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  1. GAMA released their year-end shipment and billings data on Wednesday, along with a “State of the Industry” news conference that was streamed live online. Their data shows that airplane shipments globally increased 2.5 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, and rotorcraft shipments rose 7.5 percent, from 861 units in 2016 to 926 in 2017. “Notable from these numbers is that the rotorcraft segment stabilized after several years of declining deliveries,” GAMA said in a news release.

  2. The nomination periods are now open for two prestigious aviation awards, the Katherine Wright Trophy and the FAI Awards, the National Aeronautic Association said this week. The Wright trophy, established in 1981 by the Gates Learjet Corp., is awarded annually "to an individual who has contributed to the success of others, or made a personal contribution to the advancement of the art, sport, and science of aviation and space flight over an extended period of time."

  3. Aerocor, an aircraft broker based in Los Angeles, has announced it is now offering a certified pre-owned option for the Eclipse 500 and 550 jets. Aircraft sold as “certified pre-owned” must have no damage history and will include fresh inspections along with first-year scheduled maintenance and operational support, the company says. Aerocor says each jet will be flight-tested, and will be delivered with all mandatory service bulletins, critical system updates, a 24-month inspection and all maintenance items due within the first 12 months or 300 flight hours of ownership completed.

  4. The FAA is reminding helicopter operators that they must use certified gear when conducting “human external cargo operations” — that is, transporting humans via a harness slung beneath the aircraft. This form of travel is fairly common for workers who inspect power transmission lines and towers that otherwise would be hard to reach. “Operators are strongly encouraged not to conduct HEC operations with attaching means not certificated to the part 27/29 HEC requirements,” the FAA said in a recent statement to Vertical Mag.

  5. Lockheed Martin has started construction of a new 255,000-square-foot office facility in Orlando, Florida, and plans to hire about 1,800 people over the next two years, the company has announced. About 500 of those new hires will be based in Orlando. Gulfstream Aerospace also announced it will build a new service center at Appleton International Airport, in Wisconsin, to support its jet fleet. The expansion will create about 200 new jobs.

  6. If you’ve been watching any of the winter Olympics events recently, you might have wondered, why are there no gold medals for Aeronautics? According to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, there used to be. In 1936, at the Berlin Olympics, no contests took place, but Switzerland was awarded a gold medal in Aeronautics in recognition of Hermann Schreiber’s glider flight over the Alps. Fourteen pilots from seven countries took part in demonstration flights at a nearby airfield.

  7. Textron Aviation has now confirmed that it has discontinued the TTx, the often renamed high-performance single it acquired 10 years ago.

  8. So far more than 2,000 people have signed up to be part of Boeing’s GoFly challenge, which offers $2 million in prizes to inspire the creation of a “safe and easy-to-use near-VTOL personal flying device.” Already Boeing has hosted six online “Master Lectures” covering diverse topics such as safety, how to find funding, rotary-wing flight controls and more, all hosted by experts in their field. The lectures all are posted online. The competition is open to individuals over age 18 and to teams.

  9. A Wall Street Journal editorial last week said it would be a good idea to privatize the air traffic control system, and singled out the opposition by NBAA and AOPA for critique. “What’s really going on,” the WSJ editorial board says, is that the business jet industry pays just 0.6 percent of aviation user taxes, though it accounts for 11 to 13 percent of controlled traffic. “The industry would like to keep it that way,” the board says. NBAA and AOPA were quick to respond in their own defense.

  10. Boeing’s latest version of the 737, the Max 9, is now FAA certified and will soon start deliveries, the company announced last week. The airplane adds three additional seat rows compared to the Max 8, for a total capacity of 220 passengers. CFM International LEAP-1B engines and Advanced Technology winglets enhance efficiency and reduce noise. Boeing says the 737 Max is the fastest-selling airplane in its history, with more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers worldwide.

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