Welcome to the newest installment of “The easy Report”! To keep you updated, as usual, we will be summing up major news from the commercial and business world, with many useful links!
Hermeus Corp., a supersonic aerospace startup company, recently won a USD 1.5 million contract with the US Air Force and the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate to develop a new supersonic jet that can travel at 5 times the speed of sound, following the successful test of the Mach 5 engine prototype earlier in February.
Boom Supersonic and Rolls-Royce engine makers announced an engagement agreement to explore the coupling of a Rolls-Royce propulsion system with Overture, Boom’s supersonic flagship aircraft intended for affordable supersonic passenger flights. While Boom Supersonic continues to build the jet’s airframe, Boom agreed to work together with Rolls-Royce to identity the best propulsion system to suit this supersonic aircraft.
One-step forward in the recertification process of the Boeing 737 MAX, the FAA has a released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for an airworthiness directive of the Boeing 737 MAX. The NPRM is a draft airworthiness directive (AD), open for public comment until September 21. The AD suggests four key design changes to the grounded aircraft, addressing the safety issues that lead to the two fatal crashes.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is working closely with Boeing and the FAA to return the grounded Boeing 737 to service, after making all necessary modifications and addressing all safety issues. The FAA, Boeing and EASA have agreed that the EASA’s flight tests will take place in Vancouver, Canada in the week commencing September 7, 2020. Simulator tests will take place starting September 1, 2020 in the London Gatwick United Kingdom. The Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) will also take place in Gatwick, starting September 14.
Airlines started implementing new measures to combat the devastating Covid-19 virus…
JetBlue Airways announced that it would be the first US airline to deploy Honeywell’s new ultraviolet cleaning system to clean aircraft interiors, in addition to other cleaning methods. Honeywell’s UV cabin system can transverse an aircraft cabin in around 10 minutes, with clinical studies showing a significant reduction in viruses and bacteria.
PWI, an FAA aircraft repair station in Kansas, announced that is testing a new device called the “Biotek Shield” , uses UVC lighting to neutralize pathogens and viruses from within an aircraft’s air conditioning system.
United Airlines announced that it started sanitizing pilot flight decks with Ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting technology, as recommended by the Cleveland Clinic. The airline is using handheld AUVCo blades from the American Ultraviolet company to disinfect sensitive switches and touch screen displays within the flight deck. It is also using electrostatic spraying to disinfect its aircraft cabins.
American Airlines, hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, announced that it would suspend service to 15 US small cities after federal aid runs out in October. Finnair, like many other airlines, started negotiations to cut 1’000 jobs, or close to 15% of its workforce, as exceptionally tight travel restrictions affect its business catastrophically. Textron Aviation posted a USD 66 million loss and a 50 percent drop in Citation deliveries in the second quarter of the year. Textron aviation is positively hopeful, however, expecting improved results now that sales activity has picked up and production has resumed. Gogo, which provides In-flight connectivity (IFC) services, has also been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, reporting a net loss of USD 86 million in the second quarter of 2020, making further job cuts.
Under the influence of the pandemic, the annual Global Connected Aircraft Summit, cohosted by Avionics and Via Satellite, was delayed until June 2021. The Global Connected Aircraft Cabin Chats virtual series was launched in its place. The first installment of the series occurred in June. The second installment is due next month, September 22-24th, 2020. Check a snapshot of the agenda in this link!
Notably, The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced postponing dates of application of certain measures in context of the Covid-19 pandemic. For further details, click on this link!
The Gulfstream G700 , the world’s largest private jet with the highest speeds at the longest range introduced in October 2019, has now flown more than a hundred test flights, as part of its flight test program. The G700 also recently completed company flutter testing, and expanded the flight envelope at high and low speeds. Notably, as part of the company’s testing efforts, the G700 flew at above its maximum operating speed and cruise altitude, reaching an impressive 0.99 Mach and an altitude of 16’459m. In typical operations, the G700 operates at a maximum of 0.925 Mach, with a maximum altitude of 15’545m.
Textron Aviation introduced an updated version of its popular Beechcraft King Air 360 turboprop, the new King Air 360 ER, with additional features and benefits in the cockpit, airframe and interior. The updated turboprop is currently in production, with deliveries expected to commence in autumn 2020. The most remarkable feature of the updated turboprop is the addition of the Innovative Solutions and Support (IS&S) ThrustSense Autothrottle.
Airbus and Boeing announced a collaborative effort to release a report, due for release in a few weeks, on the importance of modernizing air traffic management, to cope with the influx of numerous new small aircrafts and possibly passenger air taxis that will occupy future airspace and spur greater action by air traffic regulators. Speaking of air taxis, Vertical Aerospace, a leading British competitor to commercialize electric vertical flight, only recently revealed the “VA-1X” air taxi, targeting the year 2024 for commercial operations.
That’s about it for August peeps!
Stay tuned for our next installment, The easy Report: September 2020!