Demand and uses for helicopters on the rise

Aviation Week features a story on strong demand for helicopters and the services they perform.

Helicopters are needed for missions ranging from oil exploration to emergency medical services. The demand is so strong that manufacturers are working harder than ever to keep up.

The story also reports how newer helicopters use automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast(ADS-B) to fly in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico.

ADS-B networks track helicopters and relay their altitude, speed, and direction. This information is used to monitor and co-ordinate helicopter traffic over a wide area.
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Cracked airplane windshields prompt investigation in Denver

ABCnews.com features a story on an investigation into thirteen cracked aircraft windshields at Denver International Airport.

An airplane windshield is supposed to withstand extreme temperatures found at high altitudes and speeds up to 400 knots. Windshields are also designed to withstand physical trauma, such as bird strikes during flight.

The reason for the cracking is especially puzzling because windshields have broken both in flight and while the planes are parked on the tarmac.

While high winds and cold temperatures have buffeted the Denver area recently, the number of windshield problems in one place is unusual.
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Air traffic control fees and taxes could lead to bitter fight

The Orlando Sentinel features a story on a controversial Federal Aviation Administration proposal to raise fees on small aircraft and business-jet owners. The proposal would create a more stable source of revenue for the FAA and fund for air-traffic control use.

By shifting more of the cost (about 23 percent) from commercial airlines to private aircraft, private airlines would save 2 billion under the new plan. The plan would triple fuel taxes, increasing to 70 cents a gallon.

The FAA proposal will need congressional approval before moving forward.

Aviation Week also features a story on the FAA proposal and the political fighting which could result over the plan.

What do you think? Leave a comment and tell us your story.
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Honda aircraft building plant in North Carolina

Assembly Magazine reports that Honda Aircraft is building a 215,000-square-foot headquarters and hangar complex at North Carolina's Piedmont Triad International airport.

The plant will produce the HondaJet, Honda's entry into the market for light jet aircraft.

The new facility is already taking orders for new aircraft, which should be delivered around 2010.
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Imagine Air offers air charter service to mid-sized companies

Gwinnett Business Journal profiles a new charter air service, Imagine Air, offering Georgia business travelers and alternative to busy airports and security hassles.

When a NASA-led study found that the Atlanta-area could benefit from an air-taxi service, two pilots used the opportunity to start their own airline.

Imagine Air is aiming to serve mid-sized companies with their service, who need charter flights as much as big corporations do.

To ease booking fights, Imagine Air designed their own software for flight booking. Passengers can book flights quickly and know the exact price.
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Cessna hiring more workers to meet demand for planes

The Wichita Eagle features a story on Cessna Aircraft Co. and the strong demand for aircraft. Cessna's revenues have soared from $3.48 billion in 2005 to $4.16 billion in 2006.

Cessna plans to add 600 workers to deal with its backlog of orders.

While busy factories are good news for Cessna, the booming business also brings the challenge of keeping costs under control and factories stocked with enough parts.

The competition for customers will get even tougher as Honda Motor Co. and Embraer plan to introduce new aircraft. Cessna may add three new models to expand its line of aircraft.
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