A new control surface could reduce induced drag on commercial and business aircraft by up to 14 percent, resulting in fuel savings of more than $400 million per year across the entire U.S. air transport fleet. So claims Utah State University aeronautical engineering professor Warren Phillips, who recently introduced the devices, which he calls “twisterons.”
In the year before April 26, 2003, when Sino Swearingen’s number-one SJ30-2 prototype crashed after entering an uncommanded and unrecoverable right roll during high-speed flutter testing, company engineers were attempting to deal with lateral stability issues with the twinjet, according to the NTSB’s recently released factual report on the accident.
Lockheed 1329-23E JetStar, Houston, May 15, 2004–On final approach to William P. Hobby Airport, the pilot extended full flaps. The airplane decelerated and rolled uncontrollably to the left. The pilot regained control and landed without incident. On inspection, it was found that the left inboard flap had separated and the attach bolts were still in the flap attach brackets.
Even though noise wasn’t a factor in the accident, February’s Challenger overrun at Teterboro has inevitably resurrected local residents’ complaints about aircraft noise. It doesn’t take much, as we all know, to reinvigorate the anti-noise folks.
AvAero of Safety Harbor, Fla., announced that Falconbridge Mining is the first customer for the FuelMizer aerodynamic modification of the Boeing 737-200/300. AvAero, which received FAA approval in April last year, EASA certification in August last year and Transport Canada approval last month, claims the FuelMizer will decrease the twinjet’s fuel burn by an average of 4 percent.
HAWKER 700A, BEAUMONT, TEXAS, SEPT. 20, 2003–An instructor was preparing two pilots for their Part 135 competency and proficiency checks, doing stalls in a practice area near Southeast Texas Regional Airport, when the Hawker went into a spin and crashed. The NTSB blamed the flying pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control and adequate airspeed.
You couldn’t be in a better place than Le Bourget during airshow week to appreciate–if that’s the right word–aircraft noise. Yet a comparison between the takeoff rumble of the newest airliners and the thunderous departures of the latest military models amply demonstrates the progress in noise suppression made by the civil aircraft industry. And this progress continues, aimed at the eventual development of truly silent aircraft.
A new pitch actuator will be required in some 330 U.S.-registered Pilatus PC-12s if the FAA adopts a proposed AD. The directive will require certain flap and autopilot limitations until the new actuator is installed. Pilatus reports the new actuator, which removes the flap-in-motion signal to the autopilot, is designed to prevent an abrupt nose-down pitch when the autopilot is disengaged while the flaps are at a 40-degree setting.
AirMech Innovations (AMI) announces the development of the AMI Model 104 flap asymmetry tester designed specifically for use with the Gulfstream II, III and IV. The unit performs all of the functions necessary to facilitate the calibration, testing and adjustment of the aircraft’s left and right wing flaps.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating the Nov. 11, 2005, incident in which a Bahamas-registered Bombardier Challenger 604 lost its autopilot. According to a UK AAIB bulletin, VP-BJM was cruising at FL400 for 4.5 hours on a flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to Farnborough, England, when the crew received an “autopilot pitch trim” caution.