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February 16, 2021

Airborne 02.16.21: F-15EX Progress, French MoD Buys TBMs, Coulson FireLiners

Also: Lunar Outpost Launch Assignments, SWA Pilot's Union, NATA Schools Washington, Embraer 2020 Deliveries 
The first F-15EX completed its initial flight in St. Louis Feb. 2. It was announced in August 2020 that the 173rd Fighter Wing will begin transitioning as the F-15EX formal training unit in 2024. “Being selected as the F-15EX formal training unit is an outstanding mission for the 173rd Fighter Wing,” said Col. Jeff Edwards, 173rd FW commander. The French Ministry of Defense has announced a framework agreement to acquire four Daher TBM 940 very fast turboprop aircraft for use by the country’s flight test centers, along with associated services for the operation of these airplanes. Delivery of the TBM 940 fleet will begin in t

Airborne-Unmanned 02.09.21: Firefly Aerospace, Airspeeder, UAV Pilot Busted

Also: Drones Deliver, Bell Demonstrates APT, Apache and Drones, 100+ Super Bowl Drone Incursions

Firefly Aerospace has received an award from NASA for $93.3 million to deliver a suite of ten NASA-sponsored science and technology demonstration payloads to Mare Crisium in the Moon’s Crisium basin. Firefly’s ‘Blue Ghost’ lunar lander will deliver the payloads to the lunar surface in 2023 in fulfillment of Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) task order 19D, managed by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Blue Ghost (named after a breed of rare firefly) will operate on-board

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American Legend Aircraft Company Teams with High School STEM Program

McKinney High School Is Building a Legend Cub

American Legend Aircraft is participating with McKinney High School students and local STEM project organizers to build a Legend Cub two-place airplane. Organizers state that the project represents the team's first time building a Legend Cub. The project is currently underway at McKinney National Airport (KTKI), a short distance from the Dallas-area school, and 49 nm due west of Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport (KSLR), home of the Legend Cub. The Legend Cub is a recreational aircraft manufactured from tubular steel and covered in fabric. The design takes its cues from one of the world's most recognized small airplanes, the Piper Cub. The first Legend Cub was manufactured in 2005.

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Another BUSY Day For USCG Helos

USCG Aircrew Rescues 5 Kayakers In St. Thomas, And Rescue Snorkeler In Puerto Rico

Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen helicopter crews, Saturday, rescued five stranded kayakers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and a distressed snorkeler in Isabela, Puerto Rico. "Both these cases highlight how even a beautiful day can turn into a bad situation," said Lt. William T. Cox, Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter first pilot and acting pilot for the cases. "It’s very important that individuals pay close attention to the weather and sea state conditions and also wear appropriate safety equipment while engaged in water activities.  In the end, everyone made it back safe and sound thanks to the coordination and quick response from l

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New Drone Surveillance System to be Deployed on Canadian Coast Guard Vessels

V-BAT UAS Is A Fixed-Wing VTOL Aircraft

Kongsberg Geospatial has been selected by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) to conduct trials of a new long-endurance UAV surveillance system for the Canadian Coast Guard. The MartinUAV V-BAT aircraft was selected to provide the ability to combine take off and landing from the small confines aboard ship with the long endurance of a fixed-wing aircraft while carrying multiple sensors.

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Shell Selects H160 For Operation By PHI in Gulf of Mexico

Airbus Will Provide One H160 Ahead Of Final Deliveries To PHI And Shell

Shell has selected offshore helicopter operator PHI to operate four Airbus H160s to service a support contract in the Gulf of Mexico. The contract marks the entry into the oil and gas market of the H160 with a wealth of design features promising new levels of safety, comfort and schedule reliability in offshore operations. The three companies – Airbus, PHI and Shell – are cooperating in a unique partnership. Airbus will provide one H160 ahead of final deliveries to PHI and Shell for a year-long route-proving programme to enable the operator and the final customer to familiarize themselves with the type’s advanced features and mitigate the normal challenges ar

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Classic Aero-TV: Wipaire At NBAA17 - More Than Just Floats

