“If money and material things make you believe you are better than others, you are the poorest person on earth” Anon
IF question: what does the (*) mean next to the ILS frequency on an approach plate?
2. Special conditions apply or
3. Limited operating times.
Answer: 3 – Limited operating times
African Pilot’s September 2020 edition
The September edition of African Pilot featuring Avionics and Instrumentation (46 pages) completed its distribution phase two weeks ago. For African Pilot, this is a record edition consisting of 226 pages with 46 articles and features. At the same time, the new software programme I purchased has allowed for 14 embedded videos and two photo galleries. Now that the digital magazine is FREE to anyone in the world, African Pilot has become a serious international aviation magazine, with features that appeal to readers everywhere in the world. Over the COVID-19 lockdown period African Pilot has increased its subscriber audience four time over and at this time I have received calls from international writers from all over the world wishing to be part of the African Pilot success.
On our recent visit to Lanseria International Airport as well as to other regional airports this past week, we were delighted to hear that many of our present advertisers as well as interested advertisers were seriously impressed with the new design and layout of the September edition.
On behalf of African Pilot’s dedicated staff, I would like to thank those advertisers that supported the September edition during these difficult times.
African Pilot’s October edition
Work on the production of the October edition has already started. This edition of African Pilot will feature Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) and Aircraft Refurbishment. Once advertisers see the benefits of marketing their products and services to a vast audience with short videos and picture galleries, they will realise that marketing is most important for future profitability. In South Africa and the African continent, African Pilot is the only aviation publication that has the latest software to provide digital enhancement to any advertiser.
The material deadline for the October edition is Friday 18 September 2020.
For advertising opportunities please contact Adrian Munro at e-mail: email@example.com or Cell: 079 880 4359. All editorial material should be sent to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall media reach of all aviation publications in Africa where we are in a position 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. Naturally the monthly printed magazine has an incredibly long shelf life due to its excellent design and layout. Then of course the monthly magazine is also available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers have 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.
Do you want instant aviation news and opinions?
Visit www.APAcom.co.za and register yourself as a user
The following are links to all the magazines that African Pilot produced this year so that you can download all the 2020 editions in magazine view format:
Video of the week: ULA NROL-44 last second hot fire abort! Delta IV Heavy:
Launch of Wouter Botes’ e-book ‘Flights to Nowhere’
Wouter Botes’ E-book on Flight to Nowhere is available by visiting www.africanpilot.co.za and click on the button provided on the home page. We have provided an option for payment of R60 per download on the page.
AERO South Africa news
Africa’s largest General Aviation trade show, AERO South Africa, launches a new era of the digital workplace with an all new Virtual Marketplace.
The one-stop business-to-business platform that allows visitors and exhibitors to engage and conduct business from one centralised virtual hub.
Visitor Registration is NOW LIVE for the AERO South Africa Virtual Marketplace.
Register Here: https://bit.ly/31ISTTD #AEROSAMarketPlace
African Pilot's picture of the week
Something exciting for African Pilot’s readers to enjoy is the launch of the ‘Picture of the Week’. Please send any aviation related picture to me at: email@example.com at a resolution of at least 500 Kb. There is no payment or prize offered, just editorial recognition. However, all photographs submitted will be considered for the ‘Picture of the Month’ within the monthly magazine and I will be looking for a sponsor to cover the cost of a monthly fee.
SOUTH AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Misuse of SAAF VIP aircraft raises questions from opposition political parties
In the past week, several ANC government ministers utilised a South African Air Force (SAAF) operated business Jet to travel to Zimbabwe in order to meet with that country’s ruling party. It appears that the ruling ANC is under scrutiny from two sides with indications the Public Protector will be called in to investigate.
Both the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) issued strongly worded statements in the wake of it publicly coming to light that an ANC delegation used 21 Squadron’s Falcon 900 (ZS-NAN) as transport to and from the Zimbabwean capital Harare last week. The party delegation was apparently told it could form part of the passenger manifest aboard the ageing bizjet by Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
According to Johannesburg digital daily TimesLIVE, she said “she was travelling to Zimbabwe to meet her counterpart in preparation for a SADC (Southern African Development Community) Troika meeting on UN reconfiguration of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB, a component of MONUSCO), which comprises troops from the SADC region. The ANC delegation was going to deal with issues that are having a direct impact on South Africa. This is not a common occurrence and has never happened before”.
