Plan Your Weekend……...Forthcoming Events……..Aviation News

Worldwide Incidents and Accidents……This Week in Aviation History


This is one of the saddest stories ever. Little ANNIE is an AN2 that is operated by the Hill Family. Sadly their much loved aircraft has broken down and they are desperate to get it fixed. This family have dedicated their lives to take aviation to the people. They take children of all races for pleasure rides. The joy they bring is incredible. They are desperate to raise 30k ZAR.

If you would like to make a donation no matter how small to The Just Love Mission please contact Mark Mansfield at mcubedmedia@outlook.com

8: Bethlehem Speed Rally - Bethlehem Airfield - Contact Jonty Esser e-mail: jonty@promptroofing.co.za cell: 082 855 9435

8: Kroon Fly-in. For more info contact Dawie 083 576 2355 or Marius 083 419 6613

9: LSA (Large Scale Aerobatics) Regional Competition. RMAC (Rand Model Aeronautical Club) Alberton, Johannesburg. Contact: Justin Gomersall, justin@dgkitchens.co.za, 0844651000

8: Fun Rally - Pietermaritzburg. Contact Frank Eckard frank.eckard@mweb.co.za or 083 269 1516. Book online at

10: World Precision Flying Championships - Castellon Spain - Contact Hans Schwebel e-mail: hans.s@britsgranite.co.za cell: 082 656 3005

12-15: Zimbabwe Air Rally. Mel Cooper cell: + 263 773 218426 e-mail: zimairrally@gmail.com

15: Big Five Fly-in. Legend Golf and Safari Resort, Sterkriver.

15: Maputo Airshow in Mozambique. Contact Mark Mansfield mcubedmedia@outlook.com

14 to 19: Orient Motorglider Challenge. Contact Ivan Hancock. 072 600 2935 or email 27726002935@vodamail.co.za

22: V-Dubs and Harvards Grassland's Flying Club Breakfast Fly-inn. Contact Adrienne 071 604 4648.

22: SAPFA Vintage Rally - Krugersdorp Airfield

22: Mafikeng Airshow. Contact Relibile Mofokeng e-mail: relibilemofokeng@gmail.com cell: 073 837 0162

22: Reefsteamers train, plane and vintage car event from Krugersdorp to Magalies. Contact Ian Morrison e-mail: imorison@worldonline.co.za

23-28: South African Hot Air Balloon Championships. Bill Harrops, Skeerpoort North West Province. Contact Richard Bovell e-mail: chairman@bafsa.co.za

25: Rustenburg Breakfast Fly-in. Contact Mauritz Muller mauritzmuller1@gmail.com

27-30: SAC National Championships Malelane airfield. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

4-6: AERO South Africa Wonderboom National Airport, Pretoria. Contact: Tel +27 120 599 6151 e-mail: Amanda.Dube@za.messefrankfurt.com

12-14: EAA Nysltroom Viegklub Taildraggers. Contact Richard Nicholson cell: 082 490 6227 e-mail: flybenchmark@gmail.com

13: SAPFA Hoedspruit Fun Rally Hoedspruit Civil Airfield> Contact Frank Eckard cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za

20: Lowveld Speed Run Radio Control Pylon Racing. For more information go to www.pylonracing.co.za

22-28: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. Camping on the airfield contact Neil Bowden E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net. Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig E-mail: calvin@designer.co.za

25-27: Brits - Air Navigation Race (ANR) Nationals - Brits Airfield. Contact Frank Eckard e-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za cell: 083 269 1516

3 & 4: SAC KZN Regionals Ladysmith airfield. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

21-31: SAC Unlimited World Championships in France. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

24: Bethlehem Airshow. Contact Stephan Fourie e-mail: fouriesj1491@gmail.com

26-31: SAPFA World Precision Flying Championships - Castellon Spain. Contact Hans Schwebel cell: 082 656 3005 e-mail: hans.s@britsgranite.co.za

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An artistic rendering of the Guardian 400 Technical Demonstrator aircraft, featuring R/H SCAR pod with Hensoldt Argos EO/IR imaging turret, L/H SCAR pod with Leonardo Osprey Radar System and Sentient Vidar Camera system, Airborne Technologies' tactical workstation, Viking conformal bubble windows, IKHANA L/H & R/H wing-mounted hard points, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks, and aft lavatory.

Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia has announced its plans to hold a world demonstration tour for its Guardian 400 aircraft, the special mission's variant of the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter. The world tour will include detailed briefings and demonstration flights in Europe, Africa, Middle East, India, South East Asia, Oceania, and North America.

For the past six months, a production Series 400 Twin Otter has been undergoing modifications to transform into Viking's Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft for the proposed world tour. It will feature a right-hand SCAR pod with Hensoldt Argos EO/IR imaging turret, multi-spectral HDTV camera, mega-pixel HD Thermal imager, laser range finder, multi-mode auto tracker, and Remote Image Bus (RIB) video feed for display on the cockpit MFD or crew workstation. The demonstrator will also feature a left-hand SCAR pod with Leonardo Osprey Radar System and Sentient Vidar Camera system.

In addition to its mission sensor package, the Guardian 400 prototype will be equipped with an Airborne Technologies' tactical workstation with high-definition touchscreen monitors, data/voice/video recorder, Mission Management Unit (MMU), mission radio communications, intuitive hand controller for MCU & SLR camera targeting, CarteNav AIMS mission system software, Kestrel MTI targeting software, and IKHANA ergonomic mission seat for optimized crew comfort. The prototype will also be equipped with Viking conformal bubble windows, left and right wing-mounted hard points by IKHANA, Thunder Bay Aviation stretcher racks, and an aft lavatory for crew comfort.

With a target launch date of September 2019, the Guardian 400 world tour has briefing and demonstration flights proposed throughout Europe, North Africa, Central Africa, Southeastern Africa, the Middle East, Southern Asia, Asia Pacific, North America and will culminate in Ottawa, Canada to coincide with the 2020 CANSEC Defence & Security show.


Lilium Jet is the world's first all-electric jet-powered five-seater air taxi capable of traveling up to 300km in just 60 minutes, with zero operating emissions. Lilium will manufacture and operate the Lilium Jet as part of a revolutionary on-demand air taxi service.

Lilium, the Munich-based start-up developing a revolutionary on-demand air taxi service, revealed its new five-seater air taxi prototype for the first time. The unveiling of the new Lilium Jet came as the all-electric aircraft completed its maiden flight in the skies over Germany earlier this month.

The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically, while achieving remarkably efficient horizontal, or cruise, flight. The simplicity of the aircraft design, with no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine not only contributes to the safety and affordability of the aircraft, but it has also allowed the design team to focus their efforts on creating a magical customer experience in the cabin, from panoramic windows to gull-wing doors.

With a top speed of 300 km/h and a range of 300km, the Lilium Jet is capable of completing much longer journeys than the majority of its competitors. This is, in part, thanks to the fixed wing design of the aircraft. While drone-based aircraft consume much of their energy keeping an aircraft in the air, the Lilium Jet can rely on the lift generated by the fixed wing to do this, meaning it will require less than ten percent of its maximum 2000 horsepower during cruise flight. This efficiency, which is comparable to the energy usage of an electric car over the same distance, means the aircraft would not just be capable of connecting suburbs to city centres and airports to main train stations, but would also deliver affordable high-speed connections across entire regions.

The Lilium Jet first took to the air at 08.03 local time on 4th May 2019, having completed extensive ground testing at Lilium's HQ in Munich, Germany. The prototype aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, has since begun a rigorous flight test campaign that will prove its capability and lay the foundations for certification of the aircraft to safety standards comparable to those of large commercial aircraft.

