December 2012 - Page 2 Aviation Articles

First Flight: Production Eurocopter EC175

Article By: www.aero-news.net
Eurocopter Announces Projected Performance Figures For The Medium Twin Helo

Eurocopter has conducted the first flight of its no. 1 series-production EC175, and confirmed the performance of this next-generation multi-role helicopter. The maiden flight occurred last week at Eurocopter’s Marignane, France headquarters facility, with company pilot Augustin Dupuis at the controls.

“With this first production series aircraft now airborne, the EC175 helicopter is a reality, and Eurocopter is very pleased to bring this new product in its civil range to the market,” said Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter’s President & CEO. “This first flight is the occasion to confirm our objective – which was to develop, in cooperation with our industrial Chinese partner, AVIC – the safest and best medium-sized rotorcraft, which also is a leader in terms of competitiveness, power efficiency and comfort. Following the success of Eurocopter’s EC130 T2 and the EC145 T2, the EC175 is yet another example of our strategy to provide outstanding value to customers.”

Eurocopter announced performance figures for the aircraft Wednesday which are better than the helo's original estimates. Its recommended cruise speed is 150 kts. – 10 kts. faster than the previous figure without affecting payload range – while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts. Eurocopter’s program flight tests to date also have confirmed the EC175’s power performance, including hover out of ground effect (HOGE) at maximum take-off weight at 4,500 ft. at ISA+20°C conditions; excellent one engine inoperative (OEI) hover performance, which ensures safety during hosting for search and rescue missions ; extensive power reserve and heli-deck performance (PC1) at maximum take-off weight in ISA+20°C conditions –available with application of the latest certified version of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6C-67E engines.

The EC175 avionics extends the EC225’s undisputed superiority of in-flight envelope protection, pilot assistance and situational awareness and includes the most innovative alerting and self-monitoring system. “Helionix,” the newest avionics family being certified, meets the latest international avionics standards, and makes the EC175 the second aircraft to apply them – after the Airbus A380.

For these new state-of-the-art standards compliance to be available from the initial helicopters provided to customers, Eurocopter has shifted the EC175’s certification date – while not impacting the first deliveries, which are to begin in September 2013. “Flying the EC175 is a fantastic experience,” said Eurocopter company pilot Dupuis. “The excellent avionics, power, speed and low vibrations levels make it a unique aircraft.”

The first EC175 version to receive airworthiness certification will be for the highly-demanding oil and gas market. With the designed-in attributes that meet rigorous operating conditions for off-shore missions – along with its range and speed – the EC175 is the best choice to address all missions, including search and rescue, emergency medical services, public services, VIP and executive transport.

(Image provided by Eurocopter)
FMI: www.eurocopter.com

Singer, Reality Television Star Jenni Rivera Dies in Plane Crash, Brother Says


(CNN)
-- Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera died when the small plane she was traveling in with at least five others crashed in the mountains of northern Mexico, her brother told CNN. [Globalair.com has since discovered that Ms. Rivera was traveling in a Learjet 25.]

Authorities notified the family there were no survivors, Gustavo Rivera said late Sunday. He planned to fly to Mexico early Monday to identify his sister's remains.

There were conflicting reports about the number of people aboard the plane, which took off early Sunday from Monterrey, Mexico, and lost contact with air traffic controllers a short time later.

Rivera said there were six people aboard: his sister, her publicist, her lawyer, a family friend and two pilots. The Civil Aviation Authority of Mexico said there were up to seven people on the plane, though it did not identify those believed to be on board.

The news from Rivera's brother confirmed what authorities would only publicly say they suspected earlier in the day.

"The aircraft was destroyed, totally fragmented," Alejandro Argudin, director general of civil aviation, told CNN affiliate Televisa. He said he believed no one survived the crash.

Rivera was known to fans as "La Diva de la Banda," or The Diva of Banda Music, establishing herself initially as a regional Mexican musical powerhouse with her banda and corridos, or traditional ballad, performances.

In recent years, Rivera had been working to crack the U.S. market and was reportedly on the verge of a crossover with an English-language show inspired by the success of "I Love Jenni," a Spanish-language reality TV show on Telemundo's mun2 network.

"We lost an awesome woman, mother, sister, friend and artist," said her business partner and manager Pete Salgado.

Rivera was beloved by fans as much for her music as her over-the-top lifestyle that was chronicled in "I Love Jenni" on Telemundo.

Born in Long Beach, California, to Mexican immigrant parents, Rivera, 43, released her debut album in 1999, according to her website.

She followed that up with two more albums, including the 2003 album "Farewell to Selena" -- a tribute to slain Tejano star Selena Quintanilla -- that increased her popularity.

Her father, Pedro, and two of her brothers also are well-known performers in Mexico and portions of the Southwestern United States.

Rivera sold 15 million records, according to Billboard. She recently won two Billboard music awards, including favorite Mexican music female artist. She also was nominated for Latin Grammy Awards in 2002, 2008 and 2011.

In October, People en Espanol named Rivera to its list of the 25 most powerful women.

Famous for her music, she is also known for her tumultuous personal life. The singer was a single mom at the age of 15 and is the mother of five, her website said.

In 2009, she made headlines when she was detained at the Mexico City airport with tens of thousands of dollars in cash.

A year later, she made headlines again with the marriage to former baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza, who played for the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. In October, she announced she was filing for divorce after less than two years of marriage. It was her third marriage.

"I Love Jenni," which began airing on mun2 last year, featured her life on the road, balancing the duties of motherhood and stardom as she toured Mexico and the United States.

She also was a judge on the popular TV show, "The Voice, Mexico," which was scheduled to air Sunday night. In its place, Televisa said it would air a special report about the singer.

