The Beechcraft King Air turboprop fleet has surpassed 60 million flight hours, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. More than 7,000 King Airs are currently flying in 127 countries around the world, including all branches of the U.S. military. “We greatly value the global experience of our customers and use it to drive major and minor product improvements in the King Air line,” said company executive vice president of sales and marketing Shawn Vick.
Bell Helicopter has named Sameer Rehman director of international trade support for commercial sales and marketing. He was previously managing director for the Textron subsidiary’s commercial business in Asia Pacific. To succeed him, Bell promoted C.M. Hwang, formerly commercial business development manager for Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Singapore.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will roll out six new undergraduate and graduate degree programs over the next 18 months. Among the undergraduate offerings are aviation security, commercial space operations and global business, while the new master’s programs include aviation finance, engineering management and unmanned autonomous systems engineering. The programs will be split among the school’s Florida, Arizona and worldwide campus network.
On March 26 an NBAA and NATA working group met with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials to discuss the Federal Excise Tax (FET) issue. IRS auditors are applying the FET to management fees and expenses paid by Part 91 (non-commercial) operators to management companies.
In the first quarter of this year, seven people died in two fatal accidents involving U.S.-registered private business jets compared with 14 fatalities in three private business jet accidents in the first quarter of last year, according to preliminary data gathered by AIN. The two fatal U.S. business jet accidents in the first quarter involved privately operated Beechcraft Premiers.
Aircraft charter demand in North America and Europe is up significantly this month from both a year and a month ago, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode.
J.P. Morgan Aerospace & Defense’s April Business Jet Monthly report sees “little evidence that new jet demand is gathering momentum” and “we are not expecting a particularly strong Q1.”
Factors contributing to the lack of demand include elevated inventory of younger jets, prices of used jets still declining and flight ops that are “barely growing in the U.S. and shrinking in Europe.”
Eurocopter says it has made significant progress in solving the main gearbox issue that has blighted the EC225 medium twin since last May, reporting that a third test campaign at its headquarters in Marignane, France “is establishing” the cause of crack initiation.
Eurocopter attributes the issue to “a combination of factors” leading to a degradation of the vertical shaft’s fatigue resistance. The helicopter manufacturer has excluded any “abnormal dynamic overload.” Failure of the bevel gear shaft causes a loss of lubrication.
Embraer’s first Phenom 300 twinjet manufactured in the U.S. and delivered to a buyer left the company’s Melbourne, Fla. facility on March 29. The identity of the jet’s buyer was not disclosed. “This is a major milestone for Embraer Executive Jets and proves the maturity of our assembly facilities,” said Phil Krull, managing director of Melbourne assembly for Embraer Executive Jets. “We have quickened the manufacturing pace and will be able to accommodate a more demanding schedule.”
Hilton Software’s WingX Pro7 iPad app can now share flight plans between devices without an Internet connection. The FlightShare function allows any device running WingX Pro7 to send a flight plan and other information to another device on the same network, but now the sharing can be done via portable ADS-B receivers and AHRS devices. WingX Pro7 is now compatible with the iLevil ADS-B receiver/AHRS device, the Zaon MX1090 ADS-B traffic receiver, Sagetech’s Clarity ADS-B receivers and AHRS devices and Skyguard’s TWX ADS-B receivers.