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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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Emirates reject Delta’s apology regarding Anderson’s 9/11 comments

February 20, 2015 · 556 Views

The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.

Snecma and HAL to create joint venture and build a new production facility in India

February 20, 2015 · 655 Views

Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics  (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts.  The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.

Design flaws led to 787 battery fire

December 2, 2014 · 197 Views

On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.

Rolls-Royce forced to axe 2,600 jobs after second profit warning this year

November 5, 2014 · 164 Views

Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.

Air France-KLM selects GEnx engines for Boeing 787 fleet

March 25, 2014 · 113 Views

Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.

ILFC closes $1.5bn senior secured term loan

March 7, 2014 · 80 Views

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.

Airbus Commercial reports another year of financial improvement

February 26, 2014 · 80 Views

In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).

Boeing Commercial Airplanes reports full year revenue of $53bn

January 29, 2014 · 76 Views

Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.

A350 XWB in Bolivia for high altitude testing

January 9, 2014 · 67 Views

The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.

Firefly welcomes first ATR 72-600

July 5, 2013 · 66 Views

Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.

GE’s Passport engine begins first full engine test

June 26, 2013 · 42 Views

Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.

Rolls-Royce wins order from CIT to power 23 aircraft

May 22, 2013 · 55 Views

Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.

Gogo Business Aviation introduces Moving Map Capabilities for Gogo Vision

October 20, 2014 · 52 Views

Gogo Business Aviation, a leading provider of in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions to the business aviation market, has added moving map capabilities to Gogo Vision, the company’s on-demand in-flight entertainment (IFE) and information service. Moving map capabilities have been seamlessly integrated into the Gogo Vision in-flight experience. The first service of its kind in business aviation, Gogo Vision offers a large library of the latest movies and TV episodes, which can be updated as often as the aircraft owner wishes, as well as news, flight progress information, destination weather, and now, moving maps. Gogo Vision service is delivered in the aircraft by Gogo’s UCS 5000 system – business aviation’s first all-in-one smart router and media server. Passengers can access Gogo Vision on a wide variety of personal, Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as tablets and laptops.

GE wins avionics and power systems for Gulfstream’s G500/G600

October 20, 2014 · 47 Views

GE Aviation is supplying the data concentration and network, the advanced power management system and the advanced health management system to Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation for the G500/G600 business jet aircraft. The power management system for the G500/G600 will build on the G650 secondary power system including GE’s modular power tile technology, while adding primary power distribution, reducing wiring and utility function controllers. The GE integration of the power system provides a flexible composition and significantly reduces integration risk. Aircraft manufacturers achieve more control through a configurable software application. The data concentration and network for the G500/G600 builds on GE’s core computing system from the Boeing 787 and is a new offering for business jets. The system provides a highly configurable integrated data network (analog, digital via multiple communication protocols) for the aircraft and offers a way to seamlessly connect avionics and utility functions. Using GE’s sophisticated tool suite, the data concentration and network system can be rapidly re-configured, enabling efficient integration and significantly reducing cost of change over the life of the airplane. The advanced health management system builds on GE’s technology that powers Gulfstream’s PlaneConnectHTM (Health & Trend Monitoring) system on the G650. The system will include enhanced compute monitoring of more than 9,000 parameters with real-time communications through satellite, Wi-Fi transmission and 3G/cellular. The G500 entry-into-service is anticipated for 2018. The G600 is slated to enter service in 2019.

American Airlines Cargo, US Airways Cargo officially combine under single air waybill

October 20, 2014 · 60 Views

American Airlines (AAL) and US Airways have reached a significant milestone in their merger as the Cargo divisions combine under a single air waybill. The new entity brings in more than $800m each year and moves more than one billion pounds of freight and mail annually. The Cargo teams have successfully combined 154 facilities and harmonized products since December 2013, making it the first operations division at the airline to be fully integrated. “Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work by our Cargo employees,” said Jim Butler, president of American Airlines Cargo. “We have brought together the expertise and solutions that customers have come to rely on and the teams that are focused on restoring American Airlines as the greatest airline in the world.”

