Boeing and NASA said they completed the flight-test program of the X-48C blended wing body (BWB) research aircraft on April 9. The program consisted of 30 flights over eight months at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Within the next month, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will re-release a request for proposal (RFP) for nine aircraft to perform signals intelligence (Sigint), communications jamming (Comjam), ground survey and target towing roles. The previous RFP released four years ago shortlisted Embraer and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), both offering the IAI-Elta airborne integrated signal intelligence system (Aisis). But delays in defining India’s offset policy resulted in price escalation from the bidders, leading the Indian defense ministry to cancel that RFP.
The 2013 Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) at Shanghai’s second airport, Hongqiao International, held from April 16 to 18, served as a reminder of how far China and the rest of Asia still have to go to reap the benefits of business aviation.
The 328 Group returned to the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg with a new brand identity that splits the company into its two prime areas of expertise: “328” and “Jets.”
The move reflects 328 Group’s increasing portfolio of interior manufacture and design work on aircraft ranging from small helicopters to large airplanes such as the Airbus A340 and Boeing 767, and its expansion of maintenance expertise under the “Jets” brand. The change also comes following the recent acquisition of a new maintenance facility at London Biggin Hill Airport.
At the LIMA show, Dassault signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a local partnership with Strand Aerospace Malaysia. The aircraft components company, which was founded in 2006, is expected to support Dassault in engineering projects. The alliance will see a group of Strand engineers deployed to Dassault’s facility in Bordeaux, France, to get involved in design work for Falcons. “The business jet technology from Dassault Aviation is opening the door for us and will add a further feather in our cap,” said Strand Aerospace Malaysia CEO Naguib Mohd Nor.
The strong business aviation presence at Malaysia’s LIMA airshow held last month on the island of Langkawi was evidence that the industry’s growth in the Asia-Pacific region extends well beyond China.
Europe’s continued–and in some respects worsening–economic troubles give little grounds for optimism, and yet industry mood ahead of the 13th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) appeared to be surprisingly bullish. This may be due in part to the success of the show (May 21 to 23) in attracting both exhibitors and visitors from well beyond the cash-strapped continent.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced last month that APP Jet Center at Hayward Executive Airport in Hayward, Calif., is the first FBO to complete the requirements for its Safety 1st Ground Audit Standard. Introduced more than a year ago, the standard is intended to promote best practices in the aircraft service industry, and the association believes the program will eventually become the bar by which all FBOs are judged.
Inaer France received on March 22 what it claims is the first approval in that country for a commercial helicopter operator to use night-vision goggles (NVG). France is relatively late adopting NVG operations, as most Avincis group operators already had such an approval, Frédéric Goig, CEO of the Le Cannet des Maures-based company, told AIN. Avincis is the name chosen late last year for the merged Inaer and Bond.
Embraer Executive Jets delivered the first of up to 125 “Signature Series” Phenom 300s to NetJets during a ceremony yesterday at the aircraft manufacturer’s Phenom assembly facility in Melbourne, Fla. In October 2010 NetJets placed a firm order for 50 of the specially outfitted light jets, with options for 75 more. Including all options, the order is worth more than $1 billion.