Tag Archives: Aviation News

Raytheon Technologies to train Afghan Air Force pilots

ORLANDO, Fla., May 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Army Contracting Command has selected Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a business of Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX), to train Afghanistan Air Force pilots under a three-year contract valued up to $145 million.

Raytheon will conduct initial flight training for the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation. The Afghanistan Air Force students will go through flight school in third-party nations in Europe and the Middle East. Raytheon will provide tailored training for the Afghanistan Air Force pilots, including classroom, fixed-wing and rotary aircraft instruction.

“Raytheon training experts help the Afghanistan Air Force develop a pipeline of skilled flyers and officers,” said Bob Williams, vice president of Global Training Solutions at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Our program uses the latest training techniques, and a focus on individual mentorship to produce well-rounded officers that will help create a secure future for Afghanistan.”

The Raytheon Afghanistan Air Force pilot training program began in 2010. The original mission for basic flight proficiency has expanded to advanced aircraft qualifications and flight techniques. Raytheon’s focus on mentorship and leadership training helps the program maintain a 93 percent graduation rate with every student returned to Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Air Force Pilot Training program was awarded under the Enterprise Training Services Contract vehicle. Raytheon previously announced a related task order for the Aviation Maintenance Training program.

About Raytheon Technologies
Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. With 195,000 employees and four industry-leading businesses ― Collins Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense ― the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in avionics, cybersecurity, directed energy, electric propulsion, hypersonics, and quantum physics. The company, formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

M-345: Leonardo’s new jet trainer certified and ready for the global market

  • The DAAA (Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness), the certification Authority of the Italian Ministry of Defence, has given the initial certification for Leonardo’s new M-345 trainer 
  • Leonardo’s new M-345, close to entering into service with the Italian Air Force, and future aircraft of the Italian Airforce acrobatic team Frecce Tricolori, is an aircraft capable of providing jet trainer aircraft-like performance and efficiency at the cost of a turboprop
  • The initial certification of the M-345 is the result of intense in-flight and on-ground test activities – which total almost 200 flights, carried out also thanks to the collaboration with the Italian Air Force, aimed at assessing aircraft and equipment compliance with stringent performance and safety standards   

Leonardo is pleased to announce that the DAAA (Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness), the Italian Ministry of Defence’s Certification Authority, has issued the “Initial Certification” for Leonardo’s new M-345 training aircraft. This important achievement for the M-345 programme is the result of intense activities with two hundred dedicated flights logged alongside the critical support of the Italian Air Force’s Flight Test Centre, 61st Wing and 10th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Managing Director of Leonardo Aircraft Division, commented: “The achievement of the Initial Certification for the M-345 – unique in its segment for acquisition and operational costs – confirms the aircraft features excellent characteristics and capabilities and makes it available for the international market. This result stems from a consolidated collaboration between the industry, the Certification Authority and the Italian Air Force under a full national effort and embodies the heritage in training excellence which is widely acknowledged to the Italian Armed Forces.”

The Initial Certification of the M-345 marks the first case of enforcement of the new AER (EP) P-21 rule for a fixed-wing aircraft. This rule adopts the European EMAR-21 – (European Military Airworthiness Requirements) – a stringent international certification requirement that will also be beneficial to the export of the aircraft. 

The M-345, thanks to its performance and advanced integrated training system provides the Air Force with a significant improvement in training effectiveness greater efficiency and a strong operating cost reduction. The new aircraft, designed to meet basic and basic/advanced training needs,  will complement the M-346s used for the advanced phase of pilot training and, in the framework of the “International Flight Training School” project, will support the reinforcement and internationalisation of the training offer launched by Leonardo in partnership with the Italian Air Force.

The Integrated Training system based on the M-345 confirms Leonardo’s world technological leadership in training pilots allocated to current and future generation aircraft, benefiting from the experience and technology already developed for the M-346, including the “Live Virtual Constructive” capability. This allows the integration of the in-flight aircraft with simulated “friend” or “foe” elements, allowing the future pilot to be exposed to the complexity of every possible operational scenario. 

