Tag Archives: AviationNewsSA

AIRLINK CONFIRMS SELECTION OF ROLLS-ROYCE TOTALCARE FOR ENGINE SERVICING

Rolls-Royce and Airlink have signed a TotalCare® service agreement for the AE3007 engines that power the South African airline’s fleet of Embraer ERJ135 aircraft. The agreement, which covers 28 aircraft, is an extension of service for a further 10 years, continuing the airline’s drive to maximise aircraft availability.

Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster, said; “Airlink and Rolls-Royce have worked hand in hand since the introduction of the ERJ135 to our fleet in May 2001. We operate 28 ERJs with a pool of 64 AE3007-A1/3 engines. We are proud of the phenomenal reliability we have achieved from these engines which have underpinned Airlink’s industry leading on-time performance, which has consistently been above 97%. Our TotalCare service agreement has been key to the management of engine maintenance costs and to ensuring the economic sustainability of the ERJ135 type for the foreseeable future. We are delighted at the dependability of the Rolls-Royce team and their engines.”

In 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Airlink carried more than 2 million customers on more than 63,000 flights. Airlink currently operates a reduced route network to more than 45 destinations in 12 African countries, whilst remaining agile to the effects of Covid-19 and associated travel restrictions. Airlink was proudly the most punctual South African airline for 2020; its year-to-date performance up to August 2021 has been 98.1% on-time.

“Our partnership with Airlink goes back to 2001 and this TotalCare extension is a testament to our strong working relationship and mutual trust of one another,” said Stewart Evans, Rolls-Royce, Vice President, Customers Europe Middle East & Africa, “I’m especially proud of the way both teams have worked closely together during the pandemic to manage maintenance costs effectively for both parties whilst enhancing our service offering at the same time. The entire team at Rolls-Royce is honoured to be able to serve Airlink and their customers for many more years to come.”

TotalCare is the flagship integrated engine service cover provided by Rolls-Royce. It is designed for predictive maintenance planning, as well as off-wing repair and overhaul activities for operators of Rolls-Royce aero engines. TotalCare transfers both time-on-wing and maintenance cost risks back to Rolls-Royce, as well as offering advanced engine health monitoring and future product enhancements.

Aircraft covered by TotalCare achieve higher availability, increased long-term residual values, and benefit from the global Rolls-Royce Care Network; a large, capable and competitive engine service network that caters for the needs of engines at every point in their lifecycle.

About Airlink

Airlink is an independent privately-owned, full-service premium regional airline, serving a comprehensive network of destinations throughout Southern Africa. The airline is the largest in Southern Africa when measured by flight movements and emphasises reliability of service whilst maximising choice and travel opportunities for its customers. Airlink has more than 50 commercial jetliners operating throughout Southern Africa. Airlink is a member of the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and is IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit program) accredited.

Major-General Wiseman Simo Mbambo is appointed as Chief of the South African Air Force

From the President’s media release: Major-General Mbambo began his military career in Umkhonto we Sizwe, where, among other things, he served as a training instructor in the Kibaxe Camp in Angola and was Commander in Charge of the former MK Military Aviation Group that underwent training in the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991.

He has served in several positions in the South African Air Force, including General Officer Commanding Air Force Base Waterkloof and Chief of Staff Air Operations Major-General Mbambo is currently Deputy Chief of Staff of the SANDF.”

New York Air National Guard Capt. Patrick Gillen leads South African Maj Gen Wiseman Simo Mbambo on a tour of a US Airforce C-5M Super Galaxy cargo bay undergoing refurbishment at the base during 2015

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also announced that from 1 June 2021, Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya will take over as chief of the South African National Defense force SANDF from General Solly Shoke, who has been chief of the SANDF since 2011.

SAAF Helicopters from various squadrons ,Lynx,Oryx,Rooivalk and A109s

Air BP scores a hattrick of sustainable aviation fuel projects at three new locations in the UK

  • Air bp has recently completed projects resulting in SAF supply to three UK locations: London Biggin Hill, Hawarden and Centreline FBO Bristol. 
  • Air bp has now supplied SAF to over 20 locations globally.
  • These latest additions to Air bp’s growing list of SAF available locations demonstrates the importance of collaboration to help drive demand and meet industry lower carbon goals.

