Dr. Lewis “Bernie” Gratzer, the retired vice president of technology at Aviation Partners, passed away on Friday night. Gratzer, already a well respected aerodynamicist, joined Aviation Partners when the company was formed in 1991 to work on a blended winglet for the Gulfstream II. In 1994 he received patent #5,348,253 for his blended winglet design, the lynchpin technology of Aviation Partners’ winglet products. According to Aviation Partners, his winglet design is now flying on more than 6,000 airplanes “and counting.”
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s final report on the 2012 crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan concluded the stall-induced accident was the result of the pilot’s decision to depart Snow Lake, Manitoba, with the aircraft weighing 600 pounds more than its maximum allowable gross weight and with ice clinging to the wing and tail surfaces. The Cessna Caravan, operated by Gogal Air Services, left Snow Lake on Nov.
More than 4,000 sq ft of Duncan Aviation’s new 175,000-sq-ft hangar in Lincoln, Neb., is dedicated to engines. “We’ve been in the new shop for only a few months but have already experienced a significant increase in work efficiency and improvement to the safety of our customers’ property,” said James Prater, manager of turbine engine services. “Before the move, all engines and their components would remain subject to being moved in the hangar.
The Flaris LAR 1, the five-seat single-engine very light jet unveiled by Podgórzyn, Poland-based Flaris last June at the Paris Air Show, has recently started low-speed taxi tests, but its maiden flight has slipped again.
While ATR and Bombardier continue to vacillate over plans to introduce a new 90-seat turboprop, Pratt & Whitney Canada keeps moving forward with an engine it believes will deliver a 20-percent fuel burn improvement over existing engines in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp range by the turn of the decade. Dubbed the Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), the engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of Pratt & Whitney’s patented Talon combustor and likely an eight-blade propeller
The Viking 400 Series Twin Otter will soon come equipped with a Safe Flight angle-of-attack (AoA) indicator as standard equipment. The TSO’d system consists of a lift transducer, computer and a speed indexer. The speed indexer provides the pilot heads-up guidance to approach AoA. The computer provides Arinc outputs to drive low airspeed awareness and AoA displays on the primary flight display. Safe Flight’s lift transducer is a heated leading edge sensor and is cleared for flights into known icing conditions.
Everett, Washington-based BLR Aerospace (Booth 2606) has obtained FAA approval of its LED lighting system for installation in Beechcraft King Air 90s that are equipped with BLR winglets, the company announced at EBACE 2014. Benefits of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) include better reliability, lower power consumption, higher illumination, reduced weight and longer life, when compared to incandescent lighting.
Gulfstream Aerospace has already signed purchase agreements for two or three G650ERs, Larry Flynn, president of the U.S. manufacturer (Booth 5129), told a small group of reporters during a breakfast flight in a Gulfstream G550 over the Alps yesterday morning. The company had announced the extended-range upgrade of the ultra-range, top-of-the-line G650 on Monday at EBACE 2014 in Geneva.
Tatiana Ojjeh is back at EBACE again adding a now customary touch of art to the show at the TAG Aviation chalet at EBACE. The hotly-anticipated theme this year is “Between Here and the Surface of the Moon” featuring a collaboration between Artliner and Patricia Low Contemporary (which has galleries in Gstaad and St. Moritz). The exhibition is named after a work by Darren Almond and includes paintings, sculpture and photographs by 14 established international and up-and-coming artists, and points to “physical travel and adventure.”
Aerion announced today at EBACE that it is redesigning its proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ) with a larger cabin and more range, reflecting feedback from a recent survey of potential operators. The new aircraft–dubbed AS2, for Aerion supersonic second design–has three as yet unspecified engines versus the two P&W JT8Ds intended for its now-scrubbed predecessor.