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United Airlines Recalls Furloughed Pilots

United Airlines announced yesterday it will recall all of its furloughed pilots — nearly 600. The recalls will fill expected staffing needs caused by retirements and new duty-time rules, according to a United release.


OSHA Oversight for Cabin Crews

Under a new federal policy, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration now will have oversight over issues such as hazardous chemicals, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, and hearing protection as it regards cabin crewmembers.


Delta orders 40 A330s and A321s

Delta Air Lines has ordered 10 Airbus A330-300s and 30 A321s with deliveries from 2015. The first A330 will be delivered to the Atlanta-based carrier in the second quarter of 2015 with four delivered that year, four in 2016 and two in 2017.


Flexjet Purchased

Directional Aviation Capital announced a definitive agreement for the purchase of Bombardier, Inc.’s Flexjet activities by Directional’s newly-created company, Flexjet, LLC. Together with its financial partners and concurrent with the acquisition, Flexjet, LLC is placing the largest new-aircraft order in Flexjet’s history valued at approximately $5.2 billion for up to 245 Bombardier business jets.


Boeing’s New Super Hornet

Boeing has unveiled an F/A-18F Super Hornet demonstrator aircraft fitted with a number of enhancements, including the addition of prototype conformal fuel tanks, an enclosed weapons pod and new radar cross-section treatments.


Bell, Lockheed Team Up for Army Helicopter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc , on Monday said it would team with Lockheed to bid for the U.S. Army's next-generation helicopter - an order worth billions of dollars - using Bell's V-280 Valor tiltrotor.


Boeing Forecasts Increased Global Demand for Pilots, AMTs

Boeing projects the commercial aviation industry will need more than 1 million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplane deliveries over the next two decades. Projected pilot demand is increasing worldwide, as is demand for technicians in some regions.


FAA Explains IAP Decommissioning

As part of continued cost cutting by the U.S. federal government, the FAA outlined a number of specific criteria for identifying which approach procedures can or should be removed from the national airspace system in lieu of more cost-effective space-based approach systems.


Beechcraft Deals Imminent for Hawker, AT-6

Beechcraft is in the final stages of talks to divest its Hawker business jet unit, as well as a first sales agreement for its AT-6 light-attack aircraft, according to company executives.


Garmin Launches G5000 Avionics Retrofit for Beechjets

Garmin launched a G5000 avionics modernization program for the Beechjet 400A/Hawker 400XP, targeted for FAA STC approval in 2015 that will be available at certain Garmin dealers. In addition to modernizing the flight deck, the new avionics package is lighter and thus raises the jet’s useful load by 200 pounds.


WestJet to Place Major Boeing 737 Max Order

Canada’s WestJet has signed a letter of intent to buy 40 Boeing 737 Max 8s and 25 Max 7s. The airline said it expects close a definitive purchase agreement with Boeing before September 30 and start taking deliveries in September 2017. Boeing values the order at $6.3 billion based on list prices.


Beechcraft Lands Nearly $1.4B Order

Newly reorganized Beechcraft Corp. said Thursday it’s received a nearly $1.4 billion order — believed to be the largest propeller aircraft order by value in general aviation history. The Wichita-based plane maker won a contract to build up to 105 King Air 350i aircraft, valued at $788 million, from Wheels Up, a New York City-based private aviation membership company.


NetJets’ Earnings Up

The second-quarter earnings news from the company shows that in the first six months of this year NetJets “experienced increased sales of fractional aircraft shares and its earnings increased primarily due to improved flight-operations.”


Gulfstream Overtakes Bombardier

Tucked in the GAMA numbers for the second quarter of 2013 was the revelation that Gulfstream has overtaken Bombardier as the world leader in business jet sales revenue. The first deliveries of Gulfstream's flagship G650, which sells for about $65 million, vaulted the Savannah plane-maker into the lead with sales of $1.83 billion from April through July. Bombardier took in $1.59 billion from April to July but the company doesn't intend to stay in second place for long.


House passes Small Aircraft Revitalization Act

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act in a move that supporters say will update outdated certification regulations. The legislation calls for the Federal Aviation Administration to reorganize certification requirements to streamline the approval of safety advancements.


Ameriflight Petitions FAA for SIC Exemption

As of August 1, first officers for U.S. Part 121 air carriers will need to have logged at least 1,500 hours as well as meeting other requirements. The new regulations, however, do not address the quality of the logged time, and cargo operator Ameriflight has petitioned the FAA to allow pilots to log more time when flying as second-in-command.


Northrop Grumman Delivers First MQ-8C to Navy

Northrop Grumman delivered the first MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter to the U.S. Navy in preparation for ground and flight testing. The first MQ-8C arrived at the Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., Point Mugu sea test range, where it is assigned to the VX-30 air test and evaluation squadron.


Embraer business jet deliveries rise 24% in Q2

Deliveries of Embraer light jets - namely, the Phenom 100 and 300 - in the second quarter rose by 6.9% year on year to 31 aicraft, while shipments of the Legacy 600 and Lineage 1000 large jets jumped by 150% to 10 aircraft.


Enstrom Growing through Investment

Investment from its new owner, Chongqing (China) Helicopter Investment Corporation (CQHIC), is giving Enstrom Helicopter of Menominee, Michigan a strong tailwind, which is showing results on several fronts: ver the past 18 months Enstrom has added more than 100 new employees, taking its employment to 165, and the company plans to add up to 200 more.


Honeywell Electric Taxi System Debuts

Two years after going into partnership, Honeywell and Safran, two of the biggest names in aviation technology, have brought their Electric Green Taxiing System (EGTS) to the public forum. This allows an aircraft to taxi using electrical power, rather than the main engines.


Mitsubishi Stepping up to Regional Jet Market

Mitsubishi Aircraft projects airlines will want more than 5,000 regional jets over the next 20 years, and the manufacturer wants a piece of that market. Mitsubishi is promoting its next plane, the MRJ100X, for fuel efficiency from quieter engines and passenger comfort. The 18-inch seats will be as wide as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner configured with eight seats in a row.


FAA Finally Modernizing Knowledge Tests

The FAA has agreed to remove questions that focus on obsolete terms and technologies from airman knowledge tests in response to a request from various industry and government groups. The new test standards under development are intended to make airman testing and training relevant, meaningful, and applicable to today’s pilots.


Great Lakes Production Begins

Waco Classic Aircraft Corporation has unveiled the first conforming new-production Great Lakes 2T-1A-2. The open-cockpit two-seat tandem biplane features a Lycoming AEIO-360 180-HP engine, fuel injection, and a Hartzell propeller. It's fully aerobatic, and sells for about $245,000.


GAO Reaffirms Air Force Decision

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reaffirmed an Air Force decision to award the Afghan light air support (LAS) contract to contractors Sierra Nevada Corp and Embraer. Sierra Nevada Corp, an American company plans to build the planes in a new factory in Jacksonville, Fla.


Beechcraft Investing In New Turboprop Development

Beechcraft is upping its product development spending by 300% as the company studies potential for a new single-engine turboprop, derivative diesel variants of its Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron aircraft and upgrades and/or derivatives of its King Air and other models.


