GE Aviation has revised flight-testing plans for the Passport engine, chosen by Bombardier to power its ultra-long-range Global 7000 and 8000. The engine manufacturer initially planned to begin flight-testing the first development engine on its newly acquired 747-400 flying testbed (FTB) from facilities in Victorville, Calif., in July or August. Now the plan calls for the engine to fly on GE’s 747-100 FTB later this year or early next year.
AINalerts » September 4, 2014
The “persistent and recently escalating” Ukraine crisis continued to hamper business aviation flight activity in Europe last month, according to data released today by WingX Advance, a business aviation research and consulting firm based in Hamburg, Germany. There were 61,831 business aircraft departures in Europe last month, down 3 percent (1,974 flights) from a year ago–the largest drop so far in 2014, the company said. Year-to-date, the market is 1 percent below last year’s trend and is 21 percent off the pre-2009 peak in European flight activity.
Month-over-month, projected demand for charter flights over the next 30 days is set to dip across all aircraft categories, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. However, on both sides of the Atlantic and for all aircraft categories, demand levels were ahead of where they stood a year ago, with higher increases seen in North America.
Gulfstream Aerospace promoted Leda Chong to senior vice president for Asia-Pacific yesterday, a position where she will be responsible for business development, strategic planning and government relations within the Asia-Pacific region for both Gulfstream and the aerospace business group at parent company General Dynamics. Chong, who is based in Beijing, has also joined Gulfstream’s leadership team and now reports directly to Gulfstream president Larry Flynn.
China-based Avicopter flew a new version of the AC311 light single, the AC311A, with a Turbomeca engine and Chinese avionics on August 14. The 10-minute maiden sortie took place in Jingdezhen, the home city of partner Changhe Aircraft.
The use of domestic avionics steers Avicopter clear of foreign export restrictions, the company said. AIN understands that the same applies to the engine, as France-based Turbomeca and Avicopter have long-established ties. The Arriel 2B1A powers the helicopter in lieu of the AC311’s Honeywell LTS101-700D-2, a U.S. product.
The super-midsize Bombardier Challenger 350 received full type certification from the EASA on Tuesday, following similar approvals from Transport Canada and the U.S. FAA in June. “Our Challenger 350 successfully entered into service this past June and made its European debut at the Farnborough airshow in July.
GAMA welcomed the European Parliament Transport & Tourism Committee’s vote yesterday to oppose “damaging resource cuts” to the EASA that could have affected the agency’s ability to certify new aviation products. “The agency’s ability to deal with new certification and validation requests in a timely manner is vital. This ensures that newer, safer products…reach the market without unnecessary delays,” GAMA said.
NTSB acting chairman Christopher Hart will speak at the October 21 opening general session at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, which will be held in Orlando, Fla. “We are excited to hear his thoughts and perspectives on safety issues affecting our industry,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. Hart was sworn in as a member of the NTSB in August 2009 and has served as acting NTSB chairman since April 26.
Rockwell Collins has expanded its Pro Line Fusion avionics upgrade to include Pro Line II-equipped King Air 350s. The retrofit delivers a NextGen-capable avionics system with three interchangeable 14-inch touchscreen flight displays, the company said. Capabilities include synthetic vision; geo-referenced e-charts with own-ship position display; touch-interactive graphical maps; and localizer performance with vertical navigation approach capability. Rockwell Collins is collaborating with Landmark Aviation to STC the upgrade in the first half of next year.
Air BP is acquiring aviation fuel business Statoil Fuel & Retail Aviation (SFR Aviation) from Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, the company announced yesterday. The deal will add some 73 new airports in the Nordic countries and Northern Europe to Air BP’s global fuel network of more than 600 locations. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close by year-end. On completion, around 59 SFR Aviation employees, currently based in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, are also expected to join Air BP.