Russia Wreaks Havoc, The Ghost of Kyiv, and FAA Sees Unleaded Future

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After a long build-up and months of lies about its intentions, Russia invaded neighbor Ukraine, a move that has already created immense humanitarian damage while also closing off the airspace over the second-largest country in Europe.

Flying a Mig 29, a Ukrainian fighter pilot known as the Ghost of Kyiv shot down six Russian Aircraft on the first day of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, qualifying him as a fighter ace but, more importantly, shooting down six invading Russian aircraft in the defense of his homeland.  

Amidst the humanitarian disaster associated with the invasion, there was concern over the fate of the Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft in the world and the only one of its kind. It was thought to be at the Antonov factory airport during intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian troops. There were conflicting reports about the behemoth, with some claiming it was safe and others that it had been destroyed or was in Russian hands. At this point, there is no confirmation that it has been damaged.

Amidst the attack by Russia, the FAA banned U.S. flights from using the airspace over all of Ukraine and parts of Russia and Belarus.

At the annual General Aviation Manufacturers Association gathering in Washington, D.C., outgoing FAA Administrator Steve Dickson laid out the goal for his agency—to eliminate lead from aviation gasoline by 2030. 

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Aircraft sales rebounded in 2021 after a sluggish 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic continuing to cause widespread disruption in aviation, reported GAMA in its annual report on aircraft deliveries. 

Plane makers delivered $25.2 billion worth of new planes last year, said GAMA, a figure that is “converging on figures that were seen before the outset of the pandemic,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA.

Deliveries of piston airplanes were particularly strong, with 1,393 planes delivered, an increase of 5.5%over a surprisingly solid 2020 performance, while sales of bizjets (710 units delivered, a 10.2% gain) and turboprops (527 deliveries for a 19% jump) were particularly strong.

Strotolaunch’s Roc, one of the largest planes ever, made another flight at Mojave, California, this week, as it makes its way through the flight test regime. Roc’s latest flight focused on testing the retraction of the landing gear, which is from a Boeing 747 donor.

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EAA announced that it would celebrate 50 years of Van’s Aircraft at this year’s EAA Oshkosh AirVenture, to be held July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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