“The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.”
Clarence S. Darrow
African Pilot’s aircraft of the week identification quiz
The Scaled Composites Model 281 Proteus is a tandem-wing high-altitude long endurance aircraft designed by Burt Rutan to investigate the use of aircraft as high altitude telecommunications relays. The Proteus is a multi-mission vehicle able to carry various payloads on a ventral pylon. The Proteus has an extremely efficient design and can orbit a point at over 19,800 metres (64 960 feet) for more than 18 hours. It is currently owned by Northrop Grumman.
Design and development
Proteus has an all-composite airframe with graphite-epoxy sandwich construction. Its wingspan of 77 feet 7 inches (23.65 m) is expandable to 92 feet (28 m) with removable wingtips installed. Proteus is an ‘optionally piloted’ aircraft ordinarily flown by two pilots in a pressurised cabin. However, it also has the capability to perform its missions semi-autonomously or flown remotely from the ground. Under NASA’s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project, NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center assisted Scaled Composites in developing a sophisticated station-keeping autopilot system and a satellite communications (SATCOM)-based uplink-downlink data system for Proteus’ performance and payload data. The Proteus wing was adapted for use on the Model 318 White Knight carrier aircraft, which is the launch system for Rutan’s Tier One spacecraft and the DARPA X-37.
Flight testing of the Proteus began with its first flight on 26 July 1998, at the Mojave Airport and continued through the end of 1999. In June, Proteus was deployed internationally for the first time, debuting at the Paris Air Show. It was flown non-stop from Bangor, Maine to Paris. During the week-long show, it flew each day, demonstrating its capabilities as a telecommunications platform.
The Proteus is the current holder of a number of FAI world records for altitude (class: C1-e: landplanes 3,000–6,000 kg, Group: 3, turbojet), set in cooperation with NASA Dryden. The highest altitude achieved was 63,245 feet (19,277 m) in October 2000.
Due to the multi mission nature of the aircraft, it has been involved in a number of significant research projects and missions. Scaled Composites, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, actively markets the aircraft as a research platform and has published a user’s guide for planning proposed missions.
Proteus has set several world altitude records in FAI Class C-1e (Landplanes: take-off weight 3,000 to 6,000 kg (6,600 to 13,200 lb)), Group 2, turbojet, including: Altitude: piloted by Mike Melvill and Robert Waldmiller, 19,277 m (63,245 feet), 25 October 2000. Altitude in horizontal flight: piloted by Mike Melvill and Robert Waldmiller, 19,015 m (62,385 feet), 25 October 2000. Altitude with 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) payload: piloted by Mike Melvill and Robert Waldmiller, 17,067 m (55,994 feet), 27 October 2000.
Those who identified this aircraft correctly: Ari Levien, Mark Cope, Righardt du Plessis, Charlie Hugo, P. Rossouw, Brian Millett, Wouter de Graaf, Marcel Bode, Wouter van der Waal, Pierre Brittz, Kevin Farr, Colin Austen, Greg Pullin, Willie Oosthuizen, Erwin Stam, David Plew-Chisholm, Bernard Stander, Andrew Langley, Rennie van Zyl, Geoff Street, Ahmed Bassa, Karl Jensen, Hilton Carroll, Rex Tweedie, John Power, Selwyn Kimber, Hugh Flynn, Dawid Hanekom, Jaco van Jaarsveld, Steve Dewsbery, Andrew Pearce, Richard Collocott, Dave Lloyd, Brian Melmoth, Bob Gurr, Marcel Nijdam, Ralph Schlaphoff, Lodewyk Schuermans, Greg Rooken-Smith, Chris Hutchinson, Mickey Esterhuysen, Gregory Yatt, Nic Manthopoulos, Danie Viljoen, Jeffrey Knickelbein, Gunter Klampfl, Johan Vorster, (47).
Where in the CAR’s will one find the requirements for the Private Pilots Licence?
On Tuesday, African Pilot released its October edition FREE to the world and at the time of writing this editorial, I had received several e-mails and even calls congratulating our team on a splendid production. At the same time, I have received several suggestions from our readers for future articles and whilst some of these suggestions are interesting, others are more difficult to undertake, but all will be considered in future editions. African Pilot’s undertaking to its audience is to present a wide range of aviation topics as well as reporting on aviation events that take place all over South Africa on a regular basis. For this reason, I usually attend these events in person to interact with the organisers, interview many of the aviation personalities, take pictures and videos for production. My sincere congratulations go to every member of the small African Pilot team, who work hard at their respective tasks to make the publication we present to you our readers the finest in the world.
