Until this most recent, long and painful recession, the rule of thumb followed by those who analyze the business aviation market is that aircraft sales, new and used, follow an increase in corporate profits by about 18 to 24 months. Assuming this to be true, then business aviation should already be showing healthy growth and the completion and refurbishment segment should be close behind. But it hasn’t happened yet.
Europe’s failure to launch a medium-altitude long-endurance (Male) UAV to compete with long-established offerings from Israel and the U.S. was a major talking point at last week’s Paris Air Show. AIN’s team of editors and reporters provided full coverage of the world’s biggest aerospace event; all the stories can be found online at www.ainonline.com–some of them in longer form than we were able to publish in our four print editions of Paris Airshow News.
Certification testing is under way on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s test facility in Peebles, Ohio. The engine, which will power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000, began ground testing on Monday and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 pounds of thrust. This first full engine test launches a certification program that will include more than 4,000 ground hours and 8,000 cycles of testing. Certification is expected in 2015. Flight-testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled to begin next year.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released a final report early this month on the June 2010 accident at Ottawa’s MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (CYOW) in which the pilots of a Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ 145LR were unable to stop the aircraft on the airport’s 8,000-foot Runway 7 during landing. With 33 passengers and a crew of three–none of whom was injured–the aircraft made a smooth touchdown 1,740 feet beyond the threshold of a wet runway approximately eight knots too fast.
Most of the resources to reduce runway incursions are already in place, according to the FAA’s group manager for runway safety, Jim Krieger, who believes the problem is well understood by pilots, controllers, airport managers and airport vehicle drivers. “Most of what we do now is evaluate an incursion after it occurs,” Krieger told AIN. “We need to look at all of the [data] outcomes and become more predictive about these events.
The Civil Air Navigation Services Organization has launched an initiative to improve runway safety at airports that will provide a runway safety checklist for airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs), as well as key tips for both pilots and air traffic controllers. The effort includes a revised and updated education bookleton runway excursions, Unstable Approaches–ATC Considerations,as well as a smartphone app.
Mitre’s Center for Advanced Aviation Systems Development is recruiting pilots to help evaluate proposed changes to instrument approach standards. Selected applicants–who will be paid up to $250 for their time–must have had a flight review within the past two years and be current instrument-rated pilots with glass-cockpit experience. Interested applicants should contact Anna Christine Yilmaz at (317) 459-5947 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
As expected, the FAA has published an Airworthiness Directive for 800-series Hawkers equipped with Aviation Partners (API) winglets.
Saab CEO Håkan Buskhe revealed this week that the company is exploring the idea of an Optional Manned Gripen (OMG). While believing that manned operations will still be needed for at least the next 40 years, Buskhe also recognizes that many “dull and dangerous” missions could be performed better by an unmanned aircraft. Using an OMG for such roles rather than acquiring another type of aircraft would, in essence, halve the logistics costs. OMGs could perhaps operate in a formation under the control of piloted aircraft.
On display in the Thales pavilion, the AESA (active electronically scanned array) version of the RBE2 radar will soon become the first of its kind to go operational in Europe. The first French air force Rafale squadron to convert to the new fighter will receive four AESA-equipped aircraft in October. The first production radar was delivered last October and is completing operational testing at Mont de Marsan airbase.