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December 04, 2003

Bush To Make 'Return To Moon' A Major Policy Initiative?

We've been hearing solid rumors for a while that President Bush was going to make an appearance at the heavily hyped 100th Anniversary Wright Flight celebrations in North Carolina less than two weeks hence. While the most intriguing/frustrating aspect of this, until recently, was the inevitable TFR that would be forced upon Kitty Hawk and ground every aircraft for miles around; another (far more positive) story is starting to emerge. A number of sources indicate that President Bush is going to use the Centennial event to suggest an aggressive new effort to return the US to a more prominent role in the pioneering of space travel... specifically with a specific goal that we turn our resources to mount return trips to the moon, including possible colonization.

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Pentagon Puts Supertanker Deal On Hold

Investigators Once Again Zero In On Boeing Ethics Phil Condit may be gone, but he didn't take the storm clouds of controversy with him when he left Boeing. Less than a month after Congress gave the Pentagon the money to complete a deal for 100 aircraft, the Pentagon put the project on hold, so an internal auditor can look it over. In a letter to Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Wolfowitz said, "Given the controversy surrounding the tanker program, "I believe it is prudent to reassess this matter before proceeding," Wolfowitz said. "The department remains committed to the recapitalization of our aerial tanker fleet."

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Airport-Haters Beware: Prepare to Face AOPA

Even with the victory in the battle to save St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Airport safely under its belt, AOPA continues to fight for embattled airports in the Sunshine State. In Pompano Beach, in Naples, and in Stuart, AOPA is actively working to counter efforts by anti-airport activists to close or restrict local airports. At Pompano Beach, AOPA is drafting a formal complaint to be filed with the FAA, after the city commissioners there voted unanimously to expand restrictions on flight training and helicopter operations at Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP). "The city attorney told them not to do it. The outside experts hired by the commissioners themselves strongly advised against it. They did it anyway," said AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn.

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Lancair Flyers: High Performance A/C Training Announces January Seminar

High Performance Aircraft Training has announced an annual recurrent training program, for Lancairs and other high performance aircraft, to be conducted January 17th and 18th, 2004 in Sebring, Florida. High Performance Aircraft Training, Inc. tells ANN that their annual recurrent training programs are specifically designed for the fast, high flying, performance pilots and their aircraft. The topics covered offer a theoretical perspective while connecting it with everyday, real world, safe flying.

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Carter Proposes Heli-FireFighter

The incredible imaginations at Carter Aviation Technologies (the folks who are also developing the carter Copter) have come up with a novel use for some of their most promising brainstorms. A new concept for firefighting missions is being introduced by Carter Aviation Technologies (Carter) of Wichita Falls, TX. The firefighting capability is being designed as an adaptation kit for Carter's Heliplane Transport (CHT). The CHT is a heavy-lift transport being developed using Carter's patented Slowed-Rotor/Compound (SR/C) Aircraft Technology. The full-size CHT is designed to be the size of a C-130J and yet it has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities with a useful load of 70,000 lbs at a density altitude of 4000 ft with a range of 1000 miles. The CHT is currently under evaluation

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Everglades City Airpark Lives!

The people of Everglades City (FL) spoke and, apparently, Collier County Commissioners were listening. They had threatened to shut down the airport and sell it to developers. But at a Tuesday night commission meeting, they got both barrels from residents who support the airpark and don't want it to be turned into condos. "The airport is extremely important to Everglades City," resident Claudia Davenport said. She was quoted in the Naples Daily News. "People fly in and buy stone crabs. They fly in and stay two or three days. The economy would suffer greatly without it."

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A Flight Into the Future: ETC's GFET-II (Part III)

Amazing Technology Now Being Fielded Worldwide (Part III) If your nation operates multiple combat aircraft, a single G-FET-II can train all the crews. One very neat feature of the GFET-II was the modular cockpits. In an hour mechanics can loosen a few bolts. Then the old cockpit is winched out a hatch, and a new one lowered in. A couple of modular plugs are connected, the same bolts are tightened, and the air data model for the new aircraft is loaded in the computer system. This initial machine, which is bound for Malaysia, has cockpits for that nation's combat aircraft: the F/A-18D, the MiG-29, and the Hawk Mk-208. Each cockpit has the correct seat angle, control stick, throttle, and pedals, as well as the correct instruments. The HUD is projected on the viewscreen.

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1000 and Counting: V-22 Osprey Reaches 1,000-Hour Milestone

The V-22 recently surpassed 1,000-flight hours flown since the Osprey's return to flight in May '02. Osprey No. 24 got the program past the mark during an icing test flight over Nova Scotia, where a V-22 Integrated Test Team detachment is currently based for the first half of the icing portion of the test plan. "It's fitting that this milestone was reached by Osprey No. 24 on our crucial icing detachment in Canada," said Col. Craig Olson, USAF, V-22 Joint Program Manager. "We've accomplished what we'd intended at this point since the return to flight, and that is truly a reflection of the teamwork between the program office and integrated test team."

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MD TFR: Baltimore--12/05

We're Going To Be Seeing More and More of These... NOTAM: 3/1480 Issued: 12/03/2003 20:25 Effective: 12/05/2003 15:50 - 12/05/2003 19:50 State: MD Facility: ZDC - WASHINGTON (ARTCC),DC. Type: VIP Description: BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, DECEMBER 5, 2003 LOCAL.