Virgin Galactic Ready for Space

Virgin Galactic is expected to fly into outer space this year during testing with commercial operations to commence "not too long after," the company said Tuesday. Virgin Galactic is finalizing customer options and says there will be different price ranges for different experiences.


More International Sales for Boeing C-17

India will receive its first Boeing C-17 strategic airlifter later this year. India is buying 10 C-17s, with options to purchase six more. Its existing order safeguards production of the type until the third quarter of 2014, Peters says. However, Boeing is hopeful of securing additional international sales in the Middle East and Asia and is funding long-lead components to keep production going.


FlightSafety Chosen for PC-24 Training

Under a new master training services agreement signed by Pilatus Aircraft, pilots and mechanics will obtain factory-authorized training for the new Pilatus PC-24 twinjet from FlightSafety International. Pilatus announced the aircraft at EBACE. The PC-24 is expected to be certified and enter service in early 2017.


United orders 30 E-175s

United Airlines has ordered 30 Embraer 175s with options for up to 40 more of the type with deliveries from 2014. The combined order is valued at $2.9 billion at list prices, according to Embraer. Deliveries will occur in 2014 and 2015.


AW169s Will be Built in Philadelphia

AgustaWestland will open a second production line for the new AW169 medium-twin helicopter at its manufacturing facility in Philadelphia. According to AgustaWestland, the Philadelphia plant will deliver its first AW169 in 2015 and eventually ramp up production to 20 aircraft per year by 2017.


Beechcraft 1Q deliveries Up

Beechcraft has reported a first quarter delivery rebound, shipping 59 aircraft over the three-month period. The delivery surge that included the last six Hawker 4000 mid-size business jets out-paced last-year's first quarter deliveries of 37 aircraft by nearly 76%.


Honeywell Avionics for 777X

Boeing has decided to transfer major elements of the 787's Honeywell cockpit systems to the new 777X, perhaps preserving the common cockpit rating achieved between the 787 and the legacy 777 series.


Part 23 Rewrite in Works

A bipartisan group of U.S. House members has introduced a bill designed to propel revisions to FAA Part 23 certification standards into law. The Part 23 revisions are aimed at making certification easier and allowing easier incorporation of new technologies in certified aircraft.


Indiana Aviation Tax Cut

State of Indiana has slashed aviation-related taxes that will save some aircraft operators thousands of dollars a year. The legislature in Indianapolis has cut fuel taxes from 60 cents a gallon (based on current prices) to a 10-cent-a-gallon excise tax.


New Tiltrotor from Bell

Bell unveiled a next-generation tiltrotor–the Bell V-280 Valor–at the Army Aviation Association of America convention in Fort Worth, Texas. Though the V-280 is Bell’s entrant in the U.S. Army’s competition for a joint multi-role helicopter, the manufacturer is considering a civil variant.


$1.6B Deal for Boeing helicopters

South Korea said on Wednesday it would buy attack helicopters worth $1.6 billion from Boeing Co. Boeing's AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters beat the AH-1Z Viper built by Bell Helicopter. South Korea is also seeking 60 fighter jets this year.


General Aviation in China Growing Fast

After several years of gradual introduction coupled with a progressively open national airspace, the general aviation industry has gained a foothold and is showing no signs of slowing.


Continental TBO Extended

Continental recently announced that it will extend the TBOs on many of its popular engines by 200 hours and, for frequently flown engines, by 400 hours. The longer TBOs will apply only to engines manufactured during 2012 and beyond, including new production and rebuilt engines built to new quality standards Continental has established.


787 Battery Redesign Approved

The FAA has approved a redesigned battery system for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, meaning the airliners may soon return to service. Boeing must now issue a service bulletin that details the design changes that carriers will need to apply before their Dreamliners are approved for flight by the FAA


Comment Period Extended for Contract Maintenance

The FAA has added an additional month to the comment period for the new proposed rule directed at contract maintenance companies who are employed by air carriers.


NBAA Welcomes Global Emissions Proposals

The National Business Aviation Association is welcoming new global standards for aircraft carbon and noise emissions. "These accomplishments highlight a spirit of global co-operation among nations when it comes to aviation policy making," remarked NBAA president Ed Bolen.


Lockheed Awarded Raptor Upgrade Contract

The USAF has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth $6.9 billion for the upgrading of the current F-22 fleet. The modernization upgrades to weapons and sensor systems will be incrementally spaced out, with anticipated completion in 2023.


MD-80 Freighter Ready for Takeoff

The first STC for a passenger-to-freight conversion of the MD80SF is allowing for a renaissance of the sturdy MD-80 series in the cargo market. The conversion is being carried out by Miami-based Aeronautical Engineers, with the launch customer expecting their first delivery before the end of the first quarter.


Cirrus Ramping up for Jet Production

Cirrus has increased its total workforce in anticipation of the 2015 launch of its SF-50 Vision Jet. Cirrus currently has orders for over 500 of its five-seat, single-engine jet.


787 to get Flight Test Permission

Boeing is seeking permission from the FAA to conduct flight testing in a 787 in order to gather data on the aircraft’s lithium-ion battery and how it is affected during various phases of flight.


Hawker Beechcraft Reorganization Approved

Hawker Beechcraft’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan has been approved, paving the way for the company to resume operations under the Beechcraft Corp. name.


Cessna’s CJs will have beef-up LIon Batteries

Cessna is testing a new design for lithium-ion batteries and associated housing. The new battery for Cessna's Citation jets is scheduled to fly within months and to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration this year.


Grumman Hawk Deal in Works

An offer has been made to Korea for four Grumman Global Hawk UAVs, valued at over $1 billion.

These aircraft offer a stable platform for intelligence-gathering and will replace the Lockheed U-2s currently operating over the Korean peninsula.


Enstrom Acquired by Chinese Firm

Enstrom Helicopter has announced that it was acquitted by Chinese company Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co. for an undisclosed amount.


Airbus Targeting Increased Production

Airbus is aiming to deliver more than 600 aircraft this year and further looking to secure gross orders for 700 jets. The airframer is also planning to raise A330 production to 10 aircraft per month, from 9.5, in spring this year.


GA Subsidies in China

Transportation authorities in China have pitched general aviation in that country as "the next driving force after the car industry" and the Chinese government will be providing targeted funding to jumpstart GA there.


Agusta Tiltrotor may be Built in Texas

The AW609 civilian tiltrotor aircraft maybe coming to a production facility in Arlington, Texas. AgustaWestland acquired the model 609 from Bell Agusta and is anticipating a certification date of 2016.


First Carrier Tests Complete for Grumman UAV

The Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) testbed completed its first deck handling tests during a 15-day trial aboard the USS Harry S. Truman. The tests involved taxiing on deck, using elevators between the flight deck and the hangar, and maneuvering to the launch catapults. Tests were conducted in port and at sea.


Bell Exploring Component Production in India

Bell Helicopter is working with with India’s Dynamatic Technologies Ltd. to explore the possibility of a cabin assembly partnership for the model 407. If the deal goes through, production is slated to begin for year’s end.