African Pilot’s October 2021 edition
The October edition featuring aircraft / helicopter maintenance was distributed earlier this week. This 256-page edition has 21 embedded videos and 27 picture galleries making African Pilot the largest aviation monthly publication in the world. Within this edition African Pilot has showcased many AMOs and aircraft refurbishing companies where no single company shares any part of a double page spread with any other company. In addition, African Pilot is the only South African aviation magazine that presents embedded videos and picture galleries to increase its advertisers exposure to the market.
African Pilot’s November 2021 edition
The November edition will feature African Airlines, Gifts for Pilots and Aircraft Leasing. African Pilot has already undertaken research on African Airlines and we will be presenting factual information about these airlines, not just an inaccurate listing of airlines, many of which have ceased to exist. The Gifts for Pilots feature allows for any of the pilot shops to market their merchandise. Finally, Aircraft Leasing is a sector of the aviation industry that is often neglected and this feature will present an opportunity for leasing companies to present their business profiles. African Pilot is the ‘only aviation magazine’ that provides its advertisers with quality coverage within a well-designed publication that has South African, African and international reach.
African Pilot Digital Calendars
Wallpaper calendar for the months of September and October. Go to our wallpaper page to download the calendars in three different resolutions.
View and download African Pilot’s last three (3) 2021 editions.
Click on the covers below.
The mystery of Flights to Nowhere
I have watched and enjoyed the full series to date and I was impressed with the production of the various episodes that African Pilot published as a series during 2019 / 20 and that we consolidated into Wouter’s eBook. I understand from Wouter that the series has been so popular that the television station will be re-broadcasting the series on Mnet catchup for the next few weeks.
Flights to Nowhere eBook
Aero Club coffee table Centenary Yearbook
The AeCSA Centenary Yearbook is now available to purchase from the online shop. Please visit www.aeroclub.org.za/shop.
Aero Club support
Bronco II / AC-208 eliminated from SOCOM Armed Overwatch competition
Aviation Week reported that the Paramount / Leidos Bronco II and MAG Aerospace MC-208 Guardian have been eliminated from the US Special Operation Command’s Armed Overwatch competition, leaving three other aircraft in the running for a roughly 75-aircraft order. The remaining competitors are the Textron Aviation Defence AT-6E Wolverine, L3 AT-802U Sky Warden and Sierra Nevada Corporation M28/C-145 Wily Coyote.
The Bronco II (Mwari) was offered by a team comprising Leidos, Paramount USA and Vertex, with the aircraft carrying out flight demonstrations in June and July 2021. However, after several successful flights, the aircraft was parked on the ground on 9 July when one of the main landing gear legs collapsed, resulting in minor damage to the aircraft. Although Paramount / Leidos were confident the incident would not affect its chances in the competition, the Bronco II is one of the first aircraft to have been eliminated. The remaining competitors are expecting an imminent request for proposals (RFP).
Last week the head of the Air Force’s Special Operations Command, Lieutenant General Jim Slife, said there is a good likelihood the armed overwatch programme will transition to procurement in fiscal year 2022. SOCOM previously evaluated the OV-10G+ Bronco in a field test in Iraq in 2015 as it pursues a light attack capability. The command is looking to budget $101 million for the first new light attack aircraft with another ten per year for the next seven years.
Springbok Classic Beech-18 flights on Saturday
Springbok Classic Air Beech-18 flight around Johannesburg R1 500 per person
Contact E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 082 550 7205
Hawaiian Airlines flight from Incheon makes emergency landing at Midway Atoll
On 24 September a Hawaiian Airlines flight carrying 12 crew members and 67 passengers made an emergency landing at Midway Atoll. Flight HA 460 departed Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) at 21h00 local time on 23 September and was due to arrive at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) 11h30 local time on 24 September 2021. Five hours and 45 minutes after take-off, the captain received a low-pressure notification alarm. A Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson told the media that out of abundance of caution, the captain decided to divert the aircraft, an Airbus 330-200 with registration code N386HA and make an emergency landing at Henderson Field on Sand Island in Midway Atoll (MDY). The atoll measures 2.4 square miles and is located in the North Pacific Ocean, 1,300 miles (2,092 kilometres) north west of Honolulu, near the International Date Line. The aircraft made the emergency landing without any incident. Passengers were deplaned, given shaded shelter and hot meals. A second aircraft left Honolulu and landed at MDY on Friday shortly before 16h00 local time to serve as replacement. The second flight also carried a team of mechanics and crew members. Passengers boarded the second aircraft which resumed the flight to Honolulu and arrived at approximately 21h00 local time. Total flight time delay was nine hours. The original aircraft was inspected before flying onwards to Honolulu.
