Compiled by Willie Bodenstein



The Aero Club of SA is taking pre-orders for the Centenary Yearbook, to assess the demand for a print run. It will be in the form of a hard & soft cover version as well as a limited-edition leather-bound book on request. Details of the book are available on the Aero Club Website.

Indicative Pricing: - Hard Cover Book - R 400 - Soft Cover Book - R 300 - Leather Bound Book - Add +/- R 200 for Novalite & R 500 for Leather. Delivery Options are collected at the Rand Airport Aero Club office, or door to door courier service anywhere in SA. Courier costs will range between R 100 to R 130 per book dependent on location. Volume purchases are also available should this be required. Once you have registered for a pre-order, and our print run is complete, the Aero Club will send an invoice for payment, which once received will have the book dispatched.

To get your pre-order secured, please go to this link. Centenary Yearbook Order Form


If you are not a member and wish to join the Aero Club and any of its sections, feel free to do so http://www.aeroclub.org.za/member-renewals-and-new-memberships/


The following events will to take place under the Covid 19 rules controlling the number of people congregating together and are therefore not open to the general public.

18-20 September
Taildraggers Airmanship Competition, Bela Bela, Warmbaths.
Please RSVP Richard Nicholson to make
arrangements. Cell 082 490 6227

19 September
Brakpan Aero Club 'Spring Clean' flying day from 09h00
Contact Cell: 071 542 2993 E-mail:

19 to 20 September
Utopia Fly-in, Southern Drakensberg
Contact Don Cell: 082 895 2009 E-mail: hobbsfam@mweb.co.za

7 October
Dear Fellow EAAer's,

We look forward to "seeing you" at our next gathering on 7th October 2020.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our 322 gathering last week. For those that were unable to join us and would like to view the recording, this is available on our EAA of SA Youtube Channel or through this link:

Please don't forget to send in your contributions for our CONTACT! newsletter.
Neil Bowden
Chairman EAA Chapter 322
South Africa
EAA # 565560

29 September to 4 October

SAC National Championships Tempe Airport, Bloemfontein
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

17 October 2020


Good day Slingers.

With Level 2's easing of lockdown restrictions, we are thrilled to announce the first Sling Aircraft breakfast fly-in of 2020 is finally upon us! Saturday, 17 October from 07h00 to 11h30, our breakfast fly-in will be held at our premises, Tedderfield Airpark, 23 Nettleton Road, Eikenhof (FATA).

At just R100 per person paid on arrival, bring your mask, bring your buddy, relish a scrumptious breakfast, shop Sling branded merch from our Sling Store, enjoy a factory tour and possibly even a sneak peek at our all-new Sling High Wing! In addition, a spot landing competition will be held on arrival between 07h00 and 08h00. Tea and coffee will be served from 08h00 and breakfast will be served between 09h00 and 11h00.

Spots are of course are limited due to Covid-19 regulations so, if you would like to experience the Sling lifestyle for yourself, RSVP by Wednesday, 14 October in order to avoid disappointment. Fly, drive, walk or bike, you will not be disappointed.

See you there, Slingers!

• 07h00 to 08h00 - Spot landing competition.
• 08h00 - Tea & Coffee is served.
• 09h00 - Breakfast is served.
• 09h30 - Factory tours will commence.
• 10h00 - Prize giving for the spot landing competition.


24 and 25 October

SAC North West Regionals at Klerksdorp airfield
Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

and subscribe to our YouTube channel


Diamond Aircraft proudly announces EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) certification for its exciting new DA50 RG single engine piston with retractable gear. This achievement marks a significant milestone in Diamond's history as well as for the General Aviation community and paves the way for initial EASA customer deliveries in Q1/2021. Photo © Diamond Aircraft.

General Aviation's new first-class piston single impresses with retractable gear, double slotted flaps for high lift and superior slow speed behaviour, remarkable handling and flight characteristics and a spacious true 5-seat luxury cabin with a generous rear baggage compartment, Diamond's well-known safety features, striking ramp appeal and an environmentally conscious and fuel-efficient jet-fuel engine. Perfectly suited for single engine pilots looking for more seats and utility, as well as charter operators and corporate flight departments wanting to complement their larger aircraft with a low-cost alternative for shorter trips.

