Aviation Technology - Page 17 Aviation Articles

Kestrel Secures Tax Credit, Shows Revised T-prop Cabin

Article by: Rob Finfrock
www.ainonline.com
A $30 million federal tax credit package approved last week will help Kestrel Aircraft bolster its presence in Superior, Wis., as the company develops its new turboprop single.

The funding is the first of three such allocations planned for Kestrel through the New Market Tax Credit program, and part of a $118 million package of local, state and federal incentives announced in February for the aspiring aircraft manufacturer to establish its headquarters and production facilities in the state.
Kestrel Aircraft recently completed a full-scale fuselage mockup of its turboprop single that incorporates several changes over the original prototype, including a taller cabin with more passenger volume, a steeper windscreen and larger windows. The mockup is on display this week at the Reno Air Races and will make appearances at both the NBAA and AOPA conventions this fall.

“This was just one little piece of the entire capital stack, but a very important piece,” Kestrel president and CEO Alan Klapmeier told AIN, adding the company will net approximately $7.5 million after fees and expenses. “With this cash more people will be hired and more engineering work done.”

The company anticipates certification of its turboprop single in three years. Kestrel recently completed a full-scale fuselage mockup that incorporates several changes from the original JP10 prototype built by predecessor Farnborough Aircraft.

Differences include a taller cabin with greater passenger volume, a steeper windshield and larger windows–changes to increase usability and make the aircraft “much more attractive,” according to Klapmeier. Power will come from a Honeywell TPE331-14.

The Kestrel mockup will be displayed this week at the Reno Air Races in Nevada, and will also be shown at the upcoming AOPA and NBAA conventions.

(Image credit: www.ainonline.com)

Cessna-Gulfstream Speed Duel Could Hit Mach 0.95 Limit

Article By: Chad Trautvetter
www.ainonline.com

The transonic speed spat between Cessna’s Citation Ten and Gulfstream’s G650 is likely to hit the stops at Mach 0.95 when it encounters not “the sound barrier” but required safety margins. With the Ten’s top speed now pegged at Mach 0.935, Gulfstream’s G650 could thus leapfrog the Ten only slightly, if the Savannah-based aircraft manufacturer even chooses to do so.

According to the FAA, “FAR 25.335(b)(2) requires at least Mach 0.07 [40 knots at 40,000 feet] difference between the design cruise Mach and the dive Mach,” where the design cruise Mach is effectively the Mmo. This provides a safety margin for upsets and gusts, the FAA said, though it can be reduced “to as little as Mach 0.05, if supported by analysis.” In practice, some applicants have been able to reduce the difference to about Mach 0.06 (34.4 knots), an FAA spokeswoman said.

The Ten’s predecessor, the Citation X, exceeded Mach 1.0 in dive testing, a knowledgeable source told AIN, so it would be possible for the Ten’s Mmo to reach Mach 0.95 if Cessna can get the maximum margin reduction. Meanwhile, the G650 reached a reported dive speed of Mach 0.995, so its maximum permissible limit (without further dive testing) would be Mach 0.945.

But the sub-Mach 1.0 speed crown might be a moot point–the Ten can fly a 2,500-nm trip at high-speed cruise in 5 hours 10 minutes, while under the same conditions the G650 can do it nine minutes more quickly, according to data from the respective manufacturers.

Embraer Starts Phenom 300 Production in Florida

Article By: Chad Trautvetter
www.ainonline.com

Embraer started Phenom 300 production at its Melbourne, Fla. facility this week, the Brazilian manufacturer announced today. Phenom 100s have been assembled at the Florida plant since early last year, with 14 of the U.S.-built light jets delivered to U.S., Canadian and Mexican customers to date.

The first wing and fuselage for Phenom 300 S/N 118 arrived last week at the Melbourne facility, and pre-production work on the assemblies is currently under way. The aircraft, which will be an Embraer demonstrator, will be moved onto the Phenom production line tomorrow, Melbourne facility manager Phil Krull told AIN. S/N 118 is expected to roll off the line in March.

“We have added the Phenom 300 to bring production closer to our customers,” Krull said. “Customers have been benefiting from the delivery of the entry-level Phenom 100 produced in Melbourne since last year and we are now ready to expand these operations.”

According to Krull, the Melbourne facility will deliver 15 Phenom 300s and 24 Phenom 100s next year. The plant has the capacity to manufacture up to eight Phenoms per month, he noted.

(Images provided by www.ainonline.com)

Gulfstream G280 Earns Its Wings

Article By: Chad Trautvetter
www.ainonline.com

The super-midsize Gulfstream G280, a joint project between Gulfstream and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), obtained full FAA and Israeli type certification today. This was an on-time arrival for Gulfstream, which had promised such approval in the third quarter. The aircraft received provisional type certification from Israel’s CAAI on December 29 and from the FAA on March 1.

“Gulfstream is excited to bring this aircraft to its customers, especially since we’re able to provide an airplane that does more than we originally announced,” said Gulfstream president Larry Flynn. The G280 has a range of 3,600 nm at Mach 0.80, a 200-nm increase over original projections. “It’s the only midsize aircraft that can reliably fly nonstop between London and New York,” he added.

The approvals clear the way for customer deliveries of the new twinjet. Gulfstream says it will deliver the first G280 before year-end to a “U.S.-based manufacturer with a worldwide presence spanning 190 countries.”

According to Gulfstream, the principal remaining item required before the FAA and CAAI issued full type certificates was an update to the software for the twinjet’s Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics. This hurdle was cleared today, when Rockwell Collins announced that the avionics system achieved FAA certification on the Gulfstream PlaneView280 flight deck.

Meanwhile, full FAA certification of the wide-cabin Gulfstream G650 is expected by the end of this month. The G650 received provisional FAA certification in November.

(Images provided by www.ainonline.com)

What’s Next for NASA? 10 Wild Newly Funded Projects

Supersonic Bi-Directional Flying Wing
Article By: Keith Wagstaff
Brought to you by: www.techland.time.com

If you live near an airport, you’re probably glad that supersonic commercial jets aren’t the norm. The problem is that what’s aerodynamic for subsonic flight isn’t necessarily aerodynamic for supersonic flight, which is why you end up with such loud sonic booms. Gecheng Zha of the University of Miami found a potential solution: create a subsonic aircraft that can rotate 90 degrees during flight to turn into a supersonic one, ensuring that it’s always as quiet and efficient as possible.



Click Here to view the remaining 9 newly funded projects for NASA.

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