Tag Archives: avporn

Former Royal Navy Harriers to take to the skies again!

The Harrier, informally referred to as the Harrier Jump Jet, is a family of jet-powered attack aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations. Named after a bird of prey, it was originally developed by British manufacturer Hawker Siddeley in the 1960s.

A right front view of a British Royal Navy FRS Mk. 2 Sea Harrier on display during an air show.

Established in 2014, The Fly Harrier Trust is dedicated to bringing the BAE Harrier back once more to British skies. Founded by two longterm enthusiasts and pilots, Mark Fitzgerald and Sir Peter Rigby, the Trust aims to honour the aircraft’s long and distinguished service, its extraordinary engineering ingenuity, and the pilots that flew it by restoring two rare Harriers to flight-ready condition. A great plane is made to fly: let’s fly it.

The task of readying the Harriers for flight has seen them relocated from Cornwall to their current refurbishment hangar in St Athan. A former RAF and Navy Harrier maintenance hangar, it has proved the perfect location , and it is here that the restoration process has been overseen by two of the UK’s best practitioners, John Sparks and Pete Walker. Their efforts aided by hugely generous supply of parts, we are excellently placed to realise our dream. It’s time for a modern British icon to grace our skies once again.

The task of returning our Harriers to flight has required the support, care, and expertise of a community of the most wonderful enthusiasts. A plane much loved by those who knew it in its prime, we have been able to build a highly skilled team of experts, many of which worked with the Harrier from the 1960s onwards. Together with the backing of Sir Gerald Howarth, a former Aviation Minister, the Trust must now persuade the CAA of the seriousness of its cause. Let’s get the Harrier back up in the air.

Please, join us. Follow our story. Watch the process of restoring our Harriers. Help persuade the powers that be of the necessity of our cause. Your enthusiasm, your support, and the strength of your voice will help the Fly Harrier Trust achieve the most fantastic of dreams: to see this most iconic of British fighter jets flying British skies once again.

More information on the project can be seen on the fly harrier website https://www.flyharriers.com/

United Airlines-Touches down in Cape Town for the first time!

The 16th of December for us as South Africans is the Day of Reconciliation. The day where differences are set aside and we all look towards building a better future together.

Today being the 16th of December 2019, a special event that is proof of this building together and looking to the future, took place at Cape Town International Airport. United Airlines landed for the first time in Cape Town, South Africa. This was indeed a special event as it indicates the tourism market is alive and in fact growing. The welcoming of the United B787-9 was attended by the officiating dignitaries that included United Airlines, ACSA and Wesgro executives, the US Ambassador to South Africa, the Mayor of Cape Town, Mr Dan Plato and the Western Cape MEC for Finance & Economic Opportunity, the Mr David Maynier.

With the new planned expansions that is to kick off soon, United Airlines is one of a few airlines that is looking at Cape Town International as a destination and the potential it has to offer to leisure travellers. Although Johannesburg is the economical hub for South Africa, Cape Town is by far the most popular by tourists. United Airlines use to fly to Africa, Houston to Lagos, but this service was terminated a few years back. The only other options that were left to United Airlines customers wanting to travel from the USA to Cape Town, were to have one stop flights with either South African Airways or Ethiopian Airlines (both being United Airlines partners) or fly with another airline, Delta being the only other USA airline offering direct flights to South Africa. In mid-April this year, United Airlines announced it will offer a season direct service between New York and Cape Town 3 times a week starting on the 15th of December 2019 and ending on 25 March 2020. This will result in a better customer as many direct flights have proven in the past.

These flights will be operated by using the Boeing B787-9 with 252 seats, 48 for business class and 204 economy class. The flights will operate to the following schedule:

UA1122 New York to Cape Town departing 8:30PM arriving 6:00PM (+1 day) [Wed, Fri, Sun]
UA1123 Cape Town to New York departing 8:50PM arriving 5:45AM (+1 day) [Mon, Thu, Sat]

The flight will be covering a total distance of 12 580km making it one of United Airline’s longest flights.

