THIS WEEK IN MIDWEEK UPDATE
Plan Your Weekend……...Forthcoming Events……..Aviation News
Worldwide Incidents and Accidents……This Week in Aviation History
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Hotels in Appleton contact Calvin Fabig E-mail: email@example.com
25-27: Brits - Air Navigation Race (ANR) Nationals - Brits Airfield. Contact Frank Eckard e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
cell: 083 269 1516
3 & 4: SAC KZN Regionals Ladysmith airfield. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: email@example.com
21-31: SAC Unlimited World Championships in France. Contact Annie Boon e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
24: Bethlehem Airshow. Contact Stephan Fourie e-mail: email@example.com
26-31: SAPFA World Precision Flying Championships - Castellon Spain. Contact Hans Schwebel cell: 082 656 3005 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
7: SAAF Museum Airshow AFB Zwartkop. For more information Mark Kelbrick Cell 082 413 7577 or E-mail: email@example.com
7: SAPFA Grand Central Fun Rally - Grand Central Airport. Contact Rob Jonkers cell: 082 804 7032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
14: Vans Fly in to Kitty Hawk. Contact Frank van Heerden e-mail: email@example.com
. website: www.fakt.co.za
8-13: World ANR Championships - Santa Cruz Portugal - Contact Hans Schwebel e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
cell: 082 656 3005
21-22: PMS South Africa is proud to present the South African Nationals 2019, hosted by IPMS Cape Peninsula. This is the premier event on the South African scale modelling calendar and promises to attract the cream of the crop in scale plastic modelling.
28: Wings & Wheels Matjhabeng Welkom airport. For more information contact Ian Buchanan 083 388 1678 or Dirk Smit 082 558 3914
THE AERO CLUB OF SOUTH AFRICA - COMMUNIQUE JULY 2019
With the winter months giving to excellent flying weather, we're attempting to get the most of the good conditions, in any case up here in the Highveld regions. The Aero Club has continued to be hard at work on Advocacy, supporting AP matters, as well as CAA Stakeholder engagement, given that the recreational field has seen some significant changes through the first semester of this year.
The Aero Club Exco continues to work closely with the various role players in industry on various fronts with the objective of obtaining synergy in coordination of recreational aviation. The Exco has also appointed an additional administrative resource in the Rand Airport office Charne Smit, who will be supporting information gathering on AP holders and implementing the Member Support Administration on Licencing & ATF's (see separate heading). We welcome Charne to the team.
As per the previous communique, the Recreational Aviation environment in the form of the Aero Club and its AROs and Sections have had Stakeholder meetings with the CAA to gain an understanding of the Recreational Sector, which was held early in the year. The last engagement was held on the 27th May, where discussion revolved around restructuring of Training ATO's and exam centres, discussion on Part 61/62, Part 141 & Part 149, where Part 149 which governs ARO's, will be receiving significant attention given the problems seen in the past. It was also resolved that there would be a workshop arranged regarding APs.
Since this engagement the AP workshop was held in late June and communication on this was shared with the Aps. In summary good progress has been made where an AP Panel has been constituted represented by key members of AROs, industry and the CAA, its function will in the short term be to re-align the many anomalies of Part 66.4, validate the APs in terms of their active status and their ratings and further define the terms of reference of this panel.
With the RAASA to CAA transition having come into effect, and where processes related to licencing & ATF's will be following the protocols already established in the CAA, the functions that were previously available under RAASA will no longer apply and as such the Aero Club has started an initiative to provide a Members Support Scheme.
The essence of this Initiative would be to facilitate the application process with the CAA which will entail assisting members, (also in remote areas a postal service -postnet or equivalent) to collect documents, provide a function of validating completeness of an application pack, submission to the CAA on the member's behalf, collection back from the CAA and return to members. In order to gauge opinion on such a service, a survey at this link below is attached if members would be so kind as to complete.
There have been much delays seen in the licencing and ATF renewals of late, compounded by the IT problems that has befallen the CAA in the last week. we are in communication with the CAA on the status of this backlog and are assured that applications are being processed and alternatives are being exercised to support our members to receive their documents, as we are all fully aware of the implications of stopping our businesses that rely on aviation as their livelihood and aviators from experiencing their freedom of flight.
