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Wednesday, January 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 · 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.


PART performs C-check for Chilean Air Force’s B737-500 Presidential aircraft

January 20, 2014 · 38 Views

PART, an ARC Aerospace Industries Company released that the Chilean Air Force’s B737-500 Presidential aircraft arrived at PART in the week of January 13th, for a C-check. According to executives David Green and Janet Vincent, PART previously performed heavy maintenance for the Chileans in February 2012. An additional high-profile presidential aircraft is undergoing a C-Check, but remains undisclosed at this time. Later this year, two more Latin American presidential aircraft will be visiting PART’s facilities for maintenance. PART provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, and other leading manufacturers.


Gulf Air announces 3-year MRO agreement with JorAMCo

January 20, 2014 · 15 Views

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has signed a three-year maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) agreement with JorAMCo, to meet the airline’s Heavy Maintenance and ‘C’ check fleet requirements. JorAMCo, a regional MRO facility based in Jordan was awarded the contract by Gulf Air following a successful bidding tender process through the Bahrain Tender Board.


First ATR ‘-600’ flight simulator qualified in Latin America

January 20, 2014 · 4 Views

ATR announced the set-up of the very first ATR ‘-600 series’ Flight Simulator in Latin America. The Full Flight Simulator (FFS) is located at the training facilities of the Colombian carrier Avianca, in Bogota, and has recently obtained certification from both Europe’s EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and Colombia’s UAEAC (Civil Aviation Special Administrative Unit). The FFS features an electric-pneumatic motion system allowing for silent operation and reduced power consumption, and a front projection collimated 200°x40° visual display system. The FFS is configured for training on the newest ATR 72-600 series version, and besides Avianca, is also available to all the other ATR -600 series operators in the Latin America and Caribbean region.


Volga-Dnepr Technics increases aircraft maintenance services in Leipzig

January 20, 2014 · 17 Views

Volga-Dnepr Technics GmbH (VDT), the Leipzig-based maintenance company, has expanded its current scope of activities on Western-built aircraft. The renewed scope of its EASA Part 145 certificate now enables VDT to extend A-check services on Boeing 737-300/-400/-500 and 747-8F and 747-400 (PW-4000) aircraft. The company’s Rating C14 has also been expanded to cover wheel and brake repair shop activities on a variety of Boeing 747 aircraft models.


AJW Group appoints Michael Duncan as Regional Director – Africa

January 20, 2014 · 11 Views

AJW Group has appointed Michael Duncan as its Regional Director for Africa. In this position, Duncan will be responsible for developing the Company’s presence and establishing partnerships with operators who need the integrated aircraft support services that AJW Aviation and AJW Technique can provide within this challenging and diverse Continent. This new appointment reinforces the rapid growth of AJW Group over the last year and its development of a more comprehensive service portfolio across a growing geographical footprint.


Boeing joins new BIOjet Abu Dhabi team to grow biofuel supply chain

January 20, 2014 · 18 Views

Boeing, Etihad Airways, Takreer, Total and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology will collaborate on a new initiative to support a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in the United Arab Emirates. BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability will engage a broad range of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework for a U.A.E. biofuel supply chain. This initiative will focus on research and development and investments in feedstock production and refining capability in the U.A.E. and globally. Etihad Airways showed the promise of this homegrown effort on January 19th, with a 45-minute demonstration flight in a Boeing 777 powered in part by U.A.E.-produced sustainable aviation biofuel. The biofuel was partially converted from plants by Total and refined into jet fuel by Takreer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC). U.A.E. is now among a handful of countries that have produced and flown on their own aviation biofuel, which emits at least 50% carbon dioxide than fossil fuel over its lifecycle.


Bombardier Aerospace delivers 238 aircraft and receives orders for 388 aircraft in 2013

January 20, 2014 · 10 Views

Bombardier Aerospace released that it delivered 238 aircraft during 2013 (180 business jets, compared to 179 in 2012 and 55 commercial aircraft, compared to 50 for the previous calendar year). The company also received orders for 388 aircraft, net of cancellations, compared to 481 orders, net of cancellations, for the previous year. Bombardier delivered 180 business jets, compared to 179 for the previous calendar year and delivered 55 commercial aircraft, compared to 50 for the previous calendar year.


Universal Avionics appoints Robert Randall as Senior Sales Manager, U.S.

January 20, 2014 · 19 Views

Robert Randall has been appointed to the position of Senior Sales Manager, U.S. for Universal Avionics. In this new role, Mr. Randall will manage Universal Avionics’ Regional Sales Managers and oversee all authorized dealer sales for the United States.


ATK awarded composite components contract for Boeing 787 Dreamliner

January 20, 2014 · 34 Views

ATK, an aerospace, defense and commercial products company, was selected by Boeing for a contract, beginning immediately, to produce substructural composite components for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. ATK composite structures can be found on the Boeing 767 and 757 airplanes, C-17 Globemaster, F-18 fighter, V-22 Osprey, Boeing 702 and GPS II-F satellites, and Delta II and Delta IV launch vehicles. ATK will provide composite substructures for the 787 center fuselage to Boeing at its South Carolina assembly facility and to Alenia for the aft fuselage.


