Parliamentary defence committee concerned about SANDF spares.
Egyptian Air Force becomes first Rafale export user to reach 10 000 flight hours.
Corsair reunion among the warbirds highlights at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023.
Autoflight announces latest Prosperity I proof of concept full test flight video.
AERO Friedrichshafen, the world leading trade show for general aviation celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Pilatus reports one of its best years ever.
Daher's Kodiak and TBM turboprop aircraft family logs a record business year in 2022.
Boeing begins MH-139A Grey Wolf production.
Worldwide incidents and accidents - FAA - Collision into Terrain Safari Aviation Inc. Airbus AS350 B2, N985SA
This week in history, The first American civilian to fly at supersonic speeds is Herbert Henry Hoover in Bell X-1 in Muroc, California.
Bonus Video - Piper Cub Air2Air Shoot.
PARLIAMENTARY DEFENCE COMMITTEE CONCERNED ABOUT SANDF SPARES www.defenceweb.co.za
Funding, more specifically a lack of it, has again been cited as hobbling the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) particularly as far as its prime mission equipment (PME) is concerned.
Following an Armscor presentation last week, Cyril Xaba and Mamagase Nchabeleng, co-chairs of the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD), said in a statement the committee is "concerned about the reactive system for procurement of spares" for PME.
The committee wants "pragmatic solutions" brought to bear to ensure defence "platforms are adequate for deployment" a Parliamentary Communication Service statement has it.
"While the committee acknowledges the funding shortfall within the SANDF that impacts directly on maintenance of equipment, the committee welcomes the intention by all role-players within the environment to hold a workshop that will streamline solutions to deal with the challenges of spares availability and general maintenance of PME. The committee will in April meet to receive these solutions, which the committee hopes will give a clear way forward," Xaba said.
Going back to the Armscor presentation, the statement has it Armscor's Defence Decision Support Institute is not performing analyses of maintenance requirements for selected SANDF PME.
"The committee is of the view that using specialists within this division would ensure that a proactive approach to systems management is adopted, which is a desirable approach in ensuring capability availability. It would also ensure that Armscor plays a critical and strategic decision support role for end users and ensure proactive planning and implementation. The committee is in agreement with Armscor that procurement of spares should be proactive and that effective planning should be encouraged."
Using Denel as an example, the JSCD points to long lead times for procurement, citing financial challenges adding it "believes it is practical to do proactive spares procurement to eliminate funding challenges".
"Continued challenges faced by Denel have a debilitating impact on the SANDF and ensuring its platforms operate optimally. Urgency is needed in resolving these challenges to enable Denel and by extension the national defence force to effectively deliver on its mandate," Xaba said.
Challenges aside, the JSCD is hopeful solutions from the defence environment roleplayers engagement will bear fruit.
In its presentation to the committee last week, Armscor said some of its spares procurement challenges arise from the fact that some spares have long lead times and that if requirements are received late in the year, and operating budget funds are only available in the specific financial year, those spares that won't be delivered within the financial year cannot be procured.
Further adding to delays is some spares have to be specifically manufactured or alternatives identified and qualified, which is time consuming. This is not helped by the fact that the majority of SANDF prime mission equipment is old and is suffering from increasing obsolescence.
Denel is the original manufacturer of a significant portion of SANDF prime mission equipment and sourcing of spares through Denel and re-engineering of obsolete spares is time consuming, Armscor stated.
The defence materiel agency suggested ways of improving spares availability, including proactive rather than reactive procurement; requirements for spares being provided early in the financial year; funding allocated to coincide with long lead time spares; and alternative suppliers to Denel being established.
EGYPTIAN AIR FORCE BECOMES FIRST RAFALE EXPORT USER TO REACH 10 000 FLIGHT HOURS
The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) has become the first Dassault Rafale export customer to reach 10 000 flying hours on the type, having flown the Rafale since 2015.
To celebrate the milestone, Dassault Aviation and the Egyptian Air Force hosted a ceremony last week in Egypt. "This important milestone confirms the Rafale's technological and operational excellence, and attests to the quality of the training of Egyptian crews received in France. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of the systems and personnel put in place by Dassault Aviation to support the implementation of the aircraft in Egypt. Lastly, it illustrates the great skill of the Egyptian Air Force, which has carried out the transformation of its pilots and mechanics to the Rafale with ease and fluidity," Dassault said.
