BAE Systems Regional Aircraft is proposing an air-to-air refueling (A2R) version of the BAE146/Avro RJ regional jet airliner. The business previously proposed and engineered a firefighting tanker version, 12 of which are now in service. It also proposed a military convertible version, which has been introduced by the UK Royal Air Force. These aircraft were all conversion of used passenger aircraft, which are readily available at $2 to $5 million each from airlines and leasing companies, including Falco Regional Aircraft, which bought the large BAE portfolio of 146s and RJs a few years ago.
A peek behind the scenes at Disney’s Toontown Studios in Burbank, Calif., in June gave members of the aviation media an opportunity to learn how the animated movie Planes was crafted. The movie opens in theaters August 9 and was previewed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on August 2. Planes is the first of a planned trilogy.
EAA AirVenture 2013 is barely 48 hours old, but already some definite themes are emerging around the show. Among them is greater discussion regarding use of angle of attack (AoA) indicators in general aviation (GA) aircraft.
The FAA has issued a final rule that raises minimum flight hours required by first officers for U.S. air carriers flying under Part 121 regulations to 1,500, from the current 250.
A Broward County, Fla. jury has returned a $100 million verdict in favor of a 31-year-old pilot who was severely and permanently injured on Nov. 10, 2007, when the Piper Pawnee he had been flying on a banner-tow mission crashed on approach to North Perry Airport, Hollywood, Fla. (KHWO).
Until this most recent, long and painful recession, the rule of thumb followed by those who analyze the business aviation market is that aircraft sales, new and used, follow an increase in corporate profits by about 18 to 24 months. Assuming this to be true, then business aviation should already be showing healthy growth and the completion and refurbishment segment should be close behind. But it hasn’t happened yet.
Airbus Military believes that teething problems with its multi-role tanker/transport (MRTT) business are now behind it, and that it’s set to grow over the coming year. With the A330 MRTT the company has the only new-generation tanker/transport flying, and hopes to secure new customers while continuing to deliver aircraft to its existing four operators, who will have received 17 aircraft by the end of 2013.
Boeing will seek two separate certifications from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its new KC-46A tanker, the commercial 767 derivative it is developing for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). The manufacturer will first apply for an amended type certificate from the FAA for a 767-2C “provisioned freighter” without the aerial refueling components and military avionics planned for the tanker. It will then seek a supplemental type certificate (STC) for a fully equipped KC-46A.
After a year-long delay, the Airbus Military A330MRTT has gained its “release to service” as a tanker in the UK, allowing the Royal Air Force (RAF) to start operational refueling. The service had been obliged to extend the service life of its aging VC10 and TriStar tankers in the meantime. The recent deployment of RAF Eurofighter Typhoons to Malaysia relied on Italian Air Force Boeing KC-767s to refuel the aircraft en route.
Aviation Partners has issued a Service Bulletin for the Hawker Beechcraft/BAE 125 Series 800A/B, C-29A, Hawker 800 and Hawker 800XP. The Service Bulletin provides instructions to reduce the maximum permissible altitude to FL340 from FL410. The altitude limitation is implemented by an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and placards installed on the instrument panel.
Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.