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Friday, April 18, 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.


Fiji Airways and Etihad Airways sign groundbreaking interline agreement

April 16, 2014 · 30 Views

Fiji Airways and Etihad Airways announced a new and far reaching interline agreement between the two carriers. This agreement will allow reciprocal sales from and to 12 cities in Europe, 17 cities in the Middle East, 5 cities in Africa, 5 cities in North America, 29 cities in Asia and 3 cities in Australia to and from Fiji. The agreement comes into place with immediate effect and is the starting point of further negotiations between the 2 airlines. James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Fiji is a great holiday market and we are happy to offer Fiji as an additional destination in our global network. The agreement also connects the outer South Pacific Islands to our network which creates more opportunities for our worldwide sales force. “


AJW Aviation signs three year General Terms Agreement with Wizz Air

April 16, 2014 · 24 Views

AJW Aviation, the leading independent complete aircraft spares support specialist, has signed a three year General Terms Agreement (GTA) with Hungarian airline Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe. This agreement will cover forty of their A320 aircraft, providing for any additional requirements outside of the airline’s existing support contracts, giving extra piece of mind and ensuring the airline can focus on operations. Wizz Air, founded in 2003, currently employs more than 1,700 people and has seventeen operating bases across Europe.


MD Helicopters marks 15 years of activity In Asia

April 16, 2014 · 78 Views

MD Helicopters, the Arizona, USA-headquartered manufacturer of a range of multi mission helicopters is marking 15 years of rotary sales activity in the Asian region by exhibiting for the first time at this year’s Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition, ABACE 2014, currently taking place in Shanghai. MD Helicopters is promoting its complete range including the single-engine multi mission 500 and 600 series and the unique 530F and 540F for hot-and-high challenging missions and is showcasing for the first time in China its top of the range twin-engine, Chinese registered MD 902 Explorer in the static display. There are now three MD902s operating in the region and Craig Kitchen, Chief Commercial Officer, MD Helicopters, A Lynn Tilton Company, anticipates that recent changes in regulations which have opened up airspace for the rotary sector will result in a dramatic change in the landscape as China recognises the full benefits of general aviation, and helicopter use, especially. MD Helicopters is responding with heightened marketing activity in the region, such as its participation at ABACE and the recent appointment in November of Sino-Quest Aviation Solutions as its second authorised sales representative for Asia, joining existing sales agent, Avionics Pacific. Next, it plans to open an office in Shanghai before the end of 2014.


Dion Flannery to succeed Keith Houk as President of PSA Airlines

April 16, 2014 · 1312 Views

PSA Airlines released that the company’s president and chief executive officer Keith Houk, after more than 25 years of outstanding service, has elected to retire from his current role. Succeeding Houk will be Dion Flannery, most recently president of US Airways Express.


Dassault Aviation rolls out 250th Falcon 7X

April 16, 2014 · 36 Views

Another milestone in the Falcon 7X program was reached this week with the roll-out of the 250th aircraft at Dassault Aviation’s Charles Lindbergh Hall in Mérignac near Bordeaux, France. The aircraft entered final assembly earlier this year. It will fly to the Falcon completion center in Little Rock, Arkansas in June and will be delivered to its customer before year’s end. A total of 216 Falcon 7X’s are currently in service in 34 countries around the world. The fleet has accumulated more than 250,000 flight hours since it was introduced in 2007.


Boeing delivers 8,000th 737

April 16, 2014 · 22 Views

Boeing delivered the 8,000th 737 to come off the production line to United Airlines, marking another important milestone for Boeing’s best-selling airplane. The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-900ER (Extended Range), features a special logo. The 737 is the first commercial airplane in history to reach this delivery milestone. The program has a strong backlog with more than 3,700 airplanes on order, including 1,934 orders for the new 737 MAX. United was the first airline to order and take delivery of the 737-200. Since 1965, United has taken delivery of more than 550 737s and operated nearly every model.


