The European Union (EU) has suspended its aircraft emissions trading scheme (ETS) for flights to and from the EU for 1 year. EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard (photo) made the announcement on Nov 12, saying she had recommended the suspension to 27 EU nations following an ICAO meeting a few days prior. She warned, however, that EU-ETS would be reinstated if a global CO2 solution or "market based mechanism" (MBM) was not presented by ICAO's next general assembly meeting in 3Q2013. The European Business Aviation Assn (EBAA) applauded the EU's move in a press release issued the following day, saying a worldwide MBM would be far more meaningful for countering climate change. EU-ETS for intra-EU flights remains unchanged, however, and its effects continue to concern EBAA and its members.
Production of the HondaJet has commenced at the company's GSO (Intl, Greensboro NC) headquarters. The company made the announcement at the end of October, saying its assembly line is now in place with major components being produced, including the fuselage and wings. A 4th FAA conforming aircraft is expected to enter Honda's test fleet early next year, with certification expected by mid-2013. HondaJet says it anticipates delivering 3 or 4 aircraft to customers next year, followed by as many as 12 in 2014.
Smyrna Air Center has released performance numbers for its Power90 GE H80 engine upgrade on the King Air C90. Using the company's own King Air for testing, the C90 demonstrated a TAS of 287 kts at FL260 and a TAS of 296 kts at FL280, which resulted in a fuel burn of 560 lbs/hr and 520 lbs/hr, respectively. In addition, the company demonstrated an engine out at FL210 and was able to maintain altitude cruising at 150 kts. Smyrna Air Center received FAA approval for the STC in October and is offering installations at its MQY (Smyrna TN) facility or one of its 4 other installation centers in the US, France and Colombia.
GE Honda Aero Engines' HF120, which will power the HondaJet, is nearing the completion of certification testing. A total of 13 HF120 engines have accumulated more than 5000 hrs and 7000 cycles during development and certification testing. Among the tests completed successfully this year are low-pressure shaft separation, initial maintenance interval, induction icing, emissions, fan blade out, water ingestion, and over-temperature testing. Three tests remain, including medium bird, 150-hr block endurance and crosswind. Components for the first production engine are arriving at GE's Lynn MA facility, where initial HF120 production will take place. After certification, however, the company says production will transition to Honda Aero's facility in Burlington NC. The HF120 is rated at 2095 lbs of thrust and will have a 5000-hr TBO. The company expects certification testing to be completed by early 2013.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) has selected GE's H85 turboprop for its new 5-seat light single-engine business aircraft—the Primus 150. CAIGA, which also owns US-based Cirrus, currently owns 2 types of VLJ and 2 types of very light business turboprop, including the Primus 150. GE announced the 850-shp H85 engine earlier this year and says it expects to receive FAA and EASA approval by early 2013.
Flight testing has begun for Rockwell Collins' Pro Line Fusion touchscreen display. In a joint announcement, Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support (GCS) and Rockwell Collins claimed the touchscreen primary flight display (PFD) is the first of its kind for the business aviation industry. The new technology is being developed as an aftermarket option to all in-service Pro Line 21-equipped King Airs. Both companies expect certification by the end of 2013 with entry into service by 2014.
Shadin Avionics and ASIG have introduced the flyTab aircraft interface module (AIM), which feeds real-time flight data from an aircraft to an iPad. The device currently supports data formats that can be streamed to iPad EFB apps, including ARINC 429, RS232, RS422, RS485 and discrete data. Additional interfaces can be added and certified using Shadin's avionics interface system converter platform, such as ARINC 717, ethernet and Wi-Fi.
General Atomics says it has successfully tested an automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B)-based surveillance system aboard a Predator B remotely piloted aircraft. The test, which took place on Aug 10, demonstrated that the company's Predator and Gray Eagle series aircraft could "fly cooperatively and safely in the national airspace system," allowing ATC and other aircraft to know its location and velocity. BAE Systems provided General Atomics with a prototype of its AN/DPX7 reduced-size transponder—a military-grade identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) transponder that interoperates with both military and civilian ATC surveillance systems and is ADS-B capable.
Professional Aircraft Accessories (PAA) has expanded to meet growing demand in its landing gear overhaul business. The TIX (Titusville FL)-based company increased the size of its facility by over 30% and incorporated Six Sigma principles, significantly enhancing its capabilities and production volumes. The company also expanded its accessory shop, instrument and avionics lab as well as its machine shop and paint shop. PAA employs nearly 250 people and says it has added 65 employees so far as a result of the expansion. The company held a grand opening ceremony on Nov 1 attended by employees, friends and families, government officials and media.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC)'s Long Beach CA regional service center has relocated to a newer facility and increased its capacity by 30%. According to a company spokesman, the new 23,000 sq ft facility, located in Cypress CA near the company's previous service center, offers customers reduced turnaround times and substantially increased capabilities. Over the next 6 months, the company says it will expand capabilities for the work it performs on the PT6A/C/T, PW200/210, PW535/545 and PW615/ 617, while establishing dedicated repair areas for larger engine models.
Clay Lacy Aviation has announced that it is offering 24-hr onsite and mobile aircraft maintenance services. The company added a 3rd shift of technicians to perform inspections, repairs, installations and alterations at its VNY Class IV repair station. Similarly, the company says its mobile repair teams are available 24/7 for customers as well.
Constant Aviation opened its new MRO facility at LAS (McCarran, Las Vegas NV) on Sep 1. Headquartered at CLE (Hopkins, Cleveland OH), and with another location at BHM (Birmingham AL), the company says that expanding its service center network to the west coast has been a long-term business goal. Initial focus at the LAS facility will include scheduled maintenance inspections, AOG assistance, and avionics installs and upgrades. Constant plans to leverage its network capabilities in the areas of interior modifications and refurbishment and composite/accessory repairs and parts for customers.