SABRE in Development

Reaction Engines Ltd., a British firm, is in the process of developing the latest breakthrough in propulsion technology called the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, or SABRE. This new engine is a merging of jet and rocket technology and can enable flight into orbit.


Military Biofuel Restrictions May End

The U.S. Senate is moving to eliminate restrictions on Department of Defense research into alternative jet fuel sources, a reversal that could help speed biofuel development. The full legislation containing the biofuel language must still be passed by the Senate and then reconciled with its counterpart bill passed by the House before it is submitted to the President for final approval.


Delta’s Bombardier Order Worth $1.85B

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has finalized a commitment for 40 Bombardier CRJ900s in a deal worth $1.85 billion as part of its regional fleet restructuring program. Deliveries will begin in the second half of 2013.


NetJets gets New Global

NetJets has taken delivery of the first Bombardier Global 6000 business jet. The Globals are part of two industry record-breaking orders NetJets has placed with Canadian airframer Bombardier over the past 20 months, as part of an overhaul of its fleet.


Re-Org Approved at HBC

Hawker Beechcraft’s plan of reorganization to emerge from bankruptcy has been approved by a US court. The company will continue as standalone Beechcraft Corp.


Delta to Buy Nearly Half of Virgin

In a move to secure a larger share of landing space at London’s Heathrow, Delta is making a move to purchase 49% of Virgin Atlantic, a deal worth over $300 million.


Crew Training Ramping up for Space Operators

Over the past several years a number of commercial space operators have set up shop in the United States—and they need pilots. Under 14CFR Part 460 the only requirements to be a commercial space pilot are a pilot certificate, a second class medical and an instrument rating.


New Flight Planning Requirements in Effect

New procedures required by ICAO for pilots flying internationally and those using performance-based navigation are officially in effect, along with new ATC equipment codes.


NPRM Issued for Contract Maintenance

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been issued by the FAA as part of its recent reauthorization that would require more oversight for contracted maintenance performed for Part 121 and other commercial operators.


New Apaches for Army

The US Army is going ahead with an initial order of new AH-64E Apache helicopters from Boeing. The AH-64E features several improvements, including greater power, composite main rotor blades, defense system enhancements, and the ability to control UAVs.


A Fresh Look at INS

A team of Army and NASA researchers is putting a new spin on inertial gyroscopes. The research is focusing on emerging optical gyroscope technology, which uses laser light to more precisely measure movement.


Cessna, Honeywell Reach Deal

Cessna has selected Honeywell to outfit the Latitude and Longitude aircraft with communication/navigation systems, as well as environmental controls. Some of the features include fully digital pressure controls and a LASEREF INS.


FAA Cancelling Approach Procedures

Due to the expense of flight check and obstacle surveying costs the FAA will be initiating a program to eliminate instrument approaches at some airports that see little to no use.


Big Boeing Order in Brazil

Boeing has announced the sale of 60 737 Max aircraft to Brazil’s Gol Aereas—the largest single-airline order from South American. Deliveries are expected to start in 2017.


Drones Refueling Drones

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced recently that two Global Hawk drones have demonstrated the ability to operate under in-flight refueling conditions during a battery of test flights.


New Learjet gets Garmin 5000

The new Learjet Model 70/75 will feature the Garmin G500 Integrated Flight deck. The G5000 incorporates the latest in digital avionics and touchscreen pilot interface.


US-Germany Ink Biofuel Deal

American and German officials have affirmed relations in the form of a fuels development agreement, outlining standards for development, production and sustainability.


Learjet 75 Powers Up

The first Learjet 75 to come off the assembly line was switched on for the first time. This update of the Lear 45 comes with a touchscreen G5000 suite with synthetic vision display, as well as improved fuel efficiency.


Phenom 300 Production Begins in Florida

The Phenom 300 first wing and fuselage arrived at the Embraer facility in Melbourne, FL, starting the assembly line on the new model. The plant will be able to turn out eight aircraft per month.


G280 Earns Certification

The Gulfstream G280, a super-midsize aircraft, has earned full FAA certification, with the first deliveries expected before the end of the year.


NTSB Recommends Wingtip Cameras

The NTSB has recommended that the FAA require manufactures of large airliners to equip them with cameras aimed at the wings to give pilots a betters view of the area around the aircraft. The recommendation calls for these systems on newly-made aircraft, as well as retrofits for aircraft in use.


Business Aircraft Activity Makes Gains

Business flying in the month of August rose by two percent from a year ago, with nearly all segments of business aviation reporting positive movement.


Private Jet Business is Picking Up

According to the annual forecast by Honeywell, deliveries of business jets this year will probably grow from last year’s total of fewer than 650 planes, which in turn was down about 15 percent from 2010. The peak year was 2008, when 1,139 jets were delivered.


Mainline Airline Hiring to Increase

Domestic mainline carriers are expected to increase their pilot hiring during the second half of 2012 as a large number of pilots are approaching mandatory retirement age.


Airplane Shipments Up

According to figures released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the first six months of 2012 saw an overall increase of 5.9% in shipped airplanes.


Deliveries, Revenues Rise for Piper

In the first half of the year, Piper deliveries rose 28% from the same period in 2011 while generating $69,001,213 in revenue, up more than 20% from $57,300,885 from the first half of 2011.


Pilot's Bill of Rights is Law

Legislation put forth by congressional member of the GA Caucus guaranteeing certain protections to pilots faced with FAA enforcement action has been signed by the President. This measure also grants pilots the ability to appeal decisions in federal court.


Sikorsky gets $7.3 billion Black Hawk order

Sikorsky Aircraft has signed a five-year $7.3 billion agreement that will provide the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force with more H-60 Black Hawk helicopters and other versions of the utility aircraft.


HBC announces $1.79 billion sale to Superior Aviation

Hawker Beechcraft announced that it had reached a $1.79 billion “exclusivity agreement” with a Chinese aerospace manufacturer for the sale of its business jet and general aviation operations in a deal that will save thousands of jobs in Kansas and Arkansas. The sale does not include Hawker Beechcraft Defense Co., which will remain a separate entity.


Grand Canyon Restrictions Lifted

The National Parks Service has ceased imposing more restrictive anti-noise regulations on air tour operators in Grand Canyon National Park after some last-minute political wrangling. The Parks Service wanted to introduce rules that would have resulted in the "substantial restoration of natural quiet" to the park by severely curtailing flights over national parks.


Good Second Quarter at Textron

Cessna Aircraft turned in a great second quarter, with revenues increasing $111 million and delivery of Citation jets up to 49, compared to 38 for the second quarter of last year. Bell Helicopter revenues increased $184 million over the second quarter a year ago, and delivered 47 commercial helicopters compared to 22 in the second quarter of 2011.


Falcon 7X Turns 200

The 200th Falcon 7X has rolled off the line at Dassault's production facility in southern France where it is being readied for completion. Dassault has delivered more than 150 7Xs to date, while another 80 are in various stages of production.


First US Airbus Plant to Open in Alabama

Airbus has announced plans to build a $600 million plant in Mobile, Alabama for the manufacture of A320 aircraft. The plant is expected to provide nearly 1,000 new jobs.


