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February 09, 2021

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 payloads through lunar transit, during lunar orbit, and on the lunar surface for a complete lunar day (about 14 Earth days) and well into the freezing dark of lunar night. Airspe

Robinson's Cockpit Video Camera Now Available

Recording Starts Automatically When The Helicopter Is Powered Up

The use of in-cockpit video is accelerating... and for a number of good reasons... especially in terms of flight training and other commercial operations where documentation and the ability to review a flight, can have a number of significant benefits. Robinson's Cockpit Video Camera introduced at Heli Expo 2020 is now optional on R22/R44 helicopters and standard on R66 helicopters ordered after 15 January 2021. 

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Airborne 02.08.21: AirVenture Coming Together, uAvionix AV-20-S, Inspiration4

Also: Tenfold PC-24, DA62 MPP, NBAA Cancels Events, Senate Confirms Buttigieg

EAA notes that 'coordinating the countless moving parts of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is a challenge in the best of times, but coming back from 2020's COVID-caused cancellation raises expectations regarding health and safety measures in planning this year's event on July 26-August 1.' An important phrase to remember is "At this time… ." As the return to events begins throughout the country, plans will change in conjunction with the current state of the pandemic. "We will be hosting AirVenture 2021, but there will be areas t

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Perseverance Readies For Mars Landing

Rover Landing Attempt To Be Made In Tricky Terrain

After a nearly seven-month journey to Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover is slated to land at the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater Feb.18, 2021, a rugged expanse chosen for its scientific research and sample collection possibilities. But the very features that make the site fascinating to scientists also make it a relatively dangerous place to land – a challenge that has motivated rigorous testing here on Earth for the lander vision system (LVS) that the rover will count on to safely touch down.

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Smile! Hawaii Is Now On Weather Cam

The FAA Plans To Begin Camera Installations On Kauai In March

The FAA is expanding weather-camera services to Hawaii to enhance aviation safety and pilot decision-making. The cameras, which already are installed in Alaska and Colorado, improve safety by providing pilots with near-real time video of weather conditions at their destinations and along their intended flight routes. The Hawaii project will install 23 camera facilities throughout the islands. The FAA has completed engineering surveys and site selections on Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai, and will begin surveys on Oahu and the Big Island in March 2021. Each facility can accommodate up to four cameras.

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Textron and Gulfstream Not Yet Benefitting from New Interest in BizAv

News/Analysis/Opinion by Brian Foley

One would think that increased interest in private air travel by those seeking to avoid germy airports would be a good thing for new business jet sales. To the contrary, sales have been rather unremarkable over the past year - but that could soon change. Travelers with means have sought alternatives to airline travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Private jet charter companies reported a flood of inquiries last year, many from first-time users, as did fractional aircraft firms, who sell pieces of jets like a condo timeshare. Despite this, the number of flights for both charter and fractional flights decreased for the year, making it appear that the majority of these quotes never materialized into a paid flight,

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Spectacular USAF Super Bowl LV Flyover Took Months Of Planning

There Was A Backup Aircraft For Each Bomber In Case Of Maintenance Issues

For fans watching the Super Bowl Feb. 7, the Air Force Global Strike Command tri-bomber flyover over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, lasted seconds. For the team planning this historic event, however – the first flyover of a major sporting event featuring a B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress – the flyover has taken months of hard work.

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Classic Aero-TV: Simply Extraordinary – The Wright B Flyer Program

From 2018: Wright 'B' Flyer Organization Is Preserving Aviation History

Wright "B" Flyer Inc. is an all-volunteer, membership-based, not-for-profit corporation located on the Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport near Dayton, Ohio. They fly one Model B look-alike during the summer months, curate a hangar that doubles as a museum. The flying airplane, No. 001, is available for fly-overs and static displays at public and private events. Honorary Aviator Members, who pay the $100 membership fee, are eligible for a free orientation flight at the facility in Dayton. Experience the thrill of pioneer flight

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Cheaper by The Half Dozen? JDF Buys Bell 505s

Bell Announces Sale of Six Bell 505s to Jamaica Defence Force

Bell Textron has received  a signed purchase agreement for six Bell 505 aircraft to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). The newly acquired Bell 505s will be configured to support Public Safety missions in country and be used by the Force’s Caribbean Military Aviation School (CMAS) to train international rotorcraft pilots. “Bell and JDF share a rich history of more than 55 years, and we are committed to delivering the most advanced and economically viable aircraft on the market,” said Nicholas Peffer, Managing Director, Latin America.

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Rolls-Royce Conducts First Tests Of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Fuel Has The Potential To Reduce Net CO2 Lifecycle Emissions By More Than 75%

Rolls-Royce has conducted the first tests of 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in a business jet engine, as part of our ongoing ambition to play a leading role in enabling the sectors in which we operate reach net zero carbon by 2050. The tests on our latest business aviation engine in development, the Pearl 700, in Dahlewitz, Germany, come just weeks after unblended SAF was successfully used for the first time in engine ground tests on a Trent 1000 engine in Derby, UK.

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NTSB Prelim: Piper PA-28-161

Pilot Requested Flight Following Services To COI And Routing “Along The Shoreline.”

On January 24, 2021, about 2000 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-161, N266ND, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Boynton Beach, Florida. The pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot was conducting a night visual flight rules flight from Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA), West Palm Beach, Florida to Merritt Island Airport (COI), Merritt Island, Florida. The flight was operated by a flight school, and the pilot had filed a company flight plan with them. A preliminary review of voice communication and Automatic Dependent Surveillan

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.09.21): Unpublished Route

Unpublished Route A route for which no minimum altitude is published or charted for pilot use. It may include a direct route between NAVAIDs, a radial, a radar vector, or a final approach course beyond the segments of an instrument approach procedure.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.09.21)

Aero Linx: The Flying Dentists Association The Flying Dentists Association is a professional and social association devoted to continuing dental education combined with aviation and family fun. We believe there are skills common to dentistry and flying, and Flying Dentist Association members are more successful and better practitioners due to these skills. We earn a lot of dental and aviation continuing education and learn from each other, but it’s more than that: we are a family that shares the interests of dentistry and flying!

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.09.21)

“This flyover took a lot of extra coordination, because we were working with three different wings at three different bases. Normally you’re working with one unit who is used to doing these types of flyovers, so it was a new dynamic for us. Once we got the final aircrews selected and got the times from the NFL on when the National Anthem would end, I put together a detailed event briefing for the three flying crews.” Source: Lt. Col. Chris McAlear, who was the chief of the Air Combat Command Aerial Events Branch, and for the Super Bowl, served as the ground controller who vectors the aircraft in for the actual Super Bowl 55 flyover.

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