A recent OAG survey looks at future travel tech innovation and disruption. Also, the uncontained engine failure on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, integrating the Bombardier CSeries into the Airbus organization, the FAA reauthorization bill, and the effect of rising fuel prices on airfares.
Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer
Mike Benjamin is Chief Technology Officer at OAG, a global provider of digital flight information for airlines, airports, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, consultancies, and travel-related companies. OAG is in the business of data aggregation and distribution, with flight information used for real-time and analytical tools.
Mike tells us about the Travel Tech Innovation: Market Report where OAG surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. travelers to gain insight into which future advancements will resonate. We look at traveler interest in artificial intelligence applications, supersonic travel, booking process innovations, the use of autonomous vehicles, and biometrics at the airport to speed travelers along.
Mike has over 30 years of experience in aviation, travel, technology, and business development. After completing his education at MIT, he held several leadership positions during the first years in his career, and then took over leadership of FlightView, a US-based day-of-travel information and technology provider. Mike joined OAG via the FlightView acquisition in January 2015.
In his current role as Chief Technology Officer at OAG, Mike works with airlines, airports, and travel providers to utilize data-driven solutions to plan more profitable routes, improve customer satisfaction, and operate more efficiently.
The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Uncontained Engine Failure
The U.S. House of Representatives approved five-year H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 by a 393-to-13 vote. The bill includes no ATC privatization. Also, airlines would not be able to involuntarily bump an already-boarded revenue passenger, large and medium-sized airports would be required to provide private rooms in every terminal for nursing mothers. Minimum dimensions for seat pitch, width, and length would be determined by the FAA within one year. A feasibility study of in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems would be conducted.
We celebrate our 500th episode with messages from our listeners and contributors, some Airplane Geeks facts and trivia, an AusDesk report, and a big announcement. In the news, we look at an emergency airworthiness directive for certain CFM engines, and a proposed mandatory retirement age for charter pilots.
A Southwest Airlines B737 experienced an uncontained failure in one of its CFM56-7B engines that resulted in the death of one passenger. The engine manufacturer, CFM International, issued a service bulletin for ultrasonic testing of the fan blades. This can be performed on-engine in about four hours. The FAA said the “emergency” order was based on a service bulletin. CFMI estimates 352 engines in the U.S. are affected and 681 engines worldwide.
A manager’s amendment in the FAA reauthorization bill would require a mandatory retirement age of 65 for certain Part 135 charter and Part 91K fractional pilots. In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and ranking member Pete DeFazio, the AARP says they have “long opposed mandatory retirement; using an arbitrary age as a proxy for competence is wrong in any occupation, and it is wrong for pilots.”
Well Wishes and Messages for 500 Episodes
Our sincere thanks to all our listeners, past guests, and especially:
We talk about electric aircraft, automation, and new technologies in aviation with the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Also, airport access for general aviation, a GAMA jobs rally, the Department of Defense receives more aircraft than they asked for, a proposal for increased air cargo security, and interviews from South by Southwest with an astronaut and with the EAA.
Greg Bowles, VP of Global Innovation & Policy, GAMA
Greg Bowles is the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Greg is responsible for identifying key technology opportunities and developing critical paths to success which will evolve the global safety, efficiency, and success of aviation.
Greg is in a unique position to talk about electric aircraft technology, regulatory changes, and other new aviation developments that impact the industry, pilots, and the general population. We discuss the state of electric propulsion, battery energy density, hybrid aircraft, and the rapid emergence of eVTOL electric aircraft. Greg illustrates some of the new options that electric power allows, and explains how the interaction between the human pilot and the technology has licensing and training implications. Greg sees a future where simplified vehicles open up aviation to a broader audience.
Greg leads the GAMA Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee (EPIC) which represents the world’s leading aviation mobility development companies along with traditional aviation manufacturers as this community strives to enable new kinds of public transportation through the air. He also leads the worldwide design standards committee that is chartered to develop globally acceptable means of compliance for general aviation aircraft.