ANA, JAL Fuel Burn Performance Beats Expectations

The first two operators of the Boeing 787-8 are seeing better-than-anticipated fuel burn, despite prior expectations of below-par performance as a result of data from pre-delivery flight tests.


Boeing Airliner Outlook Jumps

Boeing has revised its recent market forecast upward, indicating that the world’s airlines will need over 30,000 new aircraft in the coming decades.


Rural Airline Subsidies Survive

The Essential Air Service program survived an attempt to curtail its budget in the House. The program awards contracts, usually worth between $1 million and $2 million a year, to subsidize airlines that serve airports such as Altoona, Pa., Paducah, Ky., and Cape Girardeau, Mo.


Hawker Assets Gain Interest

A number of aviation companies have expressed interest in assests from Hawker Beechcraft as it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy, including Cessna and Embraer.


Gulfstream Upgrade Approved

The FAA has approved a new cockpit upgrade for the Gulfstream GIV, GIV-SP, GV, G300 and G400 airplanes. Called PlaneDeck, the new upgrade provides pilots with geo-referenced electronic charts and maps, in-flight XM weather and a six-screen video display system.


Airbus reveals latest on A350

Airbus has revealed that its first cabin-fitted A350-900 development aircraft will be configured with 252 seats in two classes. It would also be configured with 210 economy-class seats, nine-abreast, in a 3-3-3 layout.


Learjet 85 Ready for Final Assembly

Bombardier announced that final assembly line for the Learjet 85 in Wichita, Kansas will be up and running by mid-July—nearly one year ahead of the anticipated FAA certification of its largest Learjet model.


Laser Incidents, Enforcement on the Rise

The FAA has been tracking the growing incidents of lasers being directing at aircraft in flight since 2005, and each year occurrences have gone up. Enforcement has increased as well, with sanctions including fines and incarceration.


Cessna Enters Joint Venture with China

Cessna has finalized a deal with the China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company outlining details for the assembly, sales and support for the Caravan in the emerging Chinese market.


Learjet Breaks Ground in Wichita

Bombardier Learjet broke ground on a new $53 million factory near Wichita Mid-Continent Airport recently as the company gears up for production of its newest aircraft, super-midsize Learjet 85.


Delta Buys Oil Refinery

Delta Airlines has confirmed its plans to purchase an oil refinery in Pennsylvania. Closing is expected shortly, with jet fuel production beginning in Q3.


Textron’s 1Q Profit Quadruples

Textron reported a first quarter profit above and beyond analysts’ predictions as a result of increased demand from its Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter divisions.


Boeing Q1 Deliveries Up

Commercial deliveries rose to 32% in the first quarter, Boeing reported, reflecting increased production in the narrow-body line and early deliveries of the 787 and 747-8.


Boeing Beefs up Max

Boeing announced design changes to the 737Max aircraft. Some of the new features include nose-gear extensions, increased fly-by-wire controls and upgraded engine dimensions. The Max is scheduled to enter service in 2017.


Details Emerge of Boeing’s Bid to Build Shuttle Replacement

Boeing has released details of its commercial crew integrated capability (CCiCap) bid that it delivered to NASA. At stake is an award of $500 million for the development and testing of NASA’s new space vehicle.


NetJets Entering China Market

NetJets is expanding into the Chinese fractional bizjet market with the help of a Chinese investing consortium. "The Chinese aviation market has phenomenal growth potential and we believe that introducing the NetJets service in China will enhance our brand's global offering for customers around the globe," says NetJets chairman.


Southwest Integrates into AirTran Network

Southwest Airlines will being flying its own equipment into Akron and Dayton, Ohio—destinations served by subsidiary AirTran. Acquired by Southwest last year, AirTran’s network will continue to be integrated into Southwest’s route structure in the coming years.


Business Aircraft Financing Improving

In its inaugural quarterly report on aircraft financing sent to clients this week, Citi Private Bank believes that the overall financing environment has improved recently and credit has become available. Despite more stringent regulations, good opportunities abound for buyers.


Gulfstream Manufacturing More Large-Cabin Aircraft

Gulfstream is on pace to build over 100 large-cabin aircraft this year, an increase of 13% over 2011. Part of this trend is the new Gulfstream G650, which will enter service later this year.


Hawker Beechcraft’s Plant I Staying Open

Despite previous plans to contrary, Hawker Beechcraft has announced that its Wichita Plant I will stay open—welcome news for the over 300 employees.


New Gulfstream Earns Provisional Certification

The new Gulfstream G280 is one step closer to full certification, after receiving a provisional type certificate from the FAA. Gulfstream is hoping for type certification sometime in the second quarter.


FO Qualifications NPRM Published

The FAA has released its notice of proposed rulemaking for the updated qualifications for air carriers first officers. The proposal outlines training requirements for ATP candidates, requirements of the operating environment, as well as required experience for those authorized to provide instruction for ATP certificates.


Relentless Debut

The 2012 Heli Expo saw the dramatic unveiling of the Bell 525 Relentless. Aimed primarily at the offshore platform market, this new transport helicopter tips the scales at over 19,000 lbs, and sports the latest Garmin 5000 avionics and fly-by-wire flight controls.


Embraer Expects Increase in 2012 Defense Revenue

Due to its expanding defensive arm and stable regional jet markets, Embraer is expecting a net revenue in 2012 to be in the $6 billion range. Embraer expects its defense products to account for a quarter of its revenue by 2020.


Airline iPads Catching On

The Apple tablet, first employed officially by Alaska Airlines last year, is finding its way onto more and more flight decks. United will be distributing the devices to 11,000 pilots, while American Airlines has earned approval from the FAA to use the iPad during all phases of flight.


GE Looking to Expand its Share of Bizjet Market

GE Aviation, long known for its commercial and military products, is seeking to power the next generation of business aircraft with some new designs. Some of its new concepts employ noise-reducing technology and composite material construction.


Long-Term FAA Bill Passed

A bill allotting $63 billion to fund US aviation programs for four years has been passed. Among its provisions is $3 billion annually for the implementation of NextGen air traffic control as well as subsidies for rural air service.


FAA Cedes Airspace Control to NOAA

New regulations starting on February 27, 2012 will grant the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration powers to restrict certain airspace around wildlife preserves, as well as levy fines against pilots.


Cessna Gained in Fourth Quarter

Cessna came out ahead at the end of 2011 with improved sales in the small and medium-sized business jet market. Its piston line and Caravan models also sold well.


Qualified Controllers Needed

The FAA has identified several areas in the United States that are facing a potential shortage of air traffic controllers in the coming years. The shortage is due to controller attrition and retirement.


FAA to End Paper Medical Certificate Applications

On October 1, 2012 Aviation Medical Examiners will no longer accept paper applications for FAA medical certificates. Instead, all applications must be submitted online through a service called MedXPress.


Bombardier Bizjet Deliveries Up

During the last year, Bombardier delivered 163 new airplanes and took orders for 191 more. Bombardier calls the figures promising.


US House Passes FAA Funding Extension

The US House of Representatives passed an extension of FAA funding through Feb. 17. Both houses of Congress feel that long-term funding will be realized this time around.


