MIDWEEK UPDATE 11 JUNE 2014
THIS WEEK IN MIDWEEK UPDATE
1 Plan your weekend
2 Forthcoming events
3 Northrop Grumman delivers 150th centre fuselage for F-35 Lightning II
4 Airbus Helicopters delivers three workhorse EC225s to Milestone Aviation Group for African oil and gas operations by SonAir
5 F-35 Achieves three major flight test milestones on same day
6 Iraq accepts first Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft
7 Flabob Express DC-3 returns to Oshkosh
8 EAA announced 12 additional have been confirmed to appear Oshkosh 2014
9 Beechcraft King Air fleet tops 825 in Europe, Middle East and Africa
10 Rate Card
13-14 June: Alldays Bushveld Festival and Fly in. firstname.lastname@example.org. Pieter 078 429 7619
21 June: Krugersdorp Spot Landing Competition. Contact : Cecile Ferreira email@example.com
20 & 21 June: Mafikeng Memorial War Fly-In. Contact Connie: Conradie 018 387 1425 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
28 June: Mkuze airshow. Contact: John Neilon e-mail: email@example.com 082 485 5514 or Gerna Fraser 031 563 9165
5 July: Ulundi airshow KZN Winter Air Tour. Contact John Neilon 082 485 5514 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Gerna Fraser 031 563 9165 e-mail: email@example.com
5 July: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
11-12 July. Brits Flying Club 60th birthday celebrations. For bookings please contact Johan Booyens at email@example.com or 071 444 0928.
17 to 20 July: SAC Nationals - venue TBA. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
18 to 20 July: Taildraggers to Nylstroom fly-in. Contact Richard Nicholson Nylstroom Flying Club 082 490 6227
19 & 20 July: Parys Time Trials and flour bombing competition - Golden Oldies & Microlights. Contact Scully Levin E-mail: email@example.com
26 July: Breakfast Fly-In. 29 Zandfontein in Brits, North West. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for co-ordinates
28 July-3 Aug: EAA's annual AirVenture to be held in Oshkosh USA. Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden e-mail: email@example.com
2 August: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
6 -10 August: Race of Champions - Ulundi airfield. Contact Mariska at AirTeam e-mail: Mariska@airteam.co.za
17 August: Grand Rand airshow. Contact Stuart Coetzee 011 827 8884 E-mail: Carolyn@randairport.co.za
Increased efficiencies allow company to steadily increase rate of production.
Northrop Grumman Corporation has marked another significant production milestone for the F-35 Lightning II program by delivering its 150 th centre fuselage to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT). The centre fuselage is the core structure around which the aircraft is built.
Designated AF-68, the centre fuselage was delivered June 2. It is the 50 th such unit Northrop Grumman has delivered in the last 15 months. The company's first 100 centre fuselages took approximately eight and half years from program start to complete.
"The delivery of AF-68 represents Northrop Grumman's steady progress reducing the production time for the F-35 centre fuselage," said Brian Chappel, vice president and F-35 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "It also maintains the company's perfect record of on-time deliveries of centre fuselages from our Palmdale manufacturing centre to Lockheed Martin."
Northrop Grumman employees install protective coverings over centre fuselage AF-68 prior to its shipment to F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin (Photo Northprop)
AF-68 will be integrated into a conventional take-off and landing variant at Lockheed Martin's F-35 final assembly facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force.
Chappel attributes Northrop Grumman's steady increase in centre fuselage production rates to the company's Integrated Assembly Line (IAL), which was opened in Palmdale in March 2011 to improve quality, reduce costs and shorten F-35 centre fuselage assembly times.
"We're working closely with our customers, our suppliers and our employees to identify small changes in our assembly practices that will increase F-35 affordability while maintaining excellent quality," said Chappel. "Every minute, every dollar we save on the IAL helps reduce F-35 costs while speeding the jet's availability to the war fighter."
The Northrop Grumman-developed IAL makes heavy use of robotics and automation. It allows the company to produce F-35 centre fuselages with levels of engineering precision, quality and manufacturing efficiency that are not achievable using conventional manual production methods.
As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce all three variants of the jet. In addition to producing the F-35 centre fuselage, the company designed and produces the aircraft's radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.
The worldwide fleet of EC225s that perform heli-lift duties for oil and gas operators increased by three today with Airbus Helicopters' triple delivery of workhorse rotorcraft acquired by Milestone Aviation Group and leased to SonAir - an African operator - which will utilize them in Angola.
The handover ceremony in Marignane, France marked the latest such EC225 deliveries by Airbus Helicopters, with these rotorcraft expanding SonAir's operating fleet, which already includes 12 EC225s, four AS332 L2s and three AS365 N3s.