Democratic Alliance shadow defence and military veterans minister Kobus Marais is understanding of Mapisa-Nqakula’s need to travel on national and regional defence issues – in this case the future composition of the FIB. What he cannot come to grips with is why Zimbabwe has become involved when Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania are the countries providing soldiers and other military personnel to staff the only UN peacekeeping force worldwide to be given an offensive mandate in executing its primary function of protecting civilians in strife-torn DR Congo. He also points out Zimbabwe no longer chairs the regional body with this duty assumed by Mozambique’s president Filipe Nyusi last month. Comparing the use of the aircraft to a person calling an Uber ride, Marais said “the Minister’s entourage and not her” is the problem. He wants the usually vocal Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to clarify the flight authorisation as all international passenger flights are prohibited, except those authorised by the Minister of Transport under level two of the national state of disaster regulations.
FFF+ leader Pieter Groenewald maintains lockdown regulations were violated when the ANC delegation used the military aircraft with a secondary wrong in the misuse of taxpayer money to pay from the AFB Waterkloof Harare round trip. “That a military aircraft was used without authorisation to fly ANC members to Zimbabwe for party political matters is nothing but blatant misuse of tax money and corruption. The ANC must repay the costs,” he said, adding a formal complaint will be lodged with the office of Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Groenewald will also use the National Assembly as a platform to ask questions of “the relevant ministers” (Mbalula and Mapisa-Nqakula).
What happened in aviation over the past week?
SAPFA Speed Rally at Secunda airfield - 12 September 2020
By Rob Jonkers
This year we have returned to the birthplace of the Speed Rally, being the third time, this event has been staged at Secunda. It was appropriate that our Speed Rally event during these unprecedented times has come back to its roots, with eight months having passed from the last Speed Rally held in Witbank.
The winners in the handicap category were father and son Hendrik and Jandre Loots flying their Sling ZU-IHK, in second place Eugene van Staden and Manaf Mubarak flying their Sling ZU-IBH and in third place Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard flying a Lancair ZU-LNC. The first thirteen placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.
The winners in the accuracy category were again father and son Hendrik and Jandre Loots flying their Sling ZU-IHK, in second place also father and son Johan Whiteman and Quintin Kruger flying their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV and in third place Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk flying their C210 ZS-CNY.
Many thanks to the Secunda Aero Club for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Adrian Cronje as the Chief Marshall, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk de Vos doing the scoring, Mark Clulow and Sean Cronin doing test flights and starting, Marc and Shane from Century Avionics for scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as scrutineering, Jonty, Lizelle and Sandy for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event, and the ATNS team for managing the ATC for the weekend.
The full report with galleries of pictures taken by Charlie and Fiona Hugo and me as well as a video of this well-managed aviation event will be published in the October edition of African Pilot.
What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
African Pilot’s 2020 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.
EAA Taildraggers fly-in to Warmbaths
Contact Richard Nicholson Cell: 082 490 6227 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brakpan Aero Club ‘Spring Clean’ flying day from 09h00
Contact Cell: 071 542 2993 E-mail: email@example.com
19 – 20 September
Utopia Fly-in Southern Drakensberg
Contact Don Cell: 082 895 2009 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Train Race and Fly-in to Heidelberg airfield – Heritage Day
Contact Van Zyl Schultz E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 560 2275
24 and 25 October
SAC North West Regionals TBC
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
26 to 28 October
Airport Show, Airport Security and ATC Forum DWTC, Dubai
Registration is now open for Airport Show, Airport Security and ATC
Forum. FREE registration: https://bit.ly/2SnJ33S
EAA Chapter 322 AGM Venue TBA
Contact Neil Bowden Cell: 084 674 5674 E-mail: email@example.com
CAASA AGM to be a virtual meeting from 11h00
Contact Sam Keddle E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 659 2345
13 to 16 November
Battlefields now in Mossel bay fly-in view poster for details
Contact E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 446 9916 or 082 875 5419
5 and 6 December
SAC Ace of Base TBC
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
As further dates are sent to me, I will continue to update the aviation calendar
I have started preparing the 2021 calendar with assistance from Air Show South Africa and the various sections of the Aero Club of South Africa. Please send me your planned aviation event fixtures for next year so that I may accommodate them on the calendar. Thank you.
