• Lockheed Martin Upgrades Sensor Systems On Egypt’s AH-64D Apache Fleet Under New Contract bringing it to AH-64E Standards
    Image: Lockheed Martin

    Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) received a $102 million contract award to upgrade 25 of Egypt’s AH-64D Apaches to the E-model version of the aircraft.

    This modernization for the Egyptian Air Force includes Lockheed Martin’s Gen III Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (Gen III TADS/PNVS) and the Gen III Day Sensor Assembly (Gen III DSA).

    The award is part of an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract signed with the U.S. Army. The ID/IQ serves as the contracting vehicle to provide Gen III DSA and Gen III TADS/PNVS systems and services.

    Under the order, Lockheed Martin is delivering the upgraded sensor kits as part of a remanufacture effort to upgrade D-model Apaches to E-models.

    “Lockheed Martin is committed to a strong and sustained partnership with our customers in the United States and around the world,” said Tom Eldredge, Director of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control Rotary Wing Sensors program. “This contract enables us to respond rapidly to Egypt’s emerging defense needs, including requirements for new sensor systems and upgrades.”

    The work will be performed at the Boeing Apache Helicopter Plant in Mesa, Arizona with an estimated completion date of July 2024.

    Gen III TADS/PNVS, known as the “eyes of the Apache,” provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for safe flight during day, night, and adverse weather missions. Gen III DSA increases Gen III TADS/PNVS designation and ranging capabilities to fully accommodate current weapons and those planned for the future.

    The upgraded sensor enables Apache pilots to see high-resolution, high-definition, near-infrared, and color imagery on cockpit displays. Gen III DSA also provides a new laser pointer marker that improves coordination with ground troops, and an updated multi-mode laser with eye-safe range designation that supports flight in urban environments and critical training exercises. Lockheed Martin, Jan. 07, 2022

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  • American Crocodiles in Florida

    American Crocodiles: The Florida population of the American crocodile is a conservation success story. Listed as an endangered species in 1975, crocodile numbers have since recovered from a few hundred individuals to as many as 2,000 adult crocodiles today. The Florida population of this native species is now classified as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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    Image: author

    Range

    American crocodiles live in coastal areas throughout the Caribbean and occur at the northern end of their range in south Florida and the Keys. They occur in brackish or saltwater areas and can be found in ponds, coves, and creeks in mangrove swamps. They are occasionally encountered inland in freshwater areas of the southeast Florida coast as a result of the extensive canal system.

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    Image: FWC

    Behavior

    American crocodiles are a shy and reclusive species. Like alligators, crocodiles rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. Crocodiles control their body temperature by basking in the sun or moving to areas with warmer or cooler air or water temperatures.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5HYyjIfEdw&t=71s
    Living with American Crocodiles Video
    Concerned about a crocodile? Call 866-392-4286 (866-FWC-GATOR)

    A basking crocodile may be surprised by an approaching person and quickly (and noisily) enter the water. This behavior might startle the person, but it should not be misunderstood. Crocodiles would normally enter the water quietly; splashing away indicates that the crocodile is frightened.

    Crocodiles can also be seen sunning with their mouths open, or “gaping.” This behavior is also related to regulating their body temperature and does not mean that the crocodile is acting aggressively.

    Tools and Resources

    The FWC takes public safety seriously and administers a program designed to be proactive and responsive. People who are concerned about a crocodile should call 866-392-4286 (866-FWC-GATOR), and one of our crocodile response agents will respond. The FWC also provides information to help people can safely co-exist with crocodiles.


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  • NASA, USGS Release First Landsat 9 Images

    Landsat 9, a joint mission between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that launched Sept. 27, 2021, has collected its first light images of Earth.

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    Mangroves are prominent along the northwest coast of Australia. The first image collected by Landsat 9, on Oct. 31, 2021, shows mangroves clustered in protected inlets and bays on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Fluffy cumulus clouds and high-altitude cirrus clouds hover nearby. The aqua colors of the shallow near-shore waters give way to the deep, dark blues of the ocean.
    Credits: NASA for hi-res image click here

    NASA, USGS, Landsat: The images, all acquired Oct. 31, are available online. They provide a preview of how the mission will help people manage vital natural resources and understand the impacts of climate change, adding to Landsat’s unparalleled data record that spans nearly 50 years of space-based Earth observation.

    “Landsat 9’s first images capture critical observations about our changing planet and will advance this joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey that provides critical data about Earth’s landscapes and coastlines seen from space,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This program has the proven power to not only improve lives but also save lives. NASA will continue to work with USGS to strengthen and improve accessibility to Landsat data so decision makers in America – and around the world – better understand the devastation of the climate crisis, manage agricultural practices, preserve precious resources and respond more effectively to natural disasters.”

