Monthly Archives: October 2018

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PPG Receives EASA STC for BEECHJET 400 Windshields


PPG has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its aftermarket glass-faced acrylic windshields for BEECHJET 400 business jets and their variants. Receiving the STC enables PPG to sell the windshields as an approved design to owners of Beechjet 400 jets and variants who recognize EASA authority.

The windshield is now approved by two of the leading aviation authorities, having received Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in 2017.

“We are pleased that we can now offer Beechjet 400 jet operators across Europe these new windshields, which are designed for ease of installation, exceptional resistance to moisture ingress and enhanced optical properties,” said Steve Kight, PPG global director, general aviation transparencies. Beechjet 400 jet owners in North America and Europe are able to purchase replacement parts directly from the manufacturer, saving them time and related costs.”

The PPG explains that their windshields have an outboard ply of chemically strengthened glass with two stretched-acrylic plies, combining the abrasion resistance of glass with the lightweight benefits of acrylic. They feature a PPG AIRCON anti-ice heating system that offers enhanced optics during operation. PPG SURFACE SEAL hydrophobic coating helps shed water for better pilot visibility during wet conditions without the need for wipers.

The windshields also incorporate a weather seal that is used with pre-molded pressure seals on the edge attachment, simplifying installation because there is no need for additional sealant application. The weather seal and a PPG-produced interlayer afford enhanced resistance to moisture ingress that can cause interlayer degradation and hazing.

Source: AVM


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New York Flight School Named Best in the Country


AOPA recognizes Diamond Aircraft operator Take Flight Aviation as 2018’s Best Flight School in the Nation.

Take Flight Aviation, a flight-training provider based in Montgomery, New York, that operates a fleet of Diamond Aircraft piston singles and twins, has been named by AOPA as Best Flight School in the Nation for 2018.

Take Flight Aviation was honored for providing a high level of service to its customers based on responses to the AOPA’s 2018 Flight Training Experience Survey. The Flight Training Experience Awards were created to highlight the best flight training the industry has to offer.

“We were excited to see how many customers described our winners this year as including them as part of a family and helping them join a rich aviation community,” said Chris Moser, Senior Director, Flight Training Education of AOPA’s Flight Training Initiative. “Giving the personal touch, in addition to providing great flight training, is something we know helps create lifelong pilots.”

The award presentations were made in a ceremony at the 2018 Redbird Migration at the AOPA Headquarters in Frederick, Maryland.

Flight students and pilots voluntarily rated their flight training experiences through an AOPA online customer satisfaction survey. The process yielded an evaluation of 954 flight schools and 1,849 individual flight instructors. In addition to being named best flight school in the nation, Take Flight was also honored as top training provider in the Northeast U.S.

Take Flight Aviation offers a range of training programs from private pilots through commercial pilot programs “in a friendly and dynamic environment.”

The school operates a fleet of Diamond single and multi-engine aircraft underpinned by the DA40 and DA42 models and is a Diamond Factory Authorized Service Center, and is also a partner of LifeStyle Aviation, which operates the DiamondShare program that matches owners of Diamond airplanes with pilots who lease time to help defray the cost of ownership.

“Take Flight Aviation is honored to receive this award and thanks the AOPA, our incredible staff and clients as well as Diamond Aircraft and our aircraft sales partner Lifestyle Aviation, all of whom help Take Flight grow and succeed daily,” said Ryan Mayo, president and founder of Take Flight Aviation, LLC.

Take Flight Aviation’s list of awards includes the 2016 AOPA’s President’s Choice Award for innovation and Industry contribution as well as Best Flight School in the Northeast in 2017.

Source: Flying

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Certification of Sandel’s Avilon Flight Deck Expected Early Next Year


Priced at $175,000 installed, the King Air retrofit cockpit is less than half the cost of competing retrofits.

Sandel Avionics is continuing testing of its Avilon integrated flight deck, created as a lower-priced alternative for the King Air retrofit market, as the company reports certification and initially deliveries are on pace for early next year.

Flying had the chance to see the latest version of Avilon at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Florida, and it’s clear that the avionics system has evolved greatly since it was first announced three years ago. Then, the element of Avilon that turned heads was its “guaranteed flyaway” price of $175,000, which is less than half the installed price of competing King Air retrofit choices.

Sandel was able to keep the total price low by designing the modular avionics with fast installation time in mind. The avionics system includes four large 12.4-inch touch screen LCD flight displays, two smaller data entry touch screens, radios, flight management computers, dual AHRS, audio panel, ADS-B-compliant Mode S transponder, RNP approach capabilities, and flight director/autopilot (minus the autopilot servos, which are retained).

Certification for the entire King Air family is expected in January, said Larry Riddle, vice president of sales and marketing for Sandel. Look for a full flight report in an upcoming issue of Flying.

