True Blue Power recently received TSO approval from the FAA and ETSO approval from the EASA for its TB44 main-ship lithium-ion battery. Its Li-ion products use nanophosphate technology that was initially developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and introduced commercially by A123 Systems. OEMs are now integrating the TB17 (17 amp-hour) and TB44 (44 amp-hour) batteries into 11 business jets and helicopters. The batteries will also be offered as an STC retrofit for in-service King Airs, Caravans and PC-12s.
In addition to providing aircraft maintenance, management and charter services, North Texas-based Baker Aviation is also the exclusive distributor of the U.S.-made Hot-Stop L series fire-containment bags, designed to contain in-flight overheating of lithium-ion battery-powered devices. It has a full range of the U.S.-made safety bags produced by Industrial Energy Products (IEP) on display at its NBAA booth (1813).
Boeing and China’s Comac on Wednesday opened a demonstration facility for turning waste cooking oil, commonly referred to as gutter oil in China, into sustainable aviation biofuel. Experts in the field estimate that China generates enough gutter oil to produce 500 million gallons of biofuel annually.
Safe Flight Instrument of White Plains, N.Y., has developed an aircraft-based icing conditions detector (ICD) system using a combination of optical detection and a shielded temperature probe. The optical system uses an LED, a prism and an infrared sensor to detect the presence of moisture in the air.
Securaplane has grouped its lithium-ion battery technology under the “System Lithium” brand. Typically, such batteries weigh about half the weight of a traditional sealed lead-acid or nickel-cadmium battery, and in a large aircraft can save up to 200 pounds. Rather than being a single, sealed unit, the company’s lithium-iron phosphate batteries typically comprise clusters of low-power, smartphone-style cells packaged in a unit with advanced electronic cell management and health monitoring, with each cell surrounded by several layers of short-circuit protection.
Nav Canada, UK NATS and Air France said they have demonstrated that aircraft can safely change their flight profiles to more efficiently cross North Atlantic airspace. The so-called Engage II project will lead to “significant changes” in oceanic procedures, Nav Canada said October 17.
Icing is one of aviation’s major hazards and one that has been a causal factor in numerous accidents. Between 1982 and 2000, it was instrumental in more than 550 accidents that resulted in over 800 fatalities. While the lift- and controllability degrading effects of ice accretion on flying and control surfaces are well known, the ability to detect icing as it occurs has been a more difficult issue.
The Helicopter Association International will look at operational and flight safety issues faced by aerial firefighters and provide an overview of the upcoming 2015 fire season next month (November 17 to 19) at its firefighting safety conference in Boise, Idaho. The conference includes an interagency briefing with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. Attendance is free but advanced registration is required.
Recently launched Wingspan Systems of Mission, Kan., is in Orlando this week (Booth 1637) for the debut of its new RampTrack ground accident avoidance warning system. As the name suggests, RampTrack is a ground-based technology to help FBOs and ground-handling personnel avoid aircraft accidents.
Employing its “sensor fusion software,” RampTrack places multiple types of sensors inside hangars and on ramps to detect problems and alert ground crews to the potential for an accident in time to plan for avoidance, both for aircraft being moved and those that are parked.
Russian Helicopters has announced major investments in its factories. Kazan Helicopters has inaugurated a $13 million painting and finishing workshop. In Perm, Reductor-PM has started building a new gearbox and transmission assembly and testing facility. Russian Helicopters, which held a 796-aircraft backlog as of June 30, invested $220 million in production capacity last year.
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