Volume 28, Number 15b, April 7, 2021
SpaceX SN11 Failure Found, Next Test Vehicle Readied
Last week’s flight of SpaceX’s Starship SN11 ended literally with a bang after a successful ascent and trademark “belly flop” descent. Company CEO Elon Musk reported on Twitter yesterday, “Ascent phase, transition to horizontal & control during free fall were good. A (relatively) small CH4 leak led to fire on[…]   Read this article
Japan Airlines Gives P&W-Powered B777s Early Retirement
“JAL has decided to accelerate the retirement of all P&W-equipped Boeing 777s by March 2021, which [was] originally planned by March 2022,” read a statement by the airline released on its website Monday. JAL promptly grounded its 13 PW4000-series-powered 777s after United Airlines Flight 328 experienced a dramatic engine failure[…]   Read this article
Textron Delivers 600th Citation CJ3
The Cessna Citation CJ3+ just delivered to an unnamed North American owner marks the 600th of the design since it was launched in 2004. The Williams-powered, nine-passenger light jet has been a consistent seller for Cessna, with more than 20 a year delivered since 2015; in 2019, the CJ3+ was[…] Read this article

Piper Board Names Calcagno Acting President And CEO
With the retirement of Simon Caldecott becoming effective last Friday, Piper Aircraft announced yesterday its board of directors had appointed John Calcagno acting president and CEO, effective immediately. Calcagno most recently served as Piper’s chief financial officer where he oversaw all financial reporting, treasury and cash management, information technology and[…] Read this article

Subaru Working On A Flying Motorcycle
Subaru Corporation has filed for a U.S. patent for a “land-and-air vehicle”—a tilt-rotor/motorcycle. And the application wasn’t dated April 1. Drawings show a heavily faired gas engine-powered motorcycle with conventional throttle, clutch and front-brake controls on its handlebars. It also shows a piggyback airframe component with a pair of wings[…] Read this article

FAA Previews Task-Based Testing for Experimentals
Touting changes that could “revolutionize” flight testing for experimental/amateur-built aircraft, the Experimental Aircraft Association says that the FAA recent draft guidance on Phase I flight testing could change from a pure hours-based system (25 or 40 hours for most homebuilts) to a task-based system that could cut flight hours and[…] Read this article

Accident Probe: Deadly Distractions
I’ve previously referred to scenes from Ernest K. Gann’s book “Fate Is The Hunter” in these pages. The combined autobiography and ground school traces his flying career from DC-2s over the eastern U.S., C-47s and C-87s over the North Atlantic during WWII, and DC-4s on the Honolulu/San Francisco run after[…] Read this article

Is The F-35 Irrelevant?
There must be something about spring that inspires new initiatives and confident moves to the future and U.S. military leaders are in fine fettle, designing their dream fleets of the latest and greatest to protect the country and many others. The Air Force and Navy have trotted out billions in[…] Read this article

Best Of The Web: A Humorous Look At Ejection Seat Testing
What got many of us into flying were those fascinating newsreel pieces done during the 1950s and 1960s on advances in aviation technology. The military services produced them and so did manufacturers like Boeing, Northrop, Grumman and North American. Who can forget those riveting clips of rocket sleds blasting down[…] Read this article