Battery Issues Stall Tecnam Electric Program
Lacking a major battery breakthrough, Tecnam says its all-electric P-Volt twin-engine commuter plane is ahead of its time. The company began researching the electrification of its nine-seat P2012 Traveller several years ago but battery limitations caused it to pause the effort in June. The company said the rapid degradation of current batteries caused the halt in the program. “Only a few hundred flights would drive operators to replace the entire storage unit, with a dramatic increase in direct operating costs due to the reserves for battery replacement prices,” the company said in a statement. The program will be kept alive to capitalize on “technological revolutions that no one can speculate on.”
Cirrus Planning Hong Kong IPO
Cirrus has applied for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in a bid to raise $300 million in new capital. The company will not be registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission so the IPO will not be available to U.S. investors. Cirrus says it will use the money to expand its current footprint and to develop new products. The company, which is owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company (CAIGA), has not set a timeline for the IPO. It called the IPO a “natural next step in … [in] exploring additional business and capital funding structures that enable even larger and more stable growth ahead.”
Foreign Airspace Information Deleted In IFR Charts
The FAA is deleting most aeronautical information in foreign airspace on its IFR charts. The agency says the bordering countries can’t provide up-to-date information to match the U.S. release schedule of new charts so it’s telling operators to get the latest charts available from the bordering jurisdictions. “The FAA does not reliably receive foreign data with sufficient lead times to produce the foreign areas of FAA charts with the same robust, for navigation, content as within U.S. airspace,” the agency said in a statement. “Additionally, foreign aeronautical information is not supported by the U.S. NOTAM System.” Some of the areas affected are heavily used by U.S. operators because they offer more direct routing between U.S. airports. The so-called “skeletonizing” took effect in the June 15 release.
Unleaded Gas Development Transparency Sought
Aircraft and engine manufacturers want “more transparency” in unleaded high-octane aviation gasoline development to test their products with the new fuels. In a June news conference, representatives from manufacturers, aviation organizations, and the FAA gave an update on four fuels currently identified as replacements for 100LL. Only GAMI’s G100UL is available thanks to an STC obtained by the company in 2022 and Swift Fuels is expected to have its STC approved in 2023. The other fuels, proposed by Lyondell Basell/VP Racing Fuels and Phillips 66/Afton Chemicals are going through the FAA’s Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI) and, if approved, will receive “fleet authorization” and be approved for all piston aviation engines.
Drone Cargo Operations Set To Start
The U.S.’s largest cargo airline, Ameriflight, has been approved to add drones into its operations and will soon offer drone service in cities across the country. “Moving forward with the future of our newly operative UAS division allows us to expand into a largely untapped delivery market with a lot of room for speed and safety logistic improvements,” said company owner Jim Martell. The drones will be used to drop off high-priority shipments of small packages in urban and suburban areas. The first shipments will be medical samples and pharmaceuticals. The company will use Matternet drones capable of carrying 4.4 pounds about 12 miles.
Companies sanctioned for Chinese military flight training … NBAA wants changes to charter pilot rest rules … Bids sought for new air race location … Polly Trottenberg named acting FAA administrator … FAA proposes training and certification rules for eVTOLs … CubCrafters introduces ducted fan leading edge slats … The Air Force offers cash to keep pilots … Find breaking news in general aviation at AVweb.com.