Embraer is paying for a service bulletin to replace flap-controller units in the first 10 to 20 Phenom 100 very light jets. The new controller units will have updated software to fix a “nuisance failure” problem that causes the flaps not to work. “The failure does not actually exist,” explained Embraer’s Mauricio Martins de Almeida Filho, “but the system interprets it as a ‘flap fail’ condition and triggers a fail-safe shutdown.
Despite intensified speculation about an impending collapse, Eclipse Aviation remained in business as this issue went to press, with company leaders still seeking new sources of funding and anticipating the long-awaited FAA certification of the Garmin 400W navigator upgrade and European Aviation Safety Agency certification of the airplane.
Cessna 550 Citation Bravo, Kent, UK, Feb. 5, 2008–No one was injured when the Citation Bravo encountered wind shear on approach to Biggin Hill Airport. Airspeed fell below 100 knots and the autopilot pitched the nose up to maintain the glideslope. The right wing dropped in a stall but the ATP-rated pilot recovered and continued the approach. The aircraft bounced on landing.
The Citation S550-based Sierra Super S-II completed a 36-minute maiden flight September 26 at Sierra’s Uvalde, Texas modification center. The flight demonstrated the “dramatic” improvements of the dual fadec-controlled Williams FJ44-3A engines, the company said.
The FAA yesterday issued Airworthiness Directive 2008-19-01 warning that some Harco Labs pitot/angle-of-attack (AOA) probes are causing airspeed disagree caution indications in Eclipse 500 VLJs due to blockage within the pitot/AOA system from freezing condensation. Last year, the FAA issued AD 2007-13-11 because of a similar problem, and Eclipse Aviation issued a service bulletin to address the issue.
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.
Safe Flight Instrument Corp. has announced that Aeronautical Accessories, an affiliate of Bell Helicopter Textron, has obtained an STC allowing installation of Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System for the Bell 206B JetRanger. Safe Flight’s Exceedence Warning System continually monitors torque and exhaust gas temperature and provides pilots with a tactile annunciation when limits are being reached or exceeded.
As analysts and pundits debated the merits and launch prospects of Bombardier’s C Series airliner, the Canadian manufacturer quietly went about its business readying yet another version of its CRJ series for first flight.
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.
Newly built Piper Meridian turboprops will be more “useful” than their predecessors after FAA approval of modifications that will increase useful load by 235 lb, a 15-percent increase, New Piper Aircraft announced at the NBAA show yesterday. The modifications, expected to be certified by the end of the year, consist of aerodynamic and structural changes.