Happenings of interest to pilots in Asia

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Airspace closure in Singapore and Malaysia for Exercise Bersama Shield in May

April 4, 2017 – General Aviation pilots should note the upcoming closure of Malaysia and Singapore airspace for the multi-nation Exercise Bersama Shield 17 early next month.

This is a regular defence cooperation event involving multiple countries and includes aerial manoeuvres. The exercise will be from 010001UTC TO 081100UTC May 2017, which is May 1 to 8, 2017.

Full details are in the links below from the respective national aviation authorities. Load up may be slow:

Malaysia notice

Singapore notice

Seletar airport gearing up to handle 20 times more passengers than presently

Seletar's new terminal will have more immigration counters, a bigger holding area, and an exclusive section for the more well-heeled visitors. Picture copyright Seletar Airport

Seletar’s new terminal will have more immigration counters, a bigger holding area, and an exclusive section for the more well-heeled visitors. Picture copyright Seletar Airport

October 20, 2016 – Singapore’s sleepy cousin to the bustling Changi airport is set to become another busy bee in the country’s bonnet.

Seletar aerodrome, the only airport for General Aviation flights in Singapore, will take over all scheduled turboprop flights using Changi currently, including Firefly.

To cater for them, its tiny terminal will be replaced by a two-storey building costing Singapore $50 million.

Changi Airport Group, which manages the place, said this and added that the new terminal will be able to handle 700,000 passengers a year. This is more than 26 times the current number of passengers it caters to.

It revealed this at the groundbreaking ceremony today for the new building.

New Seletar Airport Terminal

The layout of the new Seletar Airport Terminal which is expected to be ready in 2018. Photo: Seletar Airport.

Exclusive section of the Seletar Airport Terminal. Photo: Seletar Airport

The exclusive section of the new Seletar Terminal for private jets and charters with private check-ins. Photo: Seletar Airport.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force planes were on show at an Open House in Paya Lebar base

RSAF Open House 2016
May 13, 2016 – The Paya Lebar base of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) held an Open House on May 21-22, 2016.

There were static displays and aerial shows during the event.

Among the shows was a formation display of Diamond aircraft of the Singapore Youth Flying Club.

Here is more information on the show.

Whoa! How did that plane get there?


What’s that aircraft doing up on that roof in Seletar?

March 6, 2016 – If you’ve been driving around Seletar airport (WSSL) in Singapore and saw this, don’t worry, you’re not drunk, and that airplane has not crashed.

It’s the tail of a TB-9C Tampico registered in Malaysia as 9M-BIG. Some may have flown it under the 9V-BIG registration when it was with the Republic of Singapore Flying Club. The whole plane was lifted onto the roof of a new hangar as a decorative element for the entertainment area there.

The hangar is owned by WingsOverAsia, a General Aviation centre in Singapore.

FAA gives approval for new flying car tests in US airspace

terrafugia on road

Is it a car? Is it a plane? It’s the latest vision of flying car company Terrafugia. Picture copyright: Terrafugia

December 17, 2015 – The US Government has given the go-ahead to flying car company Terrafugia to perform air tests of a mini-model of its next generation air-car.

Dubbed the TF-X, the new flying car is designed as a hybrid engine, tilt-rotor vehicle. The company says it will have a range of 500 miles and fly at 200 miles per hour.

Able to seat 4 adults, it is supposed to be able to take off from a level clearing of 100 feet in diameter.

Like the ground-breaking Cirrus Design SR22 and SR20 aircraft, the TF-X will have a parachute which the driver-pilot can deploy in an emergency when he assesses that a normal landing is not possible.

The dimensions will be kept to certain limits to enable it to be parked in a normal garage. And the battery for the electric motor can be charged from a domestic socket.

No pricing has been indicated other than it is expected to be within the range of “a luxury car”.

Terrafugia TF-X on road

The Terrafugia TF-X concept car is miles away in looks from the company’s Transition flying car. Picture copyright: Terrafugia.

The production version is not expected for the next 8 to 12 years. Terrafugia is encouraging interested parties to buy its Transition car first, as this will be rolled out earlier. It says that owners of the Transition will get priority when the TF-X is sold.

The only problem with this is that the Transition looks goofy compared to the TF-X.

For more, click here.

