“One of the most pathetic and dangerous signs of our times is the growing number of individuals and groups who believe that no one can possibly disagree with them for any honest reason.” Thomas Sowell
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-17)
NATO reporting name: Fresco subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the Soviet Union from 1952 and was operated by air forces internationally. The MiG-17 was license-built in China as the Shenyang J-5 and Poland as the PZL-Mielec Lim-6. The MiG-17 is still being used by the North Korean air force in the present day and has seen combat in the Middle East and Asia.
The MiG-17 was an advanced modification of the MiG-15 aircraft produced by the Soviet Union during the Korean War. Production of the MiG-17 was too late for use in that conflict and was first used in the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1958. While the MiG-17 was designed to shoot down slower American bombers, it showed surprising success when used by North Vietnamese pilots to combat American fighters and fighter-bombers during the Vietnam War, nearly a decade after its initial design. This was due to the MiG-17 being more agile and manoeuvrable than the American F-4 Phantom and F-105 Thunderchief, which were focused on speed and long-range combat, as well as the fact that MiG-17 was armed with a gun, which initial models of the F-4 Phantom lacked.
Design and development
While the MiG-15bis introduced swept wings to air combat over Korea, the Mikoyan-Gurevich design bureau had already begun work on its replacement in 1949 (originally the MiG-15bis45) in order to fix any problems found with the MiG-15 in combat. The result was one of the most successful transonic fighters introduced before the advent of true supersonic types such as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 and North American F-100 Super Sabre. The design would ultimately still prove effective into the 1960s when pressed into subsonic dogfights over Vietnam against much faster planes which were not optimised for manoeuvring in such slower speed, short-range engagements.
While the MiG-15 used a Mach sensor to deploy airbrakes because it could not safely exceed Mach 0.92, the MiG-17 was designed to be controllable at higher Mach numbers. Early versions which retained the original Soviet copy of the Rolls-Royce Nene engine, the Klimov VK-1 were heavier with equal thrust. Later MiG-17s would be the first Soviet fighter application of an afterburner which burned extra fuel in the exhaust of the basic engine to give extra thrust.
Though the MiG-17 looks very similar to the MIG-15 it had a new thinner and more highly swept wing and tailplane for speeds approaching Mach 1. While the F-86 introduced the ‘all-flying’ tailplane, which made the aircraft more controllable near the speed of sound, this would not be adopted on MiG aircraft until the fully supersonic MiG-19. The wing sweep was 45° (like the US F-100 Super Sabre) near the fuselage and 42° for the outboard part of the wing. The stiffer wing resisted the tendency to bend its wingtips and lose aerodynamic symmetry unexpectedly at high speeds and wing loads.
Other easily visible differences to its predecessor were the addition of a third wing fence on each wing, the addition of a ventral fin and a longer and less tapered rear fuselage that added about one meter in length. The MiG-17 shared the same Klimov VK-1 engine and much of the rest of its construction such as the forward fuselage, landing gear and gun installation was carried over. The first prototype, designated I-330 ‘SI’ by the construction bureau, was flown on the 14 January 1950, piloted by Ivan Ivashchenko. On 17 March 1950, in the midst of testing, pilot Ivan Ivashchenko was killed when his aircraft developed flutter which tore off his horizontal tail, causing a spin and crash.
Serial production started in August 1951, but large quantity production was delayed in favor of producing more MiG-15s so it was never introduced in the Korean War. It did not enter service until October 1952, when the MiG-19 was almost ready to be flight tested. During production, the aircraft was improved and modified several times. The basic MiG-17 was a general-purpose day fighter, armed with three cannons, one Nudelman N-37 37 mm cannon and two 23 mm with 80 rounds per gun, 160 rounds total. It could also act as a fighter-bomber, but its bombload was considered light relative to other aircraft of the time and it usually carried additional fuel tanks instead of bombs.