A fellow judge on the show took to Twitter after news of Rivera's disappearance.

"My heart is devastated," wrote Beto Cuevas. "All my prayers are with you, Jenni, and your family."

Rivera had a concert in Monterrey on Saturday night before boarding the Learjet early Sunday.

In those final hours after the concert, Rivera opened up to reporters about her divorce and the inner strength she found, thanks to her family.

"I'm so happy. So many strong things have happened in my life. I can't get up in the negative, which destroys you," she said.

"I have brothers. I have children. I have nephews. And they keep me from focusing on the negative."

Her plane took off from Monterrey at 3:15 a.m., according to a statement from the Transportation Ministry. Its destination was the airport in Toluca, near Mexico City. Air traffic controllers lost contact with it about 60 miles into the flight, the ministry said.

Two helicopters assisting in the search for the plane spotted the wreckage in Mexico's Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, the ministry said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, and the ministry is investigating.

Fans and celebrities took to social media to mourn the singer and television star who was known as much for her music as she was sometimes for her over-the-top antics.

"Spent some time with Jenni Rivera recently. What an amazing lady ... Cool, smart, funny & talented. Such a travesty ... God Bless her family," actor Mario Lopez tweeted.

Mexican singing sensation Paulina Rubio was inconsolable on Twitter.

"My friend! Why? There is no consolation. God, please help me!" she tweeted.

Article brought to you by - www.cnn.com

HyperMach Reconfigures SSBJ Design, Aiming for Mach 4.5

Article By: Chad Trautvetter
View full article - www.ainonline.com

HyperMach Aerospace announced a new configuration for its SonicStar supersonic business jet (SSBJ) that it claims will boost the aircraft’s top speed by about 12 percent to Mach 4.5, while increasing range by 500 nm, to 6,500 nm. At its planned high-Mach cruise speed of Mach 4.4 at FL620, the SonicStar would be able to fly from New York to Dubai in only two hours and eight minutes.

HyperMach has reconfigured the design of its proposed supersonic business jet, SonicStar, with a larger fuselage, new swooped delta wing and redesigned V tail. It has also boosted the output of the aircraft’s in-development H-Magjet 4400 engine to increase the top speed to Mach 4.5.

The updated version–which includes a new swooped delta wing, redesigned V tail and a pair of more powerful engines–is “slightly larger” than when the SonicStar was first announced at the Paris Airshow last year. Thus, it could now accommodate up to 32 passengers, instead of the original 20.

Work is now said to be under way on the SSBJ’s 65,000-pound-thrust H-Magjet 4400 “hybrid turbofan ramjet” engines, which are being developed by Portland, Maine-based sister company SonicBlue. The company says it plans to start engine rig testing next year, followed by core and then electrical compressor tests in subsequent years. A full engine run is scheduled for 2018.

The redesign has pushed estimated first flight one year to the right, to 2022, but HyperMach says it still expects certification and entry into service in 2025. The company will start taking orders for the $180 million SonicStar next month.

Dassault Falcon Jet Still Going Strong at 40

Article By: Chad Trautvetter
View full article - www.ainonline.com

Teterboro, N.J.-based Dassault Falcon Jet–the wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault Aviation that is responsible for Falcon sales and service in the Americas, Pacific Rim and China–celebrated its 40th anniversary on Friday. On Dec. 1, 1972, executives from Pan American Airways and Dassault Aviation signed an agreement to form what is now known as Dassault Falcon Jet to expand the U.S. market with Pan American, the launch customer for the Falcon 20.

Known today as Dassault Falcon Jet, the Teterboro, N.J.-based Dassault Aviation subsidiary was founded 40 years ago as Pan American Business Jets. It originally was a partnership between Dassault and Pan Am to sell Falcon 20s in the U.S. Today, Dassault Falcon Jet is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dassault Aviation that sells and services Falcons in the Americas, Pacific Rim and China.

“Some of the most recognized names in aviation have their history intertwined with ours,” said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO at Dassault Falcon Jet and executive vice president for civil aircraft at French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. “Charles Lindbergh and Juan Trippe launched Pan American Business Jets with the Falcon 20. Fred Smith launched FedEx with a fleet of Falcons. The U.S. Coast Guard ushered in the age of jet powered search-and-rescue airplanes with the Falcon HU-25.”

Dassault Falcon Jet currently has about 3,000 employees scattered among its headquarters, completions and service centers and at subsidiaries in Florida, New Jersey and Beijing. To date, more than 2,200 Falcons have been delivered, about half of which are based in the U.S.

First Flyable A350 XWB 'MSN-001' Structurally Complete

View full article - www.aero-news.net
Aircraft Makes Its 1st Journey 'On Wheels'

Airbus has successfully completed the main structural assembly and system connection of A350 XWB ‘MSN-001’ – the first flight-test aircraft. The aircraft is shown here on its wheels for the very first time moving out of the main assembly hall (Station 40) at the recently inaugurated “Roger Béteille” A350 XWB Final Assembly Line in Toulouse. It then entered the adjacent indoor ground test station (Station 30).

The assembly work performed in Station 40 included the successful electrical power-on of the aircraft's entire fuselage and wings. Soon work in Station 30 will start by testing the aircraft's hydraulic system, followed by the full electric and hydraulic power-on of the aircraft which will be completed by around the end of the year. This will mark the start of several weeks of comprehensive functional system testing.

After the A350 XWB MSN-001 exits station 30, the aircraft will go through a series of extensive production and certification / development tests, be painted and have its engines installed. It will then be delivered to the flight-line and be readied for its first flight in mid-2013.

(Image provided by Airbus)
FMI: www.airbus.com

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