Flight Journal http://www.flightjournal.com Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:50:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 On This Day in Aviation History http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-282/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-282/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:39:39 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213168

1894 – Birth of Frederick Joseph Cunninghame, British World War I flying ace. 1911 – Yoshitoshi Tokugawa sets a Japanese record with a Blériot, flying 48 miles in less than 70 minutes. 1918 – Lt. Paul Baer of the U.S. Army Air Service shoots down his fifth aircraft, becoming the first ace of the American [...]

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1894 – Birth of Frederick Joseph Cunninghame, British World War I flying ace.

1911 – Yoshitoshi Tokugawa sets a Japanese record with a Blériot, flying 48 miles in less than 70 minutes.

1918 – Lt. Paul Baer of the U.S. Army Air Service shoots down his fifth aircraft, becoming the first ace of the American Expeditionary Force.

1924 – First flight of the Stout 2-AT “Pullman” (shown), an American all-metal monoplane used for early airline travel and air mail transport.

1945 – U.S. Navy Consolidated PB4Y Liberators of Patrol Bombing Squadron 109 launch two Bat missiles against Japanese shipping in Balikpapan harbour in Borneo; it is the first use of automatic homing missiles during World War II.

2006 – Death of former Royal New Zealand Air Force Wing Commander John “Johnny” Milne Checketts, World War II flying ace; he survived being shot down twice in that conflict.

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Egypt Set to Receive AH-64 Apaches http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/egypt-set-to-receive-ah-64-apaches/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/egypt-set-to-receive-ah-64-apaches/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:01:44 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213163

The U.S. said on Tuesday it will deliver 10 Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Egypt, relaxing a partial suspension of aid imposed after Egypt’s military ousted President Mohamed Mursi last year and cracked down violently on protesters. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed his Egyptian counterpart of the decision, which will help Egypt’s counter-terrorism operations in [...]

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The U.S. said on Tuesday it will deliver 10 Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Egypt, relaxing a partial suspension of aid imposed after Egypt’s military ousted President Mohamed Mursi last year and cracked down violently on protesters. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed his Egyptian counterpart of the decision, which will help Egypt’s counter-terrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula, the Pentagon said.

“We believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement, recounting Hagel’s conversation with Egyptian Defence Minister Colonel Sedki Sobhi.

Secretary of State John Kerry had paved the way by certifying to Congress that Egypt met key criteria for Washington to resume some aid. Those criteria included Egypt “upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty,” the State Department said.

For the complete story by Phil Stewart and Arshad Mohammed of Reuters, click here.

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Pilot-Optional Black Hawk Makes First Flight http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/213156/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/213156/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:35:32 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213156

Sikorsky conducted the first flight demonstration of an “optionally piloted” UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter last month, at its development flight test center near West Palm Beach, Fla. During the March 11 flight, the aircraft hovered and conducted flight operations under the control of an operator using a “man-portable” ground control station, the company announced on Tuesday. The flight [...]

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Sikorsky conducted the first flight demonstration of an “optionally piloted” UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter last month, at its development flight test center near West Palm Beach, Fla. During the March 11 flight, the aircraft hovered and conducted flight operations under the control of an operator using a “man-portable” ground control station, the company announced on Tuesday.

The flight of the demonstrator aircraft, which Sikorsky calls the manned/unmanned resupply aerial lifter (MURAL), advances the technology towards a point where the U.S. Army can achieve “autonomous cargo delivery”, the company says. Helicopters capable of flying manned or unmanned missions would allow the military to increase sorties while maintaining crew rest requirements, it notes.

Unmanned Black Hawks could be used for resupply missions and expeditionary operations, allowing crews to operate more sensitive operations, says Sikorsky.

For the complete story by Jon Hemmerdinger of Flightglobal.com, click here.

Photo by Sikorsky

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Nieuport 11 Replica Shines at Iowa Museum http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/nieuport-11-replica-shines-at-iowa-museum/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/23/nieuport-11-replica-shines-at-iowa-museum/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:16:31 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213150

When people get ready to retire, it’s not unusual for some of them to pick up a new hobby. Some golf, some fish, but few build an actual airplane. Bob Heath of Whiting, Iowa, decided to build a replica airplane, and the idea for it all came from a conversation with his friend. “Hank Bater [...]

