An optional kit for BBJs that will provide a 6,500-foot cabin at FL410 instead of the current 8,000-foot cabin is going through the FAA approval process now and will not be available until mid-year, according to Boeing. The company announced at last year’s NBAA Convention that the kit would be available early this year.
Boeing delivered 11 BBJs last year (including two BBJ2s), five fewer than the 16 in 2001 and down three from the 14 aircraft delivered in 2000. In 1999, its first full year of deliveries, 29 BBJs were shipped. Just four of the 11 BBJs delivered last year are on the U.S. registry.
Safire Aircraft selected the Williams FJ33, derated to 1,100 pounds thrust, to power the Florida company’s S-26 very light twinjet. Safire disclosed last August it was seeking an alternate supplier to its first choice, Agilis Engines, which has never manufactured an engine of its own design but over the past several years has been a supplier of engineering services to OEMs.
When the federal government raised the terrorist threat index early last month to Code Orange, it piggybacked with it an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that blanketed the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area.
• Failure of the pilots of two light piston twins to see and avoid each other in VMC caused a midair collision that killed 11 people aboard both airplanes, concluded the NTSB in its final report of the Aug. 9, 2000 accident. The collision, which occurred over Burlington Township, N.J., involved a Patuxent Airways Piper Navajo Chieftain and a Hortman Aviation Services Piper Seminole.
• About 400 Jet Commanders, Westwinds, Astras and Astra SP/SPXs are the subject of a proposed AD aimed at preventing cockpit fires resulting from a possibly defective oxygen shutoff valve that can create overheating in the system. Aviation authorities in Israel say they have reports of two incidents of fire in the cockpit of an 1124 and 1124A when the copilot turned on the system while the aircraft was taxiing.
• The Los Angeles board of airport commissioners has authorized airport staff members to begin advertising for qualified companies to perform Part 161 noise mitigation studies for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY). The separate studies are not expected to be completed for three to five years.
• Elliott Aviation held a grand opening last month celebrating its new $6 million completion center at Quad City Airport in Moline, Ill. The 48,000-sq-ft facility offers paint, interiors, cabinetry, cabin amenities and avionics modifications for turboprops through midsize jets.
• Europe’s Joint Aviation Authorities is poised to approve single-engine IFR (SEIFR) commercial operations in turbine singles. On February 20 the JAA operations subcommittee considered what SEIFR advocates understand to be close to a final draft of the proposed rules. Subject to further fine-tuning at the next subcommittee meeting in April, approval is likely to be recommended at the next meeting of the full JAA committee in May.
• Operations on the new fifth runway at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport began on February 20. Initially, the 12,467-ft Runway 18R/36L is open only at night, but from July it is scheduled to start being used for limited daytime operations until November 1, when it becomes fully operational around the clock. The runway is configured to allow aircraft to take off and land over less densely populated surrounding areas to reduce noise affects.