Midweek Update 25 January 2023

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

By defenceWeb

The SA Air Force (SAAF) Museum air show will be back this year after a three-year hiatus.

The event is set down for 6 May, the first Saturday in the fifth month of the year in line with previous air shows at Air Force Base (AFB) Swartkop in Centurion. Acting Museum Officer Commanding Major Ntokozo Ntshangase told defenceWeb the theme for the 2023 show is "Taking off to new frontiers".

As far as can be ascertained, the show at the oldest SAAF base in the country is the first in Gauteng and nationally for the year. A special air events calendar issued by Air Show South Africa (ASSA) lists it as the first of the year to be followed by the Lowveld Airshow in Mbombela/Nelspruit on 15 May with the Botswana International Air Show the final regional event of the month.

The Museum air show is a major and essential fundraiser for the three-museum alliance responsible for South Africa's military aviation history. This includes keeping vintage aircraft - where possible - in airworthy or display condition at museum headquarters (AFB Swartkop) and its Eastern Cape (AFB Gqeberha) and Cape Town (AFB Ysterplaat) branches.

The museums are not considered operational units and receive only limited financial support from the SAAF defence budget allocation, making the air show and the funding it provides integral to their continued existence. All three museums are manned by a limited number of full-time SAAF personnel, supported by Air Force Reserves and active friends' communities.

The Museum air show's temporary removal from the national aviation calendar was in line with government regulations to prevent COVID-19 transmission.



With the sudden and devastating loss of Sean Russell, we have had numerous calls and emails from concerned Slingers as to who will now be managing the AMO and who will be able to answer any technical queries they may have. While Sean has left a huge hole in all of our hearts and his shoes are impossible to fill, we would like to welcome back Daniel Nielsen as our new AMO Manager.

Daniel was first employed by Sling (The Airplane Factory at that stage) from 2010 to 2019 where he performed maintenance on the aircraft. Throughout the years, he was promoted from Maintenance Technician to AMO Supervisor and finally AMO Manager. In addition to AMO Manager, he also spent a year as Production Manager, Final Assembly Manager, Spray Shop Manager and Sub-Assembly Manager. He then left to start his own aviation company but continued to assist Sling when required.

"I am pleased to be back at Sling Aircraft and returned to the Sling family. I have big shoes to fill with the absence of Sean Russell but will ensure that all maintenance is performed to the highest of quality, that the turnaround time for maintenance is improved and that we continue to perform maintenance to the best of our ability."

Daniel is joined by his wife, Jamie-Lee Nielsen, who is our new AMO Administration Manager. Jamie gave up her career to raise their two children but then returned to the working world in 2019 to start the company with Daniel. A new opportunity then presented itself when Daniel and Jamie were asked to return to Sling and run the AMO as a team as they work so well together both in life and in the workplace.

"We look forward to the adventures coming our way and will hopefully be able to assist in growing the AMO, helping it flourish and become the best it can be, not just for our Sling family but for all our customers who have become part of this family too. We have never been afraid to tackle the unexpected and although this will be a difficult path to follow with big shoes to fill, we intend to do it the right way and to the best of our ability."

As a South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) approved organisation, our AMO 1264 offers a wealth of experience, knowledge and skill and our aircraft maintenance technicians are some of the finest in the industry and are Rotax approved in accordance with iRMT. We maintain a broad variety of aircraft, including the ever-popular Vans RV range, a variety of gyrocopters as well as metal and composite airframes alike. In addition, we specialise in Lycoming and Continental engines and all associated propellers, as well as compass swing, pitot-static testing and ATF applications.

Together, our AMO team makes every effort to ensure maintenance is made as easy as possible for every one of our Sling Aircraft owners. Sling Aircraft's AMO is intensely focused on customer satisfaction and will continue to exceed customer expectations whilst providing expert advice and setting the benchmark for safety, efficiency, affordability, and reliability.

Feel free to contact the team here:
daniel@slingaircraft.com | (0) 79 494 2780 | jamie@slingaircraft.com | (0) 76 965 9214

Guy Martin defenceWeb

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has taken delivery of a new H125 helicopter from Airbus Helicopters and is using it for visible policing operations in Gauteng.

The SAPS said the helicopter was received on 12 December by the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, at Grand Central Airport in Midrand where Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa is based.

Masemola said the new helicopter would help to bolster the organisation's crime combatting efforts.

