B200 Question: What is the maximum operating pressure limit of the pneumatic system?
Answer: 20 PSI
African Pilot’s October 2020 edition
The amazing October edition of African pilot is complete and will enter its distribution phase in the next few days. This edition of African Pilot features Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) and Aircraft Refurbishment. The October edition is certainly a demonstration that African Pilot is no longer an ‘African Aviation Magazine’ but has now become an ‘International Aviation publication’.
Advertisers can now see the benefits of marketing their products and services to a vast international aviation 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 purchased the latest software to provide digital enhancement to any advertiser anywhere in the world.
African Pilot’s November 2020 edition
As we get closer to the end of this year, the November edition will feature ‘Gifts for Pilots’ as well as international news about all aspects and developments in aviation.
The material deadline for the November edition is on Wednesday 21 October 2020.
For advertising opportunities please contact Adrian Munro at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cell: 079 880 4359. All editorial material should be sent to me at: email@example.com.
About African Pilot
There is no doubt that African Pilot provides the finest overall aviation media reach in Africa and now the world.
We are positioned to provide professional video and stills photography, website development, social media platforms, company newsletters as well as several other important media services to our customers.
The monthly magazine is available as a digital edition where ALL advertisers enjoy the direct routing to their websites at a touch on a smart phone or tablet as well as a click of the mouse on a computer screen or tap on any smart phone device.
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: NASA Mars Helicopter
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
Aviator Webinars with the theme ‘PROP CLEAR’
Theme: Safety First Aviator
Date: Wednesday, 30 September 2020
The 2020/2021 theme of ‘Prop Clear’, ensuring that engines are ready for take-off, following the COVID-19 Lockdown. The underlying theme for the campaign is ‘Resilience’, focused on how we will adapt to the change and the ‘new normal’ to ensure flight safety in preventing accidents.
Join Cobus as he digs deeper into accident prevention through resilience, Santjie will discuss Search and Rescue tips for getting back safely in the air and Lauren will assist in using the South African Weather Service website to ensure safe flying times. Cindy will share details on the topics covered in the MayDay SA ‘Caring During COVID’ campaign and will inform aviators the process to follow in order to contact them for support.
Cobus Toerien – ALPA SA
Santjie White – SASAR
Lauren Smith – SA Weather Services
Cindy Bessel – MayDay SA
Franz Smit – Pilot Insure (Moderator)
African Pilot’s picture of the week by Greg Rooken-Smith
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
SAA Technical withdraws services to parent company over non-payment
South African Airways’ maintenance subsidiary has withdrawn services to its parent after the struggling airline failed to pay money owed to the unit, an SAA spokesman said on Saturday. Spokesman Tlali Tlali said SAA Technical, a subsidiary of SAA that provides vital maintenance services including inspections required before a flight can take off, had informed the airline of its decision in a letter. “As a company registered, perusing its own commercial interests, SAA Technical would be involved in meetings were to take place over this past weekend to try to resolve the issue. He added that whilst SAA was not operating commercial flights, it has been undertaking repatriation flights for South Africans stuck overseas due to the pandemic as well as some charter flights. These services could be interrupted if SAA Technical does not restore its services.
Another SAA subsidiary, Mango, is currently operating domestic commercial flights
Mango said it was currently operating as normal and that ‘sensitive discussions’ were underway with SAA Technical to ensure services would not be disrupted. SAA’s administrators published a rescue plan in June that requires more than R10 billion ($584.16 million) to work. The Department of Public Enterprises has said it is in the process of finalising funding and that the airline would not be liquidated.
“As matters stand, we are waiting to hear from the shareholder (government) to give us an indication as to when funds will be made available,” Tlali said, adding funding was needed in the short term.