Delta is asking airlines to share their no-fly lists
Delta Air Lines has 1,600 passengers on its no-fly list. United Airlines reportedly has more than 1,000 on its own banned-from-flying list. American, JetBlue, Southwest, Hawaiian and Alaskan airlines all have their own lists of persons on their respective no-fly lists. Traditionally, airlines have always kept those lists for internal use only, meaning that a passenger who is banned on one airline could simply fly on another. But that may soon change.
Delta Air Lines is asking ‘other airlines to share their ‘no fly’ lists,’ because, as Kristen Manion Taylor, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service, wrote in a memo to flight attendants, “a list of banned customers does not work as well if that customer can fly with another airline.”
“Anytime a customer physically engages with intent to harm, whether in a lobby, at a gate or onboard, they are added to our permanent No Fly list,” wrote Eric Phillips, Delta’s senior vice president of charter and cargo operations, in another staff memo. “We also actively engage with local authorities to ensure these incidents are investigated and prosecuted as the law allows.”
Both internal memos were sent the same day the US House of Representatives Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure held a hearing titled, “Disruption in the Skies: The Surge in Air Rage and its Effects on Workers, Airlines and Airports.” Air rage is on the rise. So far in 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) received 4,385 reports of unruly passengers. About three-quarters of incidents involved travellers who refused to comply with a federal mask mandate on board. According to a recent survey of flight attendants, over 85% had dealt with unruly passengers in the first half of 2021. Some of the most egregious incidents escalated to cause disruption on the flight or even violence. Last December, when a Delta Air Lines passenger tried to open the cockpit door mid-flight and struck a flight attendant in the face before being restrained by crew members and a fellow passenger. On an Alaska Airlines flight in March, a Colorado man who refused to wear a face mask swatted at a flight attendant, then stood up and urinated in his seat area. In May, a Southwest Airlines passenger punched out a flight attendant’s teeth after being told to keep her seat belt fastened.
Historically, the FAA has tended to deal with unruly passengers by doling out warnings or civil penalties. In January, the agency announced that it was ramping up its game with a much stricter, ‘zero-tolerance’ policy toward passengers who are disruptive on flights, but the very premise of zero tolerance is laughable. The FAA is clearly ill-equipped to deal with the sheer volume of air rage incidents. So far this year, the agency initiated 755 investigations, which is more than double the number of cases opened in 2019 and 2020 combined but only 17% of all reported incidents in 2021.
China’s COMAC C919 certification to be delayed?
Sources told Reuters on 27 September 2021 that China’s COMAC C919 aircraft development programme and certification targets may not meet the deadline amid supply issues. The COMAC C919 programme ‘has been unable to get timely help from the suppliers and has run out of some spare parts’ because of strict export rules from the United States. The C919 aircraft is a narrowbody developed by Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC. The first C919 was rolled out in 2015. The C919 was initially supposed to enter commercial service in 2016 but it was delayed due to technical difficulties and supply issues. The narrowbody, destined to compete against the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, made its first test flight in 2017. Now, the COMAC C919 aircraft, which has been in development for 13 years, aims for local certification by the end of 2021. The C919 has a range of 4,075 to 5,555 kilometres and a capability to seat up to 168 passengers. Currently, a total of 815 C919 provisional orders have been obtained from 28 customers, the COMAC data shows. The first C919 is bound to be delivered to launch customer China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA). In March 2021, China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) signed a purchase contract with COMAC to acquire five C919 airliners. The Shanghai-based carrier will become the first operator of C919 aircraft in the world.
Emirates to deploy more A380s as travel demand rebounds
Emirates plans to deploy additional Airbus A380 aircraft to its network, as it sees continued rise in air travel demand as well as easing of travel restrictions worldwide. Beginning October and November 2021, Emirates will deploy 11 Airbus A380 aircraft to its network. With 11 Airbus A380 aircraft deployed on long-haul destinations, the airline will be able to offer around 165,000 additional A380 seats to customers. By the end of November 2021, the number of destinations that the Super Jumbo is going to operate will be 27, ‘representing a more than 65% increase from its current 16’, according to the statement. ‘Plans to restore 70% of its capacity by the end of the year are on track with the return to service of more than 50 A380 aircraft,’ read the airline’s statement published on 27 September 2021.