"This helicopter came at the very right time when we are entering the peak of our festive season operations, there is work out there cut for its size. We continue to resource our visible and operational response environment with vehicles and other resources to strengthen our crime combatting efforts. For now, this helicopter will be based in Gauteng to bolster crime combatting operations", Masemola said.

The H125 (previously called the Eurocopter AS 350 B3 Écureuil) was recently added to the South African aircraft register as ZT-RFP (cn 9265).

The SAPS Air Wing now operates 14 AS350/H125, six R-44 Raven II, two MD500 and one BK 117 helicopters. Fixed wing aircraft include eight PC-6 Turbo Porters (the ninth was destroyed in a crash in August 2022), a PC-12, one King Air C90 and one Citation Sovereign jet. Half the fleet is based in Gauteng, with the remainder scattered throughout the country.

SAPS aircraft are used in policing operations including crime prevention, vehicle tracking and pursuit, dagga plantation spraying, crowd control and monitoring, VIP transport and search and rescue operations. Some are equipped with hoists, cameras, searchlights and slings.

Most Air Wing responsibilities entail responding to crime call-outs. The Air Wing also provides air support during the monitoring of public protests and major events, including support to specialised units such as the Special Task Force, National Intervention Unit and Tactical Response Teams. More than 2 000 airborne law enforcement operations are typically carried out every year, with the majority by helicopters.

With regard to personnel numbers, the SAPS employs about 50 pilots and 300 support staff in the Air Wing.


Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16 fighters will be able to double the number of smart weapons they can carry thanks to new L3Harris smart bomb release systems.

L3Harris Technologies in mid-December announced a $29 million contract to provide 105 smart weapon release systems to Morocco, Jordan and Bahrain.

The Bomb Release Unit (BRU)-57/A allows F-16s to carry two smart weapons on each system instead of one, doubling munitions capacity. It is compatible with 500 pound (225 kg) and 1 000-pound (450 kg) guided weapons.

"Our release systems provide extra offensive capabilities while giving commanders the versatility to deploy the right firepower for every mission," said Ed Zoiss, President, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. "These combat-proven systems provide munitions overmatch and allows mission commanders to send the right weapon at the right time to the right target."

Tailorable to mission requirements, the release systems provide ground crews the flexibility to add or remove smart weapons capabilities on F-16s. Adding two additional smart munitions on each F-16 mean commanders can reduce the number of aircraft on a strike mission and provide more time on station with fewer returns to base for rearming, L3Harris said.

The Royal Moroccan Air Force flies 23 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft that it received from 2011 to 2012 (one was lost over Yemen during operations as part of the Saudi-led coalition). The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency approved the upgrade of these aircraft to the latest F-16V Block 70/72 standard. In March 2019, the US State Department approved the sale of 25 new F-16C/D Block 72 aircraft.

Guy Martin defenceWeb

Mali's military leader has handed over nearly a dozen aircraft to the country's air force after receiving them from Russia, which continues to forge close ties with the West African nation.

Transitional President Colonel Assimi Goita handed the aircraft over in the presence of Russian ambassador Igor Gromyko at President Modibo Keita International Airport on 19 January.

Amongst the aircraft on display were five L-39 jets (TZ-18C, TZ-19C, TZ-30C, TZ-32C, and TZ-35C), two Mi-8 helicopters (TZ-94H and TZ-95H) and a single Su-25 strike aircraft (TZ-25C).

Mali's armed forces (FAMa) said the acquisitions would further contribute to the rise in power of the nation's military. The L-39s and Su-25 will be used for attack, reconnaissance and border surveillance missions while the Mi-8s will be used to support the movement of troops on the ground.

The Air Force Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Aliou Boï Diarra, said that after decades of combat, Mali's military has become better equipped and professional, with major advances over the past two years.

Defence Minister Colonel Sadio Camara said a strong and modern military is needed to impose security. He thanked and congratulated the "partners of Mali" who remained "faithful and loyal in difficult times".

This was most likely in reference to Russia, which has formed a close relationship with Mali since the 2020 coup. It is believed that Wagner paramilitaries from Russia began arriving in Mali in late 2021.

Mali has been battered by an extremist campaign that began in the north of the country in 2012, with attacks spreading into Niger and Burkina Faso as well. As a result, Mali has turned to Russia to supply equipment and paramilitary forces to shore up its military.

