October 2012 - Page 2 Aviation Articles

Boeing Starts Building First 777 at New Rate

Article by: Gregory Polek
Brought to you by: AINONLINE

Boeing on Tuesday began building the first 777 at the highest rate ever for any of its twin-aisle models, the company said today. The rate of 8.3 airplanes per month amounts to a nearly 20-percent increase over the previous rate of seven per month.

Assembly mechanic Ryan Hoover monitors 777 drilling progress of the Flex Track on his laptop computer. Flex Track fuselage drilling equipment consists of numerically controlled drill machines riding on flexible tracks that attach to the exterior of the fuselage skin with vacuum cups. (Photo: Boeing)

Workers loaded into position the first part—the lower lobe of the 777’s aft fuselage—for assembly under the new rate in its factory in Everett, Washington.

“The preparation the team has done for this historic rate increase has been comprehensive from floor to ceiling,” said Scott Fancher, 777 vice president and general manager. “We’ve hired and trained hundreds of additional employees and the efforts of the team to get us to this point have been simply outstanding,” he said.

Boeing has applied new technologies to achieve the highest production rate the Everett plant has seen. Flex-track drilling machines in the 777 body and wings area along with automated spray-painting equipment have increased productivity and improved quality and safety, according to the company.

Boeing plans to deliver the airplane, a 777 Freighter, to Korean Air in February. Since the program’s inception, 62 customers from around the world have ordered 1,380 of the airplanes, 1,049 of which have entered service.

Pietenpol (Home-Building) Instructions: Step One - You Gotta’ Have Faith

 

         On a chilly Friday in October, I met a man with ambitions unlike anyone I have ever met before. Building an aircraft completely by hand from the ground up might not seem so astonishing at first; so marinate on that for just a minute. For 10 years, Jeffrey Faith has owned and traveled by way of a 1947 Cessna 120. This aircraft is fast enough for long distance travel says Mr. Faith, and with clear certainty he states that it is absolutely a blast to fly, nonetheless it bores him. So, in an eager search to rekindle his passion for flight, Jeffrey pursues a mission to once again find the adrenalin in which he seeks.

***

                   In 1928 Bernard H. Pietenpol designed a homebuilt version of the parasol fixed wing aircraft. The very first prototype became known as the Air Camper and it has proceeded to become an absolute sensation; one of the very first successful homebuilt airplanes ever created. By 1932 Bernard’s success was published in Flying and Gliding magazine, incorporating a step by step manual and reprints provided by the Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) on how to build your own Pietenpol aircraft at home. In the 1920’s, although production throughout the United States was moving quite rapidly, we did not yet have means to make an aircraft from ideal or modern materials that might be seen in production today. The Air Camper was designed with an all wood airframe and it was typically composed of Sitka Spruce with either Birch or Mahogany plywood; this was developed to be considered a “value” aircraft (if you will). One of Bernard H. Pietenpol’s original goals with this airplane was to create a masterpiece that was not only affordable but also easy to construct and original. The Pietenpol Air Camper is not available in a kit; therefore each piece of plywood must be made by hand. As one might imagine, this is certainly no walk in the park. In order to produce an aircraft such as this, basic woodworking skills, hand tools and patience are nothing less than necessary.

         Originally the Pietenpol Air Camper was designed to be powered by a Ford Model-A automobile engine; however, since 1929 several hundred have been built, and various engines have been procured and used. Due to the design of the aircraft, the Pietenpol Air Camper is typically considered to be “low and slow” with an average cruise speed of 65 mph.

***

              In 2010 private pilot Jeffery Faith keeps himself busy and keeps his passion alive by building and producing handmade transportation. This includes a refurbished and modernized 1930’s model truck that he has since sold. This also includes an open-cockpit biplane known as a Ragwing Special. In fact, it was in this very biplane that Mr. Faith first soloed and acquired his license to pilot. He has since sold this masterpiece as well and is in hot pursuit for his next big project. As the pieces of Jeffrey’s puzzle were beginning to fall together he found a copy of the 1932 Flying and Glider Manual Magazine providing the EAA reprints for the Pietenpol Air Camper. Coincidentally, his neighbor had a spare Ford model-A engine; all Jeffrey could do at this point was to give the Pietenpol Air Camper a go. He missed his open-cockpit biplane, so let the games begin!

