Compiled by Willie Bodenstein


The BeNeLux Pipistrel team recently delivered two Velis Electro to ASL Flight Academy in Liege, Belgium.
Flight Design F2 EASA Cs-23 certified.
Sonex employee buys business; Sonex LLC looks forward to bright future with diversified offerings, new products and a new advisory board.
HAL contracts with Mauritius for export of ALH Mk III Police Helicopter.
All-new Ka-62 civil helicopter certified in Russia.
Boeing Expands Partnerships with German Industry on F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler.
US Air Force and Boom Supersonic Enter into Strategic Partnership.
€260M contracts will see Leonardo play core role in E-scan radar for German and Spanish Typhoons.
Dassault closes 2021 with announcement of Rafale sales to the UAE and others.
Lockheed Martin Ventures Leads Series A Funding Round for Electra.aero.
Worldwide incidents and accidents
This week in history, the USAF sets new climb-time records with a stripped and unpainted McDonnell Douglas F-15 A Streak Eagle aircraft, operating from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.



SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge - Rand Airport. Contact Frank Eckard on E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za or Cell: 083 269 1516

SAPFA AGM at Rand Airport at 14h00. Contact Rob Jonkers on E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za or Cell: 082 804 7032

On Saturday 29 January 2022, Pylon Racing South Africa will be hosting the Summer Races event, at RMAC in the South of Johannesburg. Come and join us for an adrenaline filled action packed day with high-speed racing fun.

SAPFA Committee Bosberaad Venue TBA. Contact Rob Jonkers on E-mail: rob@aerosud.co.za cell: 082 804 7032

SAC Klerksdorp Northwest Regionals Klerksdorp. Contact Annie Boon on E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

SAPFA Speed Rally at Witbank airfield. Contact David le Roux on E-mail: david@pilotinsure.co.za or on Cell: 073 338 5200

18 to 20
SAPFA Rally training weekend Brits Airfield. Contact Tarryn Myburgh on E-mail: tarrynorford@gmail.com or Cell: 074 182 3589

Stellenbosch Airshow. Contact Anton Theart on E-mail: gm@stelfly.co.za


ASL Group is one of Europe's leading business jet management and operator companies, having offices and bases in most Belgian and Dutch airports. The company built its reputation on excellence, efficiency and safety. It manages and operates more than 40 aircraft and offers a wide selection of complementary aviation-related services, all of them tailored to the customers' wishes and expectations.

As the first step towards sustainable aviation, the ASL Group acquired two Pipistrel Velis Electro and started using them as training aircraft for their own flight school, the ASL Flight Academy.

A dedicated press conference about ASL under the name “Back to the future” was held at the new premises of ASL at Liege Airport, Belgium.
The Pipistrel distributor for BeNeLux, iFly company, presented the future of aviation and continued by revealing the two electric aircraft.

As their next step, ASL will set up a dedicated company for sustainable aviation under the name “ASL Fly sustainable”. This company will invest in new sustainable aircraft and projects.


Flight Design general aviation is proud to announce that as of December 8th, the F2 is now an EASA CS-23 certified aircraft. The F2-CS23 is a modern 2-seat aircraft featuring many completely new design concepts. With high performance, unmatched efficiency and comfort, the F2 CS23 brings a familiar automotive feel and simplified operation to private owners and flight schools.

“We couldn't be happier to see this important step for the F2 program which ultimately will lead to the F4 four-seat version and the all-electric F2e.”, said Matthias Betsch, Head of the FLIGHT DESIGN, Design Organization, creator of the F Series and many of its advanced concepts.

The F2-CS23 is the next step in FLIGHT DESIGN's 'Vision Zero' concept which incorporates all commercially available safety features appropriate for this type of aircraft. These features include a
passive stall and spin resistant airframe design, airframe emergency parachute system, AMSAFE airbags and inertial reel harnesses, Garmin ESP (electronic stability and envelope protection), a strong occupant-protective enclosure for the pilot and passengers, automatic fuel management, simplified controls such as a combined throttle and brake lever and a more modern, car-like atmosphere and operation.

