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30 December: Annual Open Day. St Francis Airpark (FACF)

13 January: EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting, Dickie Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact editor@afskies.co.za

24-30 January: Gliding Cape Regionals, Worcester Airfield. Contact Gary Whitecross gary@airplay.co.za

Date to be decided Port Elizabeth Airshow. Contact Crystal Watson e-mail: cwatson@mweb.co.za

30 January: SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge fun rally. Contact Frank Eckard Cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail:

3 Februay: EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting, Dickie Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact editor@afskies.co.za

6 February: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 or E-mail: webmaster@saafmuseum.org

6 February: MISASA Best of the Best Wings Wheels Water showcase. Venue to be advised Contact John Boucher e-mail:

6-7 February: SAC NW regionals Klerksdorp. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

27 February: SAPFA Stellenbosch fun rally. Contact Alewyn Burger Cell: 082 416 1951 e-mail:

2 March: EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting, Dickie Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact editor@afskies.co.za

5 March: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 or E-mail: webmaster@saafmuseum.org

4 - 5 March: Swellengrebel Fly In - Swellendam. Contact Pieter Venter e-mail: pventer@vgv.co.za Cell: 082 250 9504

5 March: SAPFA Durban Wings Club fun rally. Contact Mary de Klerk e-mail:
mary@expandingbranding.co.za or Cate Juselius e-mail: cate@eastcoastsa.net

5 March: Wings and Wheels festival Uitenhage. Contact Lourens Kruger e-mail:

3 April: SAAF Museum flying training and open days. Contact Capt. Kobus Kapp 012 351 2342 or E-mail: webmaster@saafmuseum.org

2-3 April: SAC Western Cape regionals Saldanha. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

6 April: EAA Chapter 322 monthly meeting, Dickie Fritz Moth Hall Edenvale. Contact editor@afskies.co.za

9-11 April: Airport show in Dubai United Arab Emirates. Contact Reed Exhibitions Middle East e-mail: ria.andaya@reedexpo.ae

15 April: SAPFA National Rally Flying Championships at Brits airfield. Contact e-mail: chairmanatsapfa@gmail.com

20 -23 April: AERO Friedrichshafen - Germany. Contact website: www.aero-expo.com

29-30 April: Lowveld airshow - Nelspruit. Contact Willemien Hodgkinson e-mail: willemien.hodgkinson@ffa.co.za

29 April-1May: EAA National Convention, Mossel Bay.

December 23 1986 - Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager completed the first nonstop flight around the globe, flying 25,012 miles, on one load of fuel. The trip took them 9 days and 4 minutes in the experimental aircraft Voyager landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

December 24 1944 - The people of the Philippines received a surprise when airplanes of 43rd Bombing Group flew over to drop a million Christmas cards; each one contained the words: "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 1944 - General Douglas MacArthur. "

December 27 1919: The Boeing Airplane Co. B-1 mail plane, the first Boeing-designed commercial aircraft, makes its first flight.

December 29 1944 - F/L RJ Audet, flying a Supermarine Spitfire of No. 411 (Fighter) Squadron near Rheine, Germany, destroyed five enemy fighters in his first combat

December 29 1921 - Edward Stinson and Lloyd Bertaud set a world endurance record of 26 hours, 18 min and 35 seconds flying a BMW-engined Junkers-Larsen over Roosevelt Field.

December 30 1968 - The world's first supersonic transport aircraft to fly, the Tupolev Tu-144, took to the air, powered by four Kuznetsov NK-144 turbofans.

December 30 1951 - The year-end tally showed that for the first time, total passenger flying miles exceeded that of railroad miles at 10.6 million

December 31 1908 - Wilbur Wright wins a prize of FF 20,000 from Michelin for the longest flight of the year - 124 kilometres (77 mi) from Camp d'Auvours.

January 1 1946 - A British South American Airways Avro Lancastrian becomes the first commercial flight to depart Heathrow Airport

January 1 1940 - Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) coding is introduced to identify Bomber, Coastal and Fighter Command aircraft for the air defence system. VHF Radio Telephone installations are also completed eight selected sectors.

January 2 1967 - The National Supersonic Transport program, formed by President John F. Kennedy for the purpose of subsidizing the design of a Concorde-fighting supersonic airliner, awards a contract to Boeing for its 2707 SST design. Despite 115 orders from 25 different airlines, the program would lose its funding in 1971, forcing Boeing to lay off 60,000 workers.

January 2 1954 - A new coast to coast record in the US is set by Colonel Willard W. Milliken of the Air National Guard, flying a North American F86 Sabre jet and covering 2,530 miles (4,070 km) from Los Angeles to New York in 4 hours 8 min. (time includes stop for fuel at Offutt AFB).