Fokker partners with ATRAN Cargo Airlines for TCAS 7.1 on Boeing 737 fleet

April 16, 2014 · 50 Views

Fokker Services, part of Fokker Technologies, has received the order from Russian operator ATRAN Cargo Airlines for the introduction of TCAS 7.1 on their Boeing 737 fleet. The development of version 7.1 of the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) was initiated by EUROCONTROL and will bring improvements to the reversal logic by detecting situations in which, despite the Resolution Advisories, the aircraft continue to converge vertically. The mandate is applicable in European Union airspace as of 1 March 2012 to all aircraft above 5,700 kg Maximum Take-off Mass or authorised to carry more than 19 passengers. An extended deadline, i.e. 1 December 2015, is granted to aircraft with an individual certificate of airworthiness issued before 1 March 2012 and equipped with version 7.0. The EU Implementing Rule sets an earlier equipage requirements than those published in ICAO Annex 10 (1 January 2014 new installations, 1 January 2017 existing units). The modification is certified by Fokker Services under their DOA EASA.21J.059 privileges. Fokker Services offers both update and replacements with the TCAS 7.1 software for Thales/L3/ACCS, Honeywell and Rockwell Collins computers.


West Star Aviation opens new maintenance facility in East Alton, IL

April 16, 2014 · 46 Views

West Star Aviation is nearing completion of their brand new 47,000 ft² maintenance facility at their East Alton, IL (ALN) location. In addition to the new maintenance facility, the multimillion dollar expansion includes a 14,000 ft² wood shop and 6,000 ft² accessory repair shop, bringing the East Alton facilities from 250,000 to 317,300 ft² with approximately 300 employees. The new facilities are scheduled to be complete by May 2014. In order to further strengthen their service offerings, West Star Aviation also recently broke ground on a state-of-the-art paint facility as well as an additional maintenance facility and shop at their Grand Junction, CO (GJT) location. An additional 10,000 ft² feet of maintenance facilities are also planned at their Columbia, South Carolina (CAE) location.


Robert Kline joins Universal Avionics

April 16, 2014 · 113 Views

Mr. Robert Kline has been appointed to the newly created position of Airline Sales Manager for the US and Latin American sales regions. Robert will be responsible for maintaining Universal Avionics’ existing programs and relationships within the Airline market segment, as well as seeking out and developing new programs in those regions. Before joining Universal, Robert spent time at Dornier Aviation, PATS Aircraft and Saab. He will be based in Virginia.


Mango Aviation Partners appoint Andrew Hughes as Executive VP for General and Business Aviation activities on a global basis

April 17, 2014 · 150 Views

Mango Aviation Partners announced the appointment of Andrew Hughes as Executive Vice President for its General and Business Aviation activities on a global basis. Andrew Hughes is an experienced executive form the general and business aviation sector. He is well known and respected by manufactures and regulatory authorities through to executive aviation clients and crew, and he represents a major contribution to the Mango team in this very important area of business.


Marshall’s aircraft brokerage arm makes strong start to 2014

April 17, 2014 · 11 Views

Marshall Aviation Services’ aircraft brokerage business, JETability, has enjoyed a strong first quarter with a notable number of international sales transactions. Led by experienced Sales Director, Howard Povey, the business has sold three aircraft – a Cessna CJ2+, an Agusta Westland 109E Power, and an Airbus Helicopter AS355N. Howard and the team have built up a strong portfolio of fixed wing and rotary aircraft including Cessna Citations and Beechcraft King Airs. The mid-size jet category is an area that the company wishes to develop going forward and a Hawker 850XP sale, completed in late 2013, provides an ideal platform to build upon.


Avolon delivers one Boeing 737-800 NG to Lion Air

April 17, 2014 · 26 Views

Avolon delivered a Boeing 737-800 NG to Lion Air on Tuesday, April 15th. This is the final of a six Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft sale and leaseback with Lion Air.