Air bp, the international aviation fuel products and service supplier, has recently supplied sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to three airports in the UK: dedicated business aviation airport, London Biggin Hill (BQH), Airbus owned Hawarden (CEG) airport in Flintshire, North Wales, which will be used for fuelling of the Beluga aircraft, and Centreline FBO, in Bristol (BRS). All three locations expect to have SAF available on an ongoing basis. These latest supply agreements demonstrate the importance of collaboration between fuel supplier, airport and customer in driving demand for SAF and ultimately help to meet the industry’s lower carbon goals. 

The SAF supplied by Air bp is made from waste based sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oil which is blended with traditional jet fuel. The SAF blend supplied is around 35% SAF and the SAF component provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of around 80% compared to traditional jet fuel it replaces.

Andreea Moyes, sustainability director, Air bp, said: “We are excited to see these ongoing commitments to SAF supply. Stakeholders’ willingness to invest in SAF and collaborate with us will help drive demand and deliver carbon reductions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces. We are committed to working with stakeholders to explore the viable sale and purchase of SAF, which we believe is one of the aviation industry’s key routes to reducing carbon emissions.”

Stephen Elsworthy, manager of fuel services at London Biggin Hill Airport, says: “By offering Air bp’s sustainable aviation fuel to all our customers and resident businesses, we are helping them to meet their sustainability goals too, and vitally, contributing to our industry’s aim for a net zero carbon future”.

Gus Paterson, chief operating officer of Centreline’s parent company Pula Aviation Services Limited, says “In response to growing demand, we’re delighted to be able to offer SAF to our customers and to support global efforts to decarbonise aviation. Air bp is fully committed to supporting its FBOs in understanding SAF and the impact and opportunities it can have for their business and ultimately identifying opportunities for SAF supply.”

Air bp was involved in fuelling the first SAF flight by an airline in February 2008 and since then has been enabling ground-breaking test flights and investing in sustainable alternative fuels.

Denel Cheetah C ‘376’ flies again since 2001

The Atlas Cheetah is a South African fighter aircraft designed and produced by the aviation company Atlas Aircraft Corporation. It was developed at the behest of, and principally operated by, the South African Air Force. It was known many ex SAAF Mirage IIIs were converted from the help of the country of Israel using other airframes from Kfir and Nesher delta fighters to name a few.

Denel Cheetah C ‘376’

The South African Airforce retired the Denel Cheetah in April 2008 as the new SAAB JAS39 Gripens were slowly entering service and replacing the Cheetah at 2 Squadron ,Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province.

Draken International has acquired 12 Cheetahs to be utilised as aggressor aircraft flying against some of the worlds most deadly fighters jet the US Airforce and other forms of arms.

Pre 2003 SAAF Insignia still on the aircraft

Draken International, LLC is an American provider of tactical fighter aircraft for contract air services including military and defense industry customers. The firm is based at the Lakeland Linder International Airport in Lakeland, Florida and also has an operating base at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

On April 9 2021 Denel Cheetah C ‘376’ took to the skies piloted by Denel test pilot Ivan “Viking” Pentz. This particular cheetah hadn’t flown since October 2001.What a great sight to see the fast mover up in South African skies as she gets ready to depart for the United States soon.

Denel Cheetah C ‘376’
Ivan “Viking” Pentz

Photos by Casper van Zyl

Birth of the Inspiration Pattern ship “Inspiration 1”

This is the story of a model radio-controlled aircraft, which was designed and built from scratch, during the lockdown in South Africa in 2020. It was built by Alec McNamara, from Durban South Africa, who told his story to Aviation Central Durban reporter Trevor Viljoen.

History on the design and build of the INSPIRATION 1
At the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown in South Africa on the 26th of March 2020, I was in the process of building and covering a 101” Big Stik. Around the 3rd of April 2020, I ran out of shrink cover and could not get any delivered as the shrink cover I use, is imported.

After two days of watching TV and being totally bored, I decided to clear my build table and take my roll of drawing paper and cut a piece at 2.5 meters. I then put a center line on the page and started drawing. I had the idea that I wanted to build a Patterns Ship. Over the next two and a half weeks I sat drawing, erasing and redrawing until I got a rough plan of what I wanted.
The following two weeks I just sat and fine-tuned the plan, taking into consideration I do not have a drawing program on my computer.

On the 7th of May 2020, I was required to return to work and with great excitement, I took the wood sizes that I had worked out with me and on my way home I stopped by the local wood shop (Timber City Pinetown) to purchase a sheet of the lightest 3.0mm commercial plywood they had and got it cut to size as they offer that service. They obliged with no hesitation and 30 minutes later I walked out with all my wood cut to the required size.

