Compiled by Willie Bodenstein




SAPFA SA Landing Championships at Brits and Stellenbosch Airfields. For more information contact Ron Stirk E-mail: melron@mweb.co.za Cell: 082 445 0373

Jack Taylor Airfield Krugersdorp Fly-In. For more detail, please Whatsapp 0835778894or e-mail kfc@iafrica.com

SAPFA Springs Speed Rally at Springs Airfield. Contact Dawid Cell: 073 338 5200 david@pilotinsure.co.za

Sports Aerobatics Club Western Cape regionals at Stellenbosch airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

EAA Chapter 322 virtual monthly meeting via Zoom. Contact Neil Bowden084 674 5674 or E-mail: neil1@telkomsa.net

Aero Club of South Africa annual awards venue TBA. For more information contact Rob Jonkers E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za Cell: 082 804 7032

Sports Aerobatics Club ACE of Base Baragwaneth Airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

Steady Climb Fly-In and expo at Rhino Park airfield. Contact David Le Roux Cell: 073 338 5200


A seven-strong group of SA Air Force (SAAF) pupil pilots working on aviation skills including piloting fighters, attack helicopters and transports are recipients of qualifications from the Russian Air Force.

According to a SA National Defence Force (SANDF) report by Major Mpho Mathebula of SAAF Corporate Services, the seven candidate officers left South Africa in 2015 for advanced aviation training. They are Moshe Malete, Mohau Mphaka, Mashaka Nengovhela, Thato Letshwene, Jacob Diseko, Peter Kobbie and Phuti Moloto.

The "qualifications", presumably the Russian equivalent of pilot's wings and half-wings for navigators, were presented to the South Africans during a parade at Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School.

In addition to time at Krasnodar, the SAAF seven spent time training at Syzran Higher Military Aviation School and Chelyabinsk Military Aviation Institute of Navigators. Some of the SAAF pupes trained as pilots while others learnt the finer arts of air traffic management and aviation combat control during their more than five years in Russia.

In addition to congratulating the SAAF seven, CAF Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo said the South Africans flew both the national and SAAF flags high while away from home.

SAAF students are undergoing flight training in Cuba (pilot, aviation technical and aviation engineering). Since August 75 SAAF staff have been in Cuba and will be there until 2024-2026.


Written by Guy Martin

The Tunisian military will next year receive from the United States two Cessna Caravan aircraft configured for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

News of the contract surfaced in 2019, and in response to a defenceWeb query, a US Department of Defence spokesperson said Congress was notified of a Tunisia ISR contract which included Cessna 208 Caravans "as a Section 333 capacity building initiative in support of US Africom."

The Caravans will not be armed but will be configured for ISR purposes "to aid in Tunisia's border security efforts."

Section 333 programmes provide training and equipment to the national security forces of foreign countries for the purpose of building the capacity of such forces to conduct operations such as counter-terrorism.

On 30 September, US company ATI Engineering Services was awarded a $9 690 087 order for a "Tunisia intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system. This delivery order provides for two aircraft, support equipment and spares. Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and is expected to be completed by 30 November 2022," the contract notice read.

"Fiscal 2021 Building Partnership Capacity funds in the amount of $9 690 087 are being obligated at the time of award," the US Department of Defence said.

ATI Engineering in 2020 was contracted to convert two Cessna Grand Caravan EX aircraft for the Rwanda Defence Force under the US military's African Partnership Flight initiative.

According to Africa Intelligence, the Tunisian aircraft will be equipped with encrypted communications, a data link, night vision system and sensor turret.

Cessna Caravans have been a popular choice of ISR aircraft among African countries, acquired either as donations from the United States or purchased outright.

The US Government has previously provided grant aid funding for 14 Grand Caravan EX aircraft procured through Foreign Military Sale cases throughout Africa, with Rwanda being one of the latest recipients. Africom's intent is to field multiple iterations of this configuration throughout Africa and to streamline logistics support and enhance partner nation interoperability, both of which will reduce costs to the partner nation and to the US Government.

