Compiled by Willie Bodenstein


Textron Aviation rolls out first production Cessna Skycourier large-utility turboprop, highlights innovations in manufacturing and serviceability.
Insourcing and revenue generation part of SAAF's new vision.
Diamond Aircraft DART program update.
Robinson Helicopter sees a place in urban mobility market.
Joby increases flight test capacity in support of FAA certification goal.
The Airbus C295 technology demonstrator of Clean Sky 2 makes its maiden flight.
New support contract for French Mirage 2000s.
Airbus' iconic Beluga super transporters ready to serve global outsized-cargo demand.
Bell Boeing Improve Maintainability of V-22.
Daher announces the acquisition of the Stuart aerostructures business from Triumph Group, strengthening its position in the North American market.
Bell completes successful demonstration for NASA SIO extension in collaboration with Hillwood and Northwest ISD.



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

Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa AGM at CAASA House. Contact Sam Keddle on E-mail: sam@caasa.co.za

26 & 27
SAC Western Cape Regionals. Stellenbosch Airfield. 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 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

Uitenhage Wings and Wheels. Contact Lourens Kruger on E-mail lmk@telkomsa.net or Cell: 082 320 2615

8 to 10
Sling Aircraft fly-away to Tankwa Tented Camp in the Karoo. Contact Shanelle McKechnie on E-mail shanelle@slingaircraft.com

Steady Climb Fly-In at Rhino Park airfield. Contact David Le Roux on E-mail david@pilotinsure.co.za or Cell: 073 338 5300

9 &10
SAC KwaZulu Natal Regionals venue Ladysmith airfield. Contact Annie Boon on E-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za

Rustenburg Airshow
Contact Lesego Serekwane on E-mail lesego@marakanelo.co.za or Cell: 066 256 7302

Kuruman Airshow
Contact Lesego Serekwane on E-mail lesego@marakanelo.co.za or Cell: 066 256 7302


Textron Aviation has announced the rollout of the first production unit of the twin-engine, large-utility turboprop, the Cessna SkyCourier, at the company's manufacturing facility in Wichita. The new, clean-sheet design has allowed for the incorporation of the latest state-of-the-art assembly and fabrication processes and techniques into the manufacturing of the aircraft.

“This is a rewarding day for our employees who have worked to design and build what I believe will become a legendary airplane for our company,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “The SkyCourier brings an impressive combination of cabin flexibility, payload capability, performance and low operating costs to the twin engine utility segment. We look forward to this highly versatile aircraft entering the market very soon.”

From the SkyCourier's inception, launch customer FedEx Express and other members of Textron Aviation's Customer Advisory Board were instrumental in shaping the aircraft's design, from manufacturing methods and materials, to product features and serviceability. Textron Aviation's highly skilled employees incorporated this feedback and found opportunities to maximize quality and precision, while meeting and exceeding customer expectations.

Production of the SkyCourier incorporates many of the latest advancements in aircraft manufacturing, including the use of monolithic machining throughout the airframe. With this technique, major assemblies are milled from a single piece of metal rather than assembled from smaller pieces, reducing the overall number of parts and resulting in a more precise tolerances for easier assembly.

Designed with serviceability at the forefront, the SkyCourier features quick access points throughout the aircraft for inspection and repairs. The team also developed innovative patent-pending quick release seats and overhead bins that can be installed quickly by a single operator.

The SkyCourier celebrated its inaugural flight in May 2020 and the flight test program's three aircraft have accumulated more than 2,100 hours. Following certification, which is anticipated in the first half of 2022, this first production unit will be delivered to the launch customer, FedEx Express, which has agreed to purchase up to 100 aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.

About the Cessna SkyCourier

The Cessna SkyCourier twin-engine, high-wing turboprop offers a combination of performance and lower operating costs for air freight, passenger and special mission operators. In addition to the freight version, there is a 19-passenger variant of the SkyCourier that includes crew and passenger doors for smooth boarding, as well as large cabin windows for natural light and views. Both configurations offer single-point pressure refuelling to enable faster turnarounds.