AFRICAN AVIATION NEWS
Entebbe set to reopen with additional safety equipment
The airport is due to reopen on 1 October after it closed on 21 March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Passenger safety is being enhanced for the reopening of Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport thanks to a donation of vital safety equipment from the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The donation, valued at $271,000) includes a Thermo scanner, one automated walk-through disinfection booth and four stand-alone air conditioners as well as personal protective equipment (PPE).
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
NTSB preliminary report: North American Navion
On 2 August 2020, a North American Navion airplane, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Cedar City, Utah. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. Preliminary radar data showed the airplane departed Strawberry Valley Estates Airport (UT24), Alton, Utah, about 08h15. After departure, the airplane flew southwest bound before turning north where it continued to track for the remaining portion of the flight captured by surveillance data. The direction was consistent with a heading towards Cedar City, Utah, as well as near the reported accident site.
Several witnesses heard the pilot make a distress call. He said that they were out of gas and were trying to land in a field. Two other witnesses observed the airplane descending prior to impact with terrain. Shortly thereafter, a nearby communications tower collapsed. Local law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site. A survey of the site revealed that all major components of the airplane necessary for flight were located at the accident site. A support cable from the tower was observed wrapped around the front of the airplane. There was no post impact fire.
After successful emergency landing, unlucky Mooney hit by a truck
There is good luck, bad luck and NO luck at all. Recently a Mooney that was forced to execute a dead stick landing on an east bound lane of Florida’s Interstate 75 on Wednesday morning. An engine failure caused the M20R Mooney that had two persons on board and executed a safe emergency landing on the right side of the road with no known damage as it came to a stop.
Whew! All is well that ends well, until some idiot with a truck comes along. Shortly afterwards, a black pickup truck and trailer was seen on eyewitness video heading toward the aircraft, in the right lane and attempted to pass the aircraft at what appeared to be a considerable rate of speed and hit the Mooney so hard that the aircraft was spun around 180 degrees, forced off the side of the road and has serious damage visible to the left trailing edge of the wing, though the airframe may have been twisted beyond repair by the force of impact. It is unknown, as yet, what charges the obviously errant driver will face, but from the looks of things, it could be considerable and good luck explaining this one to the insurance company.
Hand propping Cirrus SR22 goes awry
The pilot reported that the battery was too low to start the Cirrus SR22’s engine, so he asked FBO personnel at the airport in Mason City, Iowa, if they could assist with a jumper pack. They told him that they did not have anyone on duty authorised to assist and that he would have to wait a couple of days. He decided to start the engine by hand propping. Before he began hand propping, he set the parking brake. Following the engine start, the airplane began to move forward. The pilot attempted to re-enter the airplane to apply the brakes, but the airplane hit a hangar. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The FAA inspector who examined the airplane after the accident reported that the parking brake functioned normally. He added that the pilot stated that he was sure he set the brakes, but that he may not have gotten enough pressure to hold the airplane.
NTSB preliminary report: Cessna A185
The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that, the winds at the time of take-off were about 17 mph from the east. After he departed a runway from the southeast, the airplane weather vanned into the wind and was pushed to the left side of the runway. The pilot quickly corrected the movement, but in doing so the airplane’s right main landing gear impacted the runway surface hard. Seconds later after he departed, the pilot flew low over the runway for ground observers to inspect the landing gear, but they reported no abnormalities. The pilot returned to the departure runway, but shortly after landing, the right main landing gear separated. The right wing was substantially damaged. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies that could have precluded normal operation.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
FAA commits $5 million to support aviation maintenance workforce
The FAA has unveiled the Aviation Maintenance Technical Workforce Development Grant Programme to recruit students for careers in aviation maintenance. FAA officials said: “The goal is to provide grants to academia and the aviation community to help prepare a more inclusive talent pool of aviation maintenance technicians, to inspire and recruit the next generation of aviation professionals.” The US Congress appropriated $5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to fund projects to address the projected shortages of aviation maintenance technical workers in the aviation industry.
