On the heels of the volcanic eruption that disrupted air travel in Europe for much of last month, EasyJet has announced it will be the first airline to test AVOID, a radar system to detect ash clouds.
According to the London Daily Telegraph, the Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector (AVOID) will allow pilots to spot volcanic debris up to 62 miles ahead of an aircraft between altitudes of 5,000 and 50,000 feet.
Airbus will attempt the first test in an A340.
EasyJet estimates that the investment to test and install the radar will cost only a fraction of the millions the company lost last month in fares from cancelled flights due to the eruption.
In the early stages of investigation, Libyan officials do not suspect terrorism in the crash of an Airbus A330 Wednesday just short of the Tripoli International Airport runway on final approach. At least 96 of the 104 died on board the Afriqiyah Airways flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to the Libyan capital. Flight Global reports the aircraft, confirmed by Airbus as serial number 1024, had completed just 1,600 hours in 420 flights prior to the crash.
Libyan officials reported one Dutch child survivor from the flight. Witnesses said it "exploded on landing."
UPDATE: Reuters reports that the Airbus involved in the crash had passed European spot checks.
Production of the mostly composite Lear 85 (pictured above) is on schedule, according to a report posted by AVWeb. Part assembly will begin in July in Mexico. The jet will be the first made by an American company to include Category 1 and Category 2 aircraft parts manufactured south of the border. Assembly will take place in Wichita, with the earliest deliveries arriving in 2013.
Meanwhile, delivery of the HondaJet again has been delayed until late 2012. An AP report cites a Honda spokesman blaming the second setback of a year or more on supplier delays of getting "unspecified major components" to the manufacturer.
Matt Thurber of AIN reports that Chevron Global Aviation will cease marketing Chevron and Texaco aviation fuel in 27 states, beginning Nov. 15. Chevron's distributor, Hiller/Air Petro, will continue serving operators in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
In the realm of aviation economics and adding to the continued release of first-quarter reports, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association says piston aircraft shipments for the first three months of the year were off by more than 7 percent, while turboprop shipments dropped by 32.6 percent and jet deliveries sunk 14 percent, to 164 total. However, total billings increased by 7.1 percent.
Once-struggling NetJets reported that quarterly revenues increased by 18 percent compared to the
same period in 2009.