The transonic speed spat between Cessna’s Citation Ten and Gulfstream’s G650 is likely to hit of the stops at Mach 0.95 when it encounters not “the sound barrier” but required safety margins. With the Ten’s top speed now pegged at Mach 0.935, Gulfstream’s G650 could thus leapfrog the Ten only slightly, if the Savannah-based aircraft manufacturer even chooses to do so.
BLR Aerospace announced at LABACE 2012 that it has won certification from the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) of Brazil for its FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system for installation and flight on Bell Helicopter Models 204, 205 and 212.
The FAA released AC 120-109 on August 6 to address its concern about loss of control. The agency said some pilots are reacting incorrectly to aircraft stall indications, as in the case of the 2009 crash of Continental Express 3407 in Buffalo, N.Y. The agency also has concerns about pilots’ failing to recognize the insidious onset of an approach-to-stall during routine operations in both manual and automatic flight.
Diamond Aircraft brought D-Jet prototype S/N 003 to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last week, displaying publicly for the first time the jet’s new upswept wingtips. “At this point the aerodynamic configuration is frozen,” said Diamond president and CEO Peter Maurer. The new wingtips have “a positive effect on the stall speed and roll control, but also the overall aesthetics,” he added.
The final report on the crash of Air France Flight 447 is giving ergonomics specialists food for thought. One area of particular focus has been the stall warning, which the report says the crew ignored.
Here are some fascinating supersonic facts about the Concorde:
•Just over 202 feet long, nine-foot-wide tube;
•Tail and cockpit sections added at Filton were built at Weybridge (Vickers, later BAC);
•Stretches six to eight inches in flight;
•Pressurized to 6,000 feet, so comfortable in cabin;
•Cruise: 1,350 mph (Mach 2 at 60,000 feet);
•Range: 4,300 miles, with 100 passengers in single class;
A recent Aviation Maintenance Alerts published by the FAA highlights a problem that should never, ever come up in aerospace: a design that allows mechanics to install something opposite the way intended. In this case, according to AC 43-16A No. 407, mechanics installed the elevators on a Piaggio P.180 Avanti upside down. After doing so, the mechanics were even able to rig the elevators according to the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) instructions. Although installed upside down, the twin-turboprop was able to fly, and it did. According to the FAA’s Alerts, “During flight, this reversed elevator installation greatly influenced elevator trim authority—additionally causing the airplane yoke to be in a noticeably different longitudinal position.” The Alerts goes on to note that Piaggio has added a note to the AMM, warning mechanics about this potential problem. The FAA added, “A very simple way to ensure the correct elevator is installed on the proper side is to verify the location of the static wicks—they must be on the upper surface of the elevator.”
A Gulfstream Aerospace spokesman categorically denied a report published by British tabloid Daily Mail saying that the company, along with NASA, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, would “sketch out” details of a supersonic business jet at the Farnborough Airshow, which starts July 9. Further, Lockheed Martin does not have any civil aircraft announcements planned at the UK airshow.
What makes the T-6 series a better trainer than the old airplanes is that it is designed to help new pilots make a faster transition into jets. The PT6 engine has a power management unit (PMU) that makes it respond more like a jet engine than a turboprop; hopefully the only difference is that T-6 pilots still need to step on the right rudder during takeoff, although rudder trim is available and easily accessible on the Hotas. Naturally the HUD helps with the transition to jets, too, as does the modern avionics suite.
West Star Aviation (ALN) recently accomplished the “Big Three” on a Falcon 2000 by completing the first 3C Inspection, installing API blended winglets and performing a wing tank dry bay modification. All three operations were accomplished at West Star Aviation’s East Alton, Ill., facility. The 3C inspection is an 18-year calendar inspection that includes opening and inspecting all access points of the exterior structure, including wing fairings and with the wing tank dry bay modification, opening of the fuel tanks.