Wednesday, June 3, 2020

First Super Hornet Blue Angel enters flight test

Boeing has delivered the first Super Hornet test aircraft for the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angel flight demonstration squadron. The unpainted aircraft now enters the flight test and evaluation phase at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. Boeing expects to deliver a total of 11 aircraft for the squadron in 2020.

The flight demonstration squadron has flown Boeing or Boeing-heritage aircraft for more than 50 years, starting with the F-4J Phantom II in 1969, and then moving to the A-4F Skyhawk. The team currently operates the F/A-18A-D Hornet.

Boeing converts F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets into Blue Angels at the company’s Cecil Field facility in Jacksonville, Fla. Major modifications include the addition of an oil tank for the smoke-generation system, fuel systems that enable the aircraft to fly inverted for extended periods of time, civilian-compatible navigation equipment, cameras and adjustments for the aircraft’s center of gravity.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Most popular posts for May 2020

1.) FBI plans to lease 'ultra-long-range aircraft' to support counterterrorism operations - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) requires an ultra-long-range aircraft to provide a rapid response to transport Department of Justice personnel world-wide in support of counterterrorism and other sensitive investigations. [Full story]

2.) De Havilland Aircraft starts phased return to work of employees - De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited announced last month the company has started a phased return to work of employees and a measured resumption of activities. [Full story]

3.) Urgent need for aircraft at US Marshals Service - The United States Marshals Service, Investigative Operations Division, is seeking information from responsible sources and commercial agencies concerning the purchase of a used King Air 350i or Pilatus PC-12 aircraft to fulfill its unique mission objectives. [Full story]

4.) FAA post flight restrictions around Cape Canaveral for historic manned space launch - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued multiple Notice to Airmen Temporary Flight Restrictions around Cape Canaveral, Fla., through Wednesday. [Full story]

5.) Video: The first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft - A Boeing-led Australian industry team has presented the first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force. [Full story]

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

FAA post flight restrictions around Cape Canaveral for historic manned space launch

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued multiple Notice to Airmen (NOTAMS) Temporary Flight Restrictions around Cape Canaveral, Fla., through Wednesday.

The NOTAMS are in preparation for NASA’s historic manned space flight to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. This is the first launch of astronauts to Earth orbit on an American-built spacecraft from American soil since 2011.

“The FAA’s role is to ensure the safety of the airspace by prohibiting all aircraft operations within 30 nautical miles of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center during the reported timeframe unless the operation is exempted,” the agency said on Tuesday. “There are three types of NOTAMs: airspace, to close the airspace near the launch; flow, to provide route guidance to aviation operators; and security, to implement security measures for aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the area."

Aircraft operations involving UAS, flight training, aerobatic, glider, seaplane, parachute, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon, agriculture/crop dusting and more are prohibited. 

Pilots who do not comply with the requirements, special instructions or procedures in the NOTAM may be intercepted, detained by law enforcement, and subjected to any of the following additional actions: 
  • Civil penalties and the suspension or revocation of airmen certificates; or  
  • Criminal charges, including charges under Title 49 of the United States Code, Section 46307; or  
  • The U.S. Government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.

Friday, May 22, 2020

LA property in the Eagle Rock neighborhood approved for 17 new homes

In August 2018, online investment platform Fundrise (a Real Estate Investment Trust) provided a $3.1 million loan for the acquisition of a 26,500 square foot (0.6 acre) property in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, Calif. While the property is currently improved with two office buildings and a parking lot, the borrower acquired the site with plans to redevelop the land into a new housing subdivision.

On Friday, Fundrise reported that the borrower has successfully secured entitlements from the City of Los Angeles to subdivide the property into 17 smaller lots, upon each of which a new home can now be built. The now-entitled property is valued at approximately $4.2 million, based on a third-party appraisal, which is roughly 34 percent higher than the original $3.1 million purchase.

“The next step is to secure the building permits necessary to break ground,” Fundrise said in an update to investors. “At that point, the borrower plans to either refinance into a construction loan or sell the property to a home builder to pay back our investment.”

Fundrise, based in Washington, D.C., has been labeled as the first company to successfully crowdfund investment into the real estate market.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

FEMA lines up COVID-19 air ambulance service to support Alaska fishing season

In support of the State of Alaska, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in the planning stages to support contingency medical evacuation requirements during the coming fishing season. The COVID-19 pandemic combined with the Alaskan fishing season occurring June-August brings in approximately 60K-80K individuals into the state to support the fishing industry. The influx of a large transient workforce could potentially put stress on the medical system especially in the rural areas

“This is a Special Notice that is a request for Information addressing the capability to provide an Air Ambulance Service in Alaska,” FEMA officials said in contract documents released Wednesday.

In support of a State of Alaska request, as directed by and in coordination with FEMA, contractor rotary and fixed-wing aircraft will provide air transportation support for medical evacuation to support COVID-19 operations through Sept. 1.  Transport is anticipated to be one or two patients at a time.  The vendor will transport patients from various rural communities in the state to Anchorage.

Potential pick up locations:
•       Unalaska
•       Cold Bay
•       Kodiak
•       Egegik
•       King Salmon
•       Dillingham
•       Togiak
•       Cordova
•       Juneau
•       Sitka
•       Ketchikan

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

US Customs and Border Protection purchase two King Air 350CER aircraft

Textron Aviation Inc. was awarded a contract for two additional Beechcraft King Air 350CER turboprop aircraft for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations. After mission modifications by Sierra Nevada Corp., these two Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft (MEA) aircraft will join a fleet of 23 other King Air 350 aircraft used to safeguard the United States homeland as part of the coordinated application of CBP’s aviation and maritime law enforcement resources.

"These aircraft can fly six-hour missions and can deploy to hot spots where multi-sensor patrols assist both ground and marine agents to detect, interdict and prevent acts of terrorism as well as the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband toward or across the borders of the United States,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president, Special Mission Sales.

The CBP MEA is equipped with a sophisticated array of active and passive sensors, technical collection equipment and satellite communications capabilities that can be deployed for ground interdiction operations, air-to-air intercept operations and medium-range maritime patrols. The aircraft is operated by a crew of four, including two highly trained sensor operators who employ the mission equipment and coordinate the information flow to the ground.

The Beechcraft King Air 350CER aircraft is an extended range version of the King Air 350i twin-engine turboprop aircraft configured with an optional cargo door, resulting in enhanced mission flexibility.  Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60A or optional factory installed PT6A-67A turboprop engines with Hartzell four blade propellers power the King Air 350CER aircraft, and a fully integrated Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion digital avionics suite provides pilot(s) with state-of-the-art touchscreen controls.