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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert

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

February 20, 2015 · 541 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 · 639 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.


New Lufthansa Technik Cyclean engine wash station in Dubai

November 25, 2013 · 17 Views

On the occasion of this year’s Dubai Airshow, Lufthansa Technik has announced the first station for highly efficient engine cleaning system, Cyclean Engine Wash, in Dubai, to open at the start of 2014. The engine cleaning system, already used by more than 30 airline customers worldwide, will now be available for the first time directly at Dubai International Airport. The new Cyclean Engine Wash station will primarily serve international customers flying to the Dubai hub. Lufthansa Technik is thus catering for the rapid growth of the aviation industry in the Middle East and the continual increase in aircraft movements in the region. There have already been a lot of definite enquiries from airlines interested in using the service, including low-cost, regional and cargo carriers.


BOC Aviation delivers new Airbus A330 to Iberia with new livery

November 25, 2013 · 29 Views

Iberia, the Spanish carrier, has taken delivery of its fifth A330-300 from BOC Aviation. The aircraft is the first to carry Iberia’s new livery and is named after Spanish King Juan Carlos I. Iberia, an International Airlines Group (“IAG”) airline, has now taken delivery of nine Airbus aircraft out of 12 leased from BOC Aviation, comprising four new A320-200s and five new A330-300s. The remaining three A330-300 aircraft are to be delivered by April 2014.


MTU Maintenance signs exclusive contract for CF6-80 maintenance with Southern Air

November 25, 2013 · 22 Views

Southern Air Holdings has awarded MTU Maintenance an exclusive long-term maintenance and lease engine provisioning contract covering all present and future General Electric (GE) CF6-80C2 engines in Southern Air’s 747-400 freighter fleet. The contract with the U.S. based cargo carrier is valued at over $100m.


Garuda Indonesia introduces sub-brand ‘Explore’

November 25, 2013 · 13 Views

In line with the airline’s efforts to develop and strengthen its flight network, especially in the domestic sector, Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, announced its brand new sub-brand “Explore” along with the introduction of the airline’s ATR72-600 aircraft into its fleet, on November 25th, 2013. Garuda Indonesia will operate “Explore” flight through ATR72-600 aircraft, starting on December 3rd, 2013, with a single class cabin (All Economy) configuration with a seat capacity for 70 passengers. In addition to the sub-brand “Explore”, at the same time Garuda Indonesia also introduced the sub-brand “Explore Jet” along with the operation of its Bombardier CRJ1000 NextGen fleet since last October 2012 to serve the airline’s network in both eastern and western Indonesia.


Stefan Buschle new CCO of MHS Aviation

November 25, 2013 · 56 Views

The expanding charter airline MHS Aviation has a new management member: the experienced and successful aviation expert Stefan Buschle takes over the duties as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and is responsible for Sales and Business Development at the Grünwald (Munich) based operator. Born in Germany and raised in Brazil, Buschle started his aviation career at Lufthansa in Frankfurt. After leading positions at the CIRRUS Group, DC Aviation, the Portuguese OMNI Aviation Group and Whitejets Airways in Brazil, he returned to Germany for a new challenge. With his international background and extensive experience in different sectors of aviation, Buschle plans to increase MHS´s share of managed aircraft and expand the carrier´s fleet, with a strategy for MHS Aviation to become one of Europe´s major business aviation players.


HEICO Corporation increases Credit Facility to an aggregate capacity of $1bn and extends term

November 25, 2013 · 31 Views

HEICO Corporation reported that it increased its $670m revolving credit facility (the “Facility”) to an aggregate potential future capacity of $1Bbn and that it also extended the facility by an additional year until December 2018. Under the amendment, $800m of the Facility is now fully committed for funding and an additional $200m has been committed subject to future consent of the lenders. Originally entered into in 2011, the Facility previously allowed borrowings of up to $670m and was set to expire in 2016. Based on HEICO’s credit characteristics, the bank group has now twice extended the Facility’s expiration to allow for expiration in five years from now. Further, certain other amendments were made to provide additional financial flexibility.


