Piaggio Aero broke ground on June 15 for its new production plant in Villanova D’Albenga, Italy. Piaggio plans to move Avanti II parts and subassembly manufacture and engine manufacturing and MRO operations from its current plant in Finale Ligure to the new facility, with operations scheduled to begin in 2013. Avanti II final assembly will remain at the factory in Genova Sestri Ponente.
Aviation International News » July 2011
Organizers of the 2011 Paris Air Show (June 20-26) promised a feel-good factor that would leave the aerospace industry in no doubt that the long-awaited recovery has kicked in. They kept their word, and then some, with wave upon wave of new airliner orders and the associated new business in engines, equipment and support packages.
Sikorsky has announced the end of S-76C++ production, thus firming up S-76D delivery plans for next year. The S-76D medium twin is undergoing flight testing, with the goal of achieving FAA sea-level certification in the fourth quarter of this year. Two prototypes are flying at Sikorsky’s flight center in West Palm Beach, Fla. A third was due to join them early this year but this has not happened yet.
Eclipse Aerospace received FAA approval for its newly redesigned PhostrEx fire-suppression system canister on the Eclipse 500. The new, all-welded canister stores contents at a lower pressure, resolving the leakage problems the original design encountered. The improved PhostrEx canister was tested extensively and consistently met all design specifications, Eclipse said.
On June 8, the new Austin Executive Airport (KEDC) and its Henriksen Jet Center FBO held a grand-opening celebration. The modern facility sits on land adjacent to what used to be tiny Bird’s Nest Airport about 15 miles northeast of downtown Austin, Texas. Austin Executive is the second airport that Ron Henriksen has built, using his own money and zero government funding to create facilities uniquely suited to general aviation operations.
The Teamsters union announced in late May that its pilot members from Gulfstream International Airlines agreed to a new five-year labor contract with management. According to a union statement, the new contract provides a “significant increase” in the ability of each pilot to modify his or her own schedule to accommodate personal needs.
In May, Eurocopter’s proof-of-concept compound, the X3, reached 232 ktas, a speed it sustained during five minutes at 8,500 feet. It also demonstrated a rate of climb greater than 5,000 fpm. The crew flew pitch-up attitudes in the 30- to 50-degree range. Roll angles were taken to 80 degrees of bank.
Certification of the Avicopter AC352 medium twin (previously known as the Z15, the Chinese version of the jointly developed Eurocopter EC175) is now pegged for 2014, two years later than the original 2012 target. The AC352 passed some static tests in March. The Ardiden 3C/WZ-16 engine, a Turbomeca-Avic Engine Dongan cooperation, is to be certified in 2013.
Preliminary Report: Global Suffers Wing Strike on Landing
Bruno Spagnolini has been named CEO of AgustaWestland. He was promoted from his role as the company’s COO.
Alenia Aeronautica has appointed Amedeo Caporaletti as the company’s chairman. He succeeds Giorgio Brazzelli, who will take on another role within the Finmeccanica group.