The first “A” in NASA stands for “aeronautics,” a fact often overlooked in day-to-day discussions of and references to what most people regard solely as the “space” agency.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
As every pilot and mechanic knows, high temperatures are the bane of any engine. But as engineers strive to design smaller, more powerful turbine engines by adding compressor stages, the compression ratio goes up and so does the temperature of the ram air. At a compression ratio of about 20 to 25, ram-air cooling becomes inefficient. The solution, researchers believe, lies with cooling the air before it goes into the combustor.
A new control surface could reduce induced drag on commercial and business aircraft by up to 14 percent, resulting in fuel savings of more than $400 million per year across the entire U.S. air transport fleet. So claims Utah State University aeronautical engineering professor Warren Phillips, who recently introduced the devices, which he calls “twisterons.”
The February 2006 Asian Aerospace show at Singapore’s Changi Airport will be the last event in its current format, following a sudden split between the Singapore government and show organizer Reed Exhibitions. Singapore authorities have decided to run their own biennial air show starting February 2008. UK-based Reed is now considering alternative venues outside Singapore to stage future Asian Aerospace events.
At Airshow China2004–held from November 1 to 6 in Zhuhai, Guangdong–Russian and Chinese helicopter manufacturers revealed new medium-weight helicopter projects. For the first time, Mil exhibited a model of the Mi-54, and AVIC II revealed details about the medium utility helicopter it is studying.
At the NBAA Convention in October, Flight Explorer announced the launch of version 5.0 of its aircraft tracking software. The upgrade is available from the Alexandria, Va.-based company at no cost to existing subscribers to Flight Explorer Professional. The cost to new subscribers remains at $250 a month for a one-year contract for the basic system.
Important new features of Flight Explorer version 5.0 include:
British company Avcen has designed an innovative ducted-fan twinjet, called the Jetpod, that it claims will cruise at 300 knots yet take off and land in slightly more than 400 feet. The owners are currently looking for investors to help them to move the project off the drawing board and into proof-of-concept flight trials.
Expeditors International of Washington has teamed with Bombardier Aerospace to establish super warehouses with Caterpillar Logistic Services as part of a sustained program to improve Bombardier’s parts availability, tracking and shipping operations.
Raytheon Aircraft’s Hawker Vision 2003, a program to completely revamp the production line for the Hawker 800XP, won the Kansas Team Quality award and will be one of two teams representing Kansas at the national competition in Seattle in May. The team reduced the Hawker production line from 12 to seven stations, cut cycle time from 60 days to 40 days and achieved a $19 million inventory reduction.
An international technical consortium has completed trials on a new head-up display (HUD) that allows helicopter pilots to view the display through night-vision goggles (NVGs) and allows “virtually unlimited” head movement.