“Money is a new form of slavery and is distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal that there is no human relation between master and slave.” Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi
Since last week’s mystery aircraft was challenging to identify, according to the number of correct answers I received, this week I have provided another interesting aircraft type. Please send your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will publish the names of those that identified the aircraft correctly within the Thursday edition of APAnews.
Canon XA11 HD video camera for sale
Since I have purchased a new Canon XA 60B 4K video camera, my Canon XA11 complete with battery charger and camera bag is for sale at R10 000. I used this camera for several years and the condition is good. If you are interested, please e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 082 552 2940. Thanks.
The September 2023 edition is complete and will be released to the world today. We apologise for the slight delay, which was unavoidable due to a significant glitch within our licenced publishing software. This edition features EAA AirVenture and the UK airshow Flying Legends. In addition, African Pilot features all aspects of aviation from Airline business to recreational and sport aviation, whilst helicopters, military aviation, commercial and technical issues are addressed monthly. Within African Pilot’s monthly historical section, we feature the Best of the Best, Names to Remember and the monthly aviation Fact File. Overall African Pilot has the finest balance between most aviation subjects brought to you within a single publication every month and the best part is that the magazine is FREE to anyone in the entire world at the click of a single button. African Pilot is also the largest aviation magazine in the world by number of pages and is well ahead of all other South African aviation publications.
This edition will feature Aircraft Maintenance and refurbishment. Our marketing team will be contacting all known AMOs as well as aircraft refurbishment shops to include as many of the amazing businesses that keep our aircraft airworthy and in good shape.
The eleventh edition of Future Flight was sent out to the world-wide audience on Saturday 26 August. This 144-page edition has 13 picture galleries and 15 embedded videos. Due to the nature of the subject material, compiling this exciting new publication has been most rewarding, whilst at the same time, the magazine allows many of African Pilot’s advertisers to have their adverts placed in our second monthly magazine FREE of charge.
When I started Future Flight on my return to South Africa from AirVenture, Oshkosh 2022, the objective was to reduce the overall size of African Pilot to a more reasonable page count and this has been achieved. The next milestone will be to attract advertisers to make this publication sustainable and I have given myself a year to reach this goal. I would love to receive your feedback about this new digital publication: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
EAA AirVenture 2023, Oshkosh – Part Two
Air Accident SA – The Safety Goal
The popular international series Air Crash Investigation has seen multiple seasons being aired worldwide. It is one of the most watched TV series productions in history. The series focusses mainly on the airline aviation industry. The General Aviation sector has not been aired much as much as the airline industry. General Aviation forms a significant part of the aviation industry in all aspects, as this is where pilots mostly start their careers.
A new series focusing on specifically General Aviation in South Africa, is to be filmed soon, focusing on the various types of accidents and why they occur. Specialists, investigators and pilots will be interviewed for their opinions and recommendations, regarding the safety goal. This will be a unique and fresh look at the different aspects of accidents and incidents. Since all TV productions about aviation incidents and accidents prove to be extremely popular with viewers, this series will certainly not be different. The TV series ‘Flights to Nowhere’, that was aired in 2021 on People’s Weather, proved this fact. The new series ‘Air Accident SA – The Safety Goal’ will be hosted by plane wreck hunter, Wouter Botes, who also hosted ‘Flights to Nowhere.’
Wouter has involved veteran investigator, Charlie Marais as co-host and also experts and pilots who possesses a vast amount of experience in the aviation industry. Names include Capt. Flippie Vermeulen from Springbok Classic Air and many more famous aviators and experts. The series has already drawn sponsorship partners, who have been involved with Wouter Botes for the past few years. These include African Pilot Magazine, Blue Chip Aviation, Dart Aeronautical, Springbok Classic Air and Simuflight. However, further industry involvement in terms of sponsorships is needed, as this series is planned to be released on an annual basis with multiple seasons, in order to accommodate new cases and new safety technology.