January 3 1964 - A United States Air Force B-52D Stratofortress carrying two Mark 53 nuclear bombs loses its vertical stabilizer in turbulence during a winter storm and crashes on Savage Mountain near Barton, Maryland -- this is known as the 1964 Savage Mountain B-52 crash. Only two of the five crewmen survive. The bombs are recovered two days later.

January 3 1496 - Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine.

January 4 1998 - A passenger dies after suffering a reaction to secondhand smoke on board Olympic Airways Flight 417, a Boeing 747, leading to regulations on smoking on aircraft.

January 4 1989 - Two United States Navy F-14 Tomcats of Fighter Squadron 32 (VF-32) aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) shoot down two Libyan Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23s (NATO reporting name "Flogger") off the coast of Libya using AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. They are the third and fourth of five kills scored by F-14s during the Tomcat?'?s career in U.S. Navy service.

January 4 1945 - The Japanese make their last kamikaze attack on the U. S. invasion force off Mindoro, causing a cargo ship carrying ammunition to explode, killing all 71 merchant mariners on board.

January 4 1944 - North American P-51 Mustangs score 18 victories. 1944 there were 17 P-51 fighter groups in England. Of these, the 357th Fighter Group had 609 aerial victories.

January 5 1949 - Charles "Chuck" Yeager using a Bell X-1 carried out the only conventional (runway) take off performed during the X-1 program, reaching 23,000 ft (7,000 m) in 90 seconds.

January 5 1939 - Amelia Mary Earhart, noted American aviation pioneer and author, is declared legally dead after disappearance in 1937.

January 5 1916 - First flight of the Nieuport 11 (Bébé Nieuport), a famous French WWI single seat biplane fighter.

January 6 1942 - Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world.

India, Mumbai: A man working for Air India has died after being sucked into a jet engine of an Airbus A319-112 in what has been termed a "mishap". The freak accident happened as the plane pushed back for take-off at Mumbai airport. The maintenance technician was standing too close and was sucked into the engine and died instantly.

Spain, Madrid: A TAM Boeing 777 with some 300 passengers from Madrid airport to Sao Paulo was 90 minutes into its flight when it was forced to return to its point of origin following suspicions of a bomb on board. The plane returned safely and all passengers were evacuated to nearby hotels while explosives experts searched the plane. No bomb or device was found.

USA, Phoenix: A Eurocopter AS 350B3 Ecureuil medical helicopter crashed late last Tuesday night in "rugged terrain" east of Phoenix, killing two of the three people aboard, officials said. A third crew member survived and was able to signal searchers with a flashlight.

USA, Enid: - The service of an Enid Fire Department captain who was accused of pointing a laser into the cockpit of an airplane has been terminated. A UPS pilot reported Oct. 15 a green laser shining multiple times into his plane as he landed and took off from Enid Woodring Regional Airport. The Firefighter, a 17-year veteran of the fire department, owns property adjacent to the airport and told investigating officers he was in his pasture medicating cattle with his dart gun, which has a green laser sight attached to it. He told the panel neither he nor his wife intentionally pointed the laser at the plane, but the commission determined the laser couldn't have accidentally hit the cockpit as many times as it did, according to a commission report. The commission concluded Morgan violated the fire department's code of ethics by being dishonest about the incident on his property.

China, Beijing: Two Chinese navy pilots in a Jian-10 fighter survived a crash after the fighter spun out of control because of a malfunction during a night training exercise. The Jian-10 fighter jet was in operation when it crashed in Zhejiang Province on China's east coast, near the city Taizhou. The two pilots managed to parachute safely after the plane had crashed.


Adrenaline-fuelled excitement reaches new heights at the all-new Al Ain Air Championship 2015. Join the action in Al Ain for three days of high-speed thrills, breathtaking aerial shows and sensational entertainment and family fun.

Along with aerial shows from the world's top aces guaranteed to captivate flying fanatics, the Al Ain Air Championship will feature the show's biggest on-ground family entertainment extravaganza yet.

The massive 60,000 square metre Village offers a wide range of aircraft displays, interactive stands, runway demos and parades, a dedicated family area and a diverse line-up of food trucks, providing all-day family fun for visitors.

The eleventh edition of the event features a new championship competition format taking the popular new heights featuring a select field of invited flying aces from around the world. Including a mix of elite military teams and civilian daredevils, the teams will square off against each other in a three-day series of head-to-head competition heats. Competitors will be scored in four different style categories by a group of aviation experts and celebrity judges. Interactive digital voting by spectators will also count towards competitor point totals, allowing the fans to have a direct say in which team walks off with the new Championship trophy.