The aircraft is powered by two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65SC turboprop engines and features the McCauley Propeller C779, a heavy-duty and reliable 110-inch aluminium four-blade propeller, which is full feathering with reversible pitch, designed to enhance the performance of the aircraft while hauling tremendous loads. The SkyCourier is operated with Garmin G1000 NXi avionics and has a maximum cruise speed of more than 200 kts. The SkyCourier has a 900 nautical-mile maximum range. The aircraft features a large door and a flat floor cabin that is sized to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with an impressive 6,000 pounds of payload capability.

Written by Guy Martin

Being less dependent on National Treasury for funding and becoming more independent and innovative are key elements of the South African Air Force's (SAAF's) new vision that it announced during Prestige Week. Chief of the SAAF, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo, unveiled the new vision at Thursday's Prestige Evening at Air Force Base Waterkloof as part of SAAF birthday celebrations and expanded further on it during a parade at Air Force Base Swartkop on Friday morning. The parade and review also saw Hawk and Rooivalk combat aircraft take part, along with transport and utility helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

(Photo by Russell Dixon Paver) General Mbambo told assembled guests at Swartkop that the SAAF's new vision is to project effective air and space power through innovation in the theatre of operations. This, he said, requires a total mind shift and the growth of capabilities through innovation.

“Clearly the SAAF of the future needs a different template of thinking in terms of training and preparing our force for the future. We cannot hope to win here unless we discard the old template of thinking and adopt a new one,” he said.

“We have been in the air power business for some time and the rationale still remains valid. However, the air space domain has been ignored for too long to the detriment of our national security, the country, region and the continent. Diverse opportunities have been missed and our voice has been silent on air space matters that have a direct bearing on our key economic and security interests. Our vision seeks to change this status quo going forward.”

The SAAF sees opportunities in the air space arena and there are many partners it can join up with in this regard.

Touching on the topic of challenges and opportunities since its founding on 1 February 1920, Mbambo said SAAF history carries many valuable lessons. “Right from its conception it was greeted with adversity and navigating storms has been its norm. In our journey of 102 years, we have seen and experienced the best and also the worst, where we have to operate under severe constraints of politics, resources, capabilities etc.”

“The various leaders of the Air Force, together with the members of the Air Force, have never failed to navigate through these storms. We are standing here today confronted by an avalanche of challenges but we are not blinded not to see the opportunities that exist in the midst of all this. The daring spirit of the Air Force cadre, the intrinsic character of agility, has not disappeared in our fibre. However, we must have key stakeholders and partners in the next phase of our journey.”

Mbambo told the parade that, “The time for being comfortable with the consumer mentality in the SAAF is over. We must forge ahead to introspect ourselves in terms of what we can do ourselves and what we can outsource. We must get involved with partners and government departments that will enable us to express our innovation and help relieve too much dependency on the coffers of National Treasury. This requires a different thinking not only within the SAAF and the Department of Defence but beyond so that the constrains in policies must be removed.”

When asked about becoming more independent, Mbambo said there are things that can be turned into businesses to generate income for the SAAF, such as the Test Flight and Development Centre at Air Force Base Overberg and the associate Overberg Test Range.

“There are a wide range of opportunities,” he said. “We can turn the situation around as opposed to going cap in hand…We must resist the temptation of limiting thinking into what we see. We must elevate the thinking horizon despite the challenges we have.”

During his Prestige Day address, held on the closest Friday to the SAAF's founding on 1 February, Mbambo highlighted some of the SAAF's achievements. He said the SAAF has flown 13 726.4 flying hours in the past year, including 102 hours dedicated towards Operation Chariot for humanitarian assistance. Although Operation Chariot has mostly seen disaster relief activity such as firefighting, it is helping distribute COVID-19 vaccines across South Africa.

“The Republic of South Africa is very clear in terms of the importance of peace and stability in our region, without which there can be no economic development,” Mbambo said. “The South African Air Force is part of Monusco within the Force Intervention Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now in Mozambique as part of SAMIM [SADC Mission in Mozambique]. The Air Force men and women have delivered beyond expectations and so much praise have been received in terms of our military expertise.

