Beechcraft Corp. filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the Air Force's decision to award rival Sierra Nevada, partnered with Brazil-based Embraer, a $427.5 million light air support contract. "Our belief that we have the best aircraft was confirmed by the Air Force rating our aircraft 'exceptional,' and the fact that we are the lower-cost solution was confirmed by the USAF’s public award announcement," said Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture.
Piper Aircraft announced that its Seneca V will feature a three-display avionics suite from Garmin, available this year. The G1000 is an all-glass system designed for greater situational awareness and safety to the cockpit, according to Piper officials.
The National Transportation Safety Board plans to consider new safety alerts that hopes will reduce the frequency of general aviation accidents. Issues under consideration include low-altitude aerodynamic stalls and risk management for pilots.
Sikorsky Aircraft officials say Britain-based Bristow Group made a major order that could be more than $350 million for 26 aircraft. Pratt & Whitney will provide the engines for the Sikorsky deal, as well as Eurocopter's EC135. The agreements were announced at Heli-Expo in Las Vegas.
The Navy plans to cancel performances by the Blue Angels at spring air shows due to federal budget cuts. Performances of the Air Force's Thunderbirds and the Army's Golden Knights have already been canceled. Air show organizers say they will loose valuable tourism dollars due to the canceled performances.