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June 18, 2024

Airborne-NextGen 06.18.24: Drone Aids Tree, C-130J Automation, New Regs

 Also: Eve Air Mobility, Surf Air, ISS Simulation Goes Wrong, Drone First Responder

The National Park Service isn't kind to drones, but once in a while even they see some use in the little tools, particularly where they can be used to assess the health of old growth forests without a crewed aircraft. Doodle Labs highlighted its work in networking a recent effort to scan, document, and assess the health of 'General Sherman', the world's largest living tree. Merlin, hot off a few test flights aboard some KC-135s, has gotten a $105 million production contract to automate the C-130J. The contract was granted under an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract by SOCOM to lay the groundwork for a "production-ready reduced

ScaleBirds Updates Followers on P-36 Development

LiteFighter Coming Along Nicely on Road to Market

ScaleBirds updated a watchful warbird fanbase on the current progress in bringing the LiteFighter to market, along with plans for the summer airshow season. The LiteFighter P-36A Hawk is coming along quite nicely, with the first sets of tails, rudders, horizontal stabilizers, and elevators being built for early beta builders. ScaleBirds isn't totally done with the whole kit and kaboodle just yet, but they're sending out the elements they have squared away so builders can hit the ground running on their own builds.

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Cessna Citation Ascend Catches Eyes in Banner Test Flight

Unpainted Prototype Takes to the Sky for a Sunny VFR Ride

The second Cessna Citation Ascend, P1, first took off as a flight test article late last year, and has now become the first conforming production aircraft. Its first true-to-life flight test putting it through its paces and rounding all the bases took place this month, with company test pilots Michael Bradfield and Maurice Girard at the helm. The flight took an hour and 24 minutes, achieving a max altitude of 13,500 feet and a max speed of 308 knots. Once in service, it won't be too common for a Citation Ascend to hang out so low, but it's a suitable demonstration of a good old VFR demo flight, in any case. 

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US Parachute Association Moving Forward on NextGen Parachute Seals

Plastic, Mylar, and Paper Soon to be the Order of the Day in Rigging

The parachutists are getting rid of their old-school lead slugs while rigging up their chutes, now that the Parachute Industry Association has given some alternatives. In February, the Association published Technical Bulletin TB-266, stating that they see "no impediment to immediate implementation of the use of the alternative means of sealing auxiliary or emergency parachutes explored by the Rigging Committee.” In Technical Bulletin TB-266, the PIA said that lead, plastic, and paper seals are good to go provided they're equipped with the same 4.75-pound cotton break thread specified in most manufacturer instructions. The tying knot can be hidden and sealed inside usin

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Airborne 06.10.24: Gone West-Bill Anders, M700 FIKI, TFR Corrections

Also: Virgin Galactic, TBMOPA’s European Convention, B-29 Doc and B-25 Berlin Express, Fairchild XNQ-1

An astronaut who was part of what was then mankind's greatest adventure... the first flight to orbit the moon and return back, has died in an accident while flying a T-34. Bill Anders, is credited with the famous Earthrise photo of the Earth coming up over the moon (taken aboard Apollo 8), and was confirmed to be the only occupant of the aircraft. Anders was 90 years old and his loss was confirmed by his son, Greg. Piper has received Flight into Known Icing (FIKI) certification from the FAA for its M700 FURY. The FIKI system comes standard on all

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Aero-TV: Helix Propeller Is Ready To Tackle the US Market

German Prop Manufacturer Shows Off At SUN 'n FUN

Helix Propeller's Business Unit Manager Nikolaus Von Kummer brought out some of their best work to Sun 'n Fun 2024, making a splash in the US market after building up a fanbase abroad. Helix Propellers have been a staple in the European sport market for 30 years, so they've got plenty of experience in making a lightweight, strong prop that strikes the right kind of balance with an LSA. Helix has an affinity for glass and carbon fiber composites, well suited to the Rotax family of LSA mills.  Ground adjustable, fixed pitch, and constant speed props are all in the mix, making them an easy stop for nearly anyon

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Charles Huang Foundation Supports Aviation Scholarship Program

Philanthropy Looks to Foster Next Generation

The Charles Huang Foundation has opened up its first batch of aid under the Towards Aviation Scholarship program, supporting the training of future aviation workers and AMTs. Under the program, 4 initial students have been selected to receive the Huang Foundation's support. For its inaugural class of recipients, the Foundation chose one Paralegal major, one Accounting/Business major, and two aviation maintenance majors. Towards Aviation Scholarships will support students in their efforts while learning at Victor Valley College.

