Briefing November 2017


First Flight For New Version Of Eclipse Jet

One Aviation flew its Eclipse jet with a new wing, in August. The testing is the first step in developing a new version of the jet, EA700. The EA700 will be a larger version of the original 500/550 jet, with a bigger wing, bigger engines, and a fuselage extended 14 inches. The more powerful EA700 will be able to climb direct to 43,000 feet and extend its range to 1500 NM. It will also boost performance for high and hot airports. The flight test lasted about 80 minutes and all parameters were met, the company said. “The aircraft felt very solid, a testament to the engineering and build teams,” said test pilot Jerry Chambers.

Lilium Electric VTOL Attracts Investors

Lilium, a start-up aviation company based in Munich, said in September they raised $90 million to develop the five-seat Lilium electric aircraft. The new investment “makes Lilium one of the best-funded electric aircraft projects in the world,” said CEO Daniel Wiegand. The aircraft will fly for one hour at up to 162 knots on a single charge, the company says. It’s powered by an array of powerplants the company refers to as “electric jet engines.” The company said the funding, which brings the total capital raised to $100 million, will enable them to add more staff and work toward a first crewed flight in 2019.

AOPA’s Landsberg Nominated To Join NTSB

Bruce Landsberg, who worked as an advocate for general-aviation safety at the AOPA Air Safety Institute for many years, has been nominated to be a member and vice chairman of the NTSB. If his appointment is approved by the Senate, Landsberg’s term will begin in January. 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 the board will have a strong presence on aviation safety issues. NATCA, NBAA, and other advocacy groups issued news releases applauding the choice. NATCA said Landsberg’s work at the ASI “raised the bar for pilot safety.”

Pilots Warned Of CO Dangers

The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning in aviation was the subject of two safety alerts released by the NTSB in September, 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. Fatal accidents have resulted when the pilot is incapacitated. To avoid these dangers, the NTSB says pilots should install a CO detector with aural alerts and a flash notification on the instrument panel of their aircraft. The safety board also encouraged aircraft mechanics to inspect exhaust systems, air ducting, firewalls, and door and window seals thoroughly at every 100-hour or annual inspection. The safety alerts are posted online at the NTSB website.

Airbus Says Its VTOL Will Fly Soon

The Airbus team A^3, or A-cubed, based in Silicon Valley, plans to start flight tests of a full-scale prototype of its VTOL autonomous air-taxi, Vahana, in November, according to media reports. The flight tests will be conducted from the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, in Pendleton, where the company occupies a new 9600-square-foot hangar. It was also announced that the aircraft will maneuver using a technology called Peregrine, developed by Near Earth Autonomy. The onboard system uses lidar, inertial measurement and GPS sensors. Vahana and Near Earth Autonomy completed a series of acceptance flights testing the technology in June.


An engine upgrade by Blackhawk Modifications for the King Air 350 is now FAA-certified…After 60 years, Pilatus will cease production of the PC-6 Porter tailwheel turboprop in 2019…Horizon Air said it can no longer fly to Colorado Springs from Seattle due to lack of pilots…Stratolaunch, the massive satellite-launch airplane being developed by Scaled Composites, successfully ran all six of its Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines…Breaking news in general aviation can be found at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here