It takes 70,251 rivets and 5,000 man-hours to fabricate a Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop, and when each PC-12 rolls into the final assembly process in Halle 9 at Pilatus’s Stans, Switzerland factory, the precise time and date when the airplane will be finished is noted on a label attached to the fuselage. This is no rough estimate, and Pilatus (Chalet A122) means exactly what the label says, according to Pilatus sales and marketing executive Fred Muggli.
Under a memorandum of agreement signed on June 4, Rockwell Collins and Avic subsidiary Beijing Bluesky Aviation Technology will form a joint venture to design, manufacture and market commercial flight simulators. The joint venture should begin operating by the end of the year, pending a final agreement and regulatory approvals. Products offered by the venture will serve training needs for regional, narrow- and widebody airliners in China and around the world, including training devices and full-flight simulators.
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for its new A350XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10:00 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France, on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines, safely touched down back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.
An airport ground vehicle transmitter developed by ITT Exelis and avionics manufacturer FreeFlight Systems is the first such device certified to a new standard by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Ground vehicles fitted with the device can be monitored by air traffic controllers, improving “situational awareness” and safety at busy airports. The vehicle movement area transmitter (V-MAT) continuously reports the position of a ground vehicle through automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) OUT transmissions.
The 2013 Paris Air Show–the 50th since the biennial event started in 1909–opens on Monday with its exhibitor count at a 10-year high of 2,200 companies from 44 countries. Much of the pre-show excitement this week has been built on expectations that Airbus might take the opportunity to give its new A350XWB airliner a high-profile public debut.
The FAA has released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would allow many more operators to continue flying below decision altitude/decision height or minimum descent altitude (DA/DH or MDA) during IMC when equipped with enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS). Such systems generally use infrared sensors to deliver real-time images of the external view to cockpit displays, and the new rules would not apply to synthetic vision systems. Millimeter-wave radar could also be used for future EFVS operations.
British Helicopter Association CEO Peter Norton has urged UK authorities to abandon plans for new restrictions on rotorcraft operations over urban areas following the January 16 accident in which an AgustaWestland A109 Power crashed in central London. The crash prompted British Prime Minister David Cameron to order a review of helicopter operating rules, and an Air Accidents Investigation Branch inquiry is in progress.
The FAA plans to make changes to some procedures for flights into three Colorado airports–Aspen, Eagle County Regional and Garfield County “Rifle”–for the 2013 to 2014 holiday season, NBAA said. Specifically, the FAA will discontinue use of a legacy air-traffic slot-reservation program for these airports during the November-through-January time frame. In lieu of the air-traffic slot-reservation program, the FAA will manage the traffic volume with other traffic management initiative tools, including miles-in-trail and ground-delay programs.
The aerospace industries in Morocco and Tunisia still tend to be viewed as embryonic by some Westerners, but the North African countries are starting to capitalize on the desire by European companies to move production offshore and take advantage of the close proximity to these low-cost economies. Both countries have made a commitment to develop an investment framework promoting local jobs, and opportunities for international companies, and this is paying dividends with the constant creation of new aerospace concerns.
Thales reported progress in developing the next generation of air traffic management (ATM) system for ATC facilities operated by the French Air Navigation Service Department (DSNA). The company said it is on track to deliver an intermediate version of the advanced 4-Flight system to two French area control centers (ACCs) by 2014.