Airbus has finished building the main structural assembly and system connection of the first A350 XWB flight test aircraft, MSN-001, the company announced on Tuesday. The aircraft rolled out of the main assembly hall (Station 40) at the recently inaugurated “Roger Béteille” A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in Toulouse.
UAV Navigation, a developer of flight-control avionics and motion sensors for unmanned aircraft, said it demonstrated its LCAP autopilot system in a “sea-skimming” target UAV designed to mimic the threat of an incoming missile.
The Embraer Legacy 500 made a “flawless” one-hour 45-minute first flight today from the aircraft manufacturer’s headquarters at Brazil’s São José dos Campos Airport, marking the beginning of the midsize jet’s flight-test program. Embraer test pilots Mozart Louzada and Eduardo Camelier, along with flight-test engineers Gustavo Paixão and Alexandre Figueiredo, flew the fly-by-wire aircraft, performing handling and performance characteristics evaluation.
Safe Flight Instrument’s AutoPower autothrottle system has made its way onto the Gulfstream G150 (and via retrofit the G200). The STCed system, available as a factory-new option or via retrofit from authorized Gulfstream service centers, can extend the aircraft’s range or payload with its fuel savings. “You can take one extra passenger and his bags on a flight because of the fuel savings from the AutoPower system,” said sales manager Ken Bannon.
Honda Aircraft has started the production line for its $4.5 million HondaJet entry-level twinjet. A handful of initial customer aircraft are scheduled to be completed next year. Honda expects FAA certification of the HondaJet’s GE Honda HF120 engine (2,095 pounds of thrust/5,000-hour TBO) in the middle of next year and aircraft certification in 2013.
The NTSB has issued 10 safety recommendations in the wake of its investigation into the April 2, 2011 crash of the G650 test aircraft. Five of the October 23 recommendations were intended for the FAA, two for Gulfstream Aerospace and the remaining three for the Flight Test Safety Committee. The Board recommends developing flight-test operating guidance for manufacturers.
Eclipse Aerospace announced last week that an anti-skid braking system will become an available option on new production Eclipse 550 jets as a retrofit item to all existing aircraft. The new anti-skid system adds 17 pounds to the aircraft’s empty weight; the company says it will offer a weight-reduction package to help offset the new feature.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s two newest aircraft–the super-midsize G280 and wide-cabin G650–are both on final approach to receive their respective FAA certification, the company announced yesterday.
AgustaWestland signed agreements at the Farnborough airshow with three key suppliers–Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems–for its AW609 civil tiltrotor program. These major agreements follow a trail of contracts signed with AW609 component suppliers since AgustaWestland acquired the tiltrotor program last November. The OEM expects to obtain FAA and EASA certification of the AW609 in the first half of 2016.
The problems with the A400M’s TP400-D6 turboprop engine that caused the airlifter to be scratched from this week’s Farnborough International flight demonstrations will slow civil certification and first delivery of the aircraft, but are not expected to delay its entry into service with the French air force next year. Production aircraft do not have the same issues.