In a move that could help pave the way for low-boom supersonic flight over land, NASA aeronautics researchers are presenting their work on how people on the ground perceive low sonic booms this week in Atlanta at an annual event held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Lessening sonic booms is the most significant hurdle to [civil] supersonic flight,” said Peter Coen, head of the high-speed project in NASA’s aeronautics research mission directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The NTSB’s preliminary report into the crash of a Gulfstream IV during takeoff roll at Bedford Hanscom Field near Boston on May 31 revealed a number of inconsistencies. On June 13, investigators reported that while the flap handle on the jet was set to the “flaps 10” position, the flight data recorder indicated the flaps were set to the “flaps 20” position.
Bombardier Aerospace announced today that the Challenger 350 received Transport Canada approval, with FAA certification expected “shortly.” An upgrade of the Challenger 300, the 350 has a new wing with canted winglets, a higher mtow of 40,600 pounds and greater fuel capacity for an NBAA IFR range of 3,200 nm versus its predecessor’s 3,065 nm.
Later this month, the FAA plans to begin testing a new lighting system at Boston Logan Airport that will warn arriving pilots when their runway is occupied by another aircraft. Called the enhanced final approach runway occupancy signal (eFaros), the new system flashes the existing precision approach path indicator lights to indicate the runway is not safe for landing long before the aircraft is committed to touchdown.
The FAA has reminded operators that continued operations within reduced vertical separation minimum airspace require aircraft maintenance in accordance with RVSM maintenance guidelines. The agency is concerned that many operators bring aircraft in for maintenance and fail to adequately document compliance with RVSM standards.
In a ceremony held this morning at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport, Clay Lacy Aviation owner Clay Lacy donated two “historic” jets to the local aviation maintenance school, North Valley Occupational Center-Aviation (NVOC-Aviation). NVOC-Aviation is operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District adult education program and offers one of the most inexpensive ways for aspiring aircraft mechanics to study for the FAA mechanic certificate with airframe and powerplant ratings, with the 2.5-year full-time program costing just $2,400.
Dr. Lewis “Bernie” Gratzer, the retired vice president of technology at Aviation Partners, passed away on Friday night. Gratzer, already a well respected aerodynamicist, joined Aviation Partners when the company was formed in 1991 to work on a blended winglet for the Gulfstream II. In 1994 he received patent #5,348,253 for his blended winglet design, the lynchpin technology of Aviation Partners’ winglet products. According to Aviation Partners, his winglet design is now flying on more than 6,000 airplanes “and counting.”
Preliminary Report: Jet Overruns Florida Runway
Cessna Citation CJ3 525, Spruce Creek, Fla., April 27, 2014–Unable to stop on the 4,000-foot Runway 23 at Florida’s Spruce Creek airport, a Cessna CJ3 ran off the hard surface and came to rest partially submerged in a pond off the departure end of the runway. The aircraft remained intact after the accident. None of the three people aboard was injured in the accident.
Preliminary Report: Helicopter Drops Ship’s Pilot During Transfer
The Pentagon announced the award of an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to Northrop Grumman on June 3 for ongoing modernization and sustainment of the B-2A Spirit bomber. The IDIQ contact comes with a ceiling of $9.9 billion; at the same time, Northrop Grumman is preparing for the possibility of its building the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) that will replace the B-2.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s final report on the 2012 crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan concluded the stall-induced accident was the result of the pilot’s decision to depart Snow Lake, Manitoba, with the aircraft weighing 600 pounds more than its maximum allowable gross weight and with ice clinging to the wing and tail surfaces. The Cessna Caravan, operated by Gogal Air Services, left Snow Lake on Nov.