Integration of remotely piloted air systems (RPAS, or unmanned air systems) into non-segregated airspace in Europe has moved a step closer with the latest test flight in the Desire project (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe). The project is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) and led by Indra of Spain.
The massive, gangly Solar Impulse landed at 12:30 a.m. in Phoenix on Saturday, having completed the first leg of the solar-powered airplane’s Across America mission. The flight departed Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, Calif. on Friday at 6:12 a.m. PDT and landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. MST.
The flight took 18 hours and 18 minutes, all powered by 12,000 solar cells mounted in the wings, driving four 10-hp electric motors and propellers. To fly at night, energy is stored in 881 pounds of lithium-ion batteries.
Terrafugia, the developer of the Transition roadable airplane, says it is designing a hybrid electric/fossil-fuel-powered flying car in the form of a tiltrotor. The TF-X would use electric drive on the ground and for power assist on takeoff. After reaching cruise, the twin tiltrotor pods would fold their propellers flat while a rear-mounted engine-driven shrouded fan would provide propulsion.
When the Transportation Department inspector general conducted a self-initiated audit of the FAA Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program last year, the office concluded that the agency’s oversight and enforcement activities were not sufficient to ensure that airports fully adhere to p
Despite a number of recent fatal accidents involving post-crash fires blamed on the Robinson R44’s vulnerable aluminum fuel tanks, and despite the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) publishing an airworthiness directive demanding replacement with improved flexible bladder versions, many operators have failed to comply.
A federal judge has allowed buffalo herding by helicopter, in response to a lawsuit filed by an environmentalist group that had obtained a restraining order against such operations in Yellowstone National Park last year, alleging the practice adversely affects grizzly bears. Helicopters have been used for more than a decade to steer wandering bison back into Yellowstone each spring.
Eurocopter Japan has delivered a Eurocopter AS365N3 Dauphin retrofitted with a high-speed, real-time satellite transmission system to the country’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency. The helicopter satellite communication system enables direct transmission to relay satellites, without being interrupted by the helicopter’s moving rotor blades. Mitsubishi Electric developed the system, intended for use when ground-based networks are unavailable.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) recently filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to eliminate the mandatory North Shore Route for helicopters over New York’s Long Island. The FAA mandated the route in July last year after political pressure from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). HAI has long argued that the North Shore Route is unsafe and that its imposition violates several laws.
An Environmental Good Conduct Code is now in place at popular Cannes Mandelieu Airport and signed by multiple stakeholders, including the French DGAC, numerous civil aircraft operators, air traffic controllers, airport tenants and various local environmental groups.
The code is voluntary, addresses primarily noise-control issues and calls for the signers to “respect the quality of the environment at and around l’Aéroport Cannes Mandelieu.”
In a bid to simultaneously reduce both fuel consumption and all pollutant emissions–goals that are often at odds–French aerospace research center Onera and engine manufacturer Snecma are working on the next generation of low-NOx combustors