The overall winner will be crowned Grand Champion during a spectacular closing ceremony to be staged in front of show crowds on Saturday 19th December.


Al Fursan ["The Knights"]

The aerobatics demonstration team of the United Arab Emirates Air Force. Formed in 2010, the team is comprised of seven Italian-built Aermacchi MB-339NAT jet aircraft. Al Fursan wowed the crowd with its tight formation flying and dramatic smoke displays featuring the UAE flag colours.

Richard Goodwin Airshows

Richard Goodwin has been wowing aerobatic display fans for over 30 years when he won his first trophy in an RAF Hawk fighter jet. After his military flying career, Rich moved on to a classic Pitts S2S Biplane decorated in the unmistakable Union Jack livery.

Saudi Hawks

The Saudi Hawks are a BAE Hawk-equipped Royal Saudi Air Force aerobatic team. The team debuted in January 1999 in Riyadh, the Saudi Kingdom's capital, as part of the country's 100th anniversary celebrations. Six smoke-capable BAE Hawk Mk.65A and three Mk.65S are assigned to the team and now wear striking green and white demonstration colours.

Red Bull China Firestars

This is the first civilian aerobatic display team in China although most of the pilots are from South Africa. It is also the only XtremeAir 4 ship display team in the World. The Team displays at events throughout China during the season (April - November) and at International events in the off season. The German manufactured XtremeAir XA42 was selected as the Team's aircraft, and the first two arrived in China in September 2013. The second two aircraft arrived in March 2014. The XA42 is a full composite, two seat unlimited aerobatic aircraft.

Breitling Wingwalkers

One of Europe's favourite aerobatic display acts, the team was founded in 1989 by Vic Norman, a veteran aerobatics pilot. It operates four Boeing-Stearman Model 75 biplanes and employs five pilots. The team's shows consist of two or four planes performing aerobatic manoeuvres while female athletes, attached to a post above the wings, engage in acrobatics.

UAE Air Force F16 & Mirage, UAE

Two of the most awesome military jets in the skies, the F16 Fighting Falcon and the Dassalt Mirage 2000 will blow the crowds away with their sheer power and sonic presence. Fans will tell them apart by the F16's famous "Viper Snake" appearance and frameless bubble canopy.

Bahrain Air Force F16, Bahrain

The Royal Bahraini Air Force will delight fans of power flying as they do a special flyby at the Championship, making a special sortie all the way from their headquarters at the Sheik Isa Air Base in Bahrain.

Glider FX Aerobatics, UK

The GilderFX team ?y the most aerobatic gliders ever built, including the 2-seat MDM1-Fox. The MDM-1 Fox gliders are capable of 'unlimited' aerobatics, and dramatic manoeuvres. Watch out for rolls, loops, tailslides, ?ick rolls and dynamic tumbles.

Misty Blues Skydiving, USA

Since the early 1980's The Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team has been thrilling audiences at air around the world. These exceptionally talented and brave ladies delight in displaying their parachuting talents that make them some of the most skilled skydivers in the world.

Belgian Broncos, Belgium

The Bronco Demo Team of the Royal Bavarian Air Force flies a solo display using the Rockwell OV-10 Bronco, the iconic turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. Developed in the 1960s for counter insurgency combat, the Bronco flaunts its extreme agility inside a tight aerobatic box with short take-off and landing skills.

Bravo 3 Repsol Team, Spain

Led by reigning European Champion, Castor Fantoba, this Spanish duo is the only active Sukhoi-flying formation team in the world and winners of over 30 international medals. Look for a stirring display of classic aerobatics with close formation figures and freestyle manoeuvres.

Artur Keilak, Poland

Poland's National Aerobatic Champion and a three-time finalist at the World Aerobatic Championships, this extreme daredevil is a leading star of Unlimited Aerobatics, the cutting edge of competition aerobatics. Keilak will push himself and his XC41 to the absolute limit to thrill the crowds.


Photos © Jonkers Sailplanes

In 2009 Jonker Sailplanes and M&D Flugzeugbau, started a 6-year long adventure, the JS1 JET. This project included the installation of the MD TJ 42 sustainer engine, with a radial flow compressor and a single stage turbine, into the JS1. This adventure took JS and M&D on a journey of more than 50 test engines, various endurance- and cycle tests, over 300 hours in-field testing and more than 200 flight tests. Finally, all the hard work has paid off, and the MD TJ 42 is EASA type certified, and the SACAA JS1 JET certification in the final stages of approval!

