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March 11, 2004

Eclipse Aviation Opens New Friction Stir Weld Center

On Wednesday, Eclipse Aviation hosted city and state leaders at the dedication of its new Friction Stir Weld Center. Guests, including ANN Editor-In-Chief Jim Campbell, toured the new 50,000 square foot facility, and witnessed a demonstration of Eclipse's friction stir welding process. Construction of the new facility, which is leased to Eclipse by Waterman, Inc. of Albuquerque, New Mexico, began in November of 2002. The operation is located in the Broadway Industrial Center on Albuquerque's Southwest side and is now fully operational. Friction stir welding is an advanced manufacturing process, which the company is the first to use in the assembly of thin-gauge aluminum aircraft.

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Lancair Plant Expansion Nears Stage One Completion

Extra Room, Double Capacity

The Lancair Company's $2.5 million, 40,000 square foot facilities expansion program is nearing its first milestone. Lancair expects to bring a new composites oven on line at the end of March that will double production capacity of composite aircraft components. The new oven is only the beginning of what is Lancair's first major facilities expansion. When it is completed at the end of 2004, The Lancair's Bend (OR) headquarters will have gained nearly 30 percent more floor space, doubled its capacity to create the core composite building blocks of its Columbia certified aircraft line and added a new special order department that will provide aftermarket modifications to customer aircraft.

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Another ANN First: We 'Fly' The Eclipse!

Jim Campbell's visit to Eclipse Aviation, Wednesday, for the dedication of their high-tech, multi-million dollar friction stir welding facility also allowed him an interesting distinction... becoming the first journalist to test-fly an accurate aerodynamic model of the Eclipse 500 on a flight simulator. "Eclipse has collected a phenomenal amount of data on this aircraft thanks to in-flight data-gathering and an extensive ground-based telemetry system... this has allowed them to produce what has to be an amazingly accurate aerodynamic profile for the airplane." Jim noted, "...very pleasant control harmonies, good acceleration, modest control forces, a rudder that (thankfully) hasn't been dumbed down, a GREAT pitch stability and response profile, and excellent aileron response... th

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Ibis Aerospace Names UK Distributor

Air Touring Will Promote Ae270 Propjet In The UK, Ireland

Ibis Aerospace announced on Thursday the appointment of Air Touring Limited as UK distributor for its Ae270 Propjet. Air Touring is based at Biggin Hill Airport, near London. The company will be responsible for sales and service to Ae270 operators in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The company -- which was founded in 1998 --  will be responsible for sales, customer service, training, operations and maintenance on the Ae270 Propjet. In addition to the Ibis appointment, Air Touring is an exclusive distributor for the French manufacturer EADS Socata.  

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A Look At Women In Aviation International

An ANN Special Report -- By Aleta Vinas I'd like to focus on an organization that encompasses women from all aspects of aviation. Women in Aviation, International is open to pilots, air traffic controllers, avionics and maintenance techs, engineers and those who are not yet in aviation but sure want to be! WAI is so all encompassing, even men are allowed to join, and you can't get much more politically correct than that! With over seven thousand active members, WAI didn't start out as an organization.

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Recreating A Bit Of Aviation History

The Me 262 Is Reborn

Recreating the flying qualities of one of the rarest airplanes in the world is no easy task. Just ask  dedicated group of aviation buffs in Seattle (WA) who are replicating a Messerschmitt 262, the world's first operational jet fighter. The replicas are duplicating nearly every item of the originals, from paint to gun ports for the four 30-millimeter cannons, although (obviously) no operating weapons are fitted. The single major change is using modern General Electric engines, rather than original Junkers engines that had to be rebuilt about every 20 hours. Of the replica planes, one is going to the Messerschmitt Foundation in Germany and the other, the one with the landing-gear problems, has been purchased by a retired Arizona judge. Three others rem

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Panel Tells Boeing To Tighten Hiring Policies