Mango may be forced to ground all flights from midnight on Saturday 26 September
This means passengers could be left stranded from Sunday after the commercial airline failed to pay SAA Technical for its services. Mango said its currently in discussion with SAA technical in a bid to keep its planes operating. The airline’s entire fleet could be grounded it failed to pay the SAA subsidiary for maintenance services. SAA technical provides aircraft maintenance to a vast number of commercial airlines. Without its technical support services including prefight inspections, Mango airplanes cannot take to the skies. But the airline’s Benediction Zubane assured customers that it will operate as normal while negotiations continue. “Mango can confirm that discussions are taking place between Mango and SAA technical. We are operating as normal and customers must check online to their flight status.
SAA bailout raises hackles at South African Treasury
South African National Treasury officials are reluctantly complying with orders to find funds to bail out the state airline, fearing they may erode the nation’s fiscal credibility, according to two people familiar with the matter. The National Treasury is trying to re-prioritise funds in the medium-term expenditure framework due next month to fill the funding hole at South African Airways, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information has not been made public. The money will have to come from other government departments and programmes and may undermine efforts to revive an economy that has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, they said.
SAA, which last made a profit almost a decade ago and has been reliant on state bailouts to survive, has been in administration since December. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has long argued that the government ca not continue funding the national carrier, putting him at odds with the top leadership of the ruling African National Congress and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who insist it must keep flying. Mboweni lost the battle, with SAA’s administrators assuring its creditors last week that the cabinet had committed to providing more than 10 billion rand ($591 million) needed to affect a reorganisation of the carrier and avoid its liquidation. Mboweni will not resign over the decision, one of the people said.
Government departments have already had to make deep budget cuts after a lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus caused the economy to grind to a near-halt, eroding tax revenue.
The Treasury referred queries on SAA to the Department of Public Enterprises. Gordhan said in a text message last week that the government is ‘scraping all the barrels’ to come up with the funding for SAA and more clarity will be provided this week. The matter may be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The main opposition Democratic Alliance urged the cabinet to liquidate SAA if it could not find investors to take over the carrier and provide the funding it needed. “It is astounding that there can be any consideration of budget cuts, which will inevitably impact on front-line services such as health, education and policing, when South Africa had to go cap in hand to the IMF to borrow money” to deal with the COVID-19 fallout, said Alf Lees, the party’s finance spokesman.
After four years in development, Aviation4SA is excited to announce that from Wednesday 23 September 2020, the Aviation Legislation App is now available on Android, IOS and Windows.
Its free until the end of 2020. From 2021 there will be a small fee to cover some costs. The more people that download the app, the cheaper it will be. So, share, share and share.
It provides the following South African Aviation Legislation content on your smart device and windows computer:
- SA-CATS and CAR’S
- Acts, Rules and Regulations
- Agreements, charges, fees and taxes
- Amendments and proposed amendments
- AIC’s and AIP’s
- SACAA Communique, Guidelines and Notices.
The content is:
- Specific to South Africa
- Consolidated, current and cross-referenced legislation
- Automatically updated so you are always up to date
- Hyperlinked for easy cross-referencing
- Notifications of legislative changes and
- Content available offline
Get it from one of these links:
Apple App Store (IOS)
Google Play store (Android)
What happened in aviation over the past week?
Groblersdal fly-in on Saturday 26 September
Fiona and Charlie Hugo as well as Christine and I drove to Groblersdal early on Saturday morning to attend the first Groblersdal Flying Club fly-in this year post the COVID-19 lockdown. What we found was a dedicated aviation club that although it has only 25 members those that were in attendance, were most welcoming. About 40+ planes flew to Groblersdal on the day, including 11 gyrocopters and one microlight. The full feature will be published in the November edition of African Pilot, in the interim please enjoy the pictures posted here.
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.