Saint-Gobain receives China’s CAAC certification for repairs

October 20, 2014 · 62 Views

Saint-Gobain Aerospace has been approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for the test, inspection and repair of radomes and fuselage components for civil aircraft. Radomes are radar transparent structures that house the critical weather radar system for aircraft. The repair of radomes requires specialized repair processes to assure that the radome will function properly and not degrade the critical weather radar system used to avoid bad weather while in flight. Saint-Gobain Aerospace specializes in the design, manufacture, repair and certification of high-performance aerospace composites and radomes. Saint-Gobain’s Norton Armor paint system is available as an option to reduce maintenance costs and extend the service life of new and repaired radomes. Saint-Gobain is AS9100 and ISO14001 Certified and is also certified for repair of radomes and components by the FAA, EASA and CAAC.

PPG Aerospace expands sealants capabilities at ASC in Germany

October 20, 2014 · 60 Views

PPG Industries has expanded the ability for its Central Europe application support center in Hamburg, Germany, to package aerospace sealants for customers in Central and Eastern Europe by adding equipment to provide premixed and frozen sealant, SEMKIT(R) packages as well as Customized Sealant Solutions products such as PRC(R) seal caps and PRC SEMFOAM(TM) sealant. According to Ulrich Krueger, PPG Deutschland Sales and Services GMBH managing director, the ASC now has full packaging capabilities for PPG sealants and the ability to produce Customized Sealant Solutions products.

Embraer performs first metal cut of E-Jets E2

October 20, 2014 · 78 Views

Embraer performed the first metal cut of the E-jets E2, second generation of the E-Jets family of commercial jets on October 17th, at its Évora plant in Portugal. The part is the wing stub forward pressure bulkhead of the first prototype of the E190-E2 jet, whose first flight is scheduled for 2016. The pressure bulkhead is made of aviation aluminum and was manufactured at one of the advanced high-speed milling centers of the Embraer metallic structures plant in Évora. The part will now be sent to Brazil to start the first aircraft assembly.  Embraer announced the choice of Évora to install the Embraer Composites and Embraer Metallics plants, in 2008, and inaugurated them in September 2012. The final assembly of the E2 jets and the delivery process to customers will be done at Embraer’s headquarters in São José dos Campos, in the same facilities now used to produce the current generation of E-Jets.

Liebherr Aerospace Brasil receives NBR ISO 14001:2004 certification

October 20, 2014 · 65 Views

Liebherr Aerospace Brasil’s environmental system for the manufacturing, non-destructive testing, surface treatment and assemblies of aircraft components has been certified according to NBR ISO 14001:2004 by TÜV NORD BTRÜV. At the beginning of October, the certification organization carried out all necessary audits at the facility of Liebherr Aerospace Brasil, regarding the compliance of the company’s environmental management system with the requirements of the worldwide standard. The ISO 14001:2004 certification guarantees that Liebherr Aerospace Brasil Ltda. is capable of systematically controlling and reducing its industrial waste, its consumption of resources as well as its operating costs.

AgustaWestland signs new training services contracts to support the Family

October 20, 2014 · 51 Views

AgustaWestland signed two training services contracts to support its Family of new generation helicopters. Bel Air of Denmark has signed a five years training contract featuring a comprehensive package of services including simulator training for the AW139 intermediate and the AW189 super medium twin engine helicopters. Lufttransport AS of Norway has signed a three year flight simulator contract for the AW139 and AW169 light intermediate helicopters. Through these latest contracts, which further expand the level of service provided by AgustaWestland in Northern Europe, the company will deliver more than 500 simulator flight hours across the Family, providing the customers with unprecedented fleet and crew management capabilities, enhancing flexibility and safety while also reducing costs.

Airbus launches new VIP widebody cabin-concept

October 20, 2014 · 91 Views

Airbus has launched a new VIP cabin concept, initially for the A330-200, offering a faster and more affordable way to the greater capacity, capability and comfort of a widebody for both private and government customers. Called Summit, the concept features a VIP section at the front of the cabin, and airline-style seating at the rear. “What most customers want in a widebody is the ability to carry more people and to fly them nonstop to the world, “ points out Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers, John Leahy. “The Airbus ACJ330 Summit delivers the greater capacity, comfort, and capability of a widebody, and will do so faster and more affordably than competitors, by using a modern and proven solution. The Airbus ACJ330 Summit features a bedroom with ensuite bathroom at the front, followed by an office, a conference and dining room and a working area, and then airline-style first-class and economy seating at the rear.