Over the next six weeks, Emirates will ‘reinstate its signature A380 services to popular leisure and business destinations’ such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Madrid, Milan, Sao Paulo and Zurich. The largest Airbus A380 operator, Emirates’ fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft will reach 118 by the end of 2021. Currently, more than half of the airline’s A380s are parked due to the debilitating impact on international air travel demand.
DAT to retire Europe’s last MD-83
Danish Air Transport (DAT) announced the farewell flight of its McDonnell Douglas MD-83, the last aircraft of its type to be operating on the continent. The airline posted an invitation to embark on the airframe’s last journey before eventual decommissioning, which will take place on 16 October 2021. According to Planespotters.net data, the aircraft, which now bears the registration OY-RUE, started its life in November 1990, when it was delivered to Airtours International Airways. It then changed hands several times, before ending up in DAT’s fleet in 2010. The airline used it as a VIP transport, which included flying Danish sports teams to international championships. The MD-83 is a long-range version of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80. The family, introduced in the early 80s, was a derivative of the DC-9 mainline jet and competed with Boeing 737 and its equivalents within the range between 3,300 km (1,800 nm) and 5,400 km (2,900 nm) and passenger capacity between 117 and 155 seats. The production of the MD-80, along with its derivative MD-90, stopped in the late 90s, following McDonnel Douglas’ acquisition by Boeing. The MD-95, the last version of the airliner, was renamed Boeing 717 and produced until 2006. The OY-RUE is the last MD-83 flying in Europe. Several other jets of the family remain in operation with the continent’s charter airlines, such as MD-82 operated by European Air Charter and MD-87 operated by AMAC Aerospace.
Rolls-Royce F-130 engine selected by USAF to power the B-52 Stratofortress
The United States Air Force (USAF) has chosen Rolls-Royce North America to supply the F-130 engines for its B-52 Stratofortress aircraft for the next 30 years under the Commercial Engine Replacement Programme (CERP). Variants of the F-130 engines are already in service with the USAF, powering the C-37 and E-11 BACN aircraft. Rolls-Royce beat rivals General Electric and Pratt & Whitney to the contract. “We are proud to join a truly iconic US Air Force programme and provide world-class, American-made engines that will power its missions for the next 30 years,” said Tom Bell, Chairman & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America and President – Defence. “The F130 is a proven, efficient, modern engine that is the perfect fit for the B-52.”
Rolls-Royce plans to build and test the F-130 engines at its Indiana-based workshop after having invested $600 million recently in the facility. “This is a major win for Rolls-Royce,” said Craig McVay, SVP Strategic Campaigns, Rolls-Royce Defence, in a statement on 24 September 2021. “We have been planning and preparing for this outcome and are ready to hit the ground running to prove that we are the best choice for the Air Force and the B-52.” Rolls-Royce indicated that the B-52 CERP programme would result in demand for 650 engines from the Indiana facility, leading to 150 new high-skilled jobs.
The B-52 Stratofortress aircraft is a long-range strategic bomber aircraft built and designed by Boeing in the 1950s. The plane can carry weapon payloads up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kilograms) and fly more than 8,800 miles (14,080 kilometres) without aerial refuelling. It is propelled by eight engines and was designed to carry nuclear-based bombs for missions during the cold war. USAF currently operates 58 of the B-52 bombers in its fleet.
KLM Flight Academy purchases 14 eFlyer airplanes
KLM Flight Academy, located at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands, has finalised purchase deposits for six all-electric eFlyer 2 and eight all-electric eFlyer 4 airplanes, says Bye Aerospace. “We are honoured to add the first major airline’s flight academy, KLM Flight Academy, to our expanding list of eFlyer customers,” said George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace. “In addition to helping them become carbon-neutral, eFlyers will help the academy significantly reduce the noise signature in the Eelde area. Bye Aerospace celebrates KLM Flight Academy’s rich history and offer them warm congratulations on their 75th anniversary.”
“Today we celebrate our history, but more importantly, we look to the future,” said Bart de Vries, Managing Director of KLM Flight Academy. “We are excited to become part of the eFlyer development of Bye Aerospace and look forward to becoming a zero-emission flight academy in support of our parent company’s development and strategy.”
The intention of the eFlyer aircraft family is to become the first FAA- certified, practical, all electric airplanes to serve flight training needs and those of the general aviation markets. All aspects of development for the companies present and future aircrafts from engineering, research and electric aircraft solutions are geared towards addressing pressing market need. The eFlyer family of aircraft includes many benefits that range from lower operating costs to no CO2 emissions and decreased noise. Bye Aerospace says that eventually the eFlyer will eliminate the release of CO2 into the atmosphere by each year, continuing to deliver their aircraft that will ultimately replace conventional general aviation fleets.
