New Mexico’s license plates proclaim it to be the “Land of Enchantment.” And a growing number of business aircraft manufacturers are enchanted with New Mexico’s efforts toward becoming an “aviation cluster” of airframe manufacturers and supporting businesses.
News and issues concerning aerospace companies, including formations, acquisitions, mergers and financials; and announcements of significant aircraft sales, delivery statistics and personnel appointments.
The average price of jet fuel in the U.S. is edging upward, according to two independent surveys. Within the lower 48 states, Fillup Flyer Fuel Finder (www.fillupflyer.com) reported that the average price in late March was $2.63 a gallon, up about 15 cents since January. The highest price found by Fuel Finder was $4.15 a gallon in the Southeast region.
The business and corporate side of general aviation should continue to benefit from a growing market for new microjets over the next 14 fiscal years, and the FAA expects business use of GA aircraft to expand at a more rapid pace than that for personal and sport use.
Aviation Industry Expo 2007 hosted attendees from across the nation and around the globe, including a 30-person contingent from Russia. Nearly 500 companies exhibited this year, including more than 120 first-timers. NATA’s new-format event focusing on the FBO industry was a resounding success, and PAMA’s Maintenance Olympics was once again a big draw.
Germany-based aerospace consultant PMI-Media lowered its estimated very light jet (VLJ) delivery schedule for this year, based largely on production difficulties encountered by Eclipse Aviation. In its latest report, PMI predicts total VLJ industry deliveries this year will be cut nearly in half, from 205 to 125. Looking toward the future, the report shows an order backlog of more than 4,000 VLJs from 14 different firms.
Nearly $1 million spent on advertising began to materialize on April 26 with the launch of new TV commercials offering free introductory flight certificates from the Be A Pilot program and a $49 first lesson at more than 2,000 flight schools in the U.S. and Canada.
The first “A” in NASA stands for “aeronautics,” a fact often overlooked in day-to-day discussions of and references to what most people regard solely as the “space” agency.
As every pilot and mechanic knows, high temperatures are the bane of any engine. But as engineers strive to design smaller, more powerful turbine engines by adding compressor stages, the compression ratio goes up and so does the temperature of the ram air. At a compression ratio of about 20 to 25, ram-air cooling becomes inefficient. The solution, researchers believe, lies with cooling the air before it goes into the combustor.
A new control surface could reduce induced drag on commercial and business aircraft by up to 14 percent, resulting in fuel savings of more than $400 million per year across the entire U.S. air transport fleet. So claims Utah State University aeronautical engineering professor Warren Phillips, who recently introduced the devices, which he calls “twisterons.”
The February 2006 Asian Aerospace show at Singapore’s Changi Airport will be the last event in its current format, following a sudden split between the Singapore government and show organizer Reed Exhibitions. Singapore authorities have decided to run their own biennial air show starting February 2008. UK-based Reed is now considering alternative venues outside Singapore to stage future Asian Aerospace events.