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When people get ready to retire, it’s not unusual for some of them to pick up a new hobby. Some golf, some fish, but few build an actual airplane.

Bob Heath of Whiting, Iowa, decided to build a replica airplane, and the idea for it all came from a conversation with his friend.

“Hank Bater from Le Mars and I were talking about building another airplane and we kind of decided to order plans for the Nieuport eleven,” said Bob. He built the Neiuport based on plans from a Canadian man, who built the original prototype.

For video and the complete story by KMEG-TV (Dakota Dunes, S.D.), click here.

Photo by KMEG-TV

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On This Day in Aviation History http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-281/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-281/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:32:37 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213145

1897 – Birth of Cyril William Gladman, British World War I flying ace. 1912 – Denys Corbett Wilson makes a 100-minute flight from Goodwick, England, to Enniscorthy, Ireland. 1939 – First flight of the Lockheed Vega Starliner, a low-wing light plane with retractable landing gear and a pair of inline engines turning a single propeller. [...]

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1897 – Birth of Cyril William Gladman, British World War I flying ace.

1912 – Denys Corbett Wilson makes a 100-minute flight from Goodwick, England, to Enniscorthy, Ireland.

1939 – First flight of the Lockheed Vega Starliner, a low-wing light plane with retractable landing gear and a pair of inline engines turning a single propeller.

1948 – The North American B-45 Tornado (shown) begins service with the U.S. Air Force, becoming that service’s first operational jet bomber and the first jet aircraft to be refueled in the air.

1982 – Death of Ernest Charles Hoy, Canadian World War I flying ace and airmail flight pioneer.

2005 – A a Boeing-Stearman PT-17 makes its first post-restoration flight in Reykjavik, Iceland; it was one of the three PT-17s brought by the USS Wasp in 1941 for use as trainers and squadron hacks.

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Nigerian C-130 Finally Takes Flight http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/nigerian-c-130-finally-takes-flight/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/nigerian-c-130-finally-takes-flight/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:05:36 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213140

On Apr. 16, Nigerian Air Force C-130H-30, registration NAF918, conducted a test flight from Cambridge airport. The air test came slightly less than three years after the aircraft had arrived on Aug. 28, 2011, from Lagos, Nigeria, where it had been dumped, out of use, for a period of 7-10 years. When the U.S. financed the restoration program, [...]

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On Apr. 16, Nigerian Air Force C-130H-30, registration NAF918, conducted a test flight from Cambridge airport.

The air test came slightly less than three years after the aircraft had arrived on Aug. 28, 2011, from Lagos, Nigeria, where it had been dumped, out of use, for a period of 7-10 years. When the U.S. financed the restoration program, the Lockheed Martin Hercules was flown to the UK for major overhaul with Marshalls Aerospace. But its ferry flight was a sort-of Odyssey as The Aviationist’s contributor Tony Lovelock, who took the photographs in this article, recalls.

“Since the aircraft was unable to pressurise, due to massive corrosion of the front windscreen frames, it was flown low level at 12,000 feet from Lagos to England, by pilots wearing helmets and oxygen masks,” Lovelock says.

For the complete story by David Cenciotti of The Aviationist, click here.

Photo by Tony Lovelock via The Aviationist

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Boeing X-37B Nearing 500 Days in Space http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/boeing-x-37b-nearing-500-days-in-space/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/boeing-x-37b-nearing-500-days-in-space/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:52:56 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213135

The U.S. Air Force’s mysterious robotic Boeing X-37B space plane is sailing toward the 500-day mark in Earth orbit on a secret military mission. The X-37B space plane presently in orbit is carrying out the Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) mission, a classified spaceflight that marks the third long-duration flight for the unmanned Air Force space flight program. [...]

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The U.S. Air Force’s mysterious robotic Boeing X-37B space plane is sailing toward the 500-day mark in Earth orbit on a secret military mission.

The X-37B space plane presently in orbit is carrying out the Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) mission, a classified spaceflight that marks the third long-duration flight for the unmanned Air Force space flight program. The miniature space shuttle launched on Dec. 11, 2012.

The record-breaking X-37B mission now underway uses the first of the Air Force’s two robotic space plane vehicles. This same space plane flew the first-ever X-37B mission (the 225-day OTV-1 flight in 2010), and a second vehicle flew the longer OTV-2 mission in 2011, chalking up 469 days in orbit.

