Gulfstream Jet Completes Future Air Navigation System Data Link Flight Across The Atlantic Ocean

Gulfstream recently completed a full Future Air Navigation System (FANS) flight across the Atlantic Ocean using Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication with Automatic Dependent Surveillance (CPDLC/ADS).

According to Gulfstream The flight was the first of its kind for a purpose-built business jet. The CPDLC/ADS data link provides flight crews with direct communication to oceanic and remote-area Air Traffic Controllers. It enhances safety because it automatically reports when an aircraft deviates from its cleared altitude and route. It also provides meteorological data from the aircraft’s sensors.

Source: Gulfstream
Trader Online Web Developer

Piper Luxury Aircraft Deliveries Continue At Record-Breaking Levels

Piper Aircraft has announced that its piston aircraft deliveries are up 24 percent for the 3rd Quarter of 2008. The company also announced that overall deliveries for the first nine months of 2008 are up 18 percent over the same period last year and that its PA-46, luxury aircraft models are registering record deliveries.

This news from Piper Aircraft comes at a time when General Aviation’s overall piston-aircraft deliveries are down. “In the last three years, Piper has moved forward on virtually every front – from new product introductions to strong sales, from strategic alliances to breaking into an entirely new segment with our all-new PiperJet,” said Piper President & CEO James K. Bass. “We are a modern-day, American success story: a company that relies on American workers to provide the next generation aircraft for the world.”

Piper’s current piston increases are driven by the unparalleled success of its all new Piper Matrix, a cabin-class, six-seat aircraft based on the world-renowned Malibu Mirage and operating with the economy of an unpressurized aircraft. That success accounted in part for deliveries of 195 aircraft in the first nine months of 2008 against 166 aircraft for the same period last year.

Of that total, 76 were from deliveries of the Piper Matrix, which the company began delivering this year. Moreover, deliveries of Piper PA-46 models combined (Meridian, Mirage and Matrix) are at record levels.

“We have orders for 101 Matrix models this year,” Bass said. “The Piper Matrix fills a niche in the market that hasn’t been truly addressed until now. To date, our entire first year of production is sold out and market demand continues to be very strong. At the same time, deliveries of our flagship turboprop, the Piper Meridian, continue unabated, with 33 aircraft for the first nine of this year and an expected 53 deliveries in total for 2008. These deliveries have continued at the same strong levels as those in 2007.”

In all, Piper delivered 195 aircraft with $150.5 million in billings in the first nine months of 2008, compared with 166 aircraft and $125 million in billings for the same period in 2007.

Source: Piper Aircraft
Trader Online Web Developer


Gulfstream Demonstrates Fly-By-Wireless Aircraft Control System

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has successfully demonstrated aircraft control using “Fly-By-Wireless” technology. This historic flight, which took place on Sept. 18, is the first known application of wireless signaling for a primary flight-control surface in a civilian or military aircraft.

During a two-hour flight over Savannah, four distinct signal types transferred input from the pilot to the lateral controls on the Gulfstream GV test aircraft. A mechanical system controlled the ailerons; a Fly-By-Wire system manipulated the outboard spoilers; the Fly-By-Wireless system handled the mid-spoilers; and a fiber-optic Fly-By-Light system moved the inboard spoilers.

“After developing the Fly-By-Wire system, the next goal for Gulfstream was to reduce the complexity and weight of that system without sacrificing safety or reliability,” said Pres Henne, senior vice president, Programs, Engineering and Test, Gulfstream. “This Fly-By-Wireless flight proved we achieved that goal. There was no difference in signal quality or strength among Fly-By-Wireless, Fly-By-Light or Fly-By-Wire. That benefit, combined with the streamlined profile of Fly-By-Wireless, makes it a potential backup for other flight-control systems.”

The Fly-By-Wireless control system was developed by Gulfstream and Invocon, a system-engineering firm near Houston. It offers an additional channel of communication for redundancy, which increases system safety. Gulfstream is reviewing the benefits of wireless technology for applications beyond backup flight control.

Source: Gulfstream
Trader Online Web Developer


University of North Dakota EERC Creates First 100% Renewable Jet Fuel

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at The University of North Dakota recently announced they have achieved a major technical milestone in creating a 100% renewable domestic fuel that meets the JP-8 aviation fuel screening criteria, proving a pathway to providing energy security to the U.S. military and the entire nation.

EERC fuel samples created from multiple renewable feedstocks were tested at a U.S. government facility to evaluate key specification parameters for JP-8, a petroleum-based fuel widely used by the U.S. military. JP-8 specifications include parameters such as freeze point, density, flash point, energy content, and others; all of which were met by the EERC fuel samples.

The EERC fuel was produced under a $4.7 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The Department of Defense is the largest consumer of petroleum in America, and securing a domestic fuel source is a key operational challenge for the military. Production is now under way to produce a large fuel sample for engine testing this fall.

"This builds on a solid foundation of expertise at the EERC in the area of alternative fuel production," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. "The EERC is now uniquely positioned to provide drop-in-compatible JP-8 fuel from both fossil and renewable feedstocks, providing critical strategic opportunities for the U.S. military as well as commercial aviation."

The technology takes advantage of feedstock chemistry to reduce capital and operating expenses. The feedstock-flexible process can use various crop oils and waste greases. The process can be tailored to produce combinations of propane, gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel that are identical to petroleum-derived fuels, enabling direct substitution with existing fuels and providing renewable options across the spectrum of fuel needs.

The EERC is actively exploring partnerships with the private sector to move into full-scale production of the fuel. Preliminary negotiations are under way with feedstock suppliers and oil refineries. Talks of building a large-scale Advanced Tactical Fuels Production Complex are ongoing.

Source: The University of North Dakota
Trader Online Web Developer