Boeing Ridley Park employees approve new contract

October 20, 2014 · 58 Views

Boeing employees represented by the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 1069 ratified an eight-year contract on Oct. 19th. The represented employees work at the Boeing site in Ridley Park, Pa., and the contract will be in effect until 2022. “Our goal has always been to recognize the outstanding work done by our Ridley Park employees, while ensuring the long-term viability of the site in today’s challenging, ‘more-for-less’ environment,” said Gary Baker, Boeing Defense, Space & Security director of Operations, East Region. “By ratifying this contract, our employees help us position ourselves to win new business, beyond our current production contracts. Boeing and our employees are committed to our customers and our community, and this is a critical step down our future path.” Within 30 days, eligible members will receive a $10,000 signing bonus, as well as compensation increases in each year of the contract. As of Jan. 1, 2017, members will transition to earning future retirement benefits in the company’s enhanced 401(k) savings plan, while keeping all previously accrued value in their traditional pension plan.

Have Mitsubishi set too high a target for Japan’s first commercial aircraft in 50 years?

October 20, 2014 · 165 Views

At the time it made a lot of sense. The Far Eastern economy was sound and there was a gap in the market for a mid-size commercial jet at just under 100 seats. Mitsubishi’s USP was a 20% reduction in fuel costs thanks to the Pratt and Whitney new-generation engines the jet, the MRJ, would be using. The jet was scheduled for launch back in 2014, however things have not gone according to Mitsubishi’s planned schedule. Mitsubishi have invested US$1.9 billion to create a jet valued at US$42 million. To recoup its investment Mitsubishi had estimated selling 2,000 units in order to succeed.
It might have had a chance of a good start, but delays caused by design and development problems means that the jet is three years behind its projected launch date, and this has allowed the competition, like Embraer, to catch up. The Mitsubishi MRJ is now scheduled for launch with the delivery of its first jet in 2017, so Embraer are now only one year behind with their E-Jet E2. “The E-Jet E2 will produce economics every bit as competitive as the MRJ, despite the lack of clean-sheet design,” said Rob Morris, Head of Consultancy at aviation market specialist Ascend. Basically Mitsubishi have blown pretty much all their first-to-market advantage and must rely on how well received the jet is by the first customers. To date there are 191 orders in place for airlines including Japan Airlines, as well as Trans States and Sky West, two US regional groups. Embraer have advanced orders of over 1,000 E-Jet E2s.
It is a long way from the 2,000 orders Mitsubishi will need. Over the next 20 years they have predicted a demand for 5,000 of this mid-sized aircraft of which they intend to capture a market share of 50%. Ascend, however, are less optimistic with both numbers, and have estimated demand to be a little over 4,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, and Mitsubishi gaining a more realistic 20% share, or 800 aircraft, a long way short of the 2,000 needed. The chances of Mitsubishi coming out of this intact are slight, but Japan does have a solid reputation for supplying airline parts. Currently Mitsubishi has a major work-share project with Boeing which involves the 767 and 777 aircraft models. Additionally Mitsubishi supply 35% of all carbon composite parts for the 787 Dreamliner. As Richard Aboulafia, Vice President of Analysis at consultancy Teal Group puts it, “”A regional jet won’t be nearly as important, in terms of profits and technology development, as Japan’s hugely important role as an aerostructures provider, particularly to Boeing.”

