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.
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.
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.
I recently had the chance to fly one of the King Air C90s re-engined with two Walter M601E-11s, which are 751-shp engines flat rated to 550 shp for this installation. The airplane we were flying was N800RP, a 1974 King Air C90, S/N LJ-628. Dan Sigl, owner of Seagull Aviation, which is working on a conversion package for King Air 90s and 100s, agreed to bring the aircraft to my home base, Solberg Airport in New Jersey.
A major research program launched three years ago by the European Union has identified open rotors and natural laminar flow as key technologies to be taken forward in the Clean Sky joint technology initiative and potentially into the mooted replacement for the Airbus A320.
Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney Canada have agreed to start doing component repairs on some models of each other’s engines. The details of the agreement are still to be formalized, but it is expected that it will cover Honeywell’s TPE331 turboprops and TFE731 turbofans, as well as its 36-100 and 36-150 auxiliary power units. It will also apply to P&WC’s PW100 and PT6 turboprops and its JT15D turbofan.
BEECH 1900D, ROCHESTER, N.Y., JUNE 3, 2000–The Safety Board determined probable cause for a gear-up landing by a CommutAir Beech 1900D during a regularly scheduled flight. According to the NTSB, “The reversal of landing gear hydraulic lines by company maintenance personnel [caused the failure].
The flight department of Greek-based construction company Consolidated Contractors International was faced with a challenge when the group’s 82-year-old chairman asked them to fit his Bombardier Challenger 601-3R with a wheelchair lift. Their boss’ arthritic knees made boarding the aircraft painful, and he was sick of the indignity of having to have the crew lift him up the steps.
Price Induction, a startup company based in Anglet, France, is studying a 560-lb-thrust high-bypass-ratio turbofan that would establish a new thrust class. Applications of the DGEN380 would be four-seaters, allowing pilots to upgrade from piston singles to twinjets. Another market could be airline-pilot training.