TOP FLIGHT AWARDS: 2020 WINNERS

AIN is proud to focus on the next winners of the inaugural 2020 High Flight Awards. The awards are designed to acknowledge the perfect and the brightest in enterprise aviation and honor creativity and innovation in design and know-how in addition to high quality and keenness in enterprise aviation companies and folks. Every year, AIN editors will conduct the High Flight Awards, with the nominees introduced on-line on December first and in AIN’s December print situation and the winners revealed on-line round January first and within the January situation. The primary standards for qualifying as nominees for High Flight Awards embody service entry, within the case of latest plane, or availability, for services, throughout the relevant time interval, from October first by September 30. The nominees additionally should illustrate one thing new and distinctive equivalent to improved security and efficiency, contributions to aviation or public profit, and extra. There were10 classes for the inaugural 2020 awards, however these may change and develop in future High Flight Awards years.

New Jet: Bombardier International 5500/6500

Photograph: Barry Ambrose

Bombardier’s new Globals mate time-tested fuselages to extra environment friendly wings and engines mixed with fashionable avionics and a redesigned cabin and cockpit to ship superior security, efficiency, and luxury. 

The re-profiled wing pairs with the brand new Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 engines to spice up gas effectivity by as much as 13 p.c in contrast with the legacy Globals. Most cruise velocity will increase from Mach 0.89 to Mach 0.90 and the airplanes have longer legs than their predecessors: most vary on the International 5500 is 5,900 nm (500 greater than on the International 5000) and 6,600 nm on the International 6500 (600 greater than on the International 6000). The brand new engines, every delivering 15,125 kilos of thrust, discharge 48 p.c much less smoke and 20 p.c much less nitrous oxide, are two decibels quieter, burn 7 p.c much less gas, and have 9 p.c extra thrust than the BR710 engines on the outdated Globals. The engines are also geared up with a sophisticated engine well being and usage-monitoring system (HUMS) that screens hundreds of engine parameters and sends data to the bottom in real-time.

Within the cabin, the brand new airplanes are geared up with the Collins Venue cabin-management and leisure system, upgraded with the power to distribute ultra-high-definition 4K content material all through the cabin. Ka-band satellite tv for pc connectivity permits worldwide seamless Wi-Fi protection. The cabins may be configured to usually seat 12 to 17 and can be found with many customized choices, together with steam ovens within the galley, newly styled cupboards and counter tops, and a stand-up bathe within the aft lav. Each plane function the “Nuage” (French for cloud) seat that Bombardier developed for the bigger International 7500. The convention/eating areas are fitted with a associated new seat design referred to as the “Nuage Chaise,” which permits for the suitable posture for eating/enterprise conferences however can convert right into a lounge chair for reclining. The environmental system options one hundred pc contemporary air, and “turbo” heating and cooling to shortly convey the cabin to a cushty temperature. The pressurized baggage maintain is accessible in flight.

For the flight deck, the brand new Globals function the Collins mixed imaginative and prescient system, which merges enhanced imaginative and prescient and artificial imaginative and prescient system imagery right into a single conformal view, permitting take offs and landings in low visibility. Different security capabilities of the avionics system embody superior climate radar that may predict wind shear, airport shifting maps, real-time visitors, and an improved terrain database.

New Turboprop: Pilatus PC-12 NGX  

After 25 years of time in service, the PC-12 simply retains getting higher. The most recent iteration of this versatile and dependable workhorse options single-lever energy management, extra cruise velocity, and optionally available autothrottle mixed with a restyled and quieter cabin and bigger passenger home windows.

The NGX is powered by the brand new Pratt & Whitney PT6E-67XP, which affords exact and intuitive engine management, lowered pilot workload, and optimized energy. The engine may be operated in a low-prop-speed mode, decreasing cabin noise with out compromising efficiency because of an digital propeller and engine management system. Operated with a single energy lever, the PT6E-67XP produces 1,825 shp and is flat-rated to 1,100 shp in cruise flight, a ten p.c improve from the PC-12’s PT6A-67P. It permits the NGX to achieve a most cruise velocity of 290 knots. The brand new engine could have a 5,000-hour time-between-overhaul interval with sizzling part inspections solely required on-condition. The NGX is licensed to fly with out gas anti-ice additive. 

