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News Letter 6 September 2019

Good day all

I come to you today from a wet but verybusy Swartkop Airforce Base, where preparations are in full swing for the annual SAAF Museum Airshow which will be taking place on tomorrow 7 September.

Both Military and Civilian aircraft spent yesterday “Validating” for what seems to be shaping into a great airshow. Brian Emmenis and his team from Capital Sounds arrived yesterday and started setting up their sound system along the crowd line, a crowd line that has been extended to the South to comfortably accommodate the 45000 odd people expected on Saturday.

Today the Airforce will be hosting a Youth Aviation Awareness day for school children from all over Gauteng and some from neighbouring provinces.

Pegasus Universal Aerospace signs MoU with Callen-Lenz Group as partner for flight control systems development.

Veteran aviator Captain Andrew Dietrich appointed as Chief Pilot

South Africa’s Pegasus Universal Aerospace, pioneer of the Vertical Business Jet (VBJ®) Pegasus One, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK-based, technical aviation consultancy, Callen-Lenz Group. The agreement brings the two companies together to exclusively collaborate on the design and development of the flight control systems for the Pegasus One aircraft.

The flight control systems are integral to supporting the aircraft operations in all phases of flight, including transition from vertical take-off and hover, to forward horizontal flight. The merging of these functions, into one unique system, will be a key technology, enabling Pegasus One to deliver its powerful performance capabilities. Pegasus selected Callen-Lenz as its development partner owing to the team’s reputation for creating innovative solutions, required core competencies and experience, in realising complex technologies in the aerospace sector.

Dr Reza Mia, Pegasus founder and Chairman said, “We believe that Callen-Lenz is the ideal partner for Pegasus. Their inventive approach to aerospace challenges, their expertise, and their willingness to embark on this exciting journey with us to deliver a unique proposition determined our selection process. We are excited to be working on this game changing project with them.”

“We have been invited to work with a number of new aircraft programmes, but were extremely impressed by the ambition, vision and quality of the Pegasus VBJ project. As the race hots up to deliver new aircraft technologies, we are pleased to join forces with one of the most exciting airframes in development,” said Jonathan Webber, CEO, Callen-Lenz.

The Pegasus team has already made great strides over the past year in developing multiple scale models, completing comprehensive studies into the drivetrain and thrust fan systems to support a true hybrid-electric propulsion power source. Pegasus is in ongoing discussions with two leading powerplant OEM’s to ensure the best performance capability is achieved.

The signing of the MOU with Callen-Lenz Group ushers in the next significant phase in the programme. Under the terms of the MOU the Callen-Lenz team will work closely with the Pegasus executive team, engineers and newly appointed chief pilot Captain Andrew Dietrich, whose appointment was also confirmed in August. Captain Dietrich joins the expanding Pegasus team with some 16,000 hours flying time spanning a 26-year career operating ultra-long-range commercial airliners and corporate jets. Familiar with numerous flight-decks, working with a variety of avionics systems and aircraft simulators, Captain Dietrich brings valuable knowledge to Pegasus. Reporting directly to the executive team, his hands-on experience will deliver vital input to the aircraft operational capability, performance and safety requirements.

As an integral part of the Pegasus technical team he will work alongside Callen-Lenz and Pegasus Chief Engineer Matthew Buttle and be responsible for overseeing compliance, safety procedures and the co-ordination of test pilots during the official test flight phase.

“We want to build an aircraft that pilots know is responsive, safe, reliable, efficient and above all fun and straight forward to fly. Captain Dietrich will help us achieve these goals and more. We are excited to add his extensive skills and enthusiasm to our team,” commented Dr Reza Mia.

“I’m aware there are many eVTOL projects in development, but I wanted to work with the dynamic Pegasus team. The concept is brilliant, the team is solid, and I believe it will make a dramatic difference to the way executives and high-net-worth individuals think about flight in the future. There is also huge potential in the oil and gas platform, (OGP) sector. Being involved with the Pegasus project allows me to use all my accumulated experience on one of the most exciting new and innovative aircraft programmes on the market, it’s a superb opportunity,” added Captain Dietrich.

Construction of a full-scale VTOL demonstrator to show in Europe in 2020 has already begun and a series of investor evenings in South Africa starts this month.

The MoU with the Callen-Lenz Group and the appointment of Captain Dietrich will ensure Pegasus development continues on the right trajectory.

Russia's MAKS airshow showcases aviation hardware and vintage Soviet jets

Its drooping, pointed nose and elegant fuselage instantly marks it out as a supersonic plane. But the majestic aircraft parked on a roundabout in Russian suburbia isn't, as you might assume, a Concorde.

It's a Tupolev Tu-144, known as the "Soviet Concorde," which debuted in 1968 from the airfield here in Zhukovsky, and was withdrawn from passenger service in 1978.

It would be hard to find a more appropriate landmark to welcome the thousands of aviation professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world who, every other year, descend on Zhukovsky.

Thirty miles southeast of Moscow, this is a city that breathes aviation through and through.

Since the mid-20th century, Zhukovsky has been at the heart of the Soviet, and later the Russian, aerospace industry -- in fact, it was expressly developed from a small town into an aviation city after World War II.

It's named after Nikolay Zhukovsky, the aerodynamics scientist traditionally considered the "father of Russian aviation".

Even today, most Russian aeronautical research institutes and their support industries are based around its airport -- which is home to the second longest runway in the world in public use. Outside the airfield, old Soviet planes are still parked alongside the wide, tree-filled avenues.

All this makes Zhukovsky the natural setting for Russia's top air show: MAKS.

It may not be as large as London's Farnborough and Paris' Le Bourget air shows and it doesn't draw as many people as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, in Wisconsin, but there is something special about MAKS.

Russia has one of the world's few remaining self-standing aerospace industries -- and it's a direct successor of the research that sent the first man into space, and for decades challenged the West in aircraft design and manufacturing.

Although the Russian aerospace industry has never fully recovered from the impact of the collapse of the Soviet Union, particularly when it comes to civilian aircraft production, in recent years it has tried to reassert itself as an independent player by launching a number of brand new aircraft.