The Airbus A400M military airlifter will be ceremonially rolled out on June 26, but the plan to make a first flight by “the end of the summer” seems overly optimistic, unless rapid progress can be made with the TP400 engine testbed, which has not yet flown. About 50 hours are scheduled for this modified C-130, carrying one of the four big turboprops that will power the A400M.
EADS Socata this week at EBACE outlined what its next product launch could be next year–a twin-engine business aircraft that is bigger than its TBM 850 turboprop single. “The future product will have two more seats than the [six-seat] TBM,” said Socata CEO Jean-Michel Léonard.
An airframe match for one or both new small turbofan designs currently under development by Pratt & Whitney Canada may be announced at this month’s NBAA Convention. Two years ago, the engine maker revealed it was working on two new engines: the PW600F, a 2,000- to 2,400-lb-thrust model, and, in a joint development program with Raytheon Aircraft, the 2,500-lb-thrust PW625F.
On June 10 Honda flew its latest jet engine design for the first time. In the 1,900-lb-thrust range, the engine flew on a modified Cessna CitationJet from Honda’s purpose-built research facility at Atlantic Aero in Greensboro, N.C. Concurrently, Honda is busily at work on a CJ-size airframe in Greensboro, with first flight expected in January.
Landmark Aviation has expanded its agreement with Air Alliance of Germany to offer aircraft maintenance, repair, modification and completion to owners and operators of turbofan- and turboprop-powered aircraft in Europe.
ROCKWELL AERO COMMANDER 690B, HOMERVILLE, GA., MARCH 27, 2003–An in-flight encounter with unforecast severe turbulence resulted in the design limits of Aero Commander 690B N53LG being exceeded an overload failure of the airframe, concluded the NTSB. The airplane was at 27,000 feet when the turbulence was encountered and the pilot called “Mayday” to Jacksonville Center.
Stevens Aviation’s Dayton, Ohio facility and Jet Aviation’s Bedford, Mass. facility have been designated by Raytheon Aircraft as service centers for the entry-level Premier I. The approval covers heavy and scheduled maintenance, airframe maintenance and engine repairs. There are approximately 25 Premier Is in the field since deliveries started last June.
Jetnet/AvData of Utica, N.Y., is here at NBAA’07 unveiling its Aviation Business Index (ABI), a worldwide online portal for aviation information.
As studies on Bombardier’s proposed 110- to 130-seat jets progress, all the early talk about extensive use of new high-tech composites in the airframe now appears somewhat exaggerated if not a complete misrepresentation.
Britain’s GKN Aerospace has signaled its intention to bid for stakes in one or more of the Airbus factories now being put up for acquisition or partnership under the troubled European airframer’s Power8 restructuring plan. The strategic acquisition could play a key part in GKN’s ambition to more than double its annual revenues to reach $4.2 billion by 2016.