Minuteman III: Celebrating a half-century of continuous alert

By Josh Roth and Eric Fetters-Walp For 50 years and counting, the Boeing-built Minuteman III ICBM has been on the clock in hardened underground silos across the Great Plains — serving with rare distinction and longevity as the ultimate deterrent to an attack on the nation and its allies. For 50 years and counting, the Boeing-built Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, has been on the clock in hardened underground silos across the Great Plains — serving with rare distinction and longevity as the ultimate deterrent to an attack on the nation and its allies. When it first went on alert in August 1970, the weapon system was as revolutionary as the famed Massachusetts militia

Airport Navigational Instrument Calibration Moving ahead at Pace

Three down and on to the next! SA Civil Aviation Authority gratified with calibration work done to date. With two of the key South African airports’ navigational instruments successfully calibrated to date, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is pleased with the progress achieved thus far. In total, three sites have been calibrated, and these comprise OR Tambo International Airport’s two instrument landing systems (ILS’s), Standerton’s very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR), and Cape Town International Airport’s VOR and ILS’s. “The multinational crew, which includes our own Civil Aviation Authority flight inspectors are working hard, and with diligence, to attend to

Bombardier Global 7500 now with dual HUD

Bombardier recently delivered the first Global 7500 aircraft equipped with a dual head-up display (HUD). This first-in-class capability provides additional safety and redundancy to what is already the most advanced and pilot-friendly cockpit in business aviation. “The delivery of the first Global 7500 aircraft with a dual HUD showcases our outstanding commitment to safety,” said Michel Ouellette, Senior Vice President, Program Management and Engineering, Bombardier Aviation. “This cockpit is designed to put technology and automation at the service of the crew, rather than creating technology that the crew has to manage.” The sophisticated HUD on the Global 7500 aircraft is equipped with Enha

Breezing in a Breezer, One Sexy Little Aircraft

Breezer Aircraft, located in the North of Germany, was officially established in 2006 although they were manufacturing aircraft form 1999. Breezer have always believed in creating aluminium aircraft to the highest possible German engineering standards. The Breezer Stable currently consists of five different variants all specifically designed to cater to a specific requirement. The flagship “Breezer Sport” is one of the best-looking aircraft in its class. The design complements the proven B400/B600 series yet is by no means just an enhancement it is a completely new aircraft with totally different technology approaches. The design of the Breezer Sport was from the wheels up and thanks to an a

South African Helicopter Operator Manages Locust Swarms in Kenya

During March 2020, as the global Covid-19 pandemic began building momentum and South Africa went into Level 5 Lock-down, BAC Helicopters was requested by an NGO to send two Bell 206L-4 Long Ranger helicopters to Kenya to carry out an Emergency Desert Locust Survey. East Africa has recently been plagued by a Desert Locust invasion, wreaking havoc to food security in the region. With the uncertainty brought about by the virus, as well as related travel restrictions, particularly cross border travel, planning for the challenging ferry of the two helicopters from South Africa to Kenya began immediately. The routing saw the two helicopters traverse through four foreign airspaces before landing in

EASA awards Type Certificate for Continental’s fuel-efficient CD-170 engine

Continental Aerospace Technologies received the EASA Type Certificate validation for the Jet-A CD-170 engine. The CD-170 engine is a part of Continental’s CD-100 series of engines that have accumulated over 7.1 million flight hours worldwide since its inception. The newly certified Jet-A engine is included in the current type certificate for the already proven and reliable CD-100 engine series. The TC is the first of many certification milestones as Continental plans to apply for other foreign validation type certificates for the CD-170 to reach aviators worldwide. “We are pleased to reach this significant milestone for the CD-170 engine”, said Jurgen Schwarz, Executive Vice President of Glo

Leonardo opens new service centre in South Africa

Leonardo is strengthening the level of support and maintenance services offered to its customer base in South Africa with a new service centre following the recent acquisition of Precision Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd, located at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria. The new service centre comprises 2275 m² of floor space, 450 m² of workshop/store and an equivalent amount of office space. The site had been operating as an Authorized Service Centre for Leonardo’s helicopters in the country over the last 25 years and is the first Leonardo Excellent Service Centre on the Continent. ‘Excellent’ ranking is assigned to selected Service Centres focused on maintaining third party fleets and having the larg

