A stealth fighter jet called the X-2, which has been in development in Japan since 2009, flew for the first time on Friday, CNN has reported. The jet, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is not a production design or prototype, but a technology demonstrator, which is meant as a test bed for future designs. The Japanese will fly the jet for a couple of years before deciding if they want to continue into production, according to the Japan Times. More
The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team, an industry-government partnership, has set a goal to reduce fatal civil helicopter accidents by 20 percent by 2019. The team said recently its efforts will focus on improving personal protection, aircraft equipage, pilot judgment and pilot decision-making. The team said total helicopter accidents have decreased by 52 percent compared to 10 years ago. In addition, fatal accidents are down 41 percent and the fatal accident rate is down 60 percent over the same time frame. More
Solar Impulse II completed a 56-hour leg from Hawaii to Mountain View, California, just before midnight local time on Saturday. More
Engine manufacturers and airframers have long worried that the FAA would like the authority to declare the replacement fuel for 100LL as applicable for fleetwide use. But at Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, this week, Lycoming's Michael Kraft told Avweb that the FAA reauthorization bill currently snaking through congress has specific language giving the FAA administrator power to declare a fuel suitable for the entire GA fleet. More
Even at a price north of a million dollars, Diamond's new DA62 twin is finding strong demand in a new aircraft market most describe as tepid. Diamond CEO Christian Dries told AVweb this week at Aero that production will rise to more than one airplane per week and that he believes a volume of 60 to 62 airplanes a year is sustainable. (For reference, GAMA reports that 110 piston twins were sold worldwide in 2015, including 46 from Diamond, which currently dominates the piston-twin market.) More
Do airplane companies need to build brand awareness like Apple and Starbucks? Maybe, but I think if they just build good airplanes, they'll be fine. More
Larry Uzelac of Auburn, CA delivers the goods in our latest installment of "PotW" which, incidentally, features a great batch of other photos from AVweb readers. Click through to enjoy their work.