Lilium plans to manufacture and operate the Lilium Jet as part of a revolutionary on-demand air taxi service. At the push of a button, passengers will be able to use the Lilium app to locate their nearest landing pad and plan their journey with ease. Choosing from a network of pads across cities and regions, passengers will enjoy journeys that are comparable in price with a taxi, yet four times faster. Lilium expects to be fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025, although trial services will start earlier than this in several locations.

The latest five-seater Lilium Jet builds on the successful flight testing of a two-seater prototype in 2017. The two-seater prototype provided proof of concept for Lilium's signature transition flight manoeuvre, where the aircraft shifts from vertical to horizontal flight, and laid the groundwork for today's prototype.

The five-seater prototype will now enter a rigorous flight test campaign that will see it demonstrate its full range of capabilities.


Hermeus Corporation, a start-up increasing the speed of air transportation by developing hypersonic aircraft, today announced a Seed round investment. The round was led by Khosla Ventures, with additional participation from private investors. The financing will further the development and test of Hermeus' hypersonic propulsion system. Image © Hermeus.

Hermeus, an aerospace technology company founded in 2018, is developing aircraft capable of flight in excess of Mach 5, over 3,000 miles per hour. At Mach 5, flight times from New York to London will be reduced from 7 hours to 90 minutes. The vision of the company is to connect the world's cities significantly faster than ever before.

"Hermeus is developing an aircraft that not only improves the aviation experience with very reduced flight times, but also has the potential to have great societal and economic impact." said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures.

"We've set out on a journey to revolutionize the global transportation infrastructure, bringing it from the equivalent of dial-up into the broadband era, by radically increasing the speed of travel over long distances." said co-founder and CEO AJ Piplica. "We're excited to work with Khosla Ventures to turn this vision into reality."

The Hermeus founders consist of alumni from SpaceX and Blue Origin. Additionally, all four worked together at Generation Orbit, where AJ Piplica served as CEO and Glenn Case, Mike Smayda, and Skyler Shuford served as technical directors. While there, they led the development of the X-60A, a hypersonic rocket-plane and the Air Force's newest X-Plane.


Boom recently announced that Boom that they have raised $33M in Series A funding. Total funding now stands at $41M, enough capital to enable them to finish building the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, execute the flight test program, and set a new speed record for civil aircraft. This is a key step on their mission to make Earth's places and people more accessible. Photo © Boom.

Boom now announced that after having been working with Japan Airlines behind the scenes for well over a year that they are able announce some of the details of the partnership forged.

With a $10M investment and pre-order of 20 aircraft, this is not just a milestone for Boom, but one for civil aviation. JAL is the first airline in history to make a material financial commitment to a faster future. Concorde had dozens of pre-orders,?but none carried any financial commitment, and ultimately British Airways and Air France got their Concords for just £1 apiece.

Decades ago, Concorde delivered a headline feature: speed. JAL is helping Boom deliver something further: a mainstream supersonic airliner that is practical, reliable, and economical. Their decades of experience as a world-class operator, expertise in everything from passenger experience to safety to technical operations, will help Boom build an airliner not just with marquee speed, but also with the practicality required to truly change the way millions travel.


The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, has announced that the launch of the Joint Light Helicopter programme has been brought forward to 2021. The HIL programme, for which the Airbus Helicopters' H160 was selected in 2017, was initially scheduled for launch in 2022 by the current military budget law. Launching the programme earlier will enable delivery of the first H160Ms to the French Armed Forces to be advanced to 2026. Photo © Airbus.

The H160 was designed to be a modular helicopter, enabling its military version, with a single platform, to perform missions ranging from commando infiltration to air intercept, fire support, and anti-ship warfare in order to meet the needs of the army, the navy and the air force through the HIL programme.