SAA Museum Society 34th AGM at Rand Airport
Contact E-mail: email@example.com
EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting Venue TBA
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 and 25 October
SAC North West Regionals TBC
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAASA AGM to be a virtual meeting from 11h00
Contact Sam Keddle E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 011 659 2345
13 to 16 November
Battlefields now in Mossel bay fly-in view poster for details
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 446 9916 or 082 875 5419
27 and 28 November
SAPFA Speed Rally at Springs airfield
Contact Jonty Esser E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082855 9435
Aero Club of South Africa annual awards at Rand Airport
Contact Sandra Strydom e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 082 1100
5 and 6 December
SAC Ace of Base TBC
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
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
Emirates to resume flights to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Harare and Mauritius
On 24 September Emirates announced it will resume flights to Johannesburg (1 October), Cape Town (1 October), Durban (4 October) in South Africa; Harare in Zimbabwe (1 October) and Mauritius (3 October). The addition of the five points will expand the Emirates’ global network to 92 destinations, as the airline gradually resumes its operations while prioritising the safety of its customers, crew and the communities it serves around the world. Emirates’ African network will also now extend to 19 cities.
Customers flying in and out of Emirates’ three South African gateways can safely travel to Dubai and to an array of onwards connections in Europe, the Far East, Middle East, West Asia and Australasia.
Emirates will operate to Harare with two weekly flights linked to its Lusaka service. The linked services will connect Zambia and Zimbabwe to key destinations across Europe, the Far East, the Americas, Australasia and West Asia with one convenient stop in Dubai.
Flights from Dubai to Mauritius will initially operate once a week on Saturdays, supporting the Mauritian government’s repatriation efforts to bring its citizens home and enabling the recovery of the country’s tourism industry by safely connecting leisure travellers from Europe, the Far East and the Middle East to the popular Indian Ocean island destination.
Customers can stop over or travel to Dubai as the city has re-opened for international business and leisure visitors. Ensuring the safety of travellers, visitors and the community, COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers arriving to Dubai (and the UAE), including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.
Ethiopian Airlines to resume flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town
Ethiopian Airlines have confirmed it will resume flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa as of 1 October 2020. The airline said: “As countries continue to open their borders and relax travel restrictions, Ethiopian is ready to increase frequencies to accommodate the demand by focusing on the wellbeing of customers and staff.”
WORLDWIDE ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS
NTSB cites pilot error in Earnhardt crash
In a final accident report published on Wednesday 23 September, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found decisions made by the pilot and copilot to be the probable cause of the 2019 crash of a Cessna Citation 680 business jet carrying former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife, Amy, and their 1-year-old daughter, Isla. According to the Board’s report (PDF), the aircraft came in too fast and bounced on landing, touching down a total of four times before the right main landing gear collapsed. Following the gear collapse, the plane slid off the runway, going through a ditch and a fence before coming to rest approximately 600 feet from the runway threshold.
The NTSB found that aircraft initially touched down at around 18 knots above VREF. Counter to the landing checklist, the pilot did not extend the aircraft’s speed brakes on touchdown, instead electing to deploy thrust reversers. A go-around was attempted on the third bounce, but ‘electronic engine controls prevented the increase in engine power because the thrust reversers were not stowed.’ The Board determined that the accident was the result of ‘the pilot’s continuation of an unstabilised approach despite recognizing associated cues and the flight crew’s decision not to initiate a go-around before touchdown.’ Contributing factors included ‘the pilot’s failure to deploy the speed brakes during the initial touchdown and the pilot’s attempt to go around after deployment of the thrust reversers.’
Cause of fatal crash a mystery
The 85-year-old commercial pilot was conducting a local pleasure flight in his experimental, amateur-built Sonex. A witness near the accident site in Marion, Sacramento saw the airplane flying at low altitude before it entered a ‘straight up’ climb followed by a descent and continued ‘straight down’ toward the ground. According to the witness, it did not appear that the pilot attempted to pull out of the dive and the pilot died in the crash. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical discrepancies that would have precluded normal operation.
Despite the pilot’s age, his daughter stated that he had no known medical issues that would interfere with his flying and no evidence of incapacitation or impairment were identified by the autopsy and toxicology testing. The reason for the airplane’s impact with terrain could not be determined based on the available information.
