Spain's Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced Systems (Atlas) experimental test center on August 20 hosted the first flight of a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) beyond visual line of sight since new rules governing RPAS entered force in that country. Pilots with the Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies flew the Viewer aircraft, a 33-pound mtow electric airplane, more than 8 km (4.9 miles) from the center's facilities in Villacarrillo and up to 3,300 feet above sea level.
New rules Spain's Ministry of Development approved in July limit civilian RPAS flights in non-segregated airspace to visual line of sight, within 500 meters of the pilot or control center and up to 400 feet above ground level. The Atlas flight was possible because the center has access to nearly 400 square miles of segregated airspace. Testers used a Viewer airplane equipped with a transponder and coordinated the flight with the Seville area control center operated by Spanish air navigation service provider AENA. The Spanish Aviation Safety Agency had previously approved the flight.
"This event is a very important step for positioning the Spanish aerospace industry as a leader in the field of unmanned aircraft and systems, and it is a demonstration that flights can be performed in Spain with this type of aircraft legally beyond 400 feet high, opening new business and market opportunities for companies in this sector," the Atlas center said.
The rail-launched Viewer airplane testers flew has a wingspan of 4.8 meters (15.7 feet) and cruising speed of about 40 knots. It carries a 2.5 kg (5.5 pound) payload and has endurance of 90 minutes.
The Greater Rockford Airport Authority has reached an agreement with Chicago-based AAR to build a new hangar facility on the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD). The 200,000-sq-ft MRO facility is expected to employ up to 500 people and expands RFD's current service offerings and infrastructure.
"The central location of the Rockford Airport, which is also in close proximity to AAR's headquarters and supply chain hub near O'Hare Airport, and its long runway make it well positioned to support an MRO facility focused on wide-body airplanes," AAR CEO David Storch told AIN. "But the key factor in our decision to build a world-class facility in Rockford was the support from local and state government, which made this a true public-private partnership, as well as the recent establishment of the Rock Valley Community College program to train AMTs, which helps to ensure a pipeline of talent."
The facility is expected to operate 24 hours a day and will service next-generation, wide-body aircraft. This will allow for scheduled and unscheduled service, modification and overhaul and all other support services for military and commercial aircraft.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) contributed $15 million to the project from Build Illinois bond funds as an incentive, coordinated through the Rockford Aviation Authority. DCEO also will provide AAR with a $600,000 investment toward training costs for its new employees.
Banyan Air Services of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has been named a HondaJet dealer serving the Southeast U.S. Under the agreement, Banyan Air Services will provide HondaJet sales and service for the eight-state territory that includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and South Carolina.
"Banyan Air Service has an outstanding reputation for providing exemplary customer satisfaction through aircraft sales and service. We are proud to have a partner who shares Honda's commitment to making customers our highest priority," said Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino. "Banyan Air Service will complement and further strengthen the HondaJet dealer network."
Banyan Air Services, an FAA and EASA certified repair station, has more than 30 years' experience serving the general aviation market and provides 24-hour FBO and aircraft maintenance services. The MRO also has full avionics capabilities and turbine engine services.
"We are excited to represent the HondaJet in the Southeast U.S.," said Banyan Air Service president Don Campion. "Banyan Air Service looks forward to providing exceptional aviation services to HondaJet customers."
The business and assets of California-based Technical Metal Finishing (TMF) have been acquired by Nasmyth Group as part of that company's implementation of an international growth strategy. TMF (to be known as Nasmyth TMF) offers a range of metal surface finishing capabilities including precision masking, anodizing and chemical film coatings, passivation, painting and non-destructive testing. According to the Nasmyth Group, TMF complements its four metal-surface-finishing businesses in the UK providing precise, aerospace industry- and Nadcap-approved treatments for metals.
The acquisition allows for technology transfers in both directions, expansion resulting from the introduction of new customers, and further development of new processes and the funding of future growth, said Chris Sosa, Nasmyth TMF's general manager.
Craig Hanriot, the former owner of TMF, will be working with the global Nasmyth team to identify and develop new metal finishing opportunities in the U.S., Europe and Asia.