GippsAero’s beefy boxcar of an airplane may look ungainly, but once you climb in and fire up its 320-hp turbocharged Lycoming TIO-540, pull the flaps lever all the way up and push the throttle to 40 inches of manifold pressure, the big single leaps forward and soars into the sky where it belongs.
The long-simmering debate about how best to address the issue of helicopter noise above the Los Angeles basin has come to full boil. The parties that had been trying to collaborate on voluntary abatement measures have seen them become mired in a miasma of mistrust, skepticism, anger and a sense of betrayal on the part of just about everyone who flies a helicopter through the airspace, including–for the first time–law enforcement.
Bombardier’s Learjet 85 program is moving toward first flight (if it hasn’t already happened after this issue went to press), but the company’s plans to achieve certification and begin customer deliveries this year appear to be unachievable.
Sellers and lessors placed 23 Fokker aircraft with 12 existing and three new Fokker operators last year, Fokker Services announced in late January. The total comprises 12 Fokker 50s and 11 Fokker 100s. The company said that because various Fokker operators have chosen to retain their fleets longer than anticipated, the number of available aircraft did not grow as expected during the year, leading to fewer placements than in the previous two years.
Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has long claimed its Superjet 100 offers a level of technical sophistication that surpasses that of any Western regional jet on the market. Now, a new funding system state-controlled Vnesheconombank (VEB) devised with Sukhoi to support export sales of the Superjet 100 promises to place the Russian regional jet on equal footing with Western models in terms of financing cost as well, according to VEB deputy chairman Alexander Ivanov.
Last Friday Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced that his government had signed a $3.5 billion contract with Sikorsky for the co-production of 109 T-70 utility transport helicopters, based on the Sikorsky S-70i International Black Hawk. The announcement comes nearly three years after Turkey had declared the T-70 as its preferred choice for the TUHP (Turkey utility helicopter program) requirement, and some seven months after it had been revealed that there were to be delays in finally putting pen to paper.
Cessna Aircraft’s Citation Latitude prototype has already achieved its full performance envelope, just one week after the aircraft’s maiden flight. In only its third flight, the prototype reached its maximum speed of 440 ktas/Mach 0.80 and altitude of 45,000 feet. In fact, the midsize twinjet made a direct climb to 45,000 feet with a gross takeoff weight of 29,000 pounds.
Milestone Aviation Group signed a purchase contract today at Heli-Expo for eight AgustaWestland helicopters as part of the companies’ framework agreement, which was initially announced in September last year. The latest contract is for five AW139s and three AW189s for delivery by year-end. The framework agreement–which covers firm orders and options for 44 aircraft delivering over the next four years, when fully executed–represents the largest civilian helicopter sale in AgustaWestland history.
Charter group Falcon Aviation Services signed a letter of intent to buy a Bombardier CS300 yesterday, with an option for a second. Falcon Aviation Services will thus be the first non-airline operator of the CSeries, offering it for charter by private individuals and businesses. The $156.5 million deal, announced this week at the Air Expo show in Abu Dhabi, takes the total number of orders and commitments for the CSeries to 447, of which 201 are firm orders.
It takes the right tooling to make a helicopter come together, and sometimes it takes teamwork to create that tooling. Professional Aviation Associates (Booth No. 4006), a subsidiary of Greenwich AeroGroup, worked in tandem with Aerosync Engineering & Consulting recently to deliver two UH60 Black Hawk fuselage and tailcone alignment fixtures to the Colombian air force.