The types of projects supported under the new grant programme include:
- Establish new educational programmes that teach technical skills used in aviation maintenance, including purchasing equipment, or to improve existing programmes
- Enhance aviation maintenance technical education or aviation maintenance industry workforce
- To establish scholarships or apprenticeships for individuals pursuing employment in the aviation maintenance industry
- Support outreach about careers in the aviation maintenance industry to primary, secondary and post-secondary school students and communities under-represented in the industry
- Support transition to careers in aviation maintenance, including members of the Armed Forces
- Support educational opportunities related to aviation maintenance in economically disadvantaged geographic areas.
- Eligible groups can apply for grants from $25,000 to $500,000 for any one grant in a fiscal year.
This type of aviation support programme was what I personally proposed to the Director of Civil Aviation (DCA) in South Africa many years ago where the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) would utilise the skills of retiring airline pilots and technical people to create an advanced aviation training scheme. Of course, due to the entrenched BBEEE directive from ANC government this was never fully explored, which in my opinion has ultimately resulted in a serious lack of trained young South Africans from all race groups to carry the aviation industry forward. What a shame that the head of the SACAA is so short sighted and only interested in ‘transforming the aviation industry in South Africa’ simply does not understand that the education of young people is of paramount importance to the future of aviation in our country.
China Airlines subsidiary to retire whole Embraer E-190 fleet
Mandarin Airlines, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese carrier China Airlines, confirmed the gradual retirement plan of its Embraer E-190 fleet, the only fleet of Embraer aircraft in Taiwan. The Taiwanese Civil Aeronautics Administration (TWCAA) approved Mandarin Airlines’ gradual retirement plan under which the airline will return all its E-190 aircraft back to leasing companies at the pace of two per year, starting from October 2020. The retirement of the rest jets will follow in 2021 and 2022. Presently Mandarin Airlines has five Embraer E-190s in active service whilst one aircraft is stored. The average age of an airline’s E-190 is seven years and the majority of the carrier’s fleet is leased from GE Capital Aviation Services.
Indian Air Force formally inducts Dassault Rafale fighter jet
The Indian Air Force (IAF) formally inducted the Dassault Rafale fighter jet in the 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ at Air Force Station Ambala. The ceremony marks Rafael’s full operational entry into IAF. The Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, was in India to participate in the integration of the first five Rafales into the Indian Air Force. The induction took place in a context of heightened border tensions for India and its neighbouring countries. On 26 February 2019, a violent dogfight took place in Kashmir, resulting in one Indian MiG-21 being shot down by the Pakistan Air Force.
Pakistan closes airspace amid tension with India
For the past few days, the situation has been escalating between India and Pakistan, prompting the latter to close its airspace. Since May 2020, several incidents broke out between Chinese and Indian troops along the Sino-Indian border, resulting in both countries increasing the military presence on each side. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the fleet of 36 Rafale fighter jets that are due to be delivered will not only be deployed at Ambala Air Force Base near the Pakistani border, but also in the Ladakh region, where the Sino-Indian border dispute takes place. The 7,000-kilometer (4,349 miles) ferry operation from Merignac Air Base, in southwestern France, took place on 27 July 2020. It included mid-air refuelling provided by the French Air Force as well as a stopover in Al Dhafra Air Base, in the United Arab Emirates, from which France operates.
Van’s Aircraft shuts down temporarily in midst of wildfires
With all the perilous issues we have had to contend with in 2020 covid-19 pandemic, economics, rioting, politics and one more in the mix – fires. Much of the West Coast has had to deal with the threat from massive fires that have produced equally massive areas of thick smoke and low visibility. That became evident last week via video shot in front of Van’s Aircraft, in Oregon, announcing that they were sending staff home to allow them to protect their homes in the face of massive smoke and nearby fire threats. “We have extended the closure at our HQ location, which we enacted due to wildfires in the area which have resulted in very poor air quality and evacuations in the surrounding areas. As a result, we will not be conducting any business operations for the remainder of the week. This includes telephone services, e-mail communication, orders, shipping and factory production. We will keep an eye on the situation and wish all the folks at Van’s the very best, under the circumstances.
