EADS Socata today unveiled the TBM 850, a slightly faster, re-engined version of its TBM 700 turboprop single. The new model will have a maximum cruise speed of 320 knots, 20 knots faster than its predecessor thanks to a higher-power 1,825-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66D engine (derated to 850 shp). The TBM 700 is powered by a 1,583-shp PT6A-64 derated to 700 shp.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Aircraft
News and issues relating to business, aircraft, primarily turbine-engine powered airplanes and helicopters.
An ongoing “supplier problem” is casting a shadow over Eclipse Aviation’s receipt of its first type inspection authorization (TIA) from the FAA earlier this month. The TIA authorizes agency personnel to begin performing onboard aircraft testing of the Eclipse 500 for certification credit. But the supplier problem–which sources say is related to the avionics system–could delay the March certification target for Eclipse’s very light jet.
On December 15, the European Aviation Safety Agency awarded the type certificate for the Ibis Aerospace Ae270 turboprop single to Aero Vodochody, the Czech partner in the joint venture with Taiwan’s Aerospace Industries Development. FAA approval is expected shortly. Ibis said its expects to receive additional financing next year that will fund development to the production phase.
Health and security assistance provider MedAire disclosed that its two largest shareholders have reached a letter of agreement “outlining mutual goals and strategies in relation to the direction and control of MedAire” that would effectively place control of the company in the hands of its largest competitor, International SOS (ISOS).
Spokane, Wash.-based Rocket Engineering is developing the Turbine P/Baron in parallel with the Royal Turbine Duke program. The Baron conversion, which fits two PT6A-21 turboprops and Hartzell four-blade full-feathering-reversing metal props to the light twin, costs about $700,000 (airframe additional). The company plans to have an STC in about 12 to 18 months.
Just two months after being unveiled at the NBAA Convention, the Spectrum 33 twinjet made a 10-minute first flight this past Saturday afternoon. At a light weight of 5,375 pounds, the Spectrum 33 prototype took off from Spanish Fork Airport, Utah, using about 750 feet of runway.
Charter broker Air Partner has entered the flight-planning market with the creation of a new division called Flight-Operations.com. The venture is based at Air Partner’s worldwide headquarters near London Gatwick Airport. Flight-Operations.com is led by Tim Lester, the former deputy managing director of rival flight-planning company Baseops.
Full FAA certification of the super-midsize Hawker 4000 (neé Horizon) has slipped again–from the end of last year to early next month, a Raytheon Aircraft spokesman told AIN yesterday. The delay, he said, stems from the company recently opting to install lightning protection on RC5–the function and reliability test aircraft–before, instead of after, FAA approval.
French engine manufacturer Snecma has revealed plans to develop a turbofan engine to power business and regional jets. It has started developing a core engine demonstrator called the SM-X that, if a full development program is launched, would yield a powerplant producing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds of thrust. Ground testing of the core is set for the second half of next year.
Bombardier’s Challenger 605, announced at the 2005 NBAA Convention, made a nearly 3.5-hour maiden flight on January 22 in Montreal. “The first flight went very well,” pilot Frank Magnusson told AIN. “There were no surprises at all.” The length of the flight was longer than typical. Said Magnusson: “The airplane performed flawlessly so we just kept going” and ended as sunset approached.