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).
Legendary aircraft designer Ed Swearingen died on Thursday at age 88, on the eve of the resumption of production of his persistent light jet–the SJ30–by current program owner SyberJet. It was 1986 when he unveiled the small, single-pilot jet powered by a new breed of turbofan engine by Williams International that would propel the airplane swiftly and far, with performance that outstripped most business jets of the era.
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Honeywell TPE331-5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -10, -10R, -10U, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, and -10UR turboprop engines. It was prompted by engine propeller shaft coupling failures, leading to unexpected propeller pitch changes and resulting in high aerodynamic and asymmetric drag on the airplanes using these engines. This proposed AD would require removing from service certain part number propeller shaft couplings.
Aviation Performance Solutions has convinced operators of the value of upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT). The Mesa, Ariz.-based company has expanded its customer base rapidly even during the economic slump and is now pushing to take its message around the world.
As APS founder Paul “BJ” Ransbury told AIN, professional pilots “walk away from [our training] with dramatically increased chances to prevent an accident.”
Business has been so good at West Coast charter/management firm Jet Edge International that the company devised an unusual arrangement to build a fleet of Gulfstream G200s. With a fleet consisting of mostly large-cabin Gulfstreams, Jet Edge has seen growing demand for the super-midsize charter market, and the G200s (and one G280, with two more coming) are ideal to fill that need, according to president Bill Papariella.