Statistics reveal that in 2013, airplanes spewed up to 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, and it is estimated that, if left unchecked, this is likely to more than triple by the year 2050. Although many countries make efforts to regulate the emissions of cars and trucks, efforts at regulating the aviation industry have been largely unsuccessful. This is a contentious issue for parties who are monitoring the effect of carbon emissions on climate change, particularly in light of the fact that more people than ever are using airline travel and airfreighting goods around the world becomes more commonplace.
The United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is tasked with drawing up a plan to regulate the global aviation industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, but reportedly does not anticipate having this finalized before 2020. The European Union’s attempts to impose CO2 emission taxes on airlines flying through European Union airspace was met with a flood of opposition, halting the proposal in its tracks. Recently the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will be “moving forward with a rulemaking process to propose endangerment and cause or contribute findings regarding aircraft GHG emissions”. ¹
Some airlines are experimenting with biofuels with a measure of success, and this is a potential solution worth pursuing, but airlines need to find ways of burning less of the conventional fuel currently being used. Lighter components in aircraft manufacture, streamlining aircraft designs and developing more efficient engines are ways the aircraft manufacturing industry continues to contribute toward fuel efficiency. By improving routes and timetables, individual airlines can ensure flights are fully utilized and thereby contribute toward fuel efficiency, which from a financial perspective is in their best interests, while at the same time helps in cutting carbon emissions by eliminating under-utilized flights. Surveys of US airlines have shown that the majority are not functioning as efficiently as they could in this regard. It is hoped that the proposed US EPA rules will push airlines to conform to best practices with regard to limiting carbon emissions.
Cessna Aircraft Corporation recently announced that its Citation Ten has reclaimed the top spot as the fastest civil airplane with a maximum Mach of 0.935. Cessna’s Citation X held the fastest speed record at a maximum Mach of 0.92 before being overtaken by the Gulfstream G650 business jet with a Mach of 0.925. With the capability of traveling at 93.5 percent of the speed of sound, or almost 700 mph, the Citation Ten has pushed the G650 into second place, proving that as technology advances, records are made to be broken.
In addition to the increase in speed that the Cessna Citation Ten offers over the Citation X, the new aircraft boasts an increase in both payload capacity and range. The Citation Ten will have a range of 3,242 nautical miles, being an increase of close to 200 miles compared with the Citation X, and a payload increase of around 200 pounds.
In an interview relating to the announcement of the new speed record, Cessna President and CEO Scott Ernest noted that the founder of the Cessna Aircraft Corporation, Clyde Cessna, believed that ‘speed is the only reason for flying’ and Cessna pursues the goal of designing, manufacturing and flying the fastest civil aircraft in the world so that their customers can work faster and more efficiently. Chip Ganassi of Chip Ganassi Racing, which reportedly currently operates a Citation X, agrees with this sentiment, noting that his teams compete in almost seventy races each year, and their aircraft “shrinks the map” for him, allowing him more time at the tracks and with his teams.
The Citation Ten will be powered by the new Rolls-Royce AE3007C2 engines featuring redesigned fan blades to deliver more thrust. The aircraft boasts a Garmin G5000 integrated Flight Deck with three 14-inch LCD screens and four touch screen control panels offering user-friendly ease of access. The interior of the Citation Ten allows more legroom and space to recline, and features more storage space. Takeoff distance is 5,150 feet, with landing distance at 3,430 ft and maximum operating altitude of 51,000 feet. As with all Cessna aircraft, the Citation Ten is backed by the after sales service that Cessna is well known for.
The Aviation Museum of South Africa incorporates the South African Airways Museum Society, the Dakota Association of South Africa and Skyclass Aviation, all of which aim to preserve and promote South Africa’s aviation resources and heritage in its various forms. These associated organizations, under the auspices of the Aviation Museum of South Africa, coordinate the efforts of volunteer enthusiasts, clubs and societies to achieve their goals of sharing their knowledge of the aviation industry with as wide an audience as possible.