Boeing Wins Chinook Contract

Boeing has received a contract for 14 CH-47F helicopters worth $370 million. The majority of the aircraft are being sold to Australia and the UAE. Boeing is currently executing a contract for 191 helicopters for the US Army.


FAA to Clarify Part 135 Initial Training

The FAA has published a draft notice requiring FAA inspectors review Part 135 operators’ pilot training programs “to identify and correct those programs which erroneously issued credit for previous training or checking.” According to the FAA, “Regulations do not permit the crediting of such training.” The draft notice will outline guidance on training.


Air France, KLM Confirm 787 Deal

Carriers Air France and KLM confirmed a closed deal for 25 Boeing 787s, with an option for 25 additional aircraft. Boeing now holds orders for over 800 787 models.

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FAA Publishes Plan for VOR Reduction

The FAA has released a proposal for a “gradual but major reduction” to the VOR navigation system in the US. The goal is to shift to primarily satellite-based navigation, with only a few VOR stations remaining in service.


Embraer 500 Debuts

The new Embraer Legacy 500 rolled out on December 23, 2011. It is designed to supplement its smaller counterparts in the Phenom series. The Legacy 500 has room for 12 passengers and will cruise at Mach .82. Flight testing is expected next year.


FAA Finalizes Fatigue Rules

The FAA has finalized its ruling on pilot rest periods, requiring pilots to have a minimum ten-hour rest period before flight duty to allow for eight hours of sleep.


Bombardier Revenues, Earnings Rise

Revenue and earnings for Bombardier rose by 16 and 31 percent, respectively during the third quarter, recording revenue of over $4 billion. The company is also working to meet the 2013 debut deadline for its new CSeries jet.


BARR Restored

The Block Aircraft Registration Request program has been restored after being briefly deactivated by the Department of Transportation earlier this year. New procedures are expected to be forthcoming.


New Gulfstream Awarded Provisional Certification

The new Gulfstream G650—now the world’s fastest business jet—has received a provisional type certificate from the FAA. The PTC allows Gulfstream to demonstrate their aircraft for customers, as well as train flight crews in anticipation of full type certification in 2012.


Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Bill Ahead

A bill that would authorize long-term funding for the FAA, which has had over 20 short-term funding extensions since 2007, may be ready before year’s end. Each congressional chamber has passed its own version of funding legislation, and it is hoped they can reach consensus.


Bombardier Grows in Kansas

Bombardier’s Learjet brand is looking to expand its presence in Kansas to the tune of a $52 million facility that would allow for delivery, painting and production of its Lear 85 line. The new plant would require an additional 450 workers.


Boeing Gets Biggest Order to Date

Boeing Co. has topped its own record for airplane orders; private carrier Lion Air has placed an order for over 200 aircraft. The order includes 201 re-designed 737s and 29 extended range 737s. The price for the airplanes is over $20 billion.


CFI Renewal Guidelines Updated

Following a December 2010 meeting between the FAA and Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic (FIRC) providers, the FAA is updating its FIRC Advisory Circular to highlight changes in the required core topics. In addition, the number of required core topics has been lowered from 16 to ten.


FAA Makes FIRC Revisions

After a public forum held in December 2011, the FAA will be issuing changes to the approved Flight Instructor Refresher Course (FIRC) in a 33-page Advisory Circular. The new A/C outlines changes to core topics, as well as new regulations on Internet-based FIRC courses.


Sikorsky Team Wins Award

The System Engineering team for the Sikorsky CH-53K has won the Top 5 Programs Award from the Department of Defense, in recognition of excellence in the application of systems engineering. The CH-53K is designed to replace the CH-53E, currently in service with the U.S. Marine Corps.


Cessna Revenue, Deliveries Up

Cessna’s deliveries remained up over this time last year, with Cessna reporting revenue increases due to higher jet sales volume. Cessna delivered 47 new Citations in the third quarter.


Minimum Flight time for First Officers on Table

The FAA is expected to issue a proposed rule that will require airline first officers to have at least 700 hours. Proposals in Congress have suggested raising the minimum even higher. Additional regulations concerning training may also be included in the proposal.


Air France, KLM place $12 billion Order

Air France and KLM Airlines have split a $12 billion dollar order for long-range airliners after a long competition. The airlines have announced plans to buy 25 Boeing Dreamliners and 25 Airbus A350s in the coming years.


Cessna Announces New Bizjet Model

Cessna has announced a new model aircraft to compete with the Embraer Phenom jet. The new model, called the Citation M2, will feature improved range over previous CJ models and have a Garmin 3000 cockpit display with touch-screen controls.


BARR Restoration Bill Introduced

A bill sent to the House of Representatives this week will aim to restore the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program. BARR was ended in August of this year and several aviation associations and professionals have been lobbying for its reinstatement.


Bombardier Facility Complete

Bombardier has recently completed construction of a new manufacturing facility for the production of the Learjet 85 in Wichita, KS. In addition to assembly, additional buildings are on the way for painting and delivery of the 85.


First 747-8 to Enter Service

The first 747-8 freighter will be delivered to Cargolux in September, 2011 according to Boeing, with a second airplane to be delivered a few weeks later. The carrier has orders for at least 13 of the new aircraft, which are larger and can carry an extra 22 tons of cargo.


Remote Control ATC

Saab is currently testing its concept for remotely operated air traffic control towers in Sweden. The towers house sophisticated cameras and sensors that transmit data to the controllers in an off-site facility. The controllers will be in the middle of a 360-degree virtual display and will have access to a variety of communications technology.


First WiFi Flight Takes Off

In-flight Internet service has made its debut on a Delta connection CRJ. Delta has plans to upgrade 250 of its regional jets with Wi-Fi, as well as its mainline fleet of over 500 aircraft. Installation is expected to be complete in 2012.


Hawker Upgrade Approved

Hawker Beechcraft has earned a supplemental type certificate for its XPR re-engined upgrade packages for the Hawker jet. The new engines will provide better performance and more economical fuel consumption. EASA certification is expected shortly.


Boeing: 787 Testing Complete

Boeing has confirmed that type certificate testing for the 787 is complete, and FAA/EASA certification is expected by the end of the month. Flight tests so far have totaled nearly 3800 hours. The first delivery is expected later this year.

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HondaJet Production Facility Complete

Honda’s new $100 million aircraft factory at the Piedmont International Airport in North Carolina is now open and production is expected to start late 2012. The factory’s completion comes as Honda is putting the finishing touches on its second and third FAA-conforming aircraft, which will be used to finish out the certification process. Honda plans to add nearly 300 employees to man the factory and has orders for over 100 aircraft.

Boeing 747-8F Certification Expected Soon

The FAA is expected to approve the new Boeing 747-8 within weeks based on current airworthiness data. The Boeing test team had been working over the past few months to get flight management and autopilot computers up and running to current 747 specifications.


More Orders for the 777

Boeing has received more orders for its 777-300ER model from Singapore Airlines. As part of its future dealings with Boeing, Singapore Airlines has lease orders for up to 70 additional aircraft, including the Boeing 787.


Boeing Sets Sights on Space

With the end of the Space Shuttle program, Boeing is looking to get into the space travel industry. It is developing a seven-place space capsule, with an anticipated flight test date in 2015. It will face competition from several other private space vehicle companies.