Tail strike in Moscow: Azur Air Boeing 767 suffers belly damage
An Azur Air Boeing 767-300 suffered significant belly damage during a tail strike incident in Vnukovo airport (VKO), Russia. The incident occurred on 22 September 200, when the aircraft, registered as VQ-BEN, arrived from Antalya, Turkey to Moscow. Azur Air was carrying 336 passengers and 10 crew members on board the jet when the captain felt wind shear on final approach. The higher pitch angle caused a tail strike at the time of landing at VKO. The runway inspection showed that the pilots attempted to land the 19-year-old jet too near the runway threshold. The post-flight inspection recorded belly damage aft side of the aircraft fuselage. Meanwhile, contact traces of aircraft paint and metal were found on the runway over the distance of 101 meters. Fortunately, no injuries were reported. The aircraft rolled out without further incident and taxied to the apron.
Greg Colyer’s ‘Acemaker’ T-33 damaged in landing accident
Greg Colyer is known as a guy that has expertly brought the earliest generation of military jets to the attention and delight of airshow audiences all over the United States. On Tuesday 22 September flying his ‘Acemaker’ he apparently encountered some squirrelly conditions on landing and wound up with a hard landing and a collapsed right main gear. The accident took place at Wyoming’s Cheyenne Regional Airport (KCYS). The damage to the Canadair CT-133 Silver Star 3 has been listed as ‘substantial.’ Greg took the unusually forthright approach to avoiding the rumour mill by explaining what happened on his Facebook page; The right gear hit hard and no way to spool up engine to help. Control inputs pretty much ineffective. Right main collapsed from side stress / hitting hard. I don’t even remember doing it but when we came to a stop I went to shut her down but I had already shut down the engine, fuel pumps and electrical system, I had to turn the battery back on to open canopy.
Passengers leave and re-enter Flybe Embraer E195 during evacuation
Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) reported on 17 September 2020 that smoke and fumes invading Flybe Embraer 195 cabin resulted in an emergency evacuation. During the event, some passengers exited and re-entered the aircraft while others sustained minor injuries trying to leave via over wing doors and rear slides,
Flybe’s Embraer ERJ 190-200 LR (registered as G-FBEJ) was ready for take-off from Exeter Airport (EXT), UK, to Alicante Airport (ALC), Spain, on 28 February 2019. However, after starting the engines, the two pilots operating the aircraft reported smoke and fumes in the cabin. The crew decided to evacuate the aircraft following a standard procedure, after notifying the air traffic control. There were six emergency exits in total; four doors with inflatable slides and two over wing exits that the passengers opened once the evacuation began. The cabin crew said that the passengers remained calm during the procedure.
However, some people on board attempted to leave through the over wing exits but were confused about how they should get off the wing. Two passengers had reportedly jumped down and proceeded to help others to the ground. But despite the help, several passengers voiced complaints that it was a ‘very long drop’ while some others had landed awkwardly, sustaining minor injuries from the fall. One passenger who had left the aircraft via the over wing exit noted that the wing surface was ‘very slippery.’ The passenger fell over and suffered a minor injury.
Confusion ensued as the people who were now out on the wing decided to re-enter the cabin in hopes of finding an alternative exit route. According to the report, a 61 cm-wide walkway, that was marked with black paint at the root of the wing and pointed towards the trailing edge, went unnoticed by the passengers. Many complained about the lack of instructions and guidance once they were out on the wing. Alternatively, passengers who evacuated through the rear slides found them very steep and were ‘surprised by the speed at which they slid down them’. Unlike in the front, the rear slides do not curve towards the bottom, making the journey down high in velocity. In turn, a number of passengers sustained minor cuts and grazes, while one elderly passenger exiting through the rear right slide suffered a broken ankle.
