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September 26, 2023

Airborne-NextGen 09.26.23: Mars Altitude Record, Lilium Jet, Skydio X10

 Also: Boeing & Red 6, Rain Raises $$$, GA-ASI Honors, CBP Teal-2 Buy

 
 
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter, while executing a 16 September 2023 sortie, broke its own Martian altitude record, ascending 66-feet above Mars’s surface. This was the 59th flight, and the craft is well into its 31st month on the Red Planet. Lilium GmbH has commenced assembling fuselages for its Lilium Jet—an eVTOL personal air vehicle the company asserts remains on track for a late-2024 maiden flight. Fuselage assembly instantiates a tangible manifestation of Lilium’s ability to see its planned eVTOL proceed from conceptualization to actualization. Skydio has debuted its latest Enterprise drone, the Skydio X10—a model embodying an eminently

NASA OSIRIS-REx Mission Concludes Successfully

Asteroid Regolith Samples Retrieved and Secured

The United States has retrieved rocks and dust from an asteroid and transported such back to Earth. The achievement occasioned the success of NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security—Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission. A capsule containing regolith collected from the asteroid 101955 Bennu landed in a targeted area of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City at 08:52 MDT on the morning of Sunday, 24 September 2023.

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FAA NPRM Seeks to Mandate Clean Up of Space Junk

Orbital Hygiene

The US Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a new set of regulations by which to mitigate the occurrence and proliferation of so-called space-junk left in the wakes of commercial space-launches undertaken by concerns the likes of SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Rocket Lab. The agency has drafted a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) requiring operators of commercial space-launches to assume responsibility for disposing of the upper-stages of spent launch-vehicles.

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EAA AeroEducate-Estes Rockets Partnership Announced

Countdown to Comprehension EAA’s AeroEducate online aviation education program will offer participants expanded opportunities by way of a new agreement entered into with Estes Rockets, the world’s leader in model rocketry. As part of the agreement, EAA’s education staff will work with Estes to develop four self-exploratory, grade level-based activities for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Subject activities will introduce model rocketry and provide credits within AeroEducate’s full technology badge program. Access to the Estes website—which offers model rocketry projects for all ages and skill levels—will also be provided.

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Unannounced Attrition Compels Akasa Air to Sue 43 Pilots

Expedited Departures Unpopular with Indian Low-Cost Carrier

Founded in August 2022, Mumbai, India-based Akasa Air is an Indian low-cost air-carrier operating a fleet of 19 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and one 737 MAX 200 narrow-body airliners to 16 destinations across the Indian subcontinent. Currently, Akasa Air has outstanding orders for an additional 56 aircraft. Notwithstanding the airline’s promise and the apparent optimism of its management, Akasa Air’s aspirations to expand have been hampered, of late, by pilot attrition.

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EarthX Batteries Approved for Broader Use

FAA Grants EarthX AML-STC for 12v Lithium Batteries

EarthX has earned FAA Approved Model List (AML) Supplemental Type Certification (STC) authorizing the installation of its FAA TSO’d 12-volt LiFePO4 battery on a comprehensive array of single-engine Cessna, Piper, and Mooney aircraft, as well as the Aviat A-1. An AML-STC is a multi-model approval method allowing a set of compliance data—e.g. type design data and substantiating data—to be designated as baseline data applicable to various aircraft models.

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Classic Aero-TV: FlightHelmet.com - Protecting What's REALLY Important

From 2017 (YouTube Version): Company Will Refurbish An Older Helmet, Offers New Ones As Well…

Not every pilot has a need for a flight helmet, but for those that do, it is definitely a necessary piece of equipment. Recognizing that need, FlightHelmet.com set out to build a line of helmets that meet the needs of today's pilots, and will also refurbish a favorite helmet if you have one you just can't part with. GM Bell, owner of FlightHelmet.com, told ANN news editor Tom Patton that the company's basic helmets can be configured with a variety of electronics to suit the pilot's particular mission.

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USAF to Fall Short of Fiscal 2023 Pilot Production Goal

Aim High, but Compensate for Bullet-Drop …

The United States Air Force will fall approximately 120-aviators short of its fiscal-year 2023 pilot recruitment and training goals. The service ascribes the shortfall, perhaps apocryphally, to “mechanical issues with training aircraft.” As fiscal 2023 draws to its 30 September close, the USAF anticipates finishing the period having pinned wings on only 1,300 of the 1,470 new pilots it aspired to graduate over the preceding 12-months. So stated 19th Air Force spokesman Benjamin Faske.

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NTSB Prelim: Brown Benjamin C Challenger II

While Still In The Climb, Just West Of The Airport, The Engine Gradually Lost Total Power

On September 1, 2023, at 0910 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Challenger II, N2480Y, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Moultonborough, New Hampshire. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. According to the pilot, during takeoff and initial climb, the engine was producing full power without anomalies.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (09.26.23)

Aero Linx: Regional Airline Association

RAA provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable and strong regional airline industry and serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines and industry business partners, enabling them to share best practices.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (09.26.23): Waypoint

Waypoint A predetermined geographical position used for route/instrument approach definition, progress reports, published VFR routes, visual reporting points or points for transitioning and/or circumnavigating controlled and/or special use airspace, that is defined relative to a VORTAC station or in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates. 

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (09.26.23)

“We are committed to providing the finest possible travel experience for our owners, and this includes high-quality internet access from takeoff to arrival. Through Starlink, SpaceX has created the most significant technology advancement for private jet travel that we’ve seen in the last two-decades. Reliable connectivity is vital to our owners and, for the first time, the technology exists to deliver on this expectation.” Source: Flexjet Global Maintenance and Product division lead, Jay Heublein, noting their collaboration with broadband satellite internet provider and SpaceX subsidiary Starlink for the purpose of providing the former concern’s aircraft owners in-flight Wi-Fi access commensurate in qualit

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (09.26.23)

“Today marks an extraordinary milestone not just for the OSIRIS-REx team but for science as a whole. Successfully delivering samples from Bennu to Earth is a triumph of collaborative ingenuity and a testament to what we can accomplish when we unite with a common purpose. But let’s not forget—while this may feel like the end of an incredible chapter, it’s truly just the beginning of another. We now have the unprecedented opportunity to analyze these samples and delve deeper into the secrets of our solar system."   Source: From OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona in Tucson Dante Lauretta, who is watchng a dream project come to druition in a fascinating way as a capsule con

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