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.”
A Gulfstream Aerospace spokesman categorically denied a report published by British tabloid Daily Mail saying that the company, along with NASA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, would “sketch out” details of a supersonic business jet at the Farnborough Airshow, which starts July 9. Further, Lockheed Martin does not have any civil aircraft announcements planned at the UK airshow.
What makes the T-6 series a better trainer than the old airplanes is that it is designed to help new pilots make a faster transition into jets. The PT6 engine has a power management unit (PMU) that makes it respond more like a jet engine than a turboprop; hopefully the only difference is that T-6 pilots still need to step on the right rudder during takeoff, although rudder trim is available and easily accessible on the Hotas. Naturally the HUD helps with the transition to jets, too, as does the modern avionics suite.
West Star Aviation (ALN) recently accomplished the “Big Three” on a Falcon 2000 by completing the first 3C Inspection, installing API blended winglets and performing a wing tank dry bay modification. All three operations were accomplished at West Star Aviation’s East Alton, Ill., facility. The 3C inspection is an 18-year calendar inspection that includes opening and inspecting all access points of the exterior structure, including wing fairings and with the wing tank dry bay modification, opening of the fuel tanks.
Aerion announced a collaborative effort yesterday with NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to mature the space agency’s new supersonic inlet (Supin) computer code. The software has been developed to perform aerodynamic design and analysis on engine inlets for future high-speed aircraft, such as Aerion’s proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ).
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found the two pilots of a QantasLink Bombardier Dash 8-300 to be primarily responsible for an unstabilized approach that activated the twin turboprop’s stick shaker on final approach to Runway 16 Left at Sydney Airport [YSSY] in New South Wales in March 2011. The Bureau said both pilots got behind the required checklist duties for configuring the aircraft before commencing the approach.
Despite initially approving the operation of Gulfstream’s new flagship G650 at Colorado’s Aspen-Pitkin County Airport when it enters service, officials there have reversed their decision after a citizen’s group pointed out that the wingspan of the ultra-long-range business jet exceeds the width limit set by local code and the FAA. The airport’s management initially based its approval on the span of the wing’s lifting surface, which according to Gulfstream does not include the winglets.
Aerion is preparing to start another round of test flights in the development of what would be the world’s first supersonic business jet. A new test article is set to fly in the centerline position beneath one of NASA’s F-15Bs either this month or next.
Blackhawk (Stand 483) has signed a deal for its 375th aircraft performance-improvement upgrade, as a consequence making the Waco, Texas-based company one of the largest non-OEM buyers of new Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) turboprop engines in the world.
Reports about the 2009 Air France Flight 447 accident released last summer by the French safety board (BEA) said the three experienced Airbus A330 pilots were unable to recognize they were operating at a too high angle of attack to sustain flight.