Monday, September 26, 2011

Global confidence in Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter announced that it received 41 signed contracts at Heli-expo 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

“This was an exceptional show for Bell Helicopter,” said John L Garrison, President and CEO, Bell Helicopter. “Spending time with our customers and listening to their needs and direct feedback is invaluable.”

“Generating a record number of orders at Heli-Expo this year – selling over 40 aircraft – is an indication of customer trust in Bell Helicopter and that we are meeting their mission needs. The mix of aircraft and the geographic diversity are positive indications for our entire industry – and more importantly global confidence in Bell Helicopter,” said John Garrison.

The product mix included several 412EPs, 429s, 11 new 407GXs as well as 206L4s representing North America, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. “We can definitely start to feel a change in the climate,” said Larry Roberts, Senior Vice President, Commercial Business for Bell Helicopter. “I was especially delighted that we enjoyed sales across the product range, in particular with the Bell 412EP, the 407GX and the 429. This demonstrates that, whether mature technology or new innovation, our aircraft remain in demand, confirming to a large measure that Bell Helicopter solutions are relevant in the market place. The industry wants Bell Helicopter solutions and we aim to keep providing them.”

At this year’s Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter announced the 407GX, a new version of the Bell 407 equipped with the innovative Garmin G1000HTM Integrated Flight Deck and the 407AH, the first Bell-qualified armed commercial aircraft across the market.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Newsflash from 43 Air School

The Air Traffic Services (ATS) system comprises a vast network of people and equipment that ensures the safe operation of commercial and private aircraft all over the world. The primary purpose of ATS systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organise and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other support for pilots as required. Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) coordinate the movement of air traffic to make certain that planes stay a safe distance apart from each other and, although their immediate concern is safety, controllers must also direct planes efficiently to minimise delays.

The need for ATCs has never been greater, with many ATS facilities operating with staff levels below the accepted norm. In the US alone, in order to meet the predicted shortages, the FAA will be training in excess of 17 000 new controllers by 2018. To assist in meeting the increasing demand for ATCs worldwide, 43 Air School has established an Air Traffic Services College at our Port Alfred campus to provide students with the highest level of training to SACAA regulations and in accordance with ICAO standards.

With the approval of its Air Traffic Services Aviation Training Organisation (ATS ATO) licence earlier this year, 43 Air School became the first privately owned ATS ATO in South Africa. The Air Traffic Service Assistant (ATSA) and Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) courses offered by 43 Air School will be complemented by the introduction of the Aerodrome Control course, Approach and Area Procedural and Radar courses in 2011.

Simulator training on the Aerodrome Control course will be provided utilising a state-of-the-art Barlog 360° Aerodrome Simulator, which was certified on 31 March 2011 by the South African Civil Aviation Authority. SACAA Air Traffic Services Inspector, Mr Robert Purkiss commented, “I have seen a number of 360° simulators worldwide and the WX360 is by far better than anything else I have seen.”

ATC Courses

A comprehensive curriculum that integrates classroom instruction and simulator training will prepare students to be certified by their respective regulators as Air Traffic Controllers. Standard courses for the training of ATC personnel have been designed in order to offer a training programme that conforms to SACAA and ICAO course guidelines.

The ATSA course is the introduction course, consisting of theoretical training, and is the foundation for all future ATC training courses. A rating is received on the successful completion of this course and this rating can be validated at the student’s ATSU.

Having successfully completed the ATSA course the student can continue with the Aerodrome Control course, which has both theoretical and practical content. The successful completion of the theoretical training is a necessary prerequisite to be able to continue on to the simulator training course.

Practical training will be conducted in the FABR artificial airspace created for 43 Air School’s simulator environment. However, with our advanced simulator it is possible to provide training for our clients in their individual national airspace.

The modern capabilities of our simulator afford us the unique opportunity of offering our clients the option of completing 50 percent of their validation training, recurrence training or proficiency assessments at our facility.


Only South African students will be eligible for ATS licensing by the SACAA. Foreign nationals will be issued with a certificate confirming the successful completion of the course/s in order for them to be licensed by their individual DCA/CAAs. 43 Air School is in discussions with interested national aviation authorities globally for approval of its courses and the aerodrome simulator.

Course Information and Contact

For further course information please contact 43 Air School on

Tel: +27 (46) 604 3600 or


Monday, September 12, 2011

NAC Value Added Products overview

NAC’s Value Added Products division is in partnership with various companies who maximise the performance of aircraft. They are:


BLR’s Winglet System for the Beech King Air 90, 200 or 300 are winglets that reduce induced drag so you can fly faste and improve your fuel economy, or some of both.

Aviation Partners, Inc

API Winglets enhance performance for the Hawker 800 and 800XP, including increased range, reduced drag, faster climb to altitude, reduced emissions, improved second segment climb, more speed for the same fuel, improved stall characteristics and 2 000 feet higher initial cruise altitude.


Raisbeck has developed systems which measurably improve all King Air models, including dual aft body strakes, high flotation gear doors, Crown wing lockers, power props and increased gross weight.


Blackhawk Aircraft Performance Enhancements provide new Pratt & Whitney -52, -61, -42, -135A and -28 engines with Blackhawk gauges to aircraft owners whos aircraft are due for engine overhaul.

With all of these value added products available for your King Air or Hawker, you can positively invest in any product to ensure that your aircraft utilisation is more cost effective.

CONTACT GEORGE CORY AT NAC Tel: + 27 (11) 267 5013 for more information.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Heroes of Diamond Aircraft - all hail the aero-heroes of 2010!

by ANN Editor-in-Chief, Jim Campbell

The beginning of the second decade of this millennium will not go down as a favourite among devotees of all things aeronautical.  For companies already struggling to stay alive, 2009-2010 was a bad time and often signalled their end. For the healthier companies, it was a time when everyone went into survival mode, no matter how well they had done previously.

The last few years would have been bad enough for Diamond Aircraft, or any other company for that matter, without the monumental obstacles placed before it by the puzzling and nearly catastrophic situation that developed around the Thielert diesel engine programme and its eventual bankruptcy. No company wants to lose a valuable supplier, especially when that supplier builds the pivotal powerplant for your vehicle and most especially when it involves vehicles uniquely designed for a novel type of propulsion. That’s when you know you have a real problem.

The Diamond DA20

For most companies, that would have been it... toast, dead, buh-bye! But not Diamond. They not only developed their own diesel engine system to replace the disgraced Thielert, but recertified their twin-engine DA42 for the Lycoming 360-series engines in the interim, while also completing the design of the Austro diesel and the eventual re-certification of the DA42 with their own diesel powerplant.

For most companies, such circumstances would have killed them off. But Diamond survived and brought forth two new airplanes despite it all. Best of all, they were two of the nicest flying twins we’ve flown in the last decade and that’s saying a lot.

The Diamond DA40

In the meantime, they work toward the arduous completion of what is now the only single-engine jet programme in actual, real-life, no-fooling, development, and fully expect to have a very costeffective small jet platform available for the market about the time the pundits expect the economy to thaw. The D-Jet programme is a difficult one and it’s been kicking their butts for a few years. But like all things Diamond, they will finish it, they will make it right, and when it finally starts to show up in hangars all over the world, it will have a unique market niche all to itself. Amazing.

The Diamond DA42

Let’s not forget that Diamond continues to build DA20 and DA40s with a fair degree of regularity for this down market, that both these airplanes have compiled one of the most enviable safety records for any GA single, and that service and support for these aircraft has kept up a good rep while a few of their competitors seem to have forgotten the meaning of the words.