MAEL Adds A380 to Portfolio

Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) has received regulatory approval to add the Airbus A380 to its line maintenance capabilities.  The four-engine super jumbo has been added to the company’s European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Part 145 approvals, allowing MAEL to provide line maintenance support for airlines operating the type into and out of Birmingham Airport.

Derek Gibson, Commercial Director at MAEL, said: “Adding the Airbus A380 to our Part 145 certificates gives us an even wider scope of airframe capabilities.  The investment made provides further evidence of our commitment to expand and support customers operating the next generation of aircraft.”


Second MRJ Flies

Six months after the prototype Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) first flew on November 11, the second flight test (FTA-2) aircraft has taken to the sky.  On May 31, JA22MJ (c/n 10002), took off from Nagoya Airport and headed to airspace off the Pacific coast where the aircraft’s basic flying characteristics and functionality were confirmed.

(Photo Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp)
(Photo Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp)

Hiromichi Morimoto, President of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation commented: “As with the first flight, we had a quiet, smooth first flight with FTA-2.  After this, we will move ahead smoothly with development of the subsequent flight test aircraft, and make our utmost efforts towards type certification acquisition and the first customer deliveries.”

Later this year Mitsubishi Aircraft is due to establish its main flight testing base at Grant County International Airport at Moses Lake in Washington State where the majority of the type’s certification work will be carried out.  The MRJ-90 is expected to receive its regulatory approvals by early 2018, with first deliveries slated for mid-year.

Cathay Joins the A350 Club

Cathay Pacific Airways has become the sixth airline to take delivery of the Airbus A350 XWB.  Its first aircraft, B-LRA (c/n 029), will be operated under a long-term lease agreement from the Dutch lessor AerCap.  The jet, featuring the carrier’s new livery, was handed over during a ceremony at the manufacturer’s Toulouse facility on May 28.  The Hong Kong-based airline has 48 A350 XWBs on order consisting of 22 A350-900s and 26 of the larger A350-1000s.

Philip Scruggs, AerCap President and Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are pleased to deliver the first A350-900 to long-time customer airliner Cathay Pacific Airways.  The A350-900 offers unrivalled levels of operational efficiency while giving an enhanced guest experience with superior levels of comfort.  We are looking forward to continuing our successful relationship with the Cathay Pacific team as the airline optimises its fleet.”

The aircraft has been configured with a premium three-class layout, which can accommodate 280 passengers, comprising: 38 lie-flat seats in Business Class; 28 in Premium Economy and 214 in the main cabin.  Cathay Pacific will be introducing the new aircraft initially on its regional network before starting long-haul operations later this year.

LEAP Certification for A320neo

The Airbus A320neo powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines has been granted its type certification by EASA and the FAA.  The announcement was made earlier today (May 31) during the European manufacturer’s two-day Innovation event being held this year in Hamburg.  Airbus says deliveries of the LEAP-powered variant will start from mid-year now approval for the second engine option has been received.

(Photo Airbus)

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ President and CEO, said: “This key milestone for the A320neo , and its second engine option – the specially developed LEAP-1A – is a double seal of approval by the two major international governing bodies and comes after the A320neo Family had successfully accomplished a rigorous programme of certification trials.  We are looking forward to the entry into service of the LEAP-powered models in the very near future.”

The manufacturer said the two LEAP-powered development aircraft have accumulated over 1,000 flight hours in more than 350 flights – including 150 flight hours in an airline-like environment to ensure operational maturity at entry into service.  Certification of the remaining aircraft/engine variants with LEAP engines will follow in the coming months.

Active Sky Next Update

Active Sky Next Service Pack 5 is now available for open beta testing.

SP5 includes numerous adjustments and fixes for a better experience in all sim platforms including FSX, FSX: Steam Edition and Prepar3D.

ASN Service Pack 5 includes the following updates:

• Made low clouds in grid based interpolation respect the dewspread and avoid randomization (gives more consistent results)

• Adjustments to option text/description and revision/readme updates to match

• Added handling for mismatched UFT-8 single-character flight plan degrees symbol preventing some flight plans from loading

• API improvements, fixes and additions (see ASN_API.PDF)

• Added copying activeflightplanwx.txt to common export path for better integration capability

• Adjusted ASN/ASConnect comms to prevent cases of intermittent “cannot control ambients” errors in some cases

• [ASN for P3D] Visibility handling improvements for P3D v3.2

Click here for more information on HiFi Simulations website

! Please remember BETA participation is optional and at your own risk.

Introducing the Adriatic Jewel

Orbx has revealed screenshots for Dubrovnik (LDDU), the first major mainland Eastern European Orbx airport for FTX Global.

The project is a collaboration project between Rasha Tucakov and Misha Cajic and will feature LDDU airport with an extensive detailed surrounding area including the mountainous terrain and shoreline.


• Over 100km2 of photoreal coverage at 60cm/pix resolution

• Unique multi-elevation airport model!

• New terminal currently under construction modelled

• Full Dubrovnik cityscape included!

• Advanced AO baking techniques for realistic shadowing

• Custom vegetation at airport

• Large area surrounding the airport with custom landclass, vector roads and shorelines

According to Orbx CEO, John Venema, the package is expected to be released in June this year.

DTG Flight School Update 2 Released

Dovetail Games has released the second update for Flight School.

The new update removes frame rate (FPS) cap for low and medium graphics settings. Previously this was controlled by the graphics slider in the settings menu.

The graphics slider needs to adjust in the display settings to your liking, then exit out of settings before this will take effect.

Other fixes include added functionality to allow default Steam language to control language in-game (German and French only).

Note: This will only take effect on a fresh/new install of Flight School. Existing players should change the language settings manually in the Pilot Profile menu

German and French ATC displaying incorrect characters has also been addressed.

The approximate size for this update is 15 MB and it will automatically download through Steam.

F-16 Simulator Takes Flight in Yorkshire

US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fixed base Simulator has opened near Wakefield in Yorkshire. The simulator is based on the Lockheed Martin General Dynamics F16 Block 52 construction and consists of a fixed base, fully enclosed cockpit with a 180 degrees FOV HD projector system. It includes dual multi-function displays (MFD), a fully working head up display (HUD), a HOTAS Cougar F-16 throttle and side stick along with F-16 rudder pedals.

The company caters for stag parties, work or enthusiast group as well as individuals. Its premises have a waiting and briefing room, which can cater for groups up to 15 where you can relax with a complimentary tea or coffee while your flight instructor will run through everything you need to know for your flight.

The venue has easy parking at the doorstep and they can provide on-site catering as well as organizing accommodation and entertainment for groups.

Some examples of the missions include:
• Full Mission Campaigns
• Air-to-Air Refuelling
• Air-to-Ground Bombing
• Air-to-Air Combat
• Aircraft Carrier Landings
• Formation Flying

For more information on the Yorkshire Flight Simulator website, click here

Air Hauler 2 Update

Just Flight has announced that Air Hauler 2 will initially be released as an early access version.

The early access version will be available at a reduced price (£19.99) for existing owners of the original Air Hauler add-on who wish to upgrade to version 2.

According to Just Flight: “Early Access means that Air Hauler 2 is not yet 100% complete, but is at an advanced stage of development, so it can be released to all those who are keen to see what’s new and who would like to contribute to the final stages of its development.

There may be bugs, issues and missing or incomplete functionality in this Early Access version, which is being made available to users who would like to see how this new version is looking and provide their input, if they wish, to help the developer in adding new features and resolving issues.

The Virtual Airline feature, for example, ideally needs input from a larger group of users than a small beta testing team and will be implemented during the EA period.”

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Thrustmaster Unveils New Rudder Pedals

The TFRP Rudder Pedals feature a new S.M.A.R.T technology, which consists of four rails made from industrial-grade anodized aluminium with a long range of travel, which according to Thrustmaster provides ‘smooth and accurate steering’.

The unit is fitted with 10in (25cm) self-centring rudder pedals with differential braking and a removable heel-rest, enabling the feet to be placed in two positions.

It features dual connectors, a proprietary RJ12 as well as a USB interface, enabling it to be connected to the Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS 4 or they can be connected to the HOTAS Warthog or T.16000M so they are recognized as a single USB device.

They come with an advanced calibration tool to adjust parameters such as the dead zone on the rudder and differential brake axis. These settings are then saved directly to the internal memory of the adapter.

The rudder pedals are also compatible with Thrustmaster’s proprietary T.A.R.G.E.T (Thrustmaster Advanced pRogramming Graphical EdiTor) software suite, enabling users to create and load custom profiles for different simulators.

Click here for more information on the Thrustmaster website