Over the last 20 years, the aviation industry has documented more than 200 incidents in which turbofans have lost power during high-altitude flights, according to NASA.
Rockwell Collins (Booth No. 8040) opened Heli-Expo 2014 with announcements that its new MFD-268P2B multifunction displays are now standard equipment on Sikorsky S-92 medium-lift helicopters.
Available on new S-92s delivered this year, the MFD-268P2B offers improved color stability and readability for high-angle, cross-cockpit viewing. The displays may also be upgraded, with provisions for installation of synthetic vision, H-TAWS terrain awareness and the company’s MultiScan weather radar systems.
Safe Flight (Booth No. 2516) introduced its upgraded digital powerline detection system (DPDS) and provided an update about ongoing development of its icing conditions detector (ICD) at Heli-Expo 2014.
The DPDS adds a digital signal processor to Safe Flight’s previous analog system, allowing the detection of both 60Hz and 50Hz frequencies produced by power lines around the world. Safe Flight director of government and military sales Greg Hilewitz noted testing on an AS355 showed the DPDS detected a 22,000-volt line at more than one statute mile distant.
Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) has approved CenTex Aerospace’s Halo 250 conversion for the Beechcraft King Air 200 series. It allows any King Air 200 to carry up to 920 pounds more payload by increasing the maximum takeoff weight to 13,420 pounds from 12,500 pounds. A new Airplane Flight Manual supplement has performance data for takeoff flight path to 1,500 feet agl and the landing approach flight path in normal and icing conditions.
A Fokker F100 charter flight in Western Australia experienced a hard landing on Oct. 12, 2012 after encountering a dry microburst-induced wind shear. No one was injured; however, the aircraft was substantially damaged, including wrinkled skin in the forward and rear portions of the airframe and the deformation of several structural beams. The flight departed Perth Airport headed north to Nifty aerodrome, with the expectation of a few thunderstorms along the way.
A video showing lightning striking a Copa Airlines jet parked at the gate clearly demonstrates why all aircraft fueling ceases when thunderstorms are near. Pay particular attention to the small manhole cover near the front of the aircraft that goes flying toward a ground tug shortly after the strike.
The FAA is reissuing and revising a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03R4) covering recommendations for rotorcraft powered by turboshaft engines flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are not approved/equipped for flight into icing conditions.
Even as researchers study ways to improve detection of in-flight icing and make airframes and engines more resistant to icing conditions, they continue to struggle to understand the icing phenomenon–especially the formation of ice crystals–according to speakers at a conference on the subject organized by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne, Germany recently. Ice-prevention techniques present their own challenges, which aircraft makers, airports and ground handlers are endeavoring to solve.
Boeing and GE have warned companies operating Boeing 747-8 and 787 airliners powered by certain versions of General Electric’s GEnx engines about the risk of in-flight internal-engine icing that can reduce engine performance if aircraft wander too close to areas of significant precipitation, like thunderstorms at high altitudes. Engine models affected are the GEnx-2B on the 747-8 and the GEnx-1B on the 787 Dreamliner.
Lockheed Martin (Stand 1975) is installing its WindTracer windshear and turbulence-detection system at Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it will be used to detect aircraft wake vortices, thus allowing for increased runway utilization. Two WindTracers have been installed this year and a third one is to follow in the first quarter of next year, Michael Margulis, WindTracer program director, told AIN. WindTracer is a long-range, 3-D-scanning pulsed doppler lidar-based system.