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Aviation Weekly #17 – Patroller 3 Airship, London City Airport, UberAIR Taxis, RAF Valley, Wales
1. Advanced Hybrid Aircraft Ltd has prepared the design of a novel and affordable hybrid aircraft named Patroller 3, or simply P3.
This aircraft can fly low and slow, or alternatively can dash at higher airspeed and altitude in pursuit of a land or sea target. The purchase and maintenance costs are affordable, whilst the operating costs will be much less than those of current manned aircraft and rotorcraft.
The energy-saving P3 can loiter at low power for as many as three days over a site of interest (a bay, border crossing, or sea-lane). At cruise power setting, on three engines, the endurance of 30 hours is suitable for quickly scanning a border or coastline.
For more information visit http://www.patrollerairships.com.
2. On 26 October 1987, a flight carrying around 40 passengers touched down from Plymouth in East London, on the peninsula between Royal Albert Dock and King George V Dock. It was the first commercial flight to land at London City Airport.
The first arrival, operated by Brymon Airways, was followed by a Eurocity Express service from Brussels, both using De Havilland Dash 7 aircraft.
So it’s now 30 years since the airport’s first commercial flights. To mark the milestone, the airport has published seven updated artist’s impressions of the airport’s exterior, illustrating what the transformed airport will look like after the £400m City Airport Development Programme.
A free exhibition is now open on Jubilee Place in Canary Wharf entitled “London City Airport: 30 Years in Photographs”.
3. The future of RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales is now secure after restoration work on the runways was completed in September.
The station is primarily used for advanced fast jet training for pilots and, whilst the previous infrastructure was strong enough for the Hawk aircraft, it has been restored to support pilots training in the likes of Tornados and Typhoons.
The existing runway was ageing and so a £20 million contract was awarded to refurbish it as well as the link taxiways in addition to providing a new section airside perimeter road, new visual aids, aeronautical lighting and signage. It will extend the life of the runway by a further 25 years, demonstrating the UK’s commitment to Defence in Wales.
4. In Aviation Weekly #6 we reported on the development of the Volocopter design and speculated on the day when we’d all be able to hail an aero taxi. Well, Uber has a project that plans to put VTOL “Vertical Take-off and Landing” aircraft in the skies above Los Angeles by 2020.
The white paper on this subject is entitled “Fast-Forwarding to a Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation” and is available for download on http://www.uber.com/info/elevate.
There are of course many challenges to overcome; safety, battery power, vehicle efficiency to name a few. However, all innovations start like this and given enough time and resources all these obstacles can be removed.
Within a few years there really could be an affordable, efficient low altitude taxi service in major cities around the world. Imagine stepping out on to the pavement not to get into a minicab and sit in a traffic jam, but to be lifted a few hundred feet into the air and reach your destination in minutes.
The future is in the skies.
That’s all for this edition of Aviation Weekly so subscribe to my channel for the next and to catch up on any you’ve missed.
This was a Redspan Solutions production.
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