In 1960, the first group of approximately 50 North Vietnamese airmen were transferred to the PRC to begin transitional training onto the MiG-17. By this time the first detachment of Chinese trained MiG-15 pilots had returned to North Vietnam and a group of 31 airmen were deployed to the Vietnam People’s Air Force (VPAF) base at Son Dong for conversion to the MiG-17. By 1962 the first North Vietnamese pilots had finished their MiG-17 courses in the Soviet Union and the PRC and returned to their units; to mark the occasion, the Soviets sent as a ‘gift’ 36 MiG-17 fighters and MiG-15UTI trainers to Hanoi in February 1964. These airmen would create North Vietnam’s first jet fighter regiment, the 921st. By 1965, another group of MiG pilots had returned from training in Krasnodar, in the USSR, as well as from the PRC. This group would form North Vietnam’s second fighter unit, the 923rd Fighter Regiment. While the newly created 923rd FR operated only MiG-17 and initially these were the only types available to oppose modern American supersonic jets before MiG-21s and MiG-19s were introduced into North Vietnamese service.
The MiG-17 was the primary interceptor of the fledgling VPAF in 1965, responsible for their first aerial victories and seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War. Some North Vietnamese pilots preferred the MiG-17 over the MiG-21 because it was more agile, though not as fast; three of the 16 VPAF Aces of the war (credited with shooting down five or more opposing aircraft) were from MiG-17s.
Those persons that correctly identified this week’s mystery aircraft: Charlie Hugo, Gregory Yatt, Karl Jensen, Graham Mephius, David Plew-Chisholm, Anton van der Westhuizen, Aiden O’Mahony, Percy Attfield, Brian Melmoth, John Moen, Rex Tweedie, Hugh Flynn, Jan Sime, Peter Hallmanns, Kevin Farr, Clint Futter, Cecil Thompson, Alf Ljungqvist, Johan Venter, Mike McLaughlin, Danie Viljoen, Dave Lloyd, Hilton Carroll, Wouter de Graaf, Selwyn Kimber, Brian Ross, Ahmed Bassa, P. Rossouw, Erwin J. W. Stam, Johan Dreis, Ret Orsmond, Peter Gilbert, Mickey Esterhuysen, Righardt du Plessis, Pierre Brittz, Chris Hepburn, Wouter van der Waal, Rennie van Zyl, Righardt du Plessis, Pierluigi Ferro, Ari Levien, Mark Cope, Francois Greef, Trevor Davis, Colin Austen, Theunis Snyman, Frank Hofman, Craig Brent, Nic Manthopoulos, Ivan Holshausen, Michael Schoeman, Bob Gurr, Charlot Engels, (53)
Having survived my 20th visit to the Mecca of General Aviation, EAA AirVenture, Oshkosh, I have come away with more exciting news to report within our September edition. This was the year of the US Air Force, US Navy and US Army Air Force that were the dominant participants at the afternoon airshows, much to the delight of the thousands of spectators. Indeed, the mystery aircraft this week was taken earlier in the week as it performed in the airshow.
As announced in African Pilot’s August edition, this month we will be launching our new publication to be known as ‘Future Flight’ on 15 August 2022. This exciting new publication will reduce the overall size of African Pilot that will continue to be published at the end of every month.
African Pilot’s August 240-page edition is complete and has been fully distributed. This edition has 19 videos and 10 picture galleries and includes our annual Avionics and Instrumentation and headset review, the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), AERO South Africa, EAA Taildraggers, Flight for the Children (Zambia) as well as many other interesting features.
Since the main publication has become far too large, we have decided to publish a second monthly aviation magazine that will specifically deal with all futuristic flight matters such as Drones, Urban Mobility and eVTOLs, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Electric Aviation, Hydrogen Power, Space Flight developments, Supersonic Flight and many other innovations within aviation.
African Pilot’s September edition will feature AirVenture 2022, European airshows, Aviation Safety and Charter Companies. After an absence of two years due to the pandemic, the small African Pilot team covered EAA AirVenture, the greatest aviation event on earth. I conducted several live interviews with customers as well as covering some of the activities within ‘Kamp Plakkerfontein’, the daily airshows and some of the amazing sights and sounds on the massive Oshkosh grounds. Fortunately, I had other correspondents covering the European and British airshows, whilst we will be looking at the important Aviation Safety message for the benefit of all pilots.
Wallpaper calendar for the month of August. Go to our wallpaper page to download the calendars in three different resolutions.
