eNews – May 2017

Photo CompetitionPhoto Competition
AFTER a rare drought last month from you happy snappers, it’s business as usual this time, with a lucky 13 glorious shots. As always, the chosen few in your next MF. VIEW THE JUNE ENTRIES.
Not so close, dear. We’ve hardly met

THE UK Airprox Board, UKAB, has launched a campaign to cut the number of airprox incidents involving general aviation pilots. While incidents involving commercial aviation have been steadily declining over the last decade, those involving GA have increased by over 50% in the same period.

Save our airfields!

A PETITION asking the Government to define airfields as green belt rather than brownfield sites, thus saving them from housing development, garnered almost 8000 signatures before closing due to the General Election. As we reported in April MF, the powers that be are already having a rethink on this, but a petition can only nudge them in the right direction. We’ll let you know if the authors of the now-defunct one decide to relaunch it post-election.

Aha, there I am

AIRSPACE Explorer, an app based on the software used by air traffic controllers, lets you explore UK airspace in 3D and see hundreds of planes flying in almost real time. Presumably this will include yours, if it’s got a transponder – so if you’re sitting at home and you see it somewhere over Belgium, it’s been nicked by a demented chocolate smuggler.

Still in the beta stage of development, the app is configured for iPad with iOS 9.3 or later. If you’d like to have a play with it you can find it in the iTunes store as a free download.

Calling all techies: Deddington needs you

The BMAA’s looking for a technical office administration assistant. Details on the BMAA website.

Popham poptastic

POPHAM was the best for years, with 200 aircraft flying in on the Saturday. Full report and photos in your next MF, but in the meantime, Justin Parsons’ video shows how busy it was.

Whoops. And daisy

A CHALLENGING landing by a PulsR and QuikR with the wind 12kt gusting 18 straight across the runway. Bet there was a large sigh of relief after that one.

Charlie Quantum abeam gnome in funny hat

WHO says men can’t multitask? Guy Blackstone practising his RT, mowing the lawn and spending quality time with his family – simultaneously!

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Bunny: the movie

GREAT news for those who, like everyone here at MF Global HQ, have been following the fascinating story of former BMAA Chairman and MF Editor David Bremner, his brother Rick and their friend Theo Wilford building and flying a Bristol Scout, after David and Rick found the joystick, rudder bar and magneto from the Scout their grandfather flew in 1916. The documentary of the project, which took 12 years, 10,000 building hours and £100,000, is now out and it’s absolutely wonderful: enthralling and deeply moving.

The editor struggled to hold back a manly tear when David finally flew the machine, at first in the UK then on the very airstrip at Thassos in Greece from which his grandfather had flown all those years ago. Watch the trailer on Vimeo, from which you can also rent or purchase a download; or if you prefer something more tangible, a DVD is also available to buy for £12.50.

It’s all gone quiet

NICE work by this Taiwanese pilot after his engine stopped with not too many options for a forced landing. He chose well. Cherokee Six pilot Justin Dunaway, meanwhile, was lucky to survive a fiery forced landing on a busy road in Seattle after losing power on climbout. He and a passenger were uninjured. Two people on the ground had minor injuries.

Uber 0 Blade Runner 1

LAST month we commented that those flying taxis are like buses – you wait for ages for one, then they all arrive in a posse. Now the posse seems to have grown into a fully kitted-out raiding party.

US company Metro Skyways has just announced plans to develop a four-passenger, hydrogen-powered, autonomous VTOL flying car, the CityHawk. The vehicle will initially use jet fuel, but eventually will be converted to liquid hydrogen and then to compressed hydrogen. Development is expected to take about five years, and prototype the Cormorant (shown above) has already logged 200 flying hours.

Even more hush-hush, the world’s first VTOL electric jet will get you from London to Paris in an hour faster than Lewis Hamilton on a good day. Munich makers Lilium claim a cruise of 60kt and a range of 180 miles from 430hp driving 36 rotating ducted fans. Elsewhere, as the BBC informs us, a flying passenger pod that can be docked with wheels to turn in to a car has been unveiled at a show in Geneva; a jet-propelled version is being tested in Germany; and, as already reported in eMF, a sky taxi service starts in Dubai in July.

Suits you, sir

BRITISH inventor Richard Browning, meanwhile, won’t need to hail a flying taxi when they do appear; he’s just built an Iron Man-style flight suit which he demonstrated in Vancouver.

Feather in Virgin’s cap

VIRGIN Galactic has successfully tested its feather re-entry system in flight for the first time. Folding up the twin tail booms acts as a brake, allowing supersonic speeds to be safely dissipated for a runway landing. You know, just like a Thruster.

Comes with rudder. And Finns

A US company has teamed up with the Finns to build svelte LSA amphibian the Atol Avion. European approval is expected later this year, with deliveries in 2018. The aircraft looks like direct competition for the Icon A5, but cheaper at about £129,000. A microlight version is available, but there are no details yet of price or the likelihood of it arriving in the UK. Powered by a Rotax 912iS, it cruises at 106mph and has a range of 800 miles.

Polished performance

MF editor Geoff Hill had a go at piloting an Antonov An-2 in Slovenia once, and loved it. According to the owner, it burns 300 litres an hour of fuel and the same of oil. Here’s what a real pilot can do with the world’s biggest single-engine biplane, with a Polish ace putting it through its paces at the Krakow Air Show.

Let the train take someone else’s strain

INDEPENDENT travel editor Simon Calder tries out Wingly, the flight sharing system – and loves it.

Halfpenny Green now worth a farthing

WONDER if they sent this Vampire pilot the bill for tearing up the runway at Wolverhampton? Video by Graham Innes. At least the pilot of this bizjet in Florida had an excuse for doing the same after losing a wheel.

Ms Jones, cancel all my appointments

STUCK for something to do for the rest of the day? Kettle on, Hobnobs out, and settle down to watch all 26 episodes of the BBC’s 1997 documentary The Century of Flight. “I stumbled across it on YouTube, and it’ll keep me entertained for a good while, I can tell you,” said MF reader Marc Dawson.

Saved his bacon

A DANE has jumped off the 689ft-high helipad of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Fortunately he was attached to a kiteboard parachute – although not a very big one. The jump by Danish kiteboarding champion Nick Jacobsen broke his previous world record for the highest jump by 295ft.

What goes around…

THE Dutch engineer who proposed circular runways in our issue last month has defended the idea against critics.

Unmanned flight

SOME years ago I was flying into a very congested Heathrow when I heard the following exchange with Heathrow Approach.
Heathrow: “Speedbird 123, what is your position in the hold at Lambourne?”
Speedbird: “We are just turning outbound at flight level 200.”
Heathrow: “Roger, Speedbird, could you possibly cross Lambourne inbound at 3000ft?”
Speedbird: “Roger, I could probably make that, but I doubt if I could take my aircraft with me.”
John Marshall