         On average, the Pietenpol Air Camper generally tends to take most home builders anywhere from five to ten years to complete. This is primarily due to the time intensive labor that goes hand in hand with this aircraft being entirely handmade. Jeffrey Faith glued the very first ribs of his Pietenpol together on Nov 1 2010 and is now officially in the home stretch of completion; finishing in an astonishing two years. Along with completing his aircraft in such a timely manner, he also did his best to keep his purchases local. Mr. Faith built this aircraft directly out of the magazine and he primarily used the AC4313 FAA handbook as his reference. This was his guide for finding and grading different characteristics of wood and it was because of this book that was able to find wood strong enough for his future fuselage. Generally speaking, the ideal wood of choice would be spruce wood that comes out of Alaska, however, since Mr. Faith chose to go local he was opted out of choosing this particular wood and had to research in order to find a commendable substitute.  What he found was Light Popler Douglas Fir and White Fir. Once he had acquired the necessary quantity of wood he used a 100 year old band saw and hand tools to hand carve the propeller.
          As of October 22, 2012 Jeffrey Faith has completed his aircraft almost entirely. Within the month he plans to receive an FAA regulated inspection as well as airworthiness certificate. Once these mandated regulations have been completed Mr. Faith’s Pietenpol will be complete and ready for takeoff. - Yes he plans to show off his masterpiece! Every year, the weekend before Oshkosh there is an annual Pietenpol fly located in Brodhead WI. This fly in usually incorporates anywhere from fifteen to twenty Pietenpol airplanes along with multiple airplane people who are interested in and fly the Pietenpol aircraft. This just one of Jeffrey’s many plans for the future of his most recent masterpiece.

          For anyone who may be interested in building an aircraft of their own, don’t worry, I’ve done the question asking for you. When asked what he might say to fellow plane builders, Mr. Faith states that “anyone can build an airplane. The thing to remember is, work on it every day. Never look at the big picture it will only discourage you; look at the little pictures all and along the way and one you will look up and see your finished product.” Most importantly, Mr. Faith advises the builder to enjoy every minute of it and if you’re anything like Mr. Faith, you might just “like the building part more than the flying part!”

         “I call it Piet (Pete)” says Mr. Faith. There you have it fellow pilots, this is the trick! When the Cessna 120 gets boring, build a Pietenpol Air Camper! The best part is, according to Mr. Faith, “contrary to popular belief, there is no black magic involved in the building of the Pietenpol!” So here it is, this is the spark that Mr. Jeffrey Faith has been seeking all along; the same spark that he seeks to revive his passionate flame for flight.

To see how very personalized the Pietenpol Air Camper can be visit: Westcoastpiet.com. Mr. Faith says that the coolest part about this aircraft is the originality and the personalization involved. By visiting this website you will get the opportunity to see previously developed Pietenpol aircrafts and view their cosmetic differences such as paint, engines, landing gear, etc.

Question to my readers - Rumor has it that the Pietenpol Air Camper handles similarly to a Piper Cub. If you have ever flown in one of these, please let us know! We would love to hear your input!

Learjet 75 Aircraft and Global 6000 Jet Take Centre Stage with NBAA 2012 Debut

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - Bombardier Aerospace announced today that its class-defining Learjet 75 aircraft and Global 6000 ultra long-range jet will make their National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) debuts at this year's 65th annual conference and exhibition in Orlando, Florida, from October 30 to November 1, 2012.

"Our Learjet 75 mock-up and test aircraft are going to generate excitement as we've worked to take an already great product and make further improvements with its Bombardier Vision Flight Deck and all-new interior; we know that this jet will make a splash at this year's show," said Steve Ridolfi, President, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "Our Global 6000 demonstrator aircraft has been jetting all over the world for customer demo flights and static displays. And as the industry's eyes are now turning towards NBAA we are all thrilled at the chance to show the largest gathering of customers and professionals the true Global standard in business aviation.

"We look forward to showcasing our high-performance jets and more news at NBAA 2012," he added.

Bombardier will present its Global 6000, Challenger 605, Challenger 300, Learjet 85 mock-up, Learjet 75 mock-up, Learjet 75, Learjet 60 XR and Learjet 45 XR business jets in the static display at Orlando Executive Airport, as well as host customers at its static pavilion and at its two-floor exhibit at Booth #900 at the Orange County Convention Center.

Bombardier Customer Services team members will also be on-site to highlight recent expansions to Bombardier's worldwide support network of more than 65 wholly owned service centres and Authorized Service Facilities, ten parts facilities featuring two distribution hubs in Chicago and Frankfurt and a growing number of Regional Support Office locations that house internationally deployed service and support professionals.

"This past year, Bombardier has made great strides in bolstering our international support presence, parts availability and robust 24-7 capabilities at our wholly owned service centres in North America," said Eric Martel, President, Bombardier Customer Services & Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft. "NBAA will serve as another valued opportunity to meet with the operator community and share further deployment updates and aftermarket program initiatives."

