Lack of maintenance funds hits Rooivalk and Oryx serviceability.
Paramount partners with the UAE's AAL Group on Mil helicopter solutions.
Bestfly and Krimson Aviation form joint venture, BFK Aviation, to support development in emerging markets.
Maiden flight is a monster milestone for Aussie electric aircraft.
KAI started the final assembly of the KF-X Prototype #1.
Boeing sets F/A-18 production completion date as defence business pivots to future work.
Columbia Helicopters sells Columbia Model 107-Ii to Daejin Air in South Korea.
Boeing receives U.S. Air Force E-7 Airborne early warning & control aircraft contract.
Worldwide incidents and accidents - AOPA - learning to take off and land in a crosswind can be one of the more challenging skills for student pilots to master.
This week in history, Japan Air Lines is the first airline to use a computerized flight simulator to train its crews.
Bonus Video - Aero Club Airweek 2023.
10 & 11
SAC Training Camp Kitty Hawk airfield. Contact Annie Boon E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell 082 902 8614
10 & 11
SAPFA Rally Nationals -Stellenbosch Airfield. Contact Leon Bouttell E-mail: Leon@lbaa.co.za Cell: 076 294 1363
24 & 25
SAPFA Rally Nationals - Brakpan Airfield. Contact Leon Bouttell e-mail: Leon@lbaa.co.za cell: 076 294 1363
EAA CHAPTER 322 breakfast fly-in Jack Taylor airfield, Krugersdorp. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: email@example.com
Major underfunding means that two of the most important helicopter types in the South African Air Force - the Oryx transport and Rooivalk attack helicopter - are largely grounded, with only a handful serviceable at present. Cuts to the defence budget mean there is little prospect of the situation improving.
The Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor) on 15 February reported to Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) on the maintenance status of the fleets.
For the Rooivalk, Armscor told the committee that two types of contracts are in place with Denel Aeronautics for the Rooivalk: a fixed cost contract and an on-demand work contract. The fixed costs contract is in place until 30 September 2023, with R51 million provided. However, there is a shortage of R155 million on the contract, Armscor stated.
With regard to the on-demand contract, this is in place until 31 March 2023. This was not funded in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 financial years and there is currently a shortage of R564 million for this contract. “Unavailability of funding is negatively impacting aircraft availability. Armscor and Denel are in negotiations with regards the further extension of the contracts,” Armscor stated, adding that no funding has been approved for an imminent 15-year major engine overhaul.
Of the 11 airframes in the Rooivalk fleet, only four are serviceable, with seven either unserviceable or undergoing maintenance and of the 23 engines in the fleet, only 13 are serviceable.
The situation for the Oryx is not much better, with just seven serviceable out of a total of 39 in the fleet. Thirteen are at Denel for servicing while 19 Oryx are at squadrons awaiting servicing.
A maintenance order valid until 31 March this year is valued at R133 million, but only R110 million has been paid to date; Armscor is currently negotiating to have the order extended to 30 September 2023.
As with the Rooivalk, there is insufficient funding to complete the 15-year major overhaul of engine and transmission systems, which will cost R692 million. Armscor stated that the only funds received are sufficient to carry out the major overhaul of four engines.
The status of the SAAF's rotary wing fleet is unlikely to improve as the helicopter capability has had its budget for the 2023/24 financial year cut by 30%, to R758 million (down from R1.1 billion in 2022/23). It will remain roughly the same in 2024/25 (R768 million) and 2025/26 (R821 million). The SAAF's total budget allocation for 2023/24 is R7.1 billion.
Armscor also updated the Committee on the maintenance status of the C-130 Hercules fleet. A contract for the maintenance of these transport aircraft runs from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2025. Of the five aircraft in the fleet, one is operational, two are undergoing maintenance and repair and two are awaiting major overhaul. Additional funding to the tune of R1 billion has been made available in the 2023/24 financial year for medium air transport.
Paramount Aerospace Systems has announced a strategic partnership with AAL Group in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the marketing of Mi-type helicopter solutions and the production of Mil main and tail rotor composite helicopter blades.
Announced during the IDEX defence show in Abu Dhabi on 22 February, Paramount and the AAL Group said they will collaborate to service and upgrade fleets of helicopters across Africa, as well as produce interchangeable composite rotary wing blades to meet the increasing demand from countries across the continent.
