Hawker Beechcraft made two announcements late this week aimed at helping to modify and maintain two of its most popular aircraft. First, it announced a new company to provide overhauled engine accessories for the Beechcraft Baron and Beechcraft Bonanza, and then unveiled a new upgrade program for the Bonanza called Bonanza XTRA package.
In relation to the engine development, Quality Aircraft Accessories will overhaul engine parts at its repair station in Tulsa, Okla., and then deliver them to the Hawker Beechcraft parts distribution center in Dallas. Items will include magnetos, propeller governors, alternator drive couplings, starters and starter adapters, according to a statement from the aircraft manufacturer.
Follow the jump to read more about the new XTRA package for Bonanzas. [more]
A second statement highlighted the Bonanza XTRA program, which bundles several upgrades into a larger aircraft upgrade package that comes directly from the company. Installations from its service networks will be able to add Garmin G500 avionics, D’Shannon Tip Tanks and Gross Weight Increase, a new interior from Aviation Design and an XTRA paint scheme.
Additional modifications include a performance package, avionics package and interior package.
The company notes in its statement that upgrades will vary by model. Aircraft owners interested in the upgrades can contact the company by phone or email via its web site.
Flightglobal reports that the NTSB will look into a landing incident earlier this month in Texas, where a Phenom 100 skidded off the runway, damaging a landing-gear strut and wing light with no injuries.
Embraer said earlier this year it would re-evaluate pilot training on the brake-by-wire system of the jet following to previous landing incidents that resulted in blown tires. That company investigation, according to the Flightglobal report, considered mechanical issues, such as the brake lines and control units, as well as pilot training.
The magazine’s report notes that the NTSB involvement begins an official safety inquiry into the braking system of the Phenom 100. Embraer told Flightglobal that it supports the investigation as an advisor to Cenipa, the Brazilian equivalent.
We missed this when it first came out of Farnborough this summer, probably just as we began our own preparation for EAA Airventure. Other outlets apparently did as well, however, and we thought it was too interesting not to pass up a second time.
German outlet Der Spiegel’s online version recently sat down with Airbus research director Axel Krein to discuss what its jetliners might look like by mid century.
Included among the possibilities listed in Airbus’s 2050 concept plane: a ceramic fuselage that can turn transparent, giving passengers a view of the world’s wonders below and the constellations above; self-cleaning seats that can shape shift to fit a passenger and sterilize themselves after use; an airframe skin that can detect cracks and repair itself with nano-capsules much like our own skin when cut; and holographic scenes of a bedroom or spa in a passengers’ in-flight, private cabin.
Wired Magazine noted that such concepts are common among commercial aircraft manufacturers, just as they are among automobile manufacturers. If anything, such visions allow us a look at what we may see in coming years.
Such a trend supports greener, quieter aircraft that offer more efficiency to users and more flexibility to passengers. If anything, we can look forward to industry advancements in the next several decades that are just exciting as those we have seen in past decades of aviation.
Read the Der Spiegel interview here.
Check out Wired’s analysis from July here.
Curt Brown again broke his own record this week for fastest speed at the Reno Air Races. The former NASA shuttle pilot hit 543.568 mph in his L-29.
“I just wanted to go a little faster this year,” he said.
Read more local coverage here.
Read further about Brown’s astronaut history here.
The National Air Transportation Association recently spoke out against language in a proposed FAA rule to widen fatigue requirements for commercial pilots, saying the federal agency should not lump together Part 135 and Part 121 operations. The FAA has said changes in rest rules for Part 121 airlines would also apply to Part 135 operations.
NATA President James K. Coyne issued a statement criticizing the move on the organization’s web site yesterday.
“I wish I could only say that I was shocked at the FAA’s statement that Part 121 and 135 operations are ‘very similar,’” he said. “But anyone who has any inkling of the vast array of operations that take place, and geographic settings common within the Part 135 community, would know better than to make this ridiculous comparison. The fact that the statement came from our aviation regulatory authority, makes me wonder just how familiar the FAA is with the makeup of the Part 135 community and question the agency’s commitment to honoring the letter and spirit of rulemaking guidance that requires the FAA to consider the specific costs, benefits and regulatory alternatives that may be appropriate for different types of operators.”
In a story by Aviation Iinternational News’s Matt Thurber, he quotes an unnamed FAA representative saying the agency sees Part 135 and Part 121 operations “very similar.”
After the jump: Find links to additional coverage of the rules proposal. [more]
Read more about NATA's take on the proposal and the inclusion of possible Part 135 rule changes here.
Also, see what the Wall Street Journal has to say about pilot fatigue and the FAA proposal here and here. We link the AP recap here.