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American Airlines Flight Attendants Announce 30-City Picket

Flight Attendants Getting in on the Fun of Negotiations, Too

After a couple years of headlining victories in the world of pilots, the flight attendants are ramping up to get a cut of the action, too. American Airlines Flight Attendants celebrated the "Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action" with a picket of 30 cities around their network. The group takes major issue with the fact that "executives reward themselves with hefty bonuses and pay raises while Flight Attendants are left without an agreement that appropriately recognizes their contributions." They're not kidding, either, saying that "American Airlines Flight Attendants are closer to a strike than they have been in 30+ years", which isn't good news to execs looking at a warm summer

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White Plains Regional Forum Proclaimed A Great Success

Civic Leaders­ Kept Abreast of What BizAv Brings to Communities

The NBAA Northeast Regional Forum was held on June 12 at Westchester County Airport (KHPN) in White Plains, New York. With a sold-out exhibit floor, good weather for the static display of the latest aircraft, and numerous informative panel discussion sessions, the well-attended event was considered highly successful. Local and state civic officials and leaders got an intimate look at business aviation’s integral role in the community, with the forum featuring community connectivity, enhanced job development and company productivity, and humanitarian benefits in the region as well.

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AerCap Leases Out More Boeing Narrowbodies Back East

JD Logistics to Begin Hauling the Mail with Boeing Converted Freighters

AerCap Holdings N.V. solidified four lease agreements for a few 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) aircraft with JD Airlines, the cargo airline of JD Logistics. Those stateside may not recognize 'JD Logistics', but the cargo folks who spend time at the international sites might see 'Jingdong Logistics' and hear the faint ring of a bell. The planes will be kept at the Nantong Xingdong International Airport, and run missions between a handful of Asian logistics hubs back East. 

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NTSB Prelim: North American Navion

Pilot Reported That He Had Flown With His Mechanic The Day Before The Accident In An Attempt To Diagnose An Intermittent Fuel Pressure Gauge Fluctuation

On June 8, 2024, at 0645 central daylight time, a North American Navion, N91173, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Tullahoma, Tennessee. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot reported that he had flown with his mechanic the day before the accident in an attempt to diagnose an intermittent fuel pressure gauge fluctuation and occasional rough running engine during climb. During that flight, they observed the fluctuating fuel pressure indication, but were

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (06.18.24)

Aero Linx: Flight Safety Foundation

Since 1945, Flight Safety Foundation has helped protect everyone who benefits from air travel, everywhere in the world. The Foundation is an international non-profit organization exclusively chartered to provide impartial, independent, expert safety guidance and resources for the aviation and aerospace industry.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (06.18.24): Maximum Authorized Altitude

Maximum Authorized Altitude A published altitude representing the maximum usable altitude or flight level for an airspace structure or route segment. It is the highest altitude on a Federal airway, jet route, area navigation low or high route, or other direct route for which an MEA is designated in 14 CFR Part 95 at which adequate reception of navigation aid signals is assured.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (06.18.24)

"Today’s successful flight of the second Citation Ascend test article marks another achievement for the program, and that’s a testament to the many great employees involved with this project. The aircraft has continued to perform well through the phases of testing, and I continue to be confident in the program’s momentum and in our skilled team members who make it possible.” Source: Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering, commenting on the second Cessna Citation Ascend. P1   first took off as a flight test article late last year, and has now become the first conforming production aircraft. 

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