Seventeen Gulfstreams with recently overhauled Rolls-Royce Spey or Tay engines were grounded last Friday when a problem was discovered with the engine’s air control actuator (ACA), a key fuel control component. According to Gulfstream director of customer support Mitch Choquette, three of the aircraft were already in scheduled maintenance at the time.
“We’ve had some very positive response from the marketplace,” a Honeywell spokesman said, but the company and partner Garrett Aviation Services have failed to obtain the minimum number of orders needed to launch a Hawker 700 engine upgrade program. Last spring the companies announced a program to install a new high-pressure-ratio fan and a new TFE731-5 hot section, creating a TFE731-4.
Just one year ago there were none. Now, four companies have suddenly announced their intention to develop an RVSM STC package for the Learjet 20 series to be available next year. All four companies propose to achieve the approval using the airplane’s original JET autopilot and estimate the price to be around $150,000.
Two NASA-industry partnerships could produce tangible benefits for aircraft operators in the near term. The turbofan engine research is being conducted by NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as part of its aerospace propulsion and power program, the same division that Williams International teamed up with to develop the 700-lb-thrust FJX2 turbofan.
Italy’s Vulcanair expects to begin flying its single-turboprop VF600W by the end of this month, according to Remo De Feo, president of the company’s Manassas, Va.-based distributor. The fuselage of the nine-seat, 8,600-lb-mtow airplane was derived from the Vulcanair SF600A Canguro and its high wing from the Vulcanair 600 Viator. The airplane is powered by a Walter M601F-11 turboprop engine.
T-G Aviation, based at Hamilton Airport in Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada, signed an agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada to provide category I maintenance, including hot-section inspections, for three P&WC engine series–the JT15D, PT6/6T and PW500. The service is a natural extension of the T-G Aviation Super Cheyenne conversion package for the Piper Cheyenne I and II, which specifies PT6A-135A turbine engines.
As Raytheon Aircraft ramps up significantly the delivery rate of the Premier I–the company aims to ship 40 units this year, more than twice as many aircraft in the second half than the 13 in the first half–it has disclosed several major improvements scheduled for incorporation on new aircraft over the next year and to be available for retrofit on all airplanes previously delivered (31 to date).
Technicians at Dassault Falcon Jet’s completion center in Little Rock, Ark., have on this month’s docket the installation in a Falcon 900EX of a new high-speed-data satcom system designed by EMS Technologies. Known as the HSD-128, the data unit is claimed to be the first such system installed by an aircraft OEM for a customer airplane–in this case the wealthy CEO of an Internet company.
The future of the U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy airlifter fleet has finally been settled, after years of debate about its unreliability and the cost of fixes. All 111 aircraft will benefit from the avionics modernization program (AMP), which replaces obsolete navigation, communication and cockpit instrumentation and provides a digital architecture backbone.
A Maverick Leader kit twinjet, registered as N750TJ, crashed in Melbourne, Fla., on January 24, killing the kit manufacturer’s chief pilot, Jack Reed. According to Sandy Scott, Reed had been out sick the week before the accident, complained of a headache that day and was flying erratically just before the crash. An autopsy revealed coronary blockage.