Dubai firefighters to get jetpacks for skyscraper fires

Jetpacks for Dubai firefighters

Dubai firefighters to be the first in the world equipped with jetpacks to fight high-rise fires. Picture: Martin Aircraft Company.

November 16, 2015 – With growing numbers of towering skyscrapers in the city, Dubai has placed an order for jetpacks for its fire department.

The single-man jetpacks, manufactured by Martin Aircraft Company, can be manoeuvred by the pilot to a height of 3,000 feet. It can travel at 74 kmph and has an endurance of 45 minutes.

A statement by the New Zealand-based company quoted Dubai’s Civil Defence Director Operation, Lt Col Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, as saying: “The introduction of Martin Jetpacks into our fleet of emergency response vehicles is another example of how Dubai leads the world.”

Dubai firefighters to get jetpacks

Martin Aircraft’s jetpack allows a pilot to take off and land vertically and operate in relatively confined spaces. Picture: Martin Aircraft Company.

Dubai reportedly ordered 20 of the jetpacks but no costing was given by the parties involved. However, previous reports priced them at about US$250,000 each.

The deal was signed at the Dubai Air Show and deliveries are expected next year.

Quicksilver opts to wind up

Quicksilver planes in formation over Thailand

Editor Paul Jansen flies a Quicksilver plane in formation in Thailand. Copyright: Paul Jansen

November 2, 2015 – An airplane company, Quicksilver, whose skeletal models made owning and flying an aircraft eminently doable, has opted to dissolve.

This, despite having sold enough kits to have an estimated 15,000 of its Experimental planes up and flying.

Quicksilver models were quite popular in Asia up to a few years ago. The Temecula, California-based company confirmed the dissolution move to AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). But the owners said that while the factory will be closed, parts will continue to be offered by Air-Tech in Louisiana, which has been offering these since 1977.

The owners, Daniel Perez and Will Escutia, reportedly said they will continue to retain the intellectual property rights to the planes and may sell them some day.

Business had been declining to the point that the profits could not support the expenses, they said, hence the dissolution.

If you are in Malaysia and want to fly a Quicksilver plane – described by some fans as a go-kart with wings – you can try looking for them at Malacca airport. Unfortunately, the Nusajaya Flight Park, in Johor, Malaysia, where they were once the Belles of the Air is no longer in operation.

Wings ceremony at Nusajaya Flight Park

Home-built Quicksilver airplane kits allowed people to get a flying licence more quickly and economically. Anthony Cheong, Majid, and Domingo Molina earned their wings on one at the Nusajaya Flight Park in Johor, Malaysia. Copyright: Paul Jansen

Domingo Molina is "watered" after earning his wings.

Newly-minted aviator Domingo Molina receives a traditional welcome after passing his “wings” test on a Quicksilver airplane at the Nusajaya Flight Park in Johor, Malaysia. Copyright: Paul Jansen

Quicksilver kit plane

A Quicksilver Experimental plane flies from the Nusajaya Flight Park in Johor, Malaysia. Copyright: Paul Jansen

Home is where an actual plane is your chandelier

Luxury home with plane chandelier.

Luxury home with plane chandelier. Copyright: Marco Giacomozzi/MGI Design, Inc

October 19, 2015 – A developer is restoring a vintage plane which is going to be hung from the ceiling of a luxury home he is building in Malibu, California, The Wall Street Journal reported.

There will be ample space to display it as the living room will be 120-feet long.

Mr Scott Gillen, who is both the developer and architect, said he has already bought the plane and is now restoring it. “It’s really killer,” he is reported as saying in The Wall Street Journal. The Journal did not mention the make and model of the plane.

The two-storey house will be 10,300 square feet and come with a guest house, sitting on a 2.5 acre site.

This unusual property, slated for completion in 2016, has a price tag of US$60 million.

There are homes where you can taxi your plane to a hangar adjoining your house, but this house takes bragging rights to a new level.

Luxury home with plane chandelier.

Luxury home with plane chandelier. Copyright: Marco Giacomozzi/MGI Design, Inc

Luxury home with plane chandelier.

Luxury home with plane chandelier. Copyright: Marco Giacomozzi/MGI Design, Inc

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One Response to Happenings of interest to pilots in Asia

  1. Terrence chaw says:

    Ubin island can be a haven for pilots if developed into an airfield like the one at Nusajaya. Food for thought.

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