South St. Paul, Minn.-based Ballistic Recovery Systems on July 24 performed a touchdown condition test on an OMF Symphony 160 fuselage. In the test, a conforming fuselage of the Part 23 two seater–sand bagged to simulate a mtow of 2,150 pounds–was hoisted to 8.5 feet and dropped by releasing the tow cable. Although no parachute was involved, the test created a descent rate calculated for a 5,000-foot density altitude.
GKN Aerospace has delivered Blended Winglets for 767-300ER aircraft to Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) for certification flight tests in support of launch customer American Airlines.
The contract has involved the design and development of an 11-foot-tall winglet and will include manufacture of some 450 shipsets, with forecast peak production of up to 16 shipsets per month.
Under the cover of private funding, Honda has been secretly and very seriously developing its six- to eight-seat light turbofan twin. Though the automaker steadfastly maintains it has “no business plan” to manufacture the business jet, the project aircraft has a name, HondaJet, and the development program is well advanced.
Safe Flight Instrument Corp. has announced that Aeronautical Accessories, an affiliate of Bell Helicopter Textron, has obtained an STC allowing installation of Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System for the Bell 206B JetRanger. Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System continually monitors torque and exhaust gas temperature and provides pilots with a tactile annunciation when limits are being reached or exceeded.
At best, a total of 300 to 400 supersonic business jets (SSBJs) could be sold over the next 30 years, according to Andrei Ilyin, general director at Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. “The market is too small for competition,” he said.
The in-service fleet of Sikorsky S-92 medium-twin helicopters reached 100,000 total flight hours, the company announced last month. The first production S-92 was delivered in late 2004. There are now 67 S-92s in service, 11 of which fly an estimated 130 to 170 hours per month. To date, 13 of the aircraft have logged more than 3,500 flight hours.
The market for Gulfstream hush kits stands at fewer than 400 GIIs, GIITTs, GIIBs and GIIIs. These models are currently one of the softer areas of a soft market. This net number takes into account the 14 GIIs and five GIIIs written off over the years, as well as nearly 50 combined models that are serving in some government role and, due to the nature of their operation, would probably not need to conform to any noise requirements.
A major research program launched three years ago by the European Union has identified open rotors and natural laminar flow as key technologies to be taken forward in the Clean Sky joint technology initiative and potentially into the mooted replacement for the Airbus A320.
Gulfstream has recruited company veteran Robert Cowart to be the new director of supersonic technology development. He most recently served as project engineer for the supersonic technology program. In his new position, Cowart is responsible for the development of advanced technology supporting quiet supersonic flight over land, with a principal focus on sonic boom suppression concepts.
A Sikorsky S-76A crashed onto a helipad at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., during an FAA check ride on May 29, seriously injuring the pilot and the FAA inspector aboard. The helicopter was operated by Aero Med Spectrum Health.