Source: Flying

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Textron Debuts SkyCourier Mockup in Pax Config


Textron Aviation is debuting a full-scale mockup of the Cessna SkyCourier cabin outfitted in passenger configuration this week at the NBAA 2018 static display. The in-development twin-engine turboprop offers seating for up to 19 passengers, a netted rear cabin cargo area that can accommodate luggage and equipment, and an optional overhead baggage compartment for additional storage.

“The Cessna SkyCourier was engineered to be a versatile, heavy utilization turboprop with significant payload to undertake a variety of missions,” said Rob Scholl, senior v-p of sales and marketing. “We’re excited for customers and NBAA attendees to experience many of the aircraft’s distinctive features firsthand.”

In addition to the passenger confirmation, a SkyCourier freighter variant offers a maximum payload of 6,000 pounds and can accommodate up to three LD3 shipping containers. Textron Aviation took the wraps off the utility twin last November with an order from FedEx Express for up to 100 of the aircraft.

Initial wind tunnel testing of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65SC-powered aircraft is complete, and Textron anticipates first flight on the SkyCourier next year, with entry into service in 2020. The Wichita airframer has selected UTC Aerospace Systems (Booth 633) to provide Goodrich de-icers and support for the Cessna SkyCourier.

Source: AIN

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Garmin’s G700 TXi Becomes Available for Cessna Citations


Cessna Citation owners can now take advantage of Garmin International’s advanced avionics technology as the Olathe, Kansas-based company’s G700 Txi is now available for the light business jet series. Citation owners can get a single or dual 10.6-inch display installed through an STC made available by JETTECH, based in Broomfield, Colorado, and can be installed by approved Garmin dealers. The G700 TXi is specifically designed for aircraft in the Part 23 category.

Like Garmin’s G500 and G600 series for lighter aircraft, the G700 links to a GTN 650 or 750. The combination offers coupled LPV/WAAS approaches with the option to display vertical navigation guidance with RNAV approaches. The G700 TXi displays a map overlay on the HSI portion of the PFD, showing an overhead view of terrain, traffic, weather and more. 3D synthetic vision views are also provided on the PFD, displaying a frontal view of weather, traffic, terrain and the runway environment.

Real time, cost free weather and traffic can be provided by a separate Garmin ADS-B unit. Datalink weather products can also be added as well as options for RVSM support. FlightCharts can be linked either with Garmin’s FliteCharts or Jeppesen’s approach charts. Database updates can be streamed through a Flight Stream 510, allowing customers to sync the data with a portable wireless smartphone or tablet.

The G700 TXi option will initially be available for the Cessna Citation II/SII and Citation V with the Sperry SPZ 500 autopilot. Additional models are expected to follow. A Citation II with the G700 TXi will be on display at Garmin’s exhibit at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, next week.

Source: Flying

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FlightServ plans new FBO facility at KTTN


EWING, N.J. – After years of negotiation with Mercer County and the Trenton Mercer Airport Authority, FlightServ has acquired a new ground lease to build a new FBO and hangar at Trenton Mercer Airport (KTTN).

The FBO and hangar will be located at the end of Trenton Mercer Airport’s Runway 34 off of taxiways Foxtrot and Delta. The 22-acre parcel was formerly home to the Naval Warfare Center.

FlightServ, with the help of Bascon Engineering, has put together plans to demolish the existing structure and build a new facility on the land.

It will include a full-service FBO with private corporate offices, and 80,000 square feet of corporate and transient hangar space. There will also be general aviation tie downs, a de-icing facility, jet fuel and Сavgas 100LL fuel, and a 44,000-gallon fuel farm.

Source: GA


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President Trump signs five-year FAA spending bill


US president Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that regulates aircraft seat size while providing five years of guaranteed funding to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The five-years of funding brings some long-term stability to an agency that has long operated under temporary funding measures.

“Thanks to this law, the nation’s aviation programmes will have the longest period of stability since 1982,” says Bill Shuster, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, in a release.

“The five-year bill authorises the reliable, predictable funding the FAA needs to invest in these critical priorities,” the agency says in a statement.

The law requires the FAA set minimum seat dimensions – pitch, width, length – as “necessary for the safety of passengers”, the text says. It also requires the agency to review how changes in seat configuration have affected aircraft evacuation requirements.

The law prohibits airlines from involuntarily bumping passengers who already boarded aircraft and prohibits passengers from speaking on mobile phones inflight.

In addition, the law requires airlines to proactively pay compensation to passengers who are denied boarding, rather than waiting until passengers request compensation, the text says.

Source: Flight Global

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FAA Targets UAS Violators for Enforcement


Even first time offenders won’t get a break.

