The Beechcraft King Air turboprop fleet has surpassed 60 million flight hours, the Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer announced today at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. More than 7,000 King Airs are in operation in 127 countries, including all branches of the U.S. military.
Signature Flight Support (Booth No. N-030/031), the FBO chain that is well known in the turbine aircraft world, is exhibiting this week at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla., to build awareness of its support for grassroots general aviation (GA). “We’re doing a big GA push,” a company spokesman told AIN, “and we’ve recently partnered with the Experimental Aircraft Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and Recreational Aircraft Foundation in an effort to help enhance the pilot ranks.”
In the first quarter of this year, seven people died in two fatal accidents involving Part 91-operated U.S.-registered business jets compared with 14 fatalities in three Part 91 business jet accidents in the first quarter of last year, according to preliminary data gathered from various AIN sources. Both of the fatal U.S. business jet accidents in the first quarter befell privately operated Hawker Beechcraft Premier Is.
Airbus broke ground on its new A320-family final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., on Monday, during a ceremony attended by the company’s top leadership, state and local politicians, diplomats and aerospace industry executives.
NetJets has become the first combined 14 CFR 135/91K operator to achieve Level IV of the FAA’s Safety Management System Pilot Program. The March 27 certification provides a four-level system acknowledging development of a formal SMS in accordance with both FAA and international standards. The program is designed to guide operators in developing and implementing an integrated, comprehensive safety management system for their organization and required the U.S.-based operator to conduct thousands of hours of additional safety training for all employees.
Demand for air travel continues to surge worldwide as emerging markets led another strong month of traffic growth in February. International Air Transport Association (IATA) data released last week shows that passenger demand rose 3.7 percent during the month compared with February 2012. According to IATA, since last October passenger demand has grown at an annualized rate of 9 percent, almost double the growth trend over the first nine months of 2012.
Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, took what executives describe as an historic first step into aircraft leasing last week as it ordered 12 Boeing 737-800s. Expected to spur further financing and leasing of imported aircraft in Russia, the transaction calls for the bank’s Sberbank Leasing subsidiary to place the airplanes with Moscow-based Transaero Airlines.
A new aluminum-lithium foundry in Issoire, France, opened March 26 by aluminum specialist Constellium embodies the latest effort to regain ground lost to composite materials in aircraft construction. Dedicated to a new line of alloys dubbed Airware, the new casthouse has the capacity to produce 14,000 metric tons of aluminum-lithium per year, making it the world’s first large-scale production facility of the alloy.
The AgustaWestland deal in India for AW101 helicopters that is being investigated after bribery allegations has prompted the Indian government to re-examine its already delayed defense procurement procedure 2013 (DPP). This is now focusing on “indigenization,” which defense minister A.K. Antony described recently as the “ultimate solution to the scourge of corruption.”
Fuel Bidder, a new Delaware-based software provider, has launched Fuelbidder.com, a jet fuel marketplace application it says will help aircraft operators find the lowest jet fuel price at airports around the world. According to the company, the free app allows users to request pricing from hundreds of suppliers. Registered users input their uplift date, airport, preferred FBO, estimated fuel volume and a deadline by which they would like to receive all final price offers. The app will then send the request to each registered fuel supplier at the destination airport.