"We are extremely proud to have received EASA type certification for our single engine flagship, the DA50 RG. The Diamond Aircraft team has done a tremendous job to make this possible," said Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO at Diamond Aircraft Austria. "With the DA50 RG, we are introducing an innovative 21st-century retract single that we are convinced the market is missing. Bringing the aircraft to the market is a great accomplishment that we are very pleased to celebrate with our Diamond Aircraft Family and the aviation community all over the world. We are simply overwhelmed by the huge interest, the number of inquiries and feedback we have been receiving for this game changer since the launch in June. We are looking forward to welcoming many proud DA50 RG pilots over the coming months and years."

The DA50 RG is powered by the EASA certified twin-turbo-charged, liquid-cooled 6-cylinder 300 hp Continental CD-300 with Common Rail Direct Injection, offering a dual redundant FADEC (full authority digital engine control) system, integrated gearbox and propeller governor. The pilot benefits from tremendously eased engine operations, unique high-altitude performance, globally available jet fuel and remarkably low fuel consumption of just 9 USgal/hr (34.1 lt/hr) at maximum range.

Aircraft operators want to fly as eco-friendly as possible for a better tomorrow. With Diamond's line of jet fuel powered aircraft, they use fuel with much lower emissions than conventional aviation fuels and save many gallons of it.

The sleek all carbon composite airframe of the DA50 RG incorporates advanced aerodynamics with the latest in passive safety technology for high performance, great efficiency and superior occupant protection. On top it is durable, easily maintained and will keep looking great for many years to come. The roomy luxury limousine like interior features generous ergonomic genuine leather seats, a 60/40 split folding three seat second row bench, premium materials in several styles and colours, middle armrest, overhead LED interior lighting and many optional features.

The DA50 RG features the latest development of Garmin on the G1000 sector, the Garmin G1000 NXi with standard 3-axis GFC700 autopilot combined with simple single lever power controls, offering great control and situational awareness reducing pilot workload.

"First customer feedback has shown that the innovative package is going to meet the needs of almost any private pilot's flight mission in an unrivalled way. The traveling experience aboard the DA50 RG impressively stands out in terms of space, convenience, luxury and aerodynamic efficiency due to the retractable gear," said Reinhard Schwaiger, Team Leader Civil Aircraft Sales at Diamond Aircraft Austria. "We are now going to work on FAA certification that we are expecting end of 2021 and are very excited to present the aircraft to a thrilled US market."


The first new European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified CC19 XCub has now been shipped to Europe from the CubCrafters company headquarters in Yakima, Washington. The aircraft, to be placed on the United Kingdom registry as G-OBTO, is the first ever EASA certified aircraft to be approved with Garmin's immensely popular G3X Touch glass panel avionics suite.

The inaugural customer, Gerhard Oberholzer, who intends to base the aircraft at Fowlmere Airfield north of London states that: "A key purpose of having an aircraft like this is to be able to travel across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland on business, enabling very efficient access to often remote parts of the islands - using the aircraft as a working tool." He also notes that "The XCub, with its higher cruising speed and modern avionics, coupled with an advanced autopilot, made a lot of sense. I'm very pleased with where we ended up."

CubCrafters was awarded EASA certification for the XCub in 2018 after having shown full compliance with all European airworthiness, safety, and environmental requirements. The company then followed up the initial EASA certification with a ground-breaking effort to offer Garmin's non-TSO'd touch screen glass panel avionics to European customers, the only OEM manufacturer to do so in a certified aircraft.

"The European market is very important to us in the continuing expansion of international XCub sales opportunities," said Patrick Horgan, president of CubCrafters. "There has been a lot of hard work getting to this point with EASA. We are extremely pleased to see the market has responded and the first new XCubs are now headed for Europe."

Kamil Skorupski, who manages distribution of the XCub in Europe as part of the CubCrafters global sales network, is already seeing a keen anticipation for the new aircraft. "Within a year we will have XCubs based in the UK, Iceland, Germany, and France" he reports. "Interest is strong and will only grow as more aircraft arrive and European pilots can personally see the style, safety, and utility the XCub offers."


B-52 Stratofortress bombers supporting U.S. Africa Command began flying alongside fighters from allies in North Africa Monday in a series of interoperability training missions.

According to an AFRICOM release two B-52s in the Bomber Task Force Mission, at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, flew alongside four F-16s from the Moroccan. The next day two B-52s trained with a pair of F-16s from the Tunisian Air Force.

"Our ability to conduct these missions with our African partners enhances our interoperability and collective responsiveness to ensure security and stability prevails within the African continent "It is a way for our bilateral forces to demonstrate our cooperative resolve against malign actors and in support of regional prosperity." U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering said in the Tuesday release.

