Robinson Working with FAA on R44 ‘Mast Rocking’
Robinson Helicopter CEO Kurt Robinson said his company has been working with the FAA for “some time” to address concerns about “mast rocking” on its R44 helicopters. On Tuesday, the NTSB issued five safety recommendations (A-11-82 through -86) related to this condition in the wake of several accidents/incidents recorded since 2006. “We are working with the FAA to address any concerns or recommendations the NTSB has,” Robinson told AIN. Pilots of the incident/accident aircraft reported yaw and pitch oscillations severe enough to prompt them to make emergency landings, and several of them were “hard.” The condition appears to be exacerbated by a forward c.g. that can still be within the flight envelope and is more readily entered during left banking turns of 30 degrees. Flight test reports dating back to 2006 found that certain combinations of transmission mounts and vibration isolators mitigate the problem, as did adding power during autorotation. The NTSB recommends that the FAA require Robinson to resolve the “root cause” of the mast rocking, create a database of all related incidents, insert a warning in the flight manual and incorporate recognition and mitigation of the vibrations into its pilot training program.
A one-fifth scale model of the Stratos 714 single-engine jet recently completed five days of wind-tunnel testing at the University of Washington’s Kirsten Wind Tunnel. Stratos Aircraft said the model was subjected to more than 90 runs. Engineers are still analyzing the data, but initial results show the tests verified “novel areas” of the design, including the scalloped forward fuselage. Development of the Stratos 714 continues with parallel structures and aerodynamics development programs, the company said. Stratos is still seeking investor funding, however.
The Cessna Citation CJ4 earned its stripes this week from Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, allowing deliveries to Brazilian customers to begin as planned later this year. The light twinjet gained FAA certification in March last year and approval from the EASA and the Isle of Man this year. Cessna is working to obtain CJ4 certification in Canada and South Africa by year-end.
Hawker Beechcraft established a new regional headquarters office in Beijing for the North Asia region, which covers mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The aircraft manufacturer has also increased its investment in the rapidly growing Chinese market by adding local employees and strengthening its sales and marketing network in the region. As part of this effort, HBC tapped James Wang as director of marketing and communications for this region.
Honeywell completed a $491 million deal to acquire EMS Technologies, a provider of connectivity solutions for mobile networking, mobile computers and satellite communications. Through its aviation division, EMS provides terminals, antennas, in-cabin network devices, rugged data storage and surveillance applications predominantly for use on aircraft and in other data-gathering objectives. EMS Aviation also offers satellite voice and email using the Iridium and Inmarsat networks and voice and high-speed data on Inmarsat.
Abu Dhabi Airports (Adac) launched the first exhibition dedicated to general aviation in the Middle East, which will be hosted in March at Al Bateen Executive Airport. Dubbed the Abu Dhabi Air Expo, the event is expected to showcase about a dozen aircraft and nearly 300 exhibitors. An estimated 15,000 visitors are expected to attend from the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and South Africa. Adone, the organizer and host of the Cannes Airshow, will assist Adac in organizing the Abu Dhabi Air Expo.