Greg has been an advisor to several long-standing ICAO panels and he’s the industry co-chair on the FAA’s Part 23 Reorganization ARC which has developed the rewrite of FAA part 23 regulations to assure they will address aircraft of the next twenty years.
Alpha Electro 2-seat electric trainer. Courtesy Pipistrel.
Before he joined GAMA, Greg worked as a certification engineer at Keystone (now Sikorsky) Helicopter, and he was a design engineer at Cessna Aircraft Company (now Textron Aviation).
Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University. He is an active instrument-rated general aviation pilot.
In the U.S., most airports have Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) which provide many services to general aviation, including fuel and parking. Changes in the FBO customer base may have implications for general aviation.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is planning a jobs rally on in Olathe, Kansas, April 6, 2018, at the Garmin International Warehouse and Distribution Center. The event will feature government and industry leaders who will discuss the economic contributions of aviation, investment in products, the future workforce, and the promotion of STEM.
The U.S. Government spending bill signed by the president on March 23, 2018, included 143 aircraft above what was requested by the Department of Defence. These include Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters, F/A-18 Super Hornets, KC-46A tankers, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. We look at the reasons for this and the implications.
The Act passed the House by voice vote and goes to the Senate. If enacted, the TSA Administrator would establish an air cargo security division which would conduct a feasibility study on expanding the use of computed tomography (CT) technology for screening air cargo transported on passenger aircraft, followed by a 2-year pilot program.
We talk with an Airbus A350 captain who has a long history flying commercial aircraft. In the news, we consider one-person flight crews, U.S. airlines looking to scale back consumer protection regulations, ADS-B vulnerabilities for military aircraft, and largest ever Piper order for training planes, plans for the Air Force bomber fleet, and Southwest runs out of glycol. We also have a conversation about ATIS with the Chief of the Air Traffic Control Division at Robert Gray Army Airfield.
Malaysia Airlines A350. Photo by H Gousse, courtesy Airbus.
Airbus A350 Captain Bill Palmer.
Bill Palmer is an A350 captain and an instructor pilot/check airman. He has been heavily involved in Airbus training since the early 1990’s, and Bill is the author of Understanding Air France 447 and other publications on Airbus flight control laws. Bill also holds a commercial glider rating and flies his Rolladen-Schneider LS-3 for fun in southern California.
Bill describes the transition to the A350 as like going from DOS to Windows. The aircraft shares some commonality with A380, and Bill describes fly-by-wire and the flight control laws. We also hear about other features of the A350, such as the paperless cockpit implementation and the availability airport runway, taxiway, and gate information to pilot. The plane will calculate landing distance and brake to the correct speed for the selected taxiway. Bill also describes the A350 runway overrun protection and the auto-flight system’s automatic TCAS and wind shear recovery.
Bill started flying at the age of 15, soloed on his 16th birthday and completed his private certificate at 17. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and holds a BS in Aeronautical Science. He earned his flight instructor certificate in 1978 and has been instructing almost non-stop since then while holding airplane, instrument, multi-engine, and ground instructor certificates. Besides light aircraft he has also taught on the 727, 757, A320, DC-10, and A330, and written manuals for the DC-10, A330, and B-787 fleets. He has also produced numerous training publications and videos for the various fleets as well.
At the Singapore Airshow, Boeing research and technology vice-president Charles Toups said, “We are studying [one pilot operations], and where you will first see that is probably in cargo transport, so the passenger question is off the table.” Also at the Singapore Air Show, ST Aerospace showed the concept for an unmanned freighter piloted by an artificially intelligent computer. ST Aero was optimistic about an unmanned freighter within the next five years.
In the Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney reports that last October the U.S. Department of Transportation asked airlines to suggest changes or cuts to regulations. Airlines for America filed 222 pages of comments. United Airlines added 50 pages.
