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May 22, 2023

Airborne 05.22.23: Stratolaunch Test, J-3 Raffle, B-2 Safety Pause Lifted

 Also: TOCSIN-4 CO Monitor, AAL Labor Agreement, CAP Drones, BAE Compact HUD 

Stratolaunch confirmed that it had successfully completed a separation release test of TA-0, the company’s Talon-A separation test vehicle. The flight was Roc’s 11th and occasioned the second instance in which the company’s teams conducted flight operations within Vandenberg Space Force Base's Western Range. The Historic Aircraft Preservation Society announced it is offering a classic Piper J-3/L-4B Cub as the grand prize of its summer 2023 fund-raising campaign. The aircraft, dubbed Lulu Belle, began life as an Army L-4B and was assigned to North Carolina’s Camp Butner, where she helped train artillery spotters in preparation fo

USAF B-2 Safety Pause Lifted

Stealth Bomber Flights to Resume

The United States Air Force’s fleet of B-2 Spirit strategic stealth bombers will presently return to service following a 163-day safety pause ordered by U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command in the wake of a December 2022 mishap at Missouri’s Whiteman Air Force Base. The model’s return to flight-status was approved by Air Force Global Strike Command head General Thomas A. Bussiere.

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Biden Backs Plan to Provide Ukrainian Pilots F-16 Training

Would Support A Joint Effort To Train Ukrainian Pilots In The Operation Of Modern Fighter Jets

Joe Biden has set forth his intention to commit additional U.S. dollars and resources to training Ukrainian pilots to fly U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets. The president expressed his aspiration to further involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict during a 19 May closed-door meeting at the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

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BAE Unveils Compact Heads-Up Display

LiteWave Fits "Any Cockpit in the World" Says BAE Electronics Systems Director

BAE Systems unveiled a lightweight, compact HUD for use in commercial or military aircraft, branded the LiteWave. The new system is comprised of a 'laptop sized' kit mounted above the pilots' station, allowing a forward projection of critical information like direction, altitude and speed. The suite is said to be 70% smaller and lighter than a traditional HUD installation, which should be fairly accurate given the company's experience in providing HUDs to the Eurofighter, F-16, and F-22.

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Disney to Close Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel

The Force is Weak with This One

Walt Disney World Florida’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel is slated to close on 28 September 2023. The Star Wars-themed luxury destination appears to be joining the tattered remnants of Lucasfilm’s once mighty Star Wars Intellectual Property (IP) on a one-way trip to the Sarlacc pit—therein, as C-3PO set forth, to: “… find a new definition of pain and suffering as [they] are slowly digested over a thousand years.”

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Aero-TV: Possible Turbine Option for Comp Air’s Model 6.2

Big Possibilities for a Big Home-Built

Formerly known as Aerocomp Inc, Comp Air is a Merritt Island, Florida-based manufacturer of kit and factory-built aircraft. In its early days, the company focused on producing floats for seaplanes. In time, the concern’s expertise with composite materials and manufacturing processes germane thereto facilitated its transition to the lucrative kit aircraft sector.

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North Carolina CAP to Field 10 New Teal-2 Drones

Military-Grade sUAS to Aid in ESAR Operations

The United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) North Carolina Wing (NCWG) announced on 19 May 2023 that it had  taken delivery of ten new Teal-2 military-grade drones by which to more effectively carry out its mission of providing emergency assistance to citizens across North Carolina and neighboring states.

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FAA Examines/Explains Space Launch and Reentry Operations

Be Not a Statistic

Since 2021, the cadence of U.S. commercial space launch and reentry operations has increased from a yearly average of three such licensed undertakings to approximately two per-week—an increase of 1,733-percent. It is incumbent upon GA pilots, therefore, to understand a number of key terms and concepts germane to aircraft operations in the vicinity of space launch and reentry corridors ...

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Pilot Killed in Florida Banner-Towing Mishap Identified

No Ground Injuries Reported in 17 May Accident

On Wednesday, 17 May 2023, a Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee—an aircraft widely utilized in agricultural application operations—went down in Hollywood, Florida, coming to ground in close proximity to a Target retail store and Memorial Regional Hospital. Hollywood police identified the aircraft’s pilot and sole-occupant as 28-year-old Mitchell Knaus, a friend of whom informed a South Florida news outlet that Knaus had “been a commercial pilot for some time.”

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NTSB Prelim: Airbus Helicopters EC130

The Purpose Of The Flight Was To Perform Aerial Hunting Of Wild Pigs

On May 6, 2023, about 1605 central daylight time, an Airbus Helicopters EC-130T2 helicopter, N254DM, sustained no damage when it was involved in an accident near Carta Valley, Texas. The pilot and two passengers sustained no injuries and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The helicopter was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. The purpose of the flight was to perform aerial hunting of wild pigs on the Rancho Bellas Rocas. The Rancho Bellas Rocas is a large privately-owned remote ranch located about 35 miles northeast of the border with Mexico. The ranch property is located on the southwestern edge of the Edwards Plateau

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.22.23)

Aero Linx: F-35A Lightning II

The F-35A is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. The F-35A will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (05.22.23)

“The B-2 fleet safety pause is officially lifted. General Bussiere, at my recommendation, made a final determination on the necessary actions taken and approved a return to flight... I wish that the safety pause was not necessary, but I think that it was really important that we find out what happened and make sure that was all mitigated before you start flying again, and that’s what we did.” Source: USAF 8th Air Force commander Major General Andrew J. Gebara, in comments made following the lifting of a safety pause for B-2 flight operations.

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