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Unexpectedly free for a few hours during my visit, I borrowed my brother’s car and wheeled over to what had been a familiar, nearby place. What I found was unrecognizable. Where once were wide open spaces, now stand a series of office buildings, a sprawling hotel, colleges with stadiums, a county park, and even a 17,000-seat coliseum. Ah, progress.
Cirrus Aircraft says its Vision SF50 personal jet should earn type certification by year-end and deliveries 4-7 seat aircraft will begin shortly thereafter. Although several single-engine turbofan models have been proposed and some prototypes flown over the years, the SF50 will become the first to actually reach production. In late August, the FAA issued a Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) for the aircraft.
An upgrade to its new Rockwell Collins PlaneView280TM software, has resulted in slower approach speeds, shorter landing distances and enhanced flight management system performance for the Gulfstream G280. “The G280 was already a top-performing aircraft in its class,” said Dan Nale, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “With this upgrade, the aircraft’s performance is even better.
The FAA is launching a beta version of a new smartphone application designed for use by UAV users. The application, called B4UFly, is aimed at model aircraft users and is designed to give them information about restrictions and requirements in effect at their current or planned flight location.
The AW609 tiltrotor aircraft being developed by Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland showed off its speed capability recently. On Sept. 15 the manufacturer reported the aircraft has flown from Yeovil in southwest England to its facility outside Milan, Italy — a distance of 627 nm (1161 km) — in 2 hr. and 18 min. The flight started with a vertical takeoff from Yeovil, then climbed to its en route cruising altitude of 25,000 ft.
Mubadala Development Company, an investment vehicle wholly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, has purchased the minority (1.95%) share in Piaggio Aerospace formerly held by Piero Ferrari. The Italian planemaker is now its 100% controlled by Mubadala. Carlo Logli, Piaggio’s CEO, said, move “represents a tangible sign of Mubadala’s steadfast commitment in our company and trust in our new technologies, programs and products.” Mubadala has been a shareholder in Piaggio Aero since 2006.
The business jet market is expected to reach nearly $21.07 billion this year, according to London-based Visiongain. Demand for business jets is growing because of a strengthening global economy and a rise in high net worth individuals. Several major business jet manufacturers offer a diverse portfolio of aircraft types with a broad range of performance and flight mission capabilities, Visiongain said.
John Tucker, a founder of Midcoast Aviation and one-time president of Butler Aviation, died Aug. 30. He was 82. A former U.S. Marine Corps aviator and St. Louis native, Tucker helped launch Midcoast in 1971 and served as its president and CEO for the next 20 years. Under his direction, the FBO and airport terminal service provider grew from 17 employees to 1700. He also served on the board of the National Air Transportation Association and received numerous awards from the aviation community. He was also a leader within the St. Louis business community.
The number of used business jets in North America fell in July when compared to the same time a year ago, while business turboprop sales increased. Outside North America, the sale of used business jets declined in July, while turboprop sales remained flat, according to data compiled by JetNet. Sales of used business jets totaled 179 in North America in July, compared to 193 in July 2014. The sale of light and medium-size business jets fell during the month, although sales of heavy jets increased.
Gulfstream Aerospace has opened a new paint facility at its sprawling site in Savannah, Georgia, to support in-service aircraft. The 88,000-sq.-ft. building includes more than 72,000 sq. ft. of hangar space, offices, back shops and storage areas. “Demand for new Gulfstream aircraft is strong and so is the demand for enhancing aircraft already in service,” said Joe Rivera, Gulfstream Savannah Service Center vice president and general manager.
Rockwell Collins is introduced its Pro Line Fusion for commercial rotary wing platforms at the China Helicopter Exposition in September. The avionics system has been selected for 20 aircraft, including business jet, air transport, tiltrotor and military flight decks. It has also been flight tested as a UAV ground station.
Astronics Corp. has introduced a Max-Viz enhanced vision system specifically for experimental and homebuilt aircraft, which often operate from unimproved airstrips with wildlife and other obstacles. The system is priced at $6,000. The uncertified Max-Viz X1 complements synthetic vision systems and allows pilots to see temporary obstructions, such as wildlife and construction barriers not in the SVS database.
Apex Aviation, an FAA-approved repair station in Las Vegas, is the new owner of Kings Avionics, based at Henderson Executive Airport near Las Vegas. Kings Avionics is a factory-authorized warranty and repair facility, with dealerships that include Avidyne, Mid Continent, Aspen Avionics and Sandia Aerospace. Several others are in the works, the company said.
Authorities in Italy have performed fact-finding flights with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in nonsegregated airspace using civil procedures. The Mediterranean ATM Live Exercise (MedALE) trials — involving air traffic controllers from Italian air navigation service provider ENAV — follow up on the European Defense Agency’s Midcas (Mid-Air Collision Avoidance System) program. The MedALE trials saw the use of an Alenia Aermacchi Sky-Y remotely piloted air vehicle flying in nonsegregated airspace from Italy’s Grazzanise air base.
RIGA Business Aviation Center opened its new fixed base operation at Riga International Airport in Latvia Sept. 8, it said, which allows the FBO to handle 35% more aircraft. The company provides ground handling services for business aircraft, passengers and crews, with plans to expand its services and add maintenance, repair and overhaul services for business jets. That will contribute to the growth of the number of aircraft it handles. Its hangar is able to hold 12 to 14 business aircraft of all types, it said.
Textron Aviation’s eastern U.S. service facilities have received FAA certifications to expand their capabilities to provide service and support for Beechcraft King Air, Cessna Citation and Hawker customers. Under the certifications, centers in Newburgh, New York, and Greensboro, North Carolina, are authorized to service King Air 90-, 200- and 300-series aircraft and Hawker 125-series jets.
