Raisbeck Engineering has started FAA certification flight-testing of its new Hartzell composite five-blade swept propeller mod for the Beechcraft King Air 350 series. The Raisbeck/Hartzell team completed all ground and flight vibration and governor output pressure testing early last week before clearing the aircraft for flight-testing, which is expected to be completed by month-end. The new King Air 350 propellers will be formally introduced at the NBAA Convention next month in Orlando, Fla., where more details and preliminary performance improvements will be released.
News and issues relating to business, corporate and private aviation, primarily regarding turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters. Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Epic and U.S. Bank introduced an enhanced Epic Card as the first card issued by a fuel supplier to provide global acceptance via U.S. Bank’s aviation-specific network. The Epic Card is now accepted at thousands of FBOs globally that process through the U.S. Bank Multi Service Aviation Network, the companies said. For Epic cardholders, all card transactions will appear on one statement each month for streamlined reconciliation. In addition, a mobile app and a dedicated website provide online settlement, tracking and account-specific pricing.
Embraer quietly sold a half-dozen Legacy 500s to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in April, newspaper Valor Econômico reported yesterday. Deliveries are expected to start in 2016. In addition, the FAB signed a technology-transfer contract with Norwegian Special Mission for the supply and integration of systems in the fly-by-wire twinjets for the in-flight inspection of Brazil’s aviation navigation aids.
Business aircraft flying in the U.S. rose for the ninth straight month, climbing 0.9 percent last month versus a year ago, according to data released today by aviation services company Argus. For this month, Argus estimates that flying will increase by 2.7 percent year-over-year.
For the first time this year, fractional flying led the pack, climbing 5.5 percent last month versus a year ago. Part 135 charter flight activity grew by 0.8 percent year-over-year, while Part 91 flying was nearly flat, falling 0.1 percent.
Gulfstream announced plans on Tuesday to build a new $33 million aircraft paint facility on the southwest side of its Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport headquarters. “The announcement came up unexpectedly as a result of a Savannah Economic Development Agency [SEDA] board meeting that happened that day,” a company spokesman told AIN.
Business aircraft management and charter company Hangar8 Aviation has launched a new repaint facility at its headquarters at London Oxford Airport to help sellers refresh their aircraft’s paint to make it more attractive to buyers. According to Hangar8, 16.5 percent of the 381 private jets in the UK are currently up for sale, making it a buyer’s market.
The International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) presented its 2014 Award for Innovation in Aeronautics to Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino earlier this week at the 29th ICAS Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia. Fujino was recognized by ICAS for his “pioneering contributions” in the design and development of the HondaJet and its over-the-wing engine-mount configuration. According to ICAS, “The award acknowledges accomplishments in the development and introduction of innovative concepts in major aircraft programs.”
Bombardier Aerospace said there is still a “small window of time” to register for its 2014 U.S. Safety Standdown, a free four-day aviation safety seminar that will be held in Wichita from October 6 to 9. This year’s theme is “attention control techniques.” Space is limited and workshops are filling up fast, Bombardier said, with several already showing a wait list. This year, the seminar will be split between interactive break-out and general sessions.
Ralph Acs, who led the Learjet 85 program in his role as vice president and general manager of Bombardier Learjet, left the company last week as part of the Canadian airframer’s current corporate restructuring plan. A company spokeswoman confirmed that responsibility for its Wichita site as well as for the Learjet 70/75 programs had transferred in March to David Murray, who was previously the company’s vice president of operations for the Global 5000/6000 programs in Montreal.
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