BLR Aerospace announced that it has delivered its 500th winglet system. The buyer of the 500th system is the FAA, which is also the company’s largest customer. In May the FAA ordered BLR Aerospace LED-light-equipped winglets for its fleet of 18 Beechcraft King Air 300s. The FAA’s first winglet-modified King Air 300 is already flying, and the FAA is currently installing the winglets on its third King Air 300. The FAA King Air 300s are used to flight check navaids, airport lighting and IFR approaches.
Cessna Aircraft launched a new version of its midsize Citation Sovereign today at the NBAA Convention, and invited show attendees to visit the new aircraft, which has been under development for the past year-and-a-half, at the static display. President and CEO Scott Ernest revealed that three of the upgraded Sovereigns are currently flying and have thus far accumulated approximately 800 flight-test hours.
At the NBAA Convention today, Dassault Falcon introduced yet another new version of its Falcon 2000 super-midsize twin. The new Falcon 2000LXS combines the range and amenities of the Falcon 2000LX with the short-field capabilities of the Falcon 2000S. The $32.8 million, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C-powered Falcon 2000LXS will replace the 2000LX when it gains certification in 2014.
Boeing Business Jets (BBJ), yesterday, announced plans to build the BBJ MAX, the VIP version of Boeing’s 737 MAX commercial jet and next iteration of BBJ’s executive airliners. The MAX brings the BBJ into the Leap era, using the same CFM International Leap 1-B engines and winglets as on the 737 MAX, which provide a range increase of more than 14 percent, according to Boeing.
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.