Flight attendant threatened by passengers during plane evacuation
On 10 May 2019, a de Havilland DHC-8, registered as C-FJXZ, operated by Jazz Aviation departed from Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Toronto, to carry out flight JZA8615 to Sudbury Airport (YSB) in Ontario. However, due to the poor visibility at the destination airport, the flight crew decided to return to Toronto where it landed normally. While taxiing to its gate, the aircraft was hit by a fuel truck operated by Menzies Aviation. The left side of the fuselage as well as the left propeller sustained damages. The TSB ruled that poor visibility due to darkness, rain and reflected light on the pilot’s side and the condensation on the windows of the cabin on the truck’s side led to the collision.
But what the report focuses on the most is the poor behaviour of passengers during the plane evacuation. Shortly after the plane came to a halt, one passenger opened the right-side rear emergency door and jumped out of the plane, followed by another one, despite the propeller engine still running.
At the front of the plane, passengers pressured a flight attendant, with at least one of them voicing threats, into opening the main door of the aircraft on the left side. After smelling fuel coming from the impact area, she instructed the passengers to evacuate and to leave their luggage behind. “Many passengers ignored the commands to leave their belongings behind,” the flight attendant recounted, as stated in the report. One of the passengers even returned into the aircraft to retrieve personal belongings, before a flight attendant prevented other passengers from doing the same. The TSB also voiced their concern to see passenger non-compliance with instructions regarding seat belt use become a “recurring issue”. While the plane was still taxiing, a passenger opened their seatbelt and was projected onto the ground during the collision, thus becoming an obstacle for the flight attendant’s work. In total, 15 minor injuries were reported.
Atlas LTA: new airship production in Israel
Newly established Israeli company, Atlas LTA Advanced Technology Ltd, has brought together leading experts from around the world in the unique field of lighter-than-air technology. The core team members have extensive experience in building airships and aerostats for all kinds of purpose, and together offer a solid technical background for the company’s current production activities and future developments.
Atlas’s main goal is to introduce its green airships into everyday life, thereby reducing poisonous carbon emissions. The company is active in many fields, delivering practical, cost-effective solutions in the form of modern airships and aerostats. For example, Atlas-6/11 sightseeing airships are sparking curiosity at national parks and historic landmarks all over the world.
The advantages of the lighter-than-air technologies proposed by Atlas can also be clearly seen in the context of communications and surveillance missions. High altitude, long range and unprecedented endurance of unmanned flight all contribute to making tethered aerostats or solar-powered airships a unique and highly effective solution in several instances where traditional aircraft cannot be used. Besides the obvious economic advantages, their performance does not require the burning of any traditional fuel.
Atlas’s flagship project is to build a new family of large-capacity transport airships, which will be capable of carrying oversized and overweight cargo of up to 165 tons, using safe helium buoyancy and dynamic lift made possible by low-emission hybrid-electric propulsion. Named ATLANT, this airship will significantly reduce transportation costs and will eventually change the world of cargo transportation. Since it does not require any special infrastructure, it can land in a desert, on water or even Arctic ice, making many hard-to-reach destinations much more accessible. Based on the company’s latest innovations and practical achievements, this ambitious project applies important lessons learnt from its predecessors. Use of hydrogen as its fuel will make ATLANT the first zero-emission, large-capacity cargo aircraft. In the future, when the rules permit, it can be turned into a fully-autonomous unmanned cargo vehicle; the world’s largest UAV. The ATLANT is expected to be emission free within the next six to seven years.
Delta Heavy launch aborted in final seconds
United Launch Alliance says it will be at least a week before it can try again to launch an expensive spy satellite from Cape Canaveral. Its Delta IV Heavy rocket automatically aborted starting its engines just three seconds before lift-off early on Saturday. The launch had already been postponed from its 27 August planned lift-off. In the Saturday attempt, the engines briefly ignited but were shut down when a fault was detected. It would appear the expensive payload and its transportation to space can still be used.
“The bird is in good health,” ULA CEO Tory Bruno said in a tweet. “This was an automatic abort during the ignition sequence. Cause appears to have been in the ground system. System functioned as intended to protect the vehicle and payload.” ULA is a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The payload is designated as the NROL-44 satellite and is highly classified but it must be a big one. The Delta IV Heavy is only used for the heaviest payloads and can take 62,540 pounds to low Earth orbit or 30,440 pounds to geostationary orbit.