The Inspiration then started to develop.

All the cutting and shaping was done by hand using sanding blocks and a Dremel.
The canopy and cowl are made with moulded fibre glass and painted with 2K paint. The landing gear is made of a fibreglass inner with a double carbon outer layer. The Inspiration took all of Eight (8) months to develop into this flying giant.

After an extensive meeting with Jason Barker “The Durban Drone Guy”, an experienced Pattern and Advanced 3D Pilot, six (6) hours were spent going through the, almost ready, Inspiration. He advised on some changes that I should consider. I heeded his advice and made the changes accordingly.

The Inspiration 1…
On Sunday morning of the 6th of December 2020 at around 08:45 I loaded the Inspiration 1 in the car and my daughter and I headed for MMAC (Maritzburg Model Aircraft Club) where we met Jason. We went through the Inspiration 1 for the final time and did a second range check. I then did the Pre-Flight Inspection and got the Inspiration 1 ready for her maiden flight. We then found on taxiing that the landing gear was a little unstable. We made a bit of a jimmy by putting linked rubber bands on the landing gear to hold them in a suitable stable position for the maiden flight.
Only once Jason was satisfied with the makeshift repair would he take her into the air. Jason did some ground runs and we found that the spring from the rudder to the rear wheel was too soft and steering was a bit erratic. Once he saw that and we still had some form of control Jason lined the Inspiration 1 up for take-off, did some final checks, revved the motor to feel for unwanted vibration and was then ready for take-off.

At approximately 13:15, the INSPIRATION 1 was born as she left the ground on her maiden flight, piloted by Jason Barker. Oh My… What A Spectacular Sight She Was!
I give many, many thanks to Jason (the test pilot) for the time expended and all the advice given with getting this model to where she is today and for taking her through her paces on her maiden flight.

Specifications:
Wingspan – 1930 mm
Fuselage – 2100 mm
Wing Aspect Ratio – 5.68
Dry Weight – 8.1 kg

Motor – CRRC Pro 36cc
Propeller – 19 x 8 Falcon painted wood propeller
Motor cut off – RCEXL opto ignition kill switch
Ignition Battery – X-power 2100mah 2S1P Life battery
Ignition unit – RCEXL Ignition unit (Comes with Motor)

Electronics:
Receiver – AR8010T 8CH Air Telemetry with satellite receiver
Throttle servo – CYS S3006 – 6 kg (Plastic Gear)
Aileron Servo – 2 x CYS S0110 – 11 kg (Metal Geared)
Elevator servo – 2 x CYS S3006 – 6 kg (Plastic Gear)
Rudder servo – CYS S0150 – 15 kg (Metal Geared)
Receiver batteries – 2 x X-power 2100mah 2S1P Life battery

Alec McNamara

Zambia Airforce Celebrates 10,000 accident free flying hours!

The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) has accrued 10, 000 accident free flying hours in the 2020 calendar year. And ZAF Commander, Lieutenant General David Muma says the Air Force organized a parade to celebrate this milestone. Lieutenant General David Muma in a statement said the parade was held at the ZAF Lusaka base and was officiated by Defence Minister Davies Chama.

Picture by-ZAF Facebook page

“The increased flying effort is as a result of command’s objective to carry out the Air Force mandate in full; conduct of military operations, aid to civil authorities and training of aircrew, conveyance of WIPs/VIPs with particular emphasis on good management and best aviation safety practices,” Lt Gen David Muma said.

“He mentioned the 10, 000 accident free flying hours milestone has only been achieved owing to the concerted effort made by both the aircrew, ground support crew, and all ZAF personnel in ensuring maximum aviation safety. And Lt Gen David Muma has thanked President Lungu and the government for the support.”

The Zambia Air Force is the air force of Zambia and the air operations element of the Zambian Defence Force. Following the creation of the Republic of Zambia in 1964, the former Northern Rhodesia Air Wing was renamed as the Zambia Air Wing. The Zambia Air Force was then established.

The ZAF currently fly the C27J ‘Spartan’, Xian MA60 and the Yarbin Y-12 this being the air forces transport aircraft. Their helicopter innovatory comprises of Textron Bell 205,Bell 206s,Mil Mi-17s and finally Yarbin Z-9 Helicopters.

C27J Spartan
MA60
Yarbin Y-12Picture by ORTIA Spotter
Yarbin Z-9
Bell 205\212
Mil Mi-17

The fighter assets of the ZAF,with the newest Hongdu L-15 and jet trainer the familiar Hongdu K-8.Basic trainers of the ZAF are the PAC MFI-15 and SF.260TW.

