Britten-Norman delivers new lighter Islander to FLN

Aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman has announced the delivery of its latest model BN2B-20 Islander aircraft to one of its longest standing regular, repeat customers, Frisia Luftverkehr GmbH Norddeich (FLN). The German airline operates scheduled and charter flights along the Frisian coast and to and from Helgoland.

The airline, which is based at Norden, was formed in 1969 and has been operating Islanders since 1975. In common with the majority of Islander operators around the world, the services provided by FLN allow year-round essential support to remote communities.

Britten-Norman say the 2017 model Islander comes with a range of benefits over its predecessors, including reduced empty weight, light weight Skytech starters, a glass panel based on Garmin avionics and the JP Instruments EDM 960 electronic engine display, LED external lighting, Amsafe 4 point crew harnesses, enlarged baggage access and all window seating.  Prior to becoming operational the aircraft will also be fitted with MT’s 4-bladed composite propellers. All modifications included in the 2017 Islander will be made available as options for retrofit on selected legacy models of the aircraft.

Vulcan XL426 Open Day – preview


The Vulcan Restoration Trust (VRT) is holding an open day at its Southend Airport home on Sunday 20 August.

Now settled in her new home inside the airport’s Hangar 6, visitors can expect to see Vulcan XL426 undercover after she’s weathered the elements for more than 30 years. The ‘Visit the Vulcan Day’ team say they will also have displays that including: Buccaneer, Jaguar and Hunter aircraft cockpit nose sections, a ‘Green Goddess’ fire engine, Essex Fire Fighting Museum fire engine, London Southend Airport fire engine, ‘Cold War’ military vehicles displays, classic 1960s and ‘70s cars, plus a BBMF flypast.

The VRT team will also be on hand to give visitors guided tours of Vulcan XL426 and for an additional small fee visitors can climb inside the cockpit.  Doors open at 10.00 a.m. with last admission at 4.00 p.m.

General admission is £4.00 for adults with accompanied under-16s admitted free. Admission allows visitors entry to the hangar to walk around the Vulcan, take a guided tour if they wish and take photographs. For an additional £3.50 per person applicable to both adults and under-16s, visitors can climb inside the Vulcan’s cockpit. The Vulcan Restoration Trust’s stand will also be open with a wide selection of Vulcan souvenirs on sale.

Limited free car parking will be available close to the Vulcan hangar.

For full details please see the Vulcan Restoration Trust website: www.avrovulcan.com.

‘Harvard 57’ back in the air

Almost 18 months after being damaged in a landing accident following the 2016 Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow in New Zealand, North American Harvard ‘57’ is back in the air.  The aircraft, which is part of the Roaring 40s Harvard aerobatic display team based at Ardmore in Auckland, suffered significant damage when it was involved in a ground loop on landing at Wanaka on the Monday after the airshow.

The job of repairing the trainer was given to Callum Smith and his team of engineers at Twenty TwentyFour Limited, based at Wanaka Airport.  “There was damage to one wing, the engine and under carriage.  We were able to source most of the replacement parts relatively easily but there were one of two pieces which proved a bit harder to locate and that’s what has caused the delay in getting the aircraft flying again,” says Callum.

On completion of the repairs the aircraft was test flown at Wanaka by one of New Zealand’s most accomplished warbirds pilots and Warbirds Over Wanaka display planner, John Lamont.

‘Harvard 57’ was first shipped to New Zealand in July 1943 and was assembled at Hobsonville air base a couple of months later.  The aircraft served with 4 Squadron for many years before going into storage at Woodbourne in 1972.  After release from the RNZAF in 1977 it was purchased by an ‘off-shore’ buyer but never left New Zealand.  After passing through several owners, including a stint as a playground attraction the aircraft was eventually purchased and restored to flying condition at Ardmore during the early 1990s.  The new ownership syndicate included a number of Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow regulars Frank Parker, Keith Skilling, Dave Lumsden and Chris Lee.

Frank describes the state of the aircraft when the syndicate purchased it as a “forlorn fuselage”.  The original estimate to restore the aircraft to flying condition was put at $165,000 but Frank says, as with many such projects, the final bill was more than double that.

