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May 06, 2023

AeroVironment to Co-Design and Develop New Mars Helicopters

NASA/JPL Contract for Mars Sample Return Mission

On 02 May 2023, AeroVironment, announced it had been awarded a $10-million contract by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to co-design and co-develop rotary-wing concepts germane to NASA’s Mars Sample Recovery Helicopter mission—a near-future initiative by which a series of U.S. and European spacecraft are to journey to Mars for purpose of retrieving and returning to Earth an assortment of Martian regolith samples currently being cached by NASA’s Perseverance rover.

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USAF to Retire U-2s in 2026

With or Without You …

The U.S. Air Force, in accordance with ongoing efforts to reshape the manner in which the service surveils nations, organizations, and persons not supportive of U.S. policy, is proceeding with plans to retire its fleet of storied, high-flying U-2 Dragon Lady spy aircraft in fiscal 2026.

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Go First Airlines Files for Bankruptcy

Imperiled Air-Carrier’s CEO Blames Pratt & Whitney

On 03 May 2023, Go First airlines ceased operations and filed an application for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Go First CEO Kaushik Khona ascribed blame for his company’s woes to U.S.-based engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, stating Go First was “forced to apply to the NCLT” in the wake of an “ever-increasing number of failing engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney.”

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USAF F-22s Intercept High-Altitude Balloon

Again … On Friday, 28 April 2023, the U.S. Air Force scrambled three F-22 fighter jets for purpose of assessing what turned out to be a high-altitude balloon in the vicinity of Hawaii’s Big Island ...

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NASA Announces New Chief Flight Director

Emily Nelson Installed to Replace Holly Ridings

NASA announced its newest chief flight director, confirming that Emily Nelson would be leading the group overseeing human spaceflight missions from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Norm Knight, NASA director of flight ops, selected Nelson to replace the outgoing Holly Ridings, who served as the director from 2018 to 2022. Ridings has moved on to helm the NASA Gateway Program, an international partnership aiming to establish the first lunar-orbiting space station.

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Women's Air & Space Museum Offers One-Off Memorabilia Tour

Whirly Girls Founding Celebrated with Special Event on May 12th

The International Women’s Air & Space Museum (IWASM) will be holding a special “Coffee & Collections” event this month, bringing focus on the history of the Whirly Girls on Friday, May 12. The Whirly Girls date back more than 7 decades, when the first 13 female helicopter pilots were honored for their contributions to the rotary wing industry. Since then, the Whirly Girls have gone on to include thousands of members from 44 countries, awarded scholarships, facilitated networking opportunities, provided mentoring, and created a robust global community for female helicopter pilots."

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Classic Aero-TV: The 2016 AMA Expo--Aero-Beginnings, Aero-Roots, Aero-Innovation

From 2016 (YouTube Version): For So Many.... This Is Where Aviation Begins

In this video taken at the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) 2016 Expo held in Ontario, California, we see ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell, throw objective reporting out the window as he blatantly proclaims his love for the hobby of model aviation. Jim even recalls back to being 12 years-old when he first started in aviation through model aircraft.  

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Vertical Flight Society 2023 Board of Directors Announced

Industry Luminaries Ensure Solid VFS Leadership

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS), a non-profit technical society for the advancement of vertical flight, has named its 2023-2024 Board of Directors. The following members were re-elected to the Board’s Executive Committee for an additional one-year term spanning 01 July 2023 through 30 June 2024 ...

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NTSB Releases Final Report on July 2020 AT502 Accident

Down—On the Farm

The NTSB has released its final report on a 25 July 2020 accident in which the pilot of an Air Tractor AT502, registration N502KJ, operating in an agricultural application capacity under Part 137 of the Federal Aviation Regulations lost his life in the vicinity of Grant, Nebraska.

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Airborne 04.28.23: Taylor Award!, Sonex Dual-Stick, NetJets Sued

Also: Universal Avionics, Japanese Moon Lander Fails, Canada Transportation Act, Flt Education Access Act

The 66th annual AEA International Convention & Trade Show saw the presentation of the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award to Ric Peri, AEA VP of government and industry affairs. The FAA granted the award in honor of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight. Sonex has a new dual-stick option for the company’s Sonex, Waiex, and Xenos B models. The dual-stick configuration will be available as both a forward fit option for new aircraft and a retrofit package. The dual-stick architecture includes a new universal seat pan instal

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.06.23)

Aero Linx: The Brodhead Pietenpol Association The Brodhead Pietenpol Association is a newly reorganized (in 2017) non-profit educational corporation that grew and developed from an earlier type club for owners, pilots, builders, and aficionados of the Pietenpol Aircamper and Sky Scout. The original BPA was started in 1975 (then called the National Pietenpol Association) as a social and builder support group. It has evolved over the years and now, after four decades, has blossomed into a newly re-organized Pietenpol-focused educational organization with part of its mission now including among other activities, promoting aviation safety related to antique amateur-built aircraft, disseminating safe amateu

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (05.06.23)

“Accomplishing the impossible has been AeroVironment’s mission for more than fifty-years and we are excited to be working with the NASA/JPL team again to conquer the next challenge. Ingenuity’s flights on Mars are a giant leap for robotic technology. Now we’re advancing this science further by helping to build helicopters that not only will continue flight on Mars, but also will include apparatus to collect samples to bring back to Earth for this historic mission.” Source: AeroVironment’s vice-president and chief technology officer Scott Newbern, doing a little boasting after Aerovironment was tapped to help build the next Mars helicopters.  

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