ARJ21 completes special flight test at the highest civil airport in the world

The COMAC ARJ21 AC103 completed a maximum take-off/landing height expansion flight test at Daocheng Yading Airport (14,472 ft), the highest civil airport in the world, and returned to Shanghai on July 30th, 2020. After half a month of flight test, the take-off and landing capabilities of ARJ21 aircraft in the environment of a high plateau airport were fully verified, which marks that the operating range of ARJ21 aircraft can cover all the high plateau airports, laying a solid foundation for the opening of plateau routes in the future. Plateau airports refer to the airports with an elevation of greater than 5000 ft, among which those with an elevation of 5000-8000 ft are general plateau airpo

SAPFA Air Navigation Rally– Brakpan

Brakpan Airfield once again came to life after a six-month quiet spell due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the government imposed lock-down that left aviators in South Africa grounded. It came as no surprise that all the available spaces for this Air Navigation Rally were filled within hours of opening. The weather once again threatened to derail plans as the ANR coincided with the arrival of a nasty cold front causing windy conditions when the competitors realised the 20 knot wind was straight down the runway a decision was made to go ahead. As with the SAC Aerobatic Coaching Camp held the week before strict adherence to the submitted Covid-19 SOP was essential. A maximum of twenty aircraft w

USAF C-130J delivers COVID aid to South Africa

By Trevor Cohen South Africa at the moment is fighting the Corona virus, like many countries around the world. The leadership has taken an opportunity to lead and grow on bold decisions made to completely lose the plot. With corruption at the heart of the pandemic leading the decisions made and those on the front line not having protection while their brothers and sisters are driving fancy German and Italian cars. The United States representatives in South Africa took the initiative to find out from the department of health what was most needed and how they can help. AFRICOM or the United States Africa Command sent gloves, masks, sanitizing supplies and medical gowns south to South Africa on

Future of AHRLAC secured as Business Rescue nears completion

Paramount Aerospace Industries Proprietary Limited announced today that the Business Rescue Plans of the Aerospace Development Corporation Proprietary Limited (ADC), the manufacturer of the AHRLAC aircraft and its subsidiaries* are in the final phase of implementation. This is in line with the business rescue plans adopted by affected parties in October 2019, pursuant to which Paramount Aerospace Industries acquired the businesses of ADC and its subsidiaries in terms of the relevant business rescue plans, which included the sale of the businesses and assets of ADC and its subsidiaries, as well as the assumption of certain liabilities of these entities in accordance with the respective busine

Boeing X-37B Spaceplane is receiving the Collier Trophy

The United States Department of Air Force and Boeing X-37B autonomous spaceplane is receiving the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy for the greatest American achievements in aeronautics and astronautics of 2019. The X-37B set a new 780-day on-orbit endurance record and completed an overflight of the United States, using Federal Aviation Administration airspace, before making a pinpoint landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre. Designed and built by Boeing, operated in partnership with the U.S. Space Force, and managed by the U.S. Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the X-37B is a reliable, reusable, uncrewed space test platform designed to carry experiments to orbit and

Airbus Corporate Jets A321LR to be used in Military Applications

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has won the first A321LR order for two aircraft from Lufthansa Technik, highlighting the market appeal and versatility of the A320neo Family. The aircraft will be multi-role capable and can be equipped for various types of missions, such as troop transport, different MedEvac role setups (medical evacuation) and will be operated by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). Lufthansa Technik has now placed a total order of five Airbus aircraft on behalf of the German Government: three ACJ350-900s and two A321LRs. The A321LRs will be able to fly up to 163 passengers, up to 6 intensive care patients and up to 12 medium care patients, depending on the installed configuration,

