EMBRAER ERJ-145LR, ROANOKE, VA, OCT. 16, 2001–Thirty passengers, two pilots and one flight attendant walked away from a hard night landing in gusty crosswinds. The aircraft, however, didn’t fare as well. Although the RJ was substantially damaged in the excursion, it was flown on a scheduled flight to Charlotte the next day.
A Learjet 25D (N333CG) that crashed on approach to Salina, Kan., after losing
elevator control on June 12, was involved in a test flight in connection with obtaining an STC for the installation of Avcon delta fins. According to the NTSB, the jet was
destroyed and the two pilots were seriously injured. The flight-test profile was to
execute a high-speed dive to verify vibration and buffeting characteristics of the
Embraer has chosen Safe Flight Instrument Corporation’s Stall Warning and Protection System (SWPS) for the Phenom 100 very light jet. The contract marks the second such selection of Safe Flight’s angle-of-attack AoA sensor for next-generation VLJs.
GULFSTREAM IV AND BELL 206, SAN DIEGO, CALIF., MAY 12, 2001–Thirteen people–pilots, passengers and line-service personnel–escaped injury when the rotor blades of an engine-starting helicopter smacked into the winglets of a taxiing GIV. The incident happened on a ramp at the San Diego International-Lindbergh Airport (SAN) around 5 p.m.
Last month NASA made the first flight of an experimental “wing warping” Boeing F/A-18 flying testbed. In 1903 the Wright Brothers used wires connected to their control column to twist the wings of their Flyer, changing the airfoils’ shape to provide differential lift to control bank. NASA calls the 21st century version of wing warping the “active aeroelastic wing,” or AAW.
A supersonic business jet (SSBJ), which many in the industry see as inevitable but just not in the near future, may have taken another step forward when Raytheon Aircraft partner Northrop Grumman unveiled its latest design for a supersonic military strike aircraft.
Aviation Partners now expects to receive certification of its winglets for the Hawker 800 next May, nearly a year later than originally planned. Failure to obtain certain engineering data from Raytheon Aircraft caused the delay, according to Aviation Partners. The Seattle company claims winglets allow the “Hawker 800SP” to fly 30 min longer or 180 nm further and 18 kt faster than a standard Hawker 800.
Three aeromedical helicopter accidents claimed three lives in just 12 days in August and September, representing a cluster of successively serious mishaps in what otherwise had been a fairly uneventful year in terms of EMS safety.
Piper is working on boosting the max takeoff weight for its Meridian turboprop single to create a 15-percent increase in useful load. By the end of the year, Piper said it will receive certification of aerodynamic and structural changes to its Meridian that will allow a 242-lb increase in mtow from 4,850 lb to 5,092 lb.
Economical, practical, environmentally friendly supersonic flight is the next big thing in commercial aviation. Or is it? From where aeronautical technology stands today, practical supersonic flight (and by “practical,” we do not mean the Anglo-French Concorde, which generates noise and atmospheric pollution levels that preclude all but the smallest volumes of operation) is far off.