According to the report, the fumes appeared due to the residual cleaning solution that remained in the engine compressor bleed air ducts from the cleaning that took place the night before the accident. When the pilots engaged the thrust levers for take-off, ‘the ECS bleed source switched to HPC fifth stage engine bleed, allowing smoke and fumes from the residual detergent to enter the cockpit and cabin.’ The AAIB recommended the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to amend certification requirements relating to over wing exit escape route marking design so that the escape route would be apparent to evacuating passengers. The department also noted that the FAA should re-evaluate the 1.8m over wing emergency exit height as an acceptable criterion to reduce the risk of injuries while evacuating. Flybe was a British regional airline that filed for administration on 5 March 2020. The air carrier ceased all operations after not being able to withstand the impact of COVID-19.
Cessna 172 accident at Bethlehem airfield
On 24 September, a student busy with solo consolidation went off runway 29 at FABM. The Cessna 172 (ZS-CAF), a training aircraft of the local Paramount Training Academy, burst through the fence at the end of the runway, across the tar road, through another fence and ended up on his roof in a piece of veld on the other side of the road. The pilot, daughter of a local businessman, was on her take-off run on runway 29 but could not get airborne. She was taken to hospital but is not seriously injured.
There is a long brake mark at the end of the runway. Despite this, the aircraft still managed to end up about 50 meters further. One of the instructors was saying, instead of taking power away, it sounded as if she was still on full power. This could explain the final resting place despite the heavy braking.
Cessna on its roof Near Grahamstown
It appears that a forced landing caused the nose gear of Cessna 210 ZS TIC to depart the aircraft and as a result the aircraft flipped over onto its roof. The fuselage near the tail is badly crumpled so it appears that it went over with some speed. We are happy to report that the two occupants are not hurt because this could have been a lot worse. The reason for the forced landing is unknown.
WORLD AVIATION NEWS
Final Airbus A380 takes shape in Toulouse station 40
The shining new jet was pictured rolling out from station 40 of the Airbus Toulouse production site in France in the morning of 2 September 2020 on its way to station 35. The aircraft, carrying assembly number MSN 272, is the final A380 to be produced. According to Airbus, station 40 is where the aircraft’s outer wings are joined to the centre fuselage and wing. Its next stop, station 35, is where the A380 will have its fuselage riveted together along with the installation of its stabilisers, landing gear and engine pylons. After that, the aircraft will be tested and validated at station 30. The jet is set to go to the Emirates, by far the largest operator of the aircraft family worldwide and will push its A380 fleet to a total of 123 Super Jumbos.
Station 40 is to be converted into an Airbus A321 family Final Assembly Line (FAL), as outlined in the company’s plans on 21 January 2020, after a surge of new orders that followed the 2019 Paris Air Show. However, the plan was postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 crisis.
On 14 February when Airbus announced that the days of the A380 production are numbered, many questions were raised. One of them was, of course, what would happen with the facilities and employees at Toulouse, France, where the Super Jumbo is assembled. On 21 January 2020, the manufacturer answered the question. Starting mid-2021, the Lagardère site in Toulouse will accommodate an Airbus A321 family Final Assembly Line (FAL), which according to Airbus will be digitally enabled and provide ‘more flexibility’ for the production of Airbus’ largest narrow-body product.
NTSB endorses Boeing 737 MAX proposed safety upgrades
The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) said that the changes proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in August 2020 were positive progress for the aircraft’s safety. NTSB’s letter on 17 September 2020, also said that the suggested changes in pilot procedures were ‘generally consistent’ with the board’s recommendations. The endorsement is particularly important for FAA, after NTSB slammed the authority in September 2019 for underestimating Boeing 737 Max risks during flight testing. At the time, the board also criticised the FAA for improperly certifying their aircraft with regard to human interface. The NTSB submitted the comments that endorsed the recommended changes during the 45-day public comment period that started with FAA’s proposal on 3 August 2020. After reviewing the comments, FAA will have to decide for the fixes to be approved or modified before the aircraft’s band can be lifted. If all goes smoothly, the Boeing 737 MAX could be ungrounded by the end of 2020.