“We are very pleased to see the F2 EASA CS-23 certified, said FLIGHT DESIGN general aviation CEO Daniel Guenther. This is an important milestone for our business and a tribute to the hard work by the F2 design team and our different businesses within FLIGHT DESIGN general aviation.”

The F2-CS23 comes with an impressive list of standard features such as an all Garmin G3X avionics suite, 2 axis autopilot, Rotax 912iS fuel-injected 100HP engine with a DUC certified propeller, Beringer wheels and brakes, perforated leather seats, heat exchanger heating system and Whelen lighting.

“The EASA CS-23 category is an internationally recognized certification standard which will allow the new F2-CS23 to be easily accepted in all markets worldwide.” said Dieter Koehler, Head of Design for F2 and F4 projects. “The international design team of the F2-CS23 brought a tremendous amount of talent into this program and the EASA Type Certificate is well deserved.”

FLIGHT DESIGN sees the F2-CS23 as an excellent choice for Flight schools with its wide and easy-to-enter cockpit, fuel efficiency, unique safety features and state-of-the-art avionics suite. All new FLIGHT DESIGN aircraft come with carbon compensation up to TBO under FLIGHT DESIGN's Pro-Climate plan.

The F2-CS23 follows the F2-LSA, which began deliveries earlier this year.


Long-time Sonex employee and general manager Mark Schaible has purchased the assets of Sonex Aircraft, LLC and Sonex Aerospace, LLC and will continue their operations as owner and president of the newly formed Sonex, LLC.

The Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based kit aircraft, engine, accessories and unmanned aircraft manufacturer is retaining all of the current staff and will seamlessly continue the operations founded by John Monnett in 1998, including fulfilment of all current orders. Monnett will stay-on as a lifetime emeritus advisor as-part of a new Sonex Advisory Board.

“John Monnett is a legendary name in the aviation industry, so I am very humbled and excited to have the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of his achievements and continue to shape the Sonex legacy into the next generation,” remarks Schaible. “This would not be possible without our talented, dedicated staff that really makes our company work. All of us are looking forward to forging ahead in support our great line-up of existing products and to bring new products to market, while striving for continual improvement of our products and processes.”

“Establishing Sonex Aircraft, Sonex Aerospace and AeroConversions as innovative, affordable performance brands to serve the sport aircraft community has always been my goal,” Monnett said. “Going forward, the very experienced Sonex, LLC team is dedicated to maintaining and growing these high standards of service and innovation for existing and future customers.”

Sonex will continue to serve both the piston and turbine experimental aircraft markets with its current products. In addition, new products and development priorities include:

The JSX-2T two-seat SubSonex Personal Jet, scheduled to debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022. The Sonex High Wing being unveiled at AirVenture 2023. Additional support for the installation of Rotax 912-series engines, including the Rotax 912iS with a factory installation in-progress that will be the basis for the installation in the EAA AirVenture 2022 One Week Wonder. Expanded support for UL Power's line of 4-cylinder engines and Jabiru engines. Advancements in Sonex's line of AeroConversions products, while closely monitoring the engine market for other new products that may become good candidates to power Sonex aircraft as they develop and prove reliability.

“Future strength for Sonex will come from innovation and diversity within our product line, as we see great things on the horizon,” Schaible said.

The AeroConversions product line will continue to offer the AeroVee and AeroVee Turbo engine kits along with the AeroInjector and the current line of AeroConversions accessories. Sonex will also seek opportunities to improve and add features to its line of VW-based engine conversions while expanding the line of AeroConversions accessories available to experimental aircraft projects of all brands and types.

Additional diversity will come from Sonex Aerospace, which has been converted from a separate company to become the third major product line of Sonex LLC. This will focus on the rapidly growing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) market as well as other aerospace industry product and service opportunities.

“While our traditional market is stronger than it has been for many years, there is no question that the UAS market is growing exponentially and will continue to do so,” Schaible said.