FAA Re-establishing Flight Deck Program for ATC

The FAA recently re-started its Flight Deck Training program to allow air traffic controllers to jumpseat in commercial cockpits for training purposes. The FAA will be evaluating the success of the program over the next six months.


Dreamliner Arrives at Oshkosh

With an eager crowd in attendance, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrived at this year’s Airventure in Oshkosh for display to the public. The Dreamliner showcases state-of the-art electronics suites, the most up-to-date engines and revolutionary composite airframe construction.


Bell Looking to Re-Start OH-58 Program

With a re-designed cabin and plans for upgraded avionics and powerplants, Bell is re-starting its OH-58D line of reconnaissance helicopters for the U.S. Army’s Armed Aerial Scout program. By upgrading and retrofitting a proven design, Bell hopes to beat its competitors who would otherwise be marketing entirely new airframes.


Lufthansa Begins Operating Daily Biofuel Flights

The prize for the first scheduled commercial flight of a biofueled aircraft has been won this month by Lufthansa when its Frankfurt-Hamburg route was flown by biofueled A321s. During this six-month trial period the carrier will operate four rotations, with each aircraft using a blend of biofuel in the right engine, and normal jet fuel on the left.


First Scheduled Biofuel Flight Complete

The first flight of a scheduled airliner to use a biofuel blend has been completed. The flight was conducted by KLM on a 737-800 from Amsterdam to Paris. KLM is anticipating an operation of more than 200 flights using the new fuel on the Amsterdam/Paris route later this year.


Gulfstream Nears $2 billion Deal

In a deal worth over $2 billion, a Chinese leasing company has confirmed its intention to order 50 aircraft Gulfstream, including the G650, 550 and 450 models—the most advanced to date. Delivery is anticipated to take three to five years.


Pilot Hiring Surge Expected

Aircraft maker Boeing is predicting the need for over 400,000 new commercial pilots by 2029—an average of 23,000 a year. This need is expected in large part due to the imminent mandatory retiring of pilots expected to start next year, and an increasing passenger demand. According to a recent article published in USA Today, “the demand for pilots will be so great that the industry could ultimately face a shortage, sparking fierce competition among airlines across the globe vying for candidates qualified to fill their cockpits.”

Source: USA Today, Jun 21, 2011

Boeing Gets Contract for Apache Helicopters

Boeing has received an order for 30 Apache helicopters from the Taiwanese government, in a contract signed in early June. The Apaches will have upgraded engines and a re-designed transmission, as well as software upgrades.


USAF Finalizing Plans for Next Phase of Satellite Navigation

The United States Air Force is working with its partner Lockheed Martin on plans for the next phase of satellites called GPS IIIB. The updated technology may require the FAA to alter some of its plans for the upcoming NextGen air traffic control system.


German Airlines Expanding Biofuel Development

Air Berlin, Condor, Lufthansa and other German carriers have partnered with engine manufacturers and researchers to form the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany. Their mission is to develop and promote the use of renewable energy an alternative fuels for aviation applications.


Alaska Airlines Gets Cockpit iPads

Alaska Airlines has approved the use of iPads for all of its flight crew, and is issuing the devices to all of its pilots. The iPad will serve as an electronic flight bad and will replace the 25 pounds of flight manuals that the crew traditionally carries. All of the pilots should be equipped by mid-June.


Bombardier Secures 10-Airplane Deal

Bombardier as won its first contact this year for their new CSeries jet from a Stockholm leasing company. The order includes five CS100 and five CS300 aircraft, with options for and additional ten.


Supersizing the Airbus

Airlines that operate the Airbus A380 may be looking for more room aboard the super-jumbo jet. As it is now, the highest seat numbers go to Malaysian Airlines with 508 seats, Lufthansa’s 526 seats, and Air France’s 538. The next generation is going to get bigger, with France’s Air Austral set to receive a 840-seat aircraft in 2014. Even larger models are in the works: the A380-900 and the A380-1000.


Private Jet Use Increasing

The first three months of 2011 saw an 11.4 percent increase in flight hours versus the same period last year, continuing the trend of private jet aviation increasing steadily since 2009. Private jet landing and departures are now only down 10 percent from their high point in 2008.


Certification Nears for Hawker 200

After being unveiling in late 2010, the Hawker 200 light business jet is nearly halfway through the certification process, with the second of its preproduction aircraft making its first flight in late May 2011. The Hawker 200 is an updated version of the Beech Premier 1A, complete with system and performance upgrades.


Fuel Could be Grown by Next Decade

The next generation of jet fuels may be soon be harvested from simple, lab-grown algae. In its current form, algae already produces oil—and researchers in San Diego are perfecting a means of extracting and mass-producing this environmentally-friendly alternative fuel.


Commercial Spacecraft Passes Important Flight Test

The private spacecraft developed by Virgin Galactic has completed a major flight test over California’s Mojave Desert. The new spacecraft uses a unique method of re-entering the atmosphere: a “feathering” system that reconfigures the empennage for a high-drag and low-weight glide profile, giving greater control and stability upon re-entry.


SVS Technology May Be Coming Soon

The FAA is looking into the implementation of synthetic vision systems (SVS) into corporate and airline cockpits. The new systems are designed to “see” through fog and low ceilings, and can be incorporated into current heads-up display technology.


Boeing ups 777 Production

Boeing’s final assembly process for the 777 has been reduced by three days, resulting in seven finished 777s per month. This production increase will help ease its order backlog. Ultimately, Boeing plans on reaching 8.3 aircraft per month to reach its goal of 100 777s per year by 2013.


Boeing South Carolina to be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy

Boeing and South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) have announced a partnership that will enable Boeing South Carolina to operate under 100% renewable energy, with 20 percent coming from an on-site soloar farm to power its 787 production plant in North Charleston. The balance will come from alternate fuels and biomass energy.


Goodyear to Trade in Blimps for Rigid Airships

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is working with German manufacturer Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik to build three new airships, starting in 2013. The new aircraft will have a greater range, fly faster, hold more people and employ updated avionics and flight control systems.


Embraer Posts Hefty First Quarter Profit

Due to cost controlling and tax credits, Embraer’s profits have more than tripled in the first quarter. Consolidated net income at the world's biggest maker of regional jet aircraft edged higher to 176.4 million reais in the three months ended on March 31, a 257 percent increase from the 49.4 million posted a year earlier, the company said in a securities filing on Monday.


Sikorsky Tests New Rotor Design

A newly designed rotor blade has completed wind tunnel testing recently. The new design incorporates trailing-edge flaps, similar to those found on fixed-wing aircraft, and would be able to significantly help to reduce noise and vibration.


Latest Remanufactured Chinook Delivered to US Army

Boeing's Military Aircraft Division has delivered the remanufactured MH-47G to the Army. This delivery signals the end of the 10-year-long Service Life Extension Plan. Even though the last remanufactured aircraft has left Boeing's facility, there are plans to build additional MH-47Gs. The remanufacturing process for a Chinook helicopter takes about 16 months.


