Changes to the Dassault Falcon 7X, now in flight test, could increase its IFR range to as much as 6,000 nm at Mach 0.80, Dassault Aviation said at the NBAA Convention last month. The current guaranteed range of the 7X is 5,700 nm, but the French manufacturer is currently evaluating several range-boosting enhancements. Among the enhancements being considered are Dassault-designed winglets, which would be a first for Falcons.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Following a nearly 20-year development program marked by financial and management challenges, technical issues and a fatal crash in 2003, San Antonio-based Sino Swearingen on October 27 received FAR Part 23 type certification for the SJ30-2. Receiving production certification will be the next milestone for the company.
An insolvency administrator has signed a letter of intent with Germany’s RUAG Aerospace Services to take over from bankrupt AvCraft the Dornier 328 type certificate and product support. While production of the Do-328 regional jet and the Envoy executive version ceased several months ago, 140 employees remain at AvCraft, also in Germany, to provide customer support and aircraft maintenance.
On November 28, a Flight Options Beechjet 400A experienced a double engine flameout at FL380 while on a positioning flight. The NTSB said the crew made two unsuccessful restart attempts before declaring an emergency and deadsticking the airplane safely to Jacksonville International Airport, Fla.
Business aviation interests have been victorious in their battles over the years to prevent the creation of general aviation user fees to replace the current fuel tax to pay for their share of ATC services. But at last month’s NBAA Convention business aviation trade group leaders warned that this time the battle is different and could be the toughest yet.
While the business aviation industry remains healthy and forecasts predict continued growth, the established OEMs announced only incremental product upgrades at the NBAA Convention last month. In all, manufacturers unveiled six derivative business airplanes: the Airbus A318 Elite; Bombardier Challenger 605 and Learjet 60XR; Cessna Encore+; Dassault Falcon 2000DX; and Raytheon Hawker 850XP.
Start-up Spectrum Aeronautical of Encinitas, Calif., joined the crowded very light jet segment last month when it unveiled a nine-seat, $3.65 million all-composite VLJ at the NBAA Convention. Managing director Linden Blue (known to many as the father of the Beech Starship) bills the 7,300-pound-mtow Spectrum 33–powered by a pair of Williams International FJ33 engines–as a “full-size airplane at half the weight.”
Arinc plans to eliminate guesswork from the aircraft weight-and-balance equation. The Annapolis, Md.-based transportation communications and systems engineering specialist has received a patent for new weight-and-balance technology that it says will precisely, unobtrusively and automatically weigh passengers and their carry-on items before boarding.
The flight-test program of the Grob Aerospace G180 SPn Utility Jet is progressing well, officials at the German manufacturer said last month at a briefing at the Grob headquarters near Munich. Attendees could also see the prototype fly. The SPn was unveiled at the Paris Air Show this summer.
ABC Taxi Aéreo, the executive jet service controlled by Brazilian industrial conglomerate Algar, recently acquired Belo Horizonte-based jet maintenance company Alfa Manutenção de Aeronaves. With the acquisition, ABC will expand its maintenance operations beyond turboprops and into jets. ABC expects to have 25 percent of the turboprop maintenance market and 25 percent of the jet maintenance market share by year-end.