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News Letter 8 November 2018

Good day all

The weather seems to playing along for the EAA Sun & Fun which will be held at Brits Airfield this weekend; this promises to be a wonderful weekend of aviation comradery, flying and lots of fun. There will be an Adventure Rally on Saturday once again set up by the Master “Rob Jokers” anyone that has flown on of these before will vouch that it is a wonderful way to see the countryside in the brits area, and improve your general knowledge of the area.

The second installment of the Speed Rally Circuit will be happening on 24 November at Springs Airfield, this new format of Rally flying has proved to be very popular and places are filling up quick.

- Free breakfast to be served on Saturday (East Rand Flying Club is sponsoring this. Thank you)

- Map provided has the route printed with magnetic headings.

- Map given to crew 20min before flight to prepare.

- Aircraft GPS allowed (should not be used for the competition however can be on during flight). No handheld devices allowed like iPads etc.

- No scrutinizing, however Marshals will be observing crews start up and taxing for handheld devices (penalties will be given to crews that are seen using handled devices)

- Fly as fast and accurate as possible

- Win the Rally/Race

- Results are immediately available.

- Prize giving

Great Trophies and prizes to be won and Championship points up for grabs.

Hybrid-Electric Twin Takes Flight

The highly modified Diamond DA40 was set up as a flying laboratory, fitted with a single combustion engine that delivers power to a pair of independent electric propulsion systems, each with its own battery, inverter, electric motor, and propeller, mounted on each side of a canard wing. The two motors can generate a combined 150 kilowatts (about 200 horsepower) between them for take-off, with the nose-mounted generator providing up to 110 kilowatts.

Siemens and Diamond claimed a world first with their dual-motor, serial-hybrid power system. Diamond and Siemens previously implemented a hybrid powertrain in the single-propeller DA36 E-Star.

“Distributed propulsion architecture opens entirely new possibilities for the design of highly efficient planes—and we have now proven its technical feasibility,” Siemens AG Executive Vice President of eAircraft Frank Anton said in a news release.

Diamond’s Head of Flight Test Ingmar Mayerbuch piloted the maiden flight, a 20-minute sortie that included demonstration of all three modes of operation: pure electric, with the motors drawing power only from the batteries; cruise mode, in which the generator provides all of the power; and charge mode, in which the generator charges the batteries that, in turn, power the motors. The system has 30 minutes of endurance with the generator not in use; turning it on extends endurance to five hours.

“The first flight exceeded all our expectations,” Mayerbuch said in the news release. “The combination of the hybrid powertrain and the configuration of the aircraft is just perfect. We reached 130 knots at medium power output and climbed to an altitude of 3,000 feet.”

Future test flights will determine just how efficient the hybrid propulsion system is compared to traditional aircraft, and also establish the noise footprint of the aircraft, which is capable of quieter take-offs using battery power alone.

FAA issues emergency 737 Max airworthiness order

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an emergency order addressing the risk that faulty angle-of-attack inputs could cause Boeing 737 Max horizontal stabilisers to put the aircraft into a difficult-to-control dive.

"Possible erroneous angle-of-attack inputs on Boeing 737 Max aircraft… can potentially make the horizontal stabilizers repeatedly pitch the nose of the airplane downward, making the aircraft difficult to control," says the FAA in a 7 November emergency airworthiness directive.

Effective immediately, the FAA orders US operates to revise flight manuals "to give the flight crew horizontal stabiliser trim procedures to follow under certain conditions", the order says.

The FAA gives operators three days to make the updates.

The directive marks a major regulatory response following the 29 October crash of a Lion Air 737 Max 8 (registration PK-LQP), which was operating flight JT610 when it crashed into the sea, killing all 189 people on board.

"The FAA continues to work closely with Boeing, and as a part of the investigative team on the Indonesia Lion Air accident, may take further appropriate actions depending on the results of the investigation," the agency says. "The FAA has alerted foreign airworthiness authorities who oversee operators that use the 737 Max of the agency’s action."

An initial review of the Lion Air 737's flight data recorder revealed that the aircraft operated its last four flights with faulty airspeed indications, according to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee.

The investigation remains open.

Boeing responded on 6 November with an "operations manual bulletin" that addressed instances of "erroneous input" from angle-of-attack sensors on the 737 Max.

Boeing's bulletin "directed" airlines to follow "existing flight crew procedures" intended to address such instances, the company has said.

The FAA's order targets the latest generation of Boeing's best-selling 737. The company delivered the first 737 Max in May 2017 and has since handed over 219 of the type, according to Boeing's website.

Boeing has unfilled orders for 4,783 additional 737 Max, it says. Some airlines stress that their crews have already been trained in the procedures highlighted in Boeing's service bulletin.

"WestJet has received the Boeing bulletin and is following its guidance, which recommends emphasising established procedures that have been used and trained on WestJet’s existing 737NG fleet as well as the 737 Max," said the Canadian airline

Malfunctions of airspeed and angle-of-attack indicators occur occasionally, but crews typically deal with such problems without incident, tapping fundamental skills learned while piloting small aircraft in their pre-airline years, says former National Transportation Safety Board member John Goglia.

But, though pilots may be highly-trained to operate technology-laden jetliners, many have less experience flying without such systems, particularly if those pilots hail from countries with less-developed general aviation industries, he says.

Van's Aircraft Founder Established Successful Safety Rrogramme

Van's Aircraft Founder Richard VanGrunsven credits professional transition training for a dramatic improvement in the safety record for the RV series of kit aircraft in the last decade, ­and he said similar safety benefits are available to the broader general aviation community.

The number of RVs has doubled since 2008 while the total number of fatal accidents has been cut in half. Over 10,000 RVs ranging from single-seat RV-3s to four-seat RV-10s have been registered and flown, far more than any other kit airplane.

