Business aircraft maintenance, modification and completions firm Stevens Aviation today delivered the first Lear4Ever–an upgraded Learjet 35–to Dr. Steve Bass in a ceremony at its Greenville, S.C. headquarters. For $2 million and six months of downtime, the Lear4Ever program provides “a series of upgrades, retrofits and modifications” intended to modernize and extend the useful life of 20- and 30-series Learjets.
Years after testing an unusually shaped “spiroid” winglet on a Gulfstream II, Aviation Partners remains “intensely interested” in continuing research into the efficiency-boosting winglets, according to a company spokesman. Spiroid winglets look like a long thin winglet ribbon that was heated to the malleable stage then twisted back onto the top of the wing.
Possibly as a result of its Repair, Alteration and Fabrication Team study, the FAA issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin SAIB NE-08-40, which reiterates the need for companies that make parts under Parts Manufacturer Approval regulations “to support the continued operational safety (COS) of their design.” While the agency said in the SAIB that “PMA and STC parts are thoroughly evaluated for compliance with respect to any changes th
“Everybody talks about the weather,” Mark Twain once famously quipped, “but nobody ever does anything about it.”
It is symbolic of the malaise cloaking aviation as it celebrates the centennial of powered flight that, for the first time since Orville and Wilbur Wright made history in 1903, man-kind will have to settle for flying more slowly than before. Concorde, the airplane that opened supersonic flight to anyone with the means to buy a ticket, will retire this year after 27 years of service with British Airways and Air France.
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.