Embraer broke ground for a 67,000-sq-ft engineering and technology center in Melbourne, Fla., yesterday, marking further expansion of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s footprint at this U.S. location. The new building, which is expected to open in mid-2014 and house 200 employees by 2017, will join Embraer’s Phenom assembly facility and executive jet customer service center at the Florida campus.
For the first time in more than four years, new aircraft have emerged from the former Eclipse Aviation final-assembly facility in Albuquerque, N.M. Two unfinished airframes left on the assembly line when that company declared bankruptcy in November 2008 were recently completed by the resurrected company, Eclipse Aerospace, and outfitted as factory-new Total Eclipse twinjets.
Operations of the latest version of Eurocopter’s ubiquitous light single, the AS350B3e Ecureuil/AStar, have been affected by an emergency service bulletin and accompanying emergency airworthiness directive (AD).
Under the restrictions, the helicopter’s true airspeed is limited to 100 knots to reduce dynamic loads on the tail rotor. In addition, repetitive inspections must be conducted, with maximum intervals of three flight hours, on the laminated half-bearings.
The closing of some Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) factory-owned service centers as a result of the manufacturer’s bankruptcy has changed the way customers have their aircraft maintained, especially in the Southwest U.S. Previously, the factory-owned HBC center in Mesa, Ariz., pulled business from the West Coast, Mexico and other areas.
The FAA is proposing an Airworthiness Directive for the Brantly International B-2, B-2A, and B-2B helicopters with a certain main rotor blade. The proposed AD was prompted by multiple reports of main rotor blade cracks and a 2007 accident in New Zealand in which a crack that originated near the main rotor blade trailing edge resulted in the loss of a large section of the blade.
Piper Aircraft named Piper Summit Aircraft China Beijing as its authorized dealer in China for sales of new Meridian turboprop singles. According to Piper Summit CEO Jack Chan, the annual growth rate for piston and turboprop aircraft operating in China is nearly 40 percent, with this fleet expected to expand from 1,700 aircraft earlier this year to about 7,700 by 2015. The new Piper dealer conducted Meridian demonstrations for potential customers as the airplane flew en route to Airshow China 2012 earlier this month in Zhuhai.
Beyond an admission by China’s Comac that the development timetable for its new C919 narrowbody will be pushed back by a further delay of one or two years in the certification of its ARJ21 regional airliner, precise details on the program is progressing remain hard to pin down.
A pair of police helicopters was destroyed late in the afternoon of November 17 during an apparent helipad accident in Pasadena, Calif. The main rotor blades of the Vietnam-era Bell OH-58s collided as one was landing and the other was preparing to take off. One helicopter rolled onto its side. All six aboard both helicopters were treated for minor injuries at a nearby hospital and released.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) and Montreal-based Advanced Aerospace Solutions (AdvAero) have announced a partnership using “rapid prototyping” to help prove the viability of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in U.S. civil airspace. Rapid prototyping is designed to more quickly deliver answers on the viability of research projects.
China’s recently flown second stealth fighter is powered by a pair of Russian-supplied Klimov RD-93 turbofans, AIN has learned. A large model of the design, which has been dubbed the J-31 in unofficial reports, was on display at Airshow China in Zhuhai last week.