The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is giving Boeing $9 million over the next two years to investigate the feasibility of developing a disc-rotor compound helicopter capable of achieving forward speeds of up to 400 ktas while retaining all the maneuverability of a traditional helicopter. The disc-rotor would have a rotating circular wing with retractable blades that extend from the disc edge for takeoff and landing.
High fuel prices are giving operators new motivation to add aftermarket winglets to airplanes without them. Here at NBAA’08, King Air 90 owners have one last opportunity to place pre-certification orders for Winglet Systems from BLR Aerospace (Booth No. 4066), according to Dave Marone, BLR vice president of sales and marketing. Certification is “imminent,” he said.
Aviation Partners (API, Booth No. 2218) has selected Lanseria, South Africa-based National Airways Corp. (NAC) as the first authorized Blended Winglet installer outside North America.
API said it expects a “significant” increase in Blended Winglet sales due to NAC’s strong relationships throughout the region. To date there are three Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 800 series aircraft with Blended Winglets flying in Africa.
Aerion executives still hope they will secure an OEM partner by the end of the year to build the company’s supersonic business jet, but vice chairman Brian Barents told NBAA Convention News that the company won’t “fall off a cliff” if the deadline passes without an announcement.
The FAA yesterday issued Airworthiness Directive 2008-19-01 warning that some Harco Labs pitot/angle-of-attack (AOA) probes are causing airspeed disagree caution indications in Eclipse 500 VLJs due to blockage within the pitot/AOA system from freezing condensation. Last year, the FAA issued AD 2007-13-11 because of a similar problem, and Eclipse Aviation issued a service bulletin to address the issue.
Cessna on August 13 said it completed a series of wind-tunnel tests for its large-cabin Citation Columbus. Results from the tests in low- and high-speed wind tunnels will be analyzed in the coming months, though Cessna said that preliminary data analysis revealed no surprises. The wind-tunnel facilities are located in San Diego and Toulouse, France.
Years after testing an unusually shaped “spiroid” winglet on a Gulfstream II, Aviation Partners remains “intensely interested” in continuing research into the efficiency-boosting winglets, according to a company spokesman. Spiroid winglets look like a long thin winglet ribbon that was heated to the malleable stage then twisted back onto the top of the wing.
Cessna yesterday said it completed a series of wind-tunnel tests for its large-cabin Citation Columbus. Results from the tests in low- and high-speed wind tunnels will be analyzed in the coming months, though Cessna said that preliminary data analysis revealed no surprises.
“Everybody talks about the weather,” Mark Twain once famously quipped, “but nobody ever does anything about it.”
It is symbolic of the malaise cloaking aviation as it celebrates the centennial of powered flight that, for the first time since Orville and Wilbur Wright made history in 1903, man-kind will have to settle for flying more slowly than before. Concorde, the airplane that opened supersonic flight to anyone with the means to buy a ticket, will retire this year after 27 years of service with British Airways and Air France.