Chromalloy expands support in new engine supply chain with acquisition of TRAC Group

November 25, 2013 · 42 Views

Chromalloy, a leading supplier of gas turbine engine component repairs, coatings and castings, reported its acquisition of Trac Group, a tier one component supplier to the aerospace and energy industries. Trac Group provides design, engineering and manufacturing of high and low pressure complex turbine components including blades, segments and vanes for the engine hot section. As a supplier on new commercial aircraft engines and power generation systems, Trac Group produces components for Rolls-Royce, Snecma, Alstom, Siemens, and other manufacturers. The company employs about 400 and has headquarters in Crewe, U.K., with production facilities in the U.K. and Mexico. Terry Russett, Managing Director, Trac Group, called the combination “a win-win for the equipment manufacturers, which demand innovation, quality and performance both in the supply chain and the aftermarket.” The company will retain its brand name and be referred to as “A Chromalloy Company.” Chromalloy and Trac Group are privately held and the terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


Acro Aircraft Seating to equip Airbus A320 aircraft with new wider and lighter economy seat

November 25, 2013 · 32 Views

UK-based passenger aircraft seat manufacturer Acro Aircraft Seating will equip Airbus A320 aircraft with its Ultra XC wider and lighter economy class reclining seat from the first quarter, 2014. The seat, boasting a width of 18.1 inches for window and aisle seats and 19.3 inches for the middle seat, will offer passengers more ‘personal’ space, greater comfort and improved sleep especially on long haul flights. The launch customer, a yet to be announced major European carrier will install the new seats across its fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.


Rolls-Rolls receives $215m contract for Liftsystem production

November 25, 2013 · 23 Views

Rolls-Royce has been awarded a $215m contract to produce and support LiftSystems for the F-35 Lightning II program, and F-35B jets continue to demonstrate success in operations, training and test. The unique technology of the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem provides F-35B aircraft with the capability to perform short take-offs and vertical landings (STOVL) and is currently in service with the US Marine Corps in Yuma, Arizona. The new agreement with Pratt & Whitney for the sixth production lot includes six LiftSystems, plus sustainment, program management, engineering and field support.


Textron to acquire two innovative suppliers of flight simulation and aircraft training products

November 25, 2013 · 33 Views

Textron has signed agreements to acquire two flight simulation and aircraft training product companies – Mechtronix Inc., located in Montreal, Quebec and OPINICUS Corporation, located in Lutz, Florida. These companies combined with Textron Systems’ existing training and simulation business, which serves the military aircraft market through its facilities in Goose Creek, South Carolina, will form Textron Simulation & Training Systems. The total annual revenue for the new business is expected to exceed $100m.

Mechtronix’ primary products include the FFSX and FFTX line of high-fidelity simulators and the FFT and Ascent line of flight trainers, as well as classroom training solutions. Founded in 1987, Mechtronix serves the global aviation markets and has supplied airlines with more than 200 simulator systems.

OPINICUS is known for its ODYSSEY high-fidelity simulators, featuring innovations such as REALFeel control loading and REALCue motion controller. Since 1988 OPINICUS has provided turnkey simulator programs to many aviation industry leaders including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, GE Aerospace, the FAA and several branches of the U.S. military.


Boeing and Korean Air break ground on new training facility

November 25, 2013 · 22 Views

Boeing participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on November 25th, with Incheon and Korean Air for construction of Korea’s largest new aviation training facility to be located in Incheon’s Free Economic Zone (IFEZ). The new campus, which is slated to open in 2015, will allow Boeing to expand the scope of its training business in Korea and continue its long-standing training relationship with Korean Air. The facility, once complete, will house 12 full-flight simulators for pilot training programs supporting Korean Air’s flight training needs. Once the campus is complete, Boeing will relocate its existing training support staff and equipment to the new facility. Boeing will continue to provide all simulator training and pilot checking, as well as continued involvement in Korean Air’s program development, quality assurance and training operations scheduling.