Underscoring the importance of today's event were the attendance of SonAir CEO Jo„o Andrade; a team of representatives from Milestone Aviation Group, a global leader in helicopter leasing; along with a representative of the oil and gas company as the end-user.
SonAir is a subsidiary of the Sonangol Group, a structured aviation service provider in Angola, and the largest African helicopter operator
(Photo© Eric Raz 2014)
"This event celebrates our first deliveries to Milestone, emphasizing the EC225's importance within the expanding helicopter leasing market," said Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury. "It also highlights the confidence SonAir accords to the EC225 as a powerful, and highly capable, helicopter for the most demanding missions."
The helicopters delivered yesterday are part of Milestone Aviation's record orders with Airbus Helicopters for 30 total EC225s, which were announced in 2012 and 2013.
"We are excited to commence a relationship with SonAir, Africa's largest offshore oil and gas operator, with these three EC225s" explained Milestone Aviation's Managing Director Robert Dranitzke. "As a true workhorse in offshore oil and gas operations, the EC225 continues to demonstrate its capability in the most demanding operational conditions - from the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico to Africa - and we are confident these aircraft will serve SonAir and its customers well in the years to come."
SonAir is a subsidiary of the Sonangol Group, a structured aviation service provider in Angola, and the largest African helicopter operator. Its inventory of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft provide services to major oil and gas companies as its core business.
"By further growing our EC225 fleet, SonAir's customers will benefit from the performance delivered by this helicopter," added SonAir's Andrade. "The EC225 has become a mainstay of our operations, and proves its capabilities every day."
The EC225 is Airbus Helicopters' latest version of its Super Puma family, providing a high-performance rotorcraft in the 10-11 metric ton category. This heavy twin-engine helicopter's modern technologies, excellent useful load, five-blade main rotor and low vibration levels make it an efficient solution for oil and gas missions - including offshore and passenger transport as well as search and rescue (SAR) operations.
In the Point Mugu Sea Test Range airspace off the Central California coast, an F-35B demonstrated the jet's air-to-air combat capability when it sequentially engaged two aerial targets with two AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) during a Weapon Delivery Accuracy mission.
Test pilot Lt. Col. Andrew 'Growler' Allen tracked two maneuvering drone targets, making the very first dual AMRAAM shot from any F-35 variant, and the first live AMRAAM shot from the F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant.
"The U.S. Marine Corps, which operates F-35Bs, will be the first military service branch to attain combat-ready Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2015," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. "This Weapon Delivery Accuracy test highlighted the air combat capability that will give Marine aviators a decisive combat edge in contested airspace."
The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment (Photo Lockheed)
The F-35's internally-carried AIM-120 AMRAAMs are a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations and considered a "fire-and-forget" missile using active target radar guidance.
Flying from Edwards Air Force Base, an F-35A flew a 1.9 hour mission with the first-ever load of Block 3i hardware and software. Block 3i is the next level of capability and is planned to support U.S. Air Force F-35A IOC in 2016.
The F-35C, designed for aircraft carrier operations, completed a landing at its maximum sink speed to test the aircraft's landing gear, airframe and arrestment system at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. "Five sorties were conducted, building up the maximum sink rate test condition of 21.4 feet per second, which represents the maximum sink speed planned for this test," McFarlan said. During the tests, the F-35C did three arrestments, several touch and goes and one bolter. The landings were to demonstrate structural readiness for arrested landings on an aircraft carrier at sea.
Fleet-wide, the F-35 has, to date, amassed more than 17,000 flight hours, with all three variant aircraft at the F-35 Integrated Training Center at Eglin AFB, Florida, surpassing the 5,000 sorties milestone this week.
The F-35 Lightning II, a 5th generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps' planned 2015 IOC, the U.S. Air Force and Navy intend to attain IOC in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
Iraq joins 27 other nations around the world who depend on the F-16 Fighting Falcon to maintain peace and security (Photo Lockheed)
Lockheed Martin is producing the F-16s under a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. The F-16s are being built in a configuration tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Iraqi Air Force, and the contract includes mission equipment and a support package provided by Lockheed Martin and other U.S. and international contractors.
"Iraq joins 27 other nations around the world who depend on the F-16 Fighting Falcon to maintain peace and security," said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "We are proud to play a role in the defense of a new democracy and look forward to strengthening our partnership with Iraq."
