1 Plan your weekend
2 Forthcoming events
3 Bomb-carrying teen gives up bomb, allowed to board flight
4 Boeing Starts Assembly of Final KC-46A Test Aircraft
5 Valdez STOL Aircraft to Showcase Unique Capabilities at EAA AirVenture 2014
6 Eurofighter Typhoon: Flight tests with Taurus KEPD 350 missile started
7 Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works SR-72
8 Advertising Rate Card



There are no events that we are aware off scheduled for this weekend.


31 January to 01 February: SAC Western Cape regionals / AWAC finals at Mossel Bay. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: change@mweb.co.za

31 January to 02 February: Dias Festival airshow - Mossel Bay.
Contact Hans Potgieter e-mail:
airshowevents@gmail.com 082 768 1754

1 February: SAPFA Rand Airport challenge rally: www.sapfa.org.za Contact Mary de Klerk

1 February: SAAF Museum flying training and open day. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342. E-mail:

8 February: MISASA Shootout 2014 to be held at Kitty Hawk. Contact Donald Hicks e-mail: wendonair@wendon.co.za or John Boucher e-mail: comms@misasa.org Tel: 082 553 1105

1 March: Swellendam fly-in. Contact Pieter Venter 083 250 9504

1 March: SAAF Museum open day. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342

1 March: Parys Pylon Time Trials - VANS RV REVOLUTION, Parys, Free State, South Africa. Contact Scully Levin 083 500 8387 email:flyboys@global.co.za

8 March: Bultfontein Wings and Wheels. Contact Piet Vermaak 082 571 3422

13-15 March: SA Navy Festival. Contact Navy PRO 021 787 5684

21-23 March: Durban Sky Grand Prix, Durban. Contact Gerna Fraser 031 563 9165

22 March: PASASA TMG fly-in, Kittyhawk. Contact Marietjie van Niekerk 082 765 6670

23 March: SAPFA Rally -Virginia Airport. Contact Mary de Klerk email:maryd@expandingbranding.co.za

28-39 March: Wings and Wheels festival, Uitenhage. Contact Lourens Kruger 082 320 2615

29-30 March: DAC North-West regionals. Contact Annie Boon change@mweb.co.za



Canadian authorities are investigating the case of n teenager who was apparently allowed to board a flight even after security found a pipe bomb in his carry-on. Using gunpowder obtained from an undisclosed source, 18-year-old Skylar Murphy of Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, and a buddy made two pipe bombs. Boys being boys with explosives, they detonated one in a field. Saving the other for later, Murphy stuffed the 15-centimeter by five-centimeter tube, with its three-meter fuse, into a camera bag and ostensibly forgot about it until he was carrying the camera bag and bomb through security at the Edmonton, Alberta Airport. An alert Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) guard found the bomb. Being polite, he tried to return the explosive device to Murphy. According to CBC News Edmonton, Murphy declined the offer and told the guard to keep it. Murphy then joined his family on their flight to Mexico for a vacation.

CATSA personnel waited four days after Murphy's excursion through security to disclose it to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Things then figuratively blew up for all concerned. Upon his return to Edmonton, Murphy was greeted by a “large number of uniformed troops, a SWAT team and bomb-sniffing dogs.” He was eventually convicted of possessing an explosive device and fined $100. Criticism was directed at CATSA from virtually anyone who could find a microphone or computer, including Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who said that the individual should not have been allowed to board his flight. CATSA spokesperson Mathieu Larocque said that the officers involved were suspended and given additional training before returning to work. He also said that training materials and procedures have been updated. When contacted by CBC News, Mr. Murphy replied that “what has been published is not at all an accurate portrayal of what happened.”



On track to complete all 4 test aircraft by midyear

Boeing is assembling the fourth and final KC-46A test aircraft for the U.S. Air Force's next-generation aerial refueling tanker program at the company's Everett factory, keeping the program on track to deliver the initial 18 tankers to the Air Force by 2017.

“All four test aircraft are moving through production to support our transition to ground and flight testing later this year,” said Maureen Dougherty, Boeing vice president and KC-46 Tanker program manager. “Our joint Boeing and U.S. Air Force team continues to deliver on our commitments to the war-fighter.”

The aircraft are commercial derivatives of the Boeing 767 jetliner; their design features aerial refuelling capabilities that will be installed later at Boeing Field in Seattle. The 767 is a proven jet in service as an airliner, freighter and international tanker, with more than 1,060 delivered worldwide.

The first flight of an Engineering and Manufacturing Development KC-46 tanker program test aircraft, without its aerial refuelling systems, will take place at midyear, followed by the first flight of a KC-46A tanker in early 2015. The first delivery of a production aircraft to the Air Force is planned for early 2016. Boeing expects to build 179 tankers by 2027 if all options under the contract are exercised.



