July 22, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
While keeping a small cadre of key people, Swiss-based Mistral Engines has laid off employees and slowed its operations. Mistral has for several years worked to bring to market a rotary aircraft engine.
A Mistral engine powered a Piper airframe to Oshkosh where it was on display at EAA AirVenture five years ago. Rotary technology has been in development on several fronts for decades for a variety of uses.
Mistral officials said in a statement from Geneva, Switzerland, that it still has investors for its next round of financing, but the economy has hurt the ability of the investors to contribute as much as they had hoped. While waiting for the economy to improve, certification efforts continue for the company’s 300-hp G-300 engine. The company is entirely financed through private equity. You can see it fly online.
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
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