The airline industry did not embrace supersonic speed the first time around in the 1970s, and today, mired in a recession and struggling to cope with reduced passenger demand for cheap, old-fashioned travel at Mach 0.80, mere survival is consuming all its resources.
BLR Aerospace’s latest product, winglets for the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 90 series twin turboprop, received certification in March by authorities in the U.S., Europe and Brazil. The new winglets are currently available for all King Air C90A, C90GT and C90GTi models. BLR expects to receive certification shortly for a winglet package designed to fit earlier King Air C90 and C90E models as well.
The lobbying association for the French helicopter industry, the Union Française de l’Hélicoptère (UFH), is raising concerns about gestating noise rules that could practically ban commercial flights from urban areas. The association fears legislators are writing such a rule with input only from heli- port neighbors, some of whom are members of anti-helicopter associations.
BLR Aerospace winglets were STC’d last month for the King Air C90A, C90GT and C90GTi; approval will eventually be expanded to include the C90 and C90E. Deliveries have already begun, the company said. Current list price of the winglets
is $49,950, not including between 100 and 150 hours of installation time. According to BLR, the modification improves stability, cruise speed and rate of climb.
Over the last year, Van Horn Aviation (Booth No. 3409) has introduced new tail-rotor blades for the Bell 206 and 206L models that the company says significantly reduce noise, pedal forces and maintenance requirements and have a higher life limit than OEM blades. The new 206L tail-rotor blades received an FAA STC on February 8.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion is evaluating preliminary results of a new global market survey indicating strong demand for its proposed supersonic business jet. Preliminary data of the latest study confirms Aerion’s earlier research, which projected a 10-year market for about 300 supersonic jets. Meanwhile, Aerion plans to conduct a new series of flight tests on its natural laminar flow (NLF) wing design at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion today said it is evaluating preliminary results of a new global market survey indicating strong demand for its supersonic business jet. “It was time to take a fresh look at the potential for the Aerion supersonic jet, taking into account the globalization of the business jet market,” said Aerion vice chairman Brian Barents.
The new G250 business jet that IAI builds in partnership with Gulfstream Aerospace is continuing the flight-test program that it started on Dec. 11, 2009. In recent flights, the aircraft has flown up to 40,000 feet at speeds of up to Mach 0.85 as it heads for planned certification before the end of 2011.
Boeing 787 pilots last week conducted the program’s first stall tests–in which pilots intentionally reduce power to both engines and then recover normal flight speeds–as part of the initial airworthiness program for the airplane. Additional stall tests will take place throughout the flight test period.
Jim Deuvall has written and published a handy primer on aircraft performance that can help pilots expand their understanding of how jets perform.