Many cockpit crewmembers believe the ingestion of ice crystals by a jet engine is essentially harmless if the engine’s igniters are turned on. However, aeronautical engineers generally do not agree, citing incidents when mixing ice with standard intake air resulted in a noticeable reduction in engine power output and, at its worst, a complete engine flameout. Ice formation inside an engine compartment can also lead to indicator anomalies that may not shut down the engine, but may lead to air data system failures.
A team of Harvard University researchers has devised a product that prevents ice and frost from forming on metal surfaces such as the leading edge of an aircraft wing.
Surfaces treated with the non-toxic, non-corrosive Slips (for slippery liquid infused porous surfaces) become ultra smooth, slippery surfaces to which fluids and solids alike, such as condensation, frost and even ice, will not adhere.
The Slips technology–tested so far on refrigerator fans–has also been proven to work effectively under high-humidity and high-pressure conditions.
Pascal Chrétien, the designer and pilot of an electric rotorcraft that flew in 2011, is forming a company that aims to offer hybrid power for aircraft, notably helicopters. The patented technology is called Tetraero, and according to its promoters its main benefit would be in safety.
HyperMach Aerospace announced a new configuration for its SonicStar supersonic business jet that will boost the aircraft’s top speed by more than 10 percent, to Mach 4.5, while also increasing range to more than 6,500 nm.
Smyrna Air Center, a full-service FBO based at Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport near Nashville, Tenn., is showcasing its new GE H80 engine conversion option here at NBAA’12. While Smyrna (Booth No.
Three helicopters being used to warm crops against cold temperatures and frost overnight in Western Palm Beach County, Fla., crashed in the early morning hours of December 8 in separate accidents between 2:10 and 7:40 a.m. The accidents involved two Robinson R44s and one Bell 206L-3. Only the pilot of the 206, the most extensively damaged of the three aircraft, sustained serious injuries.
It should go without saying that private jet passengers generally enjoy more space, more comfortable seats and more advanced cabin systems than their airline counterparts. But the benefits of all these luxuries can be badly undermined by inadequate humidity levels in the cabin that can make the VIP traveler as weary as an economy-class pauper at the end of a long flight.
No one likes to endure the sticky feeling of excess humidity, but lack of humidity in aircraft cabins at altitude can be a major cause of discomfort and travel fatigue.
Bombardier Learjet 60, Palm Springs, Calif., March 31, 2007–N244X, operated by Jet Solutions, suffered a loss of power in its left engine while cruising at 41,000 feet msl. The pilots told investigators they heard a loud bang and the twinjet began to vibrate. They shut down the left engine, declared an emergency and diverted to Palm Springs Airport. No one was injured.
The FAA has issued a final rule that prohibits Part 91K, 135 and 121 operators from taking off with “polished frost”–meaning frost buffed to make it smooth–on an aircraft’s wings, stabilizers and control surfaces. The new rule takes effect at the end of this month. Previous FAA guidance recommended removing all wing frost before takeoff, but allowed it to be polished smooth if the aircraft manufacturer’s recommended procedures were followed.