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Department of Defense Announces Successful Micro-Drone Demonstration


Press Operations

Release No: NR-008-17
Jan. 9, 2017


In one of the most significant tests of autonomous systems under development by the Department of Defense, the Strategic Capabilities Office, partnering with Naval Air Systems Command, successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest micro-drone swarms at China Lake, California. The test, conducted in October 2016 and documented on Sunday’s CBS News program “60 Minutes”, consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing.  

“I congratulate the Strategic Capabilities Office for this successful demonstration,” said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who created SCO in 2012. “This is the kind of cutting-edge innovation that will keep us a step ahead of our adversaries. This demonstration will advance our development of autonomous systems.”

“Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,” said SCO Director William Roper. “Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.”

The demonstration is one of the first examples of the Pentagon using teams of small, inexpensive, autonomous systems to perform missions once achieved only by large, expensive ones. Roper stressed the department’s conception of the future battle network is one where humans will always be in the loop. Machines and the autonomous systems being developed by the DoD, such as the micro-drones, will empower humans to make better decisions faster.

Originally designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering students, the Perdix drone was modified for military use by the scientists and engineers of MIT Lincoln Laboratory starting in 2013. Drawing inspiration from the commercial smartphone industry, Perdix software and hardware has been continually updated in successive design generations. Now in its sixth generation, October's test confirmed the reliability of the current all-commercial-component design under potential deployment conditions—speeds of Mach 0.6, temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius, and large shocks—encountered during ejection from fighter flare dispensers.

The “60 Minutes” segment also featured other new technology from across the Department of Defense such as the Navy’s unmanned ocean-going vessel, the Sea Hunter, and the Marine Corps’ Unmanned Tactical Control and Collaboration program.

As SCO works with the military Services to transition Perdix into existing programs of record, it is also partnering with the Defense Industrial Unit-Experimental, or DIUx, to find companies capable of accurately replicating Perdix using the MIT Lincoln Laboratory design. Its goal is to produce Perdix at scale in batches of up to 1,000.


Los Angeles Air Road

February 24, 2017; San Pedro, CA

- Commemorative Air Force
- John Collver Warbird Airshows

John Collver Warbird Airshows Image


Red Oak Municipal Airport Honors World’s Oldest Active Pilot

Ernie Smith World's Oldest Pilot
Ernie Smith, 99 years old, recognized at airport ceremony on his birthday Red Oak, Iowa (December 21, 2016)  

Red Oak Municipal Airport (KRDK) honored the Guinness Book of World Records certified World’s Oldest Active Pilot, Ernie Smith, with a ceremony at the airport today - Smith’s 99th birthday. Smith, having flown out of Red Oak Airport for over 80 years, was presented a model aircraft from the airport and a pre-loaded WingPoints® Rewards Card from Phillips 66® Aviation to help fuel his future flying adventures.

“We gather today to honor and congratulate Ernie Smith for his achievement of being recognized by the Guinness World Records as the oldest active pilot in the world. We also want to thank him for his loyalty to the Red Oak Airport and his friendship and inspiration to all pilots around the entire world,” said Kevin McGrew, Manager of Red Oak Municipal Airport.

Born just 14 years after the Wright Brothers’ first successful powered flight, Smith’s passion for aviation took flight at the age of seven. He earned his private pilot’s license in 1946 and has since piloted over 30 aircraft models. Among Smith’s achievements as a private pilot is crossing the Rocky Mountains, flying to Canada five times and visiting several U.S. states.

In response to being asked how it feels to be named the World’s Oldest Active Pilot, Smith simply smiles and says, “I would rather be the world’s youngest pilot.”

Red Oak Municipal Airport (redoakiowa.com/148/Airport), also known as R.K. Belt Field is located just one mile west of the city of Red Oak in southwestern Iowa. The airport offers Phillips 66 Aviation branded Jet A and Avgas 100LL fuel. The terminal building features a pilot’s lounge, conference room, weather services and Wi-Fi. The airport caters to general aviation, offering hangar space, aircraft rentals, and fixed and rotary wing flight training.

As a member of the World Fuel Services Network, Red Oak Municipal Airport has access to comprehensive business and general aviation FBO solutions. From training, to credit card processing, to marketing support, Word Fuel Services Network FBOs are provided customized services by World Fuel
Services’ team of dedicated industry professionals.

About Red Oak Municipal Airport
Red Oak Municipal Airport (RDK) is city owned and operated since 1941. It has two paved runways, the longest being 5100 feet and one 2000 foot long grass runway. The airport has modern hangars and a comfortable terminal for passengers and pilots. Aircraft rentals, fuel and instruction are available.

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Pilots need comprehensive life insurance protection for their family that includes all aviation activities. Pilot Insurance Center has been providing pilots with aviation friendly life insurance products of over 20 years to thousands of clients.  Pilot Insurance Center offers a complimentary review of your current coverage. If you already have competitively priced coverage that includes coverage for aviation then Pilot Insurance will recommend you keep that policy.

If on the hand you have overpriced or incomplete coverage Pilot Insurance Center will offer you alternatives to consider that could save you a significant amount on premiums and provide much better coverage.

