In the January issue of AIN (page 39), we recounted the origins of the Learjet, complete with references to the well worn tale of the Swiss fighter connection. We then heard from Bill Lear’s eldest son, who suggested that “since you can’t get it straight from the horse’s mouth, here it is from the horse’s offspring, who followed closely in the horse’s hoofsteps!”
Flight’s second century began Dec. 17, 2003, at 10:35 a.m., 100 years to the minute from Orville Wright’s momentous launch of the first powered airplane. Much fanfare, including participation by the President, attended the marking of that moment at Kitty Hawk, N.C., last month.
“The center of gravity was found to be well forward of the allowable limit,” according to an NTSB update on the accident in which a Challenger 600 overran a runway on takeoff from Teterboro Airport, N.J., on February 2 (see page 58). Initial findings of the investigation have indicated that, as configured, the airplane would have had a c.g.
Boeing’s Phantom Works has sent its canard rotor-wing (CRW) prototype aloft for flight test. The unmanned 80-second flight, controlled by former USAF special operations pilot Stetson Cowan, took place at the company’s Yuma, Ariz. test facility on December 3 and is reported to have gone well.
All subsonic jet and transport-category airplanes (those with an mtow of 12,500 pounds or more) for which application of a new type design is submitted on or after Jan. 1, 2006, will have to meet new noise certification levels, under a long-expected notice of proposed rule making (NPRM) published December 1.
Cessna 425, Menominee, Mich., Dec. 5, 2006–The pilot of the Conquest I told the NTSB that he landed and taxied onto the airport terminal ramp at Menominee normally. He brought the props into the Beta (reverse) range while taxiing to control speed. After he stopped on the ramp, he put the propellers back into Beta and backed the airplane about four to six feet to align with a parked airplane.
The FAA has scheduled a public meeting on March 22 and 23 in Kansas City, Mo., to address continued airworthiness of the U.S. general aviation fleet of recip and turbine airplanes. The meeting comes nearly six years after the first such gathering in 2000. No rulemaking followed that first meeting, but since then “there have been GA fatal accidents caused by the effects of airplane aging,” the agency said.
The general aviation industry in 2005 reached an all-time record for billings and a four-year high in new turbine airplane deliveries. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, billings of $15.1 billion on the shipment of 3,580 piston and turbine airplanes last year was a 27.2-percent increase from the $11.9 billion on the shipment of 2,963 airplanes in 2004.
Since its Web site opened for aircraft registrations on March 1, the new International Registry of Mobile Assets, more commonly referred to as the Cape Town Treaty, has found few supporters within the business aviation community. Now Sen.
After a hiatus of more than two years, the Bell/Agusta BA609 civil tiltrotor returned to flight status on June 3, flying for 1.3 hours. The aircraft, S/N001 and the only BA609 to fly to date, last flew on April 14, 2003, after accumulating 14 flight hours from the time of its first flight on March 7 of that year. It also logged some 41 ground test hours.