“Closer to home and in our own bases, SAAF personnel continue to excel and to demonstrate their dependable skill. Recently during the fire outbreak at Air Force Base Waterkloof, our skilful firefighters from Air Force Base Waterkloof and Air Force Base Swartkop managed to extinguish the raging fire from our fuel pumps in under on hour, thus preventing potential massive damage to base infrastructure and loss of lives. It is such people of the Air Force that gives us assurance that the Air Force has a secured future. The Air Force Board has decided that these members will be awarded with an appropriate medal for the demonstration of skill and bravery in preventing a potential catastrophe.”

Prestige awards are usually given to deserving units and bases around the country during Prestige Week, but Mbambo said not all of them were able to perform well during the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and so commendations will instead be issued to bases and units that managed to carry on successfully during the pandemic. Mbambo said that hopefully next year the awards will resume.

The SAAF hosted an impressive air display at the Prestige Parade, with a mass helicopter formation comprising A109, Rooivalk, BK 117 and Alouette rotorcraft. This was followed by three Hawks as well as SAAF Museum aircraft, Caravans and C212 transports. Conspicuously absent were any Gripens, as these remain grounded pending the signing of a new support contract. Mbambo said Armscor and Saab are currently in discussions regarding this and believes the matter will be resolved soon. “It will happen, but it's just a matter of time,” Mbambo said.

In concluding his address, Mbambo said, “if this giant bird of the sky called the South African Air Force remains chained by limited thinking and constrained by various policies it will not succeed. Therefore, I am standing here and making the clarion call: free the eagle! Free the eagle!”



Re-evaluation of the DART program leads to strategic adaption of the aerobatic trainer with change of the turbine manufacturer as a major modification.

“After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that an adjustment of the DART program was necessary in order to move forward with the aircraft certification process,” said Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO Diamond Aircraft Austria. “In order to meet our target timeline and as the window of opportunity on the market as well as with interested customers is limited, we decided - in close consultation with our R&D department - to pursue our DART program with the proven and certified 750 SHP PT6A-25C turboprop engine from Pratt & Whitney Canada.”

The aerobatic trainer powered by the PT6A-25C turboprop engine will be named DART-750 and will come with the state-of-the-art Garmin G3000 avionics suite and optional ejection seats.

Zhang adds, “With bringing the DART-750 to the market, Diamond Aircraft will be the only manufacturer that is covering the complete range of basic flight training. The aircraft is already considered for many programs all over the world. We are seeing a huge potential for the aircraft in the government training market. The unmatched price-performance ratio will make the DART the perfect choice for future basic training of pilots.”

“We worked closely with Diamond Aircraft on determining the best powerplant for the new DART-750 acrobatic trainer program and believe Diamond Aircraft have made an excellent choice in selecting the PT6A-25C engine,” said Anthony Rossi, Vice President, Business Development, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “Diamond has been a mainstay of the General Aviation sector for 40 years and we are happy to welcome them aboard as our newest airframe OEM. We believe the PT6A-25C engine and the new DART-750 will be an outstanding pairing.”

“We are pleased that Diamond Aircraft has selected the iconic PT6A engine to pursue its DART program,” said Nicholas Kanellias, Vice President, General Aviation, Pratt & Whitney Canada. “Single engine turboprop safety demands a proven engine and the selection of the PT6A-25C for the DART-750 is yet another endorsement of an engine that already powers hundreds of military trainers in operation around the world. The PT6A-25C is an ideal engine for trainer applications due to its unique power and response profile.”

The PT6A turboprop has been selected to power more than 130 different aircraft applications and is in a class of its own due to its dependability and performance, even in the most challenging of conditions. It operates reliably in temperature extremes and can land and take off from undeveloped runways. The PT6A engine has defined General Aviation for more than 50 years and has an engine fleet that has flown more than 425 million hours, while the entire Pratt & Whitney Canada fleet has flown in excess of 900 million hours. With more than 50,000 engines produced, the PT6 turboprop is the benchmark in reliability which speaks to its dependable performance in single- and twin-engine aircraft.

Basic EASA certification of the aerobatic trainer is expected end of 2023.


While electric-vertical-take-off-and-landing (EVTOL) concepts light up helicopter industry conversations on urban mobility, the president of Robinson Helicopter sees a role for his company and traditional rotorcraft as well.

"It's a big opportunity for growth and a lot of solutions are here now," Kurt Robinson said in a Sept. 28 phone interview. "People need to depend on it," Robinson said of urban mobility VTOL aircraft. "EVTOL is exciting and you can certainly carry things, like pizza and medicine, but when you start jumping into carrying people and getting the vehicle FAA certified, that's a whole different matter."

