Whelen Engineering (Booth No. 2789), a privately held company based in Chester, Conn., has been manufacturing aircraft lighting for more than 60 years. At this year’s NBAA Convention the company announced that it was chosen to be the supplier for the LED wingtip lighting on the Cessna Citation Sovereign block point winglet upgrade program. The wingtip unit incorporates both anti-collision and position lights using low-draw, extra bright and reliable LED technology. The product is TSOed as a line-replaceable unit. –A.L.
American Eurocopter is doing more than just showing off its offerings at its booth during the NBAA Convention. The company will also offer flying demonstrations of its EC135 and EC155 helicopters during the show.
NetJets unveiled its new Bombardier Global 6000 at the NBAA show static display on Sunday. The fractional ownership giant has spent 18 months developing the Signature Series cabin interior for the large cabin aircraft and will also roll out the new design to other new members of its fleet, including the Challenger 605 and 300 models.
Honda Aircraft has started the production line for its $4.5 million HondaJet entry-level twinjet. A handful of initial customer aircraft are scheduled to be completed next year. Honda expects FAA certification of the HondaJet’s GE Honda HF120 engine (2,095 pounds of thrust/5,000-hour TBO) in the middle of next year and aircraft certification in 2013.
The past year has been challenging but also marked a turnaround for Piper Aircraft. CEO Simon Caldecott has been on the job for a year, and the first decision he was faced with was huge: what to do about the single-engine PiperJet Altaire program. While just before last year’s NBAA show Piper had given every indication that the Altaire would continue, Caldecott used the occasion to announce that the program was being put on indefinite hold, although Piper has retained all the intellectual property developed for the Altaire.
Aviation Partners (API) in September received FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) approval for its “high-mach blended winglets” on Dassault Falcon 50 series jets. EASA approval is expected to follow by year-end, according to Seattle, Wash.-based API (Booth No. 5035) .
BLR Aerospace announced that it has delivered its 500th winglet system. The buyer of the 500th system is the FAA, which is also the company’s largest customer. In May the FAA ordered BLR Aerospace LED-light-equipped winglets for its fleet of 18 Beechcraft King Air 300s. The FAA’s first winglet-modified King Air 300 is already flying, and the FAA is currently installing the winglets on its third King Air 300. The FAA King Air 300s are used to flight check navaids, airport lighting and IFR approaches.
Gore Design Completions has received its first supplemental type certificate (STC) for a Boeing BBJ3 completion. According to Joseph Barrett, Gore senior manager of programs, the completion took approximately 16 months and is for a Middle Eastern customer.
There are milestones and there are milestones in aviation. For Pilatus delivery pilot Roger Engel, Oct. 16, 2012, the completion day of his last delivery flight for Pilatus Business Aircraft will always be remembered as a happy milestone. Pilatus vice president of marketing Tom Aniello made sure that Engel received a traditional waterjet salute from the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport rire and rescue department at the completion of his final, and coincidentally, 200th unremarkable delivery to the company.
American Eurocopter (Booth No. 2546) has arrived at NBAA’12 with a pocketful of recently announced orders and deliveries.