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Learjet 85 news


An update on the Learjet 85: Bombardier Aerospace announced just before the holiday weekend that its first-ever composite Learjet aircraft will have its wing structures manufactured at its Belfast, Northern Ireland facility. The plant also will make wings for the CSeries aircraft.

After the wing skin panels and spar components are finished, final assembly of the wings will take place at the company's new production plant in Queretaro, Mexico. 

Bombardier announced in September that constriction of the Mexico facility was on schedule

The composite business jet is expected to hit a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a range up to 3,000 NM, the fastest and farthest reaching Learjet to date.


Cirrus looks toward diesel engine that could begin testing next year

Cirrus Aircraft

Engineers from Cirrus Aircraft gathered in Wisconsin this week to discuss a new aircraft engine that would run on diesel fuel.

According to a report from the Duluth (Minn.) News-Tribune, investors who attended the meeting were encouraged to boost Engineered Propulsion Systems Inc. so it can hire more employees to help develop an engine “that could propel the industry away from leaded fuels.”

The company hopes to finish design work and begin building an engine prototype that could be running by the middle of next year, the report quotes EPS President Michael Fuchs as saying.


 Paul Johnston, the chief engineer for Cirrus, told the News-Tribune that the aircraft maker has spent the past decade working with various companies to roll out an engine that relies on an unleaded fuel available worldwide as the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to phase out 100LL.

“It really gives you hope that this will be the engine to power our airplanes into the next decade,” Johnston told the newspaper.

Read the full article here.

Find Cirrus SR20 and Cirrus SR22 aircraft for sale on GlobalAir.com.

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Video of Sikorsky X2 helicopter testing at 250 knots


We were somewhat late to see this but still wanted to share it.

The video above shows testing by Sikorsky of its X2 helicopter. And boy does it fly.

The X2, which operates with ‘fly by wire’ controls and rear-mounted propulsion system, shattered the world speed record for a helicopter during the testing above, topping out at more than 250 knots in September.   

The U.S. Army is also looking a light tactical version of the speedy rotorcraft. According to the video's poster on YouTube, a full-scale mockup can be seen at the video’s start.

WSI upgrades Hubcast storm-tracking system

Courtesy: WSI

WSI announced modifications to its Hubcast product today, unveiling Hubcast 2.1.

The subscription weather software, which tracks lightning strikes and issues alerts, will be expanded to provide flight-tracking service to give ground operation personnel aircraft situational display capabilities.

The company said in a release that it will allow flight staff to monitor airport, as well as national, weather conditions alongside arriving, departing and enroute flights.

The service also provides access to WSI NOWrad radar, 100 NM radius real-time lightning and Echo Tops, which tracks the movement of storms.

“This most recent WSI Hubcast version was specifically designed for aviation professionals who previously had to subscribe to three or more different services to get this level of functionality,” said Paul Devlin, Hubcast product manager.

Nextant flies its 400XT, a Hawker 400XP / Beechjet 400A revamp


Nextant Aerospace flew its 400XT for the first time last week, taking off from Cuyahoga County Airport in Ohio.

The aircraft, a remanufactured Beechjet 400A / Hawker 400XP, is powered by Williams International FJ44-3AP engines and includes Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics, new or zero-timed life-limited components, inspections, service bulletins and airworthiness directives.

Aerodynamic upgrades increase range from 1,333 NM to 2,000 NM while reducing operating costs by 30 percent, the company says.

More about the jet after the jump. [more]

Aviation International News reports that a 400XT with completed interior will appear at the annual NBAA convention in Atlanta next month.

 “The 400XT operated flawlessly and exceeded our expectations for the first flight,” Nextant President James Miller told the magazine.

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