    These first light images shows Detroit, Michigan, with neighboring Lake St. Clair, the intersection of cities and beaches along a changing Florida coastline and images from Navajo Country in Arizona that will add to the wealth of data helping us monitor crop health and manage irrigation water. The new images also provided data about the changing landscapes of the Himalayas in High Mountain Asia and the coastal islands and shorelines of Northern Australia.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFRF3sRVpsQ
    Landsat 9 Goes to Work

    Landsat 9 is similar in design to its predecessor, Landsat 8, which was launched in 2013 and remains in orbit, but features several improvements. The new satellite transmits data with higher radiometric resolution back down to Earth, allowing it to detect more subtle differences, especially over darker areas like water or dense forests. For example, Landsat 9 can differentiate more than 16,000 shades of a given wavelength color; Landsat 7, the satellite being replaced, detects only 256 shades. This increased sensitivity will allow Landsat users to see much more subtle changes than ever before.

    “First light is a big milestone for Landsat users – it’s the first chance to really see the kind of quality that Landsat 9 provides. And they look fantastic,” said Jeff Masek NASA’s Landsat 9 project scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center. “When we have Landsat 9 operating in coordination with Landsat 8, it’s going to be this wealth of data, allowing us to monitor changes to our home planet every eight days.”

    Landsat 9 carries two instruments that capture imagery: the Operational Land Imager 2 (OLI-2), which detects visible, near-infrared and shortwave-infrared light in nine wavelengths, and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2 (TIRS-2), which detects thermal radiation in two wavelengths to measure Earth’s surface temperatures and its changes.

    These instruments will provide Landsat 9 users with essential information about crop health, irrigation use, water quality, wildfire severity, deforestation, glacial retreat, urban expansion, and more.

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    Landsat 9 carries two instruments designed to work together to capture a broad range of wavelengths: the Operational Land Imager 2 and the Thermal Infrared Sensor 2. Data from both instruments are shown in this image.
    Credits: NASA for hi-res image click here

    “The data and images from Landsat 9 are expanding our capability to see how Earth has changed over decades”, said Karen St. Germain, Earth Science Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “In a changing climate, continuous and free access to Landsat data, and the other data in NASA’s Earth observing fleet, helps data users, including city planners, farmers and scientists, plan for the future.”

    NASA’s Landsat 9 team is conducting a 100-day check-out period that involves testing the satellite’s systems and subsystems and calibrating its instruments in preparation for handing the mission over to USGS in January. USGS will operate Landsat 9 along with Landsat 8, and together the two satellites will collect approximately 1,500 images of Earth’s surface every day, covering the globe every eight days.

    “The incredible first pictures from the Landsat 9 satellite are a glimpse into the data that will help us make science-based decisions on key issues including water use, wildfire impacts, coral reef degradation, glacier and ice-shelf retreat and tropical deforestation,” said USGS Acting Director Dr. David Applegate. “This historic moment is the culmination of our long partnership with NASA on Landsat 9’s development, launch and initial operations, which will better support environmental sustainability, climate change resiliency and economic growth – all while expanding an unparalleled record of Earth’s changing landscapes.”  

    Landsat 9 data will be available to the public, for free, from USGS’s website once the satellite begins normal operations.

    NASA manages the Landsat 9 mission development. Teams from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, also built and tested the TIRS-2 instrument. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, managed the mission’s launch. The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center will operate the mission and manage the ground system, including maintaining the Landsat archive. Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, built and tested the OLI-2 instrument. United Launch Alliance is the rocket provider for Landsat 9’s launch. Northrop Grumman in Gilbert, Arizona, built the Landsat 9 spacecraft, integrated it with instruments, and tested it.


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  • Space News

    SpaceX Starship Updates, Falcon Heavy / Ariane 6 updates, Crew 3/2 delays

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPW3yGbnhm4
    If you want a VERY detailed analysis of the latest goings-on in the world of space exploration, look no further.

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  • Lockheed wins $10.9B contract to modernize F-22
    The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, NASA, DARPA, NOAA, army, navy, jeff bezos, al clark, albert clark, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-22, raptor, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
    Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor – Technicians inspect an F-22 Raptor at the F-22 Speedline in Marietta, Georgia. Lockheed Martin
    photo by Andrew McMurtrie.


