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January 21, 2004

Globe-Trotting Gus Heads South

McLeod's Daring Pole To Pole Flight Is On Its Way With a weather window of opportunity pushing Gus McLeod to head South, ASAP, in his bid to fly a record flight around the earth via both poles, it had to be a relief to finally get airborne. Having already visited the North Pole via open cockpit biplane, McLeod has decided on a new set of challenges in his bid to circle the earth via both Poles in a highly modified Korean Velocity variant called the "Firefly." Dr. Gustavus McLeod is the first person to fly in an open cockpit airplane (and, admittedly, possibly the only one who would want to...) to the North Pole. He is also the recipient of an honorary doctoral degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2002. His flight, which will be tracked b

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Happy 40th, King Air!

Who Said You Can't Age Gracefully?

Believe it or not, the Beechcraft King Air line of aircraft has reached its 40th birthday. As one would expect, Raytheon is celebrating in style and are even asking for the public's help in celebrating this workhorse of business, commercial and military aviation. On Jan. 20, 1964, the original Beechcraft King Air Model 90 lifted off from Beech Field in Wichita, and flew into the record books.  The most successful business aircraft of all time, the King Air family today remains a highly versatile aircraft line. To commemorate the King Air’s 40th year, Raytheon Aircraft is transforming a King Air 350 – serial FL 400, N40TH – into an anniversary showcase.  Already featuring new Collins Pro Line 21 avionics

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USUA Annual Meeting In America's Heartland

Mark February 28th On Your Calendars

The United States Ultralight Association will hold its 2004 Annual Member Meeting February 28, 2004, in Springfield, Illinois, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The mid-winter event will be held in conjunction with the 24th Annual Illinois Ultralight Advisory Council (IUAC) Ultralight/Lightplane Safety Seminar. Between the USUA business meetings that are also being held during the weekend, the USUA Board of Directors, Staff and Regional Representatives will be on hand to greet members and prospective members. The Meeting and Seminar will be held in the 400-seat Illinois Building & Auditorium on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Registration for both events will begin at 8:00AM at the fairgrounds. Following the Annual Member Meeti

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FAA Extends Comment Period For Controversial Air Tour Rule

NATA Has Serious Concerns About The NPRM The FAA has extended the comment period from January 20 to April 19, 2004 for the proposed NPRM that would require Part 91 sightseeing operations to be certificated under Part 135. Last November, NATA filed comments with the DOT requesting an extension on the deadline for comments. "We are concerned that requiring these sightseeing operations-most of which are small businesses-to undergo Part 135 certification will place an untenable financial burden on them and force them out of business," stated director of government and industry affairs Eric Byer. "The additional time will give us and our members time to reply and document our concerns to the FAA.

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Lineman Gets 'Propped'

Worker Walks Away In One Piece

We all know that walking around moving aircraft can be dangerous business. However, one Ohio man recently discovered how one moment of inattention nearly cost him an extremity, if not his life. The incident occurred when lineman was trying to direct an aircraft into a parking space when the moving propeller hit his arm at about 8:10 p.m. Almost immediately, the man, whose name was not released, was taken to the Miami Valley Hospital near Dayton.   No information was given on the worker's condition, but it's safe to say he's counting his blessings.  

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Millionth Young Eagle Gets Ride of A Lifetime

One hundred years and one month after the Wright Brothers' first powered flight, another aviation milestone was completed with the ceremonial flight of EAA's 1 millionth Young Eagle Andrew Grant by aviation legend General Chuck Yeager. Originally scheduled to occur as a part of the centennial celebration on December 17 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the flight instead took place on Saturday, January 17, at the Nevada County Airport (017), Grass Valley, California. December's flight was postponed by bad weather. But Richard Beattie, Vice President of Jaguar North America the primary Young Eagles sponsor, suggested rescheduling the flight for a later date in California near Gen. Yeager's home. After reviewing schedules, January 17 was selected as a target date for the flight - coinc

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B/E Aerospace Awarded FAA Approval for LED Lighting

STC Approved For Citation 500 Jets

B/E Aerospace, Inc. has received FAA approval expanding the aftermarket applications for the company's LED-based interior lighting systems. The FAA approval, known as a Supplemental Type Certificate, permits the aftermarket installation of both B/E direct and indirect LED lighting on the Cessna Citation 500 series business jets. The Supplemental Type Certificate indicates that B/E's product meets all of the FAA's airworthiness and safety standards. For the first Citation 500 installation, B/E teamed with O'Gara Aviation in Atlanta, Georgia. John B Foster III, President of O'Gara Aviation, provided the launch aircraft. O'Gara Aviation has more than 22 years experience in aircraft brokerage, management, refurbishment and turnkey

