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Sukhoi S-70 combat drone tested with missiles
Aviation

Sukhoi S-70 combat drone tested with missiles

The Russian military conducted a series of interceptions with the heavy attack drone S-70 Okhotnik (“Hunter”), including simulated use of air-to-air missiles. The flight tests carried out by the Russian military evaluated the capacity of the Sukhoi S-70 Okhotnik (“Hunter”) to operate as a fighter-interceptor, according to an industry source quoted by RIA Novosti. The campaign took place at the Ashuluk training ground, near the Caspian sea.  “From the strip of the military airfield of the Center for Combat Training and Combat Use of the Russian Aerospace Forces at the Ashuluk training ground, several flights of the Hunter were performed with functional simulators of guided air-to-air missiles," the source told the agency.  The simulators were both infrared and radar homing missiles. The te...
Aviation’s biggest challenge: COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Aviation

Aviation’s biggest challenge: COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Repetition aside, there are little-to-no words left to describe what kind of damage the current coronavirus-induced crisis has caused for the aviation industry. Seemingly, the world is about to turn the corner on COVID-19, as in the early morning hours on December 2, 2020, the United Kingdom approved a vaccine against the virus. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be ready to roll out next week, according to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). With 40 million doses, the country will be ready to vaccinate over 20 million people in the coming months. However, the question is whether aviation is ready to distribute the vaccine. “Currently, we are in what I would call a ‘perfect storm’ scenario,” remarked Neil Dursley, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Chapman Fr...
China Airlines receives first Boeing 777F in new livery
Aviation

China Airlines receives first Boeing 777F in new livery

Taiwan-based China Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 777 cargo aircraft. The freighter is the first of six planes in a newly redesigned livery. The aircraft, registered as B-18771, arrived in Taiwan on December 1, 2020, showed the recent Planespotters.com data update.  The newly redesigned livery features a smaller air carrier’s logo placed closer to the plane’s tail. The recent pictures of the B-18771 found on Flightradar24.com showed that the new aircraft exterior design does not have the airline name in the middle of the fuselage anymore. Instead, the name of the air carrier is painted in a smaller font at the jet’s tail. In order to modernize its cargo fleet and reduce costs of fuel, China Airlines made an order consisting of six Boeing 777F aircraft back in June 2019. "As we...
Boeing completes autonomous teaming flights in Australia
Aviation

Boeing completes autonomous teaming flights in Australia

Boeing completed flight tests with five AI-controlled jets operating in formation at the new Queensland Flight Test Range in Cloncurry, Australia. The team flight involved 3.4-meter (11-foot) aircraft fitted with Boeing’s onboard command and control and data sharing capabilities. The test campaign took place over 10 days with aircraft added one after the other until the five operated together. During testing, the aircraft reached speeds of 270 kilometers (167 miles) per hour, according to the manufacturer. “The tests demonstrated our success in applying artificial intelligence algorithms to ‘teach’ the aircraft’s brain to understand what is required of it,” said Emily Hughes, director of Phantom Works International. “The data link capabilities enabled the aircraft to communicate with the ...
Air Djibouti Boeing 737 landing gear collapses on touchdown
Aviation

Air Djibouti Boeing 737 landing gear collapses on touchdown

A Boeing 737 of Air Djibouti suffered a main landing gear collapse while landing at Garowe Airport, in Somalia. The Boeing 737-529, registered EY-560, was operating flight DJB206 from Djibouti International Airport (JIB), Djibouti, to Mogadishu International Airport (MGQ), Somalia, with two stops in the Somali cities of Hargeisa and Garowe. The aircraft was carrying 39 passengers and 5 crew members. On its second leg, as it was landing at Garowe Airport, the Boeing 737 suffered a collapse of its right-hand main landing gear. According to pictures shared on social media, the plane veered right on the runway and came to a stop, on its right-hand engine, at the edge of soft ground. No injuries were reported. Diyaaradda Air Djibouti ayaa shil ku gashay garoonka diyaaradaha ee magaalada Garoo...
No staff cuts after merge with Asiana, says Korean Air
Aviation

