Whelen Engineering (Booth No. 2789), a privately held company based in Chester, Conn., has been manufacturing aircraft lighting for more than 60 years. At this year’s NBAA Convention the company announced that it was chosen to be the supplier for the LED wingtip lighting on the Cessna Citation Sovereign block point winglet upgrade program. The wingtip unit incorporates both anti-collision and position lights using low-draw, extra bright and reliable LED technology. The product is TSOed as a line-replaceable unit. –A.L.
BLR Aerospace announced that it has delivered its 500th winglet system. The buyer of the 500th system is the FAA, which is also the company’s largest customer. In May the FAA ordered BLR Aerospace LED-light-equipped winglets for its fleet of 18 Beechcraft King Air 300s. The FAA’s first winglet-modified King Air 300 is already flying, and the FAA is currently installing the winglets on its third King Air 300. The FAA King Air 300s are used to flight check navaids, airport lighting and IFR approaches.
At the NBAA Convention today, Dassault Falcon introduced yet another new version of its Falcon 2000 super-midsize twin. The new Falcon 2000LXS combines the range and amenities of the Falcon 2000LX with the short-field capabilities of the Falcon 2000S. The $32.8 million, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C-powered Falcon 2000LXS will replace the 2000LX when it gains certification in 2014.
Aerion has seen the business aircraft market change substantially since it announced development of a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) design at the 2004 NBAA convention, but the company remains bullish about market demand for such an aircraft, and its plans to bring its design to fruition. Ahead of NBAA ‘12, Aerion (Booth No.
The International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (Icatee) published an article this summer in the ICAO Training Report that said, “The number-one cause of commercial jet transport fatalities…[is] loss-of-control-in-flight (LOC-I).” Icatee chairman Sunjoo Advani said, “[The problem] cannot be simply solved through technology or through current pilot training paradigms.” Coincidentally, Boeing’s statistical summary of commercial jet airplane accidents worldwide operations 1959–2011 showed more fatalities caused by LOC-I accidents than by any other.
Aeronautics engineer Richard Whitcomb–whose research at NASA produced the area rule, supercritical wing and winglets–was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame earlier this month. He died in 2008 at the age of 88. During Whitcomb’s almost four decades at NASA his “fundamental insight into aerodynamics and his practical solutions led to three of the most significant and practical contributions to aeronautics in the 20th century,” said NASA Langley Research Center director Lesa Roe.
Two Las Vegas Police Department flight officers, both flight instructors, sustained minor injuries on September 24, when their MD 369 helicopter landed hard during a VFR practice autorotation during a training mission at the North Las Vegas Airport (KVGT). The senior officer flying said the helicopter entered a high vertical sink rate before he could stop it. The helicopter was destroyed when it rolled on its right side after striking terrain. The tailboom quickly separated.
BLR Aerospace has named West Star Aviation an authorized dealer for its Super King Air winglets and associated products, including extended-length de-ice boots and LED lighting upgrades. Under the terms of the agreement West Star will provide and install BLR’s products on the King Air 90, 200 and 300 series at its Grand Junction, Colo.; Dallas; and Columbia, S.C. facilities.
A new turbulence-detection and -avoidance system now operating at Juneau International Airport (JNU) in Alaska is expected to be adapted for additional U.S. airports beginning with those most often affected by dangerously unstable air. Juneau often closes during bouts of significant turbulence to avoid risk to people, cargo and aircraft.
German aerospace research center DLR has just completed a series of wind-tunnel tests on a wing segment that incorporates both a morphing leading edge and a laminar profile for reduced drag. The trials took place between August 27 and September 7 at the TsAGI institute in Zhukovsky, near Moscow. Airbus, EADS Innovation Works and Cassidian Air Systems are partnered with DLR on the project.