Diamond DA50 RG arrives at China Airshow 2021, under its own power
A Diamond Aircraft DA50 RG is on display at China Airshow 2021 (28 September to 3 October) in Zhuhai, Guangdong. Ferry pilots from the factory in Austria flew the high-performance single all the way to China for the show, arriving Monday 27 September. The aircraft made 12 stops en route. The ferry flight was a joint effort between Diamond Aircraft Austria and Wanfeng Diamond Aircraft China.
Diamond Aircraft Austria pilots Martin Richter-Trummer and David Bausek took off from Wr. Neustadt, Austria Airport on 20 September. The 7,033-nautical-mile trip took a total of eight days and 45 flying hours to complete, with Wanfeng production test pilot Wang Ping making the final leg into Zhuhai Airport. Fuel consumption averaged 11.8 gallons per hour, according to Diamond Aircraft.
Bausek, the original lead design engineer for the DA50 programme, noted, “Originally the DA50 was developed with a fixed gear, but the decision to switch to retractable gear was the right one. You and your passengers travel fast and safe, wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go.”
Russian Sukhoi S35s intercept a USAF B-52 over the Pacific
According to Russian state news agency TASS, three Sukhoi Su-35S fighters were scrambled to intercept a US Air Force B-52H bomber on Sunday 26 September. The intercept occurred as the bomber ‘approached Russian airspace over the Pacific,’ according to TASS. The fighters ‘strictly followed’ international rules and escorted the bomber away from the sensitive airspace and according to TASS, ‘There were no violations of Russia’s state border or dangerous proximity of planes in the air.’ The Sukhois returned to base after the B-52 made a U-turn away from the Russian border.
The encounter is not inconsistent with a recurring aeronautical dance that anyone who is seen the movie Top Gun understands (without the Hollywood drama). According to a UPI report, “In March, NATO scrambled fighter jets 10 times to track and intercept an unusually ‘rare peak’ of Russian bombers and fighters flying over the North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea, a NATO official said at the time.” UPI added that, in August 2020, a pair of Russian combat aircraft performed an ‘unsafe, unprofessional’ interception on a B-52 over international waters in the Baltic Sea. Wake turbulence associated with the encounter reportedly ‘restricted the B-52’s ability to maneuverer,’ according to the UPI report.
Boeing to add 767-300BCF conversion lines at GAMECO
Boeing and Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) announced plans to create additional capacity for the 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to help meet continued strong market demand. The agreement, revealed by the two companies during a signing ceremony at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, will expand freighter conversion capacity at GAMECO, opening two new 767-300BCF conversion lines next year.
“It was mutually beneficial to continue building our relationship with GAMECO to provide additional conversion capacity for the 767-300BCF while supporting growth in the region,” said Peter Gao, vice president, Boeing Commercial Sales and Marketing for China. “GAMECO has demonstrated excellent execution on the 737-800BCF programme. We know it will bring the same expertise and proven capability to help deliver our medium widebody freighter conversions to our global customers.”
GAMECO will be the first MRO in China to convert the 767-300BCF and the only MRO converting both the 767-300BCF and the 737-800BCF. Earlier this year, GAMECO announced plans to open a third 737-800BCF conversion line. Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years. Of those, 520 will be widebody conversions with Asia carriers accounting for more than 40 percent of that demand. The 767-300BCF has more than 95 orders and commitments. GAMECO, established in October 1989 at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, is a joint venture between China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa (China) Ltd. from Hong Kong that specialises in aircraft and airborne component maintenance, repair and overhaul. GAMECO provides comprehensive, high-quality and highly efficient services to customers, covering line maintenance, base maintenance, component repair and overhaul, aircraft engineering and training and technical service of ground-support equipment.
Boeing appoints Kuljit Ghata-Aura as President for Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa
On Wednesday 29 September The Boeing Company announced the appointment of Kuljit Ghata-Aura as the new president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), excluding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ghata-Aura, who is returning to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region, will be based in Dubai. He will be responsible for leading all companywide activities and developing and implementing strategies for a region that is home to some of Boeing’s largest commercial, defence and services customers.