Draken International selects North Carolina for its operations base
A major aerospace company is making its home at the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston. Draken International, a Texas-based firm that owns the world’s largest commercial fleet of privately-owned tactical aircraft, has leased hangar and office space at the Global TransPark. Draken plans to help prepare pilots at nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force Base by acting as the enemy force during training missions and war games. The company will provide similar services for the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. By locating in Kinston, Draken will be stationed near their primary customers at the two military installations and able to provide up to 1,000 support missions each year. Initially, the operation will consist of eight A-4 Skyhawk Fighters based at the Global TransPark and approximately 40 workers already employed by Draken.
Mitsubishi to obtain F-X stealth fighter jet development contract
The Japanese Defence Ministry is about to formalise Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) as the prime contractor of the future F-X fighter jet. Defence Minister Taro Kono announced at a press conference on 1 September 2020, that the contract would be awarded in October 2020. The F-X will replace the Mitsubishi F-2, a Japanese version of the F-16, currently operated by the Japanese Air Self Defence Force. The indigenously developed sixth-generation fighter jet could be deployed by 2035.
Japanese contractors will be trusted with the critical aspects of the design, such as radars, sensors, and electronic warfare systems. Nonetheless, a tender was opened for foreign companies to provide support regarding aspects such as stealth technology and airframe design. Seven undisclosed foreign manufacturers have applied, according to Kono. The replacement of the F-2 has been an extremely long process. It started back in 1997 when the United States Congress took the decision not to export the F-22 Raptor. Despite strong interest from Japan, technologies inside the fighter jet, the first of its generation, were judged too critical.
This forced Japan to design its own fifth-generation fighter jet, leading to the birth of the experimental X-2 Shinshin. Despite a successful maiden flight in 2016, the project was deemed too costly. A subsequent proposal was made by Lockheed Martin for a hybrid that would merge both designs of the F-35 Lightning II and of the F-22 Raptor – a unique opportunity, but too pricey and too risky for the Japanese Ministry of Defence.
Lockheed makes ground-breaking proposal to Japan
Lockheed Martin is the first company to answer the tender of the Japan air force for a new air superiority fighter. Reuters reported that the US-based manufacturer came with a proposal never seen before: a hybrid that could use both designs of the popular F-35 Lightning II and more surprisingly, the F-22 Raptor, despite the latter being banned for export by the Congress. The idea of developing a fifth-generation fighter jet was eventually scrapped and in 2018, Japan emitted a procurement request for 63 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jets and 42 F-35B, the short take-off and landing variant, concomitantly with the commissioning of two helicopter carriers of the Izumo-class. The two ships, the biggest in the Japanese fleet, are to be modified to accommodate the carrier-capable F-35B. The order was greenlighted by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency and the US Congress in July 2020.
Much like European manufacturers that also have abandoned the idea of catching up with the fifth generation, Japan skipped it in favour of a sixth-generation fighter jet development. The F-X will be a twin-engine stealth fighter jet which will include the research done on the X-2. Its main mission will be air superiority, safekeeping the sovereignty of the Japanese airspace in an increasingly contested environment.
South Korea begins assembly of KF-X fighter jet prototype
Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) began an assembly of KF-X, the first South Korean indigenous fighter jet. The plane is said to bear similarity to Lockheed Martin F-35A and eventually replace the ageing fleet of Korean F-4s and F-5s. According to the DAPA announcement, the assembly began on 2 September 2020. The work on the fighter jet concept started in 2015, while the finalised design was unveiled in 2019. The KF-X project is worth 8.8 trillion won ($7.3 billion) and is a joint development with Indonesia. GE Aviation is another partner, which will supply F414 engines used on F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and Saab JAS 39E/F Gripens. The finalised aircraft is set to have maximum speed of Mach 1.81, range of 2,900 kilometres and maximum payload of 7,700 kilograms. It will carry Korean-designed radar system and a range of American as well as European-made missiles.
Emergency AD issued on Sandia / BendixKing attitude indicators
The FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) telling those who have Sandia SAI-340A attitude indicators that they cannot fly them under IFR or night VFR conditions and that the instrument must not be coupled to an autopilot. The device is also sold as a BendixKing KI-300. The agency is aware of 54 units that have malfunctioned and displayed incorrect attitude information or sent that erroneous data to the autopilot. In some aircraft, the instrument might be the only source of attitude information in the cockpit while in those with other AI displays the Sandia device might give conflicting information and the pilot would not know which instrument to believe.
