September 2012 - Page 2 Aviation Articles

Tuskegee Airmen Return To Historic Airfield And Share Memories

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Four Of The Unit's Original Members Head Back To The Site Of Moton Field

As part of a special trip sponsored by a non-profit organization, Wish of a Lifetime and the Dallas chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., the men have been given the opportunity to visit the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site at Moton Field. The group and their friends and loved ones will be given a private tour by the National Parks Services on Saturday morning.

Later, the men will take part in a public seminar to share the history and legacy of the airmen at the auditorium in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University. The seminar, “An Evening with the Red Tails,” is being hosted by retired Col. Roosevelt J. Lewis, president of the Tuskegee chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.
The Airmen:

Retired Staff Sgt. Homer Hogues (pictured, top left) was drafted into the military after he completed high school. After basic training, his orders were to go to Japan for clean-up duties. Upon the advice of a fellow airman and friend, his orders were changed and further testing resulted in Hogues’ assignment to the Tuskegee Airmen. At Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio, Hogues was assigned to the famous 99th Fighter Squadron 332nd Fighter Group. He was a mechanic on airplanes with pilots such as Daniel “Chappie” James, who helped win World War II.

Retired Flight Officer Robert Tennerson McDaniel (pictured, top right) entered the military in 1943 and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Training Program at Tuskegee Institute. He flew the TB-25J serving his country as a flight officer with the 477th Bombardier Group. McDaniel suffered an unjust court-martial and was put under house arrest because of his courageous resistance against racism and segregation. The charges were eventually cleared and he was honorably restored.

Retired Capt. Claude R. Platte (pictured, bottom left) served as a primary flight instructor, training over 300 blacks to solo and fly PT -13s, PT-17s and PT-19s. He was assigned to the 301st Fighter Squadron and the first black officer to be trained and commissioned in the newly reopened Air Force Pilot Training Program at Randolph Field Air Force Base, Texas the "West Point of the Air."

Retired Lt. Calvin Spann (pictured, bottom right) went into the Army Air Corps to start aviation cadet training in 1943. He was sent to Tuskegee, Ala. for training. Spann received his wings at Tuskegee. At the completion of training in 1944, Lt. Spann was sent to Italy and became a member of the 100th Fighter Squadron, a part of the 332nd Fighter Group under the command of Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Lt. Spann flew 26 combat missions before the end of the war in Europe.

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Assembly Of Test Airframe For Bombardier CSeries Aircraft Well Underway

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FMI: www:
Virtual Flights Being Conducted With 'Aircraft 0'

Assembly of the test airframe for Bombardier's all-new CSeries aircraft is well underway at the company's Experimental Test Facility in St-Laurent, Quebec, the company said in a news release Friday. The test article will be used during the Complete Airframe Static Test (CAST) that is designed to demonstrate the static strength of the airframe and show compliance with certification requirements. 

"Every day brings a new development and it's very exciting. Whether it's the start of a new test, the results of a new test, or the arrival of a new production part, the team is very enthusiastic about all these milestones," said Rob Dewar, Vice President and General Manager, CSeries, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The assembly of the test airframe is another significant development as we make headway in the intense ground testing phase before the CSeries aircraft's flight test program. The fuselage sections in the test airframe are being joined and we're looking forward to adding the wings and the empennage, and starting the stress tests."

The test airframe - comprised of both metallic and composite structures - is being fitted and assembled in a test rig consisting of a superstructure of steel towers and trusses, as well as loading structures and loading actuators that will be used to apply loads to the test airframe. To demonstrate static strength, a series of load cases - representing flight maneuvers, landing, take-off and other in-flight and on-ground conditions - will be applied to the free-floating, non-restrained, counterbalanced test airframe. For selected load cases, internal cabin pressure will also be applied when simulating in-flight conditions.

During testing, strain gauges will be used to measure and record up to 8,000 parameters at defined locations on the airframe. Data from the strain gauges will be monitored by Bombardier's stress engineers, as well as by the partners and suppliers that are involved in the development of structural components for the CSeries aircraft.

Bombardier also recently announced that the company is now conducting virtual flights with "Aircraft 0" - the on-the-ground Integrated Systems Test and Certification Rig (ISTCR) for the CSeries aircraft at Mirabel, Quebec. The avionics, electrical, flight control, fly-by-wire, hydraulic, landing gear and wiring systems are all commissioned, and systems integration and communication have been successfully demonstrated.

Other rigs being used during the ground test phase are: the Engineering Flight Simulator (ESIM) designed and built by CAE and now being installed at the Mirabel ground testing facility; the avionics Systems Integration Test Stand (SITS) and the Flight Controls Integration Lab (FCIL), which are already commissioned at Rockwell Collins' and Parker Hannifin's facilities respectively; and the Interior and Environmental Control Systems (ECS) rig which is being completed at Mirabel.

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Dutch Mid-Air Collision Caught On Video

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Both Airplanes Manage To Land Safely After Being Briefly Stuck Together

Two airplanes chartered by Dutch political parties were briefly stuck together after they collided in mid-air ... and the incident was captured by a cameraman aboard one of the aircraft.

