Despite a softening U.S. economy and soaring fuel prices, demand for business jets and turboprops remains strong, according to the latest delivery report from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Aviation International News » September 2008
Premier Aircraft said a recent transatlantic flight by a Falcon 50 modified with the company’s 50Dash4 performance upgrade demonstrated a quicker takeoff and climb, increased cruise speed and improved fuel burn. Speed increased 35 knots at cruise altitude and the modified Falcon reached cruise altitude 16 minutes faster than a standard Falcon 50.
The FAA has issued AD 2008-16-02 for operators of Premier I (model 390) S/Ns RB-4 through RB-204, which calls for a post-flight residual-heat check of the angle-of-attack probes after every flight until a software change is made or the probe is replaced. The AD becomes effective on September 3.
The FAA has warned operators with carbon brakes about problems with environmentally friendly organic salt runway de-icer fluids. Aircraft manufacturers have notified the FAA that spray between the wheels causes the de-icer fluid to coat carbon brake heat-sink (pressure) plates.
The FAA has issued a proposed Airworthiness Directive for GE CF34 turbofan engines with high-pressure-rotor, four-step, air-balance-piston, stationary seals to remove these seals and incorporate an eight-step seal at the next piece-part exposure.
CharterX subsidiary Wyvern Consulting has launched WeFlySafe.com, an online resource for those who fly on chartered aircraft. The site helps charter customers locate vetted, safe air charter operators that meet “The Wyvern Standard.”
Valencia, Spain-based Wondair on Demand Aviation has launched a fractional ownership, jet card and corporate shuttle program. The company operates in the Iberian Peninsula, Southern Europe and North Africa, with three Cessna CJ1s and one Cessna Citation Ultra. Deliveries of 36 Embraer Phenom 100s and 300s are expected to begin next year. The operator has offered block charter and aircraft management services since 1990.
Embraer announced last month that it “consolidated its organizational structure by reducing managerial positions and administrative functions.” The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer said the reduction affected “around 250 people.” However, Reuters reported that the company laid off nearly 500 employees, including some engineering staff.
The House of Representatives on July 22 unanimously approved a bipartisan aviation bill that tightens the FAA’s airline maintenance oversight procedures and creates an Aviation Safety Whistleblower Investigation Office.
Speaking at this year’s EAA AirVenture, acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell defended the track record of various agency-industry cooperative safety and inspection programs against Congressional criticism and promised to crack down on those who abuse rules governing amateur-built aircraft.