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February 07, 2023

Airborne Affordable Flyers 02.07.23: SnF Innovation Preview!, EAA UL Webinar, SW-51 Update

Also: Rutan Long EZ Donated, Sonex High-Wing, Aspen Update, GAMA & Friends Urge EPA

 
It may be THE news event of 2023... The SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is proud to present, as the lead-in to the aviation year via its partnership with the Aero-News Network, the 2023 SUN ‘n FUN Innovation Preview. The aviation world is driven by new developments in technology, design, and innovation... And focusing the entire Aero-Verse at the beginning of the year on all that is cool, interesting, innovative, important, and pivotal is the ultimate aim of the 2023 SUN ‘n FUN Innovation Preview. The EAA's Virtual Ultralight Day webinars return this year, running from February 21 to 23. The online seminars will allow experts from the ultralight community to s

First Customer-Built ScaleWings SW-51 Takes to German Skies

Kleines Flugzeug Über Alles

On 05 February 2023, ScaleWings announced SW-51 serial-number 004 had made its maiden flight into the skies of Germany. The flight marked an important milestone in the ScaleWings SW-51 Mustang program and occasioned the first flight of an SW-51 assembled by a customer under the company’s build assist program appositely dubbed Build Your Legend. Serial-number 004—known also as D-ESUI—is the first SW-51 to receive German registration.

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C-130 on Floats Not Coming Anytime Soon

Program to Convert MC-130Js for Amphib SOCOM use Stalls Out

The initial flight test for a float-equipped C-130 has been postponed indefinitely for the time being, with no ETA on when a demo could be expected. The MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability (MAC) is a project undertaken by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to provide warfighters with a more mobile, convenient way to ferry small units throughout oceanic regions without sufficient airfield coverage.

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Airborne 01.30.23: Electric CH750, AEA Career Site, Britten-Norman TP

Also: 1st Block 70 F16, Covington Aircraft, Lazer v Helo, S Pole Starlink

NUNCATS has seen the first flight of its Zenith CH750-based Electric Sky Jeep at the UK's Old Buckenham airport. The project aims to create an affordable, sustainable, electric courier aircraft to provide health service to remote communities. NUNCATS (No Unnecessary Novelty Community Air Transport Services) hopes to provide a stable, reliable form of backcountry transport for doctors, teachers and medical supplies. The Aircraft Electronics Association has sweetened the pot for members of the group, adding a website to recruit and retain employees throughout the avionics industry.

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Southwest Airlines to Reduce New-Hire Pilot Minimums

… By Half

Formerly, Southwest required pilot applicants to have logged at least one-thousand-hours at the controls of turbine-powered aircraft. However, a message sent by the airline to its pilots reportedly sets forth that effective 07 February 2023, Southwest’s website will state the carrier “prefers” its pilot applicants to have five-hundred-hours of turbine time—fully half the company's previous requirement.

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British Air Force Claims Women Cannot Fly F-35

Policy’s Logic Outpaces Allegations of Sexism

Citing a high probability of neck injury in combat or the event of pilot ejection, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) has set forth that women do not weigh enough to fly the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. At present, owing to inescapable physiological realities, only pilots weighing more than 150-pounds (68-kilograms) are cleared to wear the Gen III F-35 helmet ...

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Aero-TV: Tamarack Targets Narrow-Body Airliner Market

In Service of Efficiency

Sandpoint, Idaho-based Tamarack Aerospace has submitted a claim to the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the European Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) for two city-pair flight records. The first—a 15 October, non-stop 2,033-nautical-mile flight from Spokane, Washington (GEG) to Orlando, Florida (MCO) in a King Air 350 retrofitted with Tamarack’s innovative Performance SMARTWING technology—was completed in a brisk 7-hours and 46-minutes. The second flight—a one-stop, 1770-nautical-mile, westbound (against the wind) odyssey from Orlando, Florida (MCO) to Henderso

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NTSB Final Report on 19 September 2020 B-25N Accident

Sum of a Ditch

On 19 September 2020, a North American B-25N Mitchell, registration N7946C, suffered substantial damage after losing engine power and coming to ground in a field near California’s Stockton Metropolitan Airport (SCK). Two of the aircraft’s occupants suffered serious injuries. A third suffered minor injuries. Salvage personnel reported that during recovery of the B-25’s wreckage, approximately one-gallon of fuel was removed from its two forward and two aft wing tanks.

