Archive for August, 2012

Falcon 7X scores a double century …

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012


Falcon 7X rolls off the production line

The 200th Falcon 7X has rolled off the production line at Dassault’s Bordeaux-Merignac production facility in southern France where it is being readied for completion. “The 7X is clearly the best seller in the current Falcon family and remains one of the most sought-after jets in its [long-range] category,” says Dassault Falcon president John Rosanvallon. To date, Dassault has delivered more than 150 7Xs, while another 80 are in various stages of production or outfitting. The 7X fleet has logged more than 130,000 flight hours since it entered service in 2007 and is in operation in 32 countries, says the French airframer,

 Meanwhile, Dassault says it has set up a programme to provide special support for Falcon operators flying to London for the 2012 Olympic Games.

“The company has doubled its Luton airport-based GoTeam capacity and taken steps to ensure that ample spares inventories are available in the area,” it says. “Now that all Falcons are approved for London City airport [steep approach] operations, we expect even more aircraft to fly to London and are deploying extra personnel and resources [during the event].”



UK CAA clears diabetic pilots and air traffic controllers …

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012


UK CAA clears diabetic pilots & air traffic controllers


The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that pilots and air traffic control officers (ATCOs) with diabetes who use medication such as insulin can now be considered for medical certification due to improvements in treatment.

The Authority explains: “Until now, only a limited number of medications for the treatment of diabetes have been allowed for pilots and air traffic controllers applying for Class 1, 2 and 3 medical certificates. [But] there have been advances in the treatment and monitoring of the disease, allowing the control of the condition and any complications to be managed more effectively.

“The decision should allow more licensed pilots and ATCOs who have diabetes to continue to undertake operational duties safely.”

The CAA emphasised that individual diabetic applicants will “be subject to a rigorous monitoring regime, including demonstrated stability of their condition, and regular blood sample self-testing during flight/duty. This is to ensure that an individual does not begin a flight or shift with too high, or too low, a sugar level, and that a safe level is maintained.”

Guidance will shortly be issued to pilots and ATCOs, the CAA adds, which will set out the new procedures to follow. This includes the application of operational restrictions and in-flight testing regimes.


source:pro news/flightglobal

Olympics are more an obstacle than an opportunity, according to Perfect

Friday, August 17th, 2012


Olympics are more an obstacle than an opportunity

Biggin Hill airport is one of the primary business aviation airports when it comes to handling traffic for the Olympics, but Perfect Aviation does not believe the event will bring exceptional opportunities to UK-based operators who will likely be disadvantaged operating from bases lying within heavily restricted airspace.

“It will probably be good for the FBOs and British airports generally,” says ceo Will Curtis, “but the overseas business jet operators will likely take the lion’s share of the business aviation traffic flying into London. Our strategy this summer will be to fly our existing charter clients out of the UK and Moscow to Mediterranean destinations especially. Ideally, we don’t want our aircraft in the London area at all during the games as we see the heavy restrictions and likely confusion as being detrimental to our productivity. We have seen similar situations with World Cup football events where operator’s high hopes ended up being frustrated by ATC restrictions and hiked airport fees.”

Perfect Aviation, Switzerland’s only publicly listed business aviation management and charter operator, has announced that it is further increasing the scope of its operations at Biggin Hill.

Two additional managed aircraft, a second Learjet 45 and a Challenger 605, have recently joined the European fleet, and the UK and Portuguese AOC operations have also been further strengthened with some new additions to the UK-based management team.

Paul Castleton recently joined the company as charter sales director. Castleton is responsible for developing new business for the UK-based fleet as well as managing existing client relationships.


soucre:eban magazine

Piaggio pushes into special mission with P180

Monday, August 6th, 2012


Piaggio P180 


Alberto Galassi quickly sketches two graphs on the whiteboard in his Rome office. The first – a sharp downward curve stubbornly anchored at the bottom – represents the business aviation market’s sharp fall from grace during the past three years and current stagnation. The other – a mirror image – illustrates the glowing prospects for the special-missions market, including air ambulances, maritime patrol and flight inspection aircraft, explains the Piaggio Aero chief executive.

It is a market the Genoa-based maker of the P180 Avanti II believes it can crack in a big way. The $7 million twin-pusher turboprop – conceived in the 1990s as a fuel-efficient but aspirational midsize VIP transport, with a touch of Italian design classic about it – was never intended as a special-missions platform. Piaggio, however, has enjoyed some success in the market.