The Aero Club was also attendance as one of the key partners at the AERO exhibition at Wonderboom from the 4th to 6th July. This exhibition is primarily focussed on general aviation which included many recreational aviation aspects, and as networking & B2B opportunity this was hugely successful, we're sure the event will gain support in future years.
CAASA AVIATION ACTIVITY INDEX (CAAI) - 1ST QUARTER 2019
The Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) is proud to announce the results of its composite index of aviation activity for the 1st quarter of 2019.
The CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) is based on 28 different indicators and provides an objective & balanced gauge of economic activity in the commercial aviation industry. Due to the short-term volatility inherent in purchasing and selling aircraft, where units are small, but the currency values are very high, the CAAI includes a trend that is based on a 4-quarter moving average, as illustrated by the graph.
Summary of key trends depicted by the CAAI for the 1st quarter of 2019:
1. Compared to the 4th quarter of 2018, the index value recorded a decline, but remained virtually constant on a year-on-year basis. In the process, the index trend seems to have stabilised after a declining trend that commenced in 2016.
2. Viewed against the benchmark of the average values for the first quarter since the inception date of the CAAI (2014), the best performers during the first quarter of 2019 were exports of non-powered aircraft and the air traffic movements (ATMs) at a number of key private airports. Exports of non-powered aircraft have increased sharply over the past five years, mainly due to the continued expansion of the drone industry.
3. The exports of aircraft with an unladen mass of between two and fifteen tonnes recorded a healthy increase in the first quarter, while the imports of propellers also fared well (compared to the previous quarter).
4. The declining trend in air traffic movements (ATMs) at two airports managed by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), namely Port Elizabeth and East London, remains a point of concern, particularly due to the abundance of tourism facilities in their surrounding areas. Compared to the average ATMs for the first quarter of every year since 2014, Port Elizabeth airport has declined by 24%, while East London airport shows a decline of 21%.
5. In sharp contrast, Rand airport has increased its first quarter ATMs by more than 10% since 2014 and now boasts the second largest level of ATMs in the country, higher than Cape Town International airport, which is in third place (OR Tambo remains comfortably in position number one).
6. Zero growth since 2014 in ATMs at the larger ACSA airports clearly indicates that inbound tourism from overseas has not yet fully recovered from the ill-conceived stricter visa regulations that were implemented during Mr Malusi Gigaba's term of office as Home Affairs Minister.
7. Reasons for the generally subdued levels of activity in commercial aviation since 2016 include: • Lethargic economic growth • Low levels of investor confidence • Policy uncertainty • High interest rates • Higher fuel prices (until recently), and • The effect of a volatile and undervalued currency.
Combined with the lingering threat of land expropriation without compensation (EWC), this has not been conducive to investment in new productive capacity - a problem that exists in most of the country's economic sectors, as confirmed by a consistent declining trend in real capital formation. Hopefully, the reforms aimed at improving growth that have been promised by the country's new president will start to bear fruit after the May elections.
8. Looking into the future, it seems that the aviation industry has already started to respond positively to the new policy emphasis on lifting South Africa's economic growth rate. ATMs for the second quarter of 2019 at the country's largest non-ACSA airports have increased quite dramatically from the first quarter, with five of them (Rand, Lanseria, Grand Central, Nelspruit and Pietermaritzburg) recording double-digit growth rates over the first quarter.
Three key considerations sparked the decision by the Board of CAASA to design the CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI): • Firstly, the recognition of the indispensable role that commercial aviation plays in facilitating the rapid transport of decision-makers in all spheres of society. • Secondly, individual data sets reflecting one or more areas of commercial aviation activity often contradict each other, particularly as a result of the capital-intensive nature of the industry's asset base. • Thirdly, CAASA has identified a need among its members and other stakeholders in aviation to contribute to the knowledge base of conditions in the aviation industry by forging a number of key indicators into a composite index, weighted in terms of their perceived contribution to the general trend in commercial aviation.