First Brazilian Gripen has flown in Brazil
On 24 September 2020 the first Brazilian Gripen E, designated by Brazilian Air Force (FAB) as F-39 Gripen, concluded its first flight in Brazil. The aircraft flew from the airport in Navegantes to Embraer’s facility in Gavião Peixoto. The official presentation of the aircraft is scheduled to take place during the Aviator’s Day and the Brazilian Air Force Day ceremony in Brasilia, celebrated on 23 October.
The President and CEO of Embraer Defence & Security, Jackson Schneider, highlighted the scope of this partnership: “Embraer will play a leading role in the execution of the Gripen programme in Brazil and will be responsible for systems development, integration, flight testing, final assembly, and delivery of the aircraft in support of Brazilian Air Force operations. In terms of technology transfer, the Gripen programme is a great opportunity to increase our knowledge in the development and manufacturing of advanced combat aircraft.”
The flight test programme will be expanded to include the Gripen Flight Test Center at Embraer in Gavião Peixoto, which will be fully integrated with the test programme already running at full phase at Saab in Linköping since 2017. Activities in Brazil will include testing of flight control system, environmental control system as well as tests in the aircraft in tropical climate conditions. In addition to the testing that is common for the Gripen E programme, unique features of the Brazilian aircraft, such as weapons integration as well as the Link BR2 communication system – which provides encrypted data and voice communication between the aircraft – will be tested in Brazil. The production aircraft will be delivered to the Brazilian Air Force, at Wing 2 in Anápolis (Goiás State), by the end of 2021.
Dubai gives green signal to host conferences and events, but under strict safety protocols
Starting 1 October Dubai’s hotels will be getting back the business traveller. Or those visiting the city to be part of conferences or exhibitions and want to book a hotel room for the period. Hotels in the city are reporting an increase in enquiries, though it may still take time for these to translate into bookings and stays. The sense of caution over COVID-19 is still very much there, but Dubai’s tourism authorities and its hotels are learning to cope with it.
Dubai has given the green light to host meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and expects the last three months of the year to provide some lift to the ailing hotel industry. Last year, 2.3 million visitors landed in the city for business purposes and a significant number from this took part in events. Now, if Dubai can get back a portion of that in the next three months, it will help businesses salvage something from 2020. It would also help hotels shift their attention slightly from the extra focus they had been giving to generating local demand via staycation offers.
Some of the high-profile events have shifted to 2021, but if enough visitors turn up for those that will open in the next few weeks, that would still be a win-win for hotels. This year, hotels are aiming for incremental gains. Touching 60% would be a win.
Collins Aerospace eliminates the need for touching airport kiosks
Collins Aerospace Systems, a Raytheon Technologies business, is eliminating the need to physically touch kiosk screens during airport check-in and baggage drops. The company’s new Kiosk Connect solution provides the first full, end-to-end, contactless airport journey a high demand as passengers return to travel.
- New solution enables passengers to use their personal phones to control airport kiosks
- No app installation necessary and simple to implement for airports and airlines
- Collins Aerospace is now the first to offer a full contactless experience through airports
By simply scanning a QR code with their mobile device, passengers can quickly connect to a common use kiosk using either the airport’s public Wi-Fi or the kiosk’s built-in Wi-Fi, with no requirement to download any apps. From there, users complete the check-in process on their phones and produce boarding passes and bag tags without ever touching the kiosk screen.
Collins Aerospace’s ARINC SelfPass™ system is able to complete a passenger’s contactless journey through the use of a single token ID driven by secure biometrics. SelfPass can be applied to multiple points in the process, including check-in, immigration and security, lounge access and boarding. Each step can be completed in a matter of seconds with no need to present traditional boarding and identification documents. Air travellers simply step up to the camera for a facial match against the biometrics database then proceed.
Diamond relaunches DA20-C1
On Friday 25 September Diamond Aircraft announced the relaunch of its DA20-C1 single-engine trainer. The updated model features a new panel layout based around Garmin’s G500 TXi touchscreen avionics display. The two-seat DA20-C1 is powered by the 125-HP Continental IO-240-B32B engine and has a top cruise speed of 130 knots, 525-NM range and useful load of 606 pounds.