The aircraft was sold to its current owner and another well-known Warbirds Over Wanaka pilot, Liz Needham in 2010.  ‘Harvard 57’ is expected to return to Wanaka for next Easter’s 30th anniversary Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow as part of the New Zealand Warbirds Association Harvard team.  The Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow is being held on March 30th, March 31st and April 1stwww.warbirdsoverwanaka.com

 

Photo: Callum Smith and John Lamont with ‘Harvard 57’.

USAF ANNIVERSARY SHOW A SPECTACLE

 

 

A series of spectacular flypasts and  displays ensured the USAF’s 70th anniversary was celebrated in style at a sold out Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford last weekend.

The airshow, which took place over three days (July 14-16), attracted a record crowd of 160,000 people who enjoyed  flying demonstrations by some of the world’s leading pilots.

Among the aerial highlights were the USAF Thunderbirds, with its F-16 Fighting Falcons. The team was joined on the friday by nine Red Arrows’ Hawks for a colourful joint flypast to launch the airshow.

Joining the Thunderbirds to celebrate the USAF anniversary were several warbirds including a B-17 and P-51D Mustang, plus a F-22 Raptor and a dramatic flypast by a number of UK and European based USAF aircraft.

On the Sunday, visitors were treated to a surprise flypast by a stealth B-2 Spirit bomber that was taking part in an epic 23-hour transatlantic ‘Global Power’ training flight from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. The aircraft was escorted by two F-15 fighters.

In total, 246 aircraft took part in the Air Tattoo from 32 air arms representing 26 nations.

 

 

 

5,000 FLYING HOURS FOR THIRD GENERATION NAVAL OFFICER

 

 

A third generation Fleet Air Arm and former Helston school boy Lt Cdr Tim Hayden, recently celebrated achieving his 5,000 rotary flying hours milestone.  Tim has had an esteemed career in the Royal Navy since joining in 1995.  His flying career has seen active service in support of operations in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and more recently Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis.

In 2000 he received a Queens Commendation for Valuable Service for his part in rescuing survivors from the stricken ferry Express Semina in the Adriatic.   He later served with 771 Naval Air Squadron, providing an invaluable search and rescue service to the south west region.

Tim qualified as a helicopter instructor in 2003, and has instructed student pilots through all phases of rotary flying training, from first learning to hover in a Squirrel HT1, to night deck landings at sea in a Sea King and Merlin 2.

He has also instructed Afghan pilots at Boscombe Down in the Mi-17 Hip in support of Operation Herrick.  Tim’s current role is based at RNAS Culdrose, where he is tasked with ensuring the standards and practices of Fleet Air Arm helicopter pilots and instructors, both ashore and afloat.

 

Caption:

Left to right –  Senior Pilot of 705 NAS hands Lt Cdr Tim Hayden his certificate.

French Air force to fly at the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow

The French Air force is the first international air force to confirm it intends to be at the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow next Easter.  The French crew will be bringing a CASA military transport aircraft to Wanaka for the third airshow in a row.  The aircraft and crew are stationed at the Tontouta military base in New Caledonia, in the South Pacific.  Major Laurent Monfort says the visit is dependent on operational issues nearer the time but at this stage they are looking forward to coming back to Wanaka.

Warbirds Over Wanaka General Manager, Ed Taylor, says they’re delighted the French are coming back.  “They are such a great bunch of guys to deal with and are a real hit with the public. We are expecting a strong military presence in 2018 as part of our 30th Anniversary celebrations.  That will be headed up by what’s hoped to be a big turnout from our very own RNZAF including a number of their larger aircraft and the new Black Falcons display team.  We have also extended invitations to a number of other air forces around the world to join us in 2018 and we expect to hear back from them later in the year,” says Ed.

The 30th anniversary Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow is being held on March 30th, March 31st and April 1stwww.warbirdsoverwanaka.com

Photo by Gavin Conroy, supplied by the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow team.