We invite industry and non-industry related companies and organisations, to become part of this TV series. As a series like this will be popular with viewers as proven before, the exposure generated for sponsors and participants will be extensive. The viewer profile includes a wide range of age and background parameters. Attendance at airshows is a further proof of this fact. Please contact Wouter directly at email@example.com. Thank you.
Absolute Aviation Pipistrel Explorer
Children’s Flight Friday 1 September 2023
When a plan comes together and the success is a ride in an aircraft for the very first time for more than 500 disadvantaged children this is the result of outstanding teamwork and Felix Gosher is the person who planned yet another successful Children’s Flight at Orient airfield on Friday. Felix has the amazing ability to bring so many diverse people together, each with their own responsibilities all directed to the single purpose of delivering an amazing party for the children, complete with gifts, food, cold drinks and a host of other experiences that will live with them forever. From the sponsors AVBOB who constructed the scaffolding air traffic control tower from where the ATC’s Ali Semono (Lanseria Tower) and Ricardo Afonso (Rand Tower) worked all day, to the pilots who brought their aircraft and helicopters and all the officials who made this a very safe day I would like to express my gratitude to each and every one of you. Felix told me that there were 109 aircraft and helicopters that took part in this event.
Also thanks to Hot FM 94.7 and Brian Emmenis of Capital Sounds for your music and announcements throughout the day. All the food and beverage vendors who sponsored the meals and drinks for the children and all the persons involved in making this a success. Special thanks the EAA Chapter 322 and especially Marie Ready and Ronel Myburgh and the team that assisted them with flight planning for not only the children, but also some of the members of the media who assisted the children on some of the flights. To the commercial aviation companies including Absolute Aviation, SV Aviation, Vektor Aviation, Century Avionics, Aeronautical Aviation, Master Power, Capital Sounds, Airbus, ExecuJet, Gemair, Blue Chip, AMKA, CFS, Eagle Air, MCC Aviation, Velocity Aviation, Xcalibur, AviSys, Aviation4SA, Loutzavia, Magalies Gliding Club, Air Show South Africa, Puma Energy and WanaFly thanks you for your generous sponsorship. The full feature with pictures and a video will be published within the October edition of African Pilot.
Rand airshow Sunday 3 September 2023
On Sunday our team attended the annual Rand Airport airshow and although the day was very windy the sun was out and most people need to use sunscreen. The Rand airshow usually features most of the aircraft types and display teams that are based at the airport and Sunday was no different. For whatever reason, this year the accredited airshow photographers were not allowed to go out to the front position, which has been a custom for many years. We were all stuck behind the fences, but fortunately, because we arrived early the positions were at the front of the crowds. The usual flea market was present with vendors selling a large variety of food and drinks and then other aviation and non-aviation vendors took up a large part of the large ramp area. Menno Parsons and his Master Power Group was the major sponsor and his team occupied a very large area on the lawns in front of the Henley Air hangars. In typical Menno’s style he hired several gorgeous young models to dress up in red for Mustang Sally and in Tiger dresses with golden hair and Tiger ears to match his Tiger Huey helicopter. This was a lovely touch and it certainly captured the imagination of the crowds. Several people to whom I spoke said the spectators appeared to down on last year, but we will have to wait for the official figures to confirm the size of the crowds. A full report with a pictures and video will be published in the October edition of African Pilot.
African Pilot’s 2023 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.
