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2012 EMBRAER Legacy 650
London
05/01/15 09:54AM
1972 BEECH/RAYTHEON Hawker 125-400A
Johannesburg
04/29/15 02:26PM
2005 PIAGGIO P-180 AVANTI II
Fort Worth TX
04/27/15 01:53PM
AVweb flash -

Short Final

Last Friday morning, I was en route to Sun 'n Fun. The weather at KLAL prevented canceling IFR and joining the Lake Parker VFR arrival. As I (along with several other aircraft) was issued a holding clearance at LAL VOR to wait my turn for the ILS runway 9 approach, I was reminded just how oblivious some pilots are. ... A pilot came on the very busy TPA approach frequency and said, with all seriousness: "N12345 requesting multiple approaches to Lakeland." ... Kudos to the professional controller, who simply responded: "Negative. We have Sun 'n Fun going on today." ... To which the pilot responded: "O.K. How about Winter Haven?" -- Al Rice

FAA Mandates 787 Electrical Reboots

The electrical systems on Boeing 787s need to be shut down and restarted before they reach 248 days of continuous power, the FAA said on Friday, to prevent a "loss of all AC electrical power, which could result in loss of control of the airplane." The airworthiness directive was issued "straight to final rule," without a preliminary notice, and is effective immediately. The FAA said it was informed about the problem by Boeing, and the manufacturer is working on a software upgrade that will address the issue.

NTSB Says FAA Needs Better Landing Procedures

As part of its investigation into several events when airplanes landed at the wrong airports, the NTSB told the FAA this week it should amend its ATC procedures. "Controllers [should] withhold landing clearance until the aircraft has passed all other airports that may be confused with the destination airport," the NTSB said. Also, software that warns controllers about minimum safe altitudes should be modified to also warn them if the airplane crew is trying to land at an airport different from the one in the flight plan.

Continental Buys ECI

Continental Motors Group said today that is will purchase Danbury Aerospace, a group of aviation manufacturing companies that includes Engine Components International, the San Antonio, Texas-based manufacturer of PMA engine parts. Danbury is a privately held company and the dollar amount of the deal wasn't disclosed by Continental. Because Continental is itself owned by the Chinese-based AVIC International, the purchase must still be approved by he State Department's Committee for Foreign Investment, according to Rhett Ross, director of the Continental Motors Group and an AVIC vice president.

Shape-Changing Wings Successfully Tested

NASA says it has successfully flight-tested wings that can change shape in flight without seams or gaps and is calling it a next-generation breakthrough in aircraft design. In cooperation with the Air Force and FlexSys Inc., the developer of the system, NASA mounted the morphing wings on a Gulfstream bizjet and put it through its paces.

Siemens: Hybrid Electric Airliners By 2035

Fresh after its announcement of a new, aviation-specific electric motor, Siemens AG has mapped out a developmental path that it hopes will result in practical regional hybrid electric airliners by 2035. At the ninth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California, this week, Siemens' Frank Anton said the company will invest heavily in hybrid drive systems that it believes will improve overall transportation efficiency by as much as 25 percent.

Electric Aircraft Reliability: Not So Simple

With few moving parts compared to an aircraft piston engine, electric motors are thought to be far more reliable. But when the systems that control them are factored in, the reliability picture is far less rosy, according to Mike Ricci, who says electric propulsion in general has some distance to cover before it will be reliable enough to impress regulators approving electrics for commercial service.

Aircraft Autonomous Flight: Sooner Than You Think?

Is truly autonomous flight for aircraft--manned or not--lurking just around the corner? It depends on how you define around the corner, but some people in the autonomous flight field think it could be a reality within a decade and electric propulsion will both hurry it along and play a major role in its development.

Sonex, Navmar To Produce UAVs

Sonex Aircraft will collaborate with Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation to develop an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle based on its Xenos line of motor gliders. Under the agreement, Oshkosh-based Sonex will produce the aircraft, to be called Teros, and ship them to NASC in Pennsylvania for UAV outfitting. The first prototype Teros is slated for delivery in June. The UAVs will be produced for Department of Defense customers, Sonex said.

Columbine II To Be Restored Under New Owners

Columbine II, the first presidential Air Force One, will be under new ownership this summer as a restoration process gets under way in Arizona. Dynamic Aviation of Bridgewater, Virginia, completed its due diligence this week and decided to proceed with the purchase of the 1948 Lockheed C-121A Constellation used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Airbus Sees U.S. Market For Four-Place Electric Airplane

With a production site for its E-Fan 2.0 electric trainer selected in France, Airbus is bullish enough on e-flight to project a four-place electric hybrid before 2020. At the Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California, on Friday, the company's head of development and strategy, Ken McKenzie, said Airbus isn't exactly going after Cirrus and Cessna for the personal aircraft market, but a four-place hybrid aircraft called the E-fan 4.0 will surely appeal to buyers who want aircraft for personal transportation.

Electric Aircraft Symposium Kicks Off With Record Numbers

More than 160 electric aircraft industry executives, manufacturers and researchers convened at the ninth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California, on Friday. The symposium is organized by the CAFE Foundation, which was formed in 1981 to study aircraft efficiency. CAFE Foundation President Brien Seeley told AVweb that EAS will have record attendance this year.

Airbus E-Fan To Be Built In Pau, France

Airbus' electric airplane, the E-Fan, will be produced in Pau in southwest France, the company said Thursday. Airbus is purchasing a site there and plans to begin building a final assembly line in mid-2016. The E-Fan, developed by Airbus subsidiary VoltAir, is a two-seat trainer with two propellers and two battery-powered motors.

New This Week

AVweb's search of aviation news around the world found an aircraft restoration competition, news from the upcoming Air Race Classic, a partnership between Jet Logistics and Medflight One, and the Aero Club of New England's annual award announcement.

Blue Origin Launches Test Spacecraft

Blue Origin launched its experimental spacecraft this week from Texas, marking the start of the company's unmanned test flights with plans to develop a space tourism vehicle. The New Shepard craft launched Wednesday from Blue Origin's test site, reached an altitude of 58 miles, then separated from its rocket and deployed a parachute for landing, Reuters reported.

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