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2012 EMBRAER Legacy 650
05/01/15 09:54AM
1972 BEECH/RAYTHEON Hawker 125-400A
04/29/15 02:26PM
Fort Worth TX
04/27/15 01:53PM
2009 CESSNA 172SP Skyhawk

04/24/15 03:41PM
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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.

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.

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.

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.

Polish VLJ Now In Final Testing

Flaris, the single-engine very-light jet that has been in development in Poland for about six years, has been in taxi testing since last month and a first flight is expected soon, according to the company website. Test pilot Henryk Szkudlarz will be at the controls for the first tests, which will take place from the airport in Bydgoszcz. The jet is built with a fully composite structure and is capable of landing on short runways and grass strips.

The Weekender: Pack Your Bags

The Weekender's SocialFlight schedule is bound to be a tiring one, with early mornings and late nights to enjoy. The Gopher Flying Club at Crystal Airport in Minnesota will host its semi-annual club plane wash on Saturday. All are welcome to see how a flying club works - and how to do a good wash on two Cessna 172s.

Air Force X-37B Spacecraft To Launch In May

The ever-intriguing X-37B space plane is slated for its fourth mission in May, this time to experiment with a propulsion system for military satellites, the Air Force announced this week. The military has revealed little about past missions, prompting broad speculation about what experiments have occurred on the craft.

Nurse Killed In Fall From Helicopter

An experienced flight nurse fell from a medical helicopter during a rescue mission in Austin, Texas, Monday night and was killed, officials have reported. The Star Flight EC-145 was operating at about 9:45 p.m. and the crew was working to hoist aboard a woman who had fallen from a cliff in a hiking area and injured her legs. Flight nurse Kristin McLain, 46, who had worked with the Star Flight team for seven years, fell from the helicopter's hoist and died at the scene.

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