Eurocopter announced today that its X3 compound helicopter demonstrator flew at 255 knots in level flight on Friday near Istres in southeast France. Also part of the unofficial speed record was a descent at 263 knots. These speeds are just a few knots higher than those the Sikorsky X2 semi-compound demonstrator attained in 2010.
AINalerts » June 11, 2013
Eclipse Aerospace announced late last week that it received FAA approval to double the life limit on existing Eclipse 500s and new-build Eclipse 550s to 20,000 hours/20,000 cycles. Cary Winter, senior vice president of engineering for the Albuquerque, N.M.-based company, said the extension “validated the strength and superiority of” the friction stir welding process used to assemble the aircraft’s fuselage and wings.
According to economist Brian Beaulieu, 2015 will be the start of a strong economic rebound in the U.S. Speaking last week at the third annual JetNet IQ Summit in New York, Beaulieu, CEO of financial data analyst ITR, added, however, that he expects another fiscal slowdown next year before the start of the upswing cycle.
After weathering a three-week voluntary grounding stemming from a maintenance issue late last year, operations at Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair have been pretty much normal. That is until last Thursday, when an anonymous call to the Clearwater, Fla.-based company’s whistleblower hotline initiated the grounding of its fleet again.
Work is scheduled to begin this summer on a $13 million Chicago vertiport, more than 20 years after it was first proposed. The near west side, 10-acre site at 14th & Wood is owned by the Illinois Medical District Commission (IMD) and will be financed privately and developed by Nighthawk Services.
Nighthawk president Mike Conklin told AIN that he expects final approvals within weeks and groundbreaking in “late July or early August.” Construction will take approximately 12 months.
The General Aviation Avgas Coalition, which includes NBAA and GAMA, praised the FAA’s announcement to formally request sample unleaded fuels for testing as possible replacements for 100LL aviation gasoline.
Nextant Aerospace has tapped Jet Aviation Geneva as an authorized service center in Europe for the company’s 400XTi, which is a remanufactured Beechjet 400A. Under the new agreement, Jet Aviation Geneva will provide maintenance services for Nextant’s aircraft across the continent. The companies also recently signed a similar agreement adding Jet Aviation Singapore to Nextant’s network of authorized service centers. The 400XTi received EASA certification last month.
Rockwell Collins announced today that it will be launching a series of technologies next week at the Paris Airshow that will provide helicopter pilots with “unprecedented situational awareness to help them meet the challenges of flying in an increasingly congested and hazard-filled airspace.” Details about the new offering will be announced on Monday at the show, it said, and technology demonstrations will be featured in the “Helicopter Situational Awareness” portion of the Rockwell Collins exhibit (Hall 2B, Stand D108).
NBAA COO Steve Brown has been recognized by RTCA with the 2013 Chairman’s Award, which is the organization’s highest honor. He received the award on Wednesday at the RTCA 2013 Global Aviation Symposium in Washington, D.C. In announcing the award, RTCA president Margaret Jenny praised Brown’s diverse background in the aviation industry, as well as his “levelheaded approach” to working with personnel from across the industry on a variety of challenges.
Embraer Executive Jets named Brenda Paauwe-Navori as the Western region regional sales director for its large and ultra-large business jet division. She previously managed sales for a business aircraft manufacturer and a fractional ownership firm. Paauwe-Navori has experience in market strategy and prospecting, financial analysis and customer loyalty, Embraer said. She has also been employed in airline charter work, including a stint as senior director of large-cabin sales and operator relations for Virgin Charter and VIP Inflight Liaison at Northwest Airlines.