Up entrance, the NGX’s Superior Cockpit Atmosphere (ACE) is constructed round Honeywell’s Epic 2.0 avionics suite with a brand new touchscreen avionics controller with built-in bezel contour grips meant to stabilize the pilot’s hand in turbulence. ACE’s commonplace security options embody emergency descent mode and tactile suggestions to help in avoiding unintentional extreme financial institution angles. Different NGX flight deck options embody brighter, extra vivid shows; night-mode charts; pilot-defined visible approaches; high-resolution 2D airport shifting maps; Honeywell’s SmartLanding and SmartRunway consciousness techniques; 3D clever audio with ATC playback and Bluetooth interface; digital checklists linked to crew alerting system messages; worldwide graphical climate; help for European protected mode-controller pilot knowledge hyperlink communications (PM-CPDLC) mandates; and sooner database loading. A totally-integrated digital autothrottle is optionally available.

Taking inside styling cues from its PC-24 twinjet sibling, the NGX’s new cabin sports activities home windows which have been reshaped and enlarged 10 p.c. Redesigned government seats supply extra headroom, full recline, and improved lumbar help. Fast-release seat attachments allow fast cabin reconfiguration with out the assistance of upkeep crews. A brand new headliner offers oblique lighting, extra uniform and quiet air distribution, and elevated headroom. Passenger positions now function twin cupholders and built-in sidewall USB ports. Six totally different interiors—designed by BMW Group’s Designworks—are provided with the chief NGX, as are bespoke interiors and paint schemes.

New Helicopter: Airbus H160  

The H160 medium twin melds a basket of latest onboard applied sciences to a dramatically extra environment friendly manufacturing course of. The result’s a helicopter that’s simpler and safer to fly, extra economical to take care of and function, and has a smaller noise signature and a extra snug journey.

The H160’s all-composite airframe, distinctive biplane stabilizer, canted Fenestron, new extra environment friendly and quieter Blue Edge principal rotor blades, extra fuel-efficient and easier-to-maintain Safran engines, and enhanced Helionix avionics mix to make this new helicopter finest at school. It already boasts strong orders from prospects flying a myriad of missions together with medevac, government, offshore power, and army purposes. 

Seen delights start with the cabin. An all-composite airframe hosts a flat-floor cabin, oversize cabin home windows, and a baggage compartment that may maintain 661 kilos. Its cabin may be configured to seat 4 or eight passengers in government/VIP layouts, or 12 in a utility configuration. The biplane stabilizer reduces the impression of low-speed rotor downwash to create pitch up.

Within the cockpit, the Helionix avionics consists of climate radar, artificial imaginative and prescient, shifting map, TCAS II, HTAWS, and computerized airspeed and flight path stability. Whereas Airbus didn’t go for expensive and complicated fly-by-wire, the H160’s full-time autopilot (or computerized flight management system—AFCS) affords many comparable advantages to fly-by-wire flight controls. Airbus calls the system “accrued pilot help” and it consists of flight envelope safety. The AFCS stays on on a regular basis within the H160. In hands-on mode, the pilot could make the H160 do something the helicopter can do, however the autopilot remains to be on. With arms off the controls, that simply ends in the helicopter sustaining the identical flight path and airspeed. AFCS affords hands-off computerized assisted takeoff and might mechanically set required energy for a one-engine-out touchdown from a hover. Distinctive to the H160, a brand new alerting system warns pilots 5 to seven seconds earlier than the helicopter enters right into a harmful vortex ring state.  

The plane’s new 1,300-shp Safran Arrano engines function a two-stage centrifugal compressor and variable inlet information vanes, which reduce gas consumption in all phases of flight. They assist propel the H160 to its most cruise velocity of 150 knots and repair ceiling of 20,000 ft and provides it a most vary on commonplace tanks of 475 nm. The engines are additionally designed for a two-minute begin and fast restarts, options that may expedite dispatches.

Expertise: Business Bands Collectively To Meet The ADS-B Deadline 

In 2014, the FAA and trade teams shaped the Equip 2020 Workforce to establish each limitations and options to equipping the U.S. aviation fleets with Computerized Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) know-how by the 2020 implementation deadline. Largely because of the initiatives of this group and trade companions, the U.S. enterprise aviation fleet was 83 p.c compliant with the mandated deadline by October 2019, and sufficient capability was constructed into the system to equip greater than 200,000 plane.

ADS-B Out is a quantum leap in surveillance know-how, delivering a lot sooner detection occasions for air visitors controllers to see geared up plane in comparison with radar in addition to a lot broader protection in areas the place radar is constrained. Within the U.S., ADS-B In provides free inflight climate and real-time visitors data on plane shows and transportable gadgets. Recognizing different visitors is far simpler with ADS-B and far safer than counting on eyesight alone.