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FreeFlight Aviation Air Show and Car Show

Airshow,Family Events

MT Propeller Gains FAA STC for Maule M-6 and M()-7

MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH has received the the FAA STC SA03774NY for the next generation 3-blade scimitar composite propeller MTV-9-B/198-52 on the Maule M-6-235, M-7-235, M-7-235B, MX-7-235 and MT-7-235. This installation already has supplemental type certified by EASA STC 10042832.

According to MT-Propeller Vice President Martin Albrecht, the installation has the following advantages:

  • Enhanced take-off distance by approx. 5 %  (MTOW, SL, ISA conditions)
  • Enhanced climb performance by approx. 5 % (MTOW, SL, ISA conditions)
  • Approx. 2 lbs less weight than the original 2-blade propellers and approx. 25 lbs than the original 3-blade propellers.
  • Enhanced cruise performance by 2 to 3 kts (MTOW, ISA conditions)
  • In combination with the Gomolzig exhaust muffler MXT 606500 “erhöhter Schallschutz” according to the strict German Noise Regulation LVL is reached with design series equipped with engines turning maximum 2400 rpm.

The MT-Propeller natural composite blades provide significant inside and outside noise reduction. They have no life limitation, and are repairable in case of an FOD. They also provide best vibration damping characteristics for almost vibration free propeller operation and have bonded on stainless steel leading edges for best erosion protection of the blades.

MT-Propeller is the world leading natural composite propeller manufacturer with 30 propeller models from 2-blade to 6-blade hydraulically controlled variable pitch propeller, for engines producing up to 5000hp, and 2-blade to 4-blade electrically controlled variable pitch propeller, for engines producing up to 350hp as well as two blade fixed pitch propellers. Over 30 years ago, the first MT-Propeller was shipped.  

The high performance, light weight and durable MT-Propellers can be used on aircraft with piston engines and propeller turbines, as well as on airships, wind tunnels or hovercraft.
Fulfilling the highest certifications requirements they are also supplemental type certified on Part 25 aircraft.  There is no current Airworthiness Directives (AD).

MT-Propeller is holder of over 200 STCs worldwide and OEM supplier for more than 90% of the European Aircraft Industry as well as 30% of the US Aircraft Industry. Over 18,000 propeller systems with more than 60,000 blades are in service.

Hannay Reels for Refueling Needs

Hannay Reels

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Rotor-Tech Acquired by Advanced Composite Structures

Advanced Composite Structures (ACS), a leading provider of rotor blade and composite structure repair technologies for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, has announced it has acquired Rotor-Tech International.

The purchase of Rotor-Tech International, based in Stockton, Calif., further expands ACS's share in the North American helicopter market.  This acquisition follows on the successful launch of two Rotor Blade Repair Service Centers with the signing of a Technical Support agreement in 2010 with the Oceania Group based in Auckland, New Zealand and the establishment in 2012 of ACS-Florida based in Sanford, Fla. "The combination of Rotor-Tech International with our experience and proprietary tools and processes will provide our customers with significantly improved service offerings," said Bruce Anning, vice president of technical operations for ACS.

ACS will leverage Rotor-Tech's existing staff and operations as the base on which significant additional capabilities will be added.  "The integration of the ACS group of companies will take place quickly during 2015.  Our customers will receive superior quality services and can expect an expanding range of services as the process is completed," said James Anning, president of ACS.

For more information about ACS visit our website: www.acs-composites.com.

For more information please contact:

Bruce Anning,

Vice President of Technical Operations

Advanced Composite Structures

43 Muir Road

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Phone: 204-982-6565 | Fax: 204-982-6555

Email: banning@acs-composites.com



Rainbow Flying Service in Moses Lake

Cell Number 509-750-2327

We Specialize in Aeronca,Citabria,Scout and Decathlons

Not Only do we Repair,but we Sell these Great Aircraft !

Rainbow Flying Service specializes in the repairing rebuilding and maintenance of Citabria, Aeronca, Scout and Decathalon Aircraft. We have a large supply of salvage and surplus parts for these aircraft.

Rainbow Flying Service received Parts Manufactures Approval (PMA) for our new design wing SPAR for the 7 and 11 Series Airplanes and the 8 GCBC Scout. These spars are STC'd and FAA approved They are now available to order for Citabria, Aeronca, Champion, and Bellanca.

Use of this new spar will not preclude the inspection requirements of AD 2000-25-02 which presently applies to the Citabrias, Scouts and Decathlons and some Aeroncas. For all of the airplanes with the original spars we strongly recommend an Inspection Hole Kit that we designed. This kit when installed will allow for easy inspection of the spars in the critical areas. Two inspection holes are created in the top of each wing with caps that are flush secure and sealable. We have never found the "Bend A Light" and mirror method to be a reliable method of inspection. The solution to this is to install Rainbow Flying Service's top Inspection Kit that can be installed without fabric replacement or any time that a spar is replaced or wing recovered. This will make subsequent annual spar inspection easy to do.

For all you Piper Cub J3 and Taylorcraft guys we manufacture replacement wood spars.

We also have a STC and PMA for the fuselage Formers and floorboards. These are made with 5 ply Birch plywood and are water jet cut by computer. They come to you varnished.

We also carry stringers, and the cabin top (greenhouse) wood.