Under a new partnership announced yesterday, Argus’s charter aircraft operator ratings and search filtering are now part of CharterPad’s online charter marketplace. CharterPad is also increasing the number of Argus-rated operators in its system, with nearly half of all such operators having joined CharterPad. Besides the Argus ratings, CharterPad’s main dashboard also includes a link directly to the aviation services company’s TripCheq system, which provides charter customers with a comprehensive analysis of a company’s credentials specific to a trip.
The Jan. 4, 2014 implementation date for new Part 117 regulations on fatigue applies only to scheduled air carriers, but many observers believe elements of the new law will eventually work their way to business aviation.
Business aircraft cabins are generally not quiet. Not with the turbulent boundary-layer rush of air around the fuselage at Mach 0.85 and the whine of a couple of jet engines no great distance from the comfy chairs. Then there are the pumps, hydraulics, fans, gears, actuators, electric motors, worn bearings and air distribution through the metal ductwork, not to mention the occasional hum of the microwave and induction oven, the rattling of glasses and flatware in the galley and that giant sucking sound coming from the lavatory.
Among the exhibitors making their debuts at NBAA’s annual showcase is Pulsar Informatics (Booth No. C12047), which is demonstrating its new crew fatigue evaluation web application: the Aviation Fatigue Meter. According to the Philadelphia-based company, the app can be used for every kind of business aviation operation, no matter the scale or complexity, and it is described as an “easy way for people to see how any particular schedule is impacted by human fatigue factors.”
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) will offer a webinar on fatigue this Wednesday, September 25, from 1 to 2 p.m. EST. Called “Understand How Fatigue Can Affect Your Department’s Performance and Safety,” the session will provide background on the science behind fatigue risk management systems (FRMS) and fatigue modeling, as well as offer a streamlined version of FRMS that fits the business aviation market. The webinar is free to NBAA members.
Elliptical Mobile Solutions (EMS) has launched Zero Shock Seating (ZSS), a spinoff company that is expected to “dramatically improve comfort, safety and overall performance” for various modes of transport, including aviation.
ZSS is a startup company based in Chandler, Ariz., with exclusive rights to negotiate ownership of a patented, semi-active suspension system. The technology substantially eliminates shock experienced by passengers in all vehicles by automatically adapting to both the driver’s body weight and changing levels of shock and vibration.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise an existing airworthiness directive for the AgustaWestland AW139 requiring inspection of the fuselage frame to detect fatigue cracks that could lead to structural failure and subsequent loss of control. Since the AD was issued, AgustaWestland developed a frame reinforcement modification that supports extending the interval for inspecting the fuselage frame for a fatigue crack.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced a two-year collaborative research agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on June 19 to carry out widespread fatigue damage assessment for the JAXA curved fuselage panel tests. The partnership is considered a cost-effective way to study widespread fatigue issues on an aircraft’s main pressure vessel. The tests are ultimately designed to improve air safety by creating evaluation technology capable of maintaining the structural integrity of new and aging civilian aircraft.
MBDA Germany is claiming a world’s first in the development of high-energy laser weapons after coupling together four commercially available 10kW-industrial lasers to achieve a 40kW weapon that can intercept and destroy incoming rockets, artillery and mortars (RAM). Small aerial vehicles, such as UAVs, are also on MBDA’s target list, but the company says power supply challenges still preclude adding lasers to aircraft for defensive purposes.
Loss of lubrication to the main gearbox (MGB) has been responsible for several crashes, ditchings and precautionary landings in large transport category helicopters in recent years. These accidents set off broad debate as to exactly what is required of main gearboxes under Part 29 certification of the U.S.
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