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February 07, 2024

Airborne 02.07.24: NEW Piper M700, Levil 'Joy', Shuttle Display

 Also: B-29 Doc To Great Bend, JetBlue Spirit Merger, ALPA v Pilot Shortage, CAF Wants AC-47

Piper Aircraft has added a new model to its PA46 line -- the M700 FURY—a single-engine, 700 shaft horsepower, cabin-class turboprop. Reportedly the next step in expanding their M-Class series, the M700 is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-52 engine, allowing for a maximum cruise speed of 301 ktas with a max range of 1,149 nm (at max cruise speed, 1,424 nm at normal cruise speed) while maintaining a 'Basic Med compliant' 6,000- pound MGTOW limit. Levil Aviation has introduced the 'Joy.' Described as 'not just another standard joystick' -- it is a flight control system that puts autopilot authority at your fingertips using wireless c

The Latest From Piper.... The 301KT M700 Fury

Despite AOPA Trying To Take Over Aspects Of The Announcement, The M700 Is An Intriguing  Next Step

Piper Aircraft has added a new model to its PA46 line -- the M700 FURY—a single-engine, 700 shaft horsepower, cabin-class turboprop. Reportedly the next step in expanding their M-Class series, the M700 is powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-52 engine, allowing for a maximum cruise speed of 301 ktas with a max range of 1,149 nm (at max cruise speed, 1,424 nm at normal cruise speed) while maintaining a 'Basic Med compliant' 6,000- pound MGTOW limit. At 301 knots, the M700 is the fastest production bird they've ever built and the second-fastest model of all time. Notwithstanding the late and oft-lamented PiperJet program, only t

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FAA's Whitaker Opposes Airliner Retirement Increase

Additional Study Needed Before Raise, Says Letter

A letter from the FAA opposing the proposed airline retirement age increase has begun making the rounds this week, showing the agency's desire to study the issue more before committing to a change. FAA administrator Mike Whitaker said it would be "crucial to provide the agency an opportunity to conduct research and determine mitigations", making it clear that he wouldn't give his blessing until he has some stacks of paper to back up the change. Senator Maria Cantwell, committee chair overseeing the issue there, described the would-be bump from 65 to 67 years old would be akin to taking a shortcut, and the FAA isn't one to do that.

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Uh, Oooopss... Problems With Virgin Galactic Flight 06 Reported to FAA

Post-Flight Review Found An Alignment Pin Detached From The Mothership 

Virgin Galactic has admitted that during 'routine post-flight reviews' following its most recent spaceflight, ‘Galactic 06,’ the Company became aware that an alignment pin detached from the launch pylon of our mothership, VMS Eve, during flight. The Company notified the FAA on January 31 in accordance with regulations and is conducting a review in conjunction with the FAA. The VG statement associated with this news asserts that "‘Galactic 06’ was a safe and successful flight that was conducted in accordance with Virgin Galactic’s rigorous flight procedures and protocols. At no time did the detached alignment pin pose a safety impact

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Airborne 01.29.24: Rotor X Tries Again, Van's Needs $, Ingenuity Bites Mars Dust

Also: Collier Trophy Nominations, Japan v V22, Electra Order Book, AerCap Ransomware Attack

The sad story of a once cool helicopter kit company continues make news with a questionable attempt to right the ship... We reported that nearly 100 customers have been affected by broken promises, undelivered and incomplete  kits, and ‘untrue’ statements by the company as it attempted to prop up its faltering operations... and many other ills. The latest Van's Aircraft situational update has repeated a familiar refrain... that builders can eventually get what they paid for... but it's going to cost them more money... Unfortunately, we have a feel

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Widow Files Suit Against Textron, Raisbeck for Husband's Death in Test Flight

 2022 Snohomish Crash Now Sees 3 Survivors' Lawsuits

A woman widowed after a test flight gone fatal has sued the manufacturer, and others associated with the accident, alleging flawed design and development. The aircraft crashed in Washington state in 2022, when a Cessna 208 test mule broke up in mid-air. The woman's husband, a 33-year-old aerospace engineer, was aboard along with 3 others. He and the crew were gathering data as a part of the aerodynamic development process for an active aero system when the right wing reportedly separated from the aircraft.

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Heart Aerospace Nabs $107 Million in Funding

Swedish Hybrid Commuter Raises Series B Funding to Power ES-30 Development

Swedish company Heart Aerospace raised $107 million in a round of Series B funding, further enhancing their aims to bring forth a hybrid electric regional commuter aircraft. The company intends to build its first prop aircraft, the ES-30. The design fills a sweet spot in terms of feasibility, boasting a pretty doable hybrid powertrain and 4-prop truss-braced high wing design to seat 30 passengers. Unlike so many competitors in the scene trying to make similar performance happen with hydrogen or battery power, a Jet A-burning hybrid is much closer to production out the gate - and investors seem to agree.

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B-29 Doc Heads to the Terre Haute Air Show, June 1-2

Doc Is One Of The Last Of The 1,644 B-29 Superfortress Aircraft Built By Boeing

A rare World War II bomber will be joining the Terre Haute Air Show as a static performer. Doc, one of 1,644 B-29 Superfortress aircraft built by The Boeing Company in Wichita, Kan, during World War II, will be available for ride flights along with ground and cockpit tours during the show. “This is a unique opportunity for our community to witness living history right here in Terre Haute,” said Air Show President Jordan Brown. “People all across the midwest will be coming to catch a glimpse.”

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AFSOC Practices Handoffs, Multi-Unit Control with MQ-9s

Lean, Mean Testing Process Assists USAF & GA-ASI on Product Development

General Atomics has capped a series of test flights with the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command to continue development on its Adaptive Airborne Enterprise concept. A trio of notable demonstrations proved out a few elements of the project, with the first being a practical application of simultaneous control from a single control station. That test saw one team remotely command a triplet of MQ-9A aircraft from a single government-owned AFSOC RPA Control Suite. The ARCS system is shaping up to be the cornerstone of their MQ-9 test regimen, with an aim to one day use it to control the MQ-9A, the MQ-9B aircraft, and a family of small drones.

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NTSB Preliminary Report: Bender Thomas G RV-6

Still Over The Runway, The Engine Began To “Stutter” And Lose Power

On January 2, 2024, at 1030 mountain standard time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-6, N111XF, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Moriarty, New Mexico. The pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot reported that the airplane was operating normally through preflight and initial takeoff. Shortly after becoming airborne, and still over the runway, the engine began to “stutter” and lose power.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (02.07.24)

Aero Linx: International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians IFFR is one of the oldest Rotary Fellowships and was formally established through the efforts of a dedicated Rotarian, E. Edison Kennell, of Seattle, Washington, in 1965. In countries where distances are great and communications are limited IFFR pilots have used their aircraft to help with medical and other emergencies, and several Sections hold meetings at which young people are introduced to the world of aviation.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (02.07.24): Feathered Propeller

Feathered Propeller A propeller whose blades have been rotated so that the leading and trailing edges are nearly parallel with the aircraft flight path to stop or minimize drag and engine rotation. Normally used to indicate shutdown of a reciprocating or turboprop engine due to malfunction. 

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (02.07.24)

"Witnesses reported that they observed the airplane break-up inflight and watched pieces floating down. The airplane then descended in a nose-low near-vertical corkscrew maneuver toward the ground. Several witnesses reported seeing a white plume of smoke when they observed the airplane break into pieces. A security camera recorded a low-quality image of the airplane rotating about its longitudinal axis in nose-low attitude."   Source: From an NTSB report stating what occurred in the tragic accident that befell a Cessna caravan engaged in a flight test program for Raisbeck Engineering.

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