There will be more to come on this and the FAA calls it an ‘interim action.’ In the meantime, the AD can be satisfied by a pilot with a private certificate or greater amending the airplane flight manual noting the AD restrictions and by entering the action into the aircraft records. “The FAA is issuing this emergency AD to prevent aeronautical decision-making based on erroneous attitude information, which may result in loss of control of the aircraft,” the AD says.
Zongshen aero engines
We are excited to announced that GyroWorx is the agent for Zongshen aero engines in southern Africa.
These aero engines are produced by in Chongqing, China. The quality of these engines is of the highest standard, with a Q&D department ensuring that the manufacturing specifications and standards are adhered to. All engines are test run on dyno-machines to certify the engines are well run in before leaving the factory.
The aero engines produced are the following:
- Entry level C80 – 80 horsepower normally aspirated
- C100 – 100 horsepower normally aspirated
- C115 – 115 horsepower turbo chargedSmall engines available for paragliders:
- C12 – 11 Kw @ 7500 rpm diesel fuel injection
- C20F – 22 Kw @ 6800 rpm two stroke
The company set up the production line with German technology, production planning and design is based on the industrial standard 4.0. The Line’s production capacity can reach 1,000 units per year with various functions such as humanised operation, intelligent avoiding of mistake and leak-proof, intelligent operation system, quality control, tracing and security.
GyroWorx contact details: Tel: +27 (0)83 701 0078 E-mail: email@example.com
WORLD DRONE NEWS
AirRails adds vision-based obstacle avoidance for crop sprayers
UAVenture has partnered with SUIND to bring an advanced computer vision-based obstacle avoidance system to AirRails and drone manufacturers. SUIND’s system will become a core part of the AirRails autopilot and will bring crop spraying and seeding operations to the next level, while reducing the effort on the part of the owner / operator.
SUIND’s vision system has been integrated into the AirRails autopilot during 2020, to bring the power of computer vision technology to the crop spraying industry, allowing drones to autonomously detect and avoid obstacles during a spraying mission. In addition, it also provides centimetre-level precision independent of GPS, significantly increasing accuracy, reducing drift and providing resilience to GPS failures and glitches. More importantly, the system has been developed and tested to be able to operate at the speeds required by typical crop spraying missions and not at the snail pace that a lot of experimental systems run at.
Having an industry-level vision system onboard brings the operation of crop sprayers and seeding drones a number of advantages, including:
- Detection of trees, poles and other obstacles that appear along or near the mission path
- Dynamic route planning which is continuously updated to provide the autopilot with millisecond avoidance guidance to navigate the drone around the obstacle and back onto the flight plan
- Extremely simple planning, with only the region to be sprayed that needs to be set and no longer having to mark the location of obstacles
- Spraying operations where manual planning around a high number of obstacles is not practical or possible, such as shade trees on tea plantations
- Efficient coverage and increased safety by avoiding the inaccuracy of manual GPS based geo-referencing of obstacles
Trials will shift to 10 litre capacity crop sprayers in September with the first beta testing phase in Asia starting early Q4, 2020. We will also soon be announcing ready-to-fly vision enabled crop spraying drones which will be presented by a ‘first-adopter’ manufacturer in October 2020.
Japan Airlines to launch new UAV pilot training programme
Japan Airlines (JAL) announced it would launch a new drone operator training programme to accelerate drone-led business development in Japan post COVID-19. On 1 September 2020, JAL’s statement said the programme would start on 5 October the same year. JAL Mobility Operation Academy (JAMOA) intends to train approximately ten people per course to operate drones in Japan’s urban areas safely.
The programme would offer three separate disciplines for technical, cognitive and communication skills. According to JAL, the programme would equip unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operators with a similar knowledge base to that of commercial pilots. The company expects drone-led services to accelerate in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, especially in metropolitan areas such as Tokyo.
The announcement came a day after Japan Airlines issued a joint statement with four other companies about conducting a drone-based delivery study of food and pharmaceuticals. The research is backed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly and is set to take place in Tokyo Bay from August 2020 to March 2022.
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