Two years after 9/11, Dubai’s biennial air show will declare itself to be firmly back to business as usual when it opens next month (December 7 to 11) in the United Arab Emirates. Last time, the event convincingly put on a brave face in the wake of 9/11 and the U.S.-led war against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan (just 500 miles north).
Aviation International News » November 2003
After an absence of nearly 20 years, Shell Aviation announced its return to the U.S. general aviation market last month. “This is not just a trial run,” said Shell Aviation North American vice president Rick Woods. “We plan to be here for the long haul.”
Woods said fuel and other Shell products are now available at 284 branded FBOs across the country following the completion of a reseller agreement with Eastern Aviation Fuels.
Aviation Partners expects to obtain an STC early this month on its blended winglets for the Hawker 800 series. The project has been in the works for a couple of years. “Manufacturing problems,” failure to obtain certain OEM data and changes in FAA certification methods lengthened the STC process.
Recovering traffic levels are driving desire for both expansion and consolidation in the European market for business-aircraft handling services. But at the same time bureaucratic and market-access restrictions at many of the continent’s airports continue to hamper moves to open new FBOs or take control of existing facilities.
Inmarsat, the global satellite-communications company, is preparing the next generation of its geostationary satellites, which a spokesman said will be far more capable than those now in orbit supporting voice, fax and Swift64 data services.
The Astreon series of solid-state LED wingtip position lights was among Honeywell’s bag of announcements at the convention. Developed to last 10 times longer than current position lights, the Astreon series will soon be tested aboard a Gulfstream 550. Honeywell’s warranty on the lights is for 3,000 hours or five years of service.
The little company that almost didn’t has proved it can. Five years after Piaggio Aero Industries was only a week away from closing its doors forever, the Italian aircraft manufacturer has recorded its fourth consecutive profitable year with revenue last year of $142 million, an operating margin of $22.2 million and orders for 42 Avanti twin turboprops since last year’s NBAA Convention.
Jeppesen introduced the follow-on version to its CD-ROM FliteCrew DLS training program for pilots. Consisting of eight computer-based modules, the software includes individual sections covering weather, aircraft performance, airport operations, regulations (Part 91 and 135), AIM procedures, human factors, charts and navigation and recurrent medical training, the latter developed with partner MedAire.
Eclipse Aviation signed a contract with Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) of Japan for the manufacture of complete wing assemblies for the Eclipse 500 very light jet. As part of the long-term agreement, Eclipse also licensed its friction-stir welding process to FHI for use in the wing assemblies, as well as other potential applications within FHI’s manufacturing operations.
Williams International launched the 3,500-pound-thrust FJ44-4, a FADEC-equipped turbofan engine that uses essentially the same core as the 3,000-pound-thrust FJ44-3. Detailed performance parameters are being kept under tight wraps until an application for the new engine is announced. A spokesman for Williams International, based in Walled Lake, Mich., said at the show the company is just now beginning to market the engine to potential OEMs.