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    Image: Lockheed Martin

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  • Good Morning Senators

    Good morning, United States Senators. First, let me thank you for your community service. Without your dedication to the successful continuance of these united states, the United States of America would not be what it is. This website will never be political. Our goal is to convey the verified facts to the best of our ability. There is zero motivation within this organization to advance the agendas of any political entity. Each of you has been specifically invited to follow this site. You would be wise to do so. Through the course of investigating our news, we are very likely to cover your state. We have already covered stories that amount to billions of dollars of spending. We cover the latest research projects and how they impact our communities. Please, never forget the sacrifices of our soldiers. You already have our contact information, here is a list of your contact information. Please contact us if there are changes that need to be addressed.

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  • Lockheed Martin, Rafael Partner To Develop Spice-250 Weapon System For Us Military
    Lockheed Martin, Rafael, Spice-250, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, news, general aviation news, military aviation news, NASA, DARPA, NOAA, CIA, NSA, stealth, Tonopah, groom lake, area 51, air force, army, navy, jeff Bezos, al clark, albert clark, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, F-14, F-15, F-16, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, V-22, air force one, customaviationart, custom aviation art
    SPICE 250, pictured on the left wing station of an F-16, increases range, lethality and precision without the need for GPS.
    Image: Lockheed Martin

    ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 2, 2021 – Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., of Israel, signed an expanded teaming agreement, allowing the team to jointly develop, market, manufacture and support Rafael’s Smart, Precise Impact and Cost-Effective (SPICE™) 250 weapon system for sale in the United States and in Poland. This agreement marks the first time SPICE 250 is available for sale to the U.S. military.

    The addition of SPICE 250 builds on a 2019 teaming agreement, where Lockheed Martin and Rafael agreed to jointly market SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000 guidance kits for U.S. sale.

    SPICE is a family of stand-off, autonomous, air-to-surface weapon systems that provide affordable precision in a GPS-denied environment. The combat-proven SPICE family of products includes two guidance kits, SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000, as well as an all-up round, known as SPICE 250.

    “Lockheed Martin’s deep expertise in weapon system integration will help us adapt SPICE 250 to meet U.S. standards,” said Dave Pantano, Lockheed Martin program director. “We’re excited to leverage this experience and offer this unique, proven weapon system to aircraft operators for additional mission flexibility where it’s needed most.”

    In use since 2003, SPICE is combat-proven and in service with the Israeli Air Force and several other nations worldwide. It enables maximum loadout on F-16’s and F-15’s, reduces pilot workload, and provides multiple strike capability against multiple target types.

    “GPS is not required to operate any of the products within the SPICE family, allowing for operations in a variety of locations and adverse environments,” said Alon Shlomi, Rafael Air to Surface Directorate vice president. “By expanding our teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin, we’re able to offer the entire product portfolio to the U.S. military – providing warfighters with the opportunity to enhance mission flexibility.”

    About Lockheed Martin
    Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services.

    About Rafael
    Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. designs develops, manufactures, and supplies a wide range of high-tech defense systems for air, land, sea, and space applications for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli defense establishment, as well as for customers around the world. The company offers its customers a diversified array of innovative solutions at the leading edge of global technology, from underwater systems through naval, ground, and air superiority systems to space systems. Rafael is one of Israel’s three largest defense companies, and employs 8,000 people and numerous subcontractors and service suppliers.


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  • Eduard 1/48 Scale Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 253 built by master modeler Michał Wołowczyk
    Eduard, 1/48 Scale, Albatros D.III, Oeffag, series 253, Michał Wołowczyk, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
    Albatros D.III (Oeffag) series 253, with spinner removed Photographer unknown

    The Albatros D.III was a biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I. A modified license model was built by Oeffag for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen).

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    The D.III was flown by many top German aces, including Wilhelm Frankl, Erich Löwenhardt, Manfred von Richthofen, Karl Emil Schäfer, Ernst Udet, and Kurt Wolff, and Austro-Hungarian ones, like Godwin von Brumowski. It was the preeminent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as “Bloody April” in 1917.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.
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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    Albatros D.III was piloted by Hauptmann Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg from an old Austrian aristocratic family who joined the air force one day before the declaration of war with Serbia.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.
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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.
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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.
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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    He served first as an observer but, after being wounded in the summer of 1916, he decided to start pilot training in October. He started his fighter pilot career in June 1917 and became a commander of Flik 51J quite fast.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.
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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    He achieved 28 confirmed kills, four of them on May 1st, 1918, and another three on June 20th, 1918. He ended the war as a staff officer in the high command of the aviation corps.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    After the war, he finished his engineering degree and worked for Junkers company for some time. In 1927 he quickly became an airline director in Poland but later moved to Japan as a representative of Junkers to the Mitsubishi company to help them to start construction of a full metal aircraft.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    later he returned to Austria and served there during WWII as an airfield commander near Linz. Today, Aigen im Ennstal airbase (east of Aigen im Ennstal, Steiermark, Austria) of the Austrian Air Force is named after him.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    About the aircraft: The Albatros D.III was one of the best German fighters (of the time), responsible, for example, for “Bloody April” in 1917 and was license-produced later by OEFFAG in Austro-Hungary with several modifications.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    Series 53., 153., and 253. were designed with gradually more powerful Austro-Daimler engines. They have also eliminated the propeller spinner, as it was often badly balanced and was prone to falling off in flight. During production of the 153 series, they replaced it with a rounded nose which improved aerodynamics and raised top speed by 14 km/h (9mph).