Sales of Jet A fuel have mostly increased or remained flat during the first half of this year, a new Mid-Year Fuel Sales Survey shows. Respondents were asked to compare sales of Jet A fuel for the first six months of 2015 to the same period in 2014.
ABS Jets has received approval from Embraer and the Czech Republic to perform base maintenance on Embraer’s Phenom 300. With the approval, ABS Jets can maintain all types of Embraer Phenom aircraft. ABS Jets is based in Prague and Bratislava, Slovakia.
Wire strikes by helicopters happen often, and too frequently result in fatalities. The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team found that approximately 16% of all rotary-wing accidents involve wire or obstacle strikes. Meanwhile, an FAA study of wire-strike accidents between 1994 and 2004 found 41 of 124 of those involving civil helicopters were fatal.
Aerial markers are used to highlight structures and wires when it is impractical to make them conspicuous by some other means and rely on the pilot’s ability to spot them during flight. According to FAA Advisory Circular 70/7460-1K “Obstruction Marking and Lighting,” markers should be recognizable in clear air from a distance of at least 4,000 ft. and in all directions from which aircraft are likely to approach.
During this year’s HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida, I got the chance to fly in a Bell 206 JetRanger equipped with Safe Flight Instrument Corp.’s Powerline Detection System (PDS), which senses the electromagnetic fields surrounding power lines.
Given sufficient forward speed, a power transmission cable will easily slice through a helicopter’s windshield. So, should a pilot fail to spot a wire ahead, Magellan Aerospace’s Wire-Strike Protection System (WSPS) can be the final line of defense for the impact that follows. A typical installation consists of a roof-mounted cutter and one or more cutters mounted on the helicopter’s fuselage. A deflector running vertically along the middle of the windshield guides the cables into the high-tensile-steel cutting blades.
You’re much less likely to become an accident statistic if you view mixed-use general aviation airports as potentially high-risk operating environments, craft specific steps to mitigate those risks and execute your escape plan without delay.
Early aircraft composites were relatively thick and primary structures were much larger than their metal counterparts. With the introduction of exotic materials like boron, carbon fiber and better layup process, the material got thinner but also more dependent on both process control and post-forming inspection. The ability to detect voids is essential, but there is still no way to detect residual strength in the bond without testing it to destruction.
Believing aircraft instruments when they are at odds with our bodily sensations is difficult. After all, the brain is taking in thousands of inputs a second from the body’s sensors, but information from the aircraft instruments only enters the computations when we attend to them.
Three interior packages are available for the Kodiak. The standard Tundra Interior configuration includes nonslip floor coverings, durable composite side panels, sidewall cargo net tie-down points, and two pilot and four passenger chairs. There are eight passenger headset jacks, passenger service units and reading lights, plus a full ventilation and heating system. A two-place, crew-only oxygen system is included.
In the entry-level super-midsize category, is the Legacy 450 better value than the Citation Latitude? Digging deeper into design details, performance numbers and everyday capabilities can provide some answers.
The Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 are the launch platforms for Rockwell Collins’ new HGS-3500 compact head-up guidance system and uncooled, tri-spectral EVS-3000 enhanced vision sensor. Embraer and Rockwell Collins are pursuing Enhanced Flight Vision System certification for the combined HGS/EVS system that will enable operators to fly down to 100 ft. AGL/1,600 ft. RVR minimums on low-visibility instrument approaches.
These graphs are designed to illustrate the performance of the Embraer Legacy 450 under a variety of range, payload, speed and density altitude conditions. Do not use these data for flight planning purposes because they are gross approximations of actual aircraft performance.
Well proven over the last 12 years in service aboard business aircraft, the HTF7500E is a twin-spool, medium-bypass-ratio turbofan. Up front, there’s a single-stage, wide-chord, damperless fan, driven by an uncooled and shrouded three-stage low-pressure turbine. Aft of the fan, air is routed to the compressor through an inertial separator that causes most FOD to pass out the bypass duct rather than be ingested by the engine. The compressor consists of four axial compressor stages, with two variable geometry stator stages, and a single centrifugal compressor.
Four, 15.1-in. landscape configuration displays, arranged in a T configuration, dominate the instrument panel and center console. Each display may be divided into multiple windows to support multitasking. Synthetic vision is standard for the PFDs.
Designers attempt to give exceptional capabilities in all areas, including price, but the laws of physics, thermodynamics and aerodynamics do not allow one aircraft to do all missions with equal efficiency. Trade offs are a reality of aircraft design.
Mention the name Russ Meyer, Jr. and you’ll think of the Cessna chairman and CEO most responsible for the success of the Citation family of fanjets. Yet, it was he, along with his predecessor Dwayne Wallace who originated the concept for clean-sheet, single-engine Caravan, the company’s quietly successful and enduring utility turboprop.
Aerion Corporation, Reno, Nevada, appointed Sean McGeough as regional vice president for the Northeast U.S. Airbus Helicopters, Marignane, France, announced that Guillaume Steuer is head of External Communications reporting to vice president of Corporate Communications Yves Barille. Banyan Air Service, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, named Andy Joran as sales manager for HondaJet Southeast responsible for an eight-state territory.
Jack Piehl, a trail blazer in aviation safety, died June 2, 2015 at the age of 80 after a brief illness. He had a lifelong career in aviation, which spanned both flight and maintenance. His first job was with Eastern Airlines followed by positions with several corporate flight departments until he joined Shell Oil Company in Houston, Texas. At Shell he began as pilot and later took on additional responsibilities including that of overseeing the qualifications and operations of Shell’s Gulf of Mexico charter operators.
Originally, NBAA was started by a group of 13 corporations for self-protection. Today it has grown to 398 regular members and 185 associate members and accounts for four-fifths of GA’s heavy and medium multi-engine aircraft.