Of 220 P180s in service, 32 are in special-mission configuration, including 18 air ambulances and nine maritime/territorial surveillance aircraft. The Polish air rescue service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police use three P180s in medevac configuration; all the others are deployed by the Italian military or other state agencies.

Galassi, however, believes this number can only grow as more governments and parapublic organisations look for lower-cost solutions to a range of surveillance and other mission requirements – something increasingly possible because sensors and other on-board systems have become much smaller and lighter in the past decade.

It means equipment which previously required a platform the size of a Boeing 737 or ATR can now be accommodated on a midsize business aircraft such as the Avanti II. He believes non-VIP variants will represent about half of Piaggio’s deliveries within a few years.

Piaggio is so confident about market prospects it plans to develop two new extended-range variants of the P180 specifically for special mission, and is targeting a 2015 in-service date.


The company, which is majority owned by Abu Dhabi’s state investment arm Mubadala and India’s Tata group, hopes to announce a launch customer at next February’s IDEX defence show in Abu Dhabi. Although Galassi will not reveal the customer, the fact Mubadala is fairly hands-on in terms of Piaggio strategy and the choice of IDEX provide some clues.

The flight inspections area is one Piaggio is paying particular attention to. At last November’s Dubai air show, the company announced the delivery of the first of five P180s ordered by Flight Inspections and Systems (FIS), the Russian agency tasked with carrying out airborne inspections of ground-based navigation aids at the country’s airports.

Negotiations are taking place for a follow-up order for up to 50 aircraft, which are likely to include the new variants, some of which may be assembled in Russia. FIS operates Soviet-era Antonov An-26s and An-24B turboprops.

Closer to home, the flight inspections arm of Italy’s air traffic provider ENAV, which performs similar duties to FIS in Italy as well as under contract in Kenya, Malta and Romania, has just taken delivery of the third of three P180s, the first of which arrived in 2009.

The aircraft, which is fitted with an on-board mission system by Norwegian Special Mission, flies with a crew of three: a captain, first officer and flight technician. He sits at the console and takes readings from the ground-based navigation aids, including radar and instrument landing systems, analysing them in real time as the aircraft performs a series of orchestrated flightpaths over the airport.

Some 20 additional sensors on the fuselage, including a vertical camera on the aircraft’s belly, record the radio signals being transmitted from below. If necessary, equipment can be calibrated by ground staff as the aircraft passes over using information from the on-board computer. The data provides the information civil aviation authorities need to re-certificate the equipment, most of which is required to be inspected every six to 12 months.


The outfitting of the P180s’ cabins and the installation of sensors were carried out at Piaggio’s factory in Genoa. Aside from the console – which costs almost as much as the green aircraft itself – the Avanti comes with four additional economy-style seats – comfortable enough, but a far cry from the leather armchairs on the VIP version – and a rear lavatory. These allow ENAV to take a relief crew on missions far from its base at Rome’s secondary Ciampino airport. ENAV is responsible for about 40 Italian airports.

The organisation, which employs a total of 18 pilots and eight systems operators, is also expanding its overseas activities, earlier this year signing contracts to validate and calibrate the radio signals from airport navigation systems in Kenya and Romania.

ENAV also carried out work in Libya earlier this year to get the air navigation infrastructure up and running again after the civil war. Based on this third-party success, the organisation is targeting a 30% increase in revenues next year, something that would necessitate a fourth P180.

The fleet of P180s will perform about 2,000h a year, roughly 700h each. A typical mission lasts about 3h-3.5h, with 6h the usual daily limit. A total inspection of an airport’s equipment can take up to three days, including the flight to the city, although some are much quicker, often involving an urgent calibration of a single piece of misfunctioning kit.

The P180s replace older Cessna Citation jets, the last of which, a Citation VI, will be phased out this summer. ENAV’s director of flight operations Capt Enzo Maria Feliziani says the P180s use about 400 litres (105 USgal) per hour – about half that needed by the Citations on a similar mission. Part of that is down to the on-board equipment – although the console adds 227kg (500lb), the kit is lighter than the previous-generation versions installed on the Citations. In addition, the acquisition cost of a new, similarly-sized Cessna Excel would be about twice that of the P180, says Feliziani.



Private Jets for Buisness …

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

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