Established in 2000, AAL Group provides a range of services and support for Mi-type rotary-wing aircraft. It specialises in support for Mi-17/Mi-171 (Mi-8T, Mi-8MTV-1, Mi-17, Mi-171, Mi-8AMT and Mi-17V-5) helicopters, including maintenance, repairs, overhauls, modification, lease/charter operations, programme management, contractor logistics support, calibration, special process services and training.
AAL Group CEO Olga Martyshchenko stated that, “in Paramount, we have found a partner committed to EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] defence industrialisation, with an acute understanding of the asymmetrical challenges faced by governments across Africa. We look forward to continued and shared growth on the heels of this landmark announcement”.
The companies' production resources will be situated within a newly established facility located on a plot of land directly connected to the airside.
Paramount Global CEO, Steve Griessel, stated that: “Paramount's composite main rotor blade development started in 2006, in response to a customer requirement. The composite blades were designed to provide the same functional and performance capability, including shape, size and weight as the metal blades, enabling installation without any recertification of the helicopter platform elements, limiting certification only to the composite blades. This substantially reduces the development and qualification process and does not affect any other major or structural parts.”
The composite blades have a significantly increased operational life, at least five to eight times more than the metal blades but also allowing individual blades to be replaced in the event of damage rather than the whole set. In the event of damaged blade or a set can be easily repaired at location and returned to service in a short period of time. Although the production of the composite blades is more expensive than metal blades, the operational life makes the overall cost of operation substantially cheaper, Paramount said.
“With the current challenges in supplies and deliveries of the main rotor blades, customers are unable to maintain their fleets and continue providing the necessary security and defence support to ensure their sovereignty. Composite blades production can be ramped up to provide a source for continued operations and offer customers longer usage life while reducing dependence on the challenging supplies network,” Paramount stated.
Paramount acquired the composite rotor capability from Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE), which became Paramount Advanced Technologies, which opened its composite rotor blade facility in Midrand in October 2006.
BESTFLY AND KRIMSON AVIATION FORM JOINT VENTURE, BFK AVIATION, TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT IN EMERGING MARKETS.
Angolan aircraft operator Bestfly and Addis Ababa-headquartered flight support, charter, and aviation consultancy Krimson Aviation have formed a new Joint Venture, BFK Aviation. The entity brings together two powerhouses of business aviation in Africa with the sole intent of supporting the evolution and growth of the industry in emerging markets around the globe.
Bestfly and Krimson Aviation, under the leadership of Nuno Pereira and Dawit Lemma, respectively, have been integral in establishing the foundations of the sector across the vast continent of Africa and now intend to share the accumulated knowledge and experience with stakeholders seeking to optimize its benefits in new and evolving markets.
Demonstrating the value of the proposition, the first partnership agreement has already been signed with Xen Aviation, the Georgetown, Guyana-based operator and aviation services provider. BFK Aviation will support the needs of Xen Aviation's expanding flight and ground services for current and future operations. Bestfly, already well versed in supporting the oil and gas industry in Angola, will provide aircraft operational know-how, while Krimson will provide all ground support and maintenance service intelligence. The signing follows the success of the Guyana Energy Expo, held in Georgetown in February, and highlights the rapid growth of the oil and gas sector in Guyana, and the surrounding region, which is driving increased demand for rotary and fixed-wing operations.
Bestfly is Angola's largest business aviation services provider operating a fleet of some thirty aircraft including turboprops, executive jets, regional airliners, and helicopters flying within Angola, Africa and internationally; as well as a commercial operator flying scheduled routes to Cabo Verde. As one of the first African aviation companies to be granted IS-BAO status, Pereira and his team are familiar with the rigour and quality required to meet and exceed international standards and customer expectations. Krimson Aviation has expanded significantly since launch and provides a range of ground handling, trip support and consultancy services for aviation customers in more than twenty African countries.
Bestfly is one of the founding members of the African Business Aviation Association, and Pereira, as a board member, was critical in securing its inauguration and subsequent successful development. Lemma has also been a significant force in the association's development and is VP International and a board member. Their collective experience of shaping the evolution of Africa's business aviation development, mutual extensive global network, and understanding of what it takes to affect a positive change in the perception of business aviation, intra- and inter-continentally, positions them well to support commercial, sustainable transformation in evolving markets.
