The two huge hangars at Cardington airfield, 50 miles north of London, stand as witness to the golden age of the airships in the 1930s. Inside one of them, a successor to those giants of the sky is being prepared for flight. British company Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) is pursuing the goal held by so many proponents of lighter-than-air (LTA) and related technology for so many years. The goal of revolutionizing the air cargo market–and maybe also the persistent surveillance market–with buoyant lift.
Roger Munk’s sudden and untimely death in February 2010 at the age of 62 robbed the airship industry of a true pioneer. He had led a series of British companies specializing in lighter-than-air technology (LTA) for nearly 40 years. HAV was his latest company, founded in 2007 to take forward the hybrid concepts that, he eventually concluded, offered more promise for the future than conventional airships. Before that, his life had been starred with technical success and marred with financial failure.
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.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
The NTSB recently released preliminary findings on the April 26 accident in Port Orange, Fla., in which a Cessna Citation CJ3 overran the runway and came to rest in a pond about 600 feet from the end of the hard surface. Investigators said the pilot reported landing “long” (about two-thirds down the 4,000-foot runway) and then realized he wouldn’t be able to stop on the runway. A weather observation at the time of the mishap indicates there was a four-knot tailwind.
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Honeywell TPE331-5, -5A, -5AB, -5B, -10, -10R, -10U, -10UF, -10UG, -10UGR, and -10UR turboprop engines. It was prompted by engine propeller shaft coupling failures, leading to unexpected propeller pitch changes and resulting in high aerodynamic and asymmetric drag on the airplanes using these engines. This proposed AD would require removing from service certain part number propeller shaft couplings.
With general aviation regulations in India caught up in a web of complex rules, the industry has expressed a need for a stable regulatory framework that would allow it to grow in a sound, more straightforward regulatory regime. Addressing this, an ICAO-led group drafted a set of recommendations for a policy on general aviation–including fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and seaplanes–and submitted them to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in April 2012.
One person aboard a Bombardier Challenger 600 died and another was seriously injured after the aircraft–N115WF–crashed Sunday afternoon while attempting to land on Runway 15 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Colorado. The Challenger’s right wing separated at impact, and the aircraft then rolled inverted and caught fire. A third person aboard the aircraft sustained minor injuries.
The accident occurred at approximately 12:20 p.m. during the aircraft’s second attempt to land. The crew missed the first approach after reporting a 33-knot tailwind.
Pilots seeking to improve their manual flying skills should consider trying gliders, according to Captain Sarah Kelman. The former women’s world gliding champion and EasyJet safety officer told the Royal Aeronautical Society’s recent International Flight Crew Training Conference in London that flying gliders is beneficial to upset prevention and recovery training.
If you fly in a helicopter, NASA is interested in saving your posterior.
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