The bid deadline for the U.S. Navy’s high-profile VXX Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program closed on August 1 with apparently only one bidder—Sikorsky Aircraft—submitting a proposal. The Navy declined to identify the number of bids received, but other companies that had earlier announced plans to compete for the VXX contract confirmed that they have decided not to submit proposals.
Contract negotiations between the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate and AVX Helicopter, Bell Helicopter and the Sikorsky/Boeing team–the potential Phase I vendors for the joint multi-role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD)–are nearing completion. Announcement of the awards for a new U.S. Army medium helicopter are planned for September, according to an Army spokesman.
The Pentagon approved full-rate production of the MQ-1C Gray Eagle multi-role unmanned aircraft on July 26. That same day, manufacturer General Atomics reported the first flight of an improved version of the aircraft that it will demonstrate to the U.S. Army later this year.
Airwolf Filter Corp., a specialist in remote-mounted oil filter systems for piston aero engines, has scored a first. Over the past year, a team from the Middlefield, Ohio-based company has identified has identified every aircraft data sheet on file with the FAA and EASA and added to their approval model list every remaining piston-engine aircraft powered by a Continental, Curtiss-Wright, Franklin, Husoi, Jacobs, Kinner, Lycoming, Ranger, Warner or WSK PZL Kalisz engine.
Aviat Aircraft of Afton, Wyo., and Minneapolis-based Aviation Foundation of America introduced a dual fuel, piston-powered aircraft that operates on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or aviation gasoline (avgas) this week at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The proof-of-concept aircraft fuel system is installed on a standard Aviat Husky A1-C fitted with a CNG belly tank.
A peek behind the scenes at Disney’s Toontown Studios in Burbank, Calif., in June gave members of the aviation media an opportunity to learn how the animated movie Planes was crafted. The movie opens in theaters August 9 and was previewed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on August 2. Planes is the first of a planned trilogy.
Landslides and flooding in the mountains of North India in mid-June that killed approximately 10,000 and stranded more than 80,000 triggered the largest-ever search-and-rescue operation by the Indian military. The more than 60 aircraft involved in the operation contended with treacherous weather, low visibility and strong winds; high-tension wires; and no infrastructure or lights on the ground in perilous landing zones with no helipads.
“From tragedy we draw knowledge to improve safety for all.” That’s the NTSB mission. And that’s what Kevin Armstrong, trainer at Aircare Assistance, and Mimi Tompkins, a 767-300ER first officer with Hawaiian Airlines, wanted to talk about at the NBAA Flight Attendants and Technicians Conference.
Budget sequestration may have some obvious negative consequences, such as precluding the Pentagon from displaying U.S. warplanes at the Paris Air Show for the first time in more than two decades. But it has the potential to yield some positive changes as well. On the domestic side of the ledger, for example, the head of the FAA’s office of flight standards foresees draconian funding cuts as an opportunity to make changes in the way his agency does business.
“Safety and professionalism are the cornerstones of business aviation, and this conference is one of the best ways we at the National Business Aviation Association know of disseminating that message,” said Ed Bolen, president of NBAA and the lead speaker at the 18th NBAA Flight Attendants and Flight Technicians conference, held from June 20 to 22 in Washington, D.C. With that in mind, the conference offered the 235 attendees and 32 exhibitors a close look at the myriad responsibilities of the corporate flight attendant, as well as how to break into a difficult industry.