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Airborne 01.30.23: Electric CH750, AEA Career Site, Britten-Norman TP

Also: 1st Block 70 F16, Covington Aircraft, Lazer v Helo, S Pole Starlink

NUNCATS has seen the first flight of its Zenith CH750-based Electric Sky Jeep at the UK's Old Buckenham airport. The project aims to create an affordable, sustainable, electric courier aircraft to provide health service to remote communities. NUNCATS (No Unnecessary Novelty Community Air Transport Services) hopes to provide a stable, reliable form of backcountry transport for doctors, teachers and medical supplies. The Aircraft Electronics Association has sweetened the pot for members of the group, adding a website to recruit and retain employees throughout the avionics industry.

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Covington Aircraft Renews PT6A Overhaul Authorization

Longtime Engine Maintainer Offers Turboprop, Radial Support Throughout USA

Covington Aircraft Engines has obtained a renewal of their status as a factory-authorized maintenance, warranty, and support facility for the PT6A engine. Their place as a Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) Designated Overhaul Facility (DOF) authorizes them to work on 59 models of the venerable PT6A, providing service to North and South America. With locations in the US and Brazil, with another planned for the UK, Covington is shaping up to cover a significant portion of the globe, long after its early years working on radial engines in Canada.

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Secretary of State Blinken Postpones Beijing Trip

Chinese Spy Balloon Incident “Undermines Purpose of Trip”

In what marks a significant escalation in tensions between Washington and Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has postponed a planned trip to China in response to a Chinese spy balloon the Biden administration allowed to pass uncontested over Hawaii, the Aleutian Archipelago, and the entirety of the continental United States—to include several sensitive military and nuclear installations.

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Boeing Places Order for 15 KC-46A Pegasus Tankers

Total Pegasus Fleet to Climb to 128 Aircraft

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a stout $2.3 billion contract for the 9th production lot of 15 KC-46A Pegasus tankers. The order brings the Air Force's future collection of Pegasi up to 128, with 68 currently operational all over the globe. The KC-46A has been a focus point for Boeing's efforts to nail down some technical issues in all-weather refueling, but development seem to have ironed most of them out. 

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FLITE's 4th Round of Business Grants Up for Grabs

Ford Launchpad Announces Winners of 3rd Round Funding

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority has announced the 3rd round of companies to receive a total of $171,000 in grant funding through the Ford Launchpad for Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurship (FLITE).

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.06.23)

Aero Linx: Reno Air Racing Association Over 50 years ago, the first plane went up in the Nevada desert to kick off what would become the National Championship Air Races and a legacy was born. A legacy of history, heritage and preservation. Of daring, imagination and wonder. Of memories made, traditions formed and legends created one amazing race at a time. Engines roaring. Crowds cheering. Hearts pounding. Eight planes racing wing-tip to wing-tip, 50 feet above the ground at speeds up to more than 500 mph. This is the fastest motorsport on Earth – a one-of-a-kind thrill you have to see, hear and feel to believe. This is classic, cool and contemporary all rolled into one. This is life at 500 mil

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.07.23)

"Our robust and rigorous flight operations training program has not changed, and all current and future first officer candidates must pass all elements of the curriculum prior to flying for Southwest. As this recruiting change is aligned with hiring at or above FAA requirements, we’ll continue selecting competitively-qualified, world-class aviators who demonstrate extensive flight experience, professionalism, and Southwest’s values." Source: From a SouthWest Airlines statement explaining their decision to reduce hiring standards for incoming pilots.

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