LIFT AIRCRAFT'S HEXA MAY BE YOUR FIRST MULTIROTOR DRONE RIDE
We were promised jetpacks, but let's be honest, they're just plain unsafe. So a nice drone ride is probably all we should reasonably expect. Lift Aircraft is the latest to make a play for the passenger multirotor market, theoretical as it is, and its craft is a sleek little thing with some interesting design choices to make it suitable for laypeople to "pilot."
The Austin-based company just took the wraps off the Hexa, the 18-rotor craft it intends to make available for short recreational flights. It just flew for the first time last month, and could be taking passengers aloft as early as next year.
The Hexa is considerably more lightweight than the aircraft that seemed to be getting announced every month or two earlier this year. Lift's focus isn't on transport, which is a phenomenally complicated problem both in terms of regulation and engineering. Instead, it wants to simply make the experience of flying in a giant drone available for thrill-seekers with a bit of pocket money.
This reduced scope means the craft can get away with being just 432 pounds and capable of 10-15 minutes of sustained flight with a single passenger. Compared with Lilium's VTOL engines or Volocopter's 36-foot wingspan, this thing looks like a toy. And that's essentially what it is, for now. But there's something to be said for proving your design in a comparatively easily accessed market and moving up, rather than trying to invent an air taxi business from scratch.
"Multi-seat eVTOL air taxis, especially those that are designed to transition to wing-borne flight, are probably 10 years away and will require new regulations and significant advances in battery technology to be practical and safe."Lift CEO Matt Chasen said. "We didn't want to wait for major technology or regulatory breakthroughs to start flying."
RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS TO CERTIFY A SERVICE CENTRE IN EGYPT IN 2019
During the first stage, the centre will be carrying out maintenance and overhaul of Mi-8T and Mi-17-1V helicopters operated by EAF. Future plans include mastering of a Mi-17V-5 type.
"One of the key objectives of JSC "Russian Helicopters" is to organize a system of after-sales support providing first-class service throughout the complete life cycle of Russian-made rotorcraft. The holding intends to continue expanding its global network of authorized service centres. Over the past three years, in cooperation with our partners from HFDI we have performed a tremendous job establishing the MRO centre for Russian-made rotorcraft at the factory's facilities. The Egyptian side is already in process of performing a pilot Mi-8T and Mi-17-1V overhaul upon the results of which we plan to proceed with certification of the centre", announced Igor Chechikov, Deputy Director General for After-Sales Support of JSC "Russian Helicopters".
"Egypt is a long-standing and strategically important partner for Rostec. We cooperate in a wide range of areas. At the same time, helicopter industry and after-sales service of equipment are one of the key areas of our cooperation," said Viktor Kladov, Director for international cooperation and regional policy at Rostec. "Certification of the helicopter service centre in Egypt opens up new opportunities for expanding cooperation with local partners."
Mi-8/17 helicopters developed by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant (part of Russian Helicopters Holding Company) are world-famous. Reliable and low-maintenance, they remain in constant demand. They are capable of medevac and humanitarian missions, cargo and passenger transportation (including VIPs). Military-transport Mi-8/17 helicopters are designed to transport service personnel and to carry cargo inside the cabin and on the external sling. This rotorcraft is employed for patrol or search-and-rescue operations and can also carry armament. Not once have they been used for combat operations in flashpoint conflicts as well as for anti-drug operations and missions against illegal armed groups.
GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR THE FARTHEST DISTANCE TRAVELED BY ELECTRIC HELICOPTER
The battery-powered manned helicopter achieved a record 30 nautical mile flight to 800 feet altitude with an average speed of 80 knots on Friday, December 7th. The helicopter was a modified Robinson R44 test piloted by Captain Ric Webb of OC Helicopters.
All flights were accomplished at the Los Alamitos Army Airfield under a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category issued by FAA's Los Angeles MIDO. Tier 1 Engineering accomplished the project under contract from Lung Biotechnology PBC to produce an Electrically-Powered Semi-Autonomous Rotorcraft for Organ Delivery.