"Egypt has chosen the Rafale, recognizing its unique 'game-changer' character, to ensure its role in full sovereignty as a key player in the regional and international arena, in a demanding geopolitical context. This celebration around the 10 000 flight hours of the Rafale salutes the great mastery of the Egyptian Air Force, the excellence of the Rafale, and honours Dassault Aviation, which has maintained strong relations with Egypt based on trust and commitment for nearly 50 years", said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
Egypt ordered an initial 24 Rafales in 2015, and another 30 in 2021. Egyptian Rafales have been armed with MICA air-to-air missiles, HAMMER stand-off weapons, Al Tariq guided munitions, and SCALP cruise missiles.
CORSAIR REUNION AMONG THE WARBIRDS HIGHLIGHTS AT EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH 2023
A reunion of the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, the unique gullwing fighter aircraft best known for its exploits off U.S. aircraft carriers, will be among the warbird highlights at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. The 70th edition of EAA's fly-in convention is July 24-30 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
"With only about two dozen flying examples of the Corsair remaining in North America, the opportunity to bring together the largest-possible group of these unforgettable aircraft at Oshkosh was one we had to organize," said Rick Larsen, EAA's vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. "This airplane recently marked the 80th anniversary of its introduction to the U.S. military and remains a favourite warbird among many enthusiasts. Our goal is to create a memorable program with several activities that feature the Corsairs on ground display and in the air."
Corsair owners are encouraged to join this unique reunion by contacting Chris Henry at the EAA Aviation Museum (CHenry@EAA.org) for further details and registration information.
The Corsair received heightened attention at the end of 2022 with the release of the major motion picture Devotion, which recognized the Korean War exploits of Medal of Honour recipient Thomas Hudner and his wingman Jesse Brown, the first Black U.S. naval aviator. That movie will be played during AirVenture at the event's Fly-In Theatre, with descendants of the Brown and Hudner families invited to participate.
In addition, visitors will have the opportunity most of the week to visit the newly opened Corsair display inside the EAA Aviation Museum, which is open to all attendees as part of their AirVenture admission. The exhibit honours both Brown and Hudner, including a Corsair flown by Hudner on his subsequent deployments in the early 1950s and painted with its original VF-32 squadron markings.
The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was first flown in 1940 and introduced to the U.S. military on December 28, 1942. Its unique gullwing design came as a way to allow use of the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine and allow shorter, more rugged landing gear for use as a carrier-based aircraft. With those attributes and a top speed of more than 450 miles per hour, the aircraft became renowned as a naval aviation fighter and in support of ground forces.
AUTOFLIGHT ANNOUNCES LATEST PROSPERITY I PROOF OF CONCEPT FULL TEST FLIGHT VIDEO
Global eVTOL pioneer AutoFlight recently released the second, and latest, proof-of-concept (POC) video for its air taxi Prosperity I. The new video debuts less than four months after the original POC video and includes a modified, more efficient design of Prosperity I.
In the latest design, new optimized lifting propellers allow for a higher hover efficiency, while the two pushing propellers that were previously on either side of the air taxi have been replaced with one center propeller with twin motors to enhance cruising abilities. This most recent design of Prosperity I is very close to the final design which will be released later this year.
Prosperity I was designed for transfers between parts of a city, airport commutes, connecting two nearby cities or enabling trips to the countryside while avoiding traffic on the ground. When ready for commercial flight in 2026, it is expected that a trip that takes hours by car will be reduced to about 10 minutes with Prosperity I, without being any less safe or more expensive than a car taxi ride.
AutoFlight started building POC#2 from Jan 2022. The production took around 3 months, with the maiden flight in April, before achieving 30+ additional transition flights in the last few weeks.
The milestone is the latest of a series of significant developments for AutoFlight including the establishment of a European base in Augsburg, the appointment of Mark Henning (formerly of Airbus) as its European Managing Director, as well as $100 million investment from next-generation mobility investor Team Global.
AERO FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, THE WORLD LEADING TRADE SHOW FOR GENERAL AVIATION CELEBRATES ITS 30TH ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR.
AERO Friedrichshafen first began with some exhibitors from the aviation sector who presented gliders and and motor gliders as part of the motorsports exhibition. Numerous exhibitors kept faith to AERO right from the start, many joined the venue in the course of time and all of them contributed significantly to the AERO Friedrichshafen success.
