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June 16, 2023

Airborne 06.16.23: New HondaJet, Electra Aero, SpaceX 200th Landing!

 Also: EcoGroups v BizAv, Buttigieg's Travel, Tamarack Aerospace, X-66A Test Aircraft

HondaJet will add a midsize aircraft ostensibly capable of traversing the contiguous United States nonstop. At 2021’s NBAA-BACE, HondaJet introduced its HondaJet 2600 concept. The company disclosed the new model—which its engineers and management aspire to see FAA type certificated in 2028—will complement the existing HondaJet Elite II. Electra has unveiled the newly-completed test-vehicle by which it intends to vet its hybrid-electric Short Take-Off and Landing (eSTOL) platform. The event marked a significant milestone in the company’s stated mission of helping decarbonize aviation and revolutionize urban and regional transpo

SpaceX Celebrates 200th Successful Booster Landing

There and Back Again: a Booster’s Tale

On Monday, 12 June 2023, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation—colloquially, SpaceX—landed its 200th rocket-booster. The milestone achievement occurred just eight-minutes after the 14:35 PDT launch of the company’s Transporter-8 rideshare mission from Space Launch Complex 4E at California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB). Borne aloft by a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket, the mission delivered 72 payloads ranging in size from picosatellites massing less than one-kilogram to orbital platforms massing several hundred kilograms into Sun-Synchronous Orbits (SSO) of approximately 525-kilometer altitudes and 97.5-degree inclinations.

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ALPA Condemns “Poison Pill” Amendment to FAA Funding Bill

Fighting the Idiocracy

In a rousing 15 June 2023 letter to the U.S. Senate et al., ALPA president Captain Jason Ambrosi argued persuasively that the proposed Thune Enhanced Qualification Program (EQP) Amendment to the 2023 FAA Reauthorization Bill gravely and incontrovertibly threatens aviation safety.

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NASA and Boeing Announce X-66A Test Aircraft

Full-Scale Sustainable Flight Demonstrator Imminent

NASA and Boeing set forth on Monday, 12 June 2023, that the aircraft to be produced through the space agency’s Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project has been designated the X-66A by the U.S. Air Force. By dint of the new X-plane, NASA and Boeing seek to inform the design of a new generation of more sustainable narrow-body commercial aircraft—the veritable workhorses of the global airline industry.

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Aero-TV: Earning and Keeping the “Skyleader” Moniker


Born in the aftermath of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution—the non-violent 1989 socio-political phenomenon by which the eastern-European nation was transformed from a communist command economy to a free-market parliamentary republic—the company known today as Skyleader (formerly Jihlavan) has evolved from a designer of minimalist light and ultralight aircraft, such as the Z90 and TP41, to a respected manufacturer of modern, robust, efficient, and eminently desirable machines.

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SkyAlps Signs Letter of Intent with Tamarack Aerospace

Italian Air-Carrier Plans Major Fleet Upgrades

Sky Alps, the Italian airline operating flights from Bolzano Airport (BZO) in Northern Italy’s autonomous South Tyrol province, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Sandpoint, Idaho-based Tamarack Aerospace Group to partner in the development of a highly modified DeHavilland Q400 regional aircraft featuring Tamarack’s Eco-SMARTWING technology.

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Whisper Aero Reveals Ducted Fan Propulsion Scheme

All Quiet on the Start-Up Front

Founded by former NASA engineer and Uber Elevate co-founder Mark Moore, Crossville, Tennessee-based Whisper Aero claims its ducted fan propulsion system—which comprises a large number of rotor-blades turning at a relatively low rotational-rate—is wholly inaudible from distances of greater than sixty-meters.

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A Case for Flying Whales

The Vast Size and Weird Shape of Things to Come

Founded in 2012, Flying Whales is a French aviation concern about the business of developing the LCA60T, a rigid airship with an ambitious mission and a nigh-unbelievable carrying capacity. Originally designed to meet the grueling imperatives of the forestry industry, the LCA60T's abilities to load and unload at the hover are intended to provide solutions to global logistical challenges while maintaining a high-degree of ecological probity.

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Billy Nolen Named Archer Chief Safety Officer

Two Minutes to Midnight

Archer Aviation, the California-based designer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced on 13 June 2023 that former FAA Administrator Billy Nolen had been named the company’s Chief Safety Officer. Mr. Nolen’s expertise in matters of flight operations and aviation safety promises to better Archer’s chances of successfully commercializing Urban Air Mobility (UAM) at scale.

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Leading Labor Unions Weigh In on FAA Reauthorization Bill

Joint Letter to Congress Urges Circumspection

On 12 June 2023, the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA); the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO; and Transport Workers Union of America jointly submitted to Congress a letter pertaining to the legislative body’s mark-up of 2023’s FAA Reauthorization Act. Subject letter read ...  

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NTSB Final Report: Aviat Inc A-1 Aircraft

As He Watched The Airplane Head North, It Collided With A Power Line

Analysis: A witness reported the pilot was circling low over his house and waving at him. The pilot circled for about 5 minutes then departed the area. As he watched the airplane head north, it collided with a power line, resulting in a loss of electrical power to nearby residences and a brush fire. The airplane pitched down abruptly and descended into a ravine where it collided with the ground about 500 ft from the location of the power line.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (06.15.23)

Aero Linx: The Air Sport Australia Confederation (ASAC) The Air Sport Australia Confederation (ASAC) was formed in 1989 as a national confederation of sport and recreational aviation organisations. In 1990, it joined the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), and is Australia’s representative on that body.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (06.16.23)

Aero Linx: The Soaring Association of Canada (SAC) The Soaring Association of Canada (SAC) is the governing body for the sport of gliding in Canada. Mandated to safeguard and promote our sport, we render support and representation to glider pilots and gliding clubs across the nation through a variety of committees. On a national level, we represent our affiliated clubs and members on issues related to licensing, medical requirements, airspace and regulation. Internationally, we maintain representation within the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and the International Gliding Commission.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (06.16.23): Air Mass Thunderstorm

Air Mass Thunderstorm Generally, a thunderstorm not associated with a front or other type of synoptic-scale forcing mechanism. Air mass thunderstorms typically are associated with warm, humid air in the summer months; they develop during the afternoon in response to insolation, and dissipate rather quickly after sunset. They generally are less likely to be severe than other types of thunderstorms, but they still are capable of producing downbursts, brief heavy rain, and (in extreme cases) hail over 3/4 inch in diameter. Since all thunderstorms are associated with some type of forcing mechanism, synoptic-scale or otherwise, the existence of true air-mass thunderstorms is debatable.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (06.16.23)

“To reach our goal of net-zero aviation emissions by 2050, we need transformative aircraft concepts like the ones we’re flying on the X-66A.... With this experimental aircraft, we’re aiming high to demonstrate the kinds of energy-saving, emissions-reducing technologies the aviation industry needs.” Source: Bob Pearce, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, who announced a new X-plane designation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aviation Forum in San Diego.

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