AUSTRALIA'S FIRST F-35S ARRIVE HOME TO RAAF WILLIAMTOWN HERALDING NEW ERA FOR THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE
The most advanced fighter jet ever built, the F-35 will be a catalyst for the transformation of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), utilising its sensors and low observability to operate with impunity in contested airspace and fuse a picture of the battlespace for other air, land and sea assets. Along with its advanced weapons capacity and superior range, the 5th Generation F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter in the world.
Australian suppliers played a significant role in the F-35 program with more than 50 Australian companies contributing to the global program of record of more than 3,000 aircraft. To date, the F-35 program has secured more than 2,400 highly skilled jobs created and generated more than $1.3 billion AUD in contracts for Australian industry.
Lockheed Martin is the industry lead for F-35 global sustainment and is working in partnership with the Australian Defence Force and local industry to provide sustainment support and realise the full potential of the F-35 as an integrated force multiplier for decades to come.
Australia's has committed to 72 F-35As, which will be flown by Australian pilots, and maintained by a joint team of Australian maintenance personnel and industry partners including Lockheed Martin Australia. Australia has received 10 aircraft to date, the remainder of which are stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where they are part of the international cooperative F-35 training operations.
RAF Typhoons maintain a constant state of readiness to defend the sovereignty of British skies. The introduction of Meteor brings a new and innovative long-range capability and further enhances Typhoon's already potent arsenal. This year they have been scrambled for a variety of incidents including intercepting Russian bombers approaching UK airspace.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: This latest missile system demonstrates the next chapter of the Typhoon which will see the jet evolve its ability to target and destroy any airborne threat at great distances. The Meteor missile will provide an unrelenting deterrence to those who wish harm upon the UK and our Armed Forces.
The RAF's prized Typhoon Force is unquestionably now the cornerstone of British and NATO military power. It has proved itself in combat roles over Libya, Iraq and Syria, protecting UK skies and overseas territories, and providing critical support to our NATO Allies in Eastern Europe.
RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighters are now armed with the most advanced Air to Air missile in the world, the MBDA developed ramjet powered Meteor. Another huge leap forward in capability for the Typhoon Force, which is proud to continue defending the UK and our allies, 24/7.
The missile system is a worthy investment as it can fly in any weather condition, perform against all current and known future threats; including combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles/missiles and will eventually operate from the F-35 Lightning aircraft. Crucially, the Meteor and launch aircraft will be networked by a datalink ensuring highly accurate and intelligent air strikes.
"The SureFly is an American-made eVTOL currently pursuing FAA Type Certification with a smart design that emphasizes safety, all of which is important to us," said Tony Thompson, President of Quantum XYZ. "Quantum XYZ plans to submit its application to become a FAA certified Urban VTOL air carrier. Once SureFly receives FAA Type Certification, we feel that together, Quantum and SureFly will be in a position to bring the first Urban VTOL air service to market."
"Having hybrid-electric eVTOLs as a safe, fast, convenient method of travel is an idea for today," said Steve Burns, Chief Executive Officer of Workhorse. "We are very excited to be a part of Quantum's initiative to become the first eVTOL air taxi service in Los Angeles" continued Mr. Burns.
"We invite a future where safe, on-demand air travel is as ubiquitous as car service, a future in which aircrafts consume half the energy but generate twice the fun. We're excited to partner with Workhorse in our efforts to bring the first Urban VTOL air carrier service to market, starting with a SureFly launch fleet in Los Angeles," stated Zeeshan Moha, Vice President and Chief Route Architect of Quantum XYZ.
SureFly, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Workhorse, is currently testing under an experimental certificate with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). SureFly has submitted its Type Certification application for the SureFly eVTOL aircraft.
BOEING KC-46 TANKER PROGRAM COMPLETES PHASE II RECEIVER CERTIFICATION TESTING
Boeing and U.S. Air Force KC-46 crews kicked off receiver certification testing with F-16 aircraft in April 2018. Since then the joint team also completed testing with KC-135, C-17, A-10, KC-46, B-52, and F/A-18 aircraft.
During the certification flight tests, KC-46 and receiver aircraft flew at different airspeeds, altitudes and configurations to ensure compatibility and performance throughout the refuelling envelope of each receiver. Now, the Air Force and the Aerial Refuelling Certification Agency will review all test data and paperwork before ultimately "certifying" each aircraft.
Six test aircraft have now completed more than 3,700 flight hours and supplied more than four million pounds of fuel in flight to receiver aircraft.
