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November 15, 2023

Airborne 11.15.23: Starship Ready!!!, Uncrewed R22, MORE Rotor X Woe

 Also: BizJet Invader, Samson Sky, B757 Freighter Sell-Off, ALPA Testifies

 
 
Friday may turn out to be an exciting day... with SapceX Boss Elon Musk confirming that he, “...Was just informed that approval to launch should happen in time for a Friday launch” Paperwork holdups have been extensive since the April 2023 inaugural orbital test-flight of SpaceX’s Starship platform—the largest, most powerful rocket yet conceived of by humankind—proved something less than a resounding success. But since then, the FAA and other governmental permitting processes have dragged on and on.... Until... hopefully... now. Rotor Technologies has completed the first uncrewed flight test campaign of a full-scale civilian helico

La Crosse Catches Gate-Crasher Boards Private Jet

Despite The Fast Entry, the Intruder Didn't Get Far

Some excitement struck the tarmac at Wisconsin’s La Crosse Regional Airport on Saturday afternoon when someone drove a vehicle through the locked gates and stole aboard a parked private jet. There were staff aboard the aircraft when the unknown forced their way in, but the crew made their escape with no muss to the relief of responding police. The local department had a reason to respond with their armored Bearcat, which they parked in front of the aircraft on the off chance the uninvited visitor had designs on a flight of their own. Employees at the airport helped officers “disable the plane” according to local news, (most likely pulled the GPU, given the circumstances).

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Elon Hints At Friday Starship Launch

Fingers Crossed For A Positive Test... 

Friday may turn out to be an exciting day... with SpaceX Boss Elon Musk confirming that he, “...Was just informed that approval to launch should happen in time for a Friday launch” Paperwork holdups have been extensive since the April 2023 inaugural orbital test-flight of SpaceX’s Starship platform—the largest, most powerful rocket yet conceived of by humankind—proved something less than a resounding success. But since then, the FAA and other governmental permitting processes have dragged on and on.... Until... hopefully...now. 

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Update: Mini B-29 Has Incident During Early Outing

Tim Hodgson’s Replica Sees One Injury, but No Fatalities

A brand-new 35% scale B-29 replica had an unlucky virginal flight when the landing aircraft collided with a photographer’s golf cart during its landing. Glenndale Airport of Indianapolis saw one injury during the affair. The experimental aircraft was Tom Hodgson’s B-29 replica, a Honda-powered redux on the classic WWII bomber. According to the incident report, the November 11th flight was marred when one of the golf carts carrying an excited onlooker strayed a little too close to the flight line, and the drifting B-29 made contact while attempting to land. The cart passenger was knocked unconscious and taken in for evaluation. 

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Samson Sky Changes Bases to Larger R&D

Caps Off New Place With Longest Test Hop to Date

Samson Sky headed into this Fall with a move to a larger, better equipped research facility, right before beating previous records with a mile-long test flight. Work on their convertible flying car, the Switchblade, has continued at full pace throughout the year, but worsening weather across the country means that those perfect sunny day flight tests in Moses Lake, Washington aren’t going to be around much longer. In late September, the team managed to see their testbed aircraft fly for just under a mile in ground effect, continuing to evaluate the handling and aerodynamics of their flying car prototype.

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Airborne-NextGen 11.07.23: TPA Volocopter, Matternet M2 Cert, ERAU Drone Swarms

Also: Dream Chaser Space-Plane, 5G Guidance, Airbus SDAM Demo, Aero-TV: Mayman Aerospace Speeder 

Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Volocopter, the German designer and manufacturer of electric multirotor helicopters, have undertaken a comprehensive flight test campaign of a crewed Volocopter 2X. The endeavor marks the first-ever flight test of an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in an operational U.S. large-terminal airport, and the first eVTOL test to be conducted in the state of Florida. The Matternet M2 has been granted FAA approval for an amendment to its UAS Type Certification. Subject approval underscores the efficacy of t

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Air Transport Services Group Foresees Middling Cargo Market

Freight Downturn Putting an End to the Post-Pandemic Highs

Air Transport Services Group, a cargo jet lessor and operations provider, said that weakening interest from international airlines has led to a drop in its 2025 profit expectations to the tune of $45 million. Its 3rd quarter earnings call served as a small bellwether for the greater air cargo market at large, given the firm's involvement across the air cargo market. Adjusted earnings sat 16% lower than 2022 for the same quarter, with incoming CEO Joe Hete saying “Our new reality is that growth will be more difficult to achieve than before," thanks to conflicts abroad, continued inflation, and unexpected maintenance costs in addition to the cooling parcel market.