“Undoubtedly, we can enable and enhance credible operations in challenging and dynamic operating environments. We want to harness this very specific knowledge and understanding to support stakeholders in nations that want to maximize the sector's benefits but are still at the early stages of development,” says Lemma. Pereira adds, “At Bestfly, we have worked extremely hard to create aircraft operations that are internationally respected, and we are known for our professionalism, excellence and reliability as we have a real understanding of what it takes to service the changing demands of our international oil and gas, mining and agricultural customers.”
“Working with BFK Aviation will add value to our existing operations, support the development of new standard operating procedures, and we know will raise the bar wherever we work to implement best industry practices,” adds Ronaldo Alphonso, Managing Director, Xen Aviation. “We're excited for what the future holds for us, BFK and the business aviation sector in our region.”
MAIDEN FLIGHT IS A MONSTER MILESTONE FOR AUSSIE ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT
New South Wales-based AMSL Aero has announced it has successfully completed the maiden test flight of its Australian designed and manufactured electric aircraft called the Vertiia.
The Vertiia completed its tethered hover by remote control near Wellington in the Central West of the state in accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations.
The maiden test flight is a monster milestone for the AMSL Aero, which expects its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) to ultimately be competitive with a helicopter of equivalent performance and payload.
The company says the zero emissions Vertiia can carry four passengers and a pilot, with a cruising speed of 300kmph and a range of 1,000 kilometres, three times the range of any eVTOL craft anywhere in the world.
AMSL Aero has a contract with a key customer and says it is working hard to build a backlog of orders. The company says it will commence deliveries of the Vertiia in 2026 to customers in the aeromedical, cargo, emergency, and regional air mobility sectors.
AMSL Aero will now conduct more test flights and begin CASA certification for Vertiia, which is on display at the Avalon International Airshow in Victoria in the coming weeks, as it continues to build sovereign aviation capability for Australia.
Co-founder Siobhan Lyndon, a tech industry veteran who spent more than a decade at Google at various operations around the world, said Vertiia would enable greater access to medical services for vulnerable remote, rural and regional communities, offering new models of care through rapid and low-cost connectivity.
“Vertiia is not only safe and quiet, but it was also developed for the harsh long-distance conditions in Australia. If it can work in Australia, it can work anywhere,” she said.
KAI STARTED THE FINAL ASSEMBLY OF THE KF-X PROTOTYPE #1
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.(KAI) announced that final assembly of KF-X prototype is now launched from 1st September. Final assembly means to put forward/middle/rear fuselage and main wing/empennage together into one whole final aircraft.
This achievement is accomplished only in 4 years. KAI started system development from 2015 dec, went through PDR(Preliminary Design Review) in 2018, began the first detail part machining on February 2019 and passed the CDR(Critical Design Review) on September 2019.
KAI have fully committed to maximize its development efficiency not only through recruiting around 800 development engineers, but also expanding infrastructure with newly built plants only dedicated to each structure test, system test and composite machining.
KF-X is one of the most important national projects to replace current air force fighters and to introduce the next generation fighter that can satisfy the future operation concept of force battlefield. Also, KAI is under localization of major avionics part for product improvement by domestic technology. Mission and flight control computer, equivalent to its brain, will be installed to KF-X for ground test and test flight after performance test this year.
In addition, the core equipment AESA radar and EW Suite(Integrated Electronic Warfare Equipment), IRST(infrared search and track) and EO TGP(electro optical targeting pod) are Verify performance through functional check and ground test.
KF-X will be completed by the first half year of 2021 and the first flight test is scheduled to be done in 2022. By 2026, system development is ended.
For deeper study and efficient development, 16 of universities, 11 of laboratories and 553 of suppliers are participated in KF-X project and 100 of additional development engineers will be hired by 2020.
KAI CEO said, “Thanks to great partnership and industry, university and institute collaboration, we could launch the final assembly in covid-19 crisis. There is no way other than success. We will succeed in KF-X and contribute to Korean aviation industry and national economy.”
BOEING SETS F/A-18 PRODUCTION COMPLETION DATE AS DEFENCE BUSINESS PIVOTS TO FUTURE WORK
Boeing [NYSE: BA] expects to complete new-build production of the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft in late 2025 following delivery of the final U.S. Navy fighters. Production could be extended to 2027 if the Super Hornet is selected by an international customer.