"For our rotorcraft and the urban mobility market, we're trying to make it easier to fly, particularly at night," he said. Robinson said he spoke with Uber executives on the promise of urban mobility at the Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles in May. Robinson Helicopter's plant is in Torrance, California, about 20 miles south of Los Angeles.

Last April, at the famed Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, about 127 miles east of Los Angeles, ''there were a lot of people getting helicopters to take them there via Palm Springs'', Robinson said, adding that the helicopter trip took about 50 minutes from Los Angeles versus the several hours it took those who braved the highways.

Equipped with autopilot, GPS and stability augmentation systems (SAS), Robinson Helicopter's R44 and R66 turbine models could readily serve the urban mobility market, particularly the R66 with its five seats and 300 pound baggage compartment, Robinson said.

"In the 1980s, SAS could cost you as much as an R22, about $300,000, but now that cost is under $60,000," he said. While about 70 to 80 percent of Robinson Helicopter's business has been exports, such as the company's R22 and R44 trainers, that may change over the next year, if the dollar continues to strengthen against other currencies and if big economies, such as Brazil's, continue to struggle. "With exports, the wind is not at our backs," Robinson said. Article courtesy of Rotorwing.com by Frank Wolfe.


Joby Aviation Inc. (NYSE:JOBY), a California-based company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, has confirmed that it received FAA Special Airworthiness Certification and US Air Force Airworthiness Approval for a second pre-production prototype aircraft in December 2021, as expected.

The first pre-production prototype generated 65 terabytes of test data in 2021, flying more than 5,300 miles, including what is believed to be the longest flight of an eVTOL aircraft to date, at 154.6 miles on a single charge.

As planned, the second aircraft will significantly accelerate Joby's capacity for flight testing in 2022, further supporting the Company's ambition to certify its aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) in time to launch commercial operations in 2024. The aircraft is expected to begin flying later this month and will be put into service as part of Joby's Agility Prime contract with the US Air Force.

Commenting on the milestone, JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, said: “Our 2021 flight test program delivered a wealth of information and experience to support our program. With two aircraft flying at the same time, we'll be able to increase the speed of our learnings as planned, while continuing to fulfil the requirements of our Agility Prime contract.

“We're grateful to the US Air Force for our ongoing relationship and support and to the FAA for continuing to foster innovation in the aviation industry.”

US Air Force airworthiness was received just six days after the FAA special airworthiness certification was granted. This approval timeline reflects joint work between Joby and the US Air Force to streamline certification requirements and demonstrates their commitment to introduce novel aviation technologies to the commercial market.

With a maximum range of 150 miles and a top speed of 200 mph, Joby's all-electric aircraft is designed to carry four passengers and a pilot with zero operating emissions. The company began flying full-scale prototypes in 2017 and has completed more than 1,000 flight tests to date. Joby aims to launch passenger service in 2024, offering a fast, clean and quiet way for people to move within congested metropolitan areas and other communities.

In 2020, Joby became the first and only eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) certification basis with the FAA, having received an initial (stage 2) signed G-1 from the FAA in 2019. In parallel to this work, the company continues to make progress with the FAA on defining the means of compliance that will apply to its aircraft as it progresses with certification efforts.


The Airbus C295 Flight Test Bed 2 (FTB2) has successfully performed its maiden flight from the Final Assembly Line in Seville. The aircraft now starts a flight campaign with the aim of testing the new semi-morphing wing, the new affordable flight control system, as well as a SatCom antenna embedded within the aircraft's fuselage.

“The first flight of the C295 FTB2 is a key milestone that represents an important step forward in the programme, following the successful integration of the new aero structures, power-on and ground tests. A few years ago, this programme was just a dream of a more sustainable future for aviation. Today we are at the final stage and we finally made it fly” said Francisco Javier Sánchez Segura, Executive Vice President Engineering Airbus Defence and Space.

Based on the Airbus C295, the Flight Test Bed 2 is an in-flight demonstrator of the European Clean Sky 2 (CS2) and the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, where technologies related to CS2's future regional multimission aircraft are tested.