BDAC celebrate five years at Old Sarum

This week marks five years since Boscombe Down Aviation Collection opened to the public at Old Sarum Airfield, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.  Since then the museum has welcomed just over 30,000 visitors and the engineering team have completed over 45,000 hours work on restoration projects such as Hawker Hunter F.6A XF375 and SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 XX734. www.boscombedownaviationcollection.co.uk

 

Photo caption:

Sea Harrier FA.2 XZ457 being unloaded as the museum opened at Old Sarum in July 2012. (Photo by Gerry Smyth).

 

 

 

Outstanding innovations rewarded

The best innovations in the rail industry were in the spotlight at the annual Railway Industry Innovation Awards, held in London on 23 June.

The awards, the longest-standing within the industry, invite entries from firms in all areas of the industry across seven categories. Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, was guest of honour and keynote speaker at the 2017 ceremony, and used his speech to highlight the importance of innovations in improving the passenger experience.

The winners of the 2017 awards were as follows:

Environment
Winner – Freyssinet, ElevArch bridge raising system
Highly commended – Vivarail, battery D train; Turbo Power Systems, static converter for Mk 3 carriages

Cross-industry partnership
Winner – Atkins, Carillion Buckingham joint venture, Chiltern Railways, Network Rail, RSK and Siemens, East West Rail project
Highly commended – Unipart Rail and VolkerRail, Overhead line equipment facilities; Bombardier, CrossCountry, Virgin Trains and Voyager Leasing, 58th Voyager trainset

Passenger experience
Winner – SilverRail, account-based travel
Highly commended – London Midland, Icomera, Whoosh, VCCP, Motion infotainment system; Parkeon, IRIS video ticket vending machines

Judges’ special award for Wi-Fi innovation – Nomad Digital, live broadcast TV

Operations and performance
Winner – Tracsis, TRACS enterprise resource management and planning system
Highly commended – Multipulse, GSM-R driver simulator; Incremental Solutions, Sentinel live fleet management system

Small scale project
Winner – Virgin Trains East Coast, Explorer app
Highly commended – SNC-Lavalin, Signal Sighting Form Tool; Amco, Liverpool Central tunnel high level neck

Engineering and safety
Winner – Porterbrook, Greater Anglia and partners, Class 156 wheel slide protection fitment
Highly commended – Keltbray Rail, Zeck wiring machine; Atkins, digitally enabling electrification

Major project
Winner – Northern Hub Alliance, Ordsall Chord

A full write-up of the awards will appear in the August 2017 issue of Modern Railways.

Me 262 rejoins Cosford’s German aircraft collection

 

One of the most advanced fighter aircraft of World War Two, the Messerschmitt Me 262, has been transported by road to its new home at the RAF Museum Cosford.  This particular aircraft, Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Schwalbe can already be seen by members of the public within one of the museum’s display hangars.

The 262 is returning to Cosford after 14 years on display at the RAF Museum London.  Prior to the move the aircraft was dismantled by Museum Technicians and Apprentices.

Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said: “The first Messerschmitt Me 262’s entered service in the autumn of 1944, as the first turbojet fighter to do so it heralded a new era in aerial warfare and represented a step change in technology.  Today very few original examples survive so we are delighted to present this significant aircraft to our visitors at Cosford.”

 The aircraft moves come as the museum prepares for the RAF’s centenary celebrations in 2018 that will see the museum transform its London site with a series of new permanent exhibitions opening in the summer of 2018. The multi-million pound development programme will see investments in new exhibitions, improved education and volunteering opportunities, and landscaping that will emphasise the site’s importance as a heritage airfield.

The museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm and entry is free.  For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford

 

Leonardo signs over €100M worth of contracts to maintain German and Spanish Typhoon fleet avionics

Leonardo has signed contracts worth more than 100 million Euros with Airbus to provide avionics maintenance for both German and Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon fleets.

The company has said that these contracts will cover all repairs estimated to arise in the next five years. The service covers all equipment, directly or indirectly, where Leonardo is the design authority. This includes the majority of the Typhoon’s avionic suite including the radar, IRST sensor and defensive aids suite.

The five year contracts will see Leonardo supporting the Spanish Ejército del Aire and German Luftwaffe Typhoon jets in partnership with Airbus and Eurofighter. The contracts with Germany and Spain follow the establishment of arrangements tailored to Typhoon partner nations Italy and the UK.