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  • If speed, load-hauling and range represent the trifecta of motorized flight, many would argue you’ll find that sweet spot in wing-in-ground effect technology, which has been kicking around for almost half a century. The Soviets tried it with their eight-engine Black Sea behemoths. Variations on the Alexander Lippisch-designed reverse delta single-engine skimmers have been spotted in coastal and riverine settings from China to Australia.

  • NASA has awarded a $247 million contract to Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works to build a piloted quiet supersonic technology demonstrator, with first flight planned for summer 2021, officials announced at a news conference on Tuesday. Peter Coen, manager for the project at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, said the key element in Lockheed Martin’s design is “a brand-new shape.”

  • Spring brings with it the beginnings of rough air season, especially in mountainous terrain. This recent PIREP near Jeffco Airport (BJC) in Colorado puts it in vivid terms.


  • FedEx Express is joining a recent trend in the industry to develop a pipeline of pilots to fill seats in its larger jets, by creating clear pathways for new hires to get the training and opportunities they need for a productive career. The outreach program, beginning with Delta State University, in Mississippi, will aim to promote student interest in aviation careers.

  • Two people died when a Cessna 150 collided with a Cessna 525 Citation jet on the runway at Marion Municipal Airport in Indiana on Monday afternoon, the FAA has reported. The Cessna was attempting to take off to the southeast, at about 5:09 p.m., when it struck the tail of the Citation, which had just landed from the north.

  • Aggressive conduct by a passenger on a Sunwing flight caused the pilots to turn the aircraft around and return to Canada. The plane was intercepted by U. S. military aircraft during that turn around last July. The man, Charalobos Nassios from Montreal, is due to be sentenced April 18. He pled guilty to charges of assault, mischief and uttering threats during the flight. The return flight was accompanied by two F-15 U.S. Air Force jets.

  • On April first the Royal Air Force celebrated its 100th birthday. The event is being celebrated by special events and activities across the UK running from April to the end of Fall 2018. The main celebration event of RAF100 will take place on July 10 with a service in Westminster Abbey, followed by a parade in The Mall and a flight over Buckingham Palace.

  • Air show pilot Rob Holland was able to walk away after a forced landing that destroyed his custom MXS-RH aerobatic show plane last week. Holland said he was about 15 minutes into the flight, at 11,500 feet, when the airplane “had a catastrophic engine failure” and lost all power.

  • Conceding that aircraft owners—and even airlines—aren’t equipping quickly enough with ADS-B, the FAA on Sunday announced that it’s extending the mandate deadline to Jan. 1, 2040. Previously the equipage deadline was 2020.

  • The fabled World War II bomber Memphis Belle has been moved into its new home at an Ohio museum after years of restoration work. However, it won’t go on public display until next month. The Dayton Daily News reports the aircraft famously decorated with nose art of a pinup girl was towed Wednesday into the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton.

  • NASA says it’s hiring a new round of flight directors to oversee U.S. human spaceflight for the upcoming Orion missions and the International Space Station responsible for the success of missions and the highly trained teams of engineers and scientists that make them possible.

  • If any doubt remains that the aviation industry is facing a shortage of pilots, look no further than a new program for aspiring pilots at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus and partner Piedmont Airlines. Teaming together, the two are offering help with tuition and a job guarantee at the regional airline.

  • A number of companies have tried a range of variations on the traditional airship in recent years, attempting to combine the simplicity of buoyant flight with new technology to create marketable aircraft — so far, with limited success. Now a new French company, Flying Whales, with support from Chinese aviation conglomerate AVIC, is working on a design that will be able to carry up to 60 tons of cargo. Flying Whales already has raised more than $300 million in capital, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

  • A pilot who was fired after complaining about the rest time allotted by his employer has been reinstated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The pilot, whose name has not been released, “reasonably believed” a new scheduling policy initiated by Boston MedFlight might not provide pilots with the rest time required by the FAA, OSHA said.

  • By tweaking long-forgotten software, NASA last week coaxed to life backup thrusters on Voyager I after nearly 40 years of disuse, extending the spacecraft's life yet again.

  • Siemens brought its prototype electric aircraft to the U.S. this week for the first time, showcasing the airplane at the company’s Innovation Day in Chicago. “Electric propulsion is one of the transformative technologies that will help the industry meet the goals of reduced fuel, emissions and noise,” said Teri Hamlin, vice president of electric propulsion for Siemens. Further testing of the technology will take place in Waco, Texas, at the Texas State Technical College Airfield.

  • AVweb’s final sweep of the Aircraft Electronics Association in Last Vegas turned up a new altitude digitizer from Trans-Cal, a specialized audio control from PS Engineering and a new Iridium satellite-based texting system from Airtext.

  • CubCrafters is now offering factory-installed floats for its Part 23-certified XCub two-seater, the company announced this week. Wipline 2100 floats, manufactured by Wipaire, are available in both amphibious and seaplane versions. Float operations were “a design objective from the outset,” said Randy Lervold, president of CubCrafters. The floats are available for new XCubs, or as a retrofit on aircraft that have already been delivered, the company said.

  • Great Lakes Airlines, a regional carrier based in Denver, has canceled all of its scheduled flights as of Tuesday, citing a lack of pilots, the Denver Post has reported. The airline posted a notice on its website noting the company has not entered bankruptcy and will continue to operate scheduled service as Great Lakes Express between Denver and two cities in South Dakota. Great Lakes had flown to Los Angeles, Phoenix and several other regional destinations.

  • In 1919, just after World War I, the Australian government offered a 10,000-pound prize for the first flight to Australia from Great Britain in less than 30 days. The race was won by a crew of two Australian pilots flying an open-cockpit Vickers Vimy aircraft. They made it to Darwin after 23 stops in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Now a new challenge is being offered for 2019 — to re-trace the original route in an electric-powered aircraft.