Technology

September 11, 2014 - 9:47am
Lockheed Martin UClass

The U.S. Navy is advancing supporting elements of the planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UClass) program as it awaits direction on the air vehicle component of the system. The service had expected to issue a final request for proposals (RFP) for the air vehicle component soon, but release of the document has been delayed.

September 10, 2014 - 11:00am

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for all Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114 and PT6A-114A turboprop engines. It requires initial and repetitive borescope inspection of compressor turbine blades (CT), and the removal from service of blades that fail inspection. This AD was prompted by several incidents of CT blade failure, causing power loss and engine failure. The purpose of the AD is to prevent failure of CT blades, which could result in damage to the engine and the airplane.

September 9, 2014 - 3:35pm

Embraer officially opened a 75,000-sq-ft Engineering & Technology Center yesterday at its growing campus in Melbourne, Fla. The facility will conduct engineering and development activities for both products and technology across Embraer’s business lines–airliners, executive aviation, defense and aerospace–with the first assignments focused primarily on executive jet interiors. It is the first of its kind for Embraer outside Brazil, where the company is headquartered.

September 9, 2014 - 3:20pm

Cessna received FAA type certification for the Citation CJ3+ on Thursday, some six months after the company introduced the new derivative. The CJ3+ features a Garmin G3000 integrated avionics suite, an automatically controlled cabin pressurization system and an advanced fault and maintenance diagnostic system.

September 9, 2014 - 2:55pm

Quest Aircraft received FAA approval to install the Garmin GFC 700 autopilot into its Kodiak turboprop single. The GFC 700–which provides flight director, autopilot, yaw damper, automatic and manual electric trim capabilities–integrates with the Kodiak’s G1000 avionics system. Standard features of the GFC 700 include electronic stability protection, which prevents the airplane from decelerating below established minimum airspeeds and allows for coupled go-arounds. Deliveries of Kodiaks equipped with the Garmin GFC 700 will begin in the fourth quarter.

September 9, 2014 - 2:45pm

To improve situational awareness and gather more specific data about helicopter movements and helicopter noise, the FAA is requesting that pilots of civil helicopters operating under VFR at or below 6,000 feet in the Los Angeles Basin squawk transponder code 1205 between September 1 and Feb. 27, 2015. Law enforcement and other first-responder helicopters have been asked to squawk 1206. However, both rotary- and fixed-wing pilots should continue to squawk 1201 when flying in the L.A. Special Flight Rules Corridor.

September 9, 2014 - 2:02pm
Raytheon Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle

A Pentagon “quality assurance assessment” of Raytheon’s exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV), part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System, identified 48 “nonconformances” that could affect the reliability of the system, which is designed to destroy ballistic missiles in flight. Raytheon and partner Boeing said they have already addressed most of the issues.

September 8, 2014 - 2:30pm

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) believes methane gas expelled from an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico caused the partial power failure on a Bell 206-L3 helicopter departing the MP61A platform on March 24, 2011. The pilot experienced the power failure at about 4:55 p.m., shortly after liftoff. The NTSB attributed the power loss to an engine compressor stall after it ingested methane gas during takeoff.

September 8, 2014 - 1:50pm

Jeppesen quickly responded to the September 5 alert about the unscheduled September 4 JeppFD iPad update that reportedly destroyed the application’s terminal approach charts in the process of adding new data. The error occurred when the “update in progress” message appeared on the update screen. Jeppesen told NBAA on September 6 that the update was actually intended for the demonstration side of the JeppFD system and was released in error.

September 8, 2014 - 1:35pm

The National Weather Service (NWS) released a tool last week to allow airspace system users to input real-time turbulence and icing Pireps electronically. The Pireps, as well as other weather observations, will be immediately distributed to users throughout the aviation system, including dispatchers and schedulers. The updated information will also be fed into NWS computers to help improve the accuracy of forecasts.

 
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