The first Learjet 28 Longhorn (Serial Number 28-001) cruised at 50,000 feet somewhere between Allentown, Pa., and Mattoon, Ill., when the thought hit me. The late Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, had flown this same airplane and here I was riding in the cabin.
When the FAA amended aircraft stall training last year to emphasize reducing angle of attack over the long-used procedure of limiting altitude loss above all else, training organizations across the U.S. were required to update their curriculums to reflect those changes.
Lockheed Martin (Stand 1975) is installing its WindTracer windshear and turbulence-detection system at Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it will be used to detect aircraft wake vortices, thus allowing for increased runway utilization. Two WindTracers have been installed this year and a third one is to follow in the first quarter of next year, Michael Margulis, WindTracer program director, told AIN. WindTracer is a long-range, 3-D-scanning pulsed doppler lidar-based system.
Aviation Partners Boeing last month announced that, after launching on the Boeing 737 NG, split scimitar winglets can now be fitted on the Boeing BBJ family. The new split scimitar winglets offer a significant reduction of drag compared to the non-winglet-equipped Boeings and a noticeable drag reduction for those equipped with Aviation Partners Boeing blended winglets.
The FAA published updates to the wake turbulence separation categories on October 22 for Louisville, Miami, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and Philadelphia airports based on improved understanding of how wake vortices behave. Categories are now based on weight, certified approach speed and wing characteristics. Special consideration will be given to aircraft with limited ability to counteract adverse rolls.
The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works revealed a hypersonic aircraft design that can take off and land conventionally using turbine-based combined-cycle engine technology. The company said it has been working with rocket propulsion specialists Aerojet for several years on the project, using company funds. Although the design could lead to a Mach 6 unmanned strike aircraft, Lockheed Martin has dubbed it the SR-72, after the company’s SR-71 Blackbird manned strategic reconnaissance aircraft that reached Mach 3 but was retired in 1997.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for certain Bombardier CL600-2B16s (CL601-3A, CL601-3R, and CL604 variants). It was prompted by reports of airspeed mismatch between the pilot’s and copilot’s airspeed indicators during or after heavy rain. The AD requires inspecting for drain bottles having certain part numbers and replacing affected drain bottles.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a research report examining every incident of stall warning activation between 2008 and 2012 in transport-category aircraft operating in Australian airspace. The incidents recorded in the October 31 report include both local aircraft as well as those of foreign registry.
Two faculty members from Penn State’s vertical-lift research center of excellence were honored recently at the fourth annual International Basic Research Conference on Rotorcraft Technology in Tianjin, China. Professor Edward Smith and research associate Jianhua Zhang were honored for their paper, “Influence of Aeroelasticity Tailored Wing Extensions and Winglets on Whirl Flutter Stability.” The research was underwritten by the National Rotorcraft Technology Center and the NASA Ames Research Center.
Among the operational topics for the technical committee at the triennial ICAO Assembly were significant safety issues. One paper from the Russian delegation provided a description of extensive studies of wake vortices, and the development of a wake vortex safety system that would use outputs from ADS-B, Swim and two Aviation System Block Upgrades 1 elements, with pilot alerts transmitted over the anticipated datalinks in that period–that is, by 2018.