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News Letter 11 April 2019

Good day all

The Free State seems to be the place to be this weekend, Ficksburg to be precise. The Stars of Sandstone annual get together is currently underway and will be until Sunday. Stars of Sandstone is a must for anyone interested in historic machinery, with veteran aircraft, trains, tractors, motorcars and much more on display.

AERO Friedrichshafen 2019

The world‘s leading trade show for general aviation celebrates its 27th anniversary this year.

AERO Friedrichshafen first began with some exhibitors from the aviation sector who presented gliders and motor gliders as part of the motorsports exhibition. Numerous exhibitors kept faith to AERO right from the start, many joined the venue in the course of time and all of them contributed significantly to the AERO Friedrichshafen success.

The success of AERO has depended not only on Friedrichshafen's reputation as a cradle of aviation, which was initiated by Ferdinand Count Zeppelin in the year 1900, but also on a fast-growing ultralight aircraft sector. The Business Aviation segment was launched at AERO 1995 and strong expansion especially in the fields of avionics, aircraft maintenance and services was implemented in recent years.

In 2002, Messe Friedrichshafen moved to its new facilities, right next to the airport, giving a strong boost to AERO's continued growth and development into the world's leading trade show regarding innovations for general aviation.


In the frame of AERO CONFERENCES aviation specialists and connoisseurs of the industry will present and discuss current topics and latest developments available for everyone.


In hall A6 the Avionics Avenue informs about flight control and management systems, communications systems, navigation devices, displays, weather radar, and air and ground radar systems of different manufacturers at first glance.

Possibilities to experience the avionic equipment by yourself will be given in the Headset Test Area or learn about new developments in product presentations and workshops.


Engines and propulsion systems were in the focus of the Engine Area again at the AERO Friedrichshafen 2019. Whether it be radial engines, hybrid propulsion systems or electric motors, this special exhibition gave its visitors a comprehensive overview of the products available on the market.

Moreover, additional topics such as maintenance and engine management are part of the Engine Area 2019.


The UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) EXPO comprises a comprehensive range of manufacturers of UAS as well as sensor and measuring devices and information on the current stage of development in the field of UAS.

In ZEPPELIN CAT Hall A1 demonstration flights did showcase the many purposes UAS serve, some of which are environmental research and earth.


The e-flight expo organised in co-operation with Flying Pages GmbH has been, once again, a major section at AERO Friedrichshafen 2019.

In addition to the e-flight expo special exhibition, there were dedicated e-flight lectures at AERO. As part of the AERO Conferences, high-calibre speakers talked about the history and development of electric flight.


"AEROkunst”, an exhibition of works from various artists and presented by the German “fliegermagazin”, was returning for the third time to AERO this year. A diverse range of artwork including photography, painting, furniture, graphic painting and sculpture were on display. As in 2018, a piece of art from one of the participating artists was raffled off each day, shortly before the trade show closes its doors. Of course, all of the displayed artwork was also available for sale.

Horten Aircraft HX-2: Flying wing airplane

The first designs for flying wings were made at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1910, Hugo Junkers received a patent for his work on flying wings. While many researchers towards the end of the 19th century were trying to create a motorized machine, some purists and grand precursors such as Lilienthal or Ferber believed that a flying machine should be aerodynamically efficient and easy to fly before installing an engine. We must note in passing that Lilienthal had conceived gliders without a tail section before the year 1900. It is within this time frame that Walter and Reimar Horten developed and built their first flying wing before reaching the age of twenty after studying the work of von Prandlt (published in 1918) on aerodynamics with the emphasis on the benefits of the thick wing.

The company Horten Aircraft GmbH, named after aircraft engineer Dr. Reimar Horten, has taken over the concept for light aviation. After three years of development, the prototype of a two-seat aircraft side by side has flown in the hands of test pilot Kai Schülter. The device, called HX-2, is one of the novelties presented at the AERO 2019 show in Friedrichshafen.

"Due to its low aerodynamic resistance, the flying wing flies farther and faster than a comparable aircraft with a fuselage," says Bernhard Mattlener, managing director of the company, a part of the LIFT Air group. "The design of the airframe makes it easily adaptable for installing new propulsion technologies we anticipate will become available in the future.”

