Aircraft fuel efficiency depends on many factors, not all of them directly controllable by operators. These include available technology, infrastructure capacity and safety, legal and environmental constraints. There are also many tradeoffs among emissions, noise and other design requirements.
DeCrane Aircraft Seating has announced a patent on core technology around which a new line of lightweight 9-g and 16-g executive single and double passenger seats is being built for super-midsize and large business jets. The patent covers design of a new positive locking brake mechanism to control seat rotation that allows infinite swivel adjustment. At the same time, it prevents uncommanded rotation.
Sikorsky has introduced a software fix for its S-92 that it says will address a 4R vibration some pilots have experienced at high cruise speeds. The company has already retrofitted new active vibration control software to some of the fleet.
The Senate at press time was considering a bill that imposes a $250,000 fine and a possible prison term of up to five years for people who point lasers at aircraft. The legislation is an outgrowth of a number of recent incidents. Laser beams can temporarily blind pilots and, in some reported cases, cause permanent eye damage. The bill passed in the House last month.
The FAA quickly removed a new requirement easing crew oxygen use in Part 121 operations upon learning that it apparently used inaccurate data to justify the rule. The rule would have changed the flight-level requirement at which the flying pilot must use his oxygen mask if the other pilot leaves the cockpit, from above FL250 to above FL350.
Responding to Dassault’s claim that an “unanticipated request by the FAA” had prompted a redesign of the Falcon 7X bleed-air system (see page 58), the FAA insists there is no new regulation on this issue. “We have no new transport policy or rulemaking (including proposed rulemaking),” an FAA spokesman told AIN. However, the 200 degrees C limit has been standard industry practice for decades.
The NTSB has asked the FAA to require MD Helicopters to conduct tests to “enable the full analysis” of all critical loads for tension-torsion (T-T) straps installed in the Notar anti-torque fan of MD 500Ns, 600Ns and 900s. The recommendations stem from the Safety Board’s ongoing investigations into two nonfatal accidents involving MD 900s in 2004.
Jet fuel derived from coal successfully powered a Rolls-Royce T63 turboshaft engine recently at Pennsylvania State University. According to a Penn State scientist, tests have shown that the fuel mix can go to at least 75 percent coal and the end product meets or exceeds all specifications for JP8 and jet-A and has a higher flash point.
Extending paint life and preventing corrosion is the aim of Granitize, and liquid-formula Xzilon is the product. The South Gate, Calif. company notes that Xzilon has been approved for use by major airframe manufacturers Airbus and Boeing.
Mercury Air Centers opened its new FBO terminal at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) on June 7, with new general manager Mike Agee at the helm. The 8,000-sq-ft, one-floor facility is representative of typical Mercury Air Centers facilities, according to company owner Kenn Ricci.