AINtv has been looking at new unmanned aerial vehicle designs in the works to meet evolving surveillance and other special-missions needs.
Piaggio Aero and Selex ES announced at the Dubai Airshow that the first flight of the P.1HH HammerHead Demo unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology demonstrator took place on November 14 at Trapani air force base in Italy.
Piaggio Aero and Selex ES revealed here yesterday that the first flight of the P.1HH HammerHead Demo unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology demonstrator took place on November 14 at Trapani air force base in Italy.
The demonstrator took off at 110 knots rotation speed and flew over the Mediterranean Sea for approximately 12 minutes while being remotely piloted from a ground-control station. The flight was conducted with the aircraft in mid-flap configuration, with landing gear extended, with it reaching an altitude of 2,000 feet and a speed of 170 knots.
There were two major developments in the business turboprop sector this year and neither involved new aircraft. However, they did show where potentially the next growth area is for the turboprop market: downstream. Turboprops historically have been a useful vehicle for introducing new customers into the corporate aircraft market, provided operators can maintain price discipline. If not, bad things can happen. Case in point: after several years of public struggle, Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair ceased operations in June.
ACEA (Beijing) Aviation Investment, the Piaggio Avanti distributor in Mainland China, signed a contract yesterday at NBAA 2013 with SR Jet, a division of Beijing-based Sparkle Roll Investment Holdings, for the purchase of two extended-range Avanti IIs with options for eight more. The aircraft will incorporate an additional tank with a 400-pound capacity, increasing the maximum fuel on board to 3,226 pounds from 2,826 and extending the maximum range by 250 nm, to 1,720 nm with IFR reserves.
First-time NBAA exhibitors Aviation Partners Group (APG) of Punta Gorda, Florida, and Oma Sud of Capua, Italy and Miami, are presenting here at NBAA 2013 the Oma Sud Skycar (B. No. N409). Designed and developed in Italy, the five-place, all-metal piston twin-engine Skycar is both FAA and EASA certified. Designed for missions ranging from executive transport to cargo hauling and patrol work, the aircraft is currently receiving enhancements including air-conditioning, composite three-bladed propellers, electronic ignition and tuned exhaust system.
Piaggio Aero Industries, Italian manufacturer of the P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop, and ACEA (Beijing) Aviation Investment Co., exclusive distributor for the aircraft in Mainland China, signed a contract here at NBAA 2013 yesterday with SR Jet, a division of Beijing-based Sparkle Roll Investment Holdings, for the purchase of two Avanti IIs with options for an additional eight.
New Jersey-based Part 145 repair station Teterboro Rams, which has mechanics’ liens on four ex-Avantair Piaggio Avanti turboprops in its possession, is “in negotiations with two groups [of owners] to release two of the aircraft,” Rams co-owner Dennis Espinosa told AIN. The FAA revoked the airworthiness certificates of all 56 ex-Avantair Avantis not long after the fractional provider was declared insolvent in late July.
Palm Beach, Fla.-based Piaggio America–the North American representative for Piaggio Aero, the Italian company that manufactures the Avanti twin turboprop–will create an “OEM-trained team with the support of additional specialists furnished from Italy” to offer restoration services to fractional share owners of Avantis grounded by the bankruptcy of Avantair, Piaggio America president and CEO John Bingham told AIN yesterday.
A Swiss-owned company that is developing a trio of remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) for civil and military applications made its inaugural appearance at the recent Unmanned Systems conference in Washington, D.C. Unmanned Systems Group, with headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, displayed its Discoverer and Discoverer II fixed-wing air vehicles and a scale model of the planned Atro-X unmanned helicopter featuring tip-jet rotor propulsion.