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Friday, August 16, 2013

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 542 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 · 640 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 · 195 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 · 162 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 · 111 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 · 78 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 · 78 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 · 74 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 · 65 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 · 64 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 · 40 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 · 53 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.


Finnair aims for clear productivity improvement as part of €60m savings program

August 14, 2013 · 10 Views

Finnair seeks clear savings in personnel costs as part of its €60m savings program announced on October 26, 2012. The company has further defined its plans as it prepares to discuss collective labour agreements with its flying personnel, customer service personnel, cargo personnel and technical personnel in the autumn. Especially in connection with the collective labour agreement negotiations, there is a good opportunity to agree on necessary savings together. Primarily the aim is to identify saving methods that would not impact base salary, but would nonetheless decrease company costs. Finnair has already begun discussions with labour groups and their respective labour unions (Finnair Airline Pilots Association, Finnish Cabin Crew Union and Finnish Aviation Union) on methods and schedules by which the saving targets could be reached. The aim is to consider how compensation and working time structures could be renewed to make them competitive and to better align them with market salaries and practices. The aim is to also to discuss methods to reduce costs which would not impact on employees’ earnings. The collective labour agreements between Finnair and these unions end at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. Pilots’ and cabin attendants’ share from this program is approximately €35m, which is divided roughly in half between these groups. Finnair’s saving target for technical and Customer Service and Technical Services employees is approximately €8m.


ARINC supports LOT Polish Airlines with successful integration of ACARS Services

August 14, 2013 · 16 Views

ARINC Incorporated released that long term customer LOT Polish Airlines has chosen ARINC’s GLOBALink ACARS data link programme to provide the airline with the timely, accurate information that it depends on every day for its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline currently uses ARINC’s ACARS data link services for faster, more comprehensive and more reliable operational messaging. Under the new agreement, ARINC will integrate the 787 data link programme into ARINC’s data link Management System – OpCenter, allowing seamless operation with LOT’s existing fleet. GLOBALink ACARS will enable LOT to operate its aircraft more efficiently and give it more visibility into how its aircraft are performing by maintaining critical, automated, real-time messaging between the flight crew and its maintenance organization.


Embraer Executive Jets introduces new features for Phenom 100

August 14, 2013 · 3 Views

Embraer Executive Jets now offers new standard and optional features for its Phenom 100, revealed at the 10th annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) on August 13th. The new features include multi-function spoilers, 11 new interior collections and new options including a refreshment center, stowage space and premium seats. The multi-function spoiler offers two new functionalities, acting as a ground spoiler and speed brake. It not only increases drag and lift dump but can be used for speed reduction and sink-rate increase on the approach phase. The 11 new interior collections refresh both cabin looks and comfort and feature new color choices and materials such as wood veneer. The optional premium seat features additional capabilities, such as swivel, lateral and forward movement.


IAI reports results for the second quarter of 2013

August 14, 2013 · 9 Views

Israel Aerospace Industries announced on August 7th the release of its consolidated financial statements, as of June 30th, 2013. Revenues amounted to US$896m in the second quarter, up 11% compared to the corresponding quarter. Exports accounted for 76% of revenues, compared with 78% in the corresponding quarter. Revenues in the military market accounted for 75% of total revenues, compared with 78% in the corresponding quarter. Gross profit in the second quarter amounted to US$148m (a 16.5% gross profit margin), compared with US$127m in the corresponding quarter (a 15.8% gross profit margin). Operating profit amounted to US$31m (3.4% of sales) in the second quarter, compared with US$26m (3.2% of sales) in the corresponding quarter. The Company’s Net profit in the second quarter amounted to US$18m (2% of sales), compared with a US$22m net loss in the corresponding quarter. As of the end of the current quarter, the order backlog stood at US$10.9bn, compared with US$9.7bn at the end of 2012. This order backlog guarantees three years of activity. 85% of the order backlog is designated for sales to overseas customers.


GECAS completes delivery of five leased Airbus A320s to Saudi Arabia’s nasair

August 14, 2013 · 10 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced delivery of five leased Airbus A320s to National Air Services Company (NAS Holding) to expand its nasair airline’s fleet. nasair operates a fleet of 22 aircraft to 24 domestic and international destinations.


ST Engineering reports higher EBIT compared to 2Q2012

August 14, 2013 · 13 Views

The Group posted quarterly revenue of $1.59bn, compared with the prior year revenue of $1.57bn for the same period. Revenues for the Group’s Aerospace, Electronics and Land Systems sectors at $506m, $354m and $392m respectively were comparable to 2Q2012. EBIT totalled $177.7m, an increase of 7% from $165.9m a year earlier. Group profit before tax (PBT) was $189.3m versus $187.8m for 2Q2012. All sectors, except for Aerospace sector which recorded comparable PBT, achieved higher PBT growth of between 7% and 13%. Of note, PBT for the prior year period included a non-recurring gain of $12.8m from the disposal of properties by the Aerospace and Land Systems sectors. Quarterly net profit was $147.9m, compared with the prior year $143.1m for the same period.


B/E Aerospace agrees to acquire Blue Dot Energy services

August 14, 2013 · 29 Views

B/E Aerospace (BEAV), has initiated an expansion of its Consumables Management (CM) Segment into the oil and gas services industry via the acquisition of Blue Dot Energy Services, a provider of parts distribution, rental equipment, and on-site services. The acquisition purchase price including expenses is approximately $75m. The transaction is expected to close by the end of August 2013 and is expected to be accretive to 2014 earnings per share.