The modifications include new materials and technologies were designed to achieve noise, CO2 and NOx emissions reduction. With these technologies applied in a future regional multimission configuration, up to 43% CO2 and 70% NOx reductions can be achieved in a typical Search and Rescue mission of 400 nautical miles, as well as 45% less noise during take-off.

The main modifications in the aircraft are a new high-efficiency semi-morphing wing, new dynamic winglets and a flat panel SATCOM antenna integrated within the top of the fuselage. In addition, innovative flight controls for primary control surfaces, including ailerons, flaps and flap tabs with improved aerodynamics, are capable of adjusting in-flight and contribute to a more efficient high lift system.

The new flight control system leverages digital control systems to optimise the aerodynamic shape of the wing in flight, while a new multifunctional flap has been completely redesigned and includes flap tabs in the trailing edge controlled by electro-mechanical actuators.

But the advantages also extend into the manufacturing process, not least with the use of advanced materials and manufacturing ranging from the use of Scalmalloy and additive manufacturing, to a new assembly method for the aero structures of the wing. A one-shot assembly approach has been used for the new composite winglet and winglet tab, moving from the conventional ribs approach to a multi-spar integrated torsion box. Finally, jig-less methods have been used for the assembly of flaps and ailerons.

As a result, the C295 FTB2 brings improvements not only to the purely operational aspects of the aircraft, but helps introduce new improvement to the design and manufacturing process.


The French Ministry of the Armed Forces' Directorate of Aeronautical Maintenance (DMAé) recently awarded Dassault Aviation the new-generation contract to support the Mirage 2000 fleet of the French Air and Space Force (FASF).

Covering a period of 14 years, the BALZAC contract includes all maintenance activities for the French Mirage 2000s until their retirement. Engine maintenance and the services provided by the SIAé (Service Industriel de l'Aéronautique) are the subject of separate contracts.

Dassault Aviation thus becomes responsible for maintenance of almost all the equipment on the B/C, -5 and D versions of the Mirage 2000 (including those which have undergone a mid-life update, previously covered by some 15 separate contracts, along the same lines as the Rafale and ATL2 verticalized maintenance contracts. The scope covers all electronic systems, in particular those produced by Thales. It also includes enhanced technical and logistics services, including a one-stop logistics center at Luxeuil and Nancy Air Bases, a Dassault Aviation presence in the AIA (Atelier industriel de l'aéronautique - aeronautical industrial workshop) in Clermont-Ferrand, out-sourcing of certain NTI2 workshops and end-of-life management of all equipment in order to optimize maintenance costs.

Concerning management of maintenance activities, all stakeholders will have access to a Mirage 2000 aircraft support management information system derived from the OPTIMAL IS being developed for the Rafale under the RAVEL contract. This digital continuity optimizes the consistency of reference documentation and the fluidity of exchanges, and enables the company to meet its aircraft availability commitments over the long term.

With BALZAC, Dassault Aviation is pursuing its long-term commitment and broadening its scope, with an availability guarantee, on a fixed-price basis, thus giving visibility to the French government and its industrial partners.

This contract will be implemented by an integrated team, which will bring together manufacturers and the forces, building on the experience that has been developed over more than 40 years on the Mirage 2000 and which has helped to cement the strong bond of trust between Dassault Aviation and the FASF.


Airbus has launched a new air-cargo service using its unique BelugaST fleet to offer freight companies and other potential customers a solution to their outsized freight transportation needs.

The new service - Airbus Beluga Transport - will provide commercially-contracted customers in a variety of sectors, including space, energy, military, aeronautic, maritime and humanitarian sectors, with a solution to their large cargo transport needs.

The first mission took place at the end of 2021 with a delivery from Airbus Helicopters' manufacturing site in Marignane, France, to Kobe in Japan for an undisclosed customer. Beluga #3 stopped to refuel at Warsaw (Poland), Novosibirsk (Russia) and Seoul (Korea).

Phillippe Sabo, Head of ATI and Air Oversize Transport at Airbus, said: “The Beluga's wider cross-section will open up new markets and new logistical possibilities for customers. In the case of loading helicopters - not having to dismantle them first - really is a plus. Similarly, the largest commercial aircraft engines can be accommodated in a fully-dressed configuration.”