January's aircraft handover comes only months after Mali commissioned multiple aircraft acquired from Russia. On 9 August 2022, officials received one Su-25 jet, four L-39 jet trainers, an Mi-24P attack helicopter an Mi-8 transport helicopter and a single Airbus C295 tactical transport aircraft. The C295 aircraft arrived on 31 May and is the second to be acquired, with the first delivered in December 2016. Two Mi-24Ps were delivered to Mali on 30 March 2022, along with Protivnik-GE/59N6-TE mobile radars from Russia. Mali also recently acquired four Mi-35s from Russia.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's arms transfers database, Mali in 2020 ordered four Mi-8MT/Mi-17Sh helicopters from Russia for $61 million including training and weapons, with deliveries from 2021. The Su-25s and L-39s appear to be new acquisitions as well.



Eviation Aircraft, a manufacturer of all-electric aircraft announced that Aerus, an emerging regional airline in Mexico, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 30 commuter Alice aircraft. Aerus intends to utilize Alice for middle-mile travel across regions including Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Veracruz, providing historically underserved communities in northern areas of the country with access to carbon-free, cost-effective and convenient air travel.

The nine-seater Alice is the world's first flight-tested all-electric commuter aircraft. Built from a clean sheet design, the Alice produces no emissions and costs significantly less to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops. It is powered by two magni650 electric propulsion units developed by magniX, the global industry leader in flight-proven electric propulsion systems.

Aerus is a new market entrant committed to sustainable and carbon-free technology. Launching commercial operations in 2023, Aerus will utilize Monterrey Airport (MTY) as its regional hub, offering an expanded flight schedule and covering routes that no other airlines currently operate. By introducing electric aircraft into its fleet, Aerus aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2033.

"Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden visited Mexico, where he and his counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, highlighted the economic opportunities created by the clean energy transition. The introduction of the Alice is certainly one of those opportunities," said Eddie Jaisaree, Vice President, Commercial Sales at Eviation. "The aircraft offers a more enjoyable flight experience, lower operating costs, and meets the demand for zero-carbon technology that we are seeing from governments, regulators and the public. We are very pleased to receive this order from Aerus."

"As we enter into service, our objective is to create new opportunities for regional travel in Mexico that are environmentally and economically sustainable," said Javier Herrera García, CEO of Aerus. "Working with Eviation to bring a zero-emissions fleet to our region will transform the way we experience air travel and connect communities like never before."

"Just as Uber disrupted the taxi market, Alice promises to usher in 'UberAir' through the introduction of low-cost, point-to-point air travel," said Gregory Davis, President and CEO at Eviation. "Our aircraft is an ideal fit for Aerus as a large number of flights in northern Mexico are already less than 250 miles. We are always pleased to receive the endorsement of forward-thinking airlines that are keen to address the climate challenge and be part of the future of aviation."


While annual business jet resale volume was slightly higher for members of the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) in 2022, aircraft dealers indicate that market conditions are normalizing. In the recently released 2022 Fourth Quarter IADA Market Report, IADA accredited dealers and certified brokers reported 1,399 used aircraft sales transactions closed in 2022, compared to 1,370 in 2021, a two percent increase, and the highest total for IADA members in recent memory

For the year just ended, resale volume represented $9.3 billion in sales, or an average of about $8 million per transaction. As expected, December was the busiest month of the year with 259 resales reported, easily doubling the year's monthly performance average, and surpassing December 2021's 255 transactions.

Market Headed Towards More Balance
"Looking forward, IADA members have slightly more modest expectations than they did a year ago for the aircraft resale market over the next six-months," said IADA Executive Director Wayne Starling. "Based on our perspective survey of IADA members, the more moderate six-month resale projections also hold true for the aircraft finance and aircraft leasing market," Starling added.

Austin Bass, Market Research Manager for accredited dealer OGARAJETS in Atlanta, said "Over the next six months, I believe we will continue to see market normalization. I anticipate a more balanced market, with the majority of aircraft beginning to depreciate at slightly higher than pre-pandemic levels," Bass added, "Pricing for high-time and legacy aircraft will likely fall the most, while pricing for newly delivered aircraft will likely benefit from OEM backlogs."

IADA members noted that the next six-months should bring a slight increase in inventory and stable outlooks for supply, willingness to inventory and demand. This holds for all business aircraft segments, including turboprops, light jets, mid-size jets, and large and ultra-long range business jets.

Year-to-date, IADA members reported 688 new acquisition agreements in 2022, 723 exclusively retained to sell agreements, 104 lowered price transactions, 85 deals that fell apart, and 972 aircraft under contract. Overall activity was similar to that of 2021, except there were more lowered price transactions in 2022 and fewer aircraft under contract.