The Type certification involved severe analysis and testing combined with vigorous compliance verification. This demanding process acknowledges EASA to be the experts in glider certification. The standards for safety, reliability and consistent performance are particularly high. Through the cooperation between M&D and JS, this certification was completed, but not without a few hurdles.

One of these steeplechases was to run the engine for predetermined cycles at a specific temperature. The test required the engine to be run at a minimum temperature of -15°C at 103% of the maximum allowable RPM for 10^7 cycles. Here is where the high-density altitude and temperatures in Africa have contributed important insights for the development. A suitable test aircraft was luckily available at the JS Factory. These tests required a few modifications to the JS1 test aircraft.

It was essential that the testing aircraft had to carry enough fuel for the duration of the test. The fuel had to last for both the time required to climb, until reaching desired temperature, as well as completing the tests. The JS1 180L wing water ballasts became the integral fuel tanks. Sealant was used to slosh the tanks as a precautionary protection and fuel connectors were fitted to root ribs to connect the huge fuel tanks the fuselage tanks.

In addition to this modification, the wings were installed with forward facing vents, where normally the water tank vents are located. This installation caused an additional positive pressure in the ballast tanks to aid the flow of fuel to the main tanks. Temperature sensors were also fitted in front of the engine, just aft of the cockpit air extractor. The sensor ensured that temperature could be measured both inside and outside the cockpit and displayed to the pilot.

During the initial tests the wax in the diesel crystallized after being exposed to the low temperatures for long periods, resulting in a reduction in fuel flow until the engine starved. The problem could have been solved by using "Winter Diesel" or (without access to special diesel in mid-summer) by heating the fuel to 55°C overnight before filling the glider.

The JS1 Jet was towed with a Cessna 182 tug plane while jet power was gradually added to assist the climb. Around 15000ft, when the jet started to outperform the 182, the glider released and further climbing was under own power. The desired test temperature of -15°C was at reached only above 22 000ft AMSL, nearly two hours after take-off.

These were just some of the many obstacles that JS and M&D proudly overcame in their certification battle.

The EASA TC came with many impediments, a few headaches and even fewer nights of sleep, but finally, the thermal is climbed and JS and M&D can confidently glide into 2016 proofing again the legends vast growing likeliness.


Photo © Lockheed

Lockheed Martin's fifth generation F-35 that has been in development for nearly 20 years is only now ready to go into production but the company is already planning a sixth generation replacement.

A concept drawing of a new sixth-generation fighter design show a tailless stealth fighter with wings like the X-47B unmanned aerial vehicle and a nose and cockpit similar to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Tailless planes are the company's specialty going back to the B-2 Spirit.

According to sources the sixth-generation fighter design features lasers in place of guns. The fighter will be much bigger than any in existence today and, unlike the F-35
that has come under criticism for its relatively short range, will carry copious amounts of fuel to enable it to travel huge distances and will be able to cruise at above the speed of sound.

Because of its size the yet unnamed fighter will almost certainly not be a dogfighter but will use
speed, stealth, and advanced networked sensors to detect enemy aircraft first and then employ long-range missiles and radar to destroy opponents before they can get within range.


Photo © Embraer

Embraer Executive Jets announced today the delivery of the first Phenom 100E in China. The aircraft will be operated by Wanfeng Aviation Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Wanfeng Auto Holding Group. Based in Zhejiang province, Wanfeng Auto Holding Group is a large private joint-stock enterprise with businesses in automotive parts, machinery, financial investments, as well as alternative energy and materials.

"We are glad that Wanfeng chose Embraer's Phenom 100E, and it's an honor for us to support Wanfeng's growth in China," said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. "Embraer's entry-level Phenom 100E executive jet has won the hearts of owner-pilots, operators, fractional companies and airliners' flight training academies worldwide due to its reliability, efficiency and advanced technology. The Phenom 100E will create more value for Wanfeng and bring delightful air travel experiences to its passengers."

Guan Dongyuan, Senior Vice President of Embraer and President of Embraer China, said: "It is an important milestone to have Wanfeng as the launch customer of Phenom 100E in China. It reflects Wanfeng's trust not only in Embraer Executive Jet products, but also in our Customer Support and Services. The Phenom 100E will help Wanfeng optimize its fleet structure and bring Wanfeng more business opportunities in the future."

"It's a great honor to receive the first Phenom 100E in China," said Chen Bin, President of Wanfeng. "After comprehensive studies of executive jets in the same class, we chose the Phenom 100E, as it ideally meets our demands with its appealing features such as plenty of space, fast speed, and low fuel consumption."

As of today, over 320 Phenom 100s are in operation in 26 countries..


