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May 28, 2023

Virgin Galactic Completes Successful Spaceflight

The Age of Space Tourism Dawns

Virgin Galactic has successfully completed its Unity 25 space mission. Mission specialists Jamila Gilbert, Christopher Huie, and Luke Mays—who ventured spaceward for purpose of conducting final end-to-end assessments of Virgin Galactic’s Unity spacecraft and overall spaceflight experience—became the latest in what Virgin Galactic’s management and shareholders hope will prove a lengthy and august roster of civilian space-travelers.

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USCG Rescues Three Off South Carolina Coast

39-Foot Vessel Capsizes and Sinks

On 26 May 2023, a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia aircrew rescued three people in the wake of a maritime accident that saw the 39-foot vessel upon which the trio was faring capsize near South Carolina’s Kiawah Island—a barrier island some 15-nautical-miles southwest Charleston. The Coast Guard Air Station Savannah aircrew hoisted the three individuals aboard their helicopter and transported them to a Kiawah Island Beach Patrol. No injuries were reported.

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Alpha Star Signs for 'VIP Completions'

Airbus A319 and A330 to be Refurbished into Airbus Corporate Jet Lookalikes

Alpha Star Aviation, a flight services provider in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has signed a deal at EBACE 2023 for what they call "VIP Completions" of some narrowbody Airbus Aircraft. The planes in question, an Airbus A319 and A330, will be overhauled by "Jet Basel" (assumed to be the Swiss base of Jet Aviation) to something approximating the Airbus Corporate Jets variant of each aircraft. The company is no stranger to the ACJ lineup, having operated a handful of ACJ aircraft already. Alpha Star's home market in the Middle East is a bountiful one to have for such spacious charter aircraft, leading to them leaning into the large private jets more than any other o

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Natilus Selects ZeroAvia ZA600 Hydrogen-Electric Engines

Thrust Reversal

On 25 May 2023, Natilus announced a partnership with British/American hydrogen-electric aero-propulsion-system concern ZeroAvia, by which the two companies will jointly develop hydrogen-electric engines for Natilus’s nascent Kona cargo aircraft. According to a statement put forth by the two firms, ZeroAvia’s ZA600, 600-kilowatt hydrogen-electric engine is to be the sole hydrogen-electric propulsion scheme Natilus will make available to buyers of its novel Kona short-haul feeder UAV. The announcement belies Natilus’s formerly expressed intention to power its Kona aircraft with conventional turboprop engines.

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Hardeep Singh PurIndia Aims for 1% SAF Minimum Domestic Flights

Oil Minister Sees Promise in Sugarcane, SAF, and a Booming Airline Market

Indian oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the country was looking to go ahead with a 1% SAF minimum for all domestic jet travel by 2025. Currently, the European Commission has eyed a similar goal, setting their target at double that number by the same date. Under each plan, the groups would look to start off the industry by replacing 1-2% of their total jet fuel stocks with sustainable fuels.

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Northrop Grumman Sees Increasing Interest for Infrared Countermeasures

New Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity Contract to Equip USAF Aircraft with IR Defenses

Northrop Grumman Corporation has continued its work for the US Air Force providing its Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems. The systems are an essential system to defeat incoming infrared-tracking missiles. The LAIRCM system allows the aircraft to detect, track, and jam incoming infrared missile threats, hopefully saving the plane and all those aboard. The equipped, high-power laser targets a closing missile and tags its sensitive IR seeker in the hopes of blinding it and preventing an impact or ignition. 

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Classic Aero-TV: EAA’s Eric Fatla - One A&P’s Journey Begins

From 2014 (YouTube Version): This Is How A Great Life Gets Its Start... Enjoy!

While at EAA AirVenture 2014, Special Aero-News Correspondent, Michael Maya Charles, got a little off the beaten track and visited the Kermit Weeks hangar located on the north side of Wittman Regional Airport. While not actually part of the AirVenture exposition, Charles found a story that bodes well for the future of general aviation. Charles was lucky enough to be there at a time when he could meet a young man by the name of Eric Fatla. Eric is the kind of guy that works behind the scenes, but without him the scenes couldn’t take place. 

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NTSB Prelim: Mooney Aircraft Corp. M20K

Shortly After The Loss Of Engine Power, The Left Wing Dropped

On May 6, 2023, about 1400 eastern daylight time, a Mooney M20K airplane, N262MK, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Central Jersey Regional Airport (47N), Manville, New Jersey. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot reported that earlier in the day he had departed for a visual flight rules cross-country flight after the airplane had a new propeller installed.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.28.23)

Aero Linx: Women in Aviation International

Get Involved with WAI. We’re stronger in numbers! WAI is strong because of the dedication and volunteerism of our members. Whether you share your passion for aviation locally through chapter activities, lend a hand at WAI events across the country, or sponsor scholarships and outreach efforts, you help inspire others to reach for their dreams.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (05.28.23): Search And Rescue

Search And Rescue

A service which seeks missing aircraft and assists those found to be in need of assistance. It is a cooperative effort using the facilities and services of available Federal, state and local agencies. The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for coordination of search and rescue for the Maritime Region, and the U.S. Air Force is responsible for search and rescue for the Inland Region. Information pertinent to search and rescue should be passed through any air traffic facility or be transmitted directly to the Rescue Coordination Center by telephone. 

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (05.27.23)

“This proven approach has enabled us to provide the U.S. Air Force and thousands of aircrews with unmatched protection and aircraft survivability equipment that helps them stay safe against emerging threats.” Source: Bob Gough, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman, speaking up about their continued its work for the US Air Force providing its Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (05.28.23)

“Given Natilus’s impressive order book and corresponding technology development, working together on integrating the ZA600 as a line-fit engine for Kona can multiply the emissions and costs benefits that are already interesting cargo operators. We all depend on air cargo operators, and some communities depend on them absolutely, so improving the economics and environmental impacts of these operations while increasing service levels is a massive opportunity.” Source: ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov explaining their partnership with Natilus, by which the two companies will jointly develop hydrogen-electric engi

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