Tom Hendricks, whose aviation career path has taken him from grassroots general aviation to naval aviation, to “Top Gun” fighter weapons school, to flying the line for Delta Air Lines, has slipped comfortably into the left seat at the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
The aviation industry is slowly headed toward development of an unleaded replacement fuel for avgas-burning piston-powered aircraft, and a recent move by the FAA is an encouraging sign that progress will continue. The FAA recently agreed to open a new Fuels Program Office, according to NATA, that will provide “technical expertise and strategic direction in the planning, management and coordination of activities related to aviation fuels.”
If past is prologue, expect an uptick in business aviation flight activity next March. That’s one of the conclusions drawn from an Argus Market Intelligence report released at the NBAA Convention. The report analyzes the last three years of the company’s TraqPak flight activity data, including its FlightView aircraft movement and JetNet aircraft ownership information.
The recently formed African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA, Booth No. 2516) announced at NBAA’12 the launch of new membership categories and a leadership group. “Our vision is to make sure business aviation is recognized as an asset to Africa,” said Tarek Ragheb, founder and chairman of AfBAA.
The Solar Impulse project recently received a burst of sunshine in the form of financial support from a commercial insurance firm, bolstering the team’s plans to complete the world’s first global circumnavigation by a piloted, solar-powered aircraft.
“It will be the only classroom in the world capable of reaching 41,000 feet in 18 minutes,” said record-setting pilot and educator Barrington Irving yesterday at the launch of his latest endeavor, known as “Classroom in the Sky.” The project, an initiative of Irving’s non-profit Experience Aviation, will attempt to expose millions of students to aviation by allowing them to interact with him during a planned around-the-world flight, which will take him to all seven continents.
Italian aircraft interior specialist Mecaer Aviation Group (Booth No. 4538) is displaying a full-scale mock-up of its new VIP interior for the AgustaWestland AW169 here. Mecaer was previously selected by Eurocopter as the VIP interior system supplier for its EC145.
Aftermarket parts distributor Globalparts.aero (Booth No. 3215) of Augusta, Kan. announced a corporate rebranding that emphasizes major enhancements to its business, including the establishment of an FAA Part 145 repair station and a new build-to-print parts manufacturing center equipped with computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines.
General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) president and CEO Pete Bunce credits the No Plane No Gain program with helping to emphasize to policy makers the importance of business and general aviation to this nation.
While the 65th Annual NBAA Convention here in Orlando is the world’s greatest gathering of modern business aircraft, it isn’t the only great aircraft collection in the area. Drive just 15 minutes west on I-4 and you’ll find Kermit Weeks’s Fantasy of Flight, home to the “The World’s Greatest Aircraft Collection.” If you are a fan of early era through post-WWII aircraft, the museum is a not-to-be-missed destination.