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The Hubble Will Be Left To Hobble

New Space Plan Calls for The Telescope's Retirement

Last week, President Bush announced a bold new space initiative that called for returning to the moon and eventually setting foot on Mars. While NASA engineers will focus on accomplishing these lofty goals, some recent projects, like the high-tech Hubble Space Telescope will eventually fall to the wayside.  NASA recently announced the Hubble will be allowed to degrade and eventually become useless, as the agency changes focus to meet President Bush's new interplanetary mission. As a result, NASA has canceled all space shuttle servicing missions to the orbital telescope, which changed our stellar perspective with its striking images of the universe. John Grunsfeld, NASA's chief scientist, said Friday that NASA adm

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Nose Job: Airbus Gets First A380 Nose Gear

Largest Gear Ever Supplied By Messier-Dowty

On Monday, Messier-Dowty announced the delivery of the first test A380 nose landing gear to Airbus UK. Standing at 4.8 meters tall when fully extended, the A380 nose landing gear is the largest landing gear ever supplied by Messier-Dowty to Airbus. The gear will be fitted to the Airbus system test rig located in Filton, England to allow Airbus UK to perform the aircraft systems testing validation. Messier-Dowty was selected in 2001 to design, manufacture, test and support the nose landing gear for the Airbus A380. The nose gear development benefits from Messier-Dowty's extensive experience on previous Airbus aircraft, including the A340-600, and will ensure a future growth capability of the aircraft up to 620 tons. Th

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Army Deploys 'Shadow' UAV Over Iraq

Having better intelligence than your enemy is vital to the success of a military operation, and the current situation in Iraq is no exception. Every day, terrorists, insurgents, and members of the ousted Baath Party attempt ambushes and place improvised explosive devices intended to kill innocent civilians and coalition soldiers. To combat this, the Army has recently developed and deployed a new information gatherer – the Shadow, a tactical unmanned aerial vehicle. Soldiers from the 312th and 313th Military Intelligence Battalions operate and maintain the Shadow TUAV for the 82nd Airborne Division, which is calling the Anbar province home these days. The vehicle's mission is to gather intelligence from high altitudes, which allows it to remain mostly imperceptible to e

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Dunlop Subsidiary Awarded Navy T56 Contract

Standard Aero Clinches T56 Engine Maintenance Deal

Dunlop Standard Aerospace Group Limited's subsidiary company, Standard Aero, has been awarded a one year contract with four renewable one year options to provide Depot Level Repairs for the Navy's T56 Series III engine modules. The contract is structured as an estimated $84.7 Million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity for the one-year term, with similar revenue estimates on renewal of the contract. The T56 Series III engine powers the Navy's fleet of P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, E-2 Hawkeye, and C-2 Greyhound aircraft. Derivatives of this engine are also used to power various US Navy frigates. Standard Aero claims it has over 40 years of experience in maintaining the Rolls-Royce Allison T56/501 family of engines and

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Europe's Mars Orbiter Sends Back Pictures

Makes Up for Beagle's Blunder

Following NASA's recent success with its Spirit Mars rover, Europe's own Mars Express orbiter sent back its first high-resolution pictures of the planet's surface, much to the excitement of the European Space Agency's (ESA) engineers. On Monday, agency officials explained the spacecraft captured detailed photos of the planet's rocky and barren landscape, including part of the huge Martian canyon called Valles Marineris.Over the past week, European controllers have focused on calibrating the orbiter's on-board instruments, including, in addition to its high-resolution stereo camera, a powerful radar that will search beneath the surface for signs of water or ice that may once have sustained living organisms. Monday's news helps brigh

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Triumph Group 'Gears' Up

Picks Up Rolls-Royce Gear Systems, Inc.