For the complete story by Leonard David of Space.com, click here.

Image by NASA

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Valiant Air Command Debuts A-4C Skyhawk http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/valiant-air-command-debuts-a-4c/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/22/valiant-air-command-debuts-a-4c/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:47:53 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213130

Another historic plane is now on display at Brevard County’s Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Florida after more than seven years of restoration. Windy conditions kept the Douglas A-4C Skyhawk from taking to the skies over Titusville Thursday for a training flight. The Vietnam-era Navy attack jet was hit during the war and the pilot was able [...]

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Another historic plane is now on display at Brevard County’s Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Florida after more than seven years of restoration.

Windy conditions kept the Douglas A-4C Skyhawk from taking to the skies over Titusville Thursday for a training flight. The Vietnam-era Navy attack jet was hit during the war and the pilot was able to get back to an aircraft carrier.

The airplane was reassembled using spare parts. It now looks as it did when it was built in 1962 and was able to reach speeds of up to 600 miles per hour.

For the complete story by Greg Pallone of News 13 (Orlando, Fla.), click here.

Photo by News 13

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On This Day in Aviation History http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/21/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-280/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/21/on-this-day-in-aviation-history-280/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:19:34 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213126

1894 – Birth of Jacques Michael Swaab, American World War I flying ace; he later worked in the Hollywood film industry and was the technical advisor on “The Dawn Patrol.” 1928 – Sir (George) Hubert Wilkins and his pilot Carl Ben Eielson complete the first ever crossing of the Arctic by airplane from Point Barrow, [...]

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1894 – Birth of Jacques Michael Swaab, American World War I flying ace; he later worked in the Hollywood film industry and was the technical advisor on “The Dawn Patrol.”

1928 – Sir (George) Hubert Wilkins and his pilot Carl Ben Eielson complete the first ever crossing of the Arctic by airplane from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Spitsbergen in a Lockheed Vega.

1945 – A Canadian Sikorsky R-4 becomes the first helicopter to rescue a downed crew in the Arctic.

1951 – First flight of the Chase XC-123A (shown), the first jet transport to fly in the U.S. and the first to fly with pod-mounted engines.

1958 – A mid-air Collision near Las Vegas, Nev., between United Air Lines Flight 736, a Douglas DC-7, and a U.S. Air Force North American F-100F Super Sabre, kills all 49 aboard both aircraft.

2006 – Death of John “Johnny” Milne Checketts, New Zealand World War II fighter ace; he was responsible for introducing the de Havilland Vampire to form the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s first jet squadron.

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Helicopters Conduct Autonomous Landings http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/21/helicopters-conduct-autonomous-resupply-tests/ http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2014/04/21/helicopters-conduct-autonomous-resupply-tests/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:29:08 +0000 Mike Harbour http://www.flightjournal.com/?p=213115

Autonomy for umanned (and manned) rotorcraft has taken a big step forward with recent demonstrations of the ability of testbed helicopters to autonomously select safe landing zones. The development is key to enabling anyone on the ground to request an unmanned resupply flight or casualty evacuation without having to know anything about how the helicopter [...]

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Autonomy for umanned (and manned) rotorcraft has taken a big step forward with recent demonstrations of the ability of testbed helicopters to autonomously select safe landing zones. The development is key to enabling anyone on the ground to request an unmanned resupply flight or casualty evacuation without having to know anything about how the helicopter performs or what it needs to land safely.

Two of the demos took place at Quantico, Va., under the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) research program. One was conducted by Aurora Flight Sciences using Boeing’s H-6U Unmanned Little Bird; the other by Lockheed Martin using an unmanned Kaman K-Max helicopter. Both were equipped with electro-optical/infrared and lidar sensors and autonomy processors that performed path and trajectory planning on board in real time.

In each demo, a field operator with minimal training used a handheld tablet to request a resupply flight and indicate a landing location on a digital map. The request was set to a “main operating base” where the ground control system loaded a mission plan on to the helicopter. Once airborne the aircraft (with safety pilot on board) switched to autonomous mode and the AACUS package took over.

For videos and the complete story by Aviation Week, click here.

Photo by ONR

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