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Airborne 09.12.17: Stemme S12, Bell V-280 Valor, Belite Chipper

Also: Firefighting 747, Daniel Héligoin, Hartzell Composite, Frontier Airlines, Rolls-Royce, CH-53K, Drone Interferes The FAA has Type-Certificated the Stemme Twin Voyager S12 powered glider, granting the ticket on August 16, 2017. The Stemme S12 had already been certified the previous summer to the requirements of the EASA. Now it has successfully passed the FAA validation process of the EASA type approval, and received the official type certificate G06CE. FAA certification opens up the American market for Stemme. Bell Helicopter reports ‘exceptional progress’ on the V-280 Valor program, having achieved 100% build completion on the prototype. The team is now preparing for initial ground run at the Amarillo Assembly Center. The V-280 is a clean sheet tiltrotor, applying lessons learned from previous generations. Bell says the company remains focused on providing flexibility in an advanced aircraft with reduced weight, complexity, and cost. The first flight of the aircraft is currently planned for this fall. The Belite Chipper was at Angel Fire, NM, September 2. Belite owner James Wiebe flew the airplane nonstop one way on the round trip journey from Wichita, KS to Angel Fire, performed flight tests, then returned to Marion, KS before the sunset and covering 960 miles. Angel Fire, NM is the 4th highest airport in the U.S. at 8,322 feet. Density altitude was 10,400 feet. Chipper's takeoff roll was 600 feet, according to Wiebe. Climbout was greater than 200 fpm. All this -- and MORE in today's episode of Airborne!!!

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