Rockwell Collins introduces new ARINCDirect

October 20, 2014 · 98 Views

Rockwell Collins introduced its new ARINCDirect suite of flight support services for business aviation. The new ARINCDirect consolidates and integrates the company’s former Ascend Flight Information Solutions and ARINC Direct services into one industry-leading solution for flight planning, regional and international trip support, cabin connectivity and flight operations management. “With our acquisition of ARINC in December of 2013, we recognized that we had two portfolios of flight support services from two great companies, each with best-in-class solutions,” said Jeff Standerski, senior vice president, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins. “By combining the best of Ascend and ARINC Direct, business aviation operators can now experience the single most comprehensive portfolio of flight support solutions in the industry, along with the reliable performance, industry-leading technical expertise and outstanding customer service they expect — all from a brand they have come to know and trust.” Through the new ARINCDirect, Rockwell Collins will offer its more than 3,500 flight support services customers around the globe the latest in intuitive flight planning using state-of-the-art online and mobile platforms; award-winning regional and international trip support; comprehensive weather services; a full spectrum of cabin connectivity options; and flexible and integrated flight operations and scheduling services.

Nexcelle delivers nacelle hardware and advances the certification testing for GE’s Passport integrated propulsion system

October 20, 2014 · 101 Views

Nexcelle is delivering on its integrated propulsion systems (IPS) vision for business aviation, having provided the nacelle for flight tests of GE Aviation’s Passport turbofan engine; completing initial ground tests to support this new 16,000-lb.-thrust category powerplant’s certification; and ramping up the manufacture of nacelle components at facilities in both France and the U.S. Nexcelle is the joint venture of GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems and Aircelle (Safran), with responsibility for the complete nacelle on Passport’s integrated propulsion system. Passport program milestones achieved by Nexcelle to date include its delivery of the complete nacelle for GE’s no. 1 flight test engine, which is now at Victorville, California for installation on a 747 testbed aircraft; along with the performance of inlet icing evaluations conducted at GE’s Manitoba outdoor cold-weather rig. A thrust reverser, built for durability tests involving 225 deployment cycles, is being readied for delivery, as is a nacelle to be utilized in fan-blade-out testing – both of which will be performed at ground-based installations.

Lufthansa Technik’s nice HD CMS / IFE system on the Challenger 650

October 20, 2014 · 129 Views

Lufthansa Technik’s Innovation Business Unit has been selected by Bombardier Business Aircraft to supply the nice HD cabin management and in-flight-entertainment (CMS/IFE) system on Bombardier’s new Challenger 650 aircraft. This latest announcement comes after Bombardier’s selection of the nice HD system on the Learjet 70, Learjet 75, Learjet 85, and Challenger 350 aircraft. So far, Lufthansa Technik has delivered more than 400 shipsets of the first generation nice and its successor, nice HD, to Bombardier Business Aircraft. nice HD offers the Challenger 650 aircraft an equipped state-of-the-art cabin management system (CMS), largest-in-class high definition monitors, 3D maps, Audio Video on Demand, Bluetooth integration and industry-leading media input capabilities among its many standard package advantages. Designed by Lufthansa Technik and customized exclusively for Bombardier, the next-generation Cabin Management System provides passengers with a home- or office-like control, productivity and entertainment capability superior to that of any other aircraft in the segment. The cabin can be remotely controlled by using Apple or Android devices, too.

Triumph Group announces acquisition of North American Aircraft Services

October 20, 2014 · 177 Views

Triumph Group announced the acquisition of North American Aircraft Services (NAAS), a leading provider of aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (“MRO”) services focused primarily on plane-side aircraft fuel systems. The acquired business will operate as Triumph Aviation Services – NAAS Division and be included in the Aftermarket Services Group. The business is expected to add approximately $35.0m in annual revenue and to be immediately accretive to earnings. Based in San Antonio, Texas, NAAS delivers line maintenance services, ground support maintenance, routine and emergency fuel systems maintenance and repair, fuel leak detection and fuel bladder cell repair services. The company employs approximately 300 people, the majority of whom are located at FBO business units throughout the United States, as well as at international locations. NAAS does extensive business with Boeing, Airbus, Northrop Grumman, Southwest Airlines, FedEx and UPS.

