The Sino Swearingen SJ30-2 that crashed on April 26 was not equipped with a spin recovery chute, nor was it required to be. In addition, to date there are no reports that use of such a chute would have changed the outcome of the accident, in which the pilot was killed. The FAA requires chutes on aircraft during some certification flight tests, but the accident occurred during a company flight test.
Eurocopter is making further strides toward its aim of certifying a helicopter to make IFR approaches to a hover, over a given point on the ground and at a defined height. By the end of this month, a second phase of flight tests involving a specially modified EC 155, currently under way near the OEM’s Marseille headquarters in southern France, will be complete.
The fifth and final prototype Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin transport helo, this one incorporating customer-inspired design changes and a new Rockwell Collins glass cockpit, made its first flight October 5 at Sikorsky Aircraft’s flight-test field in Stratford, Conn.
If the HondaJet were being developed by a traditional business jet manufacturer, we would undoubtedly know a lot more about its future. Those who follow new-aircraft projects are used to receiving regular updates on milestones and test results along the way as the manufacturer seeks to reassure stockholders, lure new investors–or both.
Raytheon Aircraft’s fourth Hawker Horizon, which entered flight test last month, represents the final production configuration of the new super-midsize business jet. Outfitted with an interior, the aircraft will conduct FAA function and reliability testing as part of the certification effort.
AirCell reports it has successfully completed the initial phase of flight testing for a new airborne telecommunications link, which is claimed to provide average data speeds in flight of 300- to 500 kilobytes per second and peak rates up to 2.4 megabytes per second.
Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn acknowledged in a customer/investor update dated June 10 that there is a lengthy wait between delivery of new Eclipse 500 VLJs and pilot training. “Unfortunately,” he wrote, “we did not adequately plan our staffing levels and have thus fallen behind schedule.”
One month ahead of schedule, the first Citation Mustang production aircraft (S/N 0001) took to the air on Monday. The very light jet (VLJ) flew exactly two hours, performing basic systems and avionics checks, including engaging the autopilot, testing handling characteristics, operating the gear and flaps, activating the de-ice system and evaluating engine response and performance.
Some requirements of certification flight testing are impossible to complete from the home airfield, no matter where that may be. In late March/early April, Raytheon Aircraft sent the second flight-test Hawker Horizon (RC-2) to Iqaluit, in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, for four days of cold-weather tests.
Ibis Aerospace flew its second production Ae270 Propjet fitted with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-66A in late February from Aero Vodochody’s flight-test facilities near Prague, Czech Republic.