Textron Aviation announced it has delivered a Cessna Grand Caravan EX to Brazilian aviation company Azul Conecta, a subsidiary of Azul Airlines based at the airport of Jundiai in São Paulo. This aircraft represents the 3,000th Cessna Caravan family turboprop delivered worldwide, reinforcing the Caravan as the most popular utility turboprop in the world. Azul Conecta transports travellers from smaller cities and remote locations throughout Brazil.

"The Cessna Caravan's versatility and reliability have made it the most popular aircraft in the utility turboprop category, with now 3,000 delivered globally," said Lannie O'Bannion, senior vice president of Sales and Flight Operations at Textron Aviation. "I'm thankful to customers like Azul Conecta who continuously rely on the Caravan family of aircraft to fulfil their missions, deliver solutions and improve lives around the world."

Conceived as a rugged utility aircraft with low operating costs, the Caravan was designed for use in remote areas with extreme weather changes, mountainous terrain and rough landing conditions. The aircraft's versatility became renowned in all corners of the world and the Caravan continues to see wide use in global markets by a variety of customers, including government agencies, law enforcement and militaries, air ambulance operators, freight haulers, corporations and humanitarian organizations.

"This Grand Caravan EX will proudly fly the Brazilian skies and connect our 158 destinations, many of which are made possible by the aircraft's utility and flexibility," said Flavio Costa, chief technical officer of Azul and president of Azul Conecta. "As a long time, Textron Aviation customer, with a fleet of over 25 Cessna aircraft, we are happy to be a part of this important milestone."

Customers can choose between four models of the Cessna Caravan aircraft to best fit their mission: the Caravan 208, the Grand Caravan EX 208B, the Caravan Amphibian and the Grand Caravan EX Amphibian.


Stellantis N.V. (NYSE / MTA / Euronext Paris: STLA) and Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR) today announced that they have agreed to significantly expand their partnership by joining forces to manufacture Archer's flagship electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Midnight.

Stellantis will work with Archer to stand up Archer's recently announced manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia at which the companies plan to begin manufacturing the Midnight aircraft in 2024. Midnight is designed to be safe, sustainable, quiet and with its expected payload of over 1,000 pounds, can carry four passengers plus a pilot. With a range of 100 miles, Midnight is optimized for back-to-back short distance trips of around 20 miles, with a charging time of approximately 10 minutes in-between.

This unique partnership in the urban air mobility industry will leverage each company's respective strengths and competencies to bring the Midnight aircraft to market. Archer brings its world-class team of eVTOL, electric powertrain and certification experts while Stellantis will contribute advanced manufacturing technology and expertise, experienced personnel and capital to the partnership. This combination is intended to enable the rapid scaling of aircraft production to meet Archer's commercialization plans, while allowing Archer to strengthen its path to commercialization by helping it avoid hundreds of millions of dollars of spending during the manufacturing ramp up phase. The goal is for Stellantis to mass produce Archer's eVTOL aircraft as its exclusive contract manufacturer.

As a further sign of its commitment, Stellantis will provide up to $150 million in equity capital for potential draw by Archer at its discretion in 2023 and 2024, subject to achievement of certain business milestones which Archer expects to occur in 2023. Stellantis also intends to increase its strategic shareholding through future purchases of Archer stock in the open market. These actions, along with the other elements of this expanded partnership, will enable Stellantis to become a long-term, cornerstone investor in Archer.

"We've been working closely with Archer for the past two years, and I am continually impressed by their ingenuity and unwavering commitment to deliver," said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. "Deepening our partnership with Archer as a strategic investor with plans for growing our shareholding demonstrates how Stellantis is pushing the boundaries to provide sustainable freedom of mobility, from the road to the sky. Supporting Archer with our manufacturing expertise is another example of how Stellantis will lead the way the world moves."

"Stellantis' continued recognition of Archer's progress toward commercialisation, and today's commitment of significant resources to build the Midnight aircraft with us, places Archer in a strong position to be first to market," said Adam Goldstein, founder and CEO of Archer. "Our two companies are taking these important steps together to realise a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine urban transportation."

Stellantis has been a strategic partner to Archer since 2020 through various collaboration initiatives, and as an investor since 2021. During this time, Archer has leveraged Stellantis' deep manufacturing, supply chain, and design expertise in connection with Archer's efforts to design, develop, and commercialize its eVTOL aircraft.


