The Federal Aviation Administration has given Boeing permission to conduct test flights of its 787 airliner to gather data about the performance of its lithium-ion battery and electrical system in flight.
Eurocopter continues to search for the root cause of the main gearbox failure that resulted in forced but controlled ditchings by two EC225s last year. Early last month, the manufacturer was still hoping it would be able to recommend a return to flight in February. In a written statement sent to AIN late last week, however, it refers only to an “update on the situation” at the end of February.
AgustaWestland is giving serious consideration to building production models of the AW609 civil tiltrotor in the U.S., possibly in Texas, a senior executive told AIN last month. Robert LaBelle, managing director of the AgustaWestland TiltRotor Co., said that initially the aircraft will be built partially in Italy and the U.S. but that the ultimate decision on where to conduct final assembly will be “driven by the customer base.” Some 35 percent of that customer base, he noted, is predicted to be in the U.S.
So-called human factors and a series of small technical snags in the Indonesian air traffic control system led to the crash of Sukhoi Superjet 100 S/N 95004 on May 9 outside Jakarta, in which 45 people died, according to a final accident report released Tuesday by Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee.
Airbus has finished building the main structural assembly and system connection of the first A350 XWB flight test aircraft, MSN-001, the company announced on Tuesday. The aircraft rolled out of the main assembly hall (Station 40) at the recently inaugurated “Roger Béteille” A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in Toulouse.
UAV Navigation, a developer of flight-control avionics and motion sensors for unmanned aircraft, said it demonstrated its LCAP autopilot system in a “sea-skimming” target UAV designed to mimic the threat of an incoming missile.
The Embraer Legacy 500 made a “flawless” one-hour 45-minute first flight today from the aircraft manufacturer’s headquarters at Brazil’s São José dos Campos Airport, marking the beginning of the midsize jet’s flight-test program. Embraer test pilots Mozart Louzada and Eduardo Camelier, along with flight-test engineers Gustavo Paixão and Alexandre Figueiredo, flew the fly-by-wire aircraft, performing handling and performance characteristics evaluation.
Safe Flight Instrument’s AutoPower autothrottle system has made its way onto the Gulfstream G150 (and via retrofit the G200). The STCed system, available as a factory-new option or via retrofit from authorized Gulfstream service centers, can extend the aircraft’s range or payload with its fuel savings. “You can take one extra passenger and his bags on a flight because of the fuel savings from the AutoPower system,” said sales manager Ken Bannon.
Honda Aircraft has started the production line for its $4.5 million HondaJet entry-level twinjet. A handful of initial customer aircraft are scheduled to be completed next year. Honda expects FAA certification of the HondaJet’s GE Honda HF120 engine (2,095 pounds of thrust/5,000-hour TBO) in the middle of next year and aircraft certification in 2013.
The NTSB has issued 10 safety recommendations in the wake of its investigation into the April 2, 2011 crash of the G650 test aircraft. Five of the October 23 recommendations were intended for the FAA, two for Gulfstream Aerospace and the remaining three for the Flight Test Safety Committee. The Board recommends developing flight-test operating guidance for manufacturers.