For a journalist, the best part of attending the annual EAA AirVenture extravaganza in Oshkosh, Wis., is that often serendipity reigns, and the result is an entirely unexpected bonus, in this case the opportunity to fly Embraer’s EMB-314 Super Tucano light attack turboprop.
GE has finished the first round of checks on all in-service and spare GEnx turbofans ahead of the September 21 publication of a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive (AD) that calls for ultrasonic inspection of early-build engines’ fan midshafts every 90 days. GE has developed a field ultrasonic method to inspect the suspect area of the engines while they remain on the airplanes.
German aerospace research center DLR has just completed a series of wind-tunnel tests on a wing segment that incorporates both a morphing leading edge and a laminar profile for reduced drag. The trials took place between August 27 and September 7 at the TsAGI institute in Zhukovsky, near Moscow. Airbus, EADS Innovation Works and Cassidian Air Systems are partnered with DLR on the project.
Dassault is close to reaching agreement with Russia’s Avia Group to establish a new authorized service center for its Falcon business jet family at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. The facility is set to open in 2013 and will be located close to Avia’s new terminal building, which was inaugurated earlier this year.
Imagery emerged on the Internet last weekend showing China’s latest stealth fighter in prototype form. With fifth-generation characteristics, it bears a distinct resemblance to the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor and F-35A/C Lightning II stealth fighter designs, and appears to be similar in size to the latter. Photos of the twin-engine aircraft on the ground at an unidentified airfield–possibly Xian-Yanliang airbase–were leaked the day before U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta started a three-day visit to Beijing. Could this be mere coincidence?
An Indian negotiating team is heading for Russia to finalize details of the country’s participation in development of the Sukhoi T-50, also known by the Russian acronym PAK FA and by India as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA). India is providing half of the expected $11 billion cost to develop the aircraft, and earlier signed a preliminary design contract worth $295 million.
Airbus Military says it hopes to resume, in November, the remaining 140 hours of function and reliability flight-testing that is required before its A400M airlifter can be granted a full type certificate. The flights with MSN6, the first production-representative aircraft, were suspended in July because of the repeated detection of metallic chips in the oil system of one of the TP400 engines.
EADS Cassidian reports positive results from a third flight-test campaign conducted recently from Goose Bay, Canada, with the second prototype Barracuda UAV. Five flights during June and July each lasted up to one hour and proved various new mission modes, including autonomous 4-D navigation and cooperative flying with a second UAV. Unlike the previous two campaigns in 2009 and 2010, the latest flights were funded entirely by the company.
Rheinmetall Airborne Systems revealed a new fixed-wing/VTOL hybrid UAV at the ILA Berlin airshow. Displayed in full-scale model form, the Tactical Utility TU-150 is a joint development with Swiss UAV, the company that produced the VTOL UAV now marketed by Saab as the Skeldar.
Joined by top U.S. transportation officials, Boeing and American Airlines showcased the 737-800 “ecoDemonstrator” flying testbed at Washington Reagan National Airport on September 18. Boeing flew the aircraft from its flight-test facility at Glasgow, Montana, one day earlier using a biofuel blend partially made from used cooking oil.