L-15
K-8
PAC MFI-15
SF.260TW.

SANParks Celebrates South Africa’s First Black Game Capture Pilot

South African National Parks (SANParks) today celebrates Captain David Simelane, South Africa’s first black game capture rated pilot. Nicknamed “Blackhawk”, Simelane completed his game capture rating, which is an endorsement on his pilot license, with flying colours on 2 December 2020.

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said, “we are extremely proud of Simelane and his achievement. He is an inspiration to many young black aspiring pilots and we hope that his passion will inspire more people to choose this industry as their careers.”

Game capture rating is a very complex pilot endorsement rating where a helicopter pilot needs to take into consideration the environment, animals and the crew all while managing the actual helicopter itself.

Simelane has been a helicopter pilot for 16 years and has flown all over the world including Madagascar and South Sudan. “I have a passion for flying and now I get to combine that with my love for wildlife and nature. I wake up in the morning knowing that every flight I do is to make a difference in nature conservation and in people’s lives.”

Simelane, who started working for SANParks earlier this year, is KNP’s first black helicopter pilot working under SANParks Air Services which provide aerial support for many of the departments within SANParks. He said “working as a pilot for SANParks is a calling, it is tough but I am in a blessed position to say that this is not a job for me, it’s a passion. Couple that with the fact that I am doing it in the same park I first fell in love with wildlife 25 years ago, is just a dream come true for me”

Mketeni emphasised that Simelane’s achievement is a reflection of SANParks’ action to improve employees’ expertise to address inequalities and disparities in staff profiles. SANParks is committed towards the development and implementation of access, equity, and equal employment opportunities within the organisation.

“As a world society has started to realise how important both our natural and cultural heritage is and with a passionate and educated person like Simelane at SANParks we can continue to conserve and leave future generations with the natural beauty and heritage of South Africa. Today is a proud day for SANParks and the SANParks Air Services, we salute David Simelane and wish him well as he goes onwards and upwards” concluded Mketeni.

American Flying Classic’s Cherokee 235

One of many light aircraft come to mind that teaches a student to fly, but Piper itself brought out one of the many of its aircraft types, that being the  Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger. The first flight for this type of Cherokee was 14 January 1960 and over 32,778+ built.

For some years the aircraft was hangered at Rand Airport for some some years and eventually was brought back to live and put into the right hands of having this aircraft gracing South African skies once again!

The only Cherokee 235 based at Brakpan airfield East of Johannesburg, owned by the American Flying Classics Van der Schaar Family. The van der Schaar’s who are well known in the airshow circuit flying the Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman. They also have a Pitts Special S2A and a couple of other flying toys in their inventory.

Ivan today is flying with Comair Limited as Captain on the Boeing 737-400 and 800 series aircraft, operating local British Airways and Kulula routes.

Ivan van der Schaar
Jeandre van der Schaar
Sonica van der Schaar
Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger
Brakpan Airfield

 In 1963, the company introduced the even more powerful Cherokee 235 (PA-28-235), which competed favorably with the Cessna C182 for load-carrying capability. The Cherokee 235 featured a Lycoming O-540 engine de-rated to 235 horsepower (175 kW) and a longer wing which would eventually be used for the Cherokee Six. It included tip tanks of 17-gallon capacity each, bringing the total fuel capacity of the Cherokee 235 to 84 gallons. The aircraft had its fuselage stretched in 1973, giving much more leg room in the rear.

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger

The stabilator area was increased, as well. In 1973, the marketing name was changed from “235” to “Charger”. In 1974, it was changed again to “Pathfinder”. Production of the Pathfinder continued until 1977. No 1978 models were built. In 1979, the aircraft was given the Piper tapered wing and the name was changed again, this time to Dakota.

The Cherokee featured a Lycoming O-540 engine de-rated to 235 horsepower (175 kW) and a longer wing which would eventually be used for the Cherokee Six. It included tip tanks of 17-gallon capacity each, bringing the total fuel capacity of the Cherokee 235 to 84 gallons.

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger
O Incrível Show Aéreo de Maputo
Boeing Stearman during a display in Maputo Mozambique Airshow in 2019
O Incrível Show Aéreo de Maputo
Boeing Stearman ZU-IES

For more information contact: Ivan van der Schaar: 082 375 9180 or Sonica van der Schaar: 082 682 2825

Saab strengthens ties to Quebec and Canada through CRIAQ partnership

This collaborative relationship aims to leverage Quebec’s R&D ecosystem’s strengths to encourage the development of collaborative research projects between Saab and Canadian industry, as well as universities and research organizations.