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    This plane belongs to the early 253 series which have MGs buried in the fuselage. This solution was making it difficult to fix jammed guns during flight so they changed it soon after producing this plane.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    I purchased this kit after watching a tutorial about building WWI fighters which I found on David Damek’s Plasmo youtube channel, and I closely followed his steps there. It was really fun to build and not as difficult as it might seem. One of the mistakes I made was about the artificial shadows of wing spars on the bottom surfaces of wings. First I forgot about the spars, painting just the ribs, and later painted two spars instead of one on the lower wing.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    Apart from that, I also had problems with wire bracing. I spent a long time working on it and there are several accidental drops of CA glue in a few places where I regret I didn’t use 3D printed tensioners for those wires.

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    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.
    Eduard, 1/48 Scale, Albatros D.III, Oeffag, series 253, Michał Wołowczyk, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
    Photography and model by Michał Wołowczyk. For high-resolution images click here.

    I am now about to start working on Halberstadt CL.IV in Polish service, which also has an unpainted natural wood fuselage where I hope to avoid such mistakes.


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  • The FAA has ‘deep concern’ about 5G networks and their potentially serious effects on aviation safety

    Very big heads are butting over this issue as Radar Altimeters aren’t going away any time soon and neither is 5G

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    Artwork: the author

    The following was quoted in a letter drafted by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP (Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is an international law firm founded in 1836 and is one of the oldest firms in the United States. It operates in New York; Washington; Los Angeles; Chicago; Stamford, Connecticut; Parsippany, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; and San Diego, California) to Marlene Dortch, Secretary Federal Communications Commission:

    “On August 6, 2021, representatives from the following nineteen companies and associations within the aviation and aerospace industry (the “Representatives”) – the Aerospace Industries Association, the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute, the Airborne Public Safety Association, Airbus, Airlines for America, American Airlines, the Air Line Pilots Association, Aviation Spectrum Resources, Inc., the Boeing Company, Collins Aerospace, the Experimental Aircraft Association, Free Flight Systems, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Garmin International, Inc., Helicopter Association International, Honeywell International Inc., the International Air Transport Association, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and the Regional Airline Association – held a virtual meeting over Zoom with officials from the Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology (“OET”), the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“WTB”), and the International Bureau (“IB”).”

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    What is a Radar Altimeter?

    A radar (radio) altimeter is an important tool that operates in the 4.2-4.4 GHz frequency range to help minimize the risk of Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT), because it provides an independent and unambiguous warning of proximity to the ground, regardless of any navigational uncertainty or error, e.g. mis-setting of the barometric altimeter sub-scale.


    “The Representatives used the meeting to demonstrate the need for (a) grant of the aviation and aerospace industry Petition for Reconsideration of the Commission’s March 2020 Report and Order in the above-captioned proceeding and take measures to ensure aviation and public safety by protecting radio altimeters from harmful interference from 3.7 GHz licensed operations.2 Specifically, the Representatives asked the Commission to convene and oversee (jointly with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”)) a forum and process involving the aviation and aerospace industry and the 3.7 GHz Band flexible use licensees with the goal of government and industry developing solutions that allow 5G to advance without inflicting undesired impacts on (the) use of the National Airspace System.” 

    Absent the FCC’s and the commercial mobile wireless industry’s collaboration with the aviation and aerospace industry and the FAA, major disruptions to use of the National Airspace System can be expected from the rollout of 5G under the Commission’s Order”

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    What is 5G?

    In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, and is the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones. 5G networks are predicted to have more than 1.7 billion subscribers worldwide by 2025, according to the GSM Association. 5G speeds will range from ~50 Mbps to over 1 Gbps. The fastest 5G speeds would be in the mmWave bands and can reach 4 Gb/s with carrier aggregation and multiple input, multiple output (MIMO).