Based on the A300-600 design, the five-strong BelugaST fleet, which has until now been the backbone of Airbus' inter-site transportation of large aircraft sections, are being replaced by six new-generation BelugaXLs to support Airbus' ramp-up of its airliner production.

The new Airbus Beluga Transport service can cater for a multitude of possible market applications since the planes possess the world's largest interior cross-section of any transport aircraft, accommodating outsized cargo of up to 7.1m in width and 6.7m in height.

In the near future, once Airbus has commissioned all six new BelugaXLs, the fully-released BelugaST fleet will be handed over to a newly-created, subsidiary airline with its own Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and staff. Philippe Sabo added: “The new airline will be flexible and agile to address the needs of external worldwide markets.”

To maximise the BelugaST's turnaround capability for its targeted international customer base, new loading techniques and equipment are being developed for the operation. These solutions include an automated On-Board Cargo Loader (OBCL) for missions where a loading/unloading platform is not available at the origin or destination airport.


Bell, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has completed the first Nacelle Improvements Modification on an Air Force CV-22 Osprey. The aircraft is part of an ongoing upgrade by Bell and Boeing (NYSE: BA) to improve the wiring components within the nacelles and to change the structure in order to improve maintainability.

The V-22 nacelles house critical power components to the V-22's vertical take-off and landing capabilities and transition to forward flight. This program benefits the V-22 fleet maintainers and operators by reducing maintenance time and costs while simultaneously enhancing flying readiness rates.

Bell completed the modifications at the Amarillo Assembly Centre (AAC), which actively produces new V-22s for the Department of Defence. The AAC employs more than 500 employees to manufacture new and modify existing military aircraft. Completing nacelle improvements at the AAC utilizes Bell artisans with the most experience removing and replacing nacelles.

“Speed, range and versatility have always been fundamental to the Osprey, and that includes speed of maintenance,” said Kurt Fuller, V-22 program director and Bell vice president. "The incorporated nacelle improvements help ensure the Osprey continues to outpace adversaries both operationally and sustainably.”

The V-22 Osprey regularly performs missions that would typically require both fixed-wing and rotary-wing, reducing the overall logistics and maintenance footprint for operations. The CV-22 is a special operation variant of the Osprey that regularly operates in high-demand environments, including long-range infiltration and exfiltration missions. The Marine Corps and Navy have also cited interest in nacelle improvements for the MV-22 and CMV-22B variants.

“The capabilities of the V-22 today are unmatched,” said Shane Openshaw, V-22 deputy director and Boeing vice president. “These nacelle upgrades help ensure the Osprey remains a highly capable and reliable aircraft supporting our customers' missions for many years to come.”

Bell Boeing completed the first aircraft in December 2021 and is underway with the second CV-22.


Daher has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with the Triumph Group, Inc. (NYSE:TGI) for the acquisition of its metallic aerostructures production and assembly business located in Stuart, Florida, USA.

This acquisition enables Daher to strengthen its presence and production capacities in America1 following the acquisition of Quest Aircraft (Kodiak) in 2019. Expand the company's relationship with North American customers in accordance with its strategic plan and to reinforce the company's offering as an aerospace equipment manufacturer of large structural assemblies and sub-assemblies, as well as strengthen the group's expertise in producing metallic aerostructures.

The Stuart operation specializes in the assembly of large, complex metallic structures such as wing and fuselage assemblies and has approximately 400 employees.

The Stuart business is located on a historic site for North America's aerospace industry on the southeast coast of Florida, 90 miles south of Cape Canaveral and 40 miles north of West Palm Beach. The site is strategically located near epicentres for all shipping modalities: rail, air, sea and ground transportation.

“This acquisition is perfectly aligned with Daher's 'Succeed Together' strategic plan, including the goal of significantly developing our North American activities across all of the company's divisions” said Didier Kayat, the CEO of Daher. “We strengthened our aircraft manufacturing business by acquiring Kodiak in 2019 and also have achieved significant organic growth in our services activities. With this acquisition, we strive to strengthen our industrial business. This significant transaction enables us to position ourselves globally as a key aerospace player.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory reviews and other customary closing conditions.


Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company has announced the Autonomous Pod Transport's (APT) successful demonstration of a ground-based Detect and Avoid (DAA) flight, fulfilling an extension for its NASA Systems Integration and Operationalization (SIO) project. The APT DAA demonstration showcased the aircraft's ground radar system integration and its capabilities when navigating airspace traffic and requirements, a critical component needed for future Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) vehicles.

The objective of the SIO demonstration was to execute a Beyond Visual Line of Sight mission in complex airspace utilizing DAA technology to monitor the airspace for “natural intruders” using Bell's 429 commercial helicopter and APT unmanned aircraft. Bell's QuantiFLYTM system, a new aircraft communication unit (ACU) powered by Truth Data, offering a true low-cost, lightweight and fully automatic flight data monitoring (FDM) solution, was used on the Bell 429 to record aircraft telemetry data.

“We are excited to demonstrate the effectiveness of ground-based monitoring solutions as part of UAS infrastructure,” said Matt Holvey, director, Intelligent Systems, Bell. “Radar monitoring, whether airborne or ground-based, may become an important part of drone delivery, air taxi services and other aspects of the ever-expanding AAM ecosystem.”

Bell utilized radar systems to monitor the complex airspace within the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ) and track manned and unmanned aircraft systems. The MIZ provides one of the most unique environments in the nation for partner organizations to test, scale and commercialize emerging technologies in air and surface mobility. Hillwood also provided multiple sites for radar set up and testing was conducted at the AllianceTexas Flight Test Center, located approximately four miles north of Fort Worth Alliance Airport.

“We are honoured to partner with Bell to launch the testing initiatives as they work with NASA to lay the foundation for the future of budding air technologies,” said Christopher Ash, senior vice president of aviation business development for Hillwood. “The data they receive from these efforts will enable the industry to advance the commercialization of this technology across multiple platforms.”

Along with Hillwood, Bell has collaborated with Northwest Independent School District (NISD) to provide a site for Bell to install a radar at their Outdoor Learning Centre.

In addition, Microsoft provided AirSim, a simulation tool for training Autonomous systems, which gave Bell a Digital Twin environment to model the NASA SIO Extension flight in the virtual world before flying through the corridor. This allowed the team to conduct simulated real-world tests of the APT aircraft across a broad range of scenarios without any safety risks and at a fraction of the cost and time needed.


On 30 December 2021, an ATR 72-600 aircraft with registration A2-ABK and a call sign BP206 was being operated on a scheduled international flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport (FAOR) in Gauteng province to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (FBSK) in Botswana.
On-board the aircraft were two pilots, two cabin crew and 70 passengers.
1.1.2 The pilot-in-command (PIC) / pilot flying (PF) and the first officer / pilot monitoring (PM) both stated that while on the climb, 40 nautical miles (nm) north-west of FAOR and passing FL80, they observed torque fluctuation of approximately 8% and an Interstage Turbine Temperature (ITT) increased by approximately 40°C on engine number 2 parameters. The engine parameters stabilised as they were passing FL110.
However, as they passed FL130, the master caution and the engine electronic control (EEC) fault illuminated on both the local alert and flight warning systems.
The crew requested Air Traffic Control (ATC) to level off at FL140 so as to go through the checklist and conduct a technical fault-finding procedure.
Whilst engaged in fault-finding procedure, the ENG 2 fire warning illuminated. The crew complied with the engine fire checklist and shut down engine number 2; the fire alert was reset without discharging the fire extinguishing bottles.
The crew notified ATC of their engine problem and requested to return to FAOR. The PIC was able to land safely on Runway 03L without any further damage to the aircraft. The aircraft was taxied to parking bay B09. Post-incident inspection of engine number 2 (right engine) revealed that the exhaust pipe, turbine blades, exit vanes and handling bleed valve (HBV) electrical connector were damaged. They also discovered that there were exhaust pipe metal pieces at the bottom cowling.
1.1.3 None of the occupants on-board were injured. The aircraft sustained damage to the engine number 2 during the incident.
1.1.4 The incident occurred during daylight while on a climb phase from FAOR at Global Positioning System (GPS) co-ordinates determined to be 25°59'21.86" South, 028°8'22.55" East, at an elevation of 8 000 feet (ft).