“We are excited to re-introduce the brand new DA20-C1,” said Diamond Aircraft Industries CEO Scott McFadzean. “Our innovative DNA is of course incorporated into the new aircraft, which showcases the latest Garmin avionics.” The DA20 was originally introduced in 1992 and entered service the following year. According to Diamond, the DA20 fleet has accumulated almost 7,000,000 flight hours with more than 1,000 aircraft in operation globally. The first of the model year 2020 DA20-C1s was delivered last month and the company says it is currently taking orders for 2021 deliveries.
Rolls-Royce completes electric aircraft propulsion tech ground testing
On Thursday Rolls-Royce announced that it has completed ground testing on the propulsion technology for a demonstrator aircraft designed to be the ‘world’s fastest all-electric plane.’ Testing was conducted on the company’s ‘ionBird’ test airframe, which is a full-scale replica of the aircraft’s core. The project is part of the Rolls-Royce’s ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ (ACCEL) initiative.
“The completion of ground-testing for the ACCEL project is a great achievement for the team and is another important step towards a world record attempt,” said director of Rolls-Royce electrical Rob Watson. “This project is also helping to develop Rolls-Royce’s capabilities and ensure that we remain a leader in delivering the electrification of flight, an important part of our sustainability strategy.”
According to Rolls-Royce, the aircraft, powered by a 6,000-cell battery pack running a 500-HP powertrain will be capable of reaching speeds of over 300 MPH. It is expected to fly for the first time later this year with an official attempt at beating the all-electric flight world speed record planned for early 2021.
Alsim opens a new production facility
On Tuesday flight simulator manufacturer Alsim announced the opening of a new production facility next to its existing factory in Le Loroux-Bottereau, France. The new facility will integrate the company’s production and hardware engineering teams along with providing space for constructing up to ten simulators at a time. Alsim cited growing market demand as the impetus behind the decision to expand production capacity. Alsim further noted that it has reorganised production with the goal of getting ‘a greater reliability of manufacturing processes.’ The company says the move will also allow it to consider pursuing International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certification. Alsim, which is headquartered in France, started out in 1994.
AD: The Boeing Company Airplanes
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR and -300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by the FAA’s analysis of the Model 777 fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. This AD requires modifying the fuel quantity indicating system (FQIS) to prevent development of an ignition source inside the center fuel tank due to electrical fault conditions. This AD also provides alternative actions for cargo airplanes. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. This AD is effective 26 October 2020.
Ampaire flies second hybrid-electric prototype
Ampaire has flown its second technology demonstrator. The aircraft is a refined version of its Cessna 337 ‘Electric EEL’ hybrid-electric aircraft conversion. The company refers to the new flight test aircraft as the Hawaii Bird, as it will be flown by Ampaire and Mokulele Airlines pilots on air routes in Hawaii later this year in a series of demonstration flights. When the aircraft flies on Maui, it will be the first time an electrically powered aircraft has flown under an FAA ‘market survey’ experimental aircraft certificate in order to gain real-world flight experience.
“Since flying our first Electric EEL last year, we have made substantial improvements to the power train for efficiency, increased performance, reliability and safety,” said Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker. He said that he expected the company to leverage knowledge from the 337-conversion programme into retrofits of larger regional aircraft that could enter service in just a few years. The Hawai’ i Bird is powered by a conventional combustion engine (a 310-horsepower Continental IO-550) in the tail and a 200kW-capable electric motor in the nose, limited in this application to 120 kW. In this second conversion, the aircraft’s battery pack has been relocated from inside the cabin to the underside of the fuselage and enclosed in a composite aero optimised shell. The new configuration frees cabin space for flight test engineers, test equipment and observers. An aircraft such as Ampaire’s Electric EEL can cut direct operating costs and emissions by 40 – 50 percent versus conventional aircraft, playing an essential part in helping Hawai’i reach its goal of 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2045.
