Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg recently spent their first 25 hours at the controls of a flight simulator that replicates the cockpit in the first Solar Impulse prototype HB-SIA. Piccard flew the prototype from Tuesday, May 13 at 7:27 a.m. to Wednesday, May 14 at 8:43 a.m., and Borschberg from Thursday, May 15 at 7:20 a.m. to Friday, May 16 at 8:38 a.m.
General Aviation » General Aviation Aircraft
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft).
Eclipse Aviation introduced an in-house mandatory training program for customers of its Eclipse 500 very light twinjet, which includes pilot qualification and supplemental training by the University of North Dakota’s aerospace department. Jet-transition and type-rating courses will be provided free of charge with each Eclipse 500 purchased. A mandatory type-training admission evaluation, conducted by UND, will cost between $500 and $750.
Viking Air’s relaunch of the fabled Twin Otter is progressing on schedule, and the first modified airplane incorporating all the planned new features of the production airplane should fly in the fourth quarter. Delivery of the first newly manufactured and recertified Twin Otter to Swiss customer Zimex Aviation is planned for next year’s first quarter.
Quest Aircraft recently delivered the second Kodiak turboprop single to come off the production line to Spokane Turbine Center. The new owner will offer flight andmaintenance training for the Kodiak, as well as for the airplane’s Garmin G1000 avionics and Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engine, for the mission aviation community, aviation students and humanitarian organizations.
Demand for aircraft in the Asia Pacific region has become increasingly diverse, to the delight of Cessna senior vice president of sales and marketing Roger Whyte.
The Britten-Norman Group (B-N) (Stand No. K72) has sold to Aero-Tropics Air Services, the flight-operations division of Australia’s Lip-Air, the first of six BN2B-20 Islanders it bought back from Adelaide-based Surveillance Australia to meet demand for good used aircraft. The remaining five units will be available from next month.
Cessna Aircraft has received new orders for 26 single-engine aircraft from companies in the Asia Pacific region.
Susi Air of Indonesia placed an order for six Model 208B Grand Caravan turboprops, one of which sits on the static display line here this week.
The diesel-powered Diamond DA42 TwinStar made its first flight on December 9 from the factory at Wiener Neustadt, Austria. TwinStar’s Thielert Centurion 1.7 engines rated at 135 hp each are designed to operate on both diesel fuel and jet-A1. The composite-construction four-seat aircraft has a single-lever power control for each engine, fuel consumption of 67 pph at 180 kt and an option for an all-glass cockpit.
Mesa Air Group has cut salaries among its senior management by 23 percent; the company will credit the proceeds to US Airways in support of the major airline’s restructuring efforts. Mesa has also asked its US Airways Express employees to voluntarily agree to defer up to 23 percent of their salaries. US Airways has agreed to repay all the deferrals upon its emergence from bankruptcy protection.
In the past, turboprop singles used for business flying typically did not offer the speed, load capability or systems redundancy of turboprop twins, though singles have amassed a comparable safety record. But the differences between them are disappearing with the advent of new breed of turboprop singles destined to enter the market in the next two or three years.