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One-ton Cargo Drone In The Works »

An online retailer in China, JD.com, announced this week it plans to develop heavy-duty drones that can deliver one ton or more of cargo. The drones could also be used to ferry goods out of the rural areas, such as fruits and vegetables headed for urban markets, according to the company. JD chairman Richard Liu said he plans to build 150 drone delivery sites in China’s rural districts within the next three years, according to the Wall Street Journal. More

London City Switching To Remote Tower »

London City Airport, a general aviation field popular with business travelers, will become the first airport in the U.K. to install a digital control tower, the airport has announced. The tower will be equipped with 16 high-definition cameras that will transmit data to a control center in Swanwick, Hampshire, about 100 miles away, where air traffic controllers will do their job off-site. More

NBAA, NATA Decry Trump Budget Proposal »

Budget details released by the White House on Tuesday show an apparent commitment by the Trump administration to privatize the air traffic control system, according to NBAA. “The president’s budget takes the public’s elected representatives out of the equation and leaves it to a private board to ensure the public’s interest is being well served,” said NBAA President Ed Bolen in a news release late on Tuesday. “We are troubled and concerned by this proposal and will review it closely as the legislative process moves forward.” More

First Flight For New K-Max »

The newly in-production K-Max helicopter, built by Kaman Aerosystems, flew for the first time on May 12, the company announced last week. The aircraft performed “flawlessly,” said test pilot Bill Hart. “I look forward to successfully completing our production flight-test schedule over the coming weeks.” The single-seat K-Max features a counter-rotating rotor system and is designed to be rugged and low-maintenance. It’s optimized for external-load operations and vertical-reference flight. More

EBACE: Airbus Launches Private Jet, Corporate Helicopters »

Airbus Corporate Jets is now offering a corporate-jet version of its A330neo widebody airliner, the company announced at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, being held this week in Geneva. The ACJ330neo can carry up to 25 passengers in a customized cabin, with room for conference/dining areas, a private office, bedrooms, bathrooms and guest seating. The company also announced the launch of Airbus Corporate Helicopters, a high-end, custom brand for the VIP private and business aviation market. More

Ag And Helicopter Pilots Decry Drone Rule Change »

A recent federal court decision that the FAA has no authority to require drone users to register is not sitting well with many aviators. Helicopter Association International issued a statement this week saying it “strongly disagrees” with the ruling, adding that helicopter pilots “are deeply concerned about our ability to fly safely in airspace where pilots could encounter any unmanned aircraft, be it commercial or otherwise.” The National Agricultural Aviation Association also issued a statement. More

EBACE: Cirrus, Piper Models Now EASA-Certified »

Several U.S. manufacturers announced models that now are certified for sales in Europe this week at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, being held in Geneva. Piper said it has been awarded approval for its top-of-the-line single-engine turboprop, the M600, which was FAA-certified in June last year. The six-seat aircraft sells for about $3 million. Cirrus said it has received EASA certification for its $2 million Vision jet and has made its first delivery in Europe. More

EBACE: GE Joins Aerion SST Effort »

GE Aviation says it will work with Aerion Corp. to look at what would be needed to develop an engine for a supersonic jet. “We have thoroughly evaluated over two dozen civil and military engines from all leading engine producers over the past two years,” said Aerion CEO Doug Nichols. That research, he said, led him to conclude that “working with GE Aviation will help us meet the challenging specifications needed to meet our performance objectives.” More

Short Final »

Heard recently one morning on JFK tower frequency … JetBlue: Tower, is our speed compatible with the aircraft ahead of us? … Tower:  As long as you don't go to warp factor 6, you should be fine ... Marty Twersky More

Nextant Announces Challenger Upgrade »

The European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) opens May 22 in Geneva and as usual, companies are making announcements in advance of the formal opening. Nextant has announced that it’s dipping a toe in the large cabin market with an avionics upgrade for Challenger 604 bizjets. More