Springs Airfield annual fly-in
Contact Gavin Brown of Classic Flying Collection Cell: 083 409 3405
Women in Aviation at Brakpan airfield speaker Margie Viljoen August Contact Santjie White Cell: 063 239 2151
Copilot found dead after exiting plane mid-flight ahead of emergency landing
A 23-year-old pilot exited a plane mid-flight over North Carolina on Friday afternoon 29 July before the aircraft made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU). It is unclear, based on what is publicly known so far, how or why he exited the aircraft. An archived recording of the radio communications between the pilot and air traffic controllers indicates that the CASA 212 lost its right wheel during an earlier hard landing. The recording does not mention the copilot exiting the plane.
Local authorities found a body near a residential area in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. They identified him as 23-year-old Charles Hew Crooks of Raleigh, North Carolina. The FAA plans to interview the surviving pilot but did not give a timetable, the station reported. An aviation attorney in quoted in the article surmised that the co-pilot could have gone to the back of the plane to try to examine the landing gear, possibly ending with him falling. Crooks’ father had previously told WRAL-TV that his son had always wanted to pursue a career in flying. “He pursued his private pilot license while he was in college. I think he got that when he was a sophomore,” he told the TV station. “He said a couple weeks ago, he would not trade places with anybody in the world. He loved where he was.”
The CASA 212 has the registration number N497CA and is registered to Spore LTD out of Colorado. Numerous media outlets, including The News & Observer, linked the aircraft to Rampart Aviation, a company that conducts exercises, including parachute training, for the Defence Department and the US military.
Crooks’ LinkedIn profile indicates he began working for Rampart in March. A representative of the company declined to comment to The News & Observer on Saturday, according to the newspaper. Throughout the week, the CASA 212 had made numerous flights daily between Rocky-Mount Wilson Regional Airport (RWI) and Laurinburg Maxton Airport (MEB), according to flight history posted on FlightAware. In the ATC recording, when asked how the pilot intended to land at RDU, the pilot responded: “I guess we are going to put it on the belly.”
Video from WRAL-TV posted to YouTube shows the emergency landing. Emergency crews on the ground immediately approach the grounded plane. The pilot, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital with what are thought to be non-life-threatening injuries. The NTSB and FAA are investigating.
A look at EAA AirVenture by its numbers
On Sunday 31 July as we departed the Oshkosh campgrounds, EAA AirVenture wrapped up its 2022 celebration and officials say it set a record for attendance. The EAA estimates 650,000 people attended the annual General Aviation showcase at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. This will top the previous record, set in 2019, of 642,000 visitors.
Comment from EAA CEO and Chairman Jack Pelton:
- “We introduced a tagline of ‘Unlike Anything Else’ for this year’s AirVenture event and 2022’s fly-in proved to truly be unlike anything else. We had seven days of nearly perfect weather, along with this year’s programmes and activities, which brought out people and airplanes in numbers that we have not seen before.”
- “There were several factors involved in the record attendance this year, in addition to the great weather. Programmes such as the 75th anniversary of the US Air Force contributed to exciting aerial displays all week and it was a joy to welcome our international visitors back in full force for the first time since 2019.”
- Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 18,684 aircraft operations in the 11-day period from 21 to 31 July, which is an average of approximately 121 take-offs / landings per hour when the airport is open.
- Total show planes: 3,226 included: 1,375 registered in vintage aircraft parking, plus 1,156 homebuilt aircraft (up six percent over 2021), 369 warbirds (up five percent from ’21), 137 ultralights, 87 seaplanes, 77 aerobatic aircraft and 25 rotorcraft.
- Camping: More than 12,000 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.
- Volunteers: More than 5,000 contributing in excess of 250,000 hours.
- Commercial exhibitors: 803.
- Forums, workshops and presentations: More than 1,400 sessions hosted throughout the week.
- Social media, internet and mobile: More than 10.6 million people were reached by EAA’s social media channels during AirVenture, with engagement of 1.1 million; More than 83,000 hours of viewing EAA video clips online also occurred during the event.
- International guests: International visitors returned in a big way in 2022, with attendees from 92 countries outside the US, just one behind the record total from 2019.
