View of Whiteplains Plantation

View of Whiteplains Plantation
Over Head View - Taken May 8, 2011 Photo By: Phil Rainwater

Friday, December 19, 2014

ADS-B Not approved for everyone. Really?

Can You Install ADS-B Now? Maybe Not

So you’re ready to take the plunge and install equipment that meets FAR 91.225 and 91.227 requiring ADS-B “out” for flight in regulated airspace after the end of 2019. Can you do that? Is there a certified option available for your airplane? Maybe. But maybe not.
If you built your own airplane, or bought an E-AB that someone else built, the answer is no. If you own an LSA the answer is also almost certainly no. And if you own a pretty new standard production airplane with a factory installed flat glass avionics system the answer is also probably no.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The FAA and the avionics industry are urging all airplane owners to act now and get certified ADS-B equipment installed and approved because there won’t be enough radio shop capacity to handle the crush of installs at the last moment.
But the FAA has tied itself into such regulator knots that many airplane owners simply don’t have a certified path to ADS-B compliance.
When the FAA was finalizing the ADS-B rules more than six years ago it was, and remains, extremely concerned that all approved equipment meet a very high standard for precision and reliability. After all, when we make it to an all-ADS-B world an airplane will be invisible if its system doesn’t function. Worse yet, if an ADS-B broadcasts inaccurate position, altitude, velocity and so on it could create a collision threat rather than resolve it.
So the FAA made the ADS-B certification rules extremely strict. For example, initially every specific piece of equipment must be approved in each type of airplane. There would be no multi-model (AML) STCs granted. That idea lasted for a couple years until it became unworkable so now there are AMLs covering installation of specific ADS-B equipment in hundreds of standard category airplanes. But so far the FAA is clinging to its individual model approval for helicopters.
Under its number one priority to keep ADS-B rules strict the FAA apparently forgot about homebuilts and other experimental airplanes. The rules require an STC (supplemental TYPE certificate) or TC (TYPE certificate). I capitalized type because that’s what is missing in an experimental. By its very existence an experimental aircraft has no type certificate. It’s a one-off, no matter if homebuilt, prototype, exhibition or developmental.
Maybe ADS-B in a homebuilt could be certified by an FAA field approval where an FAA office approves modification of a specific airplane. But that doesn’t seem to work for homebuilts. It is the builder who is the “approved” modifier and equipment installer. A field approval normally is granted to an individual based on work performed on other airplanes of the same type. There’s that word again.
Some builders are installing ADS-B equipment that is potentially certifiable and believe they have met the rule. But they haven’t. The rule requires flight manual supplements, operating restrictions, a performance test and other approved paperwork and there is no way for a builder to get there.
Under the ASTM rules that govern factory built LSA only the manufacturer can approve any change in the airplane, including installation of avionics. So there can be no STC for an LSA because there is no FAA type certificate for the airplane. No radio shop can ask for a field approval because only the manufacturer, not the FAA, can approve any change. How will this be resolved for LSA owners who want and need ADS-B capability? The situation is particularly worrisome for owners of LSA whose manufacture has exited the business. Who will spend the money to get an ASTM approval for those airplanes and how would the process work?
And the airplane left out of a path to ADS-B so far that is most surprising is a newer airplane with glass cockpit. When a complete avionics system is installed by the airframe manufacturer it is usually part of the type certificate, just like the ailerons or wing structure. The only way to add ADS-B capability to such systems is for the manufacturer to amend the TC, which can be cumbersome, and expensive and so far none have complied that I know of.
In some other airplanes a manufacturer delivers a new airplane with a complete integrated avionics system under an STC. But the complication there is that the airframe manufacturer may own the STC, or almost certainly controls the STC. That means that even though the maker of the avionics has ADS-B equipment designed and ready for certification it can’t get approval on its own because it doesn’t control the STC.
I’m sure there are other situations that I’m not thinking of where an airplane owner ready to invest in ADS-B out equipment simply has no path to certification. And changing FAA regulations never happens quickly so I don’t know how these conundrums will be resolved.
If you have a homebuilt or LSA what can you do? The only sensible answer is to wait on the FAA. If you buy and install equipment that you think can be approved in the future you may guess wrong. If you have an airplane delivered from the factory with a fully integrated avionics system you’re stuck waiting, too. So the mixed message from the FAA is the standard hurry up and wait.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happenings around Whiteplains

Work day yesterday...Rob, Beth, Tony 1 & Tony 3 did a "bang job" of cleaning up Lee's Gazebo...NICE. Causey stopped by, offered moral support & watched for a bit.  Nice Team attached. Tony 3.