On Monday, Triumph Group, Inc. announced the acquisition of Rolls-Royce Gear Systems, Inc. from Rolls-Royce North America Venture I Inc. for consideration of $36 million. The acquired business, to be renamed Triumph Gear Systems, Inc., is projected to add approximately $55 million of revenue for fiscal 2005 and be accretive to earnings. Located in Park City, Utah, the company employs about 200 people and specializes in the design, development, manufacture, sale and repair of gearboxes, high-lift flight control actuators and gear-driven actuators and gears for the aerospace industry. Primary products include aircraft and engine mounted accessory drives, utility actuation components and systems, high-lift actuation systems and flig

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More Good News Than Not -- Continental Airlines Reports 4Q Results

Well Positioned for 2004; High Fuel Prices Remain a Challenge

On Tuesday, Continental Airlines reported a fourth quarter net income of $47 million ($0.67 diluted earnings per share). These results include additional net income of $85 million relating to special items, primarily driven by the sale of interests in Hotwire and Orbitz.Excluding the special items, Continental's loss per share was $0.58 for the quarter, which compares favorably to the First Call mean estimate of $0.81 loss per share. The results, excluding special items, are a 65 percent improvement over the fourth quarter 2002 loss per share of $1.67. Continental's net income for the full year was $38 million ($0.58 diluted earnings per share). Excluding special items ($136 million after taxes) and the gove

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Worried About Asteroids? Planetary Defense Conference Set For February

Defending Earth from Asteroids and Comets

While a scary thought to many of us, the space industry has been working on a plan to deal with the possibility of an asteroid impact on Earth. While one would think this subject is tailored more for the Hollywood movie industry, some scientists -- many of whom are meeting next month to discuss the issue -- insist the threat is real. Developing strategies for mitigating threats from asteroids and preparing for catastrophic events will be discussed when an international group of scientists, engineers, space policy makers, and others gather in Garden Grove, (CA)., Feb. 23-26 for the Planetary Defense Conference 2004 (PDC). Participants will develop a set of recommendations for improving the ability to successfully defend our plan

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Southern Star Completes RVSM Flight Testing

Citations Used For Testing

Southern Star Avionics, a partnership between Mobile (AL) - based Star Aviation and Southern Avionics, has completed flight testing for the Cessna Citation 560 and S550 airframes, with Group Certification expected in early March. Southern Star currently holds RVSM Group Certification on the Cessna Citation 500/550 and -SP series aircraft.  The turnkey installation kit uses two identical IS&S digital altimeters with integrated air data computers and an analog interface unit. The kit is available for both single and dual-flight director aircraft equipped with the Sperry SPZ-500 autopilot.  The Southern Star RVSM kit comes standard with the IS&S Air Data Display units, Analog Interface Unit, a complete pre-fabricated wi

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (01.21.04)

"There's still magic in aviation..." Source: Globe-trotting Pilot, GusMcLeod, explaining some of the reasons for his daring attempt to fly around the world, over both Poles in a composite, single-engine Velocity/Firefly.

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NM TFR: 01/22

Politics Heads West NOTAM: 4/0476 Issued: 01/21/2004 02:00 Effective: 01/22/2004 16:00 - 01/22/2004 19:10 State: Facility: ZAB - ALBUQUERQUE (ARTCC),NM. Type: VIP Description: ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO, JANUARY 22, 2004 LOCAL.

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OH TFR: 01/21

VIP Restrictions Popping All Over The Place NOTAM: 4/0475 Issued: 01/20/2004 22:10 Effective: 01/21/2004 13:55 - 01/21/2004 16:45 State: OH Facility: ZOB - CLEVELAND (ARTCC),OH. Type: VIP Description: TOLEDO, OHIO, JANUARY 21, 2004 LOCAL.

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NY TFR: 01/21

VIP Restrictions Popping All Over The Place NOTAM: 4/0470 Issued: 01/20/2004 19:44 Effective: 01/21/2004 22:10 - 01/22/2004 00:40 State: NY Facility: ZNY - NEW YORK (ARTCC),NY. Type: VIP Description: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, JANUARY 21, 2004.

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Upgraded: AeroCentury Announces New VP

Kirk Watson Named VP, Aircraft Technical Services

AeroCentury Corp., an independent aircraft leasing company, announced on Monday that JetFleet Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of its management company, JetFleet Management Corp., has hired Kirk Watson as Vice President, Aircraft Technical Services. Mr. Watson joins AeroCentury from Avionco Inc., where he served as Technical Director since 2001. Prior to joining Avionco, Mr. Watson held various positions of increasing responsibility at Avmax Group, Field Aviation West Ltd., and several regional airline and airline service firms. Mr. Watson holds a Certification in Management from Canadian Institute of Management along with various airline maintenance licenses. AeroCentury is an aircraft operating lessor and finance co

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