The FAA has proposed levying a $1 million fine against American Eagle for failing to comply with the company’s oil-consumption monitoring program. The offenses involved nine Saab 340Bs, whose oil levels the airline failed to properly check daily between May 1 and Aug. 24, 1998. During that period, Eagle pilots aborted 11 takeoffs due to low engine oil pressure.
The Bush Administration’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for NASA includes an overall increase for space exploration, but aeronautics research continues to fall short, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said last month. The request totals $17.6 billion, an increase of 2.9 percent from Fiscal Year 2008.
When aerospace designer Burt Rutan rolled out his manned suborbital spaceflight program and its centerpiece, SpaceShipOne (SS1), from its Mojave, Calif., hangar in April last year, reporters asked about his plans for space tourism. Rutan said he himself wasn’t interested in launching a space tourism business, but he hoped others would be able to use his technology “sometime in the future” to begin a new space industry.
Former astronaut Curt Brown stood in front of nearly 1,500 guests at the NBAA 14th Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference last month and fought back tears as he remembered seven fellow astronauts who had died just two days earlier in the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia. “I came close to canceling [this appearance],” he told the audience, and then asked for a moment of silence to honor those lost.
A bustling airport in an otherwise desolate landscape served as the backdrop for the unveiling of what’s been hailed as the world’s first private space venture.
When EVAS Worldwide demonstrated its smoke-displacement system to potential customers more than three years ago, there were perhaps 150 units in service. Today sales have reached the 2,000 mark, according to the Ramsey, N.J. company. The patented emergency vision assurance system (EVAS) enables pilots to see the flight path and vital instruments, and to read approach plates and emergency procedures, even when the cockpit is filled with smoke.
EVASWorldwide, the Ramsey, N.J.-based distributor for the Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS), has appointed Business Jet Aircraft Completions (BJAC) as an installation center. BJAC has service facilities in Hartford, Conn., Montreal and Tucson. BJAC will now offer EVAS clients its international mobile technical-service teams. These mobile teams travel to a client’s home base and perform system installations.
Northrop Grumman finalized its acquisition of Scaled Composites on August 24, increasing its shares from 40 percent to 100 percent. Scaled Composites is the aerospace and specialty composites development company founded and run by Burt Rutan, known most recently for designing the first privately funded rocket-powered spacecraft, SpaceShipOne. The spacecraft made its first supersonic flight on Dec.
Northrop Grumman now owns 100 percent of Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites. On August 24, Northrop Grumman, which already owned 40 percent of Scaled, closed on the purchase of the remaining 60 percent. Scaled continues to work on the program to deliver SpaceShipTwo to Virgin Galactic. “The relationship between Scaled Composites and the Virgin Group is unchanged by this transaction,” a Northrop Grumman spokesman told AIN.
Based on the success of the SpaceShipOne (SS1) suborbital craft’s ascent on June 21 (AIN, July, page 2)–becoming the first privately funded manned spacecraft to reach 100 km (328,000 feet)–designer Burt Rutan is confident that he and his company, Mojave, Calif.-based Scaled Composites, will win the $10 million Ansari X Prize by year-end.