AvWeb

  1. After complaints from members about discriminatory fuel pricing and high ramp fees at airports with only one FBO, AOPA is putting some muscle into finding ways to force FBOs to lower their fees. Earlier this week, AOPA convened a panel of FBO owners, airport managers, and GA pilots to discuss ways to fight the fees.

  2. A contest sponsored by Lightspeed and CloudAhoy is inspiring general aviation pilots to draw in the sky. Contestants make line drawings using the path of their airplanes, recorded using CloudAhoy, a smartphone based GPS flight tracking app. The concept, on a larger scale, was popularized in the last few years by jet aircraft manufacturers who used the extremely long flights required for certification, particularly ETOPS testing, to sketch out a shape with their radar track.

  3. Stratolaunch, the massive airplane that is being built by Scaled Composites to deliver satellites to low Earth orbit, successfully ran all six of its Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines for the first time this week, the company has announced. The engines, which previously powered a Boeing 747, support a payload capacity of more than 150,000 pounds and an operational range of about 2,000 nautical miles. At 385 feet from wingtip to wingtip, Stratolaunch is the largest airplane, by wingspan, ever built.

  4. “Several failures in close succession” by a jet’s flight crew were the probable cause of a runway excursion at LaGuardia Airport last October, according to the NTSB’s final report, issued Thursday. The Eastern Air Lines Boeing 737-700, a chartered flight carrying then-vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence and campaign staff, overran Runway 22 during landing. None of the 11 crewmembers or 37 passengers were hurt in the incident.

  5. Two brothers in Seattle, working as Egan Airships, have built a drone that combines features from both fixed-wing aircraft and blimps to create an aircraft that can hover, take off and land vertically, and fly at up to 40 mph. The 28-foot-long aircraft weighs less than 55 pounds and uses a patented streamlined envelope design, rotational wings and an extended tail. The Plimp aircraft is expected to be commercially available by early next year, the company said.

  6. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning in aviation was the subject of two safety alerts released by the NTSB on Wednesday, one for pilots and one for mechanics. The risk of CO poisoning is “generally overlooked and underestimated” by both pilots and mechanics, the safety board said. A defect or leak in the exhaust pipes or muffler can introduce CO into the cockpit, and exposure to the gas can lead to oxygen starvation and the onset of symptoms (headache, drowsiness, nausea or shortness of breath). Fatal accidents have resulted when the pilot is incapacitated by the exposure.

  7. Spike Aerospace, one of a handful of companies working to bring back supersonic civilian flight, said on Wednesday they will fly their first SX-1.2 demonstrator aircraft by the end of this month. The scaled, proof-of-concept unmanned aircraft will help validate the aerodynamics of the planned S-512 supersonic jet, the company said. "We're very excited to be crossing this milestone and going from conceptual design and pretty pictures to an actual flying aircraft,” said Vik Kachoria, CEO of Spike Aerospace.

  8. Bruce Landsberg, who worked as a safety advocate at the AOPA Air Safety Institute for many years, has been nominated to be a member and vice chairman of the NTSB, the White House announced on Friday. Landsberg, who lives in South Carolina, served as executive director and then president of the ASI, from 1992 to 2014. Landsberg’s depth of experience, along with the recent appointment of Robert Sumwalt, who worked as a pilot for 32 years, as chairman of the NTSB, suggests that the board will have a strong presence on aviation safety issues.

  9. More than 110 chapters of Women in Aviation International are gearing up for Girls in Aviation Day to be held Saturday, Sept. 23. “Girls in Aviation Day has been embraced by the entire aviation community including pilots, airlines, aviation museums, FBOs, flight schools, colleges and universities, government officials and aviation businesses,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian.

  10. United Airlines will say goodbye to the Boeing 747 Nov. 7 with a special flight to Hawaii that commemorates its first use of the airliner in commercial service. The last scheduled United 747 revenue flight will be from Seoul to SFO on Oct. 29.

  11. Pratt & Whitney has completed testing on a proof of concept adaptive bypass variant of the F135 fighter engine. The adaptive three-stream fan test was completed as part of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) program at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Modern jet engines utilize two flow streams: one through the combustion section of the engine and a one that bypasses the combustion section around the outside of the engine.

  12. As of Sept. 1, over 40,000 U.S.-registered aircraft have been equipped to comply with the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate, says the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The FAA estimates that 100,000 to 160,000 general aviation aircraft will need to comply with the mandate—or cease operations in ADS-B Out airspace.