LMI Aerospace to supply bonded fuselage panels for new Golfstream business jets

October 21, 2014 · 56 Views

LMI Aerospace, a leading aerostructures and engineering services provider to the commercial, business and regional, and military aerospace, has secured contracts to supply both bonded fuselage panels and numerous detail parts for Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation’s recently announced new business jets. The multi-year contracts are expected to yield significant revenue for the company. Under the new agreements, LMI will produce structural assemblies, skins and components for both the Gulfstream G500 and G600 business jets. To accommodate the new work, LMI added 60,000 ft² to its Tulsa, Oklahoma, facility for processing, machining and assembly. Additional capital improvements at the LMI facility in Vista, California, have provided the necessary capacity for the program’s stretch forming and metal fabrication requirements. LMI has contracted with NORDAM to provide the metal bonding process for the fuselage and vertical tail panels.

Fireblade Aviation opens first FBO at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport

October 21, 2014 · 83 Views

South African-based business aviation concern Fireblade Aviation has opened the first and only Fixed Base Operation (FBO) at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. The Fireblade Aviation FBO, which became operational on September 1st, 2014, already serves domestic aircraft having welcomed its first private jet on September 2nd, 2014. It is anticipated that full approval for the dedicated Customs and Immigration Service will be given by the end of the year making it the first FBO in South Africa to welcome international travellers. The state-of-the-art facility, which represents an investment of R165m (US$15m) by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer is a culmination of the owners’ lifetime passion for the aviation sector and a desire to fulfill a market demand for a world-class international FBO facility at South Africa’s main airport.

BOC Aviation places two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with EVA Airways Corporation

October 21, 2014 · 57 Views

BOC Aviation announced the placement of two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with EVA Airways Corporation for delivery in early 2017. EVA Air has been a customer of BOC Aviation since 1994, making it one of the company’s long-standing customers.

Comlux America completes two new VIP cabins for customers based in Asia

October 21, 2014 · 52 Views

Comlux America, the Completion and Services center of the Comlux Group based in Indianapolis IN, has had a very busy year in 2014. The company signed two major contracts – one green completion on ACJ320 and one BBJ major refurbishment for a Chinese customer – and delivered two high-end VIP interiors – one BBJ for an Asian customer and one ACJ321 for a customer based in Central Asia. These two deliveries represent the 7th and 8th green interior completions overall for Comlux America, since becoming authorized as a service center for both Airbus and Boeing in 2010. The VIP interior of the BBJ features ultra-modern custom electric POD seats provided by Iacobucci as well as a state of the art entertainment system. The cabin has four different configurations which convert lounges and offices to bedrooms and sleeping quarters.

AEI redelivers 8 freighter conversions in third quarter

October 21, 2014 · 74 Views

Aeronautical Engineers redelivered a total of eight passenger-to-freighter conversions during the third quarter of 2014. AEI redelivered a total of seven B737-400SFs and one B737-300SF freighters to various customers worldwide during the quarter. As an addition to the AEI product line, the company announced that it will be offering its customers the new eight pallet CRJ200 SF freighter conversion in mid-2015, followed by the twelve pallet B737-800SF conversion in 2017.

Avolon 2014 third quarter trading update

October 21, 2014 · 73 Views

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing group, issued a trading update for the third quarter of 2014. Avolon took delivery of 8 owned and 1 managed aircraft and sold 2 aircraft in the period. Avolon also committed to acquire six Boeing 787 Dreamliners and, as a launch customer, 15 Airbus A330neos, ending the period with an owned, managed and committed fleet of 227 aircraft.

Satcom Direct adds proactive security threat monitoring to SkyShield service

October 21, 2014 · 56 Views

Available in the first quarter of 2015, the upgraded SkyShield now will provide five levels of data filtering, adding security to Internet connections. SkyShield presently allows customers to control their in-flight Internet usage by blocking unneeded network traffic that slows down connections and increases data costs. SkyShield allows customers to stop certain software processes and applications that use large amounts of data, such as program or software updates that run in the background, streaming audio and video websites, and social media feeds. Satcom Direct has expanded this service to provide proactive security threat monitoring. Customers can opt-in to the monitoring which includes 24/7 notification of threats against or from the customer’s devices on-board the aircraft, vessel or mobile terminal.

Dassault selects Gogo Business Aviation FANS solution

October 21, 2014 · 46 Views

Gogo reported that Dassault will offer a factory-approved solution to help Falcon operators comply with emerging FANS (Future Air Navigation System) mandates. The solution includes Iridium-based communications systems from Gogo’s subsidiary, Gogo Business Aviation. Beginning in November, the solution is expected to be available via a Dassault Service Bulletin at any authorized Falcon service facility for Falcon 900, Falcon 2000 and Falcon 7X aircraft with EASy II flight decks.

