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March 13, 2023

Airborne 03.13.23: Midnight Awaits!, A Vet Remembers, Enstrom Revs Up

 Also: PAL-V Medevac?, Airbus Hires, F-35 Test Flights Resume, Piper Tours

Archer is heralding the final assembly of the first production Midnight eVTOL. The company reports all major aerostructures, to include the machine’s fuselage, wing, and empennage, have been built and mated into a cohesive aircraft. What’s more, a significant portion of the inaugural Midnight’s wiring, electronics, flight-control-system-actuators, and additional systems have been successfully installed. We must never forget who and what got us here... and our responsibility to treasure it. A World War II vet got to go for a nostalgic ride aboard one of the Commemorative Air Force’s Stinson AT-19s, complete with a birthday celebration for

Piper Aircraft Resumes Factory Tours

Pilots, Families Once Again Check Out the Factory Floor, Gift Shop

After a 3-year hiatus, Piper is opening the doors for visitors once again, granting an inside look into their production line. Attendees will be able to see a number of the brand's lineup in construction at any given time, with 9 different models in the portfolio covering everything from lightweight prop trainers like the classic Archer, Seminole, and Pilot 100i to the more upscale and capable M350, M500, and M600s.

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FAA Publishes Task-Based Phase I Guidelines

Time Out, Task In

In early March 2023, the FAA—following sustained, multiyear advocacy for such an initiative by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)—published guidelines for an optional task-based Phase I flight-testing program. Subject program establishes an alternative to the standard 25 or 40-hour flight-testing requirement for amateur-built aircraft, replacing the hours-based testing period with a list of comprehensive and concise tasks.

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General Aviation Award 2023 National Winners Named

Winners to be Honored at AirVenture 2023

The General Aviation Awards selection board announced 2023’s National General Aviation Award recipients. The program is administered by volunteer members of General Aviation Awards, Inc., a non-profit organization. Awards are presented to professionals in the fields of Flight Instruction, Aviation Maintenance, and FAASTeam Representation. Selection of candidates is predicated upon individuals’ long-term performance and specific accomplishments and contributions in their respective fields.  

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Archer Nears Completion of First Midnight eVTOL

Midnight Approaches

Archer Aviation, the California-based designer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced that final assembly of its first production Midnight eVTOL was nearing completion.

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JetBlue, Spirit to Continue with Low-Fare Airline Plans

Despite DoJ Resistance, Spirit, Jetblue Brass See Future for Affordable Carrier Option

JetBlue Airways Corp and Spirit Airlines have responded to a DoJ complaint looking to block their proposed merger, announcing their intent to stay the course. "JetBlue and Spirit will continue to advance our plan to create a compelling national challenger to the Big Four airlines, which control about 80% of the market after years of industry consolidation that the DOJ itself approved. By coming together, we will expand JetBlue’s unique offering – where customers do not have to choose between a low fare and a great experience – to boost competition nationally."

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Aero-TV: NOAA's Climate Ready Nation Initiatives

Hurricane Hunter, RADM Nancy Hann

At AirVenture 2022, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Aero-News' Maria Morrison had a chance to talk with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Rear Admiral, Nancy Hann, to get an update on NOAA's Climate Ready Nation initiatives. Rear Admiral Nancy Hann is one of the NOAA's infamous 'Hurricane Hunters', flying missions for weather surveillance in some of the most arduous conditions. Hahn also gives a heads up on the NOAA's upcoming G550, which will host a bevy of weather-specific sensors and instruments to study and track atmospheric patterns surrounding hurricanes.

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Tamarack Aerospace Thriving

Excellent Product + Comprehensive Service = Success

Tamarack Aerospace Group announced that for the first time in its history, the company is working contemporaneously on four Cessna CitationJets, retrofitting the aircraft with its proprietary SMARTWING Active Winglet load-alleviating system. The installations are being performed at Tamarack’s Sandpoint headquarters; Air1st Aviation Companies of Aiken, South Carolina; Prince Aviation of Belgrade, Serbia; and Fort Lauderdale’s Banyan Aviation.