Sonex was selected in 2015 to develop and build the Teros Group 4/5 UAS because of the company's reputation in the homebuilt aircraft marketplace. The Xenos Motorglider-based UAS has also evolved and matured tremendously and Sonex is continuing work with Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation (NASC) to bring the Teros and other UAS systems to full-scale production for government and commercial customers.


In line with the Indian government's vision to boost defence exports to friendly foreign countries, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited signed a contract with the Government of Mauritius (GoM) for export of one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Mk III) for Mauritius Police Force. GoM already operates HAL-built ALH and Do-228 aircraft. With this contract, HAL and GoM have further strengthened the long-standing business relations spanning over three decades.

The ALH Mk III is a multi-role, multi-mission versatile helicopter in the 5.5 tonne category. It has proven its mettle in various utility role including numerous lifesaving missions during natural calamities in India and abroad. HAL also ensures technical assistance and product support to the customer to ensure healthy serviceability of the helicopter.


Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) issued a type certificate for an all-new Ka-62 civil helicopter to Russian Helicopters holding company of Rostec State Corporation. This document allows selling the helicopter to the Russian market.

The Ka-62 helicopter flight test program was launched in 2017 using three prototypes that performed 434 flights with a total duration of about 700 hours. During the flight tests, specialists of Mil & Kamov National Helicopter Center assessed overall operability of the helicopter and checked functioning of the main systems of power supply, on-board equipment and the engine unit.

"Obtaining a type certificate for the Ka-62 is an important milestone for the Russian helicopter industry. Currently, a fuselage of the first commercial Ka-62 has been assembled at Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company in the Far East. Starting next year, we plan to launch a full-scale commercial production of this helicopter and to supply Russian operators. In 2022-2024, we will work on further expending helicopter's capabilities through certification of optional equipment - external load sling, onboard hoist, medical module, anti-icing system", - reported the aviation cluster of Rostec.

Ka-62 is a multi-purpose helicopter designed using world's best practices in aircraft industry, which meets Russian and international airworthiness requirements as well as reliability and safety standards for cargo and passenger flights. The helicopter has a single-rotor configuration with a ducted multibladed tail rotor. The design of Ka-62 widely uses polymer composites (up to 60% by weight), which enabled a lower fuel consumption, a higher speed and load capacity of the rotorcraft. Ka-62 is also equipped with modern avionics - the state-of-art control system of general helicopter equipment enabled lower loads on crew, lower weight and simplified its maintenance.

The range of Ka-62 is 700 km and has a maximum speed of 310 km/h. The maximum take-off weight of the helicopter is 6 800 kg while seat capacity is 15 passengers. The Ka-62 can also carry 2 tonnes of cargo inside the cabin and up to 2.5 tonnes of external load.


Boeing [NYSE: BA] has announced the expansion of its industrial partnership strategy in Germany in support of the F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler offering to the Bundeswehr. A Request for Information (RFI) was issued to more than 10 German companies to solicit bids.

German industry partners will play a significant role in providing support equipment, logistics and overall maintenance, parts, local sustainment programs, training, and other relevant repair and overhaul solutions for Germany's potential Super Hornet and Growler fleet. German industry will also have the opportunity to participate in the development of the Next Generation Jammer for the EA-18G Growler.

The RFIs are the first step towards in-country sustainment worth approximately $4 billion USD/ €3.5 billion over the lifecycle of the programs and will contribute additional economic opportunity and value to the German economy as the programs evolve.

“Germany is home to outstanding aerospace expertise and innovation and we look forward to expanding our partnerships locally for Germany's F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleet,” said Dr. Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, Benelux and the Nordics. “With this partner expansion strategy, we are laying the foundation for new business opportunities for German industry champions, high-skilled new jobs and long-term economic growth.”

The F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III provides advanced, proven capabilities, as well as low life-cycle and acquisition costs ideally suited to meet Germany's fighter requirements, including the dual capable commitments to NATO.