To meet demand for defence products and services, Boeing plans to continue hiring year-over-year for the next five at its St. Louis site. More than 900 people were hired in the region last year.
“We are planning for our future, and building fighter aircraft is in our DNA,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing Air Dominance vice president and St. Louis site leader. “As we invest in and develop the next era of capability, we are applying the same innovation and expertise that made the F/A-18 a workhorse for the U.S. Navy and air forces around the world for nearly 40 years.”
The F/A-18 production decision allows Boeing to:
Redirect resources to future military aircraft programs: To support work on the next generation of advanced crewed and uncrewed aircraft, Boeing plans to build three new, state-of-the-art facilities in St. Louis. These facilities, as well as the new Advanced Composite Fabrication Center in Arizona, and the new MQ-25 production facility at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, represent more than a $1 billion investment.
Boeing has invested $700 million into St. Louis infrastructure upgrades during the past decade, enabling the introduction of new design and build techniques streamlining processes and improving first-time quality.
Ramp up production of critical new defence programs: Boeing St. Louis will increase production of the world's first all-digital training system, the T-7A Red Hawk, and the world's first carrier-deployed autonomous refuelling aircraft, the MQ-25 Stingray, along with ongoing production of new F-15EX Eagle IIs and 777X wing components.
Focus on modernization and upgrade efforts: Boeing will continue to develop advanced capabilities and upgrades for the global F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleet. Throughout the next decade, all Block II Super Hornets in Service Life Modification will receive the Block III capability suite. Boeing will also continue to add advanced electronic attack capability as part of ongoing Growler modifications.
Since the F/A-18 debuted in 1983, Boeing has delivered more than 2,000 Hornets, Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to customers around the world including the U.S. Navy, Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.
COLUMBIA HELICOPTERS SELLS COLUMBIA MODEL 107-II TO DAEJIN AIR IN SOUTH KOREA
Columbia Helicopters, the world's leading heavy-lift helicopter OEM, MRO, and operator, is pleased to announce it has sold and delivered a Columbia Model 107-II to Daejin Air of South Korea, making Daejin Air Columbia's launch customer for the aircraft in Asia. As a part of the sale, Columbia Helicopters also provided OEM aircrew and maintenance training for Daejin Air's pilots and mechanics at Columbia's facility in Oregon.
The aircraft will be used primarily for firefighting, both during the day and at night with NVG operations. It will also provide heavy-lift and powerline construction support throughout South Korea and Southeast Asia. Daejin Air was founded in 2004, and in 2015 the company received its first approval for night firefighting operations, which it continues to maintain while working to further develop the aviation industry in South Korea.
“We are very pleased with the lifting power and stability of the Columbia Model 107-II helicopter and with the superior support we have received from Columbia,” says Kyung Hwan Jung, President and Owner of Daejin Air. “With the Model 107-II in our fleet, we are increasing our aerial firefighting capabilities, in addition to growing our heavy-lift construction opportunities.”
With full OEM support, the standard category Columbia Model 107-II features a 22,000-lb (9,979-kg) lifting capacity, internal and external cargo lift options, and passenger-carrying capability.
“The Columbia Model 107-II is a cost-effective, highly reliable helicopter, and we are seeing considerable demand for the aircraft,” says Michael Tremlett, President and CEO of Columbia Helicopters, Inc. “With the delivery of this aircraft in Asia and the delivery of another 107-II to Europe later in the spring, our OEM business is steadily expanding the global footprint of Columbia aircraft worldwide.”
BOEING RECEIVES U.S. AIR FORCE E-7 AIRBORNE EARLY WARNING & CONTROL AIRCRAFT CONTRACT
Boeing [NYSE:BA] will begin development of two new U.S. variants of the E-7 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft through a $1.2 billion Un-definitized Contract Action.
The E-7 provides a fully integrated, combat-proven, flexible command and control node that delivers multi-domain awareness in the most challenging operational environments. The E-7's open systems architecture and agile software design enable the aircraft's capabilities to evolve and remain ahead of future threats.