Chinese Fanmei Aviation Technologies has ordered 152 training aircraft from Piper Aircraft. Fanmei is Piper’s dealer in China, and a subsidiary of Sichuan Fan-Mei Education Group Co., which provides aviation education in China. This is reported to be the largest single order for training airplanes in Piper’s history. The seven-year purchase agreement is valued at $74 million and includes 100 Archer TX single-engine trainers, 50 twin-engine Seminoles, one Seneca twin, and one Piper M350.
In its Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request, the Air Force outlined plans for its bomber fleet, which include a plan to update the B-52 Stratofortress fleet, continue modifications to the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fleets, while continuing to acquire B-21 Raiders.
Southwest Airlines had to cancel more than 250 flights from Midway Airport after running out of de-icing fluid. One of the glycol tank pumps wasn’t working properly and some of the de-icing fluid could not be accessed.
Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari talks about ATIS (automatic terminal information service) with Mark N. Vick, Chief, Air Traffic Control Division, Directorate of Aviation Operations at Robert Gray Army Airfield, Fort Hood Texas, a military joint-use airport that operates alongside Killeen–Fort Hood Regional Airport.
The NASA Chief Historian helps us look at some events from the past, anniversaries coming up, and what the future holds for NASA. Also, the International Trade Commission rules for Bombardier and against Boeing, more information about the pilot in the fatal Icon A5 crash, Putin wants a supersonic civilian airliner, and a look at big aerospace and defense deals in 2017.
Bill Barry, NASA Chief Historian.
Dr. William P. Barry is the NASA Chief Historian. We talk with Bill about the upcoming 60th anniversary of NASA on October 1, 2018, the 60th anniversary of the first U.S. satellite, and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions. Bill gives us some insights into the tragic Apollo 1 accident, known simply as “The Fire.”
Bill has been NASA’s Chief Historian since 2010. He began work at NASA in 2001 after retiring from a 22-year career in the US Air Force. Bill worked in NASA’s international relations office for several years, and served as the NASA European Representative at the United States Embassy in Paris before being appointed NASA Chief Historian. A graduate, with honors, of the United States Air Force Academy, Bill also holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University and a Doctorate from Oxford University.
“The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada that the U.S. Department of Commerce… has determined are subsidized and sold at less than fair value. As a result of the USITC’s negative determinations, no antidumping or countervailing duty orders will be issued.”
The Commission’s final report will be published by March 2, 2018, can be accessed on the USITC website.
Former baseball star Roy Halladay died following the crash of his Icon A5 in shallow water last November. An autopsy revealed that Halladay did not immediately die of the impact – a contributing cause of death was drowning. He also had “enough mood-altering drugs in his system to confirm he shouldn’t have been driving a car, much less flying an airplane.”
Vladimir Putin wants to build a civilian version of the Tupolev Tu-160 supersonic nuclear bomber as a supersonic passenger jet for wealthy customers. The United Aircraft Corporation has told Putin that designers already have a supersonic civilian airliner project.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers reports that the global aerospace and defense industry saw $72 billion worth of deals in 2017. This betters the previous record of $67 billion set in 2015, and represents a whopping 79% increase over 2016. Nine deals with announced value greater than $1 billion accounted for 86% of the total value this year. Global Aerospace and Defense Deals Insights Year-End 2017 [PDF].
The National Business Aviation Association’s 2017 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). Also, Airbus takes a majority position in the CSeries program, the Global Supertanker is firefighting in California, the Scaled Composites experimental Model 401 first flight, and trouble for Kestrel in Wisconsin and Maine.
Arthur Rosen is a retired Judge, AOPA-ASN (Airport Support Network) for Scottsdale Airport (SDL), and Chairman Emeritus of the Scottsdale Aviation Commission. He served on the Super Bowl Committee for Aviation, he’s past President of the Arizona Soaring Association, and an aviation expert for ABC TV-Phoenix. Arthur blogs at My Opinion: Thoughts and Comments on General Aviation. Follow him on Twitter at @judgearr.
Arthur, Rob, and Brian all attended NBAA-BACE held Oct. 10–12 in Las Vegas, and we explore their impressions of the event. Brian recorded some of the speakers, and the following are condensed versions:
Opening Remarks from the Keynote: Ed Bolen and Clark County City Commissioner Lawrence Weekly:
Congresswoman Dina Titus, Representative for Nevada’s 1st congressional district:
Michael Huerta – FAA Administrator:
Robert Sumwalt – NTSB Chairman:
Capt Jim Lovell – Retired test pilot and astronaut:
Despite the tariffs recommended by the U.S. Commerce Department, Delta Air Lines says they will not pay import duties on the 75 CSeries aircraft it ordered from Bombardier. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, “I can’t tell you how this is going to eventually work out. There may be a delay in us taking the aircraft, as we work through the issues with Bombardier, who is being a great partner in this.”
Airbus Group is buying a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries program. The CSeries headquarters will remain in the Montreal area but a second assembly line for the 100- to 150-seat plane will be set up at Airbus’ facility in Alabama.
Scaled Composites conducted the first flight of the experimental Model 401 proof-of-concept airplane. The airplane (N401XP) was designed for a “proprietary customer” and is the first of two commissioned.
In 2012, the state of Wisconsin gave Kestrel $4 million in state loans and more in tax incentives to build a plant that was to employ 665 people. Kestrel didn’t build the plant and is in default on their loan payments. Meanwhile, Kestrel has been evicted from its facility in Maine for failure to meet its financial obligations.
Richard Aboulafia gives us his insights on the Boeing “middle-of-the-market” airplane, pilotless airliners, a comeback for Midwest Express, ATC privatization, United Technologies Corporation interest in Rockwell Collins, seat pitch, Russian and Chinese airliner programs, the Mitsubishi MRJ, and the HondaJet.
Richard Aboulafia is Vice President of Analysis at Teal Group. He manages both commercial and military consulting projects, and he analyzes broader defense and aerospace trends. Richard’s insights appear on television and radio programs, and in almost every major publication through his columns, his articles, or because he is being quoted. Richard writes and edits Teal Group’s World Military and Civil Aircraft Briefing forecasting tool that covers over 135 aircraft programs and markets.
The Midwest brand disappeared in 2010 when Republic Airways Holdings, the parent company of Midwest Airlines merged that airline with Frontier Airlines. Now, a group of business and airline professionals have plans to bring the brand back. The Midwest Express website asks, “Remember when flying was hassle-free? It can be again!”
Previously, we pointed out Alliance for Aviation Across America videos featuring “Sully” Sullenberger arguing against ATC privatization. Karen Walker, the Editor-in-Chief at Air Transport World, thinks Sully is using his status to mislead people.
A new on-demand service that matches travelers with professional pilots and GA aircraft. Also, a turboprop with one third of the parts 3D printed, more on the American uncontained engine failure, recovery parachutes for larger aircraft, flexible airplane wings, Southwest pilots ratify a new contract, and enlisted pilots for remotely piloted aircraft.
Rod Rakic co-founded OpenAirplane in 2013 to make renting an airplane as easy as renting a car. The “universal pilot checkout” resets the clock on the flight review, offers a renter’s insurance discount, and gives pilots access to the same make and model of aircraft across the U.S.
Now the company has launched FlyOtto, a new service that matches travelers with professional pilots and certified general aviation aircraft. On-demand private charter avoids the hassles of major commercial airports and increases the utilization of the GA fleet. FlyOtto takes advantage of the over 5,000 public use airports in the U.S.
A pioneer in the development of innovative experiences, Rod has spent 20 years creating online products that enhance and manage brands. In 2007, he co-founded myTransponder, a pioneering social media tool for aviation. Rod has years of experience developing tools and community specific to the aviation industry.
Rod started flying when he was sixteen and holds an FAA commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
General Electric has tested the a-CT7 demonstrator engine which incorporates a very high percentage of “3D printed” parts. In the Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine to come, 12 printed parts are planned to replace 855 conventionally manufactured parts. The ATP will power the all-new Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop aircraft.
Aviation Safety Resources (ARS) is working on the TriChute Safe Landing system that could be used on larger aircraft, such as the 8,000-pound Cessna Caravan. When this system is activated, the fuel-laden wings separate from the fuselage, and all three portions of the aircraft descend under their own parachutes.
Researchers from MIT, the University of California Santa Cruz, and NASA are working to develop flexible wing technology. This concept uses an “array of tiny, lightweight structural pieces” called “digital materials” that twist “when put under pressure from a pair of motors on the wingtip.”
Southwest Airlines says its pilots ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) says 84 percent of the pilots who voted were in favor of the new contract. SWAPA announced the deal means a 15 percent pay raise, with a 3 percent annual increase through 2020. Also, pilots are no longer required to contribute to the pension plan.
The U.S. Air Force has an initiative to train enlisted Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) pilots for RQ-4 Global Hawk missions. The October 12 Enlisted Pilot Initial Class (EPIC) included four enlisted students along with twenty commissioned officers.
Airline branding and marketing strategies, Farnborough International Airshow 2016 coverage, an MH370 update, Southwest Airlines revenue and a system glitch, a large Chinese amphibian, a few world records, and news from Maine.
Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying
Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying, a large aviation marketing strategy firm. We talk with Shashank about airline branding strategies and how they need to be different from those of typical consumer goods. He tells us about the changes implemented by some of his airline clients to better serve the new connected traveler, how airlines should manage crisis, and the value of empowered employees.
A sought-after consultant and speaker on aviation marketing, Shashank started SimpliFlying in 2009 as a blog on airline marketing. Since then, he and his team have built SimpliFlying into a global leader in airline consulting, having worked with more than 70 airlines and airports over the past seven years. Their latest projects include the Bombardier CSeries launch, and a re-design of the customer service strategy for Cebu Pacific. Shashank has a book coming out about airline marketing called SOAR. The book shares how some of the most innovative airline brands delight customers and inspire employees.
Farnborough International Airshow 2016
Brian, Micah, and the Trent
We kick off our coverage of the Farnborough Airshow with two interviews by Brian and Micah. First, we hear from Capt. Jeff and Dr. Steff from the Airline Pilot Guy show. They discuss their efforts to put together the live recording and meetup at Farnborough. Then Brian and Micah have an interesting conversation with Airbus A350 XWB marketing director Mike Bausor about the A350. We’ll bring you many additional interviews in future episodes.
The guys also had an opportunity to speak with Rolls Royce about the Trent Ultra in development. The Ultra will be a geared turbofan with all-carbon fiber fan blades. Perhaps most interesting, the fan blades will have adjustable pitch and be fully reversible, eliminating the need for thrust reversers. The engine in development after the Ultra features electrically driven fans powered by constant speed turbines that drive a generator.
Seated from left to right: Captain Nick, Captain Jeff, Dr. Steph. Standing: Markus Völter (Omega Tau), Micah, Carlos Stebbins (Plane Talking UK), Pilot Pip (Plane Safety Podcast) , Captain Al Evans (PTUK guest host and contributor), Brian. Photo by Daniel Hannington,
This publication “obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have realized their dream of achieving the first ever Round-The-World Solar Flight! From the Solar Impulse website: “Beyond this historic milestone, the two Swiss pioneers will continue to urge the global implementation of energy efficient solutions through the creation of the International Committee for Clean Technologies and leverage the expertise and technology gained over the years in Solar Impulse by launching new innovative projects, such as the development of solar powered drones. Join the movement with #futureisclean.”
We explore aviation accidents as emergent properties of complex systems, and discuss: the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association complaints about pilot wages, a survey on frequent flier rewards programs, an NPRM that would change FAR Part 61, third class medical reform in yet more legislation, and a two seat Robinson R44. David has an onfire history segment and Rob talks TSA.