"We are proud that the HIL is considered a strategic programme. I would like to thank the Ministry, the French Defence Procurement Agency DGA and the armed forces for their trust and for the close collaboration which helped create the conditions for the programme to be brought forward within the framework of the current military budget law. This will make it possible to speed up the replacement of the older generation of aircraft, while optimising the support and availability of the French State's helicopter fleet," said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. "Our teams are committed to delivering an aircraft in 2026 that meets the needs of the French armed forces in terms of availability, performance and capability, thus enabling it to rapidly become the new benchmark on the world's medium-lift military helicopter market."

Built around a platform that will enter service next year, the HIL programme will benefit from many of the advantages inherent in the civil H160, particularly in terms of support, with simplified maintenance and lower operating costs than the previous generation of helicopters in this category.


Airbus A^3, the Silicon Valley-based division of the Airbus, has long been working on developing its eVTOL concept to improve air mobility for passengers in urban areas. Recently, they publicized reaching the 50 flight test milestone for their first full scale demonstrator, the Vahana Alpha One. Photo © Airbus.

Just earlier this week, Airbus AA3 released many more photos of its second demonstrator - named the Alpha Two - to accompany a first sneak peek seen during the publication of the Alpha One milestone. Interestingly, there will not be a pilot in the cockpit in front of you when you're on board the Alpha Two. Instead, just a single screen displaying the flight path ahead and an automated flight controls system with real-time autonomous decision-making capabilities. However, for now the Vahana full-scale demonstrator aircraft is remotely controlled in a configuration that the Silicon Valley division of Airbus is flight testing in Pendleton, Oregon.

The new demonstrator will join the first in flight testing at the airport in Pendleton, and also features a complete interior. Aside from enabling experimentation with passenger experience features in the interior, the Vahana Alpha Two also serves as a set of spares for anything that must be replaced on the anginal flight test aircraft, thereby improving the efficiency of the company's test program. Airbus was generous enough to capture an array of impressive photos at dawn one morning to show us what they have conceived.

Airbus also shared a close-up photo of the nose of the Alpha Two, which is loaded with autonomous safety systems able to sense and avoid obstacles in the air. For more photos, check out the A^3 by Airbus media page.

Why it's important: A finished interior marks another milestone for the Airbus A^3 team, and permits further testing of how passengers will ergonomically integrate with the vehicle. Further, access to the second demonstrator aircraft is expected to accelerate development, such as in the flight control system that is responsible for smoothly transition from vertical to horizontal flight, as well as mitigating any eternal impulses.


Transcend Air, developer of the Vy 400 luxury VTOL, has announced a partnership to build landing pads throughout the U.S and Canada. Transcend Air is partnering with Lily Helipads, a current developer of custom helipads based in Indiana. Lily Helipads is dedicated to building helicopter landing pads that are both safe and environmentally friendly. Image © Transcend

Already, the two companies have begun the design of the new landing pads. They will be placed on the waterfronts of major coastal cities and will include solar power, unique LED lighting for VTOL navigation, heated surfaces to avoid ice build-up, and fluid run-off collection for recycling. The new 'Vertipads' will initially be built in Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco and Montreal.

Said John Dotlich, CEO of Lily Helipads: "Lily Helipads is excited for the opportunity to incorporate many of the tried-and-true innovations found in our helipad landing surfaces into these new Transcend vertipad landing systems." Transcend Air hopes that these new helipads will bring forward their goal of making travel both more convenient and sustainable."

Transcend Air was founded with the goal of creating an urban air mobility network between major cities. Flights offered initially will be San Francisco to Los Angles, New York to Boston, and Montreal to Toronto for an average price of about $300 USD. The company is somewhat unique in this goal as many other UAM companies plan to fly shorter distances. Transcend plans to begin flights in 2024.

"By bringing vertipads close to travellers, we don't increase airport traffic. And by focusing on a safe and environmentally-friendly landing and take-off infrastructure, as only Lily can help us provide, we will be creating a more sustainable way to travel." -Transcend Air founder and CEO Gregory Bruell.


Three U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command demonstration teams will be performing at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019.