Ghata-Aura, who previously served as the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, will oversee the company’s new business and industrial partnership opportunities, safety and sustainability efforts, government affairs and corporate citizenship. He also will oversee Boeing’s efforts to expand its presence and strengthen its relationships with customers and other stakeholders in the region. Ghata-Aura succeeds Bernie Dunn, who is leaving Boeing after more than nine years with the company in the region.
Boeing’s presence in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa goes back several decades. Boeing has offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company also has several industrial and academic partnerships in the region. Today, the region is one of the world’s fastest-growing commercial airplane markets and its defence needs are rapidly expanding.
Ghata-Aura joined Boeing in 2010 and has held several leadership roles for the company in Europe, Russia, Israel, India and the META region. In addition to being the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, Ghata-Aura also held the role of director of market development for UAE from 2015-16. Prior to joining Boeing, Ghata-Aura was a partner at a large international firm practicing cross border mergers and acquisitions. He is a graduate of Oxford University.
Smith’s Detection enhances its screening portfolio
Smiths Detection has launched a 0.5 m/s belt speed HI-SCAN 100100V-2is designed to meet the demands of fast turnaround, high volume air cargo applications for accelerated security screening, delivering the highest performance with the smallest physical footprint. The new model, which is expected to be added to the ‘Qualified’ section of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Air Cargo Screening Technology List (ACSTL) soon, allows for increased and more efficient throughput for express forwarders, mail screening and e-commerce and can also be utilised at mass transit checkpoints. It offers dual-view screening for shorter inspection times, with a 200kg conveyor load to support break bulk cargo screening and a 1010 x 1010mm tunnel for easily handling out of gauge baggage. Existing HI-SCAN 100100V-2is installations can be upgraded to meet the new specifications.
The ECAC compliant technology can also be integrated into material handling systems and connected to centralised screening applications for increased efficiency. It can be further enhanced by iCMORE automated threat/target identification software for lithium batteries and weapons to increase security.
Smith’s Detection also is rolling out its iCMORE weapons capability for the HI-SCAN 7555aTiX and the HI-SCAN 100100V-2is and T-2is. ICMORE Weapons is part of the iCMORE range of smart and adaptable object recognition algorithms offering automatic detection of an ever-expanding list of dangerous, prohibited, and contraband goods. Detecting handguns, gun parts, ammunition, as well as flick and fixed-blade knives, iCMORE Weapons was developed for aviation and urban security checkpoints. Enhancing these HI-SCAN systems with iCMORE Weapons enables greater efficiency, safety and security while efficiently supporting image analysts.
Richard Thompson, Global Director Aviation, Smiths Detection said: “We are delighted to be delivering enhanced capabilities for our HI-SCAN series, with the launch of the new high-speed HI-SCAN 100100V-2is, which addresses the cargo sector’s need for speed and efficiency and the roll out of automatic weapons detection across three HI-SCAN systems. The security screening process cannot be foregone, so implementing automated detection solutions is invaluable for enhancing the smooth flow of people and goods and more effectively tackling threats.”
New cabin design will turn your ACJ330 jet into a shark tank
Lufthansa Technik debuted ‘Explorer’ at the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show, a new cabin design for the Airbus Corporate Jet ACJ330 that allows passengers to project content on the aircraft’s ceiling and sidewalls, giving them the opportunity to ‘go anywhere at any time’ and ‘discover the world’. The ACJ330 is a classic widebody aircraft that offers ample space for new cabin ideas. However, only a few cabin concepts have been presented to the long-haul aircraft market, with the ‘Explorer’ design being arguably the most innovative to date.
Wieland Timm, Head of Sales VIP & Specia Mission Aircraft Services for Lufthansa Technik noted that while the company regularly develops new cabin concepts, the ‘Explorer Design’ was developed for a completely new target group. Classic elements such as bedrooms and guest rooms, bathrooms, offices, dining and conference areas are also included in the floor plan, with a 10-16 VIP passenger capacity. According to Lufthansa Technik, the cabin concept is still being finalised. The completed interior, along with additions, will appear at the Dubai Air Show in November.
Two passengers accused of baggage scam; skim $550,000 from US Airlines
A number of US airlines, including American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines (LUV) and United Airlines have fallen prey to an intricate baggage claim scam devised by two US-based suspects. According to the US attorney’s office the two men, Pernell Anthony Jones Jr. (31) and Donmonick Martin (29), have been charged with conspiracy and mail fraud. The duo are accused of filing malicious lost-baggage claims to airlines on about 180 flights flying to and out of New Orleans’s Louis Armstrong International Airport. The elaborate scheme has cost US carriers about $550,000 and can be traced back to 2015.