Established in 1986, the South African Airways Museum Society aims to record and preserve the history of South African Airways as an integral part of civil aviation in South Africa. One of the first items to be restored for display by the members of the South African Airways Museum Society was a Junkers Ju 52/3m (CASA 352L) aircraft, and the collection has since grown to include a Lockheed L-18-08 Lodestar; De Havilland DH 104 Dove; Lockheed L1649A Starliner; Vickers VC1A Viking; Boeing 747-244B; Douglas C-54D-15-DC; Boeing 747SP-44; Douglas DC-3 Dakota; Douglas DC-4 Skymaster; and Boeing 707-344C.
Among the goals of the South African Airways Museum, which is located at the Rand Airport in Germiston, is to preserve South Africa’s aviation history for future generations; to maintain an interactive museum in which to display aircraft and aviation related memorabilia; to restore artifacts relevant to aviation; to make visitors welcome and offer them insight into South Africa‘s aviation history while drawing attention to the great strides that aviation has made over the years.
The Dakota Association of South Africa focuses on Dakota aircraft and related artifacts, promoting these to the public. The association was established in 1984 by Victor Philip Fouche, and consisted initially mostly of WWII veterans, and members of the South African Air Force’s 44 squadron, with each having flown Dakota aircraft at some point. As the association came to the attention of the public it received support from others who admired the iconic aircraft and the pilots who flew them. December 17, 2010, was the 75th anniversary of the first flight by the DC-3 and these pioneering aircraft are still in operation to ferry holidaymakers and tourists to their destinations.
With the combined efforts of South African Airways Museum Society, the Dakota Association of South Africa and Skyclass Aviation, the Aviation Museum of South Africa is ensuring that future generations will have the opportunity of seeing just how far technology has come in a relatively short period of time.
With its headquarters based in Mumbai, India, and a significant presence in Australia, the Mahindra Group launched its Aerospace Division in 2007 for the purpose of extending its design and manufacturing expertise in the rapidly developing aerospace industry. The latest achievement of the Mahindra Aerospace Division is the five-seat all-metal NM5 aircraft, developed over a three year period as a collaborative project between the Mahindra Group and the state-run CSIR National Aerospace Laboratories. Considered to be a milestone in India’s domestic civil aviation, as well as a notable achievement in partnerships between the public and private sector, it is anticipated that the NM5 will help to revolutionize Indian transportation over the next ten years.
With five successful tests completed in the past ten days, the next step is to qualify for Federal Aviation Regulation 23 (FAR23) certification for safety. FAR23 sets comprehensive safety standards to be met for airworthiness, including areas such as stability, performance, structural loads, airframe, safety mechanisms, oxygen and air pressurization systems, construction of seats, escape hatches, fire prevention, flight control communications, flight management procedures, and emergency landing procedures. It also stipulates aspects of performance including rate of climb, take off speed, stall speed, and the weight restrictions of pilot and passengers.
It is anticipated that obtaining FAR23 certification for the new aircraft could take up to six months. Upon FAR23 certification, the aircraft will proceed to commercial development and is expected to be marketed at around US$400,000. It will also be the only five-seat airplane in its class. The plane is powered by a Lycoming IO-540 engine. The prototype was built by a team at the Australia-based Mahindra Aerospace subsidiary, GippsAero, over a period of ten months. Current and future flight testing is being done at this facility in Melbourne.
In a recent press release, the Mahindra Group Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Anand Mahindra, was quoted as saying that the maiden flight of the NM5 was a matter of great pride for the company and is part of their goal to provide transportation solutions to isolated communities. It was also noted that the NM5 complements the growing range of light utility aircraft manufactured by Mahindra Aerospace, all of which are designed to meet global safety standards and are able to operate in varied environments.
Aero India has not been established very long yet it is already growing so much in size that this year it will officially be the biggest air show in Asia. The event is organized by the Ministry of Defense and the Government of India in association with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Department of Space, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Union Ministry For Civil Aviation.
Bombardier Aerospace recently achieved another milestone in civil aviation: the use of an all-electric braking system. This achievement in civil aviation was announced to the public on October 28, 2008, not long after the first test flight was successfully performed.
The legendary Douglas DC-3 Dakota aircraft has seen its fair share of important events and activities. The aircraft, which was originally designed in 1935 as a luxury civilian aircraft, was drafted by the military during World War II. During that time it served a vital function during D-Day by parachuting allied troops into occupied Europe. After a few years of war-time service the aircraft went back to its original role as a civilian aircraft and it has been maintained and was kept in service until now.