Ethics Review Says Hiring Scandal Was Isolated

An independent ethics review of Boeing senior-level hiring practices found no widespread conflicts, but identified several areas for improvement and said Boeing should be more consistent in enforcing existing hiring policies and procedures. The review, led by former Sen. Warren Rudman, was prompted by the November firings of Boeing Chief Financial Officer Michael Sears and missile defense executive Darleen Druyun, who were accused of unethical conduct surrounding Mr. Sears' recruitment of Ms. Druyun while she was a U.S. Air Force employee. The incident prompted the Pentagon to put on hold a $27.6-billion deal for the Air Force to lease or buy 100 Boeing 767s as refueling tankers, pending the outcome of several criminal investigati

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Sukhoi Seeks Ties With Western Civilian Aerospace

Russian Manufacturer Looks Toward Branching Out

Once the pride of Soviet avionics, Sukhoi fighter jets used to be assembled in great secrecy in the remote corners of Siberia, causing Moscow's Cold War foes a serious headache. Today, the producer of the latest generation of Sukhoi jets wants to work with Western aerospace companies, list its shares abroad and make more civil aircraft to offset falling state defence spending. Sukhoi aircraft exports are the backbone of Russia's state-controlled arms industry. Irkut wants to move into the market for amphibious jets market.

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A Booming Bit Of Technology

Sonic Boom Modification May Lead To New Era

NASA and Northrop Grumman Corp. recently continued the quest to reduce the intensity of sonic booms by completing the collection of the largest set of sonic boom data recorded in 20 years. This effort is identifying and maturing technologies that could eventually enable unrestricted supersonic flight over land by future military and business aircraft, possibly ushering in a new era of supersonic flight. Last year, during the successful Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstration (SSBD) project, a government and industry team proved the theory that by carefully altering the contours of a supersonic aircraft, the shockwave and its accompanying sonic boom can be shaped. Using the same specially-modified F-5E aircraft used in the earlier research fl

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SPEEA: WTPU Members to Decide If Boeing Offer Will Fly

Rejection Of Terms Expected

The union, representing technical and professional workers at The Boeing Company's plant in Wichita (KS), will send the latest contract offer to members with a strong recommendation to reject. The recommendation came from the WTPU Negotiations Team and was followed by a unanimous vote to support the recommendation to reject from their governing council. "This contract offer is an insult to the Boeing employees in Wichita," said Bob Brewer, chief spokesman for The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001. "The company is in a better position today than they have been in two years. The benefit take-a-ways and the refusal of the EIP (Employee Incentive Plan) show that Boeing has no intention of treating thes

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Mayhem Surrounds Haiti's International Airport

Hundreds Scramble To Air Canada Jet

Hundreds of people tried desperately to leave Haiti on Tuesday aboard an Air Canada jet and other international flights as blood was shed for a second consecutive day near the Port-au-Prince airport. More Canadian military personnel flew into the violence-riddled country. A crush of people swarmed the metal barricades outside the departure area of the Mais Gates International Airport, held back by heavily armed U.S. marines inside as the major foreign carriers flew into the Haitian capital for the first time since they had halted flights Feb. 29.

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Pilots Land Safely After Midair Collision

Taking That "Formation Thing" A Little Too Far Few Americans realize that the daily lives of our servicemen, even those back here in/over the states, can be fraught with hazard. Two AF pilots learned that for themselves, the hard way, Tuesday. Two F-16 Fighting Falcons landed at Shaw Air Force Base, SC, safely after a midair collision over the Atlantic Ocean on March 9. Neither pilot was injured.

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The Hunt For Beagle Finds Possible Clue

Scientists May Have Spotted Britain's Probe  

Beagle 2, the British space probe which disappeared as it descended toward Mars, may have been detected on the surface of the Red Planet, scientists said on Monday. No signal has been received from the craft since it was due to land on Christmas Day last year, despite various attempts by Mars orbiters and telescopes on Earth to make contact. But photographic images of the area where Beagle 2 was to have come down show four bright spots, dubbed a "string of pearls" by scientists, which may be the remains of the probe.

