First flight for Air Race E specified electric plane

Competition organizer Air Race E on Jan. 28 oversaw what it describes as the first-ever flight of a piloted all-electric racing airplane. The test-flight achievement of an Air Race E specified plane was carried out by the Nordic Air Racing team in Norway.

The Norwegian team’s electric aircraft is a converted Cassutt IIIM, which will be used to help launch the world’s first electric air race series, organized by Air Race E, scheduled to get underway in 2023.

The ten-minute test flight by the Norwegians took place at Tønsberg Airport under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway. Nordic Air Racing Team pilot Rein Inge Hoff became the first aviator to get behind the controls of an Air Race E-specification aircraft when he completed four circuits of the airfield at 2,000 feet.

“The first-ever flight of our all-electric racing plane is a milestone achievement, both in the development of Air Race E as an international championship and in the progression of wider aviation technology,” said Jeff Zaltman, CEO, Air Race E.

Air Race E explains Hoff carried out some slow flight and control tests to ensure the aircraft behaved as predicted, testing with 90 kW of power and working up to 140 kts as planned, around 50 to 60 per cent of the plane’s eventual potential in full race trim.

Air Race E aims to bring together some of the world’s top pilots to compete at a number events where aircraft will race at speeds of more than 400km/h (250 mph). The Nordic Air Racing Team is one of 17 teams that took up the challenge to join the series. As well as the Open class, Air Race E is also set to run two other categories, including a partly-standardized Performance class and an eVTOL class.

Air Race E explains its founding partner, Airbus, provides competing teams in the series with research data and industry insight as part of the collective drive to develop cleaner, faster, and more technically advanced electric aircraft – both in the sporting and commercial sector. Air Race E’s simulation software partner, Ansys, has also helped to advance the process of aircraft electrification by making simulation software, training and consultation available to the competing teams.

(Photo: Air Race E)

Hays named CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority

Nick Hays has been appointed as the President and CEO of the Winnipeg Airports Authority, effective February 21, 2022, succeeding long-time leader Barry Rempel, who is retiring. Rempel spent 20 years of his career with the Winnipeg Airports Authority, which oversees the operations of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, CYWG.

“Nick is a values and purpose-driven leader with an impressive combination of airline, logistics, and international experience that will be instrumental in building on our reputation as a Canadian air cargo hub and developing the airport campus for the future benefit of the region,” said Brita Chell, Chair of the Board of Directors, Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA). “Our industry has seen incredible challenges since the start of the pandemic, and we need the next leader to position us for success in both the short and long-term. The board is confident Nick is that leader.”

Hays joins WAA from his most recent role as Vice President Canada at Vanderlande Industries, a global leader in logistic process automation at airports. Prior to that, he held a senior advisory role with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ transportation and logistics practice. Hays also spent 11 years with Cathay Pacific Airways and its parent company the Swire Group, working in Hong Kong, Auckland, Tokyo, and finally Vancouver where he was Cathay Pacific’s Vice President, Canada.

“I look forward to leading the talented team at WAA and joining a company that has been named one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for the last 10 years,” said Hays. “There is no doubt our industry is facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19, but I am excited for the opportunities ahead and know WAA has the right vision and values to move the organization forward in support of our community, customers and stakeholders.”

(Photo: CNW Group/Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.)

Ottawa provides CYLW with $18M in funding

Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, on Jan. 26 announced more than $18 million in funding to help Kelowna International Airport, CYLW, recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport. Alghabra was joined by Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan, who is also the Minister for Pacific Economic Development Canada, in making the funding announcement.

Ottawa explains, to help ensure safe airport operations for aircraft, passengers and crew, CYLW will receive more than $15.2 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program to support: the expansion of the airport’s combined operations building; the replacement of sections of the terminal building roof; upgrades to airfield lighting infrastructure; the construction of runway end safety areas (RESA); and the establishment of facilities and modified airport infrastructure to facilitate improved flow and management of air travellers and airport employees related to COVID-19 testing and screening.

In addition to the funding for these infrastructure projects, the Government of Canada also provided the Kelowna International Airport with just over $3 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Kelowna and surrounding communities.

“These critical investments will allow the Kelowna International Airport to invest in the infrastructure and tools needed to help re-invigorate the aviation industry and allow Canadians to feel safe and secure when they travel,” said Alghabra.

The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $571.2 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security, and connectivity to mass transit systems.

The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, provided $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.

(Photo: Kelowna International Airport)

KADEX adds STC approved HYPERION II LED for King Air 350

KADEX Aero Supply has made available, through a newly approved Supplement Type Certificate, the HYPERION II LED Wing Tip Light Assembly for Beechcraft King Air 350 aircraft. Developed by KAD Aerospace, the manufacturing arm of KADEX Aero Supply, this STC approval was granted after extensive prototyping and DO-160 EMI, and Photometric testing was completed.

KADEX explains the wing tip light assembly is produced from proven TSO Approved components and a robust bracketry system, allowing the HYPERION II to meet the needs of 350 operators worldwide. Following on the heels of the HYPERION I series LED for the King Air C90/200/300 and 1900s, KADEX explains the HYPERION II LED allows for a plug-and-play Installation into the 350 Wing Tip, as well as removal of the high voltage power supplies.

“KADEX is very excited to bring this long-awaited upgrade to the King Air 350,” said Ken Blow, Vice President, KADEX. “Months of development and careful component selection, have culminated in something we are really proud of. This LED makes for trouble-free operation with safety enhancements that can only come from the latest LED Technology.”

Combined with the previously approved ORION 500 Tail Nav/Strobe, the King Air HYPERION II 350 LED Lights are available through KADEX at both company locations in Peterborough, Ontario, and Calgary, Alberta.

(Photo: Kadex)