The FAA has had enough of drone operators who don’t seem smart enough to remain clear of locations where their aircraft might interfere with wildfire containment crews, law enforcement efforts, or other first responders, such as medical flights. The agency said last week that violators are now more likely to face serious civil penalties, even for first-time offenses.

Deterring interference with first responders is critical, particularly as drone use expands exponentially. Firefighting aircraft trying to contain a wildfire have to suspend flights when a drone enters the area to avoid a possible mid-air collision. A drone flying over a crime scene or accident site can hamper police or medical aircraft operations. Ultimately, interference by a drone can cost lives.

Under traditional agency guidance, inspectors generally use non-enforcement methods, including education, for correcting unintentional violations that arise from factors such as flawed systems, simple mistakes, or lack of understanding. However, given the potential for direct and immediate interference with potentially life-saving operations where minutes matter, offenders will immediately be considered for enforcement actions. Enforcement actions can include revocation or suspension of a pilot certificate, and up to a $20,000 civil penalty per violation.

In July 2016, Congress authorized the FAA to impose a civil penalty of not more than $20,000 for anyone who operates a drone and deliberately or recklessly interferes with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response efforts. The FAA recently created guidance for agency personnel that says all cases involving interference with first responders will be referred to the FAA Chief Counsel’s office for possible enforcement action.

This FAA action is separate from new provisions included within the FAA Reauthorization legislation that would allow authorities to track, intercept or even shoot down drones considered a security threat.

Source: Flying

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Lufthansa firms options on 27 A320neo-family jets


Lufthansa Group has converted options on 24 Airbus A320neos and three A321neos into firm orders for delivery in 2023-4.

Disclosing the deal, the group says it is “reacting to the positive market and earnings development”.

The options’ conversion brings to 149 the total number of A320neo-family jets to which the group has firmly committed. Lufthansa already has 13 A320neos in service, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

Ten of the 27 newly firmed aircraft are intended for Swiss, says Lufthansa. It does not specify how the remainder will be shared among group’s other operators.

Some of the aircraft will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines and some with CFM International Leap-1As, says Lufthansa, without giving a split. But it does indicate that the two engine types will equip “roughly equal proportions” of its Neo fleet.


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A330-900 approval comes 50 months after launch


Airbus is preparing to deliver the first A330-900 to launch operator TAP Air Portugal, after belatedly securing European certification for the first member of its re-engined A330 family.

While its original 42-month schedule for developing the A330neo proved over-ambitious, Airbus obtained approval for the aircraft from the European Aviation Safety Agency on 26 September.

It had formally applied 50 months and one day beforehand, just 11 days after unveiling the A330neo at the 2014 Farnborough air show.

EASA lists five initial weight variants for the -900 in its type certification documentation, with maximum take-off weights ranging from 230t to the highest figure of 242t.

Rolls-Royce’s Trent 7000 engines – the exclusive powerplant on the A330neo – had been certified by EASA on 20 July, as a variant of the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787.

The Trent 7000 is larger than the Trent 700 for the A330 and EASA lists the new engine, at 6,445kg, as being some 300-400kg heavier than the Trent 1000.

EASA puts the take-off thrust of the Trent 7000 at 72,834lb (324kN), compared with 71,100lb for the 700, and a maximum continuous thrust of just over 65,000lb.

Other type certification details illustrate the A330-900’s commonality with its A330-300 predecessor.

The three fuel tanks on each aircraft – wing, centre and trim – have the same capacities, for a total fuel load of just over 139,000 litres.

EASA has also certified the -900 to the same accommodation standards, clearing it for 375 passengers in basic exit configuration and up to 440 with four pairs of type ‘A’ doors.

Airbus is pursuing extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval for the A330neo. The A330-300 obtained ETOPS clearance beyond 180min in 2009.

Customers have placed orders for 224 A330-900s. TAP is taking 10 directly from Airbus and the Portuguese carrier is set to receive four more through lessors.

The airline’s first A330-900, MSN1819, was one of three aircraft participating in some 1,400h of flight tests – including route proving and evaluation of the revamped ‘Airspace’ cabin layout for the twinjet. Certification was achieved 342 days after the A330-900’s maiden flight in October last year.

Airbus commercial aircraft president Guillaume Faury says the A330neo has “tremendous market potential” and embodies the airframer’s “spirit of innovation”.

He says TAP will receive its first jet “in the coming weeks”. Delta Air Lines is also an A330-900 customer, and Airbus is expecting to obtain US FAA certification for the aircraft shortly.

Airbus has incorporated several modifications, aside from the new engines, into the A330neo design, including a reshaped wing and ‘sharklet’ wing-tips to increase the span to 64m.

It is set to start test-flying the smaller A330neo variant, the A330-800, within the next few weeks. Airbus is also developing a higher-weight version of both models, taking the maximum take-off weight to 251t and extending the A330-900’s range to 7,200nm.

Source: FG