Don Cook installed the first of the new  "Speed Limit"  signs.   Two more to go.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Electric Plane in the works

Daher-Socata To Build and Certify E-Fan for Airbus

By Stephen Pope / Published: Dec 11, 2014
E-Fan 2.0
E-Fan 2.0
Daher-Socata today announced it has signed on as a major partner with Airbus Group's VoltAir subsidiary for the design, development and certification of a new electric airplane unveiled earlier this year called the E-Fan 2.0.
The all-electric two-seater is the first product in what is being billed as a full-scale electric aircraft development program, launched by Airbus Group with great fanfare earlier in the year. The E-Fan 2.0 is intended to be a general aviation trainer, and the first full-rate production electric aircraft in the world. One of the stated goals of the program is eventually to usher in an era of electrical applications for future Airbus airliners.
Under the agreement with Airbus, Daher-Socata will be responsible for the E-Fan 2.0's entire development, including its electric engine and batteries, flight test and certification by EASA in Europe. The French manufacturer will also be responsible for helping define the operational framework and regulations for ab-initio pilot training with the French DGAC civil aviation airworthiness authority.
The contract, said officials, was the result of an initial 18-month phase of work studies conducted with Airbus Group, and comes at the perfect time for Daher-Socata, which introduced the TBM 900 single-engine turboprop a few months ago, freeing its engineering team to focus on the new project. It is predicted the E-Fan 2.0 eventually will be sold in the United States, although no potential pricing information has been revealed.
Daher-Socata has produced more than 700 TBMs as well as thousands more piston GA airplanes under the Rallye and TB lines. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Supersonic Jets

VIDEO: SUPERSONIC JETS ARE BACK! Twice The Speed of Sound!!!


Breakfast in New York, lunch in London, once again becomes a reality.


Traveling twice the speed of sound, these high-speed beauties can cross the
Atlantic ocean in only three hours.

It’s been more than ten years since British Airways retired the last AĆ©rospatiale-BAC Concorde airliner, which travelled at more than twice the speed of sound.
Since then we have been limited to traditional commercial long-haul jets with a cruise speed of 500 to 600 mph.
1411639404306_wps_1_ProEXR_File_Description_ABut There’s a new generation of supersonic passenger aircraft beginning to emerge
boasting speeds at least twice as fast as current commercial planes.
 In Europe jets are allowed to fly at supersonic speeds over land, but the US prohibits civilian planes from breaking the sound barrier, about 750 mph, while flying over land to avoid noisy sonic booms. The new breed of supersonic transports will fly at subsonic speeds until they reach the ocean when they will speed up to over 1,200 mph.
1411634820073_wps_5_Aerion_Still_EyeLevel_Pri‘To achieve unprecedented reductions in supersonic transportation airport noise, a completely new kind of propulsion system is being developed,” said Michael Buonanno, Lockheed Martin manager of the NASA N+2 program. “We are also exploring new techniques for low-noise jet exhaust, integrated fan noise suppression, airframe noise suppression and computer customized airport noise abatement.”
1411632894220_wps_1_CREATOR_gd_jpeg_v1_0_usinThe jets, which are designed for trans-continental flight will be made mostly from carbon fibre composite material. Design features include wings which reduce overall drag by 20 per cent providing lower fuel consumption and longer range for passengers.
1411632915665_wps_3_Aerion_Still_Interior_PriWhile these planes will first appear in the private and business jet market, catering only to the super rich. With price tags of over $100 million, few of us are running to the jet store, but it won’t be long until you see the new breed of planes taxiing down a runway headed for your gate.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Testing of 100LL Started

FAA Testing of 100LL Replacement Fuels Begins

By Stephen Pope / Published: Nov 26, 2014
The FAA has launched Phase I testing of four unleaded aviation fuels at its William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, officially beginning aviation's much heralded transition away from low lead avgas. 
Two fuels developed by Swift Fuels and one fuel each developed by Shell and Total are now undergoing laboratory and rig testing, which is expected to continue for the next year as the FAA seeks to start phasing out 100LL avgas as early as 2018.
The potential replacement fuels were submitted for testing under the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI), a joint industry-government effort to facilitate the development and deployment of a new unleaded avgas that will meet the needs of the existing piston-engine aircraft fleet, totaling around 167,000 airplanes. The PAFI steering group consists of the FAA, AOPA, the American Petroleum Institute, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, the National Air Transportation Association, and the National Business Aviation Association.
The tests underway now seek to determine whether the unleaded replacement fuels are compatible with aircraft systems such as fuel bladders, hoses, pumps, gauges and more. Two or three of the candidate fuels will be selected for Phase II testing, which will involve flight trials of the unleaded fuels, including flying with mixtures of 100LL and unleaded avgas.
The two-phase test program is being funded with about $6 million per year earmarked by Congress.
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