Barfield invents line testing with ordinary tablet

October 21, 2014 · 96 Views

AFI KLM E&M’s American subsidiary has developed an innovative and affordable software application. Released in May 2014, Barfield’s new technology transforms any Android tablet into a wireless remote control for the DPS1000 – the Ground Support Test Equipment (GSTE) used for testing aircraft Pitot-Static/Air Data systems. Where in the past line testing often required two operators, communicating with each other by radio, Barfield’s technology only requires one. Moreover, one of the great benefits of a software application is that it’s highly flexible: it can continually evolve with extremely limited development cost. Since its release the app system was already improved, in light of the feedback from its first users. It will soon be extended to Apple’s iOS devices. While the number of tablets in mechanics’ tool boxes is today substantially increasing, Barfield’s innovation appears to be a reliable, economical and universal solution.

Vector Aerospace signs Engine Services Agreements with CommutAir and Provincial Aerospace

October 21, 2014 · 88 Views

Vector Aerospace Engine Services – Atlantic (ES-A) has renewed its Engine Services Agreement with CommutAir based in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The agreement calls for ES-A to provide CommutAir with comprehensive engine repair and overhaul support for the Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PW123 series engines from its P&WC Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility (DDOF) located in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The work performed in Summerside will be augmented by ES-A’s four North American service centers, located in Atlanta, Georgia; Calgary, Alberta; Dallas, Texas; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ES-A’s Mobile Repair Team (MRT), which is designed around “Quick Turn Around Times” and is “Travel Ready” 24 hours a day, will also provide full support.

Vector Aerospace Engine Services – Atlantic, also signed an engine services agreement with Provincial Aerospace, based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. As per the terms of the one-year agreement, ES-A will provide Provincial Aerospace with comprehensive engine repair and overhaul support for the Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A and JT15D series engines from its P&WC Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility (DDOF) located in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Embraer rolls out KC-390 military airlift

October 21, 2014 · 330 Views

Embraer rolled out the first prototype of the KC-390 military transport from the production hangar at the industrial plant of Gavião Peixoto, Brazil. This milestone rollout will allow the Company to perform important ground tests prior to the aircraft’s first flight, planned to take place by the end of this year. Following the rollout, the aircraft will continue with initial systems evaluations leading to the first engine run, and then to the ground vibration tests and the other planned ground tests. This aircraft is the first of two prototypes that will be used in the development, ground, flight and certification test campaigns. The KC-390 is a joint project of the Brazilian Air Force with Embraer to develop and produce a tactical military transport and aerial refueling airplane that is a significant advance in terms of technology and innovation for the Brazilian aeronautics industry. The aircraft is designed to establish new standards in its category, with a lower operating cost and the flexibility to perform a variety of missions: cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refueling, search and rescue, and combating forest fires, among others.

Austrian Airlines selects Magnetic MRO for base maintenance support

October 21, 2014 · 184 Views

Austrian Airlines selected Magnetic MRO to perform Heavy Maintenance services for its fleet of A320 during the winter season of 2014/2015. Under the new agreement, Magnetic MRO will take care of Austrian Airlines fleet of A320 aircraft during a nose-to-tail maintenance program from December 2014 until March 2015 in its facilities in Tallinn, Estonia. Each check with its defined ground time is unique due to different aircraft type, age and modification package added. Checks range from line to heavy maintenance events with combination of structure tasks and landing gear replacements. Subject to availability and approval of the modifications, a number of aircrafts will undergo light cabin refurbishment such as installation of new class divider systems, or In-Flight Entertainment systems.

