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March 05, 2024

Airborne-NextGen 03.05.24: Skydio Defends, TRU VR Sim, AMA Authorized

 Also: HAI Becomes VAI, Blimps Are Back, ERAU Partnership, General Atomics

Skydio announced that customers have begun receiving the first of its X10D, its flagship defense and government drone. The announcement follows the successful rollout of the older X2D, which has seen thousands of systems delivered across the USA and its allies around the world. Textron's Bell Flight Training Academy will be using a brand new type of Virtual Reality Flight Simulator at their flagship location, with a brand-new Veris VR Flight Simulator. The unit was recently shown off at the HAI Heli-Expo 2024, offering clients a clean-sheet design that combines a traditional full-motion experience with visual augmentation to make it feel even more like the real

Airbus Helicopters Feasts at HAI24

155 Aircraft on Orders Provides Bountiful Crop of Business for Airbus Helo Arm

Airbus Helicopters capped their Heli-Expo 2024 attendance with commitments for 155 aircraft in all, bolstering their presence in the international helo market with a raft of rescue, tour, and passenger transit sales. Granted, of those 155 'commitments', only 40 are firm orders, but things have a way of working out when clients want them. High-profile operators like German SAR and medevac specialist DRF Luftrettung got Airbus some nice bragging rights this time around, padding out their world fleet with some brand-new Airbus aircraft. That deal saw the sale of up to 10 H145s. Another buyer, Canadian tour operator Niagara Helicopters, added half a dozen H130s, and of

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Boeing in Talks To Soak Up Spirit AeroSystems

Problem Child May Join the Family Proper Amid Family Crisis

Boeing is rumored to be in talks to acquire Spirit AeroSystems, a longtime subcontractor that has been the epicenter of a handful of production issues. The deal wouldn't be all too surprising, since both parties are under a careful eye from both the public and the FAA. Spirit was spun off from Boeing when it began its very McDonnell-Douglas campaign of shaving off and selling its organs in a quest for profitability. Grafting Spirit Aerosystems back into Boeing would allow them to exert improved quality control measures over the supplier, tighten up their chain of logistics, and ensure continuous procedures from start to finish.

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Southwest Airlines Pausing Hires Through 2024

Carrier Says Current Pilot Base Sufficient Despite Attrition

A memo from Southwest Airlines has begun circulating out on the web describing the company's plans to halt all hiring through the rest of the calendar year, stating that the company's current size is sufficient for anticipated growth and demand. SWA has already begun rescinding conditional job offers to pilots in its pipeline, with water cooler talk sounding as if those with class dates past April are more likely to be canceled. The carrier offered a consolation prize of moving pilots with a previously issued CJO to the "deferred candidate pool", for use when hiring starts again. 

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HAI Heli-Expo Wraps Up 2024

Helicopter Exhibition Gives Chance to Shake Hands, Make Deals, and Check Out the News

15,000 Attendees made their way to Anaheim, California to see everything from the world of vertical flight, with more than 87 countries and 625 exhibitors to see. On the more edifying side of things, HAI said that all 125 educational courses and sessions ended up with more than 4,180 students in all. The Helicopter Association International (almost uniformly shortened to "HAI", given the clunkiness of the name) even rolled out some banner news this year, announcing a wholesale rebranding to the more flight-encompassing Vertical Aviation International. The change was said to help them better represent new frontiers in VTOL flight, locking down some organizati

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Sioux Gateway Airport Adds Flight Training

Revv Aviation Brings SkyHawks to  Siouxland

Revv Aviation has begun operations at its 10th campus in Sioux City, Iowa out of the Sioux Gateway Airport. The firm seems to be ramping up operations everywhere it can, citing the greater industry's need for 2/3 of a million new pilots over the next 2 decades. Revv followed the usual path, building a foundation on Part 61 training until they got critical mass in funding, instructors, office space, and fleet size to take the next step. The company operates Cessna 172P Skyhawks out of the field, IFR equipped with KXI55's and an IL3 Lynx as standard. Upon opening, their wet rate appears to be $165/hr, though intro flights can be had in classic flight school style for a cool $99 (par for the cours

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Aero-TV: CiES All-Digital Fuel Senders

New Capabilities For Business Aviation

CiES Corporation President Scott Philiben walked Aero-News Editor in Chief Jim Campbell through some of what sets his products apart from the rest of the market. Cies units are “the only proven, all-digital fuel senders” around, a vast improvement from early float-type sensors equipped on centennial legacy systems. The latest and greatest from Cies includes greater compatibility with varied systems and avionics, tip and tilt compensation, damping, and accurization. Despite the apparent simplicity of fuel sensing in theory, it’s taken a lot of work to develop accurate, reliable, and electronic fuel quantit

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Local Rugrats Get Expo Tickets

Faithful STEM Students Attend Yearly Vertical Flight Show as Part of VAI Sponsorship

Heli-Expo 2024 closed out with a handful of tickets handed out to lucky high schoolers, granting STEM kids from nearby Canyon, Corona, and the Bonita Unified School Districts a free trip to the exhibition before the week ended. The tickets were sponsored by the Vertical Association International, nee HAI, and the Jeff Pino Foundation. The foundation sponsors a number of scholarships intended to foster the next generation of pilots, like a $10,000 scholarship for those seeking a Private Pilot License, Aviation Maintenance Tech, or aerospace degree.

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General Atomics Makes the Most of 3D Printing

Rapid Prototyping Bolsters Ordnance Development

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) successfully demonstrated an ordnance drop using its Advanced Air-Launched Effects (A2LE) platform, releasing it from the internal arms bay of an MQ-20 Avenger. The test took place over Utah's Dugway Proving Ground, putting the A2LE design to the test with a realistic in-flight release. The launch  releasing an A2LE capped off a series of tests all at once, validating elements from the development process affecting manufacturing, structural, and flight engineering.

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NTSB Prelim: Beech 400

Pilot Pulled The Control Yoke Back To Rotate The Airplane And The Control Yoke Was Unresponsive

On February 14, 2024, about 1410 central standard time, a Beech 400A airplane, N95GK, was substantially damage when it was involved in an accident in Bentonville, Arkansas. The 2 pilots and 3 passengers were not injured and 2 passengers were seriously injured. The airplane was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. According to preliminary information, while on takeoff from the Bentonville Municipal Airport (VBT), Bentonville, Arkansas, the pilot pulled the control yoke back to rotate the airplane and the control yoke was unresponsive. He aborted the takeoff, but insufficient runway remai

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.05.24)

Aero Linx: Light Aircraft Association Welcome to the Light Aircraft Association, the heart of a community that lives and breathes recreational aviation in all its forms!  With over 75 years of history, no other UK association has the depth of knowledge and experience in looking after our sport. 

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (03.05.24): Landing Minimums

Landing Minimums  The minimum visibility prescribed for landing a civil aircraft while using an instrument approach procedure. The minimum applies with other limitations set forth in 14 CFR Part 91 with respect to the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) or Decision Height (DH) prescribed in the instrument approach procedures as follows:  Note: Descent below the MDA or DH must meet the conditions stated in 14 CFR Section 91.175. Straight-in landing minimums. A statement of MDA and visibility, or DH and visibility, required for a straight-in landing on a specified runway, or Circling minimums. A statement of MDA and visibility requ

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (03.05.24)

"...slowing hiring across the Company in 2024 to levels at or below our attrition rate"

Source: Part of the messaging that is now taking place as a memo from Southwest Airlines has begun circulating out on the web describing the company's plans to halt all hiring through the rest of the calendar year, stating that the company's current size is sufficient for anticipated growth and demand.

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