Aeronautics engineer Richard Whitcomb–whose research at NASA produced the area rule, supercritical wing and winglets–was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame earlier this month. He died in 2008 at the age of 88. During Whitcomb’s almost four decades at NASA his “fundamental insight into aerodynamics and his practical solutions led to three of the most significant and practical contributions to aeronautics in the 20th century,” said NASA Langley Research Center director Lesa Roe.
BLR Aerospace has named West Star Aviation an authorized dealer for its Super King Air winglets and associated products, including extended-length de-ice boots and LED lighting upgrades. Under the terms of the agreement West Star will provide and install BLR’s products on the King Air 90, 200 and 300 series at its Grand Junction, Colo.; Dallas; and Columbia, S.C. facilities.
Aviation Partners’ high-Mach blended winglets on the Falcon 50 series were STC’d by the FAA on Tuesday. EASA approval is pending, the company said. The FAA certification is the culmination of an 18-month development and flight-test program, and comes on the heels of its similar winglet approvals for the Falcon 900 and 2000 series. Aviation Partners claims its Falcon 50 winglets provide a drag reduction, and corresponding range increase, of 5 percent at Mach 0.80 and more than 7 percent at long-range cruise.
Bombardier switched on the electrical and avionics systems of the first Learjet 75 to roll down the company’s Wichita production line during the week of August 21. The Learjet 75 is an updated version of the 45XR, and the 70 replaces the 40XR. Both feature a new Garmin G5000-based Bombardier Vision flight deck with touchscreen controllers mounted in the cockpit pedestal, synthetic vision display on the PFDs and Garmin’s new solid-state GWX 70 radar.
Three jets are now flying in the Learjet 70/75 flight-test program. The first two are a Learjet 40XR and 45XR modified with the Bombardier Vision cockpit, which was installed at Garmin’s New Century AirCenter facility near company headquarters in Olathe, Kan. The Vision flight deck in the Learjet 70 and 75 is based on a Garmin G5000 avionics suite, which features touchscreen controllers mounted in the cockpit pedestal, synthetic vision display on the PFDs and Garmin’s new solid-state GWX 70 radar.
On Friday, Cessna announced that it has raised the top speed for its Citation Ten to Mach 0.935, which would make it the fastest civil aircraft in service once certified. This eclipses the speed of its Citation X predecessor by Mach 0.015 and the currently stated top speed of the soon-to-be-certified Gulfstream G650 by Mach 0.010.
BLR Aerospace announced at LABACE 2012 that it has won certification from the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) of Brazil for its FastFin tail rotor enhancement and stability system for installation and flight on Bell Helicopter Models 204, 205 and 212.
GKN Aerospace won a contract from Triumph Aerostructures’ Vought Aircraft division this week to design, build and supply composite winglets and ailerons for the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 ultra-long-range business jets. The ailerons will be developed and manufactured at GKN’s wing structures operation in Munich, Germany, while the winglets will be fabricated at its Isle of Wight facility in the UK. The company is already contracted to provide winglets for the Bombardier CSeries and supplies winglets for several other business aircraft.
Hawker Beechcraft announced today at LABACE that the first customer aircraft in the Hawker 400XPR upgrade program is undergoing the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics system retrofit at its Hawker Beechcraft Service facility in Atlanta.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport-based Constant Aviation has completed its fifth winglet modification on the Citation X. According to the company, adding the winglet option allows the aircraft to climb directly to 34,000 feet in 29 minutes, compared with a 93-minute step climb without the winglets, increasing range by 160 nm. It also allows the Citation X to depart from high/hot airports with 1,200 pounds more payload or depart with the pre-winglets payload and fly 400 nm farther, according to Stephen Maiden, the MRO facility’s president.