The December nonstop coast-to-coast flight of an Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III using a synthetic fuel blend, the first for the type, is the latest indicator that such fuels are moving toward widespread acceptance in the aviation industry.
Business has been brisk for Mercury Air Center at its Charleston, S.C. facility. Though it only recently completed the first phase of remodeling its FBO there, Mercury has just broken ground on a 45,000-sq-ft hangar and tenant office complex. The new building is adjacent to the existing terminal building and will have 28-foot-high doors to accommodate ultra-long-range business jets.
Crest Foam Industries of Moonachie, N.J., which has been installing its explosion-suppressant arresting foam in the fuel tanks of racing cars and military aircraft (including USAF Beechjets) for years, has formed a joint venture–Engineering Inerting Systems–with Aircraft Services Group of Ramsey, N.J., to market the foam for business aircraft.
Shortly after its purchase by finance house Allied Capital earlier this year, Mercury Air Centers dedicated a new hangar and tenant office facility at Charleston International Airport (CHS) S.C. The 45,000-sq-ft complex is adjacent to Mercury’s existing terminal and incorporates a 23,000-sq-ft hangar bay with 28-foot-high doors that can accommodate large business jets, such as the Gulfstream V.
New England EMS operator MedStar Transport is to equip its EC 135 and BK 117 fleet with Sky Connect satellite terminals, to provide automated tracking and voice com-munications with the aircraft through the Iridium satellite network.
Sharp Details now offers Granitize Aviation International’s new product, Xzilon (pronounced zy-lon), an aircraft exterior high-solids formula corrosion inhibitor, on all of its aircraft cleaning and detailing work. Sharp Details provides full-service aircraft cleaning and support services, including aircraft washing, bright work polishing, waxing, interior cleaning, facility services and full-time, in-house contract employees.
An exterior paint job on a Gulfstream G550 will typically cost in the neighborhood of $150,000 and, with proper care and maintenance, will last about five years. CareJet Services president Matt Weisman says it doesn’t have to be that way, and his recently launched company offers as proof a new polymer coating that both extends the life of the paint and enhances its appearance.
Iridium satcom supplier Blue Sky Network last month announced that the Gulf of Mexico’s largest privately held helicopter operator has selected the company’s voice calling and two-way satellite messaging equipment for installation in its entire fleet. Rotorcraft Leasing of Lafayette, La., plans to add Blue Sky’s SkyRouter communications equipment to more than 100 helicopters, enabling voice calls, text messaging and aircraft tracking.
Congress last month once again extended the FAA’s current authorization and aviation taxes until December 14, making it increasingly unlikely that the question of how to pay for operating the FAA and simultaneously modernizing the entire air traffic system will be settled anytime soon.
Mercury Air Centers in conjunction with GE Capital Financial and Aviation Logistics (Avlog) introduced last month a MasterCard purchasing program specifically for business aviation operators. The Atlanta-based FBO chain also announced affiliations with Starbucks Coffee and UltraJet air charter.