The F-35 Lightning II, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and F-22 Raptor demo teams will perform abbreviated demonstrations as part of the daily air shows during AirVenture, as well as participate in the Air Force Heritage Flight program. In addition, watch for some of these aircraft to partake in the night air shows on Wednesday and Saturday of AirVenture.

"These flights are some of my favourite things we do because not only do we honour the heritage of those men and women that served in the Air Force, but we're also reassuring previous generations by demonstrating that our modern air power will ensure the USAF maintains its long-established air dominance well into the future," said Dennis Dunbar, EAA director of flight operations. "What other demonstration in the air show industry can be both reminiscent of our history, while simultaneously inspiring us all for what the future of air power holds?"

UAE, near Dubai's International Airport: The four-seater Diamond DA-62 owned by Flight Calibration Services in Sussex UK that crashed while on approach to runway 30L of Dubai International Airport for a ground navigation equipment inspection flight may have been hit by turbulence from an Airbus landing on a parallel runway. Video footage showed the aircraft encountered possible wake turbulence at about 1,100ft, following an Airbus A350, which landed on the parallel runway 30R. A South African was amongst the four in the aircraft that did not survive.

Japan, Nagasaki: An Oriental Air Bridge de Havilland Dash 8-200 on a flight from Fukuoka to Fukue (Japan), was climbing out of Fukuoka when the circuit breaker for the radar altimeter tripped. The crew decided to divert to Nagasaki (Japan) for a safe landing. The radar altimeter was replaced. The aircraft subsequently departed for Iki (Japan), however, needed to return to Nagasaki because of the failure the GPWS. The GPWS was replaced, the aircraft departed again to Iki but again needed to return due to the failure of the GPWS. The flight as well as three more flights were cancelled as result. Japan's Ministry of Transport instructed the airline to review its maintenance procedures.

Australia, South China Sea: Australian navy helicopter pilots were reportedly hit with laser beams from fishing boats during a recent military exercise on the South China Sea, leading experts to believe they were being monitored by Chinese maritime militia on the disputed waters. The pilots were reportedly followed at a discreet distance by a Chinese warship.

USA, Philadelphia: A Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 performing a flight from Frankfurt/Main (Germany) to Philadelphia (USA), touched down hard at Philadelphia, rolled out and taxied to the apron. Ground observers advised tower that a chunk of the engine came off on touch down. Tower in turn advised the flight that they are getting reports of a piece having come off the aircraft on touch down. The return flight was cancelled.

Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain: A Venezolana Boeing 737-200 with 79 people on board was climbing out of Port of Spain on a flight to Caracas (Venezuela) when the left hand engine failed emitting a loud bang. The crew stopped the climb and returned to Port of Spain for a safe landing. A post flight inspection revealed the engine had suffered an uncontained failure ejecting debris radially downwards. The fuselage received minor damage as result of the engine failure.

7 JUNE 1912

Captain Charles Chandler of the U. S. Army Signal Corps test fires a Lewis gun fitted to a Wright Model B biplane flown by Lieutenant Thomas Milling in Maryland. It is the first time a machine gun has been fired from an airplane in the U. S.

Colonel Charles deForest Chandler born on 24 December 1878 in Cleveland, Ohio was an American military aviator, and the first head of the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps that later became the United States Air Force. He was commissioned as a 1st lieutenant in the Signal Corps during the Spanish-American War and was one of earliest aviators to show that a machine gun could be fired from an airplane.

Chandler was discharged in 1899 but was re-commissioned in 1901. While in the rank of captain he served as of the Aeronautical Division of the Signal Corps from August 1, 1907 to May 13, 1908 and also from June 20, 1911 to April 1, 1913.

Chandler reverted to his permanent rank of lieutenant colonel in April 1920 and retired from the Army for disability in the line of duty in October of the same year. He was promoted to colonel on the retired list in June 1930.

He died on May 18, 1939.

Midweek Update

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