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February 10, 2024

NASA JPL Begins Layoffs

Rash of Firings Spreads to NASA as Budget Shortfall Widens

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be suffering a round of layoffs "in the absence of an FY2024 appropriation from Congress", with staff told that 8% of them would be cut loose. The overall loss will affect "approximately 530" of the JPL's staff, with 40 contractors expected to join them in their layoffs. JPL Director Laurie Leshin broke the news in an apologetic note to everyone in her care, saying that the lab is forced to cut its spending in order to keep other projects funded should Congress fail to issue the needed funds.

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Royal Air Force Red Arrows To Tour Canada

The Team Has Flown Nearly 5,000 Displays In 57 Countries

Earlier Friday, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows announced tour stops in Canada for the 2024 air show season. Helping to celebrate the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 100th Anniversary this year, the team has included four North American tour stops that begin in late August and conclude in September. Based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, UK, the Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, have flown nearly 5,000 displays in 57 countries, and will be celebrating its 60th season in 2024 with a full tour scheduled to begin in late May and conclude in early October.

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NASAO Applauds FAA Reauthorization by Senate

Act Kicks the FAA Funding Can Down the Road to FY2028

The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) applauded the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for approving S.1939, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023. They issued a short statement of support for the reauth, which ensures the viability of the FAA and its attendant programs through the 2028 fiscal year. One change they specifically highlighted was increased support and investments in public airports, particularly the addition of more funding for 'non-hub and non-primary airports'. That's a nice wink to the future eVTOL industry, a game changer that could see widespread use of smaller airfields too short for typical commercial service.

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Joby Gains Part 145 Maintenance Certificate from FAA

'1st eVTOL Developer' To Get Distinction Plans for Future

Joby Aviation says its new Part 145 Maintenance Certificate is a first for the industry, laying the foundation for its own future Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Services one day. Of course, they will have to actually produce a commercial, type-certificated aircraft, but in the meantime they have a handsome little wall hanger along with the rest of their licenses and certificates. 

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Sikorsky Tenders New Seahawks to Hellenic Navy

New MH-60R Maritime Aircraft to Replace 'Aegean Hawks' in Greek Service

Sikorsky's global Black Hawk fleet will grow by three with the addition of its newest MH-60R to the Greek Navy's anti-submarine and surface warfare fleet. The company recently completed testing on integration of systems and sensors equipped on ta trio of their naval Black Hawk derivatives, ensuring each is up to spec before beginning their tour of duty with the Hellenic Navy. The aircraft will join almost a dozen of the older spec of S-70B, the Seahawk. In Greek service, that model became the attractively named "Aegean Hawk", sold to the nation in the late nineties to early aughts.

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SmartSky Networks Completes Latitude Installation

With 15 STCs In-Hand, SmartSky Keeps Plugging Away on a Dozen More

SmartSky Networks announced the first installation of its air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity suite on a Cessna Citation Latitude, bringing its fastest internet speeds to the best-selling midsize jet. The aircraft was tendered by sales and installation partner Davinci Jets, the third such SmartSky STC installation in tandem with the brand. The customer-owned aircraft was returned to service as usual, with an FAA Supplemental Type Certification "expected in the coming months".

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Women in Aviation International Names Stephanie Kenyon as COO

New Chief Operating Officer Steps Right Into Role Upon Announcement

Women in Aviation International announced the promotion of Stephanie Kenyon to the position of Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Kenyon comes well reviewed from her cohort at WAI, having spent plenty of time cutting her teeth in similar roles. Chief executive officer Lynda Coffman said she will "continue her strategic leadership for growing the organization, designing new and innovative programs, partnerships, and revenue streams" in addition to the rest of her more mundane COO duties.

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Aero-TV: Agile Aero’s Jeff Greason - Pioneering Disruptive Aerospace Innovations

From 2016 (YouTube Version): Who You Gonna Call When you Have a Rocket Engine that Needs a Spacecraft?

While at EAA AirVenture 2016, ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell, sat down to talk with an old acquaintance about rocket flight and the spaceflight industry. He met up with Jeff Greason, who is the CEO of a new company called Agile Aero. Greason had been previously connected with XCOR Aerospace, and Jim asked about his venture in this new direction. You really have to watch the video to get the whole story about what Agile Aero i

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NTSB Final Report: Joby Aero Inc JAS4-2

First Of Their Two Second Generation, Pre-Production Prototype Flight Test Aircraft

Analysis: On February 16, 2022, Joby Aero Inc. was conducting planned, remotely piloted, airspeed and altitude envelope expansion flight tests on aircraft JAS4-2, the first of their two second generation, pre-production prototype flight test aircraft. The envelope expansion flight test conditions were beyond the expected operating conditions of the aircraft. During the second test flight, and after reaching a maximum dive speed of 181 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) at an altitude of approximately 8,900 feet, a propeller blade on propulsion station 3 (located on the right wing inboard) experienced a bending failure near the root of the blade which

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.10.24)

Aero Linx: The General Aviation Safety Council  GASCo was founded in 1964 to provide a forum in which all of the General Aviation organizations could meet to share safety information. There were only a few members in those days but today almost every organization that represents those who supply, maintain, control, support, regulate and, most importantly, fly each and every kind of flying machine is a member of GASCo. They meet to share experiences and ideas for the improvement of flight safety. GASCo is a Charity funded by its member organizations, pilots, aviation authorities and other generous contributors.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.10.24): Center Weather Advisory

Center Weather Advisory An unscheduled weather advisory issued by Center Weather Service Unit meteorologists for ATC use to alert pilots of existing or anticipated adverse weather conditions within the next 2 hours. A CWA may modify or redefine a SIGMET. 

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.10.24)

"I am writing to share as much detail and clarity on our actions as I can, including reviewing the factors that have led to this decision, and our next steps. First, how we got here. Without an approved federal budget including final allocation for MSR FY24 funding levels, NASA previously directed JPL to plan for an MSR budget of $300M. This is consistent with the low end of congressional markups of NASA’s budget and a 63% decrease over the FY23 level. In response to this direction, and in an effort to protect our workforce, we implemented a hiring freeze, reduced MSR contracts, and implemented cuts to burden budgets across the Lab. Earlier this month, we further reduced spending by releasing some of our valued on-site contractors." Source:&n

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