Safe Flight invented the stall warning horn in 1946, and refined the concept with its “lift transducer” beginning in 1953. Now the company is at EAA AirVenture 2014 with a new product–the SCx Leading Edge AoA (angle of attack) indicator. It’s priced to be competitive with other AoA indicators, especially considering its $200 show discount. AirVenture buyers will pay $1,295 when they buy a system at the Safe Flight booth (No. 18). The regular price is still-attractive at $1,495.
The pilot of an MBB-Kawasaki (Eurocopter) BK117B2 flying a trauma recovery mission at 5,000 feet agl in South Australia last year saw a number of hydraulic fluctuations on the helicopter’s system indicators just before the aircraft experienced an uncommanded and violent pitch up. That excursion was followed closely by a left roll and descent, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
Clean Sky (Hall 4 Stand B10), Europe’s aerospace research venture, is exhibiting a model of a modified Airbus A340 with so-called “laminar flow” on an outboard section of the wings. The technology, if applied to the entire wing, could bring a 5-10 percent improvement in fuel burn. The A340 testbed is scheduled to fly next year.
The Engine Alliance, a 50-50 joint venture of GE and Pratt & Whitney, has received EASA approval for two new thrust ratings for the GP7200 turbofan engine, one of the two engines available to power the Airbus A380. The new ratings bring the GP7200 to four thrust rating configurations.
The Bauhaus Luftfahrt aerospace think-tank in May unveiled a concept for a “propulsive fuselage” aircraft, opening a new possibility for fuel burn reduction. It is part of a European Union-funded project in cooperation with a number of research centers, as well as MTU Aero Engines and Airbus Group Innovations (OE13). The latter company is also studying a hybrid-power regional airliner with Rolls-Royce (Hall 4 Stand H3). Meanwhile, it is flying a hybrid-lift quadcopter demonstrator for unmanned military and civil missions, the Quadcruiser.
Aerostar (Hall 3 Stand B31) has become one of the first independent European MRO organizations to install Split Scimitar winglets on Boeing 737-800s. The work was carried out for Sweden’s TUIFly Nordic at Aerostar’s Bacau facility in Romania, which is also the location of its headquarters. The winglets were fitted to two 737 aircraft, one arriving in early May and having the work done during a maintenance check, while the other followed shortly afterwards for a maintenance check, wing strengthening and installation of winglets.
After Sir Richard Branson launches the first passenger flight of his Virgin Galactic space venture, possibly later this year, he’s indicated that he will turn his attention to developing a supersonic commercial aircraft that can transit from New York to Tokyo (10,800 km; 5,800 nm) in “less than an hour.” He envisions an orbital aircraft, which could reach speeds up to 30,000 kph (16,200 knots).
While ATR and Bombardier continue to vacillate over plans to introduce a new 90-seat turboprop, Pratt & Whitney Canada keeps moving forward with a powerplant it believes will deliver a 20-percent fuel burn improvement over existing engines in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp range by the turn of the decade. Dubbed the Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), the engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of Pratt & Whitney’s patented Talon combustor and (probably) an eight-blade propeller.
Hawker Pacific Aerospace has opened its new 12,000-sq-ft airframe-related component (ARC) shop in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The move broadens the landing gear specialist’s expertise to include services for thrust reversers. The facility, which has already received its first five thrust reverser units, serves as the hub of thrust reverser services for Lufthansa Technik’s customers within the Americas.
In a move that could help pave the way for low-boom supersonic flight over land, NASA aeronautics researchers are presenting their work on how people on the ground perceive low sonic booms this week in Atlanta at an annual event held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Lessening sonic booms is the most significant hurdle to [civil] supersonic flight,” said Peter Coen, head of the high-speed project in NASA’s aeronautics research mission directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
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