Enterprise and normal aviation-related teams that participated within the ADS-B equipage effort included: AEA-Plane Electronics Affiliation; AOPA-Plane Homeowners and Pilots Affiliation; EAA-Experimental Plane Affiliation; GAMA-Common Aviation Producers Affiliation; NATA-Nationwide Air Transportation Affiliation; and NBAA-Nationwide Enterprise Aviation Affiliation. Whereas journal and on-line articles did their finest to clarify ADS-B, these teams helped pilots perceive not solely what the equipage mandate meant but in addition the advantages of ADS-B Out and In. In addition they labored intently with the FAA to verify the ultimate rule made sense and that necessities round set up and operation made equipping simpler and in the end, for a lot of plane homeowners, moderately priced.

New FBO Facility: Sheltair Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport  

Florida-based Sheltair’s first location west of the Mississippi is a $20 million state-of-the-art facility at KBJC in Broomfield, Colorado. The brand new 11-acre FBO complicated contains a 10,400-sq-ft terminal and a 31,050-sq-ft heated hangar that has 4,500 sq ft of adjoining workplace house. The terminal, with the look, really feel, and performance of an upscale resort foyer, contains a  land-side porte-cochere for passenger drop off and decide up and an airside 162-foot-span plane arrivals cover with direct entry to the terminal, which options pine, stone, and uncovered uncooked metal in addition to a radiant-heat flooring for buyer consolation. Facilities embody a big convention room, pilot lounge with snooze rooms, concierge, crew vehicles, onsite automobile rental, and complementary plane cabin cleansing.

Each detail-from entry factors and tenant workplaces to lounges and restrooms was designed with the shopper’s consolation, privateness, and security in thoughts,” stated Sheltair president Lisa Holland. “Our new complicated and the associated companies we offer the final aviation neighborhood guarantee that we cannot solely meet, however exceed the wants of this vital and rising market.

Coaching: Rolls-Royce Digital Actuality  

Rolls-Royce has taken a compelling piece of know-how and turned it right into a sensible coaching software. The corporate started digital actuality (VR) upkeep familiarization coaching in March with its BR725 engine for the Gulfstream G650. Members be part of the category remotely whereas sporting Oculus VR glasses and handheld VR controllers. The coaching is instructor-led, so somebody is at all times there to assist clarify what the scholar is viewing. It’s free for Rolls-Royce CorporateCare prospects, and people not enrolled in CorporateCare pays to attend.

VR coaching permits college students to study engine elements solely seen if the actual engine was absolutely disassembled. All of the subsystems and parts may be seen precisely as they relate to one another, both in an as-assembled view or by nearly taking them aside, meeting by meeting, piece by piece. The scholar can nearly dive into the engine and visually hint the best way air flows by or see how the shafts and bearings relate to 1 one other or take aside an meeting till every half and nut and bolt is floating within the air subsequent to the engine. A pupil can view the engine in varied methods—by nearly strolling contained in the engine and looking out round; by utilizing a cutaway software to slice into the engine from the facet or entrance; or by highlighting every subassembly and shifting it off the engine after which taking a detailed have a look at its parts. Each the teacher and pupil can use a digital marker to attract on any a part of the engine. Routine duties are additionally attainable, like checking the oil degree or discovering a part-number stamp on an element or part.

Constitution/Fractional/Jet Card Innovation: Wheels Up  

Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter is keen on monitor fits and now we all know why: he by no means stops operating. In a frenetic tempo over the past yr, the closed-fleet constitution entry membership firm made a number of massive strategic acquisitions, revamped its in-house know-how, and opened up new membership channels to additional “democratize” non-public aviation entry.

Current acquisitions embody Delta Personal Jets, which made Delta Air Strains Wheels Up’s largest investor. Different offers included the acquisition of Gama Aviation Signature—the biggest constitution operator within the U.S.—and operator of Wheels Up’s wholly-owned fleets of King Air 350is and Quotation mild jets, and TMC, the Journey Administration Firm, with its fleet of 26 mild jets. Wheels Up’s owned and managed fleet now numbers greater than 300 airplanes. Utilizing Argus figures, the mixed entity logged greater than 160,000 flight hours final yr—greater than number-two fractional supplier Flexjet (111,189 hours).

In 2019, the corporate launched its on-line constitution market,  bought flight administration software program developer Avianis, launched its entry-level Join Membership, and benefitted from additional funding from massive monetary companies together with $128 million from Franklin Templeton, boosting its enterprise worth to greater than $1.1 billion. The Avianis software program engine permits Wheels As much as hyperlink vetted operators and shoppers, improve effectivity, and decrease the price of entry, in accordance with Dichter.

