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.
GKN Aerospace has delivered Blended Winglets for 767-300ER aircraft to Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) for certification flight tests in support of launch customer American Airlines.
The contract has involved the design and development of an 11-foot-tall winglet and will include manufacture of some 450 shipsets, with forecast peak production of up to 16 shipsets per month.
Under the cover of private funding, Honda has been secretly and very seriously developing its six- to eight-seat light turbofan twin. Though the automaker steadfastly maintains it has “no business plan” to manufacture the business jet, the project aircraft has a name, HondaJet, and the development program is well advanced.
The market for Gulfstream hush kits stands at fewer than 400 GIIs, GIITTs, GIIBs and GIIIs. These models are currently one of the softer areas of a soft market. This net number takes into account the 14 GIIs and five GIIIs written off over the years, as well as nearly 50 combined models that are serving in some government role and, due to the nature of their operation, would probably not need to conform to any noise requirements.
A major research program launched three years ago by the European Union has identified open rotors and natural laminar flow as key technologies to be taken forward in the Clean Sky joint technology initiative and potentially into the mooted replacement for the Airbus A320.
Gulfstream has recruited company veteran Robert Cowart to be the new director of supersonic technology development. He most recently served as project engineer for the supersonic technology program. In his new position, Cowart is responsible for the development of advanced technology supporting quiet supersonic flight over land, with a principal focus on sonic boom suppression concepts.
It is almost five years since the Concorde retired, but little has been achieved in terms of replacing the world’s most iconic commercial aircraft.
Several steps to add to the support structure for MU-2 operators were announced at NBAA 2002 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America’s aircraft products support division. These include appointment of Aero Air of Hillsboro, Ore., as an authorized Mitsubishi MU-2 service center, and Turbine Aircraft Components (TAC) of Addison, Texas, as exclusive distributor for a number of aircraft overhaul components.
Newly built Piper Meridian turboprops will be more “useful” than their predecessors after FAA approval of modifications that will increase useful load by 235 lb, a 15-percent increase, New Piper Aircraft announced at the NBAA show yesterday. The modifications, expected to be certified by the end of the year, consist of aerodynamic and structural changes.
After a successful flight program and anticipated certification, Aviation Partners Inc. (API) is announcing the Hawker 800SP blended winglet program, with initial customer deliveries beginning early next year.