Piper Suppliers Lined Up

Piper Aircraft is gearing up for production of its new jet, the Altaire. FAA structural testing has begun and is expected to be finished before the end of the year; also nearing completion is the Altaire production facility in Vero Beach, Florida. With these pieces in place, Piper has also lined up suppliers and vendors to help produce the jet. Flight tests for certification are expected to take place next year, with customer deliveries anticipated to 2014.


In-flight Connectivity is Coming

The new FAA reauthorization bills on the floor of the houses of Congress is conspicuously lacking language banning mobile connectivity devices from being used on US aircraft. Under current law, the FCC and FAA ban mobile phones from being used in US aircraft, known as the Hang-Up Act that prohibits wireless voice communication during flight. In order for this version of the bill to be enacted as law, several studies will have to be completed.


NTSB Looks Into Sleep Aids for Pilots

A recent proposal by the National Transportation Safety Board may allow for controlled use of sleep aids by flight crewmembers in order to combat the effects of fatigue. In addition to allowing more medication, the NTSB also called for additional sleep and fatigue education.


NTSB Recommending Enhanced Part 135 Procedures

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued recommendations to the FAA, detailing operational changes that should be made by non-scheduled air carriers. Some of the recommendations are modeled after part 121 procedures and seek to improve the efficiency of the flight crew, while others address the issue of fatigue prevention and management.


NextGen Coming to Colorado

Centennial Airport in Colorado is one step closer to beginning the satellite-based NextGen Air Transportation System. It is expected to not only reduce congestion in the skies above the Denver-Metro area, but will also help curb noise and pollution.


Progress Droning On

In a new development in the autonomous drone re-fueling arena, the Global Hawk and Proteus aircraft have recently conducted test flights in formation at 45,000 feet. The first autonomous aerial refueling is set to take place in the spring of 2012.


Up and Coming Wireless Network and GPS

A new high-speed wireless network that has been given initial approval for installation may be put on hold as several government agencies and general aviation advocates want to ensure that the new network will not interfere with GPS signals.


Bombardier gets Large Netjets Order

A deal worth nearly $6.7 billion with 50 aircraft orders and options for 70 more has been made between Bombardier and Netjets. The aircraft include the Global 5000 and Global Express. Deliveries start next year.


Industry Growth Projected

Over the next 20 years the general aviation fleet is projected to grow by nearly one percent each year. This is coming as the FAA moves to make satellite-based navigation the standard for the U.S. aviation system. Also projected to grow are the prevalence of turboprop aircraft and rotorcraft by 3.1 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.


Gulfstream Looking to Future

With positive economic indicators and a sustained large-cabin market, Gulfstream is poised to expand its Savannah, Georgia facility. In addition to steady international aircraft orders, Gulfstream is also expecting to make the first deliveries of its new long-range jet in 2012, the G650.


Boeing Wins Tanker Contract

The US Air Force announced that it has awarded the contract for its next generation tanker, called the KC-46A, to Boeing. The new tanker, based on the B-767, will be built at Boeing’s Wichita, Kansas modification facility. The Air Force is expecting 18 aircraft by 2017, with an option for an additional 179.


New Airbag Designs for Side-facing Seats

Empty side-facing seats on some biz-jets may soon be able to be used for takeoff and landing, thanks to a new airbag design. Until recently, side-facing divan seats next to a bulkhead or pillar could not be counted as seats for takeoff and landing. Developed by AmSafe and B/E Aerospase, this is the industry’s first airbag build for side-facing seats.


Biofuel Mix OK for Jet Aircraft

A new plant-based jet fuel has been approved for use by the US Air Force. The cleaner-burning fuel has been used on the C-17 cargo aircraft, and is made of a blend of 50 percent “hydrotreated” fuel and standard jet fuel.


Bombardier’s Montreal Plant Set for Expansion

The expansion is planned for the assembly of the new C-series narrow-body jet. The expansion includes upgrades of existing structures, as well as new construction of development facilities and aircraft hangars.


Possible Laser Pointer Regulation on Horizon

After a recent spate of incidents involving aircraft being hit with laser beams, a Senate bill has been introduced that would make pointing a laser at an aircraft a federal crime. Bill sponsors claim current law does not go far enough to punish someone who is caught directing laser light at an aircraft in flight—the new proposal would allow for stiffer fines and possible incarceration.


Cessna takes on Embraer

Cessna is readying new aircraft and improvements for existing designs in an effort to compete with Embraer’s line of business jets. Cessna is expecting to ship up to 200 aircraft in 2011, given the trend toward mid-sized aircraft as opposed to the very-light variety.


Industry Analysts Predict Business Jet Market Improvement

Deliveries of small- and medium-sized business jets are expected to increase by roughly 8 percent starting this year; the market could grow as much as 15 – 20 percent in a year. Growth in the large jet segment is expected to continue at a more steady five percent.


Onboard Internet in Demand

Avionics manufacturer Rockwell-Collins is looking to develop mobile connectivity systems for business aircraft. Rockwell called the demand “soaring” and is looking to realize the potential of the business jet as a fully functioning—and connected—mobile office.


House Makes FAA Funding a Priority

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is in meetings and is currently looking at a long-term funding bill. The FAA is currently operating on short-term funding, and has been running on funding extensions for the past few years. The new bill would seek to set up funds for several industry improvements, most notably the Next Generation air traffic control system.


Public Aircraft Definition Up for Review

Under the current definition, a public aircraft is any aircraft that is operated by the federal government is exempted from most federal regulations. Since this can apply to government contractors operating under part 135, some confusion has arisen. The FAA is expected to issue an advisory circular regarding public aircraft.


First-world Airlines Boast Perfect Safety Record for 2010

The previous year saw a perfect record of safe operations for passenger-carrying airlines based in first-world countries. This has been the third perfect year of the last four.


House Members Asking President Not to Support User Fees

President Obama has been urged in a letter signed by 116 members of the US House of Representative not to support user fees to help fund the FAA’s budget for 2012. The move has been welcomed by the National Business Aviation Association president.


New Airliner Designs Revealed

Three leading aerospace companies have submitted airliner designs to NASA, who has released images of the entries. The competing companies are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. NASA has set some stringent standards for the designs, and each design team will begin testing and simulating their designs for a projected production date of 2025.


Share Prices Climb for Embraer

The share prices for Embraer, the world’s fourth-largest aircraft manufacturer, rose to the highest level in more than two years after reporting deliveries for the fourth quarter. Prices rose 3.8 percent, with an overall gain of 17 percent for 2010.


Flight Test of Fly-by-wire G650 a Success

The new G650 is the first production business aircraft to feature a fly-by-wire system that uses a digitally controlled, electrically powered flight control system. The G650 features two hydraulic and one electric control actuation system to power the flight controls. The test flight lasted for over two hours and five landings were made with the electric system.


Turbine Activity Increased in 2010

ARGUS International, who tracks month-to-month and year-over-year aircraft activity, has release figures for last year. The report says that turbine business flying increased across all categories when compared to 2009. The largest increase came in the turboprop fractional area, which saw a 15.1 percent increase.


