French engine manufacturer Snecma is making progress with plans to develop a turbofan in the 10,000-pound-thrust class. The manufacturer revealed plans last October to enter the business jet engine market. Design of the Silvercrest powerplant is now well under way, and the core is scheduled to run later this year.
By the middle of last month, Eclipse Aviation had delivered two airplanes to individual owners and three to air-taxi operator DayJet, which is using its airplanes for pilot training. DayJet plans to certify installation of a stand-alone attitude indicator to make its first airplanes Part 135 compliant until Eclipse receives certification for a third ADAHRS.
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.”
Sino Swearingen insists that the 2,500-nm-range SJ30-2 will be certified in the third quarter of this year, despite numerous program delays and the crash of S/N 002 in April 2003 (see page 1). “Three test aircraft–Serial Numbers 003, 004 and 005–are now flying seven days a week, and I’m comfortable that we will achieve FAA approval in the third quarter,” a company spokesman told AIN.
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.
In the January issue of AIN (page 39), we recounted the origins of the Learjet, complete with references to the well worn tale of the Swiss fighter connection. We then heard from Bill Lear’s eldest son, who suggested that “since you can’t get it straight from the horse’s mouth, here it is from the horse’s offspring, who followed closely in the horse’s hoofsteps!”
Safire Aircraft of Opa-Locka, Fla., announced last month that wind-tunnel testing at the University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory’s subsonic Kirstin Wind Tunnel had validated the design of the very light twinjet.
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.
Honda’s “research project” light jet now has its first logbook entry. The six-passenger HondaJet (its now-official provisional name) broke ground for the first time on December 3 from Honda’s purpose-built research facility at Piedmont Triad Regional Airport (GSO), Greensboro, N.C., on the leasehold of FBO and mod specialist Atlantic Aero.
French engine manufacturer Snecma has revealed plans to develop a turbofan engine to power business and regional jets. It has started developing a core engine demonstrator called the SM-X that, if a full development program is launched, would yield a powerplant producing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds of thrust. Ground testing of the core is set for the second half of next year.