In an effort to additional democratize the skies, the brand new Join membership ($2,995 for the primary yr; $2,495 yearly for renewals) targets these flying 10 or fewer hours per yr, providing as-available (quite than assured) entry to its fleet and companies, together with flight sharing. Based in 2013, Wheels Up presently has greater than 8,000 members and a renewal fee of 80 to 90 p.c. It is also deeply concerned in philanthropic initiatives in help of most cancers analysis (Wheels Up Cares) and starvation alleviation (Meals Up).

Hero of The Yr: Enterprise Aviation’s Response To Covid-19 

Enterprise aviation has been on the forefront of delivering Covid-19 provides, medical tools, and shortly, the vaccines to struggle the pandemic. “Our enterprise aviation neighborhood has made an incredible distinction already,” stated Common Climate and Aviation chairman Greg Evans. “Now now we have an opportunity to make historical past by taking part in our function in serving to to finish this pandemic.” Lately, Common introduced that it’s going to donate feasibility and consulting companies to normal aviation operators wanting to make use of their plane to help humanitarian missions delivering Covid-19 vaccines. Earlier within the pandemic, Common donated its companies in help of missions delivering Covid-related medical provides and testing. Common’s response typifies that of enterprise aviation organizations and corporations, who all rise to the event throughout occasions of nationwide and world emergency.

Early within the disaster, NBAA labored in tandem with the American Hospital Affiliation to determine a manner for first responders to request emergency flights from an inventory of operators providing transportation by way of the trade group’s HERO database. On the opposite facet of the Atlantic, the European Enterprise Aviation Affiliation established a Covid useful resource middle to assist coordinate the trade’s response to quickly shifting wants. In late March, a pair of long-range NetJets Bombardier International 6000s flew from the U.S. to Nanjing in China to gather N95 masks and different gadgets wanted by the New York-based Mount Sinai Medical System. The operation, which was supported by Goldman Sachs, concerned complicated approval processes with Chinese language officers, U.S. Customs and Border Safety, and the Meals and Drug Administration. In an analogous initiative, the New England Patriots soccer crew’s Boeing 767 was pressed into service for an additional operation to convey a million masks from Shenzhen in China to healthcare employees in Massachusetts. On this occasion, Common Climate and Aviation offered flight and logistics help.

Dassault Aviation offered a Falcon 8X and a Falcon 900 to fly medical groups and provides to small airports round France as a part of Operation Resilience. The corporate flew the 2 jets over 300 legs and 450 hours, primarily transporting caregivers from the South of France to Paris and japanese cities. Dassault additionally performed an enormous function in supporting Aviation Sans Frontières and its efforts to battle the pandemic, together with serving to greater than 300 furloughed flight attendants who volunteered their time to assist out in Paris hospitals.

VistaJet additionally scrambled its fleet of Globals and Challenger 350s to offer complimentary empty leg flights to allow medical personnel and well being specialists to maneuver around the globe in Covid reduction efforts. Subsidiary firm XO additionally made non-public carry out there to hold medical provides to New York Metropolis on the top of the primary wave of infections.

Producers together with Honeywell, Textron Aviation, Embraer, Piper, CAE, Common Avionics, Cirrus Plane, and Husky Corp. tailored their services to supply gadgets equivalent to face masks and ventilators. Secure Flight Instrument offered tools that enabled a single ventilator for use by 4 sufferers concurrently. Gulfstream labored with two Common Dynamics sister firms to make use of 3D printers to supply adapters for a medical trial to see if CPAP/BiPAP machines may very well be transformed to ventilators, in addition to making bands for face masks.

Personal flight supplier Wheels Up teamed up with starvation reduction group Feeding America to launch “Meals Up” with the intention of supplying 10 million meals for folks dealing with starvation within the financial fallout from Covid. By mid-September, the undertaking had raised the equal of 47 million meals for Feeding America’s community of 200 meals banks throughout the U.S. Air BP donated three million gallons of jet-A to FedEx and Alaska Airways to help within the supply of medical provides. To help Australia’s Royal Flying Physician Service, Air BP donated 35,000 N95 masks to be used by its frontline employees, and in France it has donated almost 16,000 gallons of gas for flights to move medical employees and tools between hospitals. Within the UK, it’s offering free jet gas for quite a few air ambulance companies prospects to help their life-saving duties throughout the pandemic. Air BP additionally made a $2 million donation to the World Well being Group’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Sustainability: The Enterprise Aviation Coalition for Sustainable Aviation Gas  