Piper Aircraft Steps Up to Help Stop Spread of COVID-19

  Piper Aircraft, Inc. announced today that it will be making protective gear to help support the growing needs of the Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. Additionally Piper Aircraft will be donating over 1300 3M, N95 approved masks to the hospital.

The Manufacturing Engineering team at Piper Aircraft has been following the growing demand and resulting shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment) and has been looking for ways to support the need. Earlier this week, the team designed a prototype face shield with off-the shelf materials such as: plastic, industrial tape, foam and elastic. With approval of the prototype, the team set out to source the necessary materials from wholesale suppliers and create a manufacturing line within the Piper factory.

With a designated production area in place, the team will begin making face shields this week for use by medical personnel.  Given the current supply of materials and labor, Piper has the ability to produce thousands of face shields daily to help support the current demand.

“This is a critical time for our community, our country and the world. It is a time for action, cooperation and collaboration.  As a team, we can make a difference for people in need and directly support those fighting the battle on the front lines of this unprecedented crisis. This is just one small way that we are trying to help,” said James Funk, Piper’s Chief Operations Officer. “We want healthcare providers, especially, and patients to be safe, therefore it’s vital that we all pull together to help our community, weather this crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever.”

About Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft Inc., headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla., offers aviators throughout the world efficient and reliable single- and twin-engine aircraft and is on track to be the first general aviation aircraft manufacturer in the world to certify Garmin Autoland The single-engine M-Class series – the M600SLS, M500, and M350 – offers businesses and individual’s elegant performance, value and a superior ownership experience. The Personal Class Seneca V, Archer LX and Archer DLX balance proven performance, efficiency, and simplicity in a piston powered aircraft. The Trainer Class Pilot 100/100i, Archer TX, Archer DX, Arrow, Seminole and Seneca V aircraft form the most complete technically-advanced line of pilot training aircraft in the world. Piper is a member of the General AviationManufacturers Association. To learn more about Piper Aircraft, visit the company’s website at www.piper.com.

Draken International Goes Supersonic Against The U.S Air Force

Draken International, the global leader in advanced adversary air services, has successfully commenced supersonic radar equipped F1M missions in support of USAF combat readiness training at Nellis AFB. The fully modernized Mirage F1Ms, predominately flown by the Spanish Air Force in the past, now challenge US and coalition 4th & 5th Generation fighters over the skies of the Nevada Test and Training Range in the development of warfighter’s tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Mirage F1M

Draken remains the only commercial air service provider to have purchased, imported, certified, and executed sustained flight operations with threat-representative fighter aircraft. These critical capabilities inherent to the Draken F1 fleet, are essential for supporting the Nellis ADAIR II contract, which provides adversary training for the prestigious USAF Weapons School, Red Flag exercises, operational test support, Formal Training Unit support, and Combat Air Forces abroad.

Mirage F1M

Over the past two years, the collaborative efforts between Draken International and Paramount Aerospace Systems has resulted in the reassembly, restoration, and certification of the fleet of Mirage F1s. This extensive project was accomplished at Draken’s maintenance facility in Lakeland, FL. Draken has also begun the acceptance of the fleet of Denel Cheetah’s from the South African Air Force; a 4th Generation supersonic radar-equipped fighter that joins Draken’s operational fleet.

Ex South African Airforce 2 Squadron Cheetah C

Sean Gustafson, VP of Business Development at Draken stated, “Draken is fully committed to enhancing adversary support for the USAF. These fleets of supersonic assets highlight the dedication to fulfilling combat readiness training objectives at Nellis and Air Force bases across the U.S. Our ever-growing fleet of advanced fighters enrich our capabilities and challenge Airmen, Sailors, and Marines alike.”

Mirage F1B

Draken International is the world’s largest operator of ex-military aircraft. The company is based out of Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, FL. The organization sets a new standard in airborne adversary support, flight training, threat simulation, electronic warfare support, aerial refueling, research, testing, as well as other missions uniquely suited to their fleet of aircraft. With over 100 tactical fighter aircraft incorporating modern 4th generation capabilities, the company is ideally positioned to answer the growing global demand for commercial air services. Draken employs world class, military training fighter pilots including USAF Weapons School Instructors, Fighter Weapons School Graduates, TOP GUN Instructors, Air Liaison Officers, and FAC-A Instructors, For additional information, visit http://www.drakenintl.com.