Composition of the Index
A total of 28 different indicators were selected for inclusion in the CAAI, classified in terms of the following eight groups:: • Value of imports of non-powered aircraft • Value of imports of aeroplanes & helicopters (of a mass less than 15t) • Physical quantity of imported aircraft • Value of imports of aircraft spares • Value of exports of aircraft spares • Value of exports of aircraft • Air traffic movements at six ACSA airports • Air traffic movements at seven non-ACSA airports.
Louise Olckers - General Manager, CAASA
e-mail: email@example.com; tel: 011 659 2345
SONEX AIRCRAFT ANNOUNCES 2-PLACE SUBSONEX
Sonex Aircraft announced the development of a 2-place variant of the popular SubSonex Personal Jet! SubSonex JSX-2T is designed to be the lowest cost jet trainer ever! It will be a perfect trainer for the single-place JSX-2, and for those who want to share the unique experience of jet-powered flight in a light aircraft. Photo © Sonex
JSX-2T is configured with side-by-side seating for optimum flexibility in CG/loading and offers an ideal training environment for its crew. With a wing span of 21.8 feet JSX-2T will have similar wing loading and handling to the single-place JSX-2. The two-place jet will utilize the same proven PBS TJ-100 turbojet engine system. An optional, more powerful PBS TJ-150 will achieve even higher performance.
Customers and media representatives are invited to attend the Sonex Aircraft Open House and Homecoming Fly-In event on Sunday July 21st at 10am to learn more about the JSX-2T, its projected development timeline, and how customers can get in-line for their own 2-place SubSonex. The event is held at Sonex Factory Headquarters on Wittman Regional Airport the day before EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 begins. A forum will also be held at AirVenture on Wednesday, July 24th on Forum Stage 5 at 11:30am.
The SubSonex Personal Jet aircraft first began development in 2009, and is now being sold around the world as the most popular and affordable kit jet aircraft. The SubSonex, a popular and serious aerobatic airshow performer that delivers high top speeds and a true fighter jet feel, also shares the docile, low speed handling characteristics enjoyed by the Sonex, Waiex, and Onex designs. SubSonex JSX-2 kit+engine+completion costs start at under $114,000. Sonex Aircraft's target for the SubSonex JSX-2T is to offer a 2-place jet that can be built and flown for under $140,000!
JSX-2T Estimated Specifications & Performance:
Length: 18' 7.75? [5.68 m]
Wingspan: 21' 9.6? [6.65 m]
Wing Area: 87.2 sq ft [8.1 sq m]
Height: 5' 8.2? [1.73 m]
Width with Outboard Wing Panels Removed: 7' 6? [2.29 m] Cabin Width: 42? [106.68 cm] Empty Weight (estimated): 530 lbs [240.4 kg] Gross Weight: 1500 lbs [680.39 kg] Useful Load (estimated): 970 lbs [440 kg] Fuel Capacity: 50 U.S. Gallons [189.3 l] Baggage Capacity: 40 lbs [18.14 kg] Stall Speed (estimated): 65 mph [104.6 km/h] Cruise Speed (estimated): 200+ mph [321.9+ km/h] Never Exceed Speed: 275 mph [442.6 km/h] Load Factors (Utility): +4.4 Gs, -2.2 Gs Load Factors (Aerobatic): +6 Gs, -3 Gs
JSX-2T is destined to be an outstanding choice for those demanding an affordable 2-place recreational personal jet!
PEGASUS UNIVERSAL AEROSPACE, THE VERTICAL BUSINESS JET (VBJ®) PIONEER NAMES ROBBIE IRONS AS CEO
South Africa's Pegasus Universal Aerospace, pioneer of the Vertical Business Jet (VBJ®) Pegasus One, has named Robbie Irons as its Chief Executive Officer. In this new role, Robbie will help lead product development and lend strategic support to Founder and Chairman Dr Reza Mia as the business seeks to secure investment. Image © Pegasus Aerospace.
Robbie Irons brings decades of solid international aviation experience to the Johannesburg, SA-based start-up, spanning senior roles previously with ExecuJet in Lanseria in both business development and aircraft sales. He took responsibility for the firm's aircraft sales activity in Africa in 2009.
