Spectrum Aeronautical has slowed development of the lightweight high-performance S.40 Freedom and S.33 Independence jets due to resource constraints. The company is developing the prototype S.40 at sister firm Rocky Mountain Composites in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Scaled Composites WhiteKnightTwo
Global airlines are still suffering reduced demand for flights, but the Virgin Group’s dream of launching passenger flights into space has received a boost in the form of significant new investment from Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments. The Middle East firm will invest about $280 million to take a 32-percent stake in Virgin Galactic, valuing the subsidiary at almost $900 million.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) has boosted its customer support network in both Germany and Switzerland by appointing two more recognized maintenance facilities. Both Aero-Dienst in Nuremberg, Germany, and Altenrhein Aviation in St. Gallen, Switzerland, are now approved to maintain PT6A, JT15D and PW300 engines.
Will Steve Fossett suffer a fate similar to Amelia Earhart’s? That’s the question on many people’s minds as winter starts to take hold in the Nevada mountains, where it’s believed that the American Champion Super Decathlon he was flying crashed. Efforts to find the adventurer/aviator/millionaire have now come to a near halt, and chances are deemed slim to none that he survived the September 3 crash in the rugged desert of northern Nevada.
When NBAA Convention News spoke with Alain Bellemare, Pratt & Whitney Canada president, and John Saabas, senior v-p, earlier this month, Bellemare reported strong orders and prospects across the entire P&WC product line, from the PT6 turboprop and turboshaft through in-production turbofans to the emerging 10,000-pound-thrust family and even power for an exotic suborbital commercial space flight program.
After a few weather-related postponements, Steve Fossett took off in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer at 6:47 p.m. CST on February 28 and returned to the same runway in Salina, Kan., 67 hours 1 minute later (at 1:48 p.m. on March 3), having got there the long way without refueling. Takeoff weight for the flight was about 22,100 pounds, of which a staggering 83 percent was jet fuel to feed the single 2,300-pound-thrust Williams FJ44 turbofan.
Dallas Airmotive has commissioned a new PW300 and PW500 repair and overhaul facility at its Forest Park production center in Dallas. The 13,000-sq-ft facility follows the company’s 2004 appointment by Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) as a designated overhaul facility for the engines. Adjacent to the facility is a new test cell, calibrated to P&WC standards and certified by the engine OEM.
Steve Fossett saddled up the single-Williams-turbofan Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer once more and, after takeoff from the Kennedy Space Center’s 15,000-foot runway in Florida on February 8, flew for 76 hours 45 minutes before landing at Bournemouth Airport on the south coast of England–after a second crossing of the Atlantic, and after burning all but about 200 of the 18,000 pounds of jet fuel with which he had started.
Landmark Aviation remains in growth mode, buying the Corporate Jets FBO, maintenance and charter company at Scottsdale Airport in Arizona from FSS Airholdings early last month. “Corporate Jets is really a perfect fit for our acquisition profile,” said Landmark CEO Roger Wolfe.