- Media: 797 media representatives on-site, from six continents.
- Economic impact: $170 million for the five counties in the Oshkosh region (Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac, Calumet, and Brown). (based on 2017 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh economic impact study).
- What lies ahead for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023 (24 to 30 July 2023)? “We are going to take a little time to give our staff and volunteers a well-deserved rest, but there were numerous discussions at AirVenture 2022 about possibilities for next year. Certainly the 70th anniversary year of EAA will be among the big considerations as we look forward to next year’s edition of The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”
Airbus cancels outstanding Qatar Airways A350 order
The manufacturer revoked the remainder of the undelivered order, which consisted of 19 A350-1000 jets dedicated to joining Qatar Airways’ fleet, two unidentified sources confirmed to Reuters on 3 August 2022. The recent is the latest development in the dispute between Airbus and Qatar Airways over fuselage surface deterioration on A350 aircraft.
The disagreement began in late 2021. At the time, the airline sued the manufacturer with the aim of receiving up to $600 million in compensation. In response, Airbus attempted to terminate a separate delivery agreement, which involved 50 A321neo jets due to be delivered to the Doha-based carrier.
However, in April 2022, the court ruled in favour of Airbus, authorizing the plane maker to not fulfill its contractual obligation to deliver a separate order of A321neo jets to the airline.
Both Qatar Airways and Airbus hope to settle the A350 dispute out of court, as the judge scheduled a three-month trial in mid-2023. As Qatar Airways had refused to take delivery of some of the A350s, the court also allowed the plane maker to sell the aircraft to other Airbus customers, arguing that the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ensured they are safe to be operated. In mid-June 2022, the EU regulator announced it had not found any evidence that suggested paint or surface erosion on Qatar Airways’ order of A350s posed a safety concern.
Australia’s new LCC airline Bonza takes delivery of first of seven 737 MAXs
Australia’s new low-cost-carrier (LCC) Bonza has confirmed it has taken delivery of the first of seven Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft it has committed to receiving during 2022. The arrival ceremony was held at the Sunshine Coast Airport, 90km north of Brisbane, where the LCC will be based. The new airline, owned by Miami-based investment firm 777 Partners and founded by its CEO and former Virgin Blue Administrator Tim Jordan, expects to commence operations in late September this year. The domestic carrier will, initially, operate on 27 routes, serving destinations in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Bonza’s operating model has been likened to an Australian version of Ryanair, with all jets being fitted out for all-economy-class travel. The 737 MAX 8 will enable Bonza to optimise its domestic operations, while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by 20% and creating a 50% smaller noise footprint compared to previous-generation airplanes. The 737 MAX family of jets uses the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, advanced technology winglets and other aerodynamic enhancements, improving performance and reducing operational costs.
L3Harris Sky Warden attack plane wins SOCOM’s Armed Overwatch programme
L3Harris has won the Armed Overwatch programme and will build up to 75 AT-802U Sky Warden attack aircraft for US Special Operations Command. The Pentagon announced an initial $170 million award to L3Harris on Monday evening, for a contract that could be worth up to $3 billion if all options are executed for aircraft, training systems, spares and mission support.
“Armed Overwatch answers a critical need for U.S. Special Operations Command to conduct a wide range of operations globally in support of the National Defence Strategy,” SOCOM Commander Gen. Richard Clarke said in a statement. “This rugged, sustainable platform will operate in permissive environments and austere conditions around the world to safeguard our Special Operations Forces on the ground.” SOCOM expects the Sky Warden to reach initial operational capability in 2026, becoming fully operational in 2029.
L3Harris came out on top against a crowded field, including Sierra Nevada Corp., MAG Aerospace, Leidos and Textron Aviation, all of which delivered prototypes to SOCOM for demonstrations at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in 2021. Through those experiments, SOCOM sought to evaluate which non-developmental aircraft could best replace the U-28 Draco to perform the close air support and reconnaissance missions.
The company announced in May 2021 that it had chosen to upgrade Air Tractor’s AT-802 crop duster with militarised mission systems, sensors and weapons creating a platform it called Sky Warden. While the company sought to deliver a prototype to SOCOM that was ready for production, it continued to evolve its Sky Warden design over the past two years based on input from special operators during exercises such as Bold Quest. “We never stopped work on the prototype,” Savoie said, adding that the company has continued to expand the aircraft’s flight envelope, improve its software and add new weapons such as Hellfire missiles.