With the lowest operating costs of all U.S. tactical aircraft in production ($19,500 USD / €17,000 per flight hour, source: U.S. DoD Special Acquisition Report), combined with low procurement costs, the Super Hornet saves billions of dollars/Euros over its entire service life of +10,000 flight hours. This makes the Super Hornet the most cost-effective solution for the German Luftwaffe.

The EA-18G Growler provides full spectrum protection, jamming radars and disrupting communications while the combination of Super Hornet Block III and EA-18G Growler will give the Luftwaffe unmatched capability in both air-to-air and surface-to-air missions. This has been demonstrated the last fifteen years, as the EA-18G Growler has spanned the globe in support of all major and rapid reaction actions. Five EA-18G Growler Squadrons uniquely support the US Air Force and US Navy operations.


Boom Supersonic, the aerospace company building the world's fastest and most sustainable supersonic airliner, has announced that it has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with the U.S. Air Force valued at up to $60 million. The Air Force awarded this contract to Boom through its innovation arm, AFWERX and its AFVentures division, which is designed to accelerate commercial technologies.

Known as the Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI), the STRATFI contract awarded to Boom is one of the program's largest investments and a significant commitment to the future of supersonic aviation.

The STRATFI contract will accelerate research and development on Overture, Boom's commercial airliner. Overture will carry 65-88 passengers at twice the speed of today's airliners. Designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuels, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net zero carbon from day one. The supersonic airliner is set to enter manufacturing in 2023, roll out in 2025, and begin flying passengers by the end of the decade.

STRATFI funding will accelerate critical design and development initiatives on Overture, including wind tunnel testing and propulsion system definition. The award represents a substantial increase in the Air Force's financial investment in Boom following a SBIR Phase 2 contract awarded in September 2020.

“We are proud of the Air Force's continued support and recognition of Boom's leadership in supersonic flight-and we see our partnership as mutually beneficial,” said Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl. “With STRATFI, we're able to collaborate with the Air Force on the unique requirements and needs for global military missions, ultimately allowing Boom to better satisfy the needs of the Air Force where it uses commercially-derived aircraft. As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally.”

The new Air Force contract represents a further widening of government efforts to ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront of supersonic commercial development. Additionally, a derivative of Overture could offer the Air Force a future strategic capability in rapid global transport and logistics. Potential users and applications include executive transport; Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance; Special Operations Forces and the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).


Leonardo has announced that it has signed over €260M of contracts with HENSOLDT which will see the company playing a key role in the development and delivery of the Eurofighter Typhoon's ECRS Mk1 (European Common Radar System Mk1) E-scan radar, ordered by Germany and Spain. Leonardo will conduct development work on new wideband capabilities and provide core parts of the new radar's antenna, APSC (Antenna Power Supply & Control) and its processor.

Leonardo is already the design authority for the ECRS Mk0 E-scan radar ordered by Kuwait and Qatar, the design of which underpins the ECRS Mk1 and is the design authority for the UK-led ECRS Mk2 radar.

HENSOLDT is the design authority for the ECRS Mk1 radar, while Airbus Defence & Space will integrate the radar onto the Eurofighter Typhoon. Leonardo, drawing on its leadership of the EuroRADAR consortium that produces the ECRS Mk0, is providing enablers to HENSOLDT to assume the leadership role for the ECRS Mk1, bolstering Germany's onshore combat air capabilities. The close collaboration on this project is representative of the strong wider partnership between the two defence electronics powerhouses.

The German and Spanish ECRS Mk1 radar introduces a digital multi-channel receiver and new wideband transmit receive modules, enhancing Mk0 capability. In addition to the production of core antenna, APSC and processor components, HENSOLDT has contracted Leonardo to perform development work on wideband capabilities that will exploit these new receivers and transmit receive modules to boost the ECRS Mk1's detection range and accuracy. The first ECRS Mk1 radar is expected to be produced in 2025.

Leonardo will deliver modules for the ECRS Mk1 from its sites in Nerviano, Edinburgh, Campi Bisenzio and Palermo.

