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April 01, 2023

1/8 Scale A380 Offered As SportPlane

"A380 Mini" is a Single Seat, Shrunken Airliner for the Sport Pilot

Airbus is making waves with their latest addition to the company portfolio, introducing a homebuilt aircraft kit, a one-eighth-scale rendition of their giant A380 airliner. The A380 Mini will be offered for completion as an Experimental Amateur Built aircraft, one which outweighs both Part 103 Ultralight and LSA weight limits. The project has its roots in a back-of-the-napkin project by a handful of Airbus engineers in their off hours, taken up by an anonymous exec within the company who apparently wanted an example bad enough to greenlight a limited production run of the kits for their own creation.

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Cirrus SF-50 Jet to Receive Second BPRS

Trap Chuting

On 01 April 2023, Cirrus Aircraft—citing a disproportionately high instance of fires, runway overruns, acts of God, and generally lackluster luck—announced that SF-50 Vision Jets built after serial number 449 will feature not one, but two independent CAPS installations.

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Confederacy of Affluent Pilots to Purchase SMO

Reprieve for an Historic Airport

A confederacy of monied aviators and aviation enthusiasts comprising in part Seattle businessman, entrepreneur, and cellular telephone industry pioneer Craig McCaw; actor and celebrity aviator John Travolta; golf legend and Gulfstream G550 owner/pilot Phil Mickelson; and unnamed parties within the Paul Allen, Jack Northrop, and Howard Hughes Estates has pooled its considerable resources and influence for purpose of acquiring the SMO airport in a private transaction with the U.S. federal government.

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Blue Angels and Thunderbirds to Switch Aircraft for AirVenture 2023

Covet Not Thy Neighbor’s Fighter Jet

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023 attendees will be party to an historic and unprecedented undertaking alternately characterized by its proponents and critics as “brilliant” and “suicidally moronic” respectively. Stated plainly, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadrons will swap aircraft ...

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FAA Embraces 'Neopronouns' For Aircraft Reference

Future-Proofed Bid for Inclusivity Confuses Many

The FAA has announced its 2024 initiative for Women's History Month: doing away with female pronouns for aircraft. The change upends centuries of maritime and aeronautical history, in which voyagers referred to their faithful ships and craft as "she" and "her". The FAA, apparently wary of being left behind, has decided to leapfrog over the traditional gender binary, directly instituting the usage of "Neopronouns". "Neopronouns", explains a UNC Greensboro Professor, "are a category of new - or neo - pronouns that are increasingly used in place of “she,” “he,” or “they” when referring to a person. Some examples include: xe/xem/xyr, ze/hir/hirs, and ey/em/e

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New Sustainable Aviation Fuel Brand Announced

American Consortium Challenges Convention

In a surprising, if not intuitively sound move certain to occasion acrimony among the world’s established producers of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) a consortium comprising McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s announced on 01 April 2023 that it had entered into a partnership with Washington D.C.-based Alder Fuels to create and market a new brand of SAF from biomass deriving of the aforementioned fast-food giants’ collective greases and unsold food-stuffs.

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Taliban Commences Sales of Abandoned U.S. Military Aircraft

Possession is 9/10 …

The US Department of Defense has set forth that—owing to the chaotic manner in which U.S. troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan and the bedlam that ensued their departure—the Taliban is currently in possession of at least 168 U.S.-supplied military aircraft. The de facto Taliban Air Force comprises ...

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Fisher Flying Products Inks Deal for F-22-Alike LSAs

Lightweight Kit Selected for Next-Gen COIN Platform in Surprise Ukraine Bid

Fisher Flying Products' nifty little bird has a new customer, after a seriously expedited Foreign Military Sales deal secured their SF-1 Archon as the newest offering to militaries abroad. The SF-1 is a lookalike to many Gen-5 fighters, sporting the same angled, low-observable design and pointed fuselage as the F-35 and F-22. While the resemblance is there, the usual Archon lacks nearly everything its wall-poster heroes do, from cutting-edge avionics and weapon systems to jet engines and pressurization.