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Hubble Excels Despite NASA's Axing

Space Telescope Finds Farthest Galaxies Yet  

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) unveiled the deepest look into the universe yet, a portrait of what could be the most distant galaxies ever seen. Too bad it won't be around for much longer, as NASA plans to let the orbiting marvel degrade into a flying piece of junk. The new image, called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), includes objects that until now have been too faint to be seen and includes ancient galaxies that emerged just 700 million years after the Big Bang from what astronomers call the "dark ages" of the universe. Astronomers are eager to see the Hubble receive a stay of execution in the form of future servicing missions by NASA's space shuttles to extend the telescope's lifetime.

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NY TFR: 03/11-03/12

It's VIP TFR Season! NOTAM: 4/1926 Issued: 03/10/2004 20:19 Effective: 03/11/2004 17:25 - 03/12/2004 00:45 State: NY Facility: ZNY - NEW YORK (ARTCC),NY. Type: VIP Description: FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK MARCH 11, 2004 LOCAL.

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FL TFR: Til Further Notice

TFR Issued Due To Fire-Fighting Hazard NOTAM: 4/1929 Issued: 03/10/2004 22:30 Effective: Immediately - Until Further Notice State: FL Facility: ZJX - JACKSONVILLE (ARTCC),FL. Type: HAZARDS Description: LAKE CITY, FL.

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AmeriCares Airlifts Needy Supplies To Haiti

Delivers Desperately Needed Relief

An AmeriCares cargo jet filled with more than 42,000 pounds of emergency supplies departed from Miami International Airport Wednesday for thousands of Haitians reeling from more than a month of violence and civil unrest. The cargo jet touched down in Port-au-Prince at 11:30 a.m. local time. Since its founding in 1982, AmeriCares has airlifted more than $3.5 billion of short-term and long-term assistance to more than 137 countries. The cargo consisted of medicines, medical supplies, pediatric nutritional supplements and other disease prevention medications. During the past two months AmeriCares has delivered to Haiti's capital and second largest city, Cap-Haitien, two shipments of antibiotics and other lifesaving supplies worth $1.1 million.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.11.04)

Aero-News: Quote of the Day

"As our production rate accelerated last year, we quickly began wanting more room. The additional space will allow us to add some new equipment as well as refine our production process." Source: Lancair President Bing Lantis explaining the need to expand the company's facilities in Bend (OR). Lancair's $2.5 million, 40,000 square foot facilities expansion program is nearing its first milestone, where the manufacturer expects to bring a new composites oven on line at the end of March that will double production capacity of composite aircraft components. When it is completed at the end of 2004, Lancair's headquarters will have gained nearly 30 percent more floor space and doubled its

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AD: Eurocopter

AD NUMBER: 2004-05-23

MANUFACTURER: Eurocopter France SUBJECT: Airworthiness Directive 2004-05-23 SUMMARY: This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for the specified Eurocopter France (ECF) model helicopters that currently requires certain inspections of the main rotor swashplate bearing (bearing) and plugging the non-rotating swashplate vent holes and barrel nut orifices. This amendment eliminates most of those AD actions, which are now included in the Airworthiness Limitations section of the maintenance manual, but retains the requirements for the inspections and lubrication of the main rotor swashplate.

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AD: Bombardier CL-600

AD NUMBER: 2004-05-12

MANUFACTURER: Bombardier SUBJECT: Throttle Control Gearboxes SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to all Bombardier Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. This action requires repetitive inspections of the left and right engine throttle control gearboxes for wear, and corrective action if necessary. This action is necessary to prevent excessive wear of the gearboxes and subsequent movement or jamming of the engine throttle; movement of the throttle towards the idle position brings it close to the fuel shut-off switch, which could result in an in-flight engine shutdown.

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AD: Bombardier DHC-8

AD NUMBER: 2004-05-21

MANUFACTURER: Bombardier SUBJECT: Flap Actuators SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Bombardier airplanes as listed above. This action requires lubrication of the flap actuators, repetitive measurements ("checks") of the backlash of the flap actuators, determination of the next backlash measurement interval, and replacement of discrepant actuators with new or overhauled actuators if necessary. This action is necessary to prevent the mechanical disconnection of a flap actuator, which, if followed by failure of the flap panel's second actuator due to increased loading, could result in flap asymmetry and consequent loss of controllabilit

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