Convertibles get a bad rap from some diehard sports-car purists who dismiss them as semi-serious boulevard cruisers a notch down from where they should be with the rigidity of a hardtop. When the man from BMW said the M6 to be delivered for this evaluation would be a convertible, my sense of anticipation encountered a mild downdraft. Perhaps unfairly, what came to mind were rattles, body shake and the damp aroma that can blight drop-tops.
For many years, the one market segment that General Electric’s turbine engine-manufacturing business didn’t serve was aircraft that use smaller turboprop engines. But that is changing; GE announced yesterday that it is buying Czech engine manufacturer Walter Engines. Based in Prague, Walter has manufactured more than 37,000 aircraft engines since 1923.
Today it is normal to have maintenance performed on our aircraft or components almost anywhere in the world. With the availability of overnight delivery of almost any aircraft component to any location, it makes sense to seek out the most capable and cost-effective certified repair facility almost without regard for its location.
China’s Xi’an Aircraft Company (XAC) landed the largest-ever order from a Chinese airline for its MA60 regional turboprop last month. Privately held Okay Airways said it has agreed to lease 10 of the 60-seat turboprops, the first of which it plans to deploy by the end of the year. It expects to take delivery of the rest within two years, it added.
Bombardier CL600-2B19 CRJ, Asheville, N.C., March 19, 2006 – The NTSB found that company maintenance personnel improperly installed the pilot’s windshield on the Pinnacle Airlines jet, which resulted in flame and smoke in the cockpit and the subsequent emergency landing.
More parts of Honda’s aerospace puzzle are coming together as the company announced today that its GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines (2,000-pound-thrust class) would be made in North Carolina, where the HondaJet will be manufactured. To date, the engine has been selected to power the Spectrum Freedom and the HondaJet.
Honda added another element to the business plan for its aviation ventures last month, when the Japanese carmaker announced the formation of Honda Aero Inc., a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co. Led by Junichi Araki, the new business unit will employ only about 10 people and is scheduled to begin operations by year-end at a U.S. location to be determined.
MD 600N, Vicksburg, Miss., Feb. 6, 2007–The NTSB said the loss of engine power on the MD 600, which landed hard on a logging road, was due to fuel starvation because the fuel transfer check valve was stuck in the closed position. The pilot was en route to refuel the helicopter, cruising at 115 knots at 500 feet agl, when the engine quit. The pilot autorotated and landed on the road, surrounded by tall trees.
The number of unmanned air vehicles in our skies is growing fast, but there are many regulatory and doctrinal issues to resolve, before UAVs and their ground and underwater-based cousins will operate routinely.
Pratt & Whitney has installed the first JT8D-200 series QuietEagle noise reduction system on a VIP McDonnell Douglas MD-87. The system, which includes a 16-lobe internal mixer, exhaust muffler, tabbed nozzle and improved front fan case, is said to bring JT8D-200s into compliance with FAR Part 36 Stage 4 and ICAO Annex 16 Chapter 4 noise standards.