This collaboration has been formed to support Saab’s future Industrial and Technological Benefit (ITB) commitments, if the Gripen fighter is selected for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).

Flight test with the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft.

“The quality and breadth of aerospace research and innovation in Canada is globally recognised, with the Quebec region home to many excellent companies and institutions. Therefore, it was natural to reach this agreement with an important organisation like CRIAQ. We look forward to working together to benefit research and the fostering of talent in Quebec,” said Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Saab’s Head of business area Aeronautics.

“During such unsure times within the industry, this partnership demonstrates that the aerospace industry in Quebec and Canada remains attractive and world class. We are very pleased with this signing as we continue to develop our aerospace industry, adding a new global player to our ecosystem. I am convinced that CRIAQ’s academic, industrial and SME community, and the Quebec economy as well, will clearly benefit from this international collaboration,” said Alain Aubertin, CEO of CRIAQ.

Swedish Air force Gripen E

The ITB Policy is the government’s main tool for leveraging procurement to create jobs and economic growth in Canada. Saab has submitted an offer of 88 Gripen E fighters for the Canadian FFCP, and a core element of the Gripen industrial offering includes CAE in Montreal, Quebec who will supply training and mission systems solutions.

C-390 Millennium receives Aviation Week Grand Laureate in the Defense Segment

São Paulo, Brazil, October 19, 2020 – The Embraer C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft, manufactured by Embraer, today received the Grand Laureate in the Defense Segment and the Laureate Award for the “Best New Product” in Defense from Aviation Week Network. The citation for the award reads, “The first C-390 tanker/transport, the largest and most sophisticated aircraft yet developed by Embraer, was delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in 2019.”

“To receive an award with as much prestige as the Laureate is a very significant acknowledgement of the exceptional work of all Embraer employees. This is a substantial recognition of the merits of our engineers and the ability of our workforce to execute the development of such an advanced product with excellence,” said Francisco Gomes Neto, Embraer S.A. President and CEO. “Embraer’s new business strategy seeks to increase revenue and profitability, and the C-390 Millennium plays an important role in solidifying the Company as a serious entrant in a new market segment.”

“We are honored to receive this award, which recognizes the excellence of our programs and of this aircraft, which was developed to set new standards in its class, bringing exceptional performance complemented by the lowest life-cycle cost in the market,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “The C-390 Millennium offers greater flexibility and value to operators performing air transport and air mobility missions, among others.”

The Aviation Week Laureates Awards recognize the extraordinary achievements and innovative personalities that represent the values and vision of the global aerospace community. Programs honored with Laureates Awards have changed the way people work and move around the world. Aviation Week continues to recognize the very best accomplishments in the four pillars of our industry: Defense, Commercial Aviation, Space, and Business Aviation.

In 2009, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) contracted Embraer to design, develop, and manufacture the C-390 Millennium aircraft as a replacement for its aging C-130 fleet. Deliveries to FAB started in September 2019. The C-390, which was recently ordered by the Portuguese Government, is a new generation multi-mission transport aircraft that offers unrivaled mobility, fast reconfiguration, high availability, and enhanced flight safety, all on a single, exclusive platform.

The aircraft can perform a variety of missions, such as cargo and troop transport, cargo and paratrooper airdrop, aerial refueling, search and rescue, aerial firefighting, medical evacuation, and humanitarian missions.

Flying faster and delivering more value, the Millennium is the right sized platform for major airlift deployment scenarios. Minimized intervals and on condition maintenance, combined with highly reliable systems and components, reduce downtime and costs, contributing to outstanding availability levels and low life cycle costs.

The C-390 benefits from a modern fly-by-wire flight control system with integrated technology that lowers the workload of the crew and increases the safety of its operation. Furthermore, the aircraft can refuel other aircraft in flight, with the installation of removable internal fuel tanks. The aircraft can also be refueled in flight, thus providing greater flexibility for longer missions. An advanced self-defense system increases the aircraft’s survival capability in hostile environments.

Equipped with two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines, the latest avionics, a rear ramp, and an advanced cargo handling system, the C-390 is capable of carrying up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h), with ability to operate in austere environments, including unpaved or damaged runways. The aircraft can carry troops, pallets, armored wheeled vehicles, and helicopters.

Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines
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