AFRICOM said that these kinds of missions, which the military regularly conducts with allies, helps the partner nations practice how they would work together in combat and stay ready.


Erickson Inc. and Bell Textron Inc. have announced the signed agreements to initiate the transfer of type certificates for the model 214ST and B/B1 helicopters to Erickson Incorporated. The transfer will be processed through the FAA and is expected to be completed near the end of the year.

Erickson is one of the largest operators of Bell 214ST helicopters. The agreements replace the previous license and product support agreement signed between the companies in 2015. As one of the largest operators of 214STs, Erickson is poised to take the next step in supporting the performance improvements and operational sustainability of the 214 platform as it did for the S-64 platforms it acquired in 1992. Erickson will work with Bell to transfer the key functions and processes remaining to enable full support of the type certificates.

According to Doug Kitani, Erickson CEO, "The 214 is a great utility rotary wing platform. We look forward to applying our innovative spirit and operational experience to chart a future for the aircraft like we have done with the S-64 Air Crane helicopter over the past 30 years. The 214 models represent an outstanding complement to the Erickson portfolio of supported aircraft.


HAL's indigenously developed Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) demonstrated high altitude capability in hot and high weather conditions in the Himalayas recently for about 10 days. Photo © HAL.

A comprehensive test plan was executed at Leh (10,827 feet above sea level) in temperatures up to ISA plus-320 degrees Celsius, which included envelope expansion, performance and flying qualities. LUH took off from Leh and demonstrated its hot and high hover performance at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at 16,404 feet above sea level. The helicopter also demonstrated its payload capability in Siachen glacier high altitude. During the trials, pilots landed the helicopter at the highest helipads of Amar and Sonam.

"HAL has once again proven its indigenous capability in design and development. The Army version of LUH is now ready for initial operational clearance," said R. Madhavan, chairman and managing director, HAL.

According to Arup Chatterjee, director (engineering and R&D), HAL, the performance of the helicopter and its systems are fulfilling the requirements of the users. All planned tests were successfully demonstrated.

The flights were carried out by composite trial teams which included pilots from HAL, Wg Cdr Unni Pillai, CTP, Wg Cdr Anil Bhambani, Gp Capt Pupinder Singh and Gp Capt V Panwar along with Gp Capt R Dubey, Sq Ldr Joshi (from Indian Air Force) and Lt Col R Grewal and Lt Col Pawan (from the Indian Army). Representatives from the certification authority also witnessed the trials.

The initial operational clearance for basic LUH was accorded by The Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) for an IAF variant on Feb. 7, 2020 during DefExpo 2020 at Lucknow in the presence of defence minister and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.


Textron Aviation's McCauley Propeller Systems has received FAA certification for its C779 propeller that will be used on Cessna's new utility twin-turboprop, the SkyCourier. Noting that the propeller was specifically designed to enhance the SkyCourier's performance, the C779 was subjected to 135 hours of endurance and functional tests for certification, according to Textron Aviation.

That testing included a blade retention system test at twice the maximum centrifugal load of the propeller during operation. "The development of the McCauley C779 propeller was a collaborative effort between McCauley and Textron Aviation engineers," said Textron Aviation senior v-p of parts and programs Kriya Shortt. "The propeller has been optimized for the SkyCourier aircraft and engine design with careful attention to durability and low maintenance costs."

Shortt added the new propeller is one-way Textron Aviation is keeping maintenance costs on the airplane in check. So is the use of Goodrich DuraTherm de-ice boots, which will offer improved impact resistance of the propellers on the SkyCourier, two examples of which are currently in-flight testing.




Exosonic and Hermeus, both relatively unknown developers of faster-than-the-speed-of-sound passenger aircraft recently were awarded separate contracts by the U.S. Air Force's Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate to develop executive transports that could be used as Air Force One. The former company is working on a 70-passenger supersonic airplane, while the latter is developing a 20-seat hypersonic airplane.

The contract awarded to Exosonic, which was announced last week, is for the company's low-boom, Mach 1.8 twinjet that would fly U.S. leaders up to 5,000-nm nonstop, allowing them to more quickly meet with world leaders or react to developing situations.

Exosonic's aircraft can provide top US leaders and diplomats rapid transportation around the world to meet with world leaders or react to developing situations on the ground. By utilizing Exosonic's boom softening techniques, the passengers can travel overland and overwater at supersonic speeds, pending regulations, to roughly reduce their cruise times in half compared to existing aircraft.