The success of AERO has depended not only on Friedrichshafen's reputation as a cradle of aviation, which was initiated by Ferdinand Count Zeppelin in the year 1900, but also on a fast-growing ultralight aircraft sector. The Business Aviation segment was launched at AERO 1995 and strong expansion especially in the fields of avionics, aircraft maintenance and services was implemented in recent years.
In 2002, Messe Friedrichshafen moved to its new facilities, right next to the airport, giving a strong boost to AERO's continued growth and development into the world's leading trade show regarding innovations for general aviation.
PILATUS REPORTS ONE OF ITS BEST YEARS EVER
The 2022 financial year was a very successful one for Pilatus. The company benefitted from high demand, despite the unpredictable period. With sales of 1.3 billion Swiss francs, operating income of 226 million Swiss francs and orders worth 1.6 billion Swiss francs, Pilatus achieved a very positive set of results.
Pilatus improved yet again on a very successful performance in 2021. 40 PC-24s, 80 PC-12 NGXs, 10 PC-21s and 3 PC-6s were delivered in 2022. In the General Aviation Business Unit, for example, a purchase agreement for over 20 PC-12 NGXs was signed with the US company Tradewind Aviation, virtually doubling this business airline's fleet. 2022 also brought its share of major challenges. Pilatus had to contend with disruptions to supply chains, which impacted negatively on production operations.
Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, says the past year was very positive overall: "Rarely has the company had to operate in such a geopolitically unpredictable period. Never before have we encountered such serious supply chain difficulties. Pilatus has achieved a lot whilst also benefitting from exceptionally high demand for our unique aircraft."
Hansueli Loosli, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pilatus, adds: "I'm very happy with the year-end results and the Pilatus team performed very well. Our PC-12 NGXs and PC-24s were, and are, absolute bestsellers, our order books are full. No new orders for trainer aircraft were signed last year, but the demand is there in Government Aviation as well, and we receive a high volume of enquiries. I'm very confident that we will reel in an order soon!"
Aircraft deliveries account for a substantial share of the business results, but the customer service business continues to grow as well - by around ten percent over the past year. Last year also saw Pilatus acquire Skytech Inc., the US Sales and Service Centre, gaining another 93 full-time employees overnight. Skytech will continue to sell and service PC-24s and PC-12s on an independent basis along the Eastern Seaboard.
Breaking with the tradition of the past 25 years, the 2,300 employees at the headquarters in Stans, Switzerland, will no longer receive a bonus payment. In return, Pilatus will raise monthly salaries by incorporating the maximum bonus payout in order to better meet the expectations of all employees. This change will make Pilatus even more attractive as an employer.
The new year has also got off to a confident start and promises many highlights: the construction of the maintenance hangar in Buochs will start by mid-2023. And delivery of the 2,000th PC-12 and 200th PC-24 will go ahead during the current year. An additional building for the production of composite components is also planned at the Ennetbürgen site. Further proof that Pilatus remains firmly committed to Switzerland as a centre for ideas, work and training!
DAHER'S KODIAK AND TBM TURBOPROP AIRCRAFT FAMILY LOGS A RECORD BUSINESS YEAR IN 2022
Daher's Aircraft Division announced the deliveries of 73 aircraft from its Kodiak and TBM single-engine turboprop product lines in 2022, along with record orders during the year for some 100 to be delivered in 2023 and 2024.
The results underscore the combination of performance and efficiency provided by the Kodiak and TBM, as well as Daher's continual improvement strategy for these aircraft - underscored by the 2022 unveiling of its two latest versions: the TBM 960 with enhanced digital control, and the enlarged Kodiak 900.
Nicolas Chabbert, Senior Vice President of Daher's Aircraft Division. "Last year's business performance benefitted from the dedicated efforts of our production, delivery and sales teams on both sides of the Atlantic, along with our firm engagement to deal with the aviation industry's continued supply chain challenges and employment shortages."
Chabbert added that 2022 sales were energized by the introduction of the Kodiak 900 and TBM 960, which contributed to Daher's logging of an unprecedented backlog for aircraft to be produced during 2023 and 2024.
As in previous years, the majority of TBMs delivered during 2022 were provided to the customer base of TBM pilot/owners in North America (40 aircraft), while increased demand from Europe resulted in 11 deliveries.
For the Kodiak, Daher's announcement of its family expansion with the Kodiak 900 - combined with the continued popularity of the Kodiak 100 Series III version - boosted the market interest for this utility/STOL (short take-off and landing) aircraft in 2022. During the year, 17 Kodiak 100s were delivered to a mix of corporate/business operators, private owners and special mission customers. The majority of these were provided in North America, with one aircraft delivered in Europe.
