Business aviation is on its way to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., to join colleagues, vendors, manufacturers and friends at the annual NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition. Pre-show events begin this weekend and the exhibit halls open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, immediately following the opening-day general session at 8:30 a.m. in the south hall.
TAM Aviação Executivo recently received approval from Brazil’s Ceará state government to operate at Aracatí Airport, where it aims to open by year-end a 150,000-sq-ft business aviation maintenance facility that can simultaneously service up to 30 aircraft. Once Brazil’s civil aviation agency, ANAC, approves the new facility in the country’s northeast region, TAM AE plans to start servicing the Cessna Citation and Caravan and then quickly expand to the whole Textron Aviation portfolio.
By the end of the third quarter, Embraer’s firm order backlog had risen to $22.1 billion, the highest in the company’s history and up from $18.1 billion at the end of June. During the third quarter, the company delivered 19 regional jets and 15 business jets (all Phenoms). Over the first nine months, Embraer delivered 62 regional jets and 64 business jets (54 Phenoms and 10 “large jets”).
The U.S. Army’s plan to acquire up to 110 Airbus UH-72A Lakotas, the military variant of the EC145, as primary helicopter trainers has met with a legal challenge from AgustaWestland (AW). AW alleges, “The army has acted unlawfully and unreasonably by restricting competition to only EC145 helicopters and by not opening the competition for its requirements to other helicopter manufacturers.”
OK, so it wasn’t an accident; it’s just that the NASA folks are getting rather good at intentionally crashing helicopters. The latest in its series of engineered rotorcraft crashes was conducted earlier this month when the agency dropped the more than four-and-a-half-ton fuselage of a former U.S. Navy CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter for the second time in little more than a year.
The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command awarded Pratt & Whitney a contract modification on October 14 for a seventh low-rate initial production lot (LRIP) of F135 engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The agreement includes the engine maker’s commitment to pay the cost of modifying the fan section in 150 delivered engines following a June engine fire that grounded the F-35 fleet and prevented its international debut in the UK.
Vector Aerospace Engine Services-Atlantic (ES-A) and the Solenta Aviation group of companies, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, have signed a three-year engine services agreement. ES-A will provide comprehensive fixed-wing aircraft engine maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the Solenta Aviation Group’s turboprop engine fleet from its facilities in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya.
A Bombardier Global Express operator recently wanted Wi-Fi with a smart router and media server that could be used with electronic devices in flight. Duncan Aviation and Gogo Business Aviation, formerly Aircell, developed an STC for integration of Gogo’s UCS 5000 system in the Global Express and 5000.
Associated Air Center (AAC) has inducted the company’s first Boeing 787-8 to be completed for a head-of-state customer at its facilities at Dallas Love Field.
“The composite structure and advanced systems on the 787 require special engineering, tooling and technical capabilities; it’s a whole new ball game,” said James Colleary, president of Associated Air Center. “Our team is up for the challenge and excited to have the aircraft in our shop, where the real work now begins.”
The FAA is issuing a superseding airworthiness directive for certain Airbus Helicopters EC130B4s. AD 2012-02-13 required inspecting certain areas of the tailboom/fenestron junction frame (junction frame) for cracking. The new AD retains the requirements of AD 2012-02-13, expands the inspection area of the junction frame and shortens the repetitive inspection interval.