Future transport aircraft will have to meet a revised reference stall speed. Effective with type certificate applications filed after December 26, the reference stall speed is redefined as a speed not less than the 1g stall speed instead of the minimum speed obtained in a stalling maneuver.
The termination of the agreement between Eclipse Aviation and Williams International, announced the day before Thanksgiving, is seen as a major setback for the Eclipse 500 very light jet program by many observers– particularly (and predictably) by the battalions of skeptics who have questioned the viability of the program since it was revealed in March 2000.
Carson Helicopters of Perkasie, Pa., has been granted FAA certification for new main rotor blades for the Sikorsky S-61. The design incorporates two airfoils and 12 degrees of twist, giving the venerable Sikorsky workhorse 2,000 pounds more lift in a hover and adding 15 knots to the cruise speed compared with the standard metal blades at the same power settings. Carson has signed a contract with NASA for exclusive use of the airfoils.
Aerion now has commitments covering at least 20 of its proposed supersonic business jet (SSBJ) since it started signing letters of intent with prospective customers in November. The letters of intent come from 20 different clients in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America; operators committing to the program most recently include Pakistan-based executive charter firm Princely Jets and an undisclosed customer from India.
MITSUBISHI MU-2B-60, FERNDALE, MD., MAY 14, 2004–At 7:24 a.m., Mitsubishi MU-2B N755AF, operating as Epps Air Service Flight 101, was destroyed when it crashed in Ferndale while approaching Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). The ATP pilot was killed. VMC prevailed for the flight, which had been operating on an IFR plan from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
BEECHCRAFT KING AIR B200, LEOMINSTER, MASS., APRIL 4, 2003–The NTSB determined that the pilot’s low-altitude maneuver with an excessive bank angle and his failure to maintain airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall and subsequent crash into a building, caused the loss of King Air N257CG.
Everett, Wash.-based BLR Aerospace late last week received two record-breaking sales for its King Air winglet systems from Elliott Aviation and Cutter Aviation. Both companies placed separate 90-shipset orders, effectively consuming BLR’s entire production capacity of King Air winglets for the next two years.
After four years of development and almost 500 hours of flight testing, the Raisbeck ZR Lite System for the Learjet 35/36 has earned an STC.
In preparation for his solo nonstop around-the-world (ATW) flight tentatively scheduled for January, adventurer and solo ATW balloonist Steve Fossett has begun familiarization flights in the single-engine Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer in Mojave, Calif., following a number of envelope expansion flights by Scaled Composites project engineer and test pilot Jon Karkow.
The void in the aeronautical spectrum created by the retirement of the Anglo-French Concorde fleet in October last year stands to be filled by two supersonic business jet (SSBJ) programs that were unveiled at last month’s NBAA Convention.