Cape Town International Facts:

IATA: CPT
ICAO: FACT
WMO: 68816

Elevation AMSL: 151 ft / 46 meters

Opened: 1954

Runway 01/19:

Dimensions: 10502 x 200 feet / 3201 x 61 meters
Surface: Hard
Runway 01 Coordinates: S33°59.26′ / E18°36.53′
Runway 19 Coordinates: S33°57.59′ / E18°36.00′
Runway 01 Elevation: 144 ft / 44 meters
Runway 19 Elevation: 147 ft / 45 meters
Runway 01 Heading: 009°
Runway 19 Heading: 189°

Runway 16/34:

Dimensions: 5581 x 151 feet / 1701 x 46 meters
Runway 16 Coordinates: S33°57.68′ / E18°35.85′
Runway 34 Coordinates: S33°58.34′ / E18°36.63′
Runway 16 Elevation: 143 ft / 44 meters
Runway 34 Elevation: 151 ft / 46 meters
Runway 16 Heading: 159°
Runway 34 Heading: 339°

General B787-9 specifications:

Cruise Speed: 560 mph (901 kph)
Propulsion: Two General Electric GEnx engines (GEnx being General Electric Next-generation)
Wingspan: 197 feet, 4 inches (60,14 m)
First Flight: 15 December 2009

N24973 specifications:

B787-9

Serial Number (MSN): 40941 LN: 661
Age: 1 year (February 2018)
First Flight: 6 February 2018

Welcome United Airlines! May we see many more flights gracing our skies!

Brakpan Aero Club Celebrates Women in Aviation

Saturday the 17th August 2019,Brakpan Aero Club celebrated women in Aviation at the East Rand Airfield this past weekend. Women as pilots, groundcrew, cabin crew and Air traffic controllers congregated at the airfields club house for cake and tea. Some of the lucky ladies were awarded with a bouquet of flowers for their contribution in the South African Aviation Community.

Newly paved runway at Brakpan Airfield as seen from a Alouette III

Santjie White provided a short talk on Search and Rescue in South Africa as she explained more in detail as the Chief of Aeronautical Search and Rescue coordination centre.

Santjie White

Santjie started at the Aeronautical Search and Rescue coordination centre in April 2008 and received The Director civil aviation special industry award for exceptional individual contribution to the Aviation industry. Santjie White is responsible to Establish a Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) to co-ordinate all participating search and rescue unit’s facilities within her area of responsibility. Ensuring effective and efficient co ordination of SAR processes and operations.

SkyRaider work in progress in full swing

Amelia Mary Earhart one of many women in aviation ,who was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.

Brakpan Aero Club House

The rest of the day, saw some of Brakpan’s local aircraft take to the skies, an Alouette III owned and flown by Rob Osner ,A Mushask MF17 flown by Hilton Wolff, Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan van der Schaar and a visiting Yak 52 flown by Wim Kotze were some of the favourites seen during the afternoon period.

Alouette III
Savannah
Cessna 152
Sling 4
Piper J3 Cub

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We Fly the C130B -Botswana Defence Force

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed. Now known as Lockheed Martin, which is capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft.

The Botswana Defence Force received their first of three C130 B models in the late 90s as their medium transport resource.The last C130 which was . The latest addition to the transport fleet was an ex-AMARC C-130 Hercules to complement the two existing aircraft. The C130s belong to the Z10 Transport Squadron, made up of the Lockheed C-130, Casa 212 and CN235 – Maparangwane Air Base (Thebephatshwa/Molepolole in Botswana.

The C-130B model was developed to complement the A-models that had previously been delivered, and incorporated new features, particularly increased fuel capacity in the form of auxiliary tanks built into the center wing section and an AC electrical system. Four-bladed Hamilton Standard propellers replaced the Aero products three-blade propellers that distinguished the earlier A-models. The C-130B had ailerons with boost increased from 2,050 psi (14.1 MPa) to 3,000 psi (21 Mpa), as well as uprated engines and four-blade propellers that were standard until the J-model’s introduction.

An electronic reconnaissance variant of the C-130B was designated C-130B-II. A total of 13 aircraft were converted. The C-130B-II was distinguished by its false external wing fuel tanks, which were disguised signals intelligence (SIGINT) receiver antennas. These pods were slightly larger than the standard wing tanks found on other C-130Bs. Most aircraft featured a swept blade antenna on the upper fuselage, as well as extra wire antennas between the vertical fin and upper fuselage not found on other C-130s. Radio call numbers on the tail of these aircraft were regularly changed so as to confuse observers and disguise their true mission.

At Aviation Central we’ve had the privilege of also flying with the South African Airforce C130BZs from 28 Squadron based at Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria on a number of occasions. A big thank you to the Botswana Defence Force for allowing us to join you during the 2019 Makgadikgadi Skydiving Epic in the beginning of July.

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