Chabbert said Daher's launch of the Kodiak 900 has opened significant new sales opportunities, with its 3.9-foot fuselage extension that provides more passenger room and cargo space, the cruise speed increase to 210 KTAS and a greater useful load while offering a maximum range of 1,129 nm. Additionally, the Kodiak 900's operating economics have been improved, with a nine percent reduction in specific fuel consumption, which lowers the cost-per-seat-mile and the direct operating costs for commercial operators.
According to Chabbert, owner feedback on the TBM 960 is highly positive, with the in-service fleet steadily growing since deliveries began in 2022. Features of this latest TBM family member include Pratt & Whitney Canada's advanced PT6E-66XT engine and a fully digital e-throttle (the Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System/EPECS), along with a digitally-controlled cabin that incorporates an all-new environmental control system, LED ambience lighting and electrically-dimmable windows.
BOEING BEGINS MH-139A GREY WOLF PRODUCTION
Boeing [NYSE: BA] will begin production on the first 13 MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters, following the award of a $285 million U.S. Air Force contract for aircraft, sustainment and support services.
"Advancing the program from testing and evaluation to production is a major step toward entering the MH-139 into service and providing the U.S. Air Force with additional missile security for decades," said Azeem Khan, Boeing's MH-139 program director. "We are working diligently to begin deliveries next year."
The MH-139A's enhanced capabilities allow it to accomplish missions more quickly, quietly and efficiently. With a 50 percent increase in speed and range, and an increase of 5,000 pounds max gross weight, the aircraft can execute the U.S. Air Force's mission of protecting intercontinental ballistic missiles across the country.
The MH-139A team consists of Boeing, as the prime contractor and Leonardo as an original equipment manufacturer. Leonardo produces the helicopter at its plant in northeast Philadelphia, while Boeing is responsible for military equipment procurement and installation and post-delivery support of the aircraft. By offering a proven AW-139 platform and integrating additional military capabilities into the MH-139A, the Boeing-Leonardo team provides the U.S. Air Force with the most capable product for the mission.
"My teammates at Leonardo, together with Boeing, are eager to continue our partnership and ensure the success of the MH-139A program," said Clyde Woltman, CEO of Leonardo Helicopters U.S.
FAA - COLLISION INTO TERRAIN SAFARI AVIATION INC. AIRBUS AS350 B2, N985SA
??On 26 December 2019, about 1657 Hawaii standard time, a seven seat helicopter operated by Safari Aviation Inc. as a commercial air tour flight encountered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and collided into terrain in a remote, wooded area near Kekaha, Hawaii, on the island of Kauai. The pilot and the six passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed.
The weather on Kauai had been favourable for tours for most of the day; however, just before the accident flight departed, low clouds and rain began moving onshore from the northwest (which was an atypical weather pattern for Kauai) and affecting locations on the tour route, including areas where the accident flight was headed. At least three other tour pilots saw the adverse weather and decided to divert their tours away from it. The accident pilot, however, decided to continue his tour into deteriorating weather, eventually losing?g adequate visual references before the helicopter struck terrain. ??
What We Found
?We determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's decision to continue flight under visual flight rules (VFR) into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), which resulted in the collision into terrain. Contributing to the accident was Safari Aviation Inc.'s lack of safety management processes to identify hazards and mitigate the risks associated with factors that influence pilots to continue VFR flight into IMC. Also contributing to the accident was the Federal Aviation Administration's delayed implementation of a Hawaii aviation weather camera program, its lack of leadership in the development of a cue-based weather training program for Hawaii air tour pilots, and its ineffective monitoring and oversight of Hawaii air tour operators' weather-related operating practices.
What We Recommended
??As a result of this investigation, we made safety recommendations to the FAA regarding infrastructure improvements in Hawaii that can enable continuous radio communications and flight position tracking, improvements to the FAA's surveillance of Hawaii air tour operations, and requirements for Hawaii air tour operators to equip their fleets with flight tracking capabilities and to provide active flight monitoring by trained company flight support personnel.
We also made safety recommendations to the FAA to take actions that can help all air tour operators and pilots prevent a drift toward risky weather-related operating practices. These actions include developing and distributing guidance on how to scale an effective safety management system (SMS) and encouraging operators to perform routine reviews of onboard video recordings and flight tracking data.
