Midweek Update 10 April 2013

By Willie Bodenstein

In Midweek Update we will be looking ahead to what's happening on the weekend and report on international and local news. Feel free to let us know if you or your club has got anything planned and we will gladly publish the details here. News snippets are also most welcome. E-mail all material to: willieb@pilotspost.com. The only condition is that it must be aviation related. (Obviously we reserve the right to decide what to publish).

What's happening this weekend?

13 April Breakfast at Robertson Contact: Alwyn 083 270 5888

13 April MISASA "Let it Shine" Breakfast Fly in at Kitty Hawk

12-14 April. SAA Pilot's Association Zebula Airshow. E-mail:

13 April. Uitenhage Wings and Wheels Contact: 082 320 2615

Events to diarise

20 April. SAPFA Fun Rally & Precision Qualifier Kitty Hawk. E-mail: maryd@expandingbranding.co.za
4 May. Warbirds, New Tempe, Bloemfontein. Lucas Wiese 082 566 0656
11 May. SAPFA Fun Rally & Precision Qualifier, Krugersdorp. E-mail:
11 May. SAAF Museum Airshow, AFB Waterkloof. E-mail: oconnormike@webmail.co.za

Russian-Designed Flying Pickup

Well, it's not entirely new, but it's the first time this no-nonsense pick-up-truck of an airplane has appeared at Sun 'n Fun and in the U.S. The Discovery 201 is an offshoot of a Russian design called the Akord 201, which found some service in Russia as a heavy-hauling utility airplane. The aircraft has a pair of Continental IO-360s (210 hp each) mounted on a high wing close to the centerline, vaguely reminiscent of a PBY or a Grumman Goose. It's got a pair of clamshell doors in the back for loading heavy or large cargo and can easily accommodate more than eight feet if the rear seats are removed. Question is, what's it doing here?

Discovery Aviation's Rick Cunliffe told AVweb at Sun 'n Fun Monday that his company is planning to build the airplane at a production facility in Melbourne, Florida and will market it in the U.S. as a unique cargo and working airplane. The aircraft on display at Lakeland has been fully brought to date with Garmin 500 EFIS equipment and although the exact price hasn't been set yet, Cunliffe said it would probably be just under $1 million. The Discovery 201 is designed for operations from unimproved landing areas and it can also accommodate floats and skis.

Sun 'n Fun Coming Up In Lakeland -- Blue Skies And Lemonade

Every airshow, no matter where or when, has its share of challenges, and hopefully its share of good luck, too, and this year's edition of Sun 'n Fun, in Lakeland, Fla., seems to have plenty of both. No military jet team will appear to split the sky with a pure booming roar, thanks to the federal sequester. No military aircraft at all will make it to the show, but Sun 'n Fun CEO John "Lites" Leenhouts has no gripe with that. "I understand that, I was in the military, and when you have to cut back, you cut down on the stuff that's not mission-oriented," he told AVweb on Monday. He said the organization put out a call to warbird fliers around the country to come to the show and fill in that void, and quite a few are flying in from around the nation. "Our vintage ramp is fuller now than it was last year, two days in," Leenhouts said. "The campground is fuller. This year looks to be a banner year."

Leenhouts said he offered discounts to vendors who hadn't been to the show in a while to get them back on the grounds, and he's shortened the airshow to three hours, instead of four, so the crowds don't disappear to the flight lines too early. Despite the military pullout, the airshows will have a varied lineup of performers, with Michael Goulian, Patty Wagstaff, the Bat Copter, and many more, and two night airshows, Friday and Saturday. The Geico Skytypers will fly for their first time at Sun 'n Fun, and Team Aerodynamic -- 12 RVs flying in formation -- will perform in the night show for the first time. The Black Diamond jet team, featuring MiG-17s and L-39s, will fly Wednesday through Saturday. Here and there are signs that the industry is still not expecting airplanes to sell like hotcakes -- Cessna's exhibit has fewer jets than it used to, and Cirrus skipped the show -- but signs of life and optimism abound, and there are plenty of shiny new aircraft of all shapes and sizes to encourage any pilot to dream about their next set of wings. On Monday, the weather was near-perfect, with bright sun and gentle breezes. The forecast suggests some showers and rain later in the week, but whatever comes -- tornadoes, sequesters, economic downturns -- for this one week every year, there's Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland.

Russian Helicopters to showcase latest helicopters for South American markets at LAAD Defence and Security

Rio de Janeiro / 8 April 2013 - Russian Helicopters, a subsidiary of Oboronprom, part of State Corporation Rostec and a leading global designer and manufacturer of helicopters, will bring a range of its latest models to LAAD Defence & Security, the aerospace show opening tomorrow and running through April 12 at Riocentro in Rio de Janeiro. The Russian Helicopters display can be found at stand C20 in pavilion 4.

Brazil is becoming a strategically important market for Russian Helicopters, primarily for civilian models for local helicopter operating companies. During Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's visit to Russia in December 2012 the first export contract was signed outlining the main parameters for deliveries of Russian-built Ka-62 helicopters to Atlas Táxi Aéreo. In total the Brazilian company will receive seven to fourteen of the new medium multirole Ka-62, an advanced helicopter that combines high standards of safety with low environmental impact and excellent fuel economy.

Atlas Táxi Aéreo already has Russian-built Mi-171A1s in its fleet. These helicopters serve Brazil's burgeoning oil and gas sector: the Mi-171A1 won a tender held by national oil and gas giant Petrobras, and today is used as a transport helicopter in hard-to-reach areas of the Amazon rainforest. Brazil is expected to increase its fleet of these reliable and economical helicopters in future. The Mi-171A1 is a member of the Mi-8/17 series, which is the world's most popular helicopter with more than 12,000 produced. Russian Helicopters is now marketing the latest addition to the series - the updated medium multirole Mi-171A2 - to established and new partners around the world. The new model will be on show at the company's stand at LAAD Defence & Security. It is the most advanced helicopter in its renowned family, combining the latest helicopter-construction technologies with all of the improvements accumulated over years of flying successful Mi-8/17 operation around the world.

Another Brazilian helicopter operator, Helipark Táxi Aéreo, already operates the coaxial Ka-32A11BC. First deliveries were completed in 2012, and now this helicopter is used by the Brazilian company to transport industrial cargoes on an external sling. Its uses go far beyond that, however - the Ka-32A11BC's coaxial rotors give it a unique edge in hovering accuracy and maneuverability that is essential for highly complex construction work such as erecting power lines in remote areas. The Ka-32A11BC is also uniquely qualified as a fire-fighting helicopter that can tackle forest blazes using Bambi Buckets and conflagrations in high-rise buildings using horizontal water cannon.

The Ka-32A11BC acquired by Helipark Táxi Aéreo was a pilot project in expanding its model range, and was the first order for the model from a Brazilian operator. The Ka-32A11BC is known around the world as a reliable and safe multirole helicopter. Experts say that it can be highly effective for oil and gas companies too - not only can it carry out complex construction operations for infrastructure projects, but it can also be used for monitoring and for carrying repair teams and cargoes and for other missions.

There will also be a presentation of the Mi-26T/T2, the world's heaviest-lift helicopter and the only one capable of carrying up to 20 tons of cargo either inside the fuselage or on an external sling - a world record for helicopters in serial production.

Helicopter operators from the region will also have the opportunity to discover the advanced after-sales maintenance offered as part of Russian Helicopters's global service network.

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Midweek Update

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