5 to 7 September
Commercial UAV Expo, Las Vegas, USA
Contact E-mail: Berndtson@aol.com
Virginia Durban airshow
Contact Brendan Horan E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 078 486 6888
Helicopter fly-in to Krugersdorp airfield (Cancelled this year)
Contact David le Roux PilotInsure E-mail: David@pilotinsure.co.za
Lydenburg fly-in festival
Contact Coenraad Cell: 076 466 9999
Eagle’s Creek presents Landy’s and Lates Eagles Creek airfield
Contact Kevin Moore Cell: 083 628 8202
13 & 14 September
Aviation Africa Abuja, Nigeria
Contact Alison Weller E-mail: email@example.com
Vans RV fly-in at Kitty Hawk
Contact Frank van Heerden E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EAA Pancake camp over & pancake breakfast Silver Creek airfield
Contact Sean Cronin E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 447 9895
16 & 17 September
SAC Limpopo Regionals Phalaborwa airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stellenbosch Flying Club 50th anniversary fly-in
Contact Sam Cell: 082 828 4553 or Anton Cell: 079 873 4567
SAPFA Stellenbosch Navigation Rally Stellenbosch airfield
Contact Alewyn Burger Cell: 082 416 1952
26 & 27 September
Drone-X Trade Show and Conference ExCeL – London
Contact Scarlett Russell E-mail: email@example.com
DCA Industry Roadshow Durban KZN
Contact Ms Charmaine Shibambo E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
29 Sep to 1 Oct
EAA Sun ‘n Fun Tempe Airfield
Contact Kassie Kasselman 082 404 1642 Lucas 082 566 0656
EAA Chapter 322 monthly gathering 18h00 at Tempe airfield
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com
Saldanha West Coast airshow
Contact Clive Coetzee E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 084 614 1675
Great Train Race Heidelberg airfield
Contact Christopher Van E-mail: email@example.com
30 September to 7 October
SSSA Gliding Nationals at Potchefstroom airfield
Contact Carol Clifford E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
West Coast FlyFPV SA Championship and West Coast RC Flight Championship
Contact Clive Coetzee E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 084 614 1675
6 & 7 October
SAC World Advanced Aerobatic Championships training camp venue TBA
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 October to 4 November
SAC Advanced World Aerobatics Championships Las Vegas
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: email@example.com
SAPFA SA Landing Championships – Brits & Stellenbosch airfields
Contact Ron Stirk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 082 804 445 0373
New Nigerian president determined to resolve relationship with Emirates and UAE
In a speech delivered at the inaugural Federal Executive Council on 25 August 2023, Tinubu expressed that he was prepared to intervene personally to solve the impasse between Nigeria and the UAE. “We are a family with the UAE. We only live in separate rooms, but we are in the same house. We should look at the issues as a family problem and resolve it amicably. As you know, in every family, there are peculiarities. You can have an erring son or daughter, but we must work together. We need to agree on core aviation and immigration issues,” Tinubu said in his speech.
The UAE ceased issuing visas to Nigerian citizens in 2022, following Emirates’ suspension of flights to Lagos Airport (LOS) due to difficulties in repatriating funds from ticket sales. “Without the timely repatriation of the funds and a mechanism in place to ensure that future repatriation of Emirates’ funds do not accumulate in any way, the backlog will continue to grow and we simply cannot meet our operational costs nor maintain the commercial viability of our operations in Nigeria,” an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters in November 2022. In February 2023, Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, called for a resumption of Emirates’ Nigerian operations and directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to make more foreign currency available to the Emirati flag carrier and other foreign airlines affected by the country’s stringent foreign currency export controls.
FAA issues urgent AD to address potential Boeing 777 fuel tank explosions
The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urgently issued an airworthiness directive (AD) to address errors made by Boeing in a Requirements Bulletin (RB), which meant that the fuel tanks on some Boeing 777 aircraft were not properly protected against lightning strikes. Initially, the FAA issued an AD in September 2022 to address ‘cracking of the left- and right-side ring chords, repair angles, front spar lower chords, and front spar webs (depending on configuration) common to the underwing longeron located at station (STA) 1035’.
The directive was prompted by reports of cracks found on a Boeing 777-300ER’s front spar lower chord that was undergoing underwing longeron replacement, which, combined with cracking in the front spar web, posed a safety hazard in the form of a fuel leak or in more severe cases, could affect the structural integrity of the aircraft. However, according to the recent AD from the FAA, Boeing has since discovered that its RB from October 2021 ‘contains errors relating to the application of cap seals to fasteners penetrating the center wing fuel tank which introduce a second, urgent unsafe condition’.
The actions required by the RB from October 2021 and the AD from September 2022, mandate the removal of many cap seals to ‘accomplish the various modifications and inspections, the AD continued.