According to a report from the New Orleans Advocate, Jones would purchase tickets and fly with commercial airlines under false aliases without any checked-in luggage. However, after landing at his destination, Jones would proceed to file a lost-luggage claim and request compensation valued at over $3,500 a time. Following a period of a month, after unsuccessfully locating the fictitious luggage, airlines would then send compensation in the form of checks addressed to Martin’s residential address. According to prosecutors Jones and Martin face a combined 25 years in prison if convicted.
ISS crew preps for film crew, first movie shot in space
On the morning of 28 September, three astronauts relocated a Russian Soyuz crew capsule to a new port on the International Space Station, clearing the way for the entry of another Soyuz vehicle that will carry a Russian film crew, to film the first commercial film in space and beating out Tom Cruise. On 5 October, launching from Kazakhstan, the Soyuz MS-19 will carry three Russian crew members that will complete their mission by docking at the ISS. The crew members include commander and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and spaceflight participants Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild.
“Today’s relocation is complete, the stage now set for next Tuesday’s arrival of the Soyuz MS-19,” Navias said. “A lot of activity coming up at the International Space Station over the course of the next few days.” Russian actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko will be the first two non-astronauts to arrive at the ISS since 2009. The movie they will be filming is called ‘The Challenge’ and marks a first for the film community as well, as it will be the first film shot from space. The group will return back to Earth on 17 October on Soyuz MS-18.
The space station will see a departure of the SpaceX Cargo Dragon resupply ship packed with science gear and cargo for return to Earth before the film crew arrives. The undocking will take place on Thursday 30 September.
Aerojet Rocketdyne awarded NASA contract for Orion spacecraft main engine
NASA has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne to build the Orion Main Engine (OME), the primary propulsion element for NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will be used to explore deep space. Under the contract, which runs through 2032, Aerojet Rocketdyne will deliver up to 20 new OME engines for use on future Artemis missions beginning with Artemis VII, or to support other NASA-sponsored, deep space exploration missions.
The OME is a 6,000 pound-thrust bipropellant engine that is mounted on Orion’s European Service module and will be built at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Los Angeles, California and Redmond, Washington, facilities. The engine is used for major manoeuvres in space, such as entering and departing lunar orbit, and in some mission abort scenarios. The first six Orion missions will use refurbished Orbital Manoeuvring System engines (OMS-E) that were provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne for the space shuttle programme.
“Having originally designed and developed the OMS-E for the shuttle programme, Aerojet Rocketdyne understands the engine’s materials, manufacturing processes and thrust levels,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen P. Drake. “Now we are able to incorporate modern manufacturing techniques to provide NASA with a reliable, flight-proven and affordable engine to propel the Orion spacecraft and return astronauts to the Moon. We understand this engine inside and out and are excited to develop its next generation in support of future Artemis missions.”
In addition to the main engine, Aerojet Rocketdyne also provides, under contract to Lockheed Martin, the auxiliary engines on Orion’s service module, reaction control thrusters on the crew module, OMS-E refurbishment services and the jettison motor on the spacecraft’s launch abort system. Orion’s auxiliary engines and reaction control thrusters are produced at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in Redmond, Washington. The jettison motor is a combined effort of the company’s facilities in Orange, Virginia and Huntsville, Alabama.
Helipass and Eve to deploy eVTOLs in France
Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions, the Embraer UAM spinoff and Helipass, a French helicopter and jet booking platform, are entering into a new collaboration to accelerate and deploy eVTOL aircraft across France and Europe. The partnership aims to fly Eve’s electric aircraft for a total of 50,000 flight hours per year. This could lead to an optional increase of 100,000 annual flight hours across Helipass’ network.
Helipass plans to open digital bookings on its platform to offer an innovative and seamless user experience to customers throughout its network. To support the expansion of this partnership, Eve will work with Helipass to develop training, on-site support and technical publications to facilitate the launch of electrical vertical aircraft (EVA) commercial operations. Following the commercial introduction of the EVA, which is planned for 2026, both companies will endeavour to launch Eve’s EVA aircraft across Helipass markets. These flights will include sightseeing, city and airport transfers, as well as a growing on-demand service.
