Eclipse Aerospace launched production of the Model 550 twin-engine very light jet on Friday in conjunction with its first international Eclipse dealer and sales conference, which was attended by dealers from more than 30 countries. During the meeting at Eclipse’s Albuquerque, N.M. headquarters, technicians mated the forward keel to the fuselage of 550 Serial Number 1001, which will be delivered to a customer next year.
AINalerts » June 5, 2012
Demand for charter flights this month is poised to increase encouragingly, in what aircraft charter operators hope will translate into a prosperous summer season. According to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode, the forward-looking demand index reached 199.45 on Friday, almost 76 points above the beginning of last month and nearly 50 points above where it had been a year ago.
Aerion announced a collaborative effort yesterday with NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to mature the space agency’s new supersonic inlet (Supin) computer code. The software has been developed to perform aerodynamic design and analysis on engine inlets for future high-speed aircraft, such as Aerion’s proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ).
JetTech Aerospace delivered its first BBJ green completion in February and shut its doors not long after. According to the company’s former v-p of completions, Colt Mehler, a stagnant economy was the reason the Spokane, Wash.-based completion and refurbishment center went out of business.
“We had just delivered a great [BBJ] and the owners were happy with it, but there was little follow-on business,” Mehler explained, “and the risk-versus-reward was no longer appealing.”
Thirteen aviation groups, including NBAA and GAMA, are firmly supporting continued research by the Department of Defense on the use of biofuels after the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to strip funding for those efforts. By a 13-12 vote last month, Senate committee members are blocking Defense participation in programs to construct biofuel refineries and have prohibited the Pentagon from purchasing renewable biofuels that are more expensive than regular jet fuel.
A super-midsize Gulfstream G280 recently set an unconfirmed city-pair speed record from Paris to White Plains, N.Y., making the flight in 7 hours 40 minutes. The G280, which is expected to be certified in the third quarter, took off from Paris Le Bourget Airport on May 17 and flew nonstop to Westchester County Airport in White Plains at an average speed of Mach 0.80 against an average 32-knot headwind. Piloting the G280 were Gulfstream mid-cabin chief pilot Brett Rundle, mid-cabin senior international captain Chip Leonard and senior production test pilot Butch Allen.
Amyris’s jet biofuel, which is sourced from Brazilian sugar cane, has passed all required testing and will be used during a demonstration flight this month on an Azul Airlines GE CF34-10E-powered Embraer E195. The flight will take place in Brazil on June 19 during the Rio+20 United Nations conference on sustainable development.
Argus Prism released what it claims is the first-ever flight-risk analysis tool (Frat) app for the iPad. The free app is intended to be integrated with a comprehensive safety management system (SMS). With the app, operators can access specifically designed flight-risk analysis report forms, allowing them to record risk factors, submit the Frat report and activate any required notifications for excess risk.
Bombardier Flexjet is taking its rebranding efforts to the next step with the addition of Christopher Bero as the company’s new director of marketing. He joins Flexjet with more than 15 years of experience in brand marketing and communications. Most recently, Bero was responsible for managing strategic marketing activities and media initiatives at Samsung Mobile Electronics.
Flight Options chairman Kenneth Ricci received the William A. Ong Memorial Award from the National Air Transportation Association. Presented annually since 1984, the Ong Memorial Award is given for “extraordinary achievement and extended meritorious service to the general aviation industry.” Ricci, who has spent more than three decades developing various services in the business aviation industry, is the youngest person ever to receive this lifetime achievement award.