WesBank Botswana International Airshow back in 2021

The organising committee is pleased to announce that the 2021 WesBank Botswana International Airshow will be held on Saturday 29th May, 2021.


This airshow is the 10th planned edition of one of the favourite weekends on the Southern African aviation calendar. Starting with a simple ‘fly day’ in 2012, it has grown into a major Botswana outdoor event, drawing crowds of 15,000 and regularly attracting more than 100
aircraft from neighbouring countries.

From the very start, the airshow has been used as a fund raiser for local charities, with last year’s show raising more than P150,000. The main recipients of these funds have included the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation, the Lady Khama
Charitable Trust, and the Motswedi Rehabilitation Centre for Handicapped Persons.

In addition, various other charities have benefitted through running car parking facilities and shuttle services. The impact on the local community has also been significant, with new guest houses and camp sites springing up, local entrepreneurs being involved in selling various goods on the day, and a massive after-party with local musicians and DJ’s.

We hope that these organisations will again be part of our 2021 airshow.
While our thoughts are with the people of the region as we battle Covid-19, we hope this announcement gives our community and aviation fans something to look forward to.

CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) – 4th Quarter Embargo: 21 February 2020

CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) – 4th Quarter
Embargo: 21 February 2020 (10:00)
Introduction


The Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) is proud to announce the results of its composite index of aviation activity for the 4th quarter of 2019.


The CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) is based on 26 different indicators and
provides an objective & balanced gauge of economic activity in the commercial aviation industry. Due to the short-term volatility inherent in purchasing and selling aircraft, where
units are small, but the currency values are very high, the CAAI includes a trend that is based on a 4-quarter moving average, as illustrated by the graph.


Summary of key trends depicted by the CAAI for the 4th quarter of 2019:

  1. The index value increased substantially from the 3rd quarter to reach a level of
    130.7, which represents a 31% increase in commercial aviation activity since the
    base period (1st quarter of 2014). This is, however, considerably lower than the
    all-time record that was attained in the 4th quarter of 2018, namely 204. One of
    the reasons for the sound recovery of both the index value and the trend is
    related to the highly successful 2018 Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD)
    exhibition, which was the first AAD since the election of a new executive
    administration in South Africa, which is committed to pragmatic policies to
    encourage economic growth, whilst also combating the scourge of corruption.

An encouraging feature of the latest CAAI results is the fact that, after adjustment
for inflationary effects, the commercial aviation industry has outperformed the
South African economy over the past six years.

  1. It is also apparent that the slump in aviation activity that lasted for eleven
    quarters (until the 3rd quarter of 2018) has been reversed. Aviation remains a
    highly capital intensive sector and it has been under some strain as a result of
    policy uncertainty, low levels of business confidence, lethargic economic growth
    and high interest rates.
  2. Unfortunately, the recovery in the trend of activity since the 3rd quarter of 2018
    has been accompanied by a higher level of volatility, with only ten of the 26
    different indicators recording gains over the 4th quarter of 2014.
  3. A particular point of concern is the poor performance of air traffic movements
    (ATMs) at most of the airports managed by the Airports Company of South Africa
    (ACSA). All nine of these airports recorded lower ATMs in the 4th quarter of 2019,
    compared to the 4th quarter of 2016.
  4. In contrast, the six non-ACSA airports included in the CAAI, recorded consistent
    growth in ATMs until the first quarter of 2019, but a noticeable slump has since
    set in. It is quite clear that the stringent visa regulations that were introduced in
    2015 by the Department of Home Affairs under then Minister Malusi Gigaba have
    taken their toll on both the South African tourism industry and the commercial
    aviation industry.
  5. In the 4th quarter of 2019, the value of aircraft spares imports reached its second
    highest level on record, namely more than R1.1 billion.

Total aircraft imports (unladen mass of under 15 tonnes) amounted to R487
million in the 4th quarter, slightly lower than the export figure of R554 million.

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