From 2017: Caravan Floats Updated With Oil Bath Wheels For Reduced Maintenance…

Wipaire Floats was founded in the 1960s, and over the years has come to offer a line of products for everything from small recreational airplanes to large commercial aircraft, including firefighting airplanes. At NBAA-BACE is Las Vegas last month, Clint Clouarte, VP of Marking and Sales for Wipaire, said one of the most recent developments is the introduction of oil bath wheels on new production Wipline 8750 amphibious floats for Cessna Caravans, eliminating the need for repeated greasing. The design allows the m

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2021 MCAS Beaufort Air Show Cancelled

All Tickets Are Being Refunded and Planning For 2023 Is Underway

It's happening so often, we should create a standardized form for such stories... but yet another vital airshow, one that was associated with our military, has had to shelve its plans for another day. We're not sure when all this will finally end, but we sure look forward to the day when we no longer have to report such awful news, as the damage done to aviation has been incredible. This time, 'the 2021 Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show has been cancelled in order to protect the health of our service members, their families and the members of the community.'

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Adapting To The Times--AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2021 Will Be Back As Hybrid Event Series

The Series Will Begin May 4-6

AUVSI has announced that its annual conference and trade show, AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2021, will be held as an expanded hybrid event series in 2021. After the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a virtual staging of XPONENTIAL 2020 last October, the Association plans to deliver a full virtual program this spring followed by an in-person event late in the summer. The series will support its mission to convene the unmanned and automated systems community to accelerate innovation and market adoption of the related technologies.

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Military Aviation Museum Holds Black History Month Youth Art Contest

Will Be Judged by Panel Featuring a World War II Tuskegee Airman

The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach is celebrating Black History Month this year by hosting a Youth Aviation Art Contest that invites children in Grades 1-12 to honor the contributions of African-Americans in Aviation History through their artistic submissions, with entries due by Sunday, February 21st. The contest will be judged by a panel of aviation aficionados, including SGT Harry Quinton, a documented original Tukegee Airman who resides in Williamsburg, VA.

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NEW! Airborne-Special Edition 01.29.21: 'Lites' Leenhouts Talks Sun n Fun 2021!

Also: SnF Safety Issues, COVID Cautions, Great Expectations And Some Surprises

With so many aero-events being delayed, Heli-Expo cancelled and Aero- Friedrichshafen delayed to the week before Oshkosh, people are wondering when can the aviation world return to normal and when can Fly-Ins happen again. In just a couple of months...will Sun ‘n Fun be the Aero-Ice breaker? Can they pull off the first major aviation event barely a year after the start of the Pandemic and keep it safe? And finally Will people come to Lakeland after all? To get answers ANN Editor-In-Chief Jim Campbell interviewed none ot

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NTSB Prelim: Plante Challenger II

Propeller-To-Engine Drive Belt Was Broken And Laying Across The Empennage

On January 21, 2021, about 0945 eastern standard time, an amateur-built Challenger II, N4469Z, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near the Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Airport (3FD4), Minneola, Florida. The pilot/owner was seriously injured. The airplane was operating as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to a law enforcement official, who responded to the scene, the pilot stated he was inbound to 3FD4 and while flying with a tailwind, lost "propulsion." The airplane then took a “nose-dive” and impacted terrain, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.16.21)

Aero Linx: Let me help you learn to fly or learn more about flying. I've been in the flying business since 1970 and teaching flying since late 1973. I've helped hundreds and hundreds of people learn to fly and I can do the same for you. As a student pilot who was stuck reading dry, boring FAA textbooks, I promised that I'd write my own someday and make them fun, interesting and highly educational (see for yourself by reading the comments). What you read is material based on nearly 50 years of flying and flight instructing experience.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.16.21): Remote Communications Air/Ground Facility

Remote Communications Air/Ground Facility An unmanned VHF/UHF transmitter/receiver facility which is used to expand ARTCC air/ground communications coverage and to facilitate direct contact between pilots and controllers. RCAG facilities are sometimes not equipped with emergency frequencies 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.16.21)

"Both these cases highlight how even a beautiful day can turn into a bad situation. It’s very important that individuals pay close attention to the weather and sea state conditions and also wear appropriate safety equipment while engaged in water activities. In the end, everyone made it back safe and sound thanks to the coordination and quick response from local Emergency Services, Coast Guard watchstanders and our crew." Source: Lt. William T. Cox, Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter pilot and acting pilot for a number of rescues conducted by his USCG crew. 

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