The general aviation industry’s rebound continues to sputter, according to first-half shipment numbers released this afternoon by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. In the first six months of the year, total worldwide GA airplane shipments fell 15.5 percent from the first half of 2010, while total billings were down 22.3 percent, to $7.3 billion.
If anyone doubts Honda Motor Company’s commitment to the general aviation industry, a visit to Honda Aircraft’s new 623,000-sq-ft factory at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C., underscores the significant investment the company has made.
Aerostar Aircraft has flown its long-awaited jet version of the Aerostar piston twin to Oshkosh. The prototype aircraft features twin underwing-mounted, Fadec-controlled Pratt & Whitney Canada PW615Fs that propel the aircraft at 400 knots at 20,000 feet.
The electrically powered Solar Impulse (HB-SIA) is an amazing airplane and I was anxious to see it fly during the Paris Air Show. Unfortunately for me and probably many others who attended the biennial event, the weather did not cooperate until the last day of the show, June 26.
When the French BEA released a partial cockpit voice recorder (CVR) transcript of the Air France Flight 447 accident in late May, pundits wasted no time unleashing pointed analysis implicating the A330’s crew. The Airbus crashed into the South Atlantic, killing all 228 people aboard. Indeed, the edited details of the BEA seemed to offer few other possibilities.
The repercussions of last year’s collapse of the hangar complex at the Dulles Jet Center continue to roil and will for years to come, according to industry sources. On Feb. 6, 2010, the weight of accumulated snow caused the roofs of three of the four hangars to collapse, damaging or trapping 19 business aircraft. Insurance agents quickly descended on the scene to assess the situation.
The world debut of solar-powered Solar Impulse airplane could hardly have happened in less auspicious weather conditions.
Airline fuel savings of 4 percent and quieter, cleaner airports are predicted for an electrically powered “green” taxing system for airplanes being developed by Safran and Honeywell. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sunday to form a joint-venture company to develop the system.
Looking more like a glider than an airplane, the two-seat, battery-powered eGenius made its first flight on May 25, from Mindelheim airfield in Bavaria, Germany. Designed by the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart, the concept aircraft flew for 20 minutes powered by a 60kW electric motor.
An Eclipse 500 on display was among more than 60 parked aircraft damaged or destroyed when a violent storm cell tore a swath through central Florida and hit Lakeland Regional Airport during the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In about noon on March 31, scattering furniture, upending tents and ripping aircraft from their tiedowns. The Eclipse was damaged by an experimental aircraft that was blown into it.