UAV start-up Titan Aerospace of Moriarty, N.M., yesterday named former Eclipse Aviation CEO Vern Raburn as its chairman and CEO. Originally a Microsoft executive, Raburn founded Eclipse, manufacturer of the Eclipse 500 very light jet, in 1998. He stepped down from the company in 2008 before it entered bankruptcy, and it later re-emerged from bankruptcy as Eclipse Aerospace.
Progression in the development of both aircraft and their systems have made it so that in many cases pilots manage the systems more than they handle the airplane. However, old-fashioned piloting skills remain as essential as ever since such systems can be affected by interference from outside sources such as the sun–a vulnerability that might rear its head quite soon.
The ISIS Group has ordered 10 copies of the Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 400XP light jet, worth more than $70 million with options, to be leased from ISIS by Indian charter operator Aviators India in Bangalore. Half of the order will be delivered next year with the remaining five of the 400XPs due in 2010. Hawker Beechcraft’s sales partner in Delhi, InterGlobe General Aviation, helped Hawker win the order and will maintain the fleet.
While the term space weather may at first invoke visions of Capt. Kirk and his starship Enterprise encountering ion storms, it is in reality something which affects radio communications, satellite transmissions and signals intelligence. And because HF radio is particularly susceptible, it often forces airlines and any other aircraft operating on polar routes to switch to different tracks, and sometimes make unscheduled fuel stops.
Ceres Group of Davidson, N.C., has announced CopterShares, a by-the-hour helicopter membership program. Flight time will be sold in increments of 25 hours and membership will include an annual maintenance and service fee. Ceres Group president Joseph DePaulis expects clients to include banks, corporations, race teams and drivers. Ceres plans to start operating the service with two Eurocopter EC 120s in the first of quarter next year.
A British aerial filming business played a small part in last month’s successful landing of a European Space Agency probe on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. Helifilms, the firm that delivered the aerial TV pictures at last year’s Athens Olympics (AIN, October 2004, page 113), helped develop the drogue parachutes that lowered the probe safely onto the moon’s surface.
As part of the United Arab Emirates’ general technology drive, and in line with its move to netcentric warfare operations, a Space Reconnaissance Center has been established to receive and disseminate reconnaissance data from satellites. It is also being developed to handle downlinked information from other platforms, such as UAVs, aerostats and manned aircraft.