A study conducted by NBAA has found that 15 percent of flights in business jets begin without a complete flight-control check, the association reported last week. The NTSB suggested a need for the study after its investigation of a fatal 2014 accident involving a Gulfstream G-IV at Hanscom Field, in Bedford, Mass. The safety board found the crew had not performed a flight-control check before takeoff, and as a result, they had no way of knowing the aircraft’s gust lock was engaged. The jet ran off the runway and caught fire, killing all seven on board.
Bell Helicopter recently unveiled its new design for an autonomous tiltrotor, the V-247 Vigilant, which will have a 65-foot wing span and will be capable of carrying a payload of up to 6.5 tons of fuel, armament, and sensors. The aircraft, designed for military use, will be able to operate from land or sea, and will be ready to deploy as soon as 2023, according to Bell. The Vigilant will travel at speeds up to 300 knots and can operate within a 250-nm radius.
Uber is taking a serious look at autonomous VTOL aircraft for urban transport, and could have a fleet flying within a decade, chief products officer Jeff Holden said at a Nantucket conference on Sunday. In an interview with Kara Swisher of Re/code, Holden said the technology “could change cities and how we work and live.” Holden said he has been researching the possibilities "so we can someday offer our customers as many options as possible to move around … doing it in a three-dimensional way is an obvious thing to look at."