Africom's African partners who already possess Grand Caravan EX aircraft include Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Kenya and Uganda. These countries are co-participants in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, particularly in missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

Tunisia is also scheduled to receive eight T-6C Texan II trainers from Textron Aviation Defence by October next year. It has four AT-6C Wolverine light attack aircraft on order as well. The Wolverines are being acquired with Mk 81 and Mk 82 bombs, Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) rockets, L-3 WESCAM MX 15D Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems and 12.7 mm machineguns.



If you missed us at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 or didn't take the opportunity to tour our factory during the show, you can get a great personalized video tour of the Sonex Aircraft factory thanks to Bryan Walstrom of The Experimental Aircraft Channel on YouTube! This tour shows the entire Sonex Aircraft facility on Wittman field in Oshkosh and covers all Sonex Aircraft models including the development of the two-seat SubSonex.


Textron Aviation has announced that many Cessna piston-powered aircraft are now approved to utilize a more environmentally friendly aviation gasoline (AvGas). Owners and operators of Cessna 172 Skyhawk, 182 Skylane can utilize 91-octane unleaded (91UL), 94UL or 100VLL (very low lead) fuel in their aircraft wherever it is available. The 206 Turbo Stationair HD aircraft is approved for 100VLL. Unleaded and lower-leaded fuels burn cleaner than higher-leaded fuels currently used on most piston aircraft.

The Cessna Skyhawk, Skylane and Turbo Stationair HD are designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron, Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.

"Textron Aviation is committed to sustainability and this announcement is an excellent opportunity for aviation enthusiasts to minimize their carbon footprint while continuing to enjoy the journey of flight," said Chris Crow, vice president, Piston & Utility Sales. "We have produced more than 75,000 of these three piston aircraft models and this gives owners and operators around the world a chance to take action in reducing emissions."

All three Cessna models utilize engines manufactured by Lycoming Engines, a Textron Inc. business. Lycoming recently approved the use of unleaded and lower-leaded fuels after completion of a series of tests. The fuel is compatible for both new production and legacy Cessna piston aircraft.

Operators may begin use of the alternative fuels once they are compliant with Service Bulletin SEB-28-04 or MEB-28-01.

As an active proponent of sustainable fuel initiatives, Textron Aviation has worked together with various organizations to increase awareness of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) benefits among operators. Additionally, the company supports the collaborative work of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association and the European Business Aviation Association to steadily improve worldwide access to affordable sustainable fuel.


The initial TBM 940 from an order of four for DGA-EV, France's government-run Flight Test organization was delivered by Daher recently, with these very fast turboprop aircraft modified for assignments in both testing and training.

This handover occurred at the TBM's final assembly line in Tarbes, France as Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher's Aircraft Division, provided the TBM 940's keys to General Arvind Badrinath, the Director of the Flight Test organization for the French Armed Forces Ministry's DGA (Direction générale de l'armement) procurement agency.

The four new-production TBM 940s will replace legacy TBM 700s operated since 1992 by the DGA-EV, providing the latest versions of Daher's TBM aircraft family for its varied mission requirements. Included in the French government contract is five years of maintenance support by Daher to keep the TBM 940s in top operational condition.

"These aircraft will modernize the DGA-EV's fleet as the Flight Test Organization contributes to France's development of future defence systems and aims at being the main certification of military and civil aircraft in Europe. We've tailored the TBM 940s to optimize their use and versatility while serving the DGA in applications that include flight testing and safety support as chase airplanes, in liaison flights and for operations away from the primary test centre locations." Nicolas Chabbert, the senior vice president of Daher's Aircraft Division.

All four of the DGA EV's TBM 940s will have a hardpoint incorporated in each wing, allowing the installation of various payloads up to 75 kg (165 lbs.) on each hardpoint. The cabin interiors can be rapidly changed from the baseline configuration for personnel transport to accommodate specific installations such as an operator's test console to manage test systems and equipment, as well as sensors, such as an anemometric pole.

The DGA Flight Test Organization operates two main test centres in France: Istres, in the southeast; and Cazaux in the southwest. The Organization's responsibilities include weapons systems qualification as well as the certification of military and civil aircraft. It also provides flight safety expertise for French and European aircraft manufacturers and government agencies.


Garmin is pleased to announce that expanded monitoring capability will be available for select Pilatus PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 aircraft with the addition of the TXi Engine Indication System (EIS) display. This upgrade for PC-12 owners and operators can allow for a fully modernized, complete Garmin cockpit retrofit solution that includes the GFC™ 600 autopilot, , GTN™ Xi navigators, GTX™ ADS-B transponders, GWX™ weather radar and more.

