Rolls-Royce last month launched the RR500 turboshaft, a 475-shp derivative of the RR300 that powers the in-development Robinson R66. Certification is scheduled for late 2011, with deliveries pegged to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
Aviation International News » March 2009
As concern for the environment gathers urgency, a number of manufacturers are studying the use of biofuels, which they consider a low-CO2 alternative to petroleum-based fuels.
It seems unlikely that new engine architectures such as the geared turbofan or the open rotor will make it to business aviation in the near or even mid term. According to engine manufacturers, these concepts are not suited to the needs of business aircraft, which require a lot of thrust during almost the entire flight.
Turbofan engine makers active in business aviation– such as General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce and Snecma– all have their hands full with research-and-development (R&D) programs, many of which are driven by aircraft programs. However, almost all of the engine companies also run demonstration programs that will not necessarily morph into full engine development.
Four years after a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet Management crashed on takeoff from Teterboro Airport, resulting in a major FAA investigation of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based charter operator and a subsequent civil penalty assessment of more than $1.86 million, six individuals associated with the now-defunct firm have been indicted on charges ranging from conspiracy to making false statements.
NetJets Europe has agreed to acquire Egelsbach Airport near Frankfurt, Germany’s financial center, for an undisclosed sum. The deal–subject to final approval by the local municipal authorities who own the airport company Hessische Flugplatz GmbH Egelsbach (HFG)–is expected to be completed this month.
An FAA policy memo issued last month highlights the potential safety hazards associated with the rechargeable lithium batteries in electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computers. The memo requires Class 1 and 2 EFB users to test onboard battery charging to RTCA/DO-311 standards or add placards stating that no equipment containing rechargeable lithium batteries may be connected to aircraft electrical power.
Prosecutors in Brazil are appealing the dropping of some accusations in the 2006 midair between a Gol Airlines Boeing 737-800 and an ExcelAire Embraer Legacy 600. Judge Murilo Mendes recently dismissed charges that the American Legacy pilots, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, were negligent in not taking emergency steps for communications loss, ruling that nothing suggested an emergency situation.
The Burbank-Glendale Airport Authority last month delivered to the FAA the first-ever application for airport access restrictions that would apply to Stage 3 aircraft. The authority spent eight years and $6.5 million on the application, including submitting a preliminary workup in 2003 to solicit intermediate guidance from the FAA.
The first nine new pilots to complete NetJets Europe’s ab initio training program joined the company’s flight-crew roster in November and December, following their graduation from the UK’s Oxford Aviation Training course. A further 38 ab initio pilots are due to graduate this year, followed by 21 more next year.