    In an auction of radio spectrum last year, the major telecoms paid a total of $78 billion in an FCC auction to get access to a thin slice of the finite range of available radio frequencies to carry 5G signals. Those signals will be in the 3.7 to 3.98 GHz part of the so-called C-Band, which is apparently the sweet spot for carrying the data-heavy 5G signals. Radar altimeters operate in the 4.2-4.4 GHz frequency range (their sweet spot) and the fear is that the nearby powerful cell signals will cause interference for the avionics. The FCC approved the use of the spectrum for 5G saying “well-designed [radio altimeter] equipment should not ordinarily receive any significant interference (let alone harmful interference).…” But aviation groups say the risk for thousands of aircraft is real and the FAA seems to agree.


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  • 1/72 Scale Italeri Ju 52/3m “Tante Ju” Built by Master Modeler Steve Evans
    1/72 Scale, Italeri, Ju 52/3-M, Tante Ju, Steve Evans, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
    Junkers Ju 52/3m (BJ+YD) W Nr 3003 supply duties Stalingrad Russia 1943. Unknown Photographer

    The Junkers Ju 52/3m (nicknamed Tante Ju (“Aunt Ju”) and Iron Annie) is a transport aircraft that was designed and manufactured by German aviation company Junkers.

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    Junkers Ju 52/3m model box art

    Development of the Ju 52 commenced during 1930, headed by German aeronautical engineer Ernst Zindel. The aircraft’s design incorporated a corrugated duralumin metal skin as a strengthening measure, which was very unusual at the time. The Ju 52’s maiden flight was performed on 13 October 1930.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans
    1/72 Scale, Italeri, Ju 52/3-M, Tante Ju, Steve Evans, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    It was initially designed with a single engine, however, it was produced in quantity as a trimotor. The primary early production model, the Ju 52/3m, was principally operated as a 17-seat airliner or utility transport aircraft by various civil operators during the 1930s. Following the rise of Nazi Germany, thousands of Ju 52s were procured as a staple military transport of the nation. The Ju 52/3mg7e was the principal production model.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    Hitler used a Deutsche Luft Hansa Ju 52 for campaigning in the 1932 German election, preferring flying to train travel. After he became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Hans Baur became his personal pilot, and Hitler was provided with a personal Ju 52. Named Immelmann II after the First World War ace Max Immelmann, it carried the registration D-2600.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans
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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    This ubiquitous transport that was the workhorse of the Luftwaffe, from the first day to the last, is one of the most recognizable aircraft in the world. With its agricultural engines and corrugated shed skin, everyone knows this amazing character of an aircraft.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans
    1/72 Scale, Italeri, Ju 52/3-M, Tante Ju, Steve Evans, The Florida Pilot, TheFloridaPilot, general aviation news, military aviation news, NASA, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Elon Musk, F-35A, F-35B, F-35C, B-2 Spirit, B-21 Raider, customaviationart, custom aviation art
    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    This kit from Italeri is old but it’s still a good one, with lots of positives in the slender box. Not only do you get a number of versions to do, but there are also some interesting color schemes, as well as plenty of figures on the sprues if you fancy doing a diorama-type thing.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    I was building this one for a friend in the Czech Republic and he specifically wanted a Hospital variant, so this was the perfect kit, as all the bits are in the box, including one poor soul on a stretcher.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    The detail is a little soft and almost non-existent for the cockpit but very little of that will be seen on the final build, so that’s not a big problem. However, the main cabin interior can be configured as the ambulance version by using the kit parts of stretchers and first aid kits.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    Obviously, I added a few bits and pieces such as the open cabin doors and associated struts, along with restraints on the stretchers.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    The external detail is really well done, with properly proportioned and molded corrugations in the skin as well as neatly done engines and undercarriage units. There are some tricky bits along the way, getting some of the smaller parts to fit where they’re supposed to but it looks like a Ju 52 when it’s done so there’s nothing much to complain about.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    The paint job is a bit of a nightmare as doing these winter, white distemper, finishes is something I’m not too good at yet. Having said that, this one turned out ok so I can’t moan too much can I? The white is painted over a full camouflage job of RLM70/71 and then scraped and scrubbed off in places to give it a “lived-in” look.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    The markings are a complete mish-mash of kit decals, sprayed and aftermarket markings to get the final look and with plenty of weathering on show, this one looks like it’s had a hard life.

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    Model and photography by Steve Evans

    As an aside, I was asked why does this one still carries a machine gun if it’s a Red Cross aircraft? Well, at the time the Russians took very little notice of those crosses and carried on shooting them down. That’s not to say the Germans were blameless, because they frequently used the Ambulance aircraft as standard transports carting fuel and ammunition to the front lines.


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