We also recommended that the FAA and helicopter industry and air tour safety groups encourage the voluntary adoption of helicopter safety technologies designed to help prevent accidents resulting from inadvertent encounters with IMC.
In addition, we reiterated our previously issued safety recommendations to the FAA related to installing aviation weather cameras in Hawaii, training ground support specialists to effectively use imagery from those cameras when providing weather briefings to pilots, developing and requiring cue-based training for Hawaii air tour pilots, and requiring operators to implement flight data monitoring programs and SMS.
We also reiterated our previously issued safety recommendations to the FAA related to requiring the installation of crash-resistant flight recorder systems in aircraft like the accident helicopter; requiring air tour operators to install onboard equipment that enables traffic-alerting, flight tracking, and other safety-related services; and developing and requiring the use of simulation technologies in pilot training programs to help prevent accidents involving inadvertent encounters with IMC.?
Brazil, E of Belo Horizonte, MG: A Cirrus SR22 GTS G6 platinum force landed in rural terrain east of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, following deployment of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS, pull #143). The aircraft had reached a maximum altitude of 7000 feet at 14:35, after which it began a descending turn back towards PL. The CAPS was subsequently deployed at 14:37. Six people were on board (four adults, a 3-year-old child and a 3-day-old new-born); no one was hurt.
Italy, Guidonia near Rome: Two Italian air force SIAI-Marchetti S.208M trainers of the 60°stormo collided in Guidonia near Rome, both pilots were killed. A piece of the wrecks fell back in Via delle Margherite of Guidonia Montecelio. Another fell back on the field of the airfield nearby.
USA, near Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport, Winter Haven, FL: A float-equipped Piper J3C-65 Cub (N10510) and a Piper PA-28-161 (N9221D) crashed following a mid-air collision over Lake Hartridge near Winter Haven Gilbert Airport (GIF/KGIF), Florida, USA. Both aircraft crashed into Lake Hartridge. Two occupants in each aircraft died.
Norway, South of Bod: A Norwegian Air Shuttle flight DY340, a Boeing 737-800, suffered a loss of cabin pressure. The flight had departed Oslo Airport, Norway, at 07:50 UTC on a domestic flight to Bodø. Following the loss of cabin pressure, the flight crew abandoned the descent towards Bodø and instead diverted to Harstad/Narvik Evenes Airport (EVE). A safe landing was made at 09:38 UTC. The aircraft was ferried to Oslo at FL100 later that same day.
Brazil, Jardim Montanhês, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais: A Cessna R182 Skylane RG crashed on top of two houses on Rua Morro das Graças, in the Jardim Montanhês neighborhood, in Belo Horizonte, close to the perimeter of Belo Horizonte-Carlos Prates Airport. The pilot died and the passenger was seriously injured. A video of the accident shows the aircraft on a high and fast approach to runway 27, followed by a bounce and a go around. The aircraft subsequently appears to land long on runway 09. It continued past the runway end and fell on top of the houses, which were below runway level.
10 MARCH 1948
The first American civilian to fly at supersonic speeds is Herbert Henry Hoover in Bell X-1 in Muroc, California.
Born on 18 May 1912 Herbert Henry Hoover was an American NACA experimental test pilot who, on 10 March 1948, became the first civilian ever and second man ever to break the sound barrier, a feat for which he was awarded the Air Medal "for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight."
"He already had the reputation as a cool pilot in tight situations; once, during an instrumentation calibration flight in a NACA SB2C Helldiver the plane's cockpit canopy hood came loose in flight smashing Hoover across the forehead inflicting a deep cut that bled profusely. Though stunned by the blow and blinded by blood flowing into his eyes, Hoover instinctively retained control of the dive bomber, cleared his eyes, and despite his injuries, brought the plane back to Langley for an emergency landing.
Hoover, with Howard Lilly by his side, flew the iconic orange Bell X-1 during this historic flight, and the craft sustained minor damage when the nose wheel failed to extend during landing. During his short career with NACA, Hoover completed more than a dozen supersonic flights.
Hoover was killed on August 14, 1952, while piloting a B-45A Tornado Jet Bomber near Burrowsville, Virginia, about 45 miles southeast of Richmond. Hoover and his co-pilot, John Harper, both parachuted from the exploding aircraft, with Harper landing safely, suffering only a bruised shoulder.