Monthly Archives: April 2019

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PBS Series Looks at The Airplane, An Idea That Changed the World


Series explains how other influencers helped the Wright Brothers create the airplane.

The second episode of a new PBS series, “Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World,” premieres tomorrow night April 24 with “Airplane,” a look at the people who inspired the Wright Brothers to create the first practical aircraft.

The journey to the first successful flight is a story full of passion, danger and death, and this episode showcases the revolutionaries and visionaries who made it possible to leave the ground. Tomorrow’s episode looks at Abba Ibn Firnas, the Moorish/Islamic scholar and the world’s first pilot; Leonardo da Vinci; British inventor Sir George Cayley; French inventor and engineer Alphonse Penaud; German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal; famed pilot Wiley Post; and RAF officer and inventor, Frank Whittle, creator of the first jet engine.

Told through six iconic objects that modern people take for granted, the six-part Breakthrough series shows how science, invention and technology built on one another to change everything. The episode begins at 10 p.m. EST, but be sure to check your local PBS show listings.

Source: Flying

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Major Airlines Suffer from Boeing 737 Max Issue


Thousands of flights cancelled as a result of recent crashes.

Major U.S. airlines have been forced to cancel hundreds of flights as a result of the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet after two accidents in the past six months, one in Indonesia and the other in Ethiopia, killing a total of nearly 350 people. American Airlines reported it is grounding all 737 MAX flights through August 19. The decision amounts to 115 cancelled flights each day during the summer.

“…by extending our cancellations through the summer, we can plan more reliably for the peak travel season and provide confidence to our customers and team members when it comes to their travel plans,” said a statement from American’s chairman and CEO Doug Parker and president Robert Isom. “We remain confident that the impending software updates, along with the new training elements Boeing is developing for the Max, will lead to recertification of the aircraft soon. We have been in continuous contact with the FAA, Department of Transportation (DOT), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), [and] other regulatory authorities, and are pleased with the progress so far.” In the meantime, the company’s reservations team is finding alternatives for customers booked on 737 MAX flights this summer.

Reuters reported that United expects the grounded 737s to return to service this summer. The company currently only has 14 MAX airplanes in its fleet, but was expecting another 16 to be delivered this year. United still expects to receive some of those airplanes before the end of the year.

Source: Flying

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Piper Introduces Pilot 100 and Pilot 100i Trainers


New trainers come at a value-focused price point.

Piper Aircraft announced two new value-priced additions to its trainer-class of aircraft on the opening day of Sun N’ Fun at Lakeland Florida. The company showed off its proof of concept Piper Pilot 100 and Pilot 100i. The basic 100 includes Garmin G3X Touch Certified avionics and a standard two pilot configuration while the instrument version, the 100i comes standard with a Garmin G3X Touch and a GFC500 autopilot. The VFR-equipped 100 will enter the marketplace at $259,000 and offers the durability and functionality of the Archer TX. The IFR version, the 100 is priced at $285,000.

A major change to this branch of the Piper line is the powerplant, a newly designed 180 hp Continental Prime IO-370-D3A engine that includes new generation magnetos designed to eliminate hot starting problems, an especially annoying problem for people learning to fly. The Continental engine gives the new aircraft a 128-knot cruise speed and a range of 522 miles with a 45-minute reserve.

Piper CEO Simon Caldecott said the new aircraft was identified following extensive research and the rapid expansion of trainer sales, as well as from increased demand for aircraft at a price point that could support the growing demand for professionally trained pilots. Since 2014, sales of the single-engine Piper Archer have grown more than 93 percent. For 2018, sales of the robust single engine Archer grew by nearly 50 percent year over year, while twin-engine Seminole deliveries rose 117 percent.

The new Piper Pilot 100 / 100i rounds off Piper’s portfolio of training aircraft products. With five model series now including the Pilot 100, Archer TX, Archer DX, Arrow, and Seminole, Piper says it now offers the widest range of training aircraft of any aircraft manufacturer

The Piper Pilot 100 will be touring flight schools around the country this summer as the company finalizes the aircraft’s design. Both aircraft will be available in limited quantities beginning in 2020.

Source: Flying

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L3 Commercial Aviation Announces Massive Piper Order


Worldwide training operation signs order for up to 240 airplanes.

Piper aircraft is having a terrific week at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. After yesterday’s announcement about the development of a pair of two-seat trainers, the Piper Pilot 100 and 100i, the company also won a huge order from L3 Commercial Aviation – a flight training operation with facilities around the world. The school announced it is purchasing as many as 240 new airplanes from the Vero Beach, Florida-based company.

A hard commitment has been made for 26 airplanes to be delivered this year. They comprise 19 Piper Archers and seven twin-engine Seminoles. The airplanes will be spread between the company’s training facilities in Florida, the United Kingdom, and the recently added facility in Ponte de Sor, Portugal. The company also runs a flight training facility in New Zealand.

“This significant investment in expanding and modernizing our fleet with these brand-new aircraft will help us in our aspiration to provide the highest-quality training while meeting the increasing international demand for new pilots from our airline customers,” said Geoff van Klaveren, vice president of Airline Academy, a subsidiary of L3 Commercial Aviation.

Source: Flying

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Piaggio Aerospace Aims To Find Buyer by April 2020


Troubled Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aerospace is trying to chalk up orders for its P.180 Avanti Evo turboprop twin while it simultaneously searches for potential buyers of the entire company by April 2020. Piaggio went into insolvency after its UAE-based owner Mubadala cancelled its order for the P.1HH Hammerhead, an unmanned maritime patrol version of the Avanti. The Italian government appointed lawyer Vincenzo Nicastro on December 3 as an “extraordinary receiver” to temporarily manage Piaggio.

Nicastro told AIN this week at the LIMA airshow in Malaysia that the Italian government has pledged €250 million to complete the final stage of the P.1HH program, of which €180 million is for the procurement of eight Hammerheads and four ground stations. It has also informally agreed to promote the sales of the aircraft to Italian government agencies such as the Italian Air Force, coast guard, and police. There are some 37 government-owned Avantis, some of which need replacement.

On Tuesday, Piaggio also secured a €45 million maintenance contract to service Italian air force’s National Acrobatic Air Patrol Team “Frecce Tricolori” Aermacchi MB.339 for 12 months, as well as P.180 logistics support for the state police (three-year contract), Italian Army (12-month agreement), and national coast guard (two-year contract).

“We want everyone to know that we are still in operation,” he said. “And we want to present the new Piaggio to the world.”

Next month, the company is aiming to receive non-binding letters of intent from potential buyers to get a better sense of market interest. By June, Piaggio will present a proposal and officially invite the market to buy the company. Nicastro said it hopes to complete the process, including approval by the government, by next April.

“We are confident that that will happen,” he added. “Potential buyers could include companies with aeronautical background or equity funds.”

Piaggio plans to participate at EBACE, Paris Airshow, MAKS (Moscow), and NBAA BACE to further promote the aircraft to potential buyers.

Source: AIN

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