‘If these seals are not replaced properly and the associated fastener has poor electrical bonding to the airplane structure for any reason, the fastener may spark during a lightning strike and cause a fuel tank explosion’ the FAA said in the directive. As such, the FAA determined that it needed to supersede the September 2022 directive to address the new unsafe condition.
The regulator noted that the directive, which now requires an inspection and replacement / modification of the center wing fuel tank fastener cap seals, was now being published ‘without additional service information’ due to the public safety risk. ‘The manufacturer submitted an initial report of errors in the requirements bulletin affecting cap sealing instructions in late 2022,’ the FAA said, adding that due to the length and complexity of the new RB, Boeing handed over the documentation of these errors in July 2023. While Boeing said it would revise the bulletin, the FAA noted that the ‘work will take longer to accomplish than the risk to public safety allows,’ which is why the agency superseded the AD from September 2023.
The FAA highlighted three procedural errors relating to the fastener cap seals:
Firstly, operators did not need to apply cap seals to fasteners associated with the underwing longeron of some Boeing 777s. Without the requirement, ‘a cap seal may fail to be applied following modification of the underwing longeron, compromising the required fault tolerance of the fuel tank lightning protection design’. Airlines flying these Triple Sevens will have to apply a cap seal of the correct sealant type to the minimum thickness. Secondly, some Boeing 777s have no thickness requirement and, furthermore, the RB ‘mistakenly refers to the Boeing Standard Overhaul Practices Manual (SOPM) section 20-50-19 for procedures to apply the cap seal’. The SOPM’s requirements have a cap seal thickness of half the minimum amount.
Even if the aircraft’s aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) procedure included the correct thickness, the FAA noted that ‘operators may have used an accepted method other than that specified in the SOPM and AMM’ since the RB did not specify whether to refer to the SOPM or AMM. As a result, the cap seal could fail to contain a spark from a lightning strike, resulting in a fuel tank explosion. The FAA now requires operators to ensure the minimum required thickness and sealant type, as well as replacing any seal that was already replaced with improper thickness.
Thirdly, the RB required ‘the removal of certain fastener cap seals. However, the requirements bulletin either does not require that the cap seal be replaced or does not provide a thickness requirement for the replaced seal’. This means that the fuel tank’s lighting protection is compromised and the FAA mandates airlines to replace the removed seal with the correct thickness and type.
Boeing making design changes
Since the issue came to light, Boeing has already implemented a design change, meaning that some newly built Boeing 777s will not be affected by the latest directive. According to the FAA’s estimates, 291 Boeing 777s in the US will be affected by the directive. After the agency published the now-superseded directive in September 2022, it discovered, along with Boeing, that some 777-200s are not susceptible to the unsafe condition because they do not have a fuel tank between the side-of-body ribs.
With the latest AD, Boeing 777s with the unsafe condition will now be identified as those where the Maximum Taxi Weight (MTW), which includes taxi and run-up fuel for the engines and the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), is more than 547,000 pounds (248,115 kilograms).
Furthermore, since the September 2022 directive, Boeing has already implemented the required design changes for newly built aircraft of the type where the Line Number (LN) is higher than 1,743. According to ch-aviation.com data, there are seven such aircraft, all Boeing 777F aircraft delivered between June and August 2023, including FedEx’s 50th factory-fresh 777, registered as N874FD.
In its latest AD the FAA has retained three actions from the September 2022 directive, namely an inspection, modification and post-modification inspection and has added two more. Now, airlines will have to review their Boeing 777 maintenance records and properly seal the caps. However, the FAA noted that it ‘has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need the cap sealing’. According to the agency’s estimates, the sealing will take airlines up to 109 workhours. With parts ($90) and labour ($9,265), the action will cost $9,355 per aircraft. Some of the costs related to the actions included in the AD could still be covered under warranty. The AD was published on 31 August 2023, and will come into effect 15 days after publication.