ETC’s Aircrew Training Systems awarded contract to supply United States Air Force with spatial disorientation flight trainers

April 17, 2014 · 91 Views

Aircrew Training Systems (“ATS”), a division of Environmental Tectonics Corporation, has signed a contract with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (“AFLCMC”) to provide up to four spatial disorientation flight simulators following a competitive bidding process. The AFLCMC selected ETC’s GYRO IPT II (Integrated Physiological Trainer) to fulfill the requirements of their new Spatial Disorientation (SD) Training System Program. The GYRO IPT II will support the SD training requirements in the Air Education and Training Command Student Undergraduate Pilot Training syllabus. The system will expose undergraduate pilots and aircrew to typical vestibular and visual illusions found in aviation, enabling them to recognize, confirm, prevent and recover from SD. The four units are scheduled for delivery to Sheppard AFB TX, Laughlin AFB TX, Columbus AFB MS and Vance AFB OK, with installation expected to begin in the spring of 2015.


Horizon Air and dispatchers ratify new four-year contract

April 17, 2014 · 30 Views

Horizon Air and the Transport Workers Union jointly announced that the carrier’s 17 dispatchers have ratified a new four-year contract by a ratio of 82%. Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not expire. Instead they become amendable. The ratified agreement for Horizon’s dispatchers becomes amendable on Aug. 26, 2018. Horizon Air is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group and flies to 39 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.


Rockwell Collins second quarter 2014 sales increase 12%

April 17, 2014 · 35 Views

Rockwell Collins reported total sales for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 were $1.27bn, an increase of 12% from the same period in 2013 primarily due to the acquisition of ARINC. Total segment operating earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014 were $254m, an increase of $25m, or 11%, from the same period a year ago. Second quarter fiscal year 2014 earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.07 and net income was $147m compared to earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.17 and net income of $161m in the second quarter of last year. Prior year net income included a $31m benefit from the retroactive reinstatement of the Federal Research & Development Tax Credit, which expired on December 31, 2013. ARINC, which was acquired on December 23, 2013, contributed $137m of sales and $17m of operating earnings to the second quarter of 2014. Rockwell Collins expects the ARINC portion of Information Management Services’ fiscal year 2014 operating margin to be in the range of 11% to 12%, (from 9% to 10%), due primarily to lower than previously estimated intangible asset amortization expense.


Honeywell’s aerospace segment reports first quarter sales down 2%

April 17, 2014 · 160 Views

Honeywell released that sales for its aerospace segment were down 2% compared with the first quarter of 2013 driven by an 8% decline in Defense & Space sales as a result of planned program ramp downs and delays, as well as lower Government Services, partially offset by Commercial growth. Commercial OE sales were up 1% in the quarter driven by continued strong OE build rates and favorable platform mix, partially offset by lower regional jet sales. Commercial Aftermarket growth of 4% was driven by a 14% increase in spares sales, partially offset by lower maintenance activities. Segment profit was approximately flat, and segment margins expanded 30 bps to 19.2%, driven by commercial excellence, productivity net of inflation and favorable aftermarket mix, partially offset by lower volume.


Snecma and Mecachrome sign contract for production of titanium aluminide blades on LEAP engine

April 17, 2014 · 76 Views

Snecma (Safran) and Mecachrome signed the procurement contract for titanium-aluminide (TiAl) blades on the low-pressure turbine of the CFM International LEAP engine. Titanium aluminide (TiAl), an alloy of titanium and aluminum, is a new-generation material with outstanding qualities. Standing up to very high temperatures (750°C), it will cut the weight of a blade in half compared with the nickel-based alloys traditionally used in low-pressure turbines. As part of the new LEAP engine, this alloy will be used for the first time on a single-aisle commercial jet. It will contribute to the excellent performance of this new engine, which offers 15% lower fuel consumption than the best engines now in service. Snecma and Mecachrome developed a special manufacturing process for TiAI blades, and even created a complete production facility. Located at Mecachrome’s plant in Sablé-sur-Sarthe, the new production line will require an investment of €60m and create 150 specific jobs. Volume production will kick off in 2015, with a sharp ramp-up already in 2016, on the way to achieving the planned production rate of one blade every three minutes in 2019.