The Phenom 300MED, has received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Phenom 300MED is a unique Medevac solution for the Phenom 300 series aircraft, the world's best-selling light jet, for ten consecutive years. The STC was performed at Embraer's Service Centre in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and will be operated by the launch customer, on-demand charter operator Grandview Aviation.

"We are pleased to announce the certification of the Phenom 300MED by the FAA and EASA," said Marsha Woelber, Vice-President of Worldwide Executive Jets Customer Support & Aftermarket Sales, Embraer Service & Support. "The Medevac solution provides superior value, benefiting from a market-leading product such as the Phenom 300 series, combining its unique capabilities with a fully-comprehensive medical solution."

The Phenom 300MED aeromedical interior was specified by Embraer and developed and certified by engineering services provider umlaut, part of Accenture, utilizing Aerolite equipment. Aerolite developed the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) specifically for the Phenom 300MED. As per the certification requirements, umlaut conducted an evacuation test to confirm two fully disabled patients could be evacuated.

The Medevac solution, which is available for new and in-service aircraft, is exclusively installed by Embraer's top-ranked Services & Support organization, ensuring the highest quality, reliability and service experience direct from the manufacturer.

The Phenom 300MED benefits from the platform's heritage of best-in-class cabin pressurization, low operating costs, high mission flexibility, state-of-the-art avionics, plus its speed and range capabilities. With a best-in-class cabin altitude of 6,600 feet, passengers and crew enjoy more oxygen in the cabin. This feature equates to a healthier flight experience, which is essential for medical staff and patient care.

Embraer and umlaut developed a comprehensive set of configuration alternatives for the Phenom 300MED. These configuration alternatives include either one or two stretchers, the ability to carry an incubator and additional medical equipment. The aircraft also features hospital-grade trim and finishing. As a purpose-built Medevac solution, created in collaboration with the leading companies in the industry, the Phenom 300MED is designed to be quickly and easily configured to meet the various needs of both healthcare providers and patients. The aircraft is also designed with agility in mind, able to convert between an executive and a Medevac interior in as little as 5 hours.

The aircraft is further distinguished by the integration of Aerolite medical equipment. Aerolite is a leader in the design, engineering, production and installation of Air Medical interiors. With over 500 Medevac interiors delivered, the company offers the ideal blend of equipment for the mission.


The 304 million EUR Contract for additional 18 helicopters follow the Italy-Austria Government-to-Government (G2G) Agreement amendment signed in December 2022 and brings to 36 the total number of AW169M LUH for the Austrian MoD. The Italy-Austria G2G initiative is aimed at reinforcing the bilateral collaboration between the two countries and establishing a strategic partnership in the rotorcraft sector

The AW169M LUHs will be able to carry out a wide range of missions supporting Austrian defence requirements and the national community, including troop transport, combat operations, disaster relief and emergency response, fire-fighting, mountain rescue and MEDEVAC.

Leonardo and the Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness of the Italian Secretariat General of Defence/National Armaments Directorate signed yesterday the Acquisition Contract for the supply of an additional 18 AW169M Light Utility Helicopters (LUH) to the Austrian Ministry of Defence. The contract, valued at 304 million EUR, was signed following the Italy-Austria Government-to-Government (G2G) Agreement amendment signed in December 2022, through which Austria is exercising options for these additional units, providing further evidence of its confidence in the selected platform.

This latest contract will bring to 36 the total number of AW169M LUHs for the Austrian Ministry of Defence. The first aircraft was delivered in December 2022 during an official ceremony and in line with the contractual obligations, starting a new era in national defence and emergency response capabilities. Furthermore, it also represents an important milestone for Leonardo, celebrating the first delivery to the export market of the AW169M variant under a G2G programme. Austrian crews have already been leveraging initial training supplied at Leonardo's Training Academy in Sesto Calende (Italy) and will be supported by the Italian Army's training capabilities as an AW169M LUH operator. Deliveries of all aircraft are expected to be completed by 2028.

The Italy-Austria G2G initiative is aimed at reinforcing the bilateral collaboration between the two countries and establishing a strategic partnership in the rotorcraft sector, with Austria looking at Italy and the AW169M LUH programme for its modernisation plan and the replacement of its ageing Alouette III aircraft fleet, which have been in service since the 1960s.

The AW169M LUH, with its superior performance and unmatched latest generation capabilities, as well as the complete support and training services to perform true multirole operations, is the most technologically advanced and cost-effective solution to meet the rigorous needs of the operator. The AW169M LUHs will be able to carry out a wide range of missions supporting Austrian defence requirements and the national community, such as troop transport, combat operations, disaster relief and emergency response, fire-fighting, mountain rescue and MEDEVAC.