Photo © Lockheed Martin photo by Andrew McMurtrie

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the 32nd modernized C-5M Super Galaxy to the U. S. Air Force on Dec. 9. This aircraft was the ninth and final C-5M scheduled for delivery in 2015. The aircraft was delivered more than a week ahead of the contract commitment delivery date.

An active duty U.S. Air Force aircrew led by Maj. Gen. Warren D. Berry, the Vice Commander of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, ferried the aircraft from the Lockheed Martin facility here to Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, where it will undergo internal paint restoration.

Once paint restoration is completed, the aircraft will be assigned to Travis Air Force Base, California. It will be the 14th Super Galaxy based at Travis.

This aircraft (U. S. Air Force serial number 86-0016, company number 0102) was originally delivered to the Air Force in December 1987 and had recorded approximately 21,510 flight hours prior to the ferry flight.


Photo © Embraer

São José dos Campos, Brazil, December 18, 2015 - Embraer announced that it delivered the first two E195 jets to Tianjin Airlines, the launch customer of this aircraft model in China. These two aircraft are part of the sales agreement Tianjin Airlines signed with Embraer in 2014 for 20 E195 and 20 E190 E2 jets, during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Brazil.

"China's regional aviation industry has just taken off and will be the most robust in the world in the next decade," said Paulo Cesar Silva, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. "Embraer is glad to engage in this transformation and improve connectivity with our regional aircraft. We also hope the incoming E195 aircraft will help optimize our customer's fleet structure and create more value for Tianjin Airlines."

Guan Dongyuan, Senior Vice President of Embraer and President of Embraer China, said: "Tianjin Airlines is not only Embraer's largest customer in the Asia-Pacific region but also our first Authorized Service Center in China. The notable achievements Tianjin Airlines has made demonstrate the advantages of Embraer commercial aircraft. Embraer China will use this opportunity to further deepen the cooperation with Tianjin Airlines, offering our reliable, fuel-efficient products, as well as our most devoted customer support and services."

Currently, Tianjin Airlines operates the largest Embraer E190 fleet (45 aircraft) in China, mainly serving secondary trunk lines and regional lines.

Du Xiaoping, President of Tianjin Airlines, said the incoming E195 fleet will play a strategic role to the company's development. "We are very satisfied with the current E190 fleet we are operating and we believe the new E195 fleet, with more seats and equally excellent operational economics, will allow us to meet the surging demands of air travel in China and help achieve our development goals."

To date, Embraer Commercial Aviation has achieved an 80% share of the Chinese regional aviation market. Currently, Embraer has 224 firm orders in China, including 188 firm order (21 aircraft are pending government approval) for commercial jets, 130 of which have been delivered.


Swiss Air-Rescue Rega takes a major step in Leading rescue service operator expands their AgustaWestland helicopter fleet and adds the new generation AW169, marking a milestone in "Project Icebird"

Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced that Swiss Air-Rescue Rega has placed an order for three AW169 light intermediate twin-engine and one GrandNew light twin-engine helicopters which will join the current fleet of a GrandNew and nine single-pilot configured Da Vinci helicopters. The aircraft will perform emergency medical service and search and rescue missions (EMS/SAR) all over Switzerland, from the lowlands to the high mountains of the Alps.

The acquisition of new generation aircraft to meet the future all weather helicopter rescue programme of Rega is valued at CHF 50 million (approximately €46 million). The GrandNew will be delivered to Rega in the autumn of 2016, while the three AW169s are scheduled to be delivered in 2020. These contracts strengthen the long-standing partnership between AgustaWestland and Rega, following decades of successful operations with the A109K2, introduced in 1992, and more recently with the fleet of Da Vinci helicopters which entered service in 2009. As part of the challenging and innovative "Project Icebird", Rega and AgustaWestland will together set a new benchmark for EMS/SAR operations with the development of the "Helicopter of the Future.

Daniele Romiti, AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer, said "Project Icebird confirms Rega's strong confidence in our technology, customisation capabilities and the outstanding performance of the AW169. We look forward to working with them to bring their specialised AW169 into service."

"With the new rescue helicopter, we will be able to extend our scope of operations and in the future come to the aid of more people in distress than ever before," says Rega CEO, Ernst Kohler.

The AW169s will bring Rega into a new era in terms of technology and mission capability. Rega AW169s will feature a jointly developed, highly-customised EMS/SAR configuration to meet their future all-weather requirements. This will include a Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) for operations in known icing conditions, making the AW169 the lightest helicopter ever built with such a feature, advanced next-generation satellite navigation capabilities, Synthetic Vision System (SVS), Enhanced Vision System (EVS), Selex ES' Laser Obstacle Avoidance and Monitoring (LOAM) system for enhanced safety and situational awareness.

Midweek Update

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