Phase III receiver certification testing will be conducted by the Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base in 2019. That testing will include additional receiver aircraft.
The KC-46, derived from Boeing's commercial 767 airframe, is built in the company's Everett, Wash., facility. Boeing is currently on contract for the first 52 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force.
The KC-46A is a multirole tanker that can refuel all allied and coalition military aircraft compatible with international aerial refuelling procedures and can carry passengers, cargo and patients.
USA, Willow Run Airport: An experimental "flying car" aircraft crashed during a test run at Willow Run Airport, injuring the male pilot. Sanjay Dhall a pilot and engineer and the owner and founder of Detroit Flying Cars was performing a high-speed taxi test when he accidentally went airborne and crashed. Dhall was transported to hospital in Michigan where he is in stable condition.
USA, Hawaii: A Hawker Hunter Mk 58 operated by the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) whilst a participant in the Sentry Aloha military exercises impacted the waters of the Pacific Ocean shortly after take-off from Daniel K Inouye International Airport (PHNL), Honolulu, Hawaii. The sole pilot ejected was recovered but suffered serious injuries. The airplane submerged, sustaining unreported damage.
Russia, Tomsk Oblast: A Mil Mi-8 operated by Yeltsovka Airlines with 25 on board rolled over after landing at Kedrovy City Industrial Zone Airport. There were no fatalities.
Brazil, Guaxupé: The right gear of a Beechcraft C90GT King Air operated by Cooxupé with five on board collapsed during the touch down at Guaxupé. The aircraft veered off runway and crashed into a ravine; all aboard survived. However, the aircraft suffered substantial damage.
Russia, Surgut: A UTAir Boeing 737-500 on a flight from Moscow, Vnukovo to Surgut (Russia), was descending towards Surgut when the aircraft entered a zone of turbulence causing injuries to two flight attendants. The aircraft continued for a safe landing in Surgut. The two injured flight attendants were taken to a hospital. The aircraft was unable to depart for the return flight and remained on the ground for about three hours before being returned to service.
Indonesia, Kasonaweja Airstrip: A Cessna 208 Caravan I operated by Alfra Trans Dirgantara with nine on board suffered substantial damage when it upon landing at Kasonaweja Airstrip, Central Mamberamo Regency, Papua, Indonesia veered off the runway and came to a stop on a downslope. There were no reports of injuries to the passengers.
Russia, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport: A Quest Kodiak 100 operated by TVPX Aircraft Solutions Inc Trustee landing at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport after a ferry flight from Seattle to Sapporo via Anchorage, Nome, suffered a runway excursion after it had lost a wheel. The pilot was not injured and the aircraft suffered only minor damage.
Portugal, Serra de Couce, Valongo: A Agusta A109S Grand operated by the Instituto Nacional de Emergência Médica (INEM) with four on board helicopter was returning to his base Macedo de Cavaleiros in the district of Braganca after dropping off a patient at Valongo when it crashed in bad weather. Two pilots, a nurse and a doctor didn't survive .According to a statement from the government department a preliminary assessment of the wreckage so far indicates that the crash occurred following a collision with an existing broadcasting antenna in the area.
17 DECEMBER 1947
First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet
The B-47 designed to fly at high subsonic speed and at high altitude to avoid enemy interceptor aircraft entered service with the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC) in 1951. Its primary mission was as a nuclear bomber capable of striking the Soviet Union. It never saw combat as a bomber, but was a mainstay of SAC's bomber strength during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and remained in use as a bomber until 1965.
It was also adapted to a number of other missions, including photographic reconnaissance, electronic intelligence, and weather reconnaissance, remaining in service as a reconnaissance aircraft until 1969 and as a testbed until 1977.
The B-47 was so fast that in the early days the aircraft set records with ease. The aircraft handled well in flight, with a fighter-like light touch to the controls. The large bubble canopy for the pilot and co-pilot enhanced the fighter-like feel of the aircraft with improved vision, but the design would also cause variations in internal temperatures for the three-man crew.
The final recorded flight of a B-47 was on 17 June 1986, when a B-47E was restored to flight-worthy condition for a one-time ferry flight. This aircraft was flown from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, to Castle Air Force Base, California, for static display at the Castle Air Museum, where it presently resides.