Hermeus Corporation, the aerospace company developing Mach 5 commercial aircraft, has partnered with the U.S. Air Force and the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate to work toward hypersonic travel for the Department of Defense. This award comes under another Transaction for Prototype Agreement Direct to Phase II contract through AFWERX after Hermeus successfully tested a Mach 5 engine prototype in February 2020.

The company said it has taken an "off-the-shelf gas turbine engine and operated it at flight speed conditions faster than the famed SR-71." Though performance and specification data for its Mach 5 jet are scant, Hermeus claimed the aircraft will be able to fly from New York to London in about 90 minutes.


After months of training, Major Aviator Cristiano de Oliveira Peres, test pilot at the Brazilian Air Force, completed the important mission of being the first Brazilian pilot to fly the first Brazilian Gripen E.

Major Aviator Cristiano de Oliveira Peres, test pilot at the Brazilian Air Force, had his much-deserved reward in the late afternoon of August 20th; flying over the Baltic Sea for 49 minutes with the first Brazilian Gripen. Since January 2020 he has been located at Saab in Linköping, Sweden, where he has gone through various tests and flown both Gripens in the simulators. The unique moment was filled with great responsibility, but also with pride and satisfaction.

"It is a big responsibility to be part of such an important project for the Brazilian Air Force. It is the dream of any test pilot to make an experimental flight with an aircraft and I am honoured to be part of this moment," says Major Aviator Cristiano.

Since his arrival in Sweden, Cristiano has conducted several professional drills, such as qualifying in a 9G centrifuge, conversion training with Gripen D and training for specific flight test techniques for Gripen. It has been a major learning curve for the pilot, who also stressed out the importance and the positive impact of interaction with his colleagues during the training.

Cristiano is now in the final stages of his training and will soon join the Gripen Flight Test team in Linköping, as a representative of the Brazilian Air Force. With all the knowledge acquired, he has already participated in the operational evaluation process of the aircraft, which will soon arrive in Brazil.

Among the main advantages of Gripen E, Cristiano highlights the flight control system in the aircraft. It has been developed in a way that makes piloting very easy, requiring low workload from the pilot. The pilot can turn all his attention to manage the tactical systems in the aircraft to fulfil his mission.

"Gripen will take our pilots to a very high operational level in the future. It has been developed to meet the requirements of the Brazilian Air Force, which means that we will have state-of-the-art equipment and sensors," Major Aviator Cristiano added.

According to Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics, this is yet another moment of celebration within Saab: "The Gripen Programme continues to progress according to schedule and soon the first Brazilian aircraft will arrive in Brazil."


The German eVTOL developer Lilium will work with Düsseldorf Airport and Cologne/Bonn Airport to explore how the two airports can become hubs within a regional air mobility network spanning North Rhine-Westphalia.

The collaboration was announced in Düsseldorf in the presence of North Rhine-Westphalia Transportation Minister Hendrik Wüst. With 18 million inhabitants, North Rhine-Westphalia is the largest and most densely populated German state, including 10 cities with over 300,000 inhabitants.

According to Lilium, that makes it ideal for the regional air mobility service the company is aiming to establish with its five-seat, fully electric Lilium Jet. Whereas many eVTOL developers are focused on intra-urban mobility, Lilium is betting that its high-speed air taxis will offer more value for longer regional trips than crosstown hops.

Düsseldorf Airport is the largest airport in North Rhine-Westphalia, while Cologne/Bonn Airport is one of the most important commercial airports in Germany, with two almost equally strong business segments in passenger traffic and air freight. As international traffic hubs with strong connections to air, rail, and road traffic, both are seen as a promising starting point for the development of digitally networked mobility, including air taxis.

"North Rhine-Westphalia and its airports are ideal partners for us to implement this ambitious project of the future - we are grateful to receive this support from both the Ministry and our partners at the airports to implement our vision," Gerber said.


The last Victor bomber plane to see active service with the RAF will be scrapped despite it being offered for free to anyone who could restore it. The base said the cost of the repairs was greater than its budget for gate guardian maintenance. Photo © wikipedia

Surveys showed that the Cold War-era aircraft, positioned at the main entrance to RAF Marham in Norfolk as its "gate guardian", was "suffering from structural weaknesses".

In a statement on its website, RAF Marham said: "Unfortunately, no-one has come forward who has the capability to remove and restore her so the difficult decision has been made to dispose of her.

