The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (Navair) reported progress in arming the MQ-8B Fire Scout UAV, which will be the Navy’s first sea-based unmanned system to carry weapons. The command said its structures rotary-wing division and the Northrop Grumman Fire Scout team are “working briskly” at Webster Field Annex in Patuxent River, Md., to support an urgent operational needs request from Naval Forces Central Command.
Russian Air Force commander Gen. Alexander Zelin has elaborated further about aircraft acquisition plans under the country’s Weapons Program 2011-2020. His comments addressed the Sukhoi series of combat aircraft, as well as airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, airlifters and the Yak-130 jet trainer. Zelin said that the air force will acquire about 60 Sukhoi PAKFA (T-50) fifth-generation fighters by 2020.
The Airbus A380 has had its share of problems both before and since deliveries began in late 2007. On the same day last week, Tuesday, two airlines suffered flight-terminating mechanical problems with the world’s largest passenger airliner.
Capt. Clayton Osbon, the pilot of JetBlue Flt. 191, has been charged with interference with a flight crewmember, according to the Department of Justice’s Sarah R. Saldaña, an attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
The French helicopter lobbying association, Union Française de l’Hélicoptère (UFH), is voicing strong and growing concern that ever-stricter operational rules are preventing operators from running a sound business and have already claimed victims among the smallest ones. About 600 commercial and private helicopters currently fly in France, according to the association.
Bell Helicopter and Cessna announced that their joint service facility, operated by Aviation Service in Prague, Czech Republic, has received EASA Part 145 MRO certification. The certification allows for maintenance, inspection, repair and component overhaul of the Bell 206, 407, 412, 427 and 429. It also gives Cessna the capability to perform base and line maintenance–including systems, avionics and powerplant support–for all Citations except the CJ3, CJ4 and X. Training is planned to incorporate those three models this year.
Cessna Aircraft has signed an agreement appointing Beijing Dingshi Ga Tech Service Center (CFIC) a Citation authorized service facility. CFIC recently acquired three Citation Sovereigns, taking its fleet of Citations to 10 aircraft. It has owned and maintained Citations since the early 1990s, using them on flight-inspection missions. It will provide maintenance services for operators of the Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign and Citation X throughout northern Asia.
Gulfstream Aerospace has STC approval for its Elite G450 and G550 interior package, which includes a streamlined passenger service unit, electronic seats and the Gulfstream cabin management system. It features leather ledges, less veneer and more high-gloss painted surfaces. The sidewall tables in the club seating area can be electronically activated and ambient LED lighting accents the edges of the curved credenza, the table box and the galley. Lighting is automatically activated in the drawers, cabinets and closets for easy accessibility.
AeroMechanical Services, operating as Flyht, will provide NetJets Europe with the automated flight information reporting system (Afirs) and services for 30 Hawker Beechcraft 750/800XPs.
Thomas French, Aeromechanical Services’ CFO, told AIN, “We’ve been dealing with smaller groups, primarily regional carriers, specialty carriers and cargo operators with 30 or fewer aircraft. This places the technology we’ve developed over the years with a major player and takes us into another level.”
Avion Pacific and Hawker Beechcraft sealed a $50 million deal for 10 Beechcraft King Air twin-turboprops today at ABACE. The order is for a combination of the largest King Air–the 350i–and the smallest, the C90GTx. Deliveries will begin to the Shenzhen-based business aviation services group in the fourth quarter. The company will use the aircraft for VIP travel, pilot training, aerial mapping and weather modification missions.