Turbofan engine makers active in business aviation– such as General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce and Snecma– all have their hands full with research-and-development (R&D) programs, many of which are driven by aircraft programs. However, almost all of the engine companies also run demonstration programs that will not necessarily morph into full engine development.
Aerion, the U.S. company that is developing a supersonic business jet (SSBJ), has welcomed an FAA policy shift which it believes “seems to crack open the door for supersonic cruise speeds” if, in the words of FAA policy guidance released last month, “the noise impacts of supersonic flight are shown to be acceptable.”
Aerion executives still hope they will secure an OEM partner by the end of the year to build the company’s supersonic business jet, but vice chairman Brian Barents told NBAA Convention News that the company won’t “fall off a cliff” if the deadline passes without an announcement.
A Jan. 20, 2007 incident over the English Channel resulted in the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) recommending the FAA mandate operators adhere to a service bulletin Honeywell issued subsequently in late 2007. Falcon 900B G-HMEV had departed Farnborough en route to Tel Aviv. When the aircraft reached FL130 over the English Channel, there was a loud noise from the rear of the aircraft.
Brad Mottier, general manager of GE Aviation’s newly formed business and general aviation division (B&GA), outlined the genesis, philosophy and goals of the unit, saying its mission is to integrate recent acquisitions Smiths Aerospace and Walter Engines into the bizav mix of GE’s product lines.
Cessna on August 13 said it completed a series of wind-tunnel tests for its large-cabin Citation Columbus. Results from the tests in low- and high-speed wind tunnels will be analyzed in the coming months, though Cessna said that preliminary data analysis revealed no surprises. The wind-tunnel facilities are located in San Diego and Toulouse, France.
The FAA and Pratt & Whitney Canada believe they have found the cause of at least three high-
altitude, dual-engine flameouts on Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5-powered airplanes operating in certain meteorological conditions. In a proposed Airworthiness
The FAA and Pratt & Whitney Canada believe they have found the cause of three high-altitude double engine flameouts on Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5-powered Beechjets between mid-2004 and mid-2006.
Under the cover of private funding, Honda has been secretly and very seriously developing its six- to eight-seat light turbofan twin. Though the automaker steadfastly maintains it has “no business plan” to manufacture the business jet, the project aircraft has a name, HondaJet, and the development program is well advanced.
Hawker Beechcraft Beechjet 400, Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 28, 2005–Both engines of the Flight Options Beechjet flamed out because high-altitude ice crystals that had accumulated on the P&WC JT15D-5 engines’ compressor vanes were ingested when the pilots pulled back the power levers to descend, according to the NTSB.