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Made-In-Canada ISR Baron Unveiled
Textron unveiled its new G58 Baron Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show in England this week but while the Wichita company basked in the attention it was a Canadian company behind the project.
Discovery Air Technical Services, of Toronto, modified the Baron airframe and integrated the sensors and operator panels in the cabin. Textron has now started marketing the aircraft to government agencies and law enforcement organizations and Discovery will do the mods on the aircraft that are sold.
Textron is bullish on the affordable ISR platform. “There’s a great need from law enforcement agencies around the world for a light ISR platform that offers the needed performance and capabilities at an affordable price point,” said Dan Keady, VP of Special Missions for Textron. “The Baron is uniquely suited to offer a balance of high dash speeds, long endurance, state-of-the-art avionics, exceptional flying and handling qualities, a rugged airframe and low operating costs.”
After Farnborough it will fly to Airborne Law Enforcement Association Expo in Phoenix and the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) in August.
Discovery installs an electro-optical/infrared camera, console and communications gear. The equipment allows the operator to see in all conditions.
CSeries Gets Interest, Few Firm Orders
Even though its CSeries airliner couldn’t make the trip, tentative orders are mounting for the aircraft. With announcements at the Farnborough Air Show, the order book for the twin-engine jet is now at 513.
There are firm orders for 203 aircraft and the company expects some of those booked at Farnborough to firm up shortly. The company wants 300 firm orders when the aircraft enters service next year. It’s added about 20 tentative orders at Farnborough.
Bombardier is also celebrating a brace of new orders for its Q400 turboprop, including some in Thailand, which is dominated by ATR aircraft in the regional market
Meanwhile, Bombardier and engine maker Pratt &Whitney continue to test a fix for an engine failure that grounded the test fleet six weeks ago.
“We shipped the engines to Pratt for a root cause analysis and we found the root cause and we found a solution,” Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne said in a statement last week. “We’re now testing that solution before we can fly again.”
Viking Enjoying Good Farnborough
Viking Aircraft added five aircraft to its growing order book with the sale of five Series 400 Twin Otters to its first customer in the U.K.
Montrose Global LLP, of London, will lease the aircraft to various airlines. The order includes Twin Otters on wheels and on amphibious floats. Deliveries are slated for late 2015 and through 2016.
Viking also delivered two aircraft to Air Seychelles at the show.
Just before Farnborough, the company and its training partner Pacific Sky announced the purchase of a Level 4 full fidelity flight simulator for Twin Otter training that will feature a unique floatplane simulation program.
The simulator will be able to mimic all sea states to train seaplane pilots. “This will be the first full flight simulator to feature a seaplane configuration,” said a Pacific Sky statement.
Cause Undetermined in Antarctic Crash
It’s unlikely a cause will ever be determined for the crash of a Kenn Borek Air Twin Otter in Antarctica in early 2013.
It’s equally unlikely the bodies of pilot Bob Heath, copilot Mike Denton and engineer Perry Anderson will ever be recovered.
They were flying a load of fuel from the South Pole to an Italian research team at Terra Nova Bay when the aircraft hit the side of Mt. Elizabeth.
The cockpit voice recorder wasn’t working and there is no database for the Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS) so it’s likely the only warning the crew got that they were too low to clear the mountain was from the GPS.
“At 45 seconds prior to impact, it appears (the plane) entered a climb, which may correlate with receipt of a 30-second terrain advisory.
Kenn Borek Air has improved navigation procedures in the wake of the accident.
Student Slightly Injured In Crash
An Air Cadet student pilot on a solo flight was slightly hurt July 12 after her Cessna 150 went down in the back yard of a house in Saint-Hubert.
There was apparently nothing out of the ordinary about the flight, which was being undertaken under the surpervision of an instructor who stayed on the ground. The 17-year-old student was qualified to solo and all regulations were being followed. She had 12 hours of flight time.The aircraft, an L-model Aerobat, is owned by the Montreal Flying Club
The student is an Ottawa resident and was among 55 cadets taking training at Saint-Hubert
The mishap provoked a strong reaction from neighbours who said they had been worried about an accident happening for decades.
TSB investigator Marc Perreault told media in Montreal the fears are overblown. He said it’s only the second crash in the area in 25 years.
Early reports quoted witnesses as saying the young pilot was most concerned about her parents finding out about the crash. The accident was widely publicized so it’s unlikely that happened.