While Quest Aircraft’s brawny high-wing all-metal utility turboprop didn’t achieve FAA certification by the end of last year as the company had hoped, the program continues on the path to approval in the first quarter of this year. By mid-December, the prototype had logged nearly 600 hours of flight testing.
Glenn Maben & Nathan Forrest
Certification of the Grob SPn Utility Jet will be delayed by a few months, according to a statement released last week, 16 days after the fatal crash of the company’s No. 2 prototype that killed chief test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud. “We hope to be able to continue with flight test shortly,” said Grob CEO Niall Olver.
Less than 50 days after the A380’s first flight, Airbus has reported an essentially satisfactory start to the very large jetliner’s test program. Preliminary results include “excellent” comfort up to the M 0.89 maximum operating Mach number, with cruise performance said to be “on target,” a spokesman said.
The UK’s Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS) at Boscombe Down is one of only a handful of world-class training establishments offering a wide range of courses for both the military and civil flight test and evaluation communities. Recently the subject of an in-depth analysis by independent consultants, the future of ETPS remains secure.
The first Bell/Agusta BA609 tiltrotor performed its first full conversion to airplane mode in Texas this past August. The maneuver has become routine, and the ground-breaking aircraft has gone on to pass the 250-knot airspeed milestone.
The Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) has announced the launch of a new 13-week rotary-wing flight test course set to begin next August. The program will be held at the home of the UK’s joint Ministry of Defence (MOD)/QinetiQ aircraft test and evaluation center at Boscombe Down.
Your boss is worth $100 million and he flies in a $30 million jet, but right now if he has a heart attack in flight he could be worse-protected than a spotty-faced backpacker flying airline on a $500 ticket. If the boss suddenly complains of chest pains halfway across the Atlantic, what are you and your flight attendant going to do about it?
In a first for a Part 25 aircraft, the FAA has approved the Vision 1 synthetic-vision system from Universal Avionics for use in the Challenger 601-3A. Paired with Universal’s EFI-890R retrofit cockpit, Vision 1 creates a virtual view of the world ahead of the airplane on the primary flight displays by culling data from worldwide terrain and obstacle databases.
Virgin Atlantic Airways is the latest major carrier to improve its passengers’ chances of surviving a major health problem in flight by investing in the Tempus medical emergency response system from Remote Diagnostics Technology (Booth No. 888).