A bounced or firm landing is typically not a hard landing. So, what is a hard landing? It happens when an airplane stalls or drops onto the runway with too high a vertical speed, resulting in damage to the aircraft. It's not just the landing gear that takes the hit-structural damage also extends to the firewall and engine mount, fuselage skin, wings and so on.

South Africa, Nasrec area of Johannesburg, Gauteng: A Flight Training Services (FTS) Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche with two on board on a training flight crashed in the Nasrec area of Johannesburg, Gauteng. oth occupants died and the aircraft was destroyed.

Somalia, between Baidoa and Kenzadere: An UTair Helicopter Services Mi-8MTV flight on behalf of the UN mission in Somalia on the Baidoa-Kenzadere route after landing, during the post-flight inspection, two bullet holes were found - in the fuselage and the rotor blades without damaging the spar. Systems and units were not damaged. The helicopter was suspended from flights.

Nepal, WNW of Pokhara International Airport: Yeti Airlines flight 691, an ATR 72-500, crashed while on final approach to runway 12 at Pokhara International Airport, Nepal. The aircraft crashed on the bank of Seti River and partially ended up in a deep gorge. The aircraft was initially preparing for an approach to runway 30, but the pilot later requested an approach to runway 12. The Pokhara International Airport was opened on 1 January 2023 and is located to the east-southeast of the old Pokhara Airport. All previous flights of YT691 at the new Pokhara International Airport landed on runway 30. At least one other ATR 72 from Kathmandu made an approach to land on runway 12 (flight YT677 on January 12), which flew to the north of the airport before turning left on base and final for runway 12 in the vicinity of POK VOR.

Argentina, 5 km from Villa Ángela, CH: A Cessna T206H Turbo Stationair HD was stolen at Villa Ángela Airfield (SARV), Chaco and was later found crashed 5 km from Villa Ángela. All five occupants died in the crash and the aircraft was destroyed.

Brazil, Caporanga, Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, SP: The pilot of an Embraer EMB-720C Minuano was intercepted by Embraer EMB-314 (A-29) Super Tucano's of the FAB (Brazilian Air Force) and landed in a rural area of Caporanga, municipality of Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo, São Paulo. When the police arrived at the scene, the two occupants had fled and are being sought. Authorities searched the aircraft and found more than 500 kilos of cocaine base paste.

Ukraine, Brovary, Kyiv region: A State Emergency Service of Ukraine Eurocopter EC225LP Super Puma Mk2+ with ten on board crashed under unknown circumstances into a building in Brovary, Kyiv region. All ten among them the Ukrainian minister for internal affairs as well as four on the ground died. The helicopter was destroyed.

China, Taiping Town, Shawan District, Leshan, Sichuan Province: A helium balloon with four adults and one child on board was being prepared for a sightseeing flight when the safety strap tying the balloon to the ground broke loose, after which the balloon lifted uncontrollably and eventually burst. The occupants fell into woods, the child sustaining mortal injuries.


2 JANUARY 1967


After winning a competition for a government-funded contract to build an American supersonic airliner, Boeing began development at its facilities in Seattle, Washington. The design emerged as a large aircraft with seating for 250 to 300 passengers and cruise speeds of approximately Mach 3. It was intended to be much larger and faster than competing supersonic transport (SST) designs such as Concorde.

The 733-390 would have been an advanced aircraft even if it had been only subsonic. It was one of the earliest wide-body aircraft designs, with 2-3-2 row seating arrangement at its widest section in a fuselage that was considerably wider than aircraft then in service. The SST mock-up included both overhead storage for smaller items with restraining nets, as well as large drop-in bins between sections of the aircraft. In the main 247-seat tourist-class cabin, the entertainment system consisted of retractable televisions placed between every sixth row in the overhead storage. In the 30-seat first-class area, every pair of seats included smaller televisions in a console between the seats. Windows were only 6 inches (150 mm) due to the high altitudes the aircraft flew at maximizing the pressure on them, but the internal pane was 12 inches (300 mm) to give an illusion of size.

In March 1971, despite the project's strong support by the administration of President Richard Nixon, the U.S. Senate rejected further funding. Despite 115 orders from 25 different airlines, the program was cancelled forcing Boeing to lay off 60,000 workers.

Citabria at Rand Airport

Aviation Economy
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