“The E-7 is a proven platform,” said Stu Voboril, E-7 program vice president and general manager. “It is the only advanced aircraft that is capable of meeting the U.S. Air Force's near-term Airborne Early Warning & Control requirement while enabling integration across the joint force.”
The E-7 tracks multiple airborne and maritime threats simultaneously with 360-degree coverage via the Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) sensor. MESA provides the war fighter with critical domain awareness to detect and identify adversarial targets at long range and dynamically adjusts to emerging tactical situations.
Other E-7 operators include the Royal Australian Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force, Turkish Air Force and the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force.
The E-7 uses a well-established supply chain which significantly reduces maintenance and logistics costs and increases mission readiness on day one. Converted from the Next-Generation 737-700, the E-7 capitalizes on existing commercial derivative aircraft design, certification and modification processes, allowing E-7s to be fielded to meet Air Force needs.
AOPA, learning to take off and land in a crosswind can be one of the more challenging skills for student pilots to master.
Egypt: An Egyptian Air Force fighter jet crashed under unknown circumstances during a training flight at an undisclosed location in Egypt. The pilot ejected safely.
Indian Ocean, near Seychelles: Condor flight DE2314, an Airbus A330-941, encountered turbulence in Seychelles airspace while en-route to Mauritius. Seventeen persons were injured, two of them seriously. Photos show internal damage to cabin furnishings as well.
Netherlands, Rotterdam/The Hague Airport: A Vliegklub Rotterdam Robin DR.400/140B Major has just landed at Rotterdam/The Hague Airport (RTM) when a fire started in the area of the left-hand main landing gear. The fabric of the left-hand wing then caught fire. Fire services intervened and contained the fire. Similar accidents occurred to two other DR.400 aircraft at RTM in 2013 and 2014. The Dutch Safety Board concluded at the time that overheating of the brake disc due to friction between the brake disc and brake pads had occurred. They cited 23 similar occurrences involving DR.400 aircraft between 1988 and 2014.
Bolivia, near Las Brechas, Villa Flor: A Cessna 210M Centurion crashed in a field near Las Brechas, Villa Flor. Community members of the area heard the crash and upon reaching the scene, they found the plane emitting smoke, but without any of its occupants. The registration PS-TIO is fake, as the original PS-TIO is an older Cessna 210G model.
Israel, 4 km SW of Meitar: A TL Ultralight TL-2000 Sting S4 made a forced landing on Highway 60, 4 km SW of Meitar, Negev desert. Both occupants died and the ultralight was destroyed by fire.
USA, over Tennessee: Lufthansa flight LH469, an Airbus A330-343, was en route from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, TX (AUS) to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA), Germany, when it encountered severe turbulence over Tennesee at FL370. Several passengers were injured and the flight diverted to Washington Dulles International Airport, VA (IAD), where the flight landed two hours after the turbulence encounter.
USA, Boston-Logan International Airport, MA: A JetBlue Airways flight B6206, an Embraer ERJ-190AR (N179JB) and a Hop-A-Jet Learjet 60 (N280LJ) were involved in a runway incursion incident at Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS). The ERJ-190 was on final approach to runway 04R while the Learjet had lined up on runway 9 for departure. Both runways intersect. The Learjet began the take-off roll at a time when the ERJ-190 was about to land. The flight crew of the ERJ-190 aborted the landing and commenced a go-around while the Learjet continued with the take-off. The ERJ-190 landed safely 12 minutes later. The Learjet continued to the destination, Fort Lauderdale, FL (FXE).
2 MARCH 1981
Japan Air Lines is the first airline to use a computerized flight simulator to train its crews
JAL was established in 1951 as a government-owned business and became the national airline of Japan in 1953. Also known as also known as JAL it is an international airline and Japan's flag carrier and largest airline.
In 1960, the airline took delivery of its first jet, a Douglas DC-8 named Fuji, introducing jet service on the Tokyo-Honolulu-San Francisco route.
Between 1967 and 1969, JAL had an agreement with Aeroflot to operate a joint service between Tokyo and Moscow using a Soviet Tupolev Tu-114. The flight crew included one JAL member, and the cabin crew had five members each from Aeroflot and JAL. The weekly flight started in April 1967.
In 1972 JAL was granted flag carrier status to operate international routes. The airline was also designated to operate domestic trunk routes in competition with All Nippon Airways and Toa Domestic Airlines.