Business jet manufacturers are quietly progressing toward more-electric architectures, where electricity replaces hydraulic and pneumatic power in systems such as brakes, landing gear or even control-surface actuation. This avoids the use of environmentally unfriendly hydraulic fluids and ultimately should help reduce fuel burn.
The third Sukhoi Superjet 100 landed in Italy for the first time yesterday at Turin Caselle Airport, where it continued its flight test campaign in preparation for expected year-end certification. The aircraft (prototype S/N 950004) took off from the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s flight test center in Zhukovsky, near Moscow.
Boeing is deep into preparations for its first “green” 787 BBJ delivery in 2012 and is confident it can avoid the myriad early completion problems that plagued the first 737-based BBJs more than a decade ago.
Vista Aviation of Pacoima, Calif., has completed the first helicopter installation of the Avidyne EX600 multifunction display (MFD). The installation was completed in a Eurocopter AStar AS350B and approved under an FAA Form 337. “We have installed quite a few Avidyne MFDs and we were excited about being the first dealer to install an EX600 into a helicopter,” said Bill DeBarmore, Vista Aviation’s avionics manager.
TrueNorth Avionics last month said its Simphone¯ OpenCabin has been selected as the cabin communications system for its first European Union head-of-state executive jet. The system is being installed aboard a Bombardier Challenger under an EASA certification. This sale marked the first order from TrueNorth dealer Ruag Aerospace Services, which is performing the installation at its facility in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
Hawker Beechcraft has added the MaxViz EVS-1500 enhanced-vision system to its parts and distribution order system for operators of King Air 200 and 300 twin turboprops. The approval allows operators of in-service King Airs to install the infrared camera for viewing in the cockpit on video-capable displays.
Bombardier Aerospace has built the first all-composite manufacturing validation unit (MVU) for the Learjet 85’s pressure vessel. It was built by the Learjet 85 structural design team in Montreal using production tooling, along with “strong support” from the program team based in Mexico. All primary structural components of the all-composite Learjet 85 will be made in Querétaro, Mexico.
Piper Aircraft will shut down operations for the week of August 9. Except for those working on PiperJet development and delivering essential parts or finished aircraft, all staff, including company management, will be unpaid for that week. Piper executive v-p Randy Groom told AIN that the company is implementing the week-long shutdown in lieu of layoffs as it reacts to sluggish demand.
Some things are simply unthinkable, such as the city of Wichita without Hawker Beechcraft. But according to Machinists District 70, which represents some 2,400 hourly workers at the OEM’s Wichita plant, that’s what the company is considering.
The business aviation market is getting stronger, but it’s not getting stronger soon enough to support hopes for a full-blown recovery in the short term, according to Dassault Aviation’s assessment of its financial results for the first half of this year. The French airframer said yesterday that, despite slowing order cancellations, it sold only two Falcons in the first six months of this year.