Epic’s single-engine Victory jet made its first flight on July 6 from Roberts Field in Redmond, Ore. The Williams International FJ33-4A-powered jet was unveiled at the Sun ’n’ Fun show in April, and first flight took place 202 days after design work began.
Russia’s new airframing consortium OAK has won government approval to continue limited production of widebody airliners. This covers assembly of 15 Ilyushin Il-96s in the 2008 to 2012 time frame, allowing the Voronezh Aircraft Production Association (VASO) to maintain annual production rates of three aircraft.
Delivery of the 561st Airbus A300 next month marks completion of the European manufacturer’s long march to becoming a successful competitor to its U.S. rival, Boeing, in the commercial aircraft market. It has developed, certified, marketed and completed profitable production of its initial design and embarked on a successor project.
Airbus has made virtue of a necessity with its new A350XWB (extra widebody) airliner. The company admits it was outmaneuvered by Boeing with the rapid success of the rival 787 program and Airbus very much needs to prove to the market that it is offering something more than just a catch-up product.
The flight-test program of the Grob Aerospace G180 SPn Utility Jet is progressing well, company officials said yesterday during a briefing at its Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany headquarters. Attendees also got the chance to see the prototype fly. Between its maiden flight on July 20 and September 7, the airplane has logged some 24 sorties for a total of 23 flight hours.
Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Georgia, in the CIS, in early January terminated its agreement with Maverick Jets of Melbourne, Fla., to certify and manufacture the Maverick Jets Leader, a twin-engine, kit-built very light jet. As recently as the Dubai Air Show in early December, TAM displayed a photograph of the Leader and included it in its sales material. Dr.
Safire Aircraft has selected Keith Products to supply the air conditioning for its very light jet, which is currently under development. The vapor-cycle system will be standard equipment on the six-place twinjet. Miami-based Safire also named Barry Controls to provide vibration isolators and mounting structure for the airplane’s two Williams International FJ33 turbofans.
The single-engine, four/five-passenger Sport-Jet is the latest aircraft to join the very light jet race. The aircraft is under development by Excel-Jet of Monument, Colo., whose president is Bob Bornhofen, designer of the Maverick Leader kitbuilt jet. Bornhofen, who is not associated with Maverick Jets of Melbourne, Fla., told AIN that he hopes to have the first preproduction Sport-Jet prototype in the air by the end of the year.
AvAero of Safety Harbor, Fla., announced that Falconbridge Mining is the first customer for the FuelMizer aerodynamic modification of the Boeing 737-200/300. AvAero, which received FAA approval in April last year, EASA certification in August last year and Transport Canada approval last month, claims the FuelMizer will decrease the twinjet’s fuel burn by an average of 4 percent.
January 13 is the closing date for comments on the FAA’s proposal to establish rules covering extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) applicable to Part 121 and 135 operations. The vast majority of the more than 60 comments submitted by press time supported the proposed ETOPS thresholds of 180 minutes for Part 135 and 207 minutes for Part 121.