Forty years after its June 1965 first flight, the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander remains in production, and more than 800 of the 1,250-plus airplanes delivered remain operational.
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).
Quest Aircraft’s Kodiak prototype (S/N 001) has logged more than 330 flight hours and is currently on schedule to receive FAA certification in the second quarter. At press time, the STOL turboprop single was being prepared for spin testing and was being fitted with a conforming rudder and horizontal stabilizer. Additionally, a three-display Garmin G1000 was installed in late December.
Raytheon Aircraft received FAA certification for its King Air C90GT and deliveries started last month. The $2.95 million turboprop, powered by two 750-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-135s, flies and climbs faster and can take off in shorter distances than the C90B it replaces.
New amendments to Part 36 require a minimum 3 dB–noise reduction for small single-engine propeller aircraft– including turboprops–weighing more than 3,307 pounds, for which an original type certificate is applied after February 3. As proposed, the new standard would have also applied to new STCs.
Steve Fossett saddled up the single-Williams-turbofan Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer once more and, after takeoff from the Kennedy Space Center’s 15,000-foot runway in Florida on February 8, flew for 76 hours 45 minutes before landing at Bournemouth Airport on the south coast of England–after a second crossing of the Atlantic, and after burning all but about 200 of the 18,000 pounds of jet fuel with which he had started.
An FAA meeting on March 22 and 23 in Kansas City, Mo., will address continued airworthiness of the U.S. general aviation fleet. The meeting, focusing on small airplanes, comes nearly six years after a similar gathering in 2000. Since then “there have been GA fatal accidents caused by the effects of airplane aging,” the agency said. According to the FAA, the average GA airplane is 35 years old.
General aviation manufacturers last year posted an all-time record for billings and
a four-year high in new turbine airplane deliveries. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), billings of $15.1 billion on the shipment of 3,580 piston and turbine airplanes last year were a 27.2-percent increase from the $11.9 billion and 2,963 airplanes in 2004.
Roy Horridge, owner of grounded Houston-based Air Ambulance by B&C Flight Management, and William Sexton, a former mechanic and officer with the firm, were indicted last month for aircraft parts fraud and bank fraud.