Sunday, November 29, 2015

Volga Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82047 at Rockhampton

It has certainly been a hive of activity at Rockhampton Airport over the past two months with Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Aerospatiale AS-332M1 Super Puma, Boeing CH-47SD Chinook and Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, as well as General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16D Block 52+ Fighting Falcons and a Lockheed C-130H Hercules temporarily based at Rockhampton Airport / Camp Warrior for 'Exercise Wallaby 2015'.

Additionally, there has also been activity by a number of large commercial airliners from Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways and Singapore Airlines transporting personnel and supporting equipment between Singapore and Rockhampton.

While the Super Puma choppers ferried themselves from and back to Oakey Army Aviation Centre near Toowoomba, and the F-16's flew from Singapore to Rockhampton via Darwin with assistance by an aerial refueller, it was the duty of Antonov AN-124-100's to transport the Apache and Chinook helicopters to and from Central Queensland.

Bringing the choppers to Rockhampton from Peya Lebar Air Base, Singapore back in September was Antonov Airlines (Antonov Design Bureau) AN-124-100 UR-82008 and UR-82029.

However, Volga Dnepr Antonov AN-124-100 RA-82047 was chartered to return the helicopters home after a busy few weeks in Central Queensland.

To begin, RA-82047 made an early morning arrival at Rockhampton from Cairns (where it had arrived from Guam a few days earlier) on Thursday, November 26 and after taking onboard five Apache helicopters, departed later that evening for Singapore via Darwin.

Upon offloading it's cargo at Peya Lebar Air Base, RA-82047 made a short hope to Johor Bahru in Malaysia before returning to Central Queensland and making an early evening arrival at the beef capital on Saturday, November 28.

After remaining parked overnight, a pair of Chinook helicopters were loaded onboard the strategic heavy airlift transporter on Sunday, November 29 before the aircraft was prepared from an evening departure back to Singapore via Darwin, thus bringing to a close 'Exercise Wallaby 2015'. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A quick look at the ICP Savannah

The ICP Savannah is a high wing, single engine, recreational sport aircraft with side-by-side seating for two. Produced in Italy, the Savannah can be supplied to customers or importers / representatives as a ready-to-fly aircraft or kit-form to be assembled by an amateur builder.
The Savannah can be flown by recreational pilots as a basic aircraft, or if owners are prepared to spend additional money, can be improved. Current available variants are the S and XL.
Improvement options can include (but limited too) the addition of a digital cockpit to provide the pilot with more information, communication upgrades, enhancements to the engine or undercarriage which can include the fitment of larger, more rugged tyres, as well as a variable-pitch propeller, instead of the standard fixed-type propeller. 
If obtained in kit-form to be assembled privately - an engine, propeller, VHF / UHF radio and paint are not included therefore need to be sourced to complete the aircraft.  
The Savannah is generally powered by either a 80hp or 100hp Rotax engine, although there are other engine suppliers available such as Jabiru. 
Information from the manufacturer suggests the general cruise speed of a 100hp Rotax powered Savannah complete with vortex generators (VG) to the upper-front section of the wings, designed to improve the angle-of-attack before stalling - is 90 knots, with a maximum speed of 95 knots. It is recommended for the speed to never exceed 108 knots though. Stall speed with full flaps is a very slow 26 knots, although approach speed is about 35 knots.  
The maximum range of the Savannah with standard fuel tanks is listed as approximately 355nm / 657km.  
In Australia, the importer / supplier of ICP Savannah light sport aircraft is Aerokits :