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November 26, 2023

Hydrogen Found in Lunar Samples

Promising Results for Long-Term Surface Operations

The US Naval Research Laboratory has announced the discovery of solar-wind hydrogen in lunar samples, which points to water on the surface of the moon. If there is recoverable water on Luna's rocks then it bodes well for operations in coming decades, providing a usable, in-place store of vital water for living and working - and every pound of water found moonside is one less needed to be launched out of orbit. The hydrogen found was similar to helium found in lunar soils from the Apollo program, deposited by "solar winds" as elements were carried throughout the cosmos. The discovery comes courtesy of a Navy operation, using samples gleaned from the Apollo mission. It's a bit novel for space n

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Air Force Practices Downed Pilot Recovery with USCG

Exercise Mosaic Tiger Hones Rescue Capabilities

The 347th Operations Support Squadron out of Moody AFB spent some quality time with the team of USCG Station Mayport, going over their water rescues for downed pilots as a part of "Mosaic Tiger 24-1". The weather off the Florida coast worsened to the point of calling off the actual exercise rescue, giving teams a bit of a 'snow day' as they met and mingled with each other ahead of the actual training to be held when everything clears. During the week, the teams from Moody worked with a trio of local Coast Guard stations including St. Petersburg and Cape Canaveral, aided by their safety boats as they practiced recovering targets for hoist operations.

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Stratolaunch Aims for Commercialized Hypersonics

Twin-Hull "Roc" Testbed Tests Mid-Air Launch Techniques

Stratolaunch LLC has continued its efforts to develop a Mach 5 capable aircraft, helped along by a familiarly Rutanesque design in the form of Scaled Composites' Roc. The Roc, as it happens, serves as an excellent test bed for large rockets and missiles, allowing the company a solid vantage point to help develop Mach 5 capable systems for a government that found itself behind the power curve in similar fashion. And now? Stratolaunch thinks there's a market for civilian hypersonic flight testing - and they might just have that niche all to themselves.

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FAA Review Finds Inadequate ATC Staffing Around the Country

More Overtime Than Ever as Departments Remain Chronically Shortstaffed

The FAA’s National Airspace System (NAS) Safety Review Team (SRT) issued its report into recent SNAFUs involving aircraft in the public eye, and the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers feels quite vindicated. The NATC was glad to read that staffing issues - a longtime point of contention they've had with the FAA - were found to be a large part of recent problems. A shortfall of qualified tower personnel was found to be "eroding the margin of safety and injecting risk into the system". The SRT urged action to "urgently address this staffing crisis.” 

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Archer Aviation and Air Chateau Announce $500M Order

eVTOL Game Just Keeps Heating Up

Archer Aviation left the Dubai Air Show holding some pretty juicy order forms covering more than $500 million in business for their Midnight aircraft. The buyer of 100 Midnight eVTOL aircraft is Emirati operator Air Chateau, who signed a memorandum of understanding covering the purchase with an initial non-refundable pre-delivery payment of $1 million. Additional funding in pre-delivery payments is “contemplated to be paid following signing” according to official press. 

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TEKEVER and CRFS Launch Signal-Sniffing UAS

“First Sub-Tactical UAS” Sports RF Receiver Payload for Target Geolocation OTH

TEKEVER, a “global leader in unmanned systems technology”, and CRFS, a “pioneer in building ultra-sensitive RF receivers” have put their heads together to create a fixed-wing UAV in the form of the AR5, an airborne bloodhound to ferret out radio signals of terrestrial targets. The alphabet soup of tactical and comms industry terms may be tough to parse for an outsider, but the gist of things is that the RFeye Node - a “lightweight and rugged RF receiver with a 11MHz IBW and a frequency range up to 40 GHz” - combines with the AR5, a tricycle-geared twin-engined fixed wing UAV. The combination of a lightweight RF module

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Airborne Affordable Flyers 11.16.23: SAIB on SeaMax Fatal, IUAC, SwitchBlade

Also: CubCrafters IR, ASR-Pioneer Bankrupt, BIG ICAS Announcement, Zenith Workshop