Kenya, Tatu City: A Cessna 210J Centurion with only the pilot on board suffered severe damage when it forced landed in a field and struck a tree. There is no news on the condition of the pilot.

USA, near Hutchinson Municipal Butler Field (KHCD), MN: The pilot of a Cirrus SR22 GTS G3 Turbo deployed the CAPS (pull #128) the aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances in a field after a landing attempt at Hutchinson Municipal Butler Field (KHCD), Minnesota. The two occupants onboard sustained serious injuries leaving one of them in a critical condition. He later died in hospital from the injuries sustained in the crash.

Canada, Thunder Bay Airport: An Air Tindi Beechcraft B300 King Air 350 operating on behalf of the Roya; Canadian Air Force with three on board sustained substantial damage when it was involved in a runway excursion accident after landing on runway 25 at Thunder Bay Airport (YQT/CYQT), Ontario, Canada. The three people onboard were not injured.

Syria, Dayr Balut, N Atma, N Idlib province: An US Army, 160th SOAR Sikorsky MH-60M Black Hawk developed a mechanical problem during a night time U.S. mission at a village near Idlib, Syria. It was forced to land and subsequently destroyed by U.S. forces to avoid it falling into the hands of enemy forces.

USA, Islip-Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP/KISP), NY: An AGF Capital LLC Pilatus PC-12/47E with two occupants sustained substantial damage when it struck a parked BAe 125-1000 (N207K) at Islip-Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP/KISP), New York. Each aircraft had a wing torn off from the collision. There were no reported injuries.

USA, near Johnson County Executive Airport, Olathe, KS: A Two Wings and a Prayer LLC Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow III with two occupants sustained substantial damage subsequent to impact with trees during the forced landing during the attempted return to the point of departure at Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC/KOJC), Olathe, Kansas. The two occupants onboard the airplane were not injured during the accident sequence.

Peru, 1 km from Nazca-Maria Reiche Neuman Airport (NZC): An Aero Santos Cessna T207A Turbo Stationair 8 with seven on board crashed shortly after take-off for a sightseeing flight over the Nazca lines in Peru. All seven occupants were killed and the aircraft was destroyed by fire.

Spain, Sant Feliu de Buixalleu (Girona): A Road Air Flamingo crashed near Hostalric Airfield in the vicinity of Sant Feliu de Buixalleu (Girona) after it hit electric wires and sustained substantial damage. The pilot was seriously injured.

Iceland, Ölfusvatnsvík Bay: A Volcano Air Cessna 172N Skyhawk with four occupants went missing before noon with 3 tourists and the pilot on 3 February. The aircraft was found in a lake. All occupants died in the crash.

Japan, Komatsu/Kanazawa Airport: A Japan Air Self-Defence Force McDonnell Douglas/Mitsubishi F-15DJ Eagle lost radar contact at 280° 5 km from Komatsu while turning right just after take-off, within one minute from runway 24 of Komatsu Air Base. The Eagle was the last plane of a formation which consisted of four F-15s for a night time training and PIC was the commander of the Tactical Fighter Training Group. No emergency nor rescue signal were transmitted. it was reported that the right horizontal stabilizer and a part of fuel pipe were retrieved. Both pilots were deemed to have died in the crash. Search operations are being conducted.

27 JANUARY 2002

Boeing's 737, the world's most widely use twin jet, becomes the first jetliner in history to amass more than 100 million flying hours. The 737 was launched onto the market 1965.

After the successful launch of the 727, Boeing had been studying short-haul jet aircraft designs and saw a need for a new aircraft to supplement the 727 on short and thin routes. Preliminary design work began on 11 May 1964, based on research that indicated a market for a fifty to sixty passenger airliner flying routes of 50 to 1,000 mi (80 to 1,600 km).

At the time, Boeing was far behind its competitors; rival aircraft in service included the SE 210 Caravelle and in development, the BAC One-Eleven (BAC-111), Douglas DC-9 and Fokker F28 were already into flight certification. To expedite development, Boeing used 60% of the structure and systems of the existing 727, the most notable being the fuselage, which differs in length only.

The launch decision for the $150 million development was made by the board on February 1, 1965. Lufthansa became the launch customer on 19 February 1965. The first -100 was rolled out on 17 January 1967 and performed its maiden flight on 9 April 1967.

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