Early next year Boeing will offer a kit for BBJs and BBJ2s that will provide a 6,500-ft cabin at FL 410 instead of the standard 8,000-ft cabin. The kit, which can be installed on green and in-service BBJs, is expected to cost less than $100,000. Components include new cabin-pressure-controller boxes with revised software, a new cabin-altitude indicator and two pressure-relief valves.
Gulfstream 100s, Astra SPXs and 1125 Westwinds are the latest business jet models to be the subject of an AD as a result of the FAA’s special certification review (SCR) of all pressurized airplanes after the October 1999 Payne Stewart Learjet 35 crash and several other incidents and accidents attributed to suspected oxygen deprivation.
For aviators and their passengers, oxygen means life at the high altitudes traversed by modern aircraft. True high-altitude passenger flight wasn’t really practicable until large-cabin pressurization was introduced during the halcyon days of aeronautical development surrounding World War II, most notably aboard the Boeing 307 Stratoliner and Lockheed Constellation transports and Boeing B-29 bomber.
Steecon Enterprises has developed a bulkhead swinging door. The door is hinged at the top and bottom, and the door frame houses the motorized activation assembly. The door is activated by the push of a button (on the floor or door frame), remains open long enough for the user to pass through and then closes automatically. A resistance disengage switch ensures that the user cannot be trapped when the door closes.
The business aviation industry is on a constant quest to create a more comfortable cabin environment for the traveler, but only in the past several years have aircraft manufacturers tackled the nagging issue of cabin altitude and its physiological effects, and with some success.
An optional kit for BBJs that will provide a 6,500-foot cabin at FL410 instead of the current 8,000-foot cabin is going through the FAA approval process now and will not be available until mid-year, according to Boeing. The company announced at last year’s NBAA Convention that the kit would be available early this year.
The good news about the proliferation of new high-altitude airplanes–turbocharged piston or turbine–is that they offer users the chance to experience the increased efficiency of an engine that likes flying where the air is thin.
The race is on; the first manufacturer to certify, build and deliver a single-engine jet that offers reasonable performance and price might have the market to itself until Piper Aircraft’s PiperJet joins the fray in 2010. Unless Cirrus Design has far more up its sleeve than it has revealed thus far, it appears that Diamond will be first to market with its surprisingly roomy D-Jet.
Van Nuys, Calif.-based Corporate Air Parts is offering a new hypoxia training course to civilian pilots. Training includes a video segment and two 15- to 20-minute
The six-woman jury in a wrongful-death trial ruled yesterday that Learjet (now Bombardier) should not be held responsible for the death of professional golfer Payne Stewart, his agent and four others who were killed Oct. 25, 1999, in the crash of their Learjet 35.