"Crowdsourcing," or making a direct appeal to fans and enthusiasts for contributions to a project, has become a popular method for attracting ideas, capital and attention to a range of causes. MakerPlane (Innovation Pavilion, Booth 23) hopes to take the practice into the skies, and chose EAA AirVenture 2013 as the ideal spotlight for its campaign to raise funds for a prototype of an easy-to-build experimental light sport aircraft (E-LSA).
General Aviation » General Aviation Aircraft
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft).
Agricultural aircraft manufacturer Thrush received full type certification from Brazil’s civil aviation authority (ANAC) for its new GE H80-powered 510G turboprop single. The airframer hails the approval as a major milestone, since the need for agricultural aircraft in the South American country is expected to escalate rapidly over the next decade as operators replace their aging fleets. Thrush is not a newcomer to Brazil, as its Pratt & Whitney Canada-powered 510P has been in operation in the country for many years.
From Henri Mignet’s tiny ‘Pou-de-Ciel’ to the latest composite designs, France has a long history of innovative light aircraft. One chapter of that story is being celebrated here at the Paris Air Show with the display of the Moynet Jupiter 360, a tandem-engine light twin that first appeared at the Paris show in 1965. The airplane is undergoing restoration with the aim of having it back in the air in 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of its first flight and its debut appearance at Le Bourget.
Yesterday at an EBACE press conference, Cessna CEO Scott Ernest provided progress reports on current production in its jet, turboprops and piston lines as well as on the research-and-development status of its mid-range and super-mid-range cabin jets.
“The Garmin 3000-equipped Citation M2 is right on track and, best of all, we’ve sold out production completely for the next two years,” he said. “The [new] Cessna Citation X is expected in quarter-four 2013, while the G5000-equipped Latitude should be flying by January 2014, and I expect that to be in service in 2015.”
Cessna Aircraft (Chalet 190) announced here at ABACE 2013 yesterday that sales are up 50 percent in China from 2011 through 2012, and up in Asia Pacific overall. Meanwhile, the company is making rapid progress with its efforts to operate in China through joint ventures formed with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA) in Shijiazhuang and Zhuhai. The joint venture with CAIGA involves building Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EXs (Shijiazhuang) and Cessna Citation XLS+ business jets (Zhuhai) for the Chinese market.
Diamond Aircraft (Booth No. MD-023B) is introducing a new version of its DA40 piston single–the XLT–with an improved, “premium” interior this week at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The new XLT features several detail enhancements, including molded seat patterns with integrated Diamond embossed padded headrests and improved lumbar contour in both the front and rear seats. All seats are covered with “infrared controlled technology” leather that reflects IR rays in direct sunlight and maintains 20 degree C lower surface temperature than traditional leathers.
Maybe for general aviation to survive, we need more disruption. An article published in Wired magazine (Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism, by Jeff Howe) discussed how successful companies often fail to recognize that new companies with “disruptive innovations” are about to take over their marketplace.
The FAA lowered the boom on airports serving mainly GA, business and regional airline traffic, announcing on March 22 that it will close 149 ATC contract towers as part of its effort to slash spending by more than $600 million in the current fiscal year under the federal government’s “sequester” mandate. The action could spell the end of the agency’s 30-year-old contract tower program.
Lease Corporation International (LCI), which signed a large helicopter order with AgustaWestland at last year’s Heli-Expo show, has announced an agreement with aerial services group Avincis (Booth No. C7211), which is leasing a new AW139. This will be operated for offshore crew changes in North Sea oil and gas fields by Avincis’s Aberdeen-based subsidiary Bond Offshore Helicopters.
Seattle-based performance modification specialist Raisbeck Engineering and Hartzell Propeller have unveiled a new swept-blade propeller for the Hawker Beechcraft King Air series. The newly certified propeller is the result of three years of development, according to the companies, which describe it as the first business aviation turbine propeller using practical swept-wing theory as an integral part of its design. The propellers have aluminum blades and hubs.