Here we are, 41,000 feet in the air, sailing along at a little more than 476 knots and a little more than halfway from Morristown, N.J., to the Paris Air Show. We’ve got a biofuel blend of Honeywell’s finest and jet-A feeding engine one and straight jet-A in the other. The G450’s Rolls-Royce engines appear to be perfectly happy on a diet of either, and the flight is as smooth as a glass-top table.
Two years ago at the last Paris Air Show, jet biofuels were just talked about, but at the airshow this week they appear to have come of age. On Saturday, Honeywell made history by landing a Gulfstream G450 at Paris Le Bourget after the first transatlantic flight using a blend of biofuel and jet-A.
When Peg Billson first was approached about the opportunity to take over leadership of BBA Aviation’s Legacy Support division and its Ontic subsidiary, it took her just a few minutes to understand the unique nature of the company’s business model.
Airline fuel savings of 4 percent and quieter, cleaner airports are predicted for an electrically powered “green” taxing system for airplanes being developed by Safran and Honeywell. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday to form a joint-venture company to develop the system.
China’s new single-aisle aircraft, the Comac C919, has amassed its first 100 orders and a heavyweight team of international suppliers as it heads for a scheduled first flight just three years from now and service entry in 2016. Only a scale model is on show here at Le Bourget this week, but the program represents nothing less than China’s first serious bid to hit the international air transport big time.
Honeywell announced yesterday that it offered to acquire EMS Technologies for $491 million, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. The acquisition should be completed in the third quarter of this year.
Honeywell’s Mechanical Protection Plan (MPP), an extended repair and replacement program, is expected to be available starting the third quarter of this year. Designed to avoid downtime while driving predictable and manageable maintenance costs, the program will cover environmental and cabin pressure control systems on select Gulfstream and Pilatus models.
Three super-midsize G250 flight-test airplanes have flown more than 1,150 hours and 400 flights, and the jet remains on schedule for certification later this year, Gulfstream Aerospace said. The Honeywell HTF7250G turbofan received FAA certification on March 18 and delivers substantially lower emissions compared with its HTF7000 sibling. All static, limit/ultimate load testing has been completed on the G250, and fatigue testing is under way.
As Honeywell’s Falcon 900 equipped with the new EASy II avionics upgrade flew solidly down the glideslope to Runway 23 at Morristown Airport in New Jersey, the two pilots and I (sitting in the jump seat) could see a clear view of the outside world on the PFD’s SmartView synthetic-vision system (SVS) display. Outside the world was murky white and it stayed that way down to minimums.