No staff cuts after merge with Asiana, says Korean Air

The President of Korean Air reassured employees of the airline that after an ongoing takeover of Asiana Airlines, which is planned to be finalized by the second half of 2021, the major part of the staff at both airlines would save their jobs as Korean Air had no plans for redundancies. Speaking in a press conference on December 2, 2020, Woo Kee-Hong, the President of Korean Air, explained that as some of 28,000 employees work at both South Korea’s national airlines at the same time, the acquisition of Asiana Airlines would become an opportunity to diversify and expand routes of the merged companies.  Besides, the Head of the air carrier revealed that the company expected to create a separate “mega international low-cost carrier”, which would be run by separate administrators and a corpora...
Air India pilot unions demand state’s interference over wage cuts
Aviation

Air India pilot unions demand state’s interference over wage cuts

As the aviation sector in India is set on the path of recovery, austerity measures are being scaled back. However, the Air India pilots suffer from further pay cuts. On November 30, 2020, Air India pilot unions Indian Pilots' Guild (IPG) and India Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) requested for the Civil Aviation minister’s interference over the wage cut issue. “In our meetings in September, you had given us an assurance to look into our grievances positively. While other airlines are rolling back the austerity pay cuts for their pilots, the wage cut for Air India pilots further increased from October,” the pilot unions stated in the joint letter addressed to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. The unions allege that  pilots of Air India and its two subsidiary airlines, Air Ind...
Thai Airways to export fresh fruit in bid to recover
Aviation

Thai Airways to export fresh fruit in bid to recover

Thai Airways will expand its cargo services in order to promote Thailand’s fresh fruit and vegetable products to Asian and European markets. Thailand’s national carrier Thai Airways, in cooperation with the government ministries of commerce, agriculture and transport, would reportedly concentrate on delivering seasonal fruit and vegetables to promote the country’s fresh products and generate revenue. According to the Nation, Suvadhana Sibunruang, vice president of Thai Airways aviation business unit and acting managing director for cargo, mail and commercial flights, said “the airline was cooperating with the Thai government to facilitate more fresh produce exports to generate revenue for growers, exporters and itself.” "We have asked the Commerce Ministry to give us information on the tr...
Vistara A320 jet faces bees attack while parked in Kolkata
Aviation

Vistara A320 jet faces bees attack while parked in Kolkata

The strange incident occurred at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU) in Kolkata, India. A swarm of bees stuck on a fuselage of a parked Vistara Airbus A320neo jet. The incident occurred on November 30, 2020.  Following the attack, the insects could not be removed humanely, therefore the fire department of CCU airport was forced to deploy water trucks to get rid of honeybees stuck on the body of the parked aircraft. According to flight history found on FlightRadar24.com, the aircraft arrived to Kolkata Airport from Bhubaneswar Airport (BBI), India, in the late hours of November 28, 2020. After a night spent being parked at CCU airport, the jet was supposed to operate a regular flight to Delhi Airport (DEL), but a swarm of bees postponed the airline’s plans by holding...
NORAD gets ready to track Santa’s journey live
Aviation

NORAD gets ready to track Santa’s journey live

The North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) special duty dates back to 1955. According to the legend, a child that was trying to reach Santa’s hotline, created by the chain of department stores Sears, misdialed the number and instead called Colonel Harry Shoup, on duty that night at the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD), the ancestor of NORAD. Shoup, who would be known from that moment as the Santa Colonel, saw an opportunity to bring some public recognition to their year-round mission. As a reminder, CONAD was founded during the Cold War with the duty to continuously monitor the airspace of the United States for any air or space attack. Harry Shoup, the "Santa Colonel" (Credit: NORAD) Just before Christmas of 1955, a press release was sent to Associated Press, stating: ...