L3Harris will now modify its Sky Warden prototype to meet the production configuration, with the intent to have the aircraft ready for weapon system testing in six months, the company said in a news release. Production of the first lot of six Sky Warden aircraft will begin in 2023 at L3Harris’ modification center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While it takes only 60 days of touch labour time for the AT-802 to be transformed into Sky Warden, Savoie said the delivery schedule for the first production-configuration aircraft will depend on supply chain availability. However, despite supply chain problems across the aviation industry, Savoie said he was confident L3Harris would be able to stay on schedule, although he declined to say when the first aircraft would be delivered.
Hartzell Aviation launched
The new umbrella company includes Hartzell Propeller, Hartzell Aerospace Welding and Hartzell Engine Tech. “The independent operating companies and products under the Hartzell Aviation banner will carry on a strong and rich tradition, with a history dating back to the Wright Brothers when Orville encouraged his neighbour Robert N. Hartzell to begin manufacturing airplane propellers,” said James W. Brown III, who runs the company with his brother Joseph W. Brown. The creation of Hartzell Aviation ‘reinforces the three organizations’ core competencies and their joint pursuit of improving general aviation,’ company officials noted.
Hartzell Aviation’s flagship company is Hartzell Propeller, which manufactures propellers at its headquarters in Piqua, Ohio. Hartzell Aerospace Welding, first established as Aerospace Welding Minneapolis, is involved in general aviation aircraft exhaust systems and engine mount repair, including welding, precision machining and sheet metal fabrication. The company, which is based in Eagan, Minnesota, is expanding with the recent acquisition of Acorn Welding of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Hartzell Engine Tech, previously Hartzell Engine Technologies, offers engine accessories and heating solutions for the general aviation industry under the names Janitrol Aero, Fuelcraft, Plane-Power, Sky-Tec and AeroForce Turbocharger Systems. This company is based in Montgomery, Alabama.
AV-20-S now approved for Canadian aircraft
Last week uAvionix announced that Canadian aviators can now legally install and operate safety-enhancing equipment such as the AV-20-S multi-function display through an exemption for Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE) provided by Transport Canada, allowing for a simplified installation and sign-off process on certified aircraft.
In addition to being a fully functional digital clock replacement, the uAvionix AV-20-S adds a suite of in-flight information to nearly any panel. Designed to seamlessly fit in a standard 2 1/4” round instrument opening, the AV-20-S offers a feature-packed 12-in-1 mini display, that contains a Standby Attitude Indicator, derived Angle of Attack (AOA), Timers, Bus Voltage, Slip / Skid Indication, Outside Air Temperature, Density Altitude, G Meter and more, all protected with a 30-minute internal battery backup for uninterrupted function in the event of power loss. Among its many safety-enhancing features, AV-20-S offers many customizable audio alerts and can alert you visually and aurally if you approach a dangerous AoA. The derived AoA is calculated by comparing the aircraft’s pitch, flight path, and G-loading.
The exemption (NCR-024-2022) as published by Transport Canada, allows for the items designated and approved by the FAA Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE), for installation on Canadian-certified aircraft and was published on 18 July 2022. In Canada, the installation of NORSEE equipment on small aircraft may now be accomplished by a holder of an appropriately rated Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) license in accordance with the appropriate relevant technical data under Subpart 571 of the CARs. If the proposed modification is determined to be any other than a major modification, the AME may accomplish the modification using an appropriate set of ‘acceptable data’, such as the manufacturer’s recommended installation instructions.
Avmax orders 20 universal hydrogen conversion kits for regional airliners
The Canadian aviation company Avmax Aircraft Leasing has signed a deal with Universal Hydrogen to convert 20 regional aircraft to run on ‘green’ hydrogen, the companies announced. Avmax will be able to choose between Universal Hydrogen’s two conversion kits: one for retrofitting ATR 72-600 turboprops and another for the De Havilland Dash 8-300. “This order is an important step for Canada’s sizable regional aviation market, which is home to the largest turboprop fleet in the world with nearly 300 Dash-8s and 50 ATRs servicing over 120 airports,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen.
