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News Letter 2 May 2018

Good day All

After a wonderful weekend spent with the EAA family in Vryheid we awoke to the terrible news that one of the family members didn’t make it home safely. Claus Keuchel, a long-time member of the EAA, and his good lady Maxine Frisch unfortunately were involved in a fatal crash on their return flight from the Convention in Vryheid. Claus you will be sorely missed, our sincere condolences to all the family and friends of these wonderful people.

The South African Air Force Museum annual Airshow will be held on 05 May 2018 from 09h00 until 17h00, at Air Force Base Swartkop, Old Johannesburg road in Valhalla, Pretoria.

The theme for this year is “Our Indomitable Spirit”. The theme appreciates and recognizes the collective and individual sacrifices of the members in pursuit and realization of the SAAF’s mandate. As the aviation historical hub of the SAAF, SAAF Museum continues in its endeavors in collecting, restoring, preserving and exhibiting heritage and traditions of the SAAF and military aviation.

The SAAF Museum Airshow is designed to attract aviation enthusiasts, the general public as well as current and former members of the SAAF. Providing an opportunity to celebrate military aviation in both static and flying conditions.


Members of the public may expect to see the following aircraft on the day:

Operational aircraft:

Gripen, Hawk, Lockheed C130, Oryx, Agusta 109, Pilatus 12, Rooivalk.

Museum aircraft:

Allouette II, Allouette III, SA 330L Puma, Harvard, Atlas C4M Kudu, Aermacchi AM 3C Bosbok, Vampire, Cessna 185 and Patchen Explora


Tickets are available at Computickets at R80.00, children under 16 years free.

Public is encouraged to buy tickets before coming to the event.


Gates will open from 07:00 till 17:00. The Air Show starts at 09:00.


Parking for people with disabilities will be at North Gate (Corner Old Johannesburg road & Trichard Road). The general public will also park alongside Old Johannesburg Road & Trichard Road. There will be car guards however members of the public are informed that parking will be at own risk.

There will be traffic congestion and excessive aircraft noise.

The SAAF therefore appeals for tolerance and understanding from the public especially Residence of Valhalla, Centurion and other surrounding areas.

Bus Shuttle:

Gautrain buses will be available to shuttle people from Centurion and Pretoria Stations to the venue. Gautrain cards are required for the use of this service.


No food and beverages will be allowed at the gate. There will be enough food stalls and a beer garden. Alcohol will not be allowed in the flight line.

Kitty Hawk autonomous flying taxi officially unveiled

Kitty Hawk, the same group of California dreamers who introduced the leisure-focused Flyer last year, has revealed an all-electric, self-piloted air taxi in New Zealand. The company, which is backed by Alphabet's Larry Page, has been working on "an aircraft so personal it could weave the freedom of flight into our daily lives" since 2010.

Cora is the result - a two-seater short hop aircraft that can lift off and land like a helicopter and flies forward like an aeroplane.

The first self-piloted hover of Kitty Hawk's flying taxi prototype took place at the end of 2011, but it didn't graduate to vertical take-off and forward flight until February 2014. A human test pilot took control of the proof of concept flyer last August and, after reaching agreements for the development and testing of the project with the government of New Zealand in October 2017, the first self-flying air taxi was shipped over.

Flight tests soon followed under an experimental airworthiness certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority and the United States Federal Aviation Administration. And now Kitty Hawk has officially launched the Cora project, and begun the journey to commercialisation.

"Cora isn't just about flying," Kitty Hawk said. "It's about people and mobility. It's about the time you could save soaring over traffic. The friends you could visit. The opportunities you could seize. Cora is about giving everyone a fast and easy way to get around that doesn't come at the expense of the planet."

ARJ21 Completes Crosswind Testing in Iceland

Photo: AWJ Group

Comac has completed supplemental crosswind testing for the ARJ21-700 regional jet at Iceland’s Kevlavik International Airport, allowing the manufacturer to broaden the operating parameters of the aircraft as it prepares to enter full-scale production. The 78-seat jet has flown in revenue service since June 2016, but the lack of full crosswind certification has limited the airplane’s operating envelope. Comac worked with airframe and engine spare parts supply specialist AJW Group to coordinate and manage the testing program in Iceland.

Major aircraft manufacturers typically pick Keflavik to conduct crosswind testing due to the angle of the runway and the high winds in the region. AJW worked closely with Comac and Iceland’s airports authority, Isavia, since last September to manage the five-week testing program, which involved a delegation of more than 100 engineers, meteorologists, pilots, and support staff traveling from China to Iceland to carry out the trials. AJW coordinated the logistics, flight plan approvals, test flight assessments, and spares and maintenance support throughout the tests.

FAA Begins Testing Phase for Nationwide Airspace Authorization for Drones

A beta testing phase of the FAA’s Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) is being incrementally implemented across the United States. The testing phase has begun in the south central region of the country and, once completed in mid-September, the LAANC will cover nearly 300 air traffic control facilities and about 500 airports.

LAANC aims to implement drone operations while keeping other aircraft in the national airspace system safe. Authorizations are based on TFRs, Notams and UAS facility maps that show the maximum altitude ceiling around airports where the FAA can authorize UAS operations under Part 107.

LAANC streamlines the authorization process for drone operators to use controlled airspace. While these operators had to endure a long application process just a few months ago, they can now apply and receive authorization almost immediately in the areas where the system has been deployed. Applications can be as easy as a few taps on a smartphone app. Digital airspace authorization services are offered through several suppliers, including AirMap, 3DR, Betterview, Converge and DroneDeploy.

Companies that wish to become what the FAA terms Approved UAS Service Suppliers to provide LAANC services can apply. The FAA plans to host two application periods per year. The deadline for the current application period is May 16.


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