Northrop Grumman to supply new Attitude and Heading Reference System for Airbus Helicopters

October 21, 2014 · 122 Views

Northrop Grumman has been selected by Airbus Helicopters to certify and deliver its new LCR-350 Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) for several helicopter platforms. Developed by Northrop Grumman’s subsidiary in Germany, Northrop Grumman LITEF, the LCR-350 AHRS can be used in civil and military applications on rotary- and fixed-wing platforms, providing critical flight control data regarding an aircraft’s heading and attitude. The LCR-350 AHRS features a high-performance, micro-electro-mechanical system inertial measurement unit and is based on the standard LCR-300 AHRS. Additionally, the system enables directional gyro mode operation, which minimizes magnetic compass errors. LCR-350 will be certified for various Airbus Helicopters platforms. Production of the LCR-350 is expected to begin in 2016.

Kaman Aerosystems awarded LTA by Rolls-Royce for Trent XWB Composite A-Frame Fairings

October 21, 2014 · 101 Views

Kaman Aerosystems has been awarded a Long Term Supply Agreement (LTA) by Rolls-Royce to manufacture the Composite A-frame Fairings for the Trent XWB engine that will power the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. Rolls-Royce and Kaman have entered into a multi-year contract for these parts, with a projected value in excess of $5m. The A-Frame Fairings will be manufactured at Kaman’s facility in Bennington, Vermont.Kaman is a leading supplier of integrated aerostructures, including metallic and composite structural assemblies and metallic parts for OEM and Tier I aerospace companies engaged in commercial and military aircraft and aeroengine programs. The Company provides complete aerostructure solutions including design, tooling, manufacturing, testing, and support.

BAE Systems signs agreement to acquire SilverSky

October 21, 2014 · 153 Views

BAE Systems has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Perimeter Internetworking Corp., which trades as SilverSky, a commercial cyber service provider, for $232.5m (approximately £144.4m) on a cash free and debt free basis. Ian King, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said: “The acquisition of SilverSky enhances our strategy to grow our Applied Intelligence commercial cyber security business. SilverSky has an established sales force, a complementary suite of scalable products and a large installed customer base, providing a proven route to commercial markets in the US and other countries for our combined capabilitie. “SilverSky’s cloud-based email and network security solutions, its highly skilled resource in marketing and engineering, plus an experienced management team are an ideal fit for Applied Intelligence. Together, the enlarged business will offer corporate clients a suite of products and services to protect critical information and networks and detect cyber threats and financial crime. The enlarged business has outstanding growth opportunities.” SilverSky is a leading independent cloud-based managed security services provider operating in the fast-growing cyber security market providing services including email protection, network security and managed applications. Its customer base includes approximately 5,500 customers in the financial services, retail, healthcare, energy, critical infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

It never rains but it pours for German travellers as more Lufthansa flights are cancelled

October 21, 2014 · 135 Views

Immediately after the weekend where the German rail system was brought to a standstill through a strike by national train drivers, the 35 hour Lufthansa short-haul flight strike organised by the Vereinigung Cockpit union due to start this Monday afternoon has now been extended to include a 24 hour strike for long haul flights. The long-haul strike will commence this Tuesday afternoon as pilots pile the pressure on management. The train drivers’ strike stranded millions of travellers at a time when half-term holidays were beginning in many German states. Following on from that, the eighth walkout this year by Lufthansa pilots has affected over 1,500 flights and 200,000 people.
While the recent two-week strike at Air France-KLM that cost an estimated US$650 million was about the threat to pilots’ wage structure via the airline’s connection with their low-cost Transavia airline, this strike by Lufthansa pilots relates to transition payments demanded by pilots wishing to take early retirement. The Vereinigung Cockpit union, representing approximately 5,400 Lufthansa pilots, is determined to retain a scheme that enables pilots to retire at the age of 55, yet still receive up to 60 percent of their full pay before standard pension payments begin when they are 65. While the union has put forward a proposal to cover the costs of the scheme, the airline consider the proposal far from a compromise. As Simone Menne, the airline’s Chief Financial Officer, said: ‘The strikes are not only causing significant financial damage but are also damaging our image, the consequences of which are significant and not yet clear.’
If there is any connection between problems at Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, then it is the dire need to be able to run a low-cost airline which is able to compete with the likes of Ryanair and EasyJet. Both airlines need to trim costs at every level, and the more the unions pull pilots out on strike, the less likely it will be that either airline will be able to afford to run a low-cost operation, which could ultimately prove fatal in the long run.