Embraer appears ever more bullish on the prospects for its products in China, judging by its most recent market forecast for the country. Released during November’s Airshow China international aerospace exhibition held in Shanghai, the forecast predicts that the number of aircraft holding between 30 and 120 passenger seats will grow more than eight-fold, from 125 today to 1,005 in 2031.
Aviation International News » January 2013
Eurocopter’s ubiquitous light single, the AS350B3e Ecureuil/AStar, is subject to airspeed limits and repetitive inspections as a result of an early-October emergency service bulletin and accompanying airworthiness directive (AD). The helicopter is now limited to 100 knots airspeed at sea level to reduce dynamic loads on the tail rotor. In addition, repetitive inspections must be conducted, with maximum intervals of three flight hours, on the laminated half-bearings.
Early in December, Eurocopter and the EASA published an additional emergency service bulletin and accompanying emergency AD. All AS350/AS355 Ecureuil (AStar and TwinStar) models are affected. Although no evidence of laminated half-bearing deterioration has been found on pre-B3e models, inspections are mandated. However, as the inspection interval is 10 hours, the AD will probably cause less inconvenience than those affecting the B3e.
The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, is one of the most visible events of the year for business aviation as scores of aircraft carrying the world’s most powerful and influential politicians, financial experts and corporate chiefs descend upon the area for the four days of the summit. Last year’s event attracted approximately 460 business aircraft to Zurich International Airport.
Eurocopter has signed the first customer for the AS332C1e Super Puma, the “low cost” version of the medium twin. Starlite Aviation, an operator based in Ireland and South Africa, will be the first to fly the new, shorter-fuselage variant. Starlite provides passenger and cargo flights and heavy sling-load operations for, among others, United Nations agencies.
Brazilian service provider Colt Aviation has begun construction of a new $12 million FBO at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. The 215,000-sq-ft facility will include a 5,300-sq-ft VIP lounge with a private entrance, meeting rooms, a 200-space car park and two hangars, one of them earmarked for maintenance. According to the company, construction is set to begin next month, and the new FBO will be ready by mid-year. Galeão is the second busiest airport in Brazil and has the South American nation’s longest runway, at more than 13,000 feet.
Many pilots had their first–but thankfully second-hand–exposure to the pitfalls of flight systems automation when they watched a remarkable video of an Airbus A320 performing a gear-down, nose-high flypast demonstration at the small French airport at Habsheim in 1988.
The first flight of the Quest Helicopters AVQ light twin has slipped by half a year, to “August or September” this year. A prototype aircraft is said to be almost ready to fly, even as the company shifts its focus from the four-seater to a larger 10- to 15-passenger version.
A new high-tech voice communication control system recently approved by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has been installed in the ATC center at London Biggin Hill Airport. Created by Netherlands-based Micro Electronics Products, the quarter-million-dollar system known as TCP990 includes a central electronic processor in the control tower that integrates and processes all inputs from UHF and VHF channels, personnel and emergency radio units as well as a slate of pre-selected contacts at each controller position and on the ATC assistant desk.
What if technology could help pilots recover an airplane when it is clear (to the software) that the pilot’s actions are trending toward an accident?