Cessna has regained the title of fastest civil aircraft with yesterday’s receipt of the FAA type certificate for the upgraded Citation X+ and today’s delivery of the first customer aircraft. The midsize Citation X+ has a verified maximum speed of Mach 0.935 (617 mph/536 ktas), besting the Gulfstream G650’s Mach 0.925.
The European Aviation Safety Agency granted certification yesterday for a new auxiliary fuel tank to be installed on the Piaggio Aero Avanti II and Avanti Evo.
Bombardier Aerospace announced today that the Challenger 350 received Transport Canada approval, with FAA certification expected “shortly.” An upgrade of the Challenger 300, the 350 has a new wing with canted winglets, a higher mtow of 40,600 pounds and greater fuel capacity for an NBAA IFR range of 3,200 nm versus its predecessor’s 3,065 nm.
In a ceremony held this morning at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport, Clay Lacy Aviation owner Clay Lacy donated two “historic” jets to the local aviation maintenance school, North Valley Occupational Center-Aviation (NVOC-Aviation). NVOC-Aviation is operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District adult education program and offers one of the most inexpensive ways for aspiring aircraft mechanics to study for the FAA mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings, with the 2.5-year full-time program costing just $2,400.
Dr. Lewis “Bernie” Gratzer, the retired vice president of technology at Aviation Partners, passed away on Friday night. Gratzer, already a well respected aerodynamicist, joined Aviation Partners when the company was formed in 1991 to work on a blended winglet for the Gulfstream II. In 1994 he received patent #5,348,253 for his blended winglet design, the lynchpin technology of Aviation Partners’ winglet products. According to Aviation Partners, his winglet design is now flying on more than 6,000 airplanes “and counting.”
Everett, Washington-based BLR Aerospace (Booth 2606) has obtained FAA approval of its LED lighting system for installation in Beechcraft King Air 90s that are equipped with BLR winglets, the company announced at EBACE 2014. Benefits of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) include better reliability, lower power consumption, higher illumination, reduced weight and longer life, when compared to incandescent lighting.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based charter operator Alpha Star Aviation Services (Booth 3824) has equipped its entire fleet with electronic flight bags (EFBs). The six VIP aircraft include three Airbuses (ACJ318, ACJ319 and ACJ320), one Gulfstream G550, one Hawker 900XP and one ATR 42. The company intends to have its pilots using EFBs–iPads connected to a Rockwell Collins system–during the entire flight in the short term. “Our crews were trained by Lufthansa and FlightSafety,” CEO Salem Al Muzaini added.
Since Aviation Partners first flew its revolutionary Split Scimitar Winglet (SSW) on a Boeing BBJ in 2012, the aerodynamic modification has been certified by both the FAA and EASA for the 737-800/BBJ 2 version. Now the company is expecting the SSW to be certificated for the other members of the BBJ family before the end of the year.
Yesterday at EBACE Piaggio Aero (Booth 6134) launched the Avanti EVO, a new business version of the twin-turboprop P.180 Avanti that promises additional performance, greater passenger comfort and enhanced safety features. Fitted with Piaggio-designed winglets, redesigned engine nacelles, a reshaped front wing (canards) and five-bladed scimitar propellers, the Avanti EVO is more eye-catching than ever. However, the aerodynamic refinements have been undertaken to provide significant performance benefits.
Piaggio Aero launched the Avanti EVO, an upgraded version of the Avanti twin turboprop, today at EBACE. Fitted with winglets, redesigned engine nacelles, a reshaped front wing and five-blade composite scimitar propellers, the Avanti EVO will have better performance, greater passenger comfort and enhanced safety features compared with the Avanti II.