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PETA Sues Ameriflight Over 2022 Wisconsin Mishap

Dogs Allegedly Traumatized

On Tuesday 15 November 2022 at approximately 09:00 CST, an Ameriflight Fairchild SA227-AT Expediter (N247DH) operating as Ameriflight flight 7141 made an emergency landing on the links of the Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Notwithstanding the total loss of the 37-year-old Metroliner, its three crewmembers and cargo of 56 dogs survived the accident with only minor injuries. In December 2022, the Waukesha, Wisconsin chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—colloquially, PETA—filed suit in Waukesha County Circuit Court against Ameriflight; the Waukesha Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), to which the dogs were being transported; and Lake County, Wisconsin Fire a

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Cessna Announces NextGen Panel For Millennials

"Cutting Edge" but Controversial Change Leans Into EFBs for Cessna Lineup

Cessna has unveiled their new standard panel configuration for all piston-engined aircraft for the 2023 model year and beyond, a blank expanse of aluminum. While the change upends almost a century of tradition, Cessna believes customers will grow to love the minimalistic simplicity of the new designs. Lannie O'Bannion, senior VP of sales and Flight operations, said that previous forays into more futuristic flight deck design were similarly controversial until embraced... especially by the millennial generation.

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Crew Dragon OS Originated from Mission:Space Disneyland Ride

SpaceX Reveals Origins of Flight Guidance Code in Surprising Reveal

SpaceX founder Elon Musk revealed the surprising origins of the Crew Dragon's guidance systems during a livestreamed Twitter space, letting slip the fact that the core OS of the spacecraft was lifted directly from the 2003 Disney World Epcot ride Mission:Space. In the ride, park attendees are seated at control stations mounted in a simulated spacecraft and moved around on a spinning, tilting centrifuge as they carry out their assigned space mission tasks... or so they think. In reality, the ride is almost entirely automated, with parkgoers having "little to no control" over the ride experience despite being given a panel full of flashing lights, switches, joysticks, and butto

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FAA to Pursue Airman Violations with ChatGPT

Terrifying Program to Streamline, Automate Pilot Deviation Process Begins April 1st

An overworked FAA has announced the full automation of legal enforcement actions using a combination of OpenAI's ChatGPT and the ADS-B flight tracking system. Under the scheme, OpenAI will allow the FAA to automatically oversee the issuance of enforcement and certificate actions without a single glance from a real human. The move is expected to clear more than 4.8 billion dollars in fines throughout the first 6 months of the pilot program. Starting April 1st, the FAA will set up a specially modified ChatGPT system to oversee all aircraft track data filtering through ADS-B, which will then evaluate, assess, and even punish offenders that stray too

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Apple Makes Offer on Bendix-King

Will There Soon be an Apple...Plane?

A surprise investment by Apple appears to have set up the computer manufacturer to gobble up legendary avionics manufacturer Bendix-King. The deal could come about following an April 1st stock swap, with Bendix rolling itself into the same division as existing operations overseeing Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, and possible car development. The move is perplexing to many, given the apparent disinterest that the company has come to hold towards driverless cars and electric vehicles. Rumors abound, as with all things Macintosh, but early leaks from Foxconn and developers abroad point to a startling possibility that Apple will soon join the eVTOL race.

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FAA NPRM Bans Petroleum-Based Aircraft in 2025

Admin says "Climate Emergency Forced Our Hand" in Going All Electric, Hydrogen

04.01.23 Parody Edition: The FAA stunned industry stakeholders with a recent NPRM effectively banning all non-electric, non-hybrid engines from new production aircraft starting in 2025. The change was proposed by an advisory body within the EPA, randomly sampled from a 3-square mile area in the Santa Monica, California area. According to the group, the only way to quantifiably halt ecological damage throughout the USA is to effectively ban the sale of petroleum-based engines with every new aircraft as soon as possible. 

