Airbus Military believes that teething problems with its multi-role tanker/transport (MRTT) business are now behind it, and that it’s set to grow over the coming year. With the A330 MRTT the company has the only new-generation tanker/transport flying, and hopes to secure new customers while continuing to deliver aircraft to its existing four operators, who will have received 17 aircraft by the end of 2013.
Boeing will seek two separate certifications from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its new KC-46A tanker, the commercial 767 derivative it is developing for the U.S. Air Force (USAF). The manufacturer will first apply for an amended type certificate from the FAA for a 767-2C “provisioned freighter” without the aerial refueling components and military avionics planned for the tanker. It will then seek a supplemental type certificate (STC) for a fully equipped KC-46A.
After a year-long delay, the Airbus Military A330MRTT has gained its “release to service” as a tanker in the UK, allowing the Royal Air Force (RAF) to start operational refueling. The service had been obliged to extend the service life of its aging VC10 and TriStar tankers in the meantime. The recent deployment of RAF Eurofighter Typhoons to Malaysia relied on Italian Air Force Boeing KC-767s to refuel the aircraft en route.
Aviation Partners has issued a Service Bulletin for the Hawker Beechcraft/BAE 125 Series 800A/B, C-29A, Hawker 800 and Hawker 800XP. The Service Bulletin provides instructions to reduce the maximum permissible altitude to FL340 from FL410. The altitude limitation is implemented by an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and placards installed on the instrument panel.
Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.
Following Israeli requests for advanced defense equipment, the U.S. has agreed “an unprecedented release of capabilities,” according to a senior Pentagon official. Israel will receive Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors; KC-135 tankers; AESA radar retrofits for its F-15 and F-16 fighters; and anti-radiation missiles. The new approvals were made public during U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s visit to Israel and other countries in the Middle East this week.
Loss of control in flight related to the inability to recognize an upset and controlled flight into terrain remain the primary causes of accidents involving transport aircraft.
The lingering effects from sequestration have taken a heavy toll on the 2013 military airshow and demonstration season, as multiple public outreach events and at least one high-profile team have seen their entire schedule scrubbed due to budget cuts.
If your engine or engines suddenly quit, could you glide safely to the end of a runway? If that does happen, an iPad/iPhone app called Xavion can help point the way to a safe landing in any weather.
Xavion is the latest product from X-Plane simulator developer Austin Meyer’s Laminar Research. The company tested Xavion extensively on X-Plane and used the simulations to hone the program’s algorithms. A side benefit is that you can run Xavion on X-Plane to practice before trying it in a real airplane.
The second Embraer Legacy 500 flew on Friday, officially entering the flight-test and certification program for the new fly-by-wire twinjet. Since its first flight on November 27, Legacy 500 S/N 1 has logged more than 44 hours over 23 flights. Initial envelope clearances have been completed, and late last month the aircraft started stall testing.
Aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff has joined The Aviation Alliance as part of the Excalibur 421 leadership team. Wagstaff will be the demonstration pilot for the Excalibur 421 and will be responsible for overseeing the transition training program for clients, as well as pilot-in-command of several planned attempts at world-record flights for twin-engine aircraft.