Aviation Partners has flight-tested its new split scimitar blended winglet on a Boeing Business Jet. The new design adds a blended ventral fin and scimitar winglet tips to the original blended winglet design, and the company says the tests confirmed a “measurable speed increase and drag decrease.” However, the company does not have current plans to make the new winglet available for any specific aircraft. Aviation Partners is displaying a full-scale mockup of its split scimitar blended winglet here at its NBAA booth (No. 5035).
A Cessna Citation X equipped with Winglet Technology (Booth No. 1743) elliptical winglets set an unofficial speed record October 28 by flying 3,479 nm nonstop from Anchorage to Miami in seven hours and 13 minutes at an average speed of 482 knots. Details of the flight have been submitted to the National Aeronautic Association for review and certification for jet aircraft in the Class.I.I.(35,274 to 44,092 pounds mtow) category. The aircraft was flown by Al Larson and Chuck Feaga.
Tamarack Aerospace has unveiled the first of what it promises will be a series of active winglet systems designed to relieve wing bending loads caused by winglets. The company’s active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) is slated to be certified and available for installation on Cirrus SR22 G1 and G2 piston singles early next year, but Tamarack is also testing Atlas, which includes new winglets, on a Cessna CJ1. In fact, it brought an Atlas-equipped CJ1 to the NBAA Convention this week in Orlando, Fla., and is giving demonstration rides during the show.
Tamarack Aerospace Group (Booth No. 4171) revealed during its press conference yesterday that it is taking deposits at NBAA’12 for its active technology load alleviation system (Atlas) active winglet system for the Cessna Citation CJ1. “We’re accepting $10,000 refundable deposits here at the show,” said Brian Willet, vice president of sales and flight operations for the company. “The cost of the Atlas kit is estimated to be $196,000, and we are projecting it will take 80 manhours to install the active winglets,” he continued.
Whelen Engineering (Booth No. 2789), a privately held company based in Chester, Conn., has been manufacturing aircraft lighting for more than 60 years. At this year’s NBAA Convention the company announced that it was chosen to be the supplier for the LED wingtip lighting on the Cessna Citation Sovereign block point winglet upgrade program. The wingtip unit incorporates both anti-collision and position lights using low-draw, extra bright and reliable LED technology. The product is TSOed as a line-replaceable unit. –A.L.
BLR Aerospace announced that it has delivered its 500th winglet system. The buyer of the 500th system is the FAA, which is also the company’s largest customer. In May the FAA ordered BLR Aerospace LED-light-equipped winglets for its fleet of 18 Beechcraft King Air 300s. The FAA’s first winglet-modified King Air 300 is already flying, and the FAA is currently installing the winglets on its third King Air 300. The FAA King Air 300s are used to flight check navaids, airport lighting and IFR approaches.
At the NBAA Convention today, Dassault Falcon introduced yet another new version of its Falcon 2000 super-midsize twin. The new Falcon 2000LXS combines the range and amenities of the Falcon 2000LX with the short-field capabilities of the Falcon 2000S. The $32.8 million, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C-powered Falcon 2000LXS will replace the 2000LX when it gains certification in 2014.
Aerion has seen the business aircraft market change substantially since it announced development of a supersonic business jet (SSBJ) design at the 2004 NBAA convention, but the company remains bullish about market demand for such an aircraft, and its plans to bring its design to fruition. Ahead of NBAA ‘12, Aerion (Booth No.
The International Committee for Aviation Training in Extended Envelopes (Icatee) published an article this summer in the ICAO Training Report that said, “The number-one cause of commercial jet transport fatalities…[is] loss-of-control-in-flight (LOC-I).” Icatee chairman Sunjoo Advani said, “[The problem] cannot be simply solved through technology or through current pilot training paradigms.” Coincidentally, Boeing’s statistical summary of commercial jet airplane accidents worldwide operations 1959–2011 showed more fatalities caused by LOC-I accidents than by any other.
Aeronautics engineer Richard Whitcomb–whose research at NASA produced the area rule, supercritical wing and winglets–was posthumously inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame earlier this month. He died in 2008 at the age of 88. During Whitcomb’s almost four decades at NASA his “fundamental insight into aerodynamics and his practical solutions led to three of the most significant and practical contributions to aeronautics in the 20th century,” said NASA Langley Research Center director Lesa Roe.