The unmatched capabilities of Valdez STOL aircraft will be featured at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014.

Specially modified aircraft, originally created for Alaskan bush-pilot necessity but that also created one of the world's most unique aviation competitions, will be part of the "Valdez STOL" (short takeoff and landing) flying activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 set for July 28-August 3 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

Demonstrations featuring the unmatched capabilities of the airplanes that compete at the annual Valdez Fly-In & Air Show in May each year will be held several days at Oshkosh. More than a dozen of these aircraft, including homebuilt and specially modified production airplanes, will be participating at AirVenture 2014. They are based on aircraft that provide supplies to the rugged and far-flung outposts throughout Alaska. The demanding terrain in that state requires that aircraft take off and land on rough runways often less than 500 feet long.

Along with flying demonstrations during AirVenture's daily afternoon air show July 28-30, the Valdez STOL aircraft will stage a "fun flying" demonstration from the grass ultralight runway on Friday evening, August 1. In addition, the aircraft will be on display in special parking areas and on the main showcase ramp at Oshkosh, with pilots and builders part of forums and evening programs throughout the week.

"Most people think of airport runways of concrete a mile or more in length, but these aircraft can land on almost any flat surface - sometimes in less than 100 feet," said Jim DiMatteo, EAA's vice president of AirVenture features and attractions. "The necessity of creating aircraft that can serve Alaska's remote areas also inspired a competition that's nothing like you'll see in the Lower 48.



On January 15, Airbus Defence and Space started flight tests on Taurus stand-off precision missiles on the Instrumented Production Aircraft 7 (IPA7), operated by Eurofighter Project Pilot Chris Worning. The first flight took place at Manching Military Air Systems Center in the north of Munich. After the successful completion of the functional ground test at the end of last year and taxi tests, which were carried out up until yesterday, Airbus Defence and Space has begun an intensive flight test programme with flutter tests, air data system large store interference assessment and aerodynamic data gathering. The activities are taking place as part of the Storm Shadow integration programme. Concurrent testing of these two similar missiles optimises the Storm Shadow integration and facilitates the future airframe integration of Taurus. Taurus KEPD 350 is a German/Swedish missile that is manufactured by Taurus Systems GmbH, a partnership between MBDA Germany and Saab Dynamics.



In 1976, U.S. Air Force SR-71 Blackbird crews flew from New York to London in less than two hours, reaching speeds exceeding Mach 3 and setting world records that have held up for nearly four decades.

But those world records may not stay unbroken for long.

That's because today, at the birthplace of the Blackbird - Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works® - engineers are developing a hypersonic aircraft that will go twice the speed of the SR-71. It's called the SR-72.

Son of the Blackbird

The SR-71 was developed using 20th century technology. It was envisioned with slide rules and paper. It wasn't managed by millions of lines of software code. And it wasn't powered by computer chips. All that changes with the SR-72.

Envisioned as an unmanned aircraft, the SR-72 would fly at speeds up to Mach 6, or six times the speed of sound. At this speed, the aircraft would be so fast, an adversary would have no time to react or hide.

“Hypersonic aircraft, coupled with hypersonic missiles, could penetrate denied airspace and strike at nearly any location across a continent in less than an hour,” said Brad Leland, Lockheed Martin program manager, Hypersonics. “Speed is the next aviation advancement to counter emerging threats in the next several decades. The technology would be a game-changer in theatre, similar to how stealth is changing the battle space today.”

A hypersonic plane does not have to be an expensive, distant possibility. In fact, an SR-72 could be operational by 2030. For the past several years, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® has been working with Aerojet Rocketdyne to develop a method to integrate an off-the-shelf turbine with a supersonic combustion ramjet air breathing jet engine to power the aircraft from standstill to Mach 6. The result is the SR-72 that Aviation Week has dubbed “son of Blackbird,” and integrated engine and airframe that is optimized at the system level for high performance and affordability.

Hypersonic Research and Development

SR-72 is not the first hypersonic Skunk Works® aircraft. In partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, engineers developed the rocket-launched Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2). The HTV-2 research and development project was designed to collect data on three technical challenges of hypersonic flight: aerodynamics; aerothermal effects; and guidance, navigation and control.

The SR-72's design incorporates lessons learned from the HTV-2, which flew to a top speed of Mach 20, or 13,000 mph, with a surface temperature of 3500°F.

A hypersonic aircraft will be a game changer.


Midweek Update

Copyright © 2024 Pilot's Post PTY Ltd
The information, views and opinions by the authors contributing to Pilot’s Post are not necessarily those of the editor or other writers at Pilot’s Post.