The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise an existing airworthiness directive for the AgustaWestland AW139 requiring inspection of the fuselage frame to detect fatigue cracks that could lead to structural failure and subsequent loss of control. Since the AD was issued, AgustaWestland developed a frame reinforcement modification that supports extending the interval for inspecting the fuselage frame for a fatigue crack.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced a two-year collaborative research agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on June 19 to carry out widespread fatigue damage assessment for the JAXA curved fuselage panel tests. The partnership is considered a cost-effective way to study widespread fatigue issues on an aircraft’s main pressure vessel. The tests are ultimately designed to improve air safety by creating evaluation technology capable of maintaining the structural integrity of new and aging civilian aircraft.
MBDA Germany is claiming a world’s first in the development of high-energy laser weapons after coupling together four commercially available 10kW-industrial lasers to achieve a 40kW weapon that can intercept and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortars (RAM). Small aerial vehicles, such as UAVs, are also on MBDA’s target list, but the company says power supply challenges still preclude adding lasers to aircraft for defensive purposes.
Loss of lubrication to the main gearbox (MGB) has been responsible for several crashes, ditchings and precautionary landings in large transport category helicopters in recent years. These accidents set off broad debate as to exactly what is required of main gearboxes under Part 29 certification of the U.S.
Aerometals has received PMA approval for spiral bevel gears for the main rotor transmission of the MD500. According to the company, the approval marks the first time the FAA has granted manufacturing approval for transmission gears to a company that is not the OEM. The testing required a test stand using a 500-hp electric motor instead of a gas turbine. The MD transmission is rated for 425 hp for up to five minutes, but Aerometals ran the gears for eight hours at 467 hp to satisfy FAA testing requirements.
Former U.S. Air Force pilot Sean Gillette announced yesterday the launch of a new “personal jet” program, the Saker S-1, a twin-engine two-seater capable of flying 1,600 nm and cruising at Mach 0.95. With twin vertical fins, tandem seating and short fighter-like wings and stabilizer, the S-1 brings to mind the Aviation Technology Group Javelin.
A Gulfstream G650 set a city-pair speed record last month on a flight between Shanghai and Newark, N.J., flying the 6,855-nm route in 13 hours and 32 minutes, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer announced yesterday. The jet took off from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on April 18 carrying five passengers and four crewmembers. ATC restrictions kept the G650 below FL310 for the first hour before it was cleared to climb to its normal cruising altitude of FL410 to FL510.
An RAA-sponsored study into the fatigue effects of multi-segment flight operations has reached the end of its third and final stage, involving the development of so-called fatigue risk management systems (FRMS).
Alto Aviation, a supplier of business jet cabin audio systems, is urging completion and refurbishment centers to rethink speaker grille construction.
“It is one of the most common problems we encounter,” according to the Leominster, Mass.-based company. “Sound waves are made up of the compression and expansion of air [and] if air can’t move through the speaker grille, then the sound can’t get into the cabin.”
Alto recommends speaker coverings that are at least 50-percent open to ensure the best audio performance.
Spectro and its associated company, Jet-Care, have been named approved suppliers for debris and oil analysis services for all AgustaWestland AW139s. Spectro and Jet-Care use scanning electron microscopes to examine debris recovered from oil samples, filters and chip detectors. Identifying the particle size and composition of metallic and non-metallic debris can help to flag the components responsible for the debris for replacement before they fail.