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Boeing Banks on Continued Growth in Asia

Total Expectations Sit at 4,000 Jets in Asian Commercial Fleet by 2042

Boeing’s hopes remain fixed on Asia for the bulk of its growth and expansion throughout the coming decades, with an in-house report expecting the continental fleet to quadruple by 2042. The forecast isn’t a departure for the brand’s seers, who generally share their optimistic take on Asian growth a few times per year. At this year’s Oshkosh presentation, Boeing personnel were on hand to share the bright, exciting career opportunities for aircraft technicians, maintainers, and operators - with some audience members reading the subtext that investing in the training and support pipeline is about as good as domestic stakeholders can really hope for.

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Airbus Finds Euro Distributor for Uncrewed Cargo Glider

Silent Arrow to Manufactured, Sold, and Supported by Trio of Partners

Airbus will begin offering its GD-2000 heavy cargo delivery drone to the European market with the help of MEL Aviation and Yates Electrospace Corporation, which will be doing business as Silent Arrow. The Memorandum of Understanding will see the trio manufacture, distribute and support the UAS platform to a range of all the usual clients throughout the military and institutional sectors, where the 1-ton precision cargo glider can prove most useful.

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Airborne-NextGen 11.07.23: TPA Volocopter, Matternet M2 Cert, ERAU Drone Swarms

Also: Dream Chaser Space-Plane, 5G Guidance, Airbus SDAM Demo, Aero-TV: Mayman Aerospace Speeder 

Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Volocopter, the German designer and manufacturer of electric multirotor helicopters, have undertaken a comprehensive flight test campaign of a crewed Volocopter 2X. The endeavor marks the first-ever flight test of an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in an operational U.S. large-terminal airport, and the first eVTOL test to be conducted in the state of Florida. The Matternet M2 has been granted FAA approval for an amendment to its UAS Type Certification. Subject approval underscores the efficacy of t

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Another SpaceX Launch Sticks the Landing

Dragon Takes Off for ISS with Goodies in Tow

An uncrewed Dragon resupply ship with 6,500 lbs of cargo launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on November 9th, docking with the International Space Station on the 11th to cap off another successful operation for SpaceX. The Dragon carried the usual combination of living supplies, scientific experiments, and tech demonstrations. Continued work on botanicals, combustible fuel calibration, and tissue growth made it aboard this time, along with some nifty new optical comms gear and atmospheric measurement equipment.

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NTSB Prelim: Piper PA-28-140

Airplane Appeared To Slow, Lose Altitude, And Stall

On October 17, 2023, about 1219 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N6192J, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near H A Clark Memorial Field Airport (CMR), Williams, Arizona. The two flight instructors and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. A witness observed the airplane takeoff from runway 18 and climb to about 200 ft above ground level. The airplane continued on runway heading for about 1/4 mile, and then began a slight left turn. The airplane appeared to slow, lose altitude, and stall. An additional witness located near the airport observed the airplane flying at a

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Classic Aero-TV: Sportys Academy 2019--Creating A Proper Flight Training Culture

From 2019 (YouTube Version): Sporty’s Is More Than Just a Pilot Shop

Sporty's is well known for their line of products for pilots, having been a part of the aviation landscape for decades. But less-well known is the company's in-airplane flight training, according to Sporty's Academy president and COO Eric Radtke, who spoke recently with Aero-News Editor-in-Chief Jim Campbell. Sporty's says that the Academy is committed to its students success, and is proud of a success rate more than double the national average.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (11.15.23)

Aero Linx: International Federation Of Airworthiness

We aim to be the most internationally respected independent authority on the subject of Airworthiness. IFA uniquely combines together all those with responsibility for policies, principles and practices concerned with the continuing airworthiness of civil transport aircraft throughout the world. IFA’s mission is to contribute to the debate and formation of policies, which affect the Airworthiness of civil aircraft worldwide, and to influence Regulators, Airlines, Maintenance Organisations and Governments to constantly improve aviation safety.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (11.15.23): Obstacle

Obstacle An existing object, object of natural growth, or terrain at a fixed geographical location or which may be expected at a fixed location within a prescribed area with reference to which vertical clearance is or must be provided during flight operation. 

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (11.15.23)

“The SpaceX Dragon will deliver NASA’s ILLUMA-T (Integrated Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Low-Earth-Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal), which aims to test high data rate laser communications from the space station to Earth via the agency’s LCRD (Laser Communications Relay Demonstration), as well as the agency’s AWE (Atmospheric Waves Experiment), which studies atmospheric gravity waves to understand the flow of energy through Earth’s upper atmosphere and space.” Source: From official statements made to explain part of the impact the most recent ISS Resupply mission will have on their mission. 

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