The European Commission (EC) on July 9 officially launched the Clean Sky 2 joint technology initiative, a €4 billion ($5.44 billion) follow-on to the ongoing Clean Sky research program. It includes a number of projects for business aircraft–both turboprops and jets–as well as regional turboprops and rotorcraft.
Can a glider fly to more than 90,000 feet? That’s the question the Perlan Project, a nonprofit aeronautical and atmospheric research organization, hopes to answer in a partnership with Airbus Group that was announced this week at EAA AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh, Wis.
Safe Flight invented the stall warning horn in 1946, and refined the concept with its “lift transducer” beginning in 1953. Now the company is at EAA AirVenture 2014 with a new product–the SCx Leading Edge AoA (angle of attack) indicator. It’s priced to be competitive with other AoA indicators, especially considering its $200 show discount. AirVenture buyers will pay $1,295 when they buy a system at the Safe Flight booth (No. 18). The regular price is still-attractive at $1,495.
Kitplane company Sonex Aircraft announced that its JSX-2 SubSonex Personal Jet flew on July 10. The initial goal of the flight-test program was to evaluate the single-engine jet’s systems, flight controls, gear and overall aircraft geometry, and handling through moderately high speeds. A second flight checked the function of the retractable landing gear and explored higher speeds.
Boeing’s slow-selling 747-8 hasn’t struggled to gain market penetration for a lack of effort on the part of the company’s sales team, or, as program head Eric Lindblad would attest, a lack of ongoing performance improvements or technological innovation. In fact, today’s 747-8 weighs some 9,000 pounds less than the first example Boeing placed into service in 2011 and 2,000 pounds less than airplanes it delivered around a year ago. With further work, the company expects the weight to eventually drop by more than 10,000 pounds.
French turboprop manufacturer Daher-Socata has signed a new five-year agreement with Hartzell Propeller to supply the recently introduced TBM 900 with advanced swept-airfoil composite five-blade propellers and spinners. “The TBM 900 is distinguished by its comfort, speed and efficiency, and all three are improved by Hartzell’s five-blade prop, which is quieter, speedier and more efficient,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher-Socata’s airplane business unit.
It is way too soon to speculate about what might have caused the Gulfstream IV runway excursion crash at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass. on May 31, but the NTSB preliminary report’s focus on the gust lock system raises some questions.
In the wake of the May 31 GIV accident near Boston, Gulfstream issued a maintenance and operations letter on Friday to all Gulfstream operators to “remind flight crews of the importance of adhering to flight procedures published in applicable Airplane Flight Manuals (AFM) to confirm flight control integrity and freedom of motion.” It added that crews should perform the following as set forth in the applicable AFM procedures: ensure the gust lock is o
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.”
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).