Horten Aircraft is planning further models with unmanned or multi-seat variants on the basis of the current prototype. The aircraft are to be built at the company's headquarters at the Kindel airfield near Eisenach. From there, the prototype takes off and lands for test flights. The flights are used to determine the exact flight performance and flight characteristics.

For now, the prototype of this flying wing continues its flight tests, planned to take place over several months. In the drawers, there are already projects of non-inhabited versions and multiplicative models.

Spaceplane that can get you from New Zealand to London in four hours

A "Spaceplane" that travels 25 times faster than the speed of sound has successfully passed a crucial testing milestone. The Sabre air-breathing rocket engine is so fast it could jet from the UK to New Zealand in approximately four hours and transport travellers from London to New York in less than 60 minutes.

Oxford-based Reaction Engines has been working with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, along with BAE Systems, to make the hypersonic plane.Reaction Engines is planning to combine the fuel efficiency of a jet engine with the power and speed of a rocket in order to drive space planes to orbit and take airliners around the world in just a few hours.

Recently, the team have been working on a "pre-cooler" to enable the plane to manage very high-temperature airflows. The pre-cooler is critical in the plane's development as it is required to stop the engine from melting by lowering the temperature of compressed air in the engine from more than 1000°C to room temperature in one-20th of a second.

The group is confident its "pre-cooler" technology can now go on to show the same performance in conditions that simulate flying more than five times the speed of sound. “We're now able to prove many of the claims we've been making as a business, backed up by very high-quality data," Reaction Engines CEO Mark Thomas said.

"In this most recent experiment, we've near-instantaneously transferred 1.5 Megawatts of heat energy - the equivalent of 1000 homes' worth of heat energy." The testing was conducted at a dedicated facility at the Colorado Air and Space Port in the USA.

Along with Rolls-Royce and Boeing, the engine will continue to be refined over the next few years.

ICAO thanks Japan for aviation development commitments

ICAO Secretary General discusses economic development, safety, and efficiency concerns during recent Tokyo trip.

During her recent trip to Tokyo, Japan, ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu met with the country’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Norikazu Suzuki, and with his Vice-Ministerial counterpart for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Masashi Adachi.

In her meeting with Parliamentary Vice-Minister Suzuki, Dr. Liu thanked Japan for its aviation development commitments and for its support of ICAO’s programmes and policies – most notably the ICAO ‘No Country Left Behind’ assistance and capacity-building initiative. The Vice-Minister appreciated the budgetary constraints which ICAO is faced with at a time when so many air transport innovations are requiring its assessment and standardisation, and noted that Japan may consider supporting a ‘No Country Left Behind’ campaign aimed at developing countries such as the Pacific Island States.

When meeting with Masashi Adachi, Dr. Liu applauded the efforts of his Ministry to promote inbound tourists to Japan and drew his attention to the very high percentage of them which arrive in his country by air travel. She appreciated the Minister’s highlighting of the synergistic relationship between tourism and air transport and agreed strongly with him regarding their importance to the national economy. Additional discussions focused on aviation safety hazard mitigation, the priorities and various activities presently being undertaken by ICAO including in preparation for the upcoming ICAO 40th Assembly, Japanese professionals working in ICAO, and the practical means by which Japan can provide additional support to ICAO and its Member States, including through Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) mechanisms.

Dr. Liu also had meetings with the Director General of Aviation Safety and Security in Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), Shigeru Takano, as well as with the JCAB Director General for Air Navigation Services, Yasushira Iijima. Takano assured ICAO’s Secretary General that Japan will continue to support the organisation’s programmes and activities for the safe, secure, efficient and sustainable air transport system at the global level. Dr. Liu and Iijima exchanged views on the issues of common interests in the field of air navigation to promote cooperation and safe and efficient operation in the region and the world.

Dr. Liu wound up her Tokyo mission with visits to the All Nippon Airways (ANA) Safety Education Centre, where she learned about the mandatory safety training provided to all ANA operational staff, and to the Haneda Airport Air Traffic Service centre and air traffic control tower, where she was updated on local operations and best practices.


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