The F-16s are being built in a configuration tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Iraqi Air Force (Photo Lockheed)
This year the F-16 Fighting Falcon celebrates 40 years of evolution, and it remains the safest and most effective 4th generation multi-role fighter in the world. The F-16 will continue to be the backbone of the U.S. Air Force for years to come, assuring proven support and sustainment throughout the life of Iraq's F-16 program. More than 4,540 F-16 aircraft have been delivered to date, and production is expected to continue through 2017, with major upgrades being incorporated for all F-16 versions.
The Flabob Express, built in 1943 in Long Beach, California, was originally a C-47B staff transport for the U.S. Army. One of 3,364 B versions built by the Douglas Aircraft Company, this aircraft has experienced quite a history. Used as a Royal Air Force transport with wartime service, it is rumored to have carried public figures such as Winston Churchill and the Royal Family. It has also been owned by the governments of India, Canada, and Pakistan before it made its way back to the U.S.
Today the aircraft is owned by the Flabob Aviation Association at Flabob Airport in Riverside, California. The plane had been donated by previous owner Jerry Bartow after it was significantly damaged in a storm. It is now used as a hands-on laboratory for Flabob's and EAA's youth education programs.
While in Oshkosh, visitors will be able to tour the Flabob Express. Tours will be conducted by students from the aircraft restoration programs at the Tom Wathen Center who earned a trip to Oshkosh through a competition. The students will also provide information about the Wathen Center Aeronca Chief, which was restored and flown to Oshkosh by program participants who built it. Last year that airplane was donated to the EAA AirVenture Museum as an example of what can be done through EAA youth education.
The Flabob Express, built in 1943 in Long Beach, California, was originally a C-47B staff transport for the U.S. Army (Photo courtesy of Flabob DC-3 Experiences)
Since the distance between Wisconsin and Flabob Airport during the 1950s seemed too far away for aircraft designer Ray Stits in California, EAA Founder Paul Poberezny suggested that Flabob Airport host the first chapter ever created, EAA Chapter One. Along with this historic accomplishment, Flabob Airport held the first EAA Air Academy programs for young people outside Oshkosh, and is now known for its outstanding youth programs.
The 12-hour flight to Oshkosh is accomplished in three, four-hour legs, according to captain and Wathen Center chairman Jon Goldenbaum. Stops are scheduled in New Mexico and Wichita, Kansas, then on to the final destination at AirVenture Oshkosh. The students appearing in Oshkosh will be on board.
These acts feature a wide variety of aircraft types piloted by expert performers from wing walking to formation flights, unique aircraft ranging from a microjet to vintage and modern biplanes, warbirds, and more. EAA's daily air shows are sponsored by Rockwell Collins.
The air show performers added to the roster include:
Nicolas Ivanoff, flying the Hamilton Watches Edge 540
Mike Wiskus, in the Lucas Oil Pitts
Rob Holland and his MX-2
Matt Chapman, flying the Eagle 580
Bill Stein with his Edge 540
Tinstix - Melissa Pemberton and Skip Stewart in a Pitts and Edge
The 4ce, with pilots Rob Holland, Matt Chapman, Bill Stein, and Jack Knutson
Trojan Horseman and their six T-28s
Gene Soucy, in the famous Showcat biplane (day and night)
Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes wing walking (Photo EAA)
Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes wing walking act with the Showcat
Justin Lewis and the FLS MicroJet
Michael Rambo, flying the T-6 Texan II
Afternoon air shows are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. daily. Wednesday and Saturday night air shows are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.
Beechcraft Corporation, part of the Textron Aviation segment of Textron Inc. announced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) that the fleet of Beechcraft King Air twin-engine turboprops registered in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has surpassed 825 aircraft.King Air The company's static display at EBACE includes three current production models: Beechcraft King Air C90GTx, King Air 250 and Special Mission King Air 350ER.
This year, Beechcraft celebrates the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the business turboprop King Air series (Photo Beechcraft)
"The King Air line - renowned for its versatility and reliability - is a great fit for the growing business aviation market in the EMEA regions. In Europe alone, we've delivered 450 King Airs across all models," said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Turboprop Aircraft.
Analysis of industry data shows that business turboprops are becoming more popular with operators in EMEA markets, with the largest fleets based in South Africa, France and the United Kingdom. The analysis also reveals that there are around 1,500 business turboprops registered in EMEA - accounting for 30 percent of the business aviation market segment.
The King Air line - renowned for its versatility and reliability (Photo Beechcraft)
This year, Beechcraft celebrates the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the business turboprop King Air series, which is one of the best-selling business aircraft families in the world. Since 1964, Beechcraft has delivered nearly 7,200 King Airs with the worldwide fleet having surpassed 60 million flight hours.
Copyright © 2017 Pilot's Post PTY Ltd The information, views and opinions by the authors contributing to Pilotís Post are not necessarily those of the editor or other writers at Pilotís Post.