For Pilatus PC-12 owners and operators, the TXi EIS can be installed as part of a complete package that includes G600 TXi 10.6" flight display(s), GTN Xi Series navigators, GFC 600 autopilot and a GI 275 electronic flight instrument configured as a standby flight instrument. With this installation, the system offers new operational capabilities and features including autopilot-coupled VNAV descents, fully coupled missed approaches and Smart Glide™ safety technology, which can automatically engage the autopilot and pitch for the aircraft's best glide speed while simultaneously navigating the aircraft within the vicinity of the selected airport so the pilot can execute an approach and landing. Further, the installation of this package also removes legacy avionics and wiring, aiding in weight savings. Other optional upgrades include an audio panel, ADS-B transponder, Iridium datalink, weather radar, datalink SiriusXM weather and Garmin Connext® connectivity via the Flight Stream 510 wireless gateway.

PC-12 owners and operators can now replace aging EIS gauges with a modernized display and view EIS information on a 10.6-inch TXi flight display which can accommodate primary flight display (PFD) information; a multifunction display (MFD) with a vertical EIS strip; or on a 7-inch TXi flight display in portrait mode, which serves as a dedicated EIS display. With this upgrade, pilots will be able to more clearly read and analyse critical engine, fuel and electrical parameters while simplifying the cockpit. PC-12 owners and operators can continue to benefit from the auto-start, automatic ignition and fuel balancing functionality previously supported by the original EIS system, among other existing functions like dynamic gauge limits and more. When using multiple TXi displays, pilots can also benefit from display backup capability to help prevent the loss of PFD or EIS information during a single-display failure.

All TXi EIS gauge indications display real-time turbine engine information using distinct colours, bands and radials to clearly depict normal operating ranges as well as limitations so pilots can more easily interpret engine data at-a-glance. Select turboprop gauges such as engine torque, prop RPM (NP), gas generator RPM (NG) and engine temperature (ITT) can be configured to change their markings based on pressure altitude, outside air temperature, smart sequence and more. These dynamic indications are configured during installation so pilots can more easily operate the engine within its limitations during changing flight conditions. Additional standard gauges include oil pressure and temperature, as well as fuel flow, fuel quantity and electrical system status.

Utilizing gauge limit timers, TXi EIS helps pilots maintain the engine within its allowed limits to avoid engine exceedances and as a result, costly maintenance procedures. For example, once a preconfigured limit is reached, a countdown timer is displayed alongside the engine gauge. This timer is an indication to the pilot that they need to mitigate the exceedance. If the time-based limit is exceeded, the timer and gauge begin to flash and the pilot receives a notification that an exceedance has been recorded. Simultaneously, the TXi EIS system automatically logs a variety of information, including the parameter that was exceeded, duration, highest value that was recorded, time, date and more. The pilot can then review the exceedance and share it with maintenance professionals for post-flight analysis.

To assist with tracking maintenance activities, controlling operating costs and analysing overall engine health, built-in engine data logging is included with TXi EIS. Aircraft performance, engine data and any exceedances that are recorded during a flight are automatically stored on an SD card (sold separately) in the display. When the TXi EIS display is paired with the Flight Stream 510 wireless gateway, information is wirelessly transferred and stored within the Garmin Pilot™ app and automatically uploaded to the flyGarmin® website. Engine and flight cycles are also recorded to help identify aircraft systems that depend on those limits, such as pressurization systems and other life-limited parts.

Pilots can more precisely monitor fuel calculations with TXi EIS, which includes an integrated fuel computer. After making a fuel stop, pilots can enter the fuel data within TXi EIS by selecting "full fuel" or by adding a specified amount in pounds, gallons, litres or kilograms. When airborne, the system monitors fuel flow and GPS information to estimate fuel range, endurance and how much fuel is expected to be available at the destination airport.

Certification of the TXi EIS for select Pilatus PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 aircraft with Pratt & Whitney PT6-67B and PT6-67P engine support is expected to be available in the first half of 2022. The certification is in process and specific aircraft compatibility may change. Additionally, the GFC 600 has been certified for select PC-12/45 aircraft, with certification for select PC-12/47 aircraft expected in the coming months. Shipset and pricing information will be made available as the certification process nears completion.


Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced that it has a signed purchase agreement for 12 Bell 407GXi aircraft to Life Flight Network. The Bell 407GXi outfitted with IFR capabilities will be critical for Life Fight Network's established missions of providing emergency aerial response to those in need.

"Bell's top priority remains our commitment to safety," said Michael Thacker, executive vice president, Innovation and Commercial Business. "In 2019, we announced the certification of one of the industry's first single-engine IFR aircraft, allowing our customers to operate in Instrument Meteorological Conditions. We are incredibly proud to strengthen our relationship with Life Flight Network and continue to support these life-saving missions when minutes matter."

Life Flight Network's current Bell fleet consist of four Bell 429 and five Bell 407GXi helicopters to provide critical care transportation to those in need. Full aircraft delivery is expected to be complete by 2023.

"The Bell 407GXi is a highly reliable and proven helicopter with an advanced avionics suite. Adding the IFR configuration will allow us to answer calls when we normally may be grounded because of inclement weather", said Ben Clayton, Interim CEO and COO, Life Flight Network. "The agreement to expand our Bell fleet and advance our capabilities is a testament to Bell's outstanding support in the Air Ambulance segment."

The company is the nation's largest not-for-profit air medical transport service with 25 rotor-wing bases, nine fixed-wing bases, and two neonatal and paediatric bases throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West. For nearly 44 years, Life Flight Network has provided ICU-level care to patients in need of emergency medical transport, and has supported hospitals, local police, EMS, fire departments and emergency responders to help ensure patients receive the highest quality care.

Bell proves its mature production and sustainment support capability with more than 1,600 Bell 407s globally, logging six million flight hours across the fleet and actively performing flight training as well as military and para-public missions. The 407GXi's Garmin G1000H™ NXi Flight Deck enhances situational awareness and reduces pilot workload by delivering easy-to-read information at a glance. The Bell 407GXi's new IFR capability will allow all-weather operations while continuing to provide multi-mission capability safely, reliably, and effectively.


The latest Embraer delivery was made to Aero, the semi-private jet company that offers flights in the United States and Europe. Embraer commercial aircraft are always in demand. Over the last 3 years, Embraer found homes for 68 airplanes from its asset management portfolio through trade-ins and sales to customers on every continent. The high demand has depleted all the actual inventory in our portfolio. Last week, they delivered an ERJ 135, to Aero Technologies Inc, the semi-private jet company that offers flights in the United States and Europe.

The demand for this type of jets has spiked as travellers look to private and semi-private air transportation in the age of covid. Companies, like Aero Technologies, are turning to OEMs and the open market to source aircraft they can convert to passenger configurations that feature fewer seats, as well as custom-design luxury accommodations.

ERJ 135 for Aero Technologies was converted from a previous typical 37-seat airline layout to just 16 one-by-one seats, in a luxury configuration. Aero introduced its semi-private jet service in 2019 with flights between Ibiza and Mykonos, followed this year by the launch of routes from a private terminal in Los Angeles (Van Nuys) to Aspen, Las Vegas, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley and Los Cabos. The company will also be launching its 2021-2022 routes from London to exciting destinations across Europe beginning later this year, for the perfect winter escape.


Vertical Aerospace ("Vertical"), a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, today announced an agreement with Ferrovial, a leading global infrastructure operator, to cooperate on creating a network of 25 vertiports across the UK.

Vertiports are dedicated sites that enable the take-off, landing and recharging of electric vertical take-off and landing ("eVTOL") aircraft. Vertiports are expected to be integrated with other modes of transport to offer efficient travel and increase connectivity to cities and regions across the UK. Vertical will now work with Ferrovial to locate and design a network of UK vertiports, which is expected to allow Vertical's piloted four passenger aircraft, the VA-X4, to operate from these sites for the proposed launch of its UK services with Virgin Atlantic.

By enabling inter-city electric aviation in the UK, the VA-X4 hopes to cut travel times and open up new links across the UK. Vertical's recent report: The Future of Advanced Aerial Mobility explains how passengers arriving at Heathrow for example could take the VA-X4 to hop to Cambridge from the airport in just 28 minutes, compared with a 90-minute taxi or a two-hour train journey.