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Beech Announces Resurrection of Iconic Starship

Back After 28 Years of Would, Could, and Should Haves

The relatively short-lived confluence of the Beechcraft and Hawker marques under the Raytheon banner has—a full decade after its 2013 bankruptcy—yielded strange fruit. On 01 April 2023, Beechcraft—now a subsidiary of Textron Aviation—announced prototyping of an updated iteration of the company’s iconic, if not altogether successful, Starship business aircraft would commence in early 2024. The decision to resurrect Beechcraft’s startlingly-gorgeous, famously-flopped, twin-turboprop—which will ostensibly compete directly with the company’s highly-successful King-Air family of aircraft—derives primarily of vast improvements in

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F-22 Upgrade Pathway Skews Towards LTA Combat

F-22 Block 50 Upgrades Focus on High-Altitude, Low-Speed Balloon Combat

After capping off its first air-to-air successes with the F-22 Raptor, the US Air Force is doubling down on a new niche for the aircraft as the premier anti-lighter-than-air-aircraft asset. The new mission focus will be a change for the F-22 program, taking a high-speed, stealthy fighter and reforming it into a high-altitude, low-speed missile platform. Air Force secretary Frank Kendall said that the change was the perfect fit for the F-22, being the highest-performance asset in USAF inventory. 

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Garmin Wants More $$$ - Adds Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ Apps to Glass Panel Avionics

Garmin Announces End-to-End Trip Planning, MPG Monitoring

Not to be outdone by an advancing avionics field, Garmin never-ending search for more Aero-money, has brought about the newest iteration of their G3X$$ Touch EFIS replete with door-to-door trip planning, multimedia, and health monitoring. “We knew it wouldn’t be enough to take on Garmin with a good in-flight experience,” said Stans Martiuvec, the first person to pick up the department phone at Garmin (He should be an engineer). “Everyone has synthetic vision and trip planning, satellite weather, and autopilot. That’s why we looked outside the cockpit to make sure our G3X$$ Touch has it all.”

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Rotax Announces Fire-Breathing 917 iS/TT with 341 Hp

New Twin-Turbocharged, Nitrous-Injected Light Sport Engine Provides Wild Power Output for Experimental Aircraft

A small pet project under the Rotax umbrella was let loose on the world after general manager Peter Ölsinger approved a limited production run of a high-performance, custom-tuned crate engine for experimental aircraft. The engine builds on the popular Rotax engine series, which has seen continuous performance improvements since the original 80-hp 912 ULS years ago. While the recently introduced 916 iS/c provides 160 horsepower with a fuel-injected 4-cylinder, the new 917 iS/TT almost 2 1/2 times the power, with a total output of 341 horsepower.

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NBAA Gains Surprising New Sponsors

2024 NBAA-BACE Sponsored by DraftKings

The NBAA will sport some surprising branding on all company uniforms and insignia for the next year following an unfortunate SNAFU which confused the group for the National Basketball Association. Through 2024, the National Business Aviation Association will sport branding from DraftKings, an online sports betting company, much as the company had hoped to achieve throughout the NBA.

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NASA Embarks on Joint Yogurt Mission

"Miraculous Probiotic Bacteria" Found in Martian Soil

NASA has announced a surprise lander mission in a groundbreaking public/private enterprise with yogurt company Yoplait. The shocking news follows reports of recent martian bacteria discoveries by the InSight Mars Lander mission. While news of microscopic life on another world was shocking enough, initial spectroscopy, assays, and testing aboard the lander pointed to an astounding quality for the dormant bacteria: It would make a fantastic probiotic, perfect for healthy digestion.

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Virgin Orbit Sees Renewed Success as Hypersonic Weapons Platform

"Cosmic Girl" to Serve as Missile Launcher in Skies Over Ukraine

Virgin Orbit's mission has changed slightly from its original, pacifistic mission to seed the skies with affordably delivered civilian satellites after a surprising contract was announced. The 747 used for previous mid-air rocket launches, "Cosmic Girl", has been retained for use by Aerojet Rocketdyne for use as a mobile, long-range, hypersonic missile launcher. The modified 747 was chosen to be a test bed after increasing use of similar Russian and Chinese ordnance spurred the competitive instincts of defense contractors across the country.

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ANN FAQ: Can I Believe What I'm Reading Today?

In A Word ... No

Every year on the first of April, people all around the country pause for a few minutes to see if they can tickle the funny bone of the folks they like. And believe me, there's nobody ANN likes better than you, our readers.

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