Leonardo is also leading the design of the ECRS Mk2, a new variant being developed in partnership with BAE Systems featuring a multi-function-array. Development of the ECRS Mk2 has been funded by the UK and is being supported by Italy through the ECRS Mk2 Industrial Joint Team.


Dassault late last year announced that the United Arab Emirates has signed a deal for 80 Rafale fighter jets, the biggest international order ever made for the French jet fighter.

By acquiring the Rafales, the UAE followed the lead of Qatar, which has bought 36 of the planes and Egypt which ordered 24 in 2015 and 30 earlier in 2021.

Late last year, Greece announced its intention to acquire six additional Rafales. Greece was the first European country to buy the combat jets made by Dassault Aviation.

Croatia, also in late December 2021, signed a deal to buy 12 of Dassault's Rafale fighter jets for an estimated 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

“The purchase of the planes strategically is what we see as a game changer for Croatia,” Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at a joint press conference with Macron after the signing ceremony.


Electra.aero, Inc. ("Electra"), a pioneering developer of hybrid-electric ultra-short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft, has announced that it has received an investment in its Series A funding round from Lockheed Martin Ventures (LMV), the venture capital arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT). The funding will support Electra's plans to begin flight testing a full-scale hybrid eSTOL technology demonstrator aircraft later this year.

Lockheed Martin Ventures invests in Electra's Series A funding round to support flight testing Electra's hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft full-scale technology demonstrator in 2022.

"Hybrid-electric aircraft have the potential to deliver operational and environmental advantages." -- Chris Moran, LMV

"Electra's technical approach to sustainable aviation is differentiated and we are excited to see this concept mature," said Chris Moran, Vice President and General Manager of LMV. "We invested in Electra because of its focus on hybrid-electric technology. Hybrid-electric aircraft have the potential to deliver operational and environmental advantages over other aircraft, including increased payload and range without gambling on battery improvements. We look forward to working with the Electra team and hope to partner on opportunities in the future."

Electra's hybrid-electric, ultra-short take-off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft can operate from spaces as small as 300x100 feet using its patent-pending distributed electric propulsion and blown lift technology. A small turbine-powered generator also recharges the batteries mid-flight, eliminating the need for new ground charging infrastructure. The quieter and more environmentally friendly aircraft is currently being designed to transport up to 1,800 pounds of cargo or move 7 to 9 passengers up to 500 miles. Electra's aircraft can operate in a variety of environments ranging from busy urban areas to remote landing strips and fly missions ranging from on-demand intracity flights to medical missions, cargo transportation, scheduled passenger service and more. The global urban and regional advanced air mobility market that Electra serves is forecast by analysts to be valued between $250 billion and $1 trillion by 2040.



A Gulfstream G-IVSP, registration HI1050, was destroyed when it struck terrain while attempting to make an emergency landing at Santo Domingo-Las Américas International Airport (SDQ/MDSD), Dominican Republic. The two pilots, one flight attendant and six passengers were killed. Among those on board was Puerto Rican music producer Flow La Movie (José Ángel Hernández).
Preliminary investigation results shared by the Dominican Comisión Investigadora de Accidentes de Aviación (CIAA) on January 18, 2022, point towards a spoiler issue.
The accident aircraft arrived at Higuero/La Isabela-Dr. Joaquín Balaguer Airport at 12:35 local time on the day of the accident following a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The aircraft was subsequently towed to the Helidosa hangar for maintenance. The company worked for three hours to replace the ground spoiler actuators on the right-hand wing.
The aircraft was then towed back to the apron for a flight to Orlando, Florida, USA. According to CCTV footage, the flight crew did a flight control check. The spoilers on both wings extended, but only those on the left wing retracted again. The aircraft was then seen taxiing for departure with the three spoilers on the right wing still extended.
After take-off, flight control problems developed immediately. The flight crew declared an emergency and requested vectors back to the airport. As the situation progressed, they decided to divert to Las Américas International Airport, where they were cleared to land on runway 35. On final approach the aircraft hit trees and then the terrain about 200 meters to the right of the runway. The total duration of the flight was about 16 minutes.

Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lodja Airport: An Air Kasaï Antonov An-26 with 30 occupants suffered a runway excursion after landing on the unpaved dirt runway at Lodja, D.R. Congo. The aircraft stopped in the grass. It was towed back to the airstrip and subsequently departed again.

Mexico, Manitoba Airfield, Cuauhtémo: A experimental Van's RV-6A crashed at Manitoba Airfield, Cuauhtémo, under unknown circumstances. Both occupants died in the crash and the airplane was destroyed.

France, Paris-Orly Airport: An Air France Airbus A318-111 suffered an engine issue after take-off from Paris-Orly Airport, France. The flight crew declared an emergency and made a safe landing back at Orly, 17 minutes after take-off. Passengers reported seeing flames being emitted from one of the engines.

Brazil, near Highway BR-242, Luís Eduardo Magalhães, Bahia: The pilot of An Air Tractor AT-602 was doing flight tests after maintenance and during the flight, it collided with a power line and soon after it crashed into the ground near the edges of Highway BR-242. The aircraft was completely destroyed and the pilot did not survive.

Brazil, Bacacheri Airport, Curitiba, PR: A Pajoara Indústria e Comércio Ltda Beechcraft 58 Baron with three on board made an emergency landing at Bacacheri Airport, (BFH/SBBI), Curitiba, Paraná following engine problems. During landing, the plane crossed the runway and hit a slope. The three occupants escaped unhurt and the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

Brazil, Praia de Canasvieiras, Florianópolis, SC: A Icaraí Turismo Táxi Aéreo Ltda Robinson R44 Raven II with three occupants crashed at Canasvieiras Beach, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina. All three occupants were injured in the accident. They were rescued and taken to hospitals in Florianópolis, the capital of Santa Catarina, without serious injuries. The helicopter was written off.

Papua New Guinea, Tekin Airstrip: A Niugini Aviation Services Pacific Aerospace 750XL with eight on board reportedly ran off the airstrip boundaries during the landing roll and into a ditch. The aircraft was conducting a charter flight, from Kiunga, Western Province to Tekin, Sandaun Province. There were eight persons on-board, one pilot and seven passengers. According to the operator, there were no injuries reported. The aircraft sustained significant damage. Tekin airstrip has a 10.5-degree slope. Landings are restricted to runway18; take-offs to runway 36.

USA, Stinson Municipal Airport, San Antonio, TX: A North American AT-6C Texan with two on board sustained substantial damage subsequent to the collapse of the left main landing gear during landing at Stinson Municipal Airport (SSF/KSSF), San Antonio, Texas. The two occupants onboard the tailwheel equipped airplane were not injured during the accident.

France, Avignon Airport: An Aéro-Club Vauclusien Flight Design CTLS operated on a local solo instruction flight from Avignon Caumont Airport. The pilot on a solo flight lost control after landing. The aircraft went off the runway laterally, hit an airport sign and then entered a grassy area. The aircraft flipped on its nose and then flipped over.

16 JANUARY 1975

The USAF sets new climb-time records with a stripped and unpainted McDonnell Douglas F-15 A Streak Eagle aircraft, operating from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle is an American all-weather multirole strike fighter derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high-speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic-warfare aircraft.

The Strike Eagle has been deployed for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, among others. During these operations, the strike fighter has carried out deep strikes against high-value targets and combat air patrols and provided close air support for coalition troops. It has also been exported to several countries.

On 16 January 1975, a stripped and unpainted F-15 A Streak Eagle sets new climb-time records reaching a height of 3,000 m (9,843 ft.) in 27.57 seconds, 6,000 m (19,685 ft.) in 39.33 seconds, 9,000 m (929,528 ft.) in 48.86 seconds, 12,000 m (39,370 ft.) in 59.38 seconds and 15,000 m (42,2132 ft.) in 1 min. 17.02 seconds.

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