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MD TFR: 12/06-12/07

P-40 Strikes Again! NOTAM: 3/1481 Issued: 12/03/2003 20:31 Effective: 12/06/2003 14:00 - 12/07/2003 18:00 State: MD Facility: ZDC - WASHINGTON (ARTCC),DC. Type: VIP Description: HAGERSTOWN/THURMONT, MARYLAND, DECEMBER 6-7, 2003 LOCAL.

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Blended Winglets Catching On: Sterling European Orders 4 Wingletted B737-800s

First Scandinavian Operator to Invest in Blended Winglet Technology Known in Scandinavia as the "Ikea of Flight," Sterling is trying to  help solidify its advantage in the low-fare airline arena by investing in Blended Winglet TM Technology. The carrier's first Blended Winglet Equipped 737-800s, provided by Boullion, went into service Nov 2003 and the second will follow in March. An additional 2 Performance Enhanced 737-800s, provided by CIT Leasing, will arrive on the flight line April and May of 2004.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (12.04.03)

"The airport is extremely important to Everglades City. People fly in and buy stone crabs. They fly in and stay two or three days. The economy would suffer greatly without it." Source: Everglades Airpark neighbor Claudia Davenport, as quoted in the Naples Daily News. 

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Star Wars Lives: Missile Defense Boost-Phase Contract Awarded

The Department of Defense has announced that the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corp. for the development and testing of a concept for the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) program designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile in its boost/early ascent phase, which is the period of flight lasting from three to five minutes after a ballistic missile is launched. The contract awarded today is approximately $4.5 billion over the next eight years. This is the MDA's first capability-based development and test contract, and it features a design that is no longer constrained by the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, from which the United States formally withdrew in June 2002.

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'Starr' Helps NORAD Track Santa

A “Starr” in the east will help guide North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Santa-tracking tradition Dec. 24. The Starr is none other than former Beatle, Ringo Starr, who will be NORAD’S honorary Santa tracker for Christmas 2003. “Santa and I are personal friends,” Starr said from his home in England. “He’s asked me to do this special job with this incredible new SantaCam, and I’ll be tracking him as he comes over Great Britain.” NORAD technicians upgraded the omnidirectional high-speed digital SantaCam stationed in Great Britain and have moved it from Stonehenge to a top-secret hideaway near Starr’s home.

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SOLD! Final Sale and Purchase of Bombardier Recreational Products Biz

Bottom Line: Rotax (Including New V-6 Project) Has Been Sold Bombardier Inc. has announced that it has signed a sale and purchase agreement for its recreational products segment with Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., a corporation formed by Bain Capital, members of the Bombardier family and the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec. On Aug. 27, 2003, Bombardier announced that it had reached an agreement in principle to sell its recreational products business for an aggregate purchase price of $1,225 million, subject to certain price adjustments, for a net purchase price of $1,075 million. Bombardier Recreational Products designs, develops, builds, distributes and markets... Rotax(TM) engines and karts, as well as utility vehicles.

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Can't Get Enough Of the 'Speedbird?'

Sportys Remembers the Concorde Via DVD With all the hullabaloo over the passing era of the Concorde, there remains a LOT of curiousity about this amazing aircraft.   For those of you with a thirst for more scuttlebutt on these excessively speedy bit of history, there is a neat new way to find out more about what it was like to fly the beast. Sportys has introduced a DVD compendium on the Concorde that was filmed at the peak of the Concorde’s success.

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NTSB Issues 747 Safety Recommendations

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration: Require that all Boeing 747-400 operators incorporate the procedures detailed in Boeing Operations Manual Bulletin #SIA-186 into a non-normal checklist procedure for inclusion in the quick-reference handbook until a terminating action is developed. (A-03-55) Advise the Safety Board when a terminating action that addresses the blanking of integrated display systems on Boeing 747-400s is developed and implemented. (A-03-56)

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AD: New Piper

AD NUMBER: 2003-24-07 MANUFACTURER: New Piper SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2003-24-07 SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all The New Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Piper) Models PA-31, PA-31-300, PA-31-325, PA-31-350, PA-31P, PA-31T, PA-31T1, PA-31T2, PA-31T3, and PA-31P-350 airplanes. This AD requires you to install an inspection hole (or use for inspection the tooling hole in the rudder bottom rib), conduct a detailed visual inspection of the rudder torque tube and associated ribs for corrosion, and, if corrosion is found, replace or repair the rib/rudder torque tube assembly.

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AD (AUS): Cessna

AWB 27-4 Issue 1, 5 December 2003: Cessna 172, 180 and 185 Primary Flight Control Yoke Inspection Effectivity: Cessna Aircraft Company and Reims Aviation (Cessna) 172, 180, and 185 series aircraft as listed in the current revision of Cessna Service Bulletin SEB01-3. Purpose: To alert operators and maintainers to the potential failure of the welded steel tube yoke assembly, which can result in loss of primary pitch control of the aircraft, and to strongly recommend compliance with Cessna Service Bulletin SEB01-3. This SB describes an inspection procedure to detect corrosion, and determine the serviceability of a yoke that has suffered corrosion pitting.

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AD: Pratt & Whitney

AD NUMBER:  2003-24-12 MANUFACTURER: Pratt & Whitney SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2003-24-12 SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Pratt & Whitney (PW) JT9D-3A, -7, -7A, -7F, -7H, -7AH, and -7J turbofan engines, with gearbox pressure tube, part number (P/N) 697896, and No. 4 bearing front pressure manifold, P/N 670663, installed. This AD requires a one-time visual inspection of the gearbox pressure tube and No. 4 bearing front pressure manifold and the attaching clamp assemblies for correct positioning and for wear and damage,and replacement if necessary.

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