NOTRE DAME FLAMINGO F-18 MAIDEN FLIGHT
On July 3rd 2012, Flamingo F-18 took to the air for her maiden USA flight from Elkhart Airport, Indiana. Beautifully flown by pilot Brandon Herzog, a professional jet pilot and a UAV buff, F-18 completed what could only be described as a textbook first flight. The take-off which was held down until a very safe flying speed was achieved, was immaculate. After a very effective work-out during the flight, F-18 was wheeled in for a perfect landing to the applause of the assembled audience.
The Notre Dame Materhorn Project is by far the most ambitious and complex of the many projects in which Flamingos have been involved. Be sure to follow the project on the link below:
Click here to visit the Materhorn Web Page
Silvertone Flamingo F-18 on final approach after a textbook maiden flight in the USA. Note the flaps extended for landing.
FLAMINGO GOES TO SCHOOL
After months of painstaking preparations involving industry consultation and representation, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) on Monday, 20th June 2011 commenced what they believe to be the world's first UAS ab initio training course at Archerfield Airport, Brisbane Queensland. Intended to put through a select group of students to Level 1 UAS Controllers certification in a two week period, the course has proven to be intense indeed. However all in attendance agree that it is a very interesting course and all are enjoying themselves immensely as well as learning volumes. With a good mix of practical and theory the classroom fatigue factor has been reduced to very satisfactory levels. It is hoped that this course will provide the model for subsequent courses and also provide a cadre of trained UAS instructors as well.
This course is the introduction level to UAS flying - Level 1 - below 400'; Visual Line of Sight (VLOS); Hours of daylight (HJ); Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC); Outside Controlled Airspace (OCTA); greater than 3 nautical miles (nm) from an aerodrome; and not over a populous area.
Phil Presgrave, CASA UAS Specialist, Flying Standards Branch (left,) Rhonda Ritchings GM AAA and Peggy MacTavish, Executive Director, AUVS-Australia opening the procedings.
The 10 students and CASA Instructor Mal Wardrop, rear
Phil Presgrave addressing the group. Note the Silvertone Piper Cub UAV demonstrator to his left.
Paul Dewar General manager and Chief Flight Instructor of Cyber Technology Australia. Paul is playing a prominent part in the course delivering lectures on many key topics..
Peter Hill Vtol about to launch one of their Delta Trainers during the flight training session. Anthony Banks on the Transmitter.
Paul Dewar, Mark Lewis, Nick White and Andrew Carruthers standing around looking useful at yesterday's flight training sessions
Mark D'Alterio under instruction from Colin Felmingham - VTOL. The instructors worked hard and did an excellent job in the limited time available. The students, some who had never flown before, are well on their way to their CASA UAS wings.
The Control Van from which all flying was co-ordinated with Archerfield Tower. As can be imagined discipline was strict and all flying tightly controlled. Note the use of dual control instruction.
Those who are playing prominent roles
Rhonda Richings - CEO Airline Academy of Australia - for air experience flying and facility access
Kim Jones (CASA) - Examinations Manager
Paul Dewar - Senior (UAS) Flying Instructor for Cyber Technology WA
Peter Hill - Logistics Manager (VTOL QLD)
Mark Xavier - Chief (UAS) Pilot - for instrument purposes for CASA approvals
Ground instructional staff:
- Kim Jones (CASA)
- Paul Dewar (Cyber Technology)
- Mal Wardrop (CASA)
- Bruno Bucetti (VTOL/QAC)
- Barry Peters (CASA)
- Jim Perry (CASA)
- Bob Young - Silvertone
UAS (flying) instructors for this course:
- Paul Dewar - Senior (UAS) Flying Instructor - (Cyber Tech)
- Mark Lewis - UAS Pacific
- Anthony Banks - VTOL
- Colin Felmingham - VTOL
- Bob Young - Silvertone
The students were chosen via a lottery and divided into three categories.
CAT 1 Students who have had UAS or radio control experience
CAT 2 Students who had had no aviation, UAS or radio control experience;
CAT 3 Students with prior aviation experience, but not UAS or radio control.
A very happy and much relieved group after the successful outcome of the course
The course was completed successfully with all students passing the written exam.
The students with flying experience were signed off on their practical flying with all of the less experienced students well on their way to being signed off as well.
All students qualified for and were signed off on their Radio Telephony certificate. There only remains an assignment to be submitted to CASA by mid July.
All in all the course was a resounding success with many lessons being learned along the way.
There will now ensue a period of review and examination and it is hoped that this course will provide the model for all future courses of this type.
Many people and companies have given freely of their time and equipment to ensure the success of this course and their efforts are much appreciated.
Full thanks to the Airline Academy for the provision of classroom facilities and their conduct of an air experience flight for each of the students without aviation experience.
Simulator flying was made possible with equipment supplied by VTOL.
UAS flight training was conducted with aircraft and instructors supplied by VTOL and Cyber Technology.
Silvertone is proud to have been chosen to play a part in this historic event, providing an Instructor and demonstration aircraft (Flamingo and Piper Cub)
However the most resounding cheers definately go to CASA for pushing through such a far reaching and groundbreaking event. Well done CASA!
AVALON AIRSHOW 2011
Flamingo F-08 (Carla) our hardest working Flamingo was on display at the ARCAA stand during the 2011 Avalon Air Show. Carla is still in excellent condition, a fact that speaks highly of the of the skill of the flight and maintainance crews looking after her. A very impressive element on the ARCAA stand was the Command and Control vehicle fitted with a retractable viewing and control module. The photo below shows Bob Young with Carla, their first reunion since F-08 was delivered to Queensland in 2008.
The quest for lighter stronger Flamingo wings goes on as part of our product improvement and quality control program. The wing panel below was undergoing the standard Silvertone stress test and when pictured was supporting 77.3kg (170lb). This is our lightest and strongest fibreglass wing panel yet. Note the lack of any serious deflection or wing bending at this load. Testing is continuing and the results will be displayed on this page when available.
The following photo sequence shows an interesting comparison regarding the change in Silvertone UAV design between 1974 and 2011. Photo below is titled "Silvertone Air Force circ 1974" A line-up of Silvertone Weightlifters, Grandfather of the Silvertone Flamingo.
"Silvertone Airforce 2011". Below is another view of the Flamingo line-up posed on the shores of Botany Bay. March 2011. Quite a difference in design philosphy and construction. Flamingos are a high aerodynamic efficiency airframe constructed of epoxy, e-glass and carbon fibre. Weightlifters were constructed of chopped mat, polyester fibreglass, balsa and foam.
The photo below tickled our fancy and we call it Feeding time at the Zoo. It looks like a Flock of Flamingos lining up to be fed after a hard day's work on the shores of Botany Bay.
Shown below is Flamingo F-08, the hard working Carla which belongs to Queensland University of Technology. Carla has been hard at work on the Smart Skies Project and recently took part in the successful Dynamic Sense-and-Act Trials aimed at demonstrating collision avoidance and involving 8 elements including full size fixed wing aircraft as well as fixed and rotary wing UAVs. The full story may be found at http://www.smartskies.com.au/news/index.jsp#DSA_Collection. After the trials Carla was then tested for thermaling ability. The motor was switched off and Carla soared with no power for over 30 minutes demonstrating quite effectively the aerodynamic efficiency of the aircraft. However for those who tend to think of the Flamingo as merely a powered glider then perhaps watching this video may drive home the fact that there is much more to the Flamingo than that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brLQDf2S_oM&feature=related
The maximum speed on that pass was 153mph.