Even as French aircrews began training in the U.S. on the Reaper UAS, EADS Cassidian announced that it had received a one-year extension to its support contract for the Harfang UAS that the French air force intends to replace with the American drone. Cassidian also noted that the similar Heron UAS operated by the German air force and supported by the company has logged 15,000 hours over Afghanistan. The Germans are also considering a Reaper buy as a replacement for the Israeli-origin UAVs.
C-17 production will end in 2015, Boeing announced. Denis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, described the decision as “difficult but necessary.” Since production of the heavy airlifter for the U.S. Air Force began winding down some years ago, Boeing has extended the line every six months, based on signed or anticipated export orders.
Ah, that new airplane smell.
Cessna demo pilot Rip Lee and I climb aboard the factory-fresh Grand Caravan EX and I glance over at the Hobbs meter: 4.3 hours total time. Airplanes don’t get much newer than this.
While Gulfstream celebrates the 47th anniversary of the first flight of its first business jet this month, that very aircraft is in the process of becoming a museum piece, following a long service career. Grumman Gulfstream II S/N 0001 (built at the company’s Bethpage, N.Y. facility before the business jet division moved to Savannah), first flew on Oct. 2, 1966. After the certification flight-test program it was refurbished and sold to entrepreneur Robert Galvin, Motorola Corporation CEO, in 1970.
Cessna is completing certification flight-testing on its new $4.395 million M2 light jet and expects certification within “a few weeks,” company vice president Brad Thress told AIN. Earlier this week, Garmin provided the Wichita aircraft manufacturer with the final data load for the aircraft’s new Intrinzic cockpit, which features a touchscreen G3000 avionics system.
Avantair’s bankruptcy trustee filed a motion last week that seeks to sell a Socata TBM 700 owned by a wholly owned subsidiary and used solely for company executive transport. If Middle District Florida Bankruptcy Court judge Catherine McEwen approves the motion during a scheduled hearing on October 17, aircraft sales broker Corporate Jet Solutions would list the turboprop single for $1.85 million.
European controllers have scrapped plans for a strike on October 10 to protest draft amendments to Single European Sky (SES) regulations that would expedite the restructuring of the continent’s ATC network.
The crash of a chartered Bell 212 helicopter on Sunday in the outskirts of Mumbai that killed five will likely force India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to scrutinize procedures related to preserving wreckage and the altitudes at which helicopters fly.
Hartzell Propeller’s “advanced swept airfoil” composite five-blade propeller for the Socata TBM 700/850 has received STC approval from both the FAA and EASA. The new design, specifically engineered for the TBM turboprop single, delivers faster takeoff acceleration, higher cruise speeds and better climb, as well as less noise, it said. According to Hartzell, the new propeller provides for a 100-feet-per-minute faster climb rate, while cruise is two knots faster than with the current four-blade propeller.
Actor and general aviation pilot Harrison Ford will receive NBAA’s Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership during the opening session of the association’s annual convention in Las Vegas on October 22. “In addition to his extensive work as an outspoken champion for general aviation, including numerous appearances before Congress, Ford also regularly flies missions in support of humanitarian and philanthropic causes,” NBAA said. “For example, Ford has participated in the Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift.