As engineers design more structural components using composite materials, the resin transfer molding (RTM) process is seeing increased use in business jets. Bombardier’s Belfast facility is employing RTM to build Learjet 85 wings, and Gulfstream vendor North Coast Composites of Cleveland, Ohio, is using RTM to make G250 rudders.
Aviation International News » April 2011
Following approval by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, privately owned London Oxford Airport announced that it has achieved a 21-percent increase in its usable runway distance. Licensed takeoff distances are now 5,223 and 5,112 feet, respectively. The announcement came after the airport initiated an extensive program to remove obstacles and protect the safety surfaces on the runway approaches and sides.
As we zip over Orlando’s I-4 at 500 feet agl, Bell Helicopter test pilot Randall Parent discusses the helicopter terrain alerting and warning system (HTaws) and the optional helicopter traffic collision avoidance systems (HTcas), which are part of the new Garmin G1000H panel inside the new Bell 407GX. Bell unveiled the helicopter at this year’s Heli-Expo.
The Embraer Legacy 650 obtained FAA approval in late February. Brazil’s ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency) and the EASA granted their certifications for the super-midsize jet in October. The Legacy 650 is an extended-range derivative–3,900 nm, to be exact–of the Legacy 600. Two Legacy 650s were delivered to customers in the fourth quarter last year.
Lufthansa Private Jets confirmed the relaunch of its partnership with NetJets Europe, following the closure of its Swiss Private Aviation subsidiary. The German airline has also announced plans to expand its executive charter service into Middle Eastern and U.S. markets later this year. Under the new arrangement, Lufthansa passengers will be able to book flights in NetJets aircraft with as little as 10 hours’ notice.
Investigators suspect a faulty airspeed indication as a possible cause of the crash of an Antonov An-148 in western Russia on March 5, killing all six people aboard, Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency reported. The investigation team has theorized that the pilots, misled by the faulty airspeed indication, inadvertently exceeded the aircraft’s speed limit, resulting in excessive loads on the airframe.
BP has sold its share in Epic Aviation to Dallas-based aviation fuel services provider Downstream Aviation. Epic, which operates as Air BP Aviation Services, supports the fuel and business needs of the approximately 400 branded FBOs in the Air BP network. BP and Downstream have entered into an exclusive brand and supply agreement whereby Epic will continue to provide general aviation fuels under the Air BP brand in the U.S. and Canada.
Gulfstream Aerospace opened an in-flight support center, the centerpiece of which is three FlightSafety International-built flight-deck simulators that can mirror what is happening in flight. The tools available in the center will help GulfstreamÕs technical operations department–which runs a 24/7 call center with more than 40 technical and system specialists–troubleshoot in-flight situations faster.
Dassault has ceased production of its Falcon 2000DX and Falcon 900DX, CEO Charles Edelstenne revealed at the company’s annual press conference on March 17. Another company official explained to AIN that the small market for the airplanes–only a handful are produced each year–did not justify their continued production. The DX letters designated shorter-range versions of the Falcon 2000 and 900, offered at a hoped-for attractive price.
Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) Calvin Scovel III told Congress that technical problems continue to plague the en route automation modernization (Eram) project. This nationwide upper-airspace flight data and management system is necessary for full National Airspace System introduction of ADS-B, DataComm and system-wide information management (Swim).