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Leonardo Announces Brisk AW09 Sales

Single-Engine Multirole Helicopter Shines at Heli-Expo 2023

Leonardo Helicopters has secured contracts for the purchase and delivery of more than fifty of its AW09 five-to-eight-seat, single-engine helicopters. The sales—negotiated with global customers Aero Service Representação of Brazil; Synerjet Latina SA of Colombia, Peru, and Chile; Asia and Southeast Asia’s Helitech; South Africa’s Safomar; Diskopsa of Panama and Guatemala; Oceana’s Heliflite; and Japan’s Aero Facility—speak to the continuing maturation of Leonardo’s AW09 program and the helicopter’s waxing popularity.  

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Spanish Air Force Acquires 16 Additional PC-21 Trainers

Deal Includes PC-21 Simulators and Cockpit Mock-Ups

The Spanish Air Force, Ejército del Aire—satisfied, apparently, with the 24 Pilatus PC-21 aircraft it acquired in 2020—has opted to purchase an additional 16 of the single-turboprop, advanced training aircraft, thereby earning Spain the distinction of being Europe’s largest PC-21 operator. The contract was signed with Spain’s Dirección General de Armamento y Material (DGAM).

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India Mulling Manufacturing Partnerships for Regional Jets

Local Manufacture with 51% Ownership Seen as Solution to Growing Pains in Indian Market

Indian stakeholders are looking into the construction of regional jets in their own backyard, courting aircraft manufacturers around the world with a 49% ownership scheme and technology transfer. While plans stand at a nearly embryonic level, rumor has it that the aircraft would be produced in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home region of Gujarat. The goal would be to provide fleets of smaller, more affordable aircraft to operate throughout the country's legions of small airports - an essential prospect in order to improve national connectivity in far-flung, rural areas.

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Twin Engine Preowned Helicopter Market Slowing

So States Aero Asset’s 2022 Heli Market Trends Report

Aero Asset—a Toronto, Canada-based helicopter trading firm and publisher of market synopses pertaining to both twin-engine and single-engine pre-owned helicopters—has released its 2022 Heli Market Trends Report. Subject report chronicles a four-percent downturn in twin-engine helicopter transactions during the 2022 calendar-year.

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Bell Adds 407GXis to UK, Ireland Region

Corporate Customers Go for Bell Abroad

Bell Textron announced the receipt of purchase agreements for a trio Bell 407GXi aircraft bound for the UK and Ireland, bolstering the manufacturer's presence in the region. Two of the aircraft will make their way to the UK to be flown by undisclosed corporate customers, with the last heading to Ireland to Zeus Essential Holding Limited, an Irish packaging company. The signings were announced at HAI Heli-Expo.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.13.23)

Aero-Linx: The International Auster Club Welcome to The International Auster Club -- The oldest specific aircraft type club in the United Kingdom and possibly in the world. There are currently 368 active members in our club, sharing their knowledge and experience. You do not need to be an owner or pilot to join us. We welcome any enthusiast.  

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.13.23): Parallel Runways

Parallel Runways Two or more runways at the same airport whose centerlines are parallel. In addition to runway number, parallel runways are designated as L (left) and R (right) or, if three parallel runways exist, L (left), C (center), and R (right).

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (03.13.23)

“A lot goes on behind the scenes to advance the development of our aircraft as efficiently as we have. I couldn’t be more excited to share the news of Archer’s progress on Midnight. This latest milestone is further validation of our strategic approach of using known building blocks to enable realistic innovation significantly de-risking our path to certification and mass manufacturing. The team and I are looking forward to moving this aircraft into flight-testing soon and continuing on our path to flying our conforming aircraft in early 2024.”   Source: Archer COO Tom Muniz detailing an announcement from Archer heralding the final assembly of the first production Midnight eVTOL. The company report

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