expensive camera payloads. Skydio drones require far less training because of unmatched obstacle avoidance and fully autonomous missions which provide robotic precision data capture of complex structures.
Electric utility environments are usually accompanied by high voltage electric fields and strong electromagnetic fields induced by current flowing. A drone and its onboard sensors must be able to withstand those fields, which is why Skydio partnered with EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute), the world’s preeminent independent, non-profit energy research and development organisation, with offices around the world to test Skydio’s drones in these energised environments. After rigorous field testing, EPRI confirmed that the drones worked as expected with no electric or magnetic field impact to the aircraft’s flight behaviour, collision avoidance systems or command and control systems.
Having a drone that is able to fly in an energised environment is necessary, but only half of the equation. To be successful in the utility environment, drones must be able to avoid wires, poles, vegetation and many other obstacles. As a result, reliable omnidirectional collision avoidance is critical.
Skydio 3D Scan builds on top of the Skydio Autonomy flight engine, adding the ability to conduct fully autonomous flight patterns to capture complete and accurate photosets of every surface and angle of energy utility structures. This means that professional drone operators of all skill levels can now perform higher quality area mappings and physical asset inspections in record time and with minimal training.
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