GAMA announces across-the-board increases in GA deliveries and billings
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) released its Second Quarter (Q2) 2023 shipment and billing report and the results are looking good for the industry. Over the first half of the year, deliveries increased along all segments, with an overall increase in value for shipments so far this year. And the pace seems to be accelerating. Compared with Q1 of 2023, Q2 recorded a 11.4 percent increase in piston-aircraft sales (713 units), while turboprops were up by 17.4 percent at 290 units. Business jets increased at a more modest 2.4 percent at 296 units, whilst the overall dollar value of deliveries was up by 1.4 percent at $9.2 billion.
Shifting to a comparison with the second half of 2022 (Q3 and Q4), GAMA reported piston helicopters showed an increase in deliveries of 28.7 percent at 112 units, while turbine rotorcraft deliveries were up by 30.4 percent at 339 units. Dollar value of overall helicopter deliveries was $1.9 billion, an increase of 29.9 percent. While celebrating the positive news from GAMA’s accounting division, the organisation’s president and CEO, Pete Bunce, also struck a political note, calling for action to assign decisive leadership at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure continued growth and prosperity. “As we look towards the future,” he said, “it will be imperative that we have stability, accountability and sound direction from regulatory authorities, particularly in the United States. Not only does the FAA need an effective permanent leader during this transformative time for aviation, but the agency is in the process of being reauthorised by Congress. “We are encouraged by the bipartisanship we have seen throughout the legislative process and hope that the momentum to finalise an FAA reauthorisation bill continues to build so that the agency can enhance its ability to deliver critical activities that promote safety, innovation and efficient promulgation of rules, policy and guidance that preserve global aerospace leadership.”
UK ATC systems’ technical issue cause flight disruptions
As a result of a technical issue, UK air traffic control services provider NATS applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety with airlines, resulting in a network-wide outage of Air Traffic Control (ATC) systems in the UK. Numerous flights to and from the UK experienced cancellations or delays due to technological glitches affecting the air traffic control system on 28 August. This system, vital for safe take-offs, landings and in-flight operations, encountered difficulties. Consequently, numerous travellers, including those departing for bank holiday and summer vacations, found themselves stranded both domestically and internationally.
The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) confirmed a technical issue shortly after noon on Monday, expressing regret for the disruption caused, assuring collaboration with airlines and airports to restore normal operations. The fault resided in NATS’ planning system, necessitating restrictions on the number of incoming planes to the UK. This rare incident led to widespread flight delays, trapping thousands of passengers both on aircraft and within airports. All UK-based airlines were affected, leading to the cancellation of over five hundred flights to and from the country.
Approximately three hours later, an announcement was made that the problem had been resolved, signalling the resumption of air travel. However, a return to regular flight schedules might take several days. NATS pledged to investigate the cause of the issue, while the government’s Transport Secretary Mark Harper stated that it will take “some days to get everybody to where they should be.”
Flights scrapped as Florida, USA braces for Hurricane Idalia
Hundreds of flights in and out of Florida have been cancelled as the Sunshine State prepares for Hurricane Idalia to make landfall Wednesday. On Tuesday morning, the storm was gaining strength as it moved over the state’s Gulf coast. It was expected to make landfall as a Category three storm. The National Hurricane Centre said, ‘on the forecast track, the center of Idalia is forecast to move over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and reach the Gulf coast of Florida within the Hurricane warning area on Wednesday and move close to the Carolina coastline on Thursday’.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “there is a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along portions of the Florida Gulf coast, including the Tampa Bay and Big Bend region of Florida which may see water as high as eight to 12 feet above ground level. On
Tuesday morning, the FAA said it was rerouting aircraft, closing Gulf routes and also considering pausing flights at Palm Beach International (KBPI), Miami International (KMIA) and Fort Lauderdale International (KFLL) airports. As of Monday night, approximately 500 flights in and out of Tampa International Airport (KTPA) were pre-emptively cancelled, CNN reported. By Tuesday, cancellations continued at several airports, resulting in a domino effect across the nation’s air travel grid. More cancellations are possible. According to the storm models under review by NOAA, the agency that tracks hurricanes, Category three storms carry winds greater than 80 mph. As of 11h00 EDT, a look at the TAFs for the state shows multiple airports with strong winds from the south with gusts forecast to approach 50 mph.
