The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works revealed a hypersonic aircraft design that can take off and land conventionally using turbine-based combined-cycle engine technology. The company said it has been working with rocket propulsion specialists Aerojet for several years on the project, using company funds. Although the design could lead to a Mach 6 unmanned strike aircraft, Lockheed Martin has dubbed it the SR-72, after the company’s SR-71 Blackbird manned strategic reconnaissance aircraft that reached Mach 3 but was retired in 1997.
Asset-management firm Victory Park Capital has sold its portfolio company Ascent Aviation Services to New Orleans-based private equity firm LongueVue Capital Partners II. The terms of the deal were not made public.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released a research report examining every incident of stall warning activation between 2008 and 2012 in transport-category aircraft operating in Australian airspace. The incidents recorded in the October 31 report include both local aircraft as well as those of foreign registry.
Bombardier said its CSeries flight-test program is progressing as planned, and its “target” remains to complete the program and certify the new airliner one year after first flight, or by next September. However, the manufacturer said that it is discussing a definitive schedule for the five-aircraft test program with its suppliers and customers. It will reveal the schedule “in the next few months,” according to Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO.
Two faculty members from Penn State’s vertical-lift research center of excellence were honored recently at the fourth annual International Basic Research Conference on Rotorcraft Technology in Tianjin, China. Professor Edward Smith and research associate Jianhua Zhang were honored for their paper, “Influence of Aeroelasticity Tailored Wing Extensions and Winglets on Whirl Flutter Stability.” The research was underwritten by the National Rotorcraft Technology Center and the NASA Ames Research Center.
Among the operational topics for the technical committee at the triennial ICAO Assembly were significant safety issues. One paper from the Russian delegation provided a description of extensive studies of wake vortices, and the development of a wake vortex safety system that would use outputs from ADS-B, Swim and two Aviation System Block Upgrades 1 elements, with pilot alerts transmitted over the anticipated datalinks in that period–that is, by 2018.
For many pilots, the first exposure to the benefits of an angle-of-attack (AOA) indicating system comes during their first simulator session toward a business jet or airliner type rating. Because fewer pilots are entering the world of professional flying via the military–which actively uses AOA systems–and general aviation training airplanes are rarely AOA equipped, new civilian pilots get little exposure to AOA indicators and their safety benefits.
Eurofighter has signed a new development contract with the four European partner nations for the Typhoon. The Evolution Package 2 (EP2) comprises various improvements to the combat jet’s avionics. Two days earlier, EADS Cassidian said that flight testing of an earlier set of improvements had been completed.
Boeing has increased its estimate of the operating performance of the 737 Max, saying the re-engined narrowbody will burn 14 percent less fuel than the current 737NG consumes. In July, the manufacturer said the 737 Max with new CFM Leap-1B turbofans will be 13 percent more fuel efficient.
New Citations are being equipped with the Cessna Diagnostic Maintenance System (CDMS). The system integrates event-driven and full-time data recording that provides maintenance needs on the pilot’s multi-function display and pushes the data to the aircraft’s service center.