Safire Aircraft selected the Williams FJ33, derated to 1,100 pounds thrust, to power the Florida company’s S-26 very light twinjet. Safire disclosed last August it was seeking an alternate supplier to its first choice, Agilis Engines, which has never manufactured an engine of its own design but over the past several years has been a supplier of engineering services to OEMs.
US Airways has placed a firm order for 92 Airbus airliners, including the first ever for the A350XWB by a U.S. airline.
Seven crewmembers are presumed dead after a flight of two U.S. Navy T-39 Sabreliners crashed in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Panhandle last month. Navy officials said the two jets (military versions of the Sabreliner 40) were on a routine training flight from Pensacola Naval Air Station when they disappeared from radar about 40 mi south of Pensacola in the Gulf, with three people aboard one airplane and four on the other.
The European Aviation Safety Agency has granted 180-minute extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval to Airbus for its A321, A320 and A319, including the Airbus Corporate Jetliner. The approval permits operators of these twinjets to operate as far as 180 minutes (at single-engine speeds) from a diversion airport. There are currently no U.S. ETOPS rules–only guidelines intended for Part 121 operators.
AvAero, a maker of Learjet hush kits, has received an STC for a fuel-saving aerodynamic modification of the Boeing 737-200/300. The company claims the mod will decrease the twinjet’s fuel burn by an average of 4 percent, equating to about a 230-pph fuel-burn reduction. By repositioning the trailing-edge flaps, AvAero said it increases aft wing camber, which lets the airfoil generate the same lift at a lower angle of attack.
Pogo is the new name for the former iFly Air Taxi, a company that plans initially to use 75 Adam A700 very light twinjets as a start toward a national “air limo” network. “We wanted to find a name that conveys the idea of quickly hopping from one place to another,” said Pogo CEO Donald Burr, founder of People Express. Former competitor Bob Crandall, retired chief of American Airlines, is chairman of the new venture.
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.