eNews – March 2015

Sonex delivers first microlight jet

COLORADO company Sonex Aircraft has delivered its first SubSonex JSX-2 quick-build personal jet to a customer. The SubSonex JSX-2 is a single-seater powered by the PBS TJ-100 turbojet. It’s an update from the JSX-1 prototype, powered by the same engine but with a larger cockpit and panel, fully retractable landing gear, a BRS ballistic parachute and higher fuel capacity.

The company first flew the JSX-1 in August 2011 and continued test flights through 2012. Seven kits have already been sold to customers in the USA and Australia. With an MTOW of 453kg it’s a microlight, but with a heavyweight price tag of around £97,000. See AVweb’s 2014 tour of it here.

Geoff Hill, Editor

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
HEAVENS, you lot do get about, with entries from as far west as the north coast of Northern Ireland and as far east as Nepal this month. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE APRIL ENTRIES
Ireland from the air

KEN Lannery, treasurer and secretary of the National Microlight Association of Ireland, tells us he has had a “fantastic response” to the association’s Around Ireland Rally, scheduled for 29-31 May. Some 40 aircraft have now registered, of which more than 10 are from the UK. The bureaucracy involved for a UK aircraft and pilot is by no means formidable, explains Ken. “For over 18 months we have had an agreement in place with the Irish Aviation Authority that allows UK-registered permit aircraft to fly in Ireland for up to 28 days with no prior permissions.”

“Free overnight parking is available in Weston Airport for aircraft looking to fly in the day before,” Ken continued. “Alternatively, my own field is 5 miles from Weston and that too will be free.”

Interested? There’s much more info on the rally webpage. Ken can be reached on +353 (0)87 2889381, or by post at NMAI Limetree Airfield, Portarlington, Co Laois.

Rotax floats latest

ROTAX has issued the following updates on the 912 leaky floats situation:

For more details regarding the procedure for exchanging floats and product availability, contact Lindsey Slater on lindsey@cfsaero.com.

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Hawarden calling. Call back

HAWARDEN Airport, the UK home of Airbus, wants a Radio Mandatory Zone around it. That’s the short version. For the long version, see here, and if you want to comment, email consultation@hawardenrmz.co.uk before 18 May.

All the news from e-Go

THOSE chaps in Cambridge are on the ball with keeping potential e-Goers informed about the snazzy little SSDR. Latest news here.

Calling all paramotorists

Planning to enter this year’s British Paramotor Open? Look no further.

​Shark on my six, skipper

NOT your everyday nature video, this: a shark chasing a mustang.

Okay, that’s a Shark from Slovakian company Shark Aero chasing the FK-51 Mustang from Austrian firm ScaleWings. Both are microlights, although don’t hold your breath on them being seen over the UK unless current European Microlight Federation discussions produce a common approval process.

Cygnet rings the changes

AIRTIME Aircraft of Florida has brought wind-in-your-face fun to amphibious flying with its Cygnet flexwing amphibian. CEO Michael Percy describes the aircraft and its niche.

Oz skydiver almost six feet Down Under

AN Australian skydiver was saved by an instructor who pulled his ripcord for him after he suffered an apparent seizure during freefall.

Sheldon McFarlane said a student skydiver identified only as Christopher at first seemed fine as he fell from 12,000ft over Pinjarra, then things obviously went wrong as he tensed up and rolled over on his back. What happened next would be worthy of a Bond movie, as Sheldon dived after Christopher and pulled his ripcord. Christopher then regained consciousness at 3000ft and was able to take control of the chute and land safely.

Not at home on the lack of range

THIS pilot of a Cirrus SR-22 ran out of fuel, deployed his ballistic recovery system parachute 253 miles northeast of Hawaii, and was picked up safely.

Spirit of St Lower

VISITORS to the US National Air & Space Museum in Washington are getting a rare opportunity to get a closer look at some of the historic aircraft usually displayed overhead. Most excitingly, as part of museum renovations the Spirit of St Louis is now on the floor.

And if you’re there on 8 May, you’re in for a double treat, with a flypast above the city of more than 70 historic military aircraft to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. “Never before has such a collection of World War Two aircraft been assembled at one location,” said the event organizers.

We assume they mean apart from the war.

Print your own 912. And copy one to me

THE world’s first 3D-printed jet engine took the spotlight at the recent Avalon Airshow in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald has the story.

Cape Town to Goodwood: the movie

IF your telly can pick up BBC Four and you’re twiddling your thumbs at 9.00pm on Tuesday 17 March, you could do worse than tune in to “The Aviatrix”, a documentary of Lady Mary Heath’s epic 1928 flight from Cape Town to London. Tracey Curtis-Taylor retraced the flight in a vintage Boeing Stearman biplane; even better, her adventure was filmed by the cousin of BMAA member Jason Bullock. Click here for a tasty four-minute trailer.

Pylon the pressure

MISSED the opening race of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race series in Abu Dhabi because you were changing the plugs on your Thruster? MF to the rescue. The UK’s Paul Bonhomme won, beating Australia’s Matt Hall by 8/100ths of a second in the final round.

A ton of memories

THE oldest airport in Lithuania celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. To mark the milestone, S Darius and S Girenas Airfield produced a video sharing what pilots around the world have in common, from watching planes fly overhead as a child to that first solo.

Honey, I shrunk the Eurostar

FED up shooting down Me109s in Microsoft Combat Flight Sim? For something a bit different, realflight.com has an R/C aircraft simulator that uses a wireless transmitter interface. There’s a promo video here to give you a taste of it.

Furry fiend weasels its way to an upgrade

THIS woodpecker was squawking 7700 when he got an unexpected passenger. Spotted by James McErlain, who joins us in celebrating the pioneers of flight.

Last laugh…

Mike Whitcomb heard this exchange on the radio a few years ago:

Cessna 123: “Centre, Cessna 123 with you at angels eight five.”
ATC: “Cessna 123, traffic two o’clock, four miles, eastbound. Say altitude.”
Cessna 123: “No joy. Angels eight five. Looking.”
ATC: “Cessna 123, say altitude.”
Cessna 123: “Angels eight five.”
ATC: “Cessna 123, we’re not making a war movie here. Say your altitude.”
Cessna 123: “Eight thousand five hundred.”