BAE Systems Regional Aircraft renews spares support contract with Sky Express of Greece

August 15, 2013 · 16 Views

BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has won a three-year extension to its existing MACRO rate-per-flying-hour spares support contract with Greek regional airline Sky Express. Sky Express first enrolled on to the MACRO (Material and Components Repair and Overhaul) programme in June 2008 and this new extension will see the airline enjoy the benefits of this service until mid -2016. The contract covers the airline’s fleet of BAE Systems-built 30-seat Jetstream 41 regional turboprop airliners and covers 189 separate aircraft parts. An additional consignment of on-site stock of critical parts has been placed with the airline to prevent AOG (Aircraft On Ground) situations arising. Under this MACRO contract BAE Systems will be responsible for managing the spares inventory, logistics and repairs. This allows Sky Express to focus its attention on running its regional inter-island operations while BAE Systems provides a first-class support service.


Chromalloy signs new agreements with Honeywell

August 15, 2013 · 26 Views

Chromalloy announced a Repair License Agreement as well as a Supplier Agreement with Honeywell. The 10-year agreements cover aircraft engine components and engineering services for parts, and special coating processes. The Supplier Agreement and Repair License Agreement commenced on August 12th, 2013 and cover a full range of Honeywell systems that power commercial, cargo, military and business aircraft, as well as auxiliary power units. Chromalloy’s Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Engineering Center of Excellence also will provide metallurgical laboratory services, advanced component repair applications and manufacturing as well as material design and advanced coating repair application.


Fly-by-Wire Technology driving advancements in rotary wing flight

August 15, 2013 · 12 Views

UTC Aerospace Systems is working with Sikorsky Aircraft to drive advancements in rotorcraft technology as part of Sikorsky’s self-funded Matrix Technology autonomy research and development program. With Matrix Technology, Sikorsky aims to significantly improve the capability, safety and reliability of vertical take-off and landing aircraft. Sikorsky announced this week the first flight of an S-76 helicopter — called the Sikorsky Autonomous Research Aircraft (SARA) — to test in autonomous mode the systems and software that comprise Matrix Technology. SARA uses a triplex redundant fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) with computers supplied by UTC Aerospace Systems to implement the flight-critical portions of the autonomous operation.


Fifth Street Finance Corp. enters aircraft leasing business

August 15, 2013 · 8 Views

Fifth Street Finance Corp. reported the formation of a new portfolio company in the aircraft leasing sector, First Star Aviation. Pradeep Hathiramani, former Principal and Sector Head of Transportation at KKR Asset Management, will lead the operations of First Star as Managing Director. Mr. Hathiramani will help build an experienced team focused on acquiring and leasing a portfolio of commercial aircraft to operators around the world. Mr. Hathiramani has more than 15 years of lending and leasing experience in the transportation industry. Most recently, he was responsible for originating and managing a portfolio of leveraged loans, high yield and mezzanine investments at KKR. Prior to that, he spent seven years at GATX Financial Corporation as Director of the Aircraft Leasing Group. First Star recently closed its first investment in the aircraft industry, which consisted of three commercial aircraft on lease to a U.S. airline. In connection with this transaction, Fifth Street provided First Star with debt and equity capital to execute on the strategy.


American Airlines launches codeshare agreement with TAM

August 15, 2013 · 8 Views

American Airlines announced the launch of a new codeshare agreement with Sao Paulo-based TAM Airlines, increasing American’s network connectivity in Brazil and further enhancing its relationship with LATAM Airlines Group.Through the agreement, the two airlines will codeshare on each other’s flights between the United States and Brazil. American’s customers will also have access to TAM flights from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to eight additional destinations throughout Brazil, including Fortaleza, Natal and Vitoria, and TAM’s customers will also have access to American flights from Miami, New York and Orlando, Fla., to 25 cities in the U.S., including Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.


SAS completes MD80 and spare engine fleet sale to Allegiant Air

August 15, 2013 · 13 Views

SAS has finalized the delivery stream of 12 MD82/83/87 aircraft (49383, 49605, 49606, 49607, 49609, 49611, 49642, 53010, 53011, 53165, 53337 and 53340) as well as 12 spare JT8D-217C/219 engines to Allegiant Air and its subsidiaries. The sale was agreed to in April 2011 and the deliveries have matched SAS’ continued phase-out of its MD80 fleet as part of its fleet renewal program. SAS’ remaining 13 MD80s and eight spare JT8D-217C/219 engines are under a firm contract for sale with the final deliveries in Q1 2015. Both transactions were arranged by SkyWorks Leasing.


Triumph Group signs agreement to acquire General Donlee Canada

August 15, 2013 · 18 Views

Triumph Group announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire General Donlee Canada, a leading manufacturer of flight critical complex machined components. Triumph will pay a total of approximately $110.0m in cash to acquire General Donlee’s outstanding equity and retire its existing debt. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of the General Donlee shareholders, and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of fiscal year 2014. The acquired business will be included in the Aerospace Systems Group. The business is expected to add approximately $60.0m in annual revenue and to be immediately accretive to earnings. Based in Toronto, Canada, General Donlee is a leading manufacturer of precision machined products for the aerospace, nuclear and oil and gas industries. With approximately 200 employees, the company’s primary product lines include engine shafts, thrust links, rotorcraft masts and landing gear applications. Key customers include GE Aviation and Bell Helicopter.