Having forged relationships with HNWI's; senior industry personalities; Presidents and Ministers on the continent, Robbie seized the opportunity in 2012 to establish a consultancy firm, Irons Aviation, specializing in turn-key aviation solutions and infrastructure projects. He helped entrepreneurs Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer develop and implement South Africa's first exclusive VVIP FBO facility, Fireblade Aviation, at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, becoming a Board director of the firm in 2013. He also helped Liftec, the independent, exclusive Bombardier sales representative, active in 10 regions, establish a new territory in Africa.
"As general aviation evolves, I am excited to become actively involved with the innovative Pegasus One," said Robbie, who was with Dr Reza in EBACE in Geneva for the programme's international debut. The two have been friends for many years. "I am delighted Robbie has agreed to come on board. Having him as a partner is a major asset," he commented.
Work has started to build a full-scale VTOL demonstrator to show in Europe in 2020.
The all-composite airframe Pegasus One is being targeted for completion within 18 to 24 months of FAA certification from its Johannesburg, SA facility. Options to establish alternate full production facilities are also being explored in the USA and / or Europe.
Pegasus One is designed to deliver speed, comfort and style to travellers looking for transportation between busy urban airports, small and unpaved landing areas, yachts and regular helipads, amongst others. Other applications include serving the oil and gas industry and medevac.
Pegasus is targeting a 4,400 km range from runway take-off or 2,124 km in VTOL with a planned cruise speed of 796 km per hour. The aircraft will feature six to eight seats with power provided by two 2,300 shp turboshaft engines.
Pegasus Universal has identified a customer base that spans the civil and executive aerospace sectors, offering operational benefits unlike any other aircraft. Along with Europe, USA, India and China are key markets, as the VBJ doesn't require new airports and runways to be built.
The company is close to identifying key suppliers for avionics, (its retractable) landing gear and the engines that will be the best fit for its highly evolved control systems and automation sub-systems.
Depending on take-off option - VTOL or runway - Pegasus One will be able to fly for three and a half to six hours, supporting direct, point-to-point travel. The operational costs are competitive when compared with jets of similar range, with lower fuel burn and less CO2 emissions, thanks to its necessarily light-weight construction. The noise levels are lower than comparative rotary machines, and passenger and pilot comfort, security and safety, are all integral in the design, the company says. The lack of rotor tip vortices that give helicopters their distinctive beating noise will be a welcome change to people close to helipads and landing sites.
* Pegasus estimates it will spend around US$500 million to bring the aircraft to market.
THE 'AVATAR' PROP HELICOPTER LOOK ALIKE DESIGN
The US Army has indicated that its need for a new scout helicopter may be more pressing than its need for the modernisation of its UH-60 fleet and a small design firm has a bold pitch for the program that looks like it's been lifted out of a James Cameron science fiction movie. Image © AVX.
AVX, the designers of the helicopter been quietly working to make military aviation better has pitched to the military before. Their work in the fuel efficiency space led them to propose a fairly radical redesign of the helicopter.
Traditional helicopter design calls for one main rotor that generates lift and a tail, "anti-torque" rotor that keeps the aircraft pointed in the right direction. AVX wants to see more use of "coaxial" designs where the main rotor has two discs instead of one. Spinning in opposite directions the rotors stabilise the helicopter without the need for a tail rotor. The addition of two stubby wings will generate significant lift at high speeds. AVX does not stop there but proposes two ducted fans for propulsion, allowing for a helicopter that's safer, faster, and more efficient.
The company claims that two fans will give the helicopter increased endurance, lift capability, cruise speed as well as time on station and range.
AVX has as yet not produced any rotary platforms and are thus not in a league to compete with the established helicopter air framers. However, it has partnered with L3 Technologies, a company experienced in supporting Army aviation. The army's initional requirements are for the new helicopters to be delivered by 2024 which might be a problem for AVX. However, the problems are not insurmountable since all the tech required to make the coaxial blades and ducted fans work are fairly proven technology.
FIRST ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE C295 MAKES MAIDEN FLIGHT
The first Airbus C295, purchased by the Government of Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force's (RCAF) Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement (FWSAR) program, has completed its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards delivery by the end of 2019 to begin operational testing by the RCAF. Photo © Airbus.
The aircraft, designated CC-295 for the Canadian customer, took off from Seville, Spain, on 4 July at 20:20 local time (GMT+1) and landed back on site one hour and 27 minutes later.
