“So this is the post-September 11 face of the international airshow.” That was probably the dominant thought for many visitors to Asian Aerospace 2002 (held February 26 to March 3) as they got in line to have their cars inspected from hood to trunk before having to pass through top-level airport-style screening to enter the show site.
This year and last were not kind to the startup airplane manufacturers, those OEM wannabes that are–or in some cases were–attempting to grab the brass ring of success by riding on the wings of their first turbine-powered airplanes. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run the new-aircraft triathlon of development, certification and production.
Following a special ceremony planned for December 3 marking the end of production of the Gulfstream IV series at the 500th aircraft, the popular business jet will henceforth be known by two new names–the new large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G400 and the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G300. The Savannah, Ga.
The world’s economy may be in a financial funk, but you wouldn’t know it from the advance sales for this month’s NBAA 54th Annual Meeting and Convention in New Orleans. Despite the global monetary downturn, at press time nearly 5,000 booth spaces had been sold to more than 1,000 exhibitors–124 of which are first-timers.
At press time Eclipse Aircraft had flown the first Eclipse 500 very light jet just once–on August 26–pending the return of both engines from manufacturer Williams International of Walled Lake, Mich. Citing problems with engine accessories, fuel metering and starters, Eclipse sent both EJ22 turbofans back to the manufacturer not long after the first flight. On October 22 the right engine was back at Eclipse’s Albuquerque, N.M.
FOKKER F28-100, Manchester, UK, APRIL 6, 2002–A misunderstanding of the flight manual resulted in damage to the horizontal stabilizer tip and leading edge of a Fokker F28 Mark 0100 (G-UKFI) at Manchester Airport. There were no injuries to those aboard, including the ATP-rated captain and his copilot.
The FAA will be looking for “very intensive” industry participation in a planned comprehensive review of the rules governing aircraft that operate under several FARs, including Parts 135 and 91.
Independent cabin completion and refurbishment specialist Duncan Aviation recently signed a long-term contract with Dassault Aviation to complete green Falcon 7Xs. According to a spokesman for Duncan, the first 7X arrived last Saturday at its Lincoln, Neb. facility and is due to emerge as a finished airplane in the first quarter of next year.
The resilience of general aviation was never more in evidence than at EAA’s AirVenture in late July, when an estimated 750,000 airplane buffs made the annual pilgrimage to east central Wisconsin for the 50th time.
As startling as the absence of current airliners from the Boeing stable was the gaping void created by the lack of any of Russia’s fearsome fighters in the flying display. Many observers felt that the show was the poorer for the lack of the thrust-vectoring wonders of Mikoyan and Sukhoi.