Captain Shem Malmquist has a broad aviation experience ranging from teaching aerobatics and instructing in a wide variety of both general aviation and transport aircraft, to academic research and safety investigation.
Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS
We talk with Shem about improvements that have made air travel safer, and the gaps we now face for identifying problems that might arise in the future. Shem explains how aviation accidents currently present themselves as interactions of complex components. Resilience engineering is an example of a different approach to how we look at complex accidents. We discuss flight simulators, mitigating lithium battery risk, and autonomous vehicles, including both manned and unmanned aircraft.
Shem worked as an instructor and evaluator on several transport aircraft and has served as flight crew on the Embraer EMB-110, Shorts 360, B-727, DC-8, B-747 and MD-11. He continues to work a full flight schedule, mostly international long haul flights.
Shem has been part of the Air Line Pilot Association’s (ALPA) National Charting and Instrument Procedures Committee (CHIPS), and he was selected by his airline to be the chairman of both the airline’s Safety Committee and the Aircraft Design and Operations Committee.
As Flight Duty Officer, he led several initiatives, including a volcanic ash avoidance plan, air security procedures, and a number of regulatory compliance issues. Shem completed NTSB’s accident investigation training and acted as Party Coordinator for an MD-11 accident in Newark, New jersey, and he was on the “go-team” for an MD-11 accident in Narita Japan.
Last year, Shem was a keynote speaker at FAA’s InfoShare and has presented at several International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) events. He has also authored numerous articles on various issues involving flight safety and operations covering a broad range of topics from technical to human factors. Shem earned a Masters (MSc) degree in Human Factors in Aeronautics through the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Science (BSc) from Embry-Riddle University. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a full member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), and a member of AIAA, IEEE, and SAE where he also serves on three committees: Flight Deck Handling Quality Standards for Transport Aircraft, Aerospace Behavior Engineering Technology, and Lithium Battery Packaging Performance.
David Woods, Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University. Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) wanted to make a point about pilot wages on a billboard at Chicago Midway International Airport. City Hall told them they could not post their message, so the union filed suit against the city of Chicago, claiming an unconstitutional restriction on their First Amendment rights and asking for a temporary restraining order to allow the pilots to display the ad. As a result, a Judge orders Chicago to allow Southwest pilots billboard at Midway.
The Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey conducted by consulting firm IdeaWorks found that for the third year in a row, free seats open for booking increased. “Overall, I think the consumer is being better served than the year before,” says Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks.
Switchfly CEO Daniel Farrar said, “This survey reflects the fact that airlines can’t afford to take their customers for granted. 21st century consumers are savvy and plugged-in. They know when their loyalty programs are offering them a real value and when they are not delivering; and they don’t have time for loyalty programs that aren’t delivering, especially in such a competitive space. Increasingly, consumers expect a personalized booking, travel and reward experience. Every time a customer interacts with the brand – online, offline or mobile – the user experience must be on-point. Airlines must make this happen and ensure that zero customers have a bad experience anywhere along the booking or redemption path.”
The FAA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would change FAR Part 61 which governs the certification of pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors. AOPA is supportive of the proposed changes, which include “increased use of aviation training devices (ATDs) for maintaining instrument currency, the option to use new technically advanced aircraft instead of older complex or turbine aircraft for single-engine commercial pilot training, and giving credit for hours accumulated during sport pilot training toward earning a recreational or private pilot certificate.”
Third class medical reform from the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 keeps getting into legislation: As standalone legislation in the Senate, again as part of the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill, and now by the Senate Armed Services Committee in the National Defense Authorization Act.
The FAA has certified Robinson’s two-place R44 Cadet The Cadet is essentially an R44 Raven, but with the rear seats removed for more cargo space. Maximum gross weight is reduced to 2200 pounds, engine power is derated to 210 hp takeoff and 185 hp continuous.