Avmax and Universal Hydrogen are also considering forming a partnership to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the converted aircraft. Founded in 1976, Avmax offers a wide array of services beyond aircraft leasing, including MRO, airline operations, engineering and avionics.
In addition to supplying the 20 conversion kits, California-based Universal Hydrogen has agreed to provide the hydrogen fuel that will power Avmax’s fleet of converted aircraft. Universal Hydrogen’s fuel system concept uses refillable hydrogen capsules that are transported from fuel-production facilities directly to the aircraft, where they are loaded into the rear fuselage and placed in a compartment that replaces the last two rows of passenger seats. Those lightweight, modular fuel capsules are connected through the aircraft’s dorsal fins to two nacelles, where fuel cells will power electric motors that are installed on the aircraft’s existing propellers.
Avmax is not the first customer to place a firm order for Universal Hydrogen’s conversion kits. Just last month, the company announced that it had received a firm order from Massachusetts-based regional carrier Connect Airlines to convert 75 ATR 72-600 regional turboprops, whilst last year, the company began working with Deutsche Aircraft in Germany to evaluate the possibility of installing its modular hydrogen capsules in the Dornier 328 regional airliner. Universal Hydrogen has said it expects to make the first deliveries of its hydrogen conversion kits by 2025.
Pilatus opens new US paint facility in Colorado
In response to the growing demand for the PC-24 and PC-12 NGX, Pilatus has opened a new state-of-the-art paint facility at their US Completions Centre in Broomfield, Colorado. Pilatus’ latest installation exemplifies their commitment to Colorado, to delivering aircraft of the highest quality and to meeting the latest environmental standards.
Pilatus executives, employees, industry partners and invited guests gathered to celebrate the official grand opening of the facility at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC). Attendees enjoyed a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by facility tours. The 15 million US dollar investment is the latest building expansion for the US Completions Centre, which has been located at the airport in Broomfield, Colorado for more than 26 years. The new facility opens 25 job opportunities with projected growth as the fleet and production continue to increase.
Thomas Bosshard, President and CEO of Pilatus US subsidiary, Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd, emphasised his delight in the rapid growth of the company during the grand opening, stating: “We are proud to continue expanding our footprint and enhancing our workforce here in Colorado to meet the increased demand of the North and South American markets.” More efficient and precise production
Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd is responsible for more than 60 percent of annual business aircraft sales and deliveries for the Swiss manufacturer. Their recent expansion will not only reduce logistical complexities and costs related to painting aircraft, but also decrease production time.
The 28,445 square foot (2,643 square metre) custom-designed facility features three separate booths, all equipped to efficiently prep and paint the PC-24 and PC-12 NGX from base to finish. The Preparation and Detail Booth will primarily be used to prepare aircraft for paint, while also facilitating detailing, touch ups and silk screen printing of placards.
The Cross-draft Booth will serve as the primary booth for base to finish aircraft painting. The Downdraft Booth is uniquely designed for green to finish painting as well as intricate base to finish paint schemes of the PC-24 and PC-12 NGX. With production and personnel at capacity, the paint facility is forecasted to complete up to 100 aircraft on an annual basis, the first aircraft is scheduled to deliver as early as this month.
Innovative and sustainable practices
Each booth is equipped with state-of-the-art technology including a 3D laser projector to optimise efficiency and precision. An advanced environmental control system and air-sealed doors and advanced filtration system allow for complete environmental control while processing and recycling used materials. “Efficiency, innovation and environmental impact were the guiding principles during the design phase”, explains Bosshard. “This investment allows Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd to manage and maintain the high-quality standards and procedures set by our Swiss parent company.”
Horizon Aircraft successfully completes construction of a 50%-scale prototype VTOL aircraft
Horizon Aircraft, an innovative leader in hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial vehicles, has successfully completed the construction of its innovative 50%-scale ‘Cavorite X5’ prototype. Horizon’s innovative approach and technology allows the aircraft to fly 98% of its mission in a very low-drag configuration like a traditional aircraft. Flying most of the time as a normal aircraft is also safer and should make the aircraft easier to certify than radical new eVTOL designs. The full-scale aircraft will also be powered by a hybrid electric system that can recharge the battery array in-flight while providing additional system redundancy. Comprehensive testing of this 50%-scale aircraft will reduce technical risk moving forward as Horizon continues development of its full-scale aircraft.
Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft said, “with a 22-foot wingspan, 15 feet in length and capable of speeds over 250 km/h, this 50%-scale prototype is an impressive aircraft. Furthermore, it will yield valuable information that will help to reduce technical risk as we move forward with detailed design of our full-scale aircraft.”
Horizon Aircraft will continue with rigorous testing of its 50%-scale prototype with a strong focus on safety. The Company will soon proceed through transition testing and high-speed flight testing to prove the Cavorite platform is the most advanced and flexible VTOL design in the market.
Rolls-Royce, Hyundai announce hydrogen plans for AAM
Rolls-Royce and Hyundai Motor Group are announcing plans to collaborate on bringing all-electric propulsion and hydrogen fuel cell technology to the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market. The partnership will leverage Rolls-Royce’s aviation and certification capabilities and Hyundai Motor Group’s hydrogen fuel cell technologies and industrialisation capability. Both companies share a vision of leading the way in the AAM market delivering battery-electric and fuel cell electric solutions to the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and Regional Air Mobility (RAM) markets and advancing sustainable aviation.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Rolls-Royce and Hyundai Motor Group includes five strategic aims:
- Collaborating on the technology development and requirements of power and propulsion systems for Hyundai’s Advanced Air Mobility Division.
- Collaborating on the industrialisation of Rolls-Royce power and propulsion systems for the Advanced Air Mobility market.
- Development of electric propulsion systems based upon hydrogen fuel cells as an energy source for Hyundai’s RAM platforms.
- Collaborating to bring to market a joint fuel-cell electric propulsion system to the wider AAM market.
- Delivering a joint fuel-cell electric aircraft demonstration by 2025.
Jaiwon Shin, President of Hyundai Motor Group, said: “We are pleased to partner with Rolls-Royce to draw upon their aviation and certification expertise to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion systems. Hyundai has successfully delivered hydrogen fuel cell systems to the global automotive market and is now exploring the feasibility of electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies for aerospace integration. We believe this to be the key technology to support the global aviation industry’s goal to fly net zero carbon by 2050.”
Rob Watson, President, Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “We are delighted to partner with Hyundai Motor Group which provides a valuable opportunity to leverage and build on the capabilities each company brings from the aerospace and automotive sectors. The Advanced Air Mobility Market offers great commercial potential, and this collaboration supports our joint ambitions to lead the way in the Advanced Air Mobility Market. It is also another demonstration of Rolls-Royce’s role in delivering the solutions that will enable passengers to travel sustainably and help deliver net zero carbon by 2050.”
Quickstep selected as Dronamics partner; Rolls-Royce, Hyundai in MOU for hydrogen AAM
Australia’s Quickstep Holdings announced it has been selected by Dronamics, a European middle-mile cargo drone developer and operator, as its first strategic manufacturing partner. The MOU requests that Quickstep supply engineering and manufacturing services to support Dronamics to accelerate the production of Black Swan cargo drones. Detailed commercial negotiations have commenced and are expected to result in binding agreements for Phase 1 (Prototype) by October 2022. It is anticipated that the first aircraft will be delivered during 2023, the long-term plan targets progressively increased aircraft production over the next four years.
Dronamics recently became the first cargo drone company to obtain a European drone airline license and is planning to launch commercial operations in Europe before the end of 2022 and Australia from 2023. Mark Burgess, Quickstep Chief Executive Officer, said “Quickstep shares Dronamic’s passion for innovation and this is an exciting partnership. We are delighted to be taking their Black Swan aircraft from prototype to production. The Dronamics solution could well revolutionise the middle-mile cargo delivery sector and this partnership gives Quickstep the opportunity to provide our engineering and manufacturing expertise into delivering a large, sophisticated cargo drone. This is also a great opportunity to advance the Australian aerospace sector, something we are very passionate about.”
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