Learjet 45 XR aircraft: The Learjet 45 XR business jet is second to none in terms of speed and range with its eight-to-nine passenger cabin(i). It is the only jet in its class to offer true double-club seating and retains the Learjet look with the performance to match. This jet will whisk four passengers and two crew 1,971 nm (3,650 km) and connect cities such as Miami and Guadalajara(i).

Learjet 60 XR aircraft: A proven model that combines performance, comfort, value and technology to a new level in the midsize category, the Learjet 60 XR aircraft delivers a high cruise speed of Mach 0.81 (863 km/hr) with superior climb capabilities, proven fuel efficiency and low direct operating costs(i). This jet can rapidly fly its passengers above the traffic and make use of the more favourable winds up at 51,000 ft (15,545 m) which translates into time savings as a result of less traffic and turbulence. When loaded with four passengers and two crew it will fly 2,405 nm (4,454 km) and is able to fly Miami to Cayenne(i), French Guiana.

Learjet 75 aircraft: The Learjet 75 jet features the pioneering Bombardier Vision Flight Deck with an interior influenced from its bigger stablemate the Learjet 85 aircraft. This jet will soar above the traffic with a maximum altitude of 51,000 ft (15,545 m) and is capable of more than 2,000 nm (3,704 km) and is able to fly between Miami and Aspen(i).

Challenger 300 aircraft: The dependable Challenger 300 jet offers true transcontinental range and superior long-range cruise speed, with eight to ten passengers. Its 3,065 nm (5,676 km) range connects Miami with Seattle non-stop with eight passengers and NBAA IFR reserves. Its superior airfield performance allows it to operate out of 5,000 ft (1,524 m) runways with ease(i). The Challenger 300 jet offers the best performance and value in its class, combined with a dispatch reliability that has consistently been above 99.7 per cent, it has exceeded customer expectations since its entry-into-service in 2004.

Challenger 605 aircraft: The revered Challenger 605 jet builds upon the legacy of productivity, quality and reliability of its predecessor, the peerless Challenger 604 jet, leading its market share segment throughout the world. Featuring one of the widest stand-up cabins of any large category business jet available today it can soar six passengers 4,000 nm (7,408 km); from Miami to London, and also from Miami to Santiago(i).

Global 6000 aircraft: The Global 6000 jet's unrivalled cabin size and levels of comfort combined with a stand-up shower(ii) and the Bombardier Vision Flight Deck means no other purpose built business jet comes close in terms of high-speed range capability and traveller comfort. Offering the ultimate in technology, this intrepid jet can link Miami with Tahiti or Cairo non-stop, with eight passengers and three-to four crew(i).

Confirmed Media Activities

Sunday, October 28, 2012, 4:30
Photo Opportunity, Static Display
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 10:00-11:00
Bombardier Customer Services Press Conference, Room N220C
Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 4:30
Customer Services Cocktail, Bombardier Booth #900

About Bombardier

Bombardier is the world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, we posted revenues of $18.3 billion USD. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Hawker Beechcraft Announces Intent To Emerge From Chapter 11 As Standalone Company

SOURCE: PR NEWSWIRE
PROVIDED BY: www.aviationpros.com
Hawker Beechcraft also announced that it is no longer pursuing a transaction with Superior Aviation Beijing Co., Ltd. (Superior) because the parties could not reach agreement on the terms of a Plan Sponsorship Agreement.

WICHITA, Kan., Oct. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawker Beechcraft, Inc. (Hawker Beechcraft) today announced that it intends to emerge from Chapter 11 protection as a standalone company. Hawker Beechcraft also announced that it is no longer pursuing a transaction with Superior Aviation Beijing Co., Ltd. (Superior) because the parties could not reach agreement on the terms of a Plan Sponsorship Agreement.

Robert S. "Steve" Miller, CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, Inc., said, "We made the decision to proceed with the standalone Plan of Reorganization after determining that, despite our best efforts, the proposed transaction with Superior could not be completed on terms acceptable to the company. We are disappointed that the transaction did not come to fruition, but we protected ourselves by obtaining a $50 million deposit from Superior that is now fully non-refundable and property of the company. The go-forward business plan we have developed with our creditors ensures that we will emerge from this process in a strong operational and financial position, with an enhanced ability to compete well into the future."

Business Plan

Upon its emergence from Chapter 11, the company intends to rename itself Beechcraft Corporation and will implement a business plan that focuses on its turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft – the company's most profitable products – and on its high margin parts, maintenance, repairs and refurbishment businesses, all of which have high growth potential.