In this latest conversion, the Electric Power Unit (EPU) used by the aircraft is designed for improved energy efficiency with less weight. The EPU has better thermal margins thanks to a liquid cooling system versus the previous air-cooling system. The aircraft also has improved cockpit instrumentation and power controls for monitoring outputs from the combustion engine and electric motor. Designed to cruise at 120 knots for one hour and 15 minutes, plus a 30-minute reserve, The Hawaii Bird can fly most Mokulele routes round trip before a required recharge. During its 35-minute first flight, test pilot Justin Gillen climbed to 3,000 feet and made a series of handling and power checks, assessing engine and motor performance, temperatures and other readings, with both powerplants performing as expected. The aircraft will fly for a series of checkouts before being shipped to Hawaii in October.
Volocopter starts air taxi ticket sales
Last week urban air mobility (UAM) company Volocopter announced that it is now selling tickets for piloted air taxi flights in its VoloCity electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). Angling to become ‘the first electric air taxi company to acquire paying end-customers.’ Germany-based Volocopter is limiting its initial offering to 1,000 slots. The €300 ($355) tickets can be reserved for a 10 percent deposit and are good for a 15-minute flight ‘scheduled within the first 12 months after commercial launch’ plus video of the experience.
“While the final certification for air taxis is still pending, we do have a detailed realistic timeline to launch commercial VoloCity flights in the next 2-3 years,” said Volocopter Chief Commercial Officer Christian Bauer. “Moreover, those who reserve now can receive the latest updates about our progress and the commercial launch plan.”
Volocopter flew its first eVTOL design in 2011 and unveiled the VoloCity, its fourth-generation model, last year. The VoloCity is expected to have a range of 35 km (19 NM), top airspeed of 110 km/h (59 knots) and payload of 200 kg (441 pounds). The company is planning to certify the aircraft under EASA’s new SC-VTOL rule.
WORLD DRONE NEWS
MQ-9 Reaper gets $7.4 billion deal
On 17 September, in an effort to field MQ-9 Reapers faster and meet an increasing operational demand for the aircraft, the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre’s MQ-9 Programme Office awarded a $7.4 billion ceiling Agile Reaper Enterprise Solution (ARES) contract to General Atomics. The MQ-9 is an unmanned aircraft with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike capabilities.
ARES, a five year fixed indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract, developed by the MQ-9 Programme Office, will stabilise costs, allow for the procurement of up to 36 aircraft per year in the same appropriation year and reduce the time it takes to deliver the aircraft to operational units by approximately 35%. ARES is flexible and it has streamlined the traditional contract award process.
ARES has a pre-negotiated $3.3 billion price-quantity-curve. This curve allows the US Air Force and foreign military sales partners to unilaterally order between 4-36 aircraft in a single year. Foreign Military Sales partners will be allowed to procure the Dash 21 variant, which is the NATO exportable version of the MQ-9A.
The contract contains pre-priced Mobile Ground Control Stations, Ground Data Terminal, spares and support equipment. This pre-priced contract allows the MQ-9 Programme Office to go through the complete contract clearance process only once.
“Prior to ARES, the standard contract award timeline was roughly 380 days,” said Alicia Morales, aircraft production manager with the Medium Altitude Unmanned Aerial System (MAUAS) Programme Office, who was instrumental in developing ARES. “Now, once we have a budget and it is in our account, we can award in just a couple of days and field the aircraft in 26 months.” In addition to fielding MQ-9’s faster, ARES brings a level of certainty to the MQ-9 Programme. “ARES is a big deal because it answers the ‘mail’ as far as how do we deal with hard-to-predict demand signals from our international partners and enable increased responsiveness to US Budget dynamics,” Morales said. “So, the team came together and figured out the best and most innovative approach to deal with unplanned requirements, so no matter what comes, we are prepared and able to handle it.”
Twice Weekly News from African Pilot
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Until Thursday, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)