SAC Kitty Hawk RV Aerobatics Clinic

The Covid-19 pandemic and the lengthy lock-down imposed on all of us has brought to a halt all aviation events for many months, this all changed last weekend when the Sport Aerobatic Club hosted a brilliantly organised coaching clinic at Kitty Hawk Aerodrome. The old adage was once again proven true, “If you want bad weather, organise an aviation event”. After three weeks of amazing flying weather, all looked good for it to continue into the weekend but this was not too be. Friday morning arrived and with it, the cold, clouds and nasty wind, some of the participants were unable to get out of their home base. The few that did manage to get to Kitty Hawk were greeted by a nasty Southerly cross

Beechcraft King Air 360 – the new Flagship of the Turboprop Family

Textron Aviation recently ushered in the next generation of its legendary King Air turboprop family with the Beechcraft King Air 360/360ER. The updated flagship turboprop offers the latest technological advancements in the cockpit, a redesigned cabin, and enhancements to passenger comfort. The aircraft is currently in production with customer deliveries expected to begin towards the end of 2020. “The Beechcraft King Air 360 builds on decades of renowned versatility and reliability in the King Air family, and this upgrade further elevates it with the aircraft’s superior features and engineering advancements designed to create an enhanced flying experience for passengers and crew alike,” said

U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin Complete Hypersonics Test

The U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin successfully flight tested the second AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) on the service’s B-52 Stratofortress out of Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 8th August 2020. This captive carry flight was conducted with tactical hardware and fully instrumented to collect thermal, mechanical and digital data from the flight vehicle. This is the first time a tactical ARRW missile has been assembled. Additional ground and flight testing will follow over the next two years. “The team overcame significant challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic to achieve this significant milestone for the program,” said Dave Berganini, ARRW program director

Rolls-Royce identify wear on Trent XWB IPC’s

The Trent XWB-84, the world’s most efficient in-service large civil aero engine, continues to deliver unequalled on-wing reliability with the early batch of engines successfully reaching their planned time on the wing. The first engines are now approaching their first scheduled shop visits, around five years after entering into service on the Airbus A350, having travelled an average of 14 million kilometres with no unplanned maintenance and record low levels of in-flight disruption. During routine inspections as part of these scheduled shop visits, we have identified indications of wear in the Intermediate Pressure Compressor (IPC) of a small number of engines that have been in service for f

Sling Squawk August 2020

Howzit Slingers! It’s been just over three months since I wrote to you last, and I see I closed my last newsletter by saying “I’ll see you on the other side!” Little did I know that I would be writing to you again on day 128 of the most draconian Covid-19 lockdown the world has seen. I can almost see some of you wincing at the thought of no flying for 128 days... Hold your grumbles please, because we have been 128 days with no booze or cigarettes in South Africa! Yes, that’s right. In South Africa, our infinitely wise supreme leader decided that not only can we not be trusted to wear our masks in public and wash our hands regularly, but we can’t be trusted to have a cold beer after a hard da

Israeli Army Drone saves Griffon Chick

Conservationists in Israel have long been keeping a protective eye out for the Critically Endangered Griffon vulture as their number in the wild have dropped to less than 180. Efforts are made to tag and monitor birds in the wild by the “Under our Wing Project”. Cameras are also set up to monitor nesting sites, It was one of these cameras that alerted the conservationist to the impending disaster for one Griffon Family. The conservationists monitoring one site, where two mature Griffon were raising a chick, noticed that the female parent did not return to the nest after going hunting. Griffon chicks rely heavily on both parents for their survival, as both parents need to do their fair share

Henly Air launch ROCKET, operating the Bell 222 UT

Henley Air launched its very own ROCKET (Rapid On Call Emergency Transport) Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operating six Bell 222 UT helicopters. ROCKET offers the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) industry in South Africa a neutral and independent helicopter ambulance service of unmatched quality. The service established an in-house call centre, tasked with evaluating medical flight criteria and ensuring facility acceptance, along with managing the complex logistics involved in every HEMS call-out. Henley Air is a family-owned and managed helicopter company that has provided safe and reliable helicopter-related services to the South African market for more than 22 years. Henley