Bill Boisture, Chairman of Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, said, "Beechcraft Corporation will emerge as the world's leading designer and manufacturer of turboprop, piston and trainer/attack aircraft with the largest global customer support network in the industry. Our business strategy will focus on growing our key existing product lines: high performance single and twin engine piston and turboprop aircraft, uniquely missionized variants for the global special mission market, and multi-role light attack and trainer aircraft systems as well as the product development opportunities within these segments."

As part of this plan, the company, in consultation with its key creditor constituents, is evaluating its strategic alternatives for the Hawker product lines, which could include a sale of some or all of those product lines, or a closure of the entire jet business if no satisfactory bids are received.

Plan of Reorganization

Hawker Beechcraft will soon file an amended Joint Plan of Reorganization (POR) with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company will also file an amended Disclosure Statement that describes the details of the proposed POR. The company intends to schedule a hearing on the adequacy of the Disclosure Statement on Nov. 15, 2012.

Hawker Beechcraft's key economic stakeholders, including holders of a significant majority of the company's secured bank debt and unsecured bond debt, have already agreed to support the primary terms of the POR subject to Bankruptcy Court approval of the amended Disclosure Statement. Under the POR, pre-petition secured bank debt, unsecured bond debt, and general unsecured claims will be canceled and holders of such claims will receive equity in the reorganized company in the percentages negotiated by the major creditor groups at the time the company commenced its Chapter 11 proceedings.

The POR contemplates that Hawker Beechcraft's $400 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) post-petition credit facility will be repaid fully in cash. In addition, the company will enter into a new financing package that will go into effect upon its emergence from Chapter 11.

The company has more than sufficient liquidity to complete its restructuring and expects to enter into an extension of its DIP post-petition credit facility, the maturity date of which would coincide with its anticipated emergence from Chapter 11 in the first quarter of 2013. Court approval of the adequacy of the Disclosure Statement will allow Hawker Beechcraft to begin solicitation of votes for confirmation of the POR.

Hawker Beechcraft's legal representative is Kirkland & Ellis LLP; its financial advisor is Perella Weinberg Partners LP; and its restructuring advisor is Alvarez & Marsal. The Ad Hoc Committee of Senior Secured Lenders' legal representative is Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. Credit Suisse serves as agent for the lenders under Hawker Beechcraft's secured pre-petition and DIP credit facilities. Credit Suisse' legal representative is Sidley Austin LLP and its financial advisor is Houlihan Lokey. The Unsecured Creditors Committee's legal representative is Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and its financial advisor is FTI Consulting, Inc.

This release is not intended as a solicitation for a vote on the POR.

Hawker Beechcraft is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission, light attack and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company's headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.

Media contact:
Nicole Alexander
+1.316.676.3212
[email protected]
www.hawkerbeechcraft.com
Twitter: @HBCnews

Certified: Sikorsky S-76D Helicopter

Article By: www.aero-news.net
FMI: www.sikorsky.com
First Deliveries Expected Before Year's End

The FAA has approved the type certificate for the S-76D helicopter, moving the aircraft forward to its highly anticipated delivery into the medium-sized marketplace. The FAA signed the certificate on Oct. 12, capping an intensive flight test program to introduce the S-76D. The S-76D helicopter has a current backlog approaching a half-billion dollars and is expected to begin deliveries later this quarter.

“Our customers are excited to begin receiving the S-76D into their fleets. We are equally excited to deliver a new product that represents three and a half decades of continuous product improvement, to offer them a helicopter with improved efficiency, power and best-in-class noise signature,” said Carey Bond, President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters.

Ed Beyer, Vice President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, added: “The S-76D helicopter ushers in a new era of excellence across mission segments. The S-76D will be incorporated into the fleets of our customers for every mission segment it currently performs including offshore support, VIP, Search and Rescue, and EMS. The S-76D helicopter will offer a higher cruise speed than its predecessors, coupled with more efficient fuel burn, making the S-76 more productive than ever.”

The S-76D helicopter is the latest in the family of popular S-76 helicopters manufactured by Sikorsky. There have been more than 800 S-76 helicopters delivered to the global fleet since 1979, contributing daily to a growing 6 million-plus flight hours.

Designed for safety, reliability and efficiency, the S-76D helicopter’s standard equipment features are all-composite, flaw-tolerant main rotor blades; an advanced THALES integrated avionics system and autopilot; health and usage monitoring system, active vibration control; and powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW210S engines. Rotor Ice Protection System for all-weather capability will be available as an option.

(Image provided by Sikorsky)

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