Ferrovial will bring its operational capabilities, design expertise and investment strength to building a compelling UK network of vertiports. Ferrovial invests, develops and operates 33 airports around the world, including in the UK being a shareholder of Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports. Vertical also announced this week that it is collaborating with Heathrow to explore the launch of its services from the airport from the mid-2020s.

Vertical's focus is the design, build, manufacture and aftersales of its VA-X4. Vertical works closely with an ecosystem of best-in-class partners and operators to give passengers the best experience possible travelling in its aircraft at speeds up to 200mph, in near silence and at a cost at a small premium to a taxi. Vertical is targeting highest global safety certification standards for the VA-X4 in line with the CAA and EASA expected regulations, equivalent to that a passenger jet. It expects to be certified by 2024.

The VA-X4's future operators include Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, JAL, Bristow Group, Gol, Marubeni and Iberojet, which along with others, have placed conditional pre-orders for the VA-X4 of up to 1,350 units for an estimated $5.4bn.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO and Founder of Vertical at Vertical, said "Our partnership with Ferrovial is an important step forward in bringing the VA-X4 to the skies. Creating the right infrastructure for zero emissions aviation is a critical part in making Urban Air Mobility a reality. I look forward to flying between Ferrovial's vertiports in the VA-X4 in just a few years' time."

Kevin Cox, CEO of Ferrovial Vertiports, said "The partnership between vertiports and eVTOLs will provide high speed, affordable, emissions-free travel to millions of people. This network will boost local economies with a new model of regional connectivity."


Tests of the Cadet-75 parachute system of Rostec State Corporation's Technodinamika Holding confirmed a minimum descent altitude of 150 meters. The product, designed for training of novice parachutists, is successfully undergoing flight development tests at airfields in the Ivanovo and Belgorod regions.

"Cadet-75" is a round canopy training parachute system, allowing step-by-step training of separation from the aircraft and freefall skills with a progression to manual parachute deployment. It is suitable for dropping at aircraft speeds ranging from 80 to 280 km/h at altitudes up to 4,000 meters with a total flying weight of up to 120 kg. The parachute has increased canopy stability and allows the parachutist to make a full turn in no more than 12 seconds. The average vertical speed of descent in an area 30 - 35 m from the ground is not more than 5 m/s.

"The Cadet-75 parachute system demonstrated a minimum safe altitude of 150 meters at an airplane speed of 180 km/h. Descent time on a fully filled main parachute was not less than 10 seconds. The product is successfully undergoing flight development tests, which we will complete by the end of the year," explained Igor Nasenkov, CEO of Technodinamika Holding Company.

The "Cadet" line, developed by the Polet Ivanovo Parachute Plant, includes three parachute systems with a round canopy. In addition to the Cadet-75, the Cadet-100 and Cadet-100D are designed not only for training but also for combat parajumping with full service weapons and equipment.


A PenAir Saab 2000 turboprop airplane overran a runway in Alaska because its braking system was compromised by incorrectly wired anti-skid sensors, the NTSB determined.
PenAir flight 3296 overran the runway during a landing attempt in Unalaska, Alaska. The airplane crashed through the perimeter fence, crossed a road and came to rest on shoreline rocks on the edge of Dutch Harbour. One passenger was killed; another was seriously injured and eight sustained minor injuries, mostly during the evacuation. The flight crew, the flight attendant and the other 29 passengers were uninjured.
A post-accident examination of the airplane revealed sensors for the anti-skid system had been incorrectly wired during an overhaul of the left main landing gear. This configuration led to the skidding and bursting of one tire and the subsequent release of brake pressure on two of the three remaining wheels. Investigators determined the loss of effective braking on three of the four main landing gear wheels prevented the flight crew from stopping on the runway.
Noting that systems should be engineered to prevent human errors that could occur during maintenance, the NTSB recommended Saab redesign the landing gear wheel speed sensor wiring to reduce the probability of a miswiring during maintenance operations. Because the captain elected to land on a runway with a reported tailwind that exceeded the airplane manufacturer's operating limit, the airplane touched down with a higher-than-normal groundspeed. The NTSB said the decision to land with such a tailwind was "intentional, inappropriate and indicative of plan continuation bias."
The NTSB also found that when the Federal Aviation Administration approved PenAir to fly in and out of the Unalaska airport with the Saab 2000, they did not recognize that the safety area beyond the end of the runway did not conform to the recommended safety criteria for an airplane in that design category.