The contract, awarded in December 2016, includes 16 C295 aircraft and all In-Service Support elements including, training and engineering services, the construction of a new Training Centre in Comox, British Columbia, and maintenance and support services.
The aircraft will be based where search and rescue squadrons are currently located: Comox, British Columbia; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Trenton, Ontario; and Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
Considerable progress has been made since the FWSAR program was announced two and a half years ago: the first aircraft will now begin flight testing; another five aircraft are in various stages of assembly; and seven simulator and training devices are in various testing stages.
In addition, the first RCAF crews will begin training in late summer 2019 at Airbus' International Training Centre in Seville, Spain.
The FWSAR program is supporting some $2.5 billion (CAD) in Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) to Canada, through high-value, long-term partnerships with Canadian industry.
INTERNATIONAL DEFENSE & AEROSPACE GROUP WELCOMES NEW MD 530F
MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) is proud to announce the sale and delivery of a new MD 530F to International Defence & Aerospace Group, LLC (IDAG), a Pennsylvania-based authorized sales agent. The company's first state-of-the-art MD 530F aircraft with a production all-glass cockpit, the custom-configured F-model will join an IDAG fleet of training aircraft operated by the Slovak Training Academy that also includes five (5) MD 500E-model helicopters. Its primary role will be to support the tactical and NVG flight training needs of military and paramilitary helicopter pilots from around the world.
"We are excited about the sale of this MD 530F, and the opportunity to have military and paramilitary pilots from around the world train in the MD 530F," said Lynn Tilton, MD Helicopters, Inc. Chief Executive Officer. "MD Helicopters and International Defence & Aerospace Group are aligned in our commitment to delivering excellence in product quality, support and training, and in our belief that the MD 500E and MD 530F airframes offer the best performance in their class for training, law enforcement and military operations."
An authorized MDHI Sales Agent for select Central and Eastern European opportunities since 2017, International Defence & Aerospace Group (IDAG) focuses on the sale and service of specialty rotorcraft solutions to military and paramilitary operators throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Global airborne law enforcement, military, and Special Forces operators worldwide also recognize IDAG for offering a comprehensive curriculum of transition and tactical flight training.
"We believe in the quality, proven performance and durability of MD Helicopters' aircraft," said Bob Caldwell, President and CEO of IDAG. "The MD 500-series helicopters are perfectly suited for training missions. They are incredibly robust, economical to operate, and have an unmatched safety record."
IDAG also supports fleet operations and flight crew training for several regional national police agencies and operators.
Powered by the Rolls-Royce 250-C30 650shp turbine engine, IDAG's right-hand command MD 530F is the first type-certified 369FF aircraft to be produced with the company's all-glass cockpit, and also features NVIS cockpit lighting, extended landed gear, and a 21-gallon Fargo auxiliary fuel tank.
"The MD 530F is one of our most versatile airframes," Tilton concludes. "It is a proven performer with military and paramilitary operators worldwide, and delivers the overall performance, reliability and mission flexibility required by our growing global base of operators. We congratulate IDAG on this acquisition decision and look forward to the continued growth of their MD Helicopters fleet."
BLOODHOUND LSR TO RUN AT HAKSKEEN PAN TRACK IN AUTUMN 2019
Andy Green said, "High speed testing is a key part of setting a new world land speed record. Building on everything we achieved in Newquay in 2017, we'll learn a tremendous amount by going fast on the desert the Car was designed to run on. This is where science meets reality and it all starts to get really exciting!" Photo © Bloodhound.
The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project announced plans to run the Bloodhound LSR car for the first time on its dry lake bed race track at Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape, South Africa, in October 2019.
Following successful 200mph (320km/h) UK runway trials at Cornwall Airport Newquay in October 2017, the team will be targeting 500mph (800km/h) - a key milestone on the journey to setting a new world land speed record.
The Bloodhound LSR team's attempt on the world land speed record is the first in the digital era, with digital platforms sharing the data from hundreds of sensors in real time to allow budding engineers to see exactly how the car is behaving as it dices with physics. The high-speed trials in October will enable the Bloodhound LSR team to test the live video stream at high speeds, in preparation for the land speed record runs, currently scheduled for late 2020.
Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst said: "I'm thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound's first trip to South Africa for these high-speed testing runs. This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car's design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car's performance in real time. In addition, we're running the car on a brand-new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs."
Why High-Speed Testing?
High speed testing using the car's Rolls-Royce jet engine will test the car's performance and handling during one of its most vulnerable phases: the stage between 300 and 500mph (480 800km/h) where the stability of the car transitions from being governed by the interaction of the wheels with the desert surface to being controlled by the vehicle's aerodynamics. The grip from the wheels will fall off faster than the aerodynamic forces build up, so this is likely to be the point where the car is at its least stable. Bloodhound LSR will make up to 10 runs at these speeds during high speed testing.
The high-speed test programme will also be a full-dress rehearsal for the record-breaking campaign, with the team using the time to develop its operational procedures, perfect its practices for desert working and test radio communications.
Terabytes of information will be gathered by over 500 sensors and cameras built into the car during the high-speed tests. This will be shared with academics at Swansea University where students will be invited to analyse the data to validate the Computational Fluid Dynamics model ahead of the land speed record attempt.
World's New Straight Line Racing Track
The 12 mile (19km) desert racetrack has been prepared by 317 members of the local Mier community. They have moved 16,500 tonnes of rock from 22 million square metres of dry lakebed, the largest area of land ever cleared by hand for a motorsport event, testimony to the partnership forged between the Bloodhound Team, the local community and the Northern Cape Government.
Ian Warhurst explained: "The section of the track we'll use is 16km [10 miles] by 500m, with large safety areas on both sides. This allows us to lay out up to 12 individual tracks side by side.
This is important as we can't run over the same piece of ground twice because the car will break up the baked mud surface as it passes. We need multiple tracks so we can build speed slowly and safely - going up in 50mph (80km/h) steps, comparing real-world results with theoretical data - and Hakskeen Pan is the perfect place to do this.
"The surface is hard, too, which means we've been able to design slightly narrower wheels that reduce aerodynamic drag. The desert surface also has a slight degree of 'give', which will work with the suspension to give a smoother ride, reducing vibration inside the car."
The Bloodhound LSR Car is a combination of fast jet, F1 car and spaceship. The Project is followed in over 220 countries and territories.
At full speed, Bloodhound LSR will cover a mile (1.6km) in 3.6 seconds - that's 4.5 football pitches laid end to end, per second, or 150m in the blink of an eye.
The World Land Speed Record of 763mph (1,228km/h) is held by Thrust SSC. The record was set in 1997 by a UK team led by Richard Noble and driven by Bloodhound's Andy Green.
Initially the target is to break the world land speed record (currently 763.035mph). This is necessary to understand how the car behaves as it enters the transonic stage initially and then supersonic speed levels. After that we will target the maximum speed of around 1,000mph, taking into account the success and subsequent review of the first phase.
Engine for high speed testing
The high-speed testing will be conducted using the car's Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine, normally found in a Eurofighter Typhoon. These engines produce a peak thrust of 20,000lbs (90 kilonewtons), equivalent to 54,000 thrust hp, or the combined output of 360 family cars.
The solid aluminium wheels have been specially designed for the desert surface. Measuring 900mm in diameter and weighing 95kg each, they are designed to spin at up to 10,200rpm (revolutions per minute) - more than four times faster than wheels on a Formula 1 car at top speed. The result of 30 years of research and design, they were created by an international consortium and forged from one of the highest aircraft grade aluminium alloys in the world: 7037.
The wheels have a V-shaped keel which digs into the alkali playa (baked mud) surface by 25mm when the car is stationary. As speeds increase, the wheels will rise up out of the mud surface and plane in much the same way as a speedboat rides up on the surface of the water. At 500mph (804km/h) and above, just a few millimetres of metal will be in contact with the desert surface, and the giant aluminium discs will act more like rudders than the wheels on a conventional car.
UK, Heathrow: Police at Heathrow Airport are investigating how a 12-year-old boy slipped through security and managed to board a British Airways flight to Los Angeles without a ticket or boarding pass. The unaccompanied boy, who had no travel documents, mingled with passengers getting on the flight and was only spotted when cabin crew asked to see his boarding pass in order to direct him to his seat. The youngster, who is thought to be Dutch, was not travelling with his parents, and refused to cooperate with cabin crew when he was challenged. He was eventually removed by police officers who boarded to assist aircrew.
