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Nose wheel Twin Commander Aircraft is proceeding with the design of a new nose wheel fairing that could be fitted to any model Twin Commander.

The fairing is intended to deflect rocks and other debris picked up by the nose wheel on the takeoff and landing roll that can cause damage to the belly of the aircraft aft of the nose wheel well. The nose wheel fairing will be offered as a new custom kit.

Nose wheel When Jetprop Commanders were still in production at Gulfstream Aerospace in Bethany, Oklahoma, engineers designed a small fairing positioned on the back side of the nose wheel tire that blocked the debris as it flung off the tire. However, the fairing also acted as an air scoop, adding significant drag to the nose wheel assembly to the point that it could interfere with nose wheel landing gear extension.

Twin Commander Aircraft has been researching an improved version of the original design, and found that reducing the overall size of the fairing and adding louvers reduces drag by more than 50 percent, and increases its effectiveness in preventing FOD from impacting the belly. Twin Commander Aircraft Engineering Manager Levan Tabidze said the fairing will be fabricated from either fiberglass, carbon fiber, or aluminum.

Twin Commander recently polled owners and operators to gauge their interest in adding a nose wheel fairing to their aircraft, and 56 percent of those who responded said they would consider it. That strong affirmation led to the decision to proceed with the project. The fairing is now in the detail design phase, with a target date of the second quarter of 2015 for shipping custom kits to customers.

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Savannah Desoto Hotel Things you might not know about Savannah, Georgia:

First, it is America's first planned city. The beautiful downtown area, designed by founder James Edward Oglethorpe, comprises one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States.

Second, Savannah was the host city for the sailing competitions during the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.

Third, Chippewa Square in the city is famous for being the anchoring scene in the movie "Forrest Gump." It's where Forrest sat on a bench waiting for the bus, meanwhile reviewing his life and making his "Life is like a box of chocolates..." observation.

And, last but certainly not least, Savannah is the site for the next Twin Commander University. The dates are Thursday-Saturday April 23-25, and the place is the Hilton Savannah Desoto hotel in the heart of the Savannah historic district.

We'll be providing more details about the University "curriculum" and extra-curricular activities, as well as information about registering and reserving your room at the Hilton. For now, find a good visitor's guide to Savannah, and re-watch "Forrest Gump."

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FAA The FAA's Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) has assumed responsibility for oversight of Twin Commander Aircraft's engineering projects. The Seattle ACO had held that oversight function until Twin Commander Aircraft moved from Arlington, Washington, to Creedmoor, North Carolina.

Twin Commander Aircraft Engineering Manager Levan Tabidze said that although rules and procedures are the same for all ACOs, the switch to the FAA's Atlanta ACO office should result in a more efficient relationship because the Atlanta office is in the same time zone as Twin Commander in Creedmoor, and the two offices are in much closer physical proximity to each other compared to Seattle.

The switch from the Seattle to the Atlanta ACO actually occurred earlier this year, but the Seattle office had to ship its Twin Commander documentation to the Atlanta office. Twin Commander representatives had their first meeting with Atlanta ACO officials in early September.

The FAA's Atlanta Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) assumed oversight of Twin Commander Aircraft manufacturing and inspection processes from the Seattle MIDO office some time ago.

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