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.
Eclipse Aerospace announced last week that an anti-skid braking system will become an available option on new production Eclipse 550 jets as a retrofit item to all existing aircraft. The new anti-skid system adds 17 pounds to the aircraft’s empty weight; the company says it will offer a weight-reduction package to help offset the new feature.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s two newest aircraft–the super-midsize G280 and wide-cabin G650–are both on final approach to receive their respective FAA certification, the company announced yesterday.
AgustaWestland signed agreements at the Farnborough airshow with three key suppliers–Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems–for its AW609 civil tiltrotor program. These major agreements follow a trail of contracts signed with AW609 component suppliers since AgustaWestland acquired the tiltrotor program last November. The OEM expects to obtain FAA and EASA certification of the AW609 in the first half of 2016.
The problems with the A400M’s TP400-D6 turboprop engine that caused the airlifter to be scratched from this week’s Farnborough International flight demonstrations will slow civil certification and first delivery of the aircraft, but are not expected to delay its entry into service with the French air force next year. Production aircraft do not have the same issues.
AgustaWestland signed three key supplier agreements for its AW609 civil tiltrotor program here at Farnborough yesterday, with Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems. These major agreements follow a trail of contracts signed with AW609 component suppliers since AgustaWestland acquired the tiltrotor program last November. FAA and EASA certification of the AW609 is projected to occur in the first half of 2016.
Universal Avionics has begun deliveries of its UniLink UL-800/UL-801 communications management unit, which provides airborne datalink capability that meets upcoming mandates in European and North Atlantic airspace. The UL800/801 received FAA TSO approval in April, and Universal’s Tucson, Ariz., manufacturing facility is already producing the units to meet market demand.
If Pratt & Whitney executives felt discouraged by Mitsubishi Aircraft’s recent announcement that it would delay first flight and, likely, certification of the MRJ regional jet by a year-and-a-half, they didn’t show it last week after the airplane’s
A broad-based and international FAA-industry committee is working to simplify Part 23 of the Federal Aviation Regulations in a way that doubles aircraft safety while reducing costs by as much as 50 percent.
The potential new rules will also serve as a new international set of standards for aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds.