Good day all
As we reach the end of the year the aviation events start getting few and far between, this weekend seems very quiet and all attention is focused on Langebaan with the AFB Langebaanweg Airshow on Saturday 9 December. Many civilian participants will be there but the airshow is predonimnatly a SAAF event with all branches of the SAAF being represented. The show concludes the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the Silver Falcons.
What to expect in pictures
Van’s celebrates 10,000th flying Aircraft
When David Porter took his first flight in his RV-7 on Nov. 24, 2017, he probably didn’t know he was making history.
The Martinsburg, W.Va., pilot’s plane became the official 10,000th Van’s RV aircraft to transition from a collection of parts and take to the skies.
The Vans’s RV-7A.
“We say ‘official’ because there are certainly more than 10,000 flying, but we don’t know about all of them,” say Van’s officials. “Many builders have taken to the air and, doubtless, the thrilling experience caused them to overlook alerting anyone at Van’s.”
Porter, who is the president of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1071, spent 3-1/2 years building his RV-7 from a standard kit. It’s the first airplane he has built.
Serial number 74311 (the 4311th RV-7/7A empennage kit sold) is the 1,662nd RV-7 to fly, according to company officials.
It’s fairly typically equipped for a modern RV, with a Lycoming O-360-A1A, Hartzell blended airfoil prop, GRT/Garmin VFR avionics and seats by Flightline Interiors, officials add.
An experienced CFI, but a relative newcomer to the RV world, he says he never considered building an airplane “until one day in late 2013 when I got a ride in the back seat of an RV-8. It was my first time in an RV, and I was amazed by the performance.”
“I immediately started running calculations about whether I could afford to build an RV,” he continued. “Before long, I ordered an empennage kit and sold the Piper Warrior I had owned for several years.”
According to company officials, Van’s Aircraft began to sell RV-3 plans back in 1973, so over the last 44 years a new RV has taken to the air every 1.6 days on average.
“No one is exactly sure when the 1,000th RV flew — best guess is around early 1994,” company officials said in a prepared release. “The 2,000 mark was passed in November 1998, 19 years ago. The increase from 9,000 flying RVs to 10,000 took just 33 months or under 1,000 days.”
About one new RV airplane leaves the ground each day, with 360 taking to the skies already in 2017.
“An interesting sidebar is that the shortest time taken to gain 1,000 flying RVs was from 6,000 to 7,000 in the 23 months leading up to October 2010,” company officials note. “At that time, three new RVs flew every two days.”
“If we step back and take a historical view of the RV phenomenon, we realize that RVs have been part of the aviation scene for over half of the personal aircraft era which began in the late 1920s,” said Dick Van Grunsven, founder and CEO. “Over that period RVs have morphed from interesting fringe area curiosities to GA mainstays. Credit is due both to the dedicated and talented staff at Van’s Aircraft and to the thousands of aviation enthusiasts who had faith in the perhaps understated performance and value of our traditional designs.”
“I cannot overemphasize the importance of the countless builders and pilots who have supported each other, and created a community that is now an aviation icon,” he continued. “Together, we have advanced the enjoyment and safety of personally built aircraft. On this strong foundation, I see no end in sight to the growth and energy the RV community is offering to GA.”
He added that company officials are looking forward to the next 10,000 taking flight.
“At current rates, that should take only about half as long as the first 10,000,” he said, adding that should be around 2040.
“We’re confident that Van’s will be there, and that plenty of RVs will still be delighting their owners, and taking new generations of builders into the sky,” he concluded.
The new Concorde? JAL buys into Branson's supersonic dream
Japan Airlines (JAL) has invested millions of dollars in a Sir Richard Branson-backed plan to reintroduce supersonic passenger flights 14 years after Concorde was retired.
The Japanese airline said on Tuesday it had invested $10m (£7.4m) in Boom Supersonic, a Denver-based startup aiming to build a new generation of supersonic jets promising 3.5-hour flights from London to New York for an "affordable" $5,000 return as soon as 2025.
As part of the deal, JAL has an option to pre-order 20 of the Boom aircraft, which it could use on routes from Tokyo to the west coast of the US and Canada. Currently a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo takes 11 hours - a Boom aircraft flying at Mach 2.2 could in theory make the journey in half the time.
"We are very proud to be working with Boom on the possible advancement in the commercial aviation industry," said Yoshiharu Ueki, the president of JAL. "Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more time to our valued passengers while emphasising flight safety."
Blake Scholl, the founder and chief executive of Boom Supersonic, said the company had been secretly working with JAL for more than a year to understand more about the dynamics of commercial flight operations. "Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any international airline’s fleet."
Branson’s Spaceship company is already working with Boom on the development of the supersonic jets, which are expected to have 45-55 business class seats. Branson has the rights to the first 10 Boom aircraft produced.
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Scholl, a pilot and former Amazon executive, has said his Boom will be "better than Concorde" and commercial flights could be up and running as soon as 2025. While several other companies, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, are developing new supersonic jets, Scholl said his plan was likely to beat them to the market as it does not require any new technology for regulator approval.
"Think about for a moment the families that are separated because of the long flights. Think about the trips not taken because when you add up the lost hours, the trip just doesn’t feel worth it," he said at the Dubai Airshow last month.
"You won’t have to be on the Forbes’ list to be able to fly, it will cost about the same as flying business class today. The ultimate goal is to make supersonic affordable for anyone who flies."
Scholl said he started the project because he was "sad that I never got to fly on Concorde".
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"I waited but no one was doing it, so I decided to," he said. "Ultimately I want people to be able to get anywhere in the world in five hours for $100. To get there you have to improve fuel efficiency, but step-by-step supersonic air travel will become available for everyone”.
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Have a great week and be safe out there please.