Boeing took a significant step toward returning the 787 to service on Friday, when it flew Dreamliner Line Number 86 on a one-hour, 49-minute mission to demonstrate conformity of its battery system modification to U.S. certification authorities.
Boeing executives expressed what they consider a “reasonable expectation” that the 787 Dreamliner would return to service in a matter of a few weeks at a briefing last Friday in Tokyo during which they detailed the company’s plan for certifying a solution to the “issues” surrounding the airplane’s lithium-ion batteries. However, Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner and 787 chief program engineer Mike Sinnett acknowledged that the timing will depend completely on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s certification schedule and a smooth execution of the testing.
Southeast Turbines has completed renovating its 10,000-sq-ft facility at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The FAA-certified repair station specializes in the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A, PT6T and JT15D. Southeast Turbines’ capabilities include on-wing hot-section inspections, compressor-turbine disk reblade, true and balance, small exit duct rework to include “zero grind” hot-section installations, unscheduled power section repairs, fuel nozzle cleaning/recertification and bleed valve overhaul.
A day after revealing its intention to obtain approval to operate its R44 and R22 piston engine helicopters on unleaded fuel (see article on page 10), Robinson Helicopter (Booth No. C23) shared its strategy for doing so. CEO Kurt Robinson and engineering vice president Pete Riedl spelled out the steps required and the technical issues involved.
EaglePicher Technologies expects to certify a lithium-ion main-ship aircraft battery by year-end, according to Ron Nowlin, vice president and general manager of EaglePicher Aerospace Systems. The battery has been selected for a jet, but Nowlin was unable to reveal the OEM and said he “cannot confirm” news reports “that we are doing any work for Cessna.”
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is evaluating a request from Boeing to fly a 787 to test potential fixes to allow the airplane to re-enter service, the agency confirmed on Tuesday. The FAA gave no word on when it might respond to Boeing, however, nor would it confirm reports that the airplane could fly as early as this week.
As U.S. National Transportation Safety Board investigators continued their painstaking examination of the lithium-ion battery that caught fire on February 7 in a Japan Airlines Boeing 787, the airplane’s manufacturer projected a business-as-usual posture during its fourth-quarter earnings call last Wednesday.
Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) achieved a milestone in the quest for adoption of biofuels when it made the first flight by a civil jet powered by 100-percent unblended biofuel. At the end of October, the NRC’s Dassault Falcon 20 made the historic flight over Ottawa, burning a new biofuel known as ReadiJet, derived from Brassica carinata, an inedible oilseed crop provided by feedstock producer Agrisoma Biosciences.
HyperMach Aerospace announced a new configuration for its SonicStar supersonic business jet that will boost the aircraft’s top speed by more than 10 percent, to Mach 4.5, while also increasing range to more than 6,500 nm.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) flew the first civil jet powered by 100-percent unblended biofuel last week, marking a “significant step” toward advancing sustainable sources of renewable energy. During the test flight over Ottawa, biofuel made from oilseed crops flowed into the engines of a Falcon 20 captained by NRC pilot Tim Leslie.