Congress has allocated $8.5 million to research on alternative piston aviation fuels in the coming fiscal year. Though current supplies and production of 100LL avgas are secure for the near term, AOPA argues that alternatives may become necessary later.
There were many times during my years as a mechanic when I was working totally exhausted, but for a number of reasons I continued past the point that I was in danger of causing damage to an aircraft or to myself. For years many of my coworkers and I believed that we were OK to work and not impaired by a lack of rest.
Ongoing research into new composite materials is expected to yield major enhancements in performance, weight and cost for the aerospace industry in the coming years. New ways of laying up carbon fiber, such as weaving, are already enabling more complex shapes. Thermoplastic resins are making manufacturing easier, and the practice of integrating several functions into one part is reducing part counts.
With the ink still fresh on the paperwork certifying the installation of the $500,000 enhanced vision system (EVS) from Gulfstream and Kollsman, rival avionics manufacturers are accelerating their development programs to bring competing products to market quickly.
Canada’s National Research Council has won a patent on “an active and adaptive rotor-blade control system called Smart Spring,” which is designed to reduce the noise and vibration when rotor blades interact with the vortices shed by the tip of the preceding blades. Previous engineering approaches, according to NRC, have attempted to alter the varying aerodynamic load on the blades to reduce the onset of this vibration.
Air Security International has added a “Women’s Issues” section to its subscription-based, password-protected World Watch On-Line (www.airsecurity.com). The new section contains general and country-specific travel tips for female travelers, such as dress codes, behavior expectations and special restrictions.
Ascent Technologies of Parish, N.Y., has a new product for sucking up spilled fluids from aircraft, ground vehicles and de-icers. The Safety-Vac is faster, safer and less expensive than using absorbent materials, according to Dave Munger, operations manager for Ascent. “The most important feature of the new product is that it is safe from static electricity discharges, so you don’t have to worry about starting a fire.
Innotech Aviation plans to open a new 41,000-sq-ft paint preparation and application facility this July. The paint shop, which will accommodate aircraft as large as the Bombardier Global XRS, features state-of-the-art filters, an independent waste-water cleaning system and variable-speed airflow, making it, according to Innotech, the most modern and technologically advanced hangar of its kind in North America.
Bombardier Aerospace has selected Innovative Power Solutions to provide its brushless starter/generator (BS/G) system for the new Learjet 85. With growth potential to 625 amps, the 500-amp/18-kilowatt DC systems will be used on the 6,100-pound- thrust Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307 engines and auxiliary-power unit.
Air-conditioner manufacturer Skil-aire of Baltimore has developed the Moving Cooler line of caster-mounted units designed to spot-cool areas such as remote boarding lounges and cabins of aircraft waiting on ramps or during interior maintenance. Skil-aire notes these are the first commercially available air conditioners to isolate the condenser and evaporative air streams for added cooling efficiency and less energy use.