Taiwan’s government is expected to lift a long-standing prohibition of private aircraft ownership in the first quarter of next year. Several charter providers that already operate helicopters as permitted under existing rules have indicated, off the record, that they are now making plans to buy business jets later this year.
Aviation International News » April 2005
New York Yankees’ catcher Yogi Berra might have said “it’s déjà vu all over again,” but it was a recent Challenger 600 accident that illustrated the well known saying. Although the outcome of a March 9 incident at Tupelo Regional Airport, Miss., was less serious than the outcome of the crash of the same type of airplane at Teterboro Airport, N.J., a month earlier (AIN, March, page 8), the circumstances are eerily similar.
The FAA’s Annual Aerospace Forecast always tries to paint the most optimistic picture of the industry that the agency’s statistics will support, and this year proved to be no exception. On the airline side of the house, the agency said that the number of passengers will return to pre-2001 levels this year.
While most of NASA is reaching for the stars, the segment of the agency that conducts aeronautics research here on earth has taken a budget cut for the second consecutive year following President Bush’s initiative to expand the exploration of space.
One of the technologies that Honeywell says promises to revolutionize aircraft design is something known as “more electric architecture” (MEA). This “breakthrough” technology will replace much of today’s heavy and maintenance-intensive pneumatic and hydraulic fluid and power systems, enabling OEMs to design aircraft with lighter, simpler and more reliable “electric” systems instead of miles of tubing, pumps and valves.
A relaxed regulatory environment and increasing development in the fledgling space tourism industry may lead to opportunities for privately owned passenger-carrying space vehicles by the end of the decade, suggested government and industry officials at space-related hearings and conferences in February.
Some three-and-a-half years ago, Safe Flight Instrument of White Plains, N.Y., received supplemental type certification for its Powerline Detection System (PDS) on the company’s own Aerospatiale SA341G Gazelle. Since then the Safe Flight system has been certified and installed on Eurocopter AS 350s, EC 135s and AS 365s and Mil Mi-17s flying in Australia, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland and the U.S.
Call them what you want–very light jets (VLJs), compact jets, minijets, microjets, personal jets or even Barbie jets–they’re no longer “paper” airplanes. First deliveries of certified VLJs are less than a year away, if Eclipse Aviation adheres to its plan to begin deliveries of its Model 500 next March.
Even though noise wasn’t a factor in the accident, February’s Challenger overrun at Teterboro has inevitably resurrected local residents’ complaints about aircraft noise. It doesn’t take much, as we all know, to reinvigorate the anti-noise folks.
When a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet Management overran the runway during an aborted takeoff at Teterboro Airport in February, crossed a busy highway and crashed into a warehouse, there was a collective sigh of relief when all eight passengers and the crew emerged with non-life-threatening injuries.