Sustainable aviation gas (SAF) is seen as a important part in lowering enterprise aviation’s carbon emissions. The Enterprise Aviation Coalition for Sustainable Aviation Gas was shaped to encourage the usage of SAF by rising the attention of its security and availability. Key members embody the Canadian Enterprise Aviation Affiliation, Industrial Aviation Various Fuels Initiative, European Enterprise Aviation Affiliation, Common Aviation Producers Affiliation, Worldwide Enterprise Aviation Council, Nationwide Air Transportation Affiliation, and Nationwide Enterprise Aviation Affiliation. The coalition’s just lately launched information, “Fueling the Future,” particulars how SAF may be launched into operations, and in September the coalition hosted the primary Sustainable Enterprise Aviation Fuels Summit, a two-day on-line occasion that introduced collectively operators, legislators, regulators, gas suppliers, and others to debate how you can improve SAF acceptance, demand, and provide. The coalition is a key promoter of “book-and-claim,” whereby an operator can buy SAF in an space the place it isn’t but out there however nonetheless obtain environmental advantages whereas precise gas is distributed the place it’s out there.

Working with the coalition, key gamers in enterprise aviation and aviation fuels even have launched applications to encourage SAF utilization. Signature has bought 5 million gallons from SAF producer Neste to determine everlasting provides of the choice gas at its FBOs at San Francisco Worldwide Airport (SFO) and London Luton Airport. This SAF buy is the biggest by an FBO so far. Neste introduced this summer season that it had begun delivering SAF to SFO by way of the prevailing multi-product pipeline designed for the transport of fossil aviation fuels. SAF prospects at Signature SFO can reap the benefits of the California Low Carbon Gas Customary tax incentive applications, whereas these at London Luton can cut back carbon offsetting wants for the EU’s Emissions Buying and selling Scheme. NetJets dedicated to buy as much as 3 million gallons to cowl flights from SFO in addition to its Columbus, Ohio headquarters utilizing book-and-claim.

Individually, a number of different developments are poised to propel a better acceptance of SAF. A deal struck in 2020 between SAF supplier SkyNRG and VistaJet permits the latter’s prospects to voluntarily pay for the quantity of SAF consumed of their flight by book-and-claim. Engine maker Rolls-Royce stated it had begun analysis into the usage of pure SAF, versus the present 50 p.c mix with standard fuels. And world power and commodity worth benchmarking index Argus stated it can start together with the SAF U.S. West Coast markets worth as a part of its each day jet gas report.

Contribution to Security: Garmin Autoland  

Garmin took the world without warning with the introduction after which certification of its new Autoland system, which safely flies an airplane from cruising altitude to an appropriate runway, then lands the airplane, applies brakes, and stops the engine. Designed to securely convey an airplane to a close-by appropriate airport within the worst-case situation of an incapacitated pilot, Autoland solves the issue of how you can rescue an airplane when the pilot is unable to proceed flying. Autoland may additionally assist rescue a pilot trapped by widespread zero-zero fog, permitting a protected touchdown the place it could be troublesome if not unimaginable to securely land utilizing an ILS or LPV method.

Autoland is out there for plane producers to include of their airplanes geared up with Garmin G3000 avionics and autothrottle. The system is designed just for emergency use and may be mechanically or manually activated, by way of the contact of a single button. It’s now out there for the Piper SLS (branded Halo) and Daher TBM 940 turboprop (branded HomeSafe) singles and the Cirrus SF50 G2 single-engine jet (branded Secure Return).

The system is designed so {that a} non-flying passenger can change it on and perceive what is occurring throughout an Autoland occasion. When engaged, Autoland instantly turns the airplane towards the closest appropriate airport whereas displaying on all three cockpit shows fastidiously designed messages that present the passengers what is occurring. A shifting map on every PFD clearly illustrates the trail that the airplane is taking to get to the chosen airport. The PFD reveals a split-screen with moving-map on one facet and artificial imaginative and prescient system pictures on the opposite. The MFD within the middle reveals messages for the passengers, as do the PFDs. One MFD message is an animation of the cockpit and the controls, with a warning: “Preserve arms and ft away from plane controls.” On the shows always are the phrases: “Emergency autoland energetic” and “touchdown in XX minutes.” The MFD additionally reveals what number of miles to the vacation spot and the way a lot gas stays in hours and minutes.

Throughout the occasion, a easily modulated voice tells passengers precisely what to anticipate. On the similar time, Autoland makes use of details about the state of the airplane to broadcast an emergency radio message on applicable frequencies, and it resets the transponder to the 7700 emergency code. The radio broadcast would possibly happen on the native method management or management tower frequency. But when touchdown at a non-towered airport, Autoland will broadcast on the native CTAF frequency.

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