The FAA last month issued three separate airworthiness alerts on the TBM 700 turboprop single. The alerts, which do not carry the force of ADs, but are “highly recommended” by the FAA, deal with a faulty GPU plug that could damage the power supply cable; possible interference between the pitot-tube supply line and the aileron cable; and corrosion-caused cracks in the attachment fittings of the tail fin.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
The Gulfstream 500 received FAA type certification last month, and customer deliveries of the business jet are scheduled to start early this year. The G500, one of the eight Gulfstreams in the current model line, is a less expensive (approximately $37.5 million), shorter-range (5,800 nm nonstop) and less option-laden version of the $45-plus-million G550.
Stage III Technologies, which has been developing a Stage 3 hush kit for Gulfstream IIs and IIIs for more than five years, has received an STC for the Gulfstream IISP (the GII special performance model equipped with winglets). The La Jolla, Calif. company expects by May 1 to have STCs for the entire GII and GIII series. The Stage III system has no moving parts and adds no more than 20 pounds to the aircraft empty weight.
Dassault reports that its engineers in France have completed bench testing and software loads of the fly-by-wire flight control system in the Falcon 7X. First flight of the airplane, the first purpose-built business jet with fly-by-wire controls, is expected by the end of March, according to Dassault, which plans to fly the real thing to the Paris Air Show in June.
According to Aviation Technology Group, the assembly of its Javelin demonstrator prototype is progressing rapidly at Soloy’s facilities in Olympia, Wash. The test aircraft is currently being fitted with systems, in preparation for first flight early this year (a delay of one quarter from original estimates). Before Thanksgiving, the company completed structural testing on the prototype’s wings.
American Utilicraft last month said it will spin off Utilicraft Aerospace Industries, a newly formed Nevada corporation, as part of an agreement with The Navajo Nation, which is investing $34 million in exchange for a 25-percent stake in the new company. The funds will be used for Phase I FAA certification for the FF-1080-300 freight feeder.
As the Eclipse 500 was being rolled out last month, the Citation Mustang very light jet was fast taking form at Cessna’s Pawnee facility in Wichita. At press time, workers had already assembled forward and aft cabin sections, and the Mustang’s wings were being assembled.
Bill Lear possessed the soul of a true inventor. Almost entirely a self-taught engineer, Lear dropped out of high school in a search for answers to many of life’s problems as he saw them. The results were products many people take for granted, even today…the car radio he eventually sold to the budding Motorola, the eight-track tape player and the first commercially successful aircraft autopilot. Not bad for a kid with no formal education.
Calvin Burgess is a man who likes Learjets…always has and always will, to hear him tell the story.
Honda’s “research project” light jet now has its first logbook entry. The six-passenger HondaJet (its now-official provisional name) broke ground for the first time on December 3 from Honda’s purpose-built research facility at Piedmont Triad Regional Airport (GSO), Greensboro, N.C., on the leasehold of FBO and mod specialist Atlantic Aero.