Russia: Analysis of the crew actions during a fatal Saratov Airlines Antonov An-148 flight last year shows the two pilots applied opposite inputs to the control column after a ground-proximity warning sounded. The twinjet's captain had pushed the aircraft into a 30° dive in response to an apparent dramatic loss of airspeed - a false indication owing to the icing of the aircraft's pitot-static sensors. Its ground-proximity warning system issued a "pull up" alert at about 1,500m (5,000ft) altitude, as the aircraft descended at more than 9,800ft/min, says the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee. The An-148 remained in a dive. But at a height of 300-400m the flight-data recorder shows the two pilots both suddenly started pulling on the control columns. "Most probably, the aircraft emerged from the clouds at this time and the pilots realised the ground was rapidly approaching," says the inquiry. The sudden nose-up inputs generated a 4.2g load on the An-148 but was insufficient to arrest the descent in time, and the aircraft - still in a 30° dive and entering a 25° right bank - struck the ground at around 430kt, completely disintegrating with the loss of all 71 occupants.
Zimbabwe, Harare: A Martinair Boeing 747-400 on a freight flight MP-8372 from Johannesburg to Harare, was on approach to Harare when a part of the flaps fell from the aircraft into the neighbourhood of Chitungwiza, about 3nm south of the aerodrome. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on runway. The loose part was found just outside of Harare and has not caused any damage. An investigation has been opened.
USA, Bethel Airport Alaska: A Cessna 208 Caravan operated Grant Aviation with six on board was partially consumed by fire during a hot landing at Bethel Airport in Alaska. Three occupants onboard the airplane were taken to hospital with minor injuries. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.
USA, New York: The USA Transportation Security Administration stopped a man with 3D-printed handgun part in his carry-on baggage at LaGuardia Airport. The item included the trigger and body of the gun. It was confiscated and the man was allowed to catch his flight. Handguns and handgun parts are prohibited past airport security checkpoints, including 3D guns and gun parts.
Switzerland: About 130 pilots have been grounded at regional airports in Switzerland due to their inability to speak English. A new directive came into force on 20 June stating that all pilots taking off or landing at Swiss airports monitored by Skyguide must communicate to air traffic controllers exclusively in English. As a result, some 130 pilots at Sion airport have been unable to fly. Other regional airports including Les Éplatures and La Chaux-de-Fonds have also been affected. However, according to the paper the airport of Neuchâtel and other regional airports in the canton of Ticino have been granted an exemption by the Swiss federal aviation authority. Exemptions can be given only if Skyguide is monitoring the airport on a behalf of a neighbouring country or it can delegate its services to a foreign company, or if the airport can prove that communicating in English compromises airport safety.
USA, West Palm Beach: A Leonardo AW139 crashed in what is being described as black hole conditions killing all six occupants including American coal billionaire Chris Cline and Geoff Painter the operator of a West Palm Beach, Florida helicopter school. The 2008 AW139 took off from Cline's private island but was not reported missing for 14 hours. The wreckage was recovered in 16 feet of water approximately two miles from shore. The helicopter's retractable landing gear remained extended. Photos of the wreckage show tail boom separation, the cabin section laying inverted on the seabed, and significant impact damage to the remaining fuselage.
Russia, Kaluga: A Montenegro Airlines Fokker 100 on a from Tivat (Montenegro) to Moscow Domodedovo (Russia) with 85 passengers and 5 crew, was descending towards Moscow when the captain felt sick and became unconscious. The first officer took control of the aircraft and diverted the aircraft to Kaluga (Russia), about 70nm southwest of Moscow Domodedovo, where the aircraft landed safely. The captain regained consciousness after landing, was treated at the airport but did not need to be taken to a hospital.
23 JULY 1983
Air Canada Flight 143, a Boeing 767, runs out of fuel above Manitoba because of a miscalculation; the crew successfully glides the aircraft to a safe landing at a former Air Force base (and current drag strip) at Gimli, Manitoba.