"Whilst RAF Marham will be sad to dispose of an aircraft that played an important role in the heritage of the station, we are reassured that there is a Victor in the skilled and professional care of the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford and the Imperial War Museum collection at Duxford.

"We are reassured that the story of the Victor fleet and those who flew and supported it is preserved for perpetuity for the nation and the national collection."

The base is offering the opportunity for "a small number of people" to see the Victor for the last time on October 10 and is running an application process for places. It said preference would be given to people with a link to the Victor, including those who worked on Victors or were relatives of a previous crew. V bombers - Victors, Valiants and Vulcans - were part of the UK's nuclear deterrent until 1969.

USA, McMinnville, Tenn: Three people were killed when Piper PA-28 crashed near a Tennessee airport. Killed in the crash were Lt. Col. Shelli Huether, Capt. Jessica Wright, and Senior Master Sgt. Scott Bumpus. They were members of the 118th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group and where on a private flight. The plane had taken off from McMinnville airport and crashed in a nearby field. A witness told investigators that the plane appeared to be trying to return to the airport when it crashed. It was not immediately clear who was flying the plane. (Wikipedia photo. Not the accident aircraft)

Kenya, Maji Moto area in Narok South: A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan with three on board was damaged beyond repair when it crashed under unknown circumstances close to Maji Moto. The occupants suffered unspecified injuries.

Brazil, Carlos Drummond de Andrade Airport: A Gulfstream G200 Galaxy with three on board was on a local training flights practising touch and goes when the pilot decided to abort the take-off. The aircraft overran the runway, struck the airport perimeter fence and came to a stop next to a concrete construction. The aircraft suffered extensive damage to the fuselage, wings (slats and flaps), losing all landing gear. The captain suffered minor injuries.

Germany, Villingen: A Dornier Do-27A-3 with only the pilot on board flipped over after a forced landing in a field. The pilot was injured and the aircraft written off.

Russia, St. Petersburg: A Pobeda Boeing 737-800 was on final approach to St. Petersburg after a flight from Moscow when the crew was instructed to go around after a dog was observed on the runway. The crew went around, positioned for another approach and landed safely. An inspection found no dog or other obstacle on the runway.

USA, Gulf of Mexico off Okaloosa Island, FL: A Piper PA-25 Pawnee with only the pilot on board on a banner towing sortie following a loss of engine power ditched to the waters in the Gulf of Mexico off Okaloosa Island, Florida. The pilot was not injured but the aircraft sustained severe damage.

USA, Alligator Alley, Broward County, FL: A Mooney M20R Ovation 3 GX with two on board force landed on roadway terrain in Broward County following a loss of engine power. The aircraft sustained substantial wing damage when impacted by a passing motor vehicle subsequent to landing. The two occupants onboard the aircraft were not injured.

Lithuania, Vilnius: A Transaviabaltika Let L-410 on flight from Minsk National, Belarus when landing at Vilnius burst a tyre and subsequently veered left off the runway onto a paved surface that used to be a former runway. There were no injuries and the aircraft sustained minor damage.


The United States Army Air Forces are separated from the United States Army and become an independent armed service, the United States Air Force.
Photo United States Air Force / commons.wikimedia.org

The United States Air Force became a separate military service on 18 September 1947 with the implementation of the National Security Act of 1947. The Act created the National Military Establishment, later renamed the United States Department of Defense, which was composed of four of the five branches, the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and a newly created Air Force.

Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was divided between the Army for land-based operations and the Navy and Marine Corps for sea-based operations from aircraft carrier and amphibious aircraft. The Army created the first antecedent of the Air Force on 1 August 1907, which through a succession of changes of organization, titles and missions advanced toward eventual separation 40 years later. The predecessor organizations leading up to today's U.S. Air Force are:

Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps (1 August 1907 - 18 July 1914)
Aviation Section, Signal Corps (18 July 1914 - 20 May 1918)
Division of Military Aeronautics (20 May 1918 - 24 May 1918)
Air Service, U.S. Army (24 May 1918 - 2 July 1926)
U.S. Army Air Corps (2 July 1926 - 20 June 1941)
U.S. Army Air Forces (20 June 1941 - 17 September 1947)

The Air Corps became a subordinate element of the Army Air Forces on 20 June 1941 and was abolished as an administrative organization on 9 March 1942. It continued to exist as a branch of the Army (similar to the infantry, quartermaster, or artillery) until reorganization provisions of the National Security Act of 1947

Midweek Update

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