Hydrogen-Powered Drone Flies

The latest unmanned aerial vehicle, the Global Observer, was successfully test flown at Edwards Air Force Base. The Global Observer has a 175-foot wingspan, four engines, and runs on liquid hydrogen. The aircraft is designed to fly at 65,000 feet and stay airborne for up to a week. The test aircraft flew for four hours at three thousand feet.


Sikorsky Experimenting with Electric-powered Helicopter

Helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky is currently working on the only all-electric helicopter in the world. While an airframe has not yet been modified, a 180-horsepower electric motor is ready for testing, and developers are anticipating a test flight sometime this year.


Use of UAVs May be on the Rise in the US

Police agencies around the United States are looking into using unmanned aerial vehicles as a part of the crime-fighting tool kit. While drone aircraft have been in use in the US for several years, they can only operate in restricted airspace and portions of the Canadian and Mexican borders. The FAA is expected to issue some new regulations concerning UAV operations outside of restricted airspace.


Proposed Ban of 121.5 MHz ELTs Halted

The Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rule that would have banned the use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters has been put on hold. The proposed rule would have required that ELTs transmitting on 121.5 MHz to be replaced by units capable of broadcasting on 406 MHz.


Record year for ‘Corporate Angels’

Last year the Corporate Angel Network (CAN) transported 3,021 patients to treatment centers on donated empty seats on corporate aircraft. According to CAN, the record number of transported patients transported in 2010 represented a 21 percent increase over 2009.


Virtual Reality Coming to an Airport Near You

Some new technology coming out of Honeywell may be improving the weather. The new system is called Synthetic Enhanced Vision System (SEVS), essentially giving a pilot a three-dimensional view of what is in front of the aircraft regardless of weather. Honeywell is planning to implement this new system at several major airports over the next few years.


New Wave of Unmanned Spy Planes in Testing

Three drone aircraft are scheduled for tests in the coming weeks, each one an advancement in unmanned aerial vehicle technology. One is a massive observation aircraft, able to stay aloft for days and two are stealthy, jet-powered weapons platforms.


Business Aviation Improvement Forecast for 2011

The National Business Aviation Association president has indicated that steady industry growth will continue, and that economic indicators are predicting an “optimistic outlook.” Some of the factors driving this growth are the improvement in public perception of business aviation, as well as the passage of key tax incentives permitting 100% depreciation of aircraft. This empirical evidence is coupled with anecdotal evidence proffered by charter operators who have seen an increase in business.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel =

Hawker Beechcraft to remain in Kansas

Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson has reached an agreement with Hawker Beechcraft that will keep the current aircraft production facilities and employees in Wichita. Included in the deal is a $40 million incentive package, allowing at least 4,000 jobs to be retained over the next 10 years. During the first year of the deal, Hawker Beechcraft will receive $10 million for expenses such as equipment purchases and labor costs.


HondaJet first flight successful

The first flight for the FAA-conforming Hondajet has been declared a success. The recent flight lasted for 51 minutes and took place at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. While the FAA certification for the Hondajet is ongoing, Honda is producing several more aircraft to aid in the certification. Additionally, Honda is completing its production facility in Greensboro where the jet will be manufactured.


Gulfstream business jet sets world speed records

A Gulfstream G200 recently set two city-pair speed records on trips between Savannah, Ga., and Keflavik, Iceland, and from Keflavik to Vnukovo, Russia. The Georgia to Iceland leg totaled 2,915 NM and was completed in 6 hours and 28 minutes, with an average speed of Mach .75. Iceland to Russia was a distance of 1,827 NM and took 4 hours, 16 minutes with an average speed of Mach .80.


G1000 suite approved for use in King Air 200

Garmin recently announced the approval by the European Aviation Safety Agency of the installation of G1000 integrated avionics suites in the Beechcraft King Air. This three-screen suite includes two 10.4-inch PFDs and one 15-inch MFD—not only allowing pilots to conform to the latest and most strict airspace regulations, but also making leading-edge technology more readily available in an already cost-effective and popular airplane.


Pilot Hiring Up:

The hiring outlook for cockpit positions, and ancillary positions such as flight dispatcher, is projected to improve over the next decade, making now a good time to begin an aviation career and earn valuable experience for the soon-to-come hiring cycle. Employment of aircraft pilots and flight engineers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2008 to 2018. Population growth and an expanding economy in the long run are expected to boost the demand for air travel, contributing to job growth. New jobs will be created worldwide as airline pilot retirements progress, and as airlines expand their capacity to meet rising demand by increasing the number of planes in operation and the number of flights offered. Delta and American Airlines are calling back and/or hiring pilots, and the industry has shocked Wall Street by doubling profits this year.


FAA Mandates ATPs:

Taking a drastic step toward improved aviation safety, the FAA has announced that all members of an airline flight crew must hold an ATP certificate. But some are predicting that the new requirement for airline transport pilot certificates and a minimum of 1,500 hours could trigger a pilot shortage, even though U.S. carriers will have three years to meet the conditions. The FAA and industry groups contend the most important factor is the type of training that is provided, rather than the total number of hours behind the controls. The ATP requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours and additional aeronautical knowledge, crew resource training and greater flight proficiency training.


Congress to toughen airline standards

Safety standards for airlines and pilots would be dramatically toughened in legislation introduced in Congress. The "Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009" aims to find the most successful safety programs and mandate them for all airlines, said Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee. The Regional Airline Association said it welcomes changes that improve safety. Several parts of the bill are already contained in the association's safety initiative, it said in a statement. The Air Transport Association, which represents large carriers, issued a statement saying that it would prefer that current efforts to improve safety begun earlier this year by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood be allowed to work before Congress passes legislation. "We believe in that process, and we believe it should be allowed to proceed to a successful conclusion," said ATA President James May.


Airlines double profits:

Airline growth has remained consistent over the last few fiscal years, despite a downturn in the global economy. United and Continental airlines both posted third-quarter profits during their last quarter as independent companies, reversing their losses from a year earlier as they benefited from rising traveler demand and higher fares. Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc. now runs both airlines and reported the results on Thursday. They were separate companies until Oct. 1, 2010, the day after the quarter ended. Eventually they will be combined into a single airline called United. The company will report combined results for the two airlines starting next quarter.


New Extended Tuition Plan for Career Students:

American Flyers is currently offering new tuition payment plans for students enrolling in a career program. As a special incentive for enrolling in an American Flyers Career program, you may be eligible for our exclusive Extended Tuition Plan. Qualified applicants can extend their tuition for up to 24 months. Contact us for details at 800-362-0808.

The GI Bill makes your education more affordable

Did you know that if eligible, the Veterans Administration will reimburse 60% of your training costs after the Private Pilot Certificate? Join the many military men and women who have successfully graduated from our VA approved flight courses.


CFI Academy Graduates in High Esteem, Demand:

American Flyers annually trains 20 percent of the new flight instructors in the country. With a comprehensive 30-day program, you can be ready to begin your first flying job upon graduation. With the kind of quality training and experience you will earn from an American Flyers Flight Instructor Academy , you will be well prepared to succeed at any teaching job anywhere in the country. Working as a Certificated Flight Instructor is the best way to earn a paycheck while gaining the experience you need to become a corporate or airline pilot.

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