The two aircraft were flying over a beach in Wassenaar in the Netherlands. One was towing a banner for the Christian Democrat political party, the other had members of the country's Socialist Party on board. A person on the Socialist's plane was taking video when the two airplanes collided, and the tow plane's landing gear became embedded in the other aircraft's wing.

The planes were flying at an altitude of about 450 feet when the incident occurred, according a person who was on board one of the aircraft. In the video, which appeared on Netherlands television NOS and has been posted on YouTube, the planes are seen briefly out of control before they separate.

Both planes reportedly landed safely, according to a report appearing in the U.K. newspaper The Mail. The airplane with the damaged wing landed on the beach, the other made it safely back to Rotterdam airport. No one on board either plane was injured. The incident is under investigation by Dutch aviation authorities.

(Image from YouTube Video)

Kestrel Secures Tax Credit, Shows Revised T-prop Cabin

Article by: Rob Finfrock
A $30 million federal tax credit package approved last week will help Kestrel Aircraft bolster its presence in Superior, Wis., as the company develops its new turboprop single.

The funding is the first of three such allocations planned for Kestrel through the New Market Tax Credit program, and part of a $118 million package of local, state and federal incentives announced in February for the aspiring aircraft manufacturer to establish its headquarters and production facilities in the state.
Kestrel Aircraft recently completed a full-scale fuselage mockup of its turboprop single that incorporates several changes over the original prototype, including a taller cabin with more passenger volume, a steeper windscreen and larger windows. The mockup is on display this week at the Reno Air Races and will make appearances at both the NBAA and AOPA conventions this fall.

“This was just one little piece of the entire capital stack, but a very important piece,” Kestrel president and CEO Alan Klapmeier told AIN, adding the company will net approximately $7.5 million after fees and expenses. “With this cash more people will be hired and more engineering work done.”

The company anticipates certification of its turboprop single in three years. Kestrel recently completed a full-scale fuselage mockup that incorporates several changes from the original JP10 prototype built by predecessor Farnborough Aircraft.

Differences include a taller cabin with greater passenger volume, a steeper windshield and larger windows–changes to increase usability and make the aircraft “much more attractive,” according to Klapmeier. Power will come from a Honeywell TPE331-14.

The Kestrel mockup will be displayed this week at the Reno Air Races in Nevada, and will also be shown at the upcoming AOPA and NBAA conventions.

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New Research Points To Signs Of Recovery For Business Jet Aircraft

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Projection Based On Corporate Profitability, Considerable Pent-Up Demand

In a report titled "Civil Aircraft: The Market for Business Jet Aircraft," says that the market for business jet aircraft is showing signs of recovery from the global economic downturn. Recent corporate profitability signals the potential for future market improvement. Surveys of aircraft operators indicate that considerable latent demand exists in the business jet aircraft market, and corporate cash reserves are high and ripe for re-equipping and upgrading aircraft fleets. It indicates that the market has a 10-year value of over $230 billion.  

This market study includes a year-by-year production forecast of business jet aircraft currently in production or expected to enter production within the next 10 years. These individual forecasts are the result of an exhaustive macro-level examination of the market as well as a micro-level bottom-up analysis of individual business jets versus their direct and indirect competitors, the researchers say.

This market study covers eight separate classes of business jet aircraft, including Very Light Jets (VLJs), light business jets, light medium business jets, medium business jets, super mid-size business jets, large business jets, long-range business jets, and airliner-type business jets. These classes of business aircraft are statistically analyzed individually, and a 10-year forecast for each aircraft within each of the different classes is provided in terms of both units and value. In the overall market, some business aircraft are powered by turbine- and piston-powered propeller engines; this market study focuses strictly on turbofan-powered aircraft. The other types of business aircraft are covered in other Forecast International market intelligence reports.

Unlike the market for large commercial jet transports and the market for regional transport aircraft, the market for business jet aircraft has faced little competition from the up-and-coming Chinese manufacturing conglomerates COMAC and AVIC, or from the Russian aircraft manufacturers. The main players within this market remain Airbus and its ACJ; Boeing and its BBJ; Bombardier and its Learjet and Global; Cessna and its Citation, CJ, Mustang and Sovereign; Dassault and its Falcon; Embraer with the Phenom and Legacy; Gulfstream and its G models; and both Hawker Beechcraft and Honda with their light and very light business jets. Although the competition has not expanded in terms of number of manufacturers vying for market share, the number of models and configurations has grown significantly. Currently, this market report covers 12 manufacturers and encompasses 55 separate models of business jet aircraft within the eight classes.

In developing its business jet aircraft forecast, Forecast International takes into consideration all relevant market factors and industry data. These include, but are not limited to, the volume of aircraft orders, letters of intent, and other types of purchase commitments; OEM marketing strategies; changes in the business aircraft customer base (geographic and otherwise); historical and planned production rates; trends in aircraft capacity, performance, and operating efficiency; and the inventories of used aircraft for sale. In addition, economic trends are studied, including GDP growth, inflation, and corporate profitability.

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