Sandia Aerospace has developed a low-cost standby display, the SAI 340-Quatro, which retails for $3,595. The Quatro provides airspeed, attitude, altitude and slip indications in a lightweight instrument that fits into a standard three-inch instrument hole. The Quatro weighs half a pound and is just 1.4 inches thick. The unit’s lithium-polymer battery provides power for up to two hours. Certification is pending.
There is a new entrant in the (slow) race to bring a supersonic business jet to market, Spike Aerospace. Headquartered in Boston, Spike Aerospace was founded by engineers and consultants with experience working at Airbus, Boeing, Eclipse, Gulfstream, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA. The Spike S-512 is targeting a Mach 1.6 cruise speed and Mach 1.8 maximum speed.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s G650 added another city-pair record to its résumé, flying the 5,905-nm route from Honolulu to Singapore for the 2014 Singapore Airshow on Friday in 14 hours 6 minutes. The aircraft, which carried two passengers and five crewmembers, averaged Mach 0.85 over the record-breaking flight, despite flying against headwinds exceeding 100 knots for more than half the flight. Once the U.S. National Aeronautic Association validates the new record, the flagship Gulfstream will have amassed 39 such milestones.
A Fokker F100 charter flight in Western Australia experienced a hard landing on Oct. 12, 2012 after encountering a dry microburst-induced wind shear. No one was injured; however, the aircraft was substantially damaged, including wrinkled skin in the forward and rear portions of the airframe and the deformation of several structural beams. The flight departed Perth Airport headed north to Nifty aerodrome, with the expectation of a few thunderstorms along the way.
Elliott Aviation has received FAA STC certification for the Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics MD302 standby attitude module as part of its Garmin G1000 avionics upgrade in King Airs. The MD302 provides attitude, altitude, airspeed and slip information to the pilot during normal operation or in the case of primary instrument failure, enhancing system reliability and reducing pilot workload. The compact, self-contained, solid-state instrument fits in less panel space than a standard set of two-inch mechanical attitude, altitude and airspeed indicators.
The FAA plans to clarify, but not change, its Part 25.1329h design considerations for manufacturers of aircraft low-speed alerting and protection devices.
During hearings on December 11, National Transportation Safety Board officials described the final approach sequence of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6. The Boeing 777 was cleared for a visual approach to Runway 28 Left where, as per a Notam, the glideslope was inactive.
In an online forum, a professional pilot wondered whether he might be incorrectly controlling the aircraft when he performed a slip on final approach because the airspeed always increased, not decreased as he’d been taught. Slips in transport aircraft are sometimes restricted or even prohibited, making it hard for pilots to know how to handle them when they are required.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for certain Bombardier CL600-2B16s (CL601-3A, CL601-3R, and CL604 variants). It was prompted by reports of airspeed mismatch between the pilot’s and copilot’s airspeed indicators during or after heavy rain. The AD requires inspecting for drain bottles having certain part numbers and replacing affected drain bottles.
Reno, Nev.-based Aerion is releasing results from recent flight tests of a natural laminar flow (NLF) wing test article this week here in Las Vegas, while the company continues to work to have its supersonic business jet enter service in 2020. The goal of these tests was to measure “real-world robustness” of supersonic NLF, which is a key technology for the Aerion SSBJ, in regards to surface quality and manufacturing tolerances.
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