“Transition training has made a big difference,” said VanGrunsven who founded Van’s Aircraft in his native Oregon in 1973. “There’s broad acceptance of transition training embedded in the RV community, and people recognize that when they’re well prepared, they’re better, more confident pilots, and they enjoy flying more. But that didn’t happen overnight.”

VanGrunsven said he regarded his fixed-gear, straight-wing, all-metal designs as “easy to fly” when they were originally introduced, and he didn’t see a need for type-specific training. But pilots mishandling the controls led to needless accidents and convinced him that the company could do more to improve safety.

VanGrunsven and others convinced the FAA to grant waivers to some highly qualified flight instructors that allow them to get paid for teaching in experimental airplanes. (The experimental category prohibits “commercial” aircraft use, including flight instruction.

Van’s Aircraft set up a network of flight instructors around the country, and they have provided many thousands of hours of dual instruction in RVs.

“The instructors found that a lot of pilots are lacking basic stick-and-rudder skills,” VanGrunsven said. “The transition training they offer accomplishes two purposes: It sharpens their basic skills. And it gets them acquainted with the flying qualities and characteristics of RVs.”

VanGrunsven credits experienced RV builders and pilots for using “peer influence” to convince other builders and RV buyers to seek out professional training. “That’s now embedded in our community,” he said. “It takes time, but it’s something we can carry through all of general aviation.”

VanGrunsven said he would like to expand the flight training network for experimental airplanes beyond type-specific training. A side-by-side RV-6 or RV-7, for example, could serve as a tailwheel trainer, and they can help prepare pilots to fly similar—but not identical—aircraft models.

“We can expand the infrastructure that’s already in place,” he said. “There’s no reason flight schools couldn’t operate (experimental) aircraft.”

VanGrunsven, a longtime CFI, said there are no shortcuts, or high-tech substitutes, to developing fundamental pilot skills. He emphasizes slow flight, rudder acuity, and a deep understanding of the total drag curve. He also looks at National Transportation Safety Board general aviation accident reports for RV mishaps.

“I look at accidents almost daily to see if any of our boys made the list,” he said. “I ask myself whether those accidents could have been avoided with better stick-and-rudder skills. It’s an area I know can be improved.”

Airbus A330-800 first flight

The Airbus A330-800, the smaller of the A330neo variants, took off for its first flight in Toulouse yesterday. It’s the fourth member of the A330neo flight test campaign and it will add another 350 Flight Hours to the 1,400 hours flown with the A330-900.

Airbus used the occasion to make a review of the A330neo program. The A330neo is designed to complement the A350 in Airbus’ wide-body line-up. Through commonality for Air Crews and Passengers, Airbus will cover the market from 250 seats to 370 seats with four aircraft which share Pilot rating and Passenger experience. The cabin on the A330neo has been upgraded to the same design and standard as the A350. The picture shows the A330neo cabin on the left and the A350 on the right.

Airbus is now getting more and more requests for A330neo nine-abreast economy layouts. It has therefore developed a cabin variant with nine 17 inch wide seats, featuring 17 inch wide aisles. Depending on the type of economy section, the A330-800 can house about the same number of seats as a 787-8 or about 27 more.

The fuel burn improvements for the A330-800 is coming from changes to the aircraft’s aerodynamics and improved engines.The changes to the wing’s aerodynamics are significant. Through increased span and the resulting need to re-twist the wing, the pressure distribution has been brought even closer to the theoretically optimal elliptical shape. The changes deliver an aerodynamic aggregate improvement of 4%. The aspect ratio of the A330neo wing is now higher than the 787 wings.

Airbus claims it now controls the midrange market after a Boeing domination 10 years ago. The picture shows the situation in 2008 for routes with lengths between two and 10 hours. Compared to the present picture the A321 and A330 families now dominate this market segment. The A321neo including A321LR and A330neo are designed to continue this domination according to Airbus.

Right now Airbus has 224 orders for the larger A330-900 and eight A330-800 as Kuwait Airways became the first A330-800 customer last month after, Hawaiian Airlines cancelled its order earlier this year. Yesterday’s first flight for the A330-800 is the start of a flight test campaign of about 350 Flight Hours. The sole A330-800 test aircraft will verify the flight dynamic differences which will result from a five-meter shorter fuselage.

Other aspects of the aircraft are already tested in the A330-900 flight test campaign, which was finished with Certification of the A330-900 at 26th of September. The first A330-900 will be delivered to TAP Portugal in the coming week.

There are presently 23 A330neo in Final Assembly in Toulouse. Out of the 23, four different Heads of Version (different Cabin layouts) have been achieved.

Global 7500 achieves FAA Certification

The U.S. FAA gave the green light for the Bombardier Global 7500 on Nov. 7, 2018. Deliveries of the ultra-long-range business jet are expected to start by the end of this year.

Bombardier Business Aircraft’s flagship Global 7500 received FAA certification today, achieving another key milestone as it approaches service entry by year-end. The 7,700-nm, four-zone business jet gained Transport Canada’s nod on October 1, though EASA approval is still pending.

“This milestone is the latest accomplishment for our Global 7500, which has been exceeding expectations on every level,” said Michel Ouellette, senior v-p of the Global 7500 and 8000 programs. “The Global 7500 has proven itself as the highest-performing aircraft in the industry and promises to revolutionize the market and significantly change the business aviation landscape.”

Certification comes some eight years after Bombardier unveiled its longest range and largest business jet to date. While the program incurred a two-year delay to accommodate a wing redesign, certification follows a two-year flight-test program that included five aircraft that logged more than 2,700 flight-test hours. The results of that program enabled the company to boost range by 300 nm, opening up city pairs such as New York to Hong Kong, and confirm a published take-off distance of 5,800 feet.