Zimbabwe, Mazowe: A TL Ultralight TL-2000 Sting S4 with two occupants was damaged beyond repair when it crashed under unknown circumstances in Mazowe, Zimbabwe. Both occupants, pilot/instructor and trainee, died in the crash.

Somalia, Dolow Airport: A Safe Air Company (SAC) Transall C-160NG with two crew suffered an accident on landing at Dolow Airport, Somalia. A fire erupted, destroying the fuselage. The aircraft was flying humanitarian aid from Mogadishu to Dolow. There were no survivors.

South Sudan, NE of Juba Airport (JUB): A Euro Airlines Antonov An-26 operated by Optimum Aviation with five on board crashed shortly after take-off from Juba Airport, South Sudan, killing all five on board. The aircraft was carrying 28 drums of diesel fuel to Maban

Nepal, Nepalgunj Airport: A Sita Air Dornier 228-202K with seventeen on board struck a wild boar on the runway at Nepalgunj Airport (KEP/VNNG). The aircraft sustained damage to the area near the nose landing gear. There were no reported injuries to the occupants.

Japan, Shinshinotsu Sailplane Field, Hokkaido: A Alexander Schleicher ASK 13 glider crash landed with its belly on a grassy terrain just by the runway of Shinshinotsu Sailplane Field during a take-off attempt. The winch has stopped during take-off and the ASK 13 fell from the height of 5 to 10 meters. Two occupants suffered hipbone fracture. JTSB launched an investigation as an accident.

Canada, Nanoose Bay, S of Parksville, Vancouver Island, BC: A HeliQwest Aviation Inc Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III sustained substantial damage subsequent to a dynamic rollover while manoeuvring in gusting wind conditions west of Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The sole pilot onboard the helicopter received apparent serious injuries.

USA, Taos Regional Airport (SKX/KSKX), Taos, NM: An experimental amateur built CubCrafters CCX-2300 Carbon Cub with two on board sustained minor damage subsequent to the ground loop during landing at Taos Regional Airport (SKX/KSKX), Taos, New Mexico. The two occupants onboard the tailwheel equipped airplane were not injured during the incident.

Chile, near Curico: A JetSmart Airlines Airbus A320-271N on a scheduled passenger flight from Santiago-Arturo Merino Benitez Airport to Puerto Natales-Teniente J. Gallardo Airport had almost reached FL310 in the climb, 17 minutes after take-off, when the flight crew elected to turn back to Santiago. A quick descent was made to FL100 as the flight headed back. A few holding patterns were flown until it made a safe landing back at Santiago at 17:37 UTC, one hour and 33 minutes after take-off.

Spain, near La Axarquía-Leoni Benabu Airport: A CASA 1.131L Jungmann with two on board was damaged beyond repair when it crashed in an avocado field after take-off from La Axarquía-Leoni Benabu Airport (LEAX). One of the two occupants died in the crash.

11 NOVEMBER 1935

A. W. Stevens and O. A. Anderson set a new balloon altitude record of 72,395 ft (22,066 m).

Albert William Stevens, born on 13 March 1886, was an officer of the United States Army Air Corps, balloonist and aerial photographer. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1909 with a master's degree in electrical engineering.

While flying over South America in 1930, Stevens took the first photograph of the Earth in a way that the horizon's curvature is visible. Accompanied by Lieutenant Charles D. McAllister of the Army Air Corps, Stevens took the first photograph of the Moon's shadow projected onto the Earth during a solar eclipse in August, 1932.

On 11 November 1935, Stevens, along with Captain Anderson, made a record balloon ascent from the "Stratobowl" (a natural depression) near Rapid City, South Dakota. There were 20,000 spectators, while millions of people listened to a live NBC radio broadcast. Their sealed gondola Explorer II floated to 72,395 feet (22,066 m), nearly 14 miles (23 km), a record unequalled until 1956.

Stevens was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross - one award for each of his two famous balloon flights. He died on 26 March 1949, in Redwood City, California.

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