“We are very happy about bringing Helipass to our family of partners, increasing the global reach of our solutions to the UAM market. Europe is not only ripe for new mobility solutions, but also very focused on ensuring a more sustainable future, which is very much in line with Eve’s vision,” says Andre Stein, president and CEO of Eve. “This is a great step for electric air mobility,” adds Helipass CEO Frederic Aguettant. “We are very proud to open the way and democratise the air with Eve. This new aircraft will transform our sightseeing activity with less noise and zero-emission on all our destinations for sustainable flights. The airport transfer activity will also become sustainable and open to everybody as a real mobility solution. Helipass, the air mobility platform with 600 destinations and 120 helicopter operators is opening the way for a better future.”
Both parties will look into growing the service beyond this agreement to include additional use cases, as well as the requisite services needed to support the scalability of UAM products in Helipass’ core markets.
British engineers reveal electric uncrewed concept vehicle
BAE Systems and Malloy Aeronautics have announced plans to explore the development of an all-electric ‘heavy lift’ uncrewed air system (UAS) as a potential new solution to deliver cost-effective, sustainable rapid response capability to military, security and civilian customers. The all-electric powered concept vehicle will be designed with a top speed of 140 kilometres per hour and the ability to carry a 300kg payload with a range of 30 kilometres.
The technology could be used for a range of applications such as performing ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore movements to support military and security operations and logistics. Emitting zero carbon, the uncrewed system could help revolutionise military operations where there is a requirement to carry heavy loads, helping to keep military personnel out of harm’s way in dangerous situations or disaster zones, whilst reducing the environmental impact of our armed forces. The companies are exploring opportunities to collaborate on capability, design, manufacture and marketing of the concept vehicle.
Kaman unveils KARGO, its new medium lift UAV
Kaman Corporation unveiled the KARGO UAV, the newest addition to its family of purpose-built, autonomous unmanned systems designed to be the new standard for expeditionary logistics. Built with the US Armed Forces future operating concepts in mind, the KARGO UAV offers a rugged design for easy transport and deployment. The system’s compact form-factor fits in a standard shipping container and is designed to be unloaded and operated by as few as two people.
Designed to provide cost-effective cargo hauling in its conformal pod or external sling load configuration, the KARGO UAV will self-deploy with no payload up to 523 nautical miles with maximum lifting capacity of 800lbs (362 Kg). This size and class vehicle also has multiple commercial applications and is part of a growth strategy involving a family of purpose built KARGO vehicles for multiple and repeatable missions.
Over the past six months, flight development testing of a scaled KARGO UAV demonstrator has been completed to prove out the air vehicle design and flight-testing of a full-scale autonomous vehicle is planned for 2022. The KARGO UAV leverages commercial off-the-shelf components as well as thousands of hours of automated and autonomous flight data from Kaman’s K-MAX TITAN programme, to reduce schedule and technical risk.
Kaman selected Near Earth Autonomy as a partner on the pilot KARGO UAV programme. Leveraging ongoing and concurrent collaboration between the two companies on the US Marines Corps K-MAX TITAN UAS, Near Earth will provide obstacle avoidance and other technologies such as precision landing, sense and avoid and navigation in a GPS-denied environment.
Drone Center Sweden select Altitude Angel
Altitude Angel, the world’s most trusted UTM (Unified Traffic Management) technology provider, has been retained by the Swedish Transport Administration project PNK4UTM and Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) to implement its GuardianUTM Enterprise platform at Sweden’s largest and most advanced drone test area, the 2,400km² Drone Center Sweden.
Developing services on which the country will begin to build its nationwide drone operations, Drone Center Sweden is a unique testbed project in Västervik (on Sweden’s south-east coast) which is supported by Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova, the Swedish Transport Administration, Västervik municipality and is coordinated by RISE, Sweden’s state-owned research institute. RISE brings together the private and public sectors and academia to develop services, products, technologies, processes, and materials, which contribute to a sustainable future and a competitive Swedish business community.
Project PNK (Positioning, Navigation and Communications) is an initiative to test, document and evaluate the possibility and expediency of using the mobile network to position, navigate and communicate with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), within Sweden’s existing airspace rules and regulations. Together, RISE, Telia, Ericsson, SWEPOS, Drone Center Sweden and other partners in the PNK4UTM project will deploy Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM Enterprise platform to safely and securely enable BVLOS drone operations.
Karim Cosslett, Altitude Angel, Sales & Partnership Manager, said: “Sweden has a rich history in developing and taking-to-market world-leading technology. To have GuardianUTM Enterprise chosen by one of the country’s most prestigious institutions, which is developing the next generation of delivery and urban air mobility solutions, is very exciting. All at Altitude Angel are very much looking forward to working with the teams in the PNK4UTM project and Drone Center Sweden to bring about the infrastructure to realise the almost incalculable potential of drones.”
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