GECAS orders 20 737 MAXs and 20 Next-Generation 737s

January 21, 2014 · 10 Views

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) announced an order for 40 737s. The order, with a list-price value of approximately $3.9bn, consists of 20 737 MAX 8s and 20 Next-Generation 737-800s. The follow-on order increases the GECAS order book for the 737 MAX to 95 airplanes and the 737NG to 387 airplanes.


AEI delivers second Sideral B737-400SF 11 pallet conversion

January 21, 2014 · 11 Views

Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) has delivered the third 737 classic freighter to Sideral Air Cargo based in Brazil. The aircraft is a high gross weight B737-400SF (MSN 24808) built in 1990 and was converted at Commercial Jet’s Miami facility, which is one of five authorized AEI Conversion Centers worldwide. Sideral Air Cargo’s fleet now consists of one AEI B737-300SF and two AEI B737-400SF freighters. This is AEI’s 1st of the anticipated 30+ freighters to be delivered in 2014.


Delta Air Lines posts December quarter profit

January 21, 2014 · 13 Views

Delta’s net income for the December 2013 quarter was $558m excluding special items. Delta’s net income for 2013 was $2.7 bn, a $1.1bn increase over 2012. Delta’s GAAP net income was $8.5bn for the December 2013 quarter and $10.5bn for 2013. These results include an $8.0bn non-cash gain associated with the reversal of the company’s tax valuation allowance. Delta generated nearly $5bn of operating cash flow and $2.1bn of free cash flow in 2013, allowing the company to reduce its adjusted net debt at the end of 2013 to $9.4bn.


Rockwell Collins reports first quarter 2014 earnings per share of $0.96

January 21, 2014 · 17 Views

Rockwell Collins reported first quarter fiscal year 2014 earnings per share of $0.96, an increase of 2% from earnings per share of $0.94 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. Total sales for the first quarter of 2014 were $1.07bn, an increase of 1% from $1.06bn for the same period in 2013. As previously announced, the company completed the acquisition of ARINC on December 23, 2013. ARINC contributed $6m of inorganic sales to the first quarter of 2014.


Astronics to acquire EADS North America Test and Services Division

January 21, 2014 · 10 Views

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets and liabilities of EADS North America’s Test and Services division (EADS T&S) for approximately $53m in cash plus a net working capital adjustment. The agreement is expected to close in February, subject to normal closing requirements including Hart-Scott-Rodino approval. Upon closing, EADS T&S will be reported in Astronics’ Test Systems segment. EADS T&S, located in Irvine, California, is a leading provider of highly engineered automatic test systems (ATS), subsystems and instruments for the semi-conductor, consumer electronics, commercial aerospace and defense industries. EADS T&S provides fully customized testing systems and support services for these markets. It also designs and manufactures test equipment under the well-respected test instrument brands known as Racal and Talon. EADS T&S had 2013 sales of approximately $70m. Sales for 2014 for the business are expected to be approximately $100m.


Boeing Italy’s Petrignani to retire

January 21, 2014 · 45 Views

Boeing reported the retirement of Rinaldo Petrignani as president of Boeing Italy. Petrignani will continue his relationship with Boeing as a senior counselor and is succeeded by Antonio De Palmas effective April 15th. De Palmas will be responsible for coordinating all company business activities in Italy and will be based at the Boeing Italy headquarters in Rome. He will report to Shep Hill, president, Boeing International, and senior vice president, Business Development and Strategy.


Dr. Burkhard Andrich named President and CEO of Manila-based Lufthansa Technik Philippines

January 21, 2014 · 70 Views

A change in management is underway at Lufthansa Technik Philippines: on February 1st, Dr. Burkhard Andrich, currently Senior Vice President Aircraft Component Services at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg, will take over as President and CEO of the Manila-based Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP). This joint venture with Philippine aviation service provider MacroAsia Corporation has a staff of 2,700 and offers a wide range of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services to customers worldwide, focusing on base maintenance checks for Airbus aircraft. Succeeding Andrich on February 1st, as Senior Vice President Aircraft Component Services is Harald Gloy. Gloy came to Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg in 2003. Following a tenure as Director Production Aircraft Base Maintenance he took over Component Maintenance Services as Vice President and thereafter Gloy became Vice President Engine Overhaul in November 2012. Gerald Frielinghaus joined Lufthansa Technik in 1985 and has held the post of President and CEO of Lufthansa Technik Philippines since 2011. He will return to Germany to manage the Paperless Maintenance project in Frankfurt – a migration from paper-based to electronic aircraft maintenance documentation that has high strategic and commercial value for the airlines of the Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa Technik.