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July 11, 2014, 6:10 AM
During pre-certification testing, the Airbus A350XWB  twin-aisle twinjet underwent water ingestion trials on a long military runway at Istres, France, that also is used for high- and maximum-energy rejected takeoff work.

Airbus has begun airline crew training for its A350XWB customers about six months ahead of the new twin-aisle twinjet’s entry into service, scheduled for late this year, according to chief test pilot Peter Chandler, who flew the aircraft on its maiden flight in June 2013. He reports that the training syllabus has been developed and that the first A350 pilot course was under way last month, with access to a full flight simulator. Launch customer Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have received demonstration flights.

July 11, 2014, 6:05 AM
Industry and government testers plan to demonstrate a detect-and-avoid suite on NASA’s Ikhana air vehicle later this year.

U.S. government and industry testers plan to begin data-gathering flights later this year using a system that will address perhaps the biggest technological hurdle to widespread use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)–the ability of a remotely piloted vehicle to “detect and avoid” (DAA) other aircraft. At the same time, a special committee convened by standards organization RTCA is working toward delivering DAA equipment standards by July 2016.

July 11, 2014, 6:00 AM
The Leap-1B, set to power the Boeing 737 Max, ran for the first time in mid-June. Eleven miles of carbon fiber is needed to weave a single Leap fan blade.

By the end of the year, CFM (OE 22) plans to have put together and tested around 20 Leap-1A/B/C turbofans, in preparation for their first flights next year and in 2016 on their respective application airframes. The Franco-American engine manufacturer is also gearing up for a swift production ramp-up, planned to reach an annual 1,700 engines by the end of the decade. The Leap will power the Airbus A320neo (Leap-1A), the Boeing 737 Max (Leap-1B) and Comac C919 (Leap-1C) narrowbodies.

July 10, 2014, 3:57 PM

Business aircraft flying in the U.S. rose for the seventh straight month, with activity in June up 3 percent from a year ago, according to TraqPak data released today by aviation services company Argus. In addition, flight activity for the first half climbed 1.6 percent, compared with the same six-month period last year, it said.

Fractional flying came out strong last month, rising 6.5 percent from June last year. Part 91 activity jumped by 3.2 percent, while Part 135 charter flying saw a 1.4-percent gain.

July 10, 2014, 3:50 PM

The first Bell 525 Relentless super-medium twin helicopter is moving closer to final assembly at Bell Helicopter’s plant in Amarillo, Texas. Matt Hasik, Bell’s senior vice president of commercial programs, told AIN that the three main cabin sections will be joined within the next few weeks. He also said that the first carbon-fiber, all-composite main rotor blade for the 525 has been completed and is undergoing testing.

July 10, 2014, 3:40 PM

As onboard Wi-Fi proliferates in the business jet fleet, the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) issued guidelines yesterday for charter brokers in an effort to stem billing surprises to clients after flights are completed. The association said it is “vital that brokers keep on top of technological and other service developments and that any potential hidden costs of a charter are considered and dealt with in advance.”

July 10, 2014, 3:34 PM

Rockwell Collins’s flight management system (FMS) and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver successfully enabled the first demonstrations of advanced arrival and departure flight operations for the European Union’s airspace-enhancing project called FilGapp (“filling the gap” in GNSS advanced procedures and operations), the company announced today. FilGapp is intended to create new, more efficient methods of navigating airspace using satellite-based navigation and advanced FMS functions.

July 10, 2014, 3:31 PM

The business jet market in North America continues to recover, while in Western Europe it is “off the bottom,” UBS Global Research aerospace analysts noted yesterday. “Bizjet deliveries into North America have grown modestly in each of the last several years and we anticipate further improvement in [this region] driven by pent-up corporate replacement demand,” they said.

July 10, 2014, 3:26 PM

Textron’s TRU Simulation + Training subsidiary acquired ProFlight, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based FAR Part 142 training center specializing in the Cessna CitationJet and Conquest, as well as Pro Line 21 avionics. Since it was founded in 1988, ProFlight has trained thousands of pilots and continues to grow “as its training model appeals to a broad range of pilots, from owner operators to corporate aviation departments.” ProFlight will continue to operate from its Carlsbad facility.

July 10, 2014, 3:20 PM

Gulfstream expanded its safety management system (SMS) to include the sales and marketing department, making the company one of the first business jet manufacturers to implement an SMS for a non-manufacturing or service organization. “Having a standard and consistent approach to managing risks helps us enhance what we’re already doing: delivering and servicing the safest possible aircraft for our customers,” said Gulfstream senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing Scott Neal.

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