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.
Aviation Partners’ high-Mach blended winglets on the Falcon 50 series were STC’d by the FAA on Tuesday. EASA approval is pending, the company said. The FAA certification is the culmination of an 18-month development and flight-test program, and comes on the heels of its similar winglet approvals for the Falcon 900 and 2000 series. Aviation Partners claims its Falcon 50 winglets provide a drag reduction, and corresponding range increase, of 5 percent at Mach 0.80 and more than 7 percent at long-range cruise.
The transonic speed spat between Cessna’s Citation Ten and Gulfstream’s G650 is likely to hit of the stops at Mach 0.95 when it encounters not “the sound barrier” but required safety margins. With the Ten’s top speed now pegged at Mach 0.935, Gulfstream’s G650 could thus leapfrog the Ten only slightly, if the Savannah-based aircraft manufacturer even chooses to do so.
BLR Aerospace announced at LABACE 2012 that it has won certification from the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) of Brazil for its FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system for installation and flight on Bell Helicopter Models 204, 205 and 212.
The FAA released AC 120-109 on August 6 to address its concern about loss of control. The agency said some pilots are reacting incorrectly to aircraft stall indications, as in the case of the 2009 crash of Continental Express 3407 in Buffalo, N.Y. The agency also has concerns about pilots’ failing to recognize the insidious onset of an approach-to-stall during routine operations in both manual and automatic flight.
Diamond Aircraft brought D-Jet prototype S/N 003 to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last week, displaying publicly for the first time the jet’s new upswept wingtips. “At this point the aerodynamic configuration is frozen,” said Diamond president and CEO Peter Maurer. The new wingtips have “a positive effect on the stall speed and roll control, but also the overall aesthetics,” he added.
The final report on the crash of Air France Flight 447 is giving ergonomics specialists food for thought. One area of particular focus has been the stall warning, which the report says the crew ignored.
Here are some fascinating supersonic facts about the Concorde:
•Just over 202 feet long, nine-foot-wide tube;
•Tail and cockpit sections added at Filton were built at Weybridge (Vickers, later BAC);
•Stretches six to eight inches in flight;
•Pressurized to 6,000 feet, so comfortable in cabin;
•Cruise: 1,350 mph (Mach 2 at 60,000 feet);
•Range: 4,300 miles, with 100 passengers in single class;
A recent Aviation Maintenance Alerts published by the FAA highlights a problem that should never, ever come up in aerospace: a design that allows mechanics to install something opposite the way intended. In this case, according to AC 43-16A No. 407, mechanics installed the elevators on a Piaggio P.180 Avanti upside down. After doing so, the mechanics were even able to rig the elevators according to the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) instructions. Although installed upside down, the twin-turboprop was able to fly, and it did. According to the FAA’s Alerts, “During flight, this reversed elevator installation greatly influenced elevator trim authority—additionally causing the airplane yoke to be in a noticeably different longitudinal position.” The Alerts goes on to note that Piaggio has added a note to the AMM, warning mechanics about this potential problem. The FAA added, “A very simple way to ensure the correct elevator is installed on the proper side is to verify the location of the static wicks—they must be on the upper surface of the elevator.”