Air Canada Flight 143 was a Canadian scheduled domestic passenger flight between Montreal and Edmonton that ran out of fuel at an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,000 m), midway through the flight. The crew was able to glide the Boeing 767 aircraft safely to an emergency landing at a former Royal Canadian Air Force base in Gimli, Manitoba, that had been turned into a motor racing track. This unusual aviation incident earned the aircraft the nickname "Gimli Glider".
The subsequent investigation revealed that a combination of company failures, human errors and confusion over unit measures had led to the aircraft being refuelled with insufficient fuel for the planned flight.
Flight 143 was cruising at 41,000 feet (12,000 m) over Red Lake, Ontario when the aircraft's cockpit warning system sounded, indicating a fuel pressure problem on the aircraft's left side.
The aircraft's fuel gauges were inoperative because of an electronic fault indicated on the instrument panel and airplane logs; this fault was known before take-off to the pilots, who took steps to work around it. During the flight, the management computer indicated that there was still sufficient fuel for the flight, but only because the initial fuel load had been incorrectly entered: the fuel had been calculated in pounds instead of kilograms by the ground crew, and the erroneous calculation had been approved by the flight crew. This error meant that less than half the amount of intended fuel had been loaded. Because the incorrect fuel weight data had been entered into the system, it was providing incorrect readings
A few moments after the crew silenced the left-side fuel pressure alarm, a second fuel pressure alarm sounded for the right engine. This prompted the pilots to divert to Winnipeg. Then, within seconds, the left engine failed and the pilots began preparing for a single-engine landing. As they communicated their intentions to controllers in Winnipeg and tried to restart the left engine, the cockpit warning system sounded again with the "all engines out" sound, a long "bong" that no one in the cockpit could recall having heard before. Flying with all engines out was something that was never expected to occur and that therefore had not been covered in training, either on a flight simulator or otherwise. Seconds later, with the right-side engine also stopped, the 767 lost all power, and most of the instrument displays in the cockpit went blank.
Captain Pearson was an experienced glider pilot, so he was familiar with flying techniques almost never used in commercial flight. To have the maximum range and therefore the largest choice of possible landing sites, he needed to fly the 767 at the optimum glide speed. Making his best guess as to this speed for the 767, he flew the aircraft at 220 knots (410 km/h; 250 mph). First Officer Maurice Quintal began to calculate whether they could reach Winnipeg. He used the altitude from one of the mechanical backup instruments, while the distance travelled was supplied by the air traffic controllers in Winnipeg, measured by the aircraft's radar echo observed at Winnipeg. In 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi) the aircraft lost 5,000 feet (1,500 m), giving a glide ratio of approximately 12:1 (dedicated glider planes reach ratios of 50:1 to 70:1.
At this point, Quintal proposed landing at the former RCAF Station Gimli, a closed air force base where he had once served as a pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Unbeknownst to Quintal or to the air traffic controller, a part of the facility had been converted to a race track complex, now known as Gimli Motorsports Park. It included a road race course, a go-kart track, and a dragstrip. A Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs-sanctioned sports car race hosted by the Winnipeg Sports Car Club was underway at the time of the incident and the area around the decommissioned runway was full of cars and campers. Part of the decommissioned runway was being used to stage the race.
As soon as the wheels touched down on the runway, Pearson braked hard, skidding and promptly blowing out two of the aircraft's tires. The unlocked nose wheel collapsed and was forced back into its well, causing the aircraft's nose to slam into, bounce off, and then scrape along the ground. This additional friction helped to slow the airplane and kept it from careening into the crowds surrounding the runway. After the airliner had touched down, the nose began to scrape along the guardrail in the centre of the race track, creating additional frictional drag that helped to decelerate the plane; Pearson applied extra right brake, which caused the main landing gear to straddle the guardrail. Air Canada Flight 143 came to a final stop on the ground 17 minutes after running out of fuel.
There were no serious injuries among the 61 passengers or the people on the ground. As the aircraft's nose had collapsed onto the ground, its tail was elevated and there were some minor injuries when passengers exited the aircraft via the rear slides, which were not long enough to sufficiently accommodate the increased height. A minor fire in the nose area was extinguished by racers and course workers armed with portable fire extinguishers.