A proposed AD would mandate replacing the pitot probes on nearly 160 U.S.-registered Hawker 800XPs because of reports that they have frozen above FL290, causing erroneous airspeed indications. New probes and their installation would cost about $14,500 per airplane, according to the FAA. Replacement would be required at the next 24-month inspection after the compliance date of the directive. Comments on the proposal are due by November 28.
“Welcome to Lear Jet Country,” a marketing slogan that attached itself to the early-20-series Lear Jet, is likely to be remembered only by industry old-timers who recall the airplane’s ability to take off and climb to 41,000 feet without effort. It is a capability that disappeared with the advent of the Learjet 35/36.
The FAA’s rules are a “barrier to the development and application of supersonic technologies in advanced general aviation aircraft,” said the General Aviation Manufacturers Association in comments submitted to an agency request for information on SST noise rules.
Operators of U.S.-registered CitationJets must disengage the pitch-trim/ autopilot circuit breakers to prevent runaway pitch trim, a condition that has led to at least one accident, according to an October 21 AD (2203-21-17). A CitationJet was ditched on July 22 in Penn Cove in Coupeville, Wash., following a loss of elevator trim control, resulting in an uncommanded nose-down pitch attitude.
The first test flights of a Cessna Citation X equipped with Winglet Technology’s new elliptical winglets are proceeding well, according to Bob Kiser, president of the Wichita-based modification kit manufacturer. The winglets are expected to give the airplane an even higher maximum cruise speed at high altitude as well as improved climb performance and longer range.
According to the final report of the Irish Department of Transport Air Accidents Investigation Unit (AAIU) published earlier this year, a Beech King Air 90 (registration N712DB) rolled and dived during an August 2006 flight in Ireland because the owner/pilot lost control of the aircraft during a missed approach in instrument conditions. The pilot’s inexperience was deemed a factor.
Emergency AD 2003-08-52 was issued last month for the GE CT7-9B turboprop in response to 12 compressor-stall events in Saab 340Bs over a six-month period. The stalls occurred when pilots throttled back from takeoff power to climb power. Nine of the events involved engines that had the compressor variable geometry (VG) rigged to N1, one of two allowable rigging options that affords slightly higher performance at the expense of stall margin.
Aviation Partners said it is in the “preliminary stages” of “looking at the entire Citation line” as the possible next candidate for the company’s performance-enhancing blended winglets. No timetable, however, was immediately available. Meanwhile, the Seattle-based company expects to receive certification of its blended winglets for the Hawker 800 and 800XP in mid- to late summer, more than a year later than originally planned.
As the month of May came to a close, a team of Boeing engineers were putting the finishing touches to a one-of-a-kind flying machine at an outpost of that company’s “Phantom Works” just outside the sun- and sand-blasted southwestern Arizona town of Yuma.
In the arcane world of helicopter rotor aerodynamics, two concepts that show promise for enhancing safety and performance in the world of high-density-altitude heavy lift are under development on opposite sides of the U.S. Briefings on both were presented at the American Helicopter Society’s annual forum last month in Phoenix.