The idea of opening a new Gulfstream repair station in southern Florida was evolutionary for Vincent Wolanin. Its roots go back to Wolanin’s days as chairman of TopNotch Entertainment, a rock-and-roll management company that worked with groups such as Aerosmith, Kiss, John Mellencamp and many others.
Gulfstream this month logged its 10,000th downlink via its PlaneConnect maintenance datalink system. There are about 135 large-cabin Gulfstreams using PlaneConnect, according to Gulfstream.
The race is heating up in the Gulfstream hush kit market, as three providers maneuver for the inside track. Stage III Technologies and Quiet Technologies Aerospace (QTA) continue their respective and long-time efforts to obtain STCs for hush kits for the Gulfstream II and III.
Wing Aviation (Booth No. 1818) officials announced at NBAA ’02 that the grand opening of its aviation service center at Montgomery County Airport in Conroe, Texas, will be October 19. Although there have been some delays, company president Brian Wing said the facility, with 54,000 sq ft of hangar space for paint, detailing and service, is nearing completion.
Seventeen Gulfstreams with recently overhauled Rolls-Royce Spey or Tay engines were grounded last month when a problem was discovered with the engines’ air control actuator (ACA), a key fuel control component. All the engines were being, or had recently been, overhauled by either Rolls-Royce or BizJet International. According to Gulfstream, three of the aircraft were already in scheduled maintenance at the time.
Miami-based Quiet Technologies said the FAA now has all the test data, and the company expects to receive an STC for its Gulfstream II/III Stage 3 hush kit this month, about two months later than the previously revised date of the long-delayed program. The $1.5 million system (installed) does not reduce takeoff or climb performance or adversely affect range at typical cruise speeds, according to officials.
Playing its cards close, Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream Aerospace is still officially saying little about its “mystery” follow-on to the G-IV, but there are whispers that more may be revealed about the airplane later this year.
Gulfstream Aerospace received FAA approval of an aircraft service change (ASC) for the Gulfstream II fuselage, effectively extending the life of the airframe from 20,000 to 36,000 flight hours. Life-extension work on the Gulfstreams, consisting primarily of inspections, will initially be done at Gulfstream’s main Savannah, Ga. facility but will eventually be expanded to other sites.
The U.S. Navy revealed yesterday that the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout is to be temporarily “decoupled” from the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The decision was taken so that the MQ-8B can be fielded on schedule, despite delays to the LCS. The Navy remains committed to deploying the MQ-8B aboard LCS at some stage, but is migrating the Fire Scout to another class of vessel in the interim.
Borrowing a page from the commercial airline industry, Gulfstream has developed a flight data monitoring/flight operations quality assurance (FDM/FOQA) program to enhance flight safety.
For the airlines, FDM/FOQA analysis has resulted in significant reductions in the number of unstable approaches, while improving compliance with the pilots’ standard operating procedures.