All-Russian Superjet 100 makes maiden flight
According to the Russian news agency TASS, the all-Russian Superjet 100, named the SJ-100, completed its maiden flight, marking another step forward for Russia in its attempt to mass produce an all-domestic narrow-body aircraft within the country. Manufactured by Yakovlev, the subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the aircraft successfully completed its first flight in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia on 29 August 2023. “During the tests, the stable operation of all domestic systems, controllability and the stability of the aircraft in the air,” the TASS report continued, citing a press release from the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. Two test pilots operated the aircraft and a test engineer was also on board the aircraft during its maiden journey. The aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) during the 54-minute flight.
However, the test aircraft still used the PowerJet SaM146 engine, developed jointly by France’s Safran and Russia’s NPO Saturn. Currently, this engine powers the active Sukhoi Superjet 100 fleet in Russia.
The second test aircraft is expected to use Russian PD-8 engines, TASS noted. Yuri Slyusar, the general director of UAC, said that SJ-100’s maiden journey displayed the country’s ability to develop its aerospace industry without the help of Western countries and Russia can ‘can develop and produce modern civil aircraft on our own, without involving imported technologies’.
Russia was forced into the development of the SJ-100, with Western countries imposing more and more sanctions since the country first invaded Crimea and used local proxies to occupy Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions. After Russia fully invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Western world isolated the country’s aerospace sector, prohibiting components manufacturers from exporting parts to Russia and local airlines, among other measures.
American Airlines US$4 million in fines over stranded passengers
The US Department of Transportation (DoT) has hit American Airlines (AAL) with a $4 million fine for incidents involving keeping passengers waiting in its aircraft for three hours or more. The fine is the highest assessed to a domestic airline for violations of the relevant regulations. Three hours is the maximum time allowable under DoT rules for passengers to be kept waiting while onboard an aircraft before take-off. According to a DoT investigation report, American ‘kept dozens of flights stuck on the tarmac for long periods of time without letting passengers off.’
According to the agency’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, it reviewed delays registered between 2018 and 2021. In that time frame, American was responsible for ‘43 domestic flights remaining on the tarmac for lengthy periods without providing passengers an opportunity to deplane.’ Officials added that the stranded passengers were not offered food or water during the delays, most of which occurred at AAL’s central hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. According to the DoT, a total of 5,821 passengers were affected. American spokesperson Sarah Jantz blamed the delays on ‘exceptional weather events.’ She said the affected flights were just a small percentage of “the 7.7 million flights during this time period,” adding, “We have since apologised to the impacted customers and regret any inconvenience caused.”
Powerful sonic boom caused by RAF Eurofighter rips through parts of UK
A powerful sonic boom caused by a British Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon was heard across three UK counties after the jet was scrambled to carry out a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA).
Local residents in the counties of Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire all reported hearing the huge bang shortly after 21h30 on 30 August 2023. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed that a Eurofighter Typhoon was launched from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.
“The RAF is responsible for policing UK airspace and would prefer not to cause any disturbance to those on the ground, but the safety and security of the nation remains paramount,” a spokesperson for the MoD said. The MoD said it could only advise that the incident was related to a QRA. The department could not confirm if the Eurofighter was responding to a Ryanair flight. A Sonic boom is created when planes fly faster than the speed of sound, which is around 761mph (1,225km/h).
Hatch closed, Dragon leaving station soon live on NASA TV
At 05h19 EDT, the hatch closed between the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking and return to Earth of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. NASA Television will air live coverage beginning at 06h45 for undocking scheduled at 07h05. Following conclusion of undocking coverage, NASA coverage of Crew-6’s return will continue with audio only and full coverage will resume at the start of the splashdown broadcast at 23h00 on Sunday. Real-time audio between Crew-6 and flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Audio stream will remain available.
How these new electric aircraft could disrupt the $49 billion helicopter industry
Vertical lift aircraft have existed for more than a century in the form of helicopters. But the $49 billion industry faces a rapidly emerging threat. An estimated 200 companies are working to build electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs), a new type of small passenger aircraft designed for transportation within congested urban environments. “Helicopters are very expensive to operate for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that they have multiple points of failure, which eVTOL aircraft will not” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines
Ventures, which has invested in startups in the space called Eve and Archer Aviation. “The electrification makes the aircraft safer. Safer aircraft also becomes less costly to maintain.” They are not on the market yet, but they could eventually become the air taxis of the future. Before they get there, the manufacturers need certification from the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies. Some companies have optimistically set 2025 as the year when operations will get underway.
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Official hashtags: #SAE2023 #saudiairportexhibition
Drone attack damages four Russian Ilyushin Il-76 heavy transport aircraft
Overnight on 30 August drones targeted Russian territory in several locations. One particular attack on an airport in the north-western Russian city of Pskov, near the Estonian border, damaged four Ilyushin 76 transport aircraft. Regional governor Mikhail Vedernikov said that the attack at Pskov Airport (PKV) was repelled. The state news agency TASS, citing rescue services, reported that four Il-76 heavy cargo aircraft suffered damage due to the attack on the airport. RIA Novosti specified that two of them caught fire as a result of the drone strikes.
The Ilyushin Il-76 is a large, four-engine jet transport aircraft developed by the Soviet Union during the 1970s. It is designed to perform a variety of roles, including airlifting heavy and oversized cargo and transporting troops. Pskov Airport houses the 334th Military Transport Aviation Regiment which flies the Ilyushin Il-76. A video shared by Vedernikov showed a massive fire, accompanied by explosions. In response to the attacks, authorities cancelled all flights from Pskov Airport for the day, pending an assessment of potential damage to the runway.
Simultaneously, Ukrainian drones were reported across Russian territory during the night, over the southern region of Bryansk and one over the central region of Oryol, with some reportedly penetrating regions near Moscow. Air traffic was briefly suspended at the capital city’s Domodedovo, Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo international airports.
In the meantime, Russian armed forces also targeted Ukraine’s capital, launching several waves of Shahed-136/131 loitering munitions, as well as cruise missiles air-launched from Tu-95MS bombers over the Caspian Sea and the Engels city area. “All 28 cruise missiles and 15 out of 16 attack UAVs were destroyed,” Kyiv City Military Administration reported. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, reported that two people were killed and two more were hospitalised with injuries as a result of the Russian attack.
Australia’s Quickstep signs deal with TB2 for drone work
Quickstep announced that it has signed an exclusive manufacturing and engineering integration agreement with TB2 of Breckenridge, Colorado for the TB2 Pod Interface system. The patented system provides an autonomous means of connecting a range of podded solutions to drones and is designed to work on any UAS capable of accepting the TB2 system. The system will allow operators to deliver rapid-change, multi-mission capabilities with reduced human intervention.
Under the terms of the agreement, Quickstep will provide an initial $500,000 of engineering and structural integration services for the incorporation of the TB2 interface to customer aircraft and will assist TB2 with the design, integration, supplier management and servicing of podded solutions. The agreement also includes Quickstep taking a minority equity position in TB2, funded via a merchandise credit note which will be drawn down in respect of design, development and prototyping work. This programme and the equity position in TB2 is intended to further expand Quickstep’s reach across the UAS manufacturing and services sector.
Hank Scott, founder of TB2 said “We have taken a logistics-at-scale approach to all aspects of our systems’ development, so when we started to look for a partner with the ability to design, mass produce and scale our system in various sizes for various industries it was a simple choice. Quicksteps’ ability to integrate our hardware, our vendors avionics and our partners UAV’s is crucial to streamlining our future plans.”
Steve Osborne, Vice President Quickstep USA, Inc. said “Like TB2, we believe there is a substantial market for standardised podded capabilities across a range of commercial and defence applications. The ability to provide ‘capability in a box’ and other services, utilising a common system that requires minimal human intervention, addresses a real challenge in the Drone sector.” Work will be carried out at Quickstep’s Geelong, Victoria facility and at their Wichita, Kansas facility once that site becomes operational.
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