General Electric’s research arm and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) have joined forces to develop an entirely bio-based jet fuel to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The main challenge is to make the conversion process efficient. The project envisions a conversion efficiency, by energy content, of crop oil to JP-8 surrogate of between 60 and 85 percent.
Melbourne, Fla.-based CharterMatrix has targeted the empty-leg market with the launch of an updated Web site, which includes a map-search function, request board and interaction with flight-planning Web site FlightOps1.com. The color-coded map-search function of CharterMatrix.com allows users to select a region and view all empty-leg charter flights available in the area. Users can also post bids for flights
The Joint Helicopter Safety Implementation Team (JHSIT), a voluntary organization whose members include OEMs, operators and agency officials, is preparing a tool kit aimed at helping operators with small fleets–one to five helicopters– design safety implementation and management systems.
Aviation Research Group/U.S. (ARG/US) and Avinode have launched the TAAP (trip analysis availability and pricing) service, a combination of the ARG/US Cheq (charter evaluation and qualification) system and the Avinode Pax (pricing and availability) service. Customers can search for operators, check the operators’ ARG/US safety rating, get trip pricing and aircraft availability and perform a TripCheq, using a single Web interface.
On Friday, Bell Helicopter’s 429 team froze the final exterior profile of its light twin-engine helicopter after months of development flight testing. Since introducing the Bell 429 GlobalRanger at Heli-Expo 2005, Bell has flown two prototypes for more than 400 hours of flight testing. One aircraft is now in Colorado performing high-altitude testing and the other is in Arizona for high-temperature trials.
While the FAA in early October released its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) covering future mandatory carriage of ADS-B avionics, serious questions have already been raised about it. Generally, it was expected that the NPRM would cover the whole spectrum of ADS-B applications and would provide clear guidance to corporate operators anxious to benefit from the system’s full capabilities.
Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon, during its third-quarter earnings conference this morning, announced its decision to sell Flight Options, its Cleveland-based business aircraft fractional share division. On October 15 the company entered into a definitive agreement to sell the fractional provider to HIG Capital, a Miami-based global private investment firm.
Aviation’s first two-in-one traffic and terrain awareness and warning system gained TSO authorization early last month, clearing the way for the first installations of the device, probably in May. Approval of T2CAS, a $170,000 (list price) safety system that combines TCAS 2000 with a class-A TAWS in a single box, represents the first certification of a product from Phoenix-based ACSS, a joint company owned by L-3 Communications and Thales.
It’s the sort of problem that any avionics equipment supplier would be happy to have. With a current backlog of some 36 systems, Gulfstream has asked Kollsman of Merrimack, N.H., to increase production of the company’s infrared-sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS), now certified in a variety of Gulfstreams.
The Hawker 700 has joined the list of business airplanes to benefit from the addition of retrofit Pro Line 21 Continuum avionics from Rockwell Collins. Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., performed the first installation of the Continuum cockpit in a Hawker 700, a package that included five FDS-2000 (seven-inch-diagonal) displays, TCAS 4000 and TWR-850 turbulence-detection weather radar.