About a year ago, ARG/US took the wraps off its plans for developing a “virtual copilot.” Dubbed SPX, the program is intended, in the words of ARG/US executive v-p and system architect Mark Fischer, to “put another brain in the cockpit” of single-pilot aircraft, initially very light jets (VLJs) but eventually for wider application.
Aviation International News » November 2005
A new chapter in civil aviation history opened recently when the FAA issued the first airworthiness certificate for a commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the General Atomics Altair. But the operating restrictions on the UAV should limit any interference with civil aircraft and ATC.
The National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) is urging Congress to resist all attempts to “raid” the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, including airline industry calls for new tax breaks, and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) reiterated its preference for having general aviation contribute to the fund through taxes on aviation fuels.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is scheduled to begin graduate and undergraduate degree classes in professional aeronautics and technical management. The courses will be held at the Evergreen Aviation Museum and the Capt. Michael King Smith Educational Institute in McMinnville, Ore.
German executive charter operator Cirrus Aviation has established a UK sales and marketing office at London Biggin Hill Airport. The company is set to increase the size of its owned and managed charter fleet, with the introduction over the next few months of a Global XRS, two Global 5000s, two Challenger 300s, a Learjet 40 and a Legacy.
Bombardier plans to make “major announcements” at the NBAA Convention this month in Orlando, Fla. The Canadian OEM has invited guests to view the launch of “the newest Challenger” and to “welcome the newest addition to the Learjet family.” Some industry observers speculate that Bombardier might introduce successors to the Challenger 604 and Learjet 60.
Sikorsky’s S-92 equipped with the OEM’s new rotor ice protection system (RIPS) has been FAA certified for flight in known icing conditions. Sikorsky is seeking S-92 RIPS certification from the EASA and Transport Canada. A Cessna Citation involved with the S-92 icing program in Alaska on September 30 flamed out in icing conditions and made a deadstick landing with no serious injuries to the four people on board.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options announced three new buyer-incentive programs. Until December 16, buyers of a three-thirty-second share (75 hours of annual usage) in a new Hawker 400XP will get an extra 25 occupied hours per year (a total of 100 hours) with no additional capital outlay.
An “informal” meeting between Platinum Jet Management and the FAA is scheduled at the agency’s northeast regional office on November 1. The purpose of the get-together is to discuss the FAA’s proposed $1.86 million penalty against the company for its alleged FAR violations in connection with the February 2 accident at Teterboro Airport, N.J., in which a Challenger 600 crashed following an aborted takeoff.
The FAA has withdrawn a decade-old proposal to rescind its requirement for mode-S transponders and, consequently, plans to end the hundreds of mode-S installation exemptions currently in effect for Part 121 and 135 operators.