The comment deadline has been extended 90 days, from October 8 to January 6, on anotice of proposed rulemaking(NPRM) published in July that seeks to amend qualification standards for some flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), specifically those capable of reproducing extended flight envelope and adverse weather training.
Dassault is preparing to fly two new Falcons–the Falcon 5X twinjet and the Falcon 8X trijet, both large-cabin business aircraft–in the first half of 2015. Five test aircraft are thus expected to grace Dassault’s Istres, France ramp by the end of next year. The 5,200-nm Falcon 5X was announced at the 2013 NBAA show and the 6,450-nm Falcon 8X a few months later at EBACE 2014.
Cessna announced improvements in expected range and runway performance for the Citation Latitude, basing its projections on data from the flight-test program for the new twinjet. The OEM expects FAA certification of the Latitude in the second quarter of next year.
The midsize jet’s range is being extended by 200 nm, to 2,700 nm, at long-range cruise. In addition, the Latitude’s takeoff distance has been shortened to 3,668 feet, down from a previously projected 4,030 feet.
The FAA selected four unleaded aviation fuels yesterday for the first phase of testing at the agency’s William J. Hughes Technical Center. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded fuel ready for general aviation use by 2018. Shell and Total, with one fuel each, and Swift Fuels, with two fuels, will now work with the FAA on phase-one testing, which will begin this fall and conclude later next year.
Cessna Aircraft’s second production Citation Latitude (S/N 002) made its first flight on Friday. During the 2.7-hour flight, the crew evaluated the autopilot, autothrottle, landing gear, pressurization, engine operating characteristics, environmental systems and flight control systems. This flight also marked the first time all three Citation Latitude prototypes were in the air simultaneously. S/N 002 is the third Citation Latitude to join the certification flight-test program and is the first that will be equipped with a full cabin.
Airbus is working hard to complete A350 flight testing, which it hopes to close by the end of next month in preparation for formal European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness approval in September. Principal remaining work involves long-range flights now under way following a maximum-energy rejected take-off (MERTO) demonstration at Istres Air Force Base in France on July 19. By July 22, the five A350 test aircraft had logged more than 2,250 hours during about 540 flights involving more than 1,380 takeoff/landing cycles.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) conducted the first flight of its Predator XP remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) on June 27 at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground range complex in Arizona. The Predator XP is an unarmed export version of the iconic RPA.
As Bombardier readies to resume flying its CSeries CS100 test aircraft in “the coming weeks,” it remains confident in Pratt & Whitney’s ability to deliver on its commercial promises that the airplane’s PW1500G geared turbofans will perform at the level and with the reliability both companies expected.
Just as in the U.S. there is considerable interest in Europe in developing a solution to the sense-and-avoid problem for unmanned aircraft. A number of different programs are running concurrently under different national, international and industrial consortia, and while several have clocked up significant hours of flight test in surrogate or testbed aircraft, none have as yet flown on board an unmanned platform.
Airbus Defence and Space Military Aircraft is scheduled to deliver the first of 22 A400M airlifters to the Royal Air Force in September. The delivery of aircraft MSN15 not only will mark the start of operations by a third country, but also represents the introduction of new capabilities as an important step along the type’s development roadmap. To get those capabilities into service has necessitated an intensive flight-trial campaign in the first part of this year.
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