Amid reports of the Brazilian company’s failing to deliver on purchased aircraft here in the USA, as well as other problematic details, the SeaMax amphibious LSA has become the subject of a worrisome FAA SAIB after a fatal aircraft breakup last year. The Illinois Ultralight Advisory Council, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, and the Federal Aviation Administration, Springfield FSDO, are presenting the 42nd Annual IUAC Ultralight/Light Sport Symposium. 2024’s event will be held in Granite City, Illinois on Saturda

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Klyde Morris (11.24.23)

Klyde Tries To Play Games With 'The Shape of Space to Come'


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Airborne 11.17.23: Hydrogen Deltahawk, Hybrid Cropduster, Blue Condor

Also: ATI Cargo Pilots, AeroGuard, True Blue Power Takes On Piaggio, Remote Pilot Ground School

DeltaHawk Engines dropped a surprise on us this week by disclosing their simulation analysis of a new,  hydrogen-fueled variant of its engine family for multiple markets. These tests apparently demonstrate  DeltaHawk’s engine architecture will adapt to hydrogen fuel, and allow for the development for a variety of markets in addition to aviation. Wright Electric and Axter Aerospace capped off a successful flight test using their prototype hybrid-electric agricultural aircraft, proving the viability of a 1.2-Megawatt crop

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Classic Aero-TV: The Cost-Effective Airtext LT - Aviation's Ultimate Messenger??

From 2018 (YouTube Version): A Smaller, Lighter, And Lower Cost Texting Product That Is Portable

Send Solutions introduced a new texting product that is smaller, lighter, lower cost, and portable at AirVenture this year... the AirtextLT. With the approaching ADS-B mandate deadline at the end of 2019 Send Solutions found that avionics facilities were limited in installation man-hours and could not fit Airtext installations into their schedule. By having a portable solution the company says they have solved the temporary inconvenience of installation availability and still provide the low-cost connectivity to the customer. The AirtextLT is half

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NTSB Final Report: Cessna 152 (A1); Cessna 172S (A2)

The Airplane Rolled Forward And Struck The Right Wing Of A Cessna 172 That Was Taxiing In Front

Analysis: The student pilot in a Cessna 152 reported that, after completing the engine start procedure checklist, he set the parking brake and both he and the instructor placed their feet on the brake pedals. As both pilots looked down to plug in their headsets the airplane rolled forward and struck the right wing of a Cessna 172 that was taxiing in front of them. As a result of the collision, the Cessna 172’s right wing was substantially damaged. The flight crews of both airplanes reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with their airplanes that would have precluded normal operation.

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Airborne 11.15.23: Starship Ready!!!, Uncrewed R22, MORE Rotor X Woe

Also: BizJet Invader, Samson Sky, B757 Freighter Sell-Off, ALPA Testifies

Friday may turn out to be an exciting day... with SpaceX Boss Elon Musk confirming that he, “...Was just informed that approval to launch should happen in time for a Friday launch.” Paperwork holdups have been extensive since the April 2023 inaugural orbital test-flight of SpaceX’s Starship platform—the largest, most powerful rocket yet conceived of by humankind—proved something less than a resounding success. But since then, the FAA and other governmental permitting processes have dragged on and on.... Until... hopefully... now. Rotor T

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (11.26.23)

Aero Linx: The International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA) The International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA) is a non-profit, non-partisan association that exists to: facilitate exchanges between people and organisations involved in the use of English in aviation, raise awareness of language proficiency and its effect on aviation safety, service quality and industry efficiency, develop expertise about the use, training and testing of English in all aviation professions, promote the sharing of expertise and cooperation between professions, industry and training organisation

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (11.26.23): Breakout

Breakout A technique to direct aircraft out of the approach stream. In the context of simultaneous (independent) parallel operations, a breakout is used to direct threatened aircraft away from a deviating aircraft. 

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (11.26.23)

“Complacency can be the divider between failure and success, and exposing search-and-rescue resources to fresh scenarios deepens the well to draw from when the call comes in real-time. We benefit from working with the Air Force by working through a different set of scenarios that we may not usually see or expect. “This promotes real-time risk assessment and evaluation that is essential to growing as first